Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and this is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. There have been nearly 300 of them now and if you’d like to check out the archives go to batgap.com. There’s also a donate button there which I always mention at the beginning of interviews in case people don’t make it to the end, because this whole thing depends upon and relies upon the support of people who enjoy listening to it. My guest today is Enza Vita. Enza is in Adelaide, Australia where it is about almost midnight now and she heroically has stayed up late and drunk more coffee than she’s accustomed to drinking at this hour in order to participate in this conversation. I met Enza about 3-4 years ago at the Science and Non-duality Conference. At that time it was in San Rafael, California. She came to a presentation that I was moderating which you can find on Batgap. It was a panel discussion with, well it doesn’t matter, it’s a panel discussion and she was noticeable in the audience, very bright and afterward she came up and participated in a very deep conversation with one of the participants in the panel. And so I met her husband or partner Leo Drioli who is a musician and the two of them had flown all the way over and I always had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to interview Enza and finally we were doing it. So welcome, thank you.
Enza: Thank you.
Rick: And it’s good we waited because in the years since we met you’ve written this book, “Always Already Free” which I read in its entirety this week and really enjoyed.
Enza: Yes, actually that book was ready five years ago, it’s just never got published until now.
Rick: But I hear you were something of a perfectionist in terms of really making sure it was clear.
Enza: It was how the book started basically. It wasn’t meant to be a book. All that was was just my journals that I kept as I was going through different experiences prior to realization and after realization. And basically one day Leo said, “Can I see where you’ve been writing in those journals?” And I showed him some and he said, “You know, they’re good, you should consider getting them published”. And obviously there were just jumbled up notes of everything. In the middle of it there were quotes of Nisargadatta, quotes of other teachers. And I also had, I have got the bad habit that when I hear something or somebody in a book or something I write it down in my journal. And sometimes I don’t even give it credit. So it was a little bit of a mess trying to make Jennifer my really trusty assistant. I go to her, she typed it all, she put it through different copy Skype making sure. And she would say, “Miss Enzo, we found another one”. She meant that it’s not yours. I said, “Oh, who is it this time? Nisargadatta? I knew that I didn’t write that”. So anyway, I took a process like that of trying to get rid of all this stuff. But then it still was very thick and some of the stuff wasn’t really appropriate anymore because I changed. And so I kept on revising and revising and revising it until it got to the present format.
Rick: Good. Well I thought it was really clear. And lately I’ve been in the habit of just reading people’s books or listening to their talks and stuff and not taking a lot of notes. I just kind of feel like I get to know them by reading their book or listening to their other talks and interviews. So that’s what I did. And as I read, if you had been sitting in the room, we could have had conversations about just about every page in the book, because there’s all sorts of interesting points that come up, some of which concur with my experience and understanding and some of which differed a little bit. And I thought, “Well, I’d like to question her about that”. But I think all this will come out during the course of this conversation. So you’re from Sicily originally, which is an island off the southern coast of Italy, and it’s part of Italy, it’s where the mafia is from.
Enza: Yes, you want me to start with that?
Rick: You might as well start. So the Pope said the mafia can’t be considered good Catholics anymore.
Enza: Yeah, we do have mafia. And actually, I wasn’t going to talk about this, but some relatives in my family were involved. We never did, because my dad didn’t really belong to, you know, he’s usually passed on to the male lineage. So my dad married my mom and he wanted to have nothing to do with it. But actually, I remember my grandmother being visited by some guys when I was a kid, and he seemed a very nice guy. I found out after that he wasn’t that nice.
Rick: And so you grew up in Sicily, and there’s a pattern that I have recognized among many people that I’ve interviewed and other spiritual people that I know about, which is that very often they have stuff going on when they’re little kids. They don’t necessarily have a normal childhood, they have unusual experiences. And my explanation for that would be that we all come into this life at varying degrees of spiritual evolution, some very highly evolved, some maybe close to realization, some very far from it, probably due to development in past lives. And therefore, some kids are just inclined to sort of be different from their peers and to have interesting spiritual experiences at a very young age.
Enza: Well, I definitely was different, and my family didn’t really understand what was going on, and I think we talked about it with Jerry as well. Actually, when I was probably five or six years old, they took me to a psychologist because there was a sister of my dad that had some sort of a mental illness. So they obviously were very afraid that that’s what was going on with me, because I’ll be talking about lights, I’ll be talking about out-of-body experiences. I didn’t use those words, I didn’t know what they were. I’ll be talking about lucid dreaming, where I’ll be awake in the dream side, and so they thought there’s something wrong with this child. And as a kid, it was actually traumatic for me to see how worried my parents were, and I decided that I wasn’t going to talk about my experiences after that time. You know, so my mom crying, worried that there was something wrong with me, and sort of I had zipped it from then on, because I thought I couldn’t really. But I had all sorts of experiences like that, and first of all, everybody was having them. But when I talked to my sisters or my friends, that wasn’t happening. And so… yeah, and I also had some what you call memories of past life. I didn’t know back then what they were, but monks with red robes that I never seen before. See, I grew up in this little village, there was only like a thousand four hundred people, and we didn’t even have a library. I used to catch the bus to go to school, so there was absolutely nothing. There was a church and there was the local priest, and that was the closest that I could get to spirituality, and I would love to sneak back into the church, even when nobody was there. And we had this really old priest, and he wasn’t very friendly. He was like, “What are you doing here? Go home”. And after he left, after he left, a young priest, probably in his friendly. And so, he became my first teacher, where I’ll be going there and sort of asking questions. And he was very nice, he would just try to answer however he could. But eventually, even he had to say, “Okay, just one question”. So, I had to think really carefully which question I wanted to ask.
Rick: So, you were full of questions?
Enza: I was full of questions, because I was having all these experiences, and nobody seemed to know what they were.
Rick: What sort of experiences were you having?
Enza: Well, apart from the experiences of like every night, I would go over the roof of the houses in this sort of transparent ball. And I would also sneak out at night on top of the roof, and I would sit there, and I would just look at the stars, and I would just feel so amazing. And I would fall asleep there sometime, and wake up in the morning. And I would have lucid dreaming where I would be awake in the dream. So, there wasn’t much difference between my normal everyday life and the dream state. I’ll be fully awake.
Rick: And this is like pretty young, 5-6 years old?
Enza: Very young, and also, I was a pretty strange child. When I was born, the nerve of this eye got damaged. And so, by the age of one years old, the eye was blind. And yes, it’s still blind, so I can see a little bit. But back then, the eye also become cross- sighted. And in Sicily, there is this – because you couldn’t see- in Sicily, there is this thing that people that have this sort of condition, they actually have psychic powers. So, there was this… together with what they heard about experiences I was having, because I was talking when I was little, I didn’t know that I had to shut up, right? So, I was like the little witch of the village. And yeah.
Rick: It’s a good thing it wasn’t a few hundred years earlier.
Enza: No, well, and that’s the thing, when if you’re a girl and you have, I guess, a facial disfigurement, back then it wasn’t socially accepted as well. And but I guess in retrospect – and the way the kids teasing me and stuff like that – but in retrospect, I realized that it made me closer to people that were different, that were imperfect, you know, because I considered myself imperfect, because of this problem. And I realized that everybody felt imperfect in some way or another, and that this one was just an exterior thing. They just showed how everybody felt there was something wrong with them. Yeah, so it was a great gift and a great teacher.
Rick: It’s interesting the whole thing about insanity and spirituality and how sometimes they’re mistaken for one another. And some people might have thought you were crazy. And I know in my own life, my mother actually did go insane and spend years in mental hospitals, but she was also a very spiritual person. And this all started out with like messing around with a Ouija board, and then she thought she was talking to her mother, and then she started seeing auras around things. She started seeing auras around trees and everything, and yet she was really flipping out. So did you ever have times when you, not only maybe your friends, but you thought that maybe you were kind of going crazy because you were in such a different state then?
Enza: Not when I was young. Later in life, just prior to my realization, there was a period in my life where things were going on in my mind that I felt that, “Oh, what’s going on is scary”, you know. I would tell one of my teachers, “I feel like I’m going nuts” because I’ll be at night and I would watch my mind spinning by itself, and I was just watching it and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Rick: Was that when you were asleep or awake?
Enza: Awake, fully awake. I would just see the mind machine just going faster and faster and faster and faster, and as if I was almost locked out. So I was having all these strange experiences leading up to the realization.
Rick: Yeah, well we might be getting a little bit ahead of ourselves, but it seems to me from what I’ve observed over the years and probably you have too, that realization necessitates and actually can be defined as a huge transformation and when you go from point A to point B, you know, going from ordinary state to a realized state, all kinds of stuff has to get rearranged in your psychology, your physiology and all, and sometimes that can be quite tumultuous.
Enza: It is, and still is. I’m still going through some stuff of that, some remains of that, because as that realization comes in into the body, because people think that the realization of our transcendental state is it, it’s finished. So you go up the mountain and you have all these amazing experiences. You can have amazing experiences, some people don’t. Your mind stops, your thoughts stop, you’re blissed out all the time and all this stuff. So it’s very easy for us to think that we’ve reached the ultimate state, but it’s not the end.
Rick: In a way it’s just the beginning.
Enza: It’s just the beginning, yeah. It’s just the beginning. In the first few years after my realization, after the first stage, I guess, the realization of my transcendental nature, all I wanted to do is actually sit in my backyard and just immerse myself in this amazing love. I think that’s what people do, and they think this is it, this is the end. But it’s almost like you’re allowed to stay there a little while, and then something within yourself, if we’re talking like that, if we’re talking duality, like in dual terms, then we say the Divine says, “Ah, time to get back, time to go, time to descend back from the mountain into the worlds of time and space”.
Rick: And reminded of the Zen ox-herding pictures, you’ve probably seen those, the different stages. And there’s the transcendental stage where there’s nothing to be seen anymore, it’s just a blank canvas, but then eventually the guy comes back into the marketplace riding the ox, big smile on his face.
Enza: Yes, yes, and the descent is very important because, you know, first you resist, because you don’t want to leave the space of absolute beauty, and also one of the characteristics is that the soul, if you want to talk to the soul, you want to go deeper into it, go deeper into the absolute. And…
Rick: But in a way you’re not leaving it, right? You’re bringing it with you back into the world.
Enza: You descend and as you descend you don’t descend as a god, you descend as a human being and you take on again the garments of human limitations, so you start feeling the fears, you start feeling the thoughts, you start feeling the emotions, but now you know that all thoughts and all emotions are not arising in a separate person here called Enza, but they’re arising in that one being in which everything is sharing with. And so when we realize that, I guess our life takes on a deep value and sacredness, because we realize that the divine is experiencing itself as everything, as the world, in and as the world, in and as all others, and in and as us. And I guess when that happened, with the descent and also with the conscious suffering, because up until now we have suffered, but the suffering was mostly unconscious and when we choose to come back and be a conscious participant to that divine play, then something else starts happening where I guess a love and compassion that comes from, it doesn’t come from the body-mind unit, but it comes from that source, starts coming in and when this love and compassion marries with the power of transcendence, it becomes like the divine impulse that is the will and the wish to help other people into the realization of their highest potential, which is enlightenment. So the transcendental state is just the first bit. There has to be that maturity then, that then sees the divine in everything and I guess this is then what we call true bhakti. The true bhakti is the love that sees the beloved everywhere, and this is when it starts really maturing because then we are conscious participant of life or all of life. We are the transcendental, but we also are everything here and there’s no separation.
Rick: There’s a lot of great stuff in what you just said. I was reminded of a Rumi quote where Rumi says “God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in the human being”.
Enza: That’s right.
Rick: And the implication is that God is immanent, God is all-pervading in creation, in all those things, but these different mediums – rock, plant, animal, human – have different capacities to reflect or express the divine and somehow I was reminded of that as you were speaking. And it’s funny because before we started I was remembering a conversation that you were having with Mark McCooey at the Science and Non-duality Conference when you were, after our little presentation we gave, and I overheard you guys talking about God-consciousness as opposed to self-realization, at least that’s what I thought you were talking about. And your friend Leanne from Adelaide sent in the question, “Do you believe the term self-realization and God realization are the same states? If not, how do you see the difference?” And I think you’ve kind of just laid it out because you were saying that there is a transcendental phase which is like self-realization, but then it seems to have matured into a much more devotional, divine-oriented, service- oriented, divine in-the-world kind of orientation. So you want to elaborate on those points?
Enza: Well, we seem to think that realization is somehow bringing the story of the me, of the separate self that we believe to be to a satisfactory conclusion. But actually what happens is that it is realized that the me that we believe us to be, the separate person, is not an aware being.
Rick: Not a what?
Enza: It’s not an aware being.
Rick: An aware being, I see.
Enza: Yes, the only aware being is the one being in which everyone shares in, everything shares in. So that’s the only aware being. This aware being expresses itself through everything – world, stars, you and me, everything. And so, when people say there is no one here, I guess that’s true in one sense, there is no separate person and I guess that’s the God-realization, there is only one being. And when people talk about non-duality they think that that means just one, one, one thing. But the non-duality is we are that one being but we also we are everything else as well, both, both apply.
Rick: I don’t mind the way you’re sitting, it’s kind of pretty, but you don’t need to lean in really close if you don’t want to. You can just sit back and relax.
Enza: No, I get excited, that’s why I do that. In a minute I’ll be standing up.
Rick: Okay, good, then we’ll just see your belly. There’s a line from the incredible string band that you just reminded me of, which was, “Light that is one, though the lamps be many”. So, it wouldn’t be true to say there are no lamps, but rather it’s the same light shining through all lamps, but that doesn’t mean there are no lamps. So, I mean, would you agree that it’s not true to say there are no people, your children are an illusion or something? It’s like, okay, you are a person, but just not only a person, you know, there’s a much vaster reality to what you essentially are, but that sort of shines through the person.
Enza: Absolutely. There is a huge difference between saying that there is no one here and in a way that it’s a narcissistic and insensitivity to the kind of others and also to the beauty of the world and to actually realize that directly and in a way that opens their heart and dissolves their apparent separation between transcendental and ordinary reality.
Rick: That’s nice. Yeah, because there are teachers running around or have been saying that sort of thing and if someone comes to them with a heart-rending story like, “My child got hit by a car”, they actually might respond by saying, “There is no child, there is no car…”
Enza: “There is no one there”.
Rick: “…this is just a story, nothing happened”. And I mean, maybe on some ultimate level that’s true, but it’s not the whole picture.
Enza: No, definitely not. Realization doesn’t mean that we are disconnected from our feelings, doesn’t mean that we don’t have any feeling or disconnected from the world. It’s not as if we are sitting in this space where there is nothing, we don’t have to care about anything, who wants to become that? Who wants to become that kind of an idiot? And so the point is that of course there is people and all this is happening and it’s all one being, ultimately it’s all one being, experiencing itself through everything.
Enza: Don’t know, do you want to say more?
Rick: No, that’s okay, I can, I can, or you can keep going. I mean, how could it be anything other than one being? Because if we analyze anything, what is this? It’s paper, but then what is paper? Okay, it’s molecules, what are they? They’re atoms, what are atoms? They’re subatomic particles, what are they? Well, you get down to something that’s not even physical. And you know that some scientists are actually… they call it the vacuum state, and some scientist, John Hagelin, who was in that presentation I referred to, equates with consciousness and makes a really good argument of how the essential nature of what appears to be physical is consciousness and that is obviously your essential nature. But having gone through all that, that is not to say there is no book and that we couldn’t read this book and get something from it. So there’s kind of a both-and appreciation of the universe.
Enza: Yeah. And there are obviously paths and teachers that say that there is nothing that we as the separate person can do to awaken. And this of course is absolutely true. But if there is still a person there, if we’re still identified with the apparent person, then to say that there is nothing or there is nothing to do or that we’re already enlightened, it’s like deluding ourselves and just putting a veneer of lofty thoughts over our suffering, our suffering of separation. And now usually I find that these people are even in a worse position than they were before they started seeking, because now they started with the denial of their suffering. They just live in a world where this connection is interpreted as being peace. And sooner or later – God is always very merciful – sooner or later, our suffering will resurface in full measure and we will be forced to confront what we thought that we left behind. So it’s just a stage.
Rick: Yeah, it’s a stage that some people stay in for a long time, but it’s a stage. And actually in the big picture of things, how vast the span of time really is, I guess it’s not a long time, just a blink of an eye. But yeah, I mean, I run into these people and say there’s nothing to do and usually what they… I don’t know, it becomes sort of an excuse to not do anything really, if you think there’s nothing to do, but then, well, you got to do something, so I might as well get on the internet and start telling other people there’s nothing to do.
Enza: Yes, yeah. I always see, they even come sometimes on my Facebook and there are little wars on Facebook or social media about the two camps, “there is nothing to do” and “you have to do something”. And even this is a stage because I guess when you see that everything is that, then you lose interest in telling people, for example, they are doing bowing and… bowing? Is that the right pronunciation?
Rick: Yeah, bowing, like you bow to a guru or something.
Enza: Yeah, the Zen, and they do a lot of mantras and these people say, “Oh, well, that’s a dual practice”, but it’s like you don’t care about telling them that these practices are not necessary, and at the same time you don’t go around telling the real radical non-dualist that they say that there is no practice. You don’t care about telling them that practice can be as natural as breathing. So everyone is trying to find their path there and every path there is valid for that particular individual.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, sometimes I say, well, people say, “Well, you shouldn’t do any practice because it reinforces the notion of a practicer” and I respond, “Well, then you shouldn’t eat because it reinforces the notion of an eater”.
Enza: That’s right. There are two provenance stories, you have to meditate to get enlightened or you don’t have to meditate. And in some places they tell us, “Oh, you just need to drop the search, drop it because you’re already there”, like some type of enlightenment or declaration, I guess. It might be works for some but I guess for me it didn’t work. I just traveled the road of suffering and seeking and studying and then one day it came to an end.
Rick: And then you dropped the search. It dropped itself.
Enza: That’s right. Yeah, and I guess ultimately awareness, our true nature accepts everything. And if somebody says that practice is needed, usually awareness will say, “Yeah, okay”. And if somebody says the practice is not needed, awareness is able to embrace paradox and say, “It’s not needed”. Only the mind can’t do that. And I guess this is the point, if we are in a state where something has been excluded, whether it’s the ordinary world or something else, this is a good sign that we’re probably still in a dualistic state, even though we might think that we’ve reached the ultimate.
Rick: Yes, I meant to… there was this Ramana Maharshi quote that somebody sent me and I meant to look it up before this interview and I forgot, but basically, well first of all, he was fond of using the old saying, “It takes a thorn to remove a thorn”, and that even though ultimately practices might not make sense or be necessary, they have a function at a certain stage. But also the quote I was referring to was something where he said, “It’s a very rare individual who is just on the brink of realization and doesn’t need to do anything and they’re just going to fall into it”, or with just some slight guidance or something, but for the vast majority – I’m roughly paraphrasing but this is what he said – “For the vast majority, there are all sorts of things that one might benefit from and make progress through”, and there goes the word “progress”, which we can talk about. But he’s held up as the sort of gold standard of spiritual teachers these days and that’s basically what he said.
Enza: Yeah, I mean Ramana Maharshi basically, he would give at first – I never met him but I’ve studied some of his stuff – and he would give to people the ultimate truth, there is nothing to do, but not everyone could understand immediately that.
Rick: Small minority.
Enza: Yeah, if that wouldn’t happen, then you would give him other things, mantras, meditations, and I actually heard a story – I’m not sure how true it is, somebody told me – that he told one of his people that were around, he was being really hard on them, where everybody was allowed to sit around him and he was a very sweet man, Ramana Maharshi. This particular disciple, he would always send him to do work and all this sort of stuff, you know, like work for everyone else and never had the chance to meditate. And even some of the other people, they started thinking, why are you being a little bit so harsh on him? And yet, after many years of this guy doing service and never even sitting to meditate, once he finally was allowed in and he sat down to meditate, he was right and bang, it happened. Yeah, so he needed that service to others to remove the obstacles and then, so everybody finds their own way there, I guess.
Rick: It’s a good point. Shankara talks about the fact that not everyone is ready for jnana yoga or the sort of the highest non-dual teaching that various types of service and meditation and practices, karma yoga, different things, can purify one to the point where the highest teaching becomes appropriate. And again, people might hear this and say, “Yeah, but you know, there’s nothing to do. I mean, why should we go through all these stages, purification and all that stuff? It’s all one, it’s all, nothing is real”, yada, yada, yada, yada. But you remember that thing at the Science and Non-duality Conference that you attended, one of the main points was this, based on this Tibetan saying that “Don’t mistake understanding for realization”. And then the second part was “Don’t mistake realization for liberation”. But I guess we’re dwelling on this because it is sort of a little bit popular, common to do this, to sort of read a lot of books, get good with the words, and then somehow convince yourself that that’s what, that you’re actually living what all these words are referring to.
Enza: Yes, yes, yeah. Hmm, I don’t know what to say, what was the question?
Rick: Well, just maybe we’ve covered this point, but we’re just talking about the importance of actual experiential realization as opposed to some kind of intellectual understanding that can become quite hypnotic. I mean, if you read enough books you can really get this stuff drilled into your head. But it’s not the same…
Enza: No, it’s not the same. When you… If this is only intellectually understood, it’s not going to remove the separations, it’s going to be just a temporary measure and eventually the separation is going to surface again.
Rick: Yeah. So, let’s backtrack a bit. So, let’s back up a bit. What sort of… I listened to your interview with Jerry Katz and you said a lot of interesting things, but one is that we haven’t told people yet, you left home at the age of because you had an aunt in Alice Springs and you decided to go there. You didn’t speak a word of English and your parents didn’t want you to go, you were too young and everything, but you insisted and so finally you went.
Enza: That confirmed to my village that I was crazy.
Rick: That you were crazy, yeah.
Rick: And then you just got odd jobs and washing dishes and this and that and… Tell the story a little bit about how you eventually kind of like found a spiritual book and you kind of learned English by studying a spiritual book and looking up the words in a dictionary.
Enza: Yes, well when I was little one of the things that I used to do, I used to have two symbols and I didn’t know what they were, but if you go to my house they’re they’re carved in every wall on the roof everywhere and there were two symbols there and I kept on drawing them and I kept on saying to my parents and my friends I have to remember these two symbols, they’re very important and my mum tells me that I used to, since I started drawing, I started making these things and I didn’t actually know what they were and when I got to Alice Springs at 17 I was walking down Toll Street which was the only road didn’t even have asphalt, it was just a dirt road with just tiny little shop and I was walking down with my cousin and sort of I looked in the shop window and there was a book and on the on the cover of the book there was one of the symbols that I’ve been drawn since I was a little child and when he and I bought the book.
Rick: It was like a mandala or a lotus or something?
Enza: It was a lotus flower, there were two symbols that what I know now to be one was the the lotus flower, the thousand petal lotus, kept on going on on and on forever I would draw it and sort of go off the page. And the other one was a geometric shape which I used to call the diamond and I’ve got an idea now what that is but I know that I brought them back from past lives where I had been in Tibet and India – yeah, different past lives that I lived in there. I know that this sounds crazy to some people that don’t some people think past lives
Rick: Well, to this audience I think it doesn’t sound crazy. People are used to the idea, although you know since we’ve been talking about the radical non-dualist, some of them say no there couldn’t be past lives because there’s no person and so if you’re going to have multiple lives who is this person that’s having them? That’s not possible but that sort of denies the whole notion that there are relative realities at least apparent relative realities and that there are subtle relative realities as well as gross and that if the physical body dies there’s still a subtle body which doesn’t die and you can go into another physical body so it seems pretty logical to me.
Enza: Yes, yes.
Rick: And so you remember some of those past lives, so you must have been doing spiritual practices and living spiritual lives and all that in past lives.
Enza: Yes, I remember some really hard lives I lived, you know one in particular.
Enza: Very austere, yeah. One I was like this sadhu living in a mountain and just eating grass, I was so skinny. I couldn’t even tell that whether I was man or woman, you know. It was so and another one that really sort of affected me this life was I was a wandering monk in a group that we’d never stayed anywhere and we had nothing and we just begged and went around just like that and praying and devoted to God. And I was a young man and I did everything, I was so devoted, I loved God so much and but then when it was time for me to die I was lying down, I remember lying down on the ground and some of the other monks went near me and the last few words were like I said to the old monk, “I’ve done everything for God, everything I sacrificed everything and he has never visited me”, and I was heartbroken, I died heartbroken because I’ve done I’d done everything for his love and I never got it. And I think that had an effect in this life that surfaced in my teenage years where there was a bit of rebellion against God, you know.
Rick: Well, you’re getting it now though and it’s interesting because on God’s time, a human lifetime is the snap of a finger and so here you are dying, “I’ve never gotten God’s love…”. And God is
Enza: Yeah, heartbroken, yes.
Rick: patiently just overseeing the universe and and in the snap of a finger here you are realizing God.
Enza: And on another level, time and space.
Rick: In a fresh body.
Enza: Yeah, and in another level, time and space. It’s all happening at the same time.
Enza: Yeah. So I’m dying in this moment, in this place, complaining that God is not here.
Rick: Yeah, speaking of sadhus, this friend of mine who lives in the Himalayas sent me a nice little story, he said that there’s a beautiful sadhu in Gangotri – Gangotri is way up in the Himalayas near the source of the Ganges – who loves your Buddha at the gas pump stuff, he lives in Gangotri year-round much of the time with no electricity, his kutya, which is a little hut, buried in snow but somehow he found your site and he loves it. So hello to that guy if he’s watching.
Rick: It’s cool. So when you had these memories of past lives was it like you’re walking down the street and all of a sudden you had a memory or were you meditating or how did these memories come to you?
Enza: Both, sometimes they would come in dreams, lucid dreaming, I was having that since I was a little kid, sometimes they were like lucid dreaming. And sometimes was like just like memories, like remembering something, like when you remember something from childhood and it just comes and it’s all, and you see the old thing, you can go in there and it’s like real, there is no difference. And some of them came through meditation, meditation retreats and stuff. Yeah.
Rick: Okay, so you’re walking down the street in Alice Springs and you saw this book and it had a lotus on it and you bought the book and started figuring out how to read English and so how did things progress from there?
Enza: Well, after that I was on it and then I moved to Adelaide and basically over the years I flirted and fallen in love with lots of spiritual tradition. And I know that people tell you that you meant to stick to one thing but that wasn’t my case, what happened is that it seemed like the right teacher and the right teaching would appear and all that I needed to do is stay open and just work as hard and as sincerely as I could. And they succeeded so from and they were very varied, from Nada yoga to Dzogchen to Sufism to Tibetan altars and shamanic things, Aboriginal spirituality, one of my cousins is married to a full-blood Aboriginal somehow I got a little bit of a taste of that and it was great, it was actually I was blessed to be able to do that because it gave me the opportunity to see that one truth that sits at the core of every path. And it taught me not to cling to one way of one idea of it, and in some of my past lives I remember that I’ve done that where I stuck to one idea, I grabbed one concept and stuck to it and I vowed never to do that again. And and I guess you know that has been the gift of being able to see this truth in so many different traditions.
Rick: Yeah, who was that saint, not Ramana Maharshi, the guy earlier on in the 1800s, I forget his name, he was a famous saint and Kali devotee. But he went through and sort of went through the path of great many different traditions and sort of found went from A to Z in each tradition and found that they all led to the same goal.
Enza: It’s the many faces, the many faces of God.
Rick: Yeah. You know that’s saying that you should dig one deep hole rather than a dozen shallow holes, but here’s another way of looking at it, take a dozen tools to dig one hole, you know, that’s kind of what you did.
Enza: It’s almost like I didn’t do it, I didn’t go out of my way, it’s like the teachers would just appear. Some of the teachers, I’ll tell you – I’ll tell you one, just one, we already, myself and Leo apart being in different paths, with our job we got to interview different spiritual teachers that came and also we did our own practices.
Rick: You publish a magazine or something, don’t you?
Enza: Yes, we’ve been publishing different magazines since 1998, spiritual magazines, but for example one particular teacher was a a dervish, a Sufi mystic from Iran and we met him at a Vipassana retreat. After Vipassana retreat, he was just wandering around the world like they do, they’re like similar to the wandering monks of India and we started talking about his love for Rumi and Leo had this dream that he wanted to get a poem of Rumi in the Farsi language and translate it and obviously we don’t know Farsi. And suddenly talking to this guy, we didn’t know he was a dervish or anything like that, a Sufi mystic and somehow there was this thing, yes I love Rumi and I can speak Farsi, right? “When can I move in?” that’s what he said to us and he did move in. He lived in a house for probably six to eight months and it was amazing and being woken up at three o’clock in the morning because he to teach us different practices and some of the practices even though we we were familiar with some of the Sufi practices from the Asra Iñákan side, we didn’t know about some of these particular practices that he was showing us. One was the obvious, the twirling but there were some other things like some other practices that were quite secret and somehow he was passing them on. And he was a strange man in the sense the dervish is meant to be always very humble and never show how advanced they are. That’s the old thing and so he always never show. He was always like, oh this is just the grace of my master, my teacher, my guru but then when he spoke to his guru on the phone his face became luminous. And sometime when he was in the backyard and he thought that nobody was watching and I would see his face was luminous and his eyes was full of love. And as soon as he would see me he would just, oh I was just watching the tree and it was like that, it was lovely.
Enza: And then he went back to Iran and he told us amazing stories of what really goes on and when he was training having to cross, having to walk four or five hours every day to get to his teacher and cross a river and he had to take off his clothes and put him over his head and cross the river and if he got there late door of the temple were closed. And he had just done all that for nothing. And yeah and it was his way of saying, “oh these people in the west, they think they’re suffering doing meditation and stuff, you have to really work hard in those places”.
Rick: Yeah, well that kind of points to an interesting principle or interesting point which is that the sincerity and the ardency of one’s search often correlates with the fullness of the results, at least I’ve seen. You know, people who are sort of lackadaisical about it, whatever, maybe I’ll meditate someday or something or read a book, they don’t get much but the people who are just on fire usually end up having very much more profound realizations.
Enza: You know, people tend to worry about the teacher more, is this a good teacher, has she got the right career, have they got the right lineage, but it’s really nothing to do with the teacher, it’s to do with the student, how earnest they are. And it’s almost the teacher is there to help and me personally, my way of teaching is that I try to tune in to the person and try to help them, for them to discover what they need. Because I feel that sometimes if a teacher tells someone what to do, it just doesn’t work.
Rick: Yeah, that’s an interesting point about that it’s not so much the teacher as it is the student. I mean, I think both are important, but it’s there’s a story from the Mahabharata where Arjuna, the great warrior, had this great archery teacher and his archery teacher was supposed to be the best and he made the teacher promise him that he would make him, Arjuna, the best archer in the world. But the archery teacher had this other student named Dhruvya and Dhruvya was very sincere and dedicated student and he kept getting better and better and better at archery to the point where he was beating Arjuna and Arjuna said, “Hey teacher, you made me this promise, you got to get rid of this guy”. So the teacher had to abide by his promise, so he sent Dhruvya away and Dhruvya built a statue of the teacher and just worshipped the statue and dedicated himself to the statue and kept practicing archery and got to the point where he was really good, way better than Arjuna, just from having the statue as his teacher, but it was really his determination as a student that yielded the the results.
Enza: Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. After realization there is definitely an energy that comes through the body of the realized individual, but this energy has nothing to do with the teacher. It’s not something that you can turn it on and off and what I’ve noticed is that this energy sometimes is very strong. And actually when it’s very strong coming through this body, Leo can’t even sit next to me, can’t even sleep in the same bed, it just upsets him too much, like it stirs him up, so he goes and sits on the other side of the couch and says, “Oh, there he is again!” But it’s nothing to do with it, it’s not a conscious thing and I’ve noticed that this energy seems to have, seems to respond to the openness of the other to this energy. And sometimes I look at someone and my eye starts watering, they feel really hot and I know that there is this energy, but I know that he’s almost the other person that is drawing it out, nothing to do with me, honestly nothing, that’s the pure truth. And it reminds me a bit like probably women that breastfed relate to this. When I was in my 20s and I had my child and I was breastfeeding him, the child was in another room and as soon I heard the child crying, the milk started flowing. It was nothing to do… and actually what happened, so it seems funny but it works like that, it’s not like the mother thinks, “Oh, now I have to feed the baby”, it’s just inbuilt in there, it’s just spontaneous and it works the same way with this energy.
Rick: You told that funny story about the restaurant. Remember the restaurant? You want to tell it just for fun?
Enza: Sure, sure. Well, when I was actually breastfeeding, I like to go out, I like to sit in coffee shop and look at people. And so I’ll take my baby Jonathan and then if he needed to be fed, I’ll just feed him and so I was having my coffee and the baby cry and so I get him put him on my breast and so the milk is starting to flow because he’s crying. But before I could put him on my breast the milk shoot out a couple of meters to the table of the people next door, so it was quite embarrassing.
Rick: Now the principle here obviously is that it’s the openness and willingness of the student that elicits the giving from the teacher, that’s the principle you’re trying to make.
Enza: Yes. And it’s not from the teacher, it’s the giving from that divine impulse that once awakens anybody that is ready to be awakened.
Rick: Yeah. It’s like…
Enza: The teacher is just a vehicle, she can’t turn it on, it’s not as if the teacher can go, “Oh, I like you and now I’m going to give you this energy”. It doesn’t work like that at all.
Rick: It’s like a reservoir of water, a great big reservoir, I mean if you put a drinking straw up to it not very much water can flow through. If you put a bigger pipe up to it then more water. If you put a great big huge pipe then a lot of water can flow. So the reservoir is the same but a lot depends on how big the pipe is, so to speak, how how receptive the student is.
Enza: Yes. And the role of the teacher really is to try to be out of the way as much as possible, not to open up to this energy and let it do what it wants to do instead of trying to direct it.
Rick: So this brings up a beautiful point which is that, what is a teacher but just divine consciousness, a vehicle we could say, through which divine consciousness can flow unimpeded. You know, you just said out of the way, be out of the way and most people are kind of in the way of divine consciousness. They’re not a really obstacle-free conduit through which divine consciousness can flow and express.
Enza: Yeah, and it’s never-ending this process. It’s not as if a realization suddenly I have to be the perfect conduct for God, you know. You just learn and you keep on stretching and you keep on growing. There’s never-ending to the process.
Rick: Yeah, that’s kind of what we were talking about in the very beginning that in a way self-realization is the beginning and after that then the vehicle keeps getting refined, purified.
Enza: Yeah, yeah and in a way, well at the beginning of our spiritual journey, the progress – if we want to call it that – is assessed by the degree of of inner expansion. As we get into progressively more subtle inner territory, for lack of another word, then the progress is assessed with difficulty because what actually happens is the dissolution of the Self in the Absolute.
Rick: Smaller Self, right?
Enza: Yes, of the small Self into the Divine and there are degrees and this is the job I guess of after the realization of our transcendence, what some people call purification on the vehicle and it can take many years, the entire lifetime and maybe there is never-ending to degrees that you can actually dissolve more and more into the Divine so that there is nothing left.
Rick: So, why do you think that in some spiritual circles, progressive development is a dirty word, why do some people have a problem with that?
Enza: Well, they have a problem.
Rick: You know what I mean, I mean some people “Oh, you’re progressive” and “I don’t have a progressive orientation”.
Enza: Yeah, well it’s what we talked before. We are awareness and as awareness there is nothing we need to do, but unless this has been directly realized it’s not going to do any good. It’s just a game we’re playing, but it’s also part of the journey, we’ve all been there.
Rick: And has there ever been anyone who has directly realized awareness and embodied it to the greatest possible extent that it can be embodied? Is that even possible, much less precedented? I don’t think so.
Enza: I don’t know. I mean, I think it’s an ongoing thing. I don’t think any human being can actually do that. I haven’t done – my realization was about eight years ago – I haven’t done really much teaching apart from the ones that directly have communicated with me through emails and I’ve done a six-weeks course mainly to test my different practices that I had and the reason for that is in some traditions and I believe in that is that after realization you need to be, they tell you, you need to be at least 10 years maturing. And I think some people they get realization, their transcendence and they immediately start teaching. And I think it can be a bit unsettling because I’ve changed so much since when it happened seven or eight years ago. You know, at the beginning I was a little bit radical I guess, there’s nothing to do. Yes, but I’ve mallowed and that comes with experience and maturity of this energy.
Rick: Yeah, we’ll talk more about, as we go along in this conversation, we’ll talk more about spiritual maturation and you know, what qualifies one to start teaching or whether some people might be trying to teach prematurely. But a question just came in which I want to read to you. Dan from London asks, “You have talked a bit about lucid dreaming. I have also had a lot of lucid dreaming as a child and always wondered how it was different from waking reality. In later years I’ve realized that perhaps the exploration of lucid dreams can be a tool to explore reality. For example, in the lucid dreaming state I will often wonder at the source of the reality of the dream. Do you think that lucid dreaming can be a tool to be used on the path to enlightenment? And if so, how might this be the case?”
Enza: Absolutely, lucid dreaming is a very valuable tool on the path of awakening. And there are some traditions which I’ve studied like Dzogchen where it’s a big part of waking up, mainly because we can get a glimpse of our nature easier in lucid dreaming than we can because more or less the mind is out of the way and it’s more directly accessible. And also when we start having regular lucid dreaming we start realizing that there’s no difference between a lucid dream and ordinary life, it’s the same. It’s all one thing, it’s all one consciousness.
Rick: Yeah, the most powerful and dramatic awakening I ever had was in a dream actually. It was really profound. Is…
Enza: We tend to dismiss them, we tend to dismiss dreams, but in some tradition like what I just mentioned, Dzogchen, they’re actually used very much for unfoldment and awakening.
Rick: Yeah.It would seem that, and see if you agree with this, that the reason that is the case is that during dreams or even during sleep, if sleep is wakeful, that there’s a much more innocent state where there’s much less tendency to be controlling or gripping.
Enza: Yes, yes, the mind has got less power.
Rick: More fluid, more malleable.
Enza: Yes, definitely, absolutely.
Rick: So would you actually advocate somehow culturing the ability to dream lucidly as a practice?
Enza: As I said, I haven’t got yet much practice in teaching. I have a few students and that I work with.
Rick: Do you somehow enable them or encourage them to do lucid dreaming?
Enza: What I actually do, I actually tune in to what they need, and I actually help them to discover for themselves what they need for the next step. I found that this is the best way.
Rick: So it may be lucid dreaming but it may be something else.
Enza: Yes, yes.
Rick: In your book and I think maybe also in your talk with Jerry Katz, I heard you talking a lot about effort versus non-effort and how, as you understand meditation, it’s a very effortless natural process. In fact, you were talking about studying with some Zen teacher and the Zen teacher was talking about controlling your mind and not letting your mind wander and space out and all that. And you were saying, “Yeah, but my natural inclination is just to sort of relax into a vast settled state”. Let’s talk about the role of effort in a practice or effortlessness.
Enza: Yes, okay. When I was attending – I’ve done many meditation retreats in the past with different traditions. And so I guess if we start talking with that and even with the one that I did here the six weeks, sometimes you look at a person and they’re all very genuine but you see some that are sitting there very rigid, their faces are really hard and you think they’re trying to do something, right? You can see it in their face. They’re just trying to nail something down and then on the other side you have some meditators that are really loose and relaxed, almost some fall asleep and they’ve got this strange smile on their face and you think, “Oh, they must be having good dreams”. There is something in common with these two types. The minute that you brush them or touch them on the shoulders or there is a sudden noise in the room, they jump out startled and this is to me proof that they were not here. They were just fabricating something in their mind. The first one was fabricating some really hard thing to hold, to grab and some state, some mind state and the other one they were fabricating something nicer. But it just proves that we’re not here and the old practice, the meditation practice is to be here. If you have to come back from somewhere then it’s not really it. It might be good for concentration purposes or might be good for relaxation, you know what I call snoring meditation, that’s fine.
Rick: Sleep meditation.
Enza: That’s right. But a person can meditate like that for many years and not get any progress. So I guess the practice is our awareness is composed of two mind qualities. One side is the luminosity, what we call the cognizing aspect, the intelligence that allows us to notice everything that is happening and the other side of awareness is what in some tradition is called emptiness or relaxation, an openness that allows everything to be in it. And if we stray too much on one direction we become controlling of our experiences and we tend to fall into thoughts because of it. And if we stray too much on the direction of the emptiness we become too vague, spaced out, dull. And awareness is neither controlling or dull like a drug-induced state. It’s like brightly alert and but also relaxed because there is nothing we are trying to do. So that luminosity, that cognizing aspect, brightly alert to everything that is happening but also deeply relaxed because there is nothing that we’re trying to nail down basically. And so this is what I call in the book instant presence where for example this moment, for example if I do that everybody’s hearing that right? Now how come we are hearing that? Because in each one of us there is this wakefulness that is always present independent of our thinking. Now this is the secret and if you know they’re all secret of all this entire interview, of all the entire book. You can get this, you can go home.
Rick: Okay, pay attention.
Enza: Pay attention, pay attention. This is it, this moment of pure white fullness if it’s left as it is, it is pure awareness, our natural state is that close. But if this moment of pure wakefulness moves towards the thought, an emotion, a judgment, it becomes our ordinary mind which also perceives but now is split in duality – subject, object. So in our day-to-day life what do we do? We are constantly chasing thoughts, we’re constantly judging everything. So the practice of instant presence is basically – or any practice that does that – is to reverse this thing of the mind of what it does. And because the mind existence depends on this continual movement, because awareness of rest is your true nature, awareness in movement is your ordinary mind. So we want to reverse that and we want to just rest like this moment for example. We just rest in this moment and we are aware of sitting in the chair, maybe we can we are aware of sounds happening around us. Now we don’t move from sound to sound, we’re not trying to nail anything. It’s better to have your eyes open. I know that in some meditation you close your eyes but for this we want to be able to to do it all the time, not just on the meditation cushion. When we’re walking, when we’re eating or whatever, we want to open up to everything. It’s almost like a 360 degree opening as much as we can and also we want to be fully relaxed. The right balance is probably 50/50. If you go one way you become too controlling, if you go the other way you become too dull. The right balance is brightly alert and deeply relaxed and you can actually adjust that in yourself and there are some different little practices. For example if you start becoming dull you just sharpen the whitefulness aspect by being more bright and maybe this is like put your body a bit more straight. If you’re starting to become too controlling just allow more relaxation in, which feels like a sponge being filled with water and maintain the balance. Obviously because our mind is always… actually, because awareness is always used to go and become the mind, at first we might be able to maintain this balance for a few minutes or seconds but that’s all right, we keep on going back until this becomes longer and longer. This is basically the practice, this is all we’re doing and we do it with eyes open because we want to be able to do it driving. It makes you an excellent driver because you’re very alert and also it makes you a nicer driver because you’re relaxed, you’re not going to abuse anybody cutting you off or anything like that.
Rick: Did you practice something of this nature yourself prior to realization or is this something that you kind of came up with to help people afterwards?
Enza: Okay. What happened is this was probably four or five years before realization and I’ve done other practices and at that time I was doing the breath meditation, the Zen type of meditation. And one day I just heard a sound in the valley, this meditation center was in beautiful part of Adelaide Hills. I heard a dog barking and somehow it felt like that dog was barking within myself and then I heard another sound, somebody coughed in the room and again and suddenly it was like I was the space that contained all these sounds that were arising. And so what I did it only lasted a very short time but what I did I tried to repeat that by opening up to the sounds around myself. So it was like I was being guided and also I was having dreams towards this technique and I never really encountered, I hadn’t encountered other varieties of it and actually it was only in the last couple of years that I’ve met this Dzogchen master, a deeply enlightened man and he actually has some – not like this technique but a variation. And when I talked to him he actually said, “You must have been in Tibet with us, you know, you’re one of us”. So it was a variation of what he was already teaching, not quite exactly the same and he was amazed that – well actually he wasn’t amazed – that somehow I got it. I told him that I had some Tibetan teachers that were teaching me in that period.
Rick: There’s a Vedic saying, “Be easy to us with gentle effort”.
Enza: Yes, yes, exactly, absolutely.
Rick: And when I learned to meditate back in the 60s the principle of it was that it had to be effortless and that effort would only interfere with the process because effort tends to sort of agitate the mind and keep it from settling and becoming vast, settling down and becoming vast. And also there’s this principle that the mind does have a natural tendency to seek a field of greater happiness and that the more settled state is more charming and more fulfilling to the mind. So if you’re making an effort then you prevent yourself from settling into that, but if you proceed effortlessly then you keep encountering greater and greater and greater charm and so the mind kind of naturally moves in that direction without having to be forced. It’s kind of like the difference between if you want to keep a dog at your door you can either chain it up and the dog is straining against the chain or you can put some food there and the dog just comes and sits at the door.
Enza: Yes, yeah, yeah, exactly. And we must remember that the mind is not like the enemy. The mind is actually awareness in movement. Awareness in movement. There is only one thing, one force and awareness at rest is their natural state. Awareness in movement is their ordinary mind. And so it’s not the enemy.
Rick: Yeah, it’s true of the physiology too. It’s unhealthy and unnatural for the physiology to be hyper-stimulated all the time. There might be situations in which it needs to be to respond to something but one becomes habituated sometimes if there’s constant stress and the whole blood chemistry is thrown off and there’s just this constant agitation in the body which is unnatural and unhealthy. And it’s much more natural for the body to be in a sort of a state of ease and equilibrium and function in that condition. And so I think what you’re talking about is something which might be able to inculcate that kind of style of functioning.
Enza: Yes, yes, absolutely. Yeah, you’re right.
Rick: However, the way you presented it, you said, well, you could be in this state and that is self-realization, at least a brief glimpse of it. But as soon as the thoughts percolate then you get drawn off and so that implies that it’s very delicate at first or very, very tenuous.
Enza: Very delicate, yes.
Rick: And that it has to be stabilized in some way.
Enza: And the stabilization happens by every time we find ourselves we are somewhere else with our thoughts, we just bring it back, no judgment. We don’t put any judgment, “Oh I should have done that, I spaced out”, whatever. And also the moment that you remember to come back, you’re already back. So there is no effort. So it’s just like little drops, little drops, little moments of wakefulness and then another and then another and they get longer and longer. And then the old thing, right now most people we have this thing where the default position is the mind, thinking, judging, everything. And eventually the old thing switches and the default position is the mind at rest, awareness at rest and we still can use the mind. It’s not as if we become some mush and we can’t do anything, we can’t function in the world and we can’t feed ourselves and we can’t work and we can’t look after our family – not at all. We actually become a lot more efficient I guess in life more efficient, more alive, more connected.
Rick: There’s a verse in the Gita which goes “Yogah karmasu kaushalam ” which means yoga is skill in action and yoga of course means union and so the principle there is that if you can get established in a unified state then on that foundation you can actually be much more skillful in action than otherwise.
Enza: Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. There are some things after realization and I’m not sure whether this is something that happens to everybody that I’ve noticed that seem to deteriorate. Memory is one of them.
Rick: Yeah, you were saying your memory.
Enza: Somehow it’s like I find myself, my job is quite detailed, with publishing and stuff and things that I’ve done for years and years and years. Every time I do it again that action it feels like I’m doing it for the first time. So something like that, it’s getting a little bit better. It was really shocking when it first happened. I mean I was having weird things, Leo knows we’ll be meeting in town and usually would like to go to a music shop and I would like to sit in a coffee shop again watching people. And then after all he’ll come back and wait for me to get up to join him and I’ll just be looking at him and to me honestly it was like I didn’t know him. Who is this man looking at me? Who is this strange man? It’s true, it’s absolutely true and he’s looking at me and he’s thinking, he’s seeing this face, after a while he was used to it. It’s like the minute he moved out of my consciousness then he was like when he came back in I had to readjust to recognize him. It’s really weird.
Rick: You should have had a little sign “Hi, I’m Leo, I’m your partner”.
Enza: No, I was like, “Who is that old man looking at me?”
Rick: Well I think this is just a phase though, right? I mean…
Enza: It is a phase.
Rick: Yeah, it’s an integration phase.
Enza: It’s not happening as much anymore.
Rick: Yeah, I mean a lot of people, Byron Katie, she had to learn how to brush her teeth again and stuff after her awakening and Eckhart Tolle wasn’t good for much other than sitting on a park bench for a couple years. Sometimes when the transcendent, especially when it comes on very suddenly and fully, it can take quite some time to learn to function again.
Enza: Yes, yes, absolutely. I didn’t get that bad, mainly because I’ve got a very demanding job. I’ve got more than one job. I’ve got 30 different hats that I have to wear every day and so in a way it was like rude shock. I had to make it work. And so I had notes everywhere, trying to remember things and stuff like that. And I think that in a way it was good because it got me to be a bit more integrated.
Rick: Yeah, yeah, it’s good. I mean if you had been able to just sit in the garden and stare at the flowers.
Enza: I wanted to do that.
Rick: Yeah, you wanted to do that.
Enza: I really wanted to do that. I just wanted to go into a cabin in the middle of nowhere and live the rest of my life there. I realize now that there would have been a very selfish thing to do, but that’s how I felt.
Rick: Yeah, the Divine had other plans for you.
Enza: Yeah, yes, and when you’re asked to descend you might refuse. And eventually it’s like you come down partly because of the love that you feel for the beloved and partly because you know that if you continue to resist you might be kicked down here again.
Enza: I think there is no choice. There’s no… you know this is part of the plan. There’s no other way.
Rick: That’s another verse from the Gita. You know, “yogastha kuru karmani” established in yoga perform action. So, it’s not just like we get established in yoga and just veg out. You know, but not have to perform. And because, I mean wouldn’t you say, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but true realization is not, it’s something that’s going to be there under all conditions. You know, whether you are doing something, driving in heavy traffic or sitting looking at the flowers. And if it can’t be maintained under all conditions then it’s not really true realization or not really a mature realization.
Enza: Absolutely, yeah. Has to be lived. In fact, like I’ve met these amazing monks from different tradition. The ones that I’m talking about right now, I’m thinking are Tibetan ones. And they must sit and meditate for hours. And when the bell rings, they are fully here. Alert, they get up and on with their task. There is no adjusting. There is nothing. They’re just in the world and they’re so efficient. You know, sometimes in meditation, you see people after the two couple of hours of meditation, they come out, they’re all spacey and soft. They have to re-adjust to the world. There’s none of that. It’s just here, here, here, fully integrated. And that’s where you notice some of these long-term meditators. I met this beautiful monk that he had been a monk since he was three years old and he was now, I think it was 97. And it was just amazing. He couldn’t speak a word of English but we still communicated. He was lovely. He was a lovely man.
Rick: Speaking of monks, you told this story about how when you were a little girl, you used to… well, you told it earlier in this interview, how you used to float above the rooftops in a bubble or something like that. And then I heard you tell a story where you actually met an old monk who said that when he was a young monk, in his meditation, he used to see this little girl floating in a bubble. Tell us that story.
Enza: This was like Norbu, that’s his name, he’s a Dzogchen teacher. And we were invited to interview him, would have been, I don’t know, three, four, five years ago maybe. And we went there and naturally, Leo knows all these stories because I told him, right? And we were sitting there and he was doing his two hours talk in the morning and he starts talking about this, when he was a monk and he was in meditation, and he would always see this little girl in a bubble, dressed with this velvet dress, velvet green dress, with little daisies at the bottom. Well, that was my dress. My auntie used to make all my dresses. We never bought shop dresses. And I had this, my favorite dress was this dark velvet green dress with daisies at the bottom. And when we heard that, I was sitting closer to him, sort of towards the front, and Leo was sitting a little bit at the back. And I turned to look at him and he was like, “That’s you! What’s going on?”
Rick: So, this monk had experienced that back actually having the floating in a bubble experience.
Enza: Yeah, but then time and space, as I said before, it’s all, it’s not really linear. It’s not linear, so that’s amazing.
Rick: Yeah, that’s interesting.
Enza: And that’s why I felt a very strong resonance with this teacher before we met him. We had never met him before and I kept on seeing his picture in various Shambhala magazines or whatever Leo buys, and I kept on saying to Leo, “It’s like he’s calling me from the picture. It’s like there is a connection”. And there was a connection, yeah.
Rick: That’s cool. I heard you say that you always had this feeling like in this lifetime you were just destined to be realized, it was just going to happen. And you were kind of sloppy as a spiritual practitioner compared to Leo for instance, and compared to some other people, you’re just like, “Eh, meditate, not meditate, whatever, it’s going to happen”.
Enza: Yes, yes.
Rick: And it happened.
Enza: Yeah, and Leo knows, and it’s like we’ve been together sort of over 30 years, and I’ve always told him that, and he sounded, if somebody heard me, sounded like, “She’s like opposite, she doesn’t want to do anything, she thinks now she’s going to be special to get this thing”. But it wasn’t like that at all. It wasn’t like a feeling, it felt like this lifetime is my turn. I don’t know.
Rick: You just had a premonition or something.
Enza: Yeah, and I know I’ve worked really really hard in past lives.
Rick: Paid your dues.
Enza: Yeah, and it was just an internal feeling, it wasn’t in my mind, it was more in my heart that told me, “This time is your time”.
Rick: Okay, so we’ve alluded a lot to your awakening, to your realization, and we’ve kind of done that in a way that just sort of takes it for granted that everybody knows exactly what you experienced when you had this realization, but I don’t think they necessarily do. So, tell us about the actual experience of this realization that we’ve been discussing.
Enza: Okay, no more drink.
Rick: Leo, bring her a drink. But don’t make it coffee, I think she’s had enough coffee.
Enza: Yes, I feel buzzing actually. Okay, what actually happened… Leo, I don’t need a drink actually. What actually happened is that I was doing this type of meditation, what I now call instant presence, and I’ve been doing it for several years at this meditation retreat, a local meditation retreat. We used to meditate Tuesday and Saturday half a day, and then once a month we used to have a four-day retreat and then seven-day retreat every second month. We did that for a long time… And I think Leo’s getting me the drink.
Rick: That’s okay, you can use it.
Enza: So, there you go, yeah, so anyway, I’d been doing that for a while and a few months before the realization happened. Here you see with the drink, thanks.
Rick: Thank you, Leo.
Enza: Thank you, thanks. My mouth is really dry, I must have been talking a lot.
Rick: I’m glad you got it.
Enza: And so, in the last few months before the realization happened, I started getting lots of energy in my body. Sometimes the energy was so strong it was shaking the body. And naturally I told the meditation teacher and she said this is a good sign, keep going, keep going. By the way, she knew that I was doing something different than what she was teaching. And at first she was a little bit like, I don’t know, because she didn’t know about this particular thing and she thought I would be lost in the mind. Somehow she knows that I was doing something different. Anyway, she said this is a good sign, keep going. And then we did this seven days retreat and it was the last day of the retreat in the morning. So, I sat for the last session and then we had lunch and then everybody would go home. And the minute that I sat within like maybe first few minutes I started feeling this first intense energy coming up and it was so strong that it actually scared me. And then I closed my eyes again and I saw this what I can only describe as a black reflective surface. My attention was caught by it and when I looked at it, still whole happening on the inner, I just realized that I was watching myself moving. But this self wasn’t the self that I knew myself to be, it wasn’t this self and it was something so big and terrifying, terrifying that my mind just fainted. I just couldn’t, even now, I can’t actually even talk about it. I just say it was like dark radiance.
Rick: You can’t talk about it because it’s hard to describe or you can’t talk about it because it brings up feelings of that terror that you experience.
Enza: No, no, no, it’s just I don’t know what words to use.
Rick: Yeah, hard to describe, okay.
Enza: Yeah, very hard to describe. It doesn’t make sense, a dark reflective surface, right? Doesn’t say much. And yet there was so much…
Rick: Contradiction in terms really.
Enza: Yeah, yeah, and anyway all I remember, the next thing that I remember was the bell that announced the walking meditation, I heard the bell and then I didn’t even know what was and I noticed my hand, I didn’t know what was my hand. I noticed a hand move, all this sort of stuff, weird stuff. But then somehow it’s almost even though I didn’t know what was going on, my body actually got up by itself as if it had an intelligent independent from the brain which wasn’t there at that moment and the body got up and went outside and and then slowly I started seeing everything appeared bright and and there was just love everywhere and this unity and I sat there. I didn’t go to do the walking meditation and then lunch came and there was this thing where we prepared lunch in turns and this lady that had meditated there for many years like she came out and she asked me a question because I had done the salad the day before and so she wanted to know what I put something and I hear the words come out of my mouth. And she seemed to accept that, she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with me so obviously I still look normal to her and she didn’t say, “Oh, what’s wrong with you?” or nothing, you know, and but the words come out without me thinking of anything, by themselves. And I wanted to talk about it to the meditation teacher but there were too many people and so we decided to go home and obviously I told Leah on the way home and he was like, “What was it? What was it?” I said, “I don’t know, my mind can’t even comprehend what it was”.
Rick: But it was still going on even on the way home, right? This isn’t just an experience which came and went.
Enza: It was going on but by night time it was almost gone and so I didn’t think anything of it because I’ve always had experiences like this and they always had a beginning, middle and end and I thought this was another one of the same kind. And then I remember that night I started feeling really sick in bed and started coughing up this mucusy stuff and I was sick for about almost a month. I was in bed and a few times the teacher, the meditation teacher rang me because she was because we were always there and I couldn’t even talk to her. I was coughing and coughing and coughing and then one morning…
Rick: Did you ever smoke when you were young?
Enza: Never, never smoked.
Enza: And then sort of one morning I wake up and we had a dog, my grandma’s dog and we decided to take him for a walk because I was feeling better and Leo was walking in front and we live in a sort of a hilly in the foothill of Adelaide so it’s a bit hilly. And I remember that he was walking in front with the dog and I just looked over the valley like this and as soon as I did that suddenly it was like I saw that everything that I was looking was all inside me like those many experiences that I already had. But this was a bit different because there was no actual separation between what I was seeing and our person seeing them. Sort of it’s like everything was arising and dissolving and everything was me and everywhere I looked was me so that was it but while this sounds fantastic also was the thing this has always been like this and I never noticed, how could I miss that. And I did remember that when I was a child I was seeing things like that and just I pretended I didn’t because for fitting in, so it wasn’t like a fantastic thing like some of the experiences that I had previously they were fantastic this was like felt very ordinary very sort of like almost like when you see those those things that change they go to two images and you go oh there it is and that’s how it was and it was. How could I miss this look everything and I rushed to tell Leo and and he thought oh she’s still sick she’s not making sense because I couldn’t find the words to describe what I was seeing I was saying I’m everywhere so he thought I meant confused like spaced out I’m everywhere and this is what I also told the teacher a few days after and she was like “oh what do you mean you’re everywhere?” She couldn’t understand at first what I was… I didn’t have the words to explain it and yeah and that’s what happened.
Rick: You feel that that month of sickness was some kind of a purging that had to take place before the realization could happen some kind of a preparation.
Enza: I think so because the doctor came at home and gave me all the stuff and I was taking the antibiotics and all this and they were not doing anything. They were not doing anything until I was done, until I coughed up all this stuff.
Rick: This kind of stuff has happened to other people. Saint Francis of Assisi went through something like that he got really sick before his awakening, and…
Rick: Yeah, if you ever watch the movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” he almost died and then when he came out of it he was like… big change. And there are a lot of other stories in various spiritual traditions of people going through a real intense catharsis, physical stuff and then when they work through that then, boom… there’s a clarity.
Enza: Yeah yeah I find the body – for me personally – the body is the one that gets affected usually like that.
Rick: Yeah. Well it’s the instrument through which this is lived is it not?
Enza: Yeah, yeah. Well, some people I’ve talked to some other people they it’s more like their mind or the depression maybe and stuff like that, I never really had any of that. It’s always my body that seems to suffer getting adjusted to the energy.
Rick: Well even if it’s their mind and depression and so on that there are neuro-physiological correlates to that. There are things happening in their brain chemistry and whatnot that correlate with depression. So but basically the point I’m bringing out is that I think that… Well, as Jesus said the body is the temple of the soul and it’s the brain and nervous system and body are the instrument through which we live realization. And you can’t – as Jesus again said – you can’t pour new wine into old wine skins the wine skin, so to speak. The vessel has to be fit to hold the new wine.
Enza: Yes yes, absolutely, yeah yeah. that’s what happens and Ramana Maharshi said it’s like an elephant entering a tent…
Rick: Ggood point.
Enza: …or something along those lines. Sometimes it does a little bit of damage
Rick: Yeah, or else the tent has to be expanded to accommodate the elephant.
Enza: The elephant yeah
Rick: Yeah maybe it has to be taken apart.
Enza: So in a way it’s good for people that this stuff happens for some of us that has happened slowly and gradually as expanded their ability to be able to contain this energy. Some people they get it all at once without any preparation.
Rick: Can burn them out.
Enza: Sometimes he really throws them I’ve got a friend she works she’s a nurse in a mental hospital in Adelaide and she’s sort of a tuned in to spiritual stuff. And she tells me a lot of people there they’ve had premature awakening and they couldn’t contain it.
Enza: Kundalini awakening, and she’s there sort of trying to help as best as she could but unfortunately they just fill them up with drugs.
Rick: I know it’s a shame because and that’s what all these traditions like Ayurveda and yoga and whatnot are about – they’re about making the physiology capable of sustaining awakening and you can actually end up in a mental hospital if it’s not capable. So a lot of times those things are dismissed by some spiritual seekers as just being a a fixation on the physical or a… They’re not really going for the essence of the spiritual teaching but they’re really part of the package and having a value for being able to sustain the shock of awakening.
Enza: Yes, absolutely, totally agree with that. Yeah, that has been my experience you really need to look after the body right now I have to really be careful what I put into this body especially when there is some abundance of energy because it does all sorts of things yeah the body.
Rick: Yeah and it’s a shame about your friend who works in that mental hospital, shame for those people who have had kundalini awakenings and so on end up in a hospital because if they had the proper care in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing, what has happened to them could be experienced as a great blessing, it is a great blessing but they’ve just fallen into the wrong hands.
Enza: Yes and some people awakened without doing absolutely anything. It just it just happened to them and I guess that’s what threw them out of balance, they didn’t even understand what was going on. They had nothing, not into… so they just went to the doctor and they were put on drugs, I guess.
Rick: And I think it’s becoming actually more common these days because awakening is some sort of epidemic going on in the world.
Rick: Yeah, really, in terms of more and more people awakening.
Enza: It is. I agree, yeah. I’ve seen that definitely there is a shift in consciousness. Things are happening, a lot of people are waking up probably because to counterbalance some of the stuff that is happening in the world, try to bring some…
Rick: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s an important point. And so as a culture and as a medical… the medical community and all that really have to gain an understanding of this because they’re going to encounter it more and more. And it’s happening. I mean there are more and more people. I mean the next interview I’m going to do after this one two weeks from now – I’m skipping next week – will be with a woman named Joan Harrigan who has a place in Tennessee – which is a US state – called Kundalini Care. And she… actually a number of my friends have gone there and she helps people who are having a Kundalini awakening whose Kundalini might be misdirected or blocked or something or other and helps them sort of get it going in the right direction, so that they can blossom into a realization without difficulties and problems.
Enza: Yeah. I’ve heard from one of my teachers that at one meditation retreat, actually even through meditation sometimes people can have stepping in too fast. And they had to be taken in to the hospital. But fortunately in that case the teacher sort of was looking after them, so they didn’t end up in the mental hospital full of drugs.
Rick: Now that’s an important point too, because I mean on the one hand there are people who have spontaneous awakenings they don’t know what it is and so on and so forth, but then there are other people who are spiritual seekers and they get all gung-ho about awakening and maybe they start doing three hours of fast pranayama or just some kind of intense thing and they end up blowing fuses. So you have to have the “safety first” principle when you’re approaching this stuff.
Enza: Absolutely, yeah, you need to know what you’re doing. Personally I wouldn’t necessarily play around with Kundalini without knowing exactly what you’re doing is a bit…
Rick: can be very dangerous.
Enza: It can be very dangerous, yeah.
Rick: I mean I think it was Gopi Krishna who wrote a book about Kundalini – his own experience and it was just hellacious the stuff he went through. So in a way we’re playing with fire – it’s divine fire. But there’s a real merit to having the proper guidance and proceeding in a in a sensible way.
Enza: Yeah, when I was young, I started in my actually explored was some practice that was meant to awaken the Kundalini and I immediately started having experiences like this fire coming up onto my head and I thought that my head was going to explode. And as soon as that happened the teacher came there and was trying to help me. But it was like then I think I squashed down and happened a few times. And that night I had a dream, and it was a lucid dream. And a teacher gave me like a blow-up thing and I started blowing into it and it was a snake at first, right. It was… I was blowing up this toy snake but then all of a sudden the snake become alive and I couldn’t control it anymore, it was a huge python. And to me that was, the teacher was saying “don’t play with this”, and I stopped, I stopped yeah.
Rick: That’s interesting and of course snake snake and Kundalini…
Enza: That’s right.
Rick: …represents it.
Enza: I was like right now you think you’re just in control, but once the python awakens you won’t be able to contain it, so… yeah.
Rick: That’s cool that you got that guidance.
Enza: That’s the value of that dream guidance I guess that we can tune into.
Rick: Yeah and that brings up a whole interesting point is – who are these guys that guide us in our dreams? I mean are there somehow beings hanging around and they actually…
Enza: Ultimately it’s only awareness, ultimately is that one being that that is doing everything and taking the shape of everything. A star no anything but obviously on a relative level there are beings, like there are spiritual teachers here on earth and on other planes, I guess, talking in relative terms. But ultimately it’s just awareness that takes on all those shapes.
Rick: Sure, well, ultimately the shapes are only awareness and ultimately if you want to say ultimate ultimate – the whole universe is just aware.
Enza: Ultimately that’s it. There’s only one thing, one player.
Rick: Yeah, but again and/or paradoxically it’s both.
Enza: And/or, it’s both.
Rick: Right. And so there are… you and I are the same person, we’re different people – both are true.
Enza: Yes, yes, one heart but two separate bodies.
Rick: Right, and all these beings and these teachers and so on they exist in great numbers not only in physical human bodies but on other dimensions.
Enza: On other dimensions, yes absolutely, on other dimension, and they will appear into your life when that time has come. That’s what has been my experience and I didn’t have to look for them. They just manifested either in the dream state, in inner planes, or in the physical. Yeah.
Rick: That’s probably another good safety point which is, don’t go looking for these beings , you don’t want to go off into who knows what looking for who knows what you’d find. But if they’re needed they’ll show up or they’ll do their thing.
Enza: Yes, yeah.
Rick: So anyway, so you had this realization and it took a while to integrate and stabilize. And the memory thing – we’ve talked about that a little bit. One thing we didn’t mention in the memory thing is – have you noticed that the memory in a way has become much more efficient? It’s not like your mind is cluttered with all kinds of stuff that you really don’t need to think about or remember, but when you do need to remember some particular thing there it is.
Enza: That’s true, that’s true. A lot of the stuff that I used to remember before is not necessary right, that doesn’t come up. But if I need to remember something that is really important you’ll be there. That’s what I found so I guess there is that trust in that.
Rick: So you probably don’t go through your day with three or four songs in your head and thinking about what happened yesterday and what’s going to happen tomorrow and blah blah blah blah blah blah, while you’re in meanwhile trying to do something that has no relationship to all that noise. The noise isn’t there.
Enza: No, the default position is awareness and rest, but the awareness in movement – the mind – is still there. I haven’t become a sort of a spaced out individual that can’t do anything.
Enza: I can use that.
Rick: So this realization, this awakening that you’re it’s five, six, seven years ago, eight years ago?
Enza: Yes, probably about seven or eight years. I can’t remember exactly, something like that.
Rick: And so what is your normal experience now as you go through your day? Describe it.
Enza: Well, I haven’t become a perfect human being. Nobody does. In a relative sense we all have imperfections, blemishes. I guess that’s the paradox that on one hand we are that one being which is pure and perfect and on the other hand we have a body-mind which has got karmic patterns and karmic conditions. And so even the most enlightened teachers in the world, they’re still human being. And so nothing has really changed. I mean you would have to ask Leo because he’s lived with me. He probably knows better than me. But it just feels that all that has happened is that I’ve lost some ideas about what was. And before, I always tried to be perfect and strive for perfection, and now it’s okay, there is nothing wrong. I guess that’s the thing. We always think that there’s something wrong but what about if there is nothing wrong?
Rick: Yeah. In termsof your…
Enza: There’s never been a mistake since the beginning of the universe. What about if there is nothing wrong with the way we are? And what about if the Divine just uses our idiosyncrasies. Is that the word?
Enza: Yes, that’s it. That’s the one. And what about… my experience has been it uses everything. It uses everything to experience itself through that vehicle, the way it is. So, I don’t know if I’ve answered your question.
Rick: Partially, yeah. So let’s say you’re going through your day, you’re cooking, you’re driving, you’re talking to Leo, you’re doing different things. Do you find that there’s a sort of a continual multi-dimensionality to your experience where on the one hand you’re active doing these things, but on the other hand there’s a sort of a silence that just, a continuum of silence such that it almost feels like in a sense you’re not doing anything and also perhaps even more so that in a sense that nothing is happening in the external world because that silence permeates the external world as well. So on the one hand you are driving and cooking and talking to Leo, but on the other hand nothing is happening. It’s like this paradoxical simultaneous… I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but does that describe your experience?
Enza: Okay, when I’m by myself for example, maybe this is what you mean, when I’m by myself and I don’t need to exteriorize myself, I need to exteriorize myself to talk to you now.
Rick: Exteriorized, yes.
Enza: Exteriorized, yeah. And then there is just this profound stillness, profound silence. Then it feels like when I need to exteriorize there is the appearance of someone that is talking to you now, and so this movement between that and the appearance of the person still happens, but now it’s not believed anymore that it’s actually a separate person living in this body.
Enza: So that’s the difference.
Rick: And does the silence go away? Let’s say…
Enza: The silence is always..
Rick: It’s always there, yeah?
Enza: Yes. Yeah, the silence is always the base that contains everything. And then… the example of the ocean and the waves, the ocean is still there containing all waves and all the time. But there is still the appearance. The appearance of the person still happens, but – now it always did – but now I don’t feel that somehow I have to maintain some position in order to be a spiritual success, I can just let it happen like it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with the appearance of the person, it’s useful.
Rick: So would it be fair to say that now there’s the appearance of the person and there’s also this abiding silence and the two get along very well? Whereas now, 30 years ago there was the person but there wasn’t the abiding silence, it was just the person and that was the only reality.
Enza: Yes, yes, absolutely, yeah. But they’re both the same, it’s like the sun and its rise, it’s the same thing. It’s still all sun. It is realized that everything is ultimately that dark radiance of the absolute.Eeverything, and when you see that life becomes amazing, I guess. Life, our life, our life as it is sometimes messy, sometimes out of control, it’s always miraculous.
Rick: So would it be fair to define enlightenment or realization as the realization, the awareness of presence, of being of the dark absolute, as you put it, of pure awareness, regardless of whatever else is or is not going on. But that’s the sort of the key component, is that that sort of vastness, pure awareness, whatever you want to call it, that’s there. And if that’s there, come hell or high water, no matter what’s going on, then you could define that as realization or enlightenment.
Enza: Yeah, there is always the sun, the sun is the primary source of all light.
Rick: Weather and other clouds.
Enza: Yes, that’s right, and the rise, the rise of the sun and also the sun on a puddle of water, it’s all sun, it’s all one being, and yet appears as different things.
Rick: Right, good. I heard you quote Ramana Maharshi as saying “that which does not persist during deep sleep is not real”. Is that the right quote? And please elaborate on that.
Enza: Well, Ramana Maharshi said whatever doesn’t exist in deep dreamless sleep is not real. And actually, when I first read that teaching, it was like, “Whoa, there’s nothing in dreamless sleep”.
Rick: Right, so nothing could be real.
Enza: So everything is an illusion, right? And I guess that deep dreamless sleep which we all go into every night, all of us, there is something in there. What that something is is that pure awareness unaware of itself. So basically it’s like if we go back to the example of the sun, the sun needs an object. You know, if the sun is in space and there is no object, there is no light, the light happens when it hits an object and that’s when consciousness happens. You know, which is consciousness is a bit different than awareness. Even though it’s all one thing.
Rick: In your terminology. Yeah, the way you…
Enza: What was I saying? What was your question?
Rick: Well, the thing about Ramana Maharshi saying that, so is your experience of deep dreamless sleep different now than it was before your realization?
Rick: Yes, and I’ll elaborate on the question if you like.
Enza: There was nothing, there was nothing in dreamless sleep before.
Rick: And what is it now?
Enza: I had the same thing.
Rick: Still nothing?
Enza: It’s not a nothing, it’s a something, it’s the potentiality of the absolute, it’s where awareness comes from.
Rick: So, are you saying that now…
Enza: It’s pure awareness unaware of itself because there is no object which you can reflect. Yes. But it’s not something that the mind can understand or even see.
Rick: Because the mind isn’t active in deep dreamless sleep, right? The mind is asleep, the senses are asleep. But what I’m getting at here is that a number of people I’ve spoken with say that after realization sleep has become different because pure awareness is never lost. And even though there’s nothing to be aware of, pure awareness itself abides during the sleep state. Is that your experience?
Enza: It’s the substratum of everything. So it’s ongoing, it’s not like… See, this is where I’m saying there is a difference between awareness and consciousness. Consciousness comes and goes – consciousness, unconsciousness. Sleep – you wake up. Death – after you die, you’re not conscious. But awareness is the substratum that always is. So if you’re tuned in to this substratum, then there is no change. On the surface there is change, on the bottom there is no change. So there is no change between what we call our wake life or our dream life or deep dreamless sleep. It’s just how many waves are there happening. That’s the only difference.
Rick: Yeah, sometimes this absolute state, substratum as you put it, is Sanskrit word is called Turiya, which means fourth. Turiya, and so…
Enza: Turiya? Ramana Mahrshi.
Rick: Right, the reason they call it fourth is that waking, dreaming and sleeping are said to be one, two, three, the three states of consciousness. And then this fourth is said to be a fourth, not only just sort of like one more state of consciousness, but one which actually has the capability of underlying the other three, of being there perpetually as the other three cycle through their routine.
Enza: Yes, yes, absolutely.
Rick: And in a way that gets us back to an earlier question, which is that if there’s a fourth, could there be a fifth and sixth and so on? And some say that the fifth would be what I just alluded to, that pure awareness is there all the time as waking, dreaming, sleeping come and go. Initially pure awareness could be there by itself, no transcendence, that could be the fourth, but then having it all the time, regardless of whether you’re awake or asleep or dreaming, that could be the fifth. And then we talked earlier and that woman from Adelaide asked the question of well, would you distinguish between self-realization and God-realization. Some people say that God-realization is a further development in which pure awareness is there as it always has been since it got stabilized, but that the senses have become refined and become very subtle in their appreciation, so that the sort of the Divine in the world begins to be apprehended directly. That’s not really a question but it’s something I hope you’ll elaborate on.
Enza: Well, the difference between self-realization and God-realization – I think it’s mainly that when we experience the self-realization there is still a little subtle… – not duality – but it’s still something resting in something. And so it’s almost like I know myself to be this. And with God-realization you don’t experience anything else but that. You don’t experience anything but God. And whether this keeps going forever, whether there are subtler and subtler levels – every time you reach a level you always think it’s the end, but I know now that there’s always a plus step. So, how far, how deep you can go? Who knows? I don’t know. I don’t know.
Rick: Personally, I think there’s probably well…
Enza: Infinite levels.
Rick: Yeah, no end to it.
Enza: Yeah, the many, many, many infinite faces of God, that’s how I like to see it and so you go deep and you see something else and you go deep and see something else and if God is infinite then that would be infinite as well.
Rick: Yeah, because there’s no end to the… I mean, if we think of… you use the sun analogy a number of times and the sun is just shining, but it shines off different reflectors in different ways – and shines off a muddy puddle one way and a clear puddle another way, and a mirror another way, and so on. So, if we think of our being, our body and make up as a reflector, who’s to say that couldn’t, even this one reflector couldn’t be refined to a much greater extent, and then even if there are limits to how much this reflector could be refined, there could be other reflectors, other types of bodies, which from the outset are far more refined than a human body could even become.
Enza: Yes, and ultimately it is all decided by that divine principle that creates it all, creates it all so that he can discover itself more through a different configuration. And so it’s like each one of us is really providing a mirror, I guess, for the Absolute to see itself through us.
Rick: Yeah, a friend of mine likes to refer to us as sense organs of the Infinite, or just sense organs.
Enza: Yeah, Nisargadatta said this body is the body of the Absolute, because he was at that stage where all that was left was it, the Absolute.
Rick: Yeah, so it’s what, about two in the morning now in Adelaide?
Enza: Hmm, I didn’t look for a while, let me see. Yeah,
Enza: I could stay up all night now.
Rick: You’re probably going to have to, yeah. Well, let’s just cover a couple more points and then I’ll let you go and stay awake all night.
Rick: One thing you said earlier, we just passed by it, which I find interesting, is that you felt that perhaps this epidemic of awakening that seems to be taking place in the world is kind of like nature’s response to the severity of the problems we face and hopefully holds the potential for enabling us to surmount these problems and shift into a a better world. I mean, you didn’t say all that, I’m elaborating on I think the seed idea that you brought out, but do you have any thoughts on that?
Enza: I’m not sure, ultimately this is just an idea, but I have seen through our work, through talking to different teachers, this is happening worldwide. A lot of people – something that was quite rare – people are popping up everywhere, waking up and so there is definitely a divine plan behind this and so ultimately I’m not sure exactly why, but this is what’s what’s going on. And I think we’re moving into an era where maybe the… what I said to somebody is the guru is dead, the era of the guru is dead. By this I mean not that spiritual teachers would disappear, but maybe more the guru that is some super human being with super special qualities and perfection – that is moving away and what is coming is the era of waking up together. So there might be still somebody, a teacher there, but more like a friend, not like a super human perfect being.
Rick: Yeah, my guess is that there will always be extraordinary souls, but even the extraordinary souls all have told us throughout history that, “Hey, you can be like me”. I mean Jesus said, “All these great things that I do, you too shall be able to do these things and even greater things”, He said. So I think that’s the thing, I mean, and even in that tradition, despite the fact that He had said that, many would consider it blasphemous to suggest that one could become as enlightened a being as Jesus or something, you know.
Enza: Yeah, and that puts a little bit of a ceiling on that.
Enza: If we’re all the one being, why not?
Rick: Yeah, why not?
Enza: But I can see your point, some people probably be very upset, but you suggested some other human being could achieve that status, that level of unfoldment, I guess.
Rick: Right, because there is this sort of attitude of, we’re all flawed and we can never totally overcome our inherent flaws and Jesus, this Divine Being, was perfect and we can never be like that. But I think the point you’re bringing out is that if you’re a human being then sure there is always going to be some kinks, some glitches, but there are great heights to which a human being can rise.
Enza: And those kinks are the ones, you know, why are there, because that one being wants to experience itself through those kinks. That’s how I see this.
Rick: Yeah, yeah, little salt makes the vegetables sweet.
Rick: Okay, I’ve heard you say that when you first had your realization and started telling some friends they got mad at you and thought, “Who are you to say this? You know, how could it possibly happen?” And you just look like the same as you always looked, you’re not floating two feet off the ground.
Enza: Yeah, well your family and friends are the worst, you know, which is all right, it keeps you humble.
Rick: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own home”. But actually that was one of my motivations for starting this show. I have a lot of friends in town who have been meditating for years and a lot of them are having awakenings, and really genuine and profound ones. And they would tell friends, and friends would say, “Oh, are you kidding? You’re just being egotistical, it couldn’t happen to you and you seem like the same old jerk that you always were, whatever”. And so they got, “All right, I’m not going to talk about it anymore”, so that’s the way people are going to react. So I thought, “All right, I’m going to start an interview show and I’m just going to start interviewing these people and show people that these awakenings are happening to people just like them”. And maybe that will embolden them to believe that it could happen to them too, and… Because if you’re totally closed to the possibility, then maybe you’re going to keep it shut down, you know?
Enza: Yes, and I must say I love the way you do this show. You bring so much openness and I know that probably you don’t agree with everything that your guests talk about, but it’s like you’ve got a really open heart and you give the person a lot of openness, and this is great because only awareness can do that.
Rick: Well, thanks. It’s not that I don’t agree with everything the guest says, although we might say that in certain ways. But it’s more like, “All right, this person and I have slightly different perspectives on this and maybe we both are like just blind men feeling different parts of the elephant and we don’t have the picture of the entire elephant, and so let’s kind of rub these perspectives together and see if we can both kind of expand each other’s perspective.
Enza: Yeah, and we can learn from each other because as I said, all these are the different expressions of God. And if you want to know more about the Divine, then by sharing with each other we can learn those faces we might not know yet.
Rick: Yeah, excellent. So, you say you haven’t been teaching much yet, but you’re probably going to experience what I call the “BatGap-Bump” where people will watch this and – within a week 5,000 people will have watched it – and people will start getting in touch with you. And so what do you have to offer people who would like to get in touch with you?
Enza: I’m open. I don’t make any plans, really. I haven’t made any plans. This is my second interview. The first one was with Jerry and for me it’s like just flow what life presents. If there were people interested in these teachings, I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to get to them.
Rick: So, physically you could travel to a place if that were arranged?
Enza: If there are enough teachers, yeah, if somebody can arrange it, I’m willing to go anywhere.
Rick: Or you could do Skype consultations, you would do that?
Enza: Yes, I could do that.
Rick: Okay, and do you have any idea what you would charge for those?
Enza: No. I’ve actually set up a non-profit organization because what I want to do is try to work out some sliding scale because I don’t want to somehow prevent people, exclude people. So, I haven’t really noted down how it’s going to work, but I was thinking of like a sliding scale with a very minimal cost or maybe even free for some people, and going out for people that can afford it and stuff like that, so that everybody… We’re actually starting this with this foundation. We’re starting meditation for kids and for people that have a handicap and also offering maybe troubled teenagers. This is all in what’s going on and also to people that can’t really afford to go to very expensive retreats, older people. Yeah.
Rick: This is mainly something you’ll be doing in Australia or will you be somehow putting it on CDs or something?
Enza: I don’t know, I haven’t thought of it. That’s a good idea though. That’s a good idea, yeah.
Rick: Like you can make a meditation CD or something like that.
Enza: Yeah, yes, yeah. We could do that.
Rick: Or download it.
Enza: Yeah, that’s a good idea.
Rick: Okay, well I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of ideas. Good. All righty, so I think we like to interview a mix of people and it’s fun to interview really established teachers like Adyashanti and people like that who have a great deal of experience and wisdom. And it’s also really fun to find people who haven’t done much teaching and even people who have no intention of teaching, they’re just ordinary person working at a job or something and they’ve had this spiritual awakening. So you’re somewhere in between because you definitely have stuck your toe in the waters of teaching people, but it sounds like it’s very much in the early stages and who knows what it might evolve into.
Enza: Yes, I don’t know. And when I first started thinking about teaching, my first reaction was like I’m not sure, and mainly because I see myself as still having, I guess…
Rick: A work in progress?
Enza: …in a relative sense, I make mistakes and all this stuff, but then somebody sent me a little quote that said “the life of a Zen master is one continuous mistake”. Now I’m not saying I am a Zen master, but I guess that little quote sort of gives me the courage to keep walking and trying to do what is being asked of me.
Rick: Yeah, there was a humor group back in the 60s called Firesign Theater and one of their phrases was, “We’re all bozos on this bus”.
Enza: That’s right, we’re all a mess and also we are that unconditional love that holds everything.
Rick: Yeah, and I can’t think of a spiritual teacher who doesn’t make mistakes and if they were to insist that they are beyond the possibility of making mistakes, I’d be a little bit suspicious.
Rick: Yeah, I’d be careful.
Enza: We like for our teachers to be perfect and we like ourselves to be perfect, but in reality we all have… yeah, we are a work in progress, like you said.
Rick: Yeah, yeah. And I like the… we’re all friends kind of helping each other these days, that’s the culture that seems to be developing, we’re kind of holding hands marching forward together.
Enza: Yes, it’s wonderful.
Rick: Yeah, it’s great. Okay, so I’ll be making a page on batgap.com about you as I always do and people will read a little bit about you and be able to link to your website and anything else that you have, your book will have a link to the Amazon page of your book. And just to make more general concluding remarks. This interview has been one in an ongoing series. Go to batgap.com and there’s a “past interviews” menu and there are about five different ways that the past interviews are categorized, check that out. There’s a place to sign up to be notified by email about once a week – each time a new interview is posted, you can always unsubscribe. There’s an audio podcast, which we’re still having problems with, but I’ll send out an email when that gets fixed. And there’s the donate button, which… obviously this takes a lot of time and it’s still not my full-time occupation. I have a day job a couple of hours a day, so any financial support people feel inclined to offer is appreciated. So thanks for listening or watching and thank you again Enza, it’s really been a delight, I really enjoyed this conversation and we’ll meet again.
Enza: Me too, it was wonderful, yeah, thank you for making us so joyful.
Rick: Yeah, thanks, I hope you can sleep tonight.
Rick: Now you need to take something to counteract the coffee, I don’t know, have a beer or something.
Enza: A beer? Yeah. Okay, what is it?
Rick: Cardamom, Irene says that cardamom counteracts caffeine, so make yourself some hot milk and stir some cardamom into it and maybe that’ll help you sleep.
Enza: I will try that. I have some cardamom, I like to cook with different spices.
Rick: Good, all righty, so thanks. Talk to you later. Bye.
Enza: Okay. Thank you, bye.