#5260 – Interview with Francis Bennett

Edited by Jerry Katz

Francis Bennett was a Roman Catholic, Trappist monk for a number of years. He has lead retreats in both the Vipassana Buddhist Tradition and in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition. He has been offering spiritual direction and helping guide people in their spiritual quest for quite some time.

His website is www.findinggraceatthecenter.com. Francis’s book, I Am That I Am, is published by Non-Duality Press.


0:00 – 5:00 Introduction. Life as a Trappist monk. Solitude.

5:00 – 13:20 How and why Francis entered Trappist life. His life prior to entering monastery. Centering prayer movement discussed. Interest in Buddhism. Zen. Vipassana. Ramana Maharshi. Realization that the presence of God is who I am. The unfolding.

13:20 – 16:08 Nature of nonduality. God as one’s being. The non-experience nature of his realization.

16:08 – 22:45 Is nonduality too easy to articulate? Discussion on nondual-speak on Facebook. Conceptual understanding being confused for experiential understanding. Trying to be conceptual in the midst of a monastic life. The natural trajectory of awakening.

22:45 – 24:48 Organic quality of spiritual unfolding.

24:48 – 29:50 What is it to be natural or to best allow for spiritual unfolding?

29:50 – 32:00 What if someone isn’t inclined to follow a traditional path?

32:00 – 38:42 Extreme spirituality. What’s common in the spiritual pursuit? Francis talks about his early life and his call to live as he lived.

38:42 – 42:38 Francis talks about his work as a spiritual teacher. Charging for teachings.

42:38 – 44:00 What is the reality of grace?

44:00 – 53:13 What do people want from you? Nature of the journey and how people differ. Francis discusses his approach as a teacher and his experience. Conclusion.

Theme music at the beginning and end of the show by Prosad from the Trance Sitar album. Find it through YouTube.

Thank you for listening. If you’d like to be a guest, write me. jerry@nonduality.com

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