Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people, there have been over 360 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out other ones, go to batgap.com Bat gap. And look under the past interviews, menus, there’s quite a few different ways that we have them organized and categorized. This program, this show is made possible by the support of through the supportive generous listeners and viewers and we very much appreciate those who have supported it. If you feel like supporting it, there’s a PayPal button on the right hand side of every page. My guest today is David Newman. David is speaking to us from Philadelphia. He is a musician, but has been a number of other things in his life. And we’ll be talking about that. And it’s very interesting story. I read his book, like one and a half times because I’ve read it through and that was essentially I want to read it. It’s more again until I did. David has been almost a professional tennis player almost a lawyer. Almost several things. But these days, he’s a full time professional musician, I guess we could say. But in a spiritual sense, in the vein of Krishna Das and Waa and you know, people like that. I guess would that be a fair characterization David?
David Newman: Sounds good to me, Rick. Yeah. I think your dog agrees. Yeah, the dog agrees. Dog’s outside. If you were in the room, we’d have to interrupt this, but I think we’re just gonna go with it. There must be a squirrel on the fence. Right
Rick Archer: Yeah, this is not the Oprah show. So, David, I clipped little bits from your book as I was reading it. And I’ll use these as sort of like a reminder points of things to ask you. But here’s the first thing I clipped, you said, my search for truth began with my very first reflective moment, when I was six years old. I looked down at my body and asked, Where do I come from? Who am I going to start with that? Sure. You know, it’s a strange, it’s a strange phenomena. When I look back into my past, and reflect upon those things that stuck, many things have not, but there are those isolated incidents, or moments in my past long ago, that never left me. And that was one of them. I remember being in in, in, in my bedroom, and just looking looking down at my leg and thinking, what is this? Where did it? Where did I come from? What a great mystery that I find myself here. And I also remember just having no explanation. There. There it is, there it was. And, by the way, Rick, you know, it’s not something that I reflected upon, often, though, I knew it was in my memory bank. And it jumped back at me when I was writing the book, in terms of when I was digging back into my past shoes, try to see how, you know, the thread of how my path of self inquiry, how far back it went. And that was the first moment that was the beginning of it in terms of what I could find that a lot of people I talked to, came in to this life in a really nice state, you know, like they, they look back on their childhood, and they remember being in unity consciousness or seeings, you know, divine beings and things like that. And then as life kind of, you know, proceeded to kick them this way, in that they began, they began to lose that sometimes quick, painfully, you know, and then by the time I’ve talked to them, they they have somehow rediscovered it and, you know, got gotten back. And so did you go through a thing like that where you had this sort of spiritual sense of things when you were very young, and then you lost it? Well, to some degree, I don’t think I would say I had, I can remember having a spiritual sense of things. But I can remember having a sense of ease, and I just, my brother invited me over to his house, to take to bring my daughter who’s five years old to to look at old, old family movies that I hadn’t Ever seen and there was me, at her age, running around in a Superman outfit, climbing trees. And I was reminded of the joy that I embodied at that age. Yeah. All right, so skipping ahead. Your parents were very successful people your mother was a became a judge. Right? And and what was it? Your father? Did? I forgot? He was a plastic surgeon? That’s right. It was it was doctors, a surgeon living in the Philadelphia suburbs. And they dragged you in to learn TM when you were a young teenager, right around the time that I happened to be the chairman of the Philadelphia TM center, but you were out in the suburbs someplace. That’s amazing. Yeah. funny coincidence. I did that just for a couple of months. And then I went over to Switzerland and stayed for a few years. But I guess maybe were your parents meditators? Is that why they they thought to do that. They weren’t necessarily meditators, like everybody else. They were looking for some peace in their lives. And, and back at that time, which is, as we discussed earlier, in the early 1970s. Tm was in vogue, every everyone was doing it. So my parents were into things like psychotherapy, and bringing the family to therapy together. And they thought this could be another, you know, tool to, to just have a harmonious flow within the family. So they took you know, they took me and my brother, all four of us went to be initiated in TM. And as I wrote in my book, I ended up utilizing that method for some time, but what I distinctly remember was my brother and I just holding back are laughter. But when we watched the videos of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the whole it was just funny to us at that age. Yeah, he was he was often called the giggling guru because he’d be giggling a lot. And he had this sort of high pitched voice and took a little getting used to it. Well, maybe maybe that was the purpose. We were giggling to we I remember us sort of pinching each other to get each other to stop so our parents wouldn’t get upset with us. Yeah, he probably wouldn’t have minded so so yeah, so you you were into sports you you became quite a successful tennis player, but you had a bit of a temporary attended to be the John McEnroe of amateur tennis in your area. As I understand that back back then it was Jimmy Connors. Jimmy Connors was my was my hero.
David Newman: Yeah, yeah. But you were a bit of a powder keg throwing rackets, swearing and freaking out. I was wondering what snapped you out of the tennis phase I forget. Being 13 and having a Bar Mitzvah and my Uncle Mark. Being a bluegrass musician now lawyer slash bluegrass musician, dropping an electric guitar into my hands. And I had even when I played tennis, I strummed my tennis racket. But then when I actually had a guitar and started playing that I put the tennis racket down and that was pretty much the end of it. Yeah, interesting. I still like bluegrass, you probably like all kinds of music.
Rick Archer: I like all kinds of music, but I do. And then I go see him play when when he plays in the area. That’s great. Yeah, Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, one of those people.
David Newman: Alison Krauss, this one of my that’s my wife’s favorite. Yeah, she’s okay. And then let’s see what happened then somehow or other? I guess you figured you weren’t gonna make it professionally as a musician? Or maybe you thought you would. But you thought law school might be a good thing to have under your belt as well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, that phase after I finished college, I went to Los Angeles to be as an aspiring songwriter, ended up working in the music industry on the other side as a music publisher for a few years. And then looked at myself in my future and thought I didn’t want to end up a music industry executive living in Los Angeles when I was this age. And so I thought, you know, what’s the next move, and I just decided that it was to go to law school.
David Newman: And you obviously sort of enjoyed that.
Rick Archer: To some degree. I was just telling somebody recently, the first year was terrifying. The second year, less than the third year was loads of fun. So yeah, I enjoy the experience of law school. Partially because it really engaged with certain mental process, which continues to serve me. And it was through law school through the stress of law school that I found yoga and intensified my yoga practice. So I lived in New York City at that time, and I look upon those memories fondly. That’s great. I mean, it’s a tribute to your flexibility or something I would say because I mean, we’ve I’ve ever read a legal document of any kind my eyes glaze over within about 30 seconds. cuz, you know, being able to actually get through law schools, I always marvel at people who could do a thing like that. Yeah, he was, I look back and ask myself the same question and that is, how did I do that? I remember seeing an interview with Bob Dylan talking about his early material songs that he wrote, and this was later in his life. And he said, you know, those songs I wrote back, then I can’t do that. Now, I could do it, then. But I don’t have the wherewithal, I kind of feel that way. Now, if you threw me in a law school class, you know, in my current incarnation, it would be tough. It’s funny, if you’re into Vedic Astrology, they talk in which I am only very tangentially, I don’t really understand it, but they talk about very different phases that one might go through in life, according to you know, how the planets are configured and so on. And it is interesting to see sometimes in the hands of someone who really knows what they’re doing that, you know, some big shifts in a person happens in a person’s life and or they might even predict it ahead of time and say, Well, you know, January of 2017, you’re going into such and such and don’t expect, you know, don’t expect things to be the same thereafter. And sure enough, big changes take place, we kind of go through different incarnations within one incarnation.
David Newman: Yeah, my nephew is now a Jyotish, Vedic astrologer, and they’re called doshas, and I shifted into my Venus Dasha, which, which is good for what I do in music, but yeah, very much. So. It’s cool.
Rick Archer: And the reason I’m going through all this stuff is that, you know, some people might say, All right, well, let’s get to the meat of it. Whereas the spiritual awakening story, but I always feel like it’s sort of good to give a background of the person’s life in most cases, because people, in some cases tend to put people who’ve had spiritual awakenings on a pedestal of some sort and say, well, that’s fine for them. But I’m just an ordinary Schmuck, you know, and that couldn’t happen to me. And part of my initial motivation, and starting this show is to show to demonstrate to display that spiritual awakenings happen to all kinds of people who live ordinary lives. And so we’re just kind of going through some of the ordinary stuff here as to lay a foundation for what happened next. I appreciate that. And that’s why I included it in my book for the exact same reason. And as as a no one just becomes an awakened ordinary schmuck. So I just felt like I add that in there. Yeah. Okay, so let’s see, you went to law school, and then then you had this big thing in 2010 hit by a lightning bolt vision of your own absence, terrifying. Innervisions was that I guess you had already been doing some spiritual practice by that point, right. Yoga, you actually became a yoga teacher of some sort. Yeah, for many years, I had opened a yoga school in Philadelphia in 1992. I had been teaching years before that then 18 years and I had been traveling singing kirtan since about 2003. So for is seven years, maybe even a little prior to that. So I wasn’t new to the path when that came upon me, so to speak.
David Newman and Friends: Is there an interesting story around how you came to be a traveling kirtan singer?
Rick Archer: Well, I don’t know if it’s interesting, but I’ll share it. I was teaching yoga and operating a yoga center. And I was exposed to the kirtan wallows who had been with Neem Karoli Baba and Bhagavad Bhagavan Das Krishna Das Jai who tal and years before I had been exposed to kirtan in law school, I had gone to Kripalu armored Desai, I had gotten Shakti pot from from Guru Maya and South Fallsburg, where they sang kirtan I had been exposed to it. But when I was operating my yoga center, I had the opportunity to bring these sorts of current modern day, Western kirtan singers to offer programs and so I was exposed to them. And as a result, it became clear to me that as a spiritual seeker, and as a musician, this was, you know, a meaningful possibility for me. And then several years later, I had a visitation, you know, from their guru, who became my guru on the inner planes Neem Karoli Baba. And as a result of that relationship, there was just a lot of grace in my life that translated as, as a musical inspiration and an orientation towards singing kirtan and soon after that experience, I found myself devoting more and more of my life to chanting to writing music, and before I knew it, I started recording and traveling and you know, here I am.
David Newman: Nice. Let’s talk about that visitation. Yeah, I was moving into a new apartment and I had always been someone who Who love learning about the great saints, particularly the Indian saints, and I used to love gazing at their pictures as a spiritual practice reading biographies about them and just holding the pages open of their images and gazing at them. And so when I was moving into a new place, I asked my sister in law who’s an artist, to Paint me a painting of any one of those gurus because I didn’t feel like you know, I had a guru at that point. So she came over to my apartment, leave through all the books, there were a stack of books on my dresser, she opened, as she was going through the book, she picked up miracle of love, she opened the page to a smiling image of Neem Karoli, Baba turned to me and said, I’ve never seen a face that embodies this much joy. I have to paint this beings face. So many months went by, and I would hear from her time, you know, every now and then, and she would tell me about all these miraculous moments she was having painting this painting. And when I finally saw the painting, I was astounded at how big and beautiful and colorful and vibrant I remember looking at it for the first time and thinking that it was made of nectar as opposed to paint. And I took it home and I put it on my wall. And I went into meditation. And he came to me for the first time with these words, I manifested this painting for you, because I want to be this big in your life. And And from then on in, the waters parted and I watched began to really walk the path of bhakti yoga. And for those who are watching, there’s the painting, or we can see it
Rick Archer: even without you moving. Okay, good. shoulder like a giant, giant cosmic parrot.
David Newman: Yeah, exactly. And so the nature of the relationship has changed, you know, his form used to be more important to me than it is now. Now, it’s sort of, in essence, inner connection. But it was through his guidance that I’ve I’ve, you know, become a singer of kirtan. And a musician wasn’t, music was something I always loved Rick, but at that particular point in my life, when that when that tidal wave of inspiration came, it was a great surprise to me, because I didn’t consciously decide that I was going to pursue this path. It was one of those moments in life where it felt that this path, pursued me.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I love those things. Me too. Yeah. It’s like, you know, if life is blessed, as many of our lives are, it’s like, you couldn’t have designed it this well, you know, if you, if you had had to make all the choices, you would have made all kinds of wrong choices and ended up doing something far inferior. But it’s sort of like nature knows best in a way how to organize and if you somehow managed to surrender to that, then wonderful things can happen.
David Newman: I feel that you know, back then I was in my early 30s. Now I’m in my early 50s. And it’s nice to have those demonstrations, you know, for for now, when I’m reminded by letting go and allowing that intelligence to live my life rather than you know, me doing it from here. Yeah.
David Newman and Friends: What do you make of the whole visitation thing? And, you know, I’ve heard so many stories, many, many from people I’ve interviewed of visitations such as you had where Neem Karoli Baba or Ramana Maharshi, or, I don’t know, various Buddhist sages or something will come to people. And you know, clear as a bell. It doesn’t seem to be imaginary. It wasn’t anticipated. It wasn’t conjured up, like they were trying to have a vision or something just all of a sudden bang. There it is sometimes wide open, eyes wide open walking down the street, they’ll have some such thing sure is what do you what do you think’s really going on with that?
David Newman: It’s such a great mystery. During that time of my development, when Neem Karoli Baba came to me, they were happening all the time and meditations and dreams with him with him since then the nature of those visitations, for the most part, doesn’t happen in that way. But, you know, his presence and how a being who’s not embodied can you know, visit somebody living outside Philadelphia, you know, in the 1990s, you know, I have no rational explanation for it, but for there’s some perhaps, you know, again, using the best words I can there’s some karmic connection there and that a certain part in a person’s development that’s the medicine that they need is some sort of a a direct communion sort of, so to speak, and and back then that was really important to me. I don’t think I would have gotten it any other way.
David Newman and Friends: What does the WC Fields has on his tombstone? I think it’s all things considered. I’d rather be in Philadelphia. Exactly right. So I suppose you can only speculate I can only speculate. But do you think that you know someone like Neem Karoli Baba or Jesus for that matter who many people have visions of or all these others Ramana Maharshi? Do you think that they have sort of assumed the role of an Ascended Master and that their essence who they actually were, in some relative sense, is still dwelling on some route in some realm and intercedes in human affairs? Or do you think there’s some other mechanics to this?
Rick Archer: I would speculate similarly, as you just did. And for me, you know that that story of Neem Karoli Baba when he was embodied living, you know, in northern India, people would travel from all over the world, and they would say, Maharaji, you know, how do I get enlightened, and his response was not what they wanted to hear his response was, pretty much always serve people and feed people. And then he would say, ciao, which means Okay, time to leave. And so for me, at least, you know, my translation of why a great being would would want to impress upon another soul in that way is that they have an agenda and the agenda is to relieve the suffering of humanity. And that somehow, they they know which strings and buttons to push in terms of energizing souls like myself to be of the greatest possible service within the course of say, my lifetime. That’s, that would be my understanding of it. Yeah. So you’re implying that they actually, rather than melting into the absolute, like a drop of water into the ocean, they retain some sort of functional existence on some subtle realm and help to guide the course of human events from there? Is that what you’re saying?
David Newman: My sense is yes, yeah, exactly. Okay.
Rick Archer: So that may bring us to, you know, skipping over lots of little details, but that may bring us to the 2010 lightning bolt.
David Newman: Sure.
Rick Archer: Let’s talk about that.
David Newman: Well, I remembered distinctly again, as I mentioned, I had been singing, you know, traveling, singing kirtan for seven or eight years at that point, most of my unitive moments happen within the realm of bhakti, and Kirtan, which is situated, which is kind of a dualistic practice in the sense that one expresses his or her her devotion for, for the greater whole, in a particular form. And much of my unitive experiences happened in the realm of a cure time through joy and sometimes even bliss. And so I was totally unprepared for something that that that shattered me in this way. Because the the unitive moment that arose one evening, I got up out of bed, I walked a few feet into the bathroom, and then bam, it hit me. It shattered me because it was a unitive expression. That was the total opposite of joy. It was terrorizing it at least that was how I responded to it because it appeared that everything I knew to be real was a femoral, and a dreamlike illusion. And everything that was in my realm of existence was there except there was no focal point and there was no me. And not only was a terrifying in the moment, but it instigated a kind of unraveling in which I went through months very difficult. Very difficult experiences. It was it was you know, it I mean, it kind of went on for three years, but the first six months and in particular the first three months were extremely difficult to the to the point where it was hard for me even to function it shook something loose in me.
Rick Archer: and it only the actual lightning bolt, like most lightning bolts was very brief, right? I mean, it was just a few seconds maybe, but then some
David Newman: At the most
Rick Archer: Yeah, but then something got uncorked or loosened up or something. Exactly, and and again, sort of being a bhakta that you know, this was this was out of my realm of experience, it completely took me by surprise. Yeah. In retrospect, now, you know, having really gone through it all and and gotten out of the difficult phase of it. What do you understand the mechanics to have been of exactly what happened to you then? The way I describe it is that what was revealed to me was my own for lack of a better phrase non existent in relationship to the hole. And whatever egocentric separative mechanism was in place was horrified by it. Because it was what was required of it was a complete unraveling, but at that moment, it wasn’t you know, it didn’t have the wherewithal the impulse, the desire or the willingness to let go. And so, you know, it was three years before Before the Awakening took place. So what I often say is it took me three years to relax into or integrate a moment, a moment of truth. Yeah.
David Newman: I would say that. That that moment of truth that lightning bolt precipitated a housecleaning phase where, you know, a lot of stuff had to be cleared out in order for a more mature awakening to dawn, would you agree? Most definitely. Yeah. And I mean, if we were into sort of an understanding of subtle physiology, and chakras, and noddy’s and all that stuff, you know, it might possibly be explainable in those terms, that there was some energetic shift on some subtle level, and then, you know, some chakra waking up or something, and then all kinds of purification had to take place for the physiology to really, you know, adapt to that newfound level of functioning. Yeah, exactly. And some would call it a, you know, a Kundalini awakening, for whatever reason, those words, you know, I’ve never sort of been at the top of my list for describing it. But it’s very well, a relevant description, because certainly, there was like a pipe cleaning feeling where things were just had to be cleaned and cleared out.
Rick Archer: Yeah, a lot of people go through stuff like this. And it’s, and it’s good for them to hear stories like this. Sometimes it’s much, much more dramatic and severe and scary than anything you went through. Actually, some people are really, really incapacitated for years at a time. And so
David Newman: I met a woman in New York City who went through what I went through in a few months over the course of 20 years.
Rick Archer: In other words, she dragged on for 20 years for her one. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And people get in touch with me from time to time who are really going through it. And I wish there were a better understanding of this kind of thing in the helping professions, you know, like spiritual psychologists, so to speak, who could, you know, really appreciate what people are going through and not necessarily just reach for the Thorazine but really help people through and facilitate and smooth out these dark nights of the soul? Very much reckon, you know, when I travel and give workshops, I always speak about this phase of my development as a means to let people know that there’s nothing wrong, they’re not going crazy that this is part of their journey, and people are often so relieved to hear that, just to hear me share what I went through is meaningful to them. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it comes up often in these interviews, and I just feel a concern for people who are going through that stuff, some of whom even express, you know, suicidal tendencies, and so on, just because it’s so unbearable. And I really wish that the helping professions understood this better, we’ll probably move into a phase in our society where they do mature into more effectiveness in dealing with such things, but it’s really in its infancy still, I think. I agree. Very much so. And so much of what I feel in relationship to this part of my life is that that’s that the support that I needed showed up for me. And I know, that’s not always the case, I was on tour with a child psychologist, a psychiatrist, a woman who was married to the man we were staying with who was telling me when when when teens come in now there is there is no talk therapy, they just go right to medication. And that, really, that made my heart heavy. Yeah. And when you read the, about the percentage of young people that are medicated in various ways, it’s it’s scary, you know, it’s like, the drug professionals making a killing, but, you know, what cost to the youth? Absolutely. And, of course, you know, I don’t mean to imply that all sorts of psychological disturbances and whatnot are some kind of spiritual, of course, you know, thing, probably majority of them are not, but
David Newman: it would be some of that some of them have a spiritual component as well. Yeah. Could be helpful in terms of, you know, responding to the whole picture,
Rick Archer: ya know, things worth mentioning is a little bit tangential, but, um, you know, meditation TM and other kinds of meditation are being used in schools and, and prisons and places like that, where there’s a lot of stress and a lot of trouble and sometimes dramatically beneficial effects. So it’s nice to see that happening.
David Newman: Very much. So.
Rick Archer: Yeah,
David Newman: yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna move through. So this whole roughness period you experienced after that thing, which lasted about three years. I mean, tell us about some of the details of that roughness without dragging it out too much, but you were you Yeah, I mean, these terrifying thoughts and feel felt negative things felt want to kill people or something. I mean, yeah,
David Newman: yeah, that’s exactly right. I just saw myself doing these heinous things, really, really troubling visions. And the inquiry was, could I do such a thing scared me to the very core, I was so shaken up the the depth of these arisings was was was quite dramatic, just the days following that moment. And so I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I could I could hardly function, I was just lying down shaking, and just breathing through the intensity of these visions. And so I just had an idea to call a dear friend and mentor of mine, somebody who’s been on your show, that is Bruce Rubin. And I had heard him mention somebody who he knew this man named Bart Marshall was an awakened being and his name just kept popping up in my mind, just get in touch with Bart Marshall. And so I called Bruce. And I said, Bruce, I’ve just had this really traumatic internal experience, and I’m really in need of support. Could you put me together with Bart, and it just so happened, Rick, that less than a week after this took place, I was set to go on tour, down south in, in North Carolina, and Tennessee and Georgia. And Bruce brought it to my attention that BART lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, which was one of the one of my stops on the tour. And so Bart came to my concert that night, and then we walked back to my cabin. And he was my lifeline, he recognized what was happening within me reflected it back to me fearlessly, and just became that person to guide me one of the people to guide me through this tunnel.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it was kind of delightful reading your book and reading about all these people that I’ve interviewed that, that were instrumental in your life, Paul Hedeman, and Gary, whatever. And, you know, all these people, like, we’re one little family in a way. Yeah, it was like, you know, Spirit just brought this little team together, you know, it was both that are men, Bruce Rubin, Bart Marshall, Gary Weber, it was just a team that showed up to kind of, you know, birth me through this process. And it’s incredible. One of the things I want to mention, Rick, that you know, in the bhakti path, you know, self inquiry is, isn’t sort of, say the main, the main entree in that path. And certainly non duality, or Advaita was just, you know, way over there. And so, you know, when this, when this shock to my system came forward, it thrust me into spontaneous self inquiry. You know, it wasn’t as if I said, I’m going to go to a Satsang, or I’m going to, you know, read a book by Nisargadatta, Maharaj. I mean, that just was completely not part, not part of my paradigm. And I was singing to Krishna and Radha and Sita, and Rama and Durga, and on Oman. And so when this came forward, I had this clear vision of who I wasn’t. And so the the inquiry just arose, and that is, if if I’m not who I thought I was, then who am I? And it was completely not premeditated. It was just not part of my path at that point. Yeah. But it was like, you know, here was one side of the coin, which is bhakti yoga, and let’s say here was the other side of the coin, which is Jhana. Yoga, you know, and it was just, you know, I was focused here and then, you know, Grace just went, Okay. Now we’re going to look at this. Yeah. I want to talk to you about the whole bhakti versus you know, Jana thing, that’s a whole topic we can discuss. But since we’ve just been talking about you getting through a very difficult period, maybe this would be a good chance to a good point at which to insert a song we’re going to for those listening, we’re going to insert two or three different music videos of David’s during this interview. For those who listening live, you won’t see them in the final thing after post production, we’ll have them in there. I was thinking maybe this would be a good point at which to insert stay strong. And you could introduce it by telling us a little bit about it.
David Newman: Yeah, that’s a great idea. Rick, stay strong is a song one of the three or four songs that were given to me in my sleep. I wish they all came in my sleep, but they don’t. This one did. I was at home.
Rick Archer: Yesterday came to Paul McCartney and asleep and Yeah, at first he was he was naming it something like scrambled eggs or
David Newman: I actually heard that. I didn’t have any lyrics for it. I just had the melody in the sort of energy of the song. I was I was at omega Institute for a weekend with my wife didn’t have a daughter at that time. And the song came to me and I lit really ran into the bathroom with my phone, sang it into my phone. And then over the course of the next few days started to put words to it which eventually became stay strong, keep your faith alive. And and what I’ve ultimately found is the songs that come to me in my sleep. Somehow there is some intelligence that wants me to do something special with those songs. I just had one recently. So when I wrote this song, I had this idea. And the idea was, what if we did a kind of, you know, We Are the World type video. But instead of this, Stevie Wonder’s and Elton John’s of the world, we bring together all the kirtan singers and devotional musicians. And we we do something together in that way. That was right at the time where there was the big gulf oil spill, it wasn’t a spill, it was when there was a puncture and the oil was leaking into the Gulf. And I had been introduced to the CEO from Global Green USA, which is an environmental organization that was working on that cleanup down in New Orleans. And so I just had all these, you know, I just had all these messages and all these dots came together. So I decided to invite many different singers like Krishna Das and Jai otol, and Donna delorey, and WA. To name a few. We were all going to be at this festival called bhakti fest. So we set up a makeshift recording studio and a film studio in our cabinet bhakti fest. And we had everybody come in I recorded the song in Philadelphia brought the tracks to Joshua Tree and had everybody come in we filmed everybody singing their parts and then in post production, put it all together and then release the song to stay strong and and this collaborative video, and then we donated all the proceeds to Global Green to help clean up you know, New Orleans and the Gulf region and it was an absolutely graced projects and it’s one of those projects that I continue to this day to get emails and messages on YouTube, that it uplifted someone’s day. Great.
Rick Archer: So let’s play it
David Newman and Friends: May the grace of God bless man And every woman in this land Stay strong keep your faith alive Whatever comes to meet us? No the darkness won’t defeat us Stay strong keep your faith alive Some say the end has come .. But I say stay strong keep your faith alive Let’s all come together Take care of each other Stay strong keep your faith alive Raise your hand through the air Stay strong keep your faith alive Take a stand say a pray Stay strong keep your faith alive Hand in hand side by side With hearts opened wide Stay strong keep your faith alive Brothers find a way through Heaven today Stay strong keep your faith alive Raise your hand through the air Stay strong keep your faith alive Take a stand say a pray Stay strong keep your faith alive Times like these We need to remember what is real Stay strong keep your faith alive .. just bring love and happiness Stay strong keep your faith alive Raise your hands in the air Stay strong keep your faith alive Take a stand say a pray Stay strong keep your faith alive Raise your hand through the air Stay strong keep your faith alive Take a stand say a pray Stay strong keep your faith alive. so that was great. I love that song. It’s it’s very inspiring. I love that we are the world. There’s another one it wasn’t the other world that was one that you can there are several versions of it. They’ve done a number of songs where they have people all over the world in Africa and yeah, India and adding in. What are those called? Oh, something for change?
Rick Archer: Yeah, planning for change
David Newman: Playing For Change. Yeah,
Rick Archer: those are great.
David Newman and Friends: And there was also that film One giant leap. I think that has a similar kind of approach. You haven’t seen that? Yeah, if people haven’t seen what those are two things to Google that if you haven’t seen the Playing For Change songs, you might love them. Okay, so we were talking about bhakti versus self inquiry versus the kind of, you know, oneness or non duality thing. And, as I understand it, this has actually been the bait or point of contention in some people’s minds going back 1000s of years, you know, the sort of those who wish to stay separate from God in order to worship God and those who wish to just merge and become one. Who was it that said I’d rather be sugar than I’d rather taste sugar than be sugar.
David Newman: Ramakrishna,
Rick Archer: Ramakrishna.
David Newman: Yeah, that’s a great quote. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And, and marshy, Mahesh Yogi actually commented on that once he said, It’s really none of our business, it’s really up to the person for whom it actually becomes a relevant issue. At that point, they can decide so great in his mind, at least, both options were viable. And, and But come to think of it, you know, I’ve never actually heard a story of a respected non dual sage, such as Shankara or Ramana, Maharshi or Nisargadatta, who wasn’t also devotional about it. Yeah. So it’s not an either or choice. Really.
David Newman: Yeah, you know, I just have this funny image when you said bhakti versus Guiana, I just saw like a boxing ring and, you know, yawn in one corner and box you know, I, I, you know, for me, it’s not a versus thing. It’s, you know, I again, I sort of described them being two sides of the same coin. There’s, there’s a great quote I like to use in relationship to this, this dialogue, and that is at the end The Ramayana when Han Oman is sitting in front of Lord rom on his on one knee. And Rama says to Han Aman, who are you? And Han Oman says, when I forget myself, I am your servant, when I remember myself, I am you. For me, there, there certainly has not been, as a result of the shift that took place in my being any kind of tension between my devotional nature and my oneness with with with the greater whole, it’s, they just seem to be perfectly integrated in some in some way. So And interestingly, when I wrote my book, The time bound traveler, my editor at nonduality, press was somebody who had been a budget singer and whose teacher had said, Okay, stop singing budgets, and now they want you to, to study Advaita. And then she had a non dual awakening. And when I started working with her, she told me that she was, had always hoped that somebody would come along with a book that somehow integrated those two paths. So she was really excited to work with me. And on the back cover the book, she ultimately felt that the time bound traveler would be a book that would help people heal those two, those two orientations or parts of themselves. So in a lot of way, when Rick, when I, when I presented that book, it was much more focused on my non dual awakening, then then my bhakti path. And one of her comments was, Hey, David, I appreciate your story about your awakening, but I want more bhakti. You know, and so the book kind of became this dance between those, you know, between that sense of, and if you look at some of the real, you know, sort of, I don’t know, fundamental bhakta pads, the notion of merging is a total nono. And perhaps in the Advaita, pads, I don’t know perhaps the notion of maintaining a sense of separation, to experience this the sweetness of devotion is a no no, but these two parts of creation are constantly playing themselves out in my world and in my life, you know,
Rick Archer: Shankar has said, the intellect imagines duality for the sake of devotion. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, that, that, I believe, was a Rumi, who said, you know, seek the bullet, you know, seek the beloved your whole life knowing that the beloved is within you. You know, and there is it’s like, you know, it’s a non answerable, dynamic tension, the fact that we can experience ourselves as one and also as duel. And for me, that’s, it’s a great mystery. It’s also a great joy. Do you happen to remember that Nisargadatta quote, or
David Newman: it’s in my book, actually, on one side, there’s this and the other side, there’s this in my whole life swings between those two is?
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s the one. Yeah, I don’t have it memorized. So I don’t want to most people have probably heard it, but it basically speaks to this point of you know, there’s, there’s really no conflict or your eras irreconcilable paradox between oneness and, and devotion to God, and so on. They’re just sort of different dimensions of a larger perspective that one can play within it with one has that capacity developed.
David Newman: You know, that story when a student of Nisargadatta Maharaj says, you know, you’re awake, and you’re enlightened, why do you every morning, light a candle to your guru? I mean, what’s, what’s the point of lighting a candle, you know, a light to his image. And his response was, I can’t come up with a reason not to.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And Papaji when he was quite old, and becoming infirm, physically lamented the fact that he was incapable of prostrating himself fully on the floor in front of, you know, the picture of Ramana Maharshi and his room. So, anyway, it’s,
David Newman: yeah, in my own life work, you know, there’s, there’s, you know, moments when you know, that duality is just not present for me. And then there’s difficult moments where I call out to Neem Karoli Baba and say, hey, please, you know, I need some guidance here, which direction to go, you know, the relationship is still intact in the same way that a child leaves the home of his or her parent, but the relationship is still intact, and the respect is still intact.
Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, I think one one way of looking at it and understanding it is that we have different faculties we have different organs. So of experience, so to speak. We have the intellect, we have the heart, we have the senses, we have all these different things. And like if you take the example of a lawyer, let’s say since you went to law school, yeah, when he’s in his law office working all day, he’s Probably not using his heart too much. Maybe he’s using his intellect when he comes home and starts playing with his young children, you know, all his law training goes out the window, and he’s just becomes more childlike. He’s in his heart. So it’s just sort of different faculties are in our become come to the foreground according to the circumstances. Yeah, I resonate with that. And I think there’s great joy in you know, pretending to be separate. I mean, we couldn’t be having this dialogue if if we were if we weren’t, couldn’t stick a spoon in our mouth if we didn’t have some sense of distinct
David Newman: Yeah, exactly.
Rick Archer: And I think, you know, the sages like Shankara, when he said, you know, the intellect imagines duality, for the sake of devotion, what he was implying is that there’s something really sweet about devotion, something really worth experiencing, and not to be missed. And that, you know, without it, the realization might be rather dry. Most definitely, it’s certainly awakening wasn’t what I what I thought it would be prior to as a seeker, because, you know, for me, the non attachment has given rise to a much richer experience of my humanity, my feelings, my senses, everything. Okay, so you just alluded to your awakening. So let’s get back to that you had this lightning bolt in 2010, then three years later that, I don’t know, if I seem to recall, you said it wasn’t a something you could have marked on the calendar, but you oozed into a much more resolved state that you would refer to as awakened.
David Newman: It was a it was definitely a moment of time, I remember there being Yeah, it was a moment in time, but it was affirmed in some, you know, unusual way for me, which I’ll share with you. But I was really toward the end of that three years, I was really plagued by a tremendous, fiery desire to drop the old self. You know, it was like, it had become like listening to nail scratching on a chalkboard all the time. And I was carrying around with me this, this this sense of false identity, but I couldn’t shake it. And that brought about a kind of a tremendous pressure within my being not not the kind of terrorizing fear based, monumental, intense manifestations of earlier in the journey. This was just a weight that I was carrying, carrying around with me that just, I felt tremendously burdened and frustrated. And so, I remember in the last week of this particular part of my journey, calling Bart Marshall on the phone, and I said, Bart, I just I don’t think I can take this anymore. I just want it so bad, I want to let go so bad. I want to be birthed into this new consciousness so bad. You know, however, I know that the desire for it and the wanting of it is the very thing that’s preventing me from it. I was just I felt like I was in this catch 22 Or there there’s two parts of myself that were just grinding against each other, painfully. And when I when I communicated to BART how much I wanted this, I’ll never forget this. And I wrote this in my book, he’s so sweetly responded by saying very simply, you can’t help but want it you know, you know, you want it until you don’t want it was the message I took, you know, and so I just kind of, you know, felt that the intensity of the desire would just sort of progressively dwindle off to the point where, you know, the the awakening itself revealed itself and that the wanting sort of trickled off but in the heat of, of my desire for it. And this probably happened I’m speculating now less than a week after that conversation with Bart. I was just walking down the street after after lunch with my wife, my mother in law, and it just changed just poof poof the intensity of the heaviness and the burden and the looking for it just went away it was gone. I looked at my left gone look to my right guy just wasn’t hit that what I was carrying was not there anymore. Yeah. And I always say it was a moment of grace because there I realized at the end that there was nothing I there was no effort I could make there was there was no strategy I could come up with there was no dial I could turn to make it happen. There was some intelligence that at that moment said Okay, is it gone
Rick Archer: now the chakra popped
David Newman: and another chakra popped and so but but the the post I So if you want to use the word affirmation that came, this was a few days later, Bruce Rubin and I had had the idea to to create this musical together, called awakened. And so I drove up to his house in upstate New York along with this Broadway producer, this man named Nick demos who had done a Broadway show called Memphis. And the three of us were Bruce’s house having a conversation about the musical. And I guess from Bruce’s perspective, I was just communicating some of the ideas about the musical from a very personal perspective. And it was just this very incredibly subtle moment where Bruce had a pad and paper and he was right, we were all writing down ideas for this musical. And he just lowered his chin, he had his reading glasses off, and he pulled them down. And he looked up at me and he said, Did something happened to you? And, and then I just responded simply, yes. And at that moment, whatever had shifted just for lack of a better description locked into place.
Rick Archer: Incidentally, for those who may not know, this, Bruce, whom I’ve interviewed a year or so ago, was the screenwriter, for the movie Ghost, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, and a number of other movies, but he was best known for Ghost. He just wanted to come in about the intensity of desire thing, you know that a lot of sages, I think and undermine Ma said this, and many others actually have said it, that the desire for God is itself the way to God. So I think a lot of respected authorities Don’t devalue or dismiss. Or in any way say there’s anything wrong with having an intense desire for realization. I mean, think of the Buddha, he was like Enlightenment or bust, you know. And a lot of people if you read their spiritual biographies had this burning desire for Enlightenment fact, Patanjali. And the Yoga Sutras talks about Yogi’s having mild, medium or intense desire for realization. And he said, the yogi’s who have the most vehement intensity, are kind of he would consider them the best off in terms of their likelihood of awakening. So I know in some circles, this is sort of put down or dismissed, but I would disagree.
David Newman: Yeah, absolutely. And it was just so so intensely painful that I wanted to shake it off. It just kind of felt like unrequited love, you know, Why won’t this person pay attention to me, you know, it had that quality to it, and my intensity desire for it definitely, as a result of that lightning bolt. You know, that’s when it got turbocharged. There were times when it felt like because I had seen the truth that I was that I was, I just had so much fear around it that I was just living with a phantom around me. Because what I had believed to be concrete was now revealed as being ephemeral, but I kept it around anyway. And that was a great challenge. I felt like death was just looking over my shoulder at all times. Death of the ego perhaps death of the ego is what it Yeah. I finished my book with Rick with that quote by Joseph Campbell says, The Thing in the dark cave that fears that we fear the most ultimately brings us the greatest reward. And it within those three years, that’s how I characterize that three year journey.
David Newman and Friends: I often think of breaking the sound barrier is a good metaphor for awakening, if you read the right stuff, by whoever wrote that, when Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier, they didn’t really know what was going to happen when somebody broke the sound barrier. He was flying this, you know, this test plane. And as he approached the sound barrier, is like, there was a lot of turbulence in the stick was juggling in his hand, you know, as he was trying to fly the plane, and all of a sudden, and then when he finally broke through, it was like, ah, it just became smooth. So there’s like this sort of intensity and turbulence that builds up just prior to major spiritual breakthroughs, it seems. And it’s and it’s and that said, it’s it’s it’s non what’s the word? Once you break the sound barrier? It’s it’s just not a big deal. It’s it’s not the big deal that the ego has made it prior to its Yeah, yeah, it would be like waking up in the morning and saying, Oh my God, I’ve woken up you just wake up and that’s that it’s it’s sort of nondescript in that way. Right. So it’s natural. It’s not like you’re walking around with a jaw hanging open all the time with the amazingness of it right well, you’re walking around it your jaw dropping jaw dropped in terms of the the relief Yeah, that that’s what you’re amazed that
Rick Archer: but that’s another thing is that we acclimate you know, initially that can be this huge relief, huge bliss, everything else and then after While it’s like, you get used to it, you know, it’s, you know,
David Newman: definitely,
Rick Archer: yeah,
David Newman: definitely. Yeah.
David Newman and Friends: I think that’s true of. I mean, I’ve heard Zen masters and all talk about many degrees of awakening that are possible and that people go through and so on. I’m not really in a position to categorize them all. But I think that that’s a kind of a universal experience of climatization, you know, getting used to the things I mean, in the state that we normally functioning now, it’s it may seem to be ordinary, and we’re accustomed to it. But if we were somehow shifted this from where we were 30 years ago, it would be like incredible bliss. Yeah, no, we wouldn’t be able to
David Newman: walk. Yeah, that’s really interesting to think about it that way. I never quite have, but that’s cool.
Rick Archer: And if we’re in conversely, if we were to shift from this to where we were 30 years ago, we’d be in agony, even though 30 years ago, we were okay.
David Newman: Yes, yeah. Right. Back then we were fine. Right? Yeah.
Rick Archer: So it’s sort of a grace of God kind of thing that we, we we grow accustomed to whatever state we’re in,
David Newman: very much. So life wouldn’t be livable otherwise. And I feel like you know, that the shift that took place, I even now hesitate to call it whatever, whether it’s awakening or Enlightenment, it definitely something changed in a significant foundational way. And now there’s a different kind of an evolution taking place, but it’s not colored by seeking.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I’m gonna look back a little bit. Sure, actually, that you what you just said, is really good. It’s not colored by say, let’s elaborate on that there’s an evolution taking place, but it’s not colored by seeking. Go ahead and say more, if
David Newman: you’d like. Yeah, you know, when I, when I teach and share, what I try to do is rather than naming what took place within me, I tried to describe the nature of Then and Now what was it that changed within me. And when I wrote the book, I mean, going back to those days of TM, remembering that it early on, you know, I became a spiritual seeker. And I became identified with the idea of being a spiritual seeker, as you know, I was looking for something. And my whole life up until that moment was was very much characterized by an identification with seeking something spiritually. And we’re in that moment, that’s if I was if I was to say, at the top of my lift, top of my list, what shifted in that moment, and that would be that the whole notion of seeking became outdated, it became irrelevant, you know, the, the, the revealing of life just comes forward. And I’m not looking forward in time. Although I am part of a time space continuum. I’m not looking for it to happen at some point in the future, or in some other way that it’s happening now. I’m evolving and learning all the time, but the nature of it isn’t, it’s not in looking. It’s just it’s not like that for me anymore. I don’t have that whatever that was, isn’t there?
Rick Archer: If you were to talk to somebody who is seeking, which you probably do, actually, in the course of your life, would you tell them to stop seeking what would you tell them?
David Newman: I would go back to those moments before before things changed. For me, I love when Bart Marshall is, you know, his way of describing awakening is that something happened. And I liked the simplicity of that description. The if somebody I my response to that would be intensify the the seeking, like I said, intensify the desire to find what you’re looking for. I don’t think you can tell somebody who’s seeking to stop seeking, you know, seeking stops when it stops. It’s not an effort that a person can just say, Okay, right now I’m going to stop seeking, and then it goes away. I would never give somebody that guidance. I would say seek with all your heart and soul. You know, whatever it is you’re looking for, put it at the top of your list and yearn for it and longed for it with all your being. But it is a bait and switch. It’s not as if at some point, the you know, the seeker, you know, receives the fruit of that endeavor by saying okay, now I found it and now I as a seeker, have it, you know, the whole paradigm of being a seeker falls away. So there’s there’s no metal given to you at the end of your journey as a seeker. So I tend to bring that to seekers attention that it’s not what you think it is. And don’t think that you are seeking is going to be confirmed or satisfied as a result of some Pinnacle experience that that now makes you a seeker. There has been that has found. So I may potentially bring that to their attention. But I think the longing particular coming from the bhakti tradition, and the yearning for whatever it is you feel is going to make you whole, it is par for the course is just to intensify that, ultimately you realize that it’s not going to fulfill you. But until you know that you don’t,
Rick Archer: I don’t know how apt This is. But a simple analogy for the seeking thing might be that you don’t tell a hungry person to stop being hungry. Exactly, you know, just say, you know, give it up, don’t be hungry, it’s silly, or some such thing. But after they’ve eaten, you know, they’re not hungry anymore. And it’s not, it’s like the hunger just sort of is taken care of, by by the fulfillment of the food. So I would say that someone like yourself, who has undergone a shift in the seeking energy fell away. You know, there is there’s some kind of fulfillment that abides now, which wasn’t there before, which you naturally sought when it wasn’t there. It’s natural to want greater happiness, greater contentment, self awareness, or whatever. And when that has been realized, then you know, it’s like turning a light on in a dark room. You don’t have to try to get rid of the darkness. It’s replaced by the light and is no longer found.
David Newman: Well said, yeah, exactly. Paul Hedeman says, if somebody believes their house to be on fire, you bring them water. I know their way of saying it for you know, from another perspective, the very much it’s important to honor people where they’re at at their journey, and there’s there’s something you know, elegant and beautiful about where they’re at as well. Go ahead. Yeah, no, I was just gonna say, when I look back on it, and I’m supporting people on that journey, two things come up for me, one is definitely compassion. And the other is humor. Because you know, when it breaks, there is a quality of humor to it, that you took something so seriously, that didn’t. It wasn’t even really there. You know, it’s, it’s somewhat funny. But it’s not funny to the person struggling with it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s like, you know, the old rope and Snake analogy, if a person is terrified of the snake and, and you know, just their heart is pounding, and they’re trying to get away from the snake, and so on and so forth. And then, in a way, there’s something funny about that, because it’s really only a rope, but to the person who thinks it’s a snake, it’s very real and very much a concern.
David Newman: And when they see that it’s a rope, they’ll laugh
Rick Archer: Then they’ll laugh, once their heart sort of settles down.
David Newman: Yeah, but I know when I when I was in the depth of the intensity of the longing, you know, if somebody would have sort of, you know, reflected back to me that it was actually funny, I wouldn’t have been able to see that there was nothing funny about it. Yeah.
Rick Archer: It’s kind of interesting, where when you read the the ancient texts about, you know, devotional characters such as Hahnemann, such as you know, Raja Raja, and the gopis, and so on, who I don’t know what their state was supposed to have been in terms of Self Realization, but they seem to be pretty powerful beings. I mean, Hanuman was flying around carrying mountains and stuff. Yeah. But, um, and yeah, they they had still this ardency about them this sort of? Well, you know, maybe it wasn’t based on any, let’s get into this a little bit. I mean, one is seeking based on an emptiness, you know, a longing, a desire for something for something out of were really suffering, actually. And another is kind of ecstatic devotion. Yeah, maybe not based on weakness, or emptiness, or lack. It’s based on a fullness and a foundation of strength that these people had, or monkeys, as the case may be, had achieved. But it could be quite a different animal, but the between those two, those two different things.
David Newman: Yeah, that’s well put, you know, for me, it is it’s, it’s, it’s a whole different paradigm of practicing bhakti yoga, you know, prior to, for me, it was trying to, to fulfill a certain emptiness within myself. And now I would characterize it as a celebration. And a great metaphor to use as somebody who’s single and looking for a partner because they think the partner is going to bring them the happiness that they don’t, that they don’t have, as opposed to somebody really being strong within themselves and say, Hey, I’d like to share, I’d like to share this with another person, then the relationship doesn’t come forward as a means of lack. Again, I’ll use the word celebration, it comes forward as a celebration of you know, the two joining as one and even when I sing and chant My bhakti has become that, you know, I, I sing as a celebration. You think there’s this unity of prayer? symbol that has the potential to express itself in infinite ways. And, and, and this being that I look at when I wake up in the morning in the morning, is one of those infinite ways and then I get to experience that and behold the beauty of that in those other souls that come into my world. And so there there is just a beauty with it. And I used to feel interesting, you know, when, when when I woke up, I, there was this inquiry and His Will I still have a sense of devotion, will I still want to be a kirtan sing? Or will I still want to sit in front of this image of my guru? Well, I still want to sing to Krishna or sing to Kali or, you know, and what I ultimately found was that, you know, me as a separative, being, you know, in my, in my uniqueness, there is a devotional nature there. So that devotional nature continues to express itself. But it expresses itself more in the way that you described earlier, not from a place of lack, but from a place of fullness. And it’s and it’s wonderful. It’s, it’s, you know, rich, when people asked me about my life, I guess it’s rich, because there’s just so many hues and chords and colors and, and textures to behold, every moment of every day.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Your friend, Shonda said, After Enlightenment comes devotion.
David Newman: Yeah, yeah. He always would say that. Yeah, yeah. He would say that. Yeah, first you, you’re enlightened. And then and then devotion comes in.
Rick Archer: Maharishi is to say that a small pond can’t rise up in big tidal waves. If it does. So it’ll if it tries to do so it’ll just stir up the mud at the bottom. But an ocean can rise up in huge powerful waves without stirring up any mud. So he said, we have to become an ocean, you know, in other words, realize the Self and then on that foundation. That’s the beginning of significant possibility for devotion.
David Newman: Yeah, you know, Rick, I find devotion, you know, and to really come from a place of vulnerability, and sensitivity and receptivity. And I have found that knowing oneself creates a kind of strength, that that allows you to be receptive and sensitive in a fearless way. That’s beautiful. Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. So would you say like, along those lines, that knowing not knowing oneself, you have to remain guarded, and absolutely, you know, protected. Whereas knowing oneself, you can kind of relax and just let it all flow. Yeah, and
David Newman: you let it all flow. And sometimes, you know, I’m a musician, I’m an artist. So sometimes that that shows up is, I just played a great set. And I feel tremendously, you know, confident in what I’m doing. And in other moments, I’m in the studio and the songs not going well. And I feel a tremendous sense of insecurity about my art. And so rather than so you’re not, you’re not having to defend or prop up, the sense of identity that’s fixed. You’re just allowing whatever is to arise. And it can be great joy, it can be great pain, it can be great release, it can be great holding on it can be insecure, it can be competence. It’s everything I wrote about it in my book, it enables you just to say yes to all of it. And I often, you know, reflect upon post awakening, because it opens up a whole new door. You know, I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel moved to write about it. But it certainly doesn’t end, you know, it opens up something new. I remember Bob Marshall saying he got an email from somebody. And in the subject line of the email, it said awake, awakened. Now what question. And it’s very rich, it’s very rich, to not not be bound to an identity, it gives you tremendous flexibility to experience so much more.
Rick Archer: My wife Irene has a question here. She said, Alma once said, crying to God for five minutes is equal to one hour of meditation. If tears are not coming by themselves, try to cry by thinking why am I not able to cry, try to develop devotion. It seems like that was the quote from him. But then I read his question, it seems like music is a very good method to develop devotion, since it involves so much of the heart or feelings. Are there other methods that David is aware of? Or? Or does? Or does he feel devotion is either there or it’s not?
David Newman: In other words, is the question you know, different ways to instigate that that sense?
Rick Archer: Can it be you know, so yeah, obviously kirtan is one you get in a kirtan situation and you really start to move with it, you know?
David Newman: Yeah, you know, that’s what I say my job description. You know, if you’ve either fallen asleep or cried or danced ecstatically, I’ve done my job well, and certainly Muse Thinking kirtan does evoke what Irene was talking about that that sense of, of what I call bhakti tears. But now I experienced it in many different ways. And I would answer that question by saying, I can’t necessarily say that I can. I would, how would I say, recommend a particular technique because in my, in my current embodiment, that bhakti comes forward in many different ways. But it typically comes forward as a result of an absence of self. In moments of deep stillness, I’ll give you an example. I could just be sitting in the morning, you know, reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee, or looking out my window at the trees, swaying in the wind, and suddenly, just this, this sense of all will come upon me, and I’ll and tears will come, I, I have a five year old daughter. And so I can recommend that for anybody who wants to experience bhakti, because that’s been the greatest bhakti I’ll just be playing with her or she’ll be singing in the back of the car. And I’ll just catch a glance of her, maybe from her profile, or just my eyes will look into her eyes for a moment. And then the wonders of the universe will just come streaming through and the tears will come. I was sitting lying on the couch a couple of days ago, and my nephew, who’s a Hasidic Jew now sat at the piano and just wanted to share with me some Hebrew prayers and some melodies on the piano. And I was just lying down. And suddenly, although you know, I am Jewish, though, that’s not my path. Just his the end wasn’t even the music, it was just the depths of his passion for his path and his desire to want to communicate the essence of that feeling to me, as I behold the beauty of his relationship to Judaism, the tears came. And so for me, it’s never any more really calculated in terms of a practice or a technique. It’s just in those moments of letting myself get still and quiet and letting my heart be vulnerable that those tears come forward.
Rick Archer: A lot of people who talk of non duality and you know, who have awakenings, and so on, don’t talk a lot about God, some do, I mean, Ramana, ofand, referred to God, and so on. But then there are some teachers and sages and saints who speak of God consciousness as a definite development that we may eventually undergo, where we really come to know God intimately, probably by realizing our essential identity with God. Although there’s also the whole issue of actually experiencing God and to some degree of separation like devotion to Krishna, seeing Krishna is form and you know, sort of a personal God kind of thing. But But for you, I mean, you’ve you’ve kind of in a way you while you all this devotional, singing all these years was to some form of God. And yet, you weren’t necessarily experiencing the divinity or divinities that you were singing to. It wasn’t a concrete experience, which is more of a feeling and so on. But at this stage, and in light of your comment a few minutes ago about post awakening, further development. What is your thought about God and the possibility of actually experiencing God in some way, much more clearly and richly rather than just have God be a sort of a intuitive notion, but really, some something much more vivid and even concrete?
David Newman: Yeah, beautiful question. hoof? Well, a couple of things are coming forward. One is remembering Shaam Das, who you mentioned before, who was a great bhakti yogi who died a few years back and he said, Hey, in the English language, there’s one word for God and that’s God. He said, In Sanskrit, there’s like 1000s, and 1000s and 1000s, of names for the different manifestations and nuances and, and I would say that that is true, what I just described, you know, the sweet sweetness of the beholding, and the richness of the present moment is is if I had to how I would define God. And I do harken back to Neem Karoli Baba who we’ve talked about, you know, he didn’t give lectures, he didn’t write books. He didn’t even sync your time. You know, he fed people and just exuded this loving presence that people felt drawn to and and enjoy being in his presence for that reason. But one of the things that he said this sort of stuck in terms Have a quote from Neem Karoli Baba was, it’s better to see God in everything than to try and figure it out. And so for me, you know, to quantize God in one form, or one experience wouldn’t be something that I necessarily gravitate toward for me, is, you know, God is the experience of the present moment, as it’s constantly revealing itself and evolving itself. And I, for me, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s an experiential, you know, manifestation, and it’s simultaneously timeless, because one of the things I shared about my awakening is that, you know, there’s, there’s, you know, prior to awakening, though, the individual awareness is constantly identifying with things out there to try and bind itself to, and when the shift takes place, that awareness kind of retracts back into the spacious awareness, that doesn’t drift, it doesn’t go back and forth, it clicks into place, for lack of a better description. And, and it just remains there. And it’s Invitational by nature. So for me, God is really a verb, it’s, it’s the, it’s the, the spacious awareness, and then it’s everything that’s arising and receding from from that awareness. So it’d be very hard for me to to communicate my relationship to the word God as a noun, I just wouldn’t be able to do it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, I often say this, but I just want to say it again. And that is that just because we don’t experience something doesn’t mean it’s not there. And we go through life, you know, allotted doing this doing that. But if we, if we actually think about for a moment, what science tells us about what’s actually going on in front of our eyes, it’s pretty amazing. I mentioned last couple of weeks that in a single grain of sand, there’s More atoms than there are in the entire than there are stars in the entire universe, that we know of. And, you know, in a thing, there’s 100 trillion cells in the human body and each cell as is as complexes as Tokyo. You know, there’s so there’s this amazing dance of life going on that, that this that if we actually don’t take it for granted and think about it for a moment displays unfathomably vast intelligence. And there’s a word pantheism, which means that the divine or God, or divine intelligence, completely permeates everything and really is everything. There’s, there’s nothing other than that, we’re kind of operating within itself and orchestrating everything, so And yet, we don’t ordinarily perceive life that way, we just sort of go along. But I’m wondering about the potential of perceiving life that way, and actually, in one’s ordinary day to day activities, being not only established in the cell for pure awareness, or this sort of a unmanifest phase of dimension of of life, but through the senses, through the intellect, through all of our capacity, experiential capacity as a human being, being appreciative, fully appreciative of the miracle that is, all around us and within us. And that’s really it would be God, God consciousness or
David Newman: something, that I very much that was beautiful, and I very much resonate with that. You know, when I, when I do share through my teachings, one of the first things I say about the nature of awakening is this, it’s not an experience. Because so much from the paradigm of the seeker one is looking for a spiritual experience, and then comparing everything to it as not being spiritual. So when, when, when the shift takes place, and the nature of the awareness isn’t experiential, than all in all experience, everything that you were talking about everything that comes through in the intellect, and the emotions and body sensations, the comings and goings, the textures of life, it’s all one infinite spiritual experience, because you know, you’re not comparing it to something that the mind has categorized as spiritual. So it all becomes God in that in that regard. And to me, you know, that’s the higher paradigm of practicing bhakti yoga.
Rick Archer: So we’re gonna stick in more, a few more songs in this interview. Is there anything that comes to mind that we have been talking about that would warrant a particular song?
David Newman: Yeah, you know, I wrote an entire album that is sort of centered around my awakening. And a lot of the songs that were written, as I recall, were written prior to to the breakthrough that I had. And so and it was really amazing process because a lot of the songs I wrote were written from the perspective from the awake perspective, however, I was still sort of struggling with it, I was still wrestling with it. One of the things I found in a really enjoyed as part of my spiritual path in terms of being an artist is that a lot of the times through the songs or the poems that you write, you’re sort of foretelling where your consciousness is going to be at some point in the future. Because you know, the art, you know, the inspiration is already there, but you’re not. And so a lot of the songs that I wrote on love as a wake are kind of about that. So one of writing those songs really helped me in a lot of ways and one of the songs I wrote was a song called shift. And rather than making a totally a personal song, I wrote that song about the shift that’s that’s taking place on our planet. And, and environmentally, globally, socially. And also personally I kind of wrapped it up all into a song and called it shift the the chorus of that song is a goes a shift in perspective in the collective a shift in consciousness, a shift in direction and in perception, do you feel the shift and so and then we made a video using a bunch of footage from the the Occupy movement and so it’d be a great time to share that song
Rick Archer: great let’s play that now.
David Newman and Friends: should feel ashamed or feel or should feel the shift from fear to the dream? They do? We’ve dreamed a shift from suffering to joy in a world we will discuss shift in perspective in the shifting consciousness shift in direction and perception Do you feel alive field field field a shoe field feel the shift the shift from division to caring for all those in a shift from destruction and to appease that will shift in perspective in the collective shift in consciousness shift in direction and perception Do you feel feel the shift shift feel a shift from injustice jerk conscience that will shift from the shackles that bind the man she shift in perspective shifting consciousness shift in direction and perception. Do you feel like because I’ve used the sheet You Urgenda just buena. Buena she she
Rick Archer: as, as someone who’s kind of out there interacting with the spiritual community, you may be more tuned in to the shift that is taking place, then people whose primary source of information is the six o’clock news. So does it. Are you optimistic and hopeful given the interactions you’ve been having with spiritually inclined people around the country around the world? And do you see an evolution of that? Like, is it a lot better now than it was 15 years ago?
David Newman: Yeah, well, you know, there’s definitely a discrepancy between what I put on the news and see what’s being reported. And, and, and the, the bhakti yoga bubble that I live in, because, you know, that’s what I do. I’m invited to play at festivals, conferences, yoga centers, yoga schools, and it is a bit of a buffered world. All that said, I, you know, I feel like, let’s call that you know, a tent of beings who are really looking to make a positive difference in the world and within themselves. And and I have seen, you know, that community grow and grow and grow and grow, you know, exactly how that will influence the greater whole, I don’t know. And I don’t think about it that much. Because, you know, ultimately, it’s, you know, it’s out of that part of it’s out of my control. I know that I can do what I do within my own self and to affect and share what I have to give with others and there are so many people that are deeply enthusiastic to share with a found with others and it’s like a baton, you know, it just keeps on spreading out. And I’ve also you know, I don’t feel 52 But I am 52, which means I’m now starting to see some of like, my godson is a Vedic astrologer, my nephew and I was just at a festival called Love Light. And, you know, my little guy, you know, I’ve known since he was born is now sitting at a booth, you know, doing you know, Vedic Astrology readings for me, he was packed the entire time people would come from his booth and say, Oh, my God, your nephew’s incredible, you know? And so my perception of him is changing. And I have other people in my life that I’ve known since they’ve been younger. And now they’re out there teaching yoga or now they’re out there being spiritual life coaches, or now they’re out there being healers and meditation teachers. And so that is deeply gratifying to see that there’s a groundswell of beings. I mean, you know, I somewhat came to this early on in Life, but a lot of these, you know, kids started from birth being exposed to Kirtan, and meditation and things of that nature. And it’s just, it’s just in their being and in their cells. And so what I’m driving at is I’m very hopeful, and I do get to see how things are growing, you know, going, you know, take a festival, like love light or bhakti fest, and, you know, you have, you know, a bhakti fest, you have like four or 5000 people coming to chat with you, you know, and you have people that are expressing Kirtan, you know, as you know, folk rock or r&b or jazz or rap and traditional, and so you have a dissemination of this vibration, that it’s really rolling out into the world, and exactly how it will merge with the overall you know, the Gestalt consciousness of our planet. It’s definitely positive. what exactly that means. I don’t have a crystal ball, but you know, amen.
Rick Archer: Do you know Chris Grosso?
David Newman: The name sounds incredibly familiar.
Rick Archer: I’ve interviewed I mean, he’s friends with Adam Bucko, and others, and who I’ve interviewed, and he’s some, he has some kind of a hip hop, spiritual Hip Hop thing going,
David Newman: that I think I’ve been exposed to him because his name sounds familiar.
Rick Archer: Yeah, he lives up in Connecticut. Well, I mean, you know, as well as I do, perhaps better than no man is an island, you know, we’re not isolated, and our influence doesn’t, isn’t limited to the people that with whom we directly interact, but it, you know, permeates and pervades and radiates out, through the field, to the whole world. And so personally, I think that this sort of growing interest that you described in this sort of thing, is not just sort of limited to what sociologists might, you know, understand as its influence, but is sort of radiating and enlivening the world consciousness, and that all sorts of shifts and changes and upliftment will be taking place. And, and it’s sort of both the chicken and the egg here. It’s both cause and effect. I mean, the fact that it’s becoming more popular is because the field is getting more lively. And the more people who get on board and participate in it, the more lively the field gets.
David Newman: Yeah, exactly. And you know, as a musician, I don’t always necessarily get to have direct contact with the people that are listening to and being affected by the music that I make. But I was teaching at Esalen last year, and a woman came up to me and said, You know, I am a medical doctor and I work in an emergency room. And the way I find my sustenance and peace is listening to your music on the car ride from home to the hospital. I speaking about those younger generation, I was just having lunch with a younger friend of mine, and she’s a yoga teacher, she she, she said, Do you know this person? I said, I’m aware of him because he’s the president of Live Nation, which is like the largest concert promoting company in the entire world. And she said, Well, you know, I’m teaching him yoga now. And and the other morning during my private yoga session, I gave him a Dharma talk. And he was really receptive to it. And so what happens is, you have all these healers and teachers and musicians that are affecting people that are, that are aren’t necessarily the ones that are coming to the festivals, you know, or not, but they’re, they’re getting it in some way. And they’re bringing it into corporate settings, and hopefully, into political settings and into industry in ways that we are totally unaware of me in November, I’m doing a two week tour of with this foundation called the call and response Foundation. And their whole mission is to bring chanting and Mantra music to places that wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to it. So we’re doing a two week tour of prisons, psychiatric hospitals, hospice centers, recovery centers. And you know, that’s the whole point. And I’m not the only one doing this, the you know, there’s people teaching yoga and you mentioned this, I believe in the beginning of our interview, you know, children being taught meditation, so there’s definitely an infiltration that’s happening and and no man is an island, like you said, and what I’m really finding is this sense of community is really becoming you know, the, so deeply important, you know, you look at some gurus that have left that they haven’t really left successors like Swami satchidananda or you know, I was Akashi ma Jaya didn’t leave his successor and, you know, a lot of it’s become about you know, us as a community, you know, taking these teachings Instead of now become rooted in us, and as as a community as a community bringing this into the world.
Rick Archer: Tick, not Han said the next Buddha is the Sangha. Or he said, maybe the Sangha. And, you know, that does seem to be this sort of egalitarian thing going on where, you know, less hierarchical, where there’s just sort of this groundswell of awakening, and people are just enlivening each other. I remember when I was a kid, I saw this science show on TV One time, where they had all these mousetraps set up in a room and ping pong balls on each mousetrap ping pong ball on each mousetrap. And it was meant to to demonstrate nuclear fusion or fission. But anyway, they set off one of the mousetraps in the ping pong ball and set up automated steps and the whole thing just sort of kept going. So I think there’s some kind of mousetrap ping pong ball effect going on in the world, this whole spiritual thing?
David Newman: It is. And what’s interesting is there’s so many people really, you know, you know, I really believe, I’ll tell you, Rick, when right when I wrote my book, time bound traveler, I literally wrote it in five days, I hardly slept, I hardly ate. And I’m not much of a writer in that way. But it was a story that wanted to be told. And I basically was at my computer for almost 20 hours a day. So I wrote, I wrote the book, and, and I decided I wanted to call it the time bound traveler. And then this tag phrase came to me because it really communicated the nature of what I was writing. And the tagline of the book was, how my journey as a seeker came to an end. And so as, as I was basically done writing, I thought, well, that’s a really bold statement to put on the cover of a book. And I very, very rarely watch TV. We have a TV in our basement. It’s one of those old box TVs, you know. And so I was so like, in a zone from writing, I thought, I need to put on the television set. That’s what I need. Right? So I walked in the basement, I put on the TV, and there was Barbara Walters, and she was interviewing Carlos Santana, just at that moment. Moments later, he was talking about spirituality and where the world is at now and the Woodstock generation or whatever, you know, all his peers. And, and he said to her, he said, you know, we were seekers, but we’ve become finders is perfect. And it was a synchronicity. It was a, it was a total synchronicity. But you know, so many of this young generation is they’re not looking in the same way that we were, you know, they they have this, we, you know, I’ve never gotten into this person’s awake, that person’s not awake, I’ve never engaged that that’s never been part of my thing, whether they’re awake or not, but they carry something, these younger generations, there’s a knowing that they walk with, and they’re bringing it forward. And what I’ve noticed within within them is, rather than like having a guru necessarily, they’re kind of there for each other, and they learn by share by sharing notes with each other. And that’s how they’re bringing it forward. And, and it’s really nice for me now, you know, to sort of be somewhat of an elder, you know, I’ll continue to become more of an elder, but to see these younger generations making such a huge change in difference in the world. That’s what makes me very, very helpful.
Rick Archer: Yeah, me too. And it’s a topic I do like to bring up from time to time because, you know, personally, I’ve been at this since I was 18 years old, and I’m 66. Now and, and the sort of changed the world forever of the 60s is still very much in my blood. And I and I like to put in this note of optimism, because I think, just as we were talking earlier about people who are sort of going through intense stuff might be encouraged to know that there’s help and that something good might be happening, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I think people who are sort of potentially depressed about the world situation. I mean, I’ve heard people talk about global warming, and, you know, say they just want to commit suicide because they feel we’re all doomed, and we’re all going to die. And this and that. And I really think that there’s the very clear potential, if not almost the likelihood of a much brighter outcome, how it’s specifically going to come about what technologies are going to manifest to make it possible to reverse the dangerous trends that we see in the world? We don’t know. But certainly, but I’m getting a little long winded here. But I think that like, for instance, Elon Musk is a meditator. Sure. And he’s got this building the world’s biggest factory in Nevada, which is going to generate build these batteries, and he’s going really big into solar production and you know, and aspiring to, you know, get us off oil, and he has the capability to actually do it. So and that’s just one example. So that I think that as consciousness rises, there are potential technologies will come forward which may have seemed impossible to us. I mean, some of the today today’s technology seemed impossible 30 years ago, and they could really turn things around and we could within our lifetimes see a very bright and beautiful world.
David Newman: Yeah, you know, I think that’s the, the, the real medicine of the awakened consciousness as another one of my favorite Ramana Maharshi quotes is don’t try to put leather cover the world in leather, just put on a pair of shoes. Yeah. And, and, you know, in my tradition, you know, having a relationship with Neem Karoli. Baba it, you know, in our tradition, it’s not just about the devotion, but it’s about, you know, utilizing the devotion, or I would say also the stillness as a means to really finding clarity as to what is your unique individual service to humanity. And so rather than, you know, speculating global warming is going to do moss, and we don’t know what the future holds in a lot of way. That’s a great distraction. I think what’s a greater use of our of our energies and our life force is to really find that sense of clarity and devotion and stillness and quiet to find out well, how, you know, how is it that you’re here to be an agent of change? Will? How does that look, Paul Hedeman called says what is your seat assignment, and you know, your seat assignment. You don’t have your dharma, it comes as a result of an inner prompting. It’s not something that someone else tells you. And so I think as we have more people living in that state of stillness, and that meditative clarity, and being rooted in that sense of devotion, the more helpers, there’s going to be to effectuate a greater a greater change on the planet.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And some of those health helpers may be vendors of solar technologies, or others may just be spiritual is strictly in a spiritual mode. But, you know, to each his own?
David Newman: Well, exactly, yeah, they could be a kirtan singer or CEO of a company, what does it matter as long as they as long as their hearts in? In the right place? Yeah, they have that intention.
Rick Archer: Okay, so is there anything we haven’t covered that you feel like you’d like to throw in here? For people to know about you, but anything else, either in terms of your own experience, your own life philosophical insights, or in terms of what you’re doing what you’re planning? You mentioned, I wanted to ask you, actually, you mentioned your thing in November, where you’re in prisons and mental hospitals and hospices and things. And I think you’ve already done some of that what has been your experience in those places,
David Newman: you can imagine, particularly, sharing mantras and music in a prison. I literally to this day, have not received a more grateful enthusiastic group of people than playing in a prison. The light on inmates faces when they have an opportunity just to be vulnerable, and to sing and to listen and to receive the gift of the practice. It’s, it’s extraordinary. And also, the younger generations, I was on tour in Atlanta several months ago, and I was it. I was like a psychiatric, they don’t, the kids didn’t live there. But they spent lots of time there, you know, a teens who were having psychiatric issues, you know, who came and chanted with me. And listen, they gave a little mini Dharma talk. It it’s incredible, it’s so deeply gratifying. And it makes you sad in a certain way. Because you realize in those moments that if these children or if these inmates were exposed to something like this, you know, on a regular basis, if this was part of their curriculum, or part of their therapy, or part of their nourishment, or part of their growth, it would just make for a very different society that we lived in. So it’s it’s incredibly gratifying. I just wish that there could be more of it within the system. You know, in all these situations, typically what happens is you have an administrator who is somehow sympathetic to spirituality. He says, Yeah, come on in and you know, and think kirtan in prison, or come on in and you know, and give a give a talk about meditation to my children, but in some of those places, is just simply not welcome. So there’s just the hope that there’s more of that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, maybe somebody listening to this might be in a position to help introduce it, you know, you could go in there.
David Newman: And let me say this, Rick, because we’re actually arranging the tour right now. And the woman Jen from Koan response Foundation has a lot of venues that she it’s a two week tour that she’s already booking, but we’re open so if anybody knows of hospice care centers rebuild tation recovery psychiatric prisons en that we’re doing along the east coast that may be interested, you know, have them get in touch with me or, or whoever. And we can add them to our list of stops.
Rick Archer: veteran’s homes come to mind also
David Newman: veterans too yeah. very much so yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. And we’re recording this at the end of August 2016. So if you’re listen to this in two years, still get in touch with Dave because I’m sure it’ll be up to something good then but you know, get in touch immediately if this is something you could do. Here’s a question that came in. From Dan from Dan, it looks like Robinson in Ottawa, it might be down might be a typo. But dinner, Dan, in Ottawa, Canada, David just said, awakening is not an experience. But for me, it is a very crisp experience. It’s the experience of being aware of your thoughts of being a separate somebody who exists in time and space, as opposed to being totally identified with those thoughts. I would be interested in his comment on this.
David Newman: Yeah, thank you. Thank you, Dan, or din? For the question. Yeah. Awakening itself. The reason I say it isn’t inexperience is very simple, because experiences come and go. I remember I was I was offering a talk at a at a yoga festival in in Floyd Virginia. And somebody said, Well, you know, I was I was, I was speaking about the shift in consciousness that is not subject to going in the other direction. That it’s that it’s consistently present. And I stand, I don’t know where I came, how this came forward. But I said, it’s like putting eggs in a cake. Once you bake the cake, the eggs are gone forever. How do you know that it’s just you know, that, that that you’re not going to get the eggs back in the shell, it’s just the nature of the thing itself. So a lot of times, you know, people will say something like this to me. And it can happen often in the kirtan setting, because you go to a cure time. And you have this pinnacle climax experience, where you’re feeling tremendous bliss. And then suddenly, you walk out the door, and the next morning, your leg hurts, and your boss yells at you. And you say, well, I lost that experience, I somehow have to get it back. And and you’re back on that sort of, you know, that that dualistic treadmill, for me when a shift took place, there was something that arose that I that it’s not experiential by nature, because I’m not in relationship to it. That’s the only thing it gives rise to to. And I said this earlier in the discussion, it gives rise to a much richer and wider spectrum of experience. But the thing itself is an experiential because I’m not in relationship with it, it doesn’t come and go, I can’t hold on to it, I can’t let go of it. So so it’s my way of communicating the nature of the thing itself in a way, that’s that’s going to sort of deprogram the seeker from thinking that somehow they’re going to find that pinnacle experience, that that expansive moment in meditation, or that blissful joy and kirtan and suddenly they’re just going to be able to hold it in their arms forever. It’s not that so that’s when I say it’s not experiential, that’s the reason but I would agree with you in that I’m agreeing with the question the the inquire that it does give rise to infinite possibilities and in regard to experience and and makes those experience because nothing sticking is just sort of flowing through coming and going. It gives rise to a greater sense of sensory experience as a human being
Rick Archer: greater capacity for depth of experience, perhaps or clarity of experience or fullness of experience.
David Newman: Yeah, capacity would be a good word.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Ramana was famous for always saying that, you know, that which comes and goes, isn’t it? You know, someone would come to him like Papaji came to him and talked about his experiences with Krishna and, and Ramana said, Well, is he here now? Isn’t No, then that’s not what it is not something that comes and goes I mean, there’s that verse in The Gita, oh, I’m quoting the the the Unreal has no being the real never ceases to be sure. So what we’re talking about here is the real and it never ceases to be. One more thing I’ll throw in Ken Wilber talks about states and stages, another way of explaining it, you know, states have sort of a stable implication, excuse me. stages have a stable implication states, you know, have state of bliss here state of sadness there and those things come and go. But I guess we could say that the end stages can change to go from this stage to the next stage, but they tend to be more sort of stable.
David Newman: Exactly. Yeah. They’re that That’s the distinction that I was drawing.
Rick Archer: Good. Okay. So I think they’ll have you take us out with a song. But let’s just sort of make a few concluding remarks. And you can make some recruit concluding remarks. If you have any, do you have any to begin with?
David Newman: Well, I feel a lot of gratitude for the invitation. I’ve really enjoyed our discussion. It’s it’s affirming and enjoyable. So that’s that, and for all those who are watching live, and who will watch it sometime in the future. Thanks for being a part of this. I appreciate it. Yeah, I feel like we’ve covered a lot of interesting ground.
Rick Archer: I think we have, I want to say thanks to Irene, too, because she kept she chooses the guests, you know, and schedules, the guests. And she kept bringing you up. She said, It kept looking at your website saying, I like this guy. He’s pretty cool. You should interview him, you know. And so I’m really glad that she found you. And I guess a few people recommended you. And that’s how it came to her attention.
David Newman: And I read and I’ve had a few communication. So thank you. I really appreciate it.
Rick Archer: David says, Thank you.
David Newman: Thank you. Yeah,
Rick Archer: she’s struggling her shoulders. Okay, so let me just make some concluding remarks. So this, as I mentioned, the beginning is an ongoing series, most of you know that. And I intend to keep doing it for the rest of my functional life. As things look now, hopefully, that will be long. There are 360 of them, or 365, or something so far. And so if you go to the past men past interviews, menu firstname.lastname@example.org, you’ll find them organized in several different ways. This also exists as an audio podcast. So if you’d like to listen while you’re commuting or something, you can subscribe to that on iTunes or Stitcher. And, incidentally, it’s actually helpful for the popularity of it on iTunes and Stitcher and things like that, if you leave a little review. So if you can figure out how to do that, and say, Hey, I liked this podcast, give it five stars or whatever, or this podcast sucks, give it one star, whatever you feel motivated to do. If you leave something on there, it’s somehow it’s like the search engine value of iTunes takes notice more readily and brings it to more people’s attention. So that’s just a little something. As I mentioned in the beginning, you know, this is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners. So if you feel like supporting it, there’s the donate button on batgap.com. And I always like to mention the checkout the menus on BatGap. Because there’s some things there that I don’t feel like saying every time I do an interview, but if you poke around, you’ll find them and you might find them useful or interesting. So Thanks. And thanks to you again, David. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation.
David Newman: Me too, Eric. And I would like to conclude by just sharing are we going to end with an another video is that
Rick Archer: you can say whatever you want to say now and then set it up, and we’ll play that video.
David Newman: Okay. Because one thing I wanted to mention was, you know, prayer is an interesting word. And so many people give different meanings to prayer, whether we’re praying to someone or something else, or whether it’s just a just residing in the stillness of being and engaging somebody we love, who’s going through a difficult time, whatever. But I’ve always find that that and I continue to find that the that prayerful state that comes forward in my being is a texture, this deeply important to me in my journey. And it’s a way for me to care for others in my life, particularly when I’m not with them in the physical sense. I wrote a song some years ago, because a very dear friend of mine, a very gifted guitar player, was very sick and ended up passing, he died at a young age of cancer. And when I was really feeling for him, I wrote a song called thinking of you. And it’s a song that I play live often as a means to invite the group to pray for others in their lives. And it’s also one of my most popular pieces and a piece of music that really seems to stir people in touch people in their hearts. And I made a video of it with my wife, Mira and daughter Tulsi in it. And we shot it with a beautiful director in California and I thought that could be a sweet way to end our talk. This song is called thinking as you
Rick Archer: Great, well, thanks. Let’s play that now.
David Newman and Friends: Open your heart, let the light of the world shine through you The greatest of joy is to see you in me and me in you. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe Be Love Be True To You As far and wide remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you We’re all thinking of you. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe Be Love Be True To You As far and wide remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you We’re all thinking of you. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe Be Love Be True To You As far and wide remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you We’re all thinking of you. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe Be Love Be True To You As far and wide remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you We’re all thinking of you. Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva. Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva. Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva. Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva Shri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare He Natha Narayana Vasudeva. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe Be Love Be True To You As far and wide remember there’s someone who’s thinking of you We’re all thinking of you. Be Bold Be Free Be Beautiful Believe…