The Essence of Meditation and Spiritual Freedom – A Conversation with Ex–Carmelite Nun Kimberly Braun

04-28-17  The Essence of Meditation and Spiritual Freedom – A Conversation with Ex–Carmelite Nun Kimberly Braun

I discovered Kimberly Braun and learned about her work with spiritual freedom and meditation while browsing through TED Talks. Although she was talking about a very practical approach to spirituality, it turns out that she had spent 10 ½ years in a Carmelite monastery. I contacted her, and I am happy to share this most interesting and inspiring conversation with you.
From the age of five, Kimberly had experienced herself on the receiving end of the many moments that she has come to call “unitive experiences,” where time seemed to stop and the veils pulled back revealing the deeper essence of the moment. These experiences continued, and they led her to ask deeper questions, and eventually to become a nun. Although she loved the utter simplicity of life there, she soon found herself called to become a general contractor (with no prior training). With this she lead construction of a multimillion dollar stone monastery.
Together we explore the changes she went through, and how they have finally led her to become a meditation teacher and spiritual guide who teaches about spiritual freedom. We then discuss the similarities and the contrasts between her approaches and my own. What we found is that meditation can bring us into a presence of oneness. This ceases to identify, compare, or name “what we are,” and  can help us transform our lives and the world.

About Kimberly Braun M.A. CSP and Spiritual Freedom:

Below is Kimberly’s first person biography which is a small piece of what you can learn about her and her work at her website

From a very young age, (4-5 years old,) I found myself on the receiving end of many moments I now call unitive experiences. Time seemed to stop and veils seemed to pull back where the deeper essence of the moment came forward within me and around me. Naturally curious I liked the feelings these experiences evoked and began to connect the dots that THIS was a key to happiness. These experiences happened in ritual, family, school, and especially nature. Naturally curious the occurrences inspired me and motivated me to ask deeper questions. These deeper questions led me to find out that all our happiness and success is within us, we just have to discover it and surrender to it unconditionally and proactively. This can be easily said, but not always easily done, and my journey, probably similar to yours, has been an ever unfolding participation in the co-creation of my life, a yes to what reveals itself in any given moment.

So again and again I surrender. Ever ancient. Ever new.

The first large surrender was to immerse myself in silence in a monastery, impelled by Love firing within my soul I lived ten and a half years as a Carmelite nun. Within that frame came many surrenders, all impelled by the marriage of myself to God.

Another surrender led me to obtain my Masters in Theology, concentrating on spiritual direction and psycho-spiritual development. My hope was to presence others to presence the Divine within themselves…nurturing skills to hear the language of the heart

And yet another surrender, after three years on a ministry team, led me to plunge into the world as a woman, a spiritual guide whose lineage was the common essence of all people and all creation; independent of, yet bowing to all, traditions, faiths and practices, culling forth what can be shared with all.

My training continued as I studied with Rev. Laura Thornberry in developing psychic and spiritual skills, culminating in ordination with the Church of the Creator; and also studying Reiki through the Diane Stein school, bringing me to complete level 3 Reiki Master training.

Now, I surrender to the pulsing of communication through writing books soon to be published, offering keynotes to inspire all to experience their own inner Essence, teaching Essence Meditation class, and a large host of retreats and workshops including yearly stints as meditation faculty at the renowned Omega Institute in New York and a retreat in Ecuador with AmazonAndesSky. I am happily accepted as a Certified Speaking Professional and member of the National Speaker’s Association.

Societal Lies, Spiritual Abuse, And Why Dads Leave – A Conversation With Dr. Jack Travis

04-21-17 Societal Lies, Spiritual Abuse, And Why Dads Leave – A Conversation With Dr. Jack Travis

Solid relationships and successful marriages are the backbone of a society, yet the rate of divorce continues to be breathtaking.

You might think that the arrival of a child would help couples focus their energy, but instead relationships often become even more unstable. The reasons behind these tragedies are important to understand, since they are symptoms of a troubling phenomenon that is an issue for all of us. Jack Travis has made this a focus of his work and has co-authored a book on the subject.

In his groundbreaking work in the 1970’s Jack revealed his clear thinking in his pointing out to our culture the notion that simply relieving the symptoms of disease is not enough, that there is a destination beyond merely being “symptom free,” that of high level wellness. The founder of the world’s first wellness center, and the author of the ever-popular Wellness Workbook, Dr. Travis a physician who has also earned a Masters degree in Public Health, and is one of the great myth-busters of our time. In this provocative show, we look at some of the fundamental flaws in our culture, how our society fails to teach us adequate relationship skills, and how it teaches us, instead, to accept extraordinary violence to our kids, and then abandon them.

One of the areas we will discuss is the practice of circumcision, a practice we have been taught to take for granted, but one that, in many studies, has been shown to result in trauma, poor relationships, and the lack of sexual sensitivity. We’ll also look at the typical ways that both men and women are abused in our society as children, and how this leads to the breakup in our relationships, actually those that tend to occur during pregnancy and during the first years of the life of the child. This is the time when relationships tend to fail.

His (and many others’) personal experience with this issue, which he named Male Postpartum Abandonment Syndrome is described in  the book  Why Dads Leave , Insights & Resources for When Partners Become Parents, by Meryn Callander.  What their careful study of the topic has revealed is very interesting, and shines a clear light on some things that are important in all of our lives. Join us for this provocative exploration.

Compassion, Empathy, Caring, and Healing: A Conversation With Roshi Joan Halifax

04-14-17 Compassion, Empathy, Caring, and Healing: A Conversation With Roshi Joan Halifax

Joan Halifax and I were a part of that rich broth of creativity and humanism that was exploring new dimensions of healing, personal growth, and spirituality at Esalen Institute back in the 1970s. Roshi Joan Halifax is an anthropologist and an activist, a wild child of the sixties and a celibate Zen priest.

She is the founder, abbess, and head teacher of Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is best known for sitting at the bedside of terminally ill patients and pioneering a form of contemplative care, known as the Being With Dying project, now in its seventeenth year. One of her core messages is “Strong Back, Soft Front”, a concept she will share with us during this hour.

We will examine the similarities and the differences between empathy and compassion, and why the Dalai Lama has said that love and compassion are not luxuries, that actually they are necessities, if human life is to survive on this planet. Roshi Joan will also share with us the essence of the GRACE process and other insights on developing our ability to experience both the power and the vulnerability of compassion.

Joan was born in 1942. At age four a serious virus caused her to go legally blind, from which she recovered two years later. Central to her recovery was the care of a black woman who was the daughter of slaves. You will learn the incredible gifts she received through the loving, selfless, humble, soulful care rendered by this woman, and how being blind taught her so much about the inner life.

She went on to become a civil rights activist and a protester against the Viet Nam war, then went on to receive her Ph.D in medical anthropology and psychology. She went to Mali, where she studied and learned from the indigenous Dogon tribe, and to Mexico, where she studied the Huichol Indians.
Don’t miss the wise words and the indomitable spirit of this wise woman!

A Conversation with Elisa Parker Honoring International Women’s Day

04-07-17 A Conversation with Elisa Parker Honoring International Women’s Day

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Inspiring Change,” and in keeping with that, today’s guest is a superhero when it comes to inspiring women to discover their personal purpose and passion, and to bring that passion into action in the world. Elisa Parker is the co-founder, president & host of the award winning radio program, See Jane Do, and where she shares her wisdom, experience, and guidance serving women, social justice, and the environment.

In today’s episode we explore some of the roots of the enormous sexual inequality in our society, and how to change our story, personally and collectively, to transform our world. And transforming it desperately needs. Elisa will explain the media platform she has developed precisely to help awaken and support women through an online magazine, her weekly radio show on KVMR, the Passion Into Action Conference, and more.

Elisa also shares with us her own story, and the deeply moving passion that awakened her to her purpose. With degrees in Communications and Organizational Development, she is ideally prepared to serve this purpose, which takes her around the world to discover and share the extraordinary stories & solutions in each of us.

As you will learn, until a few thousand years ago the essential wisdom of the feminine was the central organizing principle of essentially all communities and cultures. The invention of powerful weapons made it possible for man to create a new kind of culture, one built on domination and subjugation. Now instead of honoring the needs of the earth and the balance of life, armed hoards could invade, steal food, rape, and enslave. The era of the sky gods and the masculine/dominant paradigm had begun. The resulting destruction of the planet and its peoples is obvious, from the killing fields of Syria to the sex slaves in San Francisco.

The world is changing faster than ever before, and we are reaching a crisis point. The complexion of our nation is changing, and the Old Paradigm is crashing. The best future is one that is informed and guided by the wisdom that women can bring out of the shadows and into the open – the wisdom of  Love, nurturance, conversation, and peace. Bring it on!