Rick: 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. There are over 300 of them now, and if you’re new to this, go to BatGap.com and look under the past interviews menu, and you’ll see them all organized in various ways. This show is pretty much entirely dependent upon the generosity of viewers and listeners who appreciate it. So if you feel like helping to support it, there’s a PayPal button there that you can click, and there’s also a donations page that explains what to do if you don’t want to use PayPal. My guest today is Loch Kelly. It says in your bio here, Master of Divinity. So you’re a Master of Divinity?
Loch: I went to a graduate school that gave that degree out anyhow, so I don’t know if it really is exactly applying.
Rick: Where’d you go, to Yale or something?
Loch: I went to Union Theological.
Rick: Oh, that’s famous. Yeah. So I just got sidetracked, I want to read the rest of your bio, but what were you aspiring to do by becoming a Master of Divinity? Were you going to become a minister?
Loch: No, it was a program that at the time when I had an initial first awakening. In college, I was looking for a way both to study and to explore in more depth, and there was a program at Union Theological that was started by Paul Tillich that was called Psychology and Spirituality. And so I went there and then I went on a fellowship from there to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal.
Rick: Wow. Well, let me just finish reading your bio and then let’s get right back to that, because that’s a good place to start. So you also have an LCSW, which I guess is a degree in social work as a psychotherapist, right?
Loch: Yes, that’s right.
Rick: Okay. And you are the author of Shift into Freedom – The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. You’re an educator, licensed psychotherapist and recognized leader in the field of non-dual meditation, who was asked to teach Sutra Mahamudra by Mingyur Rinpoche and non-dual meditation by Adyashanti. You’ve worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters and counselled family members of 9/11. You’re the founder of the non-profit Open-Hearted Awareness Institute and you collaborate with neuroscientists at Yale, University of Pennsylvania and NYU to study how awareness training can enhance compassion and well-being. So let’s shoot right back to you were in college and you had a spiritual awakening. What precipitated that?
Loch: Yes. Well, actually it began, I think like many people, with a series of losses. So my father had brain cancer and it came on suddenly and then we went through that. He went through two operations and recovered and then had a seizure and then finally passed away a year and a half later. And then my grandmother, who lived with us for 12 years, died soon after. And then a month later, my best friend from college, who was on the hockey team with me, died in a tragic car accident. So I was just hit with these series of losses at a time where it was hard to find anyone to talk to about them. Certainly my peers hadn’t gone through much of this. And so I was kind of trying to find a way to stay afloat. And what happened was, one evening after coming out of the library and kind of walking back up the hill to the dorms, I was feeling really down and heavy and just heard a voice say, “I don’t think you can take this much pain any longer”. And I kind of stopped in my tracks and looked within. And what happened was as I looked, everything opened and this sense of pressure and contraction dropped. And it just kind of opened up my heart. And I experienced a kind of connection to the night sky and to everything around me and a support of what I call awake awareness, which then didn’t make the grief go away, but it gave me a more spacious connected supportive sense of who I was.
Rick: Now, after all these years of spiritual practice and working with spiritual aspirants and so on, do you see a pattern in which a certain percentage of people is catapulted into an awakening by traumatic experiences and circumstances?
Loch: Yeah. I mean, I think the two ways are either you go through some kind of breakdown or shakedown or you wake up. You wake up through positive practices or through kind of the ego identification no longer being able to bear what it cannot bear. So if it gets overwhelmed, sometimes it collapses or relaxes or deconstructs, and then some people get thrown into the unconscious or depression or anxiety, and others open up into what is behind all of that.
Rick: I’m reading a book called Kundalini Vidya by Joan Harrigan, whom I interviewed a month or so ago, and she says that traumatic experiences can very often kick-start the Kundalini and get an awakening going.
Loch: Yeah. I think something has to do with that, something that’s in the way, that’s a contracted sense of organizing our consciousness currently is trying to hold on, and it can hold on to a large degree, creating a lot of anxiety and dissatisfaction while we try to manage. But if it either relaxes intentionally or unintentionally, energy will start to move and the potential for awakening is there, but also the potential for being overwhelmed by unconscious material is there as well.
Rick: Yeah. I have friends who routinely perceive subtle realms and all that, and they’re very well-integrated people, they’re not kooks, but this is normal for them. And some of them say that we’re all surrounded constantly by beings of some sort, angels or whatever, who tend to us and care for us. So do you kind of read that into the voice you heard, saying, “I don’t think you can take this much pain”, or do you have some other interpretation of it?
Loch: Yeah. I mean, I have some sense of that kind of realm and many other realms, but it’s interesting that I think it all can be understood in basic human consciousness. So whether that’s the touch point of something coming from outside, some spiritual realm, religious realm, cosmic realm, I found, and the way I focus in this book, is to not even deal with or need to articulate that level of experience in order to awaken. So staying with the simplest, most common, ordinary dimensions of consciousness, which is more than the psychological. It’s often called spiritual, and it’s been described mostly in religious terms, but what I try to do is actually take it even out of not only religious language, but take it even out of spiritual language and make it into common consciousness language.
Rick: My sense, from what I’ve gathered over the years, is that that kind of subtle perception, and even the heart awakening that I heard you talking about in a little talk with Adyashanti, tends to come after what you’re probably referring to here as awakening. So there’s some initial awakening, and then on that foundation these other things may begin to unfold.
Loch: Exactly, yeah. I have no doubt that there’s kind of an initial direct recognition and then a gradual unfolding, and that often people who are talking about, “There’s no unfolding”, they’re at a certain place. And I’ve talked to many people who said that once, and then later on they said, “Oh, now I see”.
Loch: So the unfolding, to be clear, and somewhat listening to you and your dialogues, I think we have similar ways of talking about this, is trying to be clear about that the true nature, the enlightened state of being, the awakeness itself, the pure awareness, it does not develop or is not created, and it does not progress, and there are no stages of that. But it’s the mixing with the human dimension, which makes up the humanness and beingness, that the mixing together of those two for a full human experience is what is changing and developing, what makes the difference between the recognition that we’re always awake already on the ultimate level, that that’s who we are, and that doesn’t change regardless of what happens, but the awakening is kind of describing when the ultimate and relative are both being discussed, are both coming together. And that is something that I think is very possible for each of us to experience on a much simpler level than I think has been thought to be from ancient times.
Rick: Yeah, one analogy I like is that of the sun. I mean the sun is shining just as much as the sun always shines, but there’s an infinite variety of reflectors that could reflect the sunlight to all sorts of different degrees. And even any one reflector, take a mirror, if it’s all covered with mud and dust and stuff there are perhaps many degrees to which that one reflector could be cleaned and polished and so on, so as to become a more perfect reflector of the sun, if you get the metaphor.
Loch: Yes, yes, yes, that’s right, and there’s always weather.
Rick: Yeah, there’s weather, there’s clouds, there’s Joni Mitchell.
Loch: So that’s okay, and it’s not about whether there’s either weather or no weather, or either thoughts or no thoughts, that transcendent shift, which is often the first recognition of pure awareness is not the place to land, it’s not the place to end up in a transcendent out-of-body, out-of-human experience, but to discover how that as our ground of being, that awareness is inherent within and none other than the weather. So the sky is here and the clouds are here, and once you realize you’re the sky and the clouds everything has such a sweet dimension.
Rick: Yeah, and even the transcendent shift, I mean I glimpsed the transcendent clearly in 1968 when I first learned to meditate, but it’s still getting more clear and more integrated and so on, I don’t personally see any end to that. So I was just emailing about this with a friend the other day and she was saying, “I just don’t feel comfortable with the word ‘awakening’ because where do you draw the line?”
Loch: Right, right.
Rick: So where do you draw the line? I mean, do you have a kind of a watershed mark where you would say, “Okay, this is awakening and anything prior to that is not”, or what?
Loch: Yeah, I mean this is a great discussion. I think being clear about this, certainly everyone has a different definition and there’s not just one definition, but I actually talk about waking up, waking in, and waking out. And in waking u -, we could focus on a little bit and discuss that – there’s a waking up out of a small contracted sense of self. And that can be understood very clearly, I think, and experientially, not just intellectually, but I think once you shift out of that, the next phase often is kind of a gap where you’re out of identification and many people end up in this kind of gap of no-self or I’m nobody, there’s nobody here, and then the next half step…
Rick: Let’s dwell on that before we move on to the next one.
Loch: Okay, alright.
Rick: So, personally, even with that one, wouldn’t you say that it’s seldom an all-or-nothing event? It’s sort of like you have glimpses, the glimpses might be intermittent, varying degrees of clarity. I mean, you think, “Okay, I’m awake”, and then you stub your toe in the middle of the night, or you definitely have a sense of personal self, or your boyfriend breaks up with you or something and it comes crashing down. So, even there, would you agree that for most people it starts out rather tenuous and it’s something that kind of stabilizes more and more?
Loch: Yes, absolutely. In fact, kind of the method that I often use for pointing people is called “small glimpses many times”. So, there’s actually the practice, rather than long periods of meditation, is to have a sense of how to intentionally glimpse that shift from being identified to unhooking awareness from thought and actually either dropping into your body, coming back to your senses as the first half-step, or stepping up above into a mindful awareness and then actually shifting out of that into a sense of a pure awareness that can be aware of the mindful meditator. So, those glimpses, yeah, are important to know kind of how to re-recognize from there. And what I found is that ultimately there’s a shift from thought-based knowing to awareness-based knowing. And so, if you’re in thought-based knowing and ego-based identity, you’re always going to come back. So the shift of knowing and there’s a shift of identity that can be kind of learned and trained and often through unlearning, as much as learning, you can start to feel what that’s like, almost like you feel how to balance on a bicycle. And once you do, you know how to return and then you train to remain and then learn to return and then hang out. And then it’s just like you learn many other things – how to play a sport or you just get violin – you get better. And I believe that people can learn it as easily as they learn things that they do every day.
Rick: Yeah, so I want to come back to that and talk about that in much greater detail. And I know you said you’re collaborating with neuroscientists, so we’ll probably talk about neuroplasticity and stuff. But you were about to say like three stages or something, and I wanted to dive into the first one more, and I don’t think you’ve got a chance to say the second and third.
Loch: Yeah, so I think we can go and work on the first, which has its own importance and is really the one. So the first one’s waking up, and the second is waking in, and the third one’s waking out. So I mean, simply waking up out of the limited, contracted sense of self and waking up into an awareness-based knowing. And then waking into that awareness, when that becomes the ground or the foundation of knowing, then the next shift is often that that awareness remains primary but starts to include our body, mind, thoughts, and sensations from within so that we start to embody or have a sense of presence, and it keeps us from feeling transcendent. And then waking out is…
Rick: What do you say? It keeps us from feeling transcendent? I see… from feeling exclusively transcendent.
Loch: Yeah, exactly. Yes. Yeah, it’s the both/and. In some ways, that’s one way of talking about non-dual. Non-dual is often used as if it’s describing the pure awareness, but I call that not dual.
Rick: I think a lot of the people who talk that way, their experience isn’t as clear as one might hope. It’s more like they’ve read too many books and so they’ve gotten used to this lingo and they get on the chat groups and talk about how we’re all already enlightened and you don’t need to do anything and all that stuff. And I really get the sense that… I mean, maybe I’m judging, but it’s not as experiential as they’re indicating. If it were, they probably wouldn’t be haranguing everyone on chat groups.
Loch: Although, I think there’s some sense that they’ve had what we’re talking about, which is that first step or stage, but then often people that come to me for counseling and stuff, they’re caught in that and they’re almost like building a house in that stage. And often, like one of my teachers from Tibet, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who’s a famous teacher, he said, “The real danger of direct recognition is that you’ll intellectualize it”.
Rick: Yeah, exactly. That’s the point I was trying to make.
Loch: Yeah. So there’s a way that they have a genuine first step out of and into what we’re talking about here is kind of out of ego identification and into pure awareness. But then if you then define that as, “Okay, I’m done. That’s it”, then you have to speak from, go back to your mind to speak about it. And you kind of get caught in that not dual and then dualistic speaking and not dualistic speaking. So that’s a normal kind of first stage. But in some ways, what I’m hoping to do, particularly in writing a book about this, is saying, “Okay, that’s good. That’s stage one. Now, keep going. This is how you go to the next one”. And then encourage people to check it out.
Rick: Yeah, I’ve heard Adya give a number of talks in which he says that there’s something about certain stages of awakening, perhaps many stages of awakening, which is so gratifying and gives one such a feeling of self-sufficiency that it’s easy to fall into the notion that one is done.
Rick: And this is it, you know. And as Francis Bennett says, “How do you know you’re done? Did somebody stick a fork in you?”
Loch: I like that. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a good premise to say that it’s always continual unfolding. We’re always beginners. But each, and at the same time, each shift, each stage of awakening is so profound. It’s so transformative, and it’s never done. So it’s almost like if we can keep that paradoxical understanding, we won’t get kind of often… terms like “stuck in stillness” or “emptiness of emptiness” that is used in the Zen tradition where you get… kind of find, it’s like driving across the country and you’re trying to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you stop at the Grand Canyon and you just set up camp, and you’re just like, “That’s it, I’ve arrived”.
Rick: I suppose it’s a temptation to feel that one is done because, why continue to hassle with it and mess with it? And for some people spiritual unfoldment is arduous at times and there’s so many things you have to go through. But on the other hand, if we think of it in terms of the richness and the wonder that can be experienced and live potentially, then why would you want to shortchange yourself? I mean, just keep on trucking and life is an adventure and let it keep unfolding.
Loch: Yeah, I mean, certainly the thing I’ve heard you’ve talk about with other people as well is doing and not doing. So that’s often where we get stuck because the doer who begins can’t find awakening. So we have to kind of unhook from the doer. And then the question becomes for many people, “Okay, once I’ve left that doer, then there’s no doer, so there’s nothing to be done. Therefore I can’t do anything and the new I that’s not an I can’t do anything. So all there is to do is just remain and let things be and it’ll unfold by itself”. But what I find instead is there’s a dance. And when awareness unhooks from the initial doer, that’s kind of the first move of awakening. Then the discovery is that awake awareness is already aware as you, as not the you you thought you were, which is the feeling of, “Oh, I’m not me, I’m not Loch, I’m not Rick, I’m awareness”. But awareness then includes Rick, it then includes me, so I’m not my body-mind and I’m not not my body-mind. So that movement is really important.
Rick: I heard you give some nice descriptions of that in some of your recordings that I was listening to, and maybe I can reiterate what you said or you could elaborate on it. But it’s basically this, and it resonates with what I experienced too, this simultaneous paradoxical but completely compatible sense of, “There’s nobody here, and yet I’m everywhere, and yet I’m here”. And in slightly different words, “There’s nothing happening, and yet all this is happening”. And the best way I can understand and explain it is in terms of multidimensionality, and I think physics gives us a nice metaphor where, sure, there’s a book here, and yet go more and more microscopically, and there’s no book here at all, there’s nothing here. And both of those are true, just each in their own realm.
Loch: Yes. In many ways, in Tibetan Buddhism they talk about non-duality as the two truths, and the two truths mean there’s ultimate reality where there’s no self, there’s only emptiness, although emptiness is awake. And then on relative reality there’s human experience and physical form, and the two truths are they’re both not the same, they’re both true simultaneously. And that makes it very simple, but what it does is, I think for many people who are seeking or have these small glimpses, my interest is in, “Okay, let’s really experience this ultimate reality as easy to experience as relative reality, but you have to be experiencing it from awake awareness. Let’s get to know awake awareness. It knows itself already. You can learn to do that, or you, awake awareness I’m speaking to, can learn to do that. That awake awareness can know itself and then it can know your personality, sensations, emotions and other people, and you can learn how to tune in and transition just the way you learned how to read and write.
Rick: Yeah, there’s plenty of Hindu references to that sort of thing, like that Upanishadic verse, “Two birds sit on the self-same tree, one eats of the fruit and the other does not”, and so on. And then there’s Purnamada Purnamidam, “This is full and that is full”, and “From fullness comes fullness and fullness remains”, and all that kind of stuff.
Loch: Yeah. So there’s another one that’s good, it’s just as often, “The world is unreal, only Brahman is real”. So some people can stop there. So the world is unreal, only Brahman is real. And then the third one is, “The world is Brahman”. So there you go. So ultimate reality is the only reality and it’s empty, it has no contents, there is no person, but there’s also a world and a person and ultimate reality is relative reality. And the dance is where it’s happening and this precious human birth is really what we’re interested in and awakening in some ways is only describing the relative coming on board with the ultimate so they’re both dancing together. I mean ultimately we’re already awake so awakening isn’t about that. It’s about can the ultimate be primary and know itself as relative and ultimate and that’s the shift that’s possible and learnable and teachable. I think easier than we’ve thought.
Rick: Yeah, kind of reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye keeps saying, “On the other hand”. So you told us about up and in, did you tell us about out already?
Loch: Not so much, no. So the up, out, first out of the – we’ll come back to this too I think because it’s important – out of the contracted ego-identified sense of self, the thought-based knowing and then to a gap of not knowing and then a kind of not knowing that knows which is the awake awareness. So now you’re based in awake awareness and as you’re based in knowing and your identity is in this pure awareness. Now pure awareness recognizes it’s none other than form and you feel you’re including and you’re not doing this, this is kind of a move almost like changing a channel of consciousness or tuning in to what’s already here. But what’s tuning in is actually not the doer but the awareness that is now who you are and it’s one of my terms I explain called local awareness is this kind of tuner that tunes in to the presence or the embodied awareness. And then the discovery is that the new knowing is not thought-based but what comes online or what’s been here all along is this heart mind or this bodhicitta or this turiya, turiyatita – that sense of awakeness that’s already aware and present and then that recognizes itself in others. So there’s a sense of namaste, there’s a sense of “I see, oh I see it’s not me the embodied awareness that’s awake, it’s the world is awake, everything’s awake, awakeness is awake and look at this other person, it’s arising in them”. And what’s gone is kind of the fear projecting stuff onto the other person and also the sense of being reactive to and fearful on the level of identity so that there’s a… waking out is kind of a interconnected compassionate expression.
Rick: Nice. Yeah, the Gita talks about seeing all the self in all beings and all beings in the self.
Loch: There you go, yeah, so that’s waking out and that I think is where we’re going, that’s already here on one level and it’s what awakening it’s possible to have glimpses of that each day and for us to marinate in it so it becomes more our new normal.
Rick: Way of functioning, yeah.
Rick: Okay, so that’s a nice overview. So let’s get back to your story. So you had that awakening in college.
Rick: And what did you do then?
Loch: So then I looked around to see what and who I could speak to and picked up some books and went to Zen meditation with Philip Kapleau who’s in Rochester and studied and talked to people. And then eventually went to graduate school at Union Theological and Columbia University for social work and I went on this fellowship to Sri Lanka where I studied Theravada, Vipassana and had some experiences there. Then went up to India and went to Ramana Ashram and then up to meet the Dalai Lama and then over to Nepal where I met Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche which is this tradition of Dzogchen and Mahamudra that kind of caught me because he gave me kind of a little pointing instruction and showed fairly clearly that it’s already here and then I started saying, “Okay, well let me make this simpler. What is he actually saying? What are these people actually, what are they describing? What does that feel like to me? How can I describe it better? How can I let the awareness know itself and show itself to me?” And that’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years is having the awareness show me how it forms and patterns and unhooks and includes and then testing it by asking students, “Try this out, try that out”, and getting feedback and trying to make it simpler and simpler, more available.
Rick: I have a friend in New York named Jill – Hi Jill – and she said that you and she were regulars at all kinds of satsangs in New York, all sorts of teachers who came through and she listed half a dozen of them. So it sounds like this fellow in Tibet… was it Tibet?
Loch: In Nepal.
Rick: …in Nepal was a major teacher for you. But was there any teacher with whom you finally sort of awakened, sitting with that teacher that you would say, “This was the moment”?
Loch: Yeah, I would say that it was really what I was pointed to in this with this teacher in Nepal was, “There is no teacher, the teacher is within”. And so that moment and from then on, that was clear and even what satsang was, is like you’re sitting with the satsang means it’s in the group, it’s not in the teacher. So even when I met, and went to sit with people who are sitting, I was sitting with that which is aware in everyone. And it was interesting that what happened was I became friends with most of those people and one of them, Pamela Wilson, who was a good friend of mine, and we would have talks about this and we would always be a little different. We’d have the same heart, but we would describe, “But what about this? What about that?” And then she came to me one day and she gave me this book. She said, “Loch, I found somebody who talks just like you”. And she gave me this book, “Impact of Awakening” by Adyashanti. And when I read it, I went, “Oh my God, this guy is using language that I thought I invented”. And it was like, “Wait a minute”. You know, we were like totally saying the same thing about in the same way and had the same kind of experience.
Rick: So you sued him.
Loch: So I sued him. It’s still in court.
Rick: Copyright infringement.
Loch: Copyright infringement from the divine, copyright infringement. Yeah. So I just went out and met him and we just kind of would finish each other’s sentences and we were like total brothers immediately. So it was almost like that mutuality and brotherhood of it was what let me relax and kind of settle in and trust that everything was okay rather than, you know, kind of a… I find that my model of teaching is one that’s not a guru style. It’s very much of a mutuality. It’s more of a continuing education style that I am talking from my awakeness to the awakeness and others and I do kind of what I call popcorn satsang, which is basically I immediately just give a little overview of the premise, kind of like a hypothesis. And then I say, “Okay, now we’re going to do some experiments and here’s the experiment and now you guys report”. And what happens is the field, all the people who, whether they’ve come for the first time or whether they’ve been a long time, they start speaking from their true nature. They start being… The way they’re saying it in their own little different language is they’re speaking from the truth, about the truth and everyone else is hearing. There’s not just the person in front of the room, but it’s truly like everyone’s awake and now once we shift or have a small glimpse, then now everyone is clearly shifted and mutually talking to each other.
Rick: Yeah, we had a satsang like that here in Fairfield for years that I went to before I started BatGap. In fact, it was the folks in that satsang that encouraged me to get BatGap going. But we had basically as many as 30-35 people in a small living room every Wednesday night and we would just talk for hours and there was no teacher, and yet there were many people in the room who were confident in their awakening and some not so confident, but it was just this free-flowing, mutual kind of sharing thing and it was so enlivening. I mean, the Shakti in the room would get so thick he could cut it with a knife.
Loch: Right, yeah, that’s beautiful.
Rick: So did Adya sort of, in a way, seal the deal? And it sounds like when you found that camaraderie with him, it kind of gave you a certain confidence or something, a confirmation of what you had been saying and experiencing.
Loch: Yes, and it’s kind of also in both the bringing together tradition and modernity, or tradition and contemporary life, like how do you express this? How much is this connected to tradition and how much is this a modern expression? So he was a very modern expression and that helped me feel like, okay, I’ve checked this out with all the traditional teachers and now I feel confident both in what it is and how it’s expressing itself and also that there’s a sense of “it needs to be updated and simplified”. And Adya does it in his way and I do it a little different. He does more of what I call the resting method, which is sit, do nothing. The Zen metaphor is muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. So that’s the resting method. And I’m more exploring the looking method or a little more the inquiry method, which is actually immediately turning awareness around or shifting out intentionally in the moment with your eyes open in the middle of your day to discover that which is already here and then almost like doing small adjustments using local awareness to return to your natural state and then let it be as it is.
Rick: Yeah, might as well talk about that now, this will be a good chance. I would say that my whole background has been more the resting method.
Rick: And, I learned TM when I was 18 and the whole mechanism of that practice was that the more you do, the less effective it’s going to be. If you’re totally innocent and not making any effort whatsoever, it works marvelously. And then another part of the teaching was, once you’ve done it for 20 minutes or half an hour or whatever in the morning, forget about it, just go about your day. It’s like taking a shower in the morning, you don’t stay any cleaner by thinking about your shower that you had, you just get into your day and you benefit from having taken a shower.
Rick: So, and so, since that was my background and I admit to a little bit of a bias, when I sort of read about all kinds of little things you can do throughout the day, they strike me as being a little bit manipulative, like just leave your mind alone and live your life. I don’t want to keep like looking this way and doing this thing. It seems like it would kind of sully my spontaneity somewhat or something.
Loch: Yes. Yeah, well, I mean, the thing is, the question is always, when you’ve taken the shower, are you walking around as an ego-centered identity, which is a little calmer, or are you spontaneous from the spontaneously awake awareness? So that can be… you can notice that in the middle of your day. And since awakening is about off the cushion, it’s about can you do it with your eyes open, number one? Are you awake with your eyes open? Are you awake in the midst of the simpler things like sitting with your eyes open, walking with your eyes open, typing with your eyes open, and then relating with your eyes open to other people, doing functional tasks? And that’s where a lot of this shifting or inquiry method will immediately, in less time than 20 minutes, in more like 20 seconds to a minute and 20 seconds, you just shift into the natural open-hearted awareness that you’re familiar with. And then you retrain the brain to spontaneously operate from there by beginning to speak. As soon as you begin to speak and walk and talk, you’re almost in a flow state. So rather than being in a meditative state, a flow state is something that’s done in the midst of activity.
Rick: I remember when I had first learned to meditate and I dropped all my druggy friends and pretty much spent my time with my dog for a few months before finding new friends, but I remember walking down to the beach every day. I lived in Connecticut near the shore and just noticing this silence that was there all the time that I hadn’t so much noticed before. But ultimately, you’ve got to plunge into your life. Let’s take an extreme example. You live in New York. Let’s say someone comes to you who works on the New York Stock Exchange, and it’s a pretty intense job to do all day long. Can somebody like that, in the midst of such intensity, be practicing little techniques throughout the day and still be just as effective a stock broker, a stock trader, as otherwise?
Loch: I mean, I have people who are from stock brokers to firemen to people who are social workers with kids in schools that are completely chaotic, and they all can do that. In fact, that’s kind of the point. The point is, it’s like a flow state. If you’re operating, you can do… The amazing thing is that we can kind of do things from the ego rather than from awareness. I mean, that’s kind of like an odd thing once you’ve experienced awakening. It’s like, “Boy, that’s amazing that you can even do that without being awake”, because when you’re in the awake, coming from awake awareness, it’s like a flow state. So flow state, which I write about in my book as well, to talk about the difference between shifting from thought-based knowing to awareness-based knowing, is what people who have done. They often talk about 10,000 hours of some activity, like playing the piano, rock climbing, a basketball player.
Rick: The Beatles, Malcolm Gladwell.
Loch: Yes, Malcolm Gladwell and this guy, Csikszentmihalyi, who did this research. So he studied these people of optimal performance, and they were in the flow state. And the description of flow state is connected to everything – less self-referencing, higher performance, feeling love and joy. And so the sense is that we have done walking, talking, thinking 10,000 hours. So there’s no reason why we can’t do that from an awake flow state. And that’s what awakening is. Awakening isn’t just a calming of the mind and body to kind of be less stressed. It’s literally the feeling of shifting out of what I call the mini-me. So there’s like a mini-me that can be calmed, but when you shift out of it in a moment, in the midst of your day, it’s like you’ve accessed another operating system. And that’s really what those movements are about, is you’re just shifting from one operating system to another.
Rick: The reason I mentioned Malcolm Gladwell and the Beatles is because you mentioned 10,000 hours, and that’s what he talks about in his book.
Loch: That’s right.
Rick: What’s it called? Outliers.
Rick: And he uses the Beatles as an example of – they had 10,000 hours of playing time together before they started to really become famous. He uses Bill Gates as an example, who managed to get himself into this intense computer stuff when he was just a young teenager and managed to put in at least 10,000 hours of programming time. And he mentioned several others. We could probably take examples of great concert violinists and so on. And so all three of those are examples of people who spent a considerable amount of time doing something before they became really good at it. And so what you’re talking about now is starting to do… firemen and stock brokers and so on, starting to do little glimpses throughout the day. Are you suggesting that it might take them 10,000 hours of doing that before it becomes really ingrained and the norm for them, or what?
Loch: Well, it’s interesting because the 10,000 hours is about the task. And what happens is once you are able to do a task to the level that you’ve mastered it, meaning you’re kind of an expert or you don’t have to think about it, it’s possible to shift into a flow state. So what I’m saying is we’ve done the basics of human functioning, 10,000 hours. So that’s done. So we don’t need to do 10,000 hours of meditation. We just need to shift into what is similar to the flow state. So once we trust that, “Okay, I know how to talk. I know how to walk. All right, now shift into this open-hearted awareness away from this little mini-me”, which we can talk more about now. And…
Rick: Keep thinking of Mike Myers every time you say that.
Loch: Well, that’s the kind of funny little sense of what actually is going on in our heads is there’s a little critic, there’s a little judge, there’s a little constellation of consciousness. So let’s talk a little about that. Does that sound good?
Rick: Yeah, yeah. And in doing so, let’s give something to those who are listening that they could actually begin to do and to try it out, so to speak.
Loch: Okay, sure.
Rick: Okay. All right, so let’s try that.
Loch: So I’ll give a little explanation and then we’ll do a little inquiry with those who are listening right now or…
Rick: Or later on.
Loch: So… Or later on, which is now.
Loch: So, the description is that there’s normal conditioning, normal human functioning. So the identity, the ego sense that we’re shifting out of is not the ego personality, it’s not the ego functioning, it’s not the ego body, it’s not even our story. It’s not our story about who we are and where we grew up. It’s not even the I thought. It’s actually a constellation of consciousness. It’s a pattern that operates both in our conscious mind and what we found out in – through recent science is there’s something called the default mode network, which there’s a small self-referencing unconscious part that happens when we’re daydreaming that creates a little me that has been described as creating a sense of dissatisfaction and unhappiness when we’re there. So the creation of this little… what’s called often the separate sense of self, the false self, the small self, the ego identity is… comes from our developmental psychology, it’s called interestingly self-awareness. Self-awareness in child development is basically the ability at about one-and-a-half to three years old to be aware of yourself as an object or be aware of your thinking. So first you’re just like an animal, just operating and thinking, “I’m hungry, I’m operating in conditioning”, and then there’s the ability to think about thinking. So a part of you splits off and says, “Oh, I am doing this. What’s wrong? I shouldn’t be doing that. Oh, I can’t believe I just said that. I better not say that”. So that part becomes the center of ourself and it becomes what’s looking out of our “I”s. And when it is that, it actually… My theory is that the function of the ego function uses the body’s boundaries. So most of us have instinct and boundary program of trying to protect ourselves so we don’t get hit or hurt. And that when this little pattern, secondary self, creates a point of view in our heads, then it’s almost like there’s a mini-me that co-ops the physical boundary and starts to feel like it’s a little boundary self within your mind that is trying to solve problems of the same kind of body problems. So it’s trying to get satisfaction and protect itself from threat.
Rick: Let me ask you a question here. As a psychologist, do you believe or understand that the development of this mini-me is a normal, natural, developmental stage that is desirable and necessary in the course of one’s growth, and that we then want to kind of work beyond eventually, and that most people probably never do work beyond? Or do you think it can somehow be circumvented entirely if our upbringing is right, we don’t even have to go through that stage?
Loch: It might be the second, but I’m going to go with the first. So basically I’m talking mainly to adults. I mean I’d like to work on the project to see whether we can circumvent it in child development, but let’s say it’s a normal part of development. So even in defining it that way, all of a sudden we’re talking about what has been talked in religious terms or spiritual terms, and I’m just saying, “Look, what prevents awakening is just a normal stage of development that we need to cognitively develop”. So once we’ve developed it, which means once you’re an adult, any adult who’s listening to this show now is capable of going to the next stage right now.
Rick: So in that sense it’s not preventing awakening, it’s kind of a foundation for awakening, perhaps. It’s a necessary prerequisite in a sense, that you get that developed and then you move on from there, right? Or wrong?
Loch: When it’s returned to its normal function, it’s just ego functioning. But it actually loops around itself. So there doesn’t seem to be a natural next stage of development that went from no self-awareness to self-awareness to awakening. So that’s my theory, is that that’s how we can go. We can learn to go from no self-awareness to self-awareness, that self-awareness starts looping around and creating a separate sense of self, to waking up out of that to the next stage of development, which is normal human awakening. No big deal. So that patterning is literally just a conditioned pattern that when I’ve talked to everyone who’s described awakening, that’s what I hear. I hear, and when I inquire with them, no matter what they described, they were on a mountaintop, doing a meditation, they went through a tragedy, they were the teacher, they were in nature. When I say, “Okay, let’s back it up. Walk me through it”. What it is, is the relaxing, the deconstructing, the letting go, the stepping out, the moving away from that and only that. Not a belief, not a sense of where you go next is differently described. But what I’m focusing on now is what is it that prevents us from awakening? What’s that pattern? And how do we step out of it or make it non-primary? And then just as importantly is what’s the new operating system that replaces it, so that we don’t have to keep going back to the ego identity?
Rick: I think maybe non-primary is a key term there. So I think what you’re saying is that this mini-me has a normal function, just as our senses and our intellect and various other faculties have their purpose and they’re very valuable to us, but if it takes the driver’s seat, if it assumes disproportionate role in our life, then it makes trouble. It needs to take a back seat or just be there in proper proportion.
Loch: Yes, it needs to be returned to its natural function. So its natural function is ego functioning, which is just basically, “Okay, I know how far away that street corner is and whether it’s a green light or red light and whether I should cross or not cross”. So that’s just functioning that needs to be done from our physical separate feature. And then the other two parts are thinking, thinking about thinking. So when thought-based thinking creates the sense of identity, it starts looping around itself. And the nature of mind is actually awareness-based, not thought-based. And then the third part is that the ego function and thinking co-opt the physical boundary program and that’s the thing that has to let go because that’s when it actually feels like there’s a little me inside and this is how we’re going to lead to this practice now. So the assumption is there’s a little me that’s trying to solve problems on the level of identity. And though we have… So I’m not saying there’s no issues or problems to deal with on regular daily life. There is, of course, but there’s no problem on the level of identity that this little mini-me is trying to solve problems of getting satisfaction, but there’s nothing to eat and there’s nothing to satisfy because it’s not a real entity and there’s nothing threatening it. But it always thinks there’s something to get, there’s something it’s missing, there’s some problem to solve. And even when there’s no problem to solve, it thinks, “Oh my God, that’s dangerous. I better find a problem because I’m being dumb and I’m not solving a problem and there must be a problem to solve”. So it’s…
Rick: That’s an interesting one. Let me just interject a little quick thing here. You know how contentious people can sometimes be on the internet? They get into these nasty arguments about every little thing. It’s like I often get the feeling like they’re doing that to sort of buttress their image, their ego or to reinforce it because it gives them a… because without that there’s a sort of a fear, a threat of, “Oh, I’m going to..”. I’m not saying this very clearly. It’s like the ego kind of wants to fortify itself and it uses conflict to do that. And maybe that happens on societal levels as well, I don’t know.
Loch: Yes, it does. Yeah. Yeah. So this particular constellation of this problem solver, let’s see what happens. So if we assume right now, just very simply, that there’s this secondary problem solver within us that we can’t even see because we’re looking from it. So the only way to be aware of it is when we’ve stepped out of it or it’s relaxed. So we’re going to try something like that right now. So if we just keep all… just notice all our senses are on. So we’re sensing in our body, we’re hearing, we’re tasting, we’re smelling, we’re seeing, thinking is happening in our minds and we’re just aware of being alive in here. Now, if we just ask ourself this simple inquiry without referring to this problem solver, what’s here now when there’s no problem to solve? So just relaxing, let everyone take a little time and just look with awareness to see what’s here, who’s here, when there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do on the level of identity. So just inquire and then look what’s here now when there’s no problem to solve, just now. And just feel into that quality of being, of awareness, of what’s awake, what’s aware when it’s not thought-based. When you don’t go up to thought and don’t look down from thought, just let go what’s here now when there’s no problem to solve. What’s this like? What qualities? What’s absent and what’s aware? What’s that like? And what do you notice Rick, any qualities that come up?
Rick: Well, I don’t have any problems to solve, but for me there’s just always presence, you know, and I think that’s what you’re referring to and it wasn’t always that way in my life. But that’s always there, even if I’m falling off my bicycle and skinning my elbow or going through something difficult, there’s this presence that never goes away. But let’s think…
Loch: Yeah, for those who don’t have that as a normal…
Rick: Yeah, I was thinking, let’s say there’s a single mom and she’s got three kids and she just lost her job and the bills are piling up and one of her kids is on drugs and life is just overwhelming. And she hears you say that, what’s she going to do with that?
Loch: kay, so this is the key. That was a great example, excellent question, because the first thing is to separate relative reality problems, daily life problems, from what’s called suffering, which is a sense of continual perpetual dissatisfaction that’s here regardless of external circumstances. So there’s a secondary dissatisfaction that piggybacks on life’s problems and makes them addictive and anxious or depressive. So it’s taking away on the level of identity, the problem. It’s not about at all problems in the world. So what this is about is what’s here now when there’s no problem to solve on the level of who you are or what you need on the level of who you are. And what happens is people describe they fall into being and that being is okay. On the level of identity there’s a sense of okayness, well-being, from which you can now respond to whatever situation you’re in. And that’s…
Rick: Let me play the role of that single mom for a minute.
Rick: I mean you say, “What’s here now when there’s no problem to solve?” I’ve got problems to solve. You know, I’m going to get evicted, my kid’s going to go to jail, and these are real problems. And I feel overwhelmed. I feel like crying all the time. I feel anxious. I feel afraid. And I just don’t get what you’re saying here. How is this going to help me?
Loch: Yeah. So that’s answering it on the level of ego-identity. So the inquiry, though I set it up more in the book when I do it because I give a whole preface and clarify kind of the question you’re asking is kind of discussed that this is not the level we’re looking at. Let’s get back to the relative reality later. There’s no problem with that. We’re not trying to bypass it, but we are looking to see what happens when the little mini-me relaxes so that you go into presence. So I would say ultimately the person you’re describing, the housewife, would feel like you. So would you say that being in presence, if stuff arises in your life, it’s different than when you weren’t in presence?
Rick: Me personally?
Rick: Oh yeah. I mean…
Loch: That’s what I’m pointing to is to get her to that and that then she can deal with, it’s not negating or belittling what she has to deal with. It’s saying that, however, if you try to deal with any kind of life, whether your life is good or medium or easy… I mean, I get, I think I write about in the book that I get people often in the last 10 years of my practice who come to me and are the most successful external people in the world. So I get actors, business people, opera singers, who are happily married, successful, their family’s good, their health is good, their life is good. And they come in and they say, “I’m miserable. I’m so dissatisfied. I don’t even know what it is. I’ve tried everything. I’ve bought things. I’ve gone to things. I’ve done charity work even. I’ve done, and something’s wrong. I don’t know what it is. Can you help me?” And what it is, is this. This is what it is, is that their mini-me is what is called in Buddhism is the cause of suffering. It’s this sense of a constellation that literally is, I feel, a constellation of consciousness that can in a moment relax. We did one pointer here, but I have about 30 different doorways in my audio tape and book that for some people this may have been helpful. But there are many many little ways, but the principle is that in a moment you can shift and learn how to shift out of that dominance of that dissatisfied mini-me. And when you do, you return to what everyone who writes about awakening in all cultures describes. In a moment, people from the floor who walked in, never having gone to a meditation event before, will start to say, “Oh my God, I feel a sense of well-being for the first time in five years. I’ve been so anxious, I still have problems, but you know what, I’ll deal with them”.
Rick: Yeah, so that’s nice. So you’re saying that, I mean, all the scriptures say that there’s a vast reservoir of bliss within, sat-chit-ananda, and contact with Brahman is infinite joy, and all kinds of sayings like that. You’re saying it’s really not that far away, and that the average person can begin to dip into it with just a slight shift in…
Rick: Yeah, okay.
Loch: Yeah, that’s the premise, and that’s the unique kind of approach that I’ve been playing with. That it’s kind of inquiry, like Ramana Maharshi’s inquiry method – just saying, “Ask who am I?” and then following that and learning how to do it. It’s kind of a little bit of just as you would need to learn any skill like TM or like mindfulness or like chanting. It’s a skill of moving awareness, of shifting local awareness from its identification with a pattern of thinking, unhooking it, dropping it, opening it up to discover the awareness that’s already awake. And then from there you realize the awakeness has already been awake and there’s a sense of embodiment and okayness and relief that follows.
Rick: I heard you evoke Frank Sinatra in one of your talks, “Dooby-dooby-doo”, you know? And so what you’re saying is, if we alternate glimpses of being with doing, then the two eventually become integrated. And that too is a traditional teaching, as you may be aware. And I guess the question that comes to my mind is, there are degrees of dipping into being. I mean, if you want to shoot an arrow, if you pull it back just a little bit on the bow, it’s going to flop to the ground, it might go two feet forward, but if you pull it way back, then it can shoot really far. And so I guess a doubt I have is, having again done a meditation practice where you get totally absorbed in being for a period of time and then come out into activity, that feels to me like pulling the arrow way back on the bow, as opposed to just a little dip that momentary, and then pull it back to three inches and then boom, it drops. So I guess the question is, how fully can you be if you’re on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as opposed to going home in the evening and closing your door and closing your eyes and just really going deeper?
Loch: Yeah, so I mean, what I end up, the way I decided to deal with that question, which is a great question, is to give a kind of little map, one of which we talked about waking up, waking in, waking out. Another one is the ability to shift through five levels of mind. So if you shift into inner body presence, you’ll go into that absorbed state, right? So if you go from mental awareness, thought-based, ego-centered, and you can go into an absorbed black, calm consciousness, I call that a subtle body. If you step above thought and observe it, that’s called subtle mind, and that’s the second stage. The first stage is everyday mind, which is where we live mostly, and ego-centeredness, and then we can shift above it into subtle mind, which is mindfulness, or into absorbed inner body presence. And then the next one is to shift to pure awareness, and then to look from pure awareness, and then once you open to space, and then you can be… all right, so why don’t we do a quick little variation on this?
Rick: And these things you just mentioned are all things one can do in the midst of driving a taxi cab. I’m not saying these have to be done in any kind of secluded condition.
Loch: Yeah, the first time probably not while driving.
Loch: But eventually. Just because you’re learning, but eventually, in fact, driving is one way that people actually enter this state. So once you realize what the state is, it’s because you need a panoramic view in order to drive.
Rick: And before you tell us this, do you do these yourself all day long?
Loch: Yeah, I mean, I play with it most of the time, like you. There’s a background presence that’s always here. But there’s definitely a tuning in, depending on… or a retuning, or a continual cleansing, or purifying, or letting go, or letting be, or re-recognizing, that takes… you know, is very easy because I know the radio stations and how to tune the system.
Rick: You’ve got the buttons pre-programmed.
Loch: I’ve got the buttons pre-programmed. But it’s… and there’s a way that you can be very much with someone else from your open-hearted awareness, which is so different than just meditating in the morning and just trying to be with someone the best you can. The feeling of it is dramatic. And that’s all we can do, is kind of check it out.
Rick: And personally, I would say that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. If you want to meditate in the morning, meditate in the morning. But you’re saying this is a kind of a little extra tool in your toolkit that is going to be helpful.
Loch: Yeah, this is a way that you can kind of readjust or actually practice in the midst of your life, is really more of what it is. So yeah, one of the things I talk about is what’s called local awareness, which is something I discovered from open-hearted awareness. I realized that focusing on something, that there’s some sense, like you were talking about before, there’s some sense of the feeling of you’re completely empty and nowhere. You’re completely everywhere and one. And you’re completely here and now.
Rick: Yeah, all at the same time.
Loch: All at the same time. And there’s a feeling of no location of the self. So there’s actually… one of the ideas of what no self is, is that what that means is there’s no location, there’s no point of view from which you’re looking. Everything is included, although you feel more locally connected to your senses. But the identity is kind of located everywhere, nowhere, and here. So from there…
Rick: You feel it more if somebody whacks your thumb with a hammer than if somebody whacks the table with a hammer.
Loch: That’s right. Yeah, so on the relative level you’re relatively here and now, but on another level you’re interconnected and one, another level you’re infinite, and then you’re finite too. So then from there, if you focus on something, a task or a person, you’re no longer using attention. So you’re no longer looking from your moving mind. So attention is really looking from the moving mind and it’s what you work with in mindfulness. The word sati is re-remembering. You have to re-remember to bring your attention back. You lose your attention, you bring your attention back. From effortless mindfulness, from this effortless awareness, you’re really kind of undistracted and yet you can focus locally. When you focus locally, you’re focusing from awareness to awareness that’s appearing as form. So do you get a feeling for that?
Rick: Yeah, and a question, and that is that, can’t attention be effortless and spontaneous? Like right now you have your attention on me, we’re talking, I have my attention on you. I don’t have to make an effort to put my attention on you. I might have to if the dog started making a fuss and I was getting distracted and I gotta stay focused, but ordinarily as we go through our day, we just naturally give our attention to the things that demand it without any undue effort, unless we’re in a really boring… well, this brings up a good point, which is the mind has a natural tendency to seek happiness, right? So if we’re in a boring job, we wanna just keep checking our email or looking at something on the internet or listening to music or something instead of focusing on the job, because the mind is not gratified by the point of focus.
Loch: So what I would say is that that’s the mini-me, that’s not the mind. So the mind is really just a tool of conceptual functioning, and it can be used or not used. Once you awaken from the mini-me, you see the mind is just… there’s a level of automatic thinking that’s going on all the time, it’s going to think about this, remember that, but you’re not identified with it, so it’s not taking you on a ride. So all I’m saying is that actually I’m making a distinction with local awareness is – it’s like attention, but it’s not attention because you’re focusing from awareness in a way that’s focused. So let’s experience it, it’s easier. So it feels like attention, you’ll think, “Oh, well, I’m just moving my attention”, but you’ll see that it can move outside the body, inside the body, and that there’s a way that awareness is the only thing that can perceive awareness, that you can’t be aware of awareness from your mind, from thought, from your senses. So finding a way for awareness to be aware of itself is one of the key movements of awakening. That’s like one of the ways I would simply say that that’s like one of the turning points. So just notice, everyone can try this as you’re looking at the screen, just be aware that your awareness is identified with thinking, you’re understanding what I’m saying, and now just make a subtle movement so awareness is aware of seeing. So it’s like awareness moves from thinking and now it goes to another sense, seeing, and you can feel the difference, right? You kind of mind is kind of quiet, a little bit. Okay, now just as awareness moves from thinking to seeing, see what it’s like when awareness moves to one of your ears, to just hearing.
Rick: Just one of your ears?
Loch: Yeah, well you could do both, either way. I mean sometimes people get distracted, so just hearing.
Rick: And you want to close your eyes when you say that, because you want to be totally absorbed in the hearing.
Loch: But here’s the thing, yeah, see that’s the thing, that’s a meditative tendency. But what I’m saying is, notice how we can do all of this in the midst of our day with our eyes open. So the most dominant sense is awareness, is seeing a second, thinking is first. In Buddhism, thinking is considered the sixth sense. So in some ways, thinking is mental sensations.
Rick: In some forms of yoga, it’s considered to be a subtler aspect of the sense of hearing.
Loch: Oh, interesting.
Rick: Yeah, so like I’m saying these words right now, I could also think these words right now and I would hear them, but you wouldn’t because it’s just a subtler aspect of the sense of hearing.
Loch: Yeah, so thinking, awareness is connected to thinking, and then the second dominant sense is seeing. So we want to return our eyes to their natural state. And to do that, we have to unhook awareness from thinking, we have to unhook awareness from seeing. And I have a particular series that does that, but here we’re going to do another one similar. So awareness is connected to thinking, you’re just understanding my words, and then awareness moves to just seeing, and just notice the feel, and then awareness can move to just hearing. So it’s like awareness is focused in a very small area.
Rick: And it’s not just, it’s more predominant because you don’t go blind when you do this, you’re still seeing, but you’re shifting your predominant attention to the…
Loch: Yeah, and do you feel that it’s almost like a camera has shifted angle stuff?
Rick: Focus, yeah.
Loch: Focus. So that feeling, okay, so then now let’s build on that series in a couple more moves. So I’ll just lead you through a little guided… So if awareness is attached to thinking normally and seeing, thinking and seeing, thinking and seeing, we’re just going to unhook awareness from thinking and have it go to just seeing. And now unhook awareness and have it go to just hearing, feel that shift. And just notice that just as awareness can focus in a small area of vibration sensation at the ears, let awareness now open to the space in which sound is coming, going in the room. So be interested in the sound that’s moving, but then become more interested in space. So awareness of space, boundless, contentless, objectless space. You can feel an effect right away from that. And then just notice that just as you’re aware of open space, see whether open space is mingling with awareness so you actually have discovered an awareness that’s aware from open space. So it’s as if the space is aware both outside and within. So you have a sense of a big sky awareness, and then also notice that not only is the awareness open spaciously, but it’s also pervasive. So feel like that awareness is inherent within your body and that the awareness remains open, but is also now knowing sensations from within below your neck. So you feel like you’ve dropped from head to heart, from head to body, open to space. Space is now within, and then from that space, which is also behind your back and within and kind of opening forward. So you feel like there’s a spacious and pervasive, open and embodied. And just notice that there’s an alertness that doesn’t have to go to thought to know, that there’s a potential to know from the heart-mind. Like you could say something, you’re aware, you could respond, but you’ve left the chattering mind, you’re feeling embodied, spacious. Notice what qualities are rising from here. As you just don’t go up to thought to orient and don’t look down from thought, feel that you’ve shifted into a field of awake awareness that’s embodied and that has an open-hearted heart-mind quality that could be creative and related as needed. So it’s a kind of a presence as a new ground.
Rick: Okay, that’s mellowing. I still question whether I could do it on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, but maybe with practice I could, and not get distracted and lose somebody’s life savings in the process.
Loch: Yeah, people do it all the time. And you do it like any break.
Rick: Like a coffee break.
Loch: Yeah, like a coffee break.
Rick: And in those stages in that process, is there any sense of pure awareness without an object? I mean, it’s always some kind of perceptual activity, albeit a more subtle one, but there still seems to be the seer, seen and process of seeing going on at one level or another.
Loch: I didn’t emphasize it as much, but when you go from seeing to hearing, and then awareness of space, and then when space is aware, awareness can then be aware of itself as objectless, contentless, timeless. So right there, there’s a timeless, boundless, objectless awareness, aware of itself. And when that… I find that people take about five to a minute and a half, and it just clicks in. It’s almost like it’s knowing itself as itself, and then it’s just is what’s aware, is who’s aware, is where you’re aware from. And when that happens, the rest of it kind of unfolds naturally.
Rick: Now as you know, especially working with neuroscientists and so on, people have many many many many many layers of conditioning, and especially if people have been exposed to a lot of stress, PTSD suffers, people in prisons and so on, MRIs show that their brain actually looks quite different than someone who isn’t stressed. And so, are you suggesting that these practices could actually restructure the brain in such a way that five years after practicing them, or however much time, you could do another MRI and you’d see a whole different pattern of brain functioning? Is it going to affect change at such a deep physiological level?
Loch: I mean, there’s different meditations that affect brain matter and brain functioning, and there’s different meditations that affect different types of brain functioning. So trauma is one of the most extreme forms and needs multi-dimensional work. This kind of non-dual awareness which I’m working with, which has been measured by some of the fMRIs, what it does is it works with the default mode network and it balances a sense of feeling inside and outside, so that it takes you into this sense of self that the trauma appears as weather within your system. So you feel…
Rick: Weather, you mean like clouds and storms, that kind of weather?
Loch: But right within you. So it’s almost like it’s what I call shake and bake. So working with people, which I’ve done for 20 years as a therapist, but 10 years in this system, and many people with trauma are able to do this and find healing. I haven’t looked at their particular brain imaging, but there are certainly the first person reports are that it’s not about – for them, they say something like this, and I think this is important – it’s not about what’s appearing, it’s about who or what is it appearing to.
Loch: So the trigger will happen. So let’s say they were triggered by loud sounds or violence or some screaming or something. Someone will scream, their body will trigger, their brain will fire. Their amygdala and their reptilian brain will say, “Danger, danger”. And what they do is they end up saying, “But now I feel like it’s a car alarm with no thief”. So the alarm goes off, but the one who it’s appearing to, it kind of shakes through them. And then what happens is they don’t get re-traumatized so that eventually the healing has an opportunity to happen.
Rick: Yeah, that last sentence is important, I think, because you wouldn’t want to just sort of be able to witness your abusive behavior, your alcoholism or something like that if you’re suffering from PTSD. You’d want to actually decondition all that and not be behaving that way anymore.
Loch: Yeah, I mean, most of the people with trauma who come to me aren’t so much acting out on it. What they’re experiencing is the imprints in the brain from childhood trauma or from earlier trauma that get triggered in the midst of the day by similar things or even things that are not that similar but seem similar, that their brain is going into defensive mode and then bringing them back as if they’re living in that situation again, even though their current partner or something isn’t abusive or it’s just they’re in the middle of an argument and all of a sudden they feel like they’re back being abused in their childhood. So they have to find a way to be with the old trauma that’s currently happening from their current sense of being to which it’s appearing to and distinguish that it’s not actually, they’re not actually five years old.
Rick: Yeah, and we know from stories of enlightened people and hopefully from our own experience to whatever degree, that a style of functioning can develop in which one is not triggered in the first place. You don’t want to be flying off the handle and just be a silent witness to yelling at somebody, you want to actually be able to have the patience and fortitude to just take the situation in stride and not lose your equanimity.
Loch: Yeah, no, by triggered I mean the internal trigger. So when I say triggered I don’t mean that people are yelling, I mean that some loud sound happens and inside of them they’re triggered, meaning they’re experiencing like panic. It doesn’t mean that they’re actually yelling.
Rick: No, but I know they’ve done studies with meditators, for instance, with loud sounds and have found that with more practice, more experienced practice, the galvanic skin response doesn’t jump when there’s a loud sound, so there’s not an inappropriate or unnecessary response to stimuli.
Loch: That’s right, exactly.
Rick: Whereas somebody who’s been in Iraq and has witnessed a lot of explosions and all, there could be a very high response to some bang or firecracker or something that goes off.
Loch: That’s right.
Rick: Yeah, you want to decondition that stuff.
Loch: Yeah, I want to decondition that. Yeah, so there’s a multi-level treatment, but what we’re talking about with awakening is, what I found is that you can only grow up to a certain level with the healthiest of ego until you have to wake up in order to continue to grow up, but you can also wake up and not grow up and act out. Those are both true statements.
Rick: Let’s talk about that for a minute. I’ve always been fascinated, especially in the last decade or so, with the correlation of emotional and behavioral maturity and awakening, and I used to think that correlation was very tight, and now I’m convinced it’s a big, stretchy rubber band. There’s some correlation, but boy, there can really be a disconnect between one’s behavior and one’s level of awakening, and I find that a little bit puzzling, but maybe you can elaborate a bit.
Loch: Yeah, I mean I’ll start with the one that’s less talked about, which is that I think you can… Like I said, I’ve worked with a lot of people that are very well-developed, mature, ethical people who come to me and say, “I’ve put all my ducks in a row. I’ve done everything well. I give money to charities. I’m successful. I have a great marriage. My kids are great. I’m healthy. Everything’s good, and I’m miserable”, and others who are dealing with, who have grown up but are dealing with emotional situations, whether it’s trauma or just being a sensitive human being, and if you’re a sensitive human being, you cannot bear a full, intimate, emotional life from ego identity. You have to grow beyond the mini-me in order to live an open-hearted, emotional, full capacity where you feel joy, well-being, non-reactive, feel that you’re able to cry when you’re sad, laugh when you’re happy. That’s really my interest, is saying awakening is the next natural stage of human development, and that this development of the mini-me is a thing that has kind of looped on itself. It was meant to be a function of self-awareness, but the identity got caught in this mini-me, and we need to wake up, and that’s possible with intentional, just like intentional growing up or developing of other capacities are. Then the other side is that if you wake up from the mini-me, you wake up from ego identification, you haven’t developed other lines and levels, or you actually regress back to kind of an adolescent level of development that often people are at emotionally, you can do a spiritual bypass and go into kind of ethical relativism and feel like you are awake, and therefore adopt some philosophy like everything is fine and it’s all a game, and you don’t see what I call the third stage of waking out. So when you wake out, you wake into the heart and you wake out and you see, as you said, that everyone is the divine. You can’t really act out because respect and integrity are there.
Rick: Yeah, and we’ve all heard the stories of abusive gurus, and we don’t need to go into the gory details, but let’s say that, just hypothetically, let’s say that all the people you work with are eventually going to become spiritual teachers. Of course they’re not, but let’s say they were. What would you do in your work with them to try to turn out a crop of spiritual teachers who were never susceptible to the kinds of abuses that have given spiritual teachers a bad name?
Loch: Yeah, I mean, I think everyone… I’m interested in people who are not necessarily teachers but are awakened individuals. Most of the people…
Rick: Yeah, and even if they don’t become teachers, let’s make it more realistic – a person has a spiritual awakening and then they cheat on their wife, or they do some unscrupulous business deal or something like that, and yet they say they’re awakened. I mean, how do we, as a larger spiritual community, how do we mature in such a way that this sort of misbehavior doesn’t sully the reputation of spiritual awakening as it has? I mean, I know people who have just given up on spirituality because they’ve been so disillusioned by this kind of thing.
Loch: Yeah, I think there’s a number of things. There’s a chapter in my book about this kind of thing. So I think some of it is about starting with a model that isn’t a parental guru and childlike student. So I think that’s the first thing, is that in our modern democratic culture, I think we’ve got to learn from each other as mature responsible adults and assume that awakening is going to be in that context. The next thing is that I think…
Rick: And nobody’s above some kind of constructive criticism. Everyone could possibly benefit from feedback.
Loch: Absolutely, just like any other democratic organization, that leaders have certain talents and others don’t, but that awakening doesn’t take you out of the human race.
Loch: You still have to show up and grow up. I kind of outlined a little development of this. Certainly waking in and waking out has got to be part of the model immediately, not just waking up. So I immediately give glimpses, not only waking up, but glimpses of waking in and glimpses of waking out. So you start to feel what it’s like to see the awakeness in other people.
Rick: So it almost seems that the three have to grow simultaneously rather than sequentially.
Loch: That’s right. And then it’s actually interesting that I start to work with some of a certain kind of… you might call it psychology, after waking out, which is once you’re established in an awakeness as your being, I have people become very aware of which parts or subpersonalities start to sit in the seat of the self. So as you’re living your day, you feel so great when you’re by yourself. Now you go into a role or you go into an activity and all of a sudden a judgmental part will come in. All of a sudden a little boy will come in. All of a sudden, “I can’t believe they’re doing this to me”, or some part that says, and you start to realize, “Oh, there’s, look at that. Isn’t that interesting?” So rather than being aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations as objects, you start to be aware of subpersonalities trying to sit in and operate and become the new operating system, little mini-me’s that try to drive the vehicle. And you just be aware of them and then return to your sense of being and spontaneously live from and respond from there.
Rick: So are you saying that you’re actually teaching little practices which might help a person not succumb to the temptation of sleeping with their students or cheating on their wife or doing screwy business deals or something like that, something that makes one more self-reflective in the midst of activities so as to not misbehave?
Loch: Yeah, so you’re bringing every point of view, every part of yourself to the table and you’re looking at it. So if you have a feeling of… some student would say, “Okay, well, I have this sexual attraction to a woman”, and then start to think about what I’m doing, I say, “Okay, well, let’s just look at that part of you. That’s a part of you. Is there another part that doesn’t?” Yeah, there’s another part that’s saying, “What the hell are you doing?” And then, “Is there another part?” Yeah, there’s another part that said, “This is ridiculous. This is going to lead to pain and suffering”. Okay, and what else? And then you just start to realize, “Oh, okay. If I get co-opted or contracted back or identified or possessed by that part of me that’s instinctually based and thinks it will satisfy itself through having an affair or something, then I’ve become co-opted and I’m no longer operating from being”. And to not make that an unusual thing, because we have many parts of ourself that will continue to appear. It’s just a matter of who they’re appearing to and who’s driving the car, the ahamkara, right?
Rick: Ahamkara, right, the I-maker. So remember Christ said, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do”. So you’re suggesting that it’s not enough to tap into the transcendent and want to be oriented from there, but that even having done that there can be blind spots and that part of spiritual practice is the in and out phases, which would shine light on the blind spots and prevent you from being an enlightened asshole.
Loch: Yeah, that’s right. Because as we said, the awakening is just one aspect of the full human life and it’s awakening from that mini-me, but then what you realize is, “Well, the awakeness has already been awake. It’s not a big achievement because I realized the awakeness was already awake”. Now the whole game is, “How does this awakeness live this human life?” Because otherwise, if you want to go to the mountaintop or live in a cave, that’s fine, that’s an option. However, to me, in the modern world, the interesting project is – and it seems to be what a lot of people who have awoken in the modern world, is they say – “Well, let’s see what the full human life is”, and it’s an amazing adventure.
Rick: Yeah, so in your own case, having awoken at least to a fairly significant degree at a fairly young age, how has this impacted your life? How has your life unfolded in terms of your own fulfillment, your relationships? In fact, somebody asked me that recently. They said, “You should always ask your guests, ‘How has the rubber met the road?'” How have they been as boyfriends or husbands or fathers? Has there been a practical advantage or enhancement of ordinary life through their awakening?
Loch: Yeah, I mean there’s a famous Zen saying that says, “If you want to know if a Zen master is awake, ask his wife”.
Rick: Yeah, good point. Or as Ram Dass put it, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents”.
Loch: That’s right, those are two good tests.
Rick: Yeah, how about in your own case, just to put you on the spot, how has it been for you?
Loch: Yeah, I mean certainly interpersonal relationships is the advanced course. I think from the beginning I got that this was true. In fact, I took this graduate course in spirituality and psychology. So I kind of knew from the beginning they were both together. And I immediately went off, when I went off to India for my fellowship, I was thinking, “Well, I could stay here as long as I want”, and I felt like I wanted to return. And when I returned, I started to create soup kitchens and shelters. And I felt like immediately like, “Oh, this is about giving back. Oh, this is about where the rubber meets the road. Oh, this is not my awakening. This is about sharing this with everyone”. So from the beginning, then I went to social work school and learned skills of both spirituality and psychology and wanted to help those who had the least good fortune. And then I’ve been married 20 years and fortunate to have the love of my life and dedicated my book to Paige, who’s an inspiration. And we’ve gone through normal back and forth, emotional growing and challenges together, but we’re probably stronger than ever. And every time I see her, I shall come around a corner, I don’t know, we both just go like, “Oh my God, it’s you!” You know, there’s some kind of natural respect and love and bond that’s been allowed to be the front and center.
Rick: That’s nice.
Rick: Have any kids?
Loch: No, we don’t. No, we decided not to, yeah.
Rick: Cats, dogs?
Loch: Yeah, we have a cat, Duffy, who’s like a total… he’s like a dog cat. He comes when you call, “Come on, Duffy, come up here”, and comes up, jumps on the lap and sleeps by our heads. He’s very loving.
Rick: So about the soup kitchens, how do you see – as you know, in probably various Christian and Hindu and Buddhist spirituality, seva or service is seen as a spiritual practice. Let’s talk about that for a few minutes. Not only in terms of like… obviously when you do a soup kitchen you’re not going to be teaching the people meditation or even talking about spirituality, you’re going to be giving them soup or food, sandwiches. So, what do you see as the value of some kind of service for spiritual aspirants?
Loch: Yeah, so I think this is a good discussion about kind of preliminary practices and then expression of awakeness. So I think a lot of what is often focused on are things like, do acts of kindness, meditate, do yoga, chant, and those are kind of preliminary practices that can lead to awakening. They’re also at the same time about lines and levels of development. In other words, they’re about intentionally growing in a way that you’re less self-centered and you’re intentionally, whether you like it or not, you’re kind of like doing some people trying to be compassionate until your mind says, “What are you being so compassionate? No one’s compassionate to you”, and then you kind of are struggling with that. So certainly intentionally doing all these things are helpful for many ways of growing in your life. But in some ways, they’re not really spiritual. They’re really about developing your person, your emotional life, your personality life. It’s only when you’ve shifted into awakeness and woken both up, out, down and out. For me, when I had this kind of waking out experience, that’s what I wanted to do. So it wasn’t something I felt I should do. It wasn’t like the Ten Commandments of you need to do that. I think that’s important to kind of build moral development, ethical development, emotional development, social development. But then the second thing we’re talking about is if you recognize and live from open-hearted awareness you’ll see and respond in the way that you best respond. So some people will continue the jobs they’re doing and they’ll just donate money and do other things, they’ll be part of the solution, but it’ll come from a natural quality that’s revealed through awakening.
Rick: Yeah, and so what you were saying then is that you didn’t get into that stuff to earn spiritual brownie points, you did it because your heart just prompted you to do it.
Rick: You just felt like, “This is something I need to do”.
Loch: Yes, exactly.
Rick: You said something a minute ago about, well it prompted me to define spirituality in terms of what you’ve been talking about, in terms of up, in and out, in terms of much more holistic, multi-dimensional development than just awakening to the transcendent. And if that’s the way we define it, it would seem to me that service is very much conducive to that holistic development, because it does develop the heart, I mean it does get you out of the smallness of “me, me, me, me”. And, I mean Mother Teresa used to say that when she served the dying in Calcutta she was serving Christ, she saw them as Christ and she was basically washing Christ’s feet and healing Christ’s wounds and so on and so forth, and for her it was very much a spiritual practice.
Rick: Yeah. So I guess that needs no response.
Loch: Yeah, I totally agree.
Rick: The main point being spirituality as a holistic thing involving all facets and areas and aspects of life, not just sort of one compartment of our life that’s divorced from the others.
Loch: Yeah, especially as you said, it’s really defining non-duality in a new way, not as not-duality, not as just transcendent, not as just pure awareness, not as realizing we’re not our bodies, but realizing we’re not our bodies and not our bodies, that we’re also that the awareness is none other than form, that form is emptiness, but emptiness is form. So that in some ways is that expression of non-duality, is the first level of awakening. An important one is to realize the awareness that’s aware of itself without object or mental need to maintain it. And then to realize that that is already realizing that there’s an expression, a human expression and an expression within form, within our lives that is not separate from that. And that’s where the joy and the love and the playfulness and the expression and the freedom to live a fully human life can happen.
Rick: Yeah, it would seem to me that if non-duality is not all-inclusive, then it’s not non-duality. Because it excludes a whole realm of life and therefore it sets up a duality, it’s not non-duality.
Loch: Yes. Exactly. It’s a new duality. The duality of dualistic thinking and then you get out of dualistic thinking, it seems like, “Oh, it’s not dualistic thinking because it’s awareness”. But it’s actually, the question is, “Okay, well if who you are is awareness, then what is this body? What is this? What is this? Is it other?” If it’s other, then there’s two things. It’s got to be not other for there to be non-duality. It’s got to be simultaneously multiple. Not duality means multi-dimensional, like you said.
Rick: Right, all-inclusive.
Loch: All-inclusive, yeah.
Rick: The whole enchilada. Yeah, that’s right. The full catastrophe, to quote Zorba.
Loch: Yeah, that’s right.
Rick: So in terms of your own life again – and we’re getting towards the end of the conversation – but in terms of your own life, if you look back a year, two years, three years, how do you find yourself growing? How do you feel like what’s unfolding for you? I know we’re all supposed to live in the now and all that, but if someone asked me that question I’d say, “Yeah, well, I feel more mature, more developed in this way now than I did a year or two years ago”. This seems to be the direction, and I don’t have a problem with saying, “Gee, five years ago I hope I’m more this way”. Could you talk that way as well?
Loch: Sure, yeah, that’s very similar. It’s kind of the wholeness of everything coming together. I would say there’s more of a sweetness to life, there’s more of a softness, there’s more of a lusciousness, there’s more of a kind-heartedness, both about myself, the ability to laugh at myself, as much as a kind of courageous, compassionate heart that probably motivated me to write this book. In some ways I feel totally content and very loving and have a great life living in New York with my wife and our cat, and good practice. We get out of town, we visit friends, we do this and that. The feeling was like, “Oh, I want to share this with people. I want to find out how to do this in a way that I’m not the center of it, that it’s a way that makes it a continuing education model where we can put this on the map”. That was my feeling. I was like, “Oh, I know this can be done. I know this is not as complicated as it seems. I know it’s not luck. I know it’s just not waiting for grace. I know it is a potential within us that we can access with and learn just the way we learned other things”. We learn that look at the amazing things that people are learning and knowing and teaching. This is another kind of knowing that isn’t intellectual knowing. That’s why it’s been hard for most people. It’s a subtle knowing that takes a few new moves, a few new shifts of consciousness. Once you feel that, it’s like riding a bicycle. You can try to explain balance. When you start to fall off to the right, lean left. That’s about the best you can do. This is like, no, you can really teach people how to feel these shifts of awareness until they discover for themselves. My life has been both about that and about the joy and maturity and continuing to grow and learn always.
Rick: Yeah, nice. As you were speaking just then, I was thinking it’s kind of exciting to think of the implications or the possibilities of this for the entire society. And perhaps people like ourselves and the people listening to this and people who are really into this stuff are, I don’t know if the word outlier is appropriate here, but just sort of avant-garde. I once said something, I was talking to Francis Lucille and I was talking about the impact of non-duality on the world or something, and he was saying, “Do you realize how small a subset of the population is actually interested in this stuff?” But I think its influence is disproportionate to the numbers, because it’s more subtle, therefore more powerful, things that are deeper, such as the atomic, tend to be more powerful than the more surface. And therefore it sort of gives me hope, because there are so many dire possibilities for the world the way things are going, and I’m kind of hoping that the upwelling of awakening that seems to be taking place is kind of nature’s antidote or nature’s response to the direction that we’ve been heading, and that we might not exterminate the human race in the next hundred years, but might actually be stepping into a glorious age.
Loch: Yeah, yeah, I mean I feel that there certainly is some kind of unintentional or upwelling, although there have been ages when awakening has been strong, that there could be some evolving. But my interest actually is in what we talked about before, is that there’s actually a developmental possibility within human beings. And my project, this book, is about trying to put this on the map, almost to build on the shoulders of the mindfulness movement and modern psychology, and to say, “Look, this non-duality is really where mindfulness is pointing, that mindfulness, which has so many benefits, are the preliminary practices that come from the traditions whose point is awakening”. So let’s study awakening, let’s start to put that on the map in a way that it can be explained and taught, and that it is in a language that’s about human consciousness rather than debating and fighting over religious language or beliefs. Take it out of beliefs totally, and let’s focus on the experiential, using language of hearing, seeing, movement of awareness, spaciousness, openness, embodiment, that isn’t so esoteric, and yet make experiments that are doable and let people report the truth. Don’t make them induce anything, because we’re actually de-hypnotizing from the trance of the ego here. But I really absolutely believe that we can learn how to learn how to awaken.
Rick: Yeah, and perhaps in the next generation or maybe sooner it’ll be part of the standard curriculum for schools.
Loch: I think that would be great, or at least adult, maybe continuing education if we can’t get it in to the schools itself, maybe post-college, because usually it’s about midlife that most people have done the basic development of other functions, that they’re ready.
Rick: There are projects in schools even now with Vipassana, TM, other types of practices where kids are learning in the tens of thousands in some cases, and it’s really turning around some inner city schools and so on.
Loch: That’s right, yeah, I’m involved with some of that.
Rick: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. Okay, so we’ve covered a lot. Is there anything you’d like to say as a wrap-up point?
Loch: I think that was a good wrap-up, the way we both kind of jumped on the feeling of the possibility and I think the simplicity of awakening, that it isn’t… there’s a lot of taboos I think about, “Oh, it’s only for the elite”, or “It’s only a few people”, or “It’s only through luck or grace”, or “You can’t intentionally do it”, whereas you can intentionally meditate and get effects with the brain. So it’s about what intention is, what the doing is, who’s doing it, how to let go of the doing and the doer in order to access a natural dimension of human consciousness that’s been known for the whole history of human race. That we can now use our modern scientific support and educational abilities to simplify and help people do it in a non-religious, non-guru, very mature way that people can do it in their own way and yet have real effects and relieve suffering, because that’s really what it’s all about. That this kind of awakening relieves a type of suffering, not all suffering, but a type of suffering that piggybacks on other suffering and that in itself is, when it relaxes, behind it all is a kind of open-hearted ease of being and well-being that we all would love to live from.
Rick: Yeah, I would say it’s everybody’s birthright, so claim your birthright, in whatever way you find works for you in claiming it, but it’s there. We’re all sitting on an infinite reservoir of potential. And so just tap into it one way or the other.
Loch: Yeah, I love that.
Rick: Great. So your website is lochkelly.org, L-O-C-H-K-E-L-L-Y.org, and I’ll be linking to that from your page on BatGap and linking to your book on Amazon, and people can go to your website to see what you’re up to and how they can get in touch with you and all that. And then this show, as I mentioned in the beginning, is ongoing, there are over 300 episodes, and so if you’re new to this, if you want to be notified of new interviews whenever they’re posted, there’s an email newsletter you can sign up for, you get about one email a week. There is an audio podcast of it, and just about as many people listen to it as view it, so there are links to that on BatGap.com. There’s the “Donate” button, as I mentioned, which we rely upon in order to be able to do this as full-time as we do it, and we’d like to even do it more so. And that about covers it. If you go to the website, there’s all kinds of little things under the menus that you can explore. So thanks for listening or watching, and next week my guest is a woman named Jane Anderson-Ross, and you will never have heard of her because she’s just a housewife in Rochester. But one of the original intentions of this show was to interview “ordinary spiritual awakening people”, and sometimes spiritual teachers have a certain aura about them as being special, and as Loch and I were just discussing, it’s everybody’s birthright, everybody has this potential, and it’s a little harder to find the people who are totally unknown, but once in a while they get in touch. We had a chat with Jane a while back and she’s got a very interesting story, so I look forward to speaking with her, and feel free to tune in. And those who are unaware of it, these interviews are live-streamed as well as archived on YouTube, so if you feel like watching live and posting questions for the guests as we go along, go to the upcoming interviews page on BatGap and you’ll see information about how to do that. So, thanks a lot, Loch, it’s been a lot of fun.
Loch: Thanks, Rick, really enjoyed it.
Rick: Yeah, I’ll talk to you later.
Loch: Talk to you later. Take care. Bye.