Judith Blackstone Transcript

Judith Blackstone interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Judith Blackstone. Hi Judith.

Judith: Hi. Good to meet you.

Rick: Judith is a non-duality teacher, spiritual psychotherapist, and co-founder of Nonduality Institute. She developed the realization process, a method of embodied non-dual realization and psychological and relational healing. In the realization process, the radical openness of non-duality is based on deep contact with the internal space of one’s body. In this way, we discover an authentic, quality-rich experience of our individual being at the same time as we transcend our individuality. We realize ourselves as unified consciousness pervading everywhere. When two people have both realized non-duality, they experience mutual transparency, a single expanse of consciousness pervading them both as a unity. Judith teaches workshops and teacher certification trainings in meditation, embodiment, and spiritual psychotherapy aspects of the realization process. She is the author of Belonging Here, which I’ve just been reading, the Enlightenment Process, the Intimate Life, and the Empathic Ground. An audio series of the realization process is available from Sounds True. Judith’s website is RealizationCenter.com, and I should mention, in case you don’t make it to the end of the interview, that my website is Batgap.com, and this is one in an ongoing series of interviews. We’re over appreciated. So if you go to Batgap.com, you’ll see a donate button there. Okay, so Judith, just yesterday somebody sent an email, first expressing a great deal of enthusiasm in seeing that you were going to be on the show, and then she said, “I see Judith as the phoenix. She went through the fire to the ashes, and raised to bring us the esoteric world of many religions in the language we understand today. Her deep compassion comes easily in every page of her books. She does not offer the appetizer and ignore the main dish. She offers it all right there. Please tell your followers the depth of her process and how her work is born.” So we’ll be doing that, but what is this phoenix metaphor referred to?

Judith: I think she probably is referring to the fact that this work came out of my own deep healing process. I had been a dancer, professional dancer, for many years from my childhood into my mid-20s, and then I injured my back quite badly. And maybe because I was just in my mid-20s, I was quite sure that life was over, and made the rounds of doctors, finally had my spine fused surgically. Not a great idea. And that taught me quite a bit. For one thing, it taught me that if one part of the body is held stable like that, there’s going to be a rigidity everywhere in the body, a kind of matching rigidity. So it taught me many, many things. But mostly it taught me that I had to attune to myself, and I had to realize myself on an extremely subtle level in order to start to shift into some sort of sense of ease and comfort in myself. By the way, they fused me in an off-center position, whereas I had been pretty well aligned as a dancer. They fused me in the off-center position that happened during the injury. So I was quite disoriented. It was really quite a bit of stuff to go through. And so this work really came out of that very direct healing process. At the same time as I was kind of lying on the floor of my dance studio and opening and hoping for some sort of solution to my dilemma, people were coming to study dance with me. That’s how I earned a living. So I began to teach them the very strange things that I was discovering about the body and about this more subtle dimension of ourselves. So I think that’s the phoenix rising. I’d like to say that I rose fully, but actually I rose kind of tinged. I was a pretty decrepit little phoenix there for quite some time. And so along with the kind of spontaneous responses that I got to my own need for healing, I also studied Buddhism. I studied, went to India, you know, studied several Hindu lineages. And so I began to have a fuller understanding and a fuller experience of these subtle experiences that were coming to me as part of my healing.

Rick: Did you ever consider having another surgery to refuse yourself in a better alignment?

Judith: Never ever.

Rick: So you were kind of like permanently fused in an off balance kind of position?

Judith: That’s right. I have a genetic, I have scoliosis, but it had been what they call well compensated as a dancer. And I had made myself fantastically strong in order to support the weak spine. And I had to let go of all that in order to get to actual healing of myself. And so a lot of process of letting go, a lot of learning about letting go.

Rick: Yeah. Did you sort of, I guess initially you were kind of just teaching yourself exploring on your own, huh, with various procedures and practices and just kind of like feeling it out. And then at a certain point you decided you needed some more formal instruction?

Judith: I had a handful of dance students. So it was, you know, I wasn’t just doing, wasn’t just on my own, but I was sharing it with them and seeing the difference that these things made in their bodies and being. And then, you know, it wasn’t any sort of conscious volitional process. After a while I began to feel more and more sensitive. And the city, I was living in New York City at the time as a dancer, became intolerable for me. And so I just happened to open, you know how these things go, I just happened to open the Village Voice newspaper and saw an advertisement for Zen Monastery upstate New York, in upstate New York. And I thought, well I’ll go up there and see what it’s like. And I didn’t know anything about Zen. I had been doing some reading and I had been to India. So I knew something about Bhakti Yoga and Advaita Vedanta, but not a whole lot. And so I went up there and…

Rick: Is that up near Rochester?

Judith: No, it’s nearer to Albany, it’s near Woodstock, where I now live. It’s about half hour from Woodstock, it’s about an hour from Albany. Now the way I got to India, which was before that, was 1975, was that I had been planning, I was really desperate for healing. And I read a book about a psychic surgeon in Brazil, Laura Valdefraites, who had healed a dancer of a back injury by making a column of ectoplasm, a stream of ectoplasm through her spine, which brought the spine into alignment. And I thought, boy, that is exactly what I need, you know, some good strong stream of ectoplasm. And so I wrote to Laura Valdefraites and he wrote back and he said, of course, he couldn’t promise that he could heal me, but I was welcome to come and I was also welcome to sponsor him to come to the United States. He’d be glad to do that if I wanted to sponsor him. And of course, I was hesitant. I was pretty desperate, but this was a man who removed tumors supposedly by putting a, you know, taking a spoon, a tin spoon, and putting it into the body and just scooping out that tumor. So I was, I was a little hesitant. And at that point, my ex-husband came by and heard that I was planning to do this extremely adventurous trip as part of my healing. And he said, oh, just wait a second. He ran back to his apartment, got a picture of Sai Baba, put it in front of me, and said, pray to the picture. And so, this is a long story. Of course, I was brought up as an atheist. I would never pray to a picture or anything in my life, certainly not a picture. But I did that and within a month I was on a plane to India. And that’s how that whole voyage began. And I did work with Sai Baba for many years. You know, of course, he, like many of these big teachers, has fallen into disgrace. And I don’t know what to make of that, but he was extremely helpful to me. And he also taught a very simple and very profound version of Advaita Vedanta, kind of mixed into this extremely simplistic teaching. So, that was the very beginning, the very roots of my spiritual path, my study of Eastern religion.

Rick: It’s interesting how some of these gurus have so much going for them. They really seem to help people a lot, but then there’s this kind of puzzling shady side, you know, which you can’t quite reconcile with what you experience with them in person.

Judith: It’s extremely puzzling.

Rick: Yeah, I mean, that’s a topic for a whole other interview.

Judith: yes, and I don’t really have much to say about it. I have no idea what that is.

Rick: Yeah, me neither. I’ve given a lot of thought, but it’s one of those head scratchers. But, you know, it’s good not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Rick: That’s right. And that was kind of the root. I mean, that’s how I got to more formal teachings.

Rick: Which were?

Judith: Which were the Hindu, the kind of Bhakti, the Advaita Vedanta, and then a few years later, in 1981, to the Zen monastery. And then I moved out to Woodstock and we relived, my husband and I, down the road from the seat of the Karmapa in the United States, Kagyu, seat of the Karmapa. And so, you know, we did quite a bit of hearing teachings there. I never really felt that I became either a Hindu or a Buddhist. I never felt that I joined anyone. They were all extremely helpful to me and there always seemed to be, I don’t know, something, something missing.

Rick: Yeah, a lot of people can say that these days, that they’ve derived tremendous inspiration from Hinduism or Buddhist teachers, but they wouldn’t consider themselves Hindus or Buddhists, you know, they’re just this whole spiritual but not religious category.

Judith: Yes, that’s right.

Rick: Although you can also be religious in the sense of, you know, devotional and believing in God and so on and so forth, but you still don’t feel this close affiliation with a 2,000-year-old tradition in terms of its rituals and its, you know, holidays and all that stuff.

Judith: That’s right. Its cultural origins.

Rick: Yeah, so I get the impression from reading your book, and I also listened to your interview with Tammy Simon, that at some point you had a major breakthrough. You know, some really shift or awakening took place, which was sort of, you know, no looking back. So, could you relay that to us?

Judith: Sure. The year I lived at the Zen Monastery, 1981 to wonderful practice in that you have to do a lot of meditation. And, you know, if you’re not on your pillow at five in the morning, they come and knock on your door, and if you still say “please, no,” they throw you out of the monastery. So, it’s a lot of meditation. Of course, one week a month is Sashin, and there’s extremely rigorous meditation practice, and that was wonderful for me. It was very grounding. You know, the trips to India and the work with the Bhakti teacher was very important to me psychologically and helped heal a lot of the heart wounding, helped me open my heart, but didn’t do much to ground me.

Rick: Bhakti teacher was Sai Baba or some other?

Judith: Yes, was Sai Baba.

Rick: And Bhakti, in case people don’t know, is devotion. So, it’s an emotional, devotional kind of path.

Judith: That’s right. He was really teaching love and he was emanating a tremendous amount of love, and that was very helpful. And he was also doing some really precise psychological work individually with people, even though he had thousands and thousands of people there. So, quite an amazing thing. So, that was very helpful in terms of the psychological healing, but I, you know, was still my kind of ungrounded and interestingly, even after all those years of dancing, had a disembodied self. So, the Zen meditation was very helpful and in terms of really opening me to that subtle dimension that I had begun to glimpse in my own healing process years before, a few years before. So, one day, I used to sneak out in the afternoon. I was never a great student of anything. I used to sneak out in the afternoon and go to a nearby creek. This is in Mount Tremper, New York, and it’s extremely beautiful there, about 20 minutes from Woodstock. And the creek in the springtime was just magnificent. And then I would sit there and meditate. And one day, I realized that the rocks were weightless, that they were made of space. And it was really quite different than anything I’d ever seen before. And then I just glanced up and realized that there was this amazing oneness of everything. Just like everything as if shut through, pervaded is the word I use now, by this single unified transparency. So, that was really… and then after that I could pretty much bring that up all the time. And after a while, I realized I was just there. So, that’s the breakthrough. I had always been able to sort of draw something into me that I felt was a kind of numinous presence. And I used to do that as a dancer before going on stage, just as a way to deal with stage fright and that kind of thing. But now I realize that that numinous presence wasn’t just something out there, it was really something all through myself and everything around me.

Rick: One thing I found fascinating in your book is how attuned you are to kind of subtle perception or subtle energies. Like someone will walk in and you’ll see that they have a lot of light in the upper part of their head and above their head, but not much going on in the lower part of the body. And it kind of reminded me a little bit of the Carlos Castaneda books where Don Juan spoke of people as having this luminous egg around them and he can tell a whole lot about them just by checking out the luminous egg and seeing if there were dark spots in it and stuff like that. So I guess that’s something that has developed with you over time since that awakening and in the process of being a therapist and working with so many people?

Judith: Yes, that’s something that began before the awakening to unity, to unified consciousness. As I say, I was teaching dance and I was working with these kind of interesting subtle experiences that I was having in my own healing and I began to realize that people were actually more present in parts of their body than others. One night I had a dream in which and it’s a tiny bit like the Castaneda, I had a dream that people were like Christmas trees with lights strung at various intervals and places in their body. And so I was beginning to be aware of that as in the early stages of the healing process.

Rick: Yeah, and I mean there are accounts in your book of where you’re sitting with some client and you’re behind them and they can’t even see you and you know you ask them to sort of occupy your body, to be sort of present in your body and you can tell whether they’re doing it or not just by perceiving it I guess.

Judith: Present in their own body.

Rick: Yeah, well they’re present in their own body and then at a certain point I think you ask this woman to sort of also be present in your body as well simultaneously and you could sort of tell from your subjective… correct me if I misunderstood that portion, but you could sort of perceive whether that was happening or not. So it seems like you’re very attuned to subtle perception.

Judith: I do want to just correct that because I’m definitely not asking people to be present in other people’s bodies. I’m helping people attune to what I’m going to call a dimension of consciousness that we can experience pervading our own body and other people’s bodies at the same time. And in doing that we can actually get some sense of what’s going on in that person’s body but not by entering into them.

Rick: Yeah, that’s…

Judith: Staying in our own body.

Rick: I understood that that was what you meant but I just didn’t explain it very well.

Judith: Well since so many sensitive people are able to actually be present in other people’s bodies and it’s a different kind of maneuver.

Rick: Yeah, kind of reminds me of a scene from Good Morning Vietnam where Robin Williams has to get up at six in the morning to start his radio show and he’s walking down the hall and he says, “I’m not even in my body.”

Judith: And interestingly none of us are entirely in our bodies. That’s just a very interesting thing that for pretty much everyone I’ve ever worked with and the people who come to work with me are already usually pretty experienced in various meditation lineage and so forth. For almost everybody it’s a process to inhabit the internal space of the body.

Rick: Yeah, and we’re going to talk a lot about what that means and all. Do you find that sometimes spiritual people are even less inhabiting their body than other people, like their spiritual practice kind of detaches them from it?

Judith: That can be the case. For one thing, if we have a lot of energy, either that we’ve cultivated or that we were simply born with, or particularly if we were born with it, and we find that our childhood environment is abrasive in some way, and for a sensitive child it doesn’t need to be, you know, brutal for it to be abrasive. One of our defensive maneuvers is to leave the body and we can leave above, we can go to the side, we can just simply vanish. Now if there’s a great deal of trauma, like severe trauma, then we know, you know, then we call that dissociation and that’s the main defense for people who’ve suffered through severe trauma. So, that’s part of it. And then a spiritual practice can seem to be exacerbating that, can seem to be intensifying that, right? It happens that if we meditate on our own for long periods, 30 years, 40 years, you know, we sit in the back of 200 people without any guidance, or we meditate on our own, we will usually meditate where we’re most open. So, if we’ve been hanging out above our heads, right, we’ll just keep on, we’ll just keep on increasing that, right, we’ll just get more and more organized in that fragmented pattern. And then of course some spiritual techniques seem to be instructing you to leave your body and go up, and then of course people are cultivating that.

Rick: Yeah, when we say you’re inhabiting your body or you’re leaving your body or whatever, what is this “we,” what is this entity that is actually inhabiting or leaving? Are we talking about the attention? Are we talking about some jiva or subtle body kind of being disintegrated or integrated or with the gross body, or what are we actually talking about?

Judith: Yes, a really good question, I don’t know, I don’t know, and I try very hard, although it’s challenging, to avoid any sort of metaphysical claims simply because of the fact that I don’t know, like I don’t know what this pervasive space is. I know that we can experience it. And it happens that there’s such a variety of interpretations, many different teachings, especially in Buddhism and Hinduism, refer to this ground of being or Rigpa, this Buddha nature, this pervasive space, Self with a capital S, all of these names for this pervasive space, but some teachings say that this is actually the nature of the universe, this pervasive space, and as we open we realize ourselves as this fundamental nature of the universe, that it’s really there, and we’re just experiencing that. And other teachings, particularly within Buddhism, will say that this is our own mind that we’re experiencing, just our own mind, clearly, in an unmodified way, along with the content of experience. Now those are two radically different interpretations of the same experience. So when we talk about being in the body and what or who that is, being in the body, I can’t answer that. I don’t know what it is, but I do know that it’s quite a different experience to be aware of the body or to be in the body. Really a very different experience, and in this work, in the realization process, I’m helping people to be in the body because we seem to need to be in the body in order to experience the oneness of fundamental consciousness or pervasive space, pervading our own being and everything around us. We need to be there. That’s part of the oneness, right? We are part of the oneness. If I look to a traditional teaching to compare this to, I think it most resembles Atma and Brahman in the Hindu system. Atma being the true self, the authentic being, and Brahman being the pervasive space, and Atma and Brahman being identical. That philosophy seems to fit best with what I experience.

Rick: Yeah, and a lot of people don’t pay much attention to the whole idea of the body, but Christ said that the body is the temple of the soul, and obviously yogic practices make a big fuss about tuning the instrument of the nervous system so as to be able to have non-dual awareness and so on. There are so many different approaches with yoga and diet and so many things one can do. But your approach seems to be primarily an attentional, not intentional, but attentional thing. It’s not like one of these techniques where you be aware of your feet, be aware of your knees. It’s more like you’re actually getting people to somehow center their awareness or their attention within the space of the feet or the legs or the knees or the pelvis or whatever, and to somehow as if have that be your vantage point or something.

Judith: Yeah, in a way. I mean we certainly use attention as part of the practice, but it’s not … I mean it can be described as a total integration of body and mind. And some of the Japanese Zen philosophers have talked about that. Total integration. So it’s definitely not a holding of attention in the body. The experience feels like we’re actually attuning to something that’s already there, you know, to some subtle level of consciousness or being that’s already there in the body that we can attune to or evoke and help cultivate. So it’s not so much, “Oh now I’m going to attend to my feet.” Actually being there. I don’t even like to use the word “awareness” for it because we open to fundamental consciousness with our whole instrument, our whole being. It’s not just awareness in the sense of what’s around our head, right, or what our head is doing. It’s also a ground of emotion. It’s a ground even of physical sensation, interestingly. And it’s a blend of all of that. So probably “being” is a better word for it than “awareness.” We’re using focus and attention and that sort of thing in order to get there. But once we’re there it’s just “being” or “presence” is another word for it. Being present, living within the internal space of the body.

Rick: How long would it take to actually put us through a little exercise where you, I mean, is it appropriate to do in the context of an interview like this where we can spend a few minutes trying to experience what you’re talking about?

Judith: Well, I do have a very short exercise just to possibly demonstrate for you the difference between being aware of the body and being in the body. And that I can do in just a minute. Do you want me to do that?

Rick: Yeah, let’s do that. I think it’ll help to make it more concrete what you’re talking about.

Judith: Okay, so sitting there, rest your hands on your legs, palms down. Just resting your hands wherever they are on your legs. And now let yourself become aware of your hands. And in becoming aware of your hands you may notice how cold or how warm they are. You might notice how relaxed or how tense they are. So aware of your hands. And now enter into your hands. See if you can feel that you’re actually living within the internal space of your hands. So you may have felt some kind of shift from being aware of the hands to being in them. And that’s the shift that we’re making throughout the whole body, being in the feet, in the legs, in the whole body.

Rick: I’ve had experiences in meditation where I actually really literally feel like I’m down in my legs or something, you know, but usually that’s rare. And usually it’s more just more you know, kind of a depth and expansiveness and there’s not any real orientation to any part of the body. Although since I’ve been reading your book in the last week I’ve kind of had more attention on the body and in the body during meditation and found myself kind of like just favoring kind of a subtle exploration within the body. I don’t know if that’s what you intend but it seems to have enhanced the quality of the experience.

Judith: You know, I’m making a distinction in this work between matter, energy and this pervasive space. And that’s an interesting distinction. It’s a distinction in the way we can experience ourselves, right? So we can experience ourselves as physical matter and when we do that we feel pretty separate from everything. We can experience ourselves as energy and most sensitive people do grow up experiencing themselves as energy as that kind of streaming and pulsing and vibrating. And we can meditate in our energy system and that will become even more fluid and expanded and so forth. Now we can also attune to ourselves in an even more subtle level than energy and that’s this pervasive stillness. And that pervasive stillness pervades the body and the environment as a whole and that means that we then find ourselves in our body as a whole. It’s a dimension of unity so we experience our whole internal space as a unity. Now when we get there, when we know ourselves as fundamental consciousness, I’m calling it fundamental consciousness, you can probably tell in this work but it has a lot of different names. When we know ourselves as fundamental consciousness then we get to an even more subtle level of our energy system, a very very fine vibration that seems to be actually inseparable from the stillness so that we experience the stillness and this kind of radiance of the stillness at the same time. So that’s one thing to put in the mix in terms of understanding the work and we do get to this kind of our whole internal being at once. I just heard it described in a book by Yuasa, a Japanese philosopher, where he’s talking about how the internal space of the body becomes radiant coherence as it’s pervaded by the transcendent. And that’s a really interesting thing because it means that we become whole within ourselves at the same time as we become one with everything else. It means that we don’t need to eradicate our self-experience, right? We don’t disappear, in fact we become juicier, we become more present and more aware of ourselves even as an individual but not in an abstract way, in this kind of experienced way.

Rick: It’s interesting you should say that because there’s so many people, I mean you founded the Non-Duality Institute and there’s so many people who in the name of non-duality keep emphasizing over and over that there is no individual and being no individual there is no free will and that’s their whole schtick, you know?

Judith: That’s right.

Rick: How do you juxtapose what you say with that?

Judith: Yeah, that teaching really concerns me. I think it’s even a misunderstanding of the teaching of selflessness, that’s my opinion. But it tends, and the people who are hearing that instruction, to produce a greater schism between self and object than even before.

Rick: Yeah

Judith: Right, so in order to say there’s thoughts without a thinker or just a pain without someone experiencing that pain, we not only let go of our grip on our thoughts and all, which I think is the purpose of that teaching, but we also do a second, and you can watch people do it, kind of a second maneuver where we eradicate ourselves, we try to eradicate ourselves, and we’re just out there in the content of experience. And that’s creating a split in something that’s already split. So I think it’s some, a teaching that especially as a non-duality teacher and as a psychotherapist, it really concerns me as people try to erase themselves. One of the problems with it is that we can’t erase ourselves. You know, if we could, all right, but we actually can’t. So that person who is in pain, that person who is frightened, who has a history of trauma, that person is still there and will find its way out in various ways. So psychologically it’s injurious, I believe, as a teaching and spiritually it will, it can, if it’s interpreted in a certain way, prevent you actually from realizing the oneness of self and other.

Rick: Yeah, I appreciate that. You may know who Scott Kiloby is. He wants to have a discussion with me about this because he’s got coming, he says he gets calls and emails from people on a regular basis who have in a way become casualty cases as a result of that emphasis. It really exacerbates people’s problems and disassociates them even more as you’ve just been saying.

Judith: That’s right, that’s right. And I think there’s more and more understanding of that coming in which is just a wonderful, a wonderful thing.

Rick: Yeah, the word embodiment is getting a lot more in vogue and people are coming to appreciate the importance of it.

Judith: Yeah. You know, I think if you look at the main teachings, you know, it’s interesting, a student of mine, someone who just took a training with me, he’s coming from a Zen lineage. He said to me, if your knee hurts, do you say that’s my pain or do you say that’s just pain? And I said to him, I say it’s my pain. And he said, why? That’s not right. It’s the wrong answer. And that’s right in there is where the problem is. And I looked up for him, you know, the teachings of Rinzai, who’s of course the founder of the Rinzai sect, one of the main two sects in Zen Buddhism, Lin Chi or Rinzai. He’s so clear when he says to his students, the one who’s standing before me now, he says, that’s the one who’s no different than the Buddhas. The one who’s hearing me now, that’s the one who’s no different than Buddha. You know, he’s very clear on that. This is not something that’s not us. This is who we are and we are and we are that. That’s us and we’re that.

Rick: Yeah, I mean I sometimes use examples like would you rather whack a rock with a hammer or whack your knee with a hammer? I mean you’re obviously going to, you know, and if some guy over in Afghanistan breaks his leg, that’s his experience. I’m not experiencing it, you know. So there is definitely a localization, however cosmic you would like to think you are. There’s a sort of a personalization to our experience and you can’t deny it.

Judith: That’s right. So it’s common sense and it’s also quite important in terms of being whole and unified. Psychologically we’re, you know, as young children we’re constantly making ourselves less present in order to either feel safer or to feel that we’re part of the family, right? So everybody in the family lives up here and so we live way up here as well, right? Or, you know, everybody in the family, you know, the pet dies, the dog dies, or the grandfather dies and everyone says, “Oh don’t cry, nothing to cry about, nothing to cry.” Well we shut down, you know, and there’s no way that we can shut down our experience. It’s so interesting. There’s no way we can shut down our experience without actually closing off the body, right? So we can’t keep ourselves from crying without constricting the anatomy of crying, right? We can’t keep ourselves from seeing something. Someone says, “Oh what you’re seeing, that’s not true,” or someone says, you know, “Don’t look at me, don’t look at me now.” We can’t obey that instruction without actually constricting. So we grow up all organized, so this is just the normal human condition. We grow up organized and constricted. So if we’re told you don’t exist, we’re already old hands at that.

Rick: Yeah.

Judith: We already know how to do that, you know, okay, all right. But it’s a shutting down rather than an opening.

Rick: Yeah, it’s kind of ironic because the people who are hearing these teachings really want genuine opening.

Judith: That’s right.

Rick: At least they purported they do, and yet it almost seems counterproductive sometimes, what they’re going through or what they’re doing. So you would say that over a lifetime people just pile up constriction upon constriction and end up in a very kind of shut down mode before they may end up beginning to seek a removal of all that blockage. And I’m quite sure, let’s see what you have to say about it, that that removal is not going to happen overnight. It’s taken decades to build up. It may take years to dismantle and to clear out again.

Judith: Yeah, so there’s a couple of things in there. Most of the organizing that we do, we do as young children. Some say before birth, but up until the first few years of life. And that’s when we’re very malleable and very easy to constrict. Then if we encounter similar sorts of situations that cause us to make those original constrictions, we’ll constrict along those same lines. So all of those unpleasant or confusing or painful memories are all collected along those same lines of constriction. Now they don’t undo overnight. Some of them won’t, they won’t undo at all unless we actually go right into them and work with them. There’s a whole part of the realization process which is just attuning to some of these very subtle, deep sorts of organizations of being. So some of them need that sort of direct encounter. Others will fall away with the meditation work. Now we don’t need to be entirely free of these constrictions in order to realize ourselves as fundamental consciousness. The more we let go of them, the fuller, the richer, the more complete throughout our whole body is this realization. But we can come to that oneness long before we’ve let go of all our constrictions. That organization of being, that’s the normal human condition. So we’re asking for something just a little bit more open than the normal human condition.

Rick: Yeah. What most people seem to say is that at a certain point that fundamental consciousness is realized, let’s say it’s 51% of removal of constrictions or something, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% which is just what you’re saying. And so that also doesn’t mean that the full potential of that non-dual realization has been realized, it just means you’ve got the flavor of it, you got the essence of it, but there could be a vast amount of further unfolding and clarification to take place.

Judith: That’s right.

Rick: Yeah. So if most of our constrictions accumulate during childhood, what about all these guys that go to Iraq and Afghanistan and come back with PTSD? It seems like they’ve taken on a whole new load of constrictions in their 20s.

Judith: Probably, yes, absolutely, yeah, yeah, very most likely. And the same with someone who’s in a car accident or who’s raped or, you know, has some extreme sort of trauma later on in life, you know, absolutely.

Rick: Yeah, so we’re never too old to acquire new constrictions, but a lot of the main ones, deep ones, are acquired during our childhood.

Judith: That’s right.

Rick: Okay, and it’s interesting what you’re saying because, well, we just sort of belabor the point a little bit, what you’re advocating is, I don’t know if the word confrontation would be correct, but sort of a, you know, turning one’s attention into this stuff in order to resolve it, as opposed to this sort of detachment thing we were talking about a few minutes ago, where people are told that, you know, you don’t even exist and, you know, just there is no person to realize or practice anything. In fact, people are specifically advised not to engage in practices by some teachers because a practice is thought to only reinforce the notion of a practicer, so the practices are considered counterproductive.

Judith: That’s right, that’s right, yeah, so you have two really important issues there in that, right? And one is that this psychological history is dismissed by some teachers today. They call it story, right?

Rick: That’s just your story.

Judith: That’s your story, right? And, you know, for one thing, it’s a pretty good story, it’s a really important story. It’s how you survived, it’s how you as a child managed to negotiate your environment and become who you are today. So really, as a story, really a good story. In order to release some of the deeper holding patterns that we create in childhood, we often need to know what is the purpose of that holding pattern. So for that we need to dip into that story. What we’re doing in the realization process is something really subtle, where we’re finding, we’re penetrating into the holding patterns really in such a way that they move towards the constriction, and then once that happens we can let go a little bit and they start to unfurl. And we do that rather methodically, and it takes that very subtle focus into the constriction, and letting it move into the constricted place, and letting go a little. And then as we do that over and over, the constriction becomes more conscious and more fluid. Now we’re working with the exact pathway in that sense of the constrictions. So we’re a long way now from my early training, where you took a bataka or a plastic bat and just hit pillows and hope for the best, you know, and I’m not knocking it because I, you know, that was really very releasing and helpful. But here we’re doing something much further along in that we’re tuning exactly, and just the way body work has become more and more subtle. Here’s a very subtle technique that we do from the inside on our own, of finding the exact trajectory of that constriction and then letting go and letting it unfurl right along its exact pathway. Now in order to do that, we often need to feel exactly what was the purpose of it, and how old we feel at that time. So there we come into contact with that child’s mind, that part of ourselves, that did that as a response to very specific things in our environment. So there the history, you know, the actual memories become very important. They’re linked to these holding patterns.

Judith: And what was the other? There was something…

Rick: Oh, I was talking about people this dismissal of practices as being…

Judith: Of practices, yeah.

Rick: They only reinforce the notion of a practicer, which is what you’re trying to get out of, according to some.

Judith: Yes, that’s a really… that’s another important point. Practice has come under that kind of negative scrutiny.

Rick: And often by people who did practices for 30 years before having some kind of real…

Judith: That’s right. Look, spontaneously after 30 years he’s open sitting there on that park bench. That’s right. There has come to be a very prevalent teaching now in our culture that we should not do any practice. And the rationale behind that is that non-dual realization is an uncontrived way of being. It’s our least contrived way of being. In Zen Buddhism they say, if you move towards it you move away from it, right? And that’s true. This is not something that we can imagine or construct, non-duality. This is our most open state. Unfortunately when most people are told just let go, just open, this is your true nature, so just be it, most people will let go from the surface of themselves. And there we come into that important distinction between energy and fundamental consciousness. They’ll let go from the surface of themselves and there they are in that kind of expanded but hollow state, not present within but dissociated really, expanded into the space around them. That of course is an improvement on someone who’s holding themselves tight you know and brushing around and yeah but still it’s not, it’s not non-dual realization. So we need to do some practice in order to penetrate deeply into the internal core of the body which I haven’t talked about in this interview yet but we work in the realization process quite a bit with that subtle core what they call in Buddhism, the central channel that’s called in yoga, Sushumna, right? We work a lot with that, penetrate into that, penetrate deeply into the whole internal space of the body so that when we do let go of ourselves we’re letting go from deep within, not from the surface but really from deep within our whole being. And then we do open into that spontaneous, spontaneously arising as the Buddhists say non-dual realization.

Rick: My impression also is that a lot of the people who talk that way, anti-practice and so on or at least the students of people who talk that way, it very often becomes a kind of largely intellectual thing or where they get good at talking that way and they can become very argumentative in chat groups and all about the non-existence of the self but it’s not like they’re not really living it you know and it’s hard to convey that to somebody sometimes especially since you’ve never even met them but you just have this feeling that they’re not really living it, they’re speaking out of a concept and you know sometimes they’ll use arguments like from physics, well physics says that ultimately at the deepest level of creation there’s no gravity, so go jump off a building and see if you can prove that that that’s your reality, but I don’t know, you don’t get too far.

Judith: Yeah, I know it irritates me too but even beyond that it’s actually destructive I think to what we’re trying to and what people are, you know it’s misleading to a very sincere practitioners.

Rick: Yeah, confusing. So, one thing you were saying a minute ago about kind of discovering and helping to release constrictions, it would seem to me that we are such a bundle of them and we don’t actually know what’s down there so to speak and that Zen quote you just said if you’re moving toward it you’re moving away from it, to me implied that if you’re kind of applying individual will or intention which might be short-sighted then you might miss the mark and so I guess my question is to what extent can you employ nature’s intelligence in enabling you to have your attention come to those things which are ready to be given attention and ready to be unraveled so as to not be just sort of mucking up the process through just individual effort which might be going off in the wrong direction.

Judith: Yeah. First, I do think that there are practices that help with the letting go process that’s that aren’t going to distort the process but that can facilitate the letting go and one is that you know, central core of the body.

Rick: Which we should have you explain because you keep alluding to it.

Judith: Because I keep alluding, you know that core of the body. But anyway you know I think that there are practices just like meditation if you sit and meditate you know in Zen Buddhism for example they have a shikantaza meditation which is a meditation without any sort of object without any sort of technique and you just sit and but you are just sitting there, it’s not it’s not easy you’re not just drinking a cup of tea you’re sitting and breathing and you’re sitting still and then there’s a kind of automatic sort of unraveling well you’re not going to go wrong with that that’s facilitating that natural process. It’s the same with penetrating into the depths of ourselves and then letting go from there when we let go from there you’re facilitating that natural process. That’s something a little different, so I think that that’s actually you know when they say if you move towards it you move away from it. We can’t we can’t replicate it we can only open to it but we can do things that genuinely facilitate that opening that letting you know that true letting go. In terms of the psychological process, there is an emergent process and it’s fascinating and many therapists experience this working with their clients you know the old training was that you had a treatment strategy and a treatment plan. They were two different things I forget which was which and you knew exactly what you were going to do each time and no matter what the client no matter what the client brought you know and that has I think for many therapists just gone by the wayside at this point and people are just sitting with that immersion process. It’s an amazing thing to witness. There seems to be a natural healing process. I certainly experienced it in my own healing you know that and many people will say this becomes the new age common wisdom that you get what you need when you need it and that actually seems to be the case and it’s an amazing thing so in terms of the penetrating to the holding patterns which is a technique I pretty much trust where people want to work in themselves

Rick: So you’re saying that there’s a self-healing mechanism and that not only you but other therapists are learning to cooperate with that to allow that to do its thing?

Judith: That’s right

Rick: Yeah

Judith: In terms of sequence right, in terms of like not messing with the unfolding process.

Rick: Yeah we were talking earlier about gurus behaving badly. It’s, you know there’s this phenomenon where people can attain apparently an extremely high degree of realization, spiritual fullness and yet still have some pretty serious blind spots.

Judith: Yes

Rick: And resulting in some you know unfortunate behavioral traits and I guess maybe the conclusion is there’s not necessarily a tight correlation between higher consciousness or and all the relative aspects of our lives as much as we’d like there to be and as much as some teachers have said there is and so maybe you could discuss that a little bit I mean to what extent can we you know go to you know a very high degree of spiritual development and yet still have left behind some things that really need attending to and go ahead with that.

Judith: Well I think I think part of it is this what we were talking about with the constrictions I think people can be deeply wounded even traumatized sexually for example and become you know open enough to realize fundamental consciousness in quite a large way and quite open in their hearts so that they’re exuding love and yet be still suffering and terrifically constricted sexually.

Rick: And maybe not even be aware of it.

Judith: And not aware of it just acting out.

Rick: Yeah

Judith: Yeah, right. You know some people have said well there’s cultural differences about childhood sexual abuse, I don’t know. That’s hard to believe. I know for myself I am definitely a better person than I was and you know more experienced altogether and life has gone nicely you know circumstances are good but I believe that the openness of my heart, my emotional responsiveness which I’ve cultivated contributes to that so, and altogether you know I believe that the work that I do and have done as spiritual practices has clarified my mind. I can think better, I’m more creative I’m more able to express myself I grew up you know as a dancer practically mute, not me at all anymore and you know so all of those things so so definitely my own experience and I think a lot of people probably say that I can attest to the fact that I’m a I’m a better I’m a better person I’m less jealous less selfish you know I’m just a better person. So, it may be that some of these huge teachers I you know I mean it is a mystery to me and it’s a mystery I experienced firsthand with Sai Baba. It’s a mystery to me how someone like that can act less ethically than just anyone off the street you know I mean anyone knows not to sexually abuse a child that’s a that’s an illness right, if you’re doing that and it might be that the illness does come from some sort of deeply wounding sexual trauma in Sai Baba’s past. I have no idea. So, I’m you know I don’t know and then of course we’re still you know I’m no longer part of the Sai Baba community. He managed to find the one thing that I can’t tolerate. Like you know, if he was just you know having sex with his female students they’d be like well that’s an abuse of power in my book but you know, all right but abusing little boys that’s you know I can’t I can’t be anywhere part of anything that’s anywhere near that.

Rick: And of course a lot of Sai Baba followers today would be enraged to hear you say this because they deny that it ever happened but well, that’s, I also have close friends who looked into it closely Connie Larson and Tim Conway and it’s pretty well established.

Judith: Yeah but that’s what I was going to say they’re still calling it rumors.

Rick: Yeah

Judith: And then there’s whole you know websites and so forth. I’ve detached myself from that and I am very glad that I got what I did from him. I’m glad that I never brought a young child to him and it’s a mystery you know I have a very intelligent and very, I would think realized friend who also was a Sai, Sai Baba person; even after all that it hit you know and I said to him how can you be part of that and he said to me I have no idea who he is or now who he was no idea and I can understand that too. The whole, that whole person was so mysterious that and maybe people feel the same way about you know Trungpa and Muktananda and all the others but for myself, you know that that person and what he was able to do with me and how he was able to read me and respond and so forth was so mysterious to me that this is just part of that mystery.

Rick: Yeah. Kind of keeps you in a state of not being cocksure about things you know.

Judith: That’s right.

Rick: Which is good.

Judith: It sure does

Rick: Speaking of, you know, do you do you feel like you may still have skeletons in your closet in terms of constricted things and so on that you have not even yet discovered or and do you in the same question do you feel like there’s there come there finally comes a point for people at which the very last constriction is released and they’re totally you know pure as the driven snow, right?.

Judith: So to answer your first question I don’t think I have constrictions I don’t know about at this point.

Rick: Maybe you’re still working on them.

Judith: But I definitely have constrictions I’m still working on I think yeah absolutely and I still have the scoliosis and I’m still working on that and that’s also …

Rick: Well you may have that till the day you die right? I mean…

Judith: Absolutely, all of these constrictions I may have…

Rick: unless you’re surgically fused

Judith: Yeah um interestingly Sai Baba’s take on it was that the whole thing was my imagination that’s what he said. I don’t know see but I do know that I’m still working on myself in that way and so that that answers that question. Now whether anyone is ever entirely free of constrictions I don’t know that either you know, would we be able to walk right through the walls you know, even you know even en route to that I don’t know I have no idea.

Rick: Yeah, do you uh sometimes in some various traditions and scriptures they talk about bliss as being a really good litmus test of one’s degree of integration and realization like you know you’re going to be in a sort of state of infinite joy contact with Brahman is infinite joy the Upanishads say and uh Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to talk about 24 hours bliss and it pops up in a lot of traditions. Do you see either you know and not only bliss in some kind of abstract sense but even bliss in the body feeling like every cell is sort of you know blissful. Do you see that as a useful measure and or are there some other measures that you would say can indicate to a person to what extent they have you know, progressed?

Judith: I think the measure for me is the transparency, and the complete openness the feeling of being made of space and that everything else is made of space now I do in the in the realization process attune to the qualities of that space as awareness emotion and physical sensation and the emotional ground is experienced as bliss. Not the kind of bliss that some of us including myself have experienced at peak moments especially at the very beginning of our path right, but a kind of every cell sort of good feeling.

Rick: Nourished. Profound sense of well-being and kind of like nourishment.

Judith: That’s right. Profound sense of well-being I think we can definitely aspire to uh you know bliss, you know that that you know when I’ve experienced actual bliss it’s something that just takes you and I can’t imagine anyone actually living in that state maybe for 24 hours I don’t know but it didn’t last that long for me but um

Rick: He meant 24/7.

Judith: Oh 24/7.

Rick: That’s really what he meant.

Judith: Yeah I don’t think you’d be able to walk across the room like that but I don’t know so you know that’s beyond my knowledge but …

Rick: But though, don’t we tend to acclimate wasn’t that an interesting thing about human beings the way we can acclimate either to very severe degrees of suffering or very high degrees of happiness and and things become kind of matter of fact once we’ve acclimated and you know if we were to somehow able to shift if you were able to shift right now for instance to where you were at 30 years ago you’d probably be writhing on the floor in agony even though you weren’t writhing then it was acceptable you had acclimated and you know fast forward 10 years from now you’d probably be you know drooling in ecstasy but by then you will have totally adjusted to it.

Judith: I think that’s a good I think that’s a good point you know this you know we have these peak experiences and then they become quite ordinary. This this open state this you know, this non-dual state to the extent that I’ve realized it is a very sober state right? It’s a it’s a very sober state more sober than before I set out on my on my path you know I mean internally sober so the good feeling that profound feeling of well-being that you talked about that is part of that sober openness and it does, it does persist even in you know painful moments, you know one’s life right it’s it’s an ongoing ground.

Rick: Yeah So you promised to tell us about this core of your being that you’ve alluded to a number of times and that’s kind of really important in your teaching.

Judith: That’s right. The core of the being. There, we have we can experience a central channel a very, very slender channel like a tube yeah that

Rick: Sushumna?

Judith: What?

Rick: Sushumna?

Judith: Sushumna, right. Now Sushumna is conceived as having a Sushumna, it’s called in the yogic system they talk about it in Buddhism as well Tibetan Buddhism and it’s translated as the central channel. Sushumna is conceived of as having three levels one nested right within the other and so this would be the innermost core of Sushumna and it’s experienced as a channel that runs from above the head through the whole vertical core of ourselves, our head our neck, our torso and below right, so that whole vertical core of ourselves and when we can attune to it and in the realization process there’s uh there’s quite a bit of attuning to it and initiating the breath within it and that sort of thing when we can attune to it live there, right, we’ve gone all the way through to the center of our being and we’re living there it’s an entrance way into the pervasive space and that’s another way of saying that we can let go of ourself we can we can let go of our grasp so we’re still going to be here of course. We let go of our grasp on ourself and our environment from Sushumna from that central channel the subtle core of the body right so that’s a really important part of the practice in the realization process.

Rick: So, there’s a lot of stuff that you say that seems very subtle, like you’d have to have really refined discriminating awareness in order to experience it like I mean I’ve been meditating for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced this Sushumna uh so I mean what’s your what’s I’m sorry go ahead.

Judith: I think you could pretty easily.

Rick: Yeah interesting. What’s your success rate in terms of students actually tuning in and experiencing this stuff that you’re teaching them to experience?

Judith: Pretty good yeah I mean I could I could help you get to the Sushumna right right now in about two minutes so it’s really quite easy someone who’s meditated as long as you and who says uh you know who’s as open as you are it’s really pretty easy I do have ways of helping people find them and that needs to be done in in person.

Rick: Sure

Judith: But then um you know then initiating the breath within that helps open that channel and then we work with an upward coming current that comes from the center of the bottom of the torso moves through that channel just again as a way of opening and being able to live there and include that in the experience opening into the fundamental consciousness so pretty good every once in a while it will take someone a couple of years to feel this pervasive space that’s not usually the case but sometimes it is and then they’re like really surprised because by then they think I’ve been making it up. So it’s like space went all the way through the tree yeah so um yeah.

Rick: And you have a pretty good retention rate in terms of people learning this stuff and then continuing to practice it on their own because you know how it is with spiritual practices a lot of people drop out.

Judith: Definitely people come and go there’s no question um I have I don’t know if you want to number it might be two thirds of the people who work with me who’ve been with me for several years and then maybe about one third has been with me since the beginning you know for decades.

Rick: That’s pretty good.

Judith: Yeah, oh yeah but these are techniques that people can do on their own they don’t need me.

Rick: Right.

Judith: Right. So I mean and that’s part of what I like about the work is this has nothing to do with my presence or anything of that sort. These are these are just techniques that once they once they know them they can they can do them on their own.

Rick: And do most people come to know them by coming to New York or wherever you are and participating in a workshop or could do you actually teach them I mean through this sounds true audio program. Can it be learned just as effectively through something like that?

Judith: Well that depends who it is I mean many people now are emailing me and saying oh they’ve been doing the exercise you know from the CDs and um you know without my guidance I can help people find those real points so it’s possible that they’re doing the core breath and they’re not really in those core points. I do have as part of the exercise ways of testing that for them for example that each of these points enters you into the whole internal space of yourself at once so if you’re not feeling that for example if you’re in the core of your heart chakra and it doesn’t give you access to the inside of your feet then you’re not exactly in the core or the inside of your head at the same time so forth so there are guidelines so it may be that people are doing quite well without any guidance from me just following the tapes um but then they usually do come to me and I teach all over you know I do uh workshops and I do teacher trainings.

Rick: Travel around

Judith: I travel around and then I do a tele conference training you know training on the phone which turns out to be extremely effective you know this is just the second year I’m doing that and not only are people able to really get the exercises and practice them but they bond with each other you know it’s just been amazing experience to do that.

Rick: Seems like it would be good to come to some kind of retreat or something just to get away from the usual hubbub and give yourself a kickstart you know to get a nice, nice foundation with it and then if that’s possible for people.

Rick: Probably yeah I’m doing the relational workshop you know there’s a whole relational aspect to the work because when two people, both attune to fundamental consciousness, there they experience a single transparency pervading them both which is a very interesting thing and it kind of is a sort of an argument for there really being this one space you know well I’m not going to go that far but that’s how it feels um and um and then we really are able to relate to each other not from the surface of ourselves but from the inner depth to inner depth and so there’s a whole relational part so the next workshop I’m teaching is in New Mexico the beginning of November and that’s just on the relational work you don’t need to bring a partner but it’s all of that you know being in yourself and yet feeling oneness with another person.

Rick: Funny, sometimes people gripe that you know my show is supposed to be about conversations with ordinary spiritually awakening people and some people say well why do you always just have these teachers on you know why not just more unknown people that are just ordinary and part of the reason is that they’re unknown I don’t know about them.

Judith: Yeah, that’s right

Rick: But another part of the reason is that um sometimes people could have a profound awakening of some sort and they can kind of they may be pretty good at describing it or not because they may not be in the habit of expounding you know and so they might sort of have a hard time describing it but even if they’re good at describing it they may have no way whatsoever of conveying it to anybody else um helping anybody else have that sort of experience um so I really do respect people I think it you know it’s interesting to talk to those kinds of people and sometimes I do when I find them but it’s also interesting and I think perhaps more valuable to talk to people like yourself who actually have something to offer so that others can you know make progress themselves and have this sort of realization that people who are listening to a show like this are interested in.

Judith: Yeah, thank you.

Rick: Yeah and you know and then there’s all there’s those who gripe that well they’re all charging money but you know you have to eat and we don’t I suppose come down too hard on a psychologist that we go to or a medical doctor or so on for charging money for their services. They have perhaps, families to support and all the usual stuff that everybody has to do um I mean I’ve actually had somebody say last week, you know why do they all have to charge money why don’t they just drive a truck or something well if they’re driving a truck then they’re not going to be able to have the time to do you know any kind of teaching so I’m just addressing this because it’s come up a number of times recently I just want to voice my opinion about it which I mean and obviously people get carried away and sometimes costs are exorbitant and they start getting, driving around in fancy cars and so on so it can be taken to extremes.

Judith: Yeah

Rick: But I don’t get the sense you’re doing that.

Judith: No, I have a Subaru.

Rick: You do?

Judith: Yeah, in fact everyone in Woodstock has a Subaru um probably in Iowa but um I think that the teachers were always supported by the community you know they always were brought uh food and you know they were always fed

Rick: Had a place to live and

Judith: And given the place to live and cared for and of course they were they were all kind of local you know we didn’t have the internet and or airplanes and so forth so um so this you know of course is an extension of that but it’s true this is this is definitely the way I make my living. If my way made my living in some other way I wouldn’t be able to do this and I wouldn’t even have been able to do my own meditation practice.

Rick: Yeah so I guess we covered that point I mean and I guess another addendum to it is just that traditionally a lot of times in more ancient cultures which you read about in these books we’re talking about ashrams and we’re talking about monastic people who didn’t have as much, they didn’t have Subarus. they didn’t have they didn’t have to buy health insurance and all the various expenses of modern living so most of the spiritual teachers these days are householders paying for houses and it costs actual money to live in our modern society so some there has to be some sort of material exchange like that in return for their services.

Judith: I think another part of it too is it makes it clear you know I mean I know I like to make it clear in my life that I am not a guru.

Rick: Right

Judith: You know I’m not um you can’t come and sit with me and get enlightened you know I don’t I don’t

Rick: Is your husband enlightened?

Judith: I don’t really think so um and uh I’m not telling people how to live either right you know I mean that’s another thing that comes up what about the ethical part of this? well, I…

RICK: It’s not part of your tool kit.

JUDITH: That’s not part of my job to tell people how to think how to behave the you know that’s they’re on their own with that um so um so I’m not a guru. I am an ordinary person. I’m an ordinary person who has realized this pervasive space and we can really all realize it if we’re interested in it then, then we have enough openness no doubt to be able to do that.

Rick: Yeah

Judith: And it’s true the difference between me and other ordinary people who realize themselves is that I’ve come up with these, these practices and that’s because of my own particular history of first teaching dance where I was teaching practices and then having to heal myself.

Rick: Yeah and I like to anticipate audience questions I suppose some people might say well isn’t that a bit of hubris coming up with your own practices you know when there’s all these ancient traditions but um again I don’t have a problem with that your practices to me sound well reminiscent of some types of other practices but you know you, you present the whole thing in a very practical way and obviously you know the proof is in the pudding people are getting results from these things so why not something somewhat new um if it works.

Judith: Yeah, I think it’s very good that there are some people who are going to keep the traditions alive and that then there are other people who are going to innovate you know so as long as we have both going we don’t lose the traditions you know we always have that to go to.

Rick: Yeah and it’s even debatable as to whether what’s currently taught in the name of Buddhism for instance is actually what the Buddha was teaching so yeah

Judith: Right. Same question with Christianity.

Rick: Oh very much so. Wow! yeah so only a new seal seed will yield a new crop okay. So this has been pretty thorough. Is there anything important that we left out due to my not having thought to ask you about it?

Judith: I don’t think so I don’t think so I think you really covered all the bases on this.

Rick: Great. Good. So, thank you very much for doing this. Then well, I’ll just conclude. Really enjoyed talking to you has a maybe I’m just feeling very settled today but sometimes I get kind of speedy and I talk too much but I feel like you’ve had a settling influence on me. Kept me kind of in a nice, grounded state. So I’ve been speaking with Judith Blackstone and I read her whole introduction at the beginning but she’ll have her own page on batgap.com and I’ll be linking from that page to her website realizationcenter.com and nondualityinstitute.org as well as to her several books. I’ll have links to those books on Sounds True or Amazon and as always, there is are a number of things you can do if you come to batgap.com there’s a forum section where each guest has their own little section in the forum so there’ll be a section for Judith and a link to that section from her page in case you get you want to get involved in a discussion about what we’ve been doing and there is a place to be notified by email of new interviews you can sign up to be notified. There’s a donation button as I mentioned in the beginning which I really appreciate and rely upon people using from time to time. There are several different ways in which all these interviews are indexed. You’ll see a past interviews menu and you can see alphabetical chronological top you know categorical and so on and what else? Oh, there’s an audio podcast and actually more people listen to the audio podcast than actually watch the videos so there’s a link with each interview to the audio podcast where you can subscribe to that on iTunes. So thanks again Judith

Judith: Thank you

Rick: It’s been great speaking with you and thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching and we’ll see you next week. Next week is teal swan.

Judith: OK

Rick: Very good. Bye-bye

Judith: Bye-bye and thank you