Kiran Trace 2nd Interview Transcript

Kiran Trace 2nd Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and this is Kiran, nicknamed Mystic Girl in the City. I interviewed Kiran about two years ago and at the time we both wanted to do another one eventually. I’m up in Vancouver to do a series of interviews and attend a retreat. So those of you who watch BatGap regularly will see a whole batch of them come up in the next few days or weeks. There was a lot of questions were sent in after Kiran’s first interview and I would actually suggest that people watching this interview watch that one first if you haven’t already done so because it will kind of give you a background of who Kiran is and what she’s been through and so on. We don’t want to rehash all those points in this interview. But a lot of questions were sent in from people and she and her helpers have collected a bunch of them. So I’m going to ask her some of those during this interview and also my own variations on those questions and little devil’s advocate points and anything else that comes to mind. But I want to start. Since it’s my experience and observation that people just keep growing and there’s no end to it, I’m always curious if I’m re-interviewing somebody after a couple of years if you can possibly remember where you were at two years ago, how you feel you’ve grown since then?

Kiran: Well, that’s a beautiful question. I think it’s a really valuable question because it’s like what’s the evolution for all of us are always evolving, but what’s the evolution like for awakened clarity? So I would say the biggest part for me is that the last time we spoke, I had just begun to teach. I had resisted it for such a long time, even though there’d been a lot of pressure from a lot of really great teachers really suggesting that that was the right home for me and the right place for me and I was very resistant about it. So since then, although it’s only been a couple of years, I have worked with thousands of people now globally all over the world.

Rick: Over Skype or something?

Kiran: I actually work through the phone. I have such a sensitivity to bandwidths and things, not problematically, but it’s nicer to work on the phone. I think that it’s more accessible for people also to just pick up a phone. So I work with people globally, mostly doing private sessions because that’s what I love to do because I really want to find out exactly where your freedom gets lost. I want to know exactly the moment in your day, in your week, in your life, in your relationship, like what happened? Where was the click? And so because I have what people would call clairvoyancy, that is actually just a part of being very very mindless, so to speak, I can feel the field. So I can feel people’s energetic fields and I can get a sense of how their system is moving against what blocks. So anyway, a private session is really great. I love to work with people that way.

Rick: So when you say you want to detect when their freedom gets lost, does that imply that generally people are free and then at certain points they get stuck?

Kiran: Well, our true nature is freedom and we don’t have to become aware of that to be what we are. We are freedom. I mean, it’s naturally what we are.

Rick: Does that do you any good if you’re not aware of it?

Kiran: I think it’s innate. I think awareness itself is already aware of it, but we are so profoundly conditioned, not consciously, but unconsciously through our families, through our cultures and through our societies to live under a certain amount of lack and limitation. So basically the entire conditioning of our childhood creates this mental loop that goes, “Lack and limitation, lack and limitation, lack and limitation, lack and limitation”. And that’s how we live with this lack and limitation story and filter. And that’s what impacts our freedom.

Rick: Yeah, and that’s how the vast majority of people do live.

Kiran: That’s how the vast majority of people do live. And so when I work with people, I can feel some of the major operating belief systems that are part of that, and we can work to pull them out so that they can begin to experience the freedom that they already are.

Rick: So would you summarize then to say that the main thing you do with people is unravel some of their most limiting belief systems, and that by doing that they experience an upsurge in freedom?

Kiran: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s exactly what I… what my specific focus is as a teacher, is finding where the pain and fear and deeply rooted toxic conditioning is sitting in your system. Not just belief systems in the head, but belief systems in the body. I mean, they’re very implanted physically. So I give people a very concrete map of how to pull them out. And then through working together, we can find where they all are. And again and again and again, I have lots of people that I work with that, as soon as you pull one of those deep core ones out of your system, what’s left is freedom.

Rick: Could you give us a specific example of somebody with whom you’ve done that, without mentioning their name obviously, but… so Joe Schmo, you worked with him.

Kiran: I did work with Joe Schmo!

Rick: Yeah, small world. And so this and this happened, and then he experienced this, and his life changed in such and such a way.

Kiran: You know what, you can just go to my website and all the testimonials will show you all that. There’s tons and tons and tons of stuff there. But yeah, so across the board, very consistently that’s what happens. But let’s use an example of Joe Schmo. So, well, you know what, I’m going to use the example of…

Rick: Jane Schmo.

Kiran: …Jane Schmo, who came to me, read my book, actually was recommending my book, Tools for Sanity, through her boss, had brought her this book. He loved the book. And so she read the book, and then called me and said, “I’m going to come to you, and I am so committed to leaving all the blocks and just having some connection to myself, to my body, all the constriction in my life. I am ready for it to be over. So I want to fly to you, and I want to stay near you in your town, and I just want to do it all”, which was so great. And I laughed, and I said, “It doesn’t look like that. Healing doesn’t look like that. But you stay in your home where you are, in your life, up against all the things that block your freedom, and let’s start working together”. And so I’d say it took about six months to start to be unraveled of a good handful of the major ones. And the direct experience, I mean, I have so many, like again and again and again, the direct experience is tremendous amount of freedom. Externally, her life looks totally different. She works for an entirely different company. She makes ten times the money she was making. She lives in the town she always wanted to live in, instead of the big city where she thought she had to be. She moved to the smaller town. She bought her dream home. She is now best friends with her then newly separated relationship, her marriage of a long time, newly separated. But now she’s reestablished a very close friendship, and they found the proper relationship. She’s got new relationships with her kids because everything that was in the way of all of that was not her lack of knowing where freedom was. It was her toxic conditioning and beliefs. And when we pull those away, there’s nothing here but reality and freedom and toxic conditioning. So we pull off the toxic conditioning, and you just bang up against a spaciousness and a freedom. Now, this is not someone who is necessarily awakened.

Rick: Yeah, I was just going to say, because all the things you just mentioned are of course important, and there are so many different self-improvement kind of things out there that promise to help you gain better relationships and a better job and a better house and more money and this and that, and that’s all they focus on.

Kiran: Yeah, but if you can’t go to the core belief systems that are in the way, your own conditioning about what’s stopping that, it doesn’t matter what you put on top of it. What you put on top of it is skill, possibly. And skill – even you had mentioned this briefly before we hit the record – but skill is the easiest thing to get. I mean, you can just learn skill. And so that stuff is skill, but without actually healing and reprogramming our systems, healing meaning pull out the junk, reprogramming is to rewire ourselves towards sanity. Now you add skill, now your freedom is very available externally in material world, but internally there’s the spaciousness to know that this is a play. This is a joyful, playful realm to just wander around in, have a good time with, enjoy. And there’s a lot more enjoyment, but across the board, across the board, across the board, you can talk to anybody that I work with, but it’s like this internal movement where it’s like, “Oh, all the pain in my life is these deeply insane conditionings that had needed a lot of support, not necessarily skill”. Although skill is a great thing, but skill over top of pain and toxic is not going to help.

Rick: Yeah. Well I totally agree that it’s important to root out the pain and toxicity and the deep conditioning and so on and so forth, not only for the sake of living a more happy life in terms of your relationships and all the things that people care about, but also in terms of the whole spiritual awakening thing. I mean, carrying all that baggage. And what this show is primarily about is spiritual awakening. Some people seem to have the attitude that all this surface stuff doesn’t matter, your job, your relationships and all that. What really matters is, to hell with all that, it’s an illusion. What really matters is your spiritual realization. I would tend to think more in terms of 200% that you want the whole package and that if spiritual awakening is genuine, then it should percolate up into a smoother, more conflict-free, more successful life. Do you agree with that? And is that kind of your orientation?

Kiran: Well the truth of the matter is that you can have it all. It’s your who and what you are. And so I certainly understand that point of view that says, “Well this is illusionary, this is a dream, and there’s just nothing more important than being connected to this deep field of being and this deep presence”. And there are certainly a lot of people and certainly a lot of amazing teachers that that’s really the point of view and the perspective. And I think that that’s profoundly valuable and I get it. It’s not my orientation, it’s not who I am as a teacher. And A, I don’t think I need to do it. We have people like Mooji and Adyashanti and Rupert Spira who are these extraordinarily skilled teachers to teach you about what is this deep field of stillness and what is reality. I find Adyashanti to be extraordinarily articulate, like of the inarticulate. So I don’t need to repeat the wheel that they have so masterfully done and it’s not my way. So for me, what I teach and what I bring and how I live is about very much where that includes form and how form is essential. But if you just focus on the form and you lose track of the profound piece of the formlessness that is creating it all in this moment, the form is very empty. And if you only focus on the internal stuff, which many people know in these masterful teachers I talk about, the stillness is very empty. The spaciousness is very empty. So for where I stand and how I experience reality, the point of the vast spacious stillness is form. I mean, consciousness is forming. So for me, from my perspective, it’s such an incredibly obvious thing. It’s like it’s a miracle that there’s all this spaciousness and then here it is. It comes into these forms of our bodies and our lives and it feels so clear to me that that’s the point of it. So it has to include it. Now, I think the difference between when I work with Joe Schmo and all the Joe Schmos, many of whom do not even necessarily know about enlightenment or non-enlightenment. They’re just coming to me for support with a very accelerated path of healing. What they can get is a tremendous internal freedom as well as great functioning outside. So for me, what I consider awakening or enlightenment is when the apparatus that identifies as this separate being dissolves and it can’t come back. For me, it happens suddenly one day.

Rick: The identification dissolves, not the apparatus. I mean, this is your apparatus.

Kiran: The apparatus that allows me to identify, dissolved.

Rick: Okay.

Kiran: So all of this, all this is the same as this, is the same as this, right? This is all form. But there’s an inability here to identify that little, whatever that little switch was. So the people I work with who are not awakened or haven’t had that apparatus switch off, they have equal access to freedom and they can live freedom. The thing that dissolves that apparatus so that there’s no more ability to identify is personally, I think, is not in our hands. I think it’s a bit like falling in love. It’s essential. It’s inevitable. It will happen to every single being at some point. The ability to control that apparatus, I don’t think is something in our control.

Rick: I have two points on that.

Kiran: Okay.

Rick: Well, using your falling in love metaphor, if you, let’s say, spend your time hanging out in strip joints or something, you’re not likely to meet the kind of person that you’re really going to fall in love with. Whereas if you engage in activities with people who resonate with your way of being, then you’re more likely to, let’s say you’re into meditation or something, you go to meditation retreats, you might meet a person who is resonant with your way of being. So there’s some choice there. And so the second part of that metaphor is if you just do whatever the hell you please all your life without any attention or thought given to spiritual development, spiritual awakening may happen – and it did in your case, out of the blue – but that’s why playing the lottery as a retirement plan, it’s not going to happen to too many people. Whereas there’s more of a track record of people who have actually focused on this kind of thing, awakening.

Kiran: I think it goes like this. I think your point is really true. I think it goes like this, or this is how I explain it. So let’s use the metaphor of love. We’ll stay there. So let’s say one day you’re just going about your average life and you’re at the bus stop and there’s a woman at the bus stop. And for some magical reason, you connect and you chat and you chat to the point that you actually, it just becomes very natural to exchange numbers and go get a coffee. And as you get on the bus, it’s so magical and rare that that, like you’re at the bus every day, you’ve even met a woman or two, but you’ve never gotten to that place. But it was just this form of magic. Now, say you go on a date or two and nothing much happens from it. It was a nice person, la la la. However, now you know magic is possible and you’re available. So now when you’re at a bookstore, you’re at your class or you’re walking down the street, there’s a part of you that’s waiting for the magic, that’s looking for it, that knows this about life now, that it could happen to you. And so a part of you becomes available and willing. And a part of you also becomes very curiously engaged with this dance of magic. And now, yes, that person’s going to now become available to all kinds of opportunities that were happening way before the bus stop, but they were closed to it. They weren’t available to it for whatever reason. But now these little love, and I think also something like enlightenment, these are ephemeral things. And so I think the direct interface that we might have in our lives at some point, which may be listening to a Buddha at the Gas Pump, which is highly effective, or listening to a spiritual teacher or something, is like that bus stop meeting. And now you know there’s this magic. And so, of course, you cannot go back to the bus stop and expect the next person to come. It’s not going to happen exactly that way again, but it makes you available and starting to notice what’s actually here, what’s around.

Rick: So in case people are getting lost in the metaphor, what we started talking about here was whether spiritual awakening just happens out of the blue by accident, you have no control over making it more probable or likely, or whether you can actually, by where you put your attention and how you spend your energy, make the likelihood of it greater.

Kiran: Yeah, I would agree with you because I would say it’s not in our hands whether we fall in love or not, but it’s definitely in our hands, the opportunity to fall in love.

Rick: Yeah, the kind of people we hang out with, the way we…

Kiran: The environments, how open we are, how available.

Rick: Right, how we culture our personality and our life to make us potentially more interesting to somebody, and things like that.

Kiran: But some people are deeply called to fall in love and others are not, and that’s a mystery. And those that are deeply called to fall in love are going to be cultivating it anyway because it nourishes them, the cultivation is nourishing. And they’re not more likely to fall in love, frankly, than the people who are not, because it’s inevitable.

Rick: I love that.

Kiran: We’re all going to do that.

Rick: Yeah, this falling in love business is just a metaphor.

Kiran: It’s a good metaphor because it’s very similar. It’s like, guess what coming home is? It’s love! Falling in love!

Rick: Yeah, so translating, you’re saying some people are just more likely to fall in love because they’re inclined to… some people are more likely to get awakened or enlightened because the flow of their life is in that direction or around that interest.

Kiran: The thing that I’m totally agreeing with you with is that little thing. It’s like I think across the board we all have equal opportunity for enlightenment and it’s not in our hands. However, what is in our hands is the probability to cultivate it. So we can be in dating coach seminars and we can go to singles events and matchmaking, we can go to meditation, we can go to satsang, we can follow teachers, we can read books. I project if you’re doing that, that was your natural call to begin with and that is a nourishment in itself. And does that make you more likely to actually become enlightened than… and again, quite frankly I’m the wrong person to ask these questions with because none of this is the focus of my teaching because I could give a flying F about enlightenment or non-enlightenment. I could care less. So Adya is the person to really have this conversation with or Rupert. But from my point of view, having become massively enlightened, meeting people all the time in my practice who were totally unaware that it even existed, never been to a meditation, never went to a talk, never had any relationship to it at all and out of the blue it happens, happens, happens and tons of people who are incredibly devoted and it’s their heart’s true passion and it hasn’t occurred. And I don’t think it’s because of an action one is doing and not the other. I think it’s because like love, it’s out of our hands. But I hope that you’re listening to these talks and doing meditations because they nourish you as opposed to drive a sense of failure in you, a sense of not good enough or haven’t gotten there yet.

Rick: Yeah. Well it’s an interesting discussion actually. I mean it’s a cart and horse kind of question. Are people interested in meditation and stuff like that because they’re destined to awaken pretty soon and therefore it’s piqued their interest in these things? Or do they awaken because they’ve gotten interested in meditation and done all these things? I’m not sure. It’s chicken and egg.

Kiran: It’s very chicken and egg. Yeah, and it’s very based on the perspective of who’s talking. Very chicken and egg. From the chicken one point of view, from the egg another.

Rick: There’s that old Zen saying which I’ve said far too many times in interviews which is that enlightenment may be an accident but spiritual practice makes you accident prone.

Kiran: Which I think is exactly true. Exactly. Falling in love is an accident. But being available and knowing magic exists and love exists makes it probable. And it’s so sweet to get to know love. Whether you fall in love or not doesn’t take you out of love. So in satsang in a conversation like this, in a book, it doesn’t mean it’s not like you’re enlightened or not. It’s you getting to know this vast, spacious, beautiful field here and the true nature that we are all this consciousness. You get to experience that now, not one day.

Rick: Yeah. Well, you speak of that rather adoringly, like that’s a wonderful experience to have and it’s a blessing for anyone to have it and so on. So how does that reconcile what you said a minute ago that you could give a flying F about enlightenment?

Kiran: Because you don’t have to be enlightened to experience it. You can listen to this conversation, and get to know a bit more about consciousness.

Rick: Okay. So you can have a taste of it.

Kiran: Yeah, just like you may not fall in love, but you are putting yourself around love and feeling love. And that’s a beautiful thing. So it’s a beautiful thing to get to know stillness. Do you have to be enlightened to be stillness? No.

Rick: But it sounds to me like you’re saying that we’re comparing glimpses with the full enchilada of the thing. So there’s all kinds of glimpses.

Kiran: I disagree.

Rick: Glimpses of love and bliss and stillness and peace and all sorts of things like that. But enlightenment would be all those glimpses in spades, 24/7.

Kiran: Well, you’re married. So you’re in love with a wonderful person. So do you experience love more than Mark, do you have somebody else? Yeah. Okay, so do you experience love much more than someone who’s single?

Rick: Not necessarily. Not necessarily. But…

Kiran: Do you have the whole enchilada and they don’t?

Rick: No, but let’s keep dwelling on this. Let’s try to… I don’t know if this metaphor is serving us very well.

Kiran: I think it’s exactly on point. It’s the same exact thing.

Rick: Like we’re almost spiritual seekers and maybe they’ve been meditating for decades.

Kiran: That’s the single person.

Rick: Okay, whatever. And they’ve had all sorts of glimpses and tastes and wonderful experiences and those things come and go. And then at a certain point maybe something shifts for them and they wake up in a way which… well, many of them say, “All those experiences and glimpses didn’t do justice to this. This is not an experience. This is not just bliss. This is not just some insight”.

Kiran: And do they say that now this is the first time they’ve ever known that and it’s never been here before?

Rick: No, well maybe some do, but I think more often than that I hear people say, “Wow, this has always been here”.

Kiran: Ba-dum-bum! That’s my point. That’s it.

Rick: And I never recognized it.

Kiran: That’s my point, right there.

Rick: But by that token, it’s like, okay, another metaphor. Everybody in the world is a millionaire. They have a million dollars in the bank, but hardly anybody has been told they have a million in the bank. And among those who have been told it, hardly anybody has been given access to the bank account. And then a few people get access to the bank account and get their million and begin living like millionaires. So every L7 billion people in the world…

Kiran: That’s a different analogy. The reason that one doesn’t work the same way is because somebody is controlling their money and they don’t have access to it. Love, or our true nature, no one’s controlling it. We always have access to it. So you may not know anything about it, but you have a sunset, you had a new baby or grandbaby, you had a first love when you were 16. All the time, it’s like, if you were going to use your current analogy of money, you’d say, “Suddenly there was a million dollars in front of me. Then there was a million dollars, and I spent it, and I used it, and I realized…” The reason that analogy doesn’t work is it’s in a bank, controlled, and no one knows about it. And that’s not true about who we are and what we are.

Rick: Right, but the fact remains that the vast majority of people in the world, 99.999 something percent, aren’t awake to their true nature.

Kiran: And nor do they need to be in order to be their true nature. 99.999 percent of people in the entire world have had moments, if not weeks or months, where they had a complete sense of, “There’s something more here. There’s magic in the world. What I’m looking at and who I’m thinking is not everything that’s here. Questions of ‘Who am I?'” No one needs to teach people that.

Rick: So what’s the difference between somebody who is awake to their true nature and somebody who doesn’t need to be, as you just put it, but is…

Kiran: …free of all toxic conditioning. So let’s say, what’s the difference between someone who’s awake to their true nature versus someone who’s entirely free of toxic conditioning? It still is conditioning because this is a condition, but there’s nothing toxic. There’s no story of lack or limitation. What’s the difference between the two? This one has no ability to identify. The apparatus that makes one identify is gone.

Rick: Define “identify”.

Kiran: I am these stories in my head. I am this lack of limitation. I am this name. I am this body. I am this person. This one still has identification. That’s the only difference.

Rick: Okay, but this one is free of toxic conditioning.

Kiran: It’s all just dreams. This one’s lucid dreamingly. This one’s not lucid dreaming. It’s exactly the same. Same, same, same one. We’re all the same. Same dreamer dreaming exactly the same. This one dreams lucidly. What’s the difference of a lucid dream versus… You know, you’re both having great dreams. You’re both having flying dreams. This one knows, “I am dreaming a flying dream”. This one says, “Woohoo! I’m flying!” That’s the difference.

Rick: Are you saying that there’s no qualitative difference between those two? That there’s no preference between one or the other? Or are you saying it would be good to shift this one over to that one?

Kiran: I don’t have preferences. You have preferences, or others might have preferences, and it’s not my job to argue it.

Rick: You don’t have… Why don’t you?

Kiran: Because I can see you and I are one. We’re exactly the same. You are myself, having this extraordinary experience of you over here. You are the same, having this… It’s all just one. And I know that. I know there’s no difference between us. I don’t think that it’s better to be me than you, at all.

Rick: No, of course not. But on the level of me and you, we’re not talking about the oneness, we’re talking about individuality.

Kiran: But on the level of oneness, I don’t think. From oneness doesn’t wish it was me, not you. Oneness is very gloriously in love with every moment of Rick, and would not miss one moment of it. Not one moment. It’s so delicious, amazing.

Rick: It’s anthropomorphizing to say this, but does oneness want to awaken in the form of Kiran or Rick or Mark or anybody? Is there sort of an innate drive within the oneness to awaken to itself within form?

Kiran: We talked about this in our first interview. Yeah, so my answer, I have to say, is the same. That in every moment, here’s a different way to answer the same question. In every moment, we have this freedom. We have free will. We are who we are, who we are. A dog is a dog is a dog. It doesn’t need to know it’s a dog to know it’s a dog. We are innately free. We are beings of consciousness, as consciousness. We’re consciousness coming into form. And in every moment, there’s this vast free choice. Freedom is very very very big. And we are welcome to choose our conditioning. So we’re welcome to, let’s just say in a moment, you’re in the grocery store and your neighbor comes up behind you who’s a little bit irritating and you have a hard time with. In this moment, right there, right in that moment, you have a vast array of choices. Now, your own toxic conditioning may predispose you to saying, “Well, I must turn around and I must say hello. And so I will go do this”. Now, in freedom, this is free. But you could choose a number of any options. Now, the way I make it sound easy, when I’m talking to people, my students, is I say, “You can choose from fear, which is the basis of most conditioning. Or you can choose from clarity, which is very different. Clarity is always at the other end of stillness. But once you spend enough time with stillness, clarity is very available for you, very accessible. So now, in any moment, you can choose fear or clarity. And fear, when you make a choice from fear, it will run this experience for you. If you make a choice from clarity, it runs a very different experience for you. Once experiencing evolution, thriving, safety, you choose fear, you start to choose lack, limitation, the beginnings of abuse and war. But in all this freedom, you are welcome at every moment to choose either way. So does consciousness want this choice? No. It’s very very free. But in every single moment, every single moment, clarity is equally available. In every, every, every moment. So there’s no place that is so dark, that is so lost, that is so painful, that there’s not a clear choice that will bring you to thrive, that will bring you to safety, that will bring you to freedom, right there.

Rick: 100% freedom or a step in that direction?

Kiran: Certainly a step in that direction. A step that will move you there. I love, you know what, I love the way the Christians speak about this, because I think so much of Christianity is based right there in that story, which is that the story that Jesus is here for you, in any moment. And you are always forgiven again and again. And you are always… I think the way that they talk about it is you bring yourself to God, and God is there for you, forever, regardless of what’s gone on or what’s happening. And in your darkest times they say He will pick you up, or the storyline, right? But I think it’s so beautifully spoken about this peace, which for me, clarity is always available. Does consciousness want you to choose clarity? I would say no, I’d say it’s bigger. It’s way, way, way more free than that. Freedom is – you cannot believe how huge freedom is. I mean, it is one very very very vast, eternal movement of vastness. And the freedom is very, very big. So it’s nice to have some rules. And that’s where the spiritual handbook, I call it the spiritual handbook, comes in, where there’s higher and lower. There’s good and bad. There’s… things of spirit are more valuable than things of money, or things of body where all life is valuable and eating animals is wrong, you know. And these are difficult things. It’s nice to have a rulebook in spiritual handbook, I call it, versus reality, which has none of that. None of that is true in reality. It’s so much bigger.

Rick: The two points that you made in this conversation that I want to kind of reach back and bring in. One was a few minutes ago, you said something about stillness enabling one to deal better with stuff.

Kiran: Access clarity.

Rick: Access clarity, right. And so how do you culture stillness?

Kiran: Well, I think every culture has ways that they do that, and they’re so beautiful. Where I come from, which is up north in the Arctic, people go hunting.

Rick: You’re from the Arctic?

Kiran: Up from Yukon Territory.

Rick: I didn’t know that.

Kiran: Yeah, yeah. So people go hunting. They go, things are getting a bit intense.

Rick: That culture of stillness?

Kiran: Yeah, they just, they get out in nature and they’re quiet. They stop thinking for a few days and they get some clarity.

Rick: Blast their brains out of some of them.

Kiran: Yeah, where you are. Whether they do or not, you know. I come from a culture that hunts for their food.

Rick: Yeah, I know people who go fishing and they just feel everything.

Kiran: There’s very little agricultural…

Rick: They don’t ever catch anything. They just like to sit there at the side of the river.

Kiran: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I personally in this moment can’t make these calls on what is the right way or wrong way to do it, but I can tell you that that’s how they access stillness. Going for a hike.

Rick: Okay, so there’s lots of ways of culturing stillness.

Kiran: Getting on a boat, sitting on your front porch. Farmers in Iowa probably just spend a lot of time in the evening sitting on the porch and getting to stillness. Meditation is a very beautiful way to do that because it gives you a structure. It gives you a repeatable structure. So if you find a structure that’s really great for you, it’s lovely. It’s a direct interface with it.

Rick: Yeah. Another question I had based on something we spoke earlier is that this whole thing about either dismissing the world as an illusion or taking it as a beautiful expression of the divine and taking it somewhat seriously, I think it kind of relates in a way to the fact that traditionally there are two lifestyles. There’s a recluse lifestyle and a householder lifestyle, and the vast majority of people are better suited to the latter. But a lot of the spiritual traditions, the custodians of them have been recluses, and so they’ve put an emphasis on recluse values. And so there’s all these books and all this talk about, “Oh, the world is an illusion”, and “It’s all worthless”, and all that stuff. And a lot of that sort of filters or seeps into the psychology of people who aren’t cut out for a recluse lifestyle but are interested in spirituality. And so it kind of confuses them or perhaps even makes them impractical or something because they’re kind of withdrawing from things in the world in a sincere desire to know God or to know the true nature. Any comments on that?

Kiran: What do you think about that – I think it’s a great point. I think those people who are naturally introverted or extremely introverted, I think a recluse lifestyle is actually quite fulfilling. And it’s a beautiful fulfillment of coming to know God and coming to know oneself as that experience. So I would call it more like introverted versus extroverted experiences of God because an extrovert is not going to do great in a reclusive way. Right, and vice versa. And vice versa. So I would define it in those ways. And I would also suggest that the discovery of stillness itself is still rather new for our world. And we have these early teachers that we know like Jesus or Buddha or Confucius where their only teaching is really like, “P.S. There’s God”. And I feel like even when we come up to today – this is of course my vast generalization here – we come up to today where we have an amazing, amazing amount of teachers and so many of them masterful in different perspectives. We’re still very much on the threshold of “P.S. There’s stillness”. If we look at someone like Eckhart, who’s the big gun out there with 5, 10, 25 million people that he’s connecting with, his teaching is this big, right? “P.S. There’s stillness”. And it’s still 25 million versus the 3 point whatever billion or 7 billion on our planet, right? It’s so small, right? So for the whole world, this is enough right now. And that’s radical. And let’s say following up behind him, this is just my story here, say following up behind him is someone like Byron Katie or something that goes, “P.S. Question your thoughts”.

Rick: So they each have a tool.

Kiran: It’s just this one tiny little tool.

Rick: This guy has a screwdriver and this one has a pair of pliers.

Kiran: Yes. And that’s the forefront reaching so many people because it’s radical. Now someone like myself, and I put someone like Jeff Foster in the category of me, I am really at the very leading edge frontier that says, “So how do you live your life? What does it look like?” And this is a much more challenging place from the perspective of “P.S. There’s stillness”.

Rick: This is actually shifting into mainstream. Everybody is starting to talk about embodiment.

Kiran: But do they live it? To actually live it is a real thing.

Rick: They’re getting concerned with it.

Kiran: Let’s say they’re getting concerned with it.

Rick: Like Adya and Francis Bennett did this thing about a year ago about that point.

Kiran: Which makes me laugh.

Rick: Adya was saying, “Ten years ago I tried to talk about that and nobody wanted to hear it. Now we’re talking about it”.

Kiran: But Adya doesn’t have karma. He didn’t have much karma. He came with very little toxic conditioning. So he has not had to figure out how to live his life from toxic conditioning. Being awakened doesn’t suddenly let all your conditioning go. It doesn’t. And the lie or the myth of the story is that if I get awakened, this little apparatus, what I’m calling the apparatus that makes me identify, dissolves. And therefore, poof, all my conditioning goes. Except in reality we can see that is like Adya who is ultimate… I mean, I cannot respect this man enough. He’s extraordinary.

Rick: It no longer binds. They have conditioning but it no longer binds.

Kiran: They’re not identified with it. So they’re not bothered by the fact that it’s happening. It’s irrelevant.

Rick: And some of that conditioning can be…

Kiran: Sexist.

Rick: …weird. Illegal even.

Kiran: It can be illegal. We see this all over. We see it happening everywhere. But the one who’s conditioned this way is not bothered because they’re not identified. But it doesn’t change the conditioning. We have to heal what Adya would call an internal revolution, I call healing. And so when we look at someone who is this great… like again, who I respect so much. He’s extraordinary as a teacher. He’s not who you’re going to go to with an extreme anxiety disorder. He doesn’t know anything about it. He loves you. And when you ask the question, his entire being wants to answer it for you because he loves you and wants to help. But he doesn’t know what it is, what it’s look like, how to root it out, how to get it out of the system. He doesn’t know. So he’ll give you brilliant advice about reality but he’s not going to give you the nitty gritties. Where someone like Jeff Foster who has had some real conditioning and had to get through it is going to give you a very different perspective and it’s a direct experience. So I’d say to live in your own life, awake or not awake, but to live in freedom, to live your relationships, to live your every house – your house of relationship, your house of finance, your connection to God, your connection to your body – these houses need healing and that’s how we, the more we heal, the more free we are. The more we heal, the more free we are. And that is a journey of embodiment. And the reason that’s my specialty is because there ain’t no one who’s got worse conditioning or harder conditioning than me.

Rick: There may be a few but you’re in the big leagues.

Kiran: I’m in the big leagues. I come from severe ritual abuse. I have a teenagehood and early adulthood full of multiple sexual traumas and attacks. I’ve been beaten, I’ve been raped, I’ve been…

Rick: Up in the Yukon?

Kiran: Up everywhere in my life as I live. So I’m as dark as it gets.

Rick: Do you know Teal Swan?

Kiran: Yes, me and Teal are sisters. I’m Teal. Teal and I are the same. That’s the dark karma that I have lived.

Rick: You know one thing I was wondering? I mean you have a lot of wisdom and a lot of clarity and everything and so this may be sort of a silly point but maybe you could comment on it though because some people might be wondering this. And that is that a lot of times when people undergo a lot of severe trauma they have this disassociative disorder which in some way resembles awakening because there’s detachment, a sense of not being the body, things like that. So how would you contrast or compare some sort of disassociation with actual breaking of identification in the spiritual sense?

Kiran: That’s a really good question. I just finished writing a big essay about it, frankly. I have a book, it’s a free book on my website now, it’s called “From Fear to Freedom” where I talk about the very detailed aspects of fear and how fear moves in your body. And I close the book with a chapter on disassociation because disassociation doesn’t actually come from fear. It’s not actually a movement of resistance. It’s a very different movement. And I have heard other teachers who don’t have a direct experience of disassociation refer to it as some kind of extreme avoidance or something like this, escape.

Rick: Escape, multiple personality disorders related.

Kiran: Yeah, it’s totally wrong. They’re totally, totally wrong. I know disassociation really well and we’re sitting here, my mother is sitting here while we’re doing this conversation and she has many many nights that I was in, sometimes I would disassociate for weeks and she would receive a phone call and she would have to talk me through, “What’s your name? Where do you… look around, Kiran, and see if you can see a street sign? Let’s see what town you’re in”. She’d have to talk me through because it would be, “Phew!”

Rick: And this is because of your trauma, not your spiritual awakening.

Kiran: Well, this is my trauma and my early life is trauma. So I have a very deep relationship with disassociation. I know what it is exactly. And basically, when we have trauma, trauma stores inside of our body, period – everybody across the board. Especially when we’re little people, we don’t have an ability to process trauma. It doesn’t come until much later, 14-15 is where it starts to begin. But we’re really in our 20s before an ability to process, which is a psychological thing, can happen. This is not developed. So our family, as much as they love us, as big-hearted as they are, they don’t have any skills or any tools. And both my mother and my father had no right to have children. They had not a single skill or they weren’t prepared for it. My trauma happened at my father’s home. But as a little person, trauma happens and the body starts just gyrating with the emotion of it and the intensity of it. And our primal survival instincts, which is a whole wired system in our body, comes up, grabs it, and encapsulates it and buries it in the tissue of our body, in the connective tissue, which is all around our body. Now you’re moving along in your life and life happens to hit up against these buried traumas. And they trigger us. These are triggers, and everybody has them. Everybody has trauma. Everybody has triggers. Now when the trigger happens, if what’s coming up is too stressful for the organism, primal survival hits a switch and takes you out, which is what disassociation is. It’s like, I call it recess for big kids who have too much stress. And basically it’s like it flips a switch, you’re in recess. And my tool for everyone – I say to everyone, do not fear it. It’s not something to be afraid of. It’s not something that there’s something terribly wrong with you. Everybody’s gonna do it in our spiritual path. We’re going to go looking for a lot of things that they did not teach us in kindergarten. And we’re gonna come face to face with parts of ourselves. And there’ll be times when it’s just stressful and we need a timeout. And I always say to people, then you just get low. If you’re too far from your own bed, wherever low is, if there’s some grass, if there’s like, get low. Literally get low. Literally get low.

Rick: Lay on the ground.

Kiran: Lay on the ground. Exactly. In a place that feels safe. Make body positions that feel safe, that make you feel safety. You need to, so you can just get, it’s just basically too much stress, we’re taking you out. Now find safety. And eventually you’ll make it home to your own bed, however long that takes. And once you’re there, it could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the body to reset and get you back in the game. And it’s great. I mean, it’s a great thing to do, is like lay down and be still. And if you have kids or family, they can crawl into bed with you. Everybody could use a few hours to a few days of just chilling out and being safe.

Rick: We all have little furry mammals somewhere back in the recesses of our brain.

Kiran: Yeah, a little primal mind at work here. And it’s very very… it runs the body in a very dominant way, fight or flight. All of our endocrine system is entirely wired to this, the pituitary, the hypothalamus, all our endocrine glands. I mean, this is where our trauma and our responses are. So we can question our thoughts and question our mind, but you got buried trauma, you’re gonna have to find it, you’re gonna have to dig it out so that this doesn’t happen. So disassociation for me is very literally that movement, it’s very literally that experience. And it’s a very normal, normal experience for everybody in spiritual work, in deep meditation, healing any kind of trauma therapy, and directly coming up against, you wander into that vast field of stillness, which is here right now in this moment, you’re saturated in it, it’s looking out your eyes, it’s listening to my words right now. This is… ever since you first opened your eyes as a new body, you have been home in this vast stillness. But when your awareness, which is usually captivated with thoughts, comes right up against it and starts to explore what’s here, that primal survival system goes and sends a massive jolt of fear through your system, because it’s wired to separation. It’s wired to a separate body from this body, and this is a potential threat to this one, says primal survival. So when we come up against this vast stillness, the first thing that’s there is there’s no separation. All one, which is home and is our actual survival system, because clarity lives there, and clarity has been keeping us safe. If we relied on this primal system, we would have been dead a long time ago. It’s our actual survival system is clarity.

Rick: So to summarize then, what is the distinction between disassociation due to as a reaction or response to trauma, and liberation in the sense of being freed of identification, as happened to you later on?

Kiran: Yeah, disassociation is a movement of primal survival from clarity, not fear, but to take us out and give us a break. It’s not a movement where we come to know our true nature, and we come home to ourselves. But they have a lot of similarities in the sense that neither are particularly in our control. We can’t control disassociation.

Rick: So we can sort of see the similarities. What are the differences? What is the core difference?

Kiran: When you come to know your true nature, awakened or not, there’s a very deep sense of familiarity, of safety, of wow, of awe, of magic, of great relief. When you are disassociated, you are somewhere who knows where, curled small into your body, or you’ve left your body, and there’s a tremendous disorientation.

Rick: Is this true nature or disassociation?

Kiran: Disassociation.

Rick: Let me throw this out. When I was talking to Teal Swan, she was advocating out-of-body experiences as a technique of some sort. I said to her, “You know, your true nature is universal, it’s fundamental, it’s everywhere. And so this out-of-body experience thing seems to me to be just a sort of a form of disassociation, where you’re taking some aspect of your individuality and separating it from some other aspect of your individuality. And to my way of understanding that, there is little relevance to liberation, which is settling into the ground of being, which is the present, universal. So would that pertain to this conversation describing the difference between disassociation and liberation?

Kiran: It does. Yeah, I think you’re really articulate and true. It’s right, what you’re saying. Teal is an amazing teacher, and she affects a lot of people. She affects me. She’s an amazing, amazing person. And God, she’s so brave and courageous. I mean, to stand where we stand and do what we do, given the past that we have had, is acts of unbelievable courage. So she’s so inspiring to me, and she touches me all the time with her work. She is a spiritual teacher, and she’s very interested in showing you how to explore, let’s say for lack of better words, the fourth dimension, which is also the fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth dimension. There’s a lot of stuff here in the universe, and this is third dimension. Here we all are in third dimension. So most of her work, which is beautiful and has a lot to offer, is about exploring these other dimensions. Now let’s say that our true nature is zero dimension. Just for lack of better ability, let’s say it’s inside, not outside. It’s not the universe. It’s your true nature. It’s ground. So we go ground, and then we’ve got first through third dimension is home, true nature, being, body, embodiment. So that’s maybe the vast difference between Teal and I. I teach reality. I’m a non-dual teacher. I talk about our true nature. Teal is none of those things. Teal is a teacher, a spiritual teacher, to help you explore all these other amazing dimensions. Now if that’s where you’re called to go, great. If where you’re actually called to go is, I say, in. The universe is a big bad place, man. You can get… everything is there. Angels and angelic realms and archaic records, but also demons and hell realms. And if you open yourself up, you better have some skill and tools to figure out how to navigate this incredible Audubon of stuff. True nature is none of… I mean all of it is light. And that’s the thing, I think, the beautiful thing between Teal and I, which is the same, is that in my experience of life, I have very literally looked at the devil the way nobody has has. Like I know bad. You cannot scare me because I have lived it. But I have lived it and seen it was God. I have seen the light. I have seen it was a dream. It was an illusion. It’s literally made of light. And I’ve looked at God and seen the devil. I’ve looked at the light and seen the form it can take as pure darkness and pure evil.

Rick: Sure. Because if there’s really only one reality, then what is the dark stuff made of?

Kiran: Light.

Rick: It must be made of that same reality.

Kiran: It must be made of light. I work with, because I do have a branch in my private practice of working with virtually abused people, because nothing like direct experience to help. And the kind of liberation, if you look at Teal’s life, or if you look at my life, it’s extraordinary, (A) that we could survive, but (B) that we could have these lives. It’s such a testament to what kind of healing is possible for all of us. And so when I work with people who have come from very dark abuse, I am always pointing for them to discover themselves, which is very available, the light in those dark. When their body memories come up, and it’s so horrifying, and it’s more than what any single person’s psyche could even handle, has happened to them. But when they can look back in memory and peel through and see that it was light, it was just light, it can just, ah, it can just liberate that trauma.

Rick: Incidentally, for those who are interested in this topic of abuse and having a happy outcome eventually after having been abused, then one other interview you might want to check out is Shellee Rae, whom I interviewed some months ago. You know Shellee?

Kiran: I’ve heard that she’s great, though.

Rick: Yeah, I mean, she was raped by her father from the age of 9 through 14, and then got heavily into drugs for many years, all kinds of drugs, and tense, and came out the other side.

Kiran: Our ability to heal is infinite. It’s amazing. It’s always available. And same with the body’s ability to heal. Healing is… we’re just light. We’re just a dream. We can dream pretty much anything, but we need to be able to clear out the conditioning in order to do that. So, our conditioning limits it.

Rick: All right, we’ve been going for an hour, but I haven’t asked you any of these questions yet.

Kiran: Sure, yes.

Rick: Okay, we took a little break, and I’m going to ask a few of the questions that some of Kiran’s friends and students have submitted. The first is from Gloria. She asks, “Many fear the cave mentality of withdrawing from the world when they hear realized beings speak. I’d love for you to address just how much the realized being is truly here. I’d love for you to unpack the paradox right down to the depth of our formless nature and form as a movement. Thank you, sister. Gloria”.

Kiran: So, this is a great question, and it’s similar to what you were asking about recluse versus living our lives as householders and things like that. But I think the heart of what she’s asking here is really about an awakened life is not a life that is without form or without difficulty. It’s not like our bodies go away, our relationships go away, and I think a lot of people fear that that would occur. So, I’ll just use my own life as an example. So, I had this really tough conditioning from a child, but a large part of the conditioning I got as a child was that my body was shameful, and it was a justification of why all the violence could happen to my body. But I certainly became a card-carrying member of a story about bodies having to be a certain shape, a certain look, and that equals valuable or beautiful. So, I was, prior to awakening, a card-carrying member of this, and I lived as I was a dancer and an actor. So, I was like a professional athlete, which really made me very aligned to this story about what a body should look like and what size it should be. And so, I lived with this. However, I always lived with this incredible paradox, which is that I have this body, and this is a volumptuous body. This is a very curvaceous, big body versus that story.

Rick: I’m laughing because my wife says the word that way, too, “volumptuous”, but it’s actually “voluptuous”.

Kiran: [laughs]

Rick: But it’s sort of better.

Kiran: Blump, blump.

Rick: It makes more sense as voluptuous.

Kiran: Voluptuous. Yeah. So, I have this body. I’ve always had this body. Even when I was dancing, I had this body as a professional. So, my reality, let’s say, was very different than what my conditioned beliefs were. And then, the paradox that that put me in, it strung me between these two opposing ends, one being my conditioning, which I was so deeply conditioned in my personal life at home, but also with this big collective story. And with these big collective beliefs, they absolutely start to create such a sticky thickness when it matches this big cultural belief. So, I’m a card-carrying member. It’s very, very thick about what a woman’s body is supposed to be, what shape it is. In reality, I have a very beautiful, beautiful, strong fit, full of soft curves and beautiful flesh, and that’s the reality. And because this polar extreme has been my life, it has literally made me. It has made me who I am today. It has brought me to an immense freedom. And that freedom has been because I have had to dive so deeply past this story to get to reality, to get free. I had to go to truth because this is so freaking painful. And as I dive through that place, I meet layers and layers and layers of where this horrible story, which is totally not true, it’s completely a lie. It’s so petty. It’s so stupid. It completely, you know, humanity has got an extraordinary spectrum of beauty. We have such mediated, political, stupid storylines about, I don’t know, body fat percentages and fitness. It’s all a lie. It’s all a lie. And I lived the lie and was in tremendous tremendous pain constantly. And so to get out of the pain, which is the journey of all of us with all of our conditioning, whatever the conditioning is, it hurts so bad because it’s a lie. And we have to find truth and we have to dive incredibly deep past these conditioned lies to find the ground of truth. For me to find the ground of truth, because even after my mind blew a fuse and that apparatus and that identification wasn’t there, the conditioning still moved through. A deep conditioning of all this petty crap and pulling out the lies, pulling out the lies, pulling out the lies meant coming right into my body and finding literally all this buried trauma, like in my whole endocrine system. And the lie is not just, “I wish I was this body”. The lie is also, “I’m terrified to be this body”, because that makes me available for harassment and abuse and pain. I’m afraid to be seen. I’m afraid to be beautiful because people will harm me if that’s the case. And then there’s flip sides of other beliefs where it’s like, “I am valueless and I have nothing, no agency and no power unless I’m that body”. And this is all wired in my whole system. So I have to go to these, it’s in my solar plexus, it’s in my liver, it’s in my ovaries, it’s in my chest. It has to be unstrung. But as it gets unstrung, (A) it’s the most unbelievable adventure. I mean, healing is the most extraordinary adventure and people think healing is you call an offside, you have a bunch of cathartic reliefs and then game on, which is not healing at all. Healing puts you so deep into living because it puts you into truth. You have to find truth and that brings you into life. And so in that journey where I started to really find truth and living, I started to find such immense love. And when you find truth and you find reality where our bodies are unbelievable, they’re woven of light. The most light is our bodies, more than animals, more than the ocean and trees. When you see how I see, which is where I see the light more than I can see the forms, the bodies are just these emanations of unbelievable light and intelligence and beauty. And it’s so petty and ridiculous to have a story called “It’s not this shape” or “It’s this age”, this is an old body and this is a young body. This is an able body and this is a disabled body. This is a black body and this is a white body. This is a blonde hair, blue eyed, 22 year old. So it has value. And this one that is 75 and brown and able and disabled is so insane. There’s no reality to it. But that journey to dig, dig, dig, dig and find the pool of what you don’t just find a place where there’s no longer that belief. You come home to what is really here, which is such immense love and awe.

Rick: People are listening to this and saying, “Okay, sounds great. Kiran’s been doing this. It seems to have helped her a lot. I want to do it too. What do I do? How do I start?”

Kiran: Well, the first thing we have to do is we have to first be aware of how fear and conditioning is playing on us. So, well actually, I have exactly the map for you because I’ve just finished writing a new book about the body. And it’s all about the body. So we’ve just finished this book. And so the first thing we need to do is learn how to listen to the body because this incredible intelligence is here. And we have not even scratched the surface when we listen to doctors and nutritionists who are valuable, and there’s great points, but versus what our own body has to tell us. So first we have to listen to our own bodies and we have to understand the intelligence that’s there. We have to learn how to do that. In order to, so first off…

Rick: How do you do that? Keep the how in mind as you say this.

Kiran: So the first thing we need to do is learn how to listen to our body and how we do it. I begin in my book with listening how to learn how to listen to your belly. And your actual belly will start to tell you incredibly, incredibly how to eat. And I’ve been teaching a class on body for a couple of years now and all students from all over the world. And they come with, like the most amazing journey happens when we start to learn how to listen to our bodies. It’s a little bit of a complicated process and we have just a bit of time, but step one, here’s your quick route. Step one, learn how to listen to your belly. That’s going to start with the basic nutrition and it’ll start to teach you how to listen because your exercise and your sleep and everything is about that. But very quickly you will come up against your own conditioned storyline. And if I still held a conditioned storyline that my body had to be this shape to be beautiful, had to be this shape to be fit, had to be this shape, I could not hear my own body’s voice. And when we start to listen to our limitations, all of those lacks, we have to discover our lacks and our storylines and conditionings of that. So in my book I have a whole chapter about how to start to isolate and find those and how to understand what equals true self-esteem or the kind of awe that our bodies are and beauty that we are and how to see that, which we naturally see. You see it when you go to the ocean. You don’t look at the ocean and go, “Well, if this ocean was a little bit smaller around the edges and if this ocean was a little more blue instead of green, then it would be beautiful”. Right? We never do that. It’s because the movement of the ocean affects us and that effect is beauty. And bodies are very similar across the board. They affect us. They’re beautiful. And so when we can find that ground, we have to dig out all these conditioned, card-carrying storylines. Most of us have it around age, around body, around fitness, around ability. When we can dig out those lies, we start to be able to come much more able to listen to the body itself. Then we have to come into those deeper healings because then you’re going to come face-to-face with, “I’m listening to the body and this is still very much where I live today. I’m still in this place where I’m listening to the body and certainly given the massive stress of my childhood and the extreme post-traumatic stress disorder, the endocrine system is wiped out. Those adrenals were spent by the time I was 17. So the hormone imbalance is crazy”. So the adrenal organs have this endless ability to heal. I mean, we can see this medically that the organs’ ability to heal and rejuvenate is limitless. It’s amazing. But it can’t so long as it’s got all this deep conditioning still in there – these fears, these terrors. So it’s not until we begin to unravel, like bring all that to surface. And so the back half of this book is how to work with those deeper core traumas and how to start to find them and just lay them out. Because once we’re listening to our body, once we’ve thrown away the petty belief systems and we’re much more capable of knowing what truth and reality is, then we’re still going to come face to face with traumas held in the body. And any kind of physical thing we have with our bodies, any condition, any illness, any ability or disability or that kind of stuff is all going to stem from these deeper pains, these deeper traumas. And they need to be brought out of the body. And that is an extraordinary journey you do not want to miss. You want to be the front seat pass to your own transformation of your body. It’s unbelievable, unbelievable. Climbing Mount Everest a hundred times is so sweet. It’s so beautiful. And that journey, it has made me. This is where I tell people all the time, “Don’t be afraid of your karma. Your karma is what will make you”. I was strung between these polar ends and working in a profession that defined these polar ends. And I was a card-carrying member of this is a beautiful body, which kept me out, kept me unspecial, not valuable, not beautiful. It kept me on the outside the whole time, my own storyline. And that strung was so so so painful. And to come home to a place where the body is so loved and seen as beautiful and listened to so that all of the healing that needs to happen can start to happen. And the body tells me how. And it’s a journey. It’s not a snap your fingers and you’re there. I suspect it’s a journey that goes your entire life of the body. I think it never changes. The chemistry of our bodies changes, the shapes of our bodies, the abilities, the movements. And we can listen to our body and find what needs support. So, I’m in an amazing process right now where I’m working with all kinds of nutritional support, which I think of like crutches until my endocrine system can stand on its own. I have these little crutches of how I eat and exercise and do all my stuff. But in that journey, I can’t believe the stories that my endocrine has been holding and the pain of my body and how extraordinary my body has been given what’s actually here that needs to be healed. And I cannot stand here. I can only ever tell you my direct experience. But from somebody who has no ability to identify, and I still heal. I’m still healing. Healing happens here. And it happens from a place of immense love and needing so deeply to find reality. So, is this the life of a householder? Or does a cave mentality? If we’re talking about recluse versus living in your life, I don’t think we can miss this journey.

Rick: Yeah. I think it’s probably a little tangential to that consideration of householder versus recluse. Because there are plenty of recluse yogis who have spent decades trying to purify their bodies through various practices and austerities and yoga and everything like that.

Kiran: It’s a different level though when you’re pushed up against a whole community that’s telling me what shape my body should be. I mean, I think if you look at the… like we talked about this before. I mean, somebody literally wrote in the comments, “This woman is so overweight, who could listen to this woman?”

Rick: I read that on YouTube.

Kiran: On your YouTube… on the Buddha at the gas pump. Like, some story of this. Now, who cares? Obviously this person has some serious delusions and some problems and obviously lives with more pain than I live. But ultimately, when I’m pushed up against a society that’s projecting a story on me, that’s going to put pressure on my karma in a way that I couldn’t in a cave. Now, cave gives you some space and it’s a beautiful thing. And I think ultimately our journeys and our lives are going to be some cave and some community. In my work as a teacher, I have these… the way I’ve organized the teachings is on these levels. First, let’s free your mind. Then, let’s move into the body. Then, let’s get some deep accelerated healing for all these deep pieces. Now we need to learn how to navigate this effortless… if it’s all a dream and we can have anything in the dream, how do you do that? Unless we have liberated our minds, come into our bodies, healed all the big pieces, we can’t really fly there. Then I have a level called mastery and it’s all about community. It’s just 100% community. It’s a social… I call it a social platform for the sane and conscious, which I think is really cheeky. But basically, it’s like… (A) it’s really fun to play with community when everybody’s sane. So accessing clarity and never fooled by fear, that’s a joy. But also, once you reach that place of sanity, you’re still in a world where mostly everybody’s insane. You’re still going to be possibly in your marriage. You’re the sane one versus your kids, your partner, your work relationships. You love these people and this is your life. We need real skills on how to navigate that role. How do you be the point of clarity when everyone else has such a deep current of fear? How do you move that? That’s at the mastery level. I have about half a dozen people in that level right now to work and play and share together and figure all that sort of stuff out. But you absolutely… There’s a point in our personal evolution. You have to come out of the cave regardless because you have to have this collective belief system, push against, to root out those last bits of stories of limitation that are limiting your freedom. Only community can do that. That is the gift also. It’s like, but who wants… No one wants to miss that. If there’s a sane pathway to be in community, it’s refuge. It’s ourselves. It’s love. It’s such an essential part of our journey and it’s so valuable, but it’s a skill.

Rick: There’s a beautiful point during the end of the 10th mandala, the Rig Veda. You know how that goes, Mark? It’s something about a community is significant in unity and the community and the collection of the enlightened or something is so much more than the sum of its parts. It goes on very poetically and beautifully, but there’s tremendous potential in that. I think you’re alluding to something like that.

Kiran: Yeah, yeah. I think that… And there’s twofold, right? When you bring a whole lot of this powerful, beautiful energy together of a lot of sane people meditating together, there’s a lot of powerful work that can be done in terms of world peace and world issues because there’s not an agenda – there should be a war, there should not be a war. We should be eating animals. We should not. If there’s no agenda and it’s just pure, vast stillness that can basically help to open up possibilities of clarity, that’s the work. It’s so great to dance together to do this, to heal our world and to work on projects, but we have freedom, so it’s not an agenda base. It’s all fun. But then at the same time, to be able to get to a place – this is really the catalyst – to get to a place where you see your community, even if they are wildly insane, as unbelievable catalysts filtering your own story back to you and that this is all just one. My neighbor who is bringing the chipper and chipping all the trees at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, is a glorious movement of myself to either help me bring agency to my rage because it’s a great way to bring it up, or it’s a glorious aspect of some deeper dance and to be able to actually function in everyday life like that. Let’s go back to Joe Schmo at the beginning. My beautiful Josephine Schmo, who is just one of many many many – you can just go onto my website, you’ll see many of my students that are like this, I hope she’s okay with me telling the story, even though it’s not her name – she was in a meeting with two upper level bosses that came in. It was supposed to be just an evaluation of where we are today. Anyways, they came in and these guys lost their shite. They just went insane and totally started attacking her in a really inappropriate way. She sat in that meeting and went, “Wow, this is really bringing up how much I want people to like me. I can see this belief system”. She was not like, “Oh my God, I might be losing my job and what’s happening and how could I have been so wrong and why are they talking to me like this?” She just sat there like, “Wow”, because she just felt this whole pressure on that belief system. She just watched the whole belief system came up. Then she got in her car and she drove home. She called me later and told me about this. She said the whole time she was just saying, “Thank you”. Not from some freaking mindfulness practice or some teaching or something. It was a true movement in herself to just go, “Oh my God, thank you”. Just this grin of just like, “I know exactly where that belief is. I can see the history of it. I felt it. I’m going to go home and pull that sucker out”. Just this like, “Thank you”, because the sweetness of that, the beauty of that, it’s way better than anything else. It’s so fulfilling. It was just such a fulfilling moment. That, my friends, is clarity. That is needing some community. Now remember, Josephine Shmoe is not clear. She’s not an awakened clarity. She’s a human with very little limited conditioning now.

Rick: Yeah. That’s a nice story though because we’ve all heard the saying that everything God does is for the best and that the world is my guru and that things don’t happen capriciously or arbitrarily, that there’s a meaning or a value or an evolutionary purpose to every little thing that happens. We’ve heard these philosophical things and it’s a little bit harder to live that in the thick of it, but there’s an example of someone who took a difficult situation and did just that.

Kiran: And it was never difficult for her. She never experienced it as a difficult situation.

Rick: Yeah. She kind of like perceived it as an evolutionary opportunity.

Kiran: Yeah, exactly. And that’s it exactly.

Rick: Carlos Castaneda’s teacher, Don Juan Matus, used to talk about the value of being under the influence of a petty tyrant because it would sort of help you to work out your stuff a lot more effectively than if your life was just sort of easy peasy.

Kiran: Yes, and it gives you an extraordinary life. That’s what I… like my petty tyrant was this card-carrying, ridiculous belief system about what my body should look like. And it was so painful and awful and it made me and it gave me an extraordinary ability to know self-love. Like if I had not had that belief, if I had not had that petty tyrant, I would not have this… if I just had some easy body that could eat anything it wanted and was whatever, was part of that storyline, I would never have questioned that story and I would have never found the kind of love of body and what body really is. Like I would have never found that ground of reality. And it was my petty tyrant that brought me there.

Rick: Let’s see if we can get another question in here. It might be related to what you just said. This is from someone named Maurice. He said, “My question is, is it worth it? With all the extreme shit you’ve gone through based on where you are now, was the pain and suffering worth it?”

Kiran: That’s a great question from Maurice. Yeah. Was it worth it? Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. 100%. I had this…

Rick: I guess one question might be, “Well, is what worth it?” Because you went through a horrendous childhood and adolescence, so is that worth it, is he asking? Or is it worth it, all the transformational stuff you’ve had to go through since your awakening?

Kiran: Let’s assume it’s that.

Rick: It would seem to me that the whole post-awakening phase is a lot more enjoyable than the pre-awakening phase where you’re getting abused and all that stuff.

Kiran: In my experience, because my karma was so dark, the actual awakening for me, which was spontaneous and I knew nothing about it, it was just a spontaneous mind wipe, that actually was a bigger hell than the hell… it was almost like my childhood was a boot camp to get me ready for the kind of hell. So the first five years…

Rick: Why was it such a hell?

Kiran: (A) because I suddenly had no mind and filters that could block or repress, so I was face-planted with an immense amount of dark karma.

Rick: So it was just coming at you as fast as it wanted to.

Kiran: As fast as it wanted to. And also, it was such a massive opening, like literally no form for many many many many many months. Like I couldn’t find bodies and walls and things, which brought me to such an immense clairvoyancy. And there was nobody home doing nothing at all, and it was nothing here and it was all a dream. And yet these huge karmic movements globally, like whole Mongolian wars, like an orphanage from the 17th century, would just pour through me. And I had no filters, so I was witnessing… I was pure love, witnessing pure hate. And not just hate, but pure violence, pure abuse.

Rick: Were you serving as a washing machine for that stuff? Do you feel like you were cleaning it up and resolving it?

Kiran: I think… Definitely, because in the many years since, similar experiences happen to me all the time, and now I can navigate them and they’re very sweet. It feels much like making love or something, quite honestly. When they happen to me, it’s very clear. Sometimes it’s people have died and they don’t know they’ve died, or there’s movements in a world event or something, it’ll just clear itself through me and it’s a sweet thing. But back then, it was just like “Ahhhh!” And I often felt like I lived like the exorcist, like my head spun around. I was constantly Kundalini-ing and shaking. I would have like 16-hour-a-day seizures that was just Kundalini moving this extraordinary movement. So there was no functioning. It was insane. There was these five years of just pure pain and being pure love, witnessing pure pain. And it was very very hard.

Rick: Incidentally, one thing I learned since our last interview and learned it quite recently, and since interviewing Joan Harrigan, who has the Kundalini Care Institute in Tennessee and wrote Kundalini Vidya, is that for some, traumatic experiences can initiate or instigate a Kundalini awakening – severe trauma stuff. And it almost seems like that was your path. You may have done stuff in previous lives that made you more ready for a Kundalini awakening. But I’ve talked to several people since then who said, “Yeah, I went through all this intense stuff”. One friend said, “I was tortured in a past life”. Another said, “I was raped in a past life a lot”. And they kind of woke in their Kundalini. And then in this life, they took a different path.

Kiran: Well, the truth is, is every one of us, we’ve all been thrown on the stake and burnt as witches. We’ve all been the accusers that accuse the witches. We’ve all been raped and violated. We’ve all been at war. We’ve all been slaves. We’ve all been men. We’ve all been women. Yeah, we’ve been the judge. We’ve been the judgee, the victim in the judge. We’ve all been it all in all kinds of lifetimes.

Rick: But apparently at a certain point, there’s this thing called Kundalini awakening, which maybe doesn’t happen until a certain point.

Kiran: I don’t subscribe to any of that story, but I totally understand people do. Kundalini is, when I talk about Kundalini, it’s just simply presence. When you walk in the forest, it feels so nice.

Rick: Yeah, but you’re talking about 16-hour-a-day convulsions, Kundalini stuff going on.

Kiran: Yeah. So what I’m talking about is when you walk in the trees in the forest, you feel an energy come off. It’s why you like being in the trees. That’s presence. That’s just pure energy. Every being emanates a pure energy. Kundalini is basically that same energy, but it’s jacked up at a much higher power level because it has no form. There’s no form. There’s no tree. There’s no body. So without form, it comes with such an intensity. It’s so effortless, and form is beginning to be more effort. It takes effort. There’s effort in form. So when pure presence moves in pure effortlessness, to form it feels like intensity. So it’s super super intense movement. Now my experience of Kundalini, which is my own personal, but also it’s like you can take a whole bunch of drugs and have a Kundalini awakening. You can have amazing sexual experience with some big tantra practice, and it’ll open up your Kundalini. You can have a deep meditation in total stillness and have a Kundalini. You can do it through Kundalini yoga practices. You can also do it through severe trauma and severe abuse. And all it is doing is this presence that’s coming off of you right now, me right now, the trees, the forest. All that’s happening is a little channel where there’s no form is slipping through the body. And you can have it when you’re working with an energy worker. You could just… somebody referred you to an energy worker, you started working with them and opened up this Kundalini, which is your own presence, which you always had with you. And it’s beginning to move in a way that’s formless. And it comes through and it hits a block, hits these emotional blocks, these blocks in our bodies, and it bangs against them. And that’s where people get the heat and this flips out and the epileptics and the kind of movements. I tell people it’s like a hose. If you turn your hose on full blast and there’s kinks in your hose.

Rick: Right, it’s going to flip around.

Kiran: And so a lot of the work I teach and I teach about healing when I’m working with people with Kundalini is how to hold the hose straight so that the kinks get blown out with the water so it doesn’t have to happen just from the energy itself. But I don’t subscribe to a story that there’s a certain thing you did in another life that made you available in this life, because we’ve all been it all. Every one of us, it’s just one here.

Rick: No problem. So we have to wrap it up because I have to catch a ferry to go to another island. So what would you like to say in conclusion to leave people with? Obviously come to your website because they’re going to find out a lot there.

Kiran: Lots of tools on the website. I only do very few, mostly it’s courses and privates. I don’t do satsang. It’s just not a business model that works for me. In my industry, that’s the business model. It doesn’t work for me. But I will be in LA and then Ojai in November. So it’ll be the only time this year you could see me in person.

Rick: That’s on your website.

Kiran: That’s all on my website. I think I’m really grateful. I think the moral of Maurice’s story about “was it worth it?” – I have so much gratitude in a way that is not a practice way, not in a daily gratitude practice way, but it’s just a natural way that I move every day where there’s just so much life and I’m so extraordinarily amazed at the life and I’m so touched at each of us uniquely and who we are and what we’ve done and what we’re working with and the kind of evolution that we’re doing. God, it just makes my heart so bow down in gratitude for the whole thing. So it’s so been worth it. It’s been such an extraordinary journey and I don’t think we need to miss the journey, any of us. We don’t need to be afraid of our karma, it will make us. If you’re a card carrying member of I Need to Be Enlightened and I am not, that’s your puller that’s going to make you. Whatever your journey is, it’s an amazing journey not to be missed. It’s beautiful and I’m grateful.

Rick: It’s all God entertaining Himself.

Kiran: Yeah, in the most glorious way.

Rick: Yeah. All right, great.

Kiran: Thank you.

Rick: Well, let me make a couple of concluding remarks. This has been a lot of fun. You and I could go on all day easily.

Kiran: Which you may in coming days, but not for the camera.

Rick: Right. And for those watching, you’ve probably seen some of my interviews before. If you haven’t, then there’s a website,, where they’re all archived and categorized in five or six, four or five different ways under the past interviews menu. There’s the future interviews menu. You can see what’s upcoming. There’s a lot going on this fall. There’s the donate button, which I always mention in passing. I like to keep a light touch on that, but it’s essential for making this possible. There’s a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted, usually once a week. And there’s an audio podcast, which almost has as many listeners as the YouTube channel has viewers. And there’s a place on the site to sign up for the audio podcast. So check all that stuff out. And there will be a link to Kiran’s website, probably to her new book and her old book and everything else. So you can click on those. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this and benefited from it. And stay tuned, because I’ve got another five or six coming up in the next couple of weeks. So thanks for listening or watching.