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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done hundreds of them now. And if this is new to you, and you would like to check out previous ones, go to the past interviews menu on bat gap calm. And you’ll notice the alphabetical index page there is under construction. It’s a big project that I’m in the middle of, but it works. And you can find all the interviews through that. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. My guest today is cavalry Morgan, I cavalry. Yay, Rick, great to see you. Good to see you. I met casually at the Science non duality conference last October and she’s one of these people who when you meet her feels like someone you’ve known forever. And I think you you all who are watching will get that feeling too. In the course of this interview. She gave a presentation there on a program that she started in the Portland Public School System teaching mindfulness to kids. And it was a fantastic presentation. She was in tears half the time the audience’s in tears half the time, kids were in tears half the big sob fest tissue around, but it was really beautiful. And everyone was thinking Oh God, I wish I’d had something like that when I was in high school. And so it’s wonderful work she’s doing but she’s multi dimensional and has a lot more going on than just that. Although that in itself is a wonderful thing. So we’re going to be exploring all these things in the course of this conversation. Maybe before we do that, I’ll just read the kind of formal bio that she sent me at least bits and pieces of it carefully as a meditation teacher, a nonprofit leader, and visionary. She’s the founder and guiding teacher of presidents collective, dedicated to igniting personal transformation and collective awakening. She is also the founder and guiding teacher of peace in schools. The thing I was just referring to a nonprofit which created the nation’s first for core credit, mindfulness class and public high schools, carefully blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern non dual approach. Her practice began in 1995 and has included eight years of training in a silent Zen monastery. She has been teaching contemplative practice since 2001. Prior to her pioneering efforts with peace in schools carefully formerly worked for nonprofits serving people with special needs. She also speaks publicly at conferences on topics including contemplative practice social entrepreneurship, authentic leadership and mindfulness education, and has been featured in publications such as mindful magazine, The New York Times and probably others. I was gonna crack a joke there, but I couldn’t remember the name of that supermarket tabloid that you always see.
Caverly Morgan: Something inquire?
Rick Archer: No, she hasn’t been in that.
Caverly Morgan: Yet. Time, right time
Rick Archer: might show up there with your arm around batboy or something. She’s dedicated to actualizing possibility serving love and embodying the truth of interconnection. So here we go.
Caverly Morgan: And Rick, since you sent me a link right before we started our call, I’m just now going to close kind of close my inbox out now. Yeah, you can close your email and other people won’t have to listen to the dreaded email. Ding ding coming in. Yeah, sure. All right, there we go.
Rick Archer: Okay, great. So you sent me a you haven’t written a book yet? I guess you have one in progress, don’t you?
Caverly Morgan: It sounds like it i i would love to say that I have the kind of spacious lifestyle that has me still in a hermitage somewhere writing a book or being quiet all the time. But that is so not my life now. And and if I pull a book off anytime soon, it’ll be because we’ve got folks transcribing an online course I did. And it’s so that transcribing process has begun and then we’ll see how much work it takes to turn that into a book. I hope I hope that it happens.
Rick Archer: I sometimes think about it, too. But for the same reason as you hardly ever get the time. I didn’t have a chance to check all the emails that come in. But there’s a lot of material of all these interviews could put something together, excerpted all sorts of little passages from various To interviews and organize them by different themes, and, you know, yep, threw in a little commentary for me for what it’s worth, but we’ll see better. Absolutely.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, I, you know, I do want to mention, before we jump into anything else, I really appreciate what a service you provide. I feel that this ongoing conversation about the nature of consciousness benefits so many more than we could even know and just my gratitude to you for holding that.
Rick Archer: And you know, it’s a group effort, group effort, you’ve already dealt with Irene and Jerry. And you know, there’s various people who we’ve got a fellow in London watching this right now forwarding questions during the interview, which is a reminder of those watching live. If you have a question during the interview, you can post it on the upcoming interviews page on bat gap calm, and it’ll come in. But and then there’s one of my best buddies from high school. And then Ralph Preston does all the video post production has been he’s done all 450 Something of these just as a labor of love. And there’s a fellow up in Canada named Larry Kelly, who does all the audio post production. So this whole team of wonder, there’s a wonderful woman named Mary Salama that transcribes a lot of the interview says it’s kind of group effort, you know? Yeah, it takes us.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. And it’s nice to acknowledge them because they are behind the scenes. So
Rick Archer: yeah, with a lot of podcasts you hear at the end, they say, Oh, this was me putting their name all the people who are involved, like you listen to Krista Tippett or something, but I don’t usually do this nice dimension. Yeah. So as I recall, I don’t know whether you said this in your talk at sand or I talk to you privately later. But there’s a whole story about you escaping the Zen monastery in the dead of night. You know, without any money, or phone or anything else. I’m sure that there’s kind of some interesting developments leading up to that. So that might, you might want to backtrack a little bit, maybe this whole Zen monastery phase of your life would be a good place to start. Sure. Or how you ended up in the Zen monastery. Because I consider joining one myself back in the 60s, and then took a different course, but it was something I thought about doing.
Caverly Morgan: Well, I never considered joining one. It just wasn’t anywhere on my radar. I grew up in central Virginia, and I didn’t know any Buddhists growing up. And I ended up in a Buddhist monastery because I met a woman who embodied something that I’d never seen before. And what was significant about that was again, it was a contrast to the conditioned reality that I was so seeped in. And, and what it was, was that this woman, Sherry Huber, was deeply present. And I just hadn’t seen that type of presence. I hadn’t experienced firsthand that type of presence. I’d had these little glimpses I was I was a potter, and I watched someone throwing a pot at one point and I had one of those moments of water clay present moment. Just dropping into awareness in a way that was surprising to me in that moment, and I had no words for because I, I didn’t have this language. But yeah, so I met Cheri Huber, which was interesting in and of itself, because I
Rick Archer: just want to say throwing apart is a potting term. It doesn’t mean someone they literally one, it means that they they created one that’s you call it throwing right.
Caverly Morgan: Thank you. That’s really important to
Rick Archer: clarify. Yeah. This really
Caverly Morgan: throwing up on Yeah, it’s not the Buddha in the hot coals story. No, it’s, it’s, yeah, there’s that lump of clay on the potter’s wheel. Spinning around quite organic, quite beautiful. Yeah. requires tremendous presence. Thank you. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Bruce, Joel Rubin, whom I interviewed was the screenwriter for that. Cool. Yeah. Anyway, keep going.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. So I it’s actually it even begins. Before I met sherry. The reason I met her was somewhat interesting, because I had traveled around the world for a year studying ecology and social issues through the International Honors Program, and a friend they’re given me a book by Sherry that which you are seeking is causing you to seek. And that book affected me tremendously. And I didn’t know because I’d been given the book that I was then on this mailing list for the monastery. So the way I met Sherry was that I got this flyer, remember back in the day when you get a flyer in the mail about going on a retreat. So I got a flyer in the mail and I talked to some friends I was working at Innisfree village which is a community For people with special needs, and I was a full time volunteer there and art teacher, and I got this flyer in the mail, and I talked to friends into going down to this Zen retreat. And that’s where I met sherry. Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that I hadn’t read the fine print didn’t know I was going to be silent. My friends, and I truly had no idea what we were getting into. There was, I think we had beer in the car. We thought we would be rooming together, it just sounded nice to go and learn how to meditate. But I just I was I was pretty clueless. But meeting Sherry, being around someone who had dedicated their life, their life to being practice was was profound for me, even that first retreat was a tremendous opening. And then, of course, I on that first retreat, it never occurred to me that I would someday be a monk. And, you know, organically, I began to choose jobs that would allow me to have enough free time to go on retreats until the point that my boyfriend at the time was like, Okay, you’re Are you joining a cult or something? Like, you know, the, he suggested that I was kind of obsessed with it at the time. And I think I was, I think I was just really hooked. So
Rick Archer: I’m obsessive myself, I understand.
Caverly Morgan: You’re gonna be obsessed with something, being obsessed with how to be more awake in the world is not the worst obsession, I suppose.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I actually, this is the summer will be my 50th anniversary of having learned to meditate. And I’ve never missed one and all those years, twice a day, an average of two, three hours a day. So my slogan is OCD can be your friend. Hello. Yeah. All right. So I’m sure there’s lots of details, you could tell us, but you ended up in this monastery.
Caverly Morgan: monastery, it’s, I really didn’t know I was going to go for eight years, I made a six month commitment. The idea was to go for six months, and then move to San Francisco and meet a dancer and have a have a life that just incorporated practice. I even remember no
Rick Archer: specific dancer in mind, or just any dancer. So I wouldn’t,
Caverly Morgan: I would have taken some specific ones at the time. But it was just this vision of a particular life. And I actually it’s funny that you asked that because I remember even thinking and I’m going to get a dog named Dakota, like it was all worked out. I hadn’t worked out, you know, and kids were in the picture somewhere. And then after six months, you know, I was asked to recommit or leave. And I remember being deeply porn, really just suffering deeply over what to do, because I knew I hadn’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg regarding what was possible for what I was doing there. Yeah, I knew I had gotten a taste. And, and so I flipped a coin. Really? Yeah, I was sitting outside the meditation hall. And I remember so clearly flipping this coin and thinking, well, if if it if it lands and tells me to leave, I’ll do two out of three.
Rick Archer: That tells you something, yeah, really tells
Caverly Morgan: you something. And so I really did want to stay and surrender to this process. But I needed I needed that encouragement I needed. I needed something to say yes, you can. You can do this. And then I committed year by year. Yeah. Beyond that. Yeah, the running away story that you’re making reference to was just one of the many times I was having a identity crisis, complete meltdown. Moment of suffering.
Rick Archer: So was there anything wrong with the place? I mean, it was Were you being mistreated in any way? Are you just kind of like, going through some something and just yeah,
Caverly Morgan: not mistreated in any way at all. I just trained in a place in which there was nothing to distract you. We didn’t have this was a very formal setting, there was no eye contact. There was a lot of sitting every day, total silence, in fact, so much silence that I’ve never been in a space since where the silence is that penetrating is 320 acres in the middle of nowhere. And, and, and I, I was so they’re in that environment. There’s just nothing to keep you from being with whatever experience you’re having. So awesome. Training that included adults bringing awareness to my own struggles.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I was wondering if we’re gonna have to have a dog break, but I think I really get into control hopefully means there’s a rabbit outside.
Caverly Morgan: I’ve got to downstairs, so they might start any minute and we can just have a chorus.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Did you ever hear about Julian of Norwich or Norwich or something like that? I just heard this story yesterday. She was this woman who had herself literally bricked in to a small little on cloth in a church in England, and live there for something like 40 years never getting out until the day she died. They were able to sort of hand food into her and, you know, but talk about making a commitment and and sort of going the distance. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so he left the thing. And it’s probably an interesting adventure story about how you, you left in the middle of the night and when, you know, over hill and dale, and I don’t know if we need to spend our time going into it. But I guess it must have been time for you to leave.
Caverly Morgan: Well, that little runaway story that you heard, in one of our exchanges was was actually just very brief. It was just a moment of struggle that manifested with me feeling like I just can’t do this anymore and walking off the property. But I was I was back by the end of the day, okay. No, yeah. After the, after the eight years. My, my departure was really about a type of integrating into the world that that little leaving the monastery for x hours during during the day and ending up coming back at night. I mean, I never even interacted with another person because I was in the middle of nowhere. So it wasn’t, that was just a little Yeah, little little drama, John. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, it’s something we could touch on briefly. But you know, when you’re on a long retreat, like that, stuff comes up. And, you know, that’s has been sort of cleverly repressed, or concealed or whatever. But stuff starts to bubble up. And, you know, the Beatles wrote that song Dear Prudence, when they were in Rishikesh, and they were all doing this long meditation program. And if you ever read prudence Pharaoh’s account of what she was going through, it’s pretty wild. And, you know, and I’ve been on a lot of long courses like that. So it was just interesting to touch upon how these sort of long intense focused retreat type situations can really stir up deeper things than more than easily come up in ordinary day to day life.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, and that’s, it’s, it’s one of the gifts of an environment in which everything’s supporting. Yeah, being with your experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and then generally have to just hang in there and not take the impulses too seriously. Like, I should leave, or I should marry this person, or, you know, I think I’ll shave my head or whatever it’s like, it’s like, you have to kind of like, realize that these impulses are just some kind of release of something and not pay them too much mind. But they can be quite convincing at times.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. And you know, one of the gifts of a setting like that, is it, it forces you to ask yourself, how, how am I going to be with myself in this moment, there’s no one to save me. There’s I can’t change the externals, as long as you’ve made the commitment that you’re not going to leave, you know, just because you’re having a hard day. So that’s sort of off the table. It’s like,
Rick Archer: go to a movie and distract yourself. So you have to face it.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. It’s like a marriage to practice so that you know, you know, you’re in it. And then the question just becomes what what will I do in this moment? will I will I just do on this story for the next 20 minutes and suffer mightily over it? Will I? Will I continue to try to hang on to being right, instead of being free? Will? Will I drop it? Will I will I give myself the gift of returning to presence rather than stirring up even more internal drama for my own entertainment or whatever for the egos on entertainment? Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. One thing that springs to mind is something one of the first points you put in the notes you sent me, your relationship to the progressive path as well as a direct path. And I tend to be more of a progressive path guy myself, I think in terms of my own practice, in terms of my understanding, and you know, most of the people I encounter who talk about direct path, as I understand it, and I actually moderated a panel discussion at Sand last year about this. But I keep running into people who, who say things like, well, you’re already enlightened, just realize that don’t need to practice anything you’re done. And that seems to me like just a fantasy. Whereas I mean real, really deep transformation is necessary over a long period of time for you know, the kind of physiological, psychological, spiritual metamorphosis that the word enlightenment or awakening really signifies. What do you think when you say that?
Caverly Morgan: Well, I say that my experience is similar to yours in that I can speak to the benefit of a progressive path, I also can speak to what you just pointed out regarding being in situations where I watch people in the room last, when someone a teacher says you’re already enlightened, I watch I watched that not land, I’ve also been in rooms of people were due to the skillfulness of the teacher that has landed and it’s been quite powerful. But I, as I, as you know, about me, my my current passion is allowing space room for all approaches, I am so in my own practice is so affected by my experience of being on a progressive path. And yet, I’d never have the experience of existence in the way that I have an experience of existence in this moment, if it weren’t for having come across Rupert spyera. And he was my introduction to a direct path,
Rick Archer: I actually once got Rupert to confess that the direct path is progressive, we have to, we have to pick up that conversation again. But he was he was getting into a car to rush off from someplace, and we were just saying goodbye, and sort of, you know, he kind of like acknowledge that, but, but um, and there is a thing of, you know, cultivating a mentality where you’re forever chasing the dangling carrot, and you you kind of get it into your, your mind that you couldn’t possibly be anywhere close to anything significant. And you just got to keep cranking it out, you know, and in the hope that someday you will arrive, and that someday never arrived. Because you partially because of that mentality that you’ve set up. So there’s some kind of happy medium or balance or, or something between these these two perspectives.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, it seems to me when I consider my own experience, for example, being a monastic. But even towards the end of my stay at the monastery, I still was identified with with the spiritual Seeker, I really wanted to be doing a good job, I had a certain definition of karma in my mind, and I, and I was very focused on trying to in at that time, I would have used the language burn through that karma. Yeah. And, and I feel very much like the biggest hindrance of that period, I’m able to see in hindsight, was that I was, I was stuck in that phase of practice, where awareness has been separated from the object. So you, you become that which is watching and witness. Yeah, and, and that felt like some kind of Edie, I knew, I knew I wasn’t free in that though, I had had many experiences of many fleeting experiences of freedom. In fact, the more fleeting experiences of freedom I had, the the more my temptation, my condition temptation strengthened to try to maintain those experiences. And so that really loud the separate self to have a full time job. And it’s been an incredible gift for me to have my practice supported by an approach that really invites a person to recognize that none of that actually was required. That mean, we hear it all the time, but but that, that we are that which we’re seeking, ironically enough, coming back to that book title. The place that I am currently passionate about as a teacher is recognizing that it’s possible for us to use skillful means to bring in whatever’s appropriate for a given moment. And that’s my passion for that. was one of the things that allows me to be so grateful for the time I had at the monastery because even though that’s I don’t wish to create a monastery, I would certainly never create a monastery that model that structure. I don’t have an interest in a type of Guru model, it’s not the way I set up my organization. And, and I, at the same time, couldn’t be more full of gratitude that there’s so many tools that might support someone depending on on where they are. And, and, and one of the things that I I appreciate so much is all these tools can be. They’re applied differently, if they’re coming from the direct path, understanding that we are awake, we are consciousness, those tools are affected energetically, even by not bringing a mentality of here’s the tool. And in a subtle way, I’m suggesting a self help program, I’m suggesting that you through these practices will get better. And you’ll you’ll get to have this special exotic experience of enlightenment, if you apply these tools.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I have several thoughts here. One is just referencing my own experience, I went through decades of sort of this yearning, seeking enlightenment or bust kind of feeling, you know. And I think it was largely due to the fact that there was just a lack of inner fulfillment, you know, that it just hadn’t matured enough. And I wasn’t ever one of the people who wanted these people who just have this sudden night and day transformation, but gradually over time, that just dissipated. And I never feel that way anymore. You know, and yet, I still consider myself a work in progress, you know, by very much so. But somehow the progress, obviously, with what I do, it shows a, an enthusiasm for this kind of thing. It’s all I think about practically. And, well, pickleball Yeah, of course.
Caverly Morgan: That too, but our spouses keep us real wreck.
Rick Archer: Yeah, for sure. But it’s sort of done on a different platform. Now. It’s sort of done in the sense of adventure and exploration and curiosity and learning and all as opposed to kind of a, you know, an emptiness that once drove me. Can you relate to that?
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. I think your point is excellent that there’s a difference. You know, I think desire gets a bad rap. In practice people, people say, Oh, desire, that’s, that’s so bad. But the, the place we suffer, of course, is when we assume lack and the desire arises out of that assumption, of of lack. But in my experience, there can be tremendous desire that arises out of the love and the recognition of our shared being of oneness of our inherent awakeness. And though those desires have a very different quality, that, for example, might be the desire to dive into a new tool that could be of service to someone who’s coming at practice through this door. I mean, I I, I these days, like you get extremely lit up by hearing new forms, new practices, new things that might resonate with someone who comes from a background different than mine. I mean, I meet so few people who have an interest in going and becoming a monastic and like I said, I didn’t either, but but there are so many people who are looking for a need a type of resonance. That’s that. What a what a beautiful thing to just have tons of tools in our tool belt, so that that that resonance can be found.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I like to say God is not a one trick pony, you know, and just look at the fecundity of nature, the diversity and abundance and, and, and why not in human endeavors, including spirituality, why shouldn’t there be just a plethora of different practices and approaches and, you know, tools, but as you say,
Caverly Morgan: yes, yeah. And as you point to, it just mirrors the abundance of everything of consciousness. Yeah. The outpouring of, of love and possibility that consciousness is so for me, it’s never felt truthful to a to choose One, one thing. Yeah. It’s never felt like it’s an integrity with my, my direct experience of, of something that’s so vast and infinite the possibility that’s consistently and forever arising in consciousness.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but even there, it’s like to say, I mean, there might be people for whom it’s appropriate to just have one thing and stick to that. And we would be violating our own statement here to say that they shouldn’t do that, that would be a one thing, kind of mentality to say that they shouldn’t have one thing. So there’s that old saying about, you know, digging one deep? Well, I was just gonna offer that image. Yeah, but how about 10? Tools to deep one, dig one deep? Well, you know?
Caverly Morgan: Well, I think it’s a fair point that we have to there, there is some kind of middle way there that in, especially in this culture of, I can just taste this, and then I can go here. And I can take Yeah, and, and we’ve seen, you know, for example, the the shadow side of that. I’m suggesting more. And obviously, having been dedicated to one particular approach for for eight years, I can speak to the benefit of just not leaving that path in that practice. But I’m suggesting that once there’s some kind of recognition of our true nature, then why not allow any, any, any opening that can assist another in having a similar recognition to come into our, to our, our use?
Rick Archer: Yeah. And a couple of wrap up points to what we’re talking about a few minutes ago, regarding the seeking thing. Patanjali you know, who wrote the Yoga Sutras? He he sort of classifies Yogi’s in terms of mild, medium and intense, and he says those who have vehement intensity will realize most quickly. So there’s something about determination and zeal on the spiritual paths. And something about seeking doesn’t necessarily imply that one should be lackadaisical and blase Yeah, you know, it’s just gonna happen if it happens, that kind of thing. Yeah.
Caverly Morgan: You know, I think one of the most powerful things that happened for me when I came upon Rupert’s teachings was hearing him consistently and he’ll he confesses now that he was throwing this out, specifically, for me in these in these initial moments, because he saw me I mean, I came in with so much discipline, it wasn’t even I wasn’t even thinking I was trying to be disciplined. I just did. I’m so it was so ingrained in me to have such discipline at that time, and to have a teacher suggesting that discipline wasn’t required was was huge for me. And I can’t help paying homage to the fact that there’s something that served me about having been disciplined for a long time, that it was powerful for me to hear that I could release the discipline, perhaps primarily because I, I had received the benefit of discipline at that point, I knew how to study my attention. I knew I didn’t, I didn’t need that object focused meditation in that moment. And he he really recognized what I what was of benefit.
Rick Archer: Yeah, for some reason, images of musicians are coming to mind now, you know, there’s that old saying about somebody walking up to Rubenstein or somebody like that on the streets of New York City saying how do you get to Carnegie Hall and he said, practice, practice, practice. And yet, when one reaches that level of of expertise, one can then sort of cut loose a lot more and be more creative and free flowing or even like a jazz musician, who, you know, by very its very nature that that form of music is improvisational, has to do a lot of disciplined work in order to get to the point where he can really improvise.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. And, and, again, I’m so interested in the fact that I, I think there’s a different medicine for each of us in each moment, even that, that for one person, the most helpful thing one person I’m working with the most helpful thing might be in addressing the trauma that keeps arising to have a steadying the attention practice and to to, to focus on that. And of course, it’s offered again from the understanding that that their traumas actually creation and it’s illusory, but it wouldn’t be as skillful to say to this person who comes to me well, your your traumas just an illusion. That’s that’s not It’s not skillfulness It’s not accurate.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, do you deal with kids who are like, suicidal, potentially or you know, have had that sort of that sort of feeling that they want to kill themselves. And, you know, just to brush them off and just say, Oh, it’s just an illusion, you’re already enlightened, that would be downright dangerous. It would.
Caverly Morgan: And I find that it’s dangerous with the adults that I work with to again, there’s a way in which one of the things I love about the teachings of the direct path is in the way that I’ve received them. There’s an invitation a beautiful open invitation to simply embody what those teachings are. That’s the directness, for me, the directness is that the vibrant, alive consciousness that is, is everything is, is we can we can be that knowingly, as we offer, perhaps a new meditation technique to someone or as we talk to the Portland Public School Board about expanding our program, or again, as I work with the adults that I work with some who have had practice experience for 20 years and some who are newer to, to any kind of meditation.
Rick Archer: One of the notes you sent me was skillful means and compassionate concessions, is what we’re talking about right now, related to that point.
Caverly Morgan: To me, it is compassionate concessions is, is one way, I think, to talk about recognizing that, you know, let’s say I’m working with someone who’s had a really traumatic childhood, and is very much stuck in their story. It’s, it’s a, it’s a compassionate concession knowing that, that the story is a complete fabrication, albeit a fabrication that’s of the same consciousness that that you know, is able to be aware of the story, it would be, it’s a concession to speak to that person, as as if there’s more reality to it than there is. And yet, it’s in that moment, I think it’s not only skillful, but potentially deeply kind.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so is the point you’re making that one wants to sort of teach at the level of the listener? Is that what you’re saying of the student? In other words, you know, there’s a saying in India, that when the mangoes are ripe, the branches bend down, and people can just easily pick them. So, is that what you’re kind of addressing here? Anyway, you have one of your notes here, the importance of meeting another person where they are?
Caverly Morgan: Yes, and here’s what I’m saying about it for myself as a teacher, meeting someone where they are doesn’t mean, ever, that you need to abandon your own direct experience of knowing yourself as awareness. But you might speak as if you might, you might tailor your experience such that you’re not even talking about that direct experience. And that might be useful or helpful to some to someone is that does that feel clearer to you? Or?
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah, there’s a there’s a line in the Gita where Lord Krishna says something like the wives did not delude the ignorant, they, they, you know, they, even if they regard that in their own experience, that they are not doing anything whatsoever, and, and they’re completely detached from the world of activity, and they engage in activity and they they sort of do their dharma and they they set an example and they kind of interact with people appropriately according to the that person’s perspective and orientation. Yeah, yeah. What was this point that you made? The relative in relation to the absolute? What would you like to say about that?
Caverly Morgan: I just thought it’d be interesting to see where you and I were, would go given that I know that something we have in common is this a love for exploring the the deliciousness of that most vast, absolute fundamental nature of consciousness. And the part correct me if I’m wrong, that I believe we have in common is a type of passion for recognizing that We need not leave behind what’s happening on the relative plane? In as we adore the exploration of the Absolute.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I agree. And there are some, you can cite examples of people like Ramana, or papa J, who didn’t leave that stuff behind either. I mean, Papaji was an avid avid soccer fan, he would, especially when India and Pakistan were playing with each against each other, he’d be rooting for India, or, you know, Rama would read the newspaper and listen to the radio and keep up with current events. And, you know, we should not say he was about to go out and start a business, you know, or pull a rickshaw or something, I thought he had his dharma as a teacher, which was, you know, incredibly valuable for the world. But this whole theme of taking refuge in the absolute to the exclusion of the relative, and brushing the relative office losery, and insignificant and unimportant, and, and that is a theme that comes up often in these interviews, I don’t think it’s a fully mature perspective, but it does, it is a sort of a pitfall I think that some people get into along the way.
Caverly Morgan: I did too, and I ended and it’s been a pitfall of my own. So I can, I can speak to it intimately, you know, I know that place where it felt like there was a split in my, in my self slash perception, that that there was the absolute and there was a relative, and I didn’t know how to reconcile, you could say going to a monastery was one way of saying, I will not engage with the relative, I had no idea what was going on in the world, unless the work director posted a note, we communicated through notes, it was that silent at this monastery. So you know, there might be a note on the message board that said, the twin towers have collapsed due to a terrorist attack. And that was your news.
Rick Archer: You’d want to know more.
Caverly Morgan: You were left wanting to know more, just about every day, for some reason, in that monastery. And again, what you were always asked to sit with is, what’s it like to want to know more can you be with wanting to know more, but but there was this I didn’t know, I didn’t learn through monastic training, how to recognize row, excuse me, reconcile the absolute and the relative. And one of the reasons that I think that’s true is that I, I left that monastery with that splits still as a perception. And and, and it’s not just that through practice, we can hold both. It’s that when we recognize that it’s all the absolute, and I know you talk a lot to people about the the consciousness only model, you know, when we recognize everything as the absolute, then there’s no reason not to move in whatever direction is the most authentic, authentic outpouring of your greatest love and understanding. And for me, that happens to be some type of engagement on the relative plane. So you know, caring about whether people of color are represented at a conference or caring about what’s happening to the animals on our planet caring about what’s happening to our planet, at large. Yeah,
Rick Archer: no, I totally agree. And I’m real passionate about those things, too. I guess it’s good. We’re talking about this, because I think it’s just good to get it out there in the public understanding that I have this thing about, you know, defining what enlightenment or awakening actually is. And, you know, both for myself and for my audience, and just to sort of popularize an understanding of it, not my understanding, but to explore different people’s perspectives on it. But I think it’s really valuable that we have that a more mature and detailed and nuanced understanding. Because if that’s what all of us are interested in those of us who listened to a program like this, then it’s good to know what it is, you know, and not to mistake some kind of half baked version of it for the real thing because we we shortchange ourselves, if we do that, go ahead and respond to that.
Caverly Morgan: Well, one thing I just wanted to say as you were pointing that out that scene that says it’s what you’re talking about is so rich, and it’s just it strikes me. It strikes me that we also make it enlightenment, so exotic, but at the end of the day, even someone who’s not going to watch your show, Rick, I know, they’re just a few people on the planet that probably wouldn’t want to watch your show, I’m sure. I’m sure the majority of the world would. But really, in all seriousness, those that wouldn’t want to watch the show, don’t they to seek enlightenment that night, that might not be the way they talk about it. But if you’re looking at a desire to, to address that perception of separation, I think that every human has that they they might be, we might get so confused that that’s what that call, actually is that we might try to meet that call through all sorts of faulty means, but we learn as we go. As as we evolve, we learned Oh, that didn’t that didn’t address that longing. Yeah. I didn’t mean to derail you, but you didn’t
Rick Archer: derail me? Yeah, I’ve been off the rails so long, I wouldn’t even know that. We have no rails. I think that all beings in the universe seek enlightenment, whether they know it or not, most people don’t know it. But it’s all also streams and rivers flow to the ocean, you know, and some streams, rivers may be quite far from the ocean, they’ve got a ways to go. And but, you know, others are very close to it. I, you know, it’s like, I think there’s an innate desire for evolution, which might we might interpret as expansion of happiness, if we want to think of it that way. That drives the whole cosmos really. And, you know, I think when we start talking in terms of enlightenment, then we’re just making it more explicit. You know, we’re kind of getting a clearer understanding of what the what the end game might might look like.
Caverly Morgan: Sure, if we’re able to articulate that then we’ve already burned all the bridges that said, maybe I could have happiness through objects. Yeah, maybe it’s the new car. Maybe it’s the new wife. Maybe it’s Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. Which is not to say you don’t need the eldest, we might have to buy a new car pretty soon ours is like almost 20 years old or something.
Caverly Morgan: Like bring enlightenment,
Rick Archer: no, but it’ll get us around and not break down and have all kinds of repair bills and stuff. A question came in from Michael in Dublin, let’s ask about that. Okay, this is a good one, since we’re joking around a lot. He says, I am curious about the nature of humor as a path to the Divine, as a practitioner of mindful, mindful, dreaming, having had several mindful dreaming, as a common there, having had several mindful lucid dreams in which I have I wake up in knots laughing. I’ve done that, too. I’m curious to know, Cavalese opinion on how humor laughter can bring one closer to the realization?
Caverly Morgan: Well, I can say that increased laughter in my life is a byproduct of a type of letting go that was very much held in place when I described that period of practice, not that this doesn’t creep in from time to time, but but specifically that time where my predominant experience was, I’m the practitioner, I’m really, in the Zen monastery, there was a phrase, maybe this is a broad Zen phrase of practicing, like, your hair is on fire. And, and I really, I really embodied that at the time. And there was very little humor in that, you know, whether I had had a good meditation or a bad meditation was up for debate, according to my conditioned mind. And, and I always came out, of course, the loser in that scenario, the, you know, the judge was the the, the pseudo Zen master was quite severe. And I just noticed, the byproduct of that approach is that I didn’t laugh a lot. And it seems hard, and it seems hard to even picture that now. I have such an experience that that laughter and, and joy, expressed laughter is being an expression of joy. Yeah. That it’s a natural byproduct of not having to live under the tyranny of that pseudo Zen Master.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And shouldn’t joy be considered a legitimate characteristic of enlightenment? I mean, you see that Laughing Buddha with his hands up in there like this, you know, and, you know, they speak of a Nanda such at Ananda as a bliss being one of the essential characteristics of consciousness. And, you know, we can think of any examples of people who seem to be highly evolved or enlightened who are just full of joy and you know, not real serious and and power under us, but just bumbling bliss, you know?
Caverly Morgan: Yes. And I think it’s so important that we don’t exchange that as a state that we should then seek, you know, it’s so tempting to say, Oh, I’ll have reached a certain place if I feel a certain way. And we forget in that, that, that we forget the consciousness only model, we forget that consciousness is just as beautifully fully in every aspect of our experience of depression. As as our experience of laughter
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s where I start to wonder though I might take exception with you on that one. I mean, you hear people saying, well, you can be enlightened and yet be depressed and be angry a lot and be a drinker. And, and all these things. My reaction to that as usually that you’re, you’re still a work in progress. And you know that those kinds of darker behave, feelings and behaviors really are not going to characterize the life of a truly enlightened person. And you know, you said earlier about enlightenment not being an exotic thing. I think the I think you’re right, I mean, it’s not exotic, it’s totally natural. But that is not to dumb it down. And just say it’s a hohem, ordinary thing. I mean, if, if any one of us could step from where we are right now into the sandals of Ramana, Maharshi, and actually perceive the world as Rama did, I think we’d noticed a pretty significant contrast, we’d say, well, this is really, really something.
Caverly Morgan: I hear you, and I’m wondering. It’s interesting, I think, just to consider where the the spiritual master that we idealize that we would say, oh, this person doesn’t experience depression anymore. I think it’s easy to idealize that vision, and hold ourselves to the same standard without recognizing that if we hold that as a standard, that’s not the path to achieve the place where depression no longer haunts us. Do you know what I mean by that?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s a good point. And I’m not implying that. I mean, I have a picture of Alma behind me here. And if you ever go to see her, and you watch her for a while, sit there for hours watching her do her thing. She goes through all kinds of emotions, you know, sometimes tears, sometimes laughter, sometimes anger, sometimes this sometimes that. And it’s this beautiful display that takes place. But I would be surprised if someone like her, or like ramen, or like Papaji, were suffering from chronic depression, or, you know, that kind of thing? Well, surely,
Caverly Morgan: because chronic depression is a distortion of truth. And the reason that we admire these people so much is that they’re not their direct experience is in alignment with reality. But what I want to point to is, it is, it is dangerous to to idealize that state, because then I’m focused I as the seeker can be focused on, I haven’t reached that state until I get rid of these things. And again, I speak from my own experience of that pseudo Zen master. Rather, it’s it’s my experience, that depression doesn’t weigh on my life any longer. And it did at one point, that’s, that’s the natural byproduct of living, the recognition of who we actually are. So if even a moment of frustration arises, to be able to recognize that that that is not a separate experience that I actually need to transcend is what leads a person to reside more fully, in truth.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good when well said, and do you feel that there’s sort of a depth to your experience, such that using an ocean analogy, that that, you know, there can be waves of all kinds of human experiences and emotions and whatnot. But you know, your awareness is not just limited to the waves. So there’s sort of a deeper silence to the ocean that you reside in as well all the time, in addition to the constant changing play of the waves?
Caverly Morgan: Well, I think what’s possible for us through practice is to recognize eyes that were all of it. But to not be confused that were any one aspect of it the moment I think I am this depression is the moment the distortion has been glorified.
Rick Archer: Yeah. That’s the thing, I think the term overshadowing is useful here. And maybe we could use a sun analogy where the clouds overshadow the sun and it no longer seems to be shining, even though it is still shining. From its own perspective, I think one can rise to a state of realization which one is the sun, and one knows what is shining all the time and clouds come and go. But you know, obviously, people get very overshadowed by things. And I just watched the video today of a woman getting pulled over by a cop for speeding, and she completely freaked out. Now, you and I probably wouldn’t do that we’d take it in stride and talk to a policeman take our ticket if we deserved a ticket. But this woman had a conniption fit for half an hour, I didn’t watch the whole half hour. So and I thought, Man, this, this, this woman could use a little meditation or something. She’s so overshadowed.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. And that’s why I have this love for tools. Because for a person that’s going to lose such full sight of what we’re talking about is the truth of who we actually are the sun, the lose, lose that much sight of the sun, it can be so beneficial to be able to pause in that moment. And for example, recognize what my negative self talk is just to be able to start with something that simple. You know, one of the first things we teach the teens we work with, is that they are not their thoughts, and it’s so significant for them to use can just watch these light bulbs go off, because there’s that moment of, of being able to see oh, the reason I’m freaking out right now is because I’m listening to this narrative of negative self talk, which leads to what’s the Buddha quote about thoughts leading to deeds leading to actions leading to, you know, it’s that it’s that whole sequence. But I think it’s important just to go back to that point, because I think it’s a, an, an important one, I think it’s important to, to name that the, that the cloud is just as as valid a part of the landscape is everything else. Because again, just because of where we’re going with this conversation, the temptation for the spiritual practitioner can be now I have to get rid of those clouds, so that I can see the sun more fully forgetting what you pointed out, that we are the sun.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Right. And I guess the question is, you know, what is the most effective way of getting rid of the clouds? Or what is the most effective way of realizing that we are the sun? Or stretching this metaphor a bit here? Is it to obsess about the clouds and try to push them away? Or something? Or is it to somehow, you know, just move toward the sun and grab it? You know, we can maybe reference meditation here, one could sit and struggle with one’s thoughts and conduct some kind of inner battle. But is that really going to allow one to settle into the state of, you know, to RIA or realization of pure awareness? I think there’s a more effective way.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. And one of the things that interests me is having come from a monastic tradition, where the only focus was on those clouds, how do they form? Where in the where in the landscape? Are they arising? What are they made of? How do they feel as those clouds roll in all of this sort of present moment, examination, not from a heady way, but a very experiential awareness of what in where I trained, we talked about the conditioned patterns that govern us the karmic and condition patterns that govern us meaning the who we are when we’re perceiving ourselves as separate from life. The thing that I appreciate so much, and this takes us back to where we were before about the direct path is the the way in that approach, there’s so much language given to the nature of the sun. It you know, there’s something valid about saying, all those clouds are just clouds. Now let’s really unpack what is the nature of the sun? It’s good. It sounds like you to have found both those approaches to be enriching in your own life and practice. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Although I don’t want to go into it in great detail but the nature The kind of meditation I learned was such that it utilized what was called the natural tendency of the mind to seek a field of greater happiness, and which we were talking about earlier, actually. And that, you know, the idea being that pure consciousness or pure awareness is innately blissful. And then if we move in that direction, the mind will encounter greater charm or greater happiness. So the condition was set up in the practice where the mind would begin to just effortlessly move in that direction. And as it did, so it would encounter greater greater happiness, and therefore it was just like, drop falling off a diving board or something, it was just effortless transcending, and no need to muck around in in the clouds, or worry or worry much about whether there were thoughts or this or that if there were you just come back to the practice and take another dive. Yeah, anyway,
Caverly Morgan: because we’re because we’re always being called back to ourselves. But we do have to, we do have to be open to hearing that call.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and the centers have a natural tendency to draw the attention outward. That’s what they’re designed to do. And so you know, a good practice will set up a condition where as the Gita says, the senses withdraw from their objects, like a tortoise withdraws its legs into its shell, it sort of turns them around 180 degrees and just come back to the self.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, yeah, Rupert uses that phrase, allowing the attention to sink into the source of awareness, rather than I mean, just think about how often our attention is habituated to be moving outward, even outward to the object of the breath, for example, in traditional Zen meditation,
Rick Archer: that’s good. Yeah, I like that phrase. Rupert used, Rupert, so soothing. Whenever I’m at the same conference. I’m usually a little tired because there’s so much going on. Let’s sit Rupert’s thing on I fall asleep, because
Caverly Morgan: rest boy, he’s also got that British, British thing to his benefit. We have a guy who works on our team named Barnaby who’s, he’s got this British accent. And I mean, he’s definitely our most popular meditation teacher voice. If, if people are putting in a vote for who reads a meditation or leads a meditation, it’s going to be Barnaby
Rick Archer: Barnaby. Part of the reason the Beatles became so popular, aside from the fact that music was so great, I love the accent. In your notes, you say, here’s another point, we’re going to bring up how ethics right action fit in having a moral compass, the compass that naturally arises when we recognize ourselves as awareness, indivisible, what would you like to say about that?
Caverly Morgan: Think when I was considering our conversation, I was just recognizing it might be a rich place to, to explore this, this notion that it’s actually along the lines of what we’ve been talking about, for example, the precepts the way that the precepts were so useful to me when I first became a monk, because I found them it was like something I could could lean into, you know, here, here’s this spiritual code of conduct that will that will hold me that the more that I’ve the the more that I’ve practiced, the more recognition there is that when we’re, when we’re resting in the awareness of who we authentically are, when we’re recognizing and knowing ourselves as as consciousness itself, a natural byproduct of that experience is, is to do no harm. And I think that the the danger of a morality being blended with the maybe the early stages of practice approach can be for a personality type, like mine, it’s easy to reinforce the idea of right and wrong rather than support the moving beyond the concept of duality.
Rick Archer: Well, what you just said there was very nice that if we’re resting in our true nature, you know, then it’s what we’re we’re naturally disinclined to do harm. But having said that, what do you make of all the teachers and gurus and spiritual leaders and whatnot that have done harmful things? Seems to be a syndrome.
Caverly Morgan: It does, doesn’t it? My my take on it is that when I look at my own experience, I see the places as you talk about a work in progress. I have the same experience that no matter no matter how many different ways the lights come on, practice This will be part of my life for the rest of my life not from that seeking place. But from the non practice, practice.
Rick Archer: I think the Buddha practiced all his life even Absolutely.
Caverly Morgan: Because because all of life to me appears to be at this point in time, a constant refinement, of how to have our actions in the world be in service of our greatest understanding, and how to have complete attunement in that way. And there are all sorts of subtle ways, even maybe just in thought form, that that might not always be the case. And to me, it’s just very engaging to be able to be present to that and to notice that. So it seems Yeah, I don’t I am I projecting? Or did you have a little something you wanted to say about that real quick?
Rick Archer: Oh, I always have things I want to say. But I’m going to
Caverly Morgan: say and then
Rick Archer: the word refinement that you just used, I think that there’s a tremendous range of possibilities in terms of refinement, even after Self Realization, refinement of the senses of behavior of the heart, of the intellect of all kinds of different facets of the personality, there can be tremendous potential for purification and refinement, and one can culture the aptitude to function from an extremely refined level, which is not to say one is going to be sort of ultra sensitive and capable of functioning in the world, it’s that one can integrate that development such that one can be extremely refined, well functioning in the world.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely, beautifully, beautifully said very well articulated and is reflective of my own experience that, that that and to me, there’s a real joy in that refinement, like, like, I just had this image of a guy who’s like, collects Mustangs and nothing brings him more pleasure than going out and polishing up his Mustangs and getting like little added parts. That’s it, maybe I should make this a girl by the way. So we’re gonna make it a sort of a guy that has his Mustang. So this is going to be a woman, but she has her Mustangs and she wants to she goes out and you know, she’s she’s constantly tinkering with them, just out of the love of this beautiful car. And I feel the same way about wanting to bring as much love, compassion consciousness to where the ego hides in the body. You know, there’s that old Zen story about the Zen master who’s on her deathbed. And someone says, someone says something like, Do you have any parting words for us before we before you pass? And how are you? How are you doing? And I believe that she says something to the effect of, well, my mind is ready, but my body has some catching up to do. So where is the you know, where’s this sense of separateness, lodging in in the body? Perhaps we’ve brought a lot of attention to those conditioned patterns of the mind and to being able to Reese release and let go recognize ourselves as the sun but the where, what’s hiding out on other realms? What’s happening energetically?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I just have to interject the I interviewed a man named John Sampson a few months ago, who was in his 90s when I interviewed him who I know, he designed the Ford Thunderbird. And I think he had a lot to do with this the the Mustang also. Yeah. And then he ended up having a spiritual awakening. And we had a whole talk, but just had to throw that in. I’ll have to check that one out. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, I mean, as you were speaking the world, the word neuroplasticity came to mind. I’m sure most people have heard of that, which is that, you know, and I’ve also heard the term brain sculpting. And it’s well known now and becoming better and better understood that, you know, regular spiritual practice actually physically changes the brain in ways that show up quite dramatically on fMRI scans and things like that. And that kind of thing doesn’t happen in a snap. You know, it takes a long time to culture. And I think that and I’ve also been listening to more lately to Joan Harrigan, who runs the Patanjali, Kundalini Yoga care thing down in Tennessee, I’ve interviewed and she has a really sophisticated understanding of all the subtle mechanics of the physiology and the Kundalini and all the channels that it can flow through and how it can become deflected or stuck or, you know, it really helps to make sense of a lot of the experiences we hear about with people experiencing experiencing all kinds of things or teachers behaving badly, for instance, who seem to have so much charisma and and Shakti and even cities and yet are really screwed up in certain ways. So all that stuff needs I think, to be understood more commonly,
Caverly Morgan: yes, because I realized I didn’t fully come back too, what about these gurus that are conducting this behavior? Well, in my experience, one of the reasons we’re working with this refinement is because when it’s when a person says, Oh, the lights came on, I recognize my true nature, therefore, I’m done, that dangerous things begin to happen. Someone might perceive that they can’t spread aids, because they’re an enlightened person, which is sort of a horrifying thought. But it’s happened. So, you know, it feels to me that
Rick Archer: there was even a spiritual, I’m sorry to interrupt. There’s a spiritual teacher, whose interview I had to take down, I had interviewed him, who was pressing many years ago, when he was already functioning as a spiritual teacher was, was training young girls underage girls to work at strippers telling them that the body is an illusion. It doesn’t matter what you do with it in the world of illusion and things like that, you know, so what a crazy thing.
Caverly Morgan: It’s an incredibly crazy thing. And, and that is one of those dangers that, you know, you and I pointed to the danger of saying, Well, I, you know, we’re all enlightened, and therefore, you know, anything goes without real discernment. Around the nature of what is the recognition of what is the ego what’s on behalf of an illusion of a separate self? And what, what is a manifestation of, of the heart or truth?
Rick Archer: Yeah, key word discernment. You know, we’re talking about zeal before, I would say, if there’s one quality, that would be the most valuable tool in your spiritual toolbox, it’s discernment.
Caverly Morgan: It’s incredibly important. Because, you know, without discernment, it seems that it’s very hard to have an experience of clarity, because my, my, the hologram that I’m inside of whatever my story is, feels as real to me as anything else. And it requires discernment to be able to say, I know this feels real. And can I can I come back to the recognition of myself as awareness? Can I can I experience in this moment, the way in which perhaps, this, this story can’t be trusted the way that I’m conditioned to trust it? I mean, when we look at our culture’s addiction to the, to the matter model, you know, what we what we see is a lack of discernment around how that matter model is being perpetuated and maintained and adhere to across the board.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s a book by Shankara, called the crest jewel of discrimination. I think it’s called Viveka to domani. And discrimination, I think, is closely related to discernment. But I think what he’s implying with that title, and goes on to elaborate in the book is just being able to sort of have this sort of scalpel, like intellect or discernment in terms of subtle distinctions and gradations. Because as you know, that Somerset mom, the razor’s edge, which was actually based upon his visit with Ramana, Maharshi, that book there, as the path progresses, I think that the need for discernment becomes more acute. You know, go ahead and respond to that.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. And I find that it become, for me, it’s become even more acute, through teaching, you know, to be able, I’ve had plenty of unskillful moments where after an interaction, I’m able to see, I, you know, I can discern that there might have been a more skillful way to have supported a person that I’m in this or the person that I was in that interaction with, and, and, again, what what interests me is what shifts when we love that process of refinement, because it’s no longer we keep looping back around. It’s interesting to me but because it’s no longer coming from I need to polish this, this stone so that it’ll be as shiny as possible and I’m not enlightened until it’s fully shiny. I mean, I, I really appreciate the way that Rupert talks about enlightenment is like chapter three, you know, and that recognizing our true nature is chapter three, and there’s a lot beyond that. And and when when the beyond That isn’t coming from the energy of filling a hole that will never be filled. Because it’s it’s the it’s the seeking is on behalf of this separate self. When the energies coming from the love of the refinement process when it’s coming from wanting to be the most clear, open channel for consciousness and to be an agent of love in the world, it has a very different energetic quality.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think we’re kind of getting at it. But it would be interesting, maybe, for you and I, to the extent we’re able to like to hear Rupert talk about what all those other chapters might be, it’d be, it’d be kind of cool to have kind of a table of contents of the whole book, you know, if enlightenment is chapter three, and there happened to be 15 chapters?
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, well, he might, you know, he’s so beautifully articulate with words and, and maps and creating maps, he might have some very specific chapters there. For me, I would say, it’s just an ongoing refinement. And as we talked about, that means addressing the energy, it means addressing the energy body didn’t means addressing the physical body, it means addressing the mind, it means using everything in our experience, to see how suffering is created, in order to drop that. And, yeah, and then suffering through through recognizing who we actually are. It means letting it’s just chapter after chapter of nuanced experiences of letting our expression of our greatest understanding in the world manifest in in the most authentic and pure way possible. And we see that to go back to your mention of Arma. We see that in the way that Arma embraces everyone equally, it’s astounding to watch, isn’t it? It is, I mean, everyone that comes to her is embraced equally. And that was a huge, huge, beautiful, open heart experience for me in watching her as you did for a period of time, just seeing that the embodiment of all is welcome, because I am that I recognize myself as that which doesn’t turn anything or anyone away, which cannot be disturbed, which was never born, which will never die.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s kind of an amazing experience. She’s in the States, and she’s here yet, but she will be soon dama.org If anybody wants to check her out, she goes all over the country. But your jaw drops after a while when you see what she does, for 1418 hours at a stretch without getting off the couch.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s, you might get a little chuckle out of the fact that, you know, so I come from this Zen monastic lineage where there’s a lot of, I mean, we didn’t even have couches on the property, you know, there’s just you know, you’ve got the image of the the kind of traditional Zen setting for training and then the man that I ended up marrying, had spent years in OS roms through aamas lineage and has been a devotee since he was 26. And for those two worlds to collide, it’s been quite, quite interesting and quite beautiful, quite enriching for both of us.
Rick Archer: Yeah, nice. His nice point I want to before we’re done, and we’re not about to be done anytime too soon. I do want to talk about what you’re doing in the schools and there’s a website people can go to watch some videos of what of your program in the Portland school and you know, kids talking about what their experience is of the program. And also I think maybe what also do is put a link to your talk at the sand conference on your on your page on BatGap Because I just listened to it again the other day and it was such a great talk, you know, with not only the talk but then little clips from you know, kids talking about their experience it’s really remarkable what you’re doing so well since I introduced it like that. Well let’s talk about it. Now. What would you like to tell us about that?
Caverly Morgan: That for me that work is just the current expression of of love that feels the most engaging regarding the reward of watching light lights come on. And, you know, I just this morning we got another edited video of student of mine NanoMed who got his real name’s Christopher, he goes by nom. And it’s just two minutes of him talking about no longer having to walk through the world with his smile as a mask. But the experience of being able to release that and move through the world more confidently standing in who we actually is. And it just, I mean, I dare someone to watch it and not get moved. It’s so It’s so touching. And as you heard me say, in that talk, you know, these teams are not as crusty as adults, you know, they don’t have the same, you know, you and I were talking about the clouds, they don’t have at clouds on top of each other. Generally speaking, there’s a The veil is so much thinner, between who they see themselves to be who they authentically are. And that’s it’s incredibly rewarding and rich and beautiful to, to, to watch teens experience that and, and one of the reasons that I am so excited about how it’s blossomed here in Portland, is because I don’t know of any other program that that goes beyond just teaching a teen how to direct the attention to the present moment without judgment, not that that’s not a beautiful thing to teach teens, it is it’s incredibly wonderful that mindfulness, largest spreading around the world, and with young people, and I think it’s a, it’s a really important and beautiful thing that’s happening. And I I feel so deeply honored to be part of a program that because it’s a semester long experience, we’re witnessing real transformation. And, and I think, as you said about the brain, you know, it might interest you to know, and you actually probably already know that that’s the most plastic window, that there is that you know, the the brain’s plasticity. And, you know, when we’re teens, and we used to think you probably know this, we used to think that once you hit 25, the brains not plastic at all anymore. And of course, now we know that’s not actually the case. But it does seem to still be the case, according to science, that, that that window, there’s just, it’s just so plastic and, and I definitely see that in my experience, and it’s, it’s just very touching, to, to be able to have to have an insight about an exercise I might do bring it into work with some teams to watch this sort of opening and full embrace and real recognition of, of a sense of, of self, an authentic sense of self, versus just the illusion of all the identities that were trained to indoctrinated to create and maintain. It’s incredible to watch that. And then do the same exercise with a group of adults and sort of sometimes be met with this. Well, I don’t know, I mean, this kind of, you know, squirrely resistance, which is fine, you know, we, we sometimes that’s an important part of practice to resist what is so close to home, we’re not ready to take it in yet, but it’s pretty inspiring.
Rick Archer: It really is. And it’s really saving lives literally, and enriching lives. And you know, kids are doing better academically as a result of it. And just, you know, I mean, high school is such a crazy time. Sometimes they think, Oh, am I being reincarnated? Again, you know, I mean, you know, serve the world. But then I think, oh, but I’d have to go through high school.
Caverly Morgan: But then I think okay, but most people say that,
Rick Archer: yeah. In fact, I dropped out of high school. Yeah. And then I picked up things afterwards, you know? Yeah. Once I learned to meditate, I kind of got it together. But it was such a difficult time, you know, and it is for most kids. It’s it’s, it’s really intense. And so, you know, it’s such a valuable thing. You get any opposition to it, you know, from fundamentalist Christians are from anybody else who thinks that you shouldn’t be doing it in there.
Caverly Morgan: Well, I’m glad you brought that up. Because it’s always important for me to clarify that while teens through this course are getting this knowing learning how to get in touch with their experience of who they are. I we’ve done a really good job paying a lot of attention to how we bring that about this is those sort of the that we talked about the tailoring and the compassionate concessions. And because we put so much focus on how this course takes place, it’s equally accessible to a Christian to an atheist. My Muslim students get as much out of the class as my students whose parents are Buddhist. And so for that reason, because of What the teens experienced in terms of personal transformation and sort of collective transformation in the classroom. We’ve only had folks come to us and say, Thank you so much that I can you know, that my, my teen is now part of this community and able to recognize, you know, people will use different language for it, some people might just who have no background at all, with any kind of meditation might say, all I know, is Johnny’s confident now, you know, he’s not walking around afraid all the time. So it is important to acknowledge that, as I’ve mentioned before, when I was talking about, you know, I do a lot of work with adults as well. And, and in, in working with a teen or adult, there’s so many moments where it’s not actually useful, helpful or appropriate to just say, oh, okay, you are awareness. Now, let’s start the conversation from there, but to direct a person to experience what’s most primary about their existence, you know, our own being. That is that is not something that when it’s when it’s skillfully shared it that’s not in contradiction to any Christian faith. It’s not in contradiction to. It’s actually not in contradiction to anything, because it is the recognition that we are everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Do you find that the, in addition to the personal transformation and development of confidence and diminishment of confusion and things like that the kids experience, that there’s a big blossoming in terms of their respect and appreciation and kindness toward one another?
Caverly Morgan: It’s monumental, and I really didn’t know when this program started, that I would be able to witness in a sense, what we would hope to see in the world but in a classroom. So one of the ways that happens is that you know, for for Suzie Q has always felt maybe Susie Q is the popular teenager, and maybe Johnny’s the class nerd. But for for Johnny, to see that. Susie Q has the same self talk that he does, it’s so bonding in an authentic bonding way, think of how unhealthy ways that we bond with each other as adults and ways that we bond with each other as teens might be, you know, we might bond over let’s do drugs together, or we might bond over like, Let’s believe this guy together. But we, but we we don’t we’re not we’re often in this condition, society, we’re often not taught on how bonding could be a reflection of our inherent inner connection, it could just be an outpouring, a recognition of what’s inherently so and that’s what happens in the class, is the class arises out of this context of an environment of care, and confidentiality, acceptance, reverence and empathy. And that that tender environment of care really is conscious community. And that’s so inspiring to me, because it’s one thing for a team to go to like therapy and maybe get some new understanding of his condition, survival strategies and coping mechanisms, because we do we go over those kinds of things in this class, like, how are you? How are you conditioned to survive the stress of being a teenager? But yeah, it’s really it’s really the the community that allows the flourishing of the teachings.
Rick Archer: That’s great. I keep thinking about my high school experience, as you’re as you’re talking. Yeah, we were just kind of, I at least, was really kind of a last little guy. And in my own little bubble, and, you know, have my little group of friends, usually the more nerdy ones, but I’m just kind of like, walking around in a daze, you know, and there wasn’t, at least from my perspective, there wasn’t the sort of openness and bonding and inter clique, communication and empathy and any of that kind of stuff that you’re alluding to, and made it all the more difficult. And I remember myself picking on kids that were, you know, different than me in some way. And I regret that to this day, I still feel guilty about stuff that I did over 50 years ago. So I don’t know. I just think it’s so wonderful, what you’re doing.
Caverly Morgan: Well, thank you and I relate to, you know, we can regret these things later because it hurts the heart. Yeah, we know, we know that those behaviors we know deep down and especially young people know it like as adults, we get so hardened, that we might know it but we might not actually feel the impact of it in the same way. anymore. But these teens really feel it, you know, something happens. And they see like, oh, that’s that just, you know, it, there’s just again, it’s like less less layers of crust. And it’s, it’s incredible. It’s like, I feel as though all our program actually does is offer ways for teens to be the expression of who they actually are. Whereas everything else in high school, that’s a little dramatic, not everything else in high school. But a lot of other influences are saying who you should be and what you need and what you don’t have enough of and how to form your identity and what you need to be planning for your future and what you need to be afraid of. And then we wonder why we’re not happy later. Because, you know, we’re under the thumb of all of this conditioning, the Most High School suit suicides last time I checked, that I was at least privy to hearing about, we’re all in areas where there’s like high pressure to get into really good schools and like these, you know, I know one areas like the the Palo Alto area where there was just these, this sort of cluster suicide epidemic from teens not being able to function under the pressure created all of the conditioned pressure, all of those clouds.
Rick Archer: Yeah. If anyone hasn’t seen the movie, Dead Poets Society with Robin Williams, they should watch that movie.
Caverly Morgan: That’s an oldie and a goodie. Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, this in a way, this kind of segue. As a reminder, I’m going to link to Cavalese presentation at the sand conference, because, you know, she explains the program very nicely talks about how it developed, but she also has some nice clips in there of the kids talking about the impact it’s had on them. Is there any kind of I know it’s grown quite a bit in Portland? I mean, is there any sort of indication that it might branch out even further, you know, other states? And do you get in touch with people get in touch with you from Ohio, and places like that?
Caverly Morgan: Every day, every day, we get an email from somebody else, because there is we have a woman doing a dissertation project in the fall on the program from Johns Johns Hopkins. And, you know, as we put structures in place to show the efficacy of what we’re doing, I mean, we we know the efficacy of what we’re doing. And we’ve never actually had a principal or administrator in, in Portland ask for outside research, because they just see what’s happening. But as we put things in place, so that other people can, can can see on paper from afar, what what the effects are, we’re getting, we’re getting, in a sense, overwhelmed by the demand, and what that it’s a good problem. Because what it shows me is that there is actually a thirst for a program like this to be. I don’t know, Rupert said it’s going to be worldwide in five years. And I said, Oh, my gosh, don’t. Don’t say that. And the reason I joke about don’t say that is we have decided just recently that we we want to have Portland be a showroom of sorts before we go beyond Portland. So there are a lot of nuances to doing what we do. And so we were in seven Portland public high schools now, with this semester long, credited course. And then in the fall, we’ll be in 10. And then very soon, will be district wide in Portland, once we can build this, build out this whole school model that we’re forming. And most importantly, once we can build the next level of our adult training programs, so that we can have more people teaching this very intensive and deep curriculum, then I think we will be ready to bring this outside Portland, which I’m very excited about. Now, the way I see it happening is that each city could have a different hub point person that will hold the vision that will hold the integrity of the depth of this curriculum. And then that person can, you know, train more teachers and have it expand that way. And, and I already have some some cities with those people lined up and ready just saying, you know, just let us know, when you’re happy with the showroom in Portland because we really were pregnant focusing on scaling in depth, versus just we need to scale in breadth because obviously there’s a need and there’s a push and there’s demand to scale and breadth but I just really don’t want to water down the the integrity of what we’ve created by going too fast.
Rick Archer: I was just thinking that it could easily become diluted or distorted or perverted or something in some way. You know, yeah, you really have to have some kind of quality control as it grows.
Caverly Morgan: Exactly. Yep. And that’s yeah, that’s just really important to us. But, yeah, who knows, maybe someone’s watching that would love to see it. See us build out that infrastructure, you know, so that so that it can expand more fully. And I appreciate you bringing attention to peace in schools? Because it does, let me get to say we’re always looking for folks to support that vision.
Rick Archer: Yeah. A good friend of mine is the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, which is doing something of some somewhat similar with TM, and schools, especially inner cities and things like that. Also, also, pts. I mean, there’s a lot about other applications for what you’re doing, like, you know, veterans with PTSD and homeless people. And there’s all kinds of things where you could apply the same principle, I suppose,
Caverly Morgan: totally, and just offer up all these tools. I mean, our, our curriculum is very dense with tools. So teens learn how to, you know, recognize the conditioned mind and learn how to to have the discernment to know whether they’re, they’re identified with the conditioned mind, or whether they’re coming from a place that in that curriculum we talk about as Center. In a way, it’s all the things that that that course, that semester long course has all of the tools that I find that the average adult I work with, could benefit from having in the tool belt, in order to feel practice. Be able to flourish.
Rick Archer: Yeah, seems to me, I mean, growing on the building on the thought I just mentioned, with certain modifications, you could take this and insert it into all kinds of situations like, again, the OPA opioid epidemic, you know, which is huge. I mean, and a lot of authorities are desperate to find a solution to that. Here, again, this could be extremely valuable.
Caverly Morgan: I couldn’t agree more. And I have a type of excitement around just watching what will organically unfold, because I’m so clear that I’ve been a midwife for this. But it’s, it’s, you know, it’s even though I would be lying if I hadn’t said I’ve worked really hard, it’s so clear that it’s not that the that the project isn’t due to my hard work, there’s something that has organically evolved that now it’s just a train I try to, I try to stay on because it moves quickly. And and we have a team of people that that are just extremely dedicated. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Isn’t that cool? I get that to a certain extent with BatGap. To where you have this feeling like your what you’re doing has an impact. And therefore, whatever the intelligence governing the universe is, kind of like gets behind you. And you know, gives you support.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. I think for us, the same thing has been happening around presence collective, which is the presence collective as a DBA of peace in schools. And I’m doing you know that teaching leading meditation retreats and workshops through the book that I put out, will be through presence collective, and there’s just this momentum of the community and then what’s beyond the community that seems to have a life of its own for sure.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, shifting topics. Another little note you wrote here, which I’d like to talk about is exploring the foundation of world peace. I think, actually, we can segue into this pretty well, from what we were just saying, the greatest gift we can give is to wake up to our true nature, it has to begin their true justice and world peace can only come through starting with the recognition of what we all share, it can only come through the realization that our very being is in fact shared. And I always kind of remember the analogy of if a forest is to be green, then all the trees have to be green. Each individual tree has to know its true nature. That is it has to be sort of in touch with its ground and derive nourishment from there in order to flourish as an individual tree, and then the forest will be green. But you know, to neglect the nourishment of each individual tree and try to impose greenness on the forest by spray painting it or something isn’t going to work.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. I love that. I love that analogy. It’s yeah, it really points to the importance of nourishment. So what if instead of seeking enlightenment, we nourished our recognition of what’s most directly our experience of existence? Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. And that is certainly not incompatible with seeking enlightenment. I mean, I mean, that’s by by one definition what seeking enlightenment is?
Caverly Morgan: Yes, I was just referring to the earlier part of the conversation from that, that seeking from the place where that that assumes some sort of separation, which, in fact, even though that process is required on some level, or certainly often seems to be the case, there are people who just seem to have these spontaneous experiences, but for most, for most of us that that seems to be required. But even in that case, where where it seems to be required. Folks always say the same thing. You know, I turned around and realize that there, there there, there was no separate self that achieved anything through that. That striving, I mean, in a way isn’t enlightenment, just the greatest disappointment? For the ego? It’s, it’s, you know, it’s the ultimate letdown. It’s the ultimate letdown that, you know, I’ve, I’ve worked so hard, and yet, this isn’t an experience that is mine to have it can’t, it can’t have
Rick Archer: it. No, I can’t have it. I mean, it’s like saying the the drop wants to have the ocean.
Caverly Morgan: Exactly. Exactly. Drop just has to sort of
Rick Archer: relax into knowing that it is the ocean
Caverly Morgan: 100%. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And there’s really isn’t any loss, because I mean, let’s say you, you go from your garden into your house, and obviously, you sort of leave the garden, but then you’re enjoying the house. Or to use another example, you you live in a hut, and there’s this beautiful palace and you you go to the palace, but you don’t regret the loss of the hut, when you’re when you’ve moved into the palace. Just throwing metaphors. Yeah.
Caverly Morgan: No, I’m, well, I’m hanging with you. Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. The here’s another nice thing that plays upon the world peace point that we made. You say, practice is the deepest contribution that it is possible to make to society, I read some quote from Rama. Now, along those lines, recently, eradicating poverty would be a natural byproduct of waking up, for example, I think that all the problems in the world are a symptom, or are symptoms of the fact that people haven’t woken up by and large. And that if there were a mass awakening, which hopefully is in its fledgling stages, and will happen, that all these problems will just sort of dissipate, as you know, like, as those trees of the forests began to suck up the nourishment from the ground?
Caverly Morgan: Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, would you say that that’s your experience? When you look around, it’s my
Rick Archer: experience in my own life. Yeah. And, you know, if we extrapolate from our individual lives to the world, which is not that far fetched to do, then I really think that I think everyone has their basis in an inexhaustible reservoir of potential whether they know it or not. And if they can somehow know it, then that potential will begin to be channeled through them, and they’ll become more successful, more productive, more creative, you know, all the, all the problems that that are created by virtue, the fact that people are deficient in those things, will, will just fade away. I mean, and even on the level of, you know, cool new technologies being discovered, you know, that could, you know, get all the extra carbon out of the air or better solar panels are, you know, alternative energy and all kinds of stuff. There’s no end possibilities. It’s just a matter, we don’t have an energy shortage, we have an intelligent shortage, and I don’t mean intellectual intelligence, I mean, sort of attunement to divine intelligence.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely. And the more lack of attunement, there is the greater the lack of tune and the the more problems you seem to have, because, as you pointed out, that’s what happens personally. The less attunement, the more suffering in it right in here. Yeah. And and then, you know, that’s what’s happening societally, too. If, if you look at our condition world right now, it’s actually a perfectly accurate brushstroke representation of the conditioned mind, you know, the, the, the way what’s happening on the level of of our Our conditioned world is is just such an accurate, accurate representation.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I mean, the conditioned world is the reflection of 7 billion conditioned minds. Yeah. You know, whatever. Like the forest analogy, again, whatever the overall appearance of the forest, it’s due to the condition of all the trees that make it up.
Caverly Morgan: Absolutely.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Trees. Yeah. Yeah, they
Caverly Morgan: can’t they, they can’t be separated, they can’t be separated out. And I I love that one of the themes that we’ve we’ve bounced around and kept coming back to in this call is it doesn’t even require changing the trees, it requires recognizing that which leads to a lack of nourish
Rick Archer: nourishing the trees, putting in new trees, I mean, just better trees, or there’s kind of a drought, you know, ending the drought. Yeah, absolutely.
Caverly Morgan: Allowing, allowing that trees to be trees without all of the ways that we interfere with the the wonderous nature of what is, yeah, all of the ways that the conditioned world, then the conditioned mind interferes with, with the wondrous nature of, of what is
Rick Archer: Yeah. And this is not a Pollyanna ish kind of discussion we’re having here, I really think that something of this nature is and is percolating, you know, it’s in the works and what you’re doing is an example of it. And, you know, if we all just keep doing it as we feel moved to and each in our own way, you know, I think maybe an unstoppable unstoppable force. Yeah, I think that the time is such that something of this nature is obviously needed. And also, is something which whose time has come.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, that the time has come. And specifically, there’s so much thirst and hunger for truth, because the distortion is so severe. So I was thinking the other day about how, how, when storms are brewing brewing on the horizon, and just very, very dramatic storms, we can sometimes forget that those storms can leave a deep quenching of the earth. And can can be part of this nourishment process because we’re, we’re just so perhaps triggered into seeing the storm and then feeling like we have to batten down the hatches. And, and and I appreciate your point that this that’s not a Pollyanna recognition. It’s not to say, oh, everything always turns out good. It’s sunny. It’s, it’s recognizing inherent goodness, which is not the opposite of bad.
Rick Archer: Heard a great metaphor there, they some was talking about, you know, it may seem that how can you be so optimistic when there’s these politicians doing this and these, you know, this corruption here and these corporations there and all that, and the the metaphor presented was, well, you know, when you make chicken soup, this kind of the scum kind of bubbles to the surface and you can skim skim it off.
Caverly Morgan: Okay, as a vegetarian, I’m not quite. I’m not quite saying I can come from experience on that one. But I get the idea. You know, it’s the kind of Lotus mud thing too, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I totally fall on it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, Okey, dokey. What do you got here? In terms of additional points? I want to cover all these points, because they’re so good. Good. Nice. I really appreciate you sending me this. Oh, good.
Caverly Morgan: Well, it’s since I haven’t got that book out yet. I just figured I’d toss out some some things that I’ve been looking at. And Rick, I appreciate that. You know, it’s it’s fun that those are engaging things for you, too. I appreciate the alchemy of our of our connection.
Rick Archer: Yeah, a lot of these points are just things that I’m passionate about. And that I’ve thought about for decades. And, you know, I think we’re, we’re both onto something here. We’re not alone, that’s for sure. Okay, so his point, I don’t think we’ve quite covered. You’re currently interested in the collective conditioning we have. So the collective conditioning as women, the collective conditioning as men, recognizing the power of collective presence, hence our new name, you have this thing presence collective, in the face of that collective conditioning. I guess we’ve maybe sort of touched on it, but maybe there’s a little bit more we could say about it.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, anything specific arise for you as you as you read that just to start us off with it.
Rick Archer: Well, comes to mind as I read it is that can conditioning can seem very ingrained and tractable and, you know, hard to change. But it can change and even an individual’s can just think can change dramatically. I just don’t think that things, I mean, there are certain things that are calcified and have been for 1000s of years, you know, like certains. She is in the Sunni, for instance, have been going at it forever, and, and the Palestinians and the Israelis, and some of these situations just seem so hard to resolve. And there are a deep kind of collective conditioning. So, you know, maybe we could talk about how, what you’re introducing here, and what we’re talking about here, could actually be an antidote to those long established patterns. Yeah,
Caverly Morgan: something that’s just interesting to me right now is I’ve spent so much time as a monk bringing attention to the conditioning of this body mind. And as I’ve said, it’s, there’s so much benefit that’s come from, you know, I know my any type, and not that I know everything about like, what it means to be a one on the Enneagram more, but I know, I know how the I know, the shadow sides of my own conditioning, and how that can create this distortion that I’m that I’m something other than the sun, for example. So to have that immersion, in understanding of personal conditioning, something that’s interested in me is how does that relate to collective conditioning? And so I’m lately found it really engaging to look at structures of conditioning. So again, just to bring back that, that point that I tossed out the beginning of our conversation, you know, how has the oppression of minorities? How has that collective conditioning stayed in place? And how does something like the kind of awareness practice, which is a, again, a non practice really at its core, but how does something like that address these large system? Sets, institutionalized structures? Because I believe it’s the only thing that can we’ve we’ve proven to ourselves that just, for example, fighting racism? isn’t the answer. It’s deeply dualistic, it doesn’t take us to another degree of understanding.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So I think it’s just kind of a matter of, I think that the kind of thing you’re doing, and things like it could easily become mainstream. And so it will. You know, as we’ve been saying, with all of our metaphors of forests and stuff, it just can’t really impose political solutions have never really been long term. And the same patterns keep cropping up again. I mean, there’s certainly there have been good, you know, advancements, women’s suffrage, and certain, you know, the abolition of slavery and the Voting Rights Rights Act, and all kinds of good things have come along. But I tend to see those things is more like reflections of shifts in collective consciousness then, as, as causes in themselves, they’re more like, symptoms of deeper changes that took place. And I think that what you’re doing and the kind of thing you’re doing, it proliferates can transform collective consciousness more profoundly, or can accelerate the transformation of collective consciousness, and then all kinds of laws and, and, you know, relationships between warring factions and so on, will just kind of dissipate.
Caverly Morgan: I think that was beautifully said I have nothing to add to that other than to say thanks for articulating and so well, it’s just so it’s so I think helpful when we recognize that that that way in which as as the consciousness as now of course, consciousness is never actually shifting, but you you and I know what we’re know what plane we’re
Rick Archer: not talking about the abs. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Caverly Morgan: So So but, but I would have to preface that if I say like, you know, shifting consciousness but that as that as we experienced that evolution of consciousness or that shifting in consciousness, it seems so important to see what the kinds of things you just pointed to the the women getting the vote all of that as as byproducts. Because it’s so what that allows us to do is refocus the attention on, on the, on the heart, really. So as we as we focus the attention on the heart, the natural byproduct is policies that don’t alienate other people, and the list goes on and on.
Rick Archer: And that is not to say that we can all just sit on our butts and meditate, and then the politicians are just gonna wake up one day and make all the beautiful changes we’d like to see them make and so on, I think, you know, you have to sort of be multi dimensional in your approach to this stuff, and you need to vote and you need to, you know, engage in various sorts of activism that, that you’re passionate about, like you were saying animal rights and, and things like that all that stuff needs to be done. But no one component is sufficient unto itself, you know, all the different levels of that one can from from sitting eyes closed meditating to getting out there and joining a protest are some they all have their relevance on their own respective levels?
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, and, and imagine if all of the forces for change were were united through the recognition of our shared being. So then, you know, folks over working on the environmental field, or are coming from this deep recognition and folks working over with instant, you know, institutionalized racism are coming from this recognition, it would create a very different quality to the change that we actually do already see, happening around us.
Rick Archer: I think that’s kind of happening. i A few years ago, I interviewed prop Proctor and Kimberly gamble, from who made the Thrive movie. And we’re talking about how back in the 60s, you know, there’s the meditators who just sat and meditated and thought all these, you know, Vietnam War protesters were crazy, and they weren’t going to accomplish anything. And then there were the, the activists and protesters who thought that the meditators were escapist. And now it’s more like, you know, there’s a marriage between activism and spirituality. In fact, the term spiritual activism is invoked. And there are people who kind of recognize that both are insufficient without without the other.
Caverly Morgan: Yeah, I think as you said before, you know, it’s I think you pointed to the way in which it’s not lasting change, if it’s just coming on that level. I mean, we’ve we saw that with the last administration, and then this administration, it’s like, okay, this guy signed this. So I’m signed this. I mean, it’s just like, if you’re, if you can step back to find the comedy in it, it’s it’s like, it’s comedy. I mean, it’s a tragic comedy, but
Rick Archer: yeah. Okay. I think we made that point. So how do people plug into what you’re doing? Obviously, they could support it financially, I imagine. And but you also teach, I mean, your your whole schools thing. But you also like, have you teach retreats and things like that. So if people are inspired by this and want to plug into what you’re doing more, what do they do?
Caverly Morgan: They would go to Calverley morgan.org. And so we have, I’ll be leading to actually three retreats this summer. And then the our winter retreats listed, but the registration is not up for that yet. And I am, I’m going to be doing a collaborative mostly on the West Coast. Right, let’s Good question. Or those those, those four are on the West Coast of the United States. And I’m doing a lot more online these days, too. So sand, invited me to do a webinar in the new year. My schedule just couldn’t fit it in until the new year. But so I’m doing a lot more teaching beyond the comfort of my own home. So for years now, our Portland community of practitioners has been very strong and very intimate. And it’s, it’s just newer that I’ve been teaching through other centers as well. So I just finished teaching it against the stream in that community and in San Francisco and the insight meditation community of Seattle, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the New York Zen Center. So I’m starting to bop around just a little bit more as we make a really important transition with peace in schools and that is that I’ve been the executive director and then at Tea and other hats. And I’m now becoming the founder and guiding teacher of peace in schools. And it’s been, it’s been, I’ve been totally willing to play the role of executive director in that in that organization. And it’s pretty liberating for me to be moving in the direction where my my, my energy can be freed to focus on creating new curriculum, guiding the teachers for peace in schools, as well as focusing on teaching adults, which is a great passion piece in schools is obviously a huge passion. And we have and that’s why we have now 14 1314 employees, it’s it’s a passion that’s been contagious. But But offering offering teachings practice to, to the world at large meaning adults as well is that hasn’t dimmed for me, I just haven’t been able to have my, my attention on that is fully over the last few years, but it’s just now shifting. So. So it’s, it’s actually becoming less and less hard to find me on that front. For those who would wish to
Rick Archer: good, well, they can go to Kathleen morgan.org. And I’m sure you have some email they can sign up for to be notified of things. So I really love what you’re doing. And you know, you’re bright light in the world and world needs more people like you. You know, it’s beautiful.
Caverly Morgan: Well, I’m very grateful to speak with you today, Rick, and like I said at the beginning, I think what you’re doing is beautiful, because I think you’re, you know, in terms of like contributing to that shift in consciousness, I think it’s really important that people from all over Can, can access these teachings. You know, one of my, my greatest passions that led to peace in schools is for practice the awakened teachings not to be reserved for the privileged. And that’s really done through means like this, where, you know, folks can be anywhere, as long as they can get their hands on a way to get online. Yeah. Which could even happen at a library really sure. Can. These teachings are so much more available and accessible than they used to be. And I think that’s an incredible thing. And so I just appreciate your your contribution to that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. As the Beatles said, we’re all doing what we can
Caverly Morgan: for doing what we can add a love and service.
Rick Archer: Alright, well, thanks. So I’ll see you in October.
Caverly Morgan: Great. Yeah. Yeah. See you it sound
Rick Archer: like a couple of wrap up points. So I’ve been speaking with Carolyn Morgan. And this is an ongoing series of conversations, as most of you know, and I’ll have a page on that gap for cavalry for her interview and links to everything. And then obviously, there are hundreds of other interviews that I’ve done over the years. And so if you’re not familiar with the site, just go there and poke around to the menus a little bit and you see what we have to offer, but also exists as an audio podcast. Some people like to listen while they can mute and things. So thanks.
Caverly Morgan: Thank you. Until next time, till next time,