Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually Awakening people. We call it that or you know about spiritual topics. I’ve done about 630 of them. Now I think, if this is new to you, then you’d like to check out previous ones. Please go to bat gap comm bat gap and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it, and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website, bat gap calm. My guest today is Gail Brenner. I interviewed Gale in 2015 at the science and non duality conference. And that was kind of a crazy weekend I had six interviews, I think I moderated three different panel discussions I had one of which lasted all day long. And I had my own presentation, which I’d been working on for months. And, and I wasn’t able to sleep because I was doing so much I was just really keyed up. So I thought I had done kind of a lousy job, but actually listened to that interview with Gayle the other day, and I thought that was pretty good. We had a good conversation. So this day, we’ll have an even better one. But if you like what we talked about today, you might want to listen to that one too. Because hopefully, we won’t cover all the same points we’ll be covering different things. So Gail, it’s been what, six and a half years since we last had our conversation. Oh, let me read your bio first. So Gail is a psychologist, author, speaker and lover of the non dual teaching with a fire that burns brightly. She is an expert in healing from early trauma and brings to this work years of experience with individuals and groups. Her work lovingly illuminates our everyday humaneness with the deepest spiritual truth. And she is known for creating the state the safe space needed for inner exploration. Gail has special expertise, working with older adults, that you work with me today, and their families in the transitions of aging, death and dying. She was an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, where she trained physicians and maintained a clinical practice. She has published numerous professional articles on coping with stress and chronic medical illness. And as the author of the award winning the end of self help, and suffering is optional. Those are the Tydings titles of two different books. She loves exploring different cultures through international volunteering. Okay, what kind of international volunteering have you done?
Gail Brenner: Well, before COVID, I was in Southeast Asia and I was working at an NGO in Cambodia and Siem Reap Cambodia. We were working on a pilot project to collect data on the health and wellness needs of village families. And then the NGO was going to submit that data to the government to get some funding resources. Great. It was fantastic. It was like a peak time in my life for sure. Cool.
Rick Archer: How long did you do it?
Gail Brenner: I was there two months. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So Gail, we last spoke about over six years ago. And I know this is this is kind of a gotcha question for some people. But how would you say you’ve grown in the past six years, personally, professionally? How is your perspective change? Oh, of your understandings of things, your priorities and stuff like that. I think we all continue to evolve. So in your case, what can you
Gail Brenner: say about that? Oh, that’s a huge question. I’ll start with professional. And what’s definitely deepened for me is my interest in trauma and early trauma and I’m sure we’re going to talk about what we’re what that is and what we mean by that. And helping people identify the condition patterns that kind of live in them and help them to gain the understanding and compassion and skills to be able to move through them. And then bridging that together with a non dual teaching. And I’ve been running groups in the past couple of years on this topic, and it’s just, it just feels like I’m in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. So that’s really evolved for me.
Rick Archer: Yeah, trauma seems to be a hot topic these days. And Zion Murray, CEO of the sand conference, did a whole Movie or Documentary about Gabor Ma Tei. And that’s been very popular. And, you know, there were, I suppose you could say, there have been times in the history of contemporary spirituality over the past couple of decades where no one thought or talked about trauma very much, but, you know, you kind of feel like, maybe after everything that people have been through over the years, they’ve just reached a point, you know, individually and collectively, where trauma really has to be dealt with by many people in order to continue progressing.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, I think there’s a been a movement in recent years in the world of non duality and and people interested in the non dual teaching, which is, and you said before, people didn’t talk so much about trauma, and there was more of that pure, you know, absolute, what is non dual reality? And the realization of that, and I think what’s shifted more recently is how do I live this, like, okay, I get it, I get it. To some extent, I’ve had a taste of my true nature. And here I am in my daily life. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like that, you know, openness and bliss that I get in certain, you know, experiences that we might have, and how do we live this? And this is where my passion lies, like, how do we live this teaching in daily life when we’re caught in traffic and doing the dishes and the kids are screaming, and, you know, and that that, to me, is where it’s really alive. Because we’re humans, you know, we’re not humans, and we’re humans, and really honoring our humaneness. And that includes ways that we have learned to contract are set into our sense of separation, for a lot of us through our early experiences in life, and to be able to untangle all of that, so that, and I don’t, when I say untangle all of it, I don’t mean, and then it’s done, and then we never experienced it ever again. It’s not like that. It’s like really being able to be with those experiences that we have, or we get caught or grabbed by our patterns, and how do we deal with that and live with that in our lives? And there seems to be a real interest in that these days.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s really important. And there have been teachers, and probably are now who, if we brought up the topic of trauma, and all would say, oh, that’s just about you, as a person, you’re not a person, you know, forget that you’re a person and, you know, just tap into that, which is beyond your personhood, and then you won’t even have to think about it. How would you respond? If someone said that to you?
Gail Brenner: Well, it doesn’t seem to work. And when I say work, it’s like, well, yes, I get that. And then, you know, I go home for the holidays to my parents, and it all goes out the window. And that’s a real experience that needs to be honored. And I think, you know, with that sort of absolutist kind of teaching, it’s a setup for us to feel like we’re doing it wrong or feeling badly about ourselves, or I must not be getting it and, and that and those are all part of the inner critic and some of the harsh ways and shameful ways that we’ve learned how to treat ourselves. So my interest is in untangling all of that with openness and curiosity. And let’s just, let’s throw out all the teachings and let’s take a look at what’s actually happening right now.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think it was rom Das, who said, If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.
Gail Brenner: Exactly. Exactly. Or in your relationship, or, you know, it could be anything, you know, life, what’s my life purpose, or I’m a people pleaser, and I’m exhausted, or it could be anything. And these are all food for awakening. Because when we really take all of these little ways that we get caught seriously as like this is there’s something here to look at and something that wants to be liberated, then we can really deep in into whatever realization we’re living with.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Now, going deeper into let me just ask you a simple question, rather than me pontificating. And then if I want to add something to it, I will but please define trauma
Gail Brenner: means a lot of things and it’s it’s a buzzword in especially in this day and age, but it really means something. So when I when I use the word early trauma, which is it’s a phrase that I use a lot. It means what happened early on in our lives, that that made us leave our true nature or contract or develop strategies to try to cope with difficult situations. What are the feelings and emotions that remain in us from that? How do these things show up in our lives. So there’s a, a sense of something that’s unresolved that lives in some kind of condition pattern. And, you know, we can call that trauma because it’s difficult, you know, it’s a, it was a challenging experience. And we, it maxed out our coping abilities, and we didn’t know what to do, and we do our best. And it just it threw us off the path of really living our true nature and the the naturalness of who we are, there are certainly events that can happen like car accidents, or violence, or, you know, those kinds of specific traumas that happen that have a an echo in us that can last for some time or a long time, or we end up learning how to live with that. So it’s really any experience that happens that is shocking, or makes us leave our natural mist, and it includes an activation of the nervous system, pretty much across the board.
Rick Archer: Good. Those are some good points. And I want us to embellish on them in a minute. But since you just use another term, true nature, let’s define that so that we’re all on the same page as to what we’re, what the words we’re using.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. And that’s a hard one. So the word that’s coming to mind right now is openness. You know, when we’re contracted into separation, where our mind is occupied with our ourselves our self focus, if we really start looking at our thoughts, when we’re contracted and caught in our patterns, there’s a lot of me, I’m this, I’m not safe, I I’m upset, or that shouldn’t have happened to me. And when that begins to be able to release and it certainly can do that. There’s availability and openness, it’s like a, almost like a non definition of who we are. We’re just here and available in reality, to what’s happening. And it’s not veiled by old patterns and stories and conditioning from the past. And they’re and we’re open to creativity and aliveness and curiosity and, and there’s no defenses, we just do something I’m sure we’ll talk more about because in, in knowing ourselves as consciousness where we’re not defended, it’s nothing is excluded. That’s all the province of this separate self. So true nature, I use lots of words interchangeably around that. And it’s, it’s our natural pneus. It’s our natural state, our natural way of being that’s not coming from fear and not coming from a sense of lack and not strategizing to make ourselves safe. It’s just alive here and now and open to life.
Rick Archer: I heard two things in there essentially. One is, there’s true nature. And then there’s how we tend to function or behave when we’re in tune with true nature or not in tune with it. So sometimes I think true nature is the is alluded to, or referred to, in terms of the way a person functions when they’re in tune with them. But that’s not really true nature that’s more like, you know, the impact it has on our functioning or our behavior. And then true nature, you refer to consciousness, you know, their ancient definitions of it in terms of Brahman or Atman, or, you know, universal awareness, and that thou art and that kind of thing. And ultimately, that is not individual. It’s not personal, it’s, it’s universal, and therefore, it’s actually not like my true nature, your true nature, his true nature. We all have the same true nature. Like, you know, the ocean is the same ocean for all the individual waves
Gail Brenner: back. Yeah, yeah. And so, yeah, so it’s not an individual true nature. It’s, you know, the word the word I like is openness. You know, it’s like unconditional openness that’s alive and there’s an embodiment in it too. It’s like it’s alive there’s a vibration in it. There’s a but even the embodiment is like the coming into form of it. But in its pure sense, there’s this knowing of this aliveness.
Rick Archer: Yeah, good. And then just to refer to some more traditional stuff, and we actually can there’s a modern correlate to it too, which is that you were talking about how we come into this life and we kind of lose our true nature. Was it there was a phrase
Gail Brenner: clarify, we are knowing of it. Right? Yeah,
Rick Archer: sure. And that’s pretty much universal when she say, I mean, do you know, how many people do you know, who, you know, grew up in their youth, their adolescence, their adulthood. And we’re continuously, you know, knowing their true nature throughout that whole thing. Almost nobody back, right. So that’s not a mistake, then. And it’s not something one is guilty of, in any sense. It’s just the human condition.
Gail Brenner: Exactly. And, you know, and I always invite a lot of openness and compassion around all of it around everything around this whole exploration, because we tend to judge and wonder if we’re doing it wrong. And, and I really want to give a medicine for that, which is, let’s just, we’re humans, we grow up, you know, we come into the world with whatever we come in with, we learn whatever we learn. And then you know, when just that we’re even having this conversation and whoever decides to listen to it, there’s something alive in our hearts where we can totally meet, and there’s something there to be explored, then. It’s beautiful when we can do that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So the mechanics of losing true nature is often described in terms of identification, and very often the movie screen analogy is used. Why don’t you just elaborate on that, even though most people will have heard that, but it’s, we’re building a foundation here for understanding what you’re doing. Or
Gail Brenner: in the movie screening analogy is that we think we’re the story playing out on the screen, as opposed to the screen itself. And we can take our stand. Either way, you know, we can. And I know, we all know what it’s like to be completely embroiled in our stories and to think they’re true. And these are, maybe we’ll talk about this more like, what’s his story, you know, the story of who I am the story of what happened to me the story of, you know, what, what I’m afraid will happen, just a story of how I am in my relationships, the story of trying to find my life purpose. And those stories all have a sense of fear, or lack behind them. And when we can find our way through those stories, and we know that they don’t define us, or we play with them not defining us, then we get to that question, Well, who am I and then that’s where that analogy of this screen can be useful. Like, ah, it’s just this this openness that all of this appears in. It’s this open, formless, timeless, alive vibration of life that form emergence from
Rick Archer: Yeah. And let’s say a father takes his child to see a movie for the first time. And, you know, beforehand, he explains to the child what he’s going to do, we’re going to go to this thing, we’re going to sit in seats, and we’re going to watch you know, Spider Man and all this interesting stuff that’s going to happen, and it’s all going to be playing on a movie screen. So they go to the movie, and the movie starts playing and, and the kid gets really into it and you know, but he then he says, well, but where’s the screen? I don’t see the screen. And he said, you’re looking at it. That’s the screen. You know, but no, this spider man the screen know that the screen is kind of behind. Spider Man in a way. It’s it’s that by which we’re able to see Spider Man, the kid to be totally confused. I mean, he could explain that all day. And the kids still wouldn’t get it.
Gail Brenner: Like a different analogy. I’m sorry, did you want to
Rick Archer: that’s enough of that.
Gail Brenner: Which is I like the sky and the clouds. And because I think we can all like that’s a hard one to get like, What do you mean the screen or the page with the words on the book? I like that one too. But my favorite one is sky and clouds that were not the clouds coming through where they openness. And and that’s, that’s a little bit more tangible.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s a good one too. And we could actually add the sun in there. Let’s say it’s really cloudy, and we don’t see the sun. And the sun is shining perfectly well, and eventually the the clouds clear away somehow and we see the sun shining and it’s not like the sun has started to shine. It’s been shining the whole time. It’s just that the obscuration has been removed
Gail Brenner: badly. Yeah. Yeah. Very good. Oh, you said
Rick Archer: okay. It’s not patented. Okay. Now in terms of the mechanics through which, you know, the our true nature is overseen added the movie screen is overshadowed the openness is overshadowed. Maybe interesting to explore that a little bit in traditional explanations, it’s that the senses are outer directed by nature, and that the objects of senses are concrete. And that the self, your nature is really subtle. And, and is actually, if, if our attention is turned outwards, then it’s not turned inwards, on the self, to the self, and we forget about its its very existence. And then, you know, we go through life having all kinds of experiences, and those experiences impact us, you know, they, they continually overshadow the self, but they also leave neurophysiological imprints, which accumulate needles are called some scars, and they accumulate more and more and more. And so, the reversal of this process, knowing true nature and living it 24/7 living it, and daily life is not sort of a snap your fingers instant thing, it’s something that’s going to have to be cultured are on, you know, there’s a lot of conditioning that needs to be unraveled before that can be a living reality in a in an abiding way.
Gail Brenner: Absolutely, and, and that, like people can certainly have awakening experiences, where things change dramatically in one split second, but then the living of that no matter how large or small, the experience, it doesn’t or no experience, it doesn’t matter. There is the living of it that that has to be addressed. And it has to be like, it’s it’s a joy to do that. It’s like, wow, it’s such a beautiful exploration to see like, wow, like, how am I getting caught here, like what is actually happening? Like, let’s be really precise about that. And and untangling all of that. It’s a, it’s a beautiful process. And people say it’s hard because you have to go to what we typically call hard places inside, which means challenging emotions. But that in and of itself is a label. And in the end, it’s just an emotion, or it’s just an arising of an experience or contraction. And if we don’t call it hard, it’s it’s interesting. And it’s something that, that we can definitely learn from. I wanted to also add, if I could, when you were saying like, how do we lose the sense of true nature and our knowing of it, you know, we’re born be even before we’re born, most most times the parents know that the gender at this point in time. The names are already picked out. There’s a there’s a physical body that’s growing in the mother. I mean, there’s so many ways that were already made separate. And then and then as soon as birth happens, we’re, you know, all of that is put on us. And that’s a part of our development. So that totally contributes to the forgetting to nature. Yeah,
Rick Archer: you know, what my name was before I was born, what Murgatroyd. And the reason was that my parents didn’t know what my gender was going to be. And maybe they didn’t check in those days. And so they referred to me as Murgatroyd. And then when I was born, my uncle sent a telegram to my parents congratulating them on the birth of Murgatroyd. And the telegram operator was furious that anybody was naming their kid
Gail Brenner: so much identity already, you know, you know, the Zen people have a, there’s a Zen saying, what was your face before you were born? And I just like if you really like feel that what like, who were you before all of this started? Who are you?
Rick Archer: Yeah. So the mechanics of how we regain our true nature awareness of it and unravel all this, this trauma you just alluded to something about. Recognize you alluded to something that sounded like a little bit of a, in a way an intellectual process of unraveling the mechanics of our experience. Perhaps just elaborate a little bit on how this process you teach and would help a person progressively unwind deep trauma that is keeping us gripped in ignorance, we could say that that’s the word that’s often used. Yeah.
Gail Brenner: And I appreciate your question, because it helps to understand you know, so even to get some intellectual understanding of what happened like why am I suffering like what what is this about so that I can at least get a handle on understanding it. And then and what that process is to untangle, eventually has to be embodied and felt and known and experienced. But to have some kind of, you know, intellectual path around it makes sense to me. So the example I want to give is like, as an infant, let’s say six months old, screaming in the crib hungry, screaming for food, so there’s no language available yet. There’s just, you know, verbalization and, and not being met by the parents. So there’s, you know, the parents busy or, you know, maybe, you know, there’s some chaos around the home that the parents don’t have the wherewithal to attend to the child’s needs, all the time. So what is the experience of that infant, it’s extreme physiological upset, like, terror to the point of I could actually die. And it’s true, if the food doesn’t come, we’re dependent and for a long time as humans, so you know, there’s this terror that I’m going to, you know, die if I don’t get if I don’t get my needs met, right here. And then if the need isn’t met, so it’s there’s no like reflection of confirmation that that makes sense, or acknowledgement of the feeling and the terror around that. Where does that feeling go? Like? What do you like? How do How does a being cope with that it’s really hard. And it goes, you know, lots of things can happen it that we say that the emotions get lodged in the body. So there’s some kind of contraction. And some people say that, you know, even if that happens enough, and it’s not explored and released, it might, you know, be the root of physical illness and physical problems that we had. Certainly, you know, what arises from that contraction is, how do I cope with this uncomfortable situation. And then we come up with all kinds of strategies like fighting or pleasing or being hyper vigilant to the people around us so that we can do the right thing to hopefully get our needs met. If there’s violence in the home, we want to disappear. I mean, so so many things can happen at that point. But the point here is that experiences happen. And sometimes for many of us, they happen over and over and over for years in our childhoods, and they, they get stuck. Somehow, if we don’t have the love and care and support that we need to have these moves through, it’s possible to have all this stuff move through. You know, with good parenting, there’s an acknowledgement there’s, tell me your feelings support to, to be able to develop the skills to work with our own feelings. Secondly, of emotional attunement, if we don’t have that, it just all kind of sticks. And we just were scrambling to figure out how to cope. So the process of healing comes from that.
Rick Archer: And so when you say that all this stuff gets kind of lodged or accumulated in the body, what I’m here, what I hear is their actual neuro physiological impressions, alterations of the physiology in a subtle way, which probably modern science doesn’t, I’m quite sure they don’t fully understand it. And which the ancients also had their explanation of and also probably didn’t understand, understand it as a modern physiologist would. But the basic idea is that we accumulate gunk, we accumulate stresses, we could say, or impressions or some scars, and they pile up layer after layer after layer after layer. And we don’t actually don’t know, how deep they go, how many layers there are. And I research
Gail Brenner: on that now. But this is so on, you know, chronic trauma early on in life affects the brain development in certain specific ways that can be measured. So, you know, like, an example would be a gratitude practice or breathing practice that can help to calm the nervous system and shift that the neurophysiology around those those things are at the neurochemical level. They’re recommended because they help to rearrange the very grossly speaking the rearrange the brain and, you know, get get us to a point where we can remake connections that were lost or learning how to work around them, so that we can function well in our lives as adults.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, they really do rearrange the brain. And there are studies on long term meditators where the prefrontal cortex is thicker, and there’s all kinds of things they can measure with fMRI, and then stuff like that. And, you know, in my own experience as a longtime meditator since the 60s You know, I’ve had so many people variances sometimes on six month courses, and other such things were really deep stuff has come out stuff that I didn’t even know is there. And sometimes slowly, and sometimes suddenly, I mean, I’ve, I’ve had times when I’m deep in meditation, and also not practically jump out of my chair, because all of a sudden, they’ll just be this deep blue release of something. And then it’ll also settle down again, you know, but, um, I just, I kind of have, I don’t know, maybe have a bias toward meditation or something. But it just through my own experience, I feel like there’s so many deep layers of stuff to be removed, or to be healed or to be resolved. And one has to go really deep to resolve them. You know, I mean, let’s say using an ocean analogy, if there’s all kinds of pollution deep in the ocean, you can’t clean it up, just rolling around on the surface with a net, some something has to be done to get you down to those depths, in order to really access those deep things.
Gail Brenner: I like meditation for that, but I don’t, I know it doesn’t work for everybody. And not everybody is going to do it to that extent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go to those places and heal. But what that was so beautiful, what you just described, because it what you provided is this open, unconditioned space for these things to come. And I, I, when we give ourselves that sense of space, and I want to also use the word safety, because stuff doesn’t usually come out that’s buried in us old emotions, or physical contractions or whatever. If we don’t, if there’s not a sense of safety, it went underground, because it wasn’t safe. So there needs to be safety to bring it out. So when you’re, you know, you’ve been meditating for a few days, and you know, you’re very quiet. And there’s this open space and open heart and just openness to everything which can happen in a long meditation retreat. It’s, it’s not surprising at all the God’s time, you know, there’s like a sense where these things can come out the way I say, just come for liberation from to be illuminated with consciousness, to be seen to be felt, which is why they went underground in the first place. They weren’t seen. They weren’t acknowledged. They were so overwhelming. We didn’t know what to do with them. So they go underground. And then we give the conditions for them to come out for release for liberation, not just once it happens. Oh, you mean, you’ve been doing this many, many years. And it still happens, I’m sure in the same in my own experience, it’s not like we reach an endpoint and we’re healed that there. Is that that isn’t it? But offering that open space is such a gift?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve been told that even the Buddha meditated all of his life. And I think it was either him or Vivekananda, who was obviously almost contemporary, and someone asked him, why bother if you’re already enlightened? And he said, Well, I just like to keep the mirror really clean, you know? Something like that.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. Papaji said, Stay vigilant in my last dying breath. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Hmm. Interesting. Similar way of explaining it, similar to what you just said, as, like, you know, when we go to sleep at night, we have dreams, right? And we will, and I think the dreams are probably a in many cases, a release of something that wouldn’t easily get released if we weren’t sleeping. But when we are sleeping, the body is deeply rested. And it has these natural healing processes that can kick in when it doesn’t have to do other things. And so meditation can be like that, to where you just settle into this deep restful state, either in an individual meditation or on some kind of extended retreat, and stuff starts to the body naturally has its healing mechanisms and they kick in they they take, they get going, when the body isn’t in mind aren’t being applied to other activities.
Gail Brenner: Yes, it has to go slowly. For some people sitting and meditating is too much. Yeah, there’s too much there that’s been unexplored. So yes, big YES to meditation. And there are other ways. And I think people really need to hear that. Like, if you can’t meditate, it’s fine. I get it. I totally get it. And then you begin to just you know, very gently peek in to see what might be there that wants to be brought into our awareness and trauma almost always happens in relate early trauma always happens in relationship and it needs to be healed in relationship. So we don’t have to go it alone. We don’t have to sit there and meditate on the pillow by ourselves and like feel every little thing we can seek out help. Come to groups are, you know, find find ways when we really want it, we’ll find our way to get support around this because it’s, we’re all going through it and it’s not always easy.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And some great teachers have said what you just said Shankara and Rama more recently, you know, said not everybody can just sit and meditate you might be it might be Karma Yoga is the best thing for you, you know, engaging in some kind of activity. And, you know, then later on after doing that for a while, you might find you can sit and meditate because enough clearing has taken place.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, so to have that openness around it, and, and no judgment, like, whatever, you feel that you need. Honor, that doesn’t have to be anything other than that.
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, this show is kind of a reflector of that, and I interview such a variety of people and I, I never have the attitude that Well, everybody should be doing such and such, you know, this, you know, whatever, whatever works.
Gail Brenner: Exactly, I feel the same way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And obviously, things do work. I mean, I’ve seen so many people get so much benefit out of so many very different things. And that, in a way is kind of the way God rolls, I mean, you know, you don’t see only one kind of flower, or only one kind of animal, there’s this huge abundance of variety in nature, in in the universe, and I don’t see why our spiritual progress shouldn’t also have a great deal of variety in it.
Gail Brenner: I love that there are so many teachers, you know, we find our way to the ones that resonate. And, and that’s, I think that’s, that’s very valuable, you know, to really trust ourselves inside about what we need, or if we don’t even know what we need, like, what’s my next step? What’s like, if something’s burning in you, or something’s curious or something’s like fed up, I love fed up, like I’m fed up. So I have to look for something beyond the known, that’s a beautiful place to be to be fed up. And and to follow that and to be with that, not to follow it to fix it. No, but to be with it, like, Oh, let that flourish, like fed up. What does that feel like? Burning Question curious, and just let that guide you? Because it will. Yeah, that’s
Rick Archer: such an important point. And I’ve seen so many examples of it where, you know, I mean, it can manifest in terms of outward restlessness, like, I need a new partner, I need a new job, I need a new car. And you know, then people think I need to, I need to move to a warmer climate or whatever people think those things are going to solve their problem. And then you do that enough times and you realize that they aren’t at a certain stage, people recognize that, oh, there must be some deeper some higher direction in which I can search. And that’s, I think that’s an important milestone when a person reaches that realization.
Gail Brenner: salutely And that comes from, like that you turn with our attention inward, not outward, like you were saying about how separate self, you know, according to certain traditions, separate self is like the senses going out into the world, and intelligence, attunement, living, this teaching of non dual reality, it requires a U turn with our attention inward, to look at what’s happening here and experience. Yeah, there’s a quote, I’m really inspired by these days. It’s Simone Weil, and its attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity is the rarest and purest form of generosity. And I love that it’s because it invites this investigation, like how do I like what it will kind of add to it? There’s lots of ways to pay attention, you know, what is what is that? That kind of attention. And when we do that you turn out from the material world into our inner landscape or whatever is arising in here. It gets very interesting. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And not only attention to our own inner reality, but attention to other people. And maybe they’re maybe they’re correlated, maybe if a person has paid adequate attention to their inner landscape, they’re going to be more attentive to others. But have you noticed? I mean, and I often mentioned this, you know, you’ll be talking to somebody and you’re listening to their story, and they’re going on and on. You’re listening to this story. Every once in a while. Maybe you ask them a question, they tell you their story. And then after a while, you say, Well, let me tell you about what’s going on with me. And, well, I think I gotta go or you know, or their attention is, you know, they can’t hold. They can’t pay attention to what you want to say to them. There’s no reciprocity, but not interested or it’s, it’s, it’s like that old say that old joke, you know, me, me, me, me. Okay, enough about me? What do you think about me? So baby that is, I mean, that came to mind when you mentioned that attention is the greatest generosity, because there’s a certain generosity and being able to pay attention to people, I think your, your, there’s a respect implicit in it. And and it’s not just it’s not any kind of sacrifice because it’s actually very interesting to, you know, get to know people more deeply. If you can tell me that well enough to do it.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, that deep listening to someone else, you know, that, really, that opened attention not through veils, like, I want you to be a certain way, or I’m scared to connect with you, or I don’t want to be intimate, or I do and I don’t and, you know, with those veils dropping, there’s that possibility of intimacy with others. But I think there it goes both ways. Like I don’t, I think some people are very attuned to being to paying good attention to other people, and they missed themselves. So it includes both
Rick Archer: Hmm. That’s interesting. Well, if a person does that, let’s just try to think of that, wondering if it’s that describes me, I don’t I don’t know if it does. But um, I guess you could use indulgence or interest in other people as a way of avoiding self scrutiny. You know, I mean, a person could throw themselves into charitable work of some kind or humanitarian work and burnout because they, they haven’t, you know, attended to themselves enough is that the kind of thing you’re you’re alluding to,
Gail Brenner: that could certainly be a dynamic, I mean, we have so many ways as humans that we’ve come up with to avoid ourselves. Yeah. And that that’s one of them. So if you say and this goes back to early trauma, so say that someone, you know, that you’re, you’re born into a family, you’re the fifth of five kids, and you don’t get very much attention and you learn to, you know, you get all the A’s and you you know, make yourself useful or you do whatever you can to get attention from others, you learn very early on in life, to leave yourself and to be very outward oriented and other oriented to be attention getting or pleasing others or whatever it is. And then and then it’s in people who have that dynamic, that the the movement of healing is to turn the attention in and include, get to know like, our feelings, our thoughts, our body, our experience, like our likes and dislikes, some people don’t even know and including all of that we get to be included.
Rick Archer: You think this is something anybody could just learned to do? Or do they need a therapist to help them?
Gail Brenner: I don’t think it’s an either or, Yes, I think people can learn how to they can people can make progress around that. But for some people even to pay kind attention to themselves inside. That’s a big movement, if they’ve been somehow brought up with the idea of you know, inadequacy or worthlessness or whatever even to be kind to yourself inside his or self care but those kinds of basic things like that can be hard for some people
Rick Archer: Yeah. Do you think that part of the reason it’s hard is that if you’ve been neglecting paying attention inside when you dip your toe in that water and you know try to begin to do so you in the water is too cold, you encounter discomfort and therefore you shy away from it and get back into the distractions so you don’t have to do it?
Gail Brenner: Well, that’s the nature of addiction and relapse that you just described. Yeah, the addiction is to avoid it and then then need you say there’s a period of being clean or not using or whatever and and then things are going to come because that’s how it is that’s that they’re there to come these feelings and difficult experiences coming for to come to consciousness and it might be overwhelming or not enough support or they’re not ready or whatever. And then there’s a relapse.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no additional is an extreme example, and I know you know, a person starts if a person gets the the addicted to something. They it becomes very unpleasant when they don’t have that thing for a few hours or you know, after a while. And so it’s kind of life is a constant attempt to kind of numb out. It’s like trying to push a beach ball beneath the water, it keeps trying to pop up. It takes a lot of effort to to hold it down. But of course, you know, that was kind of one of the realizations I had when I one night in July of 1968, when I was sitting in my bedroom in the basement of my father’s house, and I just kind of realized, you know, if, if I keep going on like this doing drugs and stuff, there’s just, I’m going to live a very short, unhappy life. And I thought that the only way out of this is to kind of turn within and start cleaning things out instead of trying to escape, you know, through various substances. And but, you know, it was it for me at least, it was immediately rewarding. It was an immediate relax relief from what I had been going through. And so it wasn’t like I had all of a sudden to confront this Pandora’s box of horrible stuff. Maybe, maybe for some people it is, but I’ve been able to manage that. I think in measured doses over the years, rather than anything, it was too much to handle.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, I don’t know why I’m the same as you when I realized how much was going on inside of me that I wasn’t aware of. I was just, like, Bring it on. I wanted to see everything. And I wasn’t afraid of it at all. I just saw it as the ticket out of suffering. And it was. But yeah, it’s definitely people are built differently than
Rick Archer: Yeah. There’s that old adage that you know, God never gives you more than you can handle. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’m also reminded of Star Wars, you know, Luke Skywalker saying to Yoda, I’m not afraid. And Yoda says you will be you will be like, you know, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Kid. You’re gonna have to go through some stuff.
Gail Brenner: But there’s a fire. Yeah, I think that’s true. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So as we go along here, don’t feel like you need to just, you know, if anything comes to mind, and I’m not asking the appropriate question to to enable you to express it say, hey, I want to talk about this and, and just kind of launch us into it. Okay.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, I have something in mind. Do you know you were just reading my mind? I think. Yeah. I should. Yeah, I wanted to check it. Yeah, you’re psychic? Did you know that?
Rick Archer: I gotta start cashing in on it. We’ll go ahead.
Gail Brenner: I wanted to talk about what’s coming up right now as to what happens when we turn our attention inward toward ourselves, and what does that have to do with healing trauma? And what does that have to do with freedom and living our full aliveness? Like, how do we put all those pieces together? And I guess the place to start would be to look at what a pattern is a conditioned pattern. And it’s if and I, I know this, because I’ve just examined it a million times within myself. And I think if anybody who goes in, you’re going to see this, maybe you’ll see something else. But what I noticed is that there’s some story going on in the mind. So there’s some something in the realm of thought. And there’s usually what we call an emotion. And with that is some some pattern of physical sensations. So that gives the sort of, you know, broad view of what we need to investigate, to be free of these, of the effects of these patterns. So if somebody comes to me and says, I’m depressed, that doesn’t actually have a lot of meaning to me, because it’s a it’s a broad word that could describe a lot of different things. So I want to know, like, what is actually happening, like, if you’re suffering or if you, you know, if you’re like afraid of, you know, if you’re afraid of people and you feel like you need to limit yourself or hide or whatever the movement is, what is actually happening, like, that’s the beginning of the investigation, because until we know how these patterns work, we can’t really do anything about them. That’s why I think in some, to some degree, the the standard and more absolutist non dual teaching, just drop all that go to reality go to reality go to rally, if you can do that, that’s great. And I think that’s a that’s the right way to, to handle that that’s that’s the path to freedom. But when that can’t happen naturally and easily then there’s something else that’s being called for and it’s really looking at like what are these patterns? How do they show up? What are the triggers, what is an emotion what is what is our experience and then when we bring the light of consciousness into that consciousness being timeless and formless and you know there what is this arising then it’s a means what you’ve probably talked to many people about, you know, objects that come, you know, in the context have awareness and realizing like, oh, this whole pattern boils down to a physical sensation that I’ve been interpreting or making sense of, or trying to figure out or get rid of, or whatever, that you know, to really get down to the bare experience of what it is. And then being with that, in this loving openness,
Rick Archer: yeah, that go to reality go to reality thing can be a recipe for a spiritual bypassing, you know,
Gail Brenner: exactly, yeah. And it can be a true, like, recognition to, but yes, it can. If it’s if that’s if that if it’s skipping over some some, you know, strong feeling or something. Yeah. Spiritual bypass.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I suspect that more often than not, it is a spiritual bypassing thing, from from my experience. But this thing about the physical sensation, I think, is very significant, because we were talking earlier about how trauma does have a neuro physiological correlate, or basis. You know, let’s say, you’ve been over in Iraq and Afghanistan, you come back, and you’re just like, you know, a pressure cooker of stress. That’s not just a mental thing there. Your whole neurophysiology has been assaulted. And, and there’s a lot of, you know, chemical and structural abnormalities, I guess, you could say that have that have been inflicted upon your nervous system. And, and so I think, obviously, if you talk to us, have you ever dealt with somebody who has PTSD?
Gail Brenner: Um, yes. Not from battle? As far as I know, but yes, yes, PTSD?
Rick Archer: Yeah. But I think they would probably tell you Yeah, so I, you know, I have all this angst or feeling in my solar plexus, or I have these headaches or, you know, there’s all kinds of stuff going on in their physiologies that are indicative of the stress that has been lodged their
Gail Brenner: race, or I don’t know if it’s an official diagnosis, but but we hear Complex PTSD or see PTSD, which means that it’s that there. There’s trauma from early childhood that’s involved.
Rick Archer: So the complex word alludes to early childhood, as opposed to something more recent.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. And something specific. Like the complex means a complex array of experiences that happened back then. Yeah, so there can be PTSD. And the nervous system has to be included in the, in the healing. And I can also speak to that word, because nothing gets healed. Really, it’s just a return to our natural state, and a recognition of what’s already true, and already who we are and already the case. So healing is a word we use, I use it myself, and you know, there’s a sense of healing, we feel better. But actually, nothing’s healed, it’s just a matter of clearing away the veils so that we can recognize what’s already true. And for that to happen there there. With trauma, there has to be an attention to the body.
Rick Archer: Let me just pushed back on that a little bit. Let’s say you know, a person has suffered a lot of stress, some kind of abuse or battle, fatigue or any such thing, there have been physiological changes, which are not desirable. And if if the physiology can undergo positive changes, such that it’s no longer holding on to those chemical or structural abnormalities, why wouldn’t you call that healing?
Gail Brenner: Um, well, I would say in that sense, some, there’s a shift that’s happening, but with that sense of relaxation, and back to the normal homeostatic state of the nervous system, you know, of calm, basically, back to that sense of calm. That’s the pathway into like relaxing our bodies, relaxing our attention away from the stories that that are that go with that contracted physical experience. And then we’re more open to life as it is to creativity to inspiration to wonder to all of that. And so that’s, that’s not a healing that makes that happen. It’s a recognition of what’s already true.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, on the psychological level or mental level to recognition what’s already true on the physiological level, it might be a restoration of a more normal way of functioning.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, that’s a good word restoration. Yeah, finding rest. I mean, very few of us know, that we long for this deep rest, and we don’t feel I mean, there’s, if I could say there’s one pandemic, it’s anxiety, you know, we had, there’s just, it’s just the nature of life in our human world for most of us, and it’s hard to feel anxiety all day. We just don’t know how to rest. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I do. I always get enough sleep enough meditation, enough exercise, and then do whatever I can do in the remaining hours. But though that’s how far Yeah. And also, I mean, obviously there are other it since we’re talking about physiological stuff, there are all kinds of things one can do. I just mentioned exercise, I think that’s really important for everybody. Also, things like yoga, and maybe massage and I don’t know, sensory deprivation tank or anything that can enable the nervous system D excite
Gail Brenner: one of the one. So one of the kind of tools that I like the best, that’s the easiest, actually, is the breathing. Yeah, because there’s a lot around, you know, just take you’re slowing everything down. We go very fast in our culture these days, but slowing everything down, paying attention to the breath, putting our attention on the inhale and the exhale, getting curious about that. And there’s, it’s physiological evidence that, you know, when we lengthen out the exhale, in particular, we’re activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the relaxing part of the nervous system. And for those of us with early trauma, or perpetual anxiety, or dealing with a lot of stress, whatever, I have a breathing practice myself, and it’s just been transformative. It’s, I love it, because it just it’s a and you get conditioned, you know, there’s a conditioning that can add an adaptation in the body that wants to you know, you’ve practiced it a while, like the body just knows that relaxation state, you probably have that if you live that way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Patanjali Yoga Sutras, but um, he has what he calls this, eight limbs of yoga, and breathing is, I don’t know, if it’s an entire limb, it might be or it’s part of one of the limbs. But in any case, it’s it’s there, all these different facets, everything from ethical, you know, considerations to physiological culturing things like, you know, breathing and, and various mental aspects of it. And, you know, sometimes people describe those as sequential, you’re going to go from this, you’re going to master this, then you’re going to get on to the next one, and then get on to the next one. But you know, how limbs actually develop is simultaneously either in a fetus or in a child, that they’re all growing at the same time. So I don’t think one has to sort of one can utilize all kinds of different strategies involving different aspects of our mind body system simultaneously. And they all supplement and complement one another.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, exactly. I think that if I’m remembering this correctly, the the Yoga Sutras are about the eight limbs are about preparing the body for meditation. So the final one is meditation.
Rick Archer: One One is the funnel, okay, Mahdi, there’s dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi. Those are the final three, but, but still, those can all develop simultaneously and in a pace with one another. It’s not like you have to really master one than the next. And then finally, you’re going to get Samadhi, you can have Samadhi on day one, like we were talking earlier, you can have a glimpse of this Inner Awakening. But then you still got a lot of law, housecleaning to do in order to make it an abiding state. Yeah.
Gail Brenner: And, you know, the mind may tell you that you don’t have that housecleaning to do you know, the mind can use circ all kinds of experiences that we have. And I find that a lot and people that I work with, you know, oh, I’ve done that before. You know, I thought I addressed that. And here it is, again, and that it’s very useful to get to know how the mind works. So if the mind might say, Well, I’ve had this awakening experience, so there’s nothing I need to do anymore. And that may not actually be the case.
Rick Archer: Yeah. You know, this touches upon the whole issue of direct path versus progressive path. Yeah. And I’ve had discussions about this with our friend, Rupert spyera. And, you know, he was kind of hitting more on the direct and I was hitting more on the progressive, but I think that, you know, it can be both, they’re just aspects of, you know, they’re like two legs that you walk on. You can directly have an experience of your, your true deepest nature, on day one or at any time. And yet at the same time, it doesn’t mean you’re done. There’s going to be a continual progress. And if you talk to somebody like Rupert or anybody, they would probably say, Yeah, you know, I know Myself, I know what I am. But in many aspects of my life, I’m still progressing. You know, and so I don’t think it’s an either or consideration.
Gail Brenner: pletely agree. And in the end, there’s there is no, the progressive path is a is a way to speak about it. But it’s in time. Right? And there’s no. So in the end, it is the just timeless experience of this reality. Yeah, yeah. So it’s like, we think it’s a path to get, be able to get to being able to experience that or live that you’re experiencing a lot so that it’s integrated into our daily lives. It’s it’s only moments and it’s not even moments because that’s even too strong a word that creates time. But it’s this just unfolding of reality that if we follow it, it on what I see if we listen deeply and follow it, it takes us where we want to go.
Rick Archer: Yeah, just so I’m sure that I understand what you just said. There is the aspect of having, whether, you know, many people go through a phase I did have I got it, I lost it, you know, I got and feeling like, Oh, she’s so blissful and smooth today. And the next day, it’s like, oh, my god, I can’t wait to go to sleep at night. So I’m unconscious, because this is agonizing. Because I feel like I’ve lost it. And, you know, eventually I think people pass through that phase. And there’s just more of a continuum. Is that somewhere around the, what you were just describing? Or am I off on a different tangent?
Gail Brenner: No, that that’s, that speaks to that, yeah, that what I did, what I wanted to bring in is the undersea because if we think of ourselves on a path, there’s an idea of the separate self improving that it’s kind of subtle in that, and this is not about the separate that pure, you were talking about two different things, trauma healing, there can be a sense of that, that you just feel better. And that’s great. But the realization of our of who we are of our true nature, we, we don’t walk that as a separate self. And it’s not about a better separate self. It’s, it’s the recognition over and over of this timeless, formless being.
Rick Archer: Yeah, but I still think that you can have that both are relevant. You know, it’s like, a person can be very attuned to their true nature, or say they are, and yet can be, you know, hitting on the young women who come to their satsangs, or doing weird things with money or something like that. So obviously, and actually, I’ve heard people doing those things, and then using the alibi, that Oh, I am not the doer. And it’s all just God’s will and, and stuff like that. So to my mind, there is whether the separate self is all ultimately real or not, which I guess we can say it isn’t. There is still a person there who could use improvement. In fact, there’s some Zen story where some Zen teacher says to the students, you’re all perfect, just as you are. And you could use improvement.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. And the reality is you do improve? Yeah, you do when you know, we all need to really, yeah, when we’re more attuned to ourselves, when we recognize when we’ve been triggered when we are able to be more compassionate with what arises with ourselves and with other people. I can tell you that this trauma informed is a phrase, that phrase that’s used a lot these days and draws out informed trauma informed so a trauma informed school trauma informed prison trauma informed view of everything that we include in our understanding of whatever it is that what we might call problem behaviors or, you know, troubles. If they are everything stems from trauma, and then we can look at it and intergenerational cultural and global and it’s, it’s a big topic. And it’s for me, it’s just brought out so much compassion, like I’m almost immediately when I hear of anything, even something pretty bad, you know, it’s very easy for me to have compassion, because I can pretty immediately see that whatever happened is because of this person’s trauma,
Rick Archer: forgive them father, they know not what they do.
Gail Brenner: Exactly doesn’t mean it’s right. Or it doesn’t mean you know, we don’t need to change or do something about it. But it’s, it certainly helps with compassion and understanding.
Rick Archer: So are there trauma informed prisons these days?
Gail Brenner: There is the beginning of that for sure. There’s something called the compassionate Prison Project and they’re bringing that view into prisons and doing an amazing job with it. And I think they’re not the only ones.
Rick Archer: There was a recent Michael Moore movie, I think it was called Where should we invade next or something like that, where he went to Sweden or some Scandinavian country to prisons there. And the prisons were like these little mini country clubs in a way. I mean, not not lavish, but comfortable, you know, really nice and people, that it was an atmosphere in which, you know, traumatized people could chill out and heal. And, you know, they weren’t just sort of thrown into a cell and allowed to, you know, stew in their own juices, there was an opportunity to really grow. And they were getting great results too, in terms that they were low recidivism and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. That was one of the things that wasn’t the first time I went on a course with marshy, Mahesh Yogi in 1970. He, he went in this whole talk about how prisons should be like that, and should be, you know, just making the people as comfortable as possible and giving them every opportunity to heal and grow in and how punishment doesn’t really change personalities. But, you know, a nurturing environment like that could
Gail Brenner: be a lot wrong with our prison prison system. can be changed there for sure. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And schools, and schools and lots of things.
Gail Brenner: Hospitals, the medical system, yeah, the choices we make. So you can say global warming and everything that’s happening around that it’s because of choices that we make. And we make them some of them with lots of levels of blinders on. And it can all be viewed from a trauma lens.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I have this friend named Mark Gober, who recently wrote has been on bandgap, he wrote a book called The End upside down liberty, and I’m reading it, and it’s making me kind of uncomfortable, in a way. It’s very thought provoking, but he’s kind of advocating a libertarian voluntaryism kind of society in which people can be trusted to do the right thing. And without a lot of government constraints and controls. And, you know, I’m thinking, yeah, ideally, but I think people would have to generally be in a much higher state of consciousness to, to actually do that. Lao Tzu says that, and that delta change, he says, if you have a really enlightened society hardly need any government, because people just going to know what to do. But if you don’t, then the more the less you have that the more control you’re going to need, because people just won’t do the right thing. Yeah.
Gail Brenner: And it depends on who’s in control making the rules
Rick Archer: via that’s very true. Well, it’s a little bit of a tangent. But anyway, what next? What should What haven’t we talked about, we have plenty of time left. But I want to make sure that we cover everything that is dear to your heart, and you want people to know,
Gail Brenner: the main thing I want people to know is that it’s possible to, and I will use the word here heal, to feel better in your life, and to have whatever understanding you have of the non dual teaching, and have that be an inspiration of how to live. Because that’s what I’m interested in, you know, I’m interested in. You know, and other people are interested in other things, and that’s fantastic. But for me, what comes is, like our human lives, you know, our individual lives that we live, like, we’re in our relationships, we go to work every day, we have friends who get sick, we whatever. And, you know, and how do we aging? We were just talking about before we started here, you know, how do we meet that with grace and care and love and openness?
Rick Archer: And so you’re suggesting that the non dual perspective can help with all those things?
Gail Brenner: That’s my experience. Absolutely. Yeah. Because it’s a, an understanding of what what is actually real and what isn’t. And, you know, in knowing that this human life is temporary, it arises. It’s, it’s beautiful, and it’s in its Muriatic expressions, and it’s temporary, and it’s going to end. So, you know, with that understanding, what are we bring to the moments of our lives? Like to really lead in those bigger questions?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s important. And also since you just mentioned non dual. Yes, the human life will end but lifelong in. Exactly, exactly. And that’s important. Because if you think that okay, well, maybe I’ve got 20 years left, and that’s the end of my existence. That would be a very different perspective than realizing okay, maybe this body will have served its purpose, but my life will go on. Yeah. goes on life goes on. Yeah. Or my life? I mean, if we carnation?
Gail Brenner: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t really know about that. But, yes. And here we are living this human life, and how do we want our relationships to be? And then what gets in the way of our relationships being the way we want them to be? And how do we, how do we navigate that? How do we find the freedom in that the intimacy that we longed for? And the sense of safety? I think, in general, people don’t feel very safe with one another. There are definitely communities where we can find that sense of safety. But yeah, it’s, it’s not a common thing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And so when you say all that, it makes it obvious should make it obvious to people that when you say non dual, you’re not, you’re not just sort of brushing off all relative considerations as being Maya, or illusion, the opposite. Yeah, I mean, you’re able to sort of be into both at the same time, take that stuff seriously, or the relative considerations, and also realize that all the world’s a stage in our life has been a dream,
Gail Brenner: like an example would be attachment to outcomes. So that’s a concrete example. So if we have an expectation, or an attachment to the outcome, that we want something to be a certain way that’s totally mental, it’s of the separate self, it’s created from somewhere, we might be able to look at the conditions that created that or maybe not, but if we’re attached to an outcome, we’re set up to be disappointed. And then there’s that sense of inner and outer, it’s like, I’m not one with life, I don’t feel like I’m one with life, I feel like life isn’t serving me or life is disappointing me or that life in the form of that other person is disappointing me. And so when there’s attachment to outcome, there’s friction and clunkiness, and not free flow of living this beautiful reality that’s possible. And then letting go of attachment to outcomes, which is a big statement, it’s not like we just like flip the switch and let go, but at least even entertaining that we don’t have to be have our hands on the wheel trying to drive the bus all the time. Because that doesn’t really get us the peace and happiness that we’re looking for. So, you know, letting go of that sense of controller are examining it and investigating it and see, see where it’s coming from, and what it is and how it grabs and how it might be okay to speak out of the comfort zone and not be so attached. And it’s a completely different way of being from doing and fixing and, and you know, future oriented outcome oriented, to just plain being here, being open, being receptive, letting ourselves be guided, accepting things as they are, like welcoming our emotions, instead of trying to fix them or avoid them. And then then we’re more aligned with the free flow of reality as it is,
Rick Archer: there are a couple of verses in the Gita, which I find very useful in that, in that regard, some of them are talking about how you are not the doer and nature does everything and you have nothing to do with it, you’re just kind of like a witness to it. And it’s just unfolding, you know, as it as it according to divine intelligence or something. But there’s another verse which says, you do have control, you have control over action alone, but never over it’s fruits. And it could be that different people at different stages of their growth, you know, see those two things in their lives or could be there’s a way in which they can be seen simultaneously. But you know, you have control over action. So, but never over it’s fruits. So in other words, you do your best in the moment, whatever you’re doing, and, you know, doing as good an interview right now as I can with whatever comes to mind and the things I think to ask you and so on. But I don’t know the electricity could go out, or, you know, some people just want like this interview or something, I don’t have any control over that, you know, so I can’t really be attached to it.
Gail Brenner: You can’t, but you can’t, you can and then you suffer or you can’t and then you like, let it be? Yeah, yeah. But say you are attached to the outcome and you find out somebody doesn’t like the interview and you know, then you feel badly about it. And then you ruminate about how you should have done it differently. And this is common human life. You may not do that. But that’s why people that’s what a lot of people do. That’s just like a seed for suffering.
Rick Archer: Though I actually do kind of do that very, very often after interviews, I think, oh, I shouldn’t have said that. Oh, I should have said that. You know, it’s like I kicked myself a little bit. And then usually emails will come in. At some point. Some people say that was the best one you ever did. And others, somebody else says about the very same interview that was the worst one you ever? Yeah, so you get kind of flexible after a while? Yeah. So
Gail Brenner: maybe we can just touch on practices, please. I think that, you know, people have different views on that. And my view is, I don’t I have used the word practices, but what I like is lifestyle, like if we want to live this conscious way of being of being open, and our relationships of being able to listen deeply to others of listening inside for how we’re moved or guided, and, you know, bringing compassion to ourselves. It doesn’t just, in my experience, it doesn’t just happen it, it requires attention and care, and really keeping like, what you really want in the forefront. You know, and that’s, that’s what I recommend to people for, if you’re confused, like, what do you really want here? Okay, and then how can we make that happen? How can we what needs to shift here, for this moment, for your experience to be more aligned with what you’re actually wanting? And, and living that way, consciously? It’s beautiful, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not magic, you know, snap your fingers, and everything in life just falls into place? No.
Rick Archer: So to make that a little bit more concrete, could you give some examples from your own life about how that plays
Gail Brenner: out? And the alignment you mean,
Rick Archer: well, just what you just said, about being, you know, in, I forget how the way you phrased it, but um, you know, it was a little bit hypothetical or theater conception, okay.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. About lifestyle and whatever. Yeah. Okay. I’m slowing down a lot frequently, like, what’s actually happening here, when I started my path, or somewhere in the very beginning, when I started doing long meditation retreats, and sitting in silence, and I was blown away with what was going on in my inner experience that I had no i and it was happening and been happening all along. And I just never looked, and I was being driven by all kinds of fears. I had so much judgment of other people, somewhat in mice about myself, but more others, there was so much going on. And you hadn’t even been aware of that before I had not even been I was shocked.
Rick Archer: Isn’t that weird? That we can have all that and be oblivious to it?
Gail Brenner: It was so inspirational to me, because I was like, Okay, this is I’m getting to why things aren’t things feel off to me. Now I’m starting to understand why. And then that began, you know, huge desire to explore everything that was arising. But, but in terms of like an everyday thing, like slowing it down, taking time, taking a look at yourself often. Like, like, I’ve gotten very sensitive to my body when, like, sometimes I’ll catch myself, like, like, my hands are in a fist or whatever, like, oh, there’s tension here. You know? And is there something that needs my attention and just, you know, taking a breath and relaxing that, like a very, a lifestyle that’s very highly attuned to what’s happening inside? Yeah, and a sensitivity to when things feel off.
Rick Archer: There’s a nice phrase that encapsulates that self referral, as opposed to object referral. Yeah, you know, it’s just a, it’s kind of an introspective, this where you’re not sort of withdrawn from the outer world, but you kind of have there’s another phrase, I forget the Sanskrit but this is actually a traditional thing called the lamp at the door. The intellect sort of establishes itself at the juncture between absolute and relative. And, you know, there’s this kind of simultaneous inward and outward illumination that takes place.
Gail Brenner: Exactly. It’s not a retreating from the world at all. In fact, it’s a it’s a it’s a tuning in and seeing of this what’s alive there this aliveness and then bringing that living that and that’s, you know, that’s illuminates everything. Yeah. So it’s not separate. It’s then it’s the end of the inner and outer, there’s just, you know, being with what’s arising, yeah.
Rick Archer: And it enhances everything. I mean, if we can do this stuff, life is going to get better because we won’t be blundering blindly crashing into things, so to speak.
Gail Brenner: That is my experience. Yeah. And if we don’t do that, I recently wrote something about it. You know, we’re in a little room and constantly bumping into the walls, you know, we and it doesn’t feel good I read that way. It’s clunky and mysterious and confusing.
Rick Archer: Yeah. If you ever read the Carlos Castaneda books done, Don Juan used to talk about impeccability. And it was it was kind of like this. He talked a lot about attention also, but it was sort of a right use of attention such that one did not blunder. And like, you know, he was considered that if you stubbed your toe or something, you just weren’t being attentive enough, you know, there was a kind of a Yeah.
Gail Brenner: And then as we live this more and more, there’s space for, like, I wanted to say it’s a phrase that use unlimited potential, like they’re there, when we’re not so in that, use the word self referral, and I’d say now self focus, you know, there’s there’s spaciousness that comes, and then we’re not always so attentive to the past, or how the past is living in us. Now. There’s a freedom from that. So we’re actually open to life. And I’ve had many experiences in my life where I told you, the other day, I live a nomadic lifestyle. And that came totally from listening. Like I didn’t, I never thought of that. It was just a certain conditions happened in my life. And it clearly came through like this as I was being moved, I didn’t know why. times there was a lot of not knowing around it, but having the openness to being able and willing to listen to what comes through and honor it and respond to it. Even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it’s surprising. And to to make the space for that.
Rick Archer: How do you discern between intuitive listening to, you know, impulses, which you can trust to be in your best interest, and whims, you know, where you just sort of like, Yeah, I think I’ll do this, because I feel like I mean, a lot of people live very whimsical lives, where they just kind of, like leaf blowing in the wind. And then they sometimes attributed to intuition, but it’s sometimes questionable whether it is,
Gail Brenner: yeah, well, first of all, it could be, you know, that could just be their life stream. What I would say about that is just wait a little bit, like, let it be, let it sit, what does it feel like and open? Like, did not like grab on to something quickly, like, I’m supposed to do this now, or this or this, but to really get it, get it? Give it a chance to gel? And to to feel solid? I want to say inside? And just just to let it be? And not jump on everything?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I suppose you could also see, like, how’s it going for you? You know, I mean, are you is like, are you happy with the way life is turning out? Or do you feel like, Ooh, I should have been a little bit more committed here or stable there something like that.
Gail Brenner: Yeah. Even that’s tricky, because the mind might come in doubts. And, you know, really, that this is, you know, it’s like this, and it’s supposed to be and that’s all mine. So it’s, I can’t give you one specific answer, like how do you know discriminate, you know, intuition from flightiness, but because it’s a it’s a pattern itself.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I bring these arrays these points, because for me there, I think there was a phase where I was being much too flighty. Because I just didn’t. I don’t know. It’s kind of I was sort of thinking, Alright, I’ll just kind of go with the flow. And, and it’ll work out but it was too on discipline to unguided. And, you know, now I’ve now I think I found the right balance.
Gail Brenner: Maybe it was meant to be like that, so that you got to teaching from that, like, oh, this, this went too far. And now you’re back. And, you know, it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, or that anything shouldn’t have happened the way it happened.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I asked you a question here that came in from a guest named Katrina, and I don’t know where she’s from. But the question is, how do you work with clients with unworthiness issues?
Gail Brenner: Yes. Big question. Yeah. Um, and just as I hear that question, I feel the compassion because it’s such a difficult cloud to live under. And worthiness is a story that we tell ourselves. And by far across the board, it comes from some experiences that happened when we were young.
Rick Archer: We give us an example. I mean, define on where this
Gail Brenner: unworthiness is. So we tell her selves, we’re not good enough, we speak to ourselves harshly, you know, I can’t do this, or I failed at that, or I should have said that or done that. And not just like, we all say that and let it go. But like, you know, to live in the shame of, of who I am is not good enough very painful for people. And so all of what I just said, it’s a story, it’s mental, these are ideas, these are ways that we talk to ourselves in ways that we describe ourselves. And that’s from coming from the mind. So my question is What happened early in life, that you developed that conclusion that somehow you weren’t good enough, or that you were worthless. And so that would be lots of ways to go with that. So I like to do inner child work with people. So identifying the age that that the young one inside, who somehow got stuck at that stage and that belief about themselves. And that part isn’t us, but it’s arising in us. So being able to have compassion for that young part that felt inadequate, that didn’t get the love and care that she needed, and to be able to be with that part in a loving way. So that would be this is a big question. But that’s like part of it to do that inner child work. And also to understand and to investigate in the moments of feeling that sense of unworthiness, what’s happening in the body, and then that like, because usually, many of us were like this, right, we’re all in our heads, trying to figure everything out trying to, you know, make sense of reality of what we’re living in, make sense of ourselves and our past, but to take that journey inward and down into our bodies and see, like what’s happening in the body physically, when there’s that, that thought pattern going of unworthiness, and there might be numbness, which is a whole other thing, we could talk about that, or there might be some contractions inside or some. And just to be with that, and let that be in, these are ways to get out of repeating, the more we repeat that story, the more we’re going to live by it. So we need to open up and see what else is going on, that’s creating that story. And that is living in us in the moment that we can take care of.
Rick Archer: So when you say in the body, and you know, you have somebody tune in to what they’re feeling physically in association with unworthiness, or any other thing. Do what do you do with that? Do they? Do they just keep feeling it until it dissolves? Or do they do some breathing exercise while feeling it or what? Well, there’s
Gail Brenner: a lot of ways to go, but it’s not about fixing it. So the very first step, and it’s a big one is just being with it, just making space for it, because it’s an indication of something that’s been suppressed, you know, back then sometime, because it was it didn’t have the, there weren’t the conditions to be able to deal with it with, you know, with care and love and compassion. So being with it, first of all, that’s really important and, and letting it be. And often what happens is the story subsides, we have compassion for ourselves in that moment, not forever. But we we learn that we don’t have to define ourselves by that story that without that story, if we turn our turn the switch that we can’t think it or we lose interest in what it’s telling us. We can tune into our aliveness that’s here right now.
Rick Archer: When you say there’s not about fixing it, but don’t eventually these things kind of get fixed. I mean, you wouldn’t expect the Buddha or ramen or somebody to be a hodgepodge of inner rises, you know, stuff that hasn’t been resolved?
Gail Brenner: Well, because we stopped giving them attention, and we understand them in a different way. They dissolve, or they soften, and they don’t have the power. That’s the thing, they can still be there the thought I’m unworthy, or I did that wrong, that can be there. But we don’t we know our experience is so much broader now that we don’t give that attention. That’s why you said, control. We can control our actions, but not the fruits, we can control where we put our attention. And that’s key. If we feed thoughts, we’re going to get more thoughts.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I would imagine that the more you can tune into your universal nature, the more kind of absurd a statement like I am unworthy, actually sounds because you know who who is unworthy? Who are you referring to here? Well, it’s just this little thing, and I know I’m much more than that.
Gail Brenner: That’s exactly it. I’m really glad you said that. with repeated explorations that way that it you know, it’s nothing’s immediate, so I can’t like give a pat answer do this and you won’t feel unworthy anymore. No, it’s a process of inner exploration and inner embodiment, so that we can recognize what’s happening here. And know that there’s way more going on than what our minds tell us.
Rick Archer: What I experienced, and, you know, makes sense to me is that, as we grow, there’s a greater sort of a span of a range of dimensions of what we know ourselves to be, you know, I’m still a guy who likes cheesecake and like skiing, you know, doesn’t like other things. And so I have my personal preferences and quirks, but then, was so funny. Everyone thinks that’s funny. But, um, but, you know, there’s also a level at which all of that has no relevance, you know, because, you know, being or true nature, whatever, is not something which could eat cheesecake or ski. It’s, it’s it’s, you know, silent field of awareness that is beyond preferences, or, yeah, certainly beyond individual limitations.
Gail Brenner: And then there’s Lila, which I’m sure you know, the divine play, and that’s what that is. Oh, great. I like cheesecake. And I don’t like cream puffs. Right. Spine.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So when I hear somebody talk about inadequacy, or many other things, I think, okay, yeah. But if you could somehow expand the scope of, of your experience of your awareness, then, you know, there might still be some little thing like that on the surface. But you know, there’s a much deeper dimension, in which, you know, shortcomings or limitations like that just don’t have any, any place.
Gail Brenner: That’s exactly where this deeper exploration takes us into. It’s not about getting rid of anything, or that thought shouldn’t happen anymore. It’s the shift of identification really, is what you’re speaking to, yeah, it’s like, I don’t define myself by that anymore. It can be there. No big deal. You know, it’s, I’m unworthy or the sky is blue. You know, it’s no different of a statement, just the statement going through the the mental realm here. But we can always open to our aliveness. And when we identify with those kinds of statements that feel very limiting. We it’s like we’re in tunnel vision, and we’re not seeing all of what’s possible.
Rick Archer: Yeah, let’s go this is coming up. Because this is kind of what we were talking about in the beginning, when we were using the movie screen analogy or the clouds analogy and talking about identification. What really, and we were talking about what is true nature and all that what we’re saying is, you know, one can live a life or develop a life in which there’s just a much vaster scope of one’s you know, perspective, perspective, perspective or perception. But there’s just
Gail Brenner: an impossibility in everything because we’re open to what life shows us. We’re not busy trying to control and fix everything.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I guess the wave analogy comes in handy. A wave might say, I’m just a little wave. But if if, you know, a little wave also realizes, Oh, I am the ocean, then one size is a wave is not that big a deal.
Gail Brenner: So in inadequate wave, who knows? It’s the ocean. Yeah. softening of that, you know, it’s just like, oh, it’s like, if there’s a tenderness in it, then like, yes, that little wave thinks it’s inadequate. But it’s not really. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. Okay, what else here? So you wanted to talk more about practices, things? Have we are there some more aspects of that, that you want to bring up?
Gail Brenner: Well, there are many tools that we can use to support us along the way. But the point is that to two, I want to say to do them to make it a lifestyle to not expect that, you know, there’s an endpoint or that healing is gonna go at a certain pace or that you know, I got it and then I lost it, and there’s something wrong with me. You know, those are common mindsets that people have to just be very kind to yourself and keep going. Yeah, well, that’s good. And get support you know, that’s another you know, some people think like, oh, I have to fix this myself are figure it out and I it’s way more I’m gonna say easier. It’s just better to we come together and we help each other
Rick Archer: There’s a beautiful thing towards the end of the 10th Mondal of the Rigveda, where they say no, it says something about being together in a group and knowing your minds to be functioning from a common source, and how assembly is significant in Unity. That’s one of the phrases there. But there’s something about a collection or a gathering of people who have opened to their true nature being exponentially more profound than each of them singly.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, and you feel that, like, when you meditate in a group, like, we all kind of know that, that sense, John Klein has a beautiful quote, or something, I’m not going to be able to say it verbatim, but two people rarely meet, you know, we’re seeing each other through our veils of conditioning, and we’re not actually meeting each other. And, and, you know, hopefully, we know that experience, even if it’s for a split second of like, the dropping of those fails, or somehow they’re, they’re just not there anymore, that possibility of actually meeting ourselves as the other.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think if that can be the case, then a relationship can be much more profound. And then most people get to experience because, you know, it’s, there’s just so much more depth to it. In fact, there’s a, there’s an outline in one of your books here of maybe it’s the one where you had like 52 Different nice little essays. And for some reason, two of them were in red. I don’t know if you did that when you sent it to me, but one of them was discovering the true nature of relationships. And I forget what you said in that essay, but we’re kind of, I don’t know why you highlighted it in red, but maybe you want to call my attention to that. And we’re kind of getting to it. So what is the true nature of relationships?
Gail Brenner: Well, there’s no relationship. The true nature relationship is no relationship. But when we bring that into form, it’s seeing the other parent, other not as other, but it’s the we meet as the one part. I see. Right? And, and if you don’t, you know, I don’t want to set this up. It’s like, all my relationships are like that they’re not. But um, but just just to even, you know, just get a taste of that. Or even imagine what it would like to what that would be like, or go into the next interaction you have after listening to this and be open and deeply listen and speak from your own experience, and not from history, or patterns, or what you’re expecting it to be like, even if it’s a very familiar relationship, like be super fresh with this person in front of you and just experience what that’s like. I often this I guess, goes along with practices, I suggest for people to go out and play, like, find your edge and play there, like what would that look like going outside the comfort zone or showing up in a relationship without a veil or listening rather than speaking and listening deeply? Or it could be anything depending on what are edges. And, and do that, like I like to go to, you know, a cafe and that’s busy, although that’s not happening so much these days. And just like, contemplate people watch people like just like, see that is not separate and be there in love and not judgment. And just to play with what that might be like.
Rick Archer: There’s another one that was marked in red here that says fear or love.
Gail Brenner: That was unintended, their red marking spot, but
Rick Archer: there was some significance to it. Actually, this is a good one. I remember this one. I listened to all these, but there was one oh, this. I’ve heard you talk about that quite a bit. And I could relate to it. Because it’s I think what you’re saying with that is a sort of acceptance of whatever arises as being kind of a well, the way I see it as sort of all as well and wisely put expression of the divine play things unfolding at every moment. And, you know, not railing against the way things are arising because they’re arising for a purpose. And just sort of recognizing that in each moment of your day. Is that what you meant by that?
Gail Brenner: I just Yes, yes, of course, it doesn’t say but just to put it into words. It doesn’t say I like this. I like that. It doesn’t say I want that to be different. It doesn’t reject like I don’t want to look at that. In conscious. Everything that arises in form emerges from This one awareness. So consciousness, if it could speak, it would be saying, Oh, there I am. There I am. Oh, it’s this. It’s that it’s that it’s that it’s not saying anything more than that. No interpretation, no judgment, no preference, no separation at all. It’s just like, the acknowledgment of what is as it is, unconditionally.
Rick Archer: No, sort of, ooh, this shouldn’t be happening. Because this is happening. Like Byron, Katie always says, you know, if you argue with reality, you’re going to be wrong. 100% of the time.
Gail Brenner: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. All right. And so and then I would, you know, suggest that practice, like, like, like, when we go around saying, Oh, this to everything, and then see what arises with that there’s going to be an Oh, not this at some point, you know, and then there’s that resistance and like, Okay, notice, there’s some resistance and meet that meet that feeling like, what’s behind that? Is it fear, sadness? Or, you know, what, what is the root of that and be with that, lovingly.
Rick Archer: That’s it, one overarching conclusion I would make about this conversation, and just about every conversation I have, is that, you know, if there’s one thought I could instill in people, it would be that there is a great range of possibility for any human being has a great range of potential unfoldment of, you know, deeper understanding, appreciation experience, and, you know, whatever else we do in life, that should be our ultimate priority, you know, unfolding that exploring that. And to the extent that it is, and to the extent that we pursue it. Life will be fulfilling and interesting and exciting, and, you know, being adventure.
Gail Brenner: In it, we’re grounded in it embodied living it. Yeah, bodied way.
Rick Archer: And if one is feeling that life is drab, or boring, or meaningless, or frustrating, or anything else, it’s it’s not that it really is. It’s just that, you know, we haven’t somehow it’s like, you know, you might bite into an orange and conclu oranges are bitter, but you’re just tasting the surface level of the orange when you get into the inner value of it. It’s sweet.
Gail Brenner: I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Take a bite of life. Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: Alright, so um, anything by way of wrap up, or conclusion, I
Gail Brenner: want to say one more thing, which is, we’ve talked about, you know, non dual awareness and awakening, and then trauma healing, we’re calling it and they’re both needed. They’re not mutually exclusive. This is my concern, let’s say about traditional therapy, that it’s, it’s about, as far as I can see, helping people to improve, improve and feel better in their lives. And I totally get that. But it doesn’t get to the core of the nature of identity. And so trauma healing is needed. And this investigation into the nature of identity that’s offered by the non dual teaching is also needed. And when they come together, it’s a beautiful opportunity for deepening for freedom and for the capacity to live this teaching.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Didn’t you write a book about? Oh, yeah, the end of self help, as I was looking for. And, which is what you just said, essentially, which is not to say that self help is utterly worthless, but it just doesn’t go deep enough,
Gail Brenner: right. There’s no self to be fixed. That’s what it is. There’s no self that needs to be helped. We need help. But it’s not it’s not there to improve ourselves or be a better version of ourselves. That’s a common phrase, it’s to really, it depends. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s not going deeply enough. It’s not going all the way and all the way means to understand that we’re not anything that our thoughts tell us that we are.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I would say it’s a both end thing. I mean, you can be a better tennis player, a better violinist, a better cook, you know, a better anything. Better lecturer, whatever you do better astrophysicist. But, but life is just it’s not just about those things. And if you if you neglect the sort of deeper dimension, then those those relative proceeds will never really be satisfied.
Gail Brenner: And there will be a sense of anxiety or dis ease or isn’t there more. That’s that’s there’s just sign that that there’s more.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. I’m glad we’re touching upon this. And I think a lot of people feel that way. The like you were saying earlier anxiety A lot of a lot of people were sort of feeling like there’s got to be more to life, but not knowing quite quite what it is or what it might be and kind of searching for love in all the wrong places, so to speak, there was a song by that name was not only love, but you know, just searching for 90 gratification in all the wrong places.
Gail Brenner: Right, and if there is a searching for meaning or gratification, it, let’s investigate that let’s not keep searching and spinning. You know, for anybody spinning, let’s let’s stop the spinning and go deeper and see what’s actually going on.
Rick Archer: Okay, so, um, what do you do with people? I know, I listened to a couple of sessions of a webinar you had, and that people were really enjoying that, from what what I heard them saying, do you have those periodically? And what, how else can people listening to this plug in to what you’re doing?
Gail Brenner: Thank you. So I do those periodically. And, you know, on my website, there’s an events page. And I always put it out in my, I send a newsletter out every Friday. And I do courses. Also, sometimes through open circles, I had one coming up with sand. And these are longer courses. So five sessions or six sessions, it’s whatever it happens to be that time. But it’s an opportunity to go deeper into this possibility of trauma, healing, and awaken living. And there’s a guided meditation, a lot of we go into small groups to digest the material, you know, when I, when you get activated to really understand like, oh, Mike, what these are my patterns, and this is how it affects my life. And this is how it lives in me, we need to digest that. So we go into small groups and have a chance to talk about it. It’s quite structured, because I like to have a very safe environment that people can can feel very comfortable in. So yeah, I offered those courses as well.
Rick Archer: I noticed on the science and nonduality comm website that you had a course. So I suppose there’s a link on your own website to that course on their website is there there is Yeah, under my events page. Okay. So I’ll just link to your website, and people can go to your events page. And, you know, obviously, that’ll change over time as the years roll on.
Gail Brenner: Yeah, that starts February 12.
Rick Archer: This time for people who are listening to this now it’s about a month from now. Alrighty, so I think that pretty much covers it. As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve interviewed Gail previously. And so if you enjoyed this interview, you might want to go back and listen to the to the first one, which we did in person. And there’s a page on bat gap of upcoming interviews. So you can check and see who we’ve got scheduled. The next week is Ed Kelly from the University of Virginia, who is a colleague of Jim Tucker and Bruce Grayson, both of whom I interviewed in the past year. And Ed’s main thing is about the about consciousness being fundamental and matter kind of more an emergent thing rather than the other way around. Many scientists feel like okay, consciousness is just a product of the brain. And Ed’s whole research has been about disproving that and suggesting that consciousness is really rock bottom. So I think that’s important. We’ll be talking about that. And if you’d like to be notified of new interviews, when they’re posted, there’s a email signup, tab on bat gap calm, and a bunch of other things that you might find of interest. If you explore the menu. There’s an audio podcast of this if you like to listen to things while you ski in the woods. So, so thanks, Gail.
Gail Brenner: Thank you so much, Rick. Thanks, everybody. Yeah,
Rick Archer: thank you to those who have been listening or watching and we’ll see it for the next one.