Jan Frazier Transcript

Jan Frazier Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week is Jan Frazier. Welcome Jan. :

Jan: Hi. :

Rick: Jan sent me a couple of her books, When Fear Falls Away and The Freedom of Being. And people send me a lot of books and I interview someone every week, and I don’t always have time to read them all. So, I ask people to give me page numbers of sections of the book that they really want me to read. Jan did that and I started reading a section that she had recommended, and after about ten minutes I thought, “Oh man, I have to read the whole book. This is really good writing.” And in fact, as I read the whole book, starting with When Fear Falls Away, I was reminded of a comment that a literature professor of mine had made in college some 40 plus years ago. He had lamented that all of our astronauts were pilots and not poets. And he said that he thought that was unfortunate because the pilots really weren’t qualified to convey to us the wonder of what they were experiencing, and perhaps weren’t even qualified to appreciate it themselves, and he wished we were sending poets up there. And the reason I remembered that comment was that I felt like, “Well Jan is an astronaut poet. She’s established a permanent base on the moon and she’s really good at conveying to us what the experience is like.” So much so that we realized that we’re there with her. And I realize that’s sort of a schmaltzy metaphorical introduction, but that’s what came to mind. You’re a writing teacher, right? A writing professor of some sort or coach and someone who has awakened. And those two qualifications mesh together very nicely, and you’re able to capture the essence of the experience of awakening much more clearly in my estimation than many people who awaken and can’t really convey the sense of it to us. So, I appreciate that. :

Jan: Thank you. :

Rick: Now I did an interview yesterday and I got so involved with the fellow talking about various points and principles that we really forgot to talk about his story, and he had an interesting story. So, I want to make sure that I don’t make that mistake with you. And so maybe this time we could start with your account of your life as it unfolded through various stages as you discussed in your book and how you got bitten by the spiritual bug and when awakening occurred, and some of the stages you consider significant. :

Jan: Okay. I grew up Catholic and stopped being Catholic at some point, but it had its impact in the sense that I grew up comfortable with the idea of mystery, with the largeness of something beyond the ordinary, including the ordinary of whatever was going on in church. And that really stayed with me. And at some point, I stopped considering myself a Catholic, but I still had this kind of general sense of something bigger going on, and had sort of a friendly relationship with God, in spite of the Catholic upbringing. And I think the most significant thing was that I was a very fearful person, and really afraid of death, afraid of my own death and the death of people I loved. And that caused me so much suffering, even though outwardly my life was okay, and I enjoyed a lot of my life, had experienced a lot of joy, a lot of satisfaction. But do you want to say something? :

Rick: I was going to say, just looking back on it, why do you feel that you were so afraid of death? I suppose everyone is to some extent, but in your case, it seemed to be more extreme than many people. :

Jan: I don’t know. :

Rick: Like as a Catholic you must have felt that,” when I die it’s not the end of it.” And even as an ex-Catholic you had that sense of wonder, so, you probably didn’t feel like death is going to be the end of the story. :

Jan: I think it had more to do with what was going on, on this side, like that I’d leave my children once I was a mother. I’d be leaving them, and it would be the end of opportunity to do things, the end of whatever time there was going to be to set things right, accomplish things I might want to accomplish. I really don’t know, but at some point, I was drawn to a spiritual teaching, which caught me very much off guard because I hadn’t really been looking for one. And the main thing that went on there, was that I began to watch my responses to things. :

Rick: Was that Gurumayi, the spiritual teaching? :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Yeah. :

Jan: What I really wanted there; I never really was interested in awakening. What I was after was being more patient with my kids and not being under so much stress and so on. So, I think the most important thing that happened, well two things were valuable there. One of them was the experience of being around GuruMayi, which gave me the sense of this larger something that I mentioned before. And I always attributed it to her, even though she said it’s everywhere, it’s in everyone, all that. I didn’t believe it. I wanted to be around her all the time because I liked the way I feel when I was there. The other thing was that I began to realize that whatever was going on in outer life. was not necessarily tied to what was going on inside me, that there was some latitude, there was some space between those things. :

Rick: So, in other words, if your kid broke his leg or something like that, it wouldn’t necessarily ruin your day. There was an independence in terms of your inner fulfillment and outer circumstances. Is that what you’re saying? :

Jan: Yeah, but I mean more things that would affect me, that has to do with what kind of a mother I was. So, if my child did something risky, my habitual response would be to think, “Oh, I could have prevented that if I’d tried harder to be a good mother, if I’d….” whatever. But also, I’d worry a lot. I just worried a huge amount about their well-being. And all of that felt inevitable to me. It really did feel like there was very little I could do about it, even though I recognized that there was a gap between the thing and my response. :

Rick: And to a certain extent, we’re hardwired to do that, aren’t we? Mothers are hardwired to be very concerned about their kids. :

Jan: But I associated love with fear. To me, I never even questioned it. To me, if you really loved someone, your child or your own life or something you had or wanted, the thought of losing it, the risk of losing it or having it not go well, was inherent to the love. It was an expression of it. And that’s one of the things that ended up falling away. :

Rick: I guess implicit in that is the opposite of loving what is and taking it as it comes. There was a sort of a clinging to certain outcomes and, a fear of outcomes not being under your control. :

Jan: Yeah, definitely. And that whatever happens in some way defines me. So, therefore, I was very much interested in having some say in what would happen. because that’s what I would take my sense of self from, whether my life was good or bad, whether I was a good person or a bad person and so on. So, it’s exactly contrary to loving what is. :

Rick: Right. :

Jan: Yeah, I could never rest, because the vigilance was just constant. :

Rick: And I suppose we could take it a step deeper and say that the root of that was mistaking yourself as being this little entity that, had to have things go a certain way as opposed to being something that is independent of how things go, something more fundamental. :

Jan: Yeah. And when a sense of self gets questioned or gets felt to be bigger, then those things aren’t an issue anymore, but they were very much an issue for me at that time. :

Rick: Yeah. :

Jan: Because as far as I knew, I was the person who was having those life experiences and feeling the way I felt and all that. :

Rick: Yeah, and if someone had said to you at that stage, “Hey, you’re not that person, just chill,” you probably wouldn’t have gotten it. :

Jan: Yeah, I would have said, “La, la, la, la, la.” Yeah. :

Rick: Because that was your orientation. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Yeah. :

Jan: And so, the apparent turning point, and I say apparent because the more time goes by, the more I realize we don’t have any clue of what’s really going on, and I’m including myself in that as I look at my own experience, but the significant thing appeared to be that I was about to go for a medical procedure that had always been really anxiety-provoking, and I had no sense of, as I say, I had not been focusing on awakening. I had no sense of having changed a lot in recent time or anything. I just, in anticipation of that experience, I said, “God, it would be so nice if I could do this differently. instead of full of anxiety the way I always have,” and I felt it go. I now think when I look back that somewhere in me, I had begun to deeply question the inevitability of that connection between inner and outer. I think I was ready to entertain that fear was optional, but I wasn’t consciously thinking that then. So, the experience was that I expressed that wish to myself, that kind of frustrated, weary wish, and I felt the, well, I would say I felt the capacity for fear go, but that’s looking back. Then it felt like the fear of that particular thing tomorrow just went away. :

Rick: At this point, how long had you been associated with Gurumayi? :

Jan: Twelve years. :

Rick: Oh, that’s a long time. And in case people don’t know, Gurumayi was Muktananda’s successor, right? I mean, that’s… :

JAN: Yeah. :

Rick: a young Indian woman. At the time she was quite young. And so, looking back, do you see a causal connection between your GuruMayi involvement for twelve years and that letting go of fear? It’s obviously impossible to play what if, but probably do you think that that fear would have just dropped away had you just been living your ordinary old life without any spiritual involvement? :

Jan: I doubt it, but as you were suggesting there, we don’t really know. I think maybe if I hadn’t had that experience with her, I might have had some other experience that would have moved me toward it. Who knows? But it certainly looks as though it did have an effect. :

Rick: Yeah, because a lot of times what will happen is people will be doing a spiritual practice or some involvement with a spiritual thing for a period of time, and then they’ll have an awakening, and maybe they happen to be drinking orange juice when they have the awakening. And then they’ll think, or others will think, “It’s the orange juice!” :

Jan: Orange juice. :

Rick: Right. It’ll be a big run-on orange juice. :

Jan: Yeah. So, actually, when people ask me that kind of question, or they’ll say, like I just did an interview yesterday, and the person said, “Well, what kinds of practices had you been doing?” and “What kinds of practices are you doing now?” To me, the really interesting thing about that question is what’s behind the thought that, what’s behind that curiosity? The thought is, “Well, then if I turn around and drink the orange juice, then I will….” And what’s behind that is the desire to have control. So, I think the looking behind it is, I know it’s interesting in a story kind of way, but for me, when someone asks that question, it’s much more profitable for them to turn their eyes back into themselves and say, “What is it that I’m really looking for here? Some kind of answer for myself. “I can’t even answer it for myself, let alone somebody else. :

Rick: Yeah. But on the other hand, there does seem to be a tendency to devalue the significance of practices and associations with teachers and so on. In some cases, by the people who have had an actual awakening after having done practice X for 20 years or something. And I’m always a little skeptical of that because, obviously, when the clouds clear away, you realize the sun has always been shining, whether or not there were clouds. And there could be a tendency to feel like that which blew away the clouds didn’t matter, because “Hey, I’ve always been shining. I’m the sun.” But I think from the standpoint of the other side of the clouds, it does matter. And things do have an effect and an influence, and they change your physiology, and they restructure your personality, and all that stuff has its significance in perhaps bringing you to a point of readiness for awakening. :

Jan: Sure. Yeah, I know what you’re saying, and I think there’s something to that. I think it’s more that there’s a whole lot of other stuff going on that we weren’t meaning to do, that had its effect. And the reason I think it’s so important to stress that is that when somebody’s living their lives, and they’re not in the middle of a practice in this particular hour, they have a tendency to think, “Because I’m not doing a practice right now,” or whatever, or even thinking about this stuff, “Somehow what I’m doing isn’t potentially transformative.” And it is, and I think that’s much more important to get that than it is to focus on those things that probably really did make a difference. But I think they made a difference and started a lot of other things that we never noticed. :

Rick: True. So, what you’re saying perhaps is that the whole 24-hour course of events that we live through each day is in itself a practice, if you want to call it that, and everything has its evolutionary significance and its influence on us, right? :

Jan: Yeah, definitely. :

Rick: It’s popular to say these days, “Well, the world is my guru, and whatever happens to me is happening for a reason,” and things like that. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Okay, so you were in there for, a biopsy and all, and you were afraid you were going to maybe have breast cancer or something, and that was a terrifying prospect. But then it’s almost like you asked for deliverance from fear, and at that point your prayer was answered, and fear fell away. :

Jan: It looks that way. But now, what I ended up thinking, and again, this is just another story, but I think by the time we ask a question like that, we pray a prayer or whatever, formulate an idea, request an intention. By the time we have it together to do that, something deeply has already occurred, and all we’re doing at that point is saying to ourselves the thing that has already either happened, or has just been sitting there waiting to be tipped over. So, I don’t think it happened because I asked for it to happen. I know I talk about it that way in the book, because that’s how it looked then. But I’ve watched other people so much in the years since then, and spoken very deeply with many people about their own processes, and I’ve witnessed it and observed it in others. And I think it’s that because there’s so much going on below the level of our awareness, I already said it. :

Rick: I know what you’re trying to say. It’s like we confuse cause and effect, and we think that, “Oh, because I made this entreaty, then something changed.” But the very fact that you made the entreaty was because the thing was ready to change, or it had already changed in effect, and that’s why you were motivated to make the entreaty. :

Jan: Yeah. We can’t stand to know consciously that we have choice in this kind of thing until we’re ready to take it. So, if the suspicion that choice is operative is there, kind of below the surface level of awareness, we’re going to keep it below, down, pushed under water as it were, until we can bear to really look it in the face and say, “Okay, I’m going, I’m free.” I think until then, there may be a long time when we hold it down, but something’s happening. :

Rick: It’s interesting that you emphasize choice, because there’s a lot of teachers who emphasize that there is no choice because there’s no one to choose, and that volition is an illusion or a delusion, that things are just happening, and you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride because you actually have no say in what happens. But what you’re saying seems to contrast with that. :

Jan: I think when we’re still identified with being the personality and all of that, and we have the impression of ordinary kinds of choice, making decisions and doing one thing versus another and all that, within that sort of limited context, which is all we’ve got then, the idea of choice looks different and in fact, I think, is operative within that sort of system. So, for instance, it is possible within that to see that you’re thinking, and to make the choice to believe or not to believe the thought. But most of the time, within that personality egoic set up, most of the time we see that we’re thinking and so that choice isn’t operative. I think when freedom comes, then maybe there isn’t so much the sense of choice in the way that there was before. So, I think this idea that there’s no one there to choose, from the point of view of the ego, that’s just another nice idea. It’s just another story. Someone who’s identified with a personality does think there’s someone there. And that’s the problem, you could say, but it’s operative, it’s ongoing. The problem believes in itself completely. And so, I think it’s not really useful to say, to try to hammer somebody with the idea that there’s no one there to do anything and there’s no real choice. It’s a concept. :

Rick: Yeah, because it may not relate at all to their level of experience. Let’s take it this way. Would it be fair to say that when we’re very much locked into individuality in a calcified kind of way, like you were when you were in a very fearful condition earlier in your life, that there’s this kind of strong feeling that not only do you have choice, but that the outcome of things really depends on what you choose and that you really have to try hard to make things go this way or make things go that way. Whereas, after the shift, there’s still a sense of choice, but it comes in a much more relaxed, accepting, subtle way. As if just, like when you’re driving, and you don’t wrench the wheel this way and that to control your car. You just make these really subtle adjustments, and it keeps the car on the road. So, there’s like this subtle deciding factor that operates, but it’s never abrupt and its sort of just, you know what I’m saying? :

Jan: I do. And there’s no attachment. You don’t associate the choice or the outcome of the choice with you. :

Rick: Right. :

Jan: It’s just what’s happening or just what you’re doing or something. So, there’s no attachment to it and so it’s all very lightly undertaken. And then, whatever happens, whatever the sort of outcome of the choice is, it’s just what’s happening then, which is so different from before, where whatever you chose and whatever the outcome was, was completely tied up in your sense of yourself. :

Rick: Yeah. The Gita says you have control over action alone, never over its fruits. Be not attached to the fruits of action. And even that could be misconstrued as meaning you have this absolute control, but you don’t. It’s a subtler kind of thing. :

Jan: Yeah. The point of that is to focus on the second part of it, I think, is to correct that problem. It’s like the money being the root of all evil, which people say, and that’s not what it says. It’s the attachment to money. :

Rick: Attachment, right. :

Jan: Yeah. So much of what occurs when the switch gets thrown, is people feeling, discovering what it is to do things for a completely different reason from before. And, you know, for me, that’s a really wonderful unfolding that occurs. So, when you’re no longer attached to what you’re doing, why would you do anything? Or why would you do one thing versus another? And it’s been an interesting process for me to experience. :

Rick: Can you answer that question? :

Jan: I already forgot the question. :

Rick: The one you posed. Why would you do anything, or why would you do one thing other than another? :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: You can give us a specific example, maybe. :

Jan: Yeah. Well, somebody asked me, why would you write a book? What’s going on there for you? You’re a writer. So historically I would have loved to get published because, it made me feel good about myself. That was the main thing that was going on there. And when editors said nice things about my writing, all of that fueled me. Not so much my writing, but the sending things out. That’s what that was about. So now, here I finally, you could say, published my first book. And it didn’t mean anything at all to me. But why did I do it then? So why did I write the book? I wrote the first book initially just because writing is how I process things. But why take that extra step? In that case, it was that I thought it might be helpful to people. :

Rick: Yeah, that’s what I would have said. :

Jan: Purely that. So now when I’m, reasons to do something, it might be just because it needs to be done. It might be because somebody else would really like me to do it. It might be because it’s fun. But I no longer do something because if I do it, then I’ll feel good about myself. Or then I’ll stop feeling guilty. Or I’ll do it just because I can’t stand to be still. All that stuff isn’t functioning. :

Rick: Right. So, you could say you still have motivations, but they’re of a different quality than they used to be. :

Jan: Yeah. And if I start to do something and it’s not working out, it’s very easy for me to just drop it. I don’t have any sense of investment and then uninvestment. Yeah. :

Rick: I have once heard humility defined as the quality of not insisting that things happen any particular way. :

Jan: Oh, yeah. :

Rick: But, when someone gets in touch with you and says, “Oh, I loved your book, and it had such a profound impact on my life, and everything is going so much better now.” Don’t you get some sense of gratification from that? :

Jan: No. :

Rick: Really? :

Jan: No. :

Rick: Don’t you sort of feel like, “Oh, that’s wonderful. I’m glad I did the book.” :

Jan: I feel good for them. Well, maybe I’m misunderstanding your question. All of my awareness is on them when they’re saying it. So, I’m feeling glad for them, but it doesn’t spill over into glad for me that I did something great that enabled that to happen. :

Rick: Yeah, I’m doing wonderful because I did this and I’m the savior of the world. :

Jan: Yeah. I just forget sometimes to say thank you when people are saying that. And I realize, “Oh, they expect me. I should say thank you.” It’s so not in my awareness. Yeah. But I do notice those things, because it’s different from before. I’m aware of it. What were you going to say? :

Rick: I was just going to say, what you’re saying now kind of leads me into a line of questioning that I wanted to pursue. There’s so many, like your Freedom from Fear book, it just contains one little paragraph after another that highlights, that gives a really clear depiction of some quality of life after awakening. And it elucidates a particular nugget, and then goes on to the next one. So, I’d like to explore some more of those with you. First of all, though, let’s just go one step back before we get into that. Your 12 years with Gurumayi, that was very nicely written, too. And there were sections in there about your, really deep devotion and focus, and appreciation of her and the experiences you’re having in her presence and so on. And I think that it’s worth mentioning because in some circles there’s a dismissal of the whole association with teachers thing. Gurus are written off as all bunch of phonies and, you shouldn’t bother associating with one and so on. And, maybe for some people that’s true, but I think for many people it isn’t, and it shouldn’t be thrown under the bus. Would you agree in retrospect? Do you feel like all that was in some way misguided? We’re again getting into a cause-and-effect thing here, but I can’t help but feel that that was instrumental in your development. It was a valuable phase in your life. :

Jan: I agree, and I’ve just recently been doing an audio recording of that book, which means I’ve been reading it myself for the first time in years. And it’s been really something for me to re-experience it all and to have had deep, deep appreciation for Gurumayi and for all of that time. So, no, I wouldn’t throw it under the bus. But I also, go ahead, ask what you’re going to ask Rick. :

Rick: No, continue. :

Jan: I also understand why, it feels a little bit like the time for gurus, for people in the West, has maybe gone or is going. But I would never either encourage somebody toward a teacher or away from one, whether it’s a so-called guru or, one of the more contemporary kinds of teachers. I think if somebody’s very naturally moved to the truth, wherever that seems to be, if it’s in the form of a person or whatever, then that’s where they should go. And when it’s time for them to move on, then they should move on. And if there isn’t a teacher there or a guru, fine. :

Rick: Yeah, I think spiritual movements like that can be like incubators. There’s a time to be in the incubator and there’s a time to leave the incubator, once you’ve hatched, at least. :

Jan: I think it’s really important, though, for a person to pay attention to their orientation to their teacher, if they have one. There’s a whole rich world in there and that often gets neglected. Because people, when somebody’s completely devoted to a guru, that’s their whole world and it was my whole world. I think it’s very easy if the guru suddenly turns bad or somebody, for whatever reason begins to not feel that way anymore. It’s very easy not to inquire into the sort of, “What does this indicate about me that’s going on here?” The focus tends to be on the guru. So, I think there’s a lot of rich terrain in there that gets neglected. :

Rick: Were you at all flummoxed by the revelations about Muktananda’s strange sexual tendencies and all when that came out? Or was that like past, didn’t really matter at that point? :

Jan: I became aware of that pretty early on in my time with Gurumayi, and I was so focused on her. It was something that obviously people were talking about and so I was thinking about him. But my overwhelming experience of her was positive and so I didn’t really know what to make of it, but I just kind of decided” I’m just going to go with what my heart’s telling me here “and I’m glad I did. :

Rick: Good. Okay, I guess we covered that. So, as I was reading your book, I was jotting down little points on my iPad, and I’m going to ask you some of them, not as formulated questions, but just as little nuggets that you can expand on. SO for instance, here’s one. There was a phrase where you said, “For all I know, there are more stages to come.” And let me just elaborate on that one a little bit, to say that some people don’t have that concept. Some people I’ve interviewed and some people I’ve spoken with, they feel like I’ve awakened and that’s it. It’s black and white, how could there be any more? The whole idea of further stages or unfoldment or progress or levels or all that doesn’t make sense to me. But in your experience, you wrote that a number of years ago, do you still, did that pan out? Were there more stages to come and are there still, as far as you can tell? :

Jan: A lot has happened since then. I think awakening enables a lot to happen. But I think that subject that you alluded to there, the thing about stages is…there’s always this question, is awakening an on or off thing, is there gradual awakening or are there little awakenings? I think mostly when people talk about stages, they’re looking at the leading up to awakening. I definitely think there’s a significant, like a switch, on or off thing that occurs when the major change occurs. And I also think if you stay open after that, more will come, but I don’t think you get more awake. It takes a little while for us to be rid of the before way, the limiting way, all the identification and the habits and all that. And that takes time, it takes adaptation. And once that has occurred or maybe while that’s occurring, it becomes possible to see in a way that it just wasn’t possible before. And so, I definitely have felt, say, deepening and widening and softening and all of that since the significant change. Although in the beginning it felt so different and so much better. I thought, okay, this is how it’s going to be now. And it was a little while before I realized, now there’s more happening here. :

Rick: And is there a sense even now that the deepening and the softening could continue indefinitely? :

Jan: When I go there, when you just said that, it’s like, because the future doesn’t feel real to me, I have to say I don’t know. But it wouldn’t surprise me, given what’s happened so far. :

Rick: So far it has continued, so there’s no reason to expect it won’t, but you just don’t go there because it’s the future. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Fair enough. :

Jan: Yeah. A lot has happened. :

Rick: What I’ve found in reading and talking to people is that, people who really seem to have matured in this to some extent is, I haven’t yet encountered anyone who has said, “Nope, that’s it, no more deepening and softening.” It’s like there’s a dimension, obviously there’s some dimension which isn’t going to change, but there’s another dimension, or perhaps we could say the whole relative expression of life, which knows no end to change, and which will continue to become more, our expression as that will continue to become more and more refined as long as we’re alive maybe, or as long as it does. :

Jan: And we keep being in the world, most of us, we keep having relationships, interacting with other people, hearing what goes on in the news and all of that. And so, for me a lot of what’s evolved has been kind of in relationship to all that, and when I’m functioning in a normal way, especially with other people or out in the world, it involves a kind of pretense or a kind of pulling away from the, you could say, larger awareness. And I experience that there’s a cost to that, and it’s mostly something I’m willing to do, but I also over time have become less and less willing to do it or more selective about doing it. So, I’ve opted out of a lot of social things I used to do. That kind of thing has really changed. :

Rick: Yeah. So would it be fair to say that some kind of cocktail party or something that you might once have attended just doesn’t… :

Jan: It would be a nightmare. :

Rick: Yeah, you just wouldn’t fit in, and you’d be expected to behave in a certain way that’s no longer you and so on. Whereas going to the supermarket and buying some vegetables and paying for them and leaving again, that doesn’t really compromise you so much because you don’t have to adopt any kind of socially accepted behavior. You could just be yourself and do it. :

Jan: Yeah. And I love being around people in that wa,y where it’s sort of anonymous, not really interacting so much or not in a chit-chatty kind of way. I love that. :

Rick: Yeah. It’s like you’re an incognito space alien getting to experience Earth life. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: You quoted Merrill Wolf quite a bit in your book. I hadn’t really been aware of him, although I had heard of his name, and there was lots of nice stuff in there that you quoted. Here’s one. You quoted the phrase, “high indifference,” and then for some reason next to that I wrote, “seeing the bigger picture.” Want to elaborate on that one? What does that evoke when I say that? :

Jan: Well, I had ideas, like most of us do, before, about what it would be like to be awake. And one of them was that there would be experience of ceaseless compassion, and sort of tenderness in the heart always in relation to other people, in relation to the world. And one of the things that I ended up experiencing, and this was before I even really understood what had occurred with me, which by then had been going on for some months, was I felt this real neutral orientation to suffering sometimes, to other people’s suffering. And that surprised me because it didn’t feel like compassion. It felt like, now I would say, the space in which those things were occurring. I felt like that’s what I was. I was the space in which people’s lives were playing out and in which their suffering was occurring. So, Merrill Wolf calls it indifference, high indifference. And he knew what he was talking about, I think, at the time he wrote that. But when I read it, I both recognized it as what was occurring with me, and I was a little surprised, maybe a little concerned about it, because it felt so almost inhuman. I just wasn’t engaged much of the time with, and that’s true now, with the things that concern people. :

Rick: They say that there’s a lot of phrases in the Gita where it says, “Krishna smilingly spoke.” He’s here on this carnage of a battlefield, and he’s got this subtle smile on his face the whole time. It’s like above the fray. If you think of a God’s eye view of the world, did God wring his hands and gnash his teeth when planes crashed into the World Trade Center? When this terrible thing happens over here? There’s a kind of a more cosmic perspective that probably takes all such things in stride. :

Jan: Yeah. I actually wrote a piece about what the air felt like inside the towers as all of it was happening. Did the air care? And that’s what we are, fundamentally, is like the air. Because that’s so alien to our ordinary kind of sense of what it is to be a human being. I think when somebody tastes that, senses it, that profound neutrality, like the space inside one of those towers, it’s terrifying. It can be terrifying to someone. :

Rick: But if you’re walking down the street and a kid fell off his bicycle and scraped up his elbows and knees, you’d probably jump to his aid and comfort him and be very concerned and so on. :

Jan: The immediate impulse is to feel what the other person is feeling. It’s almost like the default. If I’m in the presence of something ongoing like what you just described, where I might be able to do something to help or comfort. But if I’m just observing it, say, from afar, from a telescope on top of a building a couple of miles away, I probably wouldn’t really go there in my awareness. :

Rick: So, when you watch the news and some bombing has taken place in Syria or some such thing, you don’t sit there and freak out about it. You’re just kind of, a dispassionate observer. :

Jan: That’s not actually true when I’m in encounter with the news. I tend to go there, and I feel very deeply, but only in little tiny bits. Then I turn it off. :

Rick: So, it’s like you process it. :

Jan: Yeah, and that’s enough. So why would I listen to it? From that sort of more distant mode, I wouldn’t even think to listen to the news. It wouldn’t interest me at all. This is one of the things I’ve learned to do. I do tend to feel very deeply what I put myself in the presence of. I want to know what’s going on in the world. I care about people around me. I do dip in, and because I dip in so deeply, I don’t dip in very much. just little bits here and there. Then I go away from it all together. :

Rick: There’s an ancient Bengali saying, which is, “For the wise, only an indication is necessary.” :

Jan: Yeah, and nothing really changes. Thoreau said this, “We don’t need to read the newspaper every day. It’s the same.” :

Rick: Right, same old news. I must confess to still being a bit of a news junkie. :

Jan: Well, I look at the news every day. I would not have wanted to miss that meteorite. :

Rick: Right, yeah, that was cool. :

Jan: No, excellent. :

Rick: Here’s another little nugget from your book. You mentioned bliss and the ability to go in and out of it at will. My question was, isn’t it an undercurrent all the time? Or is it that it’s an undercurrent, but the fullness of it can ebb and flow according to the circumstances? :

Jan: My sense of that is it has to do with whether I’m paying attention to something in the ordinary world or not. And if I am, then the so-called bliss or the sweetness will recede in awareness for them. So, it’s really more whether something else is intervening to block it, as it were, or not quiet it. But it’s always there. :

Rick: Do you also find that … I’m sorry, go ahead. :

Jan: It’s not always bliss, though. I mean, the “it” that’s always there is often quiet. :

Rick: Right. :

Jan: It’s palpable. :

Rick: Do you also sometimes find, though, that contrasting situations can almost stir up the bliss? Like, if you’re lying in a bathtub and you’re lying really still, the water doesn’t feel very warm after a while, but if you slosh around a bit, you feel the warmth. So do you feel like if, maybe, let’s say you’re running through an airport trying to catch a flight or something, the contrast or the juxtaposition between the inner silence and the outer chaos actually stirs up the bliss in some way? :

Jan: It doesn’t ring a bell. But one thing that does happen that’s kind of odd, or was kind of odd, is sometimes some kind of intensity in the ordinary world, like someone suffering terribly or, I don’t know, some emergency being underway, l suddenly I realize I’m in real bliss. And I think what’s going on, and again, this is just a story, trying to understand, I think what’s going on, is the situation asks for everything. And everything in the way of surrender, everything in the way of presence, intelligence. And so sometimes the situation will summon that, and part of what comes with that is what we’re calling bliss. So, it looks like a discrepancy there, and it is kind of to the mind, it’s like, “Oh, you know, there’s this really terrible thing underway, and here I am in ecstasy.” But I think that’s what’s going on there. :

Rick: And you’re talking about terrible things that you actually have to get involved in, or are you talking about things that you might observe from a distance or something? :

Jan: More things that are in close. So, somebody I love called me and told me she just found out she had cancer, so there, as I was sort of imagining the family situation around her, then I felt that joy or bliss start to come. But I don’t think it’s so much from every move. :

Rick: Kind of like the mother who’s able to lift the car off her child or something, the strength comes, and she doesn’t even know why, we’ve heard those stories. It’s almost like your nature kind of causes your inner resources to amplify, in order to maybe bring more to the situation or something. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Okay. There was a nice little phrase that you wrote, or sentence or two. You said, “When I do not have a lot of outer things to focus on, my experience of each thing I do, is suffused with a deep and many-layered pleasure that is itself immeasurably more pleasing than the activity I am doing or the encounter I am having.” It’s kind of related to what we were just saying. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: So, when you did not have a lot of outer things to focus on. So, I guess this is a little bit of a rehash, but do you tend to try to keep your life simple in order to not have a lot of things to focus on and enjoy that deep and many-layered pleasure? :

Jan: When I can. That’s been happening a lot lately, but yeah, I do have a definite preference for that. Or if I am really busy, if I’m in a busy time like I am now, I take care to take moments in between to just pause. It’s like the pause button on the video to let the other come. And then I press the pause and resume the other. :

Rick: Do you still sit and meditate as you used to in your Gurumayi days? Or is your idea of a pause just a little walk in the woods or something? :

Jan: I don’t meditate, I mean in the formal way. No, it can be in between washing a plate and washing another plate. :

Rick: Just a few moments? :

Jan: Yeah. Life gives us those things all the time, sitting at a light. All day long there’s all kinds of things that, we are made to be still. :

Rick: I’ve heard it described that in the enlightened mind there are really relatively few thoughts compared to the ordinary mind which is full of chatter. And that there’s a natural, and that thoughts arise for the most part when there’s a need for them to. It’s not like you have a constant din going on in the background. And that between the thoughts you do have, the mind naturally settles into stillness. So, it’s like you’re taking thousands of little mini breaks throughout the day. :

Jan: Yeah. There’s definitely a sense of thinking on purpose and then stopping it. But of course, a lot of what ordinary life asks does ask for thinking of a practical nature. So, there’s a lot of that going on right now. It’s just not, I love the word din. I think of it as elevator music. That kind of thing isn’t there. :

Rick: If you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, does your mind kick in and you have some song going in your head that you heard during the day or something? Or do you have a silent mind and you just go to the bathroom and go back to bed and that’s it? :

Jan: Sometimes there is a song, it’s interesting. It’s sort of like it must have been playing in my sleep. But mostly it’s just quiet and just getting up and going to the bathroom. Or aware of the cat or whatever. :

Rick: I ask that question because that’s my experience. I’ll get up in the night to go to the bathroom and all of a sudden, I’m playing some Beatles song in my head or something. Or even a worse song. Beatles are great, but there’ll be some dumb thing. On page 120 of Fear Falls Away, I think the chapter there was entitled, “How Can You Tell You’re Enlightened?” You gave an analogy of a train. I don’t know if you remember that. But I think the analogy was that your life is like a train, and you can sort of see the tracks going off in the distance to infinity. But behind you, it’s as if the tracks just dissolve or something as the train goes. Is that basically what you said? And would you like to elaborate on that in terms of your actual experience? :

Jan: I think that’s how it seemed to me then because my whole previous life, I couldn’t see a way back to the way things were before. So, my image for that was the ever-disappearing track. And now the image doesn’t even come to me because it feels more still, like I’m just where I am. We talked about before when you said, “What does the future look like, Tamera? Do I imagine change continuing to occur?” :

Rick: You just don’t go there. :

Jan: Yeah, I don’t go there. I really use that image in the book more to point out the missingness of the old way. :

Rick: Okay. On the very next page of that book, you use the phrase “deep knowing”, and you spoke a bit about certainty. And as I recall you spoke of knowing things with certainty. And that sort of contradicts what a lot of people say these days about not knowing, and living in a sort of state of uncertainty. Do you want to kind of play on the certainty/uncertainty paradox for a bit? :

Jan: Yeah. So, in any given moment when we’re looking at a situation that requires a course of action, or an understanding, we want understanding for some reason, all we’ve got is what we’ve got right then. So, when this kind of moment occurs, I’m very aware that if I looked at the same–it wouldn’t be the same situation– but if I went looking again the next day, I might see different things. I’m also very aware that whatever my decision or orientation is right now, isn’t necessarily going to turn out– there’s nothing about, “Well, I’ll look back at this later, and know that it was the exact right thing to do.” So, it’s completely independent of any of that. There’s a recognition that when we look at a situation, all we’ve got is whatever is in the picture right then, and whatever resources we bring to it. But the resources that I bring to it feel considerable. It’s just that there’s no attachment anywhere around it. So, it’s not like the all-empowerful knowing Oz, or the ultimate objective truth about something. It’s just that in the course of ordinary life, when we need to act and make choices and all of that, my sense of the resources that I bring to that kind of a moment, is that they’re much greater than they used to be. And because I’m not attached, there’s no angst about it. I’m not afraid to look at whatever there is to see. :

Rick: Would the phrase “spontaneous right action” kind of summarize what you just said? :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: And “right,” of course, doesn’t mean absolute. :

Jan: No. :

Rick: “I’m right, you’re wrong” kind of thing. It’s just appropriate, perhaps, is a better word. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Yeah. Okay. Good. Oh, this was a real interesting aspect of what you said. You said that you discovered you were incapable of being stressed anymore. And you described driving along a snowy highway next to big trucks, and you’re from Florida originally, and now you live in Vermont, and finding that, despite what would ordinarily be a very tense situation for most people, you were completely relaxed; you weren’t incurring any stress during that experience. :

Jan: Yeah. It’s like the spontaneous right action that you said. I’m so in the moment, I’m aware, I’m alert. I’m aware that I need to pay attention. You could say around the edges of awareness, I know there’s a possibility that something bad could happen, but that’s not where my attention is. My attention is on the immediate, what the body is asked to do. So, the anxiety that we have, the stress that was so familiar to me from before, comes of anticipating what could happen in the next moment. It’s not like I’m ignorant of the possibility that something could happen. It’s just that that doesn’t–that isn’t what causes me– that isn’t what determines how I’m doing right this moment. It’s just information out there somewhere. :

Rick: And of course, that might sound like an intellectual exercise, “Oh, I’m just here in this moment,” but obviously you’re not doing it. You’re just trying to describe now what is really a spontaneous way of functioning. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Let’s say you drive up from New York City and you go through all kinds of crazy traffic and you finally get home, it’s a five-hour drive or something, and then you’re home, you come in the house. Don’t you feel like your nervous system is just a bit jangled from all that? Or is it you’ve really managed to super fluidly go through the whole experience without incurring any stress? :

Jan: The stress doesn’t happen. I do feel, however, when I come in the house or, get away from the traffic, I do feel a kind of relaxing or kind of a relief. It’s not from stress. It’s from the need to be constantly attentive. :

Rick: Right, yeah, you don’t have to do that anymore. :

Jan: Yeah, it’s like my resources have been going to looking left and right and back and, handling the car and all that. But I’d rather my resources would go into nothing, just feeling myself be. So, I do feel something. There is a difference. But it’s not a relaxing of stress. I had a chronic neck pain from a skiing injury many years ago. It was like a lightning rod. Whenever I would drive into a city, my neck would just–it was horrible, the pain. And it would be hours afterward. I had to take all kinds of meds and everything to get it to stop. And it just doesn’t happen anymore. And it’s not like I don’t still have the residue of the neck injury. I do. If somebody looks at my neck and my back, they can see something occurred. It doesn’t flare up. :

Rick: Right. You know. That’s great. Think of the implications of what we’re describing now on the health care system. That alone, would be multi-trillion-dollar savings if everyone could function this way. :

Jan: Yeah. No kidding. And we wouldn’t have–I sit around and thought about this stuff sometimes. We wouldn’t have an advertising industry anymore. We all need all kinds of different quilts and nice cars. Anyway. :

Rick: Yeah. That would be nice. Ask your doctor about it. :

Jan: Yeah, wouldn’t it? :

Rick: It’s probably not fair to ask this because it’s so hypothetical, but, — :

Jan: Go right ahead. :

Rick: I’ll ask it anyway. Imagine something really traumatic happened to you, like you were mugged or attacked or something like that. I’m quite confident your reaction to it would be quite unlike most people’s reaction. But I wonder if something more extreme like that would manage to make an impact, and cause you to lose your balance or something. But maybe not. :

Jan: When there’s an immediate and real physical threat, the resources of any of us must go into defense or flight. we don’t have time to be afraid and stressed. In fact, often after an experience like that, a person will report this profound, weird calm, this sense of time stopping and all that. And that’s because their mind could not waste any resources on mental activity. They get afraid afterward or they get angry or whatever all that is. That I wouldn’t experience. But I think I would be physically responsive in the necessary way. I’ve wondered, what if I saw something coming and there was no– like somebody bolted me down to the middle of the street and then a truck started coming toward me and I knew I couldn’t possibly get away. I sort of put myself hypothetically in that kind of situation and thought, “Oh, what would that be like?” :

Rick: How about the railroad tracks? That would be more– :

Jan: Oh, yeah, tied down the railroad tracks. Yeah. I think I’d make whatever good faith attempt could be made to get away. This is assuming I had time for this leisurely, approach. And then if I really knew there was no–nothing to be done, I would relax. But I don’t know. I’ll let you know if it ever happens. :

Rick: Put yourself in Christ’s sandals. “Okay, I’m going to be crucified tomorrow. And boy, is that going to be horrible.” And then imagine how he kind of dealt with that. As the Bible recounts it, there was an initial objection, “Let this cup pass from me,” and then there was a relaxation. :

Jan: Yeah. Yeah. Who knows? :

Rick: yeah. Okay. The whole section of your book that you came back to again and again, actually, of two modes of awareness, two dimensions at once. And I found that very nicely and clearly expressed. You want to elaborate on that? And is that still relevant? Because also made mention of “there is nothing outside of me,” which implies a unity rather than a duality. :

Jan: One of the interesting experiences I had with the recording that I’ve been doing is revisiting that, that sense of there being two modes. Because on the one hand, it was made very vivid for me again that it used to be that way. And on the other hand, I see that it’s not really that way anymore. I think it’s more that I’ve gotten used to it or something. But at some point, in the book, I talk about how the two began to feel more integrated, that it wasn’t like being in one or the other. :

Rick: And let’s explain what you mean by the two modes so people– :

Jan: Oh, yeah. Okay. So, it’s sort of deliberately suspending the deeper awareness for the purpose of doing ordinary functioning, not identifying with it. It’s not like suddenly becoming an ego or identify with the ego again. But it’s just being able to function and focus and attend to something, meant I needed to kind of hold away or push away or something this deeper awareness, where it’s all peace and ease and nothing’s going on. It used to feel like I had to do one or the other because if I let that deeper awareness kind of predominate, I wouldn’t be able to function. And that’s really still true. I have to say that’s true still. But it’s more that I’m–now even when I’m doing the ordinary kinds of stuff, I’m always aware around the edges of this other. It’s more a question of whether I completely give myself to the–what I’m calling the other or not. :

Rick: Well, over time, didn’t the two modes kind of integrate so it didn’t have to be either/or, but there could be– you could be doing stuff, and yet at the same time there’s that non-doing awareness that rides along with it? :

Jan: Yes, but part of what this is about is the sense of self. So, when I’m functioning in a bodied way or interacting with somebody, I have to step into the pretense or the form or something of being a particular person located in space, able to do things, able to be seen, to respond, talk, all that. But in the normal awareness where I’m not having to do that, there’s no sense– Here’s where we get into the nobody’s here thing. I’m not aware of a self at all. And so– :

Rick: Even a subliminal, faint remains of it that perhaps it’s way in the background, but there’s some semblance of one still functioning? :

Jan: Not really. :

Rick: Washing the dishes or something? :

Jan: Well, then I’m doing something. In that case, yes. :

Rick: that’s such a non-intellectual, non-challenging– :

Jan: But there’s still–there’s a sensory thing going on. The body is functioning, you know. I need to have some sense of plate and hand and dirty and order of things. Like you wash it and then you rinse it. In order to do that, you have to kind of come into a persona. And someone I spoke to a while ago described this as zooming in or zooming out. :

Rick: Ah, I like that. :

Jan: It’s a very apt way of describing it. So, the zooming out, which you could say is the default, is that, there’s no sense of being somebody. Or if there is, the sense of being everything. Okay? But there’s no difference between– I don’t stop somewhere and then everything else starts. But, in order to function physically or socially or something, there’s kind of–we have to adopt a bit of a pretense. And so that’s a zooming in kind of thing. But it’s false. It feels limiting, necessarily. But it’s a pretense. :

Rick: In Sanskrit, there’s a phrase, “leisha vidya,” which means faint remains of ignorance. And it’s said that in order to function in the world, there has to be some faint remains of ignorance. The analogy used is like you have some–a butter ball on your hands and then you throw it off. There’s still some greasy surface on the hand. And so there needs to be– even though you said it was false, there needs to be some little remains of a false entity, a self, in order to function, as you say. But if you took a nice day, took a walk in the woods, and sat down under a tree and just sat there for a while, would there be a complete disappearance of any remnants of that? :

Jan: Yes. :

Rick: And what would the experience be like? I’m sure you’ve had the experience. What would the experience like under a circumstance like that? :

Jan: Well, the eyes are open. And so, the awareness is of whatever the senses are taking in, visual or the sound of the wind, the birds moving in the trees, the feel of the air on the skin. But if I were to turn on, or narrow the awareness sufficient to get ready to articulate, which is what I’m trying to do right now, then you’d say, well, there’s the feeling of the air on the skin and the skin belongs to me and all that. But when the thing is actually occurring, it’s like I’m over there. I’m no more here, observing and feeling and processing than I am over there sitting on that branch, with the breeze ruffling my feathers. It sounds silly when I say it, but there’s just whatever the sensation is that’s happening. There’s not a sense that it’s happening to somebody. But I realize there have to be sense receptors there in order for this to be occurring. And I’m experiencing the immediate scene, not a scene plunged down in the middle of the city somewhere where I’m not physically. I’s like this moving awareness. That’s the sense of it. :

Rick: Yeah. So, there’s obviously still a nervous system and sensory apparatus, which is enabling that whole thing to take place. And there’s consciousness, which is enabling the experience to happen. That’s part of the equation. But you’re just saying that you’re so relaxed into being or into consciousness that there’s just only–I’m just kind of trying to restate what you just said and see if you agree with the way I’m understanding it–that there’s just very little, a minimal amount of localization or identification as a person. There’s just almost like Being itself is experiencing the scene through all of its expressions rather than just through the Jan expression. :

Jan: Yeah. And the mind isn’t holding on to anything. It’s not processing. It’s not trying to- It’s not meaning to remember or label or even name, bird or kind of bird. When that’s not going on, there’s just apprehension or the thing that’s feeling it. Yet I think there’s still a subtle interpretation because if a rhinoceros walked through the scene, you would think, “Whoa, wait a minute. This doesn’t fit here.” Doubtless. :

Rick: Yeah. Another thing that you talked quite a bit about in your book, which not too many teachers talk about, but I consider to be quite relevant, is this not losing awareness during sleep. Let’s talk about that a little bit if we may. Is that still happening for you? :

Jan: Sometimes. It happened more early on. Or maybe it’s that I was more aware of it early on because it was different from– :

Rick: It was new. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Yeah. :

Jan: I mean, it’s hard to know. Is it really happening now? The reason I noticed it then was that I naturally at first assumed that I must be awake because I was aware, and we associate those things. :

Rick: Yeah. :

Jan: Like if you’re asleep and then you suddenly become aware, you must have had to wake up first. So, I would notice it because I think, “I’m going to be really tired in the morning.” And then finally, after a while it was happening, I realized, “I’m not tired. I was asleep the whole time.” And then as my understanding deepened, I began to be aware of it while it was happening. I understood while it was happening that I was actually asleep. And I also knew that I wasn’t dreaming. It was absolutely empty and quiet in there. :

Rick: But to know that, doesn’t that involve some kind of mental activity or intellectual activity? To think about, “Okay, I’m really sleeping, and awareness is gone. I’m not dreaming.” There’s some kind of thought process going on still. :

Jan: I suppose so. :

Rick: But maybe that is just sort of occasional and fleeting, and maybe most of the time everything is shut down, but inner awareness is still there, and yet there’s no cognition of it because the cognitive faculties are sleeping. Could we say that? :

Jan: Sounds good. :

Rick: Yeah. The reason I bring it up is that I was a student of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I used to be at the facility right next to Muktananda’s facility in South Fallsburg. Muktananda used to walk down the road in his little ski cap. But that was one of Maharishi’s sort of criterion of awakening, was the maintenance of pure awareness during sleep. He said that’s sort of an acid test that you can’t fake. And if you think you’re awake and yet you’re out like a light during sleep, then maybe that awakeness isn’t quite so developed as you might think. So, it’s just a sort of curiosity about are there any reliable criteria for awakening that we could use to certify it for ourselves or in others so as not to fool ourselves. And I’m not suggesting for a moment that you’re fooling yourself. Your experience is obviously very genuine. But I think it’s a worthwhile thing to consider because I think there are a lot of people, who get their first glimpse of spirituality and jump to the conclusion that they’re like Ramana Maharshi now or something. Whereas there could actually be a lot of development yet to undergo. :

Jan: Yeah. If I were to engage with someone about that kind of subject, I would want the focus to be rather than trying to come up with possible criteria, and then apply them to a given person, I would really invite the person to say what happens when the question about this is not allowed into the picture. It’s like how does this moment of awareness change, if you are or are not, or if we are or are not measuring what is your experience and is it a real thing or not? I think putting on that, I’m not saying this isn’t legitimate for us to talk about, I’m just saying putting on the hat, the mental hat that’s necessary to ask those kinds of questions is itself in the way. I think it causes more trouble than any so-called answer could solve. :

Rick: So, you don’t think that it’s really an issue whether people can fool themselves about whether they’re awake or not or such and such. I know some traditions actually do have kind of like checklists that you have to go through. I think in Zen there were certain things the master would do to test your realization, and you would actually be asked to wait 10 years after awakening before you began to teach. So that’s not really relevant in your world to the sort of genuineness of awakening, versus mistaking a mere understanding for awakening or some such thing? :

Jan: It’s one of the things that’s changed for me over time. It used to be that I would feel like it mattered to be able to know, for me to know or a person to know themselves, whether the thing had really happened or not, for instance. And as time has gone on, I’ve come to see that that’s a primrose path. From the point of view of the person who’s in it, the person we’re talking about, it’s a much more productive thing is to set aside considerations of trying to figure out where I am, and see, how does it change my experience right now, which is all we’ve got ever, when I stop thinking those thoughts. Those are all just thoughts. At some point, if what we call the real thing has occurred, the person knows, they know. It’s very clear. And yet I’ve also encountered people who said, “I knew it really had occurred and then it went away,” as we say. :

Rick: I have too. I’ve had a couple of people ask me to take their interviews down, because they decided they weren’t awake after all and they had been kind of, in some temporary state or just some misunderstanding of their experience. :

Jan: Yeah, interesting. :

Rick: But I guess we can say, if you are awake, you’ll know it, by the same token, if you aren’t awake and think you are, you’ll eventually discover that too. :

Jan: Yeah, I would think so. :

Rick: You’re not going to be allowed to sort of rest on your laurels. Something’s going to kick you in the pants. :

Jan: Yeah, and I don’t know what’s ahead. Again, I don’t think about the future, so I can’t say, and this is something I’ve been smiling at myself as I’ve been recording this book, where I said I just, I knew that it was permanent. I knew it was never going to go away. I didn’t know. :

Rick: Yeah, you never know. :

Jan: I mean, it felt then. I really did think I knew. :

Rick: You don’t know what might happen if you had a stroke, for instance, or, Alzheimer’s or something or other developed. What impact would that have on awakening? We don’t know, do we? :

Jan: No. :

Rick: Now, I didn’t have as much time to read your second book. I read the first one cover to cover, and this one was written, five, six or so years after your first one, and obviously, and now it’s been a couple of years since you wrote this one. So, what am I missing here? I’ve formulated most of my questions based on your first book. Had I read them all and had a chance to get to know you now, what questions would I be asking that I haven’t asked so far? To put it another way, what topics are there in this book, and your more recent writings that we haven’t addressed yet today? :

Jan: How long do we have? :

Rick: As much time as you want. We can go on all day as far as I’m concerned. I like these interviews to be really comprehensive, and people say that too. They say, “Oh, I’m so glad it’s like two hours long. I really enjoy the long format and really getting into the topic.” So, don’t feel any rush whatsoever. :

Jan: Well, one thing would be the relationship between thought and our sense of self, between thought and life. So, a lot of what gets talked about in spiritual circles, and certainly, in psychology, that sort of realm of therapy, has to do with controlling your thoughts or replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts and all that sort of thing. And that’s a total, complete waste of time in this. The only useful orientation to thought is to see that it’s occurring. What we normally do when we’re processing what’s going on now or reflecting on something in the past is we create this body of thought, this picture of story, and we don’t see that we’re doing that. We enter into it as if it’s reality, and then that’s where we’re living. While that’s going on, we’re not really living. So, rather than, sometimes when people become aware of their thinking, which happens early on in the so-called spiritual life, they begin to realize the power of their thoughts to determine the way they feel and all that, their mission becomes replacing their one story, negative story, bad story, painful story, with a more positive one, or this whole thing about manifesting your wishes, coming up with what you’d really like your life to be like, and then thinking about that, reflecting on that as a way to bring it about. It’s all wheel spinning. It’s all still thought. So, when someone, the only possible useful orientation in order to become free to any thought, I mean an egoic thought, I don’t mean a practical one, is to see that it is, to see that this is a thought, rather than to question it on its own merits and think, “What can I do with this thought?” Or “Is it a true thought?” A lot of us spend time thinking, “Well, is it true?” If it’s true, then it must be valid for me to keep thinking it over and over again. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. The issue is, it’s something that’s made up by the mind. And so, if I ask you, “Where do you get your sense of yourself?” What does that mean when I say “you”? What does that conjure? If you couldn’t make reference to something in your mind, previous memory, sense of prior learning, or the sort of interpretation of what’s going on immediately, you know, the narrative of the present moment. If you weren’t able to go into your mind to do either one of those things, and then I said to you, “What is your sense of self?” What does that mean? All you have of you, the only thing that you can know, is what you’re perceiving immediately right now. So, there’s literally no difference between you and now and life. So, if I say, “What does it bring up when I say, ‘your life’?” What does that mean? Well, it means, mostly it means my life so far, recollected stuff, experience, all that. Or it means my life nowadays, my present circumstances,what I’m doing, what relationships I’m in, how I’m making money, what my health is like. Both of those things, either my life as current situation, or my life so far, or maybe my projected life, what I’d like to do with whatever remains. Both of those things require the thinker to be turned on. When you don’t turn on the thinker and then say, “What is my life?” All you have or know of life is this right now. :

Rick: And I would say that if I were to answer that question, this right now, not only means what I’m perceiving in my office here, but there’s a felt sense of presence that is there, whether I’m in my office or outside, or going to bed or whatever, there’s this sort of continuum of presence, that is almost extra sensory in the sense that it doesn’t seem to be. I guess I must be detecting it with some level of the senses or mind in order to know it’s there, but it seems like it’s independent of those. :

Jan: Yeah, or it’s the environment in which they’re happening maybe. :

Rick: The environment in which what’s happening? :

Jan: In which the sensation or the movement, the physical whatever is occurring in that. The very awareness that’s able to sense what is life now, what is that, that you’re saying is it is different or sort of apart from the physical. It’s the way that we know. It is what, it’s consciousness. :

Rick: Yeah, and it’s there regardless of what changes in the physical or what changes in the environment. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Whether I’m sick or healthy or sleepy or fresh or whatever. :

Jan: Yeah, so it’s unchanged. So, you’re saying it’s a continuity moment to moment. It’s a thing that they all sort of have in common. :

Rick: Right, like the ground state or the lowest common denominator or something. :

Jan: Yeah, but even to look at that we have to be able to remember that something happened before. You know what I mean? To look at, to see the continuity, it becomes necessary to turn on the thinker and recognize sameness between now and before. :

Rick: It’s like you could say, let’s say that awareness was a tone. It’s not a tone, but let’s say there was this continual tone going on. And any time you wanted to check in, you could say, “Oh yeah, tone’s still there.” But you become so accustomed to it that you would be unaware of it a lot of the time if you’re engaged in other things. But like you said earlier, when you settle down, there’s not a lot of other things, then probably the tone would become predominant again because it’s this continuum. :

Jan: Yeah, but what most of us do most of the time is, the din is ongoing. If somebody meets you and says, “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself.” It’s all there, like these file cabinets are there. Immediately we can make access to say, “Well, I’m this kind of person,” or “I’ve done this, and this is what I’m good at,” and all that. That’s like the music or the tone. :

Rick: But that’s what they’re asking about, actually. They don’t care about the tone. If you just said, “Oh, I’m pure being,” they’d say, “All right, well then what?” :

Jan: Yeah, that’s nice. But we do tend to identify with all that stuff. It’s what they’re interested in, but also, we invest in all that over and over and over again as being what we are. And when you take that away from somebody, which is, you said before, “What if a person gets Alzheimer’s and then none of that stuff is there anymore?” Or it’s there, but it’s been corrupted. Something’s like, “What am I? Who am I?” :

Rick: Why do you feel we identify with that? Why does the identification get so compelling? :

Jan: Oh, well, I guess it’s– :

Rick: Why is the vast majority of humanity so overshadowed, we could ask? j: God,

Rick: I don’t necessarily expect you to have an answer to that, but you could conjecture, maybe. :

Jan: It’s terrible, Part of it is, that our minds are able to do what they’re able to do. Our minds are very good at confusing their material with actual, immediate reality. That’s part of it is our equipment. Part of it is a survival thing. We’re used to using our minds to help us avoid the rhinoceros. And so, we associate, we make up all kinds of other things that are going to harm us. So, the sense of self, originally in our evolution, perhaps was merely physical, as it is for most animals. But then when we began to equate the productions of our minds with– put that on the same level of reality with our physicality, then that needed defending, too. So, the very thing that our minds are so good at, as we know, this is a cliche, ends up being our problem. Because it’s only a problem because we associate it with what we are. Like some people say, “Well, are you telling me you don’t think any more if you wake up?” No, it’s just that you no longer mix it up with what you are. :

Rick: Right. Gesundheit. :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: Let me take a stab at something and see what you think about this. I’ve been thinking about this lately. In fact, your book helped to kind of stimulate the thought. But in terms of the senses, obviously, the senses are designed to direct our attention outwards to objects. And that’s what they do all the time. And objects tend to be concrete. And we tend to kind of lose contact with the inner when there’s this habitual focus on the outer. But bringing it out to a larger context, we as human beings, like all beings, are– we could say–taking it back to why the universe manifested and how it manifested, it seems to me there had to have been a kind of a loss of self-referral in the very creation of the universe. There was a sort of “I am one, may I become many,” a fragmentation, a diversification. Next thing you know, we have planets and stars and all the diversity. And then little life forms and those life forms evolving. And the structures of those life forms were not capable of self-reflection, of self-awareness, until billions of years in, they became very sophisticated. And then we began to have people who thought, “What is this all about?” And began to look within and have awakenings and enlightenment and so on. And so, it almost seems like the cosmic game is such that loss of self-awareness is a necessary condition for manifestation of the universe. And that the whole game–I think you quoted T.S. Eliot from Burnt Norton in one of your books– is to come back to the place from which we started and to know the place for the first time. So, there’s nothing kind of unnatural, or wrong about the vast majority of people being lost in the objects of the senses. It’s kind of symptomatic of the way the universe functions and had to function, in order to exist. But those who are waking up to a self-realized state are kind of on the cutting edge of the return journey back to that place from which we started. And I guess I just ran out of steam on that line of thought. Do you want to react to that? Go ahead. Go ahead. :

Jan: That sounds good. It seems if I put on the head of trying to understand why it might have gone this way instead of some other way, or what exactly does where we seem to be now, how does that enter into it? It seems, or if I look at an individual life like my own or somebody else’s that I’m observing, who seems to have come back to this pure ability to simply sense that we are here, just that awareness feeling itself be, it does seem like getting back to where we were originally or could have been or coming back, finally arriving at what the potential always was. And you look at an individual life of a person like we all seem to have to go through forming an ego and believing that this is what I am and all of that, in order to suffer enough from it to somewhere decide, I don’t want to do this anymore or I don’t have to do this anymore, unconsciously this occurs. It occurs consciously too, but it’s useless, unhelpful. So, I think there’s something to that. :

Rick: Yeah. There’s this saying, “Phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny.” And I don’t completely understand it, but it has to do with the fact that, as we evolve as human beings, we kind of recapitulate the whole evolutionary development from fish to reptiles and all that. I think that’s what it means. But in a similar sense, it almost seems like what you just described, as individuals, you grow up, we develop an ego, we get all involved. By the time we’re teenagers we’re totally crazy and then at a certain point maybe we kind of start coming back to a recognition of that, which is beyond ego, beyond individuality. In a way we’re kind of recapitulating the developmental cycle of the entire universe, which had to sort of go through all this diversification and complexity, in order to evolve forms, which could come back to recognizing that from which the whole thing sprang. I know this sounds kind of theoretical, and maybe we can’t speculate on it with any authority, But there must be a mechanics of what’s actually happening in this big world of ours. There must be a sort of a deeper mechanism through which the whole thing is functioning. I think we’re capable of glimpsing that, if not understanding it fully, but at least getting a feeling or a sense of it. I kind of find it fascinating to play with. :

Jan: Yeah, I do sometimes too. But I also think about, what are animals like? I observe animals a lot and feel very comfortable in their presence. And so, I naturally think, well, what’s the difference between me and them? How are we alike? And I feel like one of the things that life is like for me now is that I’ve come, I don’t want to go back to, but I’ve come to look more the way the animals live. Then you can say, well, but I’m aware, I’m self-aware, and they’re not apparently. I talked about this in my second book a little bit, actually. The way that it seems to me that human beings are lucky, and this is given what we’re able to know, which may or may not be right, but is that we’re able to both be like the animals, meaning not live in the future, but be essentially physical, having the sense of whatever the immediate thing is occurring being largely physical. And we’re able to know that that’s going on. So, we’re able to have these high-functioning minds and have access to them when we want to have access, without being at the mercy of them. Animals don’t have that problem because they don’t have, their minds are not able to visualize and believe that that’s reality the way ours are. Presumably, maybe, I don’t know. Some people say the same thing about babies. They say, oh, babies are so innocent, they must be enlightened, and then they lose it. But I think Ken Wilber talks about this with his pre-trans fallacy and whatever it is. In other words, there’s a sort of an innocence and a spontaneity that we see in babies and in animals that seems very enlightened. They’re so in the moment, they’re so at one with nature and so on, but there’s actually a whole voyage that they have to undergo before they get to the point where what you’re talking about, which you have to kind of pass through this minefield of ego and individuality, in order to come to the other side, where you regain the innocence and spontaneity of a baby or an animal, but you have a much more complete package with which to function and understand that. :

Jan: Interesting. :

Rick: One way some people express it is that we’re multidimensional beings and that enlightenment involves actually being able to embrace and function on a great range of dimensions simultaneously, rather than being just kind of locked into one or another, which might appear innocent and natural, but it doesn’t give you the kind of liberty and latitude to function on all levels at once. :

Jan: And some people will get into talking about the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere, as if the enlightened state must be what it is to be in the right hemisphere or something. :

Rick: I think that’s simplistic. :

Jan: I do too. :

Rick: And Jill Bolte Taylor’s thing, it gave her a taste, but I don’t think that brain damage actually can trigger the complete blossoming of enlightenment as it could potentially be lived. :

Jan: Just like drugs can give a person a taste. :

Rick: Cool. So, any other nuggets? Speak now or forever hold your peace? Actually, one little thing in the back of my mind is the practicality of all this. I always think, “okay, this might have been an interesting conversation to listen to, but what can people do practically? They’re caught up in busy lives.” I don’t know if you can offer any kind of universal prescription, but you give seminars and retreats and things like that. And what do you send people home with in order to somehow make it more than just an interesting weekend? :

Jan: What I said before about seeing that thought is thought, that’s the only useful thing to do with it rather than to enter into it and ask whether it’s a good thought or a true thought, or trying to manage it, trying to stop yourself from thinking. So just simply sort of learn this orientation to thought, where you see it occurring as a phenomenon and leave it at that. Another thing is knowing the difference between feeling and emotion. And I’ll say in a minute what I mean by that. But when we have an experience of a moment of life, here I am feeling myself be, often there’s a quality of feeling, there’s some kind of feeling that occurs spontaneously. And it can be, it’s felt in the body, it may be a literal physical sensation, but it might also be something we could call delight or, anything, anger. Well, I wouldn’t say anger, that’s more secondary to thought. But something, we’re feeling something. The ability to really yield and feel whatever you’re feeling at the moment is really crucial to the ability to be present. So, felt in the body, what actually occurs spontaneously without the mind getting hold of it, it’s a way we can tell we’re here. The difference between that and emotion, which is secondary to thought, is that the thing that typically happens is something occurs in the environment, and then there’s an immediate felt response to it. Typically, if it’s an uncomfortable feeling, the mind immediately gets hold of it, and starts managing it and, getting defensive or protective or trying to explain it to self, some way managing it. If that’s what causes emotion, then pretty soon something that initially startled you, becomes something that makes you angry because you think, “Oh, that shouldn’t have happened,” or “God, what’s going to happen next?” or something. So, it’s that secondary thing is the emotional, and that’s what Eckhart calls the pain body. That’s all the stuff that causes our suffering. But there ends up being a confusion in a lot of spiritual circles that somehow if you’re really here, including awake, you don’t feel. No, of course you feel. We’re alive. We’re human. We’re physical. We’re tender. We’re responsive. Somebody who’s really present tends to feel that initial, “Oh,” absolutely without resistance, but then we don’t move on to the next thing of going up into the head, and managing it into an emotional mess. So, learning–for a person to learn to tell the difference between that immediate, spontaneous, felt response, which may be egoic in nature, probably it often is, that’s not the issue. The issue is it’s spontaneous. It’s already here. It’s real. There’s nothing to do but feel it. If you feel it and don’t go up into your head about it, just feel it, then the thing will spend itself. It’s got a little life, just like a physical shock has a little life or pain. Burning yourself has a little life. The feeling, the sensation, the direct experience is part of the moment that’s occurring. So, if you don’t resist it at all and you don’t go up into your head, the next thing you know, it’s spent itself and you’ve moved on. But what we normally do, because we recoil from a lot of the stuff we spontaneously feel. We feel embarrassed. We don’t want to stay there. So, we move on to justifying ourselves for having made a fool of our–or whatever. Or, somebody, I don’t know what. That kind of stuff happens all the time. So, if we don’t do that, then the thing won’t linger. Then there won’t be the–we don’t grow a little emotional tumor within burdens and we have to go on to therapy and drink heavily and all that and we never recover. All the stuff we’re carrying now is the remnant of having not been willing to just stay with the initial feeling. And all of this happens really fast. There’s the, the precipitating whatever, the initial feeling, then the mind turns on, and then it starts up its story and then the emotions begin. And, , part of the confusion also with spiritual people is they think it’s better to be in your heart than in your mind or something because the mind is a bad guy. But when people say be in your heart, they’re often making reference to emotions. They’re often making reference to this thing that is based upon ideas. If you go looking, if you’re in some kind of uproar and you go looking, you sort of inquire, where did this come from? The ego ordinarily will say, well, it came from that life experience. But, if you’re at least a bit careful and willing and vulnerable and astute, you’ll see, no, the uproar came from the thoughts. And then you look at where did the thoughts come from. Well, there was this almost always some prior feeling. So, people can get better and better at just staying in the feeling initially. And then there’s no residue from life. Then the next moment of life comes and it’s just what it is. So that’s I think that’s a helpful thing because it keeps a person in the present, which is what we want. :

Rick: Yeah. Of course, it took you 10 minutes to say that. And when a person is in the thick of it, at their job, with their kids, whatever, is there kind of a nutshell, sutra, mantra type version of that whole instruction that one could bring to mind in order to do what you’re saying? :

Jan: Life doesn’t work that way. That’s not the way it happens. What happens is you’re in an experience and all of a sudden you notice you’re feeling terrible. That’s when to turn this. That’s when the moment comes. But that’s after the whole thing has already been set in motion. OK. So, I guess the very earliest thing is when the feeling comes, if you notice yourself trying to get away from that, if the light could come on right there and you say, oh, I’m resisting or, oh, I’m going up into my head, and realize you can stop, just let that go into suspense and stay with the thing that’s occurring right now. :

Rick: So, we do have to some degree the capacity to kind of nip it in the bud and rather than reflexively go on, in a conditioned way to catch it, to turn the intention within. :

Jan: If the willingness is there. But another thing that we’ll see is that mostly we don’t want we want to go up into our heads. We want to start the emotional uproar. So, the willingness, even though it hurts, the willingness to see that to be that truthful with self while that’s going on, like you might see that you’re starting to go up in your head and then something in you looks away from that. Seeing something in a person will say, oh, no, I feel good. We like getting angry, angry. We like getting pissed. We like, you know, we even like feeling fear. :

Rick: But like 45 minutes, the whole movie industry, which can attest to that. :

Jan: Yeah. So, the more real a person, the more truthful we can be with ourselves in the thick of the thing, the better different things will happen later. :

Rick: So, the question comes down to how do we increase the capacity to be truthful with ourselves? So how do we augment that capacity? One thing I’m always wary of is descriptions being offered as prescriptions. A person can have a certain level of awakening, perhaps a very profound one, and they can sit there on a podium and describe their experience to the audience. And the audience will, and even to offer that description as a prescription for those people to operate that way also, like the old saying, do as Jesus did. Well, you’re not Jesus. What would Jesus do? If you were Jesus, you would be able to function as Jesus. But if you’re not, then any description of how Jesus behaved isn’t necessarily going to be a prescription for you to actually function on that level of existence. :

Jan: We have the ceaseless capacity to see. Mostly, even when somebody really cares about all this and they’re trying really hard, mostly what they’re willing to see, is not the deepest thing that could be seen in any given moment. So, they might see their negative behavior and then they start judging themselves. That’s occurring on a very surface level where they think, oh, I want to do better. I want to change myself. It’s very superficial. A lot of it. So, what they think, go deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper. They’ll see, for instance, what I alluded to before, that they in fact look away. They in fact want to see that they don’t want to see. They want to feel the negative thing. So, I think a lot of it is see yourself looking away. Be willing to see that you’re you are taking refuge in your mind but do it. But see that neutrally without judging. And if you’re judging yourself, see that you’re judging yourself. It’s like the seeing can always go deeper than it is. There’s something you’re looking away from. Always. And it’s not to say that suddenly you can see the deepest thing, but you can see yourself looking away. And if you can do that without having this wince of, oh, I’m such a schmuck or I don’t reall,y I’m not really trying to, T whole thing is worthless, useless. :

Rick: Good. So, you’re saying that we have more capacity than we give ourselves credit for. And it’s a cop out to just say, well, I can’t do that because I’m not enlightened that, we do actually have a lot of latitude to see more deeply than we habitually do. And that doing that, you actually exercising that capability is in itself an effective way of bringing about genuine awakening. After which presumably we don’t have to worry about this stuff so much because we’ll be kind of on autopilot. And a lot of this will have been taken care of. :

Jan: Yeah, it’s significant. This idea that we’re already there, we already have it and all that. That’s really significant in what you’re talking about right now, because we do have the capacity to see it’s already functioning. So, it’s a total cop out to say there’s only so much. I got to wake up first. :

Rick: But, conversely, there’s people who say I’m already there and they’re not there. T not even close, but they kind of like are just sort of playing that game. And then they get into the Internet chat groups and become very combative about how awake they are and how unawake other people are. And so there’s kind of a mature way of addressing that notion of I’m already there and there’s an immature, premature way. :

Jan: It’s a sleeping potential. You know, we know what we’re talking about. Yeah. I’m talking about that. What you say. :

Rick: Well, I run up against that fairly often. :

Jan: I bet you do. There’s a capacity. There’s a capacity. And, it’s like fall in, fall into it. But, let yourself know what you know. It’s why when someone’s in the presence of the truth and something, something and then recognizes the truth, they wouldn’t be able to recognize it if they there’s a recognizer in there. :

Rick: Yeah. It resonates with something real. It strikes a chord, as they say. :

Jan: No, change is in order. Nothing needs to change. All you have to do is see what’s going on. :

Rick: That’s a good pointI don’t want to belabor this too long, but I think that a lot of a lot of times the reason that people read a spiritual book or listen to a spiritual teacher and it resonates because that teacher is describing something or that book that they are in fact experiencing. And, the experience may be hazy, but it’s very much genuinely there. And I guess the proviso I would offer is that it needs to be culture just because you recognize it doesn’t mean that it’s there. It’s just complete blossoming, as fully and as clearly as it could possibly be. But it is genuine, and it is real. And, the kind of procedure you just described might be a way of enabling it to become more clear, more full and more solidly established so that it’s not shaken by slings and arrows. :

Jan: But even that’s looking at it from the outside. When you have a moment of clarity, when you’re really seeing when it’s the thing is actually underway. None of these kinds of considerations are in the air. You know what I mean? It’s only when we come out of it and then think about it or want to bring it about. Then the mind turns on and we’re trying to manage it and all of that. And I’m just saying it’s useful if a person revisits. What was it actually like? What did it feel like when I was seeing with those eyes, when I had that deep knowing functioning and then look around and say, was I wondering then how to what like what was going on or how to make what is this? No. So I’m just saying it can be tricky. And what are we even doing for two hours talking about this stuff? Why does anybody write a book? I get it. . I know. I’m just saying it’s important to remember that there’s something beyond what can be articulated. Absolutely. Yeah. And in your own case, you were a spiritual practitioner for 12 years before you had a fairly significant awakening. And even then, there were, degrees of awakening after that. So, why didn’t you have the whole enchilada from day one? Well, it took some time, but the essence of it, the aroma of it was there from day one. Right. But then there were stage points at which it really exploded, really blossomed. :

Jan: Yeah. And I wasn’t in charge of that. Right. So, the reason I’m just spending time on that is just that there’s this paradoxical thing where, yeah, enlightenment is realized in the present. When else is it going to be realized? But on the other hand, in a way, it’s also realized in the future. Because there’s a time when awakening occurs and it’s not necessarily when you first, you know, become aware of this stuff. It might take some time before in some future present the awakening occurs. :

Jan: Yeah. Right. Yeah. :

Rick: All right. Well, I don’t want to have the last word. Would you like to? :

Jan: Oh, I don’t need to have a closing, :

Rick: concluding remarks or anything like that. :

Jan: Oh, I don’t know. Nothing’s coming. :

Rick: OK, well, I’ll have it then. So, I’ve been speaking with Jan Fraser and I highly recommend her books. When Fear Falls Away, The Freedom of Being and you’re working on a new one, did you say? :

Jan: I’m recording the first one. I’m just doing an audio. And there’s also one called, I can’t remember the name of it, Jan Fraser, Teachings on Awakening. No, it’s called Opening the Door. That’s the subtitle. It’s an e-book. :

Rick: Good. And I will link to Jan’s website and to the Amazon pages of Jan’s books from my website, batgap.com. So, if you’re listening to this on YouTube, and your website is what? JanFraserTeachings.com? :

Jan: Yeah. :

Rick: OK. So, people can remember that too. And Fraser is spelled F-R-A-Z-I-E-R. But also, if you just come to batgap.com, you’ll see this interview, see a brief bio of Jan and links to her books and so on. And there will also be a chat group there which is specific to each interview. There’s a section where people can engage in conversation about what has been discussed during the interview. And they always do. There’s also a general comments chat group for people who want to post YouTube videos of some music or something like that. Try not to muck up the individual interview pages with that kind of stuff. There’s also a link to an audio podcast if you’d like to listen to this sort of thing rather than sit in front of your computer for two hours. So, you’ll see that. There’s a donate button, which I appreciate people clicking if they feel the inclination. It makes this all possible. And there’s a tab which you can click to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. So that’s clear. You’ll see that there. Sign up and you’ll just get like one email a week whenever a new interview is posted. So that’s about it. Thanks, Jan. It’s been a great conversation. :

Jan: Thank you. I enjoyed it. :

Rick: And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. And we’ll see you next week.