Group Discussion at Sofia University, Part 2 Transcript

Group Discussion at Sofia University, Part 2

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. This is part two of a two-part conversation with a group of people out at the, at Sophia University in Palo Alto. If you haven’t watched part one yet, I would suggest you do so before watching this part. And if you have watched it, then you don’t need to hear the introduction of everyone in the group. But collectively, we decided before starting this afternoon that we wanted to just sort of spend ten minutes in silence. And being a little tired and having just eaten lunch, I thought, “That probably isn’t going to go so well for me.” But it was surprisingly deep and clear and blissful. So, Kristin just suggested that perhaps from that deep place, before we get all stirred up in our intellects again, we could each just say a sentence or so, perhaps about the topic we discussed in the morning, but more in terms of our own experience of what enlightenment is. Something along those lines. I’m being a little vague here. Maybe you can articulate it better. [microphone feedback] KK

Kristin Kirk:It just appeared in the midst of our silence together that there was so much rich discussion this morning, and in terms of being of service, that for the audience to hear a succinct sentence, maybe two, one or two from each person, speaking from that depth of concise, speaking to that question that we spent the morning on of what is enlightenment, to just offer the beauty of the varied response.

Rick Archer: Why don’t we start with you, since you have the microphone, and it was your idea. One or two sentences. Give everyone an example.

Kristin Kirk: So, I don’t know what enlightenment is. I don’t know how the term is used. I haven’t studied it. My inner experience is of a singular I am that recognizes that it’s made up, and that there are dimensional layers of existence, all with their own expression of I am, and that the surrendering of that sense of self continues, and is an infinite evolution, and unfolding, and continual realization.

Rick Archer: I won’t do this in order. We’ll just do it in the order that people actually want to speak. So, whoever would like to go next, Craig?

Craig Holliday: Being fully human, and fully divine, and seeing that there’s no division between the two.

Francis Bennett: For me, as I said this morning, I don’t think that there’s some static state called enlightenment. But I think in every human being, there’s an unfolding clarity about life, about reality, that unfolds.

Rick Archer: And in terms of your own experience?

Francis Bennett: That’s what I find for me, too. That there’s just an unfolding clarity.

Mariana Caplan: A deep love. The deep love is running all. It’s waves. It’s waves that appear as me and you. And in this deep love experience, me and you just becomes love. That in conversations about enlightenment, if it doesn’t translate to our lives, and our relationships, and bring us closer to each other, it has very little relevance for me. But I also believe that each of us has an inner intensity, whether we’re quiet and hidden out, or large in the world, and the urge to unfold that. I think if we can go deep enough in almost anyone in the right circumstance, we find that. And I experience that as well.

Dana Sawyer: In these kind of situations, I always imagine that the thousands of years of experience of people watching something like this, tens of thousands of years of human experience, that they’re all enlightened and they’re just checking our math. And if I had to say, how can you tell if you’re getting somewhere, I like the term “spiritual maturity.” And how can you tell you’re becoming spiritually mature? That you become more humble and feel a more profound sense of gratitude for this incredible mystery that’s happening. So it gets more mysterious. A close friend, Swami in India, once told me that the word that best characterizes existence is “ajeeb,” sneaky. It’s sneaky. It’s very sneaky. On this side.

Clare Blanchflower: The experience here is that there is only this, there is only ever this, that is here right now, that is ever present. And that everything that is appearing arises from this, from the silence, from the stillness. The realization of this, the wholeness that everything arises from, to me is the awakening. I never use the “e” word because it’s got nothing to do with who we are, the people that we are. It’s to do with the evolution of wholeness. And we are just points where that polishing, that brightening is happening. And we have no control over how that is happening. All we can ever do is return right here to the now, to the ever present now, to the place where everything comes from. We can return to the divinity and allow the fullness of our humanity to be expressed from this.

David Buckland: There is a vast immensity, totality, that has a, well a good word for it is, a musing, a brief thought that expresses as, it kind of collapses to a little point, which appears as this apparent person having a life. And, but it’s never, that life has an appearance, but it’s never anything to do with something that’s separate or distinct or apart. But rather it’s an interplay that’s interconnected with all the other points where that collapse is taking place into this one completeness. If that made any sense whatsoever.

Chuck Hillig: The great discovery is that I am not the thinker of my thoughts. I am not the feeler of my feelings. I am not the speaker of these words. I am not the doer of these actions. I am is the thinker. I am is the feeler. I am is the speaker. I am is the doer. I am is who you are. I am is I am.

David Ellzey: The process of gaining a sense of expanded living, expanded existence, has translated for me into a very deep and profound sense of connection and love. When I look in others’ eyes, I experience a profound sense of presence looking at me and seeing itself. And it’s a very direct, real experience. So for me, the translation of my experience has been to gain a sense of love and appreciation for everyone’s experience. Those I don’t understand, those that aren’t familiar to me. And yet somehow I sense the sameness within them as within that which is seeing them. And it’s a profound way of living. I’d like to offer this as a gift to the many that are viewing and to everyone here. My life is very much about non-words, about the body. So I’d like to do this for you, and I don’t know what it is, but it feels as safe to me as using words. So I’m just going to stand briefly. And this is simply something that wants to be done. [David Ellzey makes dancerly moves]

Kiran Trace: Enlightenment. Very big word that contains a lot of stuff. And a lot of that stuff are projections and myths and stories that talk about other than. So my direct experience, which is that that which is looking out of my eyes right now is the same that is looking out of your eyes right now. That which is listening to these words is the same that’s listening to your words. And that same oneness is coming into form as this body, as that body, as these bodies. It’s also coming into form as this floor and these walls, these chairs. But it is still just one movement. And the direct living experience of knowing this is one and letting that one be the lead. Is a direct experience that is irrelevant of a word like enlightenment.

Susanne Marie: This is fun. [laughter] [sigh] This is in love with itself. And it’s in love with itself even when it’s really, really hard and tough. And things are difficult within oneself or within anyone on the planet. What’s going on? It’s still in love with itself. And what the beauty of realization offers is understanding that. And being able to simultaneously hold the difficulty and even the suffering within the beauty. And resolving the paradox of that, collapsing the paradox. We are large enough to contain it all. [silence]

Jeffery Martin: So for me it’s whole, unitary, singular. Words are tough, right? Complete. Seems on some levels to be containing and on other levels to be interpenetrating. And on other levels to just be it. To just be sort of what it is. That’s it.

Rick Archer: In terms of my experience, my sense to varying degrees of clarity, is that I’m everywhere, I’m nowhere, and I’m right here. And there’s a Sanskrit saying which is, “Brahman is the charioteer.” And then there’s the prayer of Saint Francis, “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.” And I feel very much like an instrument, again to varying degrees of clarity. And the more that I feel that, the more fulfilled and meaningful and purposeful my life seems to be. So… Back to the papers. Several people have brought up topics for discussion. I think I’d like to bring up a couple that were on our papers here that came from these emails that Craig and Kristin and I were sharing a month or two ago. And then Laurie… there she is… had an interesting idea that we’d like to discuss also after that. And that actually would sort of relate to some of this. So the first is this. This following paragraph arose out of a discussion that came up because several people were expressing concern to me, I get a lot of feedback from people, about a particular well-liked teacher who seemed to be perhaps getting a little full of himself, getting a little off the rails in some sense. And we were… I consider him a friend and we were generally concerned about him. And so we were just discussing the topic. And this paragraph came out of it as a summation of what we were thinking. “The energies unleashed during spiritual awakening can result in great charisma, eloquence, confidence, and the ability to enliven such energies in others.” But… and I mean this as no insult to this person if he happens to watch this, because again, love you. “But immaturity and a lack of proper guidance can result in ego aggrandizement, making one feel infallible, beyond the need for constructive criticism. Many gifted teachers have fallen from integrity and caused great pain within themselves and the spiritual communities around them.” So that’s that point. So I’m sure Mariana has something to say about this. And perhaps all of us, or some of us will also like… And let’s not spend all afternoon on this one point, because there’s other things to talk about too. But let’s touch upon it, because it’s important.

Mariana Caplan: Well, one of the things I appreciate about this morning is that people really didn’t speak too long. So this has been what I’ve dedicated most of my life’s work to. And I’ll just speak a few minutes and maybe chime in later. But as you read that paragraph, it’s like, I dream that, you know. I think about it when I’m heating up my whatever in the morning. Like, nobody is beyond falling. And the energies of enlightenment and the process of human development are two distinct things, I believe. And the process of psychological maturity and maturation. And I’ve come to this conviction. I think the last time, Rick, we spoke on your show, it’s loose, so I say it with conviction. But I quite believe that everyone who ends up in a spiritual teacher role should have a solid three years of psychotherapy. And maybe once a decade. That’s what I do for myself, about that. It doesn’t have to be with a psychologist or a particular psychoanalyst. Maybe it’s in a group. But I wish that. It’s become like a deep wish that anyone who is a spiritual teacher undergo that process. And that we recognize Ken Wilber was a wonderful contributor in this way to talk about different developmental lines. That this awakening line is very different from the sexual line and the social line and ethics line and so forth. So I just — I long for that. I think we would be so protected by that. And simply the recognition that we wish, right? Like we’re drawn — so many of us are drawn to the path because it promises that enlightenment takes away all this oneness we’re talking about. Takes away from the human suffering. But human development is a different category. And nobody escapes it. And so that being one main point. And the other point being that I think we all need peer support. And many people don’t have living teachers. And many people who do have living teachers, the living teachers have their own blind spots. And blind spots actually can get passed on through lineages as well. So peer support is really important. So one of the things I’ve ended up doing is I’ve been a psychotherapist to spiritual teachers. But it ends up really more being a spiritual friend. And it’s just hanging out with people in confidence to give feedback and discussion. And however that happens, that I think that I’d like all people in spiritual teaching functions to check themselves or as you’re doing in an anonymous way, lovingly suggest to remind people to create a circle of peer support. And not because there’s anything wrong with the enlightenment. It’s the enlightenment itself. It’s what everybody’s saying all day. The scandals don’t happen because there’s a problem with non-duality. The scandals happen because we got wounded and children and broken and simple everyday trauma. So that’s my first–

Rick Archer: If a spiritual teacher were to take that advice and presuming that a spiritual teacher by definition, this might be presumptuous, has actually achieved some significant degree of awakening, does that teacher need to find a therapist who has also undergone a commensurate degree of awakening or wouldn’t that be so important? No, no. I think there’s two routes to going. At lunchtime, somebody asked me is there such a place and I’ve dreamed of creating this. I just need to wait until my son’s grown up. I think what I’d like to see is something like a body of somewhat consistently interviewed psychotherapists that have a degree of spiritual experience so that people know where to look and have reliable source of support. But I definitely don’t think it needs to have commensurate– somebody has to have a commensurate degree of awakening. It’s quite irrelevant. And because our blind spots, right, they’re blind to us, right? You can see my blind spot. I see your blind spot. So there’s that. Sometimes, this is newer in my thinking, but sometimes like checking ourselves against with someone in more of a mainstream context also has its own value.

Rick Archer: At BATGAP we have a categorical page which David put together actually and I think probably you and Craig and some other people whom I’ve interviewed who are therapists are under a therapist category. So if someone’s looking for a therapist with a kind of a spiritual orientation or awakened orientation, that at least is some very small start to–

Mariana Caplan: Yeah, you know, and there’s laws like when I work out a schedule with my Skype, I’m a spiritual counselor and not a psychotherapist, but I would be really interested in supporting the development of that. So that and spiritual emergency which is very important when people undergo spiritual crises so that people– we’ve had spiritual emergence networks, but both times they’ve lost their funding because this is a really real phenomena. So just a therapist that’s just reasonably well-versed and can hold that piece.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay. Good. Yeah, thanks. Chuck.

Chuck Hillig: I’ve been a licensed psychotherapist in California since 1978. I am strangely okay with and totally without any kind of justification even comfortable with people just being as they are, without me censuring them or saying they should not be that way. I believe that they have their origin just like all of the great teachers and all of their great spiritual teachings. They have come out of the source of who I am. You know, Buddha and Christ and Lao Tzu and Nisargadatta and Maharshi, they’ve all had the source of coming from exactly the same place as well as all the notorious rascals in the world too, including anybody that we’re mentioning or inferring about. I have to source all of that. If I let anything out or let anything go or shuffle it to the side or label it in any way as being wrong or bad or not okay or censure it, yes, I can do that. And I still need to love it with total compassion, recognizing that it shows up within the great play of Lila, within the great dance of life and revel in their craziness and revel in their chaos and their shadowy energies and know that that is and that has its origin within me, that that shadowy stuff that I’m projecting out there is nothing more than a projection. It is me and I have to own that. And in my willingness to just own it, I can love it fully without reservation.

Rick Archer: Francis, give Francis a mic.

Francis Bennett: As you were like describing that sort of scenario of somebody kind of going off the rails or getting a lot of hubris or the various kind of things that can happen, what came to me was that like that the best medicine in terms of like medical intervention is preventative medicine. You know, it’s a lot easier to deal with something that’s just in its kind of beginning form and kind of nip it in the bud when it’s not bloomed yet. And it’s a lot easier to deal with that kind of a unfolding than it is with a disease process that’s already well established.

Rick Archer: Pitch in time, save nine. And something that I found helpful, Susanne Marie and I and T. Jonathan Proctor for quite a while, I don’t know how many months we did that, maybe I would say almost a year. It seemed like we got together on Skype every month or two or something and just like touched in and said, this is going on. This is going on in my life. This is going on with my students. This is what I’m doing. And, you know, and we just touch in and then give each other feedback. And and now, too, I have a couple of friends that are also spiritual teachers that I just check in with really regularly.

Rick Archer: And the other thing that Mariana was saying.

Francis Bennett: Yeah. And I think that. And when I left monastic life, I did go get back into therapy for a while just because of the transition of it. Living in a in a very, you know, almost a different culture. And then suddenly being thrust into this like big world with all these different things. And I felt a need to get and I’ve gone through different periods in my life when I did therapy. And I think we need to kind of what’s the word? De-pathologize the idea of being in therapy, because like I suggest to a lot of people, why don’t you go into therapy? It would be helpful. And a lot of them get totally pissed off and never talk to me again, honestly, because they think that it’s a big insult. And it’s like, you know, dude, I’m telling you what I do. You know, I’ve been in therapy probably five times in my life, you know, and I think I’m a pretty psychologically healthy guy. But I felt like in times of transition, it was really indispensable. And I think that checking in with peers on a regular basis that you’re just in this open friendship with and that they can say anything to you and you can say anything to them and you know, it’s confidential. And I think those two things like you’re right, I think if we every now and then when we’re going through a transition or difficult time, we just said, hey, maybe I ought to call a therapist and look at this and just or maybe I ought to call my friend so and so and just say, what do you think of this? What’s you know, what’s how does this hit you and just get feedback? Because I think the danger is with a lot of spiritual teachers, they get into their own little on their own little ivory tower and they and they just kind of think that, oh, I, you know, I’ve got this vast understanding now I’ve got this great kind of clarity. I don’t need that. I don’t need but but I think we all need it. Like you said, I don’t think any of us are above falling and getting full of ourself and getting, you know, and falling off of a pedestal that we put ourselves on or allowed other people to put us on. And I think it’s time I one day I said on Facebook, I said, we have to have a national coming out day for spiritual teachers where they come out as human beings, where they all say, that’s why I don’t like it when people say I’m not a human. It’s like, yes, you are. I mean, you might have transcended that on some level, but there’s still a lot of human stuff there that we need to acknowledge. And I honestly think it would be great if spiritual teachers would just kind of come out of the closet and say, I’m a human being. I sometimes get angry. I sometimes get sad. I have these issues. I go through crises. I get up on the wrong side of the bed and occasionally, you know, and just say, yeah.

Rick Archer: Canela, Michelle Myers just joined us. You’re welcome to take one of these seats here. Canela?

Kiran Trace: I would totally agree with what Francis was saying. And I would like to add that I have such a humbling experience for myself because so much of my own journey is learning this thing called spirituality because I didn’t know anything about it. Reality is what I came into. And something that was so humbling and amazing is watching how much everything served. And stuff that I might think of as crazy or off the rails or ridiculous, I could actually see served. I had this beautiful experience of sitting in this horrible, very violent park in Vancouver, Canada called Oppenheimer Park, if you know it. But when you come to this part of the world in this little park, your life expectancy is something like 18 months because it’s literally a war zone and you’ll die.

Rick Archer: In gangs or something?

Kiran Trace: It’s like heroin addicts. It’s where the extremely broken come to die. And I had this beautiful experience of landing there. And I sat on the grody, bloodstained, needle-thrown bench for nearly 18 hours and watched pain move and had this amazing beauty of recognizing how it served. And after like five hours, I could see patterns. And after eight hours, I could see this organization in the chaos and the way pain was taking care of itself. And one of the main ways it was taking care of itself was that it was totally allowed. It was like this is the one place where you are allowed to be fractured, broken, in pain, and there’s no pressure to be otherwise. And this is where they get taken care of here. And as I grew as a spiritual teacher and in the world and coming face to face with our beautiful, egoic teacher friend, I noticed things like, you know, when you’re in your 20s, all of us, we knew everything. And we had the answer. And you know what? It’s a great energy. It’s a really beautiful energy. Because then when it comes to interface with families and having children and having loved ones die and paying mortgages and whatever, everyday traumas, as was so beautifully said, you lose knowing everything because you don’t know how to embody it. But, man, when you get to like 40 or older, which I haven’t visited yet, but you start to go, God, you know, I knew all this. I knew this when I was 20. And I was crazy egoic, full of myself that knew everything. But now I can embody it. And so there’s this recognition of that serves. So the place that I think is dangerous is when we give up our own authority for someone else’s authority. And I think really in the spiritual path — but I also think it’s like across the board everywhere, we want to give up our authority. We want someone else to tell us what to do. A doctor, a dentist, a parent, a spiritual teacher. And so many of us come from other lifetimes where we were conditioned for years and years and years to, you know, like the priest or was the high authority or the feudal lord or the king. So we have this inherited ancestry to let someone else be in charge. And so I think the gorgeous thing about a panel like today and what’s on offer for all of us today is we have each other. It’s not just like the Buddha. And then over there is like Jesus. And there’s like three or four sadhus. You know, it’s like we all have each other, and that’s a gorgeous buffet of it. And everything serves — and nothing serves like pain. So if you have given up your authority to listen to our young, egoic, off-the-rails teachers, and it hurts, it’s going to bring you back into yourself. And I have had to really eat a lot of humble pie in my world as a teacher to notice how much that stuff is served.

Rick Archer: Laurie?

Laurie Moore: Watching your mind over many years has been extremely humbling. My mind has come up with things that I didn’t agree with. When I also am a licensed psychotherapist, I had many experiences of intense devotion and unconditional love and just propelled into this oneness state and was working with many people. And the worship wave began, which I’ve watched — the worship wave.

Rick Archer: What’s that?

Laurie Moore: Anyone who puts himself out as a spiritual teacher, and I’m sure you hear about it all the time. Worship. Worship. Worship. Not a war.

Rick Archer: Like a battleship, I thought you meant.

Laurie Moore: A devotional state to a person instead of the universe in which the person is assigned all kinds of capabilities that only the universe has. And the person’s just standing in a place. It’s fascinating because truly when you see a teacher and they’re surrounded by a group of people and the teacher’s being given all these wonderful gifts and talents, supposedly the whole group just created it. All that meditation, all that experience came through every heart in that room. So the worship wave came up. So people were assigning me with great capabilities and I would give it back to them. And people were coming in and bowing and I would bow back to them and people would say funny things and I would give it up to the universe. And at first it was comical, it was interesting. I did not take it personally or seriously. But then I heard my mind to start up. My mind started informing me about things that I don’t even want to say. One day I was walking down the road in Hawaii and there were all these people around and my mind started reporting to me about who I was. This is where we get into psychic realms and astral realms that are false. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the psychic realm. I work in that realm.

Rick Archer: What was the mind saying that you were?

Laurie Moore: It was praising me. It was inflating me.

Rick Archer: I see.

Laurie Moore: It was so beautiful.

Rick Archer: In other words it started going to your head.

Laurie Moore: Yes. But I’m so happy that happened. That that play out happened. It was beautiful. It wasn’t my personal play out. It happens all the time because it humbled me. My mind shocked me.

Rick Archer: There’s an interesting thing I want to throw out. That is that blossoming of the heart is a natural stage of spiritual evolution. When the heart begins to blossom, one naturally begins to feel devotional. The heart doesn’t like to be devotional in an amorphous, unfocused way. It likes a point of focus. If there’s a teacher sitting there and if we’re associating with that teacher, we’re naturally going to start feeling love and devotion toward that teacher. I don’t know if that should be entirely deflected or deflated, but I think the teacher needs to have the capacity to accept it humbly and let it pass through them as it were. My teacher was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for a long time. He always used to have a picture of his teacher behind him. One time some friends of mine organized a puja to him. He got so uncomfortable that he was turning around the whole time looking at his teacher as they were doing this. He ended up kicking those guys off the course and they were banished for a few years after doing that. That’s not to say it didn’t go to his head because it certainly did, especially later in life. One needs to have a super fluid quality about one in order to allow this stuff to pass through and not get stuck.

Laurie Moore: I want to share the other side of that because of what you said. I was very anti-guru even though I’d ended up in ashram since I was 19 and be friends with the gurus. I couldn’t get into the dogma. I couldn’t align with a lot of the community. Then I met my friend Gangaji and my mind started doing those kind of things towards her. It was an amazing experience for me because I would just watch. How fascinating. All this that I have judged so fully is operating through my own mind. It didn’t become the reality. She’s a person and I’m happy I’ve met her. But I let myself go through all these states just to experience them, just to embody them, just to come out more in compassion for all the personal and human states we can find ourselves in any time while in a universal state.

Rick Archer: Canela?

Canela Michelle Meyers: I haven’t introduced Canela but I interviewed her recently and probably most people watching this will be aware of who she is. She just joined us a little late because her flight just got in. Canela lives on Bowen Island in the Vancouver area and is a spiritual teacher and author of a new book. I’ve interviewed her twice. For more details, Search for Canela. Go ahead.

Canela Michelle Meyers: I’m going to pause to see whether or not I can keep where I was, what was being drawn alive here. The tricky part about some of this, about the humanness and whether to not have that come forward, is that the humanness itself is also awareness at play. It’s much more, instead of needing to make any kind of line at all, to just meet what is here, whatever that might be. Because as soon as we say that this is the humanness, so you aren’t fully evolved if that shows up, or any kind of idea of separating or transcending as if you’re going to get away from this, I mean this is the vehicle that consciousness has chosen to be here. So it’s here, there’s no escape. And so getting friendly with that, and what Rick was saying about how love wants to flourish and have some sort of direction. Well, love loves the space, so if Gangaji is open to being loved, of course, people’s hearts will move forward and so forth. And so that’s where it comes in, because the space is there, because they’ve allowed it for themselves. So it’s a kind of a natural falling open, if you will, to love.

Rick Archer: I think Craig wants to speak. Is the mic on there? Well, Craig’s getting the mic, I just want to briefly say, go ahead. You know, namaste means something about the divine in me, which recognizes the divine in you or something. I think maybe where problems arise is that if the teacher fails to remember that it’s the divine in them that the person is loving and attracted to, and instead mistakes it to be their individuality that’s so great.

David Buckland: The student also, though.

Rick Archer: The student also, right, right, right. The student has to keep that in mind.

Craig Holliday: One of the things that I’ve noticed just meeting with a lot of spiritual teachers and in the spiritual community is that somewhere we’ve come up with this idea that therapy is a dirty word, or it doesn’t belong, or it doesn’t have a space in this realm. And to me, one of the great gifts that my teachers gave to me is whenever they would meet with me, they would hold the space for two things. One, they would hold the space for my absolute divinity, and they’d also hold the space for my absolute humanity. And I think that’s a really important thing that if we’re choosing a therapist or working with someone, is that it can be really helpful if people can hold the space where they are honoring both simultaneously. It can be deeply healing. And so then it’s not like you were saying, there is no division between, oh, this is my divine nature and this is my human nature, and I just want to be enlightened and forget about the human. But to see that they are one movement and they can be one movement. And I think it would really serve us, instead of seeing therapy as this terrible thing where we’re talking about this yucky nonsense that arises that we’re all trying to transcend, but to see it as a form of active inquiry. Everyone’s so happy to inquire into our true nature, and that’s a great thing. But can we also inquire into our human nature? And what is it in our human nature that needs to grow, that wants to evolve? Where is it that we’re struggling, and can we be okay to admit that? And as a teacher, can we be okay to ask our students for feedback? Can we be okay, like Francis was saying, to ask other friends or other teachers for feedback? And to really hold a sense of humility within ourselves and to be completely comfortable with being both completely confident, absolutely in our supreme divinity, and simultaneously completely humble. And just to really be able to admit, “Yes.” You know, my teacher would tell me all the time, “Craig, you are your God and you are an absolute idiot. Your life is just one drama after the next.” And he was saying it from a place of total love, and it was just really clear to me, “Yes, there’s a part of me that is really growing all the time.” And, you know, if we can’t see that, oftentimes it just means that there’s part of us that’s working hard not to be honest. And if we’re going to be awake, we have to be completely honest. And if any of us were honest, we can see life is talking to us all the time and pointing out all the ways in which we can grow, the ways in which we can evolve. And that there’s no separate…

Rick Archer: No talking without a voice. That’s a good one. I heard a Zen story the other day where some Zen teacher said to his students, “You’re all perfect just the way you are, and you could all use improvement.”

Craig Holliday: Yeah, yeah, so true, so true.

Rick Archer: Mariana?

Mariana Caplan: I have no idea who your friend is that you’re talking about, which is good because it leaves me uninvolved in a certain way. But there’s also an old Zen saying that it’s the student’s responsibility to make the teacher a better teacher. And my question to the group would be, you know, as a group, have you lovingly confronted this person directly?

Rick Archer: Yeah, we did.

Mariana Caplan: Yeah, which is good. And, you know, I wanted to underline, I can’t remember which of you all said it, but nobody’s beyond falling, and nobody’s beyond falling at any point. Like for me, this whole question, that would be the one sentence I would highlight. It’s just an is, and it’s not a… It’s just an is, and falling is not the worst thing. And if, you know, when I’ve counseled teachers in spiritual scandals, after the scandal, like we can be very, very forgiving, even as students, we’ve been hurt by teachers’ mistakes. So when, if and when, you know, when the teacher’s in the inflation, they might not be in the space to be able to get it, but responsibility’s done, you’ve done due diligence to tell them, they’ll end up getting slammed at some point, most likely, you know, ideally before the scandal goes down, because then it gets more complicated. But I love, I love the very, very few cases when the teacher, like really, really, they do their therapeutic work or however they do it, and then they come, and they go to the individuals and groups, and ask for forgiveness. Not everyone will agree with me, but Yogi Amrit Desai, who’s a friend, become a friend of mine, I think he’s an example of somebody who’s done a good job of that.

Rick Archer: I think Andrew Cohen is also doing a good thing, you know, and a lot of people say, “Oh, Andrew Cohen, he’s fallen.” I mean, he’s taking a very positive step by, you know, maybe he was forced into it, but he’s really doing a lot of soul-searching now, and, you know, when that happened, I thought, “Oh, good for you, Andrew, this is the next stage for you, you need to do it.”

Mariana Caplan: It’s like when you don’t do it, it’s sort of the end of the game. And when teachers do do that, you know, the heart’s open, the heart’s open, and, right? Then life continues. Incidentally, this guy we were talking about, we eventually came into the e-mail conversation, and I terminated the conversation after a big, long e-mail in which he said at one point, “I’m perfectly pure,” and at another point, “You’re wasting my time.” But, okay, we’ve done our job. Dana?

Dana Sawyer: I’m having a clear moment, I realize. I’m present, so I’m trying to remember what I was going to say. Okay, I think that not only are you capable, but if you silo yourself, you will fall. That’s the lesson of history. Just to be clear, what do you mean by silo? Well, if you start only listening to you, and if you start believing everything you’re saying in a way that is never questioned, even in your own mind, that that’s a dangerous place. You’re building a structure of failure. You know, that’s my two cents. I mean, if you look at traditional structures, whether they’re in shamanic communities, Tibetan Buddhist communities, or Hindu communities, the sangha kind of protects yourself against yourself. That insight comes by one of the Vinaya rules of the monks is, if you’re ever asked if you’re a Buddha, you have to say no, even if you’re lying, because that prevents that structure from building. And a lot of times, if we do silo themself, we start building, you know, if you were a psychologist, you’d start to see those structures being set in place, sitting on a dais, sitting high on a dais, putting flowers around yourself. How can you say you’re sending an egalitarian message if you’re not sending an egalitarian message? I mean, it’s good to be a teacher, it’s good to share, but being careful of structures you yourself are building, I think, is important.

Rick Archer: I think Clare would like to speak. Yes? Or did we lose it?

Clare Blanchflower: It’s such a small thing. It just occurs to me that it’s such an integral part of the awakening unfolding to have a really complete understanding of the human condition, that in order for the opening to truly open into wholeness, that we have to understand our humanity, we have to understand the intricacies of the human condition and the necessities of what it takes to be fully human, like surrender, love, compassion, all of those essential qualities of our humanness have to be fully explored in order for us to awaken to our wholeness.f And then, as a teacher, the continued exploration of the human condition seems to be such an essential piece. And the other small thing that I was going to say is that, as a one-time student of a former teacher, the experience here is that the gift of having been a student of a fallen teacher is enormous. The acceptance, the surrender, the allowing, the love, the compassion for that being, for his wounded places that emerged through the projection that was put upon him as a teacher and how he fell into what he fell into, was an incredibly valuable experience for me in my unfolding and for the other students around me. So it brings me to this place of that ultimate acceptance, not that we want to encourage that, but that everything is operating in its own perfection, that there’s nothing outside of consciousness, there’s nothing outside of conscious awareness, and everything that unfolds has its own perfection. And of course that isn’t to say that if you see something coming that you’re not going to try and intervene, but that in the happening there’s nothing wrong, nothing wrong happened, and everything that that teacher shared with me and with the other students was exactly what we needed to support our unfolding to get us to where we needed to be, because all of that was consciousness supporting itself.

Rick Archer: Shall we shift topics? Do you want to hit another point on this topic?

Francis Bennett: There was just a really beautiful little story that I had that I wanted to share very briefly, because most of the time I was a Christian monk in my monastic life, but I ordained for a year and a half in a Theravadan tradition under Bhante Hanepala Gunaratana, who was my preceptor. At one point I was with him and there were all these Thai ladies, little old Thai ladies, that were coming and they were offering food for the monastery that we were in, and they were offering it to me because I was receiving it on a little cloth that we would put stuff on and pull to ourselves. It’s this big ritual kind of thing. And they’d come and they bow to you just like they would to a Buddha. They’d put their hands up here and then down and then they’d bow and make these offerings. And I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with that and just feeling like, “This is just creepy to me and I don’t like it.” I said something to him about it. I said, “I feel really uncomfortable with that. I don’t know quite how to deal with it.” And he said, “Never forget, they’re not bowing to you, they’re bowing to the robes.” And he said, “So whenever that goes to your head and you start feeling uncomfortable or anything, just remember, they’re just bowing to these robes. It has nothing to do with me.” And that was really helpful.

Rick Archer: What the robes represent.

Francis Bennett: What the robes represent. The robes represent the Buddha. The robes represent clarity and awakening and things that are within them, that are properly understood. And I said, “Yeah, but how did they experience that?” And he said, “On some level, they know that.” He said, “They know that. That’s part of their culture.”

Rick Archer: Canela?

David Ellzey: I was going to ask if, Dana, can you be on a microphone just for a second? I want to ask you a question since you are a scholar in Hindi and Sanskrit. The term guru and sadguru, can you define those two for me? Because I wanted to say something.

Dana Sawyer: A guru is just any teacher, right? Like your music teacher or your ballet teacher. And then a sadguru is truth.

David Ellzey: So the truth teacher would be more.

Francis Bennett: Right. That’s how I understood it. And thank you. The reason I bring it up is it’s similar to your teacher who kept wanting to bow to his teacher, who would probably bow to his teacher in the lineage back to prior to the human teacher. As teachers or as people who are counseling or representing teaching to others, what I have found is that when someone will come to me during a gathering and say something complimentary to me, I say, “Thank you.” Or, “You’re welcome.” And I’m real careful about saying, “Oh, it has nothing to do with me.” Because at some point, there’s a very fine line where the giving of love is also healthy to allow.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Good point.

David Ellzey: But within that, there is, within the container of the event, or what I’m sharing, is to be talking about what I’m sharing is something that is contained within all. So that somehow there’s a context for that. Thank you. It’s very humble, as much as possible. So the consciousness of the teacher, in addition to the words, is really powerful.

Rick Archer: Good. Canela.

Canela Michelle Meyers: So, yeah, the tricky part about that, because I saw different teachers when things had shifted and seeing was really clear. And I got a little bit upset when I saw that they were sort of taking on, when people would have experiences with them, they would sort of say, the person would say to the teacher, “Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.” And that teacher didn’t say, “Actually, it’s you that opened to what happened. It’s you yourself.” And so that brought that actual piece forward. And at first, I was sort of like, “Oh, he should have given it back. He should have given it back to them.” And then I started looking at that and realized that there’s this other way of total surrender to whatever the appearance is, whether it’s a robe or that is also a way for some people to, and they need someone to actually give themselves over to, to eventually then embrace themselves. Because once it’s total and clear and full surrender, then it only can be to themselves.

Rick Archer: Susanne?

Susanne Marie: I think there’s a true humbleness that emerges through being really worn down by life. I was thinking like a mortar and pestle, you know, just ground down to be when you’re pulverized. And so I think that kind of pulverization really creates a true type of humbleness where, by, one meets another person not only seeing the divinity in that person, but meeting them on the human level and knowing that you’re not separate from them on the human level. And so I feel like students and people who are drawn to teachers who are not, haven’t experienced life to that depth, letting themselves or just haven’t for whatever reason been worn down to that depth, there’s something perhaps that the student is wanting to maybe bypass within themselves that experience. And are projecting onto the teacher a model of perfection, a model of bypassing the humanity, thinking they’re going to get a pass that maybe awakening and enlightenment means getting a pass. And so it really feels to me, having, hearing you all, I feel like we’re sharing in a deeply common held experience that that’s not what awakening is. And it really opens up the container in such a really beautiful, kind of a, the model that it feels like evolutionarily consciousness is heading towards and going right now with all of us here is saying no, it includes everything. So, yeah, that’s my part.

Rick Archer: New topic? Anything more on this topic? Okay. So, next topic I think might be not as mainstream as the one we’ve just been discussing, but I think it’s one that is going to be emerging more and more and it’s worthwhile getting a jump on it and addressing it. And that is, awakening can result in experiences of subtle realms and the beings who reside there, psychic abilities or powers, sides, etc. Most respected spiritual teachers have admonished their students to focus on discovering their true nature, cautioning that fascination with subtle realms and psychic phenomena can cause one to become lost in them, sacrificing the whole for the part, losing the ability to distinguish reality from the imaginary conjurings of our egoic nature, and even becoming mentally ill. Yet, these experiences and abilities often blossom without being sought, commonly after an awareness of one’s true nature has been stabilized. Many respected saints and sages have displayed them. Dismissing them altogether does not honor the depth, expanse, and potential of consciousness itself. How do we maintain our integrity and humility while exploring these new realities? How do we relate to our experience in a sane, meaningful, and grounded way while continuing to extend the limits of what is possible for us as conscious beings? How do we keep one-pointed focus on devotion so that these graces and gifts are well used for the good of all rather than diversions and worlds in themselves? And as teachers, how do we both honor and share these worlds, yet not become inflated by our experience of them? As students, friends, or colleagues, are we willing to challenge the teacher or friend when they seem to be losing touch with our shared plane of reality? How can we effectively do so when the teacher or friend considers himself beyond reproach? What do you guys think about that? Kristin, give her the red mic.

Kristin Kirk: Thank you. So this actually links to our previous discussion, you know, part of what I wanted to share. So for me, there have been all these different realities and functions that have come forward that were not sought, and they’ve been completely intrinsic to the whole awakening process. And for me, there have been all these different stages that have opened, and one of them was the experience of this singular I Am being everything and feeling oneness and God, and at some point that I Am was absorbed, surrendered into whatever words you want to use for that dissolving. And in the return of the I Am from nothing, I Am recognized that it was created. And so any sense of identity arising anywhere is recognized as nothing. It’s recognized as a complete fabrication of creation. And so to have an inflated sense of self, it doesn’t make sense. Like in that surrendering through, at least what’s happening here, there’s a profound humility because any sense of self that arises to hold or be or think it has a skill or can do something, it falls apart. It’s not true. And so as each of these layers of consciousness have revealed themselves and the functionality that goes along with that level of consciousness comes into acuity, the identification can’t, there’s no traction for it. It can’t stick on anything because everything recognizes itself as completely made up at the same time as fully existing as God living and loving and evolving and sensing and experiencing.

Rick Archer: This is David. It occurs to me that it’s good for me to mention the person’s name before they speak because some will be listening to this on an audio podcast. So David Buckland.

David Buckland: Yeah, for me it showed up before there was that. Well, there was some to some extent, but in the understanding I had at the time, you found, first you go in and establish self-realization or whatever like that. You establish that inner core silence, consistent silence, and then the stuff will flower naturally. You didn’t go and seek it separately. And for me what happened was as soon as there was some silence established, not when it was fully flowered, but when it was some silence established, the whole, the layers and all that kind of stuff started to show up in various ways. And I talk about that in my interview a little bit, BATGAP interview. And so for me there was actually a lesson process in that because I actually started to get caught up in it at first. I was aware of the teaching around that, but it was still enticing and interesting. And the initial kinds of beings I first started experiencing were what would generally be called astral or fairly superficial kinds of levels, and they were happy to have any kind of attention you gave them. And so it’s like if you wanted to ask questions or get advice on which flavor yogurt to choose or whatever like that, well, they were happy to tell you whatever you wanted to know. But at a certain point, well, pretty quickly really, I realized that this was really stupid and this was not productive or spiritual or anything remotely like that. And so I realized it wasn’t where I should have my attention. And so it was actually interesting when deeper stuff started showing up after that, as I mentioned in the interview, it was actually I was highly suspicious of it for a while because of the previous experience. And so for me it was a really useful lesson, but I’ve certainly seen people get quite caught up in it. Sometimes I get contact through my blog from people who are very caught up in it. It’s running their lives. And right now in the time we’re in, there is a lot of opening to that. It’s happening spontaneously because as consciousness is rising, it’s rising in the whole. The more people wake up, the more the entire whole is woken up. And so people are becoming much more aware of energy and the subtler values. There’s various ways that can show up for people. It doesn’t happen in terms of beings and such like that, but it’s certainly a very major part of reality. And to say it’s delusional or whatever like that is completely missing the point.

Rick Archer: Craig. Craig Holliday. I’m mentioning names now because for the audio people.

Craig Holliday: Yeah, I think it’s one of the things that we have to remember is that we really don’t understand God. No matter how awake we are, we don’t understand God’s intelligence. And so most of us here are talking about non-dual awakening and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a pristine thing. It’s a very simple and clear thing. To me I often think of it as just having a very basic sanity. It’s wonderful to have a basic sanity, but beyond that, there may be worlds that awaken within us. I feel myself almost like I’m living in multiple worlds right now during this show. And to me it’s oftentimes I’m just listening. What is God teaching me? What is God showing me? What is God revealing to me in this moment? What can I learn and how can I be of service? How can I allow this energy to transmit through me and as me? I think that’s something that is really important for us to remember that we don’t really know. Maybe it is important to listen to the astral beings telling us what type of yogurt to eat or whatever. I don’t know. I don’t know much about that. I’m not necessarily wired to see beings, but for me ever since I was a kid, just different forces were kind of opening to me and different worlds were opening to me. I always just thought of them as beautiful and humble, but it wasn’t like there was anything speaking to me. I think that’s where it can get quite confusing and people can get lost. If there’s not a basic sanity, if there’s not a basic clarity within oneself, and like Dana was speaking about that psychological maturity and the spiritual maturity, I think is so important so that we don’t get lost in a place that’s not helpful. And of course if we do get lost, well there’s so much to learn from that as well. It’s like why did I get lost? What is my path about? What is my life truly about? If you get lost in some crazy psychic world while you’re walking through Walmart and you get taken away in a stretcher, well then it’s like, okay, maybe I need to become more grounded. Maybe I need to become more solid. Maybe I need to go see a therapist and get some ground.

Francis Bennett: Go to Target.

Craig Holliday: Maybe I need to go to Target or whatever it is.

Rick Archer: I mean it’s — I’m sorry, did you finish the point?

Craig Holliday: Yeah, well, you know, I mean one thing I can say is just that we just want to be really humble and be able to listen to what is this, what’s coming to me, and what is it trying to teach me and show me. And in a session a couple months ago, an angel started coming to me. And I said, “This is kind of weird. This is new for me.” And the angels began to just communicate these very basic things to me about the person I was speaking to. And I thought, “Well, I’ll go out on a limb and I’ll speak it.” It had no meaning to me, irrelevance. But when I did give it permission to speak through me, the person was on a Skype call. And they just started crying and tears came down their eyes because it brought up some sort of healing. And so there was just this place within me that said, “Okay, I’m just going to begin to test the waters and see, you know, is there truth in this?” And you’ll see. I mean it seems to be pretty clear whether there is truth in it or not by the people’s reactions, your own reaction. Does it take you down a road which is actually helpful?

Rick Archer: I just want to make a comment before Dana speaks. In fact, even before you picked up the mic, I was going to ask you to comment on what I’m about to say, which is that in the Yoga Sutras there’s that verse where Patanjali cautions not to accept the invitations of the celestial beings. It can be a pitfall. And yet he devotes an entire chapter of a four-chapter book to explaining how to perform siddhis. And many teachers dismiss that as, “You shouldn’t perform siddhis. It’s going to be a distraction.” Why did he devote a whole chapter explaining, “If you want to understand the language of animals, do this. If you want to know about your past lives, do that.” And it goes through the whole thing. It’s like an instruction manual. So there’s that. And let me just throw in one more thing, which is that we’re surrounded by subtle beings. There’s people in this room who see them constantly. And they seem to be attending to people and helping in certain ways. So perhaps Craig’s experience as a therapist was that these beings have been around him maybe all his life, but he’s gotten to a point where he can actually receive their instructions and serve as an instrument for the guidance that they are capable of giving, which he might not have thought of. So there’s an example of actually being open to the guidance of celestial beings and having it serve a useful function. So, maybe. [Unidentified speaker] They tell me to eat gelato. [Laughter]

Dana Sawyer: It’s different for me. Entirely different. [Laughter] Especially prickly pear gelato. That’s their favorite. [Laughter] But, you know, I think just answering your question, Rick, in the Vibhuti Pada, that third pada of the Yoga Sutras, is it a prescription or description? I’m not clear on that, because it might just be that he’s saying this exists and this is how it exists, but not necessarily saying that you should cultivate that or whatever. But the part that I was thinking about when you first read the very long question was dealing with siddhis and powers and things like that. That I think the lesson from India is actually to not develop a culture that puts a premium on that. Because as much as you hear in India that you shouldn’t put a premium on it, there’s a premium on it. And so, you know, there are sects of sadhus, and one of the sects of the sadhus the British were aware of was the fakirs. And from the fakirs we get the English words “fake” and “faker.” Because it becomes such a doorway for charlatanism. You can do a few card tricks and sleight of hands and people think you’re a great enlightened being.

Rick Archer: I remember you telling me when I interviewed you that with all your travels in India, you only met one guy who appeared to have any kind of a siddhi, and that was like swallowing a live snake and being able to regurgitate it.

Dana Sawyer: Yes, a cobra. [Laughter] You never know when you’re going to need that, Francis. Come on. [Laughter] Well, you know, the one that came to my mind was one time I’m going into a Krishna temple. One time I’m going into a Krishna temple and there’s an old baba sitting there, and I usually keep small coins in my pocket to put in begging bowls. So I bend down to put a coin in his begging bowl and he goes, “Tangmak Dharo.” You know, “Don’t do it.” “Kyon Nhi.” “Why not?” “Oh, because I am a totally enlightened being. I can manifest anything with my mind. Don’t need it.” So I said, “Diklae, show me.” He goes, “Okay, I need food.” He picks up his begging bowl and he puts his hand on his forehead and all this milk comes rushing down his face and he fills this begging bowl up. So I said, “Now, see, I’ve seen that one.” You take a sponge, you fill it up with milk, you hide it in your dreadlocks, and then you press it and milk runs down your face. He goes, “Have you seen this one?” [laughter] No, so then he says, “You sit beside me, take my pulse, I will go into Samadhi, stop my heart, you will feel pulse will stop.” And I said, “No, see, I know that one too.” You take a walnut, you put it under your armpit, you squeeze it, you stop the pulse from coming down your arm. He goes, “Seen this one?” And he kept riffing off that and of course it became entertaining and I ended up giving him more money than I originally was going to. I mean, it’s the genius of those Babas, right? But the part that I think of mostly around that kind of, you know, psychic energy, telekinesis, telepathy, any of those kinds of abilities, the part that gets juicy to me, down at Esalen about three years ago I was with a group of people from SRI who believed they had proved that all these things, scientifically had proven all these things are real. Okay, so the exciting part for me is not that I could have saved money getting out here by flying on my own power, you know, that’s not that exciting to me. But what is, is those abilities make no sense in a universe that’s structured in a Newtonian way. But if they really exist, then what is the structure of the universe that allows those things to be natural rather than supernatural phenomena? That’s interesting. That’s a good question. You know, what is the new blueprint of the universe that would, you know, come out of that?

Rick Archer: I think Kiran has nexties.

Kiran Trace: So I think on this panel, though I might be wrong, but Laurie and I both work every day, all day long, with clairvoyancy. That’s what we do as part of our work. So for me, it has a lot to do with being able to feel the field of the people I’m working with and see all those root core belief systems. And of course, I think it’s without said on this panel, we recognize there is also this universal energy. And I think a really important distinction that needs to be made is that people sometimes get confused and they open up to universal energy thinking that that’s connecting to oneness. And so when I’m feeling into people, oftentimes actually it’s other spiritual teachers that I’m working with, there’s this very, they can just kind of like, you can mantra yourself. You can do a lot of mantras for a bunch of hours and then kind of trance out. And that trancy energy starts to feel like oneness because it’s spacey. But when I feel that energy, I have a very clear sense that this is not our true nature because that’s a stillness that’s right here, right now. It’s literally looking out your eyes. It’s what’s listening to my voice right now. You’re completely saturated in it. You cannot leave it. It’s extraordinarily grounded and it’s right here. You don’t have to trance out to it. And there’s a lot of confusion between this sort of universal energy. So for distinction, I always say it’s like true nature is zero dimension. And I kind of point to inside, which is just a kind of a terminology versus out there, which is this big universal energy, which we might call fourth dimension, fifth dimension, sixth dimensions. But for lack of all that distinction, we’ll just call it fourth dimensional beings. And the reality of the fourth dimensional universe is that it’s freaking huge. And you want a good guide because as much as there’s angelic records and angels and our Akashic records and all kinds of beautiful movements there, there’s hell realms and there’s demons and there’s, you know, in equal aspect, all form. And fourth dimension is still form, of course, just made of light, just nothingness coming into one form right now. But it can take any of these shapes. And if you don’t have a good guide, you can be face planted into some hell realms that become really torturous. And so the point being is that I think that people confuse universal energy with true nature and true nature is so much more grounded. It’s very, very available and it doesn’t create sort of special spiritual powers. And yet we naturally, as we open up, we become more and more sensitive to all form and fourth dimension onwards is there. And it’s there’s a beauty to it. And it’s not I don’t think it’s inside of our control to decide whether or not we can access it. We can’t. We’re special or we can’t. It just blooms as we become more and more sensitive and more and more aware of all these beautiful, amazing forms. And I think the point being from a teacher point of view, you just you can’t really think about it. It’s a big, big world full of everything.

Rick Archer: Chuck.

Chuck Hillig:These passing phenomena are not really the problem as I see them. I think that the problem is really becoming attached to them and attributing some kind of special significance for their appearance in your life. If you then use that as a way of beating other people up and saying, I have kind of a spiritual one upmanship on you because I can manifest these kinds of cities that that means that I must be more spiritually further awake than you are. And I’m down the road further and use them as a way of gaining some kind of false superiority. I think that’s the real danger.

Rick Archer:Susanne

Susanne Marie: I think there’s a time for for everything. There’s a time for I really love how you, Karen, said that about the true nature. I’m just going to use my own words here. The the it’s almost like the singularity, the point of becoming the light upon oneself. Like with the Buddha said, there’s a time to go in and to leave behind outward movement of expression, outward momentum, grasping on anything and turning that light of consciousness back onto oneself and realizing for oneself. True nature, what we really are, the still point. The unmoving center. And then there’s the the universe that is intelligent, that we are all made up of, that informs us and that we can become available to. And some of us are more open to that as an antenna than others. But it’s everyone is open. We are receiving all the time. We’re living on multi-level dimensions all the time. And I think that if we’re open and especially it’s a beauty, it can be a very beautiful thing if we’re not losing ourselves in it. So once that still center has been realized and it’s stopped, like something inside is fully stopped, it’s not looking for itself anymore outside of itself. That’s the danger of these kinds of experiences is that we can become more identified with them and look outside of ourselves as these other beings or dimensions as authorities. Right. So when we know ourselves as our own inner authority, then if these dimensions reveal themselves, then it’s just it’s just it’s bonus. You know, as people say, it’s like icing on the cake. And then it can come and and and serve in moments. And we are empaths. All of us were empathic. We are open. And the more we become open and available, then we the unified consciousness, it makes itself available as you because there really is no center to consciousness. There’s no center of self. So we are the whole. So the whole will inform us and give us the needed information that is necessary.

Rick Archer: There’s an analogy which might be useful here to illustrate this, which is like if we think of life as like a territory and in the territory, there’s all kinds of interesting things to explore, you know, my diamond mines and gold mines and and various things that would be fascinating to explore. But the territory is commanded by a fort. And if you start by exploring mines and exploring the territory without having captured the fort and owning the territory, then you can kind of get in trouble. Maybe the you know, the owner of the territorial send his troops out after you or something. But if you first capture the fort, which I think in this analogy would be that still center that you referred to, once that is established and you own the territory, then maybe it becomes safer and more legitimate and appropriate to begin exploring the territory.

Susanne Marie: Right. I’ll just be really brief. I just for because of what you just brought up, Rick, and I and I mentioned it on our interview. But at the time during the interview, I had really left behind mystical experience and it actually fell away. It’s because I was being captured by it. It was incredibly helpful. I can’t say that just because the still center hadn’t been fully realized here that it wasn’t useful because dreams and having visitations and all that can be really helpful. You know, it’s instruction. But there was a time for me to drop it all and get really still and sobered up and everything fell away. And now it’s returning again. So that’s I just wanted to say.

Rick Archer: you’ve captured the fort now.

Susanne Marie: Yeah, I guess it’s been captured.

Rick Archer: Let’s see. Canela then Laurie.

Canela Michelle Meyers: All of its coming and going. So these realms, they’re fairly tasty. The cosmos are the cosmos. I mean, look at even the word is pretty catchy to want to get lost in it. But as this stuff comes and goes, it just comes and goes. Remembering that it will go if there’s a an attachment to that or any kind of making it into a something. I have this. I have this ability. I have that. You don’t have anything. I mean, you’re being done and it’s coming through this representation of awareness, but it’s not yours. And all that attachment might show is that attachment is happening. And then you get to let it go. So it’s keeping coming back to the moment and it just it just works really well.

Laurie Moore: I’d like to echo everything that keeps being said and add on. My personal experience is that there is a neutral void. There is a place of oneness in which the neutral void includes all with no line between it. There is in that expression, the universe is expressing itself through every form. The non-form is consistently expressing itself through every form. So what we’ve heard over and over is that when we start to give authority to one form of expression, we might lose our momentarily lose our listening or our guidance from within or not our guidance from within as though it’s separate from us, but that which is propelling us in a particular kind of way. So we have my experience is yes, angels communicate, animals communicate, people who got lost and passed over communicate, people who passed over well and went to the light communicate in another way. Katydids communicate, the grass communicates, everything has an expression. But what I keep hearing over and over again and agree with is it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. And it might. It might be helpful. It might be of service. A ladybug might give you some good information. They might tell you the wrong yogurt to take home. Then your husband’s upset. But it’s just like people were part of it. So the ladybugs and the angels might be saying, should we listen to them? Because we have some capacities to assist with this whole plan that we don’t even understand either. So we’re always using discernment. But we can we can listen, appreciate and then ask, ask ourself what’s next. And a lot of the time there’s nothing to ask. We’re just being utilized.

Rick Archer: Francesco.

Francis Bennett: Rick knows that this is one of my favorite topics. I was on a panel of this and I hardly said a word because I was it’s not one of my favorite topics. But it is something that I think is real. And I think something Kiran said was really good that there’s all kinds of and you just said it again. And I want to reiterate it because I think a lot of people have this idea. If they encounter some being from some celestial dimension or whatever, that they’re automatically they can guide you in there because they’re all enlightened. Well, they’re not all enlightened.

Rick Archer: Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re smart.

Francis Bennett: No. Well, it’s not it’s not even mostly dead people. It’s I mean, there’s all kinds of beings and I don’t even want to go into that. But what I want to go into is the is what you said. It’s just like in real life. You go out and every single person you encounter on the street you think is going to give you good advice. No, you know, you’d be ridiculous to do that. Nobody would go out and say, oh, there’s somebody. Oh, I’ll just ask them if I should buy a 401k or, you know, you know, no, you don’t do that. You go to you go to an accountant or a person who deals with that. And it’s the same with this. And I think there’s a lot of naiveté about it. It’s like, oh, well, if there are celestial being that they know everything and they’re enlightened.

Rick Archer: And in my sense, some of them might be nefarious.

Francis Bennett: Some of them might actually. Well, I think they are. I think some of them are some of them get a kick out of jerking your chain and pulling you around and doing stuff. And they think, oh, these gullible human beings, any of us can they believe anything we say, you know. But I think it’s important that while we acknowledge them, that they that they can be real, these different dimensions. They’re not all benevolent and they’re not all good and they’re not not to make a scary, you know, demon story. But it’s it’s just I think it’s just like we do with people. What you said, I thought was perfectly, absolutely right on the mark. Just that, you know, a ladybug might be good information, but it might not. You know, ladybugs probably don’t know a lot about yogurt. I would just guess it’s just a guess, but I don’t think they would. And the other thing that I think is really important is what Chuck said, I think needs to be really brought home. Is that and pulling in what what Marianna said earlier, nobody is above falling. Nobody is above hubris. Nobody is above getting all full of themselves and creating a spiritual ego. And I think when we talk, it’s one thing to have a siddhi. OK, siddhis are great. They can be useful, you know. So use it. Go for it. You know, knock yourself out. Use it every chance you get. But when we talk about it, be careful. Talking about it is dangerous. I don’t think for the most part talking about it serves anybody. And I think we always have to ask ourselves to what end. Like, why am I talking about this? Is it really to help people or is it helpful? Am I giving people any kind of information that they can do anything at all with? Or is it just aggrandizement? Is it just look at me, I’m special. I can I can see angels. I can do this. I can do that. I think it’s something to really I mean, it’s easy to dismiss that and say, Oh, no, no, you know, this is a gift. I can’t be proud about that. It’s like, yes, you can. Anybody can.

Rick Archer: So there’s that. But what if society evolves to the point, maybe it’s actually doing so rapidly where seeing angels and that kind of thing becomes as commonplace as, I don’t know, being able to ride a bicycle. And as that begins to emerge in society, people are going to want to know what’s going on. Why am I seeing this stuff? Am I going crazy? What is this? And so there’s sort of a balance between making a big fuss about it and, you know, drawing attention to oneself and educating the public so that as this kind of thing dawns more and more, I believe it will, people are able to take it in stride and put it in context.

Francis Bennett: Well, I mean, I think it’s fine. Like, and if you have students who are going through this and you’ve gone through it, I think it’s useful to say I’ve gone through that. I’ve had these experiences and they’re normal in a certain sense for a certain type of person. They’re normal and you don’t need to think you’re losing your mind or whatever. But on the other hand, I just think it’s good just to say to what end. I remember my novice master in the monastery saying, everything you do, everything you say, everything, all day long, ask yourself to what end? To what end am I doing this? And really be like Craig was saying, be really honest with yourself. You know, am I trying to aggrandize myself? Am I trying to present myself as this special being? And if you are, then, you know, that’s not so useful for anybody else or for you.

Rick Archer: Jeffery?

Jeffery Martin: I’m just curious, does anyone have, I was privy to this, I have to say, incredible conversation in Fairfield, Iowa, one time, that you’ve been so instrumental in sort of opening doors and helping me to understand the landscape of Fairfield. When I visit for research, it’s just such a clique-y place and there’s all these groups and you really do need somebody with a program to tell you what part of the play to pay attention to there. And so I’ve been very grateful, as you know, for that over time. And one time I was there, and it was just before that panel, and I think it was the first time that we met, yeah, so I was hanging out in the coffee shop where one group of people in Fairfield, Iowa, hangs out quite reliably at a certain time of day. And it was, I thought, one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in years, and that’s to me kind of saying something, because all my days are filled with people who are awake. I used to have one of those weird jobs where that’s who’s around me all the time, literally all day. It’s like weird for me to have somebody around that’s not awake. And that conversation really stood out. There was–so Francis came and he was talking about being on this panel and he was trying to decide what he was going to share or whatever else, and it led to this rich discussion among all the people who were in the coffee shop about what their own experiences were and sort of sharing their own experiences and stuff for the first time. And one of the things that I was thinking after that was to what degree do you as teachers– I’m in a lucky position of being a researcher, right? I’m not out there as a teacher, as a spiritual teacher or something. So to what degree do you as teachers weigh that? You a minute ago basically said as these experiences become more commonplace, it’s good to have a guide out there. It’s good to have some stuff that people can find, which is a valid position. A contrary position to that might be something like most of the population thinks this is really strange, and yet awakening is something that seems to be, in my opinion as an academic, profoundly beneficial for people psychologically. And so it seems I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure out how do you engineer the spread of it. And so I believe it’s something that should be spread. But is there any disconnect between these two where does anyone have a sense that, well, I kind of shy away from mentioning this, that, or the other thing so that I can spread my message more widely, or is it just, you know, no, foot to the floor, all in. If entities turn people off, if Christians want to say, well, that’s just demons, and, you know, that person’s possessed and we shouldn’t talk to that person, it just cuts off a certain part of the whole population from even hearing the rest of the message. Is that considered okay? I’m just sort of curious, you know, to hear from you as some of the teachers here and just hear how you balance that. That’s one of those things that I think people are probably kind of interested in.

Rick Archer: Okay. David Ellzey.

David Ellzey: So I’m an interesting one to respond because I’m not aware of multiple realms as much as some others are. But what feels relevant is that for all the realms of emotional and personal and mental levels or experiences that people have that I work with, I constantly have to choose to be very conscious of what seems to be available to hear and be very conscious about wording to facilitate a sense of openness first and then within that openness see where the doorways are for furthering the conversation so that it’s a really safe conversation and the alienation doesn’t happen. And so that’s the realms that I’m working, those are the realms I’m working on prior to other realms of the unseen, even though emotions other than physiologically can be unseen or thought can be unseen other than neurologically. So to me it would be similar. I would apply that even to all realms on a certain level. Theoretically from my standpoint is this, there’s a constant attempt to be present with someone exactly where they are in that moment and see where safely you can walk together arm in arm further down the line to a greater awakening. So I would assume that it’s similar on other, if you’re working on other realms.

Rick Archer: Kristin?

Kristin Kirk: In my experience because so much of my reality is this kind of massive detail and plethora that the people that are drawn to me are already having lots of experiences within all those layers of consciousness and are desperate to have someone actually speak to it with clarity. So, and I also have the experience that David was just speaking to of people who aren’t having that who come and I don’t mention any of this other stuff because it’s not of service. But I’m finding that there are, I mean I can’t tell you how many times over and over again I hear people saying, “Oh thank God,” you know, someone who’s actually seeing all this stuff where it’s not separate from spiritual truth. It’s not about a psychic pathway to go get lost on, but that it’s actually completely integrated with the yeah, the depth of understanding one’s true nature.

Rick Archer: I think it’s going to emerge more and more, just the way awakening has emerged more and more. And it’s going to be the next phase at a certain point. And so that’s the reason I just bring it up. And I think to your point, you know, teachers will have specialties just as doctors have specialties. And it won’t, and people gravitate to whatever teacher is most appropriate for their needs just as you’d go to a particular endocrinologist or a proctologist or whatever your particular needs are medically. (laughter)

Rick Archer: No, but there’s a joke I can tell. (inaudible)

Kiran Trace: There’s a larger audience for that conversation. Truth be told we have these teachers like Abraham Hicks which is channeling a forth dimensional being. We have Jane Roberts with Seth back in the 70’s. This is already a larger audience.

Rick Archer: The most popular Batgap interview was Bashar.

Kiran Trace:Right, Bashar, exactly. We have Bashar, we have Teal Swan, where these people have literally a million hits on their YouTube, where the largest of any of us talking about truth or reality, we have maybe 50 or 60,000. So in a way it’s an irrelevant question because it was already a bigger audience than an audience about true nature or truth.

Rick Archer: Yeah, you know, I think that the reason that’s true is that it’s not that there’s already this massive body of people who are having celestial experiences and that’s why they want to, it’s more like they haven’t established the self-realization phase yet and they’re getting caught up in the eye candy of all the flashy stuff and find that more interesting than something which is actually much more subtle and intimate and relevant to their immediate development. Clare, I think.

Clare Blanchflower: It’s really quick. What’s coming really strongly in me right now is the importance to establish ones in the ground of being and not to indulge the phenomena because it’s not to say that all of that isn’t part of everything, but the experience that I have is that all of that is taking place in the infinity, the unbounded infinity that we are. There’s nothing greater than what we are, the unbounded awareness, the one awareness, the supreme. Everything that’s celestial and all of that is taking place in it. So as a teacher or as teachers, it feels to me that it’s absolutely essential to establish the ground of being, the silence, the stillness, the unbounded awareness and only from there can any other perceptions that start to open and refine within consciousness can be developed because the shift to recognize self as presence, as awareness, as stillness is absolutely essential to shift out of the identification with the person, the divided, the separate, because it’s from there that everything is only taking place in consciousness. The openings, the refinement are then opening in consciousness. So whatever opens there can be explored from a place where the mind isn’t getting involved, the filter of the mind isn’t getting involved and identifying with it. So I can feel in my body like it really strongly needs to say that. There was one more thing, I don’t know if it’s still here. No, that feels complete for now.

Rick Archer: Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else shall be added unto thee.

Clare Blanchflower: Exactly what you’re saying about catching the foot, it’s that place, that is essential. And also just like reiterating and remembering that nothing is bigger, nothing is vast, nothing is more infinite than infinity.

Rick Archer: In my father’s house there are many mansions. Who’s next? Mariana hasn’t spoken in a long time.

Mariana Caplan: I really appreciate that point, Clare, and what has struck in me, I don’t have too much to say about the astral realms. My teacher and his teacher, Yogi Arun Sri Kumar, they were so strict about not going there. We had this guy in Tiruvannamalai in India where I lived when I was 26. He was called Bench Swami. Some of you guys maybe saw him. He was enlightened and lived on a bench. My teacher said, “If you want to end up on a bench, go worship Bench Swami.” And I actually…

Rick Archer: You’re hung up in the astral realms, is that what you’re saying?

Mariana Caplan: Yeah, and I don’t actually resonate with so much of what’s being said. It’s just that I’ve had times exploring it. And last but, what Clare’s comment, when she says to not indulge it, and it’s a thread throughout the day, it’s like now we’re talking about this astral phenomena, all kinds of phenomena. Like when your sexuality really awakens, right? If you get into spiritual sexuality. I had an experience this year where I tend toward creative openings, and my creativity got so unleashed that it actually took me astray, highly astray. And I think that there’s, as we’re opening and exploring, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned today is the use of medicines. So common these days is medicine, [inaudible] ayahuasca, but I mean multiple, multiple medicines. And here in California where I live, it’s a huge, huge field of study. And again, once very, very similar to what we’re talking about, it’s something that’s bringing many people tremendous benefit, and it’s bringing many people, it’s diverting some people, and it’s causing some people great harm and spiritual emergency. So I just, when you spoke, Clare, I just thought, right, it’s like everything, everything can be used or misused, and there’s no way that we’re not going to fall. I used to think of the path as like this tightrope made of fire, and we were like up on this tightrope made of fire, and sort of like just walking up there with no net underneath. And gosh, it’s a half sentence, really. But it can all be used and misused, and right, if we don’t let ourselves expand, we’ll never know how big we are. So it’s not that it’s — I like to keep things close to the ground, but like if we don’t dare to expand, then we won’t know how full we can be and how great we can be. So it just ends up being this mortar pestle, like that I think — I mean life is grinding me down, and I think it doesn’t feel good, but I think it’s a healthy process.

Rick Archer: Let’s see, Canela, then Craig. Do you also have something, Francis? Okay, we’ll just go back and forth here. Canela.

Canela Michelle Meyers: Yeah, that’s the tricky part, like a while ago, but your question about — Jeffery’s question. Yeah, Jeffery. All of it becomes available, and then more and more that’s what I see, and we were talking about this on our flight here actually, about how whatever’s revealed itself, whether first it seems to reveal itself to me, and then I don’t really know what’s going to happen when I’m meeting with somebody. It’s a completely mysterious happening. And then they call whatever, and so those experiences, whether it’s the angelic realm or cosmos or people who have deceased, it’s not so much — it’s tricky because we don’t want a rule around don’t go there because it shows up itself. So it’s like, okay, so if that does show up, then how can we be with this? And it’s like just see where it wants to tilt sort of. The moment you can kind of lean this way or that way, and you can kind of taste it a bit one way or another. Sort of somebody said something. [Laughter]

Rick Archer: I think Craig has something. Craig’s somebody, and he has something to say.

Canela Michelle Meyers: So yeah, it becomes available and it gets used through me and often as that occurs, I’m seeing it freshly. It comes in the way they can hear it, whoever that is, however they as consciousness wants it to be heard because all of it, no matter what it looks like, cosmos or dirt or air, seems to show up in support of, of consciousness knowing itself if it’s listened to in that way of the moment.

Craig Holliday: So one of the reasons that I wrote to Rick about this and wanted to speak about it is because I meet with a lot of people who, they awaken to these worlds, these astral worlds, the world of these different, you know, kinds of phenomena or angels or Kundalini awakening and I notice that, that they make a very similar mistake that many spiritual teachers make. You know, it’s this shadow that we, we all often fall into is if it feels good while it’s arising within me, it must be true. And I think a lot of teachers fall prey to this where they feel so good because of the process of awakening, they feel so good because the energies which are arising within them and then they start to believe their own thoughts. They start to believe whatever it is that’s arising within them and the same can be true with a healer or with, with, you know, someone experiencing, you know, some form of awakening. And I think it’s a real shadow and it’s something that we need to be conscious of and just to continue to have a deep level of discernment and humility with, just to make sure that we don’t, like Francis was saying, just because, you know, something is communicating to us, It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. But we often make a mistake because it feels good, that it must be true. Because this arising force oftentimes comes, you know, with perhaps at the same time a message from an angel or an astral plane or this or that or a psychic being. And it’s not always the case. It’s a very dangerous thing. I think that a lot of people get confused by and fall into. And even whether it’s a kundalini awakening, you can have, I’ve met a lot of people who have a spontaneous kundalini awakening. They come to me and say, “Well, I’m the next Messiah, the next Jesus.” And it seems hilarious to us. But to them, you know, someone who perhaps hasn’t had any spiritual training, you know, if all of a sudden you feel euphoric and incredible and voices are speaking to you, you may believe them. And it can be a very dangerous thing, a dangerous thing.

Rick Archer: There was a saying in the ’60s, “If it feels good, do it.” And we know how that turned out.

Craig Holliday: Yeah, a lot of danger in that. A lot of danger in that.

Francis Bennett: Here you are, Rick.

David Buckland: I thought it was worth clarifying a little point there because there’s a, one of the ways you can differentiate what has showed up is how it feels. Like whether there’s a sense of it being, like having a fancy appearance, but there’s something darker there. Or that, well, anyways, it’s just the idea is discriminating with this stuff. It’s a feeling-based thing. But what you’re talking about is something different. What you’re talking about is how it feels as a person, what it does for me. And, oh, I feel good because I’m having these nice experiences or something like that. So I just wanted to differentiate those two things because it is through the feeling value that you can discriminate. It’s not by appearances because this stuff is subtle and it shows up.

Rick Archer: But you’re talking about subtle, intuitive feeling value, not necessarily a more manifest feeling value.

David Buckland: Yeah, yeah. And because this stuff, subtle beings, they’re basically made-of-mind stuff, essentially. So they can appear as we expect them to appear, as they choose to appear. But the appearance is quite illusory. It’s what’s behind that that you have to pay attention to in order to discriminate what’s showing up. But yes, there’s also that value that you were talking about.

Craig Holliday: Yeah, but there is one other thing, too, in the sense that, so say you have a spiritual awakening, but you don’t have a psychological maturity. You can feel really good. And because you don’t have a psychological maturity, you may believe your own thoughts. You may get lost in your own arrogance. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

David Buckland: It’s not, I agree with your point,

Craig Holliday: it’s not just about using the feeling value as a discernment tool. Oh, yeah, absolutely it can be a discernment tool. And I just wanted to make sure that, yeah, that it was clear about the shadow aspect of it. Yeah, absolutely.

Rick Archer: I think Francis and Dana both want to speak. Might as well go Francis first.

Francis Bennett: I have a friend whose wife is pregnant for the second time. And I had dinner with them the other night. And she was talking about how her first pregnancy, she got, she had morning sickness really a lot, like almost the whole time, I guess. And she said, this one, she did a little bit at the beginning, and then she had none. And then he was talking about how when she’s pregnant and has a morning sickness, he’ll feel nauseated because she’s throwing up and it’s, you know, and you hear all these, and he said, and all this whole, like this kind of mechanics of getting sick makes him sick. So he got sick. So I think it’s important to realize too, that all this stuff, it’s like a side effect of awakening that happens in some people and doesn’t happen in other people. And sometimes it happens even in people who aren’t awake, you know, just like the sickness. He wasn’t pregnant, but he was getting sick, you know, for the first pregnancy, she got sick the whole time. For the second pregnancy, she barely got sick at all. So I think it’s important to dispel a very common myth. You know, a lot of people have read Autobiography of a Yogi or something like that, you know, and they think, oh, you know, enlightenment’s all filled with, you know, saints who don’t eat for 40 years and people who walk on water and all this. And my sense is that it’s not at all intrinsic to awakening. In some cases it is, in other cases it’s not. So it’s important to understand that, that it’s not a kind of blanket experience, that everybody that awakens deeply in an abiding way is gonna have those particular, they may have other siddhis that are not particularly, you know, dramatic, but are very useful, you know, so.

Rick Archer: When we were at Adyashanti’s last year, we were talking about this a little bit after the interview and he said, you know, and I, he said, I think the way he put it was, I remember coming into this life with the thought that I don’t want all that, you know, to happen, so, so like, that was his life choice, kind of, you know.

Rick Archer: Dana.

Dana Sawyer: Well, I think, you know, whether the energy is coming at you in the world that we take for the everyday world or in any other kind of world that could ever be, that your skill set for dealing with that energy is, is this something that’s causing you to feel a strong sense of attachment? Is it causing you to feel a strong sense of aversion, which is just more attachment? Is it causing you to self-aggrandize? Does it inflate your ego? Okay, it doesn’t matter what plane that’s happening on, you’re going in the wrong direction, right? That you can use the same metrics for adjudicating the decision, and I really like Clare’s, which is, okay, if that, and yours too, that the still point, okay, that’s a great place. Is it moving me off that still point? Is it trying to move me off that still point? Okay, then you know that’s not where you wanna go. You wanna come out of that center.

Rick Archer: New topic? Oh, Laurie.

Laurie Moore: I just wanna add to all these wonderful points that are being made that each person, in my experience, does have some kind of a calling, some kind of a essential, simple purpose, and within that, we make choices and decisions as to how our service goes. And so what’s right for one person will be very wrong for another person. – Yeah.

Rick Archer: So how much time do we have left in the cameras? Oh, okay. (laughing) The night is yet young. (laughing) Actually, if we left now, we’d get stuck in traffic anyway, so if you guys have a bit more steam, let’s continue on for– [Unidentified speaker] We’re already gonna be stuck.

Rick Archer: We might as well go on. – Might as well keep going for a while. (laughing) [Unidentified speaker] We wanna stretch. – So I’m gonna, you wanna take a stretch?

Rick Archer: All right, let’s find a pee break or whatever. So let’s do that, and then we’ll resume.

Laurie Moore: There are certain action groups that look at health, wellness, what would be called, quote unquote, wholeness, as part of awakening. There is another frame of thought that awakening is awakening, and life goes on with its preferred and non-preferred experiences. And I find it all extremely fascinating, so I’m opening up the conversation to hear what people wanna say about it.

Rick Archer: Okay.

David Buckland: One of the things I found really useful in some of my research is from Ayurveda. They talk about the six bhavas, or houses, and three of them, when we’re born, three of them come through our family bloodline, and three of them through our past life history. A particular note, or two of them from our history, is atman and sattva, basically, consciousness and clarity. And that’s where the healing side comes in. And our past development, basically, is cumulative, and comes forward into this life, which is why you get this variety of experience with people. Some having a lot of clarity and subtle experiences without the awakening process going on, some awakening, apparently, spontaneously, without any apparent history, and all kinds of variations in between. But the point that I wanted to make was that there can be a real emphasis when the mind is strong, like in Western culture, on the consciousness process, the awakening process, and the consciousness unfolding to itself, without the paying attention to the clarity side, or the sattva, and that’s where the refinement of perception and the awakening heart comes in. In some traditions, they talk about that as the masculine and the feminine, the Shiva and the Shakti. And really, from my perspective, and from many others, a full unfolding is both, not one or the other, but both together. So there needs to be that unfolding of consciousness, but you also wanna bring in healing of the person, of the emotions, of the energy, of the baggage, or whatever like that. So there’s that greater clarity. And what form that’ll take will vary by, people aren’t visually inclined, they’re more feeling-oriented or bodily-oriented, or they’re more hearing-oriented or something like that. There may be various combinations of how that shows up. But the key is you want to culture both, the development of clarity of consciousness, and the clarity of the physiology that you’re using for that to express through. And then you’ll have the richest and smoothest unfolding.

Rick Archer: Jeffery?

Jeffery Martin: I think this is one of, a very interesting topic. Poignant out here in California, a lot of people are trying to wrestle with the exact same question. And I’m also very personally curious about it, and we’ve tried to do some research around it. So one of the things that we’ve developed, we’ve developed this protocol basically, for a long time we only had B data, which means we were only researching people who already reported awakening. And we really wanted to collect data on who they were before, and who they were after. But how do you do that, right? Because you can’t just look out on the population and be like, that guy’s 30 seconds away, quick, collect some data on him, right? And so we had to, over a couple years or so, we basically mined all of the data that we’d collected, and we came up with a protocol that would transition people over a period of months. Not 100% of people, but more than half of people. And through that, what’s really sort of emerged on this healing question, I think, from our standpoint, is kind of interesting, in that we don’t feel like we can, it seems like as part of the awakening process, and I bet you, you all have cool stuff to say about this, which is why I’m bringing it up. It seems like as part of the awakening process, depending on sort of, maybe how deep into awakening someone lands, or whatever term we wanna use for that, different stuff, different psychological stuff burns off, sort of different conditioning burns off, or different conditioning maybe becomes deactivated, and it’s just kind of no longer relevant. It’s not really, it doesn’t seem to really be becoming repressed in a way that is still subconsciously, you know, affecting people’s behavior or whatever, it just kind of seems to be irrelevant. And then other stuff isn’t irrelevant, right? Other stuff is super relevant, and it’s to really your point of, you know, you better get some therapy for that, because now it’s like the voice of God telling you that this is right, and it’s gonna cause you problems in your life, or whatever. And so, I think this is a great question, this healing question, because it seems like there’s some schools that basically think that you should just heal, heal, heal, heal, heal, heal, before awakening, right? And then just clear out all your stuff, as much as you can before awakening, and then wake up. And there’s other schools that are like, no, just wake up and deal with, you know, whatever’s after it, and then there’s schools that are in the middle of those two bookends. I personally find myself leaning towards the wake up and see what’s there afterward, after collecting this data, because I’m not sure how someone could predict what is and isn’t going to be relevant, having looked at sort of these before and after cases in our research. And so, I would like to add that to the conversation, those observations, and just see what you have to say as well. (static crackling)

Craig Holliday: One of the things that I really noticed within myself was discovering this great peace, this great emptiness, this great freedom, you know, having the experience of non-dual awakening, that happened in an instant. It just came out of nowhere, and that was a beautiful thing. It was a gift, it was something that I didn’t do, I didn’t create, and so we want to be careful about thinking that we are gonna awake and we are gonna make it happen. You know, there are all kinds of things. I was an intense meditator, I put myself in the right place at the right time, and did all that kind of jazz. But ultimately, it was something that happened within me, not from my own volition. And I think that’s something that we really need to remember. But there’s this very human aspect of ourself that can get in the way of this abiding awakening continuing. You know, if we don’t do our personal work, if we don’t listen to life, if we don’t listen to our children, our wife, or our husband, who are constantly pointing out our shadows and all these aspects of our humanity, well, we may have a moment of awakening, but we will quickly find ourselves unawake again. And so I think in this way, healing, healing and spiritual maturity, psychological maturity go hand in hand if we want to stay awake after awakening has happened. And I think it’s very necessary for us, whether we’re a teacher, a student, or whatever, whoever we are, if we have awoken, or even if we haven’t, to continue to heal, continue to do our personal work. You know, so that we can be a clear vessel for whatever it is that’s coming through us. And ultimately, if awakening is about living in sanity and living in clarity, we must be healed. You know, and like Mariana was speaking about, we can see clearly what happens in an individual who has awoken, who has a huge shadow. I mean, that person can be quite a dangerous individual. They can create quite a lot of suffering in a community, in themselves, in their family, if they haven’t done their work. So I don’t see any separation in between the two. And I’d go back to saying that, yes, there’s inquiry into our true nature, but also seeing that therapy and the healing process is inquiry into our active, dynamic, grounded, you know, personal nature of humanity and how it expresses itself in the world. I think it’s so important to do both.

Rick Archer: Chuck?

Chuck Hillig: After awakening, you’ll still have your mortgage, you’ll still have your issues with your kids, you’ll still have the problems with what to do about Nana’s Alzheimer’s, and your aches and pains, and your everyday concerns in the world. You’ll still have that present. I think that the shift will be, you will experience all of that, you’ll be holding all of that in a different context, a context of wholeness and completeness and okayness, which will help to ameliorate that. You will look at it differently, and the willingness to look at it differently, in your ability to look at it differently. As you change how you’re looking at it, it will begin to change. In some way, it will shift in some way, and I think that’s part of the healing. But in that contextual shift, that I think is where the real healing becomes, and certainly begins.

Rick Archer: Mariana?

Mariana Caplan: I’m thinking about a couple of teachers that I knew over the years, like many of my new friends. I spent a lot of years interviewing teachers, and one of them was Arnaud Desjardins. He was a great Advaita Vedanta teacher in France. And he used to say that oftentimes, when people come to the spiritual path, they say that they wanna be enlightened, but what they really want is to be happy. And he used to say, he was such a wise elder, and he gave people a certain permission for that. And it wasn’t that when people would admit that, that they would run away from the spiritual path, because we also have, I think it’s an inherent longing to know ourselves more deeply. But I like that, because I know it’s true for me, and it gets confused, because instead of saying, like, I wanna be happy, I wanna be happy in my life, and I wanna have connection, and know friends, and partnership, and yeah, I want spirituality too, but I don’t know what order, and things happen developmentally differently. So I was just thinking about that, and it puts a certain pressure, or a potential pretentiousness on needing to want to awaken and be awakened, because the spiritual path promises some relief from suffering, and that’s what brings a lot of people there. Just like yoga, you go to an asana class, and it feels so good, and then you say, oh, wow, and wow, there’s a sutra, and it comes that way organically anyway. So I wanna bring in that piece, and somehow I can’t let the day slip by without bringing in the presence of one of the other teachers I knew, my guru’s guru, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, was a great teacher in South India, in Thiruvananmalai. He died in about 2000, and I spent a year in close company with him when I was about 25, and of all the, I don’t know, maybe 100-ish awakened teachers I’ve interviewed in my life, he was far, he was in a whole different category than the others. He was like the awakened masters of old, like the Neem Karoli Babas and the Anandamayi Mas, and the people that there’s only a few of, and there’s not very many of them alive, and I always felt grateful that I met him. I didn’t really know what was going on. I just hung out with him, and he didn’t really talk. He chain-smoked and didn’t give linear teachings, but I met him 30 years into his awakening process. I met him when he was about 70, and he had had his awakening when he was 30, and he never stopped. He never claimed enlightenment. He never claimed guruhood. He said he was an old dirty beggar on the street, and people followed him. He never had an ashram until he was like about a couple of years before he died, and I felt so grateful to have been around somebody where the bar was so high that, I don’t know, it just throws in the, it turns upside down the question of awakening, which, you could probably speak better than I could because I know in the sutras it describes all these different levels of awakening, and I was so excited when I found that sutra. I talked about one of them that described his level because it seems like a lot of us are when we talk about awakening is that. (audio cuts out)

Rick Archer: Kristin.

Kristin Kirk: I’d love to use an analogy in response to your topic of a game board and a player piece, and I think of healing as the game piece, healing relationships and experiences and traumas it’s experienced on that game board, and I think of awakening as the piece waking up to the truth that it is the game board and that which the game board in itself arise out of, so that when I’m working with people, I’m working with these two different levels, and that there’s often a mix of people coming at different stages of awakening and at different stages of healing or emotional maturity. So I haven’t heard of different camps, of the way you’re kind of naming it, but that’s my own, yeah, that’s my own experience of seeing what I’m working with, and that they, and being present in the moment and being of service to whoever it is that’s coming, there’s not a formula. In some people, it may be that the wounding is the doorway for awakening, and so the response to that is surrender through that. That’s God too. Surrender through that pain, and one falls through the game board. And for other people, that may not be what is appropriate, and the response is actually no, go talk with your mother and heal that issue, or not that I would tell someone what to do, it’s not like that, but in terms of being in the moment and supporting whichever process is happening, there’s no formula that comes out, and I find that each needs a different kind of support.

Rick Archer: Susanne?

Susanne Marie: I really like what you were saying, what is your name again?

Mariana Caplan: Mariana.

Susanne Marie: About what that teacher said to you about people just wanting to be happy. I think that, and giving permission to that, I think that correspondingly, the opposite is equally true. People want to have permission to be unhappy, to be really feeling their deep pain, their loneliness, and their unhappiness, and to know that that’s really held in an unconditional space of love and acceptance. And that’s kind of a transmission of whatever kind of practitioner one is. If one is arriving at that within oneself, it’s something that can be supported and held with another person, to give permission for both, happiness, true happiness, and all the places where someone hasn’t felt held within their own pain and unhappiness. And that’s quite a lot of the work that I do with people, and then the joy can come out, the true joy. So to me, that’s, in this context, what healing is really about in terms of awakening, because awakening includes everything. So that would include, and does include, all aspects of ourselves that are in denial and want to see the light of day. And then, of course, once something is really seen and held and accepted, the gift of it opens up, and the transcendence of it also opens up. And not only transcendence, like it’s gone, it’s over, and we transcend. Actually, it creates more depth within ourselves. We become richer and deeper within our humanity, owning that peace.

Rick Archer: David, Ellzey?

David Ellzey: I find it challenging for me to make a statement about awakening and healing, except to share my personal experience, which feels the most truthful. Over the years of self-awareness and assessment and discovery, what I have discovered is that there’s been a quieting that’s been happening as I’ve been looking at some patterns, some emotional patterns, some programming from childhood conditioning. So I have been, as it’s been disappearing, I like to call it the great disappearance. Awakening is really not an event, not a becoming. It’s the great disappearance that has appeared to be real prior. So for me, that has been healing, because the disappearance has been of the veils I’ve been looking through about myself and about life. So healing has been a part of awakening, awakening part of healing. So that’s been my direct experience. And what I find interesting about your question is which would be better to awaken than, what was the second part, which is?

Jeffery Martin: Oh, like spend a lot of time healing?

David Ellzey: And then awaken, right. So what’s interesting about the question, it’s as if we have a choice. You know, who is it that’s choosing to awaken first and then heal? So the egoic sense of self can’t be the one that does that, because it’s part of the illusory perception. So my sense is, if you’re pulled, if you’re inspired, follow the pull to a teacher, to teaching, to reading, follow the pull. But the moment of grace, the moment of God’s choice, the moment of life’s choice or consciousness to see itself more deeply, it’s not up to the egoic sense. So it’s going to happen when it’s going to happen. And Francis Lucille said this once beautifully in a retreat. Somebody said, “Francis, if we are absolutely the truth, “who we are is infinite, all-knowing, and omnipotent, “then why do we forget? “Then why do we need a spiritual practice “if we’re already awake as our true nature?” And he said, “Just to keep you out of trouble.” So there’s a sense of, do that if you’re called. But the moment of its happening isn’t up to you. So follow your heart, follow the call.

Rick Archer: David Buckland.

David Buckland: Yeah, there’s one thing, too, I remember from my own process… is it is useful to do some of that healing work prior, ’cause partly ’cause it helps with the clarity and the smoothness. But it’s also interesting, too, because when the sense of– dominant sense of me falls away, then– and the sort of doership falls away, there can be a period of time where there isn’t a person who can do that stuff anymore. There’s no longer any motivation to try and fix anything or improve anything or whatever like that can happen. So you end up in a place where that process– I mean, certainly healing is taking place just from being in that place. But yeah, in some ways, it can be easier to do beforehand. And then, later on, as it matures, then you have that platform where there’s clarity and that can accelerate the process, as well. So it’s kind of interesting, the dynamics change as you relate to yourself as being changes.

Rick Archer: Karen brought up a point that this could actually segue into, which is that, for some people, in some people’s minds, enlightenment or awakening has a bit of a stigma because we have famous examples such as Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie, who became rather dysfunctional after an unexpected sudden awakening, which they hadn’t even been seeking. You know, Eckhart Tolle famously on his park bench, Byron Katie practically needed to learn how to brush her teeth again, and reassemble some kind of a life. And so, people who have a life and responsibilities and all this, “I don’t want that. “What’s going to happen to my kids if I awaken?” I think this healing issue comes into it where if those two individuals had undergone some years of preparation, had been on a spiritual path, then there might not have been much of a speed bump when they had their awakening. They could have just carried on because they already would have done a lot of purification and integration and so on. So yeah, please, Clare.

Clare Blanchflower: Actually, yeah, that ties with what I was going to say, is that I can speak just from my experience, which is that my life was committed to healing. I wasn’t– I was never looking for awakening. I wasn’t aware of the non-dual teachings. I was– I had a yoga practice and a very committed spiritual practice for many years, but I was led to that as part of a commitment to healing. So I was healing myself on every level, and I was– as part of that process, I was taking the role of being a healer in the world. So I was working with people in their healing process and learning more about that human condition and why people behave as they do, why everything operates as it operates. And somewhere along that path, there was this shift in awareness, which I wouldn’t even have called “awakening” because I wasn’t looking for it, but that is what it gets called, that suddenly the awareness came that I wasn’t this individual person. As Kristin said, the game fell away. All the foundations, all the concepts, everything just completely fell away. And the realization that I’m this unbounded awareness, I’m stillness, I am silence, and everything that then blossomed from that. And what occurs to me is that we can’t make a decision to awaken. We can’t make, really, a commitment to awakening. Once the impulse for freedom is there, we can step into a sincerity to know the truth of being. What we can commit to is our healing. It’s something that we can culture in various ways, not as a doing towards awakening, but the more that we culture awareness and an environment within this body mechanism so that the possibility for grace to enter, that when it does enter, there’s more chance that it can be abiding, that it has a really clear house to live in, shall we say.

Rick Archer: Canela?

Canela Michelle Meyers: Yeah, my experience also, or the experiencing that happened with me, or this, words, it came through wanting to heal and embrace myself. But I did commit, once I found out about this waking up possibility, I did actually commit to that. So I think it is a commitment to both, if that’s what feels true, and then let it come to your doorstep, whether it can be an ad for something that draws you. I think somebody mentioned that feeling, you feel that pull in the moment of what feels true for you as this depiction of awareness at play that you are. And the other part about being able to function or not in the awakened present way of living, the stateless state, is with the healing, being part of what happened with myself, and then also the awakenness, what felt true to my heart was to return and include my children in my life. And so then I was a single mom in North Vancouver with two children, and their father lived in another country. And so I was really, it brought it home in the functioning, in being responsible for the three of us. And it all looks the same to the outside observer. It wasn’t easy. And I was impressed that this body would get up in the morning and continue to function beyond what I could possibly have thought. It looks like it’s that I could do. And I did. I got up and got everybody out to school and whatever it was that was going on and managed all that by myself. And I don’t know why this comes in, but then I got a boyfriend and suddenly I just was somebody’s boyfriend. It’s unbelievable. It gained so much and then it was just like gone. But yeah, so the functioning totally, it’s just different. Because you’re all working together, there isn’t any authority anymore of a parent with children. There’s a mom with children and those parts are still there, but it’s not, nobody’s in charge unless the moment needs someone to be in charge. And so you begin to trust yourself in being able to respond to the moment of whatever the moment calls for. And that is the meaning of the day-to-day living as a human being in this world.

Rick Archer: The moment calls for David Buckland.

David Buckland: I just wanted to mention something too on that. I did find with the shift that there were certain parts of life that fell away. Actually, it started somewhat before the shift. I didn’t know it was coming, but certain aspects of the life fell away. But there was a real support for the process. It wasn’t being done by a me. It was being done by the self, by source, however you want to frame it. And that, it was very supportive. There was a whole thing happening where it created the right circumstances for it to show up, for the process to be processed, for the experiences to take place and so on like that. But just there was a real sense of support that it wasn’t a disaster. My life didn’t collapse, that kind of thing. But there was a lot of change that took place overtly in my life at the same time as the inner changes were taking place. It’s just that there was a really powerful support in that process. So I mean, it’s an expectation that it’s going to be a big disaster. I don’t think that’s useful.

Kiran Trace: What is it that you can get afraid of some of the stories? And certainly my story is one of the scariest. And but from reality or what actually exists, it takes care of itself. And I remember like day three of just vast spaciousness here that couldn’t even find a body or a form, a friend came in and the friend also had a radical massive spontaneous awakening. Somebody I’d never met, it was taken care of and he was like a guide. And I remember on day three sort of looking at him and going like, but I have like a life, I have a job and I have a home. And he said to me, it’s taken care of. And in that moment was this hilarious recognition that it’s like, I was never taking care of all that stuff to begin with. Like whether I was awake or not, it’s from the moment each of us which is consciousness in this moment, having a belief system in a birth. So we open our eyes as a form and the beginning of form begins. And it’s never been being done by us to begin with. So when we finally get the me out of the way, it begins to actually function with so much more efficiency. And so much more intelligence and right action. And what I find all the time, because this is a huge part of what I work with in my private practice as well as my classes, is how to let life, which has been doing it from day one, move us. And again and again, everybody’s life just gets so much better. Because the me was the big problem that was messing up the function to begin with. And our scary stories that we sometimes think, certainly I had about five years of basically looked like something from The Exorcist with my head spinning around and puking and epileptic seizures and crazy. And that’s a scary thing for a separate me to hear. But I gotta tell you, while that was happening, the bills were getting paid. At that point, I lived in the most beautiful apartment I had ever lived in to that date. I mean, it got a whole lot better the more I let life guide it to my beautiful home now. But then it was like I lived in this beautiful apartment. There was groceries provided. There was just exactly when you needed something, there it was. And that’s literally been happening for all of us from day one, cuz that’s your birthright. And I think the concept, the story of like, I have kids, I’m a father, I’m a mother, so I can’t go there. As I was mentioning earlier, it makes steam come out of my ears cuz it’s like so ridiculous a notion. And that’s just our good friend fear coming in to just eclipse your experience of freedom that’s right here, right now. It’s been living your whole life from day one, right now. And there’s that movement of fear coming in and attaching to a separate self and creating a separation. And it’s doing that all day long. And that’s the little fucker that makes functioning really tough, not your true nature.

Rick Archer: Frances.

Kiran Trace: The end.

Rick Archer: Francis Quote that verse from the Bible about the lilies of the field and how they toil not and all that stuff. How does that go? Very appropriate to what you just said.

Kiran Trace: Say it in real language. Say it in spiritual language.

Francis Bennett: Behold the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I tell you truly, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.

Rick Archer: I think that’s the point she was making. Okay, now, Susanne had a thing, and everybody’s gonna shudder now because they’re gonna think, my God, are we gonna go another 20 minutes? But no, I have an idea of how to do this.  [LAUGH]  So explain your thing, Susanne, and then I’ll explain how we’re gonna do it. Yeah.

Susanne Marie: Okay, good.  [LAUGH]  Okay, well, great. Kiran wants to go first, she’s volunteering.

Rick Archer: Explain what your thing is first.

Susanne Marie:I know, I will explain. So, well, I thought that we could each take a turn or whomever feels called to just speak in brief about, and whatever your idea is, how, what your leading edge is, what one’s own leading edge is, where we find ourselves right now, and the growth that, this place of where growth is. Just include ourselves in the conversation.

Rick Archer: Okay.

Susanne Marie: A little deeper.

Rick Archer: And here’s how I’d like to do it, but you can all vote this down if you don’t think it’s possible. Answer that question in one word. [Everyone] Ooh.  [LAUGH]

Rick Archer: Okay, one sentence, and not with a lot of commas and semicolons.  [LAUGH]

Kiran Trace: Inspiration would be my first word. I lived for so many years with just this gorgeous unfolding of stillness into form, into form, into form. And last January, inspiration showed up. And when it showed up, it was like, wow. Subtle forms had showed up before, but the, like a huge movement of huge inspiration to take me so deeply into building a very big business and moving into very big realms of form. And it was all being driven by inspiration, and it’s been so fun. And such a raw edge, it’s been gorgeous.

Rick Archer: We wanna be the Hemingway type of writer here, not…  [LAUGH]

David Ellzey: The old man in the sea, well, long ago.  [LAUGH]

Kiran Trace: Yeah, Sam Shepard version of.

David Ellzey: In the galaxy.  Far, far, far away. Da, da, da, da. Okay. So for about 25 years, I’ve been in the field of self-awareness and consciousness teaching, coaching, and my own. And within the last year, I’ve been placed by life in the experience of my mother aging and a friend dying. And I have been called in really deeply to care for this friend who’s also aging and dying. And the level of human experience has deepened in a magnitude and like a boot camp. And so my discovery because of that has caused my experience of life to become much more grounded and rooted in the earthly experience of being human. And so now my teaching, which was a lot about transcendence, is now inclusive and much more powerful for my own living, much less for those that I work with. The integration of both of those now. [?] Mm-hm.

Chuck Hillig: Only four words. Abandon certitude. Embrace ambiguity.

David Buckland: Well, for me personally, the cutting edge is, leading edge is a new unfolding of divinity from a whole different level that’s still revealing itself.

Clare Blanchflower: Being here, doing this, allowing this to speak. Stepping in. This is God’s life.

Rick Archer: Kind of what she said, just to be as effective. Why do we have a mic?  [LAUGH]  Just to be as effective a servant of the divine as possible.

Kristin Kirk: That’s a good question. [LAUGH] If I were to pick one word, I would say love. And if I speak to the larger thing, there’s a continual dissolving through these layers. Where the sense of I is larger and larger. And the experience is often of all these worlds being a skirt and these movements. And so the cutting edge is living as both the universe creating all the beauty and all the suffering and being present through all of it. Both in the small, crushed, suffering truth. At the same time as all these layers of consciousness that create itself, dimension after dimension after dimension. So it’s like being all that and this and being with them is the same thing. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Craig Holliday: My evolving edges is allowing love and compassion to deeply penetrate my everyday family relationships with my wife, my baby, my teenage daughter. And myself, in all the places I wish didn’t exist. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Francis Bennett: I would say the cutting edge of my own awakening is realizing more and more the seamlessness of this vast, huge consciousness that I awoken to. And all the stuff appearing in it, like that it’s absolutely one. It’s not two. That when you first awaken to that vast consciousness, you think that’s the One. And all this other stuff is just not real. And anymore I’m realizing that it’s totally seamless. There’s no separation whatsoever of these different levels. And the specific thing for me that’s appearing in that, that is like an edge for me that is, what is the role of human relationship in my life? And what forms, what are the many forms it can take? And just the fascination with that, I’m just finding it fascinating. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Laurie Moore: It’s the love and [BLANK_AUDIO] Allowing it, discovering it towards this little imperfect self that doesn’t fit into any spiritual ideals. The love that was just like fire going out to everyone and everything, tempering itself, turning itself back towards the imperfect human. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Mariana Caplan: I was thrown a big curve ball by life this year and unexpected. So it’s about not accepting the luxury of defeat. I can feel and hurt, but to really surrender to [BLANK_AUDIO] The new forms, to surrender very much to the unknown when [BLANK_AUDIO] When it isn’t, to accept something being taken away and still choose to love my life and move forward. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Dana Sawyer: Well, being a college professor, especially at this time with so many millennials, I see them really floundering, struggling to try to find some identity. There’s a lot of cynicism, a lot of, everything’s been tried and nothing worked. And a kind of drowning in an absolute relativism of truth. There is no, everybody just makes up their own. And that bothers me. I see them going through it, it’s painful to watch. And so in the same way that since I teach at an art college, they’re always saying I wish people could define art bigger. Then I find myself saying I wish you could define spirituality bigger, because so many of them are not attracted to spirituality. They see it as light and love and rainbows and butterflies, and they’re really turned off by that, really turned off by that. And so some of them, they’ll be talking to me and they’ll say, man, I was at the Slayer concert the other night and it was timeless and I felt connected to everything. Then I keep trying to say to them, and what I would want to pass on is, if you say, well, there are spiritual people and there are non-spiritual people, and this is a spiritual place, and this isn’t a spiritual place, then all of those divisions are just in your mind. That every place is a spiritual place, every moment is a spiritual moment. Every opportunity is a learning opportunity. You know, if you need your spirituality to have tattoos and piercings, then that’s cool. That’s fine with me.

Canela Michelle Meyers: I guess it’s continuing with this honest embrace of myself, bowing to love however it comes in both its discomfort and comfortable expressions, and then supporting others in finding their own way to that, because it’s certainly going to be their own way, not the same way for myself. So yeah, bowing to love in its many forms as it shows up.

Rick Archer: I don’t think Jeffery spoke. Oh, Susanne.

Jeffery Martin: A few words, I guess. My leading edge right now is really around possibility and discernment and possibility, and trying to listen and sense and feel into what’s showing up, you know, trust.

Susanne Marie: Mine is diving more deeply, fully, uninhibitably, how do you say that word?

Rick Archer: Uninhibitedly?

Susanne Marie: Yeah. Into life. Just embracing in ever deeper ways, just having that be revealed to me where I’m still holding back from embracing life.

Rick Archer: Good. Okay, well, I really thank you all for coming to do this. I think it worked out pretty well. I’m glad we did it. And I really, again, want to express my appreciation to Jeffery Martin and to Sophia University for making this possible, and to Laurie Moore. We were originally going to do it at her house, and at a certain point I realized it wasn’t going to happen with all these people and all these cameras and all this stuff. And so Jeffery had offered Sophia, and I said, “Let’s do that.” And he’s really been invaluable in making this whole thing happen. And again, I really appreciate the university allowing us to use the space. So I hope you’ve all enjoyed listening to or watching this. I’m about to release a whole batch of things from the SAND Conference. Well I haven’t done the SAND Conference yet, but we’re about to do it. And I’ve got a whole bunch of interviews and panel discussions and my own talk and different things. So there’s going to be a little surge of stuff on BatGap. So stay tuned for that. And if somehow or other this whole BatGap thing is new to you and you’ve never heard of this and you stumbled across this talk on the internet, then go to and you’ll find at this count 310 previous interviews categorized in various ways if you look under the past interviews menu. There’s an email thingy that you can sign up to be notified each time a new interview is posted. There’s a donate button and a bunch of other stuff. Explore the menus, you’ll figure it out. So thanks for listening and watching, and we’ll see you for the next one.