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 kimberlybraun.com
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.