Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. As of this recording, there have now been about 390 of them. And if this is the first one you’ve seen, you might want to go to batgap.com Bat gap and look under the past interviews menu where you’ll find all the previous ones organized in about five different ways. Buddha at the Gas Pump is made possible by the support of appreciative viewers and listeners. So if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there is a donate button on the site. So my guest today is Cindy tevens. Cindy is up in Ottawa, Canada. And I’ll read a little bio that she sent me and then we’ll get into our conversation. Six years after the suicide of her father in one moment, her own intense suffering was swapped from mind blowing joy, altering her life permanently. happiness and peace became her predominant states. Laughter exploded at the simplicity and power of the shift. And tears of gratitude flowed. understandings began to come about how we have been living backwards, how we have mistaken the outside for the inside, and how we’ve tethered ourselves to the uncontrollable winds of change in the midst of freedom, and how we can return to truth Saturday and peace. Cindy dropped everything she was doing to show people how to feel good no matter what. Because when you shift your state problems dissolve, villains become victims, and compassion kicks in. So much gratitude came with this revelation, she began helping people awaken love and joy in their lives. months after discovering joy. One day in the woods, she was knocked to her knees by an explosion of love that ended the imaginary separation of self and other speech fell away. And all she could do was laugh and cry at the cosmic joke. 40 years of self baggage suddenly fell away. The thinker and speaker she thought she was was gone. Yet the self remained capitalist self. Cindy is writing about that direct seeding of self and a third book she’s working on and her two previous books are alchemy, how to feel good no matter what. And happiness lie What generations have been told that makes you unhappy. So welcome, Cindy. Thanks, Rick, good to see you.
Cindy Teevens: Great to be here.
Rick Archer: Yeah. When in reading your book and listening to your talks, I got a feeling that you know, this wasn’t just some kind of psychological adjustment, or you didn’t just tweak your understanding of things, you really did undergo a pretty major experiential shift. Would you agree with that?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, was very profound, particularly what I call the direct scene in the woods. The shift in state people do all the time, very common. They don’t often do it in the middle of suffering like that. But so it was dramatic. It was mind blowing.
Rick Archer: Sometimes it does happen. I mean, I’ve I could actually make a category if I wanted to on BatGap of people who awaken apparently as a result of intense suffering. It’s not a path I would recommend, but it seems to be fairly common.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I wouldn’t say that. That was an awakening. For me. I would just say that was a shift in state that felt really good and give me a different perspective. And yeah, we have this idea. You see Byron, Katie Eckhart Tolle, we have this idea you have to suffer, you know, but the direct seeing came right in the midst of joy and bliss for no reason.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, I wouldn’t go so far as to say you have to suffer. I’m just saying that for some people. That seems to be the way it goes. Yes. Yes. And one other thought that kept occurring to me is you know, you’ve done your best to provide a means whereby others could undergo the sort of shift that you underwent. And you know, what do you feel like your track record has been with that how successful how easy it is, is it for the average person to undergo a similar shift and are the people end up feeling a little frustrated because they don’t feel like they’re getting what you got?
Cindy Teevens: No, I’ve everybody’s been able to shift. I haven’t seen somebody not shift that I’ve worked with. When they’re on their own. They may have more difficulty. They get stuck in certain places, the mind can do that. But when I walk them through, everybody has a shift. So far,
Rick Archer: as radical as yours.
Cindy Teevens: This is a shift from pain to joy. And it can be very radical. As for the the insight of the drug seeing, that’s a different matter. But, you know, the thing is with Byron, Katie and Eckhart Tolle, who they were in their suffering, but it wasn’t the suffering that caused it. It was actually if you if you study them closely, there’s something else that went on. And it involved usually either self inquiry, you know, who am I really, or a surrendering of oneself? And that was what was involved with me as well. So whether suffering or joy preceded it, it doesn’t really matter so much. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And I guess this is not true of Byron, Katie, but I somebody told me who I knew something more about. Eckhart Tolle is earlier life that he actually did a lot of seeking before he had that, that awakening that he wrote about in the power of now. He was he was doing, you know, looking into all kinds of things and so on. So it didn’t just totally come out of the blue. Sort of a side point.
Cindy Teevens: Right? Yeah. Makes sense to me. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, now, you just distinguish between two different things, a sort of a shift to joy and a direct seeing. So let’s more clearly define both of those things and distinguish them from each other. It seems like the shift to joy happened first, right? Yes. Okay. And so let’s get into that a little bit. Maybe let’s in doing so let’s go back into your background a bit, there was, you know, the suicide of your father, which of course, we don’t want to dwell on too much, but just the things you went through in your life, and I know you did all sorts of practices, and so on leading up to this neuro linguistic programming and things like that.
Cindy Teevens: I Yeah. Prior to my father’s suicide, I felt a draw. I started seeking just months before. And then I became a Zen student, I started practicing Zen. After he passed, it really started me on a quest to find an end of suffering. And I did investigate a lot of things. I wasn’t really satisfied by by any of them, I found some intrigue with Zen and neuro linguistic programming, I found useful to a point. But I took it even to the master level, and it still wasn’t what I was seeking, you know, there was still something missing.
Rick Archer: And I guess you just knew that intuitively, because you didn’t? Or did you know exactly what you were seeking? Or was it just feeling like this? Isn’t it
Cindy Teevens: yet? Yeah, no idea what it was, I just knew this, wasn’t it, there was still something Somehow I knew there was a way to be in this world. That was not dependent upon this world. Yeah.
Rick Archer: You didn’t want your your fulfillment to be you felt like it was possible, it might be possible for your fulfillment to be independent of what was going on in the world.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, and NLP were taught you can control your state. And I found that wasn’t true. Even though I finished and I could graduate and everything I knew that I couldn’t control my state, you know, I wanted to be very true to myself. And I thought I had to control my state. And it was only later that you realize that’s not what it’s about.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. And so you would say that now, for instance, you’re you’re not controlling your state, you’re just spontaneously living without having to manipulate or tinker with your state all the time.
Cindy Teevens: I no longer am attached to things, people or events, which is what I call the happiness slide, the belief that things people or events make you happy or unhappy. That’s not where joy now comes from.
Rick Archer: There’s a book by Marcy Shime off called Happy for No Reason. Have you heard that?
Cindy Teevens: Yes. It’s a good title. Yes, it is. You should have thought of it. Not sure. When it came came before me or after me? I’m not sure on the timing there. But.
Rick Archer: So do you find that? You know, I mean, do you find that there’s a sort of an undercurrent or a baseline of happiness that just persists regardless of what’s happening in the outer world?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, pretty much. I mean, there might be moments of something flashing through if I see somebody beating a dog or something. And you know, this has happened, there might be a moment of sort of getting on, you know, ready to do something and maybe some sort of anger, just a fleeting flashing. That takes care of the moment, and then it’s gone.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Which is a good point. I mean, it it serves a purpose. I would hope that if you saw somebody doing that, it wouldn’t just say oh, well, everything is the way it’s supposed to be.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, no, you take care the moment yes, yeah,
Rick Archer: yes. And maybe even anger or some other types of similar emotion is productive and in a circumstance like that.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, you know, when you get an adrenaline rush it it probably hairs, you know, if you need to do something, having having a near accident, can, you know, prepare you and give you an adrenaline rush? But how are we interpreting that that adrenaline rush? I had a near accident once when I got home when I came into the house, and adrenaline was still there. And the thought arose, I’m scared. No, no, no, no, this is adrenaline from the accent, it’s just leftover. You know, this is not a truth. And it was over. But if someone had come home with that, they may have started to believe ideas. Like, I’m all alone, I’m scared, I can’t live alone anymore, you know, becomes a story of me and I, rather than a recognition of just what was and what is no longer.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and as we know, I mean, some people hold on to things like that, for years a traumatic experience, let’s say they get bitten by a dog when they’re a child or something, and then they’re afraid of dogs all their life. We could think of, you know, 100 other examples, but, you know, we tend to accumulate impressions. And those impressions influenced our lives. For decades, maybe, in fact, it’s interesting. You said in your little bio here, 40 years of self baggage suddenly fell away. And I sometimes wonder about that is like how thoroughly and quickly can accumulated conditioning actually be jettisoned? You know, because it seems like it has a physiological component, which might be deeply seated in which you just can’t like shuck off at the moment.
Cindy Teevens: When your identity shifts, when who you think you are shifts, then everything that came with the old identity is gone. And Is there really an accumulation? Is there such a thing? Or is there just now, what you’re holding to be true now?
Rick Archer: Well, it’s good question. I know that neuro physiologically, they have explanations for how the brain, you know, accumulates impressions, and you can actually do MRIs if someone has been under tremendous stress, like, I don’t know, battle, being in war, being in a prison or something like that, you can see literally functional holes in the functioning of the brain with the right kind of MRI. And that, but also, there’s the word neuroplasticity. So it’s understood that the brain can change, but not necessarily overnight.
Cindy Teevens: Yes. Well, and it also has to do with again, how are you interpreting it? You know, with me, what happened in an instant was a shift of attention. So I had been using a lot of attention, there was a lot of energy on suffering. You know, I want this, I want this, I want this, I was doing a lot of wanting, and I wasn’t getting it was very clear, it didn’t matter how much I wanted, I wasn’t going to get you know. And that was intense energy and intense suffering. And then two things happened, I promised my dad, it would not be for nothing. And I refuse to suffer anymore. I couldn’t take it anymore, the thought of suicide came up. But it was out of the option. And I didn’t know what else to do. And I just stopped. And right in the middle of that stopping I heard are new. You can give yourself whatever you want. Because I’ve been doing a lot of this one thing. And so that begs the question, well, what do I want? And I didn’t really know at first and it took some time to answer this. I knew what I didn’t want. We all know very well, but we don’t want and we don’t practice very often what we do want. And so it can be very out of reach. But it’s still there, you have to know what you want, in order to know that there’s a problem with having what you don’t want. So anyway, shifted my attention from what I didn’t want onto what I did want. And one thing after another, you know, acceptance, human dignity, love, I found them all and bang, bang, bang, all the energy that was being used to suffer, swept over into love, joy, peace in an instant. And that was mind blowing. Because mine says you can’t feel good. You know, ABCD has happened, how dare you can’t feel good, you must suffer. And I heard that. And I would go back into that. And then I would wait a minute. But that felt really good. And then I would shift back out again. And then the mind would come up and go Yeah, but blah, blah, blah. And I would go back into the suffering. So there was this back and forth and back. And I could see very clearly what was going on. I didn’t have words for it, but I could see it and I learned to sustain the love the joy, the peace I learned to stay out of the suffering mind.
Rick Archer: How long did this seesaw period last?
Cindy Teevens: It was most intense the first day and then a couple of weeks. It started to settle down and I was more and more stabilized and I remember clearly one day walking on the street where there was this joy bubbling up and then mind came up and said yeah, but blah blah blah. I just burst out I’m laughing at it because I knew how powerless it was, you know. And I thought, anybody who sees me must think I’m crazy. This woman walking down the street, no suddenly bursting out laughing at nothing.
Rick Archer: Oh, these days, people do that all the time, because you’re talking on cell phones, and you can’t see the phone. ever happened to me, I was in the grocery store and some guy was looking at vegetables talking to themselves, I kind of moved away
Cindy Teevens: Yeah in this day and age, I guess it’s not so strange.
Rick Archer: So looking back at that, I still have the question, you know, do you feel like this was? To what extent do you feel like this was something you did? And to what extent do you feel like something that kind of happened to you? Because you’re right for it? Maybe a bit of both.
Cindy Teevens: You asked me that. Now, I would say nothing. You asked me back then. And I would say this is what I did.
Rick Archer: It seems like you had some kind of like little strategy where you were, if you find yourself caught up in you know, old habits or something you would say no, no, don’t need to do that. You use a little bit of intentionality to shift back?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, well, there was a learning that whenever a tension went onto what I didn’t want, it hurt. And whenever it tension went on to what I did want, it felt good. And what what happened was, I started to feel good, I got relief. And I was drawn to, to the relief. So every time suffering started to arise, I would wait a minute, no, go take the time shift, shift, my state start to feel good, I got the relief. But then I stayed with a little bit longer. And I started to feel pleasurable. And I said, Wow, this feels really good. And then I started to pursue it. And it would grow, it would grow and it will grow in the mind would come in and go Yeah, but you can’t feel that good. Nothing’s happened. And in that instant, I would lose it. So that’s interesting. I wonder if I could sustain beyond that. And ignore mind. And so I started to experiment with it. So there was this idea of me experimenting and doing this. And I found that it would grow and it would grow and grow till I was experiencing states of bliss, joy, ecstasy for no reason. Why did all that happen? If you look for the reasons and the causes in this world for why things happen? Yeah, find one particular cause, right? I had information that I discovered accidentally. Now I pass it on to others, and I say, Hey, check it out. Look, now you have that information. Will you check it out? And look, maybe a lot of things come together, they say that nothing exists in this universe without the whole universe making it. So I can’t find a singular cause for anything.
Rick Archer: That’s very wise. I mean, I’ve just been reading some books about physics and science and stuff like that. And, you know, it’s understood that nothing is that there are no sort of totally closed systems that are not influenced by everything. So there’s that so called butterfly effect, you know, where a butterfly flapping its wings in China could influence I think it’s chaos theory, where could it could influence the weather in New York or something? everything is interrelated. And, you know, there, you could say, there are reasons for everything, but actually, figuring them out, could very easily be beyond human intellect.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, and, you know, it couldn’t just be the butterfly, because there are so many other right, so many things, things going on here. So yeah, you can’t, you can’t pick out one cause least least of all, the I, the I didn’t know, this one doesn’t have an effect on anything. I, I liken that to a radio broadcaster, you know, sitting up in the glass dome, above the hockey game, watching the hockey game and nattering on about the hockey game, and oh, and he did it because of this, and he did it. And he’s gonna do this, what and it has absolutely nothing to do with the game. They can say whatever they want, but it has nothing to do with the game.
Rick Archer: The players aren’t listening to the to that guy,
Cindy Teevens: right. And they’re not playing so.
Rick Archer: So if they’re Eastern teachings, which say that the mind has a natural tendency to seek a field of greater happiness, and that there’s infinite joy inherent within us, deep within Ananda bliss. So given those two points, why do you suppose it is that everybody suffers so much? I mean, it’s like we’re, metaphorically speaking. It’s like we’re millionaires who have this vast wealth, and yet we’re sort of begging on the street corners, you know, to be I have a cup of coffee.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, it is most amazing, really. And I think it’s because we do all want to be happy it is our natural state. But we get confused about where happiness comes from what it source is, and how to get it. You don’t have to get it you actually are it. But the moment you think you need to get it, you go looking for it and some thing and you’re agitated. You’re agitated, like say I had this nice little tape measure, and you really, really wanted it. Right? You really, really want it Look at that. It’s got a keychain. Really, really want this, but I have it. What goes on?
Rick Archer: With me, I think I’ll go down to Walmart. Easier than coming up to Ottawa to take yours.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, so you’re planning? How am I going to get that because you really want it and you’re agitated, because you know, she has it and I don’t and there’s a dissatisfaction. And the minute that you do get it to, here you go, you know you have it, if we could send that to you. You stop agitating yourself, and you feel so much better. This is the same relief that I got when I did that. And we think this causes our pain. And it’s really confusion, or sorry that this causes our happiness. It’s really confusion. As I say the happiness lies, things don’t make you happy or unhappy. And we’ve inherited that lie generation after generation. Well, because it
Rick Archer: kind of seems like they do. I mean, you get you get into the great relationship, and you’re so happy. And then the great relationship goes sour, and you’re so unhappy. And you know, you get you get the job promotion, and you’re so happy. And then your new your new boss is a jerk and you’re so unhappy. So it seems like external circumstances have a lot to do with our happiness. So you can’t blame people for thinking they do.
Cindy Teevens: What’s missed is it’s not the circumstances or the thing or the event. It’s the thoughts about it. Oh, Isn’t She Great? This new relationship, right? She’s She’s what I’m looking for. She’s perfect. So you’re onto these good feelings, thoughts, and they’re temporary as long as they last. And then reality sets in three months later, after the rose colored glasses falls off. And now maybe the negative thinking comes in. I don’t know, she’s not what I thought she was she she pretended to be something else. And so we’re not, we’re not paying attention to what’s actually going on. So we miss what actually causes her pain.
Rick Archer: But it is natural for people to want things. It’s natural for people to want relationships and a comfortable house and you know, car and all that stuff. And so like, distinguish for me the difference between a person who resides in a state of happiness, regardless of whether or not they get this data, the other thing that they want, and people whose happiness sort of roller coasters according to what they’re getting, are losing.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, roller coaster is a great analogy. And that’s what it is, right? If you’re, when you’re attached to things, people or events, you’re going to be jerked up and down and all around by things and events, the change, because that’s what they do, everything changes. And so the difference is, you enjoy what comes. And if it goes, you don’t suffer, you’re not attached.
Rick Archer: And how do you attain that detachment?
Cindy Teevens: Well, you have to start recognizing that your happiness doesn’t lie in things, people or events that it’s here and available all the time, if you’re looking toward it. And when I say that, that sounds conceptual, your power of attention, I speak about the five powers we’re all born with. And you need to be aware of where’s your attention right now. And then you start to realize, oh, and my attention is on something I don’t want. I feel it. And it feels bad. When my attention is on something. I like I feel that. But your attention can also not narrow onto one thing or another and just stay open. And you are just present and your being is naturally joyful. And it doesn’t have anything to do with anything. And so I think direct experience, a lot of people have ideas about things that sound good. But everybody I hear them saying again and again. And again. I know that mentally but I want to get it in my bones or get it in my cells. So what’s going on here? What makes it a concept is having it as a thought that somebody you’ve said that sounds good, but not actually having it in your direct experience. So connecting the dots up that way. You know, one example is people will say, yeah, everything is one we’re all one. But this is one example of I haven’t mentally but you know, we’re all one until my neighbor lets his dog bark at four in the morning and now I’m running around and so It has to take it from a concept and put it into your direct experience, it has to become your direct reality. And so this idea that we’re all one is just an idea. And they’ll say, well, but I don’t have to why don’t I have the direct experience? You know, of this one? Self? I said, well, actually you do. You never don’t have it, you’re having it 24/7 You’re having the direct experience 24/7. But it’s just not your perception. And why is it not your perception is because you have false knowledge, false knowledge that says there is a separation, which you and I just explored that there isn’t a separation in the universe anywhere. So you have a thought that says, There’s you and me and the world, and we’re all separate. And that sort of supersedes and overrides reality. And so the work I do with people is to is really pointing to direct living truths that collide up against our beliefs. And one or two has to go, one of the two. Just like with me, I either had to give up the joy, and go into the suffering, or keep the joy and ignore the suffering and ignore the bad thoughts. And I chose the joy.
Rick Archer: Okay, so that was a really good point, you’re just making one that I would ask you a question about if you hadn’t made it, which is, you know, how do you go from this being a concept, and it’s easy to entertain concepts to it sort of being in your bones to use your phrase, there’s a Tibetan saying, which I often quote, which is that don’t mistake understanding for realization. And I see people doing that a lot. They read enough books and listen to enough talks, and they get really good with the words. And then many times, they sort of feel like, okay, well, I’m enlightened, because we’re all enlightened. Right? And I understand that, and that’s all there is to it. And and I’m done. You know, so right now, there’s, like, 110 people listening to this live, and there’ll be 1000s, listening to it later. What can you say to the people listening to this interview, that would enable them to shift more from conceptual reality to actual experience? And I presume that, you know, to really go more deeply into it, they’d want to get more involved with you and on an ongoing basis, but what can you give them in the context of this interview that would enable them to make that shift? To some degree?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, yes, everybody can do this, what you just need to do is pay attention to your direct experience, as opposed to a thought about it. For example, where there’s these ideas and thoughts that there is separation, that there is a you and me, right? So in your direct experience, though, can you separate my words from your hearing?
Rick Archer: No.
Cindy Teevens: You cannot, I’ve not found anybody who can do this in their direct experience, all you could do is have a thought about it and go, Oh, no, there’s a you and there’s me. And this is all thought. So in your actual direct experience, you cannot separate my words from your hearing. So whose words are they really?
Rick Archer: Well, I guess that you would, you’re probably asking me to say my words in a way because I’m hearing them. And yet I don’t have any control over what you’re saying. You could start singing Happy Birthday right now or something and, and then switch to purple haze, and I wouldn’t be able to stop you. Well, I could stop.
Cindy Teevens: So there’s that idea, there’s of you and me, and I can’t stop you. Because there has to be the idea of you first, in order for there to be the idea of me. And if you throw away the idea of you as a separate being with some kind of control, just for a moment. And look again, can you separate my words from your hearing? I don’t actually want you to say, these are my words. It would be I can’t find a you are me. I find words I find hearing seeing touching, tasting.
Rick Archer: So with one way of phrasing it be well, you know, the creation rolls along and all of its diversity and glory and mystery. And, and, you know, we have control over very little, if any of it and, and, you know, is that the kind of thing you’re alluding to?
Cindy Teevens: That’s not to say that there is no you okay, there’s a lot of non dualist thought out there that says, oh, there isn’t anybody I’m not here. You know, you’re imagining me. It’s not that you don’t exist. Right. It’s there is not a separate you and a separate me. So, with the direct recognition, the direct seeing in the woods, it was, I saw for the first time through this body mind that everything is the same eye is me. I am not limited to this body person that I thought I was that that is not who I am
Rick Archer: would it be true to say in your experience and understanding that both are true that there is not a separate me and there is a separate me and that paradoxically, both of them kind of coexist, just like, you know, there’s only water, but there’s also waves, they’re still water, but they can be distinguished as waves.
Cindy Teevens: But if the wave had a thought of I’m a separate wave, I’m going to do something different. And why does this always happen to me? This overlay on the wave doesn’t exist, it has no reality whatsoever. The reality the identity, the wave is a wave. And this is a direct identity and not a thought based identity. And the wave is not separate from the ocean wave and ocean one in the same. So it works. But what we keep trying to do is keep our I thought I want to keep my separate me. And this has to go this is what has to go.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But well, let me just belabor this. So you know, a surfer is out there on the ocean, he says, oh, here comes a really good wave. I think I’ll take this one. So there is some distinction, if we if we can carry the metaphor this far that there is some distinction between the waves, and yet, it’s all one ocean the surfer is sitting on and really the wave can’t fundamentally be distinguished from the ocean. So you know, I just heard a talk on this yesterday from a friend. So that’s why I was thinking about it. But it almost seems like the, you know, it’s it’s kind of not totally true or helpful to totally deny one or the other of the two,
Cindy Teevens: you know, the wave exists and the ocean exists. They’re one in the same. But what we do is we have, we would be like a wave thinking it’s a special wave, right? That wants to continue as a separate identity. Yeah, yeah. And that’s where the error is made.
Rick Archer: Okay. So to get back to get this back to having the experience in our bones. We’re getting a little conceptual here, you and I both think we’ve clarified something. So practically speaking again, we probably already said it, but say it again. How does one go through one’s day, not being so utterly convinced by you know, the individual dramas and being less attached, less kicked about by them?
Cindy Teevens: I would start more fundamentally, one of the things that I used to do was play with my direct experience my direct senses. So one time I was sitting out on a bench with a friend and an aeroplane went by and I and I said to her, where’s the sound? And she said, in the airplane. I said, so without errors there sound. She said, No, I said, so where’s the sound? She said, it’s in the air. And I said, so without the eardrum? Is there sound? Juice? Oh, no. So where’s the sound? It’s in the eardrum. So without the aeroplane, is there sound? And she just stopped dumbfounded, you know? And so did I, because it’s the first time I had ever done that. And it occurred to me, the sound is not somewhere as separate, localized, and neither are any of our senses. I cannot separate a cup. From my feeling. It’s hard, it’s shiny, it’s, you know, I cannot separate any of the senses from the sense. And this is the end of duality. Okay, duality only exists in the mind not in reality. Yeah, and so using the senses this way, right? It’s going to rub up against the mind and minds gonna say Yeah, but what you do is you use your direct experience to inform the mind rather than the mind informing you about reality.
Rick Archer: So give us an example of that.
Cindy Teevens: Sounds are one sounds are fabulous for this. Any sound that you hear? Try to find where it is. Trying to find where you are. Where do you start? Where does the sound end this type of thing. And it’s really going to mess with your identity with your location, so it’s going to mess with all Love the ideas of me as a separate, localized person. And you can do the same with anything you’re looking at seeing, feeling hearing, touching, tasting. And you’ll notice the difference between that and the thought about that. And that can help you wake up out of the dream because the Dream is all thought based what I call the movie in the mind, which is going to be thoughts, feelings, memories, it can be still shots can be moving shots, it can be smells, all of that goes on in the midst of what is actually going on. And the two aren’t, they don’t match up.
Rick Archer: So another way of understanding this be that I mean, you take, let’s say, a human being and a bat, and a cow, dog, and they’re all kind of looking at the same tree or something and you know, we understand that actually, they’re each thing something very very different. Maybe if there’s sounds the bat can hear certain things which the end a dog can hear certain things which we can and so so so it’s like each mechanism each individuality is fabricating really a completely different universe out of that very apparently same experience. And so which one is true? Which one is real? Is that kind of what you’re getting at?
Cindy Teevens: Well, they’re all different bodies and so the experience of the body mind is different for each but there’s only one self it’s like you can have gold you can have a gold watch and you can have a gold necklace. They look different in shape and form in different name and there’s a different experience involved but in essence they’re all gold Yeah. What are we looking at? What are what have we put our attention on? What are we focused on we focused on the form and we say that is a separate being this is all thought based? It’s not reality based? Where is that being seen heard? felt sensed? Is it outside of you somewhere so using your direct experience this way can eat up start to dismantle the false self, the false separate self.
Rick Archer: Is this something that you find yourself doing all day long? Or is it something that you kind of went through a phase of doing? And then it became kind of second nature?
Cindy Teevens: I don’t have to do it if that’s what you mean. I everything to me is the oneself and what is going on here is I’m seeing hearing touching tasting the self
Rick Archer: Yeah, you mentioned when you had that experience in the woods fell to your knees. That was the initial that was the predominant thing initially was whoa, I’m everything is myself. And of course, we’ve all heard that kind of that kind of saying that we’re seeing the world in terms of itself, unity consciousness and so on. Can you elaborate on a little bit on that? I mean, obviously, it’s not like you’re seeing Cindy everyplace. Cindy, Cindy and Cindy bird it’s not that’s not the self you’re referring to so you know what’s the actual living experience of that?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, yeah. When I tell people the story when they try to retell it to me they say you saw yourself as the trees up know everybody starts from a central me and wants to project me out there it’s me fell away. This idea of me fell away and so what is revealed? Is this AI that is fundamental to everybody is omnipresent. You cannot go anywhere without everywhere you go there you are. Isn’t that the same thing? Yeah. is omnipresent and it is what everything is and including you and that’s the direct reality and the direct truth. What happens is we get a thought about it with it. So we have this idea of me right? So when we think about oneness, we want to think that I become one with something else that I get to retain the me and it’s somehow merges with something else but I still retain me you know, it’s like no one means the same. No difference one without a second and, and that’s what it was. So, you know, I look up at the trees. i Yes, I see them as trees, shapes of trees, leaves, whatnot, but indisputable inarguable recognition of myself. And so what had to happen is the false self had to fall away for this to be revealed. For it to be not present, and I went to say it’s me Oh, nothing came out. And I looked everywhere I looked all the same. I couldn’t speak. Who would I speak to? So, what it is, is this i that everybody has, you think it’s a separate in a different in a distinct and a special eye. But it’s the same eye? And it’s just are you identifying with what you’re not? Which is things and bodies and thoughts and feelings in the movie in the mind? Or are you recognizing the one eye, the oneself? And after a while, you know, I laughed and cried and laughed. It’s just hilarious. I don’t I don’t know why. So it’s just hilarious. Because all your life, you are striving and trying and afraid of what’s out there and protecting yourself and you realize there is nobody to protect against. There’s nothing to do there’s nowhere to go. It is the cosmic joke. And yeah, I laughed and cried and laughed and cried. It was like every cell in my body was being tickled simultaneously. And I know you when you were a kid, you’re being tickled beyond where you you know, started hurt after a while, right? But this didn’t hurt. I was like, Is this gonna hurt? A spotless there was no thought at this point. If no, never for one minute hurt and just eventually, you know, exhausted. And I stood up in the in the sun was going down. And I you know, and I just knew I could stay here forever, but I could stay anywhere because nothing matters. And then I realized, though, that I’m co hosting a party that night. Oh, well, yeah, I can stay anywhere. I’ll go to the party. Right. So I was late. I got home. And I phoned my friend and I said okay.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you better not drive call a cab.
Cindy Teevens: was almost like that. Yeah. I was trying to get the laughter under control, you know, and I tried to tell her in the car. What happened, and it was just, I couldn’t speak it. And these were a bunch of spiritual friends. We were going to have this party with them. Hey, guys, come here. Come here. I gotta tell you something is the most on the one hand, profound thing, but it was also the most normal thing. And when I got a few people around, I started to go, Yeah, well, I looked up and looked at couldn’t say it couldn’t say it. I mean, I tried to. And as one Zen master says, When I tried to speak it, it sounds like something out of a dog’s mouth. Yeah, but in that moment of not being able to speak. It was a few moments later speech came back. But it was a faint voice. And it was way over there to the left. And there was this, like, well, I know who I am. Who the hell are you? But of course, it didn’t never answer because it’s not a who. Right. And speech came back. Yeah, clearly. And, you know, came louder, but I couldn’t ever identify with it the same way. It’s not just speech. It’s the voice in the head that we have. And that we identify as us. And as other people, so we tell stories about us and other people that have nothing to do with other people. And that’s that’s how you know, 40 years of self baggage can fall away, because it has nothing to do with you. Never did.
Rick Archer: Did you find that this shift to seeing everything in terms of the self made you much more compassionate, like there’s that saying, by Jesus, you know, Whatsoever you do unto the least of these you do unto me. And you know, that poem by John Donne. If not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. So there’s that kind of unity with all things does it? Does it make you more sensitive to the plight of all things?
Cindy Teevens: It does not in a suffering way, in a very, very compassionate way. And it brings you to really take care of this moment, whatever it is, you know, no more. Oh, gee, I don’t want to take out the garbage now. It’s too cold out or something. Like no, you find yourself just taking out the garbage and taking care of the moment because because everything is you, you know, and you are everything. And it’s just that is natural. Yeah, it is natural.
Rick Archer: Just remember the song there was some song The words were remember this song. You are everything and everything is you.
Cindy Teevens: And everything is, oh my God. That’s a blast from the past. Who would have known, eh?
Rick Archer: So again, I come back to the thought, Okay, this sounds great. Everyone would love to have this. How does it? How do you make it happen? And I just kept coming back to the practicality. I mean, I want to be like, Cindy, how do I do it?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, once again, you can’t do it because you have to disappear. But maybe that’s the thing you need to do, you know, maybe the last thing you need to do and what happened for me there was more to it, than just an explosion of love. And boom, it happened, you know, spontaneously as if nothing came before it. Of course, something always does. And there was the desire to know the truth, there was a desire to know God, actually, and I was not spiritual. In that way. I didn’t, you know, follow any religion or anything, but I started looking at God as the unknown as everything other than me. I guess that I didn’t prior
Rick Archer: to the shift, there was this desire saying? Yes, yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Cindy Teevens: So the mystery, you know, of what’s going on here. And I actually fell in love with with love and joy itself, is what happened, I discovered that when you shifted your attention from out there onto what you think you need to be happy, onto here. Wow, first relief, then love, joy, peace, and the longer you stay there, the bigger grow. And so I pursued that, like a lover. I became obsessed with it, actually, I fell in love with love. And something weird happened. At some point, I was the one pursuing it, I would go out in the woods for hours on end and just indulge in this, in this joy, this very, real, very sense oriented, love and joy. And at some point, it started to pursue me. The me I thought I was right. Meaning it was happening out of my control. When I didn’t want it to happen. I would be at a grocery store or something and see something. And woman with a child, you know, and it just started bawling, right? No, no, no, this can’t happen here. But when this started happening, it wasn’t. I didn’t have any choice anymore in the matter. And so I just found myself seeking the woods more and more and more and more. And in the moment before the explosion of love at the Chesed. It was very visceral, very physical. I had said, basically, this is so good, and it’s just getting better. I don’t care what I do. Because at that point, I was struggling with business and doing what I wanted to do. And I just I don’t care what I do do with me what you will just complete surrender to that. And, and then moments after that was this inquiry while I’m seeking God now very potently, very intensively and I asked, Well, if God is everywhere, and this is what we hear God is everywhere to overstone. Right? If God is everywhere, how come? It’s not obvious? Right? And I remembered hearing, I can’t think of his name right now, a teacher say that there is no question. That is a true question. They’re all a statement of your doubt. And then I saw I turned on the question. I said, Well, what is obvious? Well, trees are obvious rocks are obvious. And it’s like, we think we know what trees and rocks are. They become mundane to us, but suddenly became miraculous. And I was like, well, everything is God. Oh, that includes me. I’m not separate from everything. And this explosion happened that hit my chest and then my head and just knock kneed my knees bawling, the intensity, the love and I was experiencing a lot of love and joy and bliss before then. This was just earth shattering.
Rick Archer: Again, it’s good. You were in the woods and at the grocery store
Cindy Teevens: (Laughs)
Rick Archer: there are several key components in what you said. One is the intensity of your desire. And we’ve all heard that story about the the guru who holds the disciples head under the water, you know, until they practically drowning, and then they say this is how bad they have to want it. So there’s that and you want to comment on that before I continue.
Cindy Teevens: Absolutely. I love that story. It’s you have to be extreme to reach the Supreme. You can’t sit on the fence and muck around and you’re just playing in the mind. There has to be a desire a flame lit that will make you go beyond and beyond what will be on the mind. Right because usually we stop at the mind, mind will say, No, you can’t feel that good. Okay? All right, and it’s reaffirmed, mine will say all kinds of things like your separate there. And so all of our doubts need to be addressed. They need to be compared against your actual direct reality. And see, wait a minute, what’s really going on here? What’s really the truth? Don’t just accept what mine has to say. And don’t stop. So people say, Well, I have a job, I have family, I have to this doesn’t matter. It’s like when you fall in love it whatever you’re doing what’s on your mind? That person, right? So fall in love with love, or God or whatever. And whatever you’re doing, this is top of mind, don’t let it go.
Rick Archer: Well, you know, buddy, Holly said, it’s so easy to fall in love. And thinking of a lot of songs today, you haven’t really had me remembering a Frank Zappa song a few minutes ago, but I didn’t mention it. It can’t happen here. That was from the mother of invention. But anyway, so the question here is, how do you intensify that desire, you know, the disciple who gets his head held under the water, the master wants to show him how intensely he has to desire, God or realization? How do what do you do? What Does anyone do to ramp up the intensity of the desire?
Cindy Teevens: For me, it was easy, because I just fell in love. Yeah, I just fell in love. So I’m a proponent of joy, love, but you have to take it to the extreme, you know, I tell people this all the time, but not many people take me up on it, you know, they’re either embarrassed or whatever, they feel so good. But then they put a cap on it, they won’t do it in person with other people in a group or whatever. I say, Fine, go home, do it in the privacy, your own home your own, you know, your own neurology and just push beyond where you think you can go. As soon as you hear mine say you can’t, then you should? Then you should, then you must. If you really want this, you know, and if the fire has been lit in all truth, you don’t have a choice in it. It won’t be much longer for you.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah, there’s a subtle thing here. I mean, you just said if the fire has been lit, I remember Alma using the analogy of a burning log, like someone who’s really on fire, it’s like a burning log and, you know, a long that’s not lit, or that maybe it’s even damp or something, that log can get more dried out and begin burning itself if it gets close to the burning lock. And so I’m kind of thinking here, you know, what people can do to intensify the desire and not just sort of thing, oh, hum, whatever, you know, and you with you, it almost seems like you had no choice, you were just on this mission. And, you know, one thing led to the next but maybe it’s, you know, I mean, maybe just the desire or the intention, maybe it just it really has to, maybe it’s a matter of see if you agree with this, maybe it’s just a matter of where you put your attention. I mean, if you really want this, you’re going to just put your attention in this area more and more and more and more and one thing lead to the next. You don’t just get to the top of a mountain in one step. But each step takes you closer.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, yes, I can absolutely agree with that. Yeah. And I encourage people to fall in love with love itself, not a thing or person. And understand that even if there was a person in front of you, and you are feeling love, recognize the source of that love. It’s not out there. Where is it really to check to do this, you know, reality check, I call it of what is actually going on. And you’ll notice a good feeling thought, yes, and but that doesn’t diminish the love. That actually should release the love when you realize that the love is not attached to somebody, it’s no longer limited to them what their actions are, or who they are, it becomes unlimited. And so if you get a taste of this unlimited love that goes beyond the mind, you could become addicted to it like I did. And that could be adding fire to the flame or adding gas to the flame, you know. So that’s some way another way is having a direct realization of some sort that goes against the mind. You’re like, your mind, I’ll say that can be anything but it is. Alright, this is one of your parents talk about the fifth power of authority. You’re the authority nobody else is. And so that’s what happened to me. I was in this pain, then I was in this joy and mindset. You can’t be happy and I already am. Thank you very much. And I prefer it. So I stay here with it. And so what happens is your we have put our power of authority into untruths. So we experience those as if they’re real. And what needs to happen is you need to start to have things rub up against that where you realize, oh, look at that I was happy even though in this case normally I wouldn’t be but look, I am. So it has nothing to do with that. And you start to disentangle yourself from the happiness lie. This is what needs to happen. Find the joy within suffering will not do it. There were times I went out in the woods angry at God. Joy yourself, if you’re real, how can you blah, blah, blah. Of course, that’s all on mine stuff, right? And it’s going to go nowhere. But it seems we do have to do that to a point till we give up on it. We do need to do the intensive inquiry until we give up on that. And use as Mooji says a different power. I heard him say that when I have a different power. Of course you do. Other than the mind. Yeah, there’s you are alive. You know, not just between the ears. You have the whole universe? What is the Rumi quote? I don’t remember. You have the whole universe. I say you have the whole universe. Why do you play in your little 3d sandbox? Oh, right. Yeah, that’s something like that. Mind is the way I put it. Right. So oh, I have the whole universe. What does that mean? So go experiment. I encourage experimenting. Experience.
Rick Archer: And one little summary point that comes to mind for this part of the conversation is, you know that to what you give your attention grows stronger in your life?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, yes. It’s like a magnifying glass. Everything gets bigger, louder, brighter, it appears real. And that’s why we can suffer so severely to you get wrapped up into that. And it looks big. And it looks like that’s all there is. And that’s all there ever can be. And it is not the truth. You know, it is just not the reality.
Rick Archer: What are these five powers are that you refer to? Would it be useful to talk about those?
If I can demonstrate the two minute technique to inner peace? Is that a great way to do it? Okay. Okay, good. So the first power is your power of awareness. And there’s nothing you need to do for that it’s completely free. Right? How easy is it to hear what you hear? Automatic? doesn’t take any effort whatsoever, right? Doesn’t take an eye doing it. Can’t help but hear can’t help but hear. All right. So that’s your Power of Awareness. The second one is your power of attention. And I can demonstrate it by asking you are you feeling your left foot right now?
Rick Archer: Now, I am.
Cindy Teevens: That I mentioned it?
Rick Archer: Now that you mentioned it, yeah.
Cindy Teevens: So what happened? Had your foot stopped feeling?
Rick Archer: My attention had been focused on you. And so I wasn’t paying very close attention to my foot.
Yes, your attention is elsewhere either on me or your thoughts. But what I’m saying right? Yes. So can you sense into the top of your head? Yes. What about your right shoulder?
Rick Archer: Yep, there it is.
Cindy Teevens: Add it to okay, what happened? Your foot?
Rick Archer: I don’t have a foot anymore. hadn’t been paying attention. shifting around?
Cindy Teevens: Yes. So attention. So when you go from your feet to your head, can you do that? Like back and forth? Feels like a movement? Right?
Rick Archer: Yeah, you can even do both at once if you want to.
Cindy Teevens: That would require an opening your attention. So your attention can contract? Yeah, it can open right. So when you go from your foot, you go to your feet, you contract you open up and you can track down your head open. So this is what is the movement appears like a movement, right? So yeah, and you can direct it and you can narrow it. And this is how we can have selective hearing. Because if you can eliminate or appear to eliminate a foot, how much more can you eliminate things that other people are saying, right? I was actually in a in a 2000 room workshop. And the guy was up there with a megaphone and he was like, you know, going away talking really fast. And I got an idea and I’m like, Okay, I gotta write down this idea. And I turned the sound up on my idea and down on his voice. And I got my idea written down. And then he came back in. And I Oh, I missed what he said, Oh, and then I had to ask somebody else What did he say? So even though he’s got this microphone, we can actually do that with our attention. So this is how we become blind, deaf and ignorant. When you get in a blind rage. You can not see the person behind you that you cut off. You have narrowed your power of attention on onto one thing to the exclusion of practically everything else. But it can also open now when your attention is you’re not taking conscious control of it. It goes on on autopilot, like your breathing, are you breathing? Now that I mentioned it, I see it’s a good thing our breathing doesn’t require our conscious breathing, but all fall over. So it goes on autopilot, and so does your pair of attention, right, next shiny object, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
Rick Archer: Now seems like there’s a value to this, though. I mean, if, let’s say you’re a neurosurgeon, you’re operating, you’re being very careful, you don’t necessarily want to be aware of your foot, or, you know, the ticking of the clock on the wall or something like that, you need to focus on what you need to focus on. But I think what you’re getting at is that if if focus, precludes comprehensive awareness, if you lose, if you lose the forest for the trees, then, you know, and because you’re, you know, routine work does demand or even any, any focus work does demand our focused attention. But you know, then we lose the comprehensive awareness. So the ideal would be to be able to have both simultaneously, which, which wouldn’t mean that you’re necessarily aware of every little possible sensory input all the time. But there’s the underlying awareness, which is, which is unbounded that could be there along with focusing on a particular thing, am I right? So to get
Cindy Teevens: yeah, pretty, pretty close. The thing is, if you focus too narrowly, you may miss something like that sponge in the patient’s belly. So it is possible to stay open and aware and hear everything but focus on no particular thing
Rick Archer: was the focus, like you’re stitching them up, you need to focus on how you’re doing the stitching, you know, you don’t need to be aware of, you know, some helicopter flying over outside or something you need to focus on, on what the task is.
Cindy Teevens: Certain things you’ll decide, are important and or not. And that’s generally what happens. But what we tend to do is decide this one thing is important, what you said is important, and nothing else matters. And we’re not actually hearing what you said, We’re doing what we thought you said. And we’re not consciously aware of that. But coming back to it is you can be aware of everything and it doesn’t impede anything. It doesn’t impede you doing what you’re doing. There is there is nothing that blocks you. Nothing can nothing can block awareness.
Rick Archer: So right now, are you aware of that plant behind you?
Cindy Teevens: Yes.
Rick Archer: Now you are.
Cindy Teevens: But it’s in front of me.
Rick Archer: I’m seeing one behind you.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I’m feeling my feet and taking the peripheral. I haven’t we haven’t finished the Okay. Well, let me keep going through the back. Yeah. So so. So your attention will go on unconscious autopilot and cause all kinds of grief if you’re not aware that this is what’s going on. But you can open your attention, as you already knew, if you can sense into your feet and the top of your head at the same time, take in your peripheral vision at the same time. And notice your breath moving in and out all at the same time. And do that for a few in and out breaths. What’s that? Like?
Rick Archer: It’s like your awareness softens and expands.
Cindy Teevens: So attention is softened and expanded and opening. Is it quiet? Yes. more quiet. Yeah. But you hear things right. So how’s it quiet?
Rick Archer: It seems like the it’s more settled state.
Cindy Teevens: What’s absent?
Rick Archer: I don’t know, is this a trick question?
Cindy Teevens: To check it again to see
Rick Archer: absent I would say as well more settled by definition means less agitated less, you know, more coherent, less incoherent.
Cindy Teevens: Less agitated.
Rick Archer: Yeah, less agitated.
Cindy Teevens: What would you normally be agitated with?
Rick Archer: Well, I think mind itself is a is a sort of a stirred up state of awareness. It’s an agitated state to whatever degree
Cindy Teevens: and movement of mind. So our thoughts are thought absent.
Rick Archer: Pardon? Yeah, thoughts become absent. In fact, the second verse of the Yoga Sutras says that the Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, yoga is bringing together union union. And when you open your attention to everything simultaneously, nothing is separated anymore. But mostly, you’re not putting your power of attention into the mind into the movie in the mind into the stream of thinking is that’s really its power source. And that’s edge and that edge hates it. And so people say it’s quiet. It can hear everything. But it’s quiet. I did this in a room at a Zoomer show with, you know, 70 and 80 year old people with a band in every corner, and noise everywhere and they weren’t. It’s quiet. Yes, the noise isn’t the outer noise. It’s the inner noise. Yeah. So I call that coming to your senses. And I call also the two minute technique to inner peace. But it’s actually about two seconds, you know? But if I told people that nobody would believe me.
Rick Archer: So is this something you would advocate doing all day long? Whenever you think of it?
Cindy Teevens: Sure. Yeah. doing dishes, brushing your teeth at first, these are good examples of, of when you can come to your senses. And what you can learn to do as you step out of the movie, and the mind, the illusion, the dream. And you become very aware of all the senses. Some people will use the word grounding, it’s very grounding.
Rick Archer: Yeah, grounding is a good word. What I experienced to think about this is just that, naturally, habitually. Not always, but there’s a tendency for the awareness to sort of be settled to the optimum degree under the circumstances. So if I’m driving, for instance, I can drive long distances without getting tired, because there’s not a lot of excess agitation or anything, but I’m fully paying attention to what’s going on. But there’s sort of no extra education like, Oh, my God, oh, what’s what’s he doing? You know, you can keep yourself in a frenzy. Yeah, and that that’s not productive.
Cindy Teevens: No, yeah. And what you’re describing to me, it sounds like that’s what people do when they meditate on a thing. Meditate on a candle, which means you eliminate everything else. Right? We’re supposed to try to when you’re driving, you are paying attention to the driving, hopefully. But how many times have you ever driven across the city got to the other side? And not remember the trip?
Rick Archer: Yeah, what happens? Not that much anymore. But it? Yeah, because you’re off in your thoughts. You’re distracted? You’re
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you’re in, you’re thinking about what happened minute ago, before you left? Or what’s going to happen when you get there or something. Right. So movie in the mind is running, you might even miss your your exit. And this is a universal experience. Almost every driver I know is I think every driver I know is said Yeah, me I’ve done that. It’s even some people have gone through red lights because of that. Yeah. And so yeah, it it’s a sort of form of meditation, I think it’s probably a very useful one, because you’re not particularly focusing on only one thing, in which case mind can come in and play some games, you are aware of everything simultaneously. Nothing is lost, nothing is omitted. Thoughts may come and go. Sure. They may come and go, but you’re not engaging them.
Rick Archer: Not obsessing on them. Yeah. So an important phase of your life, you dedicated, exclusive time to this process, you know, spending a lot of time in the woods and stuff like that. And what what you’ve been referring to last few minutes is something you might do while you’re driving or washing the dishes or whatever. Do in addition to that sort of thing. Do you advocate some sort of exclusive time, like such as a quiet meditation period, or retreats or anything else to just really go as deeply as possible?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I used to, and I still do sit. I don’t do it for the purpose of going as deeply as possible. I just enjoy it.
Rick Archer: But not only for your own sake, but I’m talking about people that might be listening to this and you know, what would you advocate as a daily routine for them?
Cindy Teevens: Absolutely. Yeah, sure, definitely. Meditate. And when I say meditate, I don’t mean some kind of concentrated, guided, guided or concentrated or with music, or something like that. The sort of the Western idea of what meditation is, sort of Eastern meditation is you sit still, you know, at a blank wall, doing nothing straight and tall. And I would suggest people look up how to sit because there is a certain form that helps you not fall asleep and whatnot. And follow that yeah, once a day, I would definitely suggest that but don’t let it stop there. People usually think Well, I did my meditation and then they go by their usual mind, you know, during the day, what the idea is what you learn when you’re sitting, you carry into your daily life. So every chance you get feel the feet Feel the breath, taking the peripheral vision notice, you know, all of the tactile senses. And you really start to learn the difference between being lost in the movie, the dream, the illusion, and what is actually going on here. When people do self inquiry may ask, who am I? First it starts on the level of mind of movie. And if you ask yourself, Who You Are you go to your mind. Oh, well, I’m Cindy. I’m a sister, daughter. I’m a, this is what I do. That’s the answer you’re going to get. And it seems that we have to burn through those until we give up on those. So answering it from the mind will never be productive, except that you might learn one day. Oh, it’s not there. The answer is not there. I’m not gonna find it there. I am not a thought about me. And you come to the stillness. And you do the inquiry for me here.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think when Ramana advocated self inquiry, he wasn’t. He wasn’t encouraging people to engage in a new form of mental chitchat, you know, who am I on? All kinds of mental agitation, he was advocating a much quieter settling in to, you know, a much more experiential. Yes. Yeah.
Cindy Teevens: Contemplative, experiential, introverted. And, actually, I love Ramana, his writings, all of them, I read them for fun, yes, just because I love it. And, you know, the direct seeing wasn’t the end of it. It wasn’t quite over yet. It was another week, there was still some questions and things that were stirring, the mind came back, right. And I did self inquiry very intensively in the woods, again. And there was a moment where mine just folded in on itself just self destructed. And that was the end of the questioning. So it seems like once you know the truth, and you allow it to inform the mind, instead of the mind informing you but the truth, which you can never do, then it’s inevitable. It will be over very shortly after that. This is why I’m a real proponent of looking at what’s actually going on getting very specific, you know, bringing this thing down to the ground. And that’s why some people say that this is down to earth yet spiritual. All the same thing to me. Yeah,
Rick Archer: so yeah. So you know, a plane lands and they keep running the jets for a little while. And before they totally shut them off. So, so you had this direct seeing in the woods, and then you had a week of still working through things. And and so you said the mind turned in on itself, and then it was over? Can you elaborate just a little bit more on that?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, so I was doing self inquiry and the answers were coming from the mind, who am I? Oh, Sandy, who am I?
Rick Archer: Directing you? We’re doing that kind of direct scene?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah. And I’d already done this before. Right. Okay. But I was still doing this after the drink. Seeing
Rick Archer: those answers must not have been very satisfactory. Because you knew that you’re something much deeper than that.
Cindy Teevens: Yes. And that contrast allowed this to happen, I think. And initially, that the answers would come from the mind. And I’d look at each one and go, nope, nope. Right. So everything that I said that I was in a positive way, then I started to look at it. Well, I’m not this and I’m not that and then through all those out too. And then there came a point where these are all thoughts. I might as very similar, I guess, to Eckhart Tolle is Am I a thought
Rick Archer: of me? Yeah.
Cindy Teevens: And it was like, I can’t describe it any more than that. It was that moment of, and it was over. The questions, the seeking, you know, I had been trying to find out what was that thing that happened? Who Was anybody else or anything like that, and I couldn’t find anybody. And, but that all fell away after that final. So the drag seeing is you see, you know, the truth of the oneself in which you are, and then this is you see what you’re not?
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re kind of like sifting through a basket of old clothes or something and tossing them out. Not this
Cindy Teevens: not. Exactly. And everybody has that capacity. I do this work with people and everybody can do that. You just You just have to do it. You have to do it intensively and see what you’re left with, you know.
Rick Archer: And so, that was like, what, five years ago or something?
Cindy Teevens: And that was in 2010.
Rick Archer: Okay,
Cindy Teevens: six years,
Rick Archer: six, seven years ago and and And so how, after that after that final thing a week after the direct saying, how did your life roll after that? And what was your momentary day to day experience? Like getting up in the morning cooking breakfast? I mean, just what was your orientation?
Cindy Teevens: experience was very strange. For three months, direct experience, I was taking buses at the time. And it was just, I can’t even I don’t even have words for what that experience was like, but it was. Yeah, I’m speechless on that. direct experience, I just want to say was very wonky. For three months, I think things were like, you know, settling, integrating, integrating and settling in and rewriting everything, you know, because everything is, that’s the best way to describe when when mind collapsed in on itself, it was rewritten. We could we could sort of look at it like a virus that says you are a separate person, and it’s running. And then it gets rewritten. Oh, you know, the virus itself is rerun, you are nothing. This is not who you are this thing. And so for three months, there was this weirdness, but it was joyful weirdness of experience. And then I was like, What am I going to do now? You know, I can do anything. I had written a book, and I was helping people shift state. And but I thought, well, what really matters right now, and I thought, I’ll get a dog because I like dogs, and I’ll go rescue people out of falling buildings, you know. But I had, I had a herniated disc at the time, so I wasn’t much good for that. And everyday life was just normal, but very joyful. It didn’t matter what I was doing. I’m I’m smiling. And that’s still the way it is now. That hasn’t changed. And then after three months, I said, Well, I’m pretty good with people. You know, I looked at the book that I had written I, I have to rewrite it. I have to clean it up out of concepts and, and meanness and I did a fair bit, but I didn’t entirely because I thought why not leave that for some people who relate to it, but put an asterix in and say, This is how what was believed then, as I thought I was something I wasn’t. And this is actually, you know, the truth. So I rewrote it. And I kept moving forward, just doing the shifts from pain and suffering to joy and happiness. And I was happy to leave it that way. Because I couldn’t speak this. Anyway, I thought. And what happened over time was when I was working with people, things started to come out. And then questions started to come. And more and more I spoke about, it’s only been about a year and a half now that I really overtly speak about it. And it just, it just happened on its own. It wasn’t like, I’m awake, and I have to go and the world save the world. No, it was very clear that world was fine. Yeah, so
Rick Archer: yeah, so it sounds like and this happens to everybody a period a period of acclamation is that the word climate is getting used to it, whatever, whatever that word is. Yeah. And integrating and embodying. And I mean, those kinds of words are very much in vogue these days, because pretty much everybody finds they have some kind of profound awakening. And they done you know, they have to learn to live it.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah. And, you know, the whole questioning of what was it and all of that didn’t matter just fell away. But accidentally, I came across somebody who had from the description of the exact same thing. And that was kind of Oh, interesting, but didn’t really matter. And that was Adyashanti. Sure. Yeah. And so that was like, Yeah, okay. Everything is like that now? Very well. Yes. Yes, I enjoy him too. There’s a few, a few speakers and writers some living some debt that I that I enjoy, but not many. That was the other thing that happened, I lost total interest in this spiritual thing. I had all these spiritual friends who were seeking and doing this and doing that, and I just, like, not interested. There’s nothing to do everything’s okay. And I know that that you know, to them, because it wouldn’t have really helped me either. So
Rick Archer: if that doesn’t happen to me, I’ll be out of a job.
Cindy Teevens: Well, maybe not. I wasn’t out of a job. You know, it just may come up in a different form. Yeah. And you carry on right. So don’t let that get in your way.
Rick Archer: So what happened after three months? I mean, was it just that after three months there had been enough adjustment and and that it was just another sort of settling down phase that you’ve finished off and the whole thing became more normal?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, you that’s basically glia just sort of like faded, you know, I never sought that experience again. I never wanted it again. What for? I have the sorry, the, the bliss, the joy, the laughter of the direct seeing, you know,
Rick Archer: didn’t continue.
Cindy Teevens: Oh, laughter and joy continues. But
Rick Archer: the giddiness of the initial transitioned and continue.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, yeah, the the I don’t even know what to call it. giddiness is a good word.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re able to keep it together in grocery stores.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, I’m able to do that. Although sometimes, so sometimes some tears and things do come up. But it’s, it’s, there was a movie that I saw that that triggered it later on. It was very powerful. And my friends were all disturbed. And that was just one more reason to not, you know, indulgent, although I don’t have any say in that. It’s three months of this wonkiness and then be prior to that there was one other thing that I would think is important to touch on. And that is, I heard Mooji say this a lot. You know, people will say I had this experience. And then. And then so they end up putting it into the past mind grabs it and takes it. And he goes arisen again. And it gets added unto me. All of this goes on instead of the me falling away. And that almost happened. But I knew enough from the teachers I had studied. And there was a video that I watched a movie that particular week, where he said, yeah, there’s the experience. But what about the context? You know, and to me that meant what about the truth? Is the truth, the truth? Is it still true? That there is the one self? Yes, of course. And so it never happened, I didn’t so called lose it. You don’t lose it, you just trade it for something else.
Rick Archer: I mean, even though as you walk around or right now, as you’re looking at me on your computer monitor, do you still see everything in terms of the self?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I can’t separate your words from my hearing. There’s,
Rick Archer: I mean, if you walk down the street, and you look at people and dogs and trees and cars, is it all the self? I’m seeing myself? Self? Yeah,
Cindy Teevens: absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And that was, could have been compromised at some point, before the mind self destructed. And before this confirmation of the truth settled in? And that was in the first week?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, a lot of times people do have intermittent tastes of this various things like this. And then eventually they become abiding, you know, they become stable.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, biting is an interesting word. And I think it has a lot to do with recognizing the truth, you know, your power of authority. And saying, No, this is the way it is mine may be trying to say something else. But no, this is the truth. So upholding the truth, you know?
Rick Archer: Yeah. One thing that I often am curious about. And, you know, in talking with Adi Shanti, and others, they all seem to say, you know, even though there have been profound shifts, and that it hasn’t just been a flash in the pan, but it’s been abiding after that. And they get used to it, it becomes second nature. But there’s, there’s still a sort of an ongoing evolution that seems to take place. And sometimes it can be described, like, if you look at the kind of things Adi Shanti is saying now, and the kind of courses he’s teaching, and all they, they have a different flavor than they had five or 10 years ago. So do you find that in your own experience over the last five years, for instance, there’s just been as a continuous evolution in some sense? And if so, how, or what?
Cindy Teevens: Not in any evolution of me, of an of an AI who’s changing in terms of the expression? Yeah, and that’s happening because of the people I work with. You know, I’ve worked with people who were extremely suicidal. And they teach me how to, you know, in looking at them and what’s going on for them and comparing it to me, this is what I would do, and how can that what, what goes wrong here, what is happening here? And so they’re teaching me these very tangible ways to point to the truth to free them from the little dirty sandbox of the mind. And, and so what I say evolves because of that, you know, right now we’re doing a lot of talking about the movie in the mind versus reality and, and what do you see hear touch taste as opposed to what’s playing up here? So you get a real In your cells or in your bones, understanding of the difference between the two?
Rick Archer: Yeah. A lot of teachers in the past have said that if if it weren’t for the people I interact with, I wouldn’t be saying much of anything, but you know, exactly according to what comes to me, then I come out with something.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, exactly. Nothing I say is brilliant. It’s they say something, and then it comes from there. You know, it’s, it’s really amazing. Actually,
Rick Archer: yeah. Do you also feel that there’s an analogy that a teacher is like a reservoir, and according to what kind of pipe you put up to it, that’s how much is drawn? Like, if you put a drinking straw, not very much. But if you put a big pipe then a lot comes gushing through? Do you find that with certain people, they evoke a lot more from you than than other people?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, definitely. You can listen to different conversations of me with people with some work going up. And certain people will only play in a certain area, the sandbox, and that’s where the conversation stays. But every now and again, I try to pull them out of it, I’ll offer something else to see if they’re willing to step a little further, you know, expand a little further. And sometimes they do. And so definite difference between the quality of the questions, and that’s really, what makes a difference for people. You know, I was talking to somebody the other day, and I was talking about the powers that we have the five powers, and which we didn’t finish, by the way, we’ll get back to those. Yeah. And I’m talking about your power of attention and this next power. And he goes, where am I in all this? Yeah, that’s the important question. You know, I can talk about all this, and it’s great. But that’s the ultimate question. And my answer was, were you not?
Rick Archer: Alright, well, thanks for the reminder, let’s get back to the five powers. Where did we leave off with that?
Cindy Teevens: All right, so we’ve done so far to have done Power of Awareness and power of attention. And a lot of people confuse their power of attention for awareness, they’ll say, awareness expanded. Now, we’re an awareness is absolute. It doesn’t change doesn’t move, but our attention, we move within awareness. And then you have the power of interest, you weren’t interested in your foot till I asked you about it. And then oh, yes, I have a foot. And so what you’re most interested in is what you get. And that’s how the practice I call alchemy works. You It’s a shift of attention. It’s from what you don’t want on to what you do want this is, of course, all mental. But when you get a shift from a bad feeling to the opposite, good feeling, you open up to what is you’re not so contracted anymore. And you have access to wisdom that you don’t normally have and information that you don’t normally have, because you’ve opened attention. And so we use the power of interest, and then the
Rick Archer: zoo saying that, that good feelings are a lot in intrinsically a lot more interesting than bad feelings? And is that what you’re saying? And that, you know, I don’t know, you will use the power of interest by intentionally putting our attention on the more valuable, useful and enjoyable things.
Cindy Teevens: We can be confused, where we think this is because of our happiness. Now, we think we have to put our attention on making somebody act differently. Because then we’ll be okay, we’ll be happy. So we’re interested in the wrong thing here.
Rick Archer: Right? If I were a different person, I would be happy.
Cindy Teevens: That’s right. And so you try and do whatever you do, maybe you don’t try anything with a boss. And maybe you do just complain about the boss and you’re in your interest is always on complaining, you know, always on what’s wrong. And then, in this work, you shift on to what you do want, what do you want, you want your boss to be, you know, kind or whatever. And you stay with that. And if you stay with that long enough, you will find ways that your boss is kind, actually, because thought, nobody is limited to a thought. Except you are limiting yourself to a thought. And you can track your power of attention due to being interested in the idea that your boss is mean, whatever. And so there’s your power of attention. And then there’s your power of interest and your publisher power of authority. And this is the one that really trips people up.
Rick Archer: So, so far we have awareness, attention, interest, and now the fourth one is authority.
Cindy Teevens: No. So, we have awareness, interest, or sorry, awareness, attention, interest. I missed one. Thank you. And the fourth one is discernment. Discernment. There we go. Discernment. Authority is the final which makes little fence. So yeah, discernment and discernment is you have power of discernment over many things like, you can discern the movie in the mind from the direct reality. So for example, if I said to you, your stove is hot, do you know that your stove is hot? Actually?
Rick Archer: Well, it’s in the other room, I’d have to go in and see and and I’d see by getting close enough to it to determine that,
Cindy Teevens: yes, so you need a direct experience, you would see or feel or if somebody said I’d throw water on it, and maybe if it’s hot enough, that would be an indicator, right? So we have to have a tangible experience to know. Alright, so what you’ve been given is second hand knowledge. Like, and I give other people second hand knowledge, when I say there is a little self. Okay, now you’ve got second hand knowledge, but now it has to become first hand knowledge. And so more knowledge isn’t gonna help that you have to have a direct experience. So discernment of the movie in the mind versus what’s actually happening, discernment of a thought as a thought, itself, not as what is not as reality, discernment of yourself as not a thought. As not the movie in the mind, discernment of others is not the movie in the mind, not a thought. So we discern a lot of things or we don’t. And if we don’t discern, we get lost in the movie in the mind. We think it’s real. You know, it’s sort of like, sitting in a movie theater. And you know, you get right into it. And you forget, you’re in the movie theater, and you get in until you get scared enough, and it’s not happening. It’s not happening. It’s just a movie theater. It’s not happening. And that’s what we do. We have so much pain. This is why sometimes pain is your friend. It’s trying to wake you up out of the dream out of the nightmare. So you have enough pain that you just you can have this recognition and discernment. It’s not happening. It’s not real Eckhart Tolle is, was are there two of me, and then there’s a reality check. No, it’s only one. So one is false. So that’s your power of discernment. That’s good.
Rick Archer: I think that it goes subtler and subtler. You know, they’re more and more refined, discriminating. I guess discriminating is another word for discernment, more and more fine, finer, and finer levels of discernment that one can fathom.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah. And one example is a recent one where a client said, I got an email from my mom, she’s suffering and in crisis. And we are having a conversation on Skype. Her mom was nowhere in the room. And my one of my questions, I have many angles I can go with this is but you know, one of them is do you know that for certain now that in this moment, your mother is suffering and is in crisis? Well, no, I guess I can’t in this, you know, I got that email earlier this morning. So that’s not a sort of a superficial level.
Rick Archer: That’s not to say she isn’t though she might be still. But that would
Cindy Teevens: be imagination, in your direct experience, conjecture, in your direct experience. It’s not happening. Okay? That we can suffer if we believe that to be a reality. We suffer here and now. And many people have had the experience of where they’ve suffered for an hour or something. And then they found out the person was gone off and partying with friends. And he were left suffering, how dare they. But I take it a level deeper, as you say, and the level is, this is a dream, not because you don’t know whether or not your mother’s actually suffering. But are you feeling your feet? Are you aware of your breath? When you compare the movie in the mind to what is now? Does it have anything to do with what is now? Even the thought, Well, no, I can’t possibly know my mother is suffering is also the movie in the mind. So what should happen when you come out of the movie, the mind is it’s over. You stop? Completely. You don’t engage more thought about it. It’s just over.
Rick Archer: I guess one objection that people might raise here as well. Would this make you oblivious to things for instance, you say you love dogs? Now there are a lot of horrible situations with dogs where they’re, you know, in bat and puppy mills are they’re being mistreated in various ways. And there are people who take action to correct those situations. You don’t want to have a sort of an out of mind out of sight, kind of attitude. Well, I’m not aware of it. So I’m oblivious to it, I mean, or am I off on some wrong tangent here?
Cindy Teevens: No, I cannot talk about this in two ways. One is, you say there are dogs that are being abused and right here right now there are not,
Rick Archer: no not not for you and I at the moment but once First of all, if it’s our calling, we might want to go out and you know, do something to change the situation.
Cindy Teevens: If there were dogs suffering here, I don’t I don’t think you and I would be having this conversation. Take care of the dogs take care of the dogs. Exactly. And so I have people come to me sit on my couch and go on about the world is in a horrific state, right. And the world, the actual world right here right now is not in a horrific state. Okay. So the people who do this who suffer in a dream, they’re dreaming. They aren’t doing themselves any good. And they’re not doing the world any good. Yeah. So if you really want to be abused, don’t sit and suffer in the dream, go do something. And then you won’t be suffering because you’ll be doing. So the suffering is completely irrelevant and not helpful. And it’s just the habit of going into the suffering is really the bigger picture I want to point out here is, you know, you may say, Well, this is important, we’re gonna suffer about this, this is important. Then you’re you’re just perpetuating the dream. You’re not waking up.
Rick Archer: If you can’t swim, don’t get a job as a lifeguard. I love the way you put that. I mean, you look at somebody like Mother Teresa, she was in the midst of the worst suffering and Calcutta, you know, but you see pictures of her face doesn’t look like she was suffering. You know, she was just full of love and bliss and compassion dealing with helping these people.
Cindy Teevens: Yes, I totally get that. And that is the point your suffering doesn’t help anybody. I say the best way to help somebody who’s suffering is to end your own. Yeah. You know about them. Otherwise, you’re no good. The blind can lead the blind, right? I remember when I was in suffering and pain prior to discovering the joy. Someone turned to me in the car after they heard what happened. He said, Oh, that must feel so bad. I just want to thank you very much. Thank you just affirm my suffering, you know, and this is something that it would be good for us to learn not to do. There is a way to support people without affirming their suffering and engaging in it and supporting them. And because that really doesn’t do them any favor.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s that word commiserate, you sort of share and their misery. But again, lifeguard analogy, you know, cold drowning. You don’t want to be in the same pickle that the person has tried to help us in.
Cindy Teevens: Exactly, exactly. And that has helped me in in working with others, because I cannot go into their box. I know when I first started after I finished NLP before I had no the love and the joy and everything. And if someone came to me that I had the exact same problem, I’d be in trouble. So Oh, no, I’m in the same box. You are, oh, what are we going to do here? You know, either I can’t help you go home, or I have to learn to step out. So it was good for me to step out. So yeah.
Rick Archer: So let’s see, what’s number five?
Cindy Teevens: Authority
Rick Archer: authority, right?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I came up early, because it’s so important. You know, and these operate simultaneously. And so authority is something you can’t abdicate, do. Some people will say he hurt me. You’re saying anybody else saying it? There’s nobody else saying. What happens if you don’t say it in the sounds very Byron, Katie, like, right? This is your power of authority and action, whatever you say is true will appear to be true. Whether it’s true or not. So if mine comes up and offers in mind is a reflex Oregon, its job is to give you possibilities, ideas. whatnots creative function, nothing wrong with mine. But if it comes up and says, Oh, no, you have to hurt because this happened. If you go yes, that’s true. You give it your stamp of approval, you’re going to hurt. When you believe it, you’re going to perpetuate it. You don’t have to. You can notice the thought and dismiss it. That’s using a power of discernment. And your power of interest. I’m not interested in this. That’s just a thought. And you come back to your senses. Where it’s safe, peaceful, quiet.
Rick Archer: Yeah, common examples. You hear people say things like, oh, he makes me mad. You know, it’s like you advocated your power authority there. What power does he have to make you mad?
Cindy Teevens: You’ve tried to but you can’t. You’re the one saying it. This is what’s missed, right? This is what’s made you really think he’s doing it, but you’re the one saying he’s doing it. You’re the boss. Yeah, he has no power. And we’re trying to grow up out of this. You hear some people sometimes saying things like well Oh, you can’t you can’t hurt me unless sideways. Right? Unless I let you. So what is this letting you’re doing? And if you’re doing it consciously Why would you do it at all? Who wants to hurt? Yeah, you know, this, there’s this is like I still want this example of Will I still really want to hold on to this idea that somebody is hurting me, this props up the false die, right? There’s someone else other than me hurting me. And I still want to hold on to that. So, but I’ll concede that, you know, I have some more power in this, you have all the power, nobody can hurt you. Nobody can make you feel bad or good. Actually
Rick Archer: there’s one point in Byron Katie’s book where people tend to throw the book at the wall, which is that, you know, some girl, some woman talks about how her father sexually abused or something. And, and Byron Katie tries to turn it around and say, Well, you know, I abused him, or, you know, she kind of puts the the, the, the responsibility on a nine year old girl who, you know, who was nine at that time? So I mean, you know, what do you say to that kind of extreme example is, is there some kind of line beyond which we aren’t responsible due to our art or youth or some other factor over which we do have no control?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I read that book, way back then, too. And I think I threw the book at the wall at that point, too. Because there has been some abuse in my past as well. And yeah, I had, I had great difficulty with that. But I also had great difficulty with Arjuna. And how he had to, you know, kill his relatives right now. And yeah, that that story, until you get the message, you will fight with that. Right. And the message there is to be not attached to the fruit of the outcome.
Rick Archer: Right? Yeah, that’s a great verse there from the Gita. It’s, you have control over action alone, never over it’s fruits.
Cindy Teevens: Exactly. And therefore you’re not responsible.
Rick Archer: You can with the action. Yes. But then you have to sort of surrender the outcome?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, you surrender the outcome, and
Rick Archer: it doesn’t address the nine year old girl who was attacked by our parents. Her father.
Cindy Teevens: I’m coming back to that. I think what Byron, Katie is mostly trying to point that is right now, because that happened when you were nine, you’re now say, 29. So for 20 years, you’ve been raping yourself over this. And that is a very good way you can get it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that helps to resolve it helps to resolve it. Yeah.
Cindy Teevens: And when you see that, that’s what you’ve been doing with your power of interest, power of attention in power. You’re not discerning, you know, and engaging in the movie over and over and over. I know this one very well, when my father died by suicide, I found him. And that experience, I was in the Zen being a persistent student with time. And their advice was, you know, don’t talk about it. The hospitals advice, and everybody else was talking about it, talk about it, talk about it. And I tended to agree with the monks because I experienced experiencing it once was plenty enough. I didn’t need to re experience it over and over. And I knew a woman who was raped or nearly raped and had her job broken years back. And she really experienced that in therapy. For 30 years, it didn’t help her. You know, she had to live four floors up and have your plugs in her, you know, years at night and couldn’t watch a sunset because you had to close the curtains. And it was there’s a difference between not being able to talk about something and re experiencing it over and over in your neurology. And that’s unnecessary.
Rick Archer: Is there some kind of happy medium though, where with a therapist or something, there would be a, you know, rehabilitative value in in discussing something to a certain extent without overindulging. And you because you don’t want to just sort of like, oh, that didn’t happen, you know?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, yes. Well, unfortunately, with most therapists, I don’t see that happening a whole lot from my own experience and from what other people have said, but there is definitely a way and that’s when the experience is reframed. And meaning so I was abused as a child. And it got reframed for me one day and it just popped like, I had to blame myself. Because, you know, you can’t We can’t blame an adult the perfect you know, as a child, they’re like, God, they know everything right. Um, And what I realized was that, at some point, parents are not gods, you realize that too. But as an adult, it got reframed in an instant. And I could therefore quit blaming myself and I could let responsibility lay where it were, you know, really belonged, and let what I call natural consequences take their toll. Sometimes natural consequences happen right away, sometimes, maybe they don’t, but nobody escapes them. So I’m not worried about it. You know, I think this is what children need to learn is natural consequence, an alcoholic who’s protected, doesn’t ever get to experience natural consequences. You know, they’re they’re hidden, they’re lied for. They are, you know, all a lot of things happen that we do to protect them. But it really doesn’t help them. It keeps them it enables them to keep doing what they’re doing. Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, that’s the word enables. And they teach you if you’re, you know, related to an alcoholic and stop being an enabler.
Cindy Teevens: Yes. Yes. Let the natural consequences if they drink themselves into a stupor and they fall on the floor. Leave them there. Yeah. So that they’re left with the natural consequences. You know,
Rick Archer: my mother was always calling my father’s office. Dick is sick today, you know?
Cindy Teevens: That’s what I’m talking about. You know it. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: There’s a question came in, let’s ask you this. This is Matt from LA, Los Angeles, he says, Do you think humans exist? Do you think humans exist as a living tool that consciousness is using to have a more direct effect in the world? And if so, do you think it would be important for us to understand the purpose of all of it, so we can steer humanity in the right direction? There is more talk globally nowadays on how we are killing the planet for future generations. And there is a need to take action today.
Cindy Teevens: The first part of that was, Do you think that human beings are here to
Rick Archer: as a living tool that consciousness is using as if we’re instruments of the Divine or sense organs of the Divine or something, that through which the divine consciousness or whatever can channel its intentions into the world? That’s the way I would phrase it? And if so, do you think would be important for us to understand the purpose of it also weakened? maybe be a more effective tool, I think the guy is saying,
Cindy Teevens: I think the most effect you can have on the world is to awaken and self realize who you are. And then come back and look at this. Because you know, until then, who is asking? Who is asking? To me? The joy of seeing oneself is enough reason for humankind? Yeah, there is nothing, there’s no higher joy.
Rick Archer: True, but look what happened. In your own case, you know, you had, you have had the joy of seeing yourself, but then you and maybe it because it’s your dharma and it wouldn’t be everybody’s Dharma, somebody might continue to be a cab driver or something, but it’s, you’ve naturally sort of transitioned into or assumed the role of a teacher through which your, your experience is being disseminated or shared in a way with other people.
Cindy Teevens: When I surrendered myself, I didn’t care if I swept the streets for the rest of my life, and I still don’t care. To be there was this interest to be of use, how can I be of use? And I looked at what I had available with me, you know, and that was writing language communication people. I had already been developing a way to help people out of suffering. So it just carried on it was just cleaned up. But sweeping the streets is no less of service. Absolutely no less. It is your being that is of surface, not what you do.
Rick Archer: Yeah, primarily, I think also things need to be done. You know, the people who are inventing better solar panels are curing some disease or something. They’re they’re doing a valuable thing but but the consciousness will you call it Einstein in your book, that quote of you know, trying to solve problems at the same level of consciousness at which they were created? Yes, futile. So
Cindy Teevens: I don’t know. Exactly addresses this question. Yeah. Right. The best service you can be, honestly really, is to wake up out of the dream. Put all your attention and interest all your powers into it. Let that flame burn throw gasoline on it.
Rick Archer: FIRST the Kingdom of Heaven and all else should be added unto thee.
Cindy Teevens: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Don’t be distracted by anything else. Even the idea that the world is, you know, in a disaster. Yeah. Find out who you are first and you’ll know about the world.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I think one way we might phrase it is, okay, I see the world as a disaster, and what can I do to help? Okay, first priority is self notice, know thyself. And that should be the number one tool in your toolkit. And then having that, you know, there’s various other ways you can serve. But if you don’t have that, then question is, how valuable will you ultimately be?
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, yeah. Will you be suffering and you’re serving? And will you therefore be contributing to the mass unconsciousness, you know, that goes on, and happiness lies one of the mass unconsciousness, you know, we agree with each other about our suffering, oh, that was a terrible thing to happen that shouldn’t have happened to you. And, and so we are feeding this is one of the toughest things, you know, when I first had this realization, even of the joy, and I went and started to hang around again with friends, and they would start to talk, I wouldn’t know how to answer them. Because I would hear the suffering. And I know it’s unnecessary. But I’m not in the position of a teacher or anything. So I did learn, I learned to speak a little differently, to stay in alignment with truth, and present and compassionate with what’s going on. So it is totally possible.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And you’ve probably learned not to always be preachy to them and be a total pain in the ass. You know, it’s like, because it’s not always, well, it’s not always invited.
Cindy Teevens: No, no, did very little of that. Because you get you get shut down real quick, which is fine. I do remember some, you know, being in a group of people where we were eating dinner in a very cramped, cramped area. And then there was like, an open living room when we finished for a long time. And I looked over at the open living room mice really inviting and I just got up clean my plate and sat down in the living room. And then the next day, I got an email that says, You can’t be comfortable in groups. Or move. Yeah. And I say, No, it’s because I am so comfortable that I can get up and be, you know, move freely in a room. And so dealing with that was interesting, too. And what I’ve learned is not to tell people anything, but to ask them questions. And questions are really powerful. And that’s also good for the individual. Don’t try and tell yourself something. Question. Question yourself, question everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. And I suppose you could have said, hey, you know, we’re kind of cramped in here. Let’s all go in the living room.
Cindy Teevens: Yeah, I suppose I suppose I could have. It was just so natural. There was no limitation, or what if I get it? What are they gonna think? And there was none of that. It was just, you know, and even after they commented, it was still none of that. Oh, I shouldn’t have done that. No. There’s this freedom. Freedom with it. Yeah, spaciousness. And it’s okay, that someone misunderstood and, and we can clarify that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, so we covered the five powers you call them? And is there anything else that’s like, you know, really important to you, and important to what you teach and say that we haven’t covered that you’d like to cover?
Cindy Teevens: Geez, I don’t know Rick, you’ve done a good job here.
Rick Archer: Here’s a here’s a little tidbit for you that I really liked this little quote from the Buddha that you brought. You put in your book, you said, if we could see the miracle of a single flower, clearly, our whole life would change. I often ponder that sort of thing. I mean, what a miracle. I mentioned in last week’s interview, or maybe the week before that, in a single grain of salt, there are a billion billion atoms. And every, every single one of those little atoms is a miracle. I mean, operating perfectly according to laws of nature that we don’t even really understand. And there are a billion billion of them and a grain of salt. Imagine how many in the universe and imagine the whole marvelous complexity and beauty of the whole thing. It’s like, again, if the Buddha says if we can see the miracle of a single flower, clearly, or even a single grain of salt, I would say, our whole life would change.
Cindy Teevens: It’s true, and it is a fabulous example because that is exactly what happened to me. In the woods. When that thought came up, you know, how come? It’s not obvious? And then that was Wait, what is obvious? Well, the trees are obvious, but Well, the trees are obvious. Yes, the plants are obvious, but nobody knows how this happens. Nobody knows how a leaf unfolds into into from nothing into nothing. And that’s when the recognition of oh my god, it’s all a miracle. Oh my god, it’s all God. Yeah, all of it. And this caught me It caught me in it though, because this all of it I am not outside of this all of it. And boom, that was that
Rick Archer: beautiful realization gives me goosebumps
Cindy Teevens: it’s a lovely one. Thank you for that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I mean, passed me a note to say that the company that provides our fiber optic surface is digging outside. Well, I’m saying they could they could disrupt our internet connection, I’m not sure. Okay, she doesn’t think so. This saying, maybe that’s a sign that we should kind of wrap it up, I think we’ve really covered things nicely. But before we totally wrap it up, give people an indication of like, alright, if I seem to like Cindy, I think I want to get more in touch with what she’s doing. You know, what kind of programs or courses or what offerings Do you have?
Cindy Teevens: Okay, so we do have a group program that’s coming up, called the edge out the ego, that’s on the 20th to the 24th, you can enroll for that. Beyond that, we have I have ongoing once a month, a spiritual inquiry calls open to the public, anybody can come in, ask questions. And we also have a private program available for those whose the burning is can’t be denied. So that’s about it. You can find out about all of those at my website, which you can go to siddhi tevens.com, or alchemy lovejoy.com.
Rick Archer: Okay, great. And I’ll be putting up a page on BatGap You know, for this interview and have links to that, to those work to that website, and to your books, and so on. So people can get in touch and they can take it from there.
Cindy Teevens: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Rick Archer: Thank you, Sandy. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. It’s been a real natural, easygoing conversation,
Cindy Teevens: surely has, I appreciate your, your questions and your humor.
Rick Archer: There was another song I thought they were talking about how love needs love or something like that, and the Stevie Wonder song love’s in need of love today?
Cindy Teevens: Yes, I love that you brought up songs because I used to sing and play guitar and I’m picking it up again. And there was a time though, when I was just disgusted with the ego. And I couldn’t sing any song because I realized they’re all egoic it was actually listening to the lyrics instead of just, you know, mindlessly humming along. And oh, my god, I can’t sing that song anymore. And then I was actually told by a monk Well, no, not all songs. And I went okay, right, I have to start looking for songs that are non egoic. And what happened was, I found that if you take a different perspective, there is no song that is egoic. Even if you’re saying, you know, you hurt me, so I never want to see you again. Well, that’s the ego. So I can sing those songs now. Yeah. Yeah. And then if they’re like, I can’t live without you. Well, that would be the divine. Yeah. So I’m free to sing all songs. And I really appreciate the lyrics in some of them.
Rick Archer: Sure. Sigmund Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. So maybe by the same token, sometimes a song it’s just a song
Cindy Teevens: song with a little deadly going on.
Rick Archer: Right. So let me just make a general wrap up point, which is that you’ve been watching an episode of Buddha at the Gas Pump, ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. The series continues. If you’d like to learn more about it, go to batgap.com. And best place to start there perhaps is the attic glimpse menu where you’ll see everything that’s on the site kind of summarize and itemizing. Click from there to other things, such as subscribing to the audio podcast, or signing up to be notified by email of new episodes and so on. So thanks for watching or listening. And thanks again. Cindy. It’s been a lot of fun.
Cindy Teevens: Thanks, Rick. Thanks for being part of my journey on the way because everything counts, and you were part of it.
Rick Archer: Great. And vice versa.