Eliza Mada Dalian Transcript

Eliza Mada Dalian Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week is Eliza Mada Dalian, affectionately known as Mada. The person who helped me set this up sent me a little biographical sketch about her. She is a modern day mystic, internationally acclaimed master healer, and spiritual teacher. She’s like a human x-ray machine who, with razor-sharp accuracy, is able to see through the layers of people’s unconscious, read the repressed thoughts, emotions and belief patterns in the body that cause their pain, fears, and suffering, and help transform what’s unconscious in the person into consciousness. Combining this unique gift with her experience of enlightenment at age 33 and her deep wisdom and compassion for human suffering, Mada devised a light-speed healing system known as the Dalian Method for health and consciousness. This groundbreaking self-healing system helps to quickly identify and permanently erase the self-sabotaging imprints from the body’s cellular memory and transform fear, pain and suffering into health and self-empowered consciousness. Spiritually, the Dalian Method spontaneously assists the individual in awakening their inner intelligence and discovering their inner truth, creativity and life purpose. Mada has written a book entitled “In Search of the Miraculous – Healing into Consciousness” and a lot of our discussion today will be derived from things she’s talked about in that book. For instance, she has a chapter towards the end of the book which is a very fascinating account of her personal journey, so we’re going to go into that to some extent and then discuss a number of other points that are in the book. Of course, I’ll be linking to all this from batgap.com so people listening can find it all later on. So, thanks for doing this, it’s really a joy to see you. I haven’t read your book cover to cover because I do an interview a week when I can’t always read a book a week, but I’ve read quite a bit of it and really enjoyed what I’ve read so far, it’s a keeper.

Mada: Good to be with you. And actually before we start I want to say that I love the name that you used, Buddha at the Gas Pump, it’s so perfect.

Rick: Oh, thank you.

Mada: Because it’s exactly what the new Buddha is like.

Rick: That’s the implication, yep. And I can’t take credit for thinking up the name. A young friend of mine thought it up when I was trying to think of what to call this show, a fellow named Isaac Nevas, so all praise to Isaac. Good, so you were born in Armenia, as it’s said in the book, and you’ve had a number of challenging things happen to you in life, some jobs that were really killer jobs, I never would have survived, and some various other things, but also some really marvelous spiritual adventures and experiences and unfoldments. So let’s discuss that. I know you’ve told these stories many times and you wrote it all in the book, but let’s go through it in as much detail as you think is appropriate for this format, and I’m sure I’ll have some questions and comments perhaps as you go along.

Mada: So, well, the first thing is to of course talk about the beginning of life. And the beginning of life is very, very significant and important for all of us because it creates the imprint to how our perception of the world is going to be like. And from the very beginning, my experience coming into the world was not a very pleasant one in the sense that I went back in my memory and remembered when I was – after I was born – and remembered how I was put in a crib with many other children who were crying, and the lights, the neon lights shining on the whole night and day, and feeling like I needed to sleep and the lights were not allowing me. And so the conclusion I made about humans, that – obviously the adults – that they don’t understand, they are not sensitive, and they have no clue what they are doing, because we are all here, and they are not connecting with our needs. So that was sort of like the beginning of life, and if I go back to just prior to birth, that was another significant moment, which is, Buddha says, that is the most traumatic experience of our life.

Rick: Getting born?

Mada: Getting born, the process of birth. And I remember being in my mother’s womb and feeling like I was being pushed out, and in that time of… very important time where you are being pushed out and you have to obviously be born, I was resisting, because obviously womb is such a beautiful place, you don’t have to do anything, it is like paradise. And then I realized that I have no choice, it is not up to me.

Rick: What if you are born by caesarean? Does it make a difference in terms of that trauma?

Mada: I think it would definitely make a difference, yes, yes. In a way, that is a completely different story, because then you don’t have any choice at all.

Rick: Right, yeah.

Mada: But in the case of being born, you can either continue resisting, or in my case, I thought, okay, well, I understand that I cannot continue resisting, because it is against my own will. Whatever is happening, I cannot control, so I might as well surrender. And what helped me to surrender is remembering the earth. I felt like I knew this place before – I was here before – and it is a beautiful place, and I remembered the trees, and the sun, and the blue sky, and I thought, okay, it is not so bad, I can come back into it. So I was born in a state of surrender, in a way. And that has been pretty much my whole life, has been surrendering. And in a way, when I look back, there is that initial resistance, of course, which comes from the ego, and then you realize, “well, this is the ego”, and then you surrender. And for me, it happens very quickly. Of course, that also helped me on my journey to experience the thing we call enlightenment. So coming back into the process of birth, I don’t know if I am taking too long to describe it.

Rick: Take as much time as you like, it is fine.

Mada: But I think it is important for people to understand this.

Rick: Sure, yeah.

Mada: And of course, once we are born, then the first impression, other than coming into the world and seeing how the world welcomes you, then it is the family. Of course, this is where we learn all our conditionings, the imprints, and we make conclusions, and our belief system starts being cultivated at a very young age. And my impression of my parents and people around was the same as what I had in the hospital, when I felt people are so… they don’t know what they are doing. And I could sense that nobody is going to really understand me. Until I was about 5 years old, and I had an experience where my maternal grandfather died of cancer, and I saw him die. And in that commotion, where my mother and my aunt were trying to help him, and he was on morphine for a long time, and he basically couldn’t handle the pain any longer. So he went for the bottle, and he started drinking from the bottle, and they were hectic. They didn’t know what to do, but he just knew what he wanted. It was enough suffering. And he very quickly went. He died very quickly. And my first – the immediate – reaction was fear, because somebody was moving, and suddenly he is not moving any longer. And then, I remember sleeping at night in the next room, and my mother and I were visiting my grandfather’s house, so we were there, and I started thinking, “What will happen to a person who is dying?” And I sort of looked at my own mortality, and I thought, “I am going to die one day as well”. And then, “Who am I? Where am I going to go when I die? And what is my purpose here?” Those were very very important questions.

Rick: This is when you were five years old.

Mada: Five years old.

Rick: That’s great, because most people go through their whole lives without asking those questions, and you were asking them at five.

Mada: Exactly, but again, what we bring into this life also matters. I’ve been on this planet for too many lifetimes, so I guess I’ve learned many lessons in those lifetimes to be able to start asking that early on.

Rick: Right, sure.

Mada: And that was very significant and very profound, because there was a sense of disidentification from the ego, disidentification from the attachments to life, and that’s the main challenge of any spiritual seeker, to disidentify with life and our attachments. But after that, I had another significant experience at the age of seven, where my parents were divorced, and I was put in a room with my grandma, because she came to take care of me. And at that time, I was really puzzled with her. Every night before going to sleep, she would sit in her bed and start praying, and she would just mumble things, which to me was just whispering something. And I thought, “This is really strange. What is she talking about? What is she praying to?” So one day I challenged her, and I said, “There is no God”, because I felt like she was praying to God. And I said, “There is no God. If there is God, show Him to me”. And I was very feisty with her, and I was running around. She finally grabbed a hold of me and she said, looking into my eyes, “God is within you. God is within every human being, every animal, tree. God is everywhere around you”.

Rick: You had a wise grandmother.

Mada: She was very wise. And that, for a young child… children know. That’s my experience. Children know the truth. And for me it was like, “Yup, she’s telling me the truth, so I’m going to leave you alone”. And then I loved the time I spent with my grandmother. It was very nourishing, very pleasant in the sense that it was a state of complete acceptance. You know, grandparents are more in that state than our parents. And she was completely present. So I experienced presence, I experienced acceptance, I experienced unconditional love with my grandmother. And that was very important because later on my life didn’t turn out so pleasant because my father remarried and my stepmother was a very angry woman. So my life became a little harder. And sort of like when I look at the Cinderella story…

Rick: I was just thinking Cinderella.

Mada: So it was like that. I had to help with the household chores. When I was nine I had to do some shopping for the family, do the washing. So I didn’t have childhood. I basically was… And my intelligence knew that my survival is depending on these people, and I can’t take care of myself, I can’t just walk out, so I have to do what they tell me. And every child knows that. And every child learns to compromise. And this is how, because of children’s intelligence, they also learn how to lie, they learn how to manipulate. So we all do that because we have to learn to survive. So in my case, because of my experience with my grandmother and my grandfather, there was no need for me to manipulate or to lie, but I knew I had to do what they asked me to do, because I can’t take care of myself. So after that, when I was 16, I rebelled, like every teenager rebels. And at that point my mother kept asking me to go live with her, so I did. I decided I’ve had enough of this. And my stepmother was very abusive as well, physically and mentally. So that was the freedom, like now the world is my oyster, I can do whatever I want. And of course, I always had a very keen interest in education, and that was something my grandmother instilled in me as well. She said, “No matter what happens in life, education is the most important thing. So do whatever you can in school, study well, university”. And she used to tell me also about languages. She said, “Learn as many languages as you can, because every language you learn, you become more as a human”. So…

Rick: How many did you learn?

Mada: Well, at the time, my mother tongue was Armenian, and I went to Russian school, because at the time my father asked me, that’s the only thing he honored, when he asked me, “Which school do you want to go to?” And I was born in Armenia, which was part of USSR, and there was a choice of Armenian school or Russian school, and I said I’d like to go to Russian school.

Rick: So you went to Russian.

Mada: So I went to Russian school, so I learned the Russian. Those were the two languages basically used there. And when I moved, immigrated to Canada, I was in Montreal, so I started learning French. And of course, English I started learning when… my first university I went to was languages. So I was going to be an English language teacher. And though it did not really… I loved teaching, but my artistic side wanted something more, so then I wanted to study architecture. And my mind, which is very… I like scientific exploration. Initially I wanted to study cybernetics, but I didn’t, because I immigrated to Canada. And so…

Rick: What is cybernetics?

Mada: Well, it’s more… I think the science, mathematics, physics, and the science of how things work. So, if I had the choice now, I would definitely follow quantum physics, because that’s what comes closest to truth.

Rick: Yeah, it’s very interesting.

Mada: And so, because everything really spiritually, if you look at, once we have that spiritual experience, it’s exactly the same as what quantum physics comes to start to explain, scientifically. So, when I immigrated to Canada, I was 24. And I came with an attitude that unless something is very clearly presented to me, that makes sense to my intelligence, I’m not going to buy anything. So, basically, you have to appeal to my intelligence, just like with my grandmother. She appealed to my intelligence, she told me the truth. So, when I moved here, I met this Russian woman, who was part of the Second World War, and after Germans retreated, she was taken with them, and then eventually immigrated to Canada. So, I met her, and she gave me this book to read by P.G. Guspensky, “In Search of the Miraculous”. And when I read the book, and I read about the teachings of Gurdjieff, I was so excited, because I felt like, finally, I have some kind of guidance, because all my life I had no guidance whatsoever. I had to figure out things by myself, my father was busy with my stepmother and his work, and my stepmother was busy with her issues, so basically I had to figure out everything on my own. And this one, again, appealed to me in a sense that, yes, I want to explore, now I’m excited. And soon after, she gave me another book by… Oh yeah, I read books on life after death, so it kind of doubled… Whatever library she had, I was borrowing and reading. And then, she gave me a book by Osho, and that was called “Beware of Socialism”. And of course, coming from a socialist or communist country, I was curious to… I know that communism is just an idea, because I don’t see it really happening, even though I lived in that country. And that totally blew my mind, because everything he said about socialism and capitalism, and the differences, and how true communism can only come out of the very rich country, such as America, that was… those were new ideas, but at the same time it made sense to me, because when people don’t have enough, how can they share? How can they live in that communal way without really feeling that “Oh, I need more for myself”. Because the true idea of communism, which came from Karl Marx, is that life is for everyone, and we share it, in a way, it’s a more… I would say socially, the idea of communism is in a way, the idea of when you realize that “I am not separate”.

Rick: Yeah, so it’s nice in principle, but if people are living in a state of lack, then it’s not going to happen, both spiritually and materially. If they are in a state of emptiness or insufficiency, then there’s never going to be that overflowing that would actually make such an ideal practicable.

Mada: Exactly, exactly. So anyways, to make the story short, I started meditating with his active meditations, and of course went to visit him as well, and that was the beginning of my internal search. And as I described in the book, when I was on my search and meditating, and in that community that Osho created, again I felt like I belonged, but I didn’t belong at the same time.

Rick: How so?

Mada: Well, I belonged in the sense that there was an enlightened mystic who was sharing the truth that I resonated with, that I absolutely feel within myself. Every word I read wakes up the intelligence within me, and I go, “Oh my goodness, it’s true! How come I never thought of this?” But it just appeals to your inner intelligence. And in that sense I felt I absolutely belonged, because it’s the energy field that an enlightened master creates that helps that personal search easier, and I take my focus to go into deeper areas, into more unconscious areas. And in another sense I didn’t belong because I felt that people who were there, they still had their social conditionings, they still had their issues of control, they still had their issues of insecurity, and their egos were there battling.

Rick: Yeah, I had to chuckle when I read that part of your book. You kind of broke it down in terms of power-hungry administrators, blind followers, and free thinkers. And I’ve experienced a couple of different spiritual movements close hand, and I think you were spot on in terms of that analysis. It’s just human mentality is such that people sort themselves out into those rough categories, and there’s always a similar dynamic going on, there’s different types.

Mada: Absolutely, because we’re human, and we bring our human nature. And everybody comes from a certain state of development that they bring into that relationship communally. So, obviously, some are younger spirits, they’re still learning, and they have their own issues. And what I also discovered was that not everybody is really seriously interested about enlightenment or awakening. People say they do, they gravitate to groups like that, but they gravitate because they feel good and they need a sense of belonging to a group. They’re not really interested to wake up.

Rick: It might also be fair to say that different groups as a whole have different degrees of spiritual maturity. For instance, you might say that Jonestown was a very immature kind of scene, whereas others are much more spiritually mature, and you’re not going to find the egregious examples of abuse, at least not to the same degree that you would find in the more immature ones. So it wouldn’t be fair to lump them all into one big basket.

Mada: Absolutely, yes. And in this case, at least with the community that Osho created, there was this sense of individuality.

Rick: That was fostered and encouraged?

Mada: Absolutely, that was his main thing. You need to find your individuality, because unless you find it, you’re not going to be willing to let go of your ego.

Rick: Right. Yeah, I like that point. Maybe after a little bit we’ll dwell on it more specifically, but the whole point of making the ego stronger and more healthy, as opposed to just from the start chopping it down, I think that’s a very important point. We could dwell on it even now if you like, and then loop back to the story, or else we can pick it up a little bit later on.

Mada: Sure, I think I can probably tie the two together, absolutely.

Rick: Yeah, go ahead, let’s elaborate on that then.

Mada: So in my case, I feel that I’ve always had a healthy ego, in a sense that I didn’t have internal insecurities. I felt that I’m capable of doing whatever I want to do. And this was also, of course, from my past life training. I’ve been with Masters for many lifetimes, and I describe that in a book, you probably read that.

Rick: I did, yeah.

Mada: Including the Buddha. So I come with some maturity, so I didn’t have the insecurities that normally the wounded ego carries.

Rick: And for the sake of those who might be skeptical about that claim, I guess what you’re saying is you’ve had clear inner visions or intuitive realizations of those lifetimes with those Masters, right? That’s how you know that you have been?

Mada: I had the memory, yes.

Rick: The memories, pretty vivid?

Mada: Yes.

Rick: Yeah, okay.

Mada: Memories came up, and the memories come up with also, why do we need to remember past lives? In order to see the patterns that we’re repeating in this lifetime. And for me, what I saw, the pattern that I was repeating, basically, in the case when I was with the Buddha, I went to Buddha because I wanted to learn more about spirituality, but coming from a background where I was a rich person, and I had everything, and all the comforts, you come to a teacher who says, “Here’s the begging bowl, you have to go and beg for your food”. It was very uncomfortable for me, even though everything the Buddha talked about was absolutely resonating as truth. So what I struggled with, why do I have to use the begging bowl and go beg for food? I could work for it and use my own labor. Probably I had some other issues about that too. So then I left the Buddha and I went to become a fisherman, so I lived a very simple life, fishing and taking care of myself, and enjoying the nature I was in. And when the Buddha died and the news reached me, I was so devastated, and I remember in that moment, I experienced that moment, and realized that I missed the most important thing in life, because all this beauty, the worldly beauty was nothing compared to the beauty of an enlightened man like the Buddha. And I was so deeply distraught that in that moment I experienced hearing Buddha’s voice saying, “Charaiveti, Charaiveti, go on, go on. This too shall pass, so go on with your search”. And that compassion, the Buddha’s compassion is so profound, and that compassion is what heals. So in that moment, very deep, deep sorrow, and feeling his compassion, at the same time I felt that, “That’s right, this is not the end”.

Rick: Yeah, to me that’s a very comforting thought. If you can take the long view, that our life is not confined by 80 times around the sun or whatever, it’s a long process, then it doesn’t make you lackadaisical, but on the other hand it makes you patient and accepting of things as they present themselves, “This too shall pass”. There’s a kind of tolerance that develops when you can take that view. Incidentally, on the past lives thing, a number of spiritual masters say, “Well, you shouldn’t dwell on them or try to remember them or anything else”, but then Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra says, “There’s a time when you’re going to remember them”.

Mada: Because to me, from my experience, remembering past lives, you need to see the patterns you’re repeating. In this case, when I found Osho, and I found that same quality of compassion, because I remember the first time I went and sat in the assembly, for three days in a row, I just cried for two hours just looking at him and he was saying nothing. He just looked at you and I wouldn’t stop crying. I could feel that I’ve come home, but there was that sense of compassion that really helped to heal something. One thing that really really bothered me the whole time I was with Osho was that I have to be next to him, I cannot leave, I have to absolutely be there, because I cannot miss his death. I was really puzzled. Why am I really so attached to having to be there when he dies? Remembering after he died, as a matter of fact, and I was there, I was right next to him in the burning gas, where they were burning his body, and I was there throughout the whole time. Afterwards, I had that experience of remembering my life with the Buddha. This is interesting. And I understood why I was so attached to having to be there when Osho dies, because I had experienced a different situation with the Buddha, where I was devastated and I cried, and I was in that state of realizing that I missed.

Rick: Right, regret.

Mada: That’s the most important thing. So this way, once we remember, something inside us, once we see the pattern, something inside us relaxes, and it goes, “Aha, now I understand why I was so attached”.

Rick: Yeah, that’s good. And in fact, you told a story in your book where you had committed suicide in one life when you were living in a Tibetan monastery, and then your mangled body, I guess, was brought up from the bottom of the cliff you had jumped off, and the master there told some disciple to bring you back, I think you said, and you realized that that disciple that was told that was Osho, actually.

Mada: Yes.

Rick: Yeah, that was interesting.

Mada: It is, and how we all … nothing really ends, nothing finishes, everything is a continuation.

Rick: Yeah.

Mada: A lifetime is not enough to learn everything we need to learn.

Rick: It would be very scary and depressing if we didn’t think that, in my opinion. I mean, I’ve thought that for so long that I’m used to it, but it seems to me that if you really thought that your existence was going to just totally end in a couple of decades or something, it would be terrifying.

Mada: Yes, yes. You…

Rick: Yeah. I’m sorry, go ahead.

Mada: You wouldn’t have any chance to make mistakes and learn from your mistakes.

Rick: Right, and I also would say some kind of not so complimentary things about God, if that’s the way God is running the universe, then what kind of a guy is he?

Mada: Yes.

Rick: So we were kind of dwelling on the point of developing the ego and strengthening it. In fact, there was a nice quote you said, “You can’t make enlightenment happen, but you can prepare the vehicle”.

Mada: That’s right.

Rick: I like that.

Mada: That’s right, because that’s the only thing we can do, it’s in our power. Enlightenment is a gift from the universe, and it happens… When I say we’re ready, it happens when we’re ready, but what is that readiness? That readiness is we need to see the ego, we need to understand the ego, and we need to be willing to die. In other words, what is willing to die? It’s that intelligence inside you that understands the fear coming from the ego, even though initially it’s an intellectual understanding that the fear is from the ego, and I will not die, I will continue, I hear all these stories and there’s life after death, but it’s all intellectual.

Rick: It’s conceptual, yeah.

Mada: So to actually experience that fear in the body and to transcend it, it prepares you, it makes you worthy of the gift.

Rick: And would you agree that meditation, if it’s deep, is a sort of a mini-death, because you do transcend the ego, and if you do that thousands of times over the course of many years of practice, then you get very accustomed to just transcending the ego, and so you begin to… it really defangs death.

Mada: Meditation is absolutely the key, because the way meditation prepares you is, it gives you an opportunity to experience the inner emptiness, and to start making friends with that inner emptiness, and not run away from it. And most people, all problems exist because people run away from their inner emptiness, which is their being. So if you run away from your being, how are you going to really find that eternal you that never dies? It’s the being that never dies, it’s that emptiness that never dies, and within it is the consciousness. So meditation helps you to, prepares you to make friends with emptiness, and not only that, once you sit and go deeper into emptiness, something starts expanding. Suddenly the limitations of the body start disappearing, and in that expansion, suddenly you move into the unknown. And this is how you surrender into the unknown, and you become one, this is enlightenment, surrendering into that unknown, and merging with it, and there is no longer any “I” that comes with it. Yes, absolutely, without meditation it will be almost impossible to come to that place, or a place of recognition that I am not my body, I am not my pain, I am not my thoughts, I am not my emotions, I am this inner emptiness, this is my being.

Rick: Why do you think it is that people run away from that inner emptiness, like you just said?

Mada: Oh, there are so many reasons. Fear is number one.

Rick: And the fear, yeah, there is a saying in the Upanishads, which I don’t remember the Sanskrit, but it goes, “Certainly all fear is born of duality”. And do you think that there is kind of a root fear that happens, or that resides at some point, that kind of keeps us in duality, and people are afraid to confront that, and that’s why they run away from it, the emptiness?

Mada: Yes, the root of all fears is the fear of death. In death everything is going to disappear into nothingness, into emptiness.

Rick: Or so you think. Or maybe it will.

Mada: It will, it will. So somewhere the intelligence knows this is what is going to happen.

Rick: But people who have these NDEs, these near-death experiences, they describe it as being a wonderful fullness and a great experience, rather than any kind of empty… emptiness has a negative connotation.

Mada: Yes, but if we really look at the truth, the whole universe is existing within the emptiness. So whatever we see as a materialized form is only a part of that emptiness in the form, but the form sooner or later disappears, and the energy within the form goes back into that same emptiness. And one thing I’d like to say about near-death experiences, which I also had one, and the realization that I’m still here, I’m still present, going through the tunnel, and it’s blissful, and I don’t need to be afraid of anything. Yes, that realization is there, but it’s still not the step of enlightenment, because enlightenment means understanding that even “I am here, I am a presence” needs to go. Because thinking I am eternal, I am here, and even my body is dead, I am not dead. Still there is something still lacking of me knowing that I am not the “I”, you see? So there is another step past that.

Rick: Yeah, I see what you mean. Right. So most people, when they have these NDEs, even though they are free of the body, there is still a kind of localized entity that is having the experience, and they don’t necessarily realize or cognize their universal nature. It’s more like, “Oh, look at me, I’m looking down at my body, I can hear what the doctors are saying down the hall”, things like that, but they are still kind of… they may be more abstract, but they are still individuated.

Mada: That’s right, that’s right. So until the person starts recognizing the “I” still part of the ego, then the absolute, complete surrender into the universe is impossible. And why do we need to come to that ultimate surrender to the universe? It’s because then you are all inclusive, you realize that you are not separate from anything or anyone. And realize the “I” was simply keeping you in that state of still connected to your individuality, let’s put it that way.

Rick: Yeah, although I tell you, having read a number of these NDEs, it can definitely be a kick in the pants in terms of loosening up the confines or the constraints that ordinarily bind people. It can be a real life-changer for many people.

Mada: Absolutely, that’s why they are very important. And each person who experiences that, obviously, in their own way, then comes back to share it. And this is what… it’s all about education. Our life on the planet is education. So people who have had experiences, they share their experiences to educate, help others to realize, “Oh, well, life is not just all doom and gloom, and there are other things that I can look for, and I can strive for, and I can experience”.

Rick: Yeah, but again, there are better ways than cancer and heart attacks and getting struck by lightning to have that realization. Obviously, meditation is a very effective way that doesn’t nearly kill us when we practice it.

Mada: My experience is that people don’t like to work at it.

Rick: They don’t have the discipline, you mean, to do it?

Mada: Discipline, they don’t, because as a society, especially the Western culture, we are so trained collectively to get our problems fixed by somebody else.

Rick: Yeah, but in your case, of course, you never had a problem doing it, did you? You were drawn to it like a duck to water and you really enjoyed it.

Mada: Yeah, but you have to keep in mind that background, I was used to doing things for myself, and in a way my spirit chose to come to the family that I came to, so that nobody interferes with my journey, so that I can decide what I want to do. So even in Osho’s community, I had to do my own thing, and many times I was called a trouble maker because I wouldn’t fit in to what I was told. I had to do my own thing. So that’s sort of… plus coming from the socialist, communist background country, where religion wasn’t really imposed. But coming into the West, I see that the West is very much, and normally people are very much wanting somebody else to take care of them and do the work. They don’t like to do the dirty work, they just want somebody else to come and do it for them. And that’s why they don’t have the experiences, and the strengthening of the spirit does not happen. Because you need to become a warrior in order to face those things like fear and insecurity, and be able to see that I am the master of my life. Otherwise, everybody else is the master, and I am a poor victim who is not being loved, and being criticized, and being rejected. And then people thrive on that, because feeling like a victim is also like a drug.

Rick: Yeah.

Mada: When somebody is feeling like a victim, they need that drug, they need the attention from others. It’s like, no wonder we have all the vampire movies, and people are so attracted to them, because we live in a society which is pretty much living in that vampire state. Everybody is wanting attention from everybody else, and very few are there who are willing to give. If they are giving it, it’s a negative attention in a sense. It feeds that insecurity and feeds that need within a person. My way is very different. I don’t like to feed people’s needs, I like to transform. I like to transform their insecurities and their wounded ego.

Rick: It’s interesting to see what happens to some celebrities when they get a super abundance of attention, but they don’t have the inner strength and maturity to handle it, then they go off the rails. There are all kinds of crazy problems. And that is an illustration that attention isn’t going to do it for you necessarily. Let’s loop back to the Osho community for a bit. I thought you, in a very honest and mature way, brought up a lot of the observations of the Osho community that people like myself had from the outside, and cleared up a lot of doubts, I thought. It wasn’t necessarily this big sex orgy going on. Even the Rolls-Royce thing, I’ve interviewed about half a dozen people who were in that community, and had some pretty good explanations about the Rolls-Royces. One person even said, “People would donate these things, and then he’d ride around in them a bit, and then be able to sell them for even more than retail value, and it would help to support the community, help to support the ashram”. So, I can live with that. Were there any other things that you think that people might be thinking about Osho, that they had an outsider’s perspective that you’d like to address?

Mada: Well, I think any person, such as Osho, any awakened person… one thing that puts Osho apart from all the other awakened people that I know, is his ability to be god-sy and to do his thing.

Rick: Do his thing?

Mada: Yes. And that’s the role, that’s the actual illustration of a very important mystic, such as the Buddha, who shakes the foundation of the old. Because unless we shake the foundation, we cannot build anything. Unless we destroy the rotten foundation, we cannot build anything. And he was disliked very much because people wouldn’t understand the conditionings that they were a slave to. And this is the difficulty when a master like that comes into the world, that he shakes your foundation, and he challenges your intelligence. And unless you are really really sincere in wanting to wake up, you don’t see these things. And obviously, the criticism is inevitable, and media, we know media thrives on stories, and media thrives on creating stories.

Rick: Right, and controversies and whatnot.

Mada: Whether they are true or not, that’s not the point. And now we are seeing that in that time, in the 80s, it was less obvious.

Rick: Yeah.

Mada: Now because of YouTube, because of Internet, it’s more obvious how things are manipulated, how politics are manipulated, how people are manipulated, because more and more people are speaking out. But in those days, I think he was a single person against that big collective unconsciousness that was speaking. It started in India, of course, with the whole sex issue. And when somebody says, “Well, you are all repressed”, which is the truth, Indian community is very sexually repressed. And so he speaks to a crowd of 100,000 people, and telling them that they are all repressed. And what is sex? It’s the first chakra, it’s the life force, where your life force is sitting. If that chakra is repressed, if your life force is repressed, forget about enlightenment. How is the energy going to go up to your third eye or crown, and ultimately open up like a lotus flower to the universe, if you have a lid on your own energy? So that’s what created the controversy, because of that repression. If sex was not repressed, the cultures that are not sexually repressed embraced the idea.

Rick: Yeah, although in the West, since the 60s, we’ve had a sexual revolution, and you could hardly call many people in the West repressed, in a sense they’ve gone to the other extreme, but that doesn’t seem to have been conducive to enlightenment either. So there must be some kind of middle ground or happy medium or something.

Mada: Yes, but we need to understand first of all the roots of sexual repression. They all come back to religion, they all come back to religious organizations. Because a child learns from his parents, her parents, that sex is taboo. And when you see – I remember with myself – you see a couple kissing, well, you look the other way, you are not allowed to look at it. Children have that conditioning. Yes, in the West it is now breaking down, it has been breaking down, but still, religion will not allow it to be completely broken down. If we look at the conditionings that come from religious leaders, the Pope, and Christianity for example, it is still contraceptives are not allowed, abortions are not allowed, so people’s freedom is taken away to decide how they want to live their life. So these things are still prematurely, prominently there, especially amongst young people as well. So the people that you speak of are very few in between. People who realize and understand that I need to transcend, I need to explore first of all, in order to transcend.

Rick: So in summary then, Osho’s community wasn’t some kind of big orgy going on, but it wasn’t a repressive, stifling kind of atmosphere either. There was some kind of normalcy, some sort of balance, naturalness that had been achieved there?

Mada: Absolutely, absolutely. You had complete freedom, sexual freedom. And what I experienced with myself – and I was young when I went there, most people were young, and still young people get attracted to Osho for some reason – is that when we are young, we are open to explore our sexuality. But then as I explored my sexuality, I also realized the conditionings. Even though I grew up in a communist country, my parents came from the West, so they still had their sexual inhibitions, the conditionings about sexuality. And I realized that those, even though I didn’t think they were in my body, those conditionings were in my body, that had passed on from my parents. And I saw that they were even deeper, even from my previous lifetimes, being in the Christian environment, and there are many people, including myself, who have been following the Christian faith. I remember some past lives in that religion as well, which I haven’t written in the book, but also remembering how I had to break out, because what is taught there is about the heart, but the energy cannot come to your heart, if you repress your sexuality. And when you repress your sexuality, as we see now, it becomes a perversion, and there are so many cases of child sexual abuse within the clergy, and why is that happening? Because you cannot repress something that is natural. And this is what Osho was trying to say to people, that if you want to heal as a nation, if you want to heal your pain, if you want to heal and really enjoy and live and celebrate life, which is our birthright, you have to break through those conditionings, you have to see the root, where they come from. And of course, institutions, the status quo is never for the individual. That is institutions.

Rick: Was Osho himself sexually active, or was he beyond that?

Mada: There was a time, this was in Oregon, he had a press conference that he invited many people, and this is when he came out of his silence. And there was a question, “What about your sexuality?” “Are you sexually… Can you talk about your sexuality?” And what he said was really interesting, and made me think. He said, “When Buddha was asked the same question, his answer to that question was, “That question is like my closed fist”.

Rick: I don’t understand the answer.

Mada: Let me continue. In other words, he didn’t want to talk about it.

Rick: Oh!

Mada: Osho said, “That was Buddha’s answer, but my answer is, my fist is open”. He didn’t tell you that, “Yes, I have been sexually active, but in the past few months, my body hasn’t been strong enough, so I could not really perform”. And he made a joke out of that. When you look at an awakened person, it doesn’t mean sex stops, you are still living in the physical body. And I can say from my own experience, if my body does not… There is a point that comes, you are indifferent about it. This is what happened to many Osho disciples. When they went into it full-heartedly, experienced it full-heartedly, and understood what they need to understand, and break through some of the conditions they had to break through, such as myself, then you come to a point of neutrality about it. If it is there, it is happening, you enjoy it. If it is not there, you don’t think about it, you don’t crave it, you don’t dwell on it. So you are free of that instinct that the body is generating, because it is a natural instinct. And when the body is young, obviously, what is sex? There is another beautiful man, a teacher, who passed away, I think, some years ago, Batty Long. He talks… you probably heard of Barry Long, he talks about… Have you?

Rick: I do, I am not familiar with him, but I have heard his name, yeah.

Mada: An Australian teacher.

Rick: Australian?

Mada: Yes, and he talks about sex very beautifully. And he says, “Sex helps to rejuvenate energy, to move energy through the body, and helps you to dissolve the ego, at least temporarily, because in that union, in that act of sexuality, your ego disappears. You suddenly are experiencing something that allows your whole body to move, your energy to move through your whole body, and as the energy moves, then you come to see things, because energy is understanding. Once the energy starts moving, and once you experience the full body orgasm, which not so many people come to experience, then you suddenly have a moment of dropping, absolute dropping of the ego and melting with the universe”. So, sex has been also a very profound teaching in the form of Tantra in Tibet. So, to make sex dirty, as Christian religion has done, is very damaging for a possibility of human flowering. Because even “From Sex to Superconsciousness”… Osho has a book called “From Sex to Superconsciousness” to demonstrate that it is something that is given by the existence, by God, and we cannot deny what is given by God, and then expect to meet God face to face and say, “Thy work is done”.

Rick: Yeah. Interesting. Of course, there are some factions of Eastern spirituality which say, “Well, it’s not rejuvenating, it’s draining, and if you conserve that energy, then it gets converted to Ojas and goes up to the Sushumna” and all that business. So, I don’t know, I’m no expert, but there seem to be these conflicting schools of thought out there.

Mada: Well, in yoga they do that as well.

Rick: Maybe that’s the yoga tradition, yeah.

Mada: And yes, you can…

Rick: I’m sorry, your voice cut out there. You can what, did you say?

Mada: Will, the will.

Rick: Right.

Mada: Well, you can do those things, because yoga is very much a tradition of cultivating that will. Through will you can do anything. You can be buried on the ground and be there for days. Yoga knows how to do those things, but is it natural? Is it how existence made us? Is it only to create life that sex is all about? I mean, there is so much openness about sex now than it was 20 years ago, or 30 years ago when Osho actually started bringing those concepts out.

Rick: I think another consideration is what a person is suited for, because there obviously have been examples of great sages and mystics and so on, who lived celibate lifestyles and that did not appear to be an impediment to their enlightenment, they became highly realized, but what percentage of humanity is qualified to do that? It must be very very small, so you can’t emulate those people necessarily, you have to be true to yourself, right?

Mada: Absolutely, it’s a matter of choice, definitely, but in my view, life provides me with opportunities to experience whatever it provides me to experience, I am going to experience it. I am not going to cut myself off from experiencing anything, because only through experience is how I become a knower.

Rick: Couldn’t somebody misinterpret that though and become hedonistic, “Somebody is offering me this marijuana, I think I will experience that, and here is a whiskey, I think I will experience that”. You know, you can kind of experience all kinds of things that might actually degrade your consciousness or intelligence.

Mada: Well, if your goal is to wake up, and if your focus is “I am going to experience and I am going to watch and experience is going to teach me”, if that is your attitude, then absolutely not. When I was in my 30s, I was given marijuana to try, people invited me to a party, I tried, nothing happened to me, because my meditation has been deeper than what that plant can offer me.

Rick: I see.

Mada: So my meditation supersedes that quality of the plant. And why was that plant put on this planet? In order to give people an experience that something divine is there, that something more to life than what you think life is all about. So everything on the planet is there to give people an experience that there is something more to life than what you think.

Rick: Yeah, good point. In fact, Ayurveda says that every single plant and substance is a medicine for somebody, even if it is poisonous or whatever, and for most people there might be a specific purpose for that thing that would be beneficial to somebody.

Mada: For the natives, they use mushrooms, and in traditional native culture, when you go on a vision quest and you use the mushrooms, you just use them for the experience. But if you get hooked on it, that’s a different story. If you get addicted to something, that’s a different story. That means that your awareness is not strong enough, your resolve about your self-discovery is not strong enough. You are more searching the experience now, and this is the difficulty. And while you are searching the experience, this is where the person needs to start looking at, what is the experience helping you to forget? What is the pain inside you? What is the insecurity that this experience is helping you to forget? That’s why people get addicted to drugs, because they are trying to forget something.

Rick: Ha, interesting. So, yeah, when I was 17, I did drugs for about a year, and I was telling myself that I was using them to explore and open up to deeper awareness, and so on and so forth, but I kind of progressively deteriorated, until after about a year I was paranoid, and I dropped out of high school, and I was all foggy and confused. I just sat down one night and I thought to myself, “If you think this is some kind of spiritual quest that you are doing here, you are kidding yourself, and you better turn it around”. And so I learned meditation and turned it around and all. But I guess the principle we are discussing here is that one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and anything has its purpose, but anything can also be used in excess and abused, and can become a weakening influence rather than an opening influence.

Mada: It can, but then in your case, you had to do it for as long as you did, in order to come to that awareness. If you hadn’t done it, you might have never come to meditation.

Rick: Yeah. It’s probably true, I mean it really opened my eyes about some things, and when it was done, it was done. Yeah, I mean that’s a good attitude in general in life, isn’t it? To kind of see the past as having been what it was supposed to be, because it brought you to the present.

Mada: Absolutely, and some teachers like Guruji, he actually even used to make his disciples drink, till they fall into the unconscious, they couldn’t drink anymore. He used to make them eat till they can’t eat anymore, so that those things that are hidden in their unconscious can quickly surface. And he would see what is really hiding, because we hide so much stuff in our unconscious. And once those things are seen – come to consciousness – then you can easily see them, transform them, and move through them. So this is exactly what my method does too, without having to get a person…

Rick: One thing I’ve observed is that of the several world famous great masters that I have come in contact with, they are still human beings, very much. I mean they still have human frailties, at least from my point of view, which might be perceived, which critics might jump on as points of contention, that well they are phonies, or they are really not all they are cracked up to be, and so on. But I don’t know, I’ve kind of learned to be forgiving of those things, and to appreciate, to take what you need and leave the rest, and to appreciate the great gifts and blessings that they bestowed on my life and on the world. Do you kind of feel that way, or do you look back on Osho as having been infallible, and beyond reproach in all respects, and so on?

Mada: The first thing that popped to my mind, there was a question asked of Alan Watts, and Alan Watts, as you know, is an American, and he used to do that. The question was, “You say that you are enlightened and you are still drinking. How is that possible?” And he said, “Yes, but I drink in an enlightened way”.

Rick: Ha ha ha, that’s funny!

Mada: What it is, is of course a person is still a person, the personality is still there. The main difference is that you are not identified with it.

Rick: You are not identified with it.

Mada: So there is, because learning does not stop. If somebody becomes enlightened, it doesn’t mean they stop learning.

Rick: Or possibly making mistakes and learning from those.

Mada: Absolutely, and it doesn’t mean that suddenly they are not a human being anymore.

Rick: Right.

Mada: They are still a human being, they still have their needs, they still have to eat, they still have to go to the bathroom, they still have to… those things don’t change. And what we bring in terms of the personalities that we bring into this life and adopt from our parents, those things don’t change.

Rick: Right, some things seem to change. I mean, your personality can really get quite transformed by spiritual awakening, but maybe some things don’t change.

Mada: Some things don’t change because they are just built in your body, they are in the DNA. What changes is your perception of reality, your perception of people. What changes is that you stop judging, you stop criticizing. What changes is that you become compassionate and understanding. What changes is that you understand what is happening to this person is also happening to me. You understand that the duality is there, I live in the world of duality, but I am not off the world. So this is the saying, “I am in the world but not off the world”.

Rick: Right, Jesus said that.

Mada: That’s right. So this is all about a perception. So nothing really in life is separate. And if the sun is shining, obviously you feel more energized and you feel, “I can go out and I feel more happy being in my form”. And when it is cold, in my case I don’t like rain anymore because my body is getting old and I need a sunny environment. So you realize, “Ok, I need to change the environment”. And yes, what are the frailties? When we judge and say it is a frailty, then we are judging and we are separating.

Rick: Well, there is a tendency for people to kind of idealize their teacher, put them up on a pedestal, and in some cases there is a tendency for teachers to encourage that or to try to hide their warts and portray themselves as being some glorious, perfect thing.

Mada: Well, in that case, then that teacher still hasn’t transcended the ego. Because… I was just recently in Minneapolis doing a workshop, and somebody was giving me compliments, and it doesn’t touch me because you might be giving me compliments one moment, and you might turn around and start judging me the next moment. I am… human nature. So I don’t get affected by either judgment, criticism, or by compliment.

Rick: Would you say that on some level, on a more superficial level, as Mada, if someone is yelling and swearing at you, that is unpleasant, and if someone is praising you, that is pleasant, but on a deeper level it doesn’t matter one way or the other. Would that be a fair assessment?

Mada: That’s right, obviously. And then I have a choice. If somebody is attacking, then I have a choice to say, “Well, sorry, this is not allowed”.

Rick: Yeah, or “I am out of here”. Or whatever, “You are out of here”.

Mada: Exactly. And obviously, if somebody is more pleasant, then they are open. Because how can you, as a teacher, share something if somebody is close and is attacking you? It is impossible for sharing to happen, and it happened to me many times. I am doing a talk, and I would get people sitting right in front of me. Some person is completely open and listening and absorbing what I am saying, and another person is sitting there in judgment in everything I say. So when I look at a person who is open, new things come out of my mouth, and I can talk things that I would not have talked normally. And the person who is closed, nothing goes, energy doesn’t move, so there is nothing I have to say. I cannot say anything.

Rick: It is very true. There is a saying that a teacher is like a reservoir, and you can put a little drinking straw up to a reservoir, and not much is going to come through. Or you can put a great big pipe, and a lot is going to come through. So it is the receptivity of the student that determines what the teacher is actually going to be able to say and do. So if you had to boil the definition of enlightenment down to one thing, is that what you said a minute ago, that it is freedom from identification? Is that the essential characteristic of it?

Mada: Well, that is one of the characteristics, absolutely. The term “enlightenment” was coined by the Buddha, and the reason he called it “enlightenment” is because his experience was that his whole body turned into light. That was exactly my experience.

Rick: When you were 33?

Mada: Yes. When my whole body turned into light, and in that experience, the realization that the whole universe is made of joy. And once you realize that the universe is made of joy, and joy which arises out of creation, then you understand that everything in the universe that has a material form has arisen out of that joy of creation. And then you realize on a smaller scale that you are the universe, who is also creating moment to moment. And the moment you stop creating, then you become like a black hole. Then nothing happens, nothing moves, nothing is seen. And light arises out of creation. So in that creation, in that joy, there is also light and there is also consciousness.

Rick: When you had that experience when you were 33, was that a watershed moment, which things were never the same since, or did it kind of fade and get back to normalcy again?

Mada: Like any other experience, that experience also fades. What does not fade is consciousness. So once you become conscious of something, experience allows you to have an awareness of something. So once you become aware and conscious of whatever you are becoming aware of, that never fades.

Rick: So since that experience at the age of 33, there has been a level or a degree of consciousness which wasn’t there before, and that has not faded since then, is that what you are saying?

Mada: Absolutely.

Rick: In your book you mentioned that when you had that experience, you began to find that consciousness was awake even while you were asleep. So it was 24 hours a day. Did that fade or is that still a characteristic of your experience?

Mada: It is still there. There is an awareness in my sleep that I am aware. I am aware in my sleep, and then there is the out-of-sleep that we come to once in a while, the deep sleep. But Buddha described nirvana as that state of deep sleep, where suddenly there is nothing, not even consciousness.

Rick: So now when you are in lighter stages of sleep, you have the inner awareness, but when you go into the deepest stages of sleep, then it is just nothing.

Mada: There is nobody experiencing or being � yeah, there is nothing.

Rick: The reason I bring this up is that a number of people have asked me to, ask my guests this question, because there is a certain school of thought that maintaining inner awareness during sleep is the acid test of awakening or enlightenment, and that a person might think they are awake, but if they conk out totally when they are asleep, then there is something yet to be developed. So that is why I brought it up. I read an interesting account recently by a saint who lived in Rishikesh named Tatwale Baba, and someone asked him if he slept, and he said, “What would happen to the universe if I slept?” In other words, he was identifying with that universal consciousness, which is the foundation of the universe, which you were referring to a minute ago, as everything arises out of that joyful state. So he identified with that so completely, and the implication was that, no, even that awareness of that wasn’t lost during his deepest sleep, at least that was my interpretation of it.

Mada: That is correct. The awareness of the universe is that alpha sleep where there is nothing happening, like the awareness of “I am conscious that I am sleeping”. You need the deeper state where nothing happens in order for your body to rejuvenate, otherwise you cannot rejuvenate.

Rick: Right.

Mada: I have an interesting story about that.

Rick: Sure, please.

Mada: I was driving back, well there were four of us in a van, and we were driving back from Oregon back to Montreal, and we were passing through Chicago, and it was winter time. And as we were going on the highway, 3 o’clock in the morning, so the two of us were sleeping on the back in the van, because it was converted so you could actually lay down to sleep, and two people were driving. And suddenly in my sleep I became aware that there was a dangerous situation and I might be dying.

Rick: The driver was falling asleep or something?

Mada: What had happened, so I am asleep, the person next to me is asleep, and what was happening, they hit black ice and they turned. In that moment of their turning and their going down the ditch, I suddenly became aware death might happen. And obviously I was in the wake, I didn’t see nothing that happened. And as I was becoming aware, I felt, “Okay, let me start accepting death, because it might happen”. And as I am accepting death, the person next to me started screaming. He was asleep too, and he just started screaming, “Ahhh!” And as he is screaming, as the van is going down the ditch, I am saying to him, “Stop shouting, you are disturbing my acceptance of death!” All this is happening without words, and he is asleep. And as the van went down, it was maybe quite a deep ditch that we went into, and so it went down and it stopped. As it stopped, that’s when we woke up, and I was awake in a sense, but then the man was still screaming. And later on we realized that when he was a child, his mother had a car accident, and that memory was being triggered for him. He was screaming. And for me, I am just accepting my death. And the interesting thing is once one person is in that state of calmness, somehow things work. And what happened, we just went up, didn’t even wait there for 5 minutes. There was a police car, and there was a tow truck pulling another car, about 50 meters away, out of the ditch. So we were back on the road in no time.

Rick: That’s great. Good thing you lived. This leads into a discussion of witnessing, I think, because you talk a lot about witnessing, and I want to understand more clearly what you mean by it. I have my own concepts about it from my own learning and experience, but I want to make sure we are on the same page, and maybe we can just explore. One question I might have to start with is, do you see that there are degrees or levels of witnessing? There could be a little bit of witnessing, and then deeper witnessing, and so on.

Mada: Absolutely.

Rick: Let’s riff on that a little bit.

Mada: Well, witnessing is something that initially when a person starts meditating, they have no idea what witnessing is, because they haven’t been able to dis-identify with anything. They are just trying to watch their breath. Many times people even go… The question is, “How do I watch my breath?” Once they start watching their breath, once they start seeing the breath coming in and out, which is the key in meditation, then the moment comes when you start suddenly jumping out of you, thinking that “I am my thoughts”. When you can see a thought, you can see a breath, you can see it happening on its own, then your witnessing starts strengthening. You start cultivating the witness by watching. So as you watch, as you observe, the more you observe, the more you watch, the more distance is created between you, the witness, and what you are observing. And in that distance, the distance becomes bigger as the witness becomes stronger. That’s why meditation has to be a regular practice. And if it’s done only once here and once there, it’s hard to create that environment where you can cultivate and strengthen your witness. And it has to be strong enough where you can actually witness any situation. Because if you are practicing witnessing… There is a story with Wallace Black Elk. And the story is when he was out in the mountains trying to find rock for his pipe, suddenly he saw a rattlesnake, a big rattlesnake. And the snake… so he knew if he… right there by his foot, and he knew if he makes a move, he might get bitten so that would be the end of his life. So he stopped and he froze and he didn’t move. And in that time of not moving, the snake started climbing his leg, climbed up his arm, went around his neck and just stood there. So it could have just choked him to death, if he squeezed himself, right? So he just waited and he watched. He wouldn’t move. And in that state of being a warrior, you have to be a warrior for that to happen, then the snake suddenly uncoiled himself and went out through the other arm, out through the leg and it just left. So this is to tell you that fear debilitates. So when we are in fear, we get attacked. This is how animals attack, if you are afraid. If you look at cheetahs, cheetahs run after their prey. The moment the prey turns around and goes against the cheetah, faces the cheetah, the cheetah runs away.

Rick: Yeah.

Mada: You see? So fear, and in human life, is the same thing. We get manipulated because we are afraid. The moment we stop being afraid, we cannot be manipulated.

Rick: Of course, some fear is very visceral and instinctive. I mean, if you were to put me in a cage with a hungry lion, I don’t think I would be free from fear. Probably my heart would beat hard and it wouldn’t be like I was sitting there reading a book or something. There would be a very different physiological reaction.

Mada: The body has a built-in fear, that’s right, but then your consciousness supersedes that. And this is exactly the fear that we need to feel, we need to go through, for the experience of enlightenment to happen. We need to transcend the fear that is inbuilt in the body, that’s instinctual fear.

Rick: Yeah, so I imagine if I were in a cage with a hungry lion, there would be the fear, but there would be a degree of witnessing which wouldn’t be touched by the fear, based on my general experience in life, which would be a heck of a lot more than it would have been 40 years ago, if I were in a similar circumstance, because there hadn’t been much of a witness developed.

Mada: You know, it’s not any different from when in native tradition, when you are hunting an animal, the animal knows at some point that I am going to be killed, and there is a sense of surrender, because there is a knowingness that surrendering circumstance, and there is a knowingness that I am not necessarily giving my body for somebody else to survive, but there is a knowingness of that. And in that state there is no trauma.

Rick: Right, I see. So coming back to witnessing again, witnessing, the very word, implies a duality or separation. Something over here is witnessing something over there. There is an observer and an observed. So what is the observer in witnessing as you define it? What is the component in the personality or whatever that witnesses?

Mada: It’s your consciousness that is witnessing it. And once you witness something as separate from you, and as J. Krishnamurti said, the observer becomes the observed, and realize that it’s not separate any longer, that’s where you transcend any kind of duality.

Rick: So when you, for instance, are aware during sleep, that you could say is a form of witnessing, that consciousness is awake to itself even though the body is asleep.

Mada: That’s right.

Rick: Yeah, that’s pretty much my understanding of it. Because sometimes witnessing… and that’s not volitional, you’re not trying to do anything while you’re asleep to make that happen, it’s just happening spontaneously.

Mada: It’s happening spontaneously because you’ve cultivated enough witness within you to watch what’s happening.

Rick: Right. Would you agree with this, that if we think of the full range of creation, there’s sort of the absolute pure consciousness, and then there’s all the relative phenomenon, and at one level of appreciation there’s a distinction between those, one is non-changing and silent and the other is active and changing, and if you could open your awareness to that full range, there’s naturally going to be witnessing, because you’re going to incorporate within your experience the distinction between those two fields. Does that jibe with your experience?

Mada: The witnessing is not naturally happening, you need to cultivate it.

Rick: Exactly, I totally agree. The vast majority of people have not cultivated it, but when you have, it’s not something you have to pay attention to all day long, it’s just spontaneous.

Mada: And that’s the goal, the goal is for you to actually be in a witnessing state 24 hours a day.

Rick: Exactly, good. Well this might be a good segue into talking about the Dalian method, because we’re talking about having to cultivate it, and that seems, from what I understand, that is the primary thing you’ve come up with for helping people cultivate this. So what is it? Tell us about it.

Mada: Well the method does more than just cultivate a witness. First of all, in order to cultivate the witness, we need to see where the identifications are. And one easy way… The method basically, it arose not because I was looking to create any method, it just happened on its own, spontaneously. And I did take an energy healing course, a two weeks course, this was in 1995, and in that course I became, I reconnected with the ability I had as a child to read thought forms in the energy. And what that means is that the body, the energy, is imprinted with many repressed thoughts, beliefs, conditionings, which prevent from our witnessing or dis-identification from happening. So that’s like clouds that cover the sun.

Rick: They keep us bound or identified.

Mada: Exactly. And not only that, as I started exploring this gift, and this method of healing, I realized that it was not complete, and then I started exploring, how can I make this in a way more complete, in a sense that go into the problem, the cause of the problem, because there are so many layers to it, till we get there, go straight into the cause of the problem, and release or transform the belief and the imprint from the body-cellular memory. So as I started using the known methods such as gestalt, and some energy such as counseling, talking about the energy or talking about what I see, I realized this is not enough, the person is not really getting it, their consciousness is not coming on. And I could be talking forever and very little change is going to happen. So I decided I’m going to ask the person to verbalize those thought-forms that I was seeing, hearing in their energy. And the moment the person started doing that, verbalizing them out loud, suddenly I could see the energy started to move, and other thought-forms from the unconscious started coming up. And as I started helping them to verbalize those thought-forms, because all I was doing was just mirroring what I see, and doing that through the whole body, not just in local area, immediately I was stunned to see that chronic pain was instantly disappearing, permanently. Illnesses, asthma, thyroid, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, many illnesses that I worked with, that people came with, were just disappearing within one or two sessions, when all those thought-forms were being released. But what was happening more so? Once the beliefs were being released, then consciousness would come in and would see it as separate. So the identification would be broken. And in that breaking of identification, people would actually have experiences of their true being, experiences of understanding that “I’m not my body and I can never die”. Experiences of actually… Some people were experiencing things that they weren’t able to experience after meditating for 20 years. So it was so quick, and it was so profound, and it was healing the body, not just a healing method, but it’s a method of transformation, awakening of consciousness. So then, it took me probably a couple of years to experiment with many people, and I was really… really my whole approach was “How can I get directly into consciousness? What are the steps? How can I help the person move quickly without spending years and years on an issue?” And that’s what I achieved to do with this method. And of course, there are areas in the body that are absolutely important to work with, which most of the time we work with in a wrong way, such as the third eye, where the vision is, such as the back of the head, the top of the head, the feet, and all the chakra system. So the whole body needs to be worked with, and this is what the method does. It works with the entire body, and of course, after some years, about 15 years after practicing it one-on-one, I decided that it was time to create a self-healing method.

Rick: I was going to ask whether this required your participation, or whether you could somehow make people self-sufficient with it?

Mada: Yeah, so this is exactly what was the next goal for me, how to create it in such a way that people can use it on their own, without my participation, because many therapists were actually asking me to train them with the method. Yoga teachers, therapists, counselors, psychologists even. When I would look at their requests, I was cognizant that I can only train someone who has enough awareness within themselves, that can recognize the difference between thought forms and consciousness and awareness. Because there is a switch that switches, that when suddenly the person’s consciousness comes in, that you need to ground in the whole body. So, because of the limitations, if I had to train people, I had to train first of all people to become conscious, that’s a long process, then it was very clear, I need to create a method or translate this into a self-healing version, into a self-healing method, and I experimented with this for the past two and a half years, and I was stunned at the results. And so the second book, which is almost ready to be published, will come with a self-healing CD and a DVD, showing people how to do it on their own. And the transformation is so instant, and things that you could have never thought are possible to access, you will be able to access very quickly.

Rick: That’s great. So, maybe you could give us an example of a thought form. And as I was listening to many of your YouTube videos, you had a thing where people would dwell on a particular thing, like “I don’t want to live” or “I’m afraid to die” or something like that, and then they would do a fast pranayama kind of thing while they were saying that or thinking that. So, is that part of the mechanics of this method? Please elaborate on that.

Mada: There is no pranayama whatsoever.

Rick: Well, I heard them going, “Shh, shh, shh, shh”, fast breathing a lot.

Mada: No, there is no fast breathing. It’s probably they were feeling emotional and tears were coming, maybe, or something. But the method uses breathing but not like a pranayama. It uses the inhalation and exhalation in an equal length. So, between inhalation there is expression and then there is exhalation. So, exhalation is absolutely important in order for those thought forms to be released out of the body. Because stopping the breathing is how we keep those thought forms in our body. Stopping the breathing is how we keep the fear. The moment we feel fear, we stop breathing. And what are we feeling fear about? We don’t want to feel it, obviously. Something we are afraid of we don’t want to feel. We don’t want to feel the fear. So, the method will help you to start feeling the fear, understanding what is it that you are afraid of. And not only understand but release it so that consciousness can simultaneously come in. So, it could be any kind of fear is one thing, anger – people repress anger. And through the method, when the method encourages them to express the anger that is hidden inside the body, then the conditioning comes in, “Well, I can’t say that, I can’t do that”. That’s another layer where then you are witnessing and you are seeing that, “Aha, I have this conditioning that does not allow me to say I am angry”.

Rick: So, what do they do? Punch a pillow or something? How do you get them to express the anger?

Mada: Express the anger through words, and yes, sometimes I want them to punch the pillow or loosen up the body, absolutely. Because if it is deeply repressed, and not only deeply repressed, it is not repressed just once, it is repressed many times. So, there are many layers of the same thought form repressed. Just expressing it once is not enough, and very recently, actually a couple of months ago, there was an article that I saw on the internet that the UCLA did a research that if you express your fear out loud, it diminishes. So, I discovered this in 1997 and working with it, and I am very happy that finally science is starting to catch on. And it is great, but it is the first step, and the second step is going to be to see how this method can actually help to heal the body, so you can save lots of money, you can save a lot of doctor’s visits, you can save a lot of counseling sessions, just by taking the responsibility to do something for yourself. Because this is the most important thing, the person must be willing to take responsibility to do this work for themselves, and not rely on somebody else to fix it for me.

Rick: So, let’s say somebody is afraid of public speaking, or they are afraid to fly on an airplane, would that be a typical case in point, and do those examples signify some deeper thing that you want to get down to and rectify with this method?

Mada: Absolutely. Absolutely, it works on anything, anything. Because there is a cause to why something exists. If somebody is afraid to fly, there is a cause why somebody is afraid to fly.

Rick: Afraid of death probably.

Mada: Or maybe in some past life they have had an accident and they have died in the airplane, I don’t know. But once they see that, and once they recognize that “Oh, this is something that happened”. For example, with my daughter, when she was pregnant the second time, there was something in her that was very afraid. The first pregnancy she had, she had two day labor and it was very hard. The second pregnancy she was really concerned and there was fear. So when I worked with her with my method, what came up was that she has been a mother for many lifetimes, having many children, and she has died giving in childbirth. So there was this concern and that is why she didn’t quite want to have another child, so there was a resistance in her. And once she realized that this is the memory that was still carrying in her body, and that is why the first childbirth was difficult, because there was a resistance in her body, because she knew she had died in childbirth. And what happened the first time, immediately she went into hemorrhaging.

Rick: The 48-hour delivery was hemorrhaging?

Mada: That’s right. So she delivered the baby in a semi-home environment, and then the nurse left, and I noticed that she is hemorrhaging, so then they had to rush back in to take care of her, but she would have died just repeating the same pattern.

Rick: Same pattern, yeah.

Mada: And that’s why the second childbirth, when we worked with her, her second delivery was very easy, very quick, and no problems, because we went through that memory, we cleared the memory from her body, and she came to an awareness that it does not have to repeat itself.

Rick: So then it seems like there are two components. One is gaining the ability to recognize the root cause of a particular fear or problem or something, and somehow tuning into that at a deeper level, and the second thing is to actually neutralize or resolve it. Can you say a bit about how both of those steps are accomplished?

Mada: Well, they are accomplished through the system, as I just described, that works with releasing those beliefs and thought-forms from the entire body, until consciousness comes in. So it uses verbal expression and it uses inhalation and exhalation, and it’s systematic because we need to go up and down through different parts of the body while we are working with the system, through the session.

Rick: So it’s not really something that can be taught in the context of an interview, one has to really sit down and do it as a focused practice, and it might take an hour or something like that to do, or whatever.

Mada: Yes, yes.

Rick: Okay, so if a person wants to explore that, they can get your new book when it comes out, or they could even get in touch with you now and do it somehow?

Mada: At the moment I am still doing private sessions by phone or in person, and once the book is out I am going to be… I do offer retreats and seminars, there is one in San Francisco coming up in February, it’s a Joshua Tree retreat, and we are going to be using the self-healing method there, along with active meditations. And I will be doing seminars once the book comes out, and eventually training other facilitators to help others learn how to use the method. But basically, once you learn it once with me, then you can do it on your own using the book and the CD.

Rick: Good, I appreciate that. I have a respect for people that… maybe it’s a personal bias because I have always been a practice kind of guy, but I have a respect for people who somehow distill some kind of practical thing that people can actually do to realize or to benefit. Because there are a lot of people who just kind of talk and others listen, and there seems to be a disconnect. You can talk from your level of consciousness, somebody else can listen from theirs, and never the twain shall meet. But if you can come up with a very practical method to actually achieve progress and that realization, it’s great.

Mada: And it’s absolutely necessary. And my experience is that only Masters can do that, because there is a difference between a Master and an enlightened teacher. Both could be enlightened, and the difference is that the Master brings tools, and the teacher teaches. Buddha is a Master who brought the tool of the Vipassana, and many people became enlightened because of that tool. Or he brought tools such as active meditations, and many people became enlightened. One of them is myself. Active meditations, dynamic Kundalini. And my contribution is this method. And yes, I am very grateful for you to say that, because that’s absolutely true, and it’s an important point for any seeker to be mindful that listening is one thing, but you actually need to do something. People think, “Oh, if I go sit and listen, it will rub off what you want”, because it’s not going to help you discover who you are.

Rick: You might get a bit of an energy buzz, but in terms of real deep, permanent transformation, it doesn’t really seem to happen that often.

Mada: It’s true.

Rick: It’s an interesting distinction you draw between teachers and Masters, that the Sanskrit word “Rishi” or “Maharishi” usually means that. A Rishi might have all sorts of cognitions, but a Maharishi is somebody who can, like Ramana Maharishi, somebody who can impart his own experience through some kind of methodology that’s effective for people.

Mada: Yes, yes.

Rick: Okay, good. I’m sure we could spend another two hours going into all kinds of different chapters in your book. There’s all sorts of interesting stuff about chakras and seven bodies and all sorts of things. We may have reached the limit of people’s attention span, but is there anything that you feel like we’ve glossed over or missed entirely that you want to just touch on before we wrap it up?

Mada: I think we did pretty well. We touched on many many important areas. And again, the most important thing I’d like to say: if I was to describe myself, what kind of a teacher I was, is I’m basically a teacher of responsibility. People need to take responsibility for their own awakening. Tools are there, but you still need to use them.

Rick: That’s a good point, nobody’s going to do it for you.

Mada: That’s right.

Rick: Nobody’s going to smack you in the forehead and you’re going to realize.

Mada: Because all I can do is create an environment and teach you the tools, but then again, you have to do it. That’s the case with any kind of a master. What the master does, basically knows what is it that you specifically need as an individual. Where are your blocks? So it’s just sort of bringing a torch on those areas, that’s all. Which is important, to bring awareness to those areas, help you see what you’re not seeing, but then you still need to do the work.

Rick: Yeah, “Seek and you shall find”. And it’s good for people to hear that, because I think some people… I get emails from people a lot because I do these interviews, and sometimes people sound discouraged, like, “Oh, it’s never going to happen for me, I’ve been seeking for so long”. But there are teachers out there, techniques out there, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. And usually people find, like you were saying much earlier in the interview, if a person is sincere and diligent and motivated, God is going to come to their rescue. One thing is going to lead to the next, and they are going to find the thing that works for them. But you have to have that sincere interest and motivation.

Mada: Exactly, and that’s exactly what’s happening in my environment, is people who are finding me are people who have done all sorts of work, and listening, reading, and I love it because they have all the preparation work, all the understanding, all they need now is the practical work. And I’m a practical teacher, so I love when people come already with that background. And everybody says, “Well, how do they find me?” They find me by accident. There’s no accident, because like you say, when you’re ready, what you need appears, so definitely. And I think lots of people are ready, just like you say, many people have done a lot of work, and they are at a point of recognizing, “I cannot do it with my mind alone”.

Rick: Yeah, I think the whole planet is waking up, compare our current age to the 1950s or something, Ozzie and Harriet, there’s a much greater quickening taking place in world consciousness.

Mada: Yes, and well, thanks to people like you, who are bringing a lot of teachers and their words out. So, what a beautiful platform you created.

Rick: Oh, thanks, I’m holding up my little stick. That’s a reference to a story from the Vedas, where Indra was jealous of some village, because they worshipped Krishna, and so he caused this huge deluge to come down. And it was drowning out the village, so the people all cried out to Krishna, and Krishna came and picked up a mountain, held it over the village with one hand, and everybody came and said, “Oh, he can’t hold up that mountain all by himself”, so they all grabbed sticks to try to help hold up the mountain. But of course, it wasn’t really their sticks that were holding it up, it was Krishna. So, I’m holding up my stick, I appear to be doing this thing, but it’s really a larger kind of an intelligence that’s enabling this to take place.

Mada: Absolutely, yeah, and we’re all just playing in the big ocean of orchestra.

Rick: Yeah, lots of fun. Okay, so let me make a couple of concluding remarks. I’ve been speaking with Eliza Mada Dalian, who lives in Vancouver, but who gets around, does sessions still personally by phone and in person, maybe Skype, I don’t know. And you also, as you said, go about and give retreats and courses, whatever you call them. You’ll be doing a couple in California, it sounds like, in the near future. I’ll be linking to your website from www.batgap.com, and also linking to your book on Amazon, so people can go there directly and check it out. And this is part of an ongoing series of interviews, which I’ve been doing for almost three years now, which I intend to do as long as I can speak and think, as far as I can tell. It’s great fun. In fact, I’m hoping to have it morph into a full-time profession, and that’s why I have a “Donate” button on my site. It sort of helps to facilitate that possibility. If people would like to be notified every time a new interview is posted, you can either subscribe to the YouTube feed, or you can go to www.batgap.com, and there’s a little subscription button where you can fill out a brief form, and you’ll just get an email once a week, telling you when a new interview has been put up. There’s also a discussion group there that springs up around each interview, sometimes gets very lively and in-depth. So, if you find that points in this discussion interested you, and you want to talk about them with others, go ahead and chime in there. Sometimes even the teachers whom I’ve interviewed have a chance to come in and answer a question or two. This also exists as an audio podcast, if you’d like to listen while you’re commuting or riding your horse or hiking in the Himalayas. Both of those examples are things that people have told me they’ve done while listening to this. So you’ll see a link there to sign up for the iPod podcast. So, great, thank you, Mada. Sorry for that lengthy conclusion, but I always like to cover those points.

Mada: That’s my pleasure, and one thing I’d like to mention alongside the book, there’s also the “No-Yes Meditation” which is a practical tool.

Rick: That’s on your website?

Mada: That’s on my website and it’s also on Amazon. So you mentioned Amazon and you might want to link into that one as well.

Rick: I will. What is that, a book or a CD or what?

Mada: It’s a CD and it’s an active meditation, and it helps to practically come through those layers as we described. Let them surface and be released for shift of consciousness to happen very quickly. The CD comes with this specific music that’s been designed for the section where we say “No” for half an hour. I worked with the musician to create that music so that it triggers those points and wakes up the areas that’s been repressed. And then there’s a period of silence and a period of different kind of music where you could say “Yes” and dance and really feel that authentic “Yes” within. And I think if you haven’t had experience of that, we should probably send you one so you can have an experience of it as well.

Rick: Sure.

Mada: There is a video clip that just went on YouTube yesterday, with a few people talking about it, so we can send you that link as well.

Rick: Yeah, do, and I’ll link to that from Batgap.com. So each time I do one of these interviews – in case somebody happens to be listening on YouTube and they haven’t seen this – they have their own page on Batgap.com where there is a whole bio of them and links to the various things that we want to link to. You can’t really do that so easily on YouTube, but I can do it on my own blog, so those will all be there.

Mada: Okay, wonderful.

Rick: Great.

Mada: Great chatting with you.

Rick: Thank you, very enjoyable. We’ll do it again sometime.

Mada: Definitely.

Rick: Okay, namaste.

Mada: Namaste.