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Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually Awakening people. I’ve done over 500 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com Bat gap and look under the past interviews menu. And also, you know, while you’re at it, poke around the site, you can subscribe to an audio pod to the audio podcast of the show, or you can sign up to be notified by email when there’s a new interview posted and a number of other things. Also, there’s a PayPal button on the site, because we can’t really do this without the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. But my concept from the beginning was to make it freely available and just to grow it to the point where a certain percentage of people would feel inclined to support it. And then I was we’re able to devote our full attention to it. So if you feel so inclined, there’s that PayPal button. My guest today is Leah Cox. Leah lives in the UK, kind of she was explaining to me, sort of between Manchester and Liverpool, northern area. And I’ll just read a little bio over here. Well, first of all, hi, Lea. Welcome.
Leah Cox: Hi, Rick, thank you for having me. Super excited and a little bit nervous.
Rick Archer: Oh, that’s okay. So it’s good to meet you. So here’s a little bio of the after graduating in French. We’re going to do this lecture in English. But after graduating and friends from the University of Exeter, and working for several years and conventional jobs in London, we have found herself deeply unhappy, struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating, and intense feeling of being at Iran being a wrong human being and a desperation to find her purpose. Sounds like you must have been studying kumbu or something when you were studying French. Actually, the French, French existentialists, or whatever they were called, they’re sitting around in cafes, smoking gal was and feeling depressed. Anyway, in 2012, she embarked on a journey of self discovery. But even after several years of personal and spiritual growth, she found herself in all the same cycles in 2016. through grace, good luck and some wonderful people. Leah experienced her first true spiritual awakening, seeing through the illusion of the separate self and knowing herself clearly as the one love that we all are. For the very first time, she knew true peace, happiness and freedom, most importantly, the feeling of being a wrong human being left her completely. Since that time, her journey has been one of ongoing learning, integration and unfolding. Leah works with clients one on one and runs online and in person classes and workshops to support others journeys of healing, awakening, and following the call of the heart, known for her tender, playful and sometimes fiery spirit. Her message is simple, you’re already whole, you’re already worthy, and you are never ever outside the gates of love. So that’s beautiful. So, um, I’ve been preparing for this interview by reading some of Leah’s essays, she doesn’t have a lot of really any much videos online. This will be her first major one. But she writes beautifully. And if you go to her website and start reading her blog posts, and even subscribe to our blog to get notified of new ones when they come out, I think you’ll enjoy reading them. I have now, just one question question pops to mind. And that is some people might think, Alright, well, you know, it wasn’t until like, three years ago that you had some kind of breakthrough. And here we are here you are already working with clients one to one and running online in person classes and workshops and so on and so forth. Some some people accuse spiritual teachers of jumping the gun, you know, kind of getting into the game too soon. Have you ever met that? That that objection and how would you respond to it if you had or did
Leah Cox: yeah, I I’ve never met that. No one’s ever said that to me directly, although obviously I’ve heard that conversation. But I’ve asked myself that question a lot. You know, is it okay that I’m doing this? And, but probably an important And part to say is that before, before that breakthrough several years ago, I was already working with clients have been working with clients since 2013. Really, but just the, the way that I do that has changed because of my own journey. But I mean, I don’t necessarily have an answer to that. I mean, I question those things all the time myself, Rick. So
Rick Archer: yeah, yeah. What are you doing with clients, pre and post breakthrough?
Leah Cox: So before it was, I guess I’d put it more in the realms of traditional self improvement, self development type work. Yeah,
Rick Archer: Which you had been working on with your,
Leah Cox: which I had been? Yeah, which the bit that you talked about in bio, you know, kind of all of those years of, you know, improvement and feeling like you were getting somewhere, but then still finding yourself in the same orbit, I’m still not happy and still not there. And still not that. So.
Rick Archer: One thing, one reason I feel okay about it. And about not only you, but a lot of people I interview is that I’m just, you know, I mean, the premise of this show is not that I’m in interviewing the most enlightened or totally enlightened people, you know, or anything like that, because I don’t even know if there is such a thing. I think everybody’s work in progress. And obviously, people are at different stages of development and all, but the time seemed to be such that there’s a kind of a many to many dynamic taking place, rather than someone sitting up in a Dyess with 1000s of people, oh, some of that too. And maybe that’s okay for those people, but there’s some value in being able to work one on one and very closely with someone who is more or less appear, you know, someone you can really relate to, I think a lot of benefit can be derived from that. And the person doesn’t have to be perfect or know everything or anything else. But they can, you know, I’ve talked to so many people who have really benefited from that kind of relationship.
Leah Cox: Right? I really agree with all of that. And I think there’s something about, you know, forget about the spiritual and all the rest of it, but just being able to sit with a human being in, you know, offer a place of real listening and non judgement. And that, in itself is so beautiful and important. And that’s got nothing to deal with spirituality, you know, it’s,
Rick Archer: yeah, it kind of does. I mean, everything has something to do with spirituality, but, you know, but anyway, I know what you mean. And, and people, it’s, it’s nice to be able to relate to people or to interact with people that you can relate to, that have been through a lot of things you’ve been through, and maybe found some solutions to them. And, you know, like you’ve been through eating disorders and various stages of self doubt, and depression and all and have worked through that stuff, at least, to a great, great degree. And so you know, other people who’ve been through the same thing, you could inspire them and give them hope.
Leah Cox: I like to think them.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Good. So let’s talk about more about your personal journey. I mean, the bio I read touched upon it, but um, you know, what are some of the, if you were to tell your story to somebody, you’re on a plane flight, you’re going to be with them for a while, and they want to know about your life? What are some of the things you know, how would you tell that story? Within reason, I mean, in terms of the amount of time we have available,
Leah Cox: it’s, it’s like an 11 hour flight to the US,
Rick Archer: flying to New Delhi or something like that.
Leah Cox: And so I guess, why the very first thing that I often kind of say, as being like an opening was when I was it was 2011. And I was still working in my job in London, and I went to a yoga class, actually. And that yoga class, I remember lying down in shavasana, at the end, I’m just bursting into tears, and stop crying. And that felt like the first time that I that I just kind of entered this space of that I had space actually had space, to think and to breathe and realize something was not okay. And in my life,
Rick Archer: did that kind of take you by surprise, bursting into tears? Just come
Leah Cox: on, I’m in this yoga class, and, you know, you’re trying not to cry, and you’re making all of those awful. Try to like them.
Rick Archer: Alright, so we’re talking about the yoga class and shavasana and crying and stuff like that. So that was just some kind of a little mini breakthrough that yeah, it
Leah Cox: was like a little mini experience. And then, and then when I left my job in 2012, one of the early things that I did was a transcendental meditation.
Rick Archer: I used to be a teacher of that for a long time. Yeah,
Leah Cox: I know. I heard that. So that was kind of my first experience of meditation, which was really beautiful and help Call. And then at later points I did the Pasadena, Pasadena retreat and kind of went, went into that. And, but and then all through that I was just kind of reading reading books. And I guess I felt like I was on a spiritual path. But like I said, after years of that, it also felt like somehow nothing had changed. And then the major thing that happened, I guess, was in 2016. And yeah, it was in 2016, a friend had directed me to a website called liberation unleashed
Rick Archer: of limited interview those ladies Yeah, right. laners Yeah,
Leah Cox: exactly. Exactly. And, and, you know, they hook you up with the guides, and they take you through this very simple process. And, and so I did that, and that was, yeah, like, at the end of three weeks, it was just, it was just really obvious to be that there was no, there was no separate, there was no separate self. And it was as if I’d always known that. And so that was, that was the thing that, for me, that was really the thing that, you know, started me on a whole new, a whole new, a whole new path.
Rick Archer: It was good to hear that because sometimes I got the impression from people who had been involved in liberation unleashed, that they just kind of indulged in the intellectual understanding of it all, and had kind of mistaken that intellectual understanding for actual realization, which I think sometimes people do they just read too many books, you know, and they get to learn the lingo. And they can talk the talk, and they start pontificating on Facebook, and so on. And, but it hasn’t actually been an experiential shift. But I was glad to hear that that whole involvement in that group triggered in an experiential shift for you.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I found the, the person that I worked with was just, it was so simple in the witness, the language was so simple. And it really was about just just looking, just look and see, just look and see. And that’s all it was for three weeks. And I just found that incredible, and its simplicity. And, and then after that, I noticed
Rick Archer: any kind of meditation practice or anything while you’re doing that,
Leah Cox: was I nothing regular, if I was nothing regular. And then after that, I sort of randomly met a Buddhist in Turkey, who had also been involved with liberation, at least, and she hooked me up with a Buddhist friend of hers, who helped me kind of go further into that looking process. And I was kind of communicating with him for a while. And yeah, and then.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and you seem very happy now and all that, you know, wrongness and self incrimination, and so on, seems to have totally dropped off.
Leah Cox: Yeah, that part has, so after that experience with liberation unleashed, and I had a period of about three weeks where I just thought everything was perfect. You know, I’ve made it. I’ve, you know, I really felt like that I really felt like I’m here, I’ve made it, everything’s done. And, and then after about three weeks, you know, all the normal stuff started to come back, like comparison judgment. All the things that I’d had before, but obviously with this different, you know, underlying knowing behind all of that, but the one thing that didn’t come back hasn’t come back so far. Is that feeling that? Yeah, like, I’m just really, yeah, rotten. Rotten is the best word I can live it like right at the core. That’s one thing that’s gone and didn’t didn’t come back. So
Rick Archer: that’s good. What do you feel you are at the core now? If not rotten?
Leah Cox: How would that
Rick Archer: I anything, nothing. I don’t
Leah Cox: I mean, love is the closest word, but I just feel that I’m just the same as everyone and everything else that there’s just, there isn’t a there isn’t a word they don’t. I wouldn’t put a word to it.
Rick Archer: Okay. That’s fair enough. Well, you know, I think that your experience of oh, I’m rotten or, you know, other negative things one could feel about oneself. There’s a lot of people walking around to this world feeling that way, you know, and just kind of mired in it, unable to escape from it. And obviously, in terms of what all the spiritual traditions tell us, they are not Really, that’s not really who they are. And it’s a shame to sort of go through life thinking that that’s who you are what you are. So, very beautiful, beautiful, the wake up out of that, right? And realize something much nicer.
Leah Cox: Yeah, it is very beautiful. I mean that, that feeling of really, you know, you don’t deserve to be here, it’s so painful. It’s such a horrible feeling
Rick Archer: Sure thing, how many people commit suicide or take drugs that end up killing them? Or, you know, whatever, just trying to blot out that feeling.
Leah Cox: Right? Yeah.
Rick Archer: And so like, that sounds like that whole way of thinking has completely dissipated for you, you know, just removed on
Leah Cox: that, yeah, that’s just gone. It’s just gone. I mean, life is still life is up and down. There are all sorts of challenges, I feel, you know, I feel everything, all sorts of things. But no matter what I’m feeling, I don’t ever feel I, I don’t deserve to be here. I’m wrong. And have a, I think one of the other things that came from that experience and everything, since that experience is just this overwhelming compassion for myself. And for everybody else. Like you just see that, you know, we’re all just doing the best that we can, like, we just, that’s all we’re ever doing. And I really feel that so strongly, and you look at other people who are going through things, you just think Well, yeah, we can’t, we can’t help it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re, it’s gonna be a challenging place to live. And so are you a full time teacher of some sort, if you call yourself a teacher, but what you do this spiritual stuff, you do this full time,
Leah Cox: full time I work one that I just recently started with working one day a week in a gallery slash shop in Lancaster, where I live. So almost full time,
Rick Archer: how many people do you work with?
Leah Cox: It totally varies. And at the moment, just I’m doing three, I’ve got three clients, and each month that I’m working with one on one over a longer period of time, but I mean, I, we had some discussion, or with Irene, about the work that I’m offering. And I feel like that is one of the fluctuating parts of my journey. So I’m still trying to find my, you know, my way of, of doing that, I don’t feel like I’ve quite found that necessarily.
Rick Archer: I’m sure it’ll evolve. I don’t know if you’ll ever find it in any kind of final way. When you’re 70 years old, it’ll probably still be evolving.
Leah Cox: Yeah, right.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that point about discussing with Irene, she was probably when we evaluate somebody to interview them, one of the things we look at is, you know, are they charging $600 an hour, some such thing, you know, because that makes us feel uncomfortable. And, but I think I mean, determined that whatever you’re doing, it’s very reasonable. Yeah. So there was some points. First of all, like, a lot of people suffer from eating disorders, you know, especially I think, younger women do. And you mentioned you went through some of that, is there anything worth dwelling on there that might help people who are who have that kind of thing?
Leah Cox: Yeah, man, I’m really happy to speak about it
Rick Archer: might be helpful to some people. Yeah. Cuz,
Leah Cox: like you say, I feel like, you know, maybe it’s the majority of people that have some sort of, you know, not quite healthy relationship with food. So, I mean, it’s always difficult to say when things started, but I guess the time that I became really conscious of there being a problem was at university, and then the years following University. And I went through a long period of very restricted eating, and then
Rick Archer: I couldn’t digest anything, and you were like,
Leah Cox: just really controlling what I was eating. So eating very small amounts, and, you know, even that felt like too much, you know, we shouldn’t have eaten that. So just really restricting the amount that I was eating to control, you know, to make myself thinner, or to feel better about the way that I looked or, you know,
Rick Archer: you ever been overweight you don’t look like I don’t think I ever
Leah Cox: I mean, I never really was overweight, or perhaps I’d like slightly rounder cheeks or whatever. But yeah, so I went through a period of really, I mean, I remember I remember being in France with my partner at the time and he was slice of an apple for me in the evening and I’d have like a slice of apple and a yogurt and that’ll be so ridiculous thinking about it now but and, and then I went through a really, really long period of binge eating. So just eating everything inside and you know, Eating rubbish. And then the cycles of feeling awful about that. And then thinking I’ll never do that again, because I feel so sick. But then, you know, doing it over and over and over again.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I actually went through a similar phase back in the 70s, I was on courses in France, and I guess, mostly France, and I went through this whole fasting phase, you know, because I thought it would purify me fat and helped me get enlightened faster. And so, and then after doing a whole lot of fasting, you know, like, really crazy stuff. I got down to 120 pounds or something, which is light for me. Then I just got into this whole binge eating thing. And I end up looking pregnant after a meal. Because I’d eaten so much, I couldn’t stop myself. So it took it took a long time to get balanced and integrated again.
Leah Cox: Right? Oh, you’ll have to tell me about how that happened for you, then, because it’ll be interesting to compare experiences. For me, I feel like what’s happened is that I have never, I’ve never really put a focus on fixing that problem. But through this journey of spiritual awakening, you know, whatever you want to call it, the need for that, or the desire for that is just fallen away gradually, gradually, gradually. And that whole compassion piece, I think, has been really important as well. Because when that was still happening, when I was turning to food, that could happen. But instead of there, then being that whole beating yourself up part. There was compassion for that happening, and not kind of fixating on the awfulness of it, but okay, well, that’s that’s happened. That’s, that’s okay. And just letting the process happen, is what it has felt like to me.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, you know, that to which we give our attention grows stronger in our lives. And here, I was doing this metta six month meditation course, was meditating most of the day. And yet, I was reading food books and about fasting and all this stuff. And I just became obsessed with it, I have a tendency to become obsessive. And, you know, that became my focus, which is ridiculous, I should have been, you know, just totally focused on the deeper value of what I was doing. So I think I the problem eventually dissipated. When I just thought putting my attention there just wasn’t that important or interesting for me to put my attention on. It was just this obsession I got into for a while. Yeah, now I just don’t think about it. My wife serves me a nice meals or, you know, decent stuff. And it’s not that big of focus.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I relate to that as well. It just, yeah, the thinking around it kind of just becomes less and less until it’s just not a thing anymore.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, we can really get obsessed with things politics, or religious things or anything, people have a tendency to get nutty about stuff. And, you know, again, that to which you give your attention grows stronger in your life. So there’s a principle highest first put your attention on what you considered really to be the highest and don’t get sidetracked by stuff. Yeah. Have you ever been suicidal? Back in those days? Definitely. I was just thinking about it, or?
Leah Cox: Yeah, I was just I sent a message to a friend about this just last night, actually. I definitely have had suicidal thoughts. And, and but what I said to him was that I don’t know how serious I ever was, I think I would have been too scared to follow. I wouldn’t have known how to follow through, I think I wouldn’t have known what to do. But definitely, I had those thoughts of, Oh, my goodness, I don’t want to be here anymore. This is too this is too much. It’s too hard. But how, how serious they were? I? I don’t think I was at a point of, you know,
Rick Archer: yeah. Well, I bring that one up. Because there’s another example of something that young people go through sometimes, and many of them actually take action on it. And if we can discuss it for a minute and save a life, great. You know, because you’re an example of somebody who went through hard times, emotionally in terms of your self image and stuff, and came out the other side, a very happy person. So, you know, how, if I were to speak to someone who were contemplating that, I would just say, there’s so much potential in life to You know, so, so much beauty and wonder and ability to, you know, grow into something marvelous. You know, just don’t, don’t even contemplate that, you know?
Leah Cox: Right. And yet, when you’re in that feeling, it’s really you’re not in that on purpose, are you? You can’t Yeah, yeah, I
Rick Archer: can learn it and you can’t you can’t unsee it usually.
Leah Cox: Yeah, you can’t. Otherwise people wouldn’t. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t feel like the only possible solution at that moment. And then I guess people wouldn’t hate their lives. So it’s Yeah. And,
Rick Archer: yeah, there’s a sort of a, you know, ontological reason to for not doing it, which is, you know, people may not believe this. But this body is not the only one we’ve had or will have, and just destroying this one isn’t going to solve your problems, you’re just kind of pick them up again next time. At least, that’s where I see it. And so I had a realization when I was about 18. I had been through some difficult times over the previous years, and I just had this realization, you know, the only way out is up. It’s not down through blotting out my awareness with drugs, or it’s certainly not suit suicide, although I didn’t contemplate that myself. But the only way out is up. And if you just keep kind of ascending the ladder of evolution, there’s, you know, glorious possibilities. So that should be the focus. Right?
Leah Cox: I would love to know, you must have spoken about this on many of your previous interviews, but I would love to hear a little bit about your experience with with drugs.
Rick Archer: Well have spoken about it on too many of them, probably. But, you know, I was a teenager in the late 60s, which was the heyday of the psychedelic era. And I experimented with that stuff for about a year and did that acid a number of times, and marijuana just about every day, and so on for a period of about a year. And by the end of it. I mean, it had, the upside of it was it made me realize there was more to life than meets the eye and your perspective, is everything. I mean, the way you actually perceive the world is, is if you can alter that for the better, that’s more pivotal than just trying to alter the world. As someone said, you know, it’s easier to wear shoes than to pave the earth with leather. But that way of going about it for me was, although I had those little glimpses and realizations was destructive. And after a year, I dropped out of high school and gotten arrested a couple of times and was starting to mess with hard drugs like heroin. And, you know, I just had this epiphany one night, that I was gonna destroy myself if I continued along that path, and that I needed to quit it and learn meditation and just take a you know, take a higher path. And so that’s what I did. And it’s turned around pretty quick.
Leah Cox: Well, I really love I just Yeah, I love talking to people and hearing about people’s experiences with the addiction, drugs, all of all of those things, because I feel like it doesn’t meet so many people now in kind of similar experiences. And yeah, I think the more people you have as reference points that have kind of, they’ve had something changed in their lives. It’s just really, it’s helpful, I think,
Rick Archer: yeah, I kind of thought of, even then I had the sort of a vague, and my thinking was pretty muddled, muddled. But I thought, you know, the body is kind of, like, if you have a car and you dump dirty, polluted cheap fuel into it, you know, then you’re going to ruin the engine. And I thought, well, I’m sort of putting my body is like a vehicle through which I’m living life. And if I put this crap in it, I’m gonna damage it. And I may end up living my whole life in damaged vehicle. So I thought, well, I got it’s got to change that. Before I do some irreparable harm to myself.
Leah Cox: Yeah, and I loved your point as well, which is not something that I think about often about, you know, if you get rid of this body, you’re just going to pick up the same things and another body. Yeah, I loved hearing that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. All right. Well, here’s a nice question. This This question came in from someone named Bob Na, in Dallas, Texas. This will get us going on an interesting topic. She said, Leah, I have noticed you talk a lot about trusting the universe and our experiences being tailor made for us. On the other hand, many teachers talk about life just happening without meaning, and that we create a losery meaning and stories ourselves that have no basis in reality. This feels like somewhat of a paradox. Do you have any thoughts on this?
Leah Cox: Yeah, that is a paradox. And that I feel that both of those things are true. And that life is just happening. And that everything is happening for us. And not for us, because life is life is just happening for itself. Which equally means for us, but it’s not what was the personal was exactly. And I just know that in my experience, or maybe it’s maybe I just convinced myself that this is maybe it says me to think this way, but I think that anything that shows up in life is an opportunity feels in service to Me and and feels like a much easier way to go through life than to think, well, this is this is a ship thing or you know, whatever. But I think I think that word paradox, I mean, that word paradox is just everything on the spiritual path. As far as I can see, it’s just both all the time. Everything is a paradox. It’s this and it’s that,
Rick Archer: yeah, I use the word so often that somebody once sent me a t shirt with the word paradox on it. Yeah, I think a lot depends. I mean, obviously, the truth doesn’t depend on our perspective, if, let’s say we are firmly convinced the earth is flat, that doesn’t flatten the earth. You know, the Earth is what it is. And so, you know, if we happen to perceive life, or the universe as completely meaningless and done material stuff that’s random and accidental, and so on. That might be our perspective. But that doesn’t actually make it so. You know, and it’s just one of those less than edifying, inspiring perspectives that people to some or they get stuck in. But what you want to respond to that before I say anything more?
Leah Cox: Yeah, I just hearing you speak just that word meaningless has been one that’s been kind of quite important to me, I suppose in maybe the last six months? Because I feel like there was this realization that the isn’t that life doesn’t need meaning in order for it to be meaningful. And yeah, so I kind of simultaneously experience that. It, there isn’t, there isn’t a meaning there isn’t a meaning as such, and yet, it’s full of meaning as well, which is just really saying the same thing.
Rick Archer: I think I know what you mean, and tell me if this is what you mean. And that is that, you know, the universe doesn’t have to fit itself within the, the dimensions of the human intellect. So there, there’s a mystery to it, that might exceed our our capacity for rational understanding. So it doesn’t need to be meaningful in that way. But there’s a deeper sort of more mystical meaning you could say, or a sort of a fundamental purpose, purpose, fullness, or intelligence to the whole thing, that we can intuit either dimly or even cognized, quite clearly. And we might not even be able to articulate it in words, but it’s profoundly meaningful.
Leah Cox: I think that’s a better way of putting it, Rick, I think you’ve articulated it very well.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, sometimes people knock concepts, you know, they say, Oh, you’re just conceptualizing or something. But everything we say, by way of communication is through using concepts every word represent, it’s a sound that represents a concept. And, and that’s how we communicate, and we try to find words that, you know, we can, that, that pertain to shared experiences, you know, like you mentioned an apple earlier. And if someone had never eaten one, the word wouldn’t be very meaningful, but most of us have, and therefore, when you say, Apple, I know what you mean. And I can imagine what it tastes like and so on. And that’s true also of spiritual ideas. You know, even God, I mean, some people, that’s a meaningless word, other people have a deep enough experience that they, it means something to them experientially.
Leah Cox: Right, right. Yeah, that’s another really interesting word as well. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, well, in pursuit of her question a little bit more of this idea of you know, the universe guiding us and things not being capricious or arbitrary. I took some notes and there are various points at which you write about this
Leah Cox: I love hearing things that I read and reflected back to me because I never know whether I’ll remember on well here’s
Rick Archer: a little bit you did a, one of your blog posts was entitled trust everything because and I excerpted from that following little quote, he said, I have come to see that my ideas about life and the way I would like it would like it are quite puny indeed. In comparison to the majestic ideas of the universe. Trust everything for there is nothing that is not your path. Yeah, so Can we really trust everything? Can we, whatever is happening? Can we, there’s there’s a great story in which the punch line is everything God does is for the best. And this guy goes through all these travails and ends up getting thrown in prison, but it ends up actually saving his life because he was in prison. And, and, you know, the guy who threw him in prisons came to apologize. And then because he realized he did so unjustly and the guy said, Hey, everything God does for the best if I hadn’t been here in the prison cell, I would have been killed. So you know, I mean, it’s, it’s, it sounds glib, when you say that to people who are really going through terrible times, like their child just died or something? How do you? How do you? How would you sort of defend that idea, if you would, under such circumstances?
Leah Cox: Well, I don’t know about your experience. But when I look backwards, you know, in retrospect, there isn’t anything that I can find in life, that that I wish hadn’t happened, or that doesn’t now feel like it was part of you know, that it was just fine, that it was just, it’s okay, that it was there. And if that’s true of everything that’s already happened, which has been wildly like this, then why would that not be true of everything else? That’s that’s to come. And like you say, of course, you know, when you’re in those really, really, really challenging times. It’s not always possible or easy to feel that way or to perceive it that way. But I don’t see how we can ever not be on our path, because it’s, that’s life, life is the path and that’s whatever happens. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I remember one time I said to my mother said, Mom, don’t ever feel bad about anything you did, while you were raising me, because I’m really happy the way with the way my life is turning out. So whatever you did, you know, must have been, must have been good. She, she really liked that. If you have, it’s like a paradigm thing, you know, if your paradigm, if your understanding of the world is that there is a deeper intelligence and that there is an evolutionary purpose to the universe and trajectory to it. And if if all the beings in the universe are, you know, being shepherded along to toward higher and higher expressions of their divine nature, then you can kind of, although it may not be completely obvious why all the things in our lives have happened as they have, you can at least, you know, say, Okay, well, I just trust that all this was meant to happen. I don’t exactly see why, you know, I had to live with an alcoholic father or something. But nonetheless, I trust that, you know, God knows what he’s doing. And that the universe, that everything is, in the big picture, in service of evolution, for all beings, for all for all people. However, if you don’t have that underlying assumption, and it’s not necessarily obvious to everyone, then it could life could seem very cruel and arbitrary and meaningless. You know. So maybe one question is, how can we instill within ourselves and help others to instill that kind of perspective? Mm
Leah Cox: hmm. Yeah. I mean, I’m, I’m terrible at articulating the answers to these questions, because for me, it’s all a feeling. It’s all just wrapped up in this feeling of this continuous unfolding journey? And
Rick Archer: how can people arrive in that feeling within themselves? What is there anything you could advise that would help them do that?
Leah Cox: Well, if I just go of my own experience, which I would say that it’s just been about following what comes up in the moment? So for example, you know, my friend pointed me to liberation leash, so I had a feeling that I went there. And then this book came up, and that book came up. And so for me, it’s really just about being in your own process and trusting that own your own process that it’s going to bring you to the understanding of who you really are, through whatever it is that is going to speak to you. And over time that trust deepens. I don’t know. I mean, for me, it’s been that way deepens over time. But I couldn’t sit here and say, you know, this is, this is the way to kind of instill that paradigm because I think it’s you. It’s unique to everybody the way people come to all these things. So maybe someone’s gonna watch this interview, and hear something that sounds Write to them, or maybe they’re going to watch another one and it will be a completely, like a different direction, but with the same message that makes sense that does,
Rick Archer: and I suppose that like trust in anything, the trust deepens if you, you know, gain experience, which which, you know reinforces it, it’s like learning to ride a bicycle or something, you know, you’re really scared at first that you’re gonna fall off. And then as you get better at it, you trust that you won’t, or something, you know, I don’t know, maybe that’s not a good example. But there are many things in life where, if we try something, and it pans out, we do it again, and it works out, you know, after a while, we begin to almost take it for granted that we can do those things, and it’s going to work out. So I mean, in terms of what we’re talking about, if if you sort of have follow your intuition, and it turns out to be valid and to be rewarding, then next time, you’re perhaps a little bit more inclined to follow it.
Leah Cox: Yeah. And I think, I don’t know, for me, something was always has always been calling me to, you know, keep going and go. Something knows, I think something inside you knows, you know, I mean, for anyone listening to these interviews, like why are they listening to them something inside must know that there’s something there. So in a way, it’s already happening, that trust is already happening within us, whether we recognize that or not, maybe.
Rick Archer: And I think everyone has it, it’s just blot it out to varying degrees, you know, some people is really overshadowed and other people, there’s quite a bright glimmer of of that inner knowing. And, but whatever it is, whatever degree, it can always be brightened, I think, you know, you just have to keep taking steps in that direction. Or it can be dimmed further, if you take steps in the opposite direction.
Leah Cox: Yeah, and maybe that is also okay, maybe that is also to be trusted and
Rick Archer: true. And maybe there’s lessons inherent in that, you know, put your hand on the stove, you get burned. Alright, well, maybe I shouldn’t do that again.
Leah Cox: Right? Well, like you say, with your expensive drugs, you know, reaching that point of, you know, while this is ruining my body, and I, you know, something has to change. And sometimes you have to go really far down, don’t need to, to have those realizations,
Rick Archer: it’s true. alcoholic, sometimes talk about hitting bottom, you know, and then then they realize that they need to sort of, they can’t do it on their own, they need to seek the higher power or something bigger than themselves in order to, to make it. Okay, well, maybe we’ve covered that point. You think?
Leah Cox: Great question, though. I recognize that name, I think, I think that lady may have recently just come across my work. And so thank you for that.
Rick Archer: She seems familiar with you. Yeah. Good. And anybody else who wants to ask a question, feel free to send it in, go to the upcoming interviews page on BatGap. There’s one point that you brought up in your notes to me that you thought would be interesting to talk about, there are quite a few. I have a couple of pages here. So we’re not gonna run in run out of things. But um, and that is awakening and the loss of personal drive slash motivation. I’ve been through that kind of thing myself. And it’s interesting to contemplate, so let’s talk about that for a bit.
Leah Cox: Yeah. Oh, I love talking about shared experiences. Yeah, so actually, this is recent. So quite a good chunk of last year. And so 2018. And I really, yeah, just had very little, very little drive to do anything at all. And I think if I didn’t have the paradigm or the inner knowing that I have, I could well have thought that I was depressed, except that except that when there were things to do, I had no problem doing them. If I had calls with clients, no problem. It was everything was there was no problem with any of that. But to put extra effort in to create new things to do anything to. There was just nothing there. There was just absolutely nothing there for several months and sitting with that was, at times very challenging. And I one of the things that really helped me through that period was Adyashanti good yeah, that It is, you know, his speaking of that particular experience, I think is very clear and very helpful. And that was really helpful to me in that period last year. And then it passed, and I don’t know how. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I think, you know, there’s a transition that people have to make from sort of the ego bound orientation, where you feel like I am this and I am doing this and so on, to kind of relaxation into a much broader sense of who or what you are, and who are what is driving the holding the reins of the chariot, so to speak, you know, and as that transition progresses, there can be a kind of a gap period during which it’s not clear which is which, you know, and, and there can be a sort of a vacillation between one or the other, you know, sense of personal control and a sense of, I don’t know what, and eventually it all settles out. But what do you think about that? Does that resonate with your experience?
Leah Cox: Yeah, that really resonates the word. Yeah. vacillation is a really good word for that kind of, oh, no, I’ve got to do something, you know, I’ve got to be in control of this, oh, no, I can’t, like, you know, I definitely went through several cycles of that, oh, my goodness, I’ve got to do something. And then in trying to realize there was no energy to do anything. So just having to, you know, kind of fall back into that. That not not doing so. Yeah, what was your experience of that, like, I would really
Rick Archer: well, kind of, like what I said, But, you know, very often, I just felt like, I didn’t want to be decisive or make any, take any initiatives, because I felt like, I didn’t want to, I didn’t want it to be the I the localized I that was taking initiative. So there was a tendency to go with the flow, but to the point of passivity, or, you know, in decisiveness, you know, and I don’t know if that doesn’t, maybe Irene will correct me on this, but doesn’t seem to be the way it is anymore. I feel very motivated. And, and, and decisive when need be. But in more of, well, it’s like I was, I was chatting about this with a friend the other day and an email, because I had quoted a quote that said, humility is the quality of not insisting that things happen any particular way. And, and she said, Well, you know, you’ve used that quite a lot. But the, the main thing is, you know, if if you’re ego bound, then then you can’t be humble, and you can’t sort of, you know, be aligned with the sort of higher intelligence, I think, yeah, I think that’s exactly the point. Because if you are ego bound, then you tend to be insistent like that. But if, if I’m talking too much, but we’ll go ahead and spring off of what I just said, I cuz I don’t want to be so long winded.
Leah Cox: That’s why I like listening to you. I think the word settling down or the phrase settling down as well really speaks to my experience. And yeah, again, I think it comes back to that point, when that happened, there was enough trust or enough knowing of what I was going through, thanks to also, you know, hearing experiences from people like Adyashanti, or other teachers, that you’re able to kind of, although it’s very uncomfortable and challenging, you’re able to somehow sit in that experience. And like you say, now you you feel very motivated, actually. But it’s a different there’s a different quality to it. And, and I definitely, I yeah, I mean, I feel motivated, happy to get up in the morning, excited to get up in the morning. And yet, and yet very kind of flexible in the way life is and what happens and how things happen.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think sometimes. It’s like, if our motivations are aligned with the higher purpose of what we’re actually should be doing, then things can go very smoothly. And we can be very determined and ambitious and engaged and so on. And the wind will be at our back, you know, we’ll get support because we’re in the right groove. But if they’re not aligned that way, then we can get smacked down because we’re trying to do what we’re not supposed to be doing. And odd is a case in point. He wanted to be a competitive bicycle racer, and he was like pushing himself to do that even after it had some sort of spiritual awakening, and he found himself in bed for six months. And then he finally got better. And he tried to do it again and they got smacked down again. And, you know, finally he got the message and, you know, pursued what he was more than supposed to be doing. And then he, you know, then things went more smoothly for him.
Leah Cox: Right. And in hearing that, I want to know what you said, really near the beginning of our conversation about, you know, should people who have had fairly recent experiences be sitting in this space of working with people sharing online or whatever, in whatever capacity they’re doing it? And it makes me think, you know, we’ll call to what we’re called to. And there’s an alignment in that. And I know that for me, I just be I’m just called to what I’m called to. So I just made me think of that hearing you talk about? Yeah, him and his his cycling? And then actually, that’s not what, that was not really aligned for him.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It perhaps had been at a certain stage. And he had fun with it. And but he had passed that stage, and he was trying to do the old thing instead of the new thing that he was supposed to switch to.
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that as well, isn’t it? It’s like holding on to the things that you’ve always done. And there’s something inside that knows that. It’s this sort of thing or this other direction. But yeah, moving in that direction can be really difficult.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And he still takes vacations, where he goes out mountain biking and stuff, but it’s not like he’s just trying to make a career of it. So he gets away with that.
Leah Cox: I can really imagine him on a on a mountain bike.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah, he likes to do that. So our friend Dan, in London, who sends me the questions said, I felt inspired to compile a list of spiritual paradoxes after the response to the last question. Let’s just play with this. He said, One, we have complete free will. And yet we have no free will at all.
Leah Cox: Oh, gosh. Yeah. Oh, my gosh, I don’t even know what to say in response to that. Yes. Because I, on the one hand, I feel that nothing can ever be any different to how it has been, like it could No, no choice could nothing. So that comes into the kind of judgment and compassion, you know, for the people, because I feel like nothing could ever be different to how it is or how it, you know, that action couldn’t have been anything other than what it was. And and at the same time, there’s this feeling of choice in every moment. Yeah,
Rick Archer: I think you have to sort of be honest and true to what you actually are experiencing. And if you experience that you seem to have choice, then don’t use some alibi of there being no free will to just, you know, do. God knows what I mean, there have actually been cases where people have done really egregious things and rationalize them as being sort of like, you know, there’s no free will. And I’m just, I’m not really the actor, and this is just happening, and I’m not doing it and yada, yada, yada. And meanwhile, they’re doing criminal things. So, you know, you’ll face the consequences for those things. And then you might think twice about that philosophy. So if we feel we have choice, exercise it. Yeah. If you really are so cosmic that you know that God is running the show, and you have nothing, no choice whatsoever, then fine, but don’t pretend that you’re in that state.
Leah Cox: Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Here’s another one from Dan Dennett is good at paradoxes. Yeah. We’re completely individual beings. And we’re also completely unbounded.
Leah Cox: Yeah. I should be. Done. Yeah, I don’t have words for that work. Yes, yes. Yes.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, Would you concur with this? If I if you were to describe your experience, would it be fair to say, I’m everywhere? I’m nowhere and I’m right here.
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah. I, you know, I don’t I feel like a human being, you know, I don’t walk around experiencing oneness all the time. I feel like a human being in a body. And I also experienced that I am exactly the same as everyone and everything else. And that it’s all you know, there’s only one.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So you could say perhaps, that there’s a multi dimensionality to things where these paradoxes can be resolved if as long as we just appreciate that the, you know, the knowledge of truth is different at different levels of creation and paradoxical truths can simultaneously be true. In the larger basket of, of the totality.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I really like that way of putting it. I don’t. Yeah, I mean, black and white is very difficult these days, it’s kind of, yeah, it can all I feel that the space for it all to be true. In its place.
Rick Archer: That’s very true in physics, too. I mean, there are all kinds of paradoxes and things which are, you know, things are physical, yet non physical, they’re a wave, and yet they’re a particle, you know. And so, you know, it’s not always black and white, either, or,
Leah Cox: yeah, that reminds me, there was a lady that once spoke to there was a group of us and she spoke to us about it. She’s an example of a little heart and a big heart, open and going off in the right direction here. And the big heart was Mooji, or, you know, or some equivalent to MUJI. And where it’s, you know, we’re just, you know, we’re pure awareness, we’re consciousness, that conversation, and then the little heart, you know, we’re the suffering and our individual experience of pain and suffering. And how if we’re working with people in a kind of therapeutic capacity, or just as a friend, you know, you’re just trying to help a friend, whatever. If we’re just in the little heart and only stay there, then we can’t ever truly, you know, come out of suffering. But if we go only straight to Mooji, and only, you know, don’t kind of give any attentional compassion to the human suffering, then that can be very damaging as well. So I guess what I’m saying the reason that I brought that up is that those two truths of you know our humaneness and our suffering and the tenderness involved in that, and at the same time, we’re not those things. But they go together.
Rick Archer: Yeah, a couple of things from the Upanishads come to mind. One is this verse, which is, two birds sit in the selfsame tree, one eats of the sweet fruit and the other eats not and just watches, you know, this, you get that there’s a sort of the sight, Silent Witness value in our experience, and there’s also the engaged active human value. And they’re both those two birds of our nature. And, and the other is related to what you just said, there’s a forget, I forget which Upanishad a bit it says, you know, into blinding darkness, go those who, who worship, ignorance, and even into even greater darkness. So those who worship knowledge, I think what that means is that if you sort of glom on to the absolute view, and use it to dismiss relative views and values, then in a way, that’s an even greater confusion than just being sort of, you know, stuck in the relative view.
Leah Cox: Yeah, is such an interesting conversation, the relative and the absolute, and, you know, the place for each of those, and, and especially from the perspective of, you know, wanting to support someone through something, and because I guess there are teachers who are just, I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but who are kind of more locked on to the absolute view. And then there are those who have more space, or both of those. Both those things, and I definitely feel like I’m the latter of
Rick Archer: those. Yeah. No, actually avoid interviewing the former. Because when I start to check them out, and they’re sitting there saying, you know, you’re not a person and nothing exists and don’t do anything. And you know, you don’t need to do any sort of practice, because you’re already enlightened and this and that, I think, I don’t want to, if I talk to this person, it’ll be a big argument. So I’m not going to see an argument online. Had a bit of that with Tony Parsons bus and so but anyway, here’s another paradox from Dan. There is only the current moment yet there is also a past in the future.
Leah Cox: Yeah, that’s a great one, isn’t it? Because I mean, even in within the space of this conversation, I’ve been talking about, you know, looking back and regret and all the rest of it. And I experienced that as part of my, you know, experiences experience of being human. And yes, there is only this. We’re only ever in this moment. Again, I just, for me, it’s not a problem. They’re both they’re both true. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I’m taking a physics course right now physics and consciousness. And so little examples are coming up from that. But like, take a photon, right? So, from our perspective, it takes about 2 million years for a photon to get here from the Andromeda Galaxy, which is our closest neighbor galaxy. But from the photons perspective, if you can hitch a ride on a photon, which travels at the speed of light, because it is light, the trip takes place instantaneously, there’s no time elapsed, and therefore there’s no space elapsed either. Because if if you go from here to there instantly, then the here is there, and there is here. And so both of those are true. It’s just a matter of the perspective of the observer. So again, we’re talking about paradox. And, you know, one individual perspective doesn’t necessarily encapsulate the entire truth of a thing.
Leah Cox: This physics core sounds amazing. Oh, it’s great fun. Yeah, I think paradox is just one of those things that you become more and more comfortable with. I don’t know, that’s your experience as well. But I just become more and more comfortable with those, those opposing those opposing things. And rather than kind of struggling with them, it’s like the, you know, like the joy and the pain, you know, the, you know, be, I often talk about things in nature and seasons. So I’ll often have this experience, especially in spring, and there’s a cemetery just by my house that I walk, walk in a lot and have this experience of just being overwhelmed with joy by the beat of it, and simultaneously feeling so sad that it’s already leaving, you know, it’s already leaving and holding those things is sometimes very challenging. But what else can you do, but you just have to kind of allow it all to be there all of both those things. And it’s strange. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, it’s like, if you walk into your house, there’s a certain joy and coming into the house and countering what’s there. But there’s also you’re leaving the garden and the garden was nice, too. If we have to feel pain with the change of the seasons, and so on now, because each thing isn’t it says a fresh adventure. But I guess I understand what you’re saying.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I definitely feel I often have this feeling of beauty and joy and sorrow at the same time. I often have that feeling.
Rick Archer: Yeah. poignant. Yeah, okay. One more from Dan, to be completely empty is to be completely full.
Leah Cox: Ah, yeah. That’s a great one. Oh, that’s so good.
Rick Archer: Thank you go into the bumper sticker. The spiritual bumper sticker business?
Leah Cox: Yeah. Oh, yeah. That would be great. Pipeline. Yeah, when everything is emptied out. So the way that I’m feeling and experiencing that phrase is when there’s kind of that experience of nothingness, and, you know, everything is dropped away, and there’s that emptiness. Somehow, there’s a feeling of being more full than there has ever been before. That’s what I feel when I hear that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And it’s funny, because the Buddha’s sort of talk of emptiness Shunya, and the Hindus talk of fullness Poorna. But I really think they’re talking about the same thing. It’s just sort of, kind of how you look at it.
Leah Cox: Yeah, that’s a really good one.
Rick Archer: One more wrap up point I wanted to make about what we were talking about earlier about motivation, and drive and stuff. And that is that, you know, in, in nature, there’s a principle of least effort. That’s just the way nature functions. If you if you throw a ball or something, there are a million different trajectories the ball could take, but it actually takes the most efficient one, given the forces that are operating on it, gravity and air resistance and so on, it takes the absolutely most efficient trajectory it could possibly take it doesn’t do little loops or something like that, just for fun. And I think that a lot of people function in a very effortful way in life. They’re not they’re not aligned with that principle of least effort. I think one aspect of spiritual awakening or evolution is that you become more aligned with the way nature itself functions. And so activity begins to become more efficient and effortless. And in the process, it might feel like you’re getting lazy or not doing any not putting the you know, the effort. into things that you used to. But actually, you’re just sort of beginning to work in a more smooth and efficient manner more in sort of harmony with, with nature itself.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I really like that. And I definitely have experienced and spoken with a number of clients on that. Exactly that feeling of, Am I being lazy? And kind of going through that transition because it’s so foreign. To be Yeah, doing less in a less effortful way. And we’re so I mean, we’re so trained, it seems like to, you know, more effort more and more and more. And so, yeah, that conversation around being being lazy, but actually, it’s just, it’s just not, it’s more natural. That’s all. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, I think sometimes people can be lazy, obviously. But yeah, I know, I know, people who just sit around a coffee shop and chat all day. And you know, one of them is a woodworker, and you try to hire him to do a job, and it just takes forever to get the result you’re paying for. And yet you drive by the coffee shop, and there is just sitting, talking to people. So there’s, there’s a value of being purposeful, but even a very busy person with a lot of responsibility could be operating, you know, from who from the outside looks like they’re really working hard. Somebody like Dama, for instance, if you know who he is. They’re they’re very focused and just put in many, many hours a day doing what they do. But there’s a sort of an effortlessness to it sort of an efficiency to it, which actually makes it possible for them to work so hard to put it, you know, that they don’t burn up energy. unnecessarily?
Leah Cox: Yeah, I think that’s one of the really interesting things, isn’t it, that you can actually be very busy. And, but for that, not to burn you out? Because it’s coming from a different, it’s coming from a different place, and it’s all aligned, natural, natural action. Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s one of the really, because it isn’t about, I often have conversations with a particular friend, about Nelson Mandela. And, you know, kind of just the extent of what he was doing, and the the motivation that he had to do what he he did, and you know, how it’s just, you know, if that’s not, if that’s coming from a place of extreme effort, then you would just, it would just be impossible, you know, that. It’s like, the deeper you go into that the more responsibility you can take the doing more in a way and it’s not about doing less in the world, it’s about actually doing oftentimes more in the world, but in a more natural, efficient way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Gandhi might be an example. I mean, passive, you know, non violence and passive resistance, just, you know, rather than take up arms against the British, you know, or did all kinds of things in a more passive way and got this major power farm far more powerful than then, you know, the Indian resistance movement to leave the country. Yeah, go to the sea and make salt you know, in order not to pay the tax and, and, you know, one thing after another in that way, anyway, makes the point. Yeah. Another question came in this is from Miroslav Macklin off from Kirschner, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. How have your experiences changed in your work with your clients? Since your awakening? Do you see the difference in how your clients are responding to your new point of view?
Leah Cox: Do I see a way they’re responding to my new point of view?
Rick Archer: Yeah, you’re sort of working differently with them than you used to. But
Leah Cox: yeah, I mean, I feel like I was really kind of working on different things a lot of the time. So before, it was very, a lot of my conversations were What do you want to do with your life and let’s make that happen. type stuff, you know, it was that it was that sort of stuff. And, and now, I much prefer or I guess what I love the most is sitting with people who are more in a therapeutic way. So things like anxiety, eating disorders, that feeling of shame being wrong. And so I find it hard to compare, because I feel like they’re just two separate things to me. And but I I mean, The way in which I work is definitely completely different. I feel like I just, it’s so much more about just being creating a space for people without any judgement to explore rather than feeling like you’ve got to find, you know, like, steps for people to take and things for them to do and to become the person in the world that they want to be in that whole conversation. It just doesn’t feel relevant or truth me anymore. So as often now more about us, just a loving space of acceptance of people.
Rick Archer: You wrote some nice poems, and you speak of your own personal experience, about romantic relationships as a source of spiritual growth and healing. Like, here’s, here’s a quote from one of your blog posts, he say, one of the traps of the spiritual path is to tell ourselves that because we’re pure consciousness, we shouldn’t feel sad, or we should be able to get over things more quickly. True spirituality is a welcoming of the full spectrum of our tender emotions, whilst also knowing that the truth of who we are is the space in which all those things appear. Yes, that quote doesn’t directly relate to romantic relationships, but it can. But then you also wrote another one, I remember where he talked about how it’s kind of like, parts are made to be broken and healed and broken and healed. And so, you know, you’re encouraging people to just sort of like, not put the brakes on and just just enjoy open their hearts and let them be vulnerable. And even if they end up getting broken, though, they’ll heal. Right?
Leah Cox: Yeah, I can feel myself getting a little bit sweaty now, because I wrote written notes really recently in response to a new relationship that I’ve just entered into. So. Yeah, and just this feeling of, yeah, just wanting to be very open, and to not have to hide bits of ourselves and to, for it to be okay to feel all of those feelings and not to make it wrong, or, I mean, I’ve definitely been through through times on this path of feeling well, because I’m spiritual. And because I’m this, then it’s not okay to feel sad, or it’s not okay to say this, or it’s not okay to disagree. And so, kind of a letting go of all of that, as well. And that’s a journey for me, I feel like at the moment as well, in this new context of a romantic relationship is allowing all of that to be okay, and not suppressing that because I’m, you know, spiritual.
Rick Archer: And so, since your awakening, is this your first relationship that you’ve gotten into, since the 2016 thing,
Leah Cox: and that was one of the short, short ish. And so this is the, this is the second.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and you feel like it has a very different kind of quality or orientation than the pre awakening ones did?
Leah Cox: Yeah, for sure. I definitely, definitely feel like that. And I’ve thought about a lot recently, for obvious reasons and wondered whether part of it is just maturity, or how much of it is related to spiritual awakening versus just, you know, growing up a bit, maybe some involves some of both, I presume. But, um, but yeah, I just feel, I think the biggest thing is that all of the things in previous relationships where there was an opportunity to take everything personally, and to fly off the handle, get upset, in all of those little things that happen that someone says or doesn’t say. I just, there’s much less taking things personally. Or if I take something personally, then I see that I’ve taken it personally. And I realized that I don’t need to and also just kind of tired of entering into the drama. Actually, I just feel when things come up. I just release very quickly because I don’t have the energy for the drama.
Rick Archer: Yeah, sounds good. I presume your your partner is kind of has a similar orientation, spiritual interest and stuff.
Leah Cox: Yeah, he’s interested. Yeah. Good. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Here’s a nice little thing wrote kind of a poem. I thought this might be worth reading to have you elaborate on it said, I will not call myself lucky for walking with the sun and bedding down to the moon. I will instead shriek the madness of the world from my bed until we have all become lucky and Lucky has become normal. And normal has been remembered as the Natural Way of Things like that.
Leah Cox: Oh, I like that too. I don’t remember where that came from,
Rick Archer: from from you. You wrote that unless you plagiarized?
Leah Cox: Can you read it again?
Rick Archer: Sure, I will not call myself lucky for walking with the sun and bedding down with the moon, I will instead shriek the madness of the world from my bed until we have all become lucky. And Lucky has become normal. And normal has been remembered as the natural way of things.
Leah Cox: Oh, yeah, I remember more now. So it’s kind of, I don’t have blinds in my apartment. And, and because I, you know, work primarily for myself with this one day a week at the gallery. And I’m able to wake up, when you know, I just I work, I move with the site with the, with the seasons, really at the moment. So I wake up at the moment at Hoppus, four or something like that, and find myself wanting to go to bed when it gets dark now. And I think I wrote that around that feeling of you know that we think of that as really lucky. And on the one hand, I see how fortunate I am to be able to behave in that way. And yet, at the same time. I wish that wasn’t fortunate, you know, to be forcing ourselves that in the middle of winter, to get up at five 6am To then commute to these offices or whatever. And, and then return I just and that that’s normal. And that you know, someone in my position is, is the lucky one. It seems skewed. It’s been skewed to me. I think that’s where that came from. Yeah.
Rick Archer: When I read into it also was that, you know, the definition of normal in our society is really pretty bleak. It’s pretty pretty subnormal by comparison with what’s possible. And if everyone were fully blossomed, in terms of what we’re potentially able to be, then, you know, even some of the more successful people in our world would seem really stunted by comparison. And it’s, you know, and you’re talking about kind of a higher normality, I think, as being as possible, and as eventually, hopefully, becoming the norm in the world. I’ve always thought that way that, you know, it’s like, if it’s true that we use only like a small percentage of our full potential or something like the 5% or whatever, then imagine what the world would be like, if everyone were using 75 or 90 or 100. I mean, pretty much everything would be impacted. Profoundly.
Leah Cox: Right. Yeah. I love what you read into that. That’s kind of what what I ran into. It’s nice to hear other people’s reactions to what you write because I mean, like I said, before we started speaking, I think I don’t even remember what I’ve written really. So yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: But you do write about that kind of thing. Like, yeah, here’s another one, I think it was essay called, Who am I to do that for the brilliant ones flying just below the radar. And you talk about, you know, purpose and calling and following your heart and being able to sort of, you know, who was it? Emerson or Thoreau. I think maybe Thoreau said, most men lead lives of quiet desperation. And so I think they do because everyone has such tremendous potential. And for the most part, it’s, like, stifled and clamped down by, you know, the crud that we’ve we’ve taken on, over how many lifetimes, I don’t know. And society in heaps on even more. So naturally, we feel frustrated, we’re like a race car stuck in a traffic jam, you know, potentially able to drive so fast, and yet, he’s sitting there idling most of the time. And so, you know, I think the whole spiritual enterprise is not, it’s not only a matter of, you know, enabling each individual to sort of gain some kind of inner freedom, but it will actually result in the expression of much more potential in the way we interact with the world, you know, much more sort of expressions of greatness. And if you extrapolate from in, you know, you consider many, many individuals undergoing such a transformation. Pretty much all the problems that were bemoaning in the world today could really dissipate and, you know, we could have a society that’s far beyond anything that most people imagined possible.
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah, that would frustrate. And he said, you know, like, sensing that you’re a racecar, but living as I don’t know, I’m not very good with cars. Or
Rick Archer: even stuck in a traffic jam. I don’t know if you have those in the UK, but London traffic at rush hour, let’s say yeah,
Leah Cox: London chocolate rush hour. Yeah, definitely. And yeah, I think you’re right. And yeah. Yeah, that’s yeah.
Rick Archer: Um, I wonder if we’ve covered this, I think we kind of have, but maybe we were touching on? He said, discussing life purpose. He said it could be an interesting area to cover as the question. What am I here for? is one that has plagued you for a good portion of your life and probably plagues a lot of people. Yeah. Know what their life purpose is?
Leah Cox: I’ll start with a bit of background, shall I am? I really feel like that question. Maybe people when they come onto a spiritual path as theirs, maybe we will have a different version of the question. Maybe that kind of is the driver. And for me, if I had to pick a question, it would be what am I here for? And it feels like it’s been the driver behind so much my seeking, you know, this desperate, like really desperation, and obsession and pain around what am I here to do? And because working in an office in London just felt so painful to me. And, and, and that even when I’d started, you know, working with clients in the different capacity, that questions still, it was still there, it still plagued me all of the time, even though I was you know, I had kind of time freedom and location freedom, I had many of the things that I thought I was looking for. But that question about what am I here for still plagued many. And it wasn’t until that experience with liberation unleashed, and then what happened afterwards that there was a relaxation around that, because it really felt so clear that primarily my purpose was to have that realization. That was that was first and foremost. And then after that, like you’ve been talking about, at some point, although there may be kind of periods of not knowing what on earth and you’re, you know, you’ve got no drive or motivation. At some point, there’s more realigned action that starts to come in. And then that’s the, you know, the expression of, of that first purpose of realizing the truth of who you are. And then there’s an expression of that, or many expressions of that, however, it works for you. And I can’t remember what your original question was.
Rick Archer: I think it was like, What is the meaning and purpose of life or something like that? I’m just kidding. Well, I mean, what comes to mind, as you’ve said, That is like the Indian idea of dharma, you know, which is sometimes translated as that activity, which is most evolutionary for a purpose for a person to be performing. And it’s thought that different people have different dharmas and different and the same person will have different diamonds throughout life. So you might have a student Dharma for a while, and then a, you know, householder Dharma, where you’re raising kids, and you might need to have a regular job doing something to support your family. And that’s, there’s nothing wrong with that, even though you’re not like, Prime Minister or great scientists, or, you know, Bayton looting been Beethoven or something, you’re just sort of doing something that’s in keeping with your dharma, and later on your dharma may change yet again. So, you know, obviously, people want to be doing something gratifying. They don’t want to, I mean, we get these robo calls. I don’t know if you have that over there. And, you know, where the phone rings and it’s some guy trying to sell you life insurance or vacation plan or something i I’m 10 Maybe next time that one of them calls I’m gonna say, you know, how do you feel at the end of the day, when you go home, you feel like you that was a day worth living? Or could you find something more meaningful to do then hassling people all day long. So, you know, we want something meaningful in life, we want something, we want our life to a mountain to something, we want to make a contribution. And there’s so many different ways in which that can be done. And, you know, I think people just need to sort of, I think the deeper you go in terms of attunement with your, your, your true nature, the more that’ll fall into place.
Leah Cox: Yeah, I think so. And I think I don’t know my experience is that we we are, I know myself, the things that I’m really cool to and I know that writing is one of those I just You know, writing is one of those things that when I do it, I feel I feel stronger, I feel more energized, I feel you know, everything about it feels right to me. And, and I think, you know, with exploration or just, you know, knowing yourself that we all have those things in completely different ways. And there was one of the things that came up while you were speaking about life purpose, and you said, you know, maybe you’re not prime minister or whatever. And I wanted to just say, as well, that one of my experiences through this is that I always had this feeling of needing to become someone be something and do something important, you know, to be special, I really, that was very strong for me, I need to prove myself, I really need to become someone. And that has been something that’s dropped away. And that was difficult. That was a different, that was challenging as well, because that had been so strong for me, would have to become somebody something, you know, and all the effort and pushing behind that. And, and yet, again, the paradox is that, you know, when that is let go of you can use still is, you know, you let go of that and you find yourself on the gospel. And, you know, it’s, it’s so strange. Yeah.
Rick Archer: In your case, I would recommend waiting until the whole Brexit thing is settled before becoming Prime Minister, you know, because we don’t want to deal with that. Oh, my goodness. Talk about a few years down the line. A question came in from someone, you could answer this in French, but we’ll have you do it in English. John Francois from Paris. said I’ve been going through Kundalini awakening for several years, my spiritual practice has been steady, going through Korea’s mudra has vocalizations, etc. But I experienced some sort of depression, feeling like I’m not in the right place the right path, disconnected from the regular mindset or frame of society. I’m lonely but aspired to be among loving people. I’m not interested in my career is pertaining to stuff we’ve been saying, yet feel I have a deeper purpose. I have no idea what it could be. I want to get out of the stupefaction and act. But I have no direction. And the world around me seems to be so robotic, dull and fairly stupid. Have you experienced your process in the same way? And how did you manage to blossom into awakening? I think John friends who are could be a writer that’s very nicely written.
Leah Cox: Well, I don’t know anything about Kundalini, really and kriyas and all of those things.Don’t know? Yeah. I don’t know is the answer. Except. It’s gonna sound so awful. Because, you know, when someone’s looking for an answer, and they’re, they’re suffering, but to come back to that piece on trust, and only be only because looking at my own experience, you know, having been through, you know, what is it? What should I do? Depressed, I don’t want to be here, but I don’t know what. And yet, somehow life keeps moving.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I can help, I could give a little something here. I’ve gone through Kundalini stuff like that. And I would say that something really good is happening, first of all, and it’s good that you understand it. Don’t fight it or anything, and don’t try to accelerate it. But don’t try to depress it or stop it either. But something good is happening. And I think that as you go along, you’re going to find that, you know, the process gets more and more cleared out and a lot more, there’ll be a lot more inner bliss and a lot more awareness and you’ll tend in the direction of, of having things go smooth more smoothly for you. It’s a sign that of, you know, fairly significant degree of spiritual progress having been made, I think, for one to be consciously going through a Kundalini awakening like that. And sometimes it can be kind of hairy and difficult and intense and even scary if you don’t know what’s happening, but you seem to know what’s happening. And so there’s a lot of a lot of bliss deep within us. And if the if there’s some depression at times, perhaps that’s just something in the heart being cleared out and the bliss will in the end, the bliss will be bubbling and life will be quite fulfilling. I can’t promise that but I think that that it’s a fairly safe prediction,
Leah Cox: It was great that you were able to jump in there. And yeah, I just was gonna say that it. It’s so brilliant that, you know, John Francois, he’s in Paris, and he’s writing in with this experience of awakening. And then you know, how many hundreds of people in all areas of the world are going, you know, through something similar, and it can feel so lonely, and, and there are many, many, many of those going through similar experiences. And I just had that real feeling just thinking of him, you know, at home at his computer, or wherever he is, you know, typing this thing to that gap. And here we are, it’s just, I find that I find that incredible, actually,
Rick Archer: yeah, it’s nice that we have this technology that allows us to have an extended family of friends all over the world, you know. It’s, it’s really sweet. It’s been wonderful for me just getting to know all these beautiful people and establishing friendships I never would have had. So you’re not alone. Zhang was, Francoise. It’s like, and, you know, as George Harrison said, in the title of one of his albums, this too shall pass. Things. You’re not going to starve to death, you just kind of keep going along, and things will change for the better.
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah. And yet, it can be so challenging. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it can be challenging. And sometimes a lot is thrown at us. I was just talking to an old friend yesterday. And she said, you know, boy, sometimes I just walk out my daughter. And it’s like, the world just hits me like a ton of bricks. And she’s somebody who’s been meditating for decades, and you know, but sometimes. What does that saying? For those to whom much has been given, much will be asked or something like that. So, but some people also say it sounds like a cliche, but some people say God doesn’t give us more than we can deal with. And whatever, whatever is being dished out is, as you and I started this whole conversation by saying is, if if we really take the big picture view is very likely in our best interest. And that might be seem kind of harsh if you consider things like the Holocaust or something. But there have actually been people who went through that, who wrote a book, as an Eddie hilason, I think was lady’s name, who was in Auschwitz or someplace and had all this profound celestial experience and shoes, you know, having seeing all these subtle mechanics of things and cognitions. I mean, you know, if if we don’t want to say that the universe is meaningless, and mechanical and capricious, and arbitrary and cruel, if we do want to say that there is some kind of divine orchestration to the whole thing that has a higher purpose in the long run, then we kind of have to come to terms with horrific situations like that, and try to put them in some kind of context. And you know, without being sort of, to know it all about it. It’s good to ponder these these ideas. Here’s a question from Dennis Stachura from Mesquite, which is in Arizona, I recognize that name. Okay. Not all your fans. He said, I recently wrote this in my journal, we are so caught up in the temporal that we fail to see the eternal that we are. Do you have any thoughts?
Leah Cox: Yeah, I mean, just that that feels very, very true that a lot of time. That, yeah, we’re caught up in the day to day, personal feelings of what it is to be knee in this body and all the things that are happening to us and, and totally lose sight of the stillness and the, you know, the stillness and the silence of, of what’s beneath everything. Yeah. And I guess that is that is that is suffering, isn’t it to be caught up in that 100% of the title, you know, nearly all of the time. And not to have any space where there’s a recognition that there’s something else. You I mean, just that that feels like a very true thing to write.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and I would say, do what you can to build up the stillness to, you know, to build up the buffer, spiritual practice, anything that works for you. Because you can sort of, you know, it’s like, if we think of it as a financial metaphor, let’s say you, you have 10 bucks in your bank account, you’re going to be really rocked by any expenditure that you might encounter. You know, but if you have a million in the account, then you know, you can gain and lose fairly significant amounts that doesn’t make much difference. So, you know, we want to sort of amass that spiritual bank account, so to speak, and develop an inner strength that enables us to sort of deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Leah Cox: Yeah. And spiritual practices is an interesting conversation as well, for me personally, because I feel like, you know, I’ve been through many things, including in the early days, you know, transcendental meditation, and I really don’t do very much now. And sometimes I have that feeling a little Bad’s bad spiritual burden. But I, yeah, I feel like my practice extends to, I mean, I love being quiet. But I don’t like to call it meditation. For some reason. I just like being quiet. I really like the silence. But somehow, that’s fear. That’s even even for me, even all I feel like all of the practices even we’re getting in my way. Yeah. And so even I’m willing for that. I mean, it could all completely change again. But at the moment, there isn’t very much.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I would say, you know, I mean, I used to be a TM teacher, as, as people know, but, and I have been meditating regularly for over 50 years, but, and that worked for me, but I would be the last person to say that everyone should do that, or that’s going to work for everybody. Just by thought that probably I wouldn’t be doing this show in which I, you know, introduce people who are all over the map in terms of different advice and whatnot. But you know, you just find what, what really works for you. And maybe experiment a while until you find that thing, if something doesn’t work, try something else. I mean, you don’t want to be a dilettante, just, they say dig one deep hole rather than 10 Small ones if you want to strike water. But nonetheless, maybe you’re digging and it’s you realize there’s not gonna be any water here. So you better go and start new and
Leah Cox: I love that you said that about the the digging one deep hole instead of 10, shallow ones, or whatever the wording was, because I recently heard an interview with them. Mirror by star who I know that you’ve interviewed previously, and, and it was an interview with her on sounds true. And she was talking about how that just didn’t feel that all of the conversations that she had been around were about, you know, dig this one deep hole and do it properly. And, you know, ignore the rest. But that that just wasn’t that wasn’t the way for her. And I loved hearing her say that. Because, again, it’s like, none of us really know. Like, it’s just what caused it what speaks to you trust that at least that’s my, yeah,
Rick Archer: she gave a talk at the sand conference a few years ago that was entitled something like butterflies in the garden or something where the butterfly flits from flower to flower, and derive some benefit from each flower, you know, rather than just staying on one flower the whole time.
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s just it just goes to show I think there are just there are just infinite ways of doing this seeing this and that there isn’t a you know, there isn’t one way someone like you say you wouldn’t be here if you thought there was one right way.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I remember seeing the cartoon once of a Nazi selling ice cream and he was like, vanilla only. This is the only flavor Dan told me to read this out after the to note for me after the interview, but I think I’ll share this because it’s the sweet. He said, Thank you for reading out his paradox points, said I loved Leah’s reaction to some of them. It seemed clear that she hadn’t experienced in these and it felt and felt similar to me, especially on the first two, she described exactly as I feel on these. He said, I think the existence of paradox on every dimension and aspect of life is the reason that Buddha advocated a middle way. The middle way is the way to handle all the paradoxes in life, even the simple practical ones, but right up to the spiritual ones.
Leah Cox: Look that down.
Rick Archer: It’s time to get down to London, you and Dan to get together for a tea.
Leah Cox: Yeah. Let’s do that. Dan.
Rick Archer: Great guy. I’ll send you his contact info. Okay, so let’s see, is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you would like to cover before we wrap it up? I’m looking through my notes here. And I think we’ve gotten through most of these things. There’s one here meeting our pain. I don’t know if there’s a few little tidbits here. Pain, awakening and the falling away of all you knew. Feeling good is good. There’s wisdom in the darkness. I’m going to touch on any of those.
Leah Cox: That last one is a fairly recent one I think that came from. There was a, I’ve been listening to a lot of Trevor Hall recently. I don’t know if you know him. He’s a musician. Oh, Trevor
Rick Archer: Hall. Now, you mentioned, I was thinking of Trevor Noah, who is that guy from South Africa who took over the Daily Show,
Leah Cox: anyway? No, he’s a musician. I’m called Trevor Hall, and I just absolutely love his music. And then that piece that I wrote about feeling good is good. But there’s wisdom in the sadness, I think sprung from one of his lyrics or something. And, yeah, thinking about that, now, it’s this kind of, you know, not not kind of making it about feeling good all the time, we want to feel good all the time, and then kind of dismiss everything else. But that there’s something important to be found, or in any feeling, if we really meet any feeling, then we can discover something, you know, true. And, and if we’re dismissing, if we’re dismissing things and avoiding things, and it’s very difficult to discover what’s really true. And I’ve just found, personally, to sit with, to sit with emotions that come up a very useful thing to do. And it you know, related to things like eating disorders, and all the rest of it, because all of that is, you know, about running away from all of those things. And that there’s Yeah, intelligence in all of it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, meeting our pain, I mean, in a convenient in an ordinary sense, pain is a warning signal that we better stop doing something like hand on the stove, you know, if we didn’t feel pain, we could really seriously be injure ourselves. So it helps us and then, but after we take our hand off the stove, it might still hurt. So why is that? Because we’ve already taken our hand off the stove. Well, you know, attention is being drawn to an area that needs healing. You know, and so the attention has a healing value. And obviously, we, you know, we want to certain drugs for people in severe pain, but what your point is that very often, allowing ourselves to deeply feel something rather than stifling or avoiding it will facilitate the true healing of it once and for all.
Leah Cox: That’s my experience. That’s my experience. Yeah. Yeah. Okay,
Rick Archer: so um, I think we touched upon it a little bit in the beginning. But how do you work with people? Let’s say that somebody is listening to this, and I think I’d like to have a chat with them. And, you know, see where, where it goes? How, what would people do? How do they get in touch with you? If they do work with you? What should they expect things like that?
Leah Cox: Yeah, yeah, we did touch on it a little bit in the beginning. And one of the things that I said if I feel like it’s still and I said to Irene, when we set this interview, that it’s, it’s kind of moving a lot at the moment, but so one of the ways that I work with people privately is over a three month period at the moment and doing a session three sessions a month. And that could be on something like disordered eating or anxiety, or depression, or, or more specifically talking about the spiritual path is that’s what they wanted. And in the past, I’ve offered single sessions, which is something that I’m considering again, I never know, never know how useful that is, or whether it’s what people want, but that’s a possibility as well. And if people want to get in touch with me, then the best thing is just to go to my website and contact details on there. They can subscribe them there. They’re very welcome to email me.
Rick Archer: Okay, yeah. And I’ll be thinking to that from your page on batgap.com. Leah, Marjorie talks.com, but I’ll link to it be easier than figuring out how to spell all that. Thank you. Yeah. already. Well, it’s been nice talking to you. Any closing thoughts or anything?
Leah Cox: I just the experience of being here, kind of encapsulates the whole thing for me being were being here with you. Okay. As opposed to just being opposed to just being on the platter. Yeah, sorry. Well, you know, being here with you, is I just have no idea where life is going. And so me to think that I have an idea of what’s best store. It just seems completely ridiculous me because I don’t understand how I’m here talking to you. And, and so I guess that just makes me think for everybody. Just Just trust just trust life just life.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think that’s particularly important now, because I think that I’ve said this before, and I don’t mean to sound apocalyptic, but I think things are gonna get a little crazy in the world for a while, if they’re not already. And, you know, if you don’t have that sort of deeper perspective on things that we’ve been touching upon here, that spirituality helps to culture, then it can be very scary, you know, and one might feel that there’s, you know, all hell’s breaking loose. But I think if we can sort of anchor ourselves in that deeper value, then we’ll take the changes that are coming changes in stride, and even, you know, flourish amidst potential chaos.
Leah Cox: Yeah, beautiful.
Rick Archer: Good. All right. Well, thanks, Leah.
Leah Cox: Thank you. It’s been so lovely to chat to you.
Rick Archer: Lovely chat to you. If ever go to the UK, I’ll get in touch.
Leah Cox: Please do. Yeah, I’ll give you a tour around the Lake District.
Rick Archer: I’ve been there in ages. I was at Keele University one time many years ago, starting a TM teacher training course for a couple of weeks. And then I went down to London for a night or two and then went back to Switzerland, I guess, which is where I was at the time. But I like being there. It didn’t rain the whole time. I was there.
Leah Cox: Not is amazing. Yeah, the Lake District is a very workplace, but it’s so beautiful. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Good. Well, thanks for those thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. So those who are watching live saw some interruptions, but those will be edited out. And as people if this is new to you, then you know this is an ongoing series. And if you’d like to be notified of future ones, subscribe to the YouTube channel and or subscribe to the little email notification thing that we have on batgap.com. And I’ll send out an email I do send out an email every time I post a new interview, so you can be notified and subscribe to the podcast. If you feel like it. I think Apple’s gonna change things around pretty soon. I think I heard they’re getting rid of iTunes. I’m not sure what’s going to take its place. But it’s helpful for the podcast to actually leave a little review give it five stars if you feel like it somehow boosts the the podcast up higher and brings it to the attention of more people. So that’s a way of supporting it if you feel like doing that. So thank you very much. And thanks again, Leah, and we’ll see everybody next time.
Leah Cox: Thanks, Rick. You’re welcome.