This article is part of a series of interview with spiritual experts from a wide breadth of areas. The goal of the series to help us all learn a little more about different faiths, prayer practices and spirituality today and yesterday from the mouths of those who study it religiously (no pun intended).
B. Dave Walters is a bit of a guru. Not in the cheesy, obnoxious sales pitch manner or the robe wearing silence way, but in a “knowledgeable-about-lots-of-spiritual-stuff-and-willing-to-share” kind of way. In fact, he's so knowledgeable that he's been able to make a living from his guidance as a life coach and spiritual adviser. Not content to limit his expertise to those interested in one-on-one work, he also is the National Spirituality Reporter for Examiner.com, providing insight into the religions of yesteryear and the future. Prayables.com sat down with the self-proclaimed “Web Monk” to learn more about his perspectives on prayer and interfaith dialogue.
You are a life coach and spiritual adviser. Your website, , describes your services for individuals, couples and families, as well as your spiritual coaching programs. Can you elaborate a little on the systems you use, their utility, and how important spirituality is to personal growth?
Spirituality is absolutely the corner stone of personal growth; without a connection to the Infinite, we don't have anything. My motivation for getting into coaching in the first place was to help bridge the gap that many people experience between what they’ve been taught their entire lives, and the lack of fulfillment they feel in their day to day lives.
The catch is, many people aren't interested in hearing about spirituality beyond what they've been taught their whole lives! So, what I tend to do is introduce lessons and even quotes from other spiritual systems and talk about it in terms of things you can use rather than things you should 'believe'.
My foundation is Christianity, but mostly of the Gnostic variety; I also frequently draw upon Buddhism, Taoism because they are very practical, and easy to apply.
Our website focuses on the power of prayer. What role does prayer play in your coaching?
It's absolutely pivotal! I don't really draw a big distinction between prayer and meditation, since what's important is stilling your mind and emotions enough to connect with the Infinite. I do draw a HUGE distinction between talking 'at' God and talking *with* God; real vibrant prayer is two-way communication.
What do you believe in?
I've coined the term 'Gnostic Theism' to describe my personal beliefs. Gnostic, because I believe the real answers to life can only come from within; and Theism because I believe God is always present and available at all places, all the time.
I also believe that the vast majority of the world's Faiths are valid paths to connection with the Divine; the problems only start when we start debating who's God Man is the 'right' one, and who has the 'only' truth. The fact is, there is no single path that is right for all people at all times in all circumstances.
Do you pray? How often? Where? When? How? What does prayer do for you?
Yes, I pray every day. In terms of (trying to) maintain a sense of presence and mindfulness, I could say I am praying constantly.I settle down to meditate at least once a day, but I try for 2-3 times a day when I settle down and still my mind and emotions and just pay attention to what manifests. It's in that stillness that the messages I receive from the Creator come through the strongest.
I also make extensive use of visualization to go into my 'inner temple' and commune with God and the Angels directly. This might seem like a strange thing to say, and I freely admit it might be 'all in my head' but the experience is powerful and transformative. Can't argue with results, right?
You are also the National Spirituality Reporter for Examiner.com. Your specialty is ancient and alternative modes of spirituality. In your expert opinion, do you believe that prayer is a shared practice among these faiths? What role does it play?
I believe prayer is common to all forms of spirituality, no matter what you call it. It's built into our DNA to wonder what's out there and where we come from, and to seek that thing out. It's also normal to call out to that Power in times of fear and stress; like the old saying goes: 'there is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole'.
I also believe the true benchmark of a living viable Faith is how much emphasis it puts on the individual forming a connection to their Creator; the more you are encouraged to rely on what someone is telling us, versus what we can find for ourselves, the farther we are from a true knowledge of the Divine.
As the National Spirituality Reporter, you report on a wide variety of spiritual issues across the country. What have you noticed about the spiritual pulse in America? What role does prayer play in it?
I feel like we are at a crossroads. I feel like the old systems aren't answering the questions of modern life. Well, that's not true; the old ways still have all the answers we need, but the message has been distorted by hatred, intolerance, corruption and greed. Anyone who takes the time to sit down with their holy book will find a great deal of wisdom inside of it; but our microwave culture makes it hard to focus, sometimes.
What has been the most significant revelation you've had about spirituality while writing for Examiner.com?
That many people relegate spirituality / religion to the back burner of their lives; but when you put God at the forefront, then miracles start to happen in ways you can't imagine!
In your reporting, have you noticed differences between women and men in prayer, both in the past and today?
ABSOLUTELY! Women seem to be more open to the idea, and consistent in their prayer lives. I believe this is a combination of women's innate intuition, and ability to connect with their emotions.
In my experience, it is much harder to get a man to sit still and listen to his inner world than your average woman. Clearly there are highly intuitive men, and very non-intuitive women, but that has been my average experience in working with people.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to enhance their prayer life?
Keep at it! Make time to connect with your Creator every single day, even if it's 30 seconds. It can be so simple as sitting for a moment, taking a few deep breaths, and saying out loud, or to yourself:
Dear God / Allah / Buddha / Universe etc., thank you for my life, my health, my family, and all the other rich blessings I have received. Please guide me today, and help me to figure out to do about ___________ as I strive to be better and serve better.
Then sit and wait for a response; it may come right then, or later as a flash of insight. I can tell you for sure, if you ask and look for an answer: you'll find it.
B. Dave Walters, the "Web Monk", has made a career out of helping people. For years, friends and relatives looked to him for guidance and support during difficult times, and he realized at an early age that his purpose in life was to serve and inspire. While touring as a personal coach with a prominent rock band, he was discovered by one of the top trainers of the Anthony Robbins companies, which lead to him settling down to open and operate a Marketing, Business Services and Coaching firm in Los Angeles. Armed with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, he brings the same discipline and determination that helped him earn Black Belt rankings in Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi to all areas of study and focus.
In addition to earning a degree in English from Morehouse College, he has mastered the science of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and other communication, healing, counseling and spiritual systems from all over the world. He brings his empathy, insight, and vast personal experience into all his relationships, which has lead to him being one of the most sought after Coaches in the world today. He lives in Burbank, California with his wife Charlene, and two daughters. Learn more at
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