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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. This show is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awake or I prefer the word Awakening people. There are over 280 of them now. So if you’d like to check out the archives, and perhaps support our efforts, through the donation, go to batgap.com and explore. These interviews are also being live streamed these days. So, you know, you’re most people watching this won’t be watching it live. But if you’d like to watch future ones live and perhaps submit questions, go to the upcoming interviews page on batgap.com. And you’ll see instructions on how to do that. So my guest today is Ellen Emmet. And I’m just gonna read a bio that Elon sent it because it’s a nice synopsis. It’ll very concisely give you an overview of what Elon is about. Ellen’s deepest longing for the absolute was fulfilled when she met her teacher Francis Lucille whom I’ve interviewed on the show, and his presence over many years, she awakened to her true nature of peace and happiness through continuous and deepening glimpses, the process of aligning and stabilizing her life to and in this beautiful non dual understanding, has never ceased to unfold since then, as a child, Elena was in love with movement and dance. She my sister, by the way, is a yoga she has been dancing all her life, and she has all kinds of certification training and yoga dance, which you probably find interesting. Yeah. Sorry for the interruption. She knew without words, the joy and limitless transparency that the body dissolved into when it was free and alive. As an adolescent and young adult, she acutely felt and enacted suffering through her body struggling with an eating disorder and with depression. Thus, the experience that we call the body has always been central to all of Ellen’s experiences, both in the ignoring and in the recognition of our true nature. Today, Ellen lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, Rupert spyera, whom I’ve also interviewed twice on the show, a teacher in the tradition of non duality. She has a private practice as a psychotherapist and facilitator of authentic movement, we’ll be talking about authentic movement, her background of dance movement therapy and transpersonal psychology has been deeply influenced by the non dual understanding. Ellen also offers meetings called the awakening body, and exploration of the body and perceptions sourced in the teaching tradition of Kashmir Shaivism, John Klein, and Francis the seal. During these sessions, our true nature is explored at the level of the body, and of the sense perception. Ellen has master’s degrees in dance movement therapy from NYU and transpersonal psychology from JFK University. She has a certificate in Lavon movement analysis and her other teachers and mentors were Janet add ler and Marion Woodman who provided great guidance and support in the realms of feminine wisdom archetypal energies and intuitive knowing that’s a good overdue. So as usual, in preparation for this, I read as much as I had time to I was reading a long, scholarly article on your website, which I was finding interesting. And I also listened to as many audio recordings as I could find. I was just listening to the one you did with Marley’s koshirae on conscious TV. And right in the beginning of your introduction, you talked about she awakened to her true nature of peace and happiness, just so that I mean, probably everybody listening to this show has a sense of what that means. But just so that we’re all on the same page, why don’t you describe what you mean by true nature and the experience of awakening to it?
Ellen Emmet: Okay. True Nature I mean, what I mean by true nature is awareness, what we call consciousness and the Awakening was was was a moment but you know, the result of maybe a long kind of journey, but the moment the moment of recognition the moment of awakening was when I heard Francis Lucille say, on a tape he said, The words consciousness knowing itself and at that moment, there was a kind of a yes, within me kind of just a recognition, a resonance. And, of course, it wasn’t kind of clear at that moment what that resonance was about. So then there were many visits and lots of time spent with Francis, were all the vocabulary of which of course, had been exposed to through readings, and, you know, meetings etc. But the kind of formulations of what true nature means became clear at the level of the mind, and it was, what is meant by that, and what I understand by that, by true nature is the knowing of, of, of my being, not my been Ellen, woman, individual, but my being that that right, this moment, very ordinary, i, that is hearing these words, that is feeling sensations, and, and that if I begin to investigate what that eye is, I can come to the knowing the direct knowing that it’s not limited to a body and a mind. So and of course, you know, I could go, I could speak for hours about that, oh, well, that’s
Rick Archer: exactly what we’re gonna do. But
Ellen Emmet: it’s true nature, the knowing of my true nature is is is the recognition of the unlimited nature of AI and the ever present nature of AI. And of course, that comes in the beginning as a glimpse or moments of recognition. And then I guess the journey is the establishment in that. And, yeah,
Rick Archer: progressive. As you may recall, the last words I spoke to you and Rupert in California was was Rupert, the direct path is progressive.
Ellen Emmet: It’s right. It’s, it’s direct. And it’s progressive, both at the same time. It’s apparent, it’s not a paradox. It’s just both at the same time progressive in the sense of the establishment process. And that’s beautiful unfolding, a real unfolding and direct because right here, right now we can abide as awareness.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I like to wait phrases here. Continuous and deepening glimpses. And then you said the process of aligning and stabilizing your life to and in this beautiful non dual understanding has never cease to unfold since then. I was just watching this talk that Adi Shanti. And Francis Bennett gave last week, out in California, and they were talking about people who run around saying I’m done, you know, and and Francis said, What do you mean, you’re done? Did somebody stick a fork in you? Yeah, there are sort of, kind of playing with the absurdity of saying that one is done with a capital D, when there’s the actual experience of life seems to be a never ending, unfolding.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah. So I think you can always perfect the alignment process. And I guess some people are more or less done. But then it’s a celebratory process. And I don’t think it ever ends to be honest.
Rick Archer: I don’t either. And I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who is done, although I’ve met some people who say they are but I can’t believe that there isn’t still some alignment and refinement and attunement and whatnot, that exactly could still be undergone. Yeah.
Ellen Emmet: I think that’s right. I I think that’s the beauty of it. In a way, you know, after awakening, the beauty of it is this unending process of, of, of, of this understanding, permeating all all areas of life. And that’s quite a vast project, you know, all the doors open and all these areas of exploration, the understanding, can percolate throughout so many levels. It’s, there’s not enough of a lifetime, really.
Rick Archer: You were mentioned in that thing that I was reading that you wrote, you said, you quoted Rumi as saying the physical form is of great importance, nothing can be done without the association of the form and the essence, the body is fundamental and necessary for the realization of the divine intention. And I think I wanted to read that just now because it relates very much to what we’re saying. If we think of the body as an instrument, then, you know, I suppose in an orchestra to use that metaphor, you know, at a certain point, your violin is tuned up and you can start playing, but in life, I kind of feel that the physical body through which we realize the divine intention, as Rumi put it is can be tuned can be tuned up, ad infinitum, you know, there’s no end to the attunement
Ellen Emmet: absolutely and no, I mean, first of all, the body I think needs to be liberated even after the awake meaning, more often than not, the body is still kind of felt and experienced in accordance with the old belief of being a separate consciousness, because it’s very anchored as a conditioning, obviously. So in order in order for that to begin to relax and the body to actually begin to be felt and experienced in accordance with this new understanding, it takes some, some real exploration, which actually is not always undertaken. So I mean, I think that’s the area of the of the teaching that particularly resonates or is particularly interesting to me, in terms of what I’d like to share, but yes, I think I think with the body, it’s a long term,
Rick Archer: project, lifetime, as you said,
Ellen Emmet: lifetime, yeah, and beautiful, really beautiful one.
Rick Archer: So let’s keep playing with this idea of awakening to true nature and being done and realizing and all that, because I think that, you know, a lot of people listen to these kinds of words. And they have a sense that there’s some kind of finality to awakening or some sort of, you know, watershed moment that one crosses and, and again, there are people running around saying they’re done. And but mostly, that’s not going to jibe with most people’s direct experience, most people are going to feel that, you know, they’ve had awakenings. And then there’s another one and then and then, you know, there’s there still seems to be this attunement and growth taking place. And so there can it can kind of actually inculcate a doubt, where one feels that Well, I must, you know, I’m not there yet. And there must be a there that I’m going to get to. And, you know, since I don’t feel like I’ve reached it, then I’m, it kind of keeps them in a limbo state where they they’re still perhaps doubting their own experience more than they need to? Well, I
Ellen Emmet: guess, I think I was lucky. While I was lucky, I don’t know if I was more more or less lucky than anybody else. But what I feel is important, in my experience, is that there’s a point where you meet the, the absolute understanding is met and recognize and that moment, is, is an absolute, I mean, it’s, it’s another moment, but that recognition is that is, that is the awakening to your true nature. And it’s a, it’s a true anchor, and if the teacher or the teaching is clear, and experiential, and, and over and over again, through a kind of process of higher reasoning with the mind or higher sensing with the body, you, you go over the pathway from a belief in separation to the understanding of your true nature, you do it over and over again, but with a, with a with a map that study and within which there’s no doubt, it’s absolutely certain, so that that I feel is important that it’s not wishy washy and awakening, it’s, it’s a possibility to have a real awakening, you know? And, and then so then, so then what’s what’s more layered and more, more of a process is the alignment process that is no longer we’re no longer talking about awakening, the awakening happens, you are awake, you know what you are. But you seem to go back and forth, you seem to forget, you seem to reach shrink yourself into the feeling of being unlimited awareness. And, but because you have, there’s been this deep recognition, and if you’re lucky, a kind of map, you know, through to then then there, then there’s always the possibility of going over it again, and again and again. And that’s the establishment process. I mean, I don’t know if that’s true for everyone. It’s my experience. But so I think people who feel that they haven’t, that they’re still in, engaged in the process, there could be two things, either, it hasn’t been clear, there’s still a confusion about, about what I am or what this awakening is, and it needs, it needs to be met with something clear, or they’re engaged in this alignment process. They know that, you know, and they do that, around the teaching that that suits them. Am I making sense? Yeah,
Rick Archer: sure. Let’s take those two things that you just laid out and try to explore them. So the first one was, you know, sounded kind of intellectually rigorous. And I imagine you’re Francis Lucille being a rather intellectual fellow. It was intellectually rigorous in your experience. I mean, Francis is very
Ellen Emmet: sure yeah. But I wouldn’t say intellectual because it’s not exclusively. What intellectual in the sense that it uses the mind but But experiential and it was for me and I’m, you know, I wasn’t. I’m not intellect I’m not somebody who gravitates towards thinking so much. I’m more of a, I was more into devotional and flow and dance and movement, it was interesting that the person, the teacher that somehow was chosen was this, as you say, very rigorous physicist, physicist, and, you know, French and French rationalist. But, yes, so there’s this aspect, it’s rigorous, you’re right, it’s rigorous. Because it, it, it takes the mind step by step back to its source. And it doesn’t let the mind go off on a tangent, or it’s a process of, but it’s truly experiential. You know, it’s just as experiential as doing something through the energy body, or through the through a kind of less rational process. Yeah. So yeah, but yes, it’s rigorous. And, you know, I have to admit that I think that’s super important. Yeah, I mean, I have to admit it, I admit, it’s definitely the cat,
Rick Archer: that’s a dog. We don’t have a cat anymore. We had a couple of cats, but they both died. of old age. So. But in fact, if you watch some of my early interviews, you sometimes see a cat walking across, or I’ll hold up the cat or whatever. But unfortunately, they passed away. Yeah, so let’s so intellectually rigorous, so I didn’t mean to imply that it was exclusively intellectual, like you’re just sort of philosophizing and you know, getting into metaphysics and so on. But there’s an intellectual component, and it’s sort of a multi dimensional thing, isn’t that where the intellect is involved, but, but in a sense to corroborate direct experience, as if in walking, we have a left foot and a right foot. And so there’s the experience, and then the understanding and the experience, and then the understanding and the to complement and support one another.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, you could say that. Yeah. Yeah, it’s using the mind. You’re right. It’s intellectual in the sense that the mind is the tool that’s used step by step following the experience. Investigating of self inquiry. But yeah, yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah. And if we can imagine one without the other. I mean, the experience could be anything without intellectual without sort of intellectual discrimination. One could miss mistake some mood for the real enchilada or it or
Ellen Emmet: feel enchilada but not have the formulation that helps. It feel it feels to me that the formulation? It’s it’s so important, the right formulation,
Rick Archer: what do you mean, but formulation? Well, for example, when
Ellen Emmet: I heard when I stuck a tape of fantasies in my car, and I’d been given, anyway, I stuck it in, it was in the middle of a teaching, and I heard consciousness knowing itself. So that’s a formulation, right? Yeah, it uses language. And it was like, it brought me to understanding in other words, my mind must have. It’s through the mind that there was a kind of dissolving into true nature. It could have been another pathway. And
Rick Archer: so at that point, when you heard that phrase, did you did it really dissolve into true nature? Or was it more like an aha thing? Which kind of like you realized, oh, there’s something here I need to investigate this more that maybe I’m more than I thought I was, and I need to explore this. Was it just like, the first inkling of of a sense that there’s there’s a universal aspect to you, or was it actually a real shift?
Ellen Emmet: I think there was already done my little journey already. So there was already an inkling and at that moment, it was a real glimpse. You could say, Yeah, you could taste it. It was a kind of, yes. That was coming from presence from awareness. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: In the Upanishad, they have these things that they call Mahavakya As you probably you’ve heard them, right. Yeah. That though, are Tomasi and all those things? And it said that when you’re ripe, just that little phrase spoken by the teacher can elicit a huge shift.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, but and I guess that was a Mahavakya. But it’s it was it had it was using the mind wasn’t it? Consciousness knowing itself? It was, well, that’s what the My work is do and have turned back onto itself and dissolve it. You know, I mean, I wasn’t aware of what was happening. I mean, I wasn’t I wasn’t. I was very new to all of that. It’s now looking back but you can kind of deconstruct all these all these All these what are they? I don’t know.
Rick Archer: Well, I think that’s in keeping with what you’re talking about, which is a sort of intellectual rigor along with direct experience. And it seems like that phrase when you heard it conscious, what was it consciousness being aware of itself? Consciousness knowing it’s knowing itself? It sort of actually triggered a kind of a self referral moment. Yeah. So that was when you were very, kind of initially introduced to Francis right. You somebody gave you a tape or something and hadn’t really gotten into it.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah. The funny thing is, I had been, I’ve been much more drawn towards the kind of devotional quality of, you know, I’d gone to India, I got to see Ahmad, I had this dream, that was very devotion. What? Anyway, I’m much more devotional kind of Shakti, you could say, a kind of tendency. And then and then. And then I was introduced to the non dual direct path, and it was so resonant. It was strange, you know? Yeah. It was, in a way. Beautiful. Because
Rick Archer: do you find now that having been on that path for over a decade that you’ve discovered the devotional nature of the devotional stream within that as well?
Ellen Emmet: Yes. I’ve had to kind of. Yes, yes, it’s so it’s very much. So I mean, I feel and when I teach the awakening body meditations, I always start in a kind of devotional way, because I feel like, you know, it’s almost like turning back towards an altar, and the altar is presence. And of course, the presence that turns towards the altar is the very same presence. And but yes, and I feel like devotion, devotion is still very much a kind of expression. That’s here. And I feel like I’ve been thinking back on my time before meeting Francis when I was in India, and I had this very powerful dream when I was in India, which I had been thinking back upon, because I’m not somebody who has powerful dreams. So this dream kind of stands out. And I realized the whole teaching was contained in that dream. But yet, it was much more its form was much more devotional. But now I can go back to that dream and see that the non dual teaching is contained in it, and kind of let it inform how I express this understanding.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Personally, I don’t think that it has to be an either or situation. And I don’t think that it ever is actually entirely, I know, naturally, some people are more intellectually inclined and some are more emotionally inclined and so on. But, you know, the greatest proponents of non duality, were very devotional people. You know, Shankar was wrote all these devotional poems and talked about devotion and Ramana, Maharshi was very devoted, you know,
Ellen Emmet: and Francis, I’m sorry, go ahead. Francis. Often, when he during his retreats, he he does these guided meditations in the early days, and I think still now, but they were extremely devotional Not, not in a dual weigh, you know, they’ve started out with really beautiful imagery, sometimes taken from the Christian tradition, of surrendering, for example, surrendering the body surrendering the mind surrendering the world to, to an altar, I remember, it’s particularly meditation of Francis’s and then, and then him explaining, you know, somehow that the altar to which you surrender, his presence, of course, is consciousness, but that that’s the true meaning of sacrifice in making sacred the body and the mind. And all those meditations, and we’re very devotional.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I think it stands to reason because, you know, as human beings, we have these different faculties or components, and one of them is the heart. And if you’re going to be a fully developed human being, then you know, you’re not going to be one of these bug eyed space aliens that doesn’t have any heart in its big, great big head and overlap, you know, there’s going to be, you know, there, we have all these energy centers in the body, and they’re all going to wake up eventually, perhaps in a different order for different people. But eventually, if we’re really going to keep progressing as we’ve been discussing, seems to me, they’re all going to get fully enlivened eventually.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, like, exactly, I mean, love seems to, you know, if we’re to try to, to name the kind of attributes or qualities of consciousness, as Rupert says, and some of us when he says, you know, everyone, it’s our awareness is intimately one with all experience and that’s another name for that is love. And so, you know, love and intelligence beauty In all of these are different major intelligence, you’d see the world. So yes,
Rick Archer: you read these beautiful accounts in the scriptures, Vedic literature and perhaps other traditions of, you know, someone encounters a saint and the saint might be a great intellectual and teacher and you know, proponent of Vedic wisdom or something, but someone comes to meet him and the tears come to their eyes and their hair stands on end and they just melt in, you know, waves of love and devotion.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah. Francis never did that. But
Rick Archer: yeah, well, no, I just want to throw that in there. Because some sometimes in the so called non dual world, there seems to be a dryness. And I think that people are kind of Yeah, people kind of moving beyond that. Now. That was also one of the themes of audios and Francis’s Francis Bennett’s talk last week that there seems to be a whole shift taking place in the contemporary spiritual community where people are kind of waking up to these more personal values, which they at one time may have denounced or felt they had transcended.
Ellen Emmet: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And also the maybe in kind of Neo Advaita teaching, it’s been confusing for people, there’s nothing to do nobody there. And that can be a bit dry, too, because people might have a glimpse, which isn’t dry in the presence of that teaching. But then, a few days later, it feels kind of blank, nobody there nothing to do. And yet all these, you know, old feelings are there and kind of absence of perfume or the absence of. So that’s another way in which the Advaita teaching the contemporary Advaita teaching can be a bit dry. Yeah, it’s
Rick Archer: an in my opinion, not really in tune with the, with its roots with the traditional Advaita teaching, which included the heart and which, you know, wasn’t dry. As far as I’ve been saying, the main proponents of it were not dry by any definition. They they were very Hartfield. You know, transcendent and imminent both in one. Yeah.
Ellen Emmet: But I guess the other trap, which might be part of today’s scene, and it is the kind of cycle psychologizing of the spiritual teaching. And it I’m not saying we shouldn’t, you know, I’m a therapist, and I think it’s very, you know, I’m very interested in, in, in the emotional components and the personal aspects of the unfolding. But I also feel that it’s a tricky balance, you know, which, what are we serving? Who are we serving here in this exploration? Is it? Is it serving? A kind of pseudo a person still, you know, for to explore exploring the personal process too much? Yeah. I’m not being very
Rick Archer: clear. But I think I know what you mean. So So what you’re saying, well, let’s, let’s rephrase it. So probably what we’re aiming at is the complete package, you know, where we have the, the transpersonal, the transcendent, the, the impersonal, the unmanifest, the absolute, whatever you want to call it, but then we have the whole range of relative personal faculties and experiences and strata of creation and all that, and we’re aiming at a package which includes them both. And one can go to one extreme or the other, you know, to the transit to the transcendent, you know, to the exclusion of the personal and run around saying caught referring to oneself as the rich person, rather than just saying, I’m Rick,
Ellen Emmet: or are people doing that?
Rick Archer: Yeah, people do that. They don’t, they won’t just say, how do you do? I’m Rick, you know, they’ll say, I’m, I’m the Rick person, and there’s nobody here and so forth. You know, please pass the salt, who wants the salt? And, you know,
Ellen Emmet: but that’s really, you know, absurd and silly
Rick Archer: it is, but people do it. And then the other extreme, what you’re just saying is, one can indulge in all sorts of, you know, personal, psychological, emotional, this and that, without actually bringing the transcendent into the picture and there’s no end to you. No one can spend lifetimes doing that mucking around with that without actually building a foundation under it.
Ellen Emmet: Yes. I mean, technically and hopefully a sound non dual teaching will. It’s true, put the emphasis in the beginning on establishing the fact of awareness and exploring the qualities of awareness because it has it has to be we have to start there. It’s we have to uproot the The illusion of separation. So it seems that the emphasis is placed on on. Yeah, and, but it’s also a desire, a deep desire to do that in the students when he or she hears the teaching. But then, in the best of cases, the teacher, I mean, nobody’s perfect, nobody will do it perfectly, but we’ll point it towards a direction that allows this teacher to be excluded all at all levels, and that will kick up all sorts of things. Or, in other words, it’s, it should start from the absolutes, and then let’s not start from a person trying to change consciousness, you know. So it’s true, there isn’t a person there. But on the other hand, is that there’s a person there?
Rick Archer: Like I said, earlier paradox, yeah. And Jesus said, what you just said, 2000 years ago, Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else to be added unto thee. There you go, yeah. So but you know, Seek ye first. So the priority is, you know, get that established, and then all else should be added.
Ellen Emmet: And, and also the rest. If it’s if that really is taking place in the best possible well, way, the rest takes care of itself, more or less. But I think maybe in the contemporary, what’s good about the contemporary exploration is, people really want to make sure that that’s taking place, and more to cooperate with that and, and explore what tools we can use to, to allow that more, you know, maybe in the realm of psychology in the realm of men wouldn’t the feminine and now, I think it’s important to spiritual bypass all those, those concerns, that they’re legitimate, but if they have, they have to be in good measure, I guess.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, like you just said, you know, that, that, once that’s established, all the relative stuff gets taken care of by itself, more or less, I think you said something like that just now. But then in the next breath, you said, Yeah, but there’s all these other things you can do to help facilitate that. And I’ve seen many instances, in my own life as well, and many during some of its phases, in which all kinds of relative stuff wasn’t getting taken care of, there’s plenty of immersion in the absolute, but that didn’t necessarily automatically bring all phases of the relative into line. And your own. You mean, in my own experience, and, and other people too, you can see people who’ve been, you know, meditating for decades, and all or whatever, that are still like, pulling shady business deals, or, you know, screwing up relationships and, you know, stuff like that you can see famous teachers who are, you know, radiating Shakti, you know, out the wazoo, but are messing around with their students in inappropriate ways. And you know, all kinds of things, like I said, Yeah,
Ellen Emmet: I guess that’s their freedom, but also, I would question the depth of their understanding and, or the, the, you know, how in love, are they with their true nature? I mean, that’s, you know, their freedom,
Rick Archer: and how holistic is their development? You know, Ken Wilber his lines of development that can be way out on one line and pretty stunted. And other lines.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Anyway, so let’s get back to you a little bit more. So movement and dance, you were in love as a child with movement and dance, and you still are into it. And you went through a phase? You were born in New York, you spent 18 years in France, then you moved back to the States, I think, to help California was it and New York, and you went through a lot of suffering as a child eating disorder, depression, what was it bulimia anorexia or something like that? Well, that’s my chosen one. Your eating disorder of choice. And so how did you pull out of that phase without killing yourself?
Ellen Emmet: Well, I went the route of therapy, psychotherapy, not that psychotherapy necessarily did the job of pulling me out. I, you know, I just just a journey, some therapy, some a lot of trying to trying to heal through certain approaches that were more honoring of the feminine, that kind of thing. So, and some of these things were very helpful, but I have to say that, you know, the real the real uprooting of that suffering was was was meeting Francis even though I never mentioned you know, I would that it was never addressed head on by the teaching, but it’s, it’s, it’s because the roots of any kind of addiction or any is the belief that I am a body and that I will die and so You can do all sorts of therapies. And some of them were very helpful. And I’m a therapist and they meet people in the ways that I was met by some therapy piece but but it was the, the ultimate understanding that was so relaxing for me, it was so relaxing to hear, to hear and to begin to feel in the in the yoga that Francis will lead, even though again, it was not a psychological investigation, but simply to first of all feel my body. And to realize that I’m not in the body, the body is in me and that it’s substance, it’s very substance is consciousness, vibration. It’s innocent, the body, you know, it’s there was it took time, I mean, you know, it wasn’t like healing overnight or anything, but it was much less charged. To have this addiction was no eight Oxo words, you know, it was it, it was going to unwind in its own time. So,
Rick Archer: so, I’ve only encountered Francis in sort of a speaking mode, you know, interviewing him seeing him speak at the sand conference and everything. But I’ve heard you allude to the fact that he actually does some kind of yoga sessions. And then I also heard somebody made it was you may was my previous guest, John Prendergast talk about how John Klein had some kind of yoga thing. Yeah, that people would be doing. So tell us, I should probably ask Francis again, this again, sometime, but maybe in the context of what you went through, tell us about what your time with Francis entailed in terms of practices and this yoga thing, how that were done. And, and you know, what sort of effects it had, and so on.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, so it’s John Klein was, was very much offering an expression of the body and soul is Francis, so is Rupert and his retreats. And it’s very much a part of the of that, of that of their teaching. And also, it’s the yoga that I offer. And it was a very resonant for me, when I went to Francis, his retreats are usually made of composed of a morning. Well, now he does everything in the afternoon, because he likes to play tennis. But basically, the first part of his retreat, the first session is a is a meditation and what he calls a yoga session. But it’s a yoga that doesn’t involve any kind of fancy postures, it’s very, very slow. And you’re sitting on a mat doing something, you might be sitting on a mat, but you can be sitting on a chair, and that your eyes are closed. And and the first the first thing that is established, of course, is awareness. But at the level of feeling awareness is experienced, almost like an open infinite space, like a space like openness, a bit like the sky, and then you begin to explore the body. How
Rick Archer: is it that awareness is experienced that way? What does Francis do to enable people to have that experience? Well, or what would you do or Rupert, if you were,
Ellen Emmet: I would, we would close our eyes. And first of all, welcome. The current experience, such as it is the flow of thoughts and sensations and perceptions, and point out that they’re not appearing in nothing, that they’re appearing in awareness, or to awareness and an awareness and then and then maybe provide an image of the sky like nature of this awareness, when you begin to focus on on sensations or the space like quality of this awareness. And I mean, if you go to experience right now, right, can you go you know, some a sensation, for example, the sensation of your hand, the tingling of your hand, in the Imagine you, you tune in to the to this kind of knowing the feeling, knowing that this tingling of the hand appears in an openness and a kind of space? So that’s the it’s like correlating awareness to space.
Rick Archer: So you’re pointing out something to people that is already there that they may they may have, they may have overlooked. Yeah, and you’re enabling them to kind of settle down because usually the agitation the outward directness of our attention is conducive to overlooking, you know, what’s already there. Yeah,
Ellen Emmet: settle down and to and to take your stand as the welcoming of experience, which is our true nature. But you know, obviously, we are often resisting experience and there’s a lot of tension, as you say, and agitation. So it takes time, but that’s the first thing that happens. And then, and then then the body is is perceived as a flow of sensations and vibrations in this openness. So it’s as if you were liberating the body of all the labels because usually we our body is experienced as I can of layering of tension and contraction, that’s kind of the anchoring of the ego at the level of the body. Yeah, it’s like knee, the body. So when you start to taste the body free, a little bit more, more relaxed, a little bit more open from, from a more open perspective, a more safe perspective than the body. It reveals itself to be more of an innocent flow of sensations. So that would be you know, already to do that. That exploration would be a very big exploration to, to explore the fact that the body is not, I am not in the body, the body is a ni. And Ni is this openness that you know, so that would be a first amazing discovery, for me was like, what? Because then of course, you know, I remember I had this kind of chronic fear that was a very intense sensation in my solar plexus. And it’s an I remember, think Bina been having to kind of welcome that sensation that I had been repressing and trolling. And then asking Francis is it really safe and exploring etc, etc. And then over the years, this, the body naturally was relieved of that, that kind of charge, it was like a me charging me I’m going to die, and I’m in danger charge, which, so that, but then there’s so many other components to this yoga, you know, you, you will explore, for example, we’re very conditioned to feel that I, the body ends our eye, and where the body ends, and there’s a feeling that goes with that. So. So there will be an exploration of, of expanding the body into the space and the space is alive, it’s not dead, it’s friendly. And, and then you really go there, you really, you really go and you really realize, oh, yeah, it’s true, I can’t find the place where my body ends and the space begins. There might be also an expression of weights of surrendering weight
Rick Archer: when realized weights like heaviness, weight,
Ellen Emmet: yes, the sensation of weight, the sensation of me heavy, me solid, need dense, which is another habitual way that, that the ego perpetuates itself, you could say physically, so in this approach, there’ll be a lot of releasing of the weight into, for example, the surface of the chair or the, the mat, and then tuning in and sensing that this so called shear or mat, if you go to your direct experience, there is no Cherrill matters, just this kind of sensation, and that, and then me kind of awakening to the, to the aliveness of that sensation to the vibrational flow of that sensation, and then realizing that your true body is weightless, but it’s all a process, you know, and, you know, you can’t really talk about it and describe it, it’s so experiential, you’re doing a pretty good job.
Rick Archer: Would you say? I’m sorry, go ahead.
Ellen Emmet: Well, I was gonna say that there’s, you know, exploring movements. Yeah. And, you know, the habit of feeling that I am the mover, and then we’ll, you know, just exploring a very simple movements and feeling, evoking the feeling that movement appears in me that there is no individual mover, and you know, that’s a beautiful discovery. Etc, etc. And there’s some explorations with the sense perceptions with hearing and touching and smelling. And
Rick Archer: would you say that the body actually really enjoys functioning in the way that you are describing that these this yoga evokes? And therefore, if you, if you give it half a chance, if you give it an opportunity, it’s going to kind of begin to shift into that mode. Yeah. And then if you give it repeated opportunities, that mode will become more and more habituated.
Ellen Emmet: Absolutely, yes, it’s the natural state at the level of the body. Yeah. Transparency, weightless, relaxed.
Rick Archer: So if a person goes through, that will
Ellen Emmet: will will also reveal all sorts of layers of, of emotions, fears, tensions, which is the beauty of that you’ll get to is that it creates a kind of openness for many, many layers to come up to the surface of stuff, so called suffering habits of what constitutes suffering. And in this yoga, what’s beautiful is you don’t do anything with with the, with the with the eye feeling that arises. You just it’s as if you offered it to presents you for presents to take care of it’s not your you don’t have to do anything with it. With the stuff that comes up, it’s a very, you know, hands off approach. Very beautiful.
Rick Archer: Yeah. The ocean keeps dissolving spoonful after a spoonful of mud and seems to have the capacity to do so. Exactly, exactly. That’s nice. And this too, I think is worth dwelling upon, isn’t it? Because it’s not a matter of just sort of sinking into a more natural state of mental and physiological functioning, but in that more natural state, all of the unnatural pneus that has been accumulated over the course of a lifetime, no longer? Well, the body, wouldn’t you say the body has a natural tendency to want to throw that off, and you’re finally giving it an opportunity to do so. And so it naturally begins to happen without your having to poke around and figure out okay, what do I need to throw off? What let me try to find something, it just surfaces whatever’s ready to go?
Ellen Emmet: It does, it absolutely does, as long as you kind of really truly welcome the body without an agenda, which means that you’ve taken your stand or you’ve taken yours, your plate your your right place, you’ve you’ve you read you, you are open, at least to the possibility that the true eye is this openness. Yeah. Is infinite ever presence awareness, because then the body is welcomed, it doesn’t mean the body relaxes immediately. On the contrary, all of a sudden, the body is free to, to surface. It I often have the image of take, you know, establishing awareness, and then letting the sensations of the body be free to be as they are. And, and I use an image of opening cages in the body. Because we often have sensations and in case, you know, knots of density and energetic constellations are nice and compact, and cats. So just liberating all these different areas of the body, for no reason, without any agenda, just just to let the body find its own way orchestrate itself on its own. It doesn’t need to be told what to do this poor body. It’s been what to do.
Rick Archer: Well, seems there’s an overarching reason, which is that, you know, we’ve been carrying around all this baggage for so many years, it would be nice to get rid of it. Yeah, so that’s a good reason for for going. That’s a good reason for going to a retreat and sitting down and doing this process.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, well, that’s true that the motivation for any initial motivation is that we don’t want to suffer anymore. And that’s a fine motivation.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Would you say that during the process, there’s an oscillation between, you know, deepening, and then stuff getting stirred up and then deepening and then stuff getting stirred up? It just sort of goes in a cycle? Yeah. Maybe that’s not universal, but it’s not a kind of a general pattern.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah. And then when you went deepening, I would I want would want to say kind of expanding and expanding, but some deepening to like in terms of allowing this kind of vibrational aliveness of life, you know, body, and then yes, and then there can be a shrinking back or contraction, a contraction can arise that that seems to shrink awareness back into itself, and then surrendering again. So it’s very, it’s a very alive and not an irrational the expression with the body, it’s not rational at all, which was what’s was so beautiful with the retreats or trances, there was these two, these two experiences one very irrational, and the other one very rational. And so it took care of both both the mind and the body. And then there was also a dimension of the world because we explored perception. In what way? Well, in the yoga, you might explore, hearing and seeing and tasting and touching and explore that, explore experientially will establish experientially that hearing, tasting, touching, etc. Don’t appear in a body that a sound doesn’t appear in the ear, a taste in the mouth, but that they appear in awareness. And, in a way, liberating the sense perceptions of this localization in the body. So that, you know, you’ve had probably an experience of hearing where hearing resonates and openness. You know, it’s easier maybe with hearing anyway, it’s
Rick Archer: it is easier with hearing because, actually, I heard Rupert’s going through something similar to this, this very thing on that recent audio series that he put out. But when you think of it, you know, we’re, we’re more familiar with the subtler aspect of the sense of hearing than we are with the subtler aspect of this of any other set. hands. And that is thinking thoughts are sounds and they’re, they’re subtler aspects of the sense of hearing. Yes. So I was reminded of that when you said it might be easier with hearing.
Ellen Emmet: But with thinking you can do the same, you know, you can explore the fact that it we there is a fifth kind of feeling, a feeling habit, that the thinker is located in the head, and there’s a kind of massive energy sensation there. But you can go through your experience and, and see very clearly that, you know, thoughts don’t appear in a head nobody’s seen and thought in their head and that they appear in awareness, just like the sound just like the sensation of touch and, and all these explorations, you know, they, they, they’re so beautiful. First of all, they’re like refinements, and they’re, they. They’re like playing music, they’re like tuning the instruments, and but they also happen, you know, it’s ongoing, I think it’s quite important to conduct them over over extended periods. So that was still the world part of, of experience was also taking in Francis’s retreat. And also Rupert’s and I’m sure other teachers do is to do with friendship and the kind of lovely atmosphere amongst the, the Sangha and, you know, eating together and sharing time together and have having the time.
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s so many examples and sayings and so many traditions about the value of having a sangha of some kind, you know, I mean, what is it Christ said, Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am. And, and there, you know, there are so many examples in eastern scriptures and others about the value of the company of the so called enlightened you know, this being in the company of like minded people who are all seeking the same thing and how conducive that is to realizing it.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, it was very much my experience friendships, the friendships and the Sangha was so sweet. And yeah,
Rick Archer: you met Rupert there so that paid off.
Ellen Emmet: That was the only motivation.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that was a it was just sort of a request. Here’s this handsome Englishman with a cool accent.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, my eyes when I first got there.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Wait a bit but charming fellow. Have has have your and Rupert’s respective evolutionary processes always been conducive to a kind of a deeper, more intimate relationship? Or have they sometimes resulted in one or the other of you becoming somewhat ethereal, or disembodied or something like that? That might seem like a strange question. And I can clarify it if you’d like. But, for instance, I, you know, knowing you and Rupert, just to the extent I do, I always find Rupert, totally charming, but kind of cerebral, you know, little ethereal when you talk to him. And then here you are this, you know, movement dance, you know, embodiment person. I mean, how has the interaction of those two tendencies played out for you?
Ellen Emmet: It’s played out, let’s put it that way. It still plays out. Still playing out. It’s kind of cool, because we really see eye to eye with, with this understanding. And you know, we share a teacher a teaching and you know, share the teacher, we, we the teacher, yeah. So that’s a kind of real foundation. Not that we refer back to it consciously, but it’s so such as underlying, it’s kind of there. And we are very different characters. But you know, so,
Rick Archer: of course, robber was a ceramic artist, and that’s kind of earthy, you know, that’s very tactile, and
Ellen Emmet: I wouldn’t, you know, he’s not, I know what you mean, when you say he’s so cerebral, he loves to think and he’s, he articulates with thought and he’s not, you know, you don’t get Rupert to dance very often.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I couldn’t get me to dance very often, either. So I’m not putting them down, you know, it’s just kind of a personality type thing.
Ellen Emmet: So it’s been, it’s been, you know, like any relationship, whether it’s quite we’re very polarized. So at times, it’s been explosive. But then you know, that it be because we knew that it’s, it’s going to resolve not so much in the whatever conflict but it resolves a bit later on in understanding, but but that kind of friction is so rich in and we learn. I mean, I’ve learned a lot from Rupert and I continue to and I know he does, he doesn’t learn from me so much. He doesn’t. Well, I think he learns a lot but not Not, not not. I don’t think he he adds on to his his array of of thinking tools, but I definitely think he learns from me on another level of course. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And so it’s, it’s good. It’s works.
Rick Archer: Do you think that a polarized kind of relationship, which has an underlying common denominator, such as yours is, perhaps? Well, first of all I polarized relationship without that common denominator would probably be hell and probably wouldn’t work out. But but one with a common denominator Do you think that would be more evolutionary, and we’re speaking somewhat hypothetically, than one in which you know, which wasn’t very polarized. More, more evolutionary, you think there’s more opportunity for growth and change and maturation and so on in, in in a, you know, sugar and salt kind of relationship? You know, then there would be in a salt, salt sort of relationship. Salt and pepper, I should say?
Ellen Emmet: I don’t really know, I know, there’s a great deal of, of learning potential in my situation with Rupert and, you know, with our relationship, but I don’t have a
Rick Archer: I’m just curious. I mean, the thought just occurred to me, it wasn’t a pre planned question. But now, you know, people talk about finding a compatible mate and so on. And this, yeah, do you really want a compatible mate? That’s, that’s kind of like a, you know, a perfect fit on all levels? Or is there going to be some greater potential in a situation in which the two of you have some significant differences, but there’s an underlying connection, you know, common denominator,
Ellen Emmet: I mean, I think it’s very important to have shared interest, not just the one underlying common denominator, but also like Rupert and I share, you know, a love of nature and love of duty. We like classical music needed little things that we enjoy doing. And then, so that the polarities of our characters, it’s, it’s as if God, you know, took, you know, it felt like a match, almost like, an arranged marriage a little bit. Yeah, I didn’t, you know, I was, I had just moved to Temecula to kind of live nearby Francis, and I was happily single. And then it just kind of appeared on the radar. And there we were, I moved to England. And I felt like, Okay, this must be the next. The next kind of face of the teaching. And, I mean, I knew it was, to be honest, I think it’s one of the most important ways that I have been given to explore this understanding and to refine it. It’s and it’s been challenging, it is challenging at times. But yeah, I’m not answering your question directly. It’s because there could have been that kind of that, that Rupert could have been more more like me, and it would have been equally.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but I guess my question is, if he had been, you know, and this is again, hypothetical, I think you’re obviously as you just said, you’re meant to be together. But if he had been, would that have actually been as evolutionary and I’m asking, this is not just about you and Rupert, but for people out there who, you know, might feel like, you know, geez, you know, my husband is this and I’m that and then where’s the value in this, but perhaps there could be
Ellen Emmet: if there’s a genuine interest in exploring and intimacy with with this reference point of, of the understanding somehow, but so that the other game becomes somehow a yoga time. So you know, the differences the thing that that that is difficult in the others character, it challenges you, and that’s kind of yoga. So it’s, or at other times, it’s this kind of celebration.
Rick Archer: Carlos Carlos Castaneda talked about the value of the petty tyrant, not that either of you are tyrants, but he said, even very challenging people in situations can be a gift because they, they have such, yeah,
Ellen Emmet: they bring out like, at times the absolute push the button like right, or the edge is in then you really have to see it. And I remember early on with Rupert in our in our relationship, we were having some kind of conflict and he told me and he kind of said to me, like straight on, he said, Ellen, don’t go for the relationship, go for the truth. And it was such a kind of wake up. I knew exactly what he meant, but it was so good that he said it and it’s a little bit it’s very important that that statement that whenever we hit a kind of difficult spot The tendency of course, and conflict and ratio is to blame and to needle and want to resolve it, and I get caught in that. But ultimately, there will be a moment hopefully, more and more where I, I take it back to, to the absolute or not the absolute up there but to the truth to honestly, you know, to to them, you know, to more impersonal understanding. And in the process of that there’s a lot that is getting to grow up to mature to open to,
Rick Archer: to good culturing, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, those things. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, taking it to a kind of a cosmic perspective, which we’ve alluded to a few times. I mean, you know, if the world is not mechanistic, and just to sort of, you know, if it really has is imbued with intelligence, which is orchestrating things for the purpose of our higher good for the purpose of our evolution, then every little thing is lesson, right. And every every person we engage with is our teacher.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, that’s, that’s true. It’s. I agree with that.
Rick Archer: So, I read a lot in your piece on the internet about this woman. Janet Adler. Is she still alive? Yes, yes. Most is she getting older? What’s, what’s her story?
Ellen Emmet: She’s probably in her late 70s. Now, I haven’t seen her in quite a few. She lives in Vancouver, off one on one of those islands of Vancouver. And
Rick Archer: I’ll be darned. I’m going out there in September, already. Yeah. I can interview. Yeah, is. So I’m sorry.
Ellen Emmet: She’s written a couple of books. And one of she she had a kind of Kundalini awakening when she was in her 40s. And it came through, you know, in for in the form of very intense visions, but also intense energy in the body. And she didn’t have a context within which to kind of approach this, she wasn’t in a particular spiritual teaching, etc. So she can and she was a dance therapist. And the way she kind of worked with this energy or met it was through this practice of authentic movements, which she hadn’t created. But she kind of tailored it to this kind of spiritual experience that was kind of bursting through her butt. And I read her book when I was prior to meeting Francis and I was so drawn to that kind of exploration, but I didn’t quite know why there was, but there’s something about her book and the allowing of the body and the fascination for energy and the kind of natural unfolding kind of mystical unfolding of the body through spontaneous mudras or gestures or postures. And that was something that I kind of knew in my own experience, and very, it was very interesting to me. And so I sought her out and studied, studied, so to speak. I mean, I was with her for quite a few years. And then in the, in the middle of the working with her, I met Francis. And it really had a radical effect on how I understood authentic movement. She always talked about unity of states of consciousness. And she didn’t, she was never exposed to the non dual teaching. So she would ever formulate it, the way that I then began to formulate after I met Francis, so we, we never disagreed, but it it it we just kind of parted ways after that, soon after that, but I kept the form of authentic movement as something that I still work with, with clients.
Rick Archer: Yeah, is that a pretty major part of what you do with clients still?
Ellen Emmet: If they yes, if they want to some people come to me specially for that. And then that’s what we do. There’s, we talk of course, but it during the course of a session, there’ll be a period of time where they will close their eyes and just allow an unfolding and over meant something in some cases over many years so that there’s a I don’t know how to describe this. It’s it’s hard to talk about but it’s a very beautiful in the beginning, you know, people might come because they’re having very unexplainable, energetic experiences sometimes with vision, something As with the kind of memories from past lives and, and in this practice, it’s, it’s just a time where that can, can, can can be. And I’m just witnessing and and then there’s a time to just speak. So it’s very simple in the sense that there’s no hands on, there’s no doing anything with anybody, there’s no manipulating the body and but sometimes because of the backgrounds, the non dual background, the understanding that it’s all unfolding in awareness, and that ultimately, it’s completely safe. And everything, the reality of everything is awareness so that people might come in with these energetic phenomena. And I’ve often now seen that it’s people who have had maybe trauma in their early childhood, very invasive, maybe trauma, maybe sexual, and that propelled that that triggered an out of body experience, because it was too intense. And the out of body experience was a spiritual glimpse. So that later in life, there is a kind of confusion, but it’s not a it’s not rational. It’s right at the level of the body of confusion between fear terror, the trauma, and the spiritual longing. I mean, that’s how I articulated I don’t really know, you know, and I don’t really need to know. But so, so authentic movement is often a place where that can begin to disentangle the fear part begins to relax in the knowledge that it’s welcome that there’s infinite space that the body can relax. And then the visionary aspects or the glimpses begins to fully take a shape, sometimes just in a recognition of peace and through the body, maybe it’s in very precise shapes the body wants to take or a very clear movements, it’s very beautiful, because it’s spontaneous. It’s a kind of spontaneous harmonizing of the body with its true nature. And in each mover, it will look differently. But it’s also quite, it’s not always beautiful. I mean, it also also allows lots of
Rick Archer: different stuff. Well, it sounds like what you’re saying, from what you’re saying that, firstly, it’s kind of common for people these days to be having these energetic eruptions. And either that, or they’re just seeking you out. But I wonder if there’s more people having that these days than there was 3040 years ago? That’s one question. And, and you’re also saying that, you know, there seems to be a correlation between people having that and having been traumatized, you know, sexually assaulted or whatever in in their, in their childhood. Given the no pain, buddy,
Ellen Emmet: yeah. Anyway, carry on? Well, yeah.
Rick Archer: I mean, where does the pain body come from? Doesn’t it come from traumatic experiences? And so I guess the question, so this stuff you could talk about on those two points. But then the third point is, this site seems strange, but are traumatic experiences, sometimes horrific ones, some kind of a hidden blessing, and that they they become catalysts for spiritual awakening later in life, which is kind of what you just said.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, they are. They are, in a ways, any suffering if it’s, it’s a call to come back home. It’s, you know, it’s not to say that it’s not extremely painful sometimes excruciating, and you know, and but if if, in fact, it does allow for, for for an awakening, then it is a blessing. It is absolutely a blessing.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I know, in my own case, my childhood is pretty rough, alcoholic father, mother tried to commit suicide three times, you know, all kinds of heavy duty stuff. And it’s pretty much at my wit’s end by the age age of about 1718 years old. And when I finally kind of latched on to spirituality, I just took off like a bat out of hell because it was such a such a relief, you know?
Ellen Emmet: It I think it is a relief when when, when I work with those those clients, and it’s the suggestion I really see, often it’s a suggestion that it’s safe, but not just safe intellectually, but actually physically and energetically, when they are in the throes of this energy. I’m and their eyes are closed out. I might just, you know, throw out some, some some words that really evoke that the kind of openness or the holding of the earth or, you know, some images, that this little body doesn’t have to take care of it or you know, and it’s a kind of reintroducing love to that equation that, that, that problematic, you know, reintroducing love, and then, and then things begin to unwind. And the trauma can resolve in its own time. So then, of course, you know, the story of the trauma is very important to be allowed, and it needs to be said and expert, but then that there comes a time where that’s done, and that can be laid to rest. But that means that there can still be an issue, that those people who are drawn who have, whose portals into the spiritual life has been the body and the energy, they are still maybe have an affinity for that. And that’s a very beautiful thing that I found is that people keep coming, and there’s no longer the trauma, or the, there’s just this longing to close their eyes and, and removed and, and it’s almost like they become the tea. I feel blessed. You know, in those moments witnessing these these movers. I feel like it’s Darshan. And I think, How strange that I think our culture has forgotten these rituals, but these must have been rituals. This is a ritual it feels like a kind of natural ritual that you know, and not everybody would do it would be drawn to it. But some people,
Rick Archer: yeah. Not everybody is drawn to anything, you know, but it sounds like a useful tool. You can do you have to do it with you. Do you have to come to Oxford? Or do you have Skype Skype sessions or something with people?
Ellen Emmet: I tried that once, but it’s just not wouldn’t work with movement? No, it’s you need to be together in the space. I mean, I only tried it once with one client, and we gave it up quite soon.
Rick Archer: Do you do sessions with clients over Skype that don’t involve? Yes, the movement thing?
Ellen Emmet: Yes, I do. Yeah, I do. And there, you can still explore the, you know, the sensations and feelings in the body, but not so much with movement? Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. One thing I was wondering about when I was reading about the movement thing is that, you know, Janet Adler had a profound energetic awakening. And for her the movements, I guess, were kind of they were kind of expressions of that raging energy that she was experiencing. But if you don’t have that sort of energetic awakening, and you try to engage in something like this, aren’t you just mimicking the external appearances of some of what Janet was doing? And just kind of going through the motions and or perhaps just stirring up sort of a mood or an imaginary thing, rather than what Janet was actually referring to
Ellen Emmet: you? Right, right, sometimes, and I got I used to facilitate groups and that would take place there was this kind of this kind of exactly, as you say, this kind of stirring. stuff that doesn’t stirring up. Yeah. And, and I didn’t like that. I didn’t like facilitating groups like that. And I, so I don’t, I don’t actually advertise that I do authentic movement bit too much that the people who come they really it usually is people who are who kind of need to do to, to explore in that way. But otherwise, it’s not necessary. Yeah. So
Rick Archer: you wouldn’t really get into the authentic movement thing with somebody unless they did have had had an energetic awakening, and then it might be an appropriate tool.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, or they might say, I’m really drawn to it. They might not energetic, but there’s something in them that that resonates. And usually they close their eyes and you kind of get why they wanted to you can see that it’s a it’s like something that finally can come up to the surface. And it’s it’s of another order, maybe your it’s just not so hard to put into words, but
Rick Archer: I understand. Yeah, I have a few notes. I took about it here. Authentic movement, devotional expression of non duality being moved, connects you with reality, true nature.
Ellen Emmet: It does and it’s, it’s what I remember in my own experience of when I moved was I would always start with with suffering in a way you know, I would always start with the sense of me separate and, and instead of trying to, you know, instead of, instead of fighting it or trying to make my way back to, to my understanding, I would just really, in a way pennant be penetrated. penetrate this resistance, because it was a resistance of density, and energy, and then maybe then there would be a kind of emotional, personal emotional components of anger or whatever. And I that would be completely allowed to and you know, it’s sometimes so pleasurable. And so important to let this knee out of the box, you know, completely, who cares at that moment, if it’s not me or it just, and then if it’s allowed completely, then the personal component of the emotion begins to relax. And then the emotion is pure, and it’s just pure, maybe grief or pure rage, which then paves the way for it’s, you know, it’s God’s grief, or it’s God’s anger, or it’s God’s emotion, and then it then really begins to find its own move. I mean, it really then the form is unfolds. And I remember arriving at the end of the sessions, and really, at the time, there was still states. So you know, because, and I would seek them out, I would want them again and again, of that state of purity and a sense of, you know, of silence and emptiness and expansion
Rick Archer: that you would get into in these in these authentic movement things with Jana. Yeah,
Ellen Emmet: yes. But they only recognize this unit of states. And then later I, you know, I was able to somehow understand the whole process from, from awareness, it’s awareness from beginning to end. But yeah, it’s not that arrive at awareness, I started that awareness.
Rick Archer: Well, weren’t those tastes of units of states kind of wasn’t at a similar mechanics to that which you began to go through with Francis, but just through a different means. I mean, in his case, it’s, you know, you mentioned glimpses and repeated themselves, and deepening glimpses and so on him isn’t, isn’t it just another tool, wasn’t it just another tool for having glimpses of true nature,
Ellen Emmet: except with Janet, it was never formulated as the ground the fact of awareness was, was our ever present, immediate direct experience now. And now, you know, so there was a kind of evolution from personal consciousness to she call it collective consciousness to unity of consciousness. Whereas I now would disagree, if I had to, you know, formulate that will formulate it like that. I felt that was misleading. Although I feel that she was it was misleading from the point of view of the formulation. But the experience was beautiful. And it sounds like
Rick Archer: she didn’t have a teacher the way Francis did. So she didn’t have that kind of exact structure for understanding and explaining it.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, it’s her back when was more union psychology. And then this can spiritual, mystical, more shamanic, maybe you could say? And then she she did it all by herself? You know, she didn’t. She had a teacher, I think I don’t remember who was not non dual teacher with some kind of mentor?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, interesting point you brought out, let’s see here. A couple of interesting points. One was from Janet, about the relationship between surrender and will, regarding my experience with the energy, I lifted that phrase from that article. That’s something I’ve personally found interesting over the years, that the kind of the balancing act between surrender and will, that will, especially when I mean, one can imagine that surrender had taken place to a very profound degree in which will was really taking had taken a backseat and kind of divine will, is Divine Will is running the show. But before you get to that point, there can be years of transitionary period where, you know, there’s a kind of a tug of war, a balancing act between those two things, and one has to learn discernment in terms of what is my individual will and what is cosmic? Well, if you want to use that phrase, you know, should I should I follow this impulse? Or is that just a whim? Is that an individual whimper is? Am I being told something here?
Ellen Emmet: Yeah. What do you see? I know what you mean. But I also want to say that it’s all causing universal Well, yeah, that’s so
Rick Archer: if you go into that, then the murderer is just carrying out universal will and Hitler was carrying out universal oil. But yeah, I’m talking about your own theory and one’s own experience, especially in the context of
Ellen Emmet: right. In your own experience, when I say it’s all cosmic, I’m not saying it to be facile, but I think it’s when you’re involved in an in an in an exploration where you for example, it experiencing Personal Will and then the the unfolding the kind of spontaneous, effortless unfolding. And they kind of if you that which is experiencing those two is awareness. I mean, it’s, it’s it is being being perceived and unfolding in awareness. So it’s really important that it’s not just a bypass to say that, because once you really see that, you realize that the moments of so called person will, are really are really moments of tension or subtle resistance, a kind of contraction back into a sense of separation. And there’s no problem, you know, but it’s seen clearly, it’s seen clearly that, oh, here’s the me feeling, need the body feeling or, Oh, here’s fear. You know, here’s, in other words, you’ve got the key, it doesn’t really matter. Do you know what I mean?
Rick Archer: Yeah. Maybe one way of clarifying My question is I’ve just to take an example, I’ve been having some conversations recently with several friends who are spiritual teachers. And we’ve been talking, talking about spiritual teachers who get little drunk with the Shakti or with the, with the attention that they receive. And so and then begin to regard themselves as you know, just following divine impulses and our own kind of lose the ability to be open to feedback from students, and we can begin to feel that whatever thought pops in their head basically, is, is Yeah, it’s like divinely orchestrated, and should, should be believed and followed and trusted both by themselves and by their, their followers. And that, you know, one can go very far off the deep end with that line of thinking and get into serious trouble. And so that’s just a case in point. But obviously, most people listening to this aren’t spiritual teachers, yet, we still have kind of a, you know, we were definitely moved by, I’d say, a higher purpose and by kind of cosmic intelligence, and yet at the same time, we have our individual will and our individual intelligence, which can either be at odds with or in tune with, to varying degrees, that cosmic intelligence.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, well, that’s a nice way to put it. And when it’s at odds, because the compass is, is the truth of our true nature. Ideally, when when when, when our current person, the small person, is at odds with that compass, when there’s a feeling like I’m gonna get that. If we’re truth lovers, and we’re honest, at that moment, we’re like, Well, you know, we catch ourselves red handed, catch ourselves, and therefore, you know, there’s the freedom, oh, I can investigate this moment. And I and that means, kind of tracing this contraction, this me feeling this, right back to its roots, which more often than not, is a feeling fear or kind of root feeling, a root feeling of separation, so. So it’s not. So it’s good?
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, once one solution that came to mind as you’re speaking is that it really is valuable to have a good compass, a good compass, it’s valuable also, to have a teacher and a sangha. Who can who can call you on your shit, you know? Yeah, if you’re getting carried away.
Ellen Emmet: Yes, yes. If you’re if you’re have responsibility in your teacher. Yeah, I mean, it’s very important that you have some kind of reference and that or that your Sangha can, as you say, call your shit.
Rick Archer: Because if you don’t have that, people can get quiet and go quite far off the beam before they somehow have a wake up call. Yeah. Here’s a question that somebody just sent it and let me read it to you. High on, many speakers talk about the necessity of placing attention on uncomfortable feelings and contractions in the body in order to heal them. But I have found this practice to be counterproductive and even damaging to my nervous system. For even if we think we are doing this compassionately, without judgment, this type of attention carries the egos intention to change and fix, which is in itself, an act of violence and contradictory to healing. Moreover, my experience has been that so much focus on quote, somatic contractions, unquote, actually perpetuates these sensations until they become all that we notice betraying the truth that they are only a small fragment of experience. What are your thoughts about this? It’s a great question.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, I agree with that.
Rick Archer: So you can indulge it?
Ellen Emmet: I mean, I think it’s it’s I like what you say about the violence, I think use the question or use the word violence and how an agenda is and I think that if there’s an agenda, it’s a form of violence. For the body and in the approach that I share, and that’s Francis and the Kashmir approach, it’s a very non violent approach. It’s, you’re right, it’s, it’s, there isn’t really a focusing in areas of contraction, it’s more global welcoming of the body, and the world and everything. But then when you do start to focus on the body, you know, you’re kind of offering the body to presents. So and of course, sometimes you might become aware of areas of tension and contractions. And it might be that the invitation of the moment is to, is to kind of allow that sensation to unfold. But not, it’s a subtle, subtle, balancing that you’re not, you’re not expecting the sensation to go away, you really seen it clearly for what it is. And you’re interested in awareness in spaciousness and the openness. So the byproduct of such a nonviolent approach, you could say is often relaxation. But there isn’t an agenda for things to to relax, necessarily,
Rick Archer: you know, this question plays right into the question I was asking you, which is this sort of balance between individual intention and cosmic will? If I’m using cosmic well as a general phrase, I think people understand what I mean by that. But you know, her this person’s inquiry has to do with the individual egos intention to change and fix to use the question, exact words where one is applying individual will. And to me, that’s like, almost in the same ballpark, as you know, individually having to make our heartbeat and our blood circulate, and our liver do its thing, you know, which we would die if we had to do that. Whereas they’re kind of more deeper, they’re deep, there’s a deeper intelligence which conducts those processes. And I think there can also and that same deeper intelligence can conduct this process of purification that you’re without anybody? Yeah. Without our individual manipulation being involved,
Ellen Emmet: and the way the individual manipulation? Is it yet another tension that has it’s that it’s also a sensation in the body? It’s a kind of, it’s a kind of doing tension, which itself will, in the best of cases, be welcomed, welcomed, in the sense of just allowed? But as you say, Rick, Archer nature is, by definition, allowing, there’s a moment and therefore doesn’t need to do anything.
Rick Archer: Yeah. All right, we had a bit of an interruption there, but we’re talking about how one can exacerbate the question I was asking when one can exacerbate sort of individual discomforts and, you know, stuck things. If one is using one’s personal will to root them out. It’s almost like that to which we give our attention grows stronger in our life. Whereas I think you’re talking about a very different process, which might easily be confused with that, in which we’re surrendering to something much larger than our individuality. And that kind of has natural purifying tendencies which take care of it for us if we surrender to it properly.
Ellen Emmet: Yeah, it takes care of, of, of the, the part of a contraction that is egoic, like the need part of a feeling in the body. Once we once we take our stand as this infinite, open, welcoming awareness, eventually, the body relaxes the me part of the tension goes back to the real me to presence, so but that doesn’t mean that there might not be chronic tension to the body, that still, that’s still floating around there just sensations and some might be less pleasant than others, but they’re just sensations. But if it’s a psychological contraction, and if you approach that psychological contraction with a kind of focus and a kind of, I’m gonna, I’m going to welcome that somatic attention and I’m going to, I’m going to go to welcome it. That’s just super imposing yet another layer of tension. That’s not very welcoming. As Francis says, it’s like you’re just standing behind the door with a four by five, waiting to plunk the sensation. You have an agenda and an agenda as this person points out is, is a form of, of meddling with, with with experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah, there’s that bumper sticker. Let go and let god yeah. Nice. So some people might be hearing this and thinking, Alright, I got that point, you know, you should, you know, if you’re really surrendered to the the true nature and then things are going to kind of work themselves out in a, in a way that is far more wise and, and effective than anything your individual will be able to accomplish. But that kind of begs the question how do you surrender to your true nature? I mean, a lot of people might out there listening to this might feel like I understand that, but it hasn’t happened. Well, how do I get in touch with it hasn’t happened for me yet? How do I make that happen?
Ellen Emmet: Keep looking. Because you shouldn’t surrender to your true nature if you haven’t found it. Yeah, why would you that would be blind surrender. But if you’re really interested in who am I, what am I or am I really you know, am I this body mind? Or am I if there’s a real interest in that then you must one must pursue it. Or not one must but one word. Yeah. And if it’s a real interest, there will be answers there’s there’s good teaching out there and and I can give a few recommendations. Sure. Exactly. And some
Rick Archer: other good people
Ellen Emmet: around but one must stay looking and investigating asking questions until those questions are met and then it’s not and then it’s not sequential like that but the surrendering is has to be interested towards something that is that is trustworthy and true. So one might lose sight of but yet one knows with no shadow without the shadow of a doubt one knows. Even if at times it’s out of sight it’s out of reach seems to be it’s the one thing you know for sure. Somehow you know,
Rick Archer: yeah. And over time, it becomes less and less out of sight out of reach. Yes. So how would you reconcile you know seek and you shall find knock on the door shall be opened with the sort of give up the search crowd and you don’t need a teacher crowd.
Ellen Emmet: I don’t try to reconcile that.
Rick Archer: Well, in other words, you’re probably saying you disagree with that crowd and you know, seek and
Ellen Emmet: you shall find if they’re not seeking then that’s fine. Good for them. But if you’re seeking then it’s good to seek and yes, you should. You should find it as long as there’s a secret there can’t pretend there isn’t a secret there and as long as there’s a sense of personal have a limited me that yes has an intuition that there’s a bigger truth there’s something more there’s the possibility for freedom it’s so important to really go for that and not listen to the whatever teaching tells you nothing no one there nothing to do before that’s really recognized to be true. No, no keep looking. As long as there’s seems to be someone there then that someone shouldn’t be doing something good towards
Rick Archer: gonna set it better. So, so be true to yourself. Don’t don’t Yeah,
Ellen Emmet: I mean it because it’s so miraculous when you are true to yourself, you know, life meets you meets itself. Truth is met by truth. And it of course, when we say these things, it sounds so beautiful, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a journey, a real process and a time soon, difficult, painful. But yet, looking back on it, you think, wow, what intelligence.
Rick Archer: In the nice phrase I found in what you wrote, as we travel in and through the dark, unknown, we may emerge back into the light of wholeness. This can only happen through our bodies. Did I write that? You did? Yeah. Unless you play it.
Ellen Emmet: years ago, it was I would agree with I mean, it’s a nice, it’s true, but it’s not
Rick Archer: Well, I actually should have I was getting getting distracted by your little quotes here. But I should have picked up on what you just said which is beautiful, which is it’s a journey and and, you know, it’s an adventure and it’s never ending fascination as far as I’m concerned. It’s like, you know, you might you might give up the search, but boy, you don’t give up the exploration and the adventure.
Ellen Emmet: Well, that I there was a quote that Rupert and I found in the book and I can’t remember the book, so I don’t know who said this, but it was it was beautiful quote, and then goes something like, first. First we journey towards God. And then we journey in God.
Rick Archer: Nice, very nice.
Ellen Emmet: It’s nice because it’s so true, isn’t it?
Rick Archer: Love that. And then we journey as God? Yeah, good. Well, yeah. And we’ve been doing that all along thinking that we were doing those other things. Yeah. See? Okay, so Dad, if there’s any more questions that have come in now would be the time to send them to me. And otherwise? Well, let me this typical question that I always ask towards the end of interviews, which is, and with some people, when I asked this question, well, the basically the question is, you know, how do you see? Or how do you see the cutting edge of your evolution? Now? You know, what’s the next? What is the next horizon seem to be or what have the recent horizons been? And some people look at me puzzled, because they’re the sort of I’m done, ilk? And so that question doesn’t get us very far. But in your case, you seem to have this sense of, you know, never ending unfoldment. And also, what are some areas in which you feel that you’ve been blossoming in recent months or years and that you look forward to continue to blossom in?
Ellen Emmet: Well, I guess, perhaps in sharing this understanding, especially with a with a yo with so called Yoga, the awakening body sessions that I offer, I feel that I really enjoy those and that I want to give my energy to those.
Rick Archer: But in your own personal experience, how do
Ellen Emmet: you but I think it’s because I’ve always been a bit lacking in confidence and a little bit sharp, not shy some of the craving. But but a little bit shy to really give not shy, but it was difficult for me to manifest. So I think that the teaching, the the next unfolding with the unfolding is taking me out into the world a bit more. So it’s, it’s, it’s relevant in that way. Yeah, that was that’s what comes to mind.
Rick Archer: Good. Well, this interview may help in terms of people usually experience what I call the BatGap. Bump. Yes. You know, and, and so let’s say people feel a resonance with you. And like, what you’ve been saying in this interview, in what ways can they get involved with you?
Ellen Emmet: Well, I guess they can. They can come, I did teach in one it I teach also, in America and other countries in Europe, and I have a website so they can go check on my websites, or they can come to Oxford or London,
Rick Archer: we actually have a thing on BatGap under the past interviews menu where teachers such as yourself can, and how many have put in places where they are going to be teaching, okay, and then a person could search, let’s say, and Fresno or whatever, wherever, yeah. And, or California, they can broaden that out to the whole state. And then they can say, oh, all these people are going to be teaching in this that in the other city, right? So send you information on how to register that and people who are listening could can check that out. And find out what might be going on in their area.
Ellen Emmet: Great. Thank you.
Rick Archer: Sure. So good. Let me let me kind of wrap it up. Unless you can think of anything else we haven’t covered that you’d like to throw in there.
Ellen Emmet: I think we’ve talked a lot.
Rick Archer: I always enjoy making these interviews long because it’s so much fun talking to people like you want to do it all day. You know,
Ellen Emmet: that’s great, because you have time you give time for real, real conversations. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And no commercials. Yeah. Except those annoying little YouTube ads that come up. Okay, so I’ve been speaking with Ellen Emmet. And this interview as most of you watching or listening probably know, is part of an ongoing series. So if you’d like to check out previous ones, go to batgap.com. And there’s a past interviews menu where you’ll see all the past interviews, organized or categorized in about four or five different ways, alphabetical, chronological and so on, check that out. There is audio podcast of this that almost as many people listen to the Judy audio recordings as watch the videos. And there’s a whole page on how to sign up for that. You’ll see it there. There if you look under the upcoming interviews menu, especially Yeah, the upcoming interviews menu, you will see this thing I referred to earlier of the live streaming and link links to the live streaming for each one. And form at the bottom through which you can submit questions. There’s a Donate button which we rely upon people clicking if they feel they’ve they’re deriving value from this and helps to support it. And there’s also a little link to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. So let’s see that. So thanks for listening and watching. Thank you, Ellen.
Ellen Emmet: Thank you very much.
Rick Archer: Say hi to Rupert see you both in October at the same conference. And my next interview won’t be a week from today. It’ll be two days from today with Amma Sri Karunamayi, who is a saint from India, and that got organized, sort of on the spur of the moment. It should be quite different for many of my interviews, and I think, quite fascinating. So stay tuned for that. So see you then. Thank you.
Ellen Emmet: Bye
Rick Archer: bye, Ellen.
Ellen Emmet: Bye Rick. Lovely
Rick Archer: Yeah.