Tag Archive: BuddhaAtTheGasPump



A completely spontaneous, life-altering experience of satori or enlightenment shook Lesley Skylar’s world at about age 9 or 10. Everything, in every facet, shifted unimaginably – nothing was ever the same again. This set her on a life course dedicated to understanding, honoring and living what had been revealed.

Lesley has spent years as a renunciate, living in ashrams and working deeply with direct teachings of enlightenment, in both the East and West. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism, Dzogchen and the Nonduality teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. She has a Degree in Psychology, has counselled, and worked in numerous non-profit, peace and human rights endeavors.

Lesley is a teacher of spiritual awakening. The approach and teaching she shares comes directly from her extensive experience, and was developed and refined through her own realization. It is based on decades of integration and rigorous work with liberation teachings and realized teachers.

Her teaching offers individual or small group guidance for awakening, and also focuses specifically on the post awakening terrain. Many are confused or struggle after awakening as they don’t realize that awakening is a beginning – it is not stabilized and abiding, involves a coming and going of clarity and higher states, a persistent self-sense, and incomplete seeing or depth. She helps people to move beyond the initial phases of awakening, to clarify and resolve sticking points, subtle aspects of identification, shadow, unconscious beliefs and so on. This creates a deepening, integrating and embodying, which allows liberation and enlightened living to unfold.

Lesley states: “As a teacher, I am simply the voice of your own deepest being, your highest possibilities, reflected back to you. A clear mirror, reflecting back to you your most authentic True Nature.”

She has travelled extensively and lived in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Lesley offers private sessions worldwide, via Skype/ online video or in person.

“Living a realized life is a radical shift of perception and identity, bringing with it true
freedom, clarity and peace that surpasses all understanding.”

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Joi was aware of the unseen magic of Presence at a very early age. She remembers being more drawn to this mystery than anything else. This led her to delve into many traditions of spirituality. After a spontaneous awakening at age 28, Joi spent two years on a blissful honeymoon of Spirit before plunging into a deep period of emotional purging and healing. Among her healers were a powerful Lakota medicine man, with whom she traveled for two years, and a group of Yogananda disciples who had developed a powerful way of unlocking unconscious beliefs using kinesiology. She worked with them 3x/week for two years. During this period that the formless aspect of the Divine Mother appeared to Joi and she began a very intense journey.

Joi met Amma in 1993, and she realized that Amma was the same Mother that had captured her heart and soul. Joi spent nine years in Amma’s Indian Ashram, and then two years in Tiruvannamalai at Ramana’s Ashram.

When Joi came home from India, she was completely exhausted, and her “seeker drive” fell away. She began sitting with Adyashanti, who helped her understand all that had taken place within her being.

Joi began teaching in 2006, with Amma’s and Adya’s blessings. Joi continues to be inspired and moved toward what Life could be if we let go to our inner potential, which is the ultimate intelligence of all creation.


When John Samsen first contacted us several months ago, he said, “I’m 90 years old, I’ve had both my feet amputated, and I’ve never been happier”. We soon learned that John designed the Ford Thunderbird, Plymouth Barracuda, and other “muscle cars”, and later had a profound and abiding spiritual awakening.

Over a course of many decades, John Samsen followed a quest to understand the “big questions” of Life; why are we here, what is Life all about, and who am I, really? Along with careers in Aerospace Engineering and car designing, John studied the sciences, mythologies, religions, philosophies, and psychologies, to expand his understandings. A pattern of paranormal experiences opened his mind to areas of experience beyond the paradigms of Science. In 1970, he embarked on a quest of Self Discovery, participating in hundreds of hours of intensive consciousness exploration with such noted researchers as Drs. Jean Houston and Robert Masters, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, and others involved in the “human potentials” movements of the 1970’s.

After a series of traumatic events in his life, John experienced a “metanoia”, what some call a transformation or “awakening”. John’s quest ended, and in the years since, he has been enjoying Life, knowing peace of mind, “unconditional love” of self and world, and freedom from fear and anxiety. John has been working on a verbal description of his experiences that does not rely on traditional metaphysical or religious ideas, but is consistent with modern scientific concepts of space, time, matter, and energy. He believes that a dramatic experience of “awakening”, which is rare and very difficult to achieve, is not necessary for enlightened living; that with proper guidance and consistent effort, most people can achieve that state of being.

Born 1961. Lived most of life in the coastal county of Pembrokeshire, UK. Love the sea. Between ages 17 to 22 lived in a Vedanta Monastery, 22/23 a hermit-like life. Age 23 to present have been running a gallery business. Separated 12 years ago. Two boys, ages 15 and 19, live with me. Time is spent supporting the boys and their business and chatting about the ocean.

    Published on Dec 8, 

Kabir Helminski is a Shaikh in the lineage of Rumi, and co-director of The Threshold Society. His translations of Rumi and books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages.

 In 2009 and subsequent years Kabir was named as one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by the Royal Strategic Studies Center (Jordan). He has toured North America as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people. His latest book is Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time.

Other books:

Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey
The Rumi Daybook: 365 Poems
and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master


Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist. As a spiritual theologian, he has written 34 books that have been translated into over 60 languages. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics, and The Pope’s War. He has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets.

Fox holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM. In joining the Episcopal church over 20 years ago, Fox has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj and more into the Western Liturgy. The Cosmic Mass has been celebrated over 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America.

Fox is recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks), the Gandhi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award and other awards. His latest books are Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action; Stations of the Cosmic Christ; and A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey. He teaches regularly at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality in Boulder, Co and resides in Vallejo, CA.

Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author, and speaker. After years of spiritual seeking, meditation, and immersion in psychospiritual practices, an experience of the dark night of the soul led her to a profound inner awakening. Then, after a long period of integration, she began speaking from silence in small gatherings. Today she offers meetings and retreats, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events, attracting spiritual seekers and people looking for peace and fulfillment in an increasingly chaotic world. Her teachings are free of religion and tradition, and she brings to them a deep understanding of the human journey, born out of her own experience.

She is the author of Radical Awakening (originally released as How to Find God in Everything) and Change Your Life, Change Your World: Ten Spiritual Lessons for a New Way of Being and Living. Both books were written shortly after her awakening and before she began to speak in public.

Her new book Embodied Enlightenment — written 15 years after her awakening — is based on the many conversations at the cutting edge of spiritual inquiry in her meetings with people from all around the world, and addresses many of the questions relevant to today’s seeker. It has been acclaimed as “a beautiful and precious gift to an emerging new humanity.”

Amoda lives with her husband and beloved, Kavi, in California.

Kittisaro and Thanissara have been married since 1992. They spent 7 years as guiding teachers of the Buddhist Retreat Centre KwaZulu S. Africa and then went on to found Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat on the border of Lesotho and South Africa. They co-founded several HIV/Aids Outreach Programs and currently support Kuluingile Project, a home for children left vulnerable due to HIV/Aids run by Sister Abegail Ntleko, award winner of the Dalai Lama Unsung Hero Award. They lead retreats in S.Africa, UK, U.S.A and Israel and regularly host one to three-month retreats at Dharmagiri. They currently reside in Sebastopol, CA.

Kittisaro is from Tennessee, USA. He graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar. He ordained with Ajahn Chah in 1976 in the Thai Forest Tradition. He was a monk for 15 years and helped found several monasteries in the UK. His practice has also been informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua since 1980. Kittisaro completed two one year silent self retreats and is co-author of ‘Listening to the Heart.’ He has taught extensively since the 1980’s and is a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society, MA, founding teacher of Chattanooga Insight, TN and affiliated teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA.

Thanissara is from an Anglo-Irish family in London. She started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun in the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. Thanissara has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from the UK. She has taught extensively since the late 1980’s, is the author of several books, including two poetry books. Her latest is ‘Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth’.

Books:

Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism
Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth — The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes (Sacred Activism)
Empty Hands, A Memoir: One Woman’s Journey to Save Children Orphaned by AIDS in South Africa (Sacred Activism)
The Heart Of The Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra

Website: http://dharmagiri.org

Published on Nov 17, 2017

For discussion of this talk, see: 

Presentation at the Science and Nonduality Conference

Many well-known spiritual teachers and gurus have been accused, credibly, of sexual, financial, and behavioral abuse. This, although their own spiritual attainment has arguably appeared significant, and their teachings beneficial. 

As a result, some people have concluded that higher consciousness and ethical behavior are not correlated, that we are governed by our genetics and conditioning, or by “nature”, and that we have no free will and thus no control over or responsibility for our actions. That logic has been used as an alibi by some spiritual teachers caught misbehaving.

Others have become cynical about the motives of all gurus and teachers, and some have even lost faith in spirituality altogether.

Yet, every spiritual tradition includes codes of ethics that apply to both teachers and students. Ethical behavior has been regarded not only as a reflection of spiritual development, but as a prerequisite to it.

To some extent, ethical values vary from culture to culture. But perhaps the contemporary spiritual community can agree upon some universal values. Can we agree that it’s not all right to misrepresent ourselves? If we claim or imply that we have realized our true nature, and are offering to help others do the same, is it consistent for us to behave deceitfully, perversely, selfishly, or cruelly?

Is it possible to be an enlightened scoundrel? Are purity and saintliness characteristic of higher levels of spiritual development, or unrelated to them? These are important questions. Because we need spiritual teachers and teachings in this critical time in humanity’s maturation, we need to understand what genuine spiritual attainment should look like, irrespective of personality differences. If such understanding were more commonplace, most abusive teachers and cults would never have gotten off the ground.

Published on Nov 5, 2017.

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, 

Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Website: http://adyashanti.org

Michael A. Rodriguez: Michael’s spiritual path began well over twenty years ago with Zen and subsequently included a master’s degree in theology from Harvard, long-term stays at two monasteries, and profound engagements with Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism, and Christian mysticism.

 He was especially influenced by Nisargadatta, Mooji, and Rupert Spira. During a five-year period of purification and intensive self-inquiry, his search came to an end with an Awakening that revealed the infinite and eternal nature of the Self. His body and mind then underwent a radical transformation that established the seamlessness and aliveness of all experience.

Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael speaks with great clarity and compassion about the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness, always pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition. He draws skillfully from the world’s wisdom traditions and also integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. 

He offers meetings, retreats, and private sessions here in the United States and abroad. His book–Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering--distills the essence of his teaching and was praised by Renate McNay, co-host of conscious.tv, for its clarity: “I have read many spiritual books over the 10 years I have been interviewing people for conscious.tv, but I found that Michael’s book has an exceptional clarity that gave me a deeper understanding of who we really are.” His interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump and Conscious TV can be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

Website: http://BoundlessAwareness.org

John Lockley is a traditionally trained African Shaman known as a Sangoma from Nelson Mandela’s tribe, the Xhosa nation. He also has a background in Zen Buddhism and was a student of the late Zen Master Su Bong from South Korea. 

He holds an honors degree in Clinical Psychology and specialised in health psychology with an interest in trauma and how people recover from life threatening illnesses like cancer. For the last 10 years, he has been running ‘Ubuntu’ (humanity) retreats worldwide helping people to reconnect to their essential humanity; their bones (ancestors), dreams, and ultimately, life purpose.

 His mission in the Western world could be summed up in the Xhosa word ‘Masiyembo’ – involving a profound remembering of the human spirit. As John says, “when people can remember their dreams and connect to their life purpose, then their true vocation surfaces; namely being in service and acting as guardians to our planet”. 

Book: Leopard Warrior – A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams 

Audio: The Way of the Leopard – Meditations and Shamanic Practices from the Heart of Africa

Published on Oct 3, 2017

Published on Sep 20, 2017

Also see https://batgap.com/paul-muller-ortega/

Professor Paul Muller-Ortega, Ph.D., is recognized internationally as one of the world’s most highly respected and renowned academic scholars in the field of Indian Religion and Hindu Tantra. He is the founder of Blue Throat Yoga, which teaches the elegant Svatantra philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, along with the practice of Neelakantha Meditation.

For nearly fifty years, Paul has been a pioneer in the technology of Consciousness, lecturing and teaching about meditation and Indian philosophy to hundreds of thousands of people in North and South America, Europe, and India. Through his books, articles, essays, commentaries, and translations, Paul has earned a reputation for his unparalleled scholarly authenticity and for being a charismatic teacher with a remarkable capacity to convey esoteric truths and teachings. Paul’s teachings are highly accessible, relevant, and comprehensible to the Western mind.

Paul Muller-Ortega is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Triadic Heart of Siva: Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir (Suny Series, Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir), in which he examines the “Heart” as the mystical core of Consciousness. He is also one of the co-authors of Meditation Revolution, as well as numerous scholarly articles on aspects of Tantric Studies.

Professor Paul Muller-Ortega earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Yale University in 1971. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, where he studied Sanskrit, Indian Religions, and Asian Philosophy and Culture. For twenty-five years he was a Professor of Religion at Michigan State and then the University of Rochester, and was known for his passionate and innovative teaching style and enrolled-to-capacity classes.

Paul has been a meditation practitioner and teacher for nearly fifty years. He has formally studied with several of the greatest meditation masters of our time, and subsequently, has organized and taught hundreds of meditation seminars, disseminating potent practices of meditation to thousands of individuals. With this rare combination of training, experience, skill, spiritual practice, and profound insight, Paul teaches his students to abide in the heart of Consciousness: a journey that is inspiring, life-changing and enlightening.

Website: http://bluethroatyoga.com

Another book:

The Philosophy of Sadhana (SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and couples, as well as organizations and their teams. Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief

 

Website: http://cushnir.com Books:

  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection
  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection (CD & Audio Download)
  • Surfing Your Inner Sea: Essential Lessons for Lasting Serenity
  • Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life
  • How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment
  • Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship


Advaita Zen master Mooji is unlike anyone else you are likely to meet, for he compels one to question one’s very nature and existence. From the very first encounter, people from all walks of life are deeply touched by his indefinable presence, and perhaps for the very first time experience a natural sense of happiness and peace as they come to discover who or what they truly are. Mooji (Anthony Paul Moo-Young) was born in Jamaica on January 29, 1954.

As a teenager, he moved to London, UK, where he later worked as a street portrait artist and then as an art teacher in the local college. In 1987, an encounter with a Christian mystic inspired Mooji to ‘walk out of his life’—an expression he uses to convey the profundity of that meeting. In 1993, Mooji traveled to India, where seemingly by chance, he met his Master, Sri HWL Poonja, or Papaji, as he is affectionately known by his devotees. At Papaji’s feet, whatever still remained of an active ego was finally uprooted.

Recognizing Mooji’s radiance, people from various parts of the world soon began to approach him to simply sit in his presence and to ask questions regarding their search for Truth. The capacity to guide them arose spontaneously in him. While Mooji’s presence exudes compassion and devotion, his unity with Truth is also potently shared through self-inquiry—the unsparing light of wisdom which dispels the delusions and suffering common to human experiencing. In his direct and open interactions, each one who meets Mooji with a genuine urge for freedom is pulled by his profound unconditional love and the power of his pointings into the recognition of the infinite Self we already are.

Mooji presently resides at Monte Sahaja in Portugal and he continues to share Satsang worldwide with all who yearn to discover their true nature. Website: http://mooji.org Books: Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became White Fire: Spiritual Insights and Teachings of Advaita Zen Master Mooji The Mala of God Writing on Water Before I Am, Second Edition Breath Of The Absolute – Dialogues With Mooji Interview recorded August 27, 2017.

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