Lisa Cairns Interview Transcript

Lisa Cairns – BATGAP Interview

January 18, 2012

{BATGAP theme music plays}

>>Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week is Lisa Cairns. Lisa lives in Australia, or at least has for the last four years although she’s about to wend her way to the U.K. via Asia, in time to get there for summer.

And Lisa, I’ve done my homework on you, Lisa. I’ve listened to 6 or 7 hours of your talks over the last week or so and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t a chore by any means. And of all the things you said – I mean a lot of things as you spoke I kept thinking, “Oh, I would have asked her this,” or “I would have asked her that,” – but there’s one thing that really jumped out at me a few times, and that is that you said several times, “I’m offering a de-scription, not a pre-scription.”

And the reason that really jumped out at me is I must have said that 50 times during these interviews. And the reason I say it so often is that I very often hear satsang teachers and so on doing just that – offering a de-scription as a pre-scription. Even though they may say it’s not a prescription, they’re not offering anything else, and they’re just sort of giving a description of their own experience and people are sitting there listening to that. It’s sort of like a guy standing on a mountain top shouting to the people down below what the view is like. And I think that for some people that could be a trigger or an impetus to actually awaken, but for many people it’s not adequate. So what do you think about that?

>>Lisa: What do you mean by “It’s not adequate?”

>>Rick:  Well, it’s like just listening to somebody’s description they say, “Okay, sounds great but I’m not getting it, something’s not clicking here,” and people get very frustrated. I hear this from people – they get frustrated just listening to descriptions, or perhaps even mistaking them as prescriptions.

>>Lisa: Yeah, yeah. I see life as so impersonal now and even with liberation, it’s whether or not their waking is completely God’s will. I don’t know how you like to say it, whether it’s God’s will or it’s Life’s will, it’s not even anybody’s will, it’s just the way it is. I don’t even see life, really, in terms of cause and effect anymore.

However, I know that when you’re in the story and you see yourself in time and space, then you do feel frustrated and you do feel like you want a way to awaken, or you want things to do. I don’t see anyone with that either. I went to many a teacher – I love Adyashanti, Mooji, and lots of different teachers appeared to give prescription but life is always a description, life is never cause and effect. It appears that way when you believe you’re a separate individual doing life, creating life, making life, but then when that begins to fall away you see that life is just happening spontaneously.

And from the way it’s seen now, happiness is falling out of believing in time and space and cause and effect. And it’s not living in the opposite of believing there is no time and space or cause and effect, it’s just really, just this. It’s like teachers, when I first started, teaching, “You’ve got to be in the moment” and it’s not being in the moment; you just become the moment and it’s like everything else becomes irrelevant.

So when I’m talking, if you’re perceiving from doer-ship and from the do-er, then you’re going to see what I say as prescription, you’re never going to see it as description. You’ll see it as prescription because that’s the way your mind is working, you’re believing in time and space, and it’s not even you, it’s just the way that’s written at the moment, is for there to be a belief of a separate self that can do, create, and make life.

>>Rick:  About a week ago, before I started listening to all your recordings, I read an article that I found really resonated with me and I’d like to try to summarize what it contained and get your take on it. It might even provide a framework for everything we discuss. And please bear with me because it will take me a couple of minutes to lay this out, and I apologize to those who send me nasty emails telling me that I talk too much because I’m going to talk a bit right now.

So you’re absolutely right, I talk too much, but on the other hand, I talk just the right amount, and on the other hand, I don’t talk at all. And that actually leads me into what this article contained, which is that life is structured in layers or levels, we could say. We can hear examples from science, for instance, physics, we have the Newtonian level of physics, we have the quantum level of physics and the two are completely dissimilar, and the laws of one do not apply to the realm of the other, but both actually are simultaneously true.

And with regard to our life, our experience of life, there is a level on which causes have effects and there’s good and bad, and you know, you might be passionately concerned about animal rights or ending child prostitution, or there’s all sorts of things that we don’t just dismiss as illusion or God’s will if we are at all sensitive; they are things which need to be attended to.

But then simultaneously, there’s a level on which it’s all God’s will, you know? It’s like everything is perfect, everything is Divinely ordained and orchestrated. And then yet again, there’s another level – and maybe we’ll call these levels ‘3-2-1’ – there’s another level on which nothing ever happened, you know? There is no creation, there are no animals or prostitutes or anything else; it’s all just being.

The point of this is that all these things are simultaneously true although paradoxically dissimilar, and you can’t apply the rules of one to the other, and no one of the three negates any of the others. And a really comprehensive realization, as I’m coming to see it, incorporates all three simultaneously and one can operate on all levels and incorporate the paradoxes quite comfortably.

So anyway, that’s my rap, and it came out a little shorter than I imagined so I’m grateful for that. What do you think?

>>Lisa: Whether or not there are different levels or any of that kind of thinking, that’s fair enough – there’s different levels, different ways to operate – but if we’re just talking about happiness and peace of mind then there needs to be a cutting off of all the kind of “going out” the mind does. So it’s not that I live in non-doership or I live in no-self; I don’t live in anything, I just live as this. It’s not like I have belief systems anymore. And so before, when I used to suffer, I used to believe I was a separate self doing something, and so it’s not about getting to a new belief of “not becoming” or “not being a doer of good things or bad things,” that’s all irrelevant; it’s cutting off all the other ideas that are there, living without any ideas.

So all the concepts that I put forward, none of them are true actually, none of them are true. It’s just about picking out all the old concepts, but I don’t live in any concepts now. So even if you asked me really personal questions, and it’s best to do it quickly, of “I, yourself, or no-self, is there good or bad?” or any of that, it’s like I don’t know! I don’t know any of it, I just am this, and it’s about seeing what actually creates suffering.

And from the way I was taught and the way I see it is, suffering is believing you’re a separate self that can do or create life, and needs to get pleasure and avoid pain. And as long that dynamic is in play there will be immense suffering. And so what happened here is there was … there was, I could never have done this, the separate self could never have done this.

So there is a process in apparent time and space, in the apparent story, of a cutting of all these ideas, and it happened first of all intellectually and then experientially in my life. Like in my life, there were things seen here that cut off all the intellectual concepts and I was just left just living, just being, just very immediate without a second. And it’s like the ideas of good or bad – there’s no judgment of situations anymore, it just is. However, there is a preference of nice people rather than psychopaths but I don’t even really think about it anymore.

So it’s not about coming to a new way of intellectually looking at the world; it’s about cutting off all those attachments to the intellectual way of living or living through a second, or an ego, or mind, or whatever you call it.  So now I don’t even know. I feel like I’m absolutely in awe and wonder of the world now. I have no answers. However now, teaching, so it seems to come out of this mouth and I seem to speak, but it’s very new, I’ve only been doing it six months, even less than that maybe.

>>Rick: I would say yes to it all. I would say you do have answers but you don’t have answers, both are true. You do have opinions and preferences but you don’t have opinions and preferences. It all depends on what level you’re talking about. I mean, you know, I’m sure – you’re an animal lover – I’m sure you have very strong opinions about animal cruelty, people who torture animals or use them for horrible experimentations and things like that, on some level that concerns you.

If you walked into an animal lab and saw that going on, the Lisa character would probably freak out, you wouldn’t be able to stand it. But on another level, you would probably not be perturbed. There would be nothing; there would be sort of an impersonality quality to it, at the same time that there was the personal concern.

>>Lisa: And only if I was physically shown it now, I think.

>>Rick: Yeah!

>>Lisa: Like if somebody was physically – if there was physical seeing of animal cruelty. I don’t know if there would be thinking about it the rest of the time.

>>Rick:  Right, in other words, you wouldn’t carry it around with you for weeks maybe.

>>Lisa: I wouldn’t think about it. The concept, I don’t think, or the thoughts wouldn’t pop into my head the rest of the time. Ooh, there’s a spider on my foot (Lisa noticing a spider is on her) … off spider!

>>Rick:  My wife just came in the door and told me to cool it. She says I’m getting too animated.

>>Lisa: Cool it.

>>Rick:  So we’ll come back to this. You said that you went through a process and you saw a number of teachers – Adyashanti …

>>Lisa: Apparent process, yes.

>>Rick:  Apparent process, okay. And granted, all I’m talking about here in terms of level 3 and level 2 and all that, those are apparent, ultimately they’re not true; ultimately it’s all one. I mean if nonduality is the ultimate reality of things then there can’t be any duality. There aren’t any trees or horses or people or anything else; it’s all just oneness. And physics helps us with that, I mean you boil anything down to its essentials, in terms of physics, and you end up with a vacuum state, or unified field, or superstrings, or something, so it’s a world of appearances. So I think we’re on the same page with that.

>>Lisa: Yeah.

>>Rick:  Okay, so your process. I heard you refer to your teacher a number of times in your audios, like you were having tea with your teacher and all that. Who’s your teacher?

>>Lisa: His name is Roger Castillo. He’s not famous.

>>Rick:  No, I’ve never heard of him.

>>Lisa:  He was Ramesh Balsekar’s student.

>>Rick:  Okay, like Wayne Liquorman also.

>>Lisa: Yeah, Wayne Liquorman … Roger was good friends with Wayne, I met him a few times. But I knew Ramesh and Roger better.

>>Rick:  Is he in Australia?

>>Lisa: Yeah, he’s also why I came out to Australia, because of him. He’s also my boyfriend as well.

>>Rick:  Oh, okay.

>>Lisa: And Ramesh passed me off to him. It’s quite a funny story. Ramesh said to me, “If you want peace of mind you have to listen to Roger,” and this is when I had just started dating Roger, and I was like … [Lisa goes silent, making a puzzled face].

>>Rick:  That’s a little sexist right? Roger probably put him up to that.

>>Lisa: He does it to people and he would do it all the time, so yeah, I didn’t know what to say. When you’re suddenly told that you’re to listen to this new boyfriend or …

>>Rick:  Yeah, so how did that work out?

>>Lisa: Well, we were in a relationship for 3 years. We broke up about 8 months ago but it was more, always, he was a teacher-role, I suppose, than a boyfriend. Because it’s hard to … in a way it was hard for both the boyfriend and teacher to exist at the same time, so it was more of the teacher.

>>Rick:  Hmm, yeah. Was he a lot older than you?

>>Lisa: No, 7 years.

>>Rick:  For some reason, I think of Ramesh Balsekar as having died a long time ago and someone as young as you couldn’t have hung around him that long, but maybe he died recently, I don’t know.

>>Lisa: He only died two years ago, I think.

>>Rick:  Oh, okay.

>>Lisa: So I had been with Roger like a year when he (Ramesh) died, and then I met Ramesh a year before Roger.

>>Rick:  You’re probably going to tell me it’s sort of irrelevant and it’s a story and all that, but did you spend a long time as a spiritual seeker? Was there a whole series of … so yeah, would you mind just talking about that a little bit?

>>Lisa: No, not at all. So I started off in Buddhism but was always attracted to Advaita-Buddhism. I don’t know, I’d never been into spirituality before that but I’d always had this urge to understand suffering. It had always been such a strong … like I’d become a vegetarian when I was 8 years old, I was an activist, and there was such a strong pull to understand what was going on.

And then when I was about 20 I got involved in a Buddhist group called ‘The Foundation of the Western Buddhist’ but I’ve heard they’ve changed their name now, I’m not sure what they’ve changed it to. And as soon as I went, the very first time I went I got involved, I became a hard-core Buddhist for 5 years – like a lot of meditation, a lot of retreats, and kind of gave up a lot of my social life and friends … thinking what came after that …

But then I met a teacher very quickly, who was in the Buddhist group, who gave me books on Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti. And then in 2005 – so I started the Buddhist group, it must have been in 2000, 2001 – but in 2005, I don’t know how I ended up there but I ended up at a Tony Parsons talk. And I walked in and I found that he was so irritating the first time, like, “Meditation is a waste of time, what a load of bullocks,” and was so rude.

And I sat there in my Buddhist clothes with my Buddhist necklace on like screaming “Buddhism” – [Gasping] “Like, how could you say this?”

Within 6 months the Buddhist stuff had completely gone and I had a complete life change because my whole life was Buddhism. And then suddenly I dropped it all and had no friends really, and my whole life completely changed.

And then I hung around with Tony for a year, a year-and-a-half. And then after a year-and-a-half, that’s when I went and met Ramesh, and then met Roger and ended up over here.

>>Rick:  Well that’s a nice synopsis. You know it’s funny, I have a friend here in town who, she’s been through a lot of different things, but she says – I was supposed to interview Tony a couple of weeks ago but he had problems with his technical side, so we’re still working on that – but she said, “You know, at a certain point I would read Tony Parsons and tears would run down my cheeks and I would hold the book to my heart, it was just like perfect for me. A couple of years later I couldn’t even pick it up. It was like it served its purpose for me and then I kind of moved on and it was no longer appropriate.”

>>Lisa:  I kind of felt like what happened is that, when I was with Tony I had an awakening – or when I was going to his satsangs and reading his books – but then I kind of found that what he intellectually explained to me, over the next four years that I spent with Roger and Ramesh and going to India, it kind of acted its way into my life, like it showed up in my life.

So, first of all, it was intellectually understood, and then it kind of showed me how that was in life.

>>Rick:  Yeah, I’m still reading his book All There Is, I’m about three-quarters the way through it, and I’m really enjoying it but …

>>Lisa:  He’s hilarious.

>>Rick:  Yeah, he’s a character. The book is excerpted from various talks but every now and then he’ll tell some dirty joke or something like that.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and it’s hilarious to go to the actual meetings, to see people getting crushed there because they’ve been so much into energies, or meditating 20, 30 years, and then they meet him and he’s like – and he completely jokes about it – he’ll say, “What a load of bollocks!”

And somebody will go, “What about meditation?” And he’s kind of taking the absolute opposite stance but you can see this person just like (Lisa makes a face of someone who is confused) …

>>Rick:  Yeah, and that’s sort of what I was alluding to. I don’t mean to pick on Tony because I really find his book inspiring and I think he’s really serving a purpose, but it’s sort of what I was eluding to in my “levels” talk, which is that what he’s saying is absolutely true but you can’t apply the principles of one level to other levels.

So there is a level on which meditation makes a difference. Let’s say you take 200 people and you have half of them meditate for ten years regularly, and you have the other half smoke methamphetamine for ten years, regularly. At the end of ten years half of group B will be dead, will have aged 40 years, and half of group A – not half but a good percentage of group A – will have spiritually progressed. Some may have had awakenings, they may have only aged five years, so relative things do have relative effects.

>>Lisa:  Yes. The way that it’s seen here is the story always happens in apparent cause and effect. So if you train every day to be a swimmer, you’re going to more than likely end up to be a swimmer, not because the past action has an effect on the next action, it’s because the story works in cause and effect. Because if you separate out and say that cause and effect is true, then you’re saying that everything isn’t one, that there is separation and that separation can affect – one thing can affect another, but it’s not the cause and effect.

This world is logical and this world works in the appearance of cause and effect. So if you overfeed a dog, the dog is going to become fat, more than likely, unless it has a super-duper metabolism and the same with meditation. More than likely after ten years of meditation, the person that’s been meditating is going to experience a quieter mind, not because of the meditation but because the world works in this apparent cause and effect. But one action can never affect another action because then that’s saying that the world is separate and that somebody can be separate and do something and make life.

And here, if you believe that you’re a separate mind and that you can do and create life, then you can also screw up life. So as long as you believe that you’re a separate self doing life, then you’re believing in good and bad and that you can mess up life. And the majority of suffering comes down to – this is how Ramesh says it and Roger, my teacher, says it, and how it’s being seen here through experience is that it comes down to guilt and blame. These are the two big sufferings: “You did something wrong, how dare you hurt me? You’re a bad person for doing that,” and then guilt: “I’m a bad person for doing that. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m going to create really bad consequences.”

And it’s believing that you’re a separate entity that can do or create life, and as long as that belief is there, there’ll be immense suffering. There’s also – Ramesh and Roger also showed me that there are other elements than blame and guilt but they’re the two main ones. There’s [also] expectation, worry, shame, pride, and they’re all based in opposites, believing that separate self can do or make life. And the majority of people that I come up against, or come up against as in [they] “argue this” – I enjoy discussing with them actually, but I’m not sure they have the same opinion – but that really get upset about this is they want to hold on, most more times than not, is they want to hold on to blame, they want to hold on to good and bad, being able to say, “You did something to me and you’re a bad person for doing that.”

You did something, say … you’re cruel to animals. They want to hold on to this dynamic because they believe that in making another person bad and blaming them, that they can in some way protect themself, that they can someway make themselves secure. And as long as you believe in that dynamic that somebody’s bad, you’re actually making yourself a victim and afraid and scared. Even though you believe [that] in making the other person bad and being able to label them as bad you’re making yourself safe, it’s an absolute lie; you’re creating the victim and the perpetrator. But it’s not you creating it; it’s just the dynamic being created like that.

>>Rick:  A lot of times it’s just a matter of isolated perspective just not appreciating the other isolated perspective. For instance, in the United States, the Republicans think the democrats are bad and the democrats think the republicans are bad, and there’s a very great gulf in the political world these days between the two. It’s very hard for the Congress to get anything done because nobody can agree on anything.

But when I listen to you talk, and this is happening all week long, I would find myself – and I’m not one of those people who would get upset or disagree with you – in fact, I found myself completely agreeing with you, but at the same time I kept finding myself saying, “Yes, but …” What you’re saying is true but there are other levels of consideration which are also true, even though it may be paradoxically different.

So, for instance, you said, “Cause and effect, there aren’t causes and effects. If I drop this cup it hits the table, and there are all sorts of laws of Newtonian physics that describe that phenomenon, that can’t be denied. And yet on other levels, it’s not true, there is no cup, there is no table, and all the Newtonian laws are completely transcended.”

And so it’s just a matter of being flexible and recognizing, rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Recognizing that every level has its own rules, laws, principles, and you can’t dismiss one because of being grounded in the other. One can become callous or insensitive if that is taken to extremes.

>>Lisa:  Yeah and when you talk about levels there is an acknowledgment. I remember this being a great realization here that there is apparent cause and effect, that this story is always going to appear in that dynamic. If you go around shouting at people, it’s more than likely you’ll have people shouting back at you if you put your hand in the fire you’re going to burn your hand, but from here … it’s not even like I see it like that anymore from that perspective it’s just that it’s just so immediate. I don’t have that going into it.

There are times obviously where you’ve got to catch a train or you’ve got to do things that that thinking comes about, but the majority of the time I’m doing life so intimately, life is happening, and there’s not a thinking of that dynamic.

And I don’t believe that you need to be sensitive to others because in a way, being sensitive to others or thinking about that is buying into their story, but we’re happy and whole and complete as we are and we don’t need others to be sensitive or nice to us. So if someone is coming up with that argument of wanting me to be more compassionate, it’s nothing at all to do with me; it’s to do with the way they’re seeing the world. Because I can now, and it wasn’t like this at all before, I can have – and I’m sure you get this too – like very firm, non-agreeing emails and really beautiful emails, and I’m so indifferent. I prefer the nicer emails but it’s so indifferent. It’s just what it is, I just don’t … It’s just nothing ever in the flow of life now is seen as my happiness. So I don’t even think about if I’m being sensitive to someone or not being sensitive, or even like creating different levels or anything like that. I just do. I just … mouth open and says.

>>Rick:  Yeah, I totally agree with you, I have no problem with that. And we could probably preface everything we say with the word “apparent”, because everything, as soon as you open your mouth you’re in the field of duality. You know, there’s me talking to you through this mechanism of Skype, and you’re in Australia, I’m in the United States, and so on and so forth. But all that is just apparent, you know? I mean we’re all sort of … well, you can’t even say, “We’re all” because there’s just infinite closeness, infinite correlation in terms of life as its essence.

But as soon as we begin to speak of any manifest qualities or diversity, or anything else – people, or this and that – we’re talking about something that’s ultimately not real, it’s only apparent, but it does have its rules and significance and so on. And the point I keep coming back to is, well as an animal lover you won’t like this metaphor but, you can’t shoot the tiger of the dream state with the gun of the waking state. You can’t juxtapose the principles and mechanics of one level of life to an entirely different level of life, and the reason I keep hitting on that is that’s what so many teachers do.

That’s what Tony Parsons is doing, in my opinion. He’s kind of taking the principle that ‘there is no one,’ which is absolutely true, and then concluding, “Well, since there’s no one, karma is a lot of bunk, reincarnation is a lot of bunk. Because there’s no one to receive karma or to do karma, there’s no one to reincarnate.” And on some level that’s true, but on another level, there is a relative structure and there is someone who reincarnates, and who generates karma and receives it, and so on. And so it’s all just a matter of where do you want to take your stand.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, but I don’t even, like, the way that it’s seen here now is that life does its dance perfectly, and so I don’t even worry about whether, or in what way you need to communicate this, because it will be communicated, and it will be heard at exactly the right time.

In this story it appeared that I had to have the lighter – or not the “lighter,” it’s not even the lighter – but the teachings of Buddhism first, and Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti. And it all built up and built up and built up until finally, I lived with someone who was completely not involved with the story, so then it was so immediate.

But it’s like life will show you exactly what it needs to show you. And a lot of spiritual seekers that I speak with, they’re constantly asking me what to do and how to do it, and how to get liberated, and that is the suffering – that idea that you need to do it and get it right. Life will show you exactly what’s meant to be happening because it is happening.

That thinking process of “How can I make liberation? How can I do this? How can I get this?” – is, in the assumption that you’ve not got it, you’re not it. It is what’s covering it. And if that’s what the destiny of most people is, personally – I think, and it’s only an opinion – that everybody wakes up, if not in this life then in death they wake up, and it’s all a story of liberation. However that’s just my personal opinion, I don’t know, I don’t even think that much about it.

>>Rick:  Tony says that too.

>>Lisa:  Like the very idea “How can I make liberation?” is suffering, is separation. But the seeker thinks that that idea is something that is good and will get them somewhere, but it’s actually not. It’s what’s covering it. It’s that seeking dynamic … “I need to get something,” … it is the suffering. “I need to get somewhere, I need to do something.” I understand how that happens. I went through ten years of a lot of suffering. Spiritual seeking is the great suffering for people.

>>Rick:  Can be.

>>Lisa:  Not all the time though.

>>Rick:  But it can also be a lot of fun.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I say that … like Roger, he read for two years. He read spiritual books and then it was over. He just fell asleep a lot for those two years. He would just sit on the sofa, read the book, fall asleep, wake up again, read the book, fall asleep.

>>Rick:  Sounds good.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and that was it for two years.

>>Rick:  If someone pays the bills it’s fine with me. I’d do it!

Well, you know Jesus wouldn’t have been very popular with nondual folks because he said, “Seek and ye shall find,” and so they would have shot him down. Now in your own case, I would argue that although on some level you’re absolutely right, there is no cause and effect in this stuff, but I would argue that all that stuff you did, you know, Buddhism and Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti and Mooji, and everything you went through was actually instrumental in bringing you to a point where awakening could dawn.

There’s an old Zen saying: “Enlightenment may be an accident but spiritual practice makes you accident-prone.” And it might seem absurd from the point of view of awakening … I mean, from the point of view of the sun – “Hey! I’m always shining; I don’t care what those clouds are doing. Doesn’t matter whether the clouds are cleared away or not; I shine,” you know? But, to stretch the metaphor a bit, from the point of view from the other side of the clouds, it makes a big difference whether the clouds are cleared away or not.

So there are things which one can actually do, even though ultimately there may be no one doing them, which are actually conducive to realization – things which culture the nervous system, things which destroy the nervous system. And you know, that’s not a popular way of talking in many nondual circles but that’s the way I see it.

>>Lisa:  Well it can … in some it is. The way that I see it is as long as you can believe that you can do something and that past action is affecting a next action, then you’re in the seeking-suffering mind and you’ll be suffering.

Whether it’s true or not ultimately, I have no ultimate truths. It really is irrelevant to me whether we see all these different levels. All I’m pointing out is as long as you believe in that dynamic, there will be suffering. However, and in Lisa’s story, it couldn’t have been any other way. In anybody’s story, it couldn’t be any other way.

I went through this, ten years of this ‘beautifully dramatic suffering and then great highs’ story and it couldn’t have been any differently. And it’s the same with everyone else’s story, and as long as you believe that it can be differently and that you’ve got it right or wrong, you’re in suffering. And all I see happening here is Lisa describing, or I am describing, describing what suffering is. And it might be seen – if that’s the destiny – through this description, or it might not be seen, it’s just dependent on whether that’s written or not. It’s just written that … but see, it’s just complicated.

Like all of these ideas, they’re just pointers; they’re just thorns removing thorns. If you believe in time and space, and ‘I’m a doer,’ and ‘I can create and make life,’ and ‘I can create my spiritual journey,’ and ‘I can make myself awaken,’ or anything like that, you’re into believing-seeking. Among this seeking energy, there’s this energy, and this is all people don’t want. Screw liberation or enlightenment, all they don’t want is this contraction, and that contraction appears with the dynamic of ‘I can create and make life. I need to get pleasure and avoid pain,’ and it creates this sense. And so that’s what’s got to be removed, that’s what is removed in liberation. It’s just that seeking dynamic of that contraction.

And now when you stop believing any idea – screw all the spiritual ideas – when all ideas are dropped, and nobody could possibly do that. Nobody could possibly drop the ideas because the ideas is the somebody, is the second, is the ego. So as long as those ideas are in place, there will be suffering until they’re dropped and there’s just an expansion, and it’s everything, everything you ever wanted. It’s shocking!

It’s shocking the trick we’re in, the joke that we were in because we’re so convinced that happiness is out in this and that we’ve got to make our happiness … so convinced. And that’s the dynamic that stops but nobody could ever stop that dynamic.

I mean, do you Rick, do you believe you could stop that dynamic?

>>Rick:  For me, the word ‘belief’ is not so relevant. Um, I don’t dwell too much on beliefs or non-beliefs. For me, experience is more paramount, and experience is the foundation of what everyone believes. If experience is that one is a bound, constricted, suffering individual, then that’s what one is going to believe, it’s sort of a cart-and-horse situation. And if one’s experience is that one is oceanic silence despite all the superficial turbulence of life, then one is going to believe that. The word ‘belief’ is sort of irrelevant, you know?

And of course, people arguing about something that is beyond their actual experience, as most religious people do and fight wars over it and so on, it’s like people arguing over what’s being served for dinner in the next room and sitting there hungry, rather than going in there and eating it, and resolving the issue once and for all.

Now you mentioned ‘a thorn to remove a thorn’, which of course is an ancient Indian saying and all the great teachers have used that saying, and what they mean by it, to my understanding, is that there are methods which can remove the so-called thorn of ignorance, but those methods are in and of themselves are also thorns, meaning they are not ultimately real or true. Meditation, yoga, whatever you want to do, in a way they have no ultimate reality but, they’re useful. They’re instrumental in removing the thorn of ignorance, which is why teachers like Ramana Maharishi and so on, actually encouraged people to do whatever practice or whatever was appropriate for them, self-inquiry or whatever.

>>Lisa:  And actually it doesn’t come up here for me to give anything to do, but I’m completely not against that. Because whatever is happening is … if the idea comes up to meditate or the attraction is to meditate, or the attraction is to go and sit in yoga positions or anything like that, then that is absolutely perfect, it’s exactly as it’s meant to be. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things, but if you believe it’s useful if you believe it can be useful and other things can be unuseful, then you always stay in the dynamic of two. So if when you do these things you believe, “Ah, this is going to get me to liberation, bop-bop,” you’re going to carry on suffering, you’re in the belief that you’re doing something.

So it’s not that I’m saying don’t do; I spend hours, even now, even in the past when I was at Roger’s house, just sitting, sitting. I don’t do any practice anymore but at times there was breath mediation, now I just sit and look at the world. And people ask why do I do that and it’s not why, because there is not suffering happening anymore, there’s not an urge. The urge to do something or try to make an experience doesn’t come up anymore so that seeking of ‘I need to make this better,’ so the idea of a practice doesn’t come up anymore; I just sit there and look at the world.

So it’s not that I’m saying don’t do, at all, because that is – when you’re in apparent separation – that is the thing like, ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that.’ I’m not saying don’t do that; I’m just pointing out that doership, or seeking energy, is suffering. I’m just pointing out what is suffering and what isn’t suffering and that’s just what the dance of Lisa does, points out that dynamic. But how could you possibly not do? Something is always going to happen even in lying on the sofa.

>>Rick: I’m reminded again of the de-scription, pre-scription thing and I’m reminded of the Gita also, which on the one hand there are all these verses which say the awakened or the realized person doesn’t act at all, even in sitting, in walking, in doing all that stuff he realizes ‘I am not the doer,’ and yet at the very same time Krishna is asking Arjuna to go out and fight a battle, you know, to do this dynamic thing. But he’s saying, “First establish yourself in the realization that you are not doing it, and then go do it.”

So where was I going with that? The word “belief,” I don’t feel like there’s any harm and correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I don’t feel there’s any harm in believing that certain activities have certain effects. If you eat certain foods they will nourish you, if you eat certain foods or other things they will make you sick, so relative substances, for instance, can definitely have effects on the body – take this pill, does that, take that pill, it does this – and the same is true with spiritual practices, they have different effects, many of them are measurable scientifically. Whether or not you can actually say they lead to realization … I think I see your point there because realization is sort of beyond the point of all relative phenomena, so how can anything step you into it?

But it’s like a boat, there’s a certain point in which the boat is very useful and if you jump out prematurely alligators will get you, but if you get to the edge of the river, it’s time to get out, you know?

I’m sorry, go ahead.

>>Lisa:  Well, so the dynamic here, even when I’m sitting outside – and I go back to my experience all the time because as you say, it’s not about beliefs; it’s about experience – is that in happiness there is no dynamic of ‘I need to make this experience better.’ If when you’re seeking – and when you’re seeking spirituality you’re trying to make the experience better, you’re a separate individual trying to make life better – and it’s not that what is happening is wrong because that’s exactly what’s meant to be happening, but if there’s that belief there, any belief that what you’re doing can make a better outcome, you’re in suffering, you’re in separation, you’re in the self. You’re in a separate self that believes it can do or create life here.

But again, I don’t deal in concepts, but this is nearer to the experience here than other concepts – there is no sense that somebody is creating or doing life.  That will always create suffering and so it has to be in time and space too. It has to be with meditation, with eating certain foods, because it is to do with the body as well, and it is something that is happening in the body. Like it’s not to do with having certain emotions or having [a] still mind.

And this was shocking to me in the beginning, was like … I am not an intellectual, even when I was a child and in school, I was very badly dyslexic and found it very hard using the intellect and it’s not about intellectual understanding. And it’s shocking because up until a couple of years ago I really believed it was in ‘getting it,’ it was in some intellectual concept, understanding it, and it’s not at all an intellectual understanding; it’s the falling away of all those beliefs and ideas and the self that is creating that veil and creating that sense of contraction and separation. And it’s crazy when it’s seen because I used to go to teachers and I used to really believe that if I could get them to say a certain thing and if I could understand it just slightly differently, I’d be free.

And it was the same with meditation and sitting in silence – if I could get my mind still enough, if I could sit in that silent witness enough – and it really isn’t anything to do with it. It’s craziness. Like there really isn’t a self here doing something and it’s so crazy to the mind and to the doer. There is just absolute expansion and happiness when doership and the belief in time and space, and good and bad, and right and wrong, and good effect and bad effect, when that self falls away, there’s just absolute in-loveness or being-ness, and absolutely ecstatic to be alive. But any belief in time and space – whether or not time or space does happen or not is absolutely irrelevant to me, it’s just is that belief is there, there will be suffering.

And it’s not even a belief, you’re so right, it’s an energetic contract[tion] because belief, or intellectual ideas or thought patterns, they can’t hurt you or they don’t create anything of themselves. What is uncomfortable is this, that’s the uncomfortableness.

>>Rick:  And it’s not so much is it that the belief causes a suffering, it’s more that in the suffering state concomitant with that belief or interpretations of the way life is, it’s just characteristic of that state of functioning.

>>Lisa:  Yeah.

>>Rick:  Yeah, it’s subtle, because it sounds like sometimes, again, it sounds like ‘I should drop my beliefs and then I’m not going to be suffering,’ but it’s not so volitional as that. And you’re describing very beautifully a state of functioning or a state of being in which all that has been let go, and even that sounds volitional: ‘Has been let go,’ sounds like somebody let it go, and so on and so forth. But it’s very hard to phrase it, to really do justice to the reality of the situation, you know?

>>Lisa:  Yeah.

>>Rick:  So I may sound argumentative, but I don’t mean to, I’m not pickin’ on you or anything. I really do agree with you, I think entirely, I’m just kind of probing and trying to … you know.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, and I was talking to my dad the other day – my parents are over from England, staying – and he was talking about the dogs. And he was saying something like … he was mimicking the dogs as if the dog was thinking something and doing something: “Oh, she’s doing that now because she feels jealous,” and da da. And I said, “Oh I don’t think the dog thinks.”

And he was like, “Of course the dog thinks, how does she do?”

And I was like, “Oh I think the doing just happens without thinking.”

And he was like, “Oh don’t be silly, of course she has to think to be able to do.”

And I remember believing that thoughts created doing, but it’s amazing that all of this is happening so effortlessly and spontaneously and without … like you really don’t have to think about anything. But thinking does happen and it appears to be a tool, like you put your things in your diary and you plan to go on the train, and thinking is a great tool, but you really don’t need it. Life is happening so spontaneously without that intellectual interpretation.

And then I tried to say to him, “Well did you think that the urge came first and then the thought next?” But he was so convinced that it was all about thoughts and you have to think of something for it to happen. And it’s so shocking to the mind, it really is.

In a way, when I look back on this story I always knew this, in one way, and when this mind kind of – I call it stabilized or when this came, the experience here –  it was like all through my life I can remember knowing this, it was just not seen or it wasn’t recognized. And it’s so obvious to us, so obvious what I’m talking about, but when the energy or the belief is in the mind and in the thoughts, then it’s so easily avoided. Like the energy and the believing that you’re a doer and you’re creating this, and you’re creating life, and that you just did a bad action or a good action, or you’re getting it right, you’re doing the right amount of meditation today, it really seems like that, really appears like that to the mind.

But also, when I’m talking about this I can remember the teachers, I knew what they were talking about, there was such a strong knowing of what they were talking about.

>>Rick:  Yeah, I think everyone, not everyone, but a lot of people who listen to this stuff, it resonates because it’s there, you know? There’s an intuitive understanding because you’re really just elaborating, or you’re describing their own experience. And perhaps there’s some greater clarity which is enabling the description to come out with some degree of coherence and yet help someone else [who] might have trouble expressing it.

And even in Tony Parson’s book, he said, “Clear seeing is speaking to clear seeing, but on this side, the clear seeing might be occluded or overshadowed by some confusion,” or something, but there’s an energetic resonance that takes place and hopefully that energetic resonance will dissipate the occlusion, dissipate the cloudiness, and then there’ll be clear seeing on both sides. I guess that pertains to what you were just saying; it’s effective I think …

Well, we kind of started out the whole interview talking about that: is it really effective to hear somebody’s de-scription? And I think it is for the reasons we’ve just discussed, which is that people already know this. And it’s sort of like you’re pointing to something that they’re already experiencing and it’s like turning the spotlight on it, whereas it had been getting ignored, you know what I mean? And that kind of enlivens it.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and I just have to go back to this point, and I know what you’re talking about. I remember what Tony used to say about seeing nothing and being responded to by nothing, and it’s not effective because somebody’s doing something; it’s just how it’s written, that’s how life reads it.

Like with me, living with my teacher for three years, living with Roger for three years, it appears that that really diffused Lisa or really diffused a lot of what’s happening here, because every time I came up against wanting to blame him for something, or wanting to drag him into a drama, that didn’t happen and it was like “Freak out! I need to blame you; I need to get you involved in why I’m unhappy, I’m unhappy because of you.”

And so it appears that way not because there is time or space or not because it’s relevant, but because that’s how it’s written because life loves the story of liberation, of waking up, and keeps writing it in loads of different ways and keeps writing these big dramatic … like my waking up process was so dramatic, probably because of the whole living in India and then moving to Australia, and living in the forest, and cutting off all communication with people for three years, but it’s not because of that; it’s because that’s what was written, because that’s the way it is, not because of the life doing it, it’s not because the separate self or somebody’s doing it, it’s because that was the way the story of liberation was to happen in Lisa.

And it’s the same with Tony, that nothing comes up against nothing and not because that’s having an effect but because that’s how – I like saying God, I like the word God, but I don’t mean an individual entity, but I’m not sure what people know when I say God – because of God’s will.

>>Rick:  Yeah, yeah, I am very happy with the word God and we can maybe talk about that a little bit. But you just referred to Tony and out of respect for him – I really appreciate the guy. I had a lot of trepidation about interviewing him for a long time because I kept hearing things from people. I mean, I even had one guy who got in touch with me and wanted to be interviewed the week after Tony, because he said he hated him so much and he wanted to rebut everything that he said. And I said, “Oh, I don’t think so.”

But you reminded me of one of his phrases which was, he says, “Oneness loses itself so it can find itself.” And it’s like this game or this Lila, as they call it in the Vedas, there’s this play: ‘I am one and become many and then go out into the field and go, “Oh, where did my oneness go? I better find it.”’

Let’s talk about God a little bit. You keep talking about things happen this way or that because it was written or because it was meant to happen that way, who’s writing it? Who’s the script-writer here?

>>Lisa:  Oh I don’t know the answer to that.

>>Rick:  I know it’s speculative or theoretical but to me, I find this intriguing. If you look at just about anything and you think, ‘Oh, what a marvelous artist. I would like to meet this artist.’ You know, like I watched a little documentary about the inner mechanics of a cell, right, we have a 100 trillion of these in our body?! And the guy who gave the presentation said, “We only know about 1% of what’s really going on in the cell but I’m going to tell you what we know.”

And he went on to give this incredibly beautiful graphic description with all kinds of animations and everything, about how an individual cell is as complex as a modern, huge city, and there’s so much incredible stuff going on. And you look at that and every bit of it is this vast intelligence that has structured such a thing, and that is orchestrating its functioning, and there are 100 trillion of them in one body alone.

Now, what is the intelligence, what is the wisdom that could create such a thing?

>>Lisa:  Yeah, it’s amazing.

>>Rick:  Illusory as it may ultimately be, it’s marvelous and that’s what I think when I hear the word “mystery.”

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and I just feel absolutely in awe of it, all of it! Particularly nature and animals – there’s this program … – I particularly enjoy watching animals do their thing. And if you watch ants creating their amazing, elaborate ants nest, the way they walk in lines, they always know where the piece of food is. Like it might be miles away but you see their incredibly neat lines going up the wall, all over the ceiling, down the other side. It’s just amazing, it really is.

>>Rick:  When I was a kid I used to sit on the kitchen floor and spill sugar and make little trails with it and watch the ants do their thing, you know? And then look at an ant under an electron microscope and you look at that and think, “Whoa! What an incredible thing?!”

Again, for me at least, I’m speaking of something which is beyond the realm of my experience, but I see it as a sort of a destination in a way, and there are many saints who spoke this way, who have had this yearning for God and self-realization was a done deal, but what, who is the artist behind this beautiful artistry? – that I want to know, and that eventually has been realized by these people.

>>Lisa:  I don’t really have the urge to know but I feel absolutely in awe of it. Like when I think about it, when I try and think about it my mind goes absolutely boggles, but I don’t spend too much time thinking about it.

>>Rick:  When I said “know,” I didn’t mean intellectually know. I’m not talking about getting it all figured out intellectually; it’s more of an experiential merging with that. Which gets me onto a theme that I often bring up in these interviews which is that, as I see it, and as many people whom I’ve interviewed seem to see it – Adyashanti, Gangaji, many others – there is no end to this. Sure there’s an end to seeking, if by seeking we mean the sort of unfulfilled, desperate, gear-grinding, yearning for satisfaction or happiness or inner realization – that ends, that falls away, but then what? Then the adventure continues to unfold. There’s continuous refinement and exploration and maturation.

>>Lisa:  Someone was saying to me the other day, you know her too – Karen Richards …

>>Rick:  Sure, yeah!

>>Lisa:  Yeah, so all I talk about – and this is what Roger says as well – all I talk about is the end of seeking, which is suffering, and then after that, there seems to be a lot of energetical shifts and things that change in the body-mind organism. But all I talk about is the end of suffering, the end of that contraction.

And Karen was kind of suggesting – and other people I’ve talked to – then there’s a deepening of it. But I don’t see it as a deepening; I just look at the suffering bit, because I didn’t have any extraordinary experiences that you hear other teachers talk about, about reading people’s minds or even walking through walls, or whatever it is, or light travel or anything like that, and I don’t even think about it or anything.

Or experiencing like … Vishrant, he was telling me he has this thing where he comes in contact with people and he calls it ‘the download.’ I don’t know, I didn’t finish his interview with you, but I don’t know if he ever spoke about it with you – where he downloads people and he feels he comes in contact with them like these big dishes. What do you call that? He’s like a dish that receives conditioning, waves of being and where they’re stuck, and nothing really complicated like that has happened since this was stabilized. But all I’m talking about is, and the huge difference that happened to me is this seeking energy has fallen away, and it happened slowly over time.

I woke with Tony and it happened apparently slowly over time, a period of time, and then there was a big bang at the end, a big, sort of thud (makes thud sound)! And that doesn’t happen for everyone, it’s so different in every story. And that seeking energy fell away and now there’s a big relaxation with life. And energies still come up, thoughts still come up, and life carries on being experiences –there’s pleasure, there’s pain – but I never experience that (makes a contracted fist) anymore, and I know, I can’t explain it any better than that.

And so now, there’s not really a caring if it goes deeper or not, that I learn or … I don’t think I want the downloading of people like Vishrant says, but whatever it is I don’t really care too much. The caring came when I felt like this (makes a contracted fist) about the future. When I was like this, I wanted future to be better, now it’s like whatever happens, happens.

So that’s my take on it however, I’m completely open to life showing different things, different dynamics or whatever it shows or does. Like living with Roger, certainly, lots of different energetical things happened to him over those three years and he used to call it ‘refinement’ or ‘tuning in,’ it’s like noticing different things. But the most important thing that’s happened here is that energy of seeking – now life can be whatever it is and I’m excited to take it in any form.

>>Rick:  That’s great and you’re a wonderful exponent of that, and who knows what you’ll be saying 10, 20, 30 years from now, it could be a different story.

>>Lisa:  It could be six months!

>>Rick:  Sure.

>>Lisa:  I think somebody played me back something that I’d said, and I was like, “Oh, did I say that?”

>>Rick:  Yeah right, yeah.

>>Lisa:  You repeated and said that six months ago and it’s like, yeah, let’s just talk about what I’m saying now.

>>Rick:  Yeah, what you’re saying now is great and you know, everybody has their niche. I mean that’s why there’s so many teachers out there and so many people speaking, and they all have their little clusters of people that resonate with them.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and the attraction is to somebody who gives an apparent prescription or says it like this and that’s exactly what’s meant to be happening. This is just the song that Lisa sings and if you’re attracted to it it’s because it’s exactly what’s going to be heard now because I really don’t see other teachers as wrong.

Like I know that Tony Parsons, and I love and respect him, but I remember once when I was like, “But what about” – because I was so in love with Eckhart Tolle when I was younger, and I was like – “what about Eckhart Tolle?”

And he was like, “What a load of rubbish this guy speaks!”

And I was like, “Ahhh” (making a gasping sound). And I don’t have that sense, that sense that any of the teachers are wrong, or that I’m right; I just see it working perfectly, as it is. That’s exactly what people are going to hear.

And I don’t even think Tony’s wrong for what he says because that’s exactly what the Tony song is.

>>Rick:  That’s his song and I totally agree with you. And I would extend that to fundamentalist Christian preachers and fundamentalist Islamic imams and atheists, and whoever’s telling their story. They’re just kind of like one little niche in the machinery, one little cog in the whole cosmic play. Which is not to say that there aren’t qualitative differences, but you know, one person gravitates towards what resonates with them and when it no longer does, they gravitate to something else.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and actually what I gravitate towards now is laughter. Like a lot of the time … well I was on a retreat a few years ago and there was this guy that used to – I won’t say his name because if he’s listening – he used to sit and tell jokes to people in the corner and just laugh his head off. And he would love it if someone would just sit for hours on end with him telling jokes, and he would wet himself and it was hilarious to watch him! I can’t say his name but he’s in the corner telling jokes.

I remember sitting in a conversation and I joined in and they were saying, “Aw, he’s obviously covering up a lot of stuff with the laughter,” and everyone was talking about his psychology and about how he was repressing. And now, if somebody’s telling jokes in the corner, I’m off – that’s where I’ll sit myself, I love to laugh.

And it’s not that I think that this is a component of the end of suffering or the end of seeking; I think it’s to do with the way that the body-mind’s programmed, and this body-mind really enjoys animals, laughing, I quite enjoy talking like silly, not silly conversations but quite lightly. And it’s just what I enjoy but I completely understand the guy in the corner now, he would do it for hours, and I could see myself just sitting there doing that with him now.

>>Rick:  Yeah, well I kind of enjoyed it listening to your talks where you’d be going on with some serious Vedantic thing and then all of a sudden the dog would come in the room and you would go, “Oh, bunny!” And then the goo-goo talk would go on with the dog for a while, then you get back to the serious Vedantic talk. A lot of fun!

And of course, there could be someone equally as realized as this guy who likes to tell jokes, who would consider that totally frivolous and would rather be in the other corner having serious discussions about metaphysics or something, you know? Like, we all have our own wiring.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and Roger, my teacher, he’s very much like that. He’s like Ramesh – very heady and very intellectual, and he will debate this subject for hours and hours and hours, and he loves intellectual conversations …

>>Rick:  I should interview Roger! Sounds like I’d have fun with Roger.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and Roger is great at talking about this. Like, we used to joke together – he used to say, “You’ll never talk about this because you’ve not got ‘that mind,’” like “You’ve not got the intellectual mind.” Like it was our joke and so I never, ever, ever presumed I would talk about this, or thought about talking about this.

And now we laugh when we talk, for the fact that people come and listen! And I’m not actually, intellectually that clear. If you listen to Roger, he has the answer to everything. Any question you ask him, he could give you a ten-hour answer.

>>Rick:  Yeah, well I’m not intellectually that clear either, which is why I just interview people and ask questions instead of getting up and trying – presuming to teach, you know? Also, I feel like having been a teacher of meditation for decades, having done that, for the most part, without really full experiential grounding in what I was talking about, I have an aversion to premature emaculation, you know? – teaching when I’m not, you know, fully …

Like some people say, “Just get out and do it; you don’t have to be ready.” I’ve had that phase of my life and maybe I’ll have other phases of my life, but I’m inclined at this point to ask questions and bring out other peoples’ … what they have to say.

Let’s talk about, a little bit, you mentioned, you alluded to your awakening and then there was this thing, and then there was this big ka-boom and all, let’s go through that in a little bit greater detail.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, um, which part?

>>Rick:  Well, I mean …

>>Lisa:  The thing with Roger?

>>Rick:  Well, some people seem to have an awakening which is like you know, fireworks going off – very abrupt, very dramatic, night and day difference, sometimes terrifying because they hadn’t anticipated, they didn’t know what the heck it was. Sometimes incapacitating – Eckhart Tolle had to sit on a park bench for two years feeding the pigeons, you know until he could get kind of integrated. And other people it’s much more slow and gradual, and the integration sort of happens with each stage of it and you barely even notice that anything’s happening, but there it is.

>>Lisa:  And that’s kind of what happened to me, but because I wasn’t, because there wasn’t a stabilization because it was more of a flip flop, I didn’t really, really recognize the dynamics. So I’d keep thinking, I’d keep having the attachment that ‘maybe it was out in the world,’ and I wasn’t 100% clear as to what was happening.

And there was a lot of flip-flopping, there was a lot of going into really deep suffering then real expansion. And then when at the beginning of 2011 I split up with Roger; it was actually more of a … he woke up in the middle of the night and was like, “It’s time for you to leave now,” and I was like, “Uh!”

>>Rick:  In the middle of the night?

>>Lisa:  It was maybe about 11 or 12 at night.

>>Rick:  Hoping he didn’t send you out the door right that minute.

>>Lisa:  No he didn’t. He gave me a couple of weeks. But he was like, “It’s time for you to go now,” and I remember thinking, “No, no, no, no, no, no, it’s not time for me to go now. It’s not time for me to go now.”

And he was like, “No, it’s time for you to go now. I’ve had the feeling that things need to change.”

And a lot of fear came up but a lot of … the thought kept coming back that when the student – and it’s not really true, it’s just what happens in the story – that when the student is ready, the teacher kicks them out. And I couldn’t, it didn’t feel like, I couldn’t energetically have left Roger. I was so attached to him, not as a boyfriend, but as a teacher and his knowing, knowing. And it was quite mortifying to hear him say, but at the same time there was this ‘life does what it does, that’s what has to happen.’ So I got on a plane to Bali.

>>Rick:  Not a bad place to go and lick your wounds, in Bali.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, like I’d spent 3 years in the forest with him, and in that time all my friendships had fallen away, my job, my house in London, I had no income, no money. All I was used to every day was being in the forest with Roger – just me and him, the two dogs, the house, I’d created a garden. So it was quite a big shock from your everyday to being this, being kicked back out into the world.

In Bali, I went to this place called Uber, which is quite famous now because of the book Eat, Pray, Love, and I went to a retreat center and I stayed in the room for like three days. It was just an exhaustion, I was just exhausted. I just laid there and yeah, there was a sense of loneliness, like a sense of feeling alone, and then it was slipping into feeling absolutely expanded and not alone. But I felt so exhausted by that flipping – like feeling not alone and expanding and then it being taken away and feeling absolutely contracted. It was just the character of Lisa was exhausted and it just couldn’t even get out of bed. I just ordered room service and there were thunderstorms outside, and it was very, very dramatic.

And then one day I got out of bed and went and sat in a café, and I started looking at the waitress and I was like, “Wow! She’s beautiful!” and I don’t mean sexually; I just was like “Wow!” And then I looked around the room and I was like, “Wow! This room is beautiful!” and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of everything.

And I didn’t notice there was a difference between … there was no concepts going on of ‘this is different to how you normally see the world.’ So I took myself for a walk into these gardens, and I looked around and it was like all the plants were shimmering and shining and I was like, “Wow!” and I was absolutely in awe.

And I remember seeing this guy and he was smiling too, and I was like, “Ha! He can see how amazing this is too,” and so I had this big smiling session with this random guy, and then realized that he was actually mad and that I should move on … It was just, it was so dramatic.

And then I saw a dog dying on the street and this was always a sensitive story for Lisa, with the animals, and I looked and I was like, ‘Wow, this dog is dying but it’s being kissed by God. It’s like every part of God is supporting him in his death.’ It’s not stuff like … I can’t explain it intellectually.

>>Rick:  No, you’re doing it.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, and then I was walking around the streets and there was petrol fumes and loud cars, and I was absolutely just knocked over the head by the beauty of everything. Even the poverty, the dirt, everything was just overwhelming. And I’d known this all along like I’d been going in and out of this but it was just that now … and that was just dramatic because it was the first seeing.

That went on for the whole time I was in Bali and I was there for a month. And it was like I was walking around like a space cadet, and it was absolutely shocking to me that I could talk, that talking was happening, that interaction was happening, it was, all of it was shocking. I didn’t know how I got from one place to the other but yet everything just ended up just perfect. I was still alive, I was still paying the rent at the place.

And then I had a conversation with Roger and I didn’t mention anything to Roger like there was no urge to tell anyone about this. And Roger just said, “Do you want to house sit for me for the next three months? I’m going to go away for three months.” So I went back to Australia to house sit for him. And yeah, and it’s just kind of carried on, but it’s not as dramatic. I don’t get used to it but it’s just not as dramatic, it’s just shocking at first.

But now it’s just great, I’m absolutely in awe with it all but I’m not shocked like I was before. It’s not so dramatic, because at first, the contrast is really like a …

>>Rick:  Yeah, you do get used to it, because that’s the way human beings operate, they get used to things, you know?

>>Lisa:  And there is a sense of awe still, a sense of like, like there’s still that sense of ‘wow’ there. So that’s happened and now I just … it’s the difference between what I was a couple of years ago and now is like, the characteristics … Even Roger who’s so logical, and just he’s so different from me and the way I express it, he’s shocked at the difference. And in him, it wasn’t the difference in characteristics and personality wasn’t so shocking, like it happened over a couple of years and it was so natural.

The difference in me was so huge because I used to see, there used to be the story of victimhood and feeling so victimized to life, and very low self-esteem and contraction, and not always feeling good enough, not feeling like I could explain myself, and this huge, huge difference character-wise, to the personality of Lisa.

>>Rick:  That’s great, yeah. And it’s worth repeating that – in case anybody listens to this and feels they should anticipate that same sort of thing, you know – that it shows up in as many ways as there are people.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and like for Roger it was so funny, he was just the absolute opposite. It was just that he fell asleep a lot and then one day the suffering dynamic had stopped, and most of it seemed to fall away when he was sleeping.

And Ramesh, I think the story of Ramesh is that he didn’t even know it happened. He said weeks or something – I don’t really know the story very well – for weeks, and then one day it dawned on him that suffering had stopped. And he was like, “Oh,” so it was so different.

So I think maybe because the weight of suffering here was quite heavy, but that’s just a story, it was quite a big radical change. But that’s just a story, it’s easy to get caught up in, ‘Oh yes, I’ve got so much baggage and I’ve got so much…,’ I can hear the ego feeding on that already.

>>Rick:  Yeah, it’s interesting, I’ve seen this phenomenon a lot and I see it a lot in my town, which is a place which is the home base of the Transcendental Meditation movement. There’s a university here and everything, there’s several thousand people here who’ve been meditating for decades, and there’s quite a common phenomenon where people sort of either boot it out, or they sort of just extricate themselves from the organization, you know? Then shortly thereafter they have some awakening.

Your story about leaving Roger reminded me of that, and I think you used, well it’s kind of like an incubator. There’s a certain point at which the chick, it’s no longer really helpful for the chick to remain in the incubator. The incubator has done its job, time for the chick to get out; it can’t continue growing unless it gets out of the incubator. And so when that time comes, through one means or another, the chick is going to – I’m stretching the metaphor here – get out of the incubator.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and in this story, when I look back, I would never have taken myself out of that situation. And it was like the final, and it often is, the final attachment is either the teachings or the teacher, or often another attachment is the ideas of enlightenment, which is kind of similar, in a way, but for me, it was definitely the teacher, I held him in such high regard and so much respect. And as long as you’re holding someone in that high regard, you’re holding yourself down here as a student. And it’s not you holding; it’s just the dynamic of life, it’s just believing that you’re a student and they’re a teacher, and they’re giving you something, they’re creating something from that.

>>Rick:  And there’s a time for that, you know? That’s appropriate in its own time and then at a certain point, it’s not, or it’s irrelevant or superfluous, or time to change that dynamic.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and it’s really funny because I don’t call myself a teacher because of any dramatic thing; it’s just that’s what comes up in me, not to call myself a teacher. But Roger does, and he very much is, and it’s hilarious when I go back because he’s always the teacher, and that will always be the dynamic here.

I mean, I go back and he’s telling me … like the last interview I did he says to me afterwards, “You don’t need to say ‘apparently’ so much, people aren’t stupid.”

>>Rick:  Yeah, that’s funny.

>>Lisa:  That is so funny.

>>Rick:  Well, you know, just to dwell on this previous point just a little more, it’s like Roger probably didn’t even know that … I mean there was a bigger phenomenon going on than Roger realized in telling you it was time to go. Something moved him to say that and you left, but that was, unbeknownst to him, that was the perfect thing for him to have said at that point because you were ready to pop, you know?

>>Lisa: Yep, and he didn’t, even when he said it to me he was like, “I don’t know why but you’ve got to go.”

>>Rick: Yeah, exactly, he had the impulse, the intuitive impulse.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, it’s amazing and life happens. Now that the identification isn’t claiming everything, life is happening like this all the time. It’s always so perfect – what it’s doing, what it’s bringing up, what is being seen is never out of place. And it’s only that idea that life is out of place, and there is somebody who needs to be protected and controlled that gives that impression, but it’s always happening so perfectly. And that’s the perfect explanation of that he said, “I don’t know why but you’ve got to go.”

>>Rick:  Mm-hmm. It’s that same intelligence that’s orchestrating the cell, and all 100 trillion of them, that’s also, you know, the puppeteer for this entire mind-body system and prompting it to flow this way and flow that way, for ways that are beyond our comprehension but that turn out to be just right.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, and I didn’t tell him for months afterwards. And he came back, maybe in September or October …

>>Rick:  Didn’t tell him what? That you’d had this awakening?

>>Lisa:  That anything had changed or happened. And then he’d be walking, we lived together for a period, for a few months, and he’d be walking around the house and he would be like, “Why are you giggling so much? Why?” And it felt pointless telling him, it was like how do you say that to someone? It was like, and I’d be sat on the sofa – and something that happened here is there was a lot of sitting that happened afterwards, a lot of sitting, sometimes like 8, 9, 10 hours – and also this is hilarious, what also happened was I begun to like MTV. Have you ever watched MTV? And really like dance music, like I’d spend a good couple of hours every day just dancing.

>>Rick:  Oh that’s great.

>>Lisa: Sometimes I’d get up in the middle of the night and put on the dance channel and just be-bopping around the room. And I’d love watching. It wasn’t like I wanted the radio; it was watching other people dance and dance with other people.

>>Rick:  That’s nice. My wife is really into that, she loves to watch these dance competition shows. I forget what it’s called … big, popular thing in the United States, but I haven’t gotten bitten by that bug so much, although I do like music. I used to be a drummer back in the old days.

>>Lisa:  Oh, me too. I was a drummer at school.

>>Rick:  Oh cool.

>>Lisa:  Just a drum kit, not percussion.

>>Rick:  Oh, I played in rock bands and so on, but we’re getting off on a tangent here.

>>Lisa:  Yeah.

>>Rick:  But no, it’s kind of neat. And actually you said something in your talks that I wanted to touch upon, which I thought was also interesting, which is that you found that a great deal of flexibility dawned in your personality, whereas at one point you were kind of just a certain way, and that’s mainly the only way you could be, you discovered yourself being much more sort of malleable – kind of acting, or feeling, or behaving in ways that were completely unusual and new for you. You can probably say it better than I can.

>>Lisa: Yeah, yeah, completely, and it’s about identifying with the role. Like, I’ve always loved to laugh and one thing that I found really difficult to mix, or created tension, was laughter and being sexy, being a girlfriend, or being a fool and being a girlfriend, and now anything can arise, I can be any character with anyone. Obviously not any character with anyone; it’s not like I’m going out and having hundreds of boyfriends and fall in love with anybody. Like obviously not so much, but it’s not, there’s not a fixed way of being anymore; it’s whatever the situation brings.

So if I’m sitting with someone and they’re having anger at the ideas and the next moment they’re laughing their head off, then more than likely they’ll be laughing their head off too and telling silly jokes again.

There’s no fixed way of being and really, the idea of self is just another idea of something that will create pleasure like, ‘I’m going to behave like this.’ And it’s some warped idea that [it] will create more pleasure to behave like this, or to be like this, or you’ll avoid pain, avoid an uncomfortableness. And it’s so warped to have all these perceptions, well not warped, but just creates so much suffering – ‘I need to be like this,’ ‘I need to behave like this in this situation,’ or ‘be like this in this situation,’ and all it’s trying to do is get maximum amount of pleasure. And whenever you’re buying into that dynamic of maximum amount of pleasure, there is such a tight contraction in the body, and really life is just a game that can be any role, anything. And this is why I don’t like saying “I’m a teacher,” because I can also be the friend, the wally, the laugher, the very serious person at the same time. It’s whatever, ever comes up in that moment.

It’s just being flexible and free to what’s being expressed, what is being expressed through this body-mind mechanism. So also if the teacher role falls away, there’s not attachment to it either, or if the sexy role falls away there’s not attachment to it either, so when it falls away it’s a very natural falling away, like there’s not that clinging to it.

>>Rick:  No, it’s good to hear, because I mean a lot of times in certain spiritual circles, it’s argued that there’s no practical benefit to awakening, but that it sort of ‘is what it is’, but I’ve seen many cases where it has facilitated a blossoming of a person’s personality, you know, a much greater richness and adaptability and flexibility, which is just what you were describing.

And it’s just like you use this gesture (Rick makes a contracting gesture with body-hand), and when one is like this (making contracted gesture) there’s a rigidity, you know? You’re kind of locked into a certain constrained way of being, and when that’s relaxed then who knows …

>>Lisa:  … what comes up.

>>Rick:  Yeah, yeah.

>>Lisa:  And I listened to a talk of you and Rupert the other day, Rupert Spira, and he was saying something along the lines – I’m sorry Rupert if I’m misquoting you – he said something that, “You become fully human,” fully – it’s something like this that he was saying. And I really understood what he meant, like being fully alive to what is. You can express yourself in every single way, there is absolutely no restriction.

So this is quite a funny movie – inappropriate for the poor lady who it happened to yesterday – my mum was sitting at a bus stop and she was watching this lady cross the street, and she had a big puffy skirt on and she had a really nice top on, she looked very 1950s – beautiful makeup, beautiful hair. And the lady had really high heels on and tripped over, and as she tripped over, the skirt went over her head and her whole pants were shown as well.

Now to an ego, to a separate self, I can imagine that would be mortifying because she’s got the set up that ‘I need to be this pretty, 1950s-year-old girl, I need to act a certain way, I mustn’t make a fool of myself, I’ve got to come across as proper, I mustn’t let my boyfriend ever see me in an unelegant position’ – all these ideas of self, all this dynamic going on. And so I’m sure, and I might be wrong, to her, she was absolutely mortified at this happening, and it was just awful that everybody saw her butt with her skirt over, flatter and sprawled. And when my mum told me this story I was laughing, and it wasn’t that I was laughing at the woman; I was laughing at the ego, that how it creates this.

Like yesterday I met somebody in the park, they’d found me on the Internet and they were like, “Oh, you live in Perth, can I meet up with you?” and I went and met and spoke to them. And apparently, I tripped over the wall when I was talking to them and like fell over the wall, and I don’t even remember this! I don’t even remember falling over the wall. I must have just gotten up and laughed and didn’t even think twice about it again.

This lady that fell over, if she’s heavily identified with the ego, I’m sure in 20 years she’s still going to remember falling over with the skirt over her head. And it’s about all these ideas, these second ideas that you think yourself as – ‘I’ve got to behave like this, I’ve got to be like this,’ and it’s all because you think that behaving and being like this will create the maximum amount of pleasure for you, the maximum amount of payoff, and it’s so untrue. There’s no comfortableness in, I mean there can be some highs of pleasure, but there’s no comfortableness in trying to pretend to be a certain way, that’s so uncomfortable, it’s so restricting.

And it’s not somebody doing it; it’s just a dance of the ego, and it is in one way a terrible amount of suffering, but it’s also hilarious. Like particularly when you watch kids when they’re ego is just beginning to grow, and they’re just beginning to learn nice behavior but they’re still not got quite of it right,  so they’re just beginning to learn that you mustn’t hit a kid but you can hit a kid when no one’s looking. You mustn’t hit a kid when there’s teachers or people looking, but when there’s no one looking you can give them a good thump.

Just when the ego is beginning to learn how to behave, it’s a hilarious dynamic, but I mean, there is also immense suffering if you take it personally or if you believe it to be you.

>>Rick:  Yeah, you’ve probably heard that Indian expression of impressions and you know how … ‘Line on stone, line on sand, line on water, line on air.’ Have you heard that metaphor?

>>Lisa:  No, no, no.

>>Rick:  Well it’s like, you know, we have experiences, and if we’re kind of like this (making a contracted fist) then the nervous system is rigid, our psychology is rigid. Something happens to us and it’s like a line in stone – that line, it stays there for a long time. Like the lady falling over in the street and her skirt going over her [head], you know, she’ll remember that 20 years from now.

If there’s less constriction then it’s more of like a line on sand – it makes a line but then it washes away. Maybe even less constriction, line on water. Less constriction, line on air. It’s like the experience happens, like you falling over the wall – don’t even remember it. It’s like you could be embarrassed to this day over that experience, but it just sort of whoosh, passed through, onto the next thing.

>>Lisa:  And if you believe that you’re this teacher that has some sort of serious message, then falling over the wall and not being serious and seen as silly, that would be terrible. Or if you believe that you’re a serious teacher that had a good message and needed to teach people things and needed to have a good outcome, then when people wrote to you really aggressive or angry messages, you’d be “pfftt!” (makes hitting sound), there’d be that hitting of something, it would be that contraction energy.

And it’s amazing that everything the ego thinks it’s getting from striving over pleasure, that that trick, that dynamic, it’s never … what it actually wants is the end of all that dynamic, and it’s striking, what it’s always going for is all these pleasures and ‘Yes! I’m going to get my happiness.’ And if all of that is seen through, this is what it wanted, that this is everything, everything it needs.

>>Rick:  Yeah, there’s the analogy they use of if a person is, let’s say a pauper, then every little gain and loss is a big deal, you know? You gain five dollars and it’s like, ‘Whoa!” You lose five dollars, ‘Oh my God.” But if you’re a multi-millionaire, it’s like you could gain and lose thousands, millions, and it would be like, ‘Yeah, okay, no big deal,’ and it’s because you kind of have a bedrock of wealth, which is just not influenced by the little fluctuations.

So I think it pertains to what you’re saying – a bedrock gets established of inner fulfillment or contentment, in a substantial way, which isn’t significantly added to or detracted from by circumstances on the surface of life.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, completely.

>>Rick:  And again, that’s a de-scription. We’re not telling people to try to behave that way … like ‘Oh, nothing bothers me,’ that would be very unnatural, but it’s something which develops, you know?

Cool. Well …

>>Lisa:  I see you have your cat on your lap again.

>>Rick:  I did and then she just wanted to go out, even though it’s only 36 degrees out there, Fahrenheit, but she wanted to go out for a few minutes, so I let her out. We haven’t had the dogs this evening but they often come through during these interviews. I was hoping they would so I could kind of introduce them to you.

>>Lisa: What sort of dogs are they?

>>Rick:  Oh, one is a corgi mix and the other is a blue-healer mix, which is also called an Australian cattle dog, and they’re both rescue animals that we got through one way or another. So, they’re great.

Okay, so I think we should probably wrap it up just because, I don’t know, get that feeling at a certain point in the interview that we’ve covered a lot of ground, and it gets a little long for people if we go a full two hours or so.

But this has really been enjoyable, as I knew it would be, having been listening to you all week. And again, I apologize if I seem sort of aggressive or something, and hitting you with all those questions, I just was percolating on them while I was listening to you all week and thinking about how I wanted to discuss that with you. And from my side it came out great, I just feel that you gave great answers and we covered a lot of ground, and I hope you feel that way.

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, and I didn’t perceive that at all.

>>Rick:  Okay, good.

>>Lisa:  You should hear some guys that I speak to, as soon as they get on the phone it’s thhhhpp (making tongue sound), the questions.

>>Rick:  So you do phone consultations with people, or Skype consultations, or both?

>>Lisa:  Yeah, yeah, if people want to chat. I know, and it’s getting a bit harder to fit everybody in, so now I try to say it’s a bit better if you have a real burning energy, not just wanting to call up and chit chat, but a real burning energy or a burning question, to talk, otherwise there’s too many people.

>>Rick:  Right. Do you charge money or do you accept donations, or what?

>>Lisa:  It’s a bit of both. I had like a standard donation but I’m so open to … like it’s not about the money. Like obviously I need to live, but if you’re living in India then $50 is huge, but even if you’re earning very little money then $50 is huge, so whatever people, wherever people are at. They just need to discuss it because I feel that it’s important for people to understand that it’s not taking up my time, but that I have a certain amount of time, that I don’t have infinities of time.

>>Rick:  Yeah, there’s 7 billion people in the world.

>>Lisa:  And so charging is a good way because then, even if they don’t pay, it’s knowing that it’s using time or something. Because I found in the beginning that I was just talking to everyone, it was just too much.

>>Rick:  Yeah, I mean, I sort of did a similar thing. I’m not setting myself up as a teacher or answering questions or anything, but people would want to call up and chat with me you know, for an hour here or an hour there. I work full time, I do this, I have a wife and dogs and life, and I just finally, I said to one guy, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean any offense, but if you can sort of pay me for my time, I’ll actually be able to do this even during work hours, but otherwise it’s difficult,” and he said he’d have to think about that. But that’s understandable.

So do you have a website that people can go to?

>>Lisa:  Yeah, I do actually. This really beautiful lady called Pranya just made me a website.

>>Rick:  Oh good.

>>Lisa: and it’s a really beautiful website, I was so impressed. She did it really nicely and it just went up – yesterday I think she finished it.

>>Rick:  Well cool, I’ll link to it from my website. And usually the way these go, within a week or two there’s well over 1,000 people who’ve watched the video and listened to the audios and so on, so you should probably be getting some traffic from that.


>>Lisa:  Yeah, and if you just type in “Lisa Cairns” it comes up.

>>Rick:  Yeah, it’ll probably come up. Maybe not within 2 days it won’t, because it takes a lot for the search engines to find it, which is what I do for a living – I do search engine optimization. We’ll link to it.

Let me just make a couple of concluding remarks. First of all, thank you, Lisa, this has really been great. And as we were just discussing, those listening, if you would like to talk to Lisa, perhaps by making a little donation or something, she’s available, and go to to find out how to do that.

If you’ve been enjoying this interview, or even haven’t been and want to see other ones that you might enjoy, then go to – B-A-T-G-A-P, which is an acronym for Buddha at the Gas Pump, and you’ll see them all archived. I think this is number 103, 104, something like that, and I do a new one each week.

There’s an audio podcast you can subscribe to if you don’t want to just sit in front of your computer for an hour or two looking at a video, you can listen to while you’re driving or whatever. There’s a little email newsletter you can sign up for to be notified each time a new interview is posted. There’s a discussion group that springs up around each interview, where people come in and start chatting about what we talked about, and sometimes the person I’ve interviewed will come in and respond to people’s questions and points.

So there’s all that., go there and I hope you enjoy it. So thanks again, namaste, thank you to those who’ve been watching or listening, and we’ll see you next week.

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