R. Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Miranda Macpherson. Welcome Miranda.
M. Hi. Hi Rick, thank-you.
R. You’re welcome. Thank you. Umm, Miranda is originally from Australia, and I had the chance to get to know you a little bit by listening to all of your YouTube videos and reading most of the articles on your site and umm, there is lots of interesting stuff that we can talk about that. But as we usually do in these interviews, umm, why don’t you start, if you would by just giving us an overview of your life in terms, you know, the spiritual dimension of it, how you first got interested in umm, spirituality and what stages you went through and the process of unfolding it.
M. Sure. Well, that’s a huge place to begin, so I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version.
M. Just so that we are fairly brief and can get onto other things. But essentially I, I, I always remembered as a child being interested in the deeper meaning of things, and I always intuited that there was a lot more to life than what was being talked about. So I think I had a natural spirituality and if I look back with the knowledge that I have now, I can see that states of kind of non-dual, pure being, interconnectedness, unity, were very available to me when I was very small. And I think, like everyone in the process of developing, you know, a personality and getting conditioned by our society and parents, and the things that are inevitably the parts of the human mind. I lost contact with some of that joy and deep connection with the way of things. But I was always curious, and I didn’t come from a religious family. My family were moral people and they weren’t areligious, but it just wasn’t the main thrust of my family. So we didn’t go to church or anything like that and I was always curious. Umm, so, I remember when I was about 7 years old, even younger, maybe it was 6, kind of saying, I wanna, can I, to go to church with the family across the street. And so I did one day, and I remember walking into the church, we got there early, and I was with my little friend, and her mother, and I remember sitting on the pews of the church and just naturally having this experience that was familiar to me. It was an experience of just profound love, umm, and I just knew that was the presence of God, and it was utterly natural. And what was confusing to me as a child was then the preacher came out and started doing his thing, and I was completely confused, because there was such a dissonance between this very natural experience that came upon me just by grace in a very simple direct way, and what was then being talked about, they really didn’t compute. So in my precocious mind, I decided then and there that religion wasn’t, wasn’t for me. But yet, I was always really fascinated by the stories of Jesus, and I think in truth, I was really touched by the love and the spirit of that. But of course, that went on, that went away, and dulled itself, when becoming an adolescent kicked in. But I remember at the time of 13, which was a very difficult time in my life, umm, I really fell through the cracks inside of myself. There were several things that were coalescing in my outer life at that time, that had to do with difficulties that within in my family and difficulties being bullied at school and such things, you know, that are very common. But what happened to me was spiritually interesting, cause I think it happens to a lot of people, in that really what was going on was that I just couldn’t tolerate the lack of love, and the unkindness, and the harshness that was thought of as common and natural and just how it is. It really, it really hurt me. But my response to it was to interject and go within myself, because I was a very reserved kind of personality, and umm, I fall into a dark place that looked to the outer world like something close to depression, but, now from where I stand, and from what I know with working with people, was a classic Dark Night of the Soul, but I was hospitalized by that experience, umm, I think people just didn’t know what to do with me. And I wasn’t medicated, umm, but I was in an adult psychiatric unit.
R. At 13?
M. And that was a very important and powerful experience for me, I couldn’t say I enjoyed it, but looking back, in a way, it was such an incredible preparation for the work that I do with people today because it was really there, you know, in a place of brokenness myself, amongst other people who were suffering from what is essentially disconnection from love and disconnection from our true nature. Only it was called psychosis, depression, umm, you know the effects of people, who, you know that had tried various things to cope with what they couldn’t cope with. So, I mean sharing a ward or even a room, with people who perhaps had tried to take their life, or who were going cold turkey off of drug addiction and, it was a pretty intense experience, but it made me question, and that’s what was so powerful about it is it really brought me back (?) and I think we all ask our self when we are at the edge of our capacity to cope with life, and it is obvious that the answers that are conventionally offered are not giving us the clarity to cope with the situation that we need. So, suffering is a very powerful motivator for the spiritual path, it certainly was for me. But I was interested not just in my own suffering but like, why is everyone suffering like this? It was obvious to me that even people who weren’t in that psychiatric unit who seemed to be “well”, whatever that is, umm, where also suffering, and umm, and I didn’t know how to cope with that. So I started to pray, but if you remember, I wasn’t religious, you know, I hadn’t really had a lot of religious conditioning so there wasn’t a theistic sense of a god that had been really thrust upon me so I didn’t really know what I was praying to, but I prayed nevertheless, and I was just praying, you know, for help, but I really wanted just to get out of here, get out of my experience, and how it came, really when I think through some kind of exhaustion, you know, of my ego state at that time, and umm, consciousness opened up really by grace to a ground of reality that I called boundless love.
R. There in the hospital still?
M. Yeah, in hospital or out, and it was an experience of just infinite, you know, golden light, and it felt like really being lifted above, what had felt to me like the battlefield of human life, and, connected to the mains. And you know, in that taste, I knew that this was what was what was real fundamentally. I knew that this was what I was fundamentally, that this was what everyone was fundamentally, and I knew that the real purpose of life was to remove the barriers, to the awareness of this being, you know, my and everyone’s moment to moment experience. So it was a very powerful experience that happened in the midst of kind of a personal crisis at a very formative age, and it set me on the path. So I think, you know, what is important to say about that was that it wasn’t that I was therefore enlightened, you know I was still a teenager, with all kinds of difficulties and problems and, but the effect of that, you know, awakening, which was really the first of a series of very deep, you know, spontaneous, mystical experiences. It set me on the path, gave me the orientation that I needed about, umm, what I wanted to explore in life. So it was from that point forward that I began to read and study whatever I could get my hands on that was somehow speaking of this mystical truth of existence, and what we really are and so what I found…
R. You, you, agree with the sentiment expressed in the Gita and other sources that we come into this life at a certain level of spiritual evolution and we may have actually made a lot of progress in previous lives, and, and if so, and, then when we come in, we naturally kind of pick up where we left off and…
M. I definitely…it absolutely makes sense to me.
M. I don’t really see any explanation other than that for, umm, my own journey and for the journey of many people who I work with, it seem that, yeah, we come into this life and we have a certain degree and both realization and also umm, lack of realization, places where our consciousness is kind of bound up in, umm, streams of ego and habits of suffering patterns, and that too needs to be worked out and together, you know, we would call that our karma, you know, umm, so yeah, I definitely see that, and I very much see that that incidence that I’ve just named, around what happened to me when I was 13 was a very effective way of getting somebody to just focus their attention and get on with it more quickly than I otherwise would have.
R. Yeah. The other thing that I find interesting in your story is that that experience seemed to happen in response to a supplication, or a prayer, that you had made.
R. I kind of see that a lot, that I, you know, my perspective on things is that we live in a very intelligent universe and there is a lot of intelligence going on helping to orchestrate things that we may not be aware of and when we are ripe, if we are sincere, and earnest, and there is actually a focused desire for awakening, umm, somehow the universe, or whoever is running it responds to that or is very likely to respond to that.
M. Yeah, yes, I agree, I think that there is something about the dance the true desire of the soul and the Boundless Intelligence, whether we want to call that God or the Mystery or by some other name it does seem like there is an interaction, and there is, umm, a choice on behalf of us as to what is it that we really want. Do we want just to be comfortable, do we just want to numb our pain, or is there some part of us that actually is trying to do something. So that is always very curious to me that, what the soul is really up to, in any passage that we might be going through as human beings. But you asked me to give a plotted history, so that was very beginning that put me on the path I started to study. And actually where I began my study was in the Vedas, and I got hold of the Bhagavad Gita, you just mentioned that and Ramakrishna and Vivekananda and Yogananda and some of these great sages of India were the people that I was reading and very moved by, in particular Ramakrishna and his teachings on the Divine Mother and I think it awakened in me the natural bhakti that I am. And of course, I’d had that awakening and it full of love, which was interesting because it was what I felt I was disconnected from. So it was something that my soul was working with that was very much about love and divine love in particular, divine and human love. So, you know, this got me, got me engaged, and of course as we all know, those of you who are on the path, one thing leads to another and your speaking Rick, about the intelligence of the Universe and yes this profound intelligence that interacts with our soul, it guides us towards what it is that we truly need to help us thrive and umm, so for me there was something that I always knew which was that the Truth or God, or Ultimate Reality cannot be contained by any one belief system or anyone theology, so there is something interesting that I noticed that, umm I went to study in my late teens, through my teens, studied Yoga, studied meditation, lots of different kinds of meditation lots of different kinds of transformational methodologies. At that time breath-work was really big, I did a lot of rebirthing and holotropic breathwork, and things like that there were very useful because, you know, alongside the soulful spiritual development, I had a lot of wounds from my childhood experience that I needed to work through and it was very obvious as a young adult that, umm, that they needed to be worked through, they were coming out in my behavior and interactions with people and relationships and so forth. So I was always awake to the fact that the spiritual awakening and the psychological unpacking were not two things, that they had to happen together as part of one gestalt, and I was very, very on fire with the desire to work through, and release and transform the places that I knew were causing me to act out in fearful and painful and egoic ways. So I did a lot of different trainings and study. And I had the great fortune of meeting some really wonderful teachers. They weren’t necessarily big-name teachers they were people who were just very deep souls within their tradition who knew how to impart to me practices and teachings and umm, I worked with a Zen Master for a while, and that was tremendous, and what I learnt. Did some practice with a Sufi teacher and a long time studied as a teenager with a really wonderful Yoga and Pranayama teacher, before Yoga became was Yoga was popular and trendy and in every gymnasium and I studied for many years the teachings from A Course in Miracles, which became a real mainstay in my practice that particular teaching is very powerful and important to me. Umm, but I also had the good fortune of coming across something called Interfaith and Interfaith Ministry and I, umm, and I went through Seminary training in New York City even while I was living in England I would travel over there every month to do training and was ordained as an Interfaith Minister Spiritual Counselor when I was 26. And asked by my teacher to begin a Seminary, an Interfaith Seminary in England which I personally said no to, but eventually saw that that was really needed and a beautiful thing to offer. So I did, and I was 26 and founded an Interfaith Seminary, the very first non-traditional Seminary in Europe, and that is still a thriving community, even though I am not leading it anymore. So I spent 10 years, you know, crafting and honing and delivering a program of deep spiritual transformation for people of all spiritual traditions, and none, essentially to explore who are we, what is life, and umm, and how do we serve and minister in what I called the Unchurched People. and it seemed to me, and research proved this in the census in the UK, back in 2000, showed that the vast majority of people that were surveyed, I think it was something like 65% put themselves in the category of spiritual, but not religious. Which is fascinating to me, and so really, I was training ministers and spiritual counselors walking them through a very profound training umm to go within, and use the template of the great practices and the core teachings on transformation that all the world’s mystical traditions offer as a way to grapple with the core questions of being human, and to be able to serve other people to do weddings, funerals, blessings, you know, ministry, from that perspective. So that is what I was doing for 10 years, and umm, and I think after about 10 – 8 years, I started to feel like, starting to guidance in my meditation, everything you have been doing up until now has been the warm up for what you are really here for. And I, I felt that, I always felt that, but if I had said that out loud to somebody, they would have said, “don’t be ridiculous Miranda”, umm ’cause it might have looked to the outside world that what I was doing with Interfaith Seminary was really, you know, my life’s work, and I knew it wasn’t. So, umm, I went on retreat to India, back in 2005, and I had been to India and had spent time on pilgrimage and in ashrams, in various different ashrams in India over the years, and always loved it. Because, my spiritual root, you know, grew out of that tradition, it is where I began to study as the teen. And I wasn’t expecting anything particular to happen, I really just wanted a place to go and be quiet and silent for a while, but as it shows, as you are not really expecting the big opening, you know, that is when it happened. So I was in Southern India, up a sacred mountain, Mount Arunachala in a tiny temple town in Tamil Nadu, South India, um
R. Tiruvannamalai, everyone who is listening to this had heard of Tiruvannamalai
M. Alright, great! They have now, because all of a sudden, it is hugely popular, but it wasn’t when I started going.
M. It was really only people who were devotees of Ramana Maharshi. I wasn’t a devotee at that time, but I had great respect for Ramana as one of the greatest and purest sages that India has really given us. And umm, so there I was, in one of the caves that was his home prior to the big ashram being built, and I was just sitting quietly in meditation, I had been a serious meditator for 20 years prior to this and umm, but something happened in that cave that was new for me spiritually, and umm, consciousness just opened in a way where I, the usual sense of ‘I’, disappeared. And different to the experience at 13, which was full of light and boundless love, this was another dimension of, umm, of reality that was more black actually, it was more, like no thing, no one, no self. And I heard inwardly the transmission which said, ‘be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, become nothing, seek for nothing, relinquish nothing, be as you are, rest in god.’ And it was just an entry into no thing, no one, no self, no god, umm, but it wasn’t a deficient empty, it wasn’t a bad, painful dry empty, it was just pure infinite being. And the peace of that state, was beyond anything I could possibly put into words. And…
R. Was there still awareness of anything else? The body, the cave? Outside sounds? Or was it just complete, inward absorption?
M. Complete, inward absorption, and then, then, there was a sense of body, cave, sounds, that came after that. I don’t know how long. But there was no, umm, there was just no problem with forms, with sounds. That was the most interesting thing about this state, that there was no problem with anything. Everything was just absolutely fine, absolutely beautiful even; everything was just as it was. And umm, I was in that state of no judgment, no commentary, for about 3 weeks, incredible peace. And, umm, very, I often regard these deep states, when they come about, as teachers. So that state taught me a lot. So I remember when that shift happened from that state to more ordinary awareness, and I happened to be teaching a class at the time, and the shift felt like kind of a very dense, crunching, contracting, you know, feeling, but the same voice that had spoken inside of my consciousness said, ‘now integrate it’. And my heart said yes. Because I knew it had enough spiritual training to know that all states come and go, even very expanded, enlightened states, all states come and go. It is not really about the state. Enlightenment isn’t a particular state, because enlightenment is completely free, and therefore it can include all states. So I knew that, umm, that for an experience like this to have a lasting value it would need to be integrated, and that the integration process is, umm, usually takes quite a bit of time. But what happened after that was very powerful, I went through, umm without trying to make changes in my life, within 6 months, every single structure, bar none, that had held up my known identity the identity that I had built, umm, started to come apart, my marriage of 13 years started to come apart, umm, and the whole work that I had done with the Interfaith Seminary was obvious that I had done that it was done, what I was there to do was done. Everything was done, it felt like I had died. And I remember one night I was having a moment of terror, you know, cause I could feel everything rumbling, everything, and, umm, you know, I won’t do the listeners a disservice of saying I was totally at peace with that all the time, moments of complete acceptance and peace with that, but there were also you know, very human moments of you know, shaking and quaking and terror and the absolute lack of control that happens, you know. And umm, so I was, I would wake up in the middle of the night, pretty much every night, and couldn’t sleep, so I would go to meditate and in the middle of the night meditation, I was praying again, saying, help me understand what this is for. So I can get on board with it now, so I can cooperate with the flow of what is happening here. Cause I could feel that what was happening was way bigger than my own mind or my own ego, and again, the same voice, just like in the cave, spoke back, and I was journaling this and so it asked me questions, and the questions were, who are you without, and if you were to imagine if you were asked who are you without and then you were shown every single attachment that your ego had for anything, anything that was propping your ego awareness up completely. I was asked my equivalent of who are you without, and it was who are you without your husband? Who are you without your home? Who are you without your community? Who are you without your role as teacher? Who are you without your social standing? Who are you without friends? Who are you without a country? And it went on and on, but the last ‘who are you without’ was who are your without Miranda? And as I was writing my, the ‘M’ of my name, the pen ran out. And it was such a powerful moment because I felt this whoa, like as if I was standing on the edge of the void, being asked to voluntarily drop in. And of course, from the ego’s perspective, when you are standing on the edge, going towards the void, feels like death, feels like terror, feels like no control, which it is, to the ego. And so it feels frightening, but umm, when you are actually let go, when you actually, relax, the trying, when you really just let go and you are into it, it is not what you think, it is a bit like do nothing, be nothing, get nothing, it is not you know, deprivation, it’s relaxation of all the things that have been occluding the fulfillment of what it is that we truly want and what we truly are only we didn’t know that the thing that was in the way was us.
R. In the first of your articles which I read entitled Humility, the article, and umm, some of the points that you made which were relevant to what you are saying right now. One of the things you said was, ‘not insisting that things happen in any particular way’ umm, and umm…
R. You talked a bit about Beginner’s Mind and welcoming the unknown, also that it is a beneficent universe and that everything is ultimately for our benefit.
R. I suppose if we could take a, an example, if we need to have surgery then, if we don’t lie still, then the surgeon can’t operate, you know, we have to cooperate and in a sense surrender to…
R. to, to you know this, in the case of surgery, to this person who has our best interest in mind even though it might be painful what he is going to do, but we have to surrender to it, so..
R. So you know, it seems to me, kind of what you were doing at this stage.
M. Yeah, so you know, just to kind of shift this a little from the autobiographical to what I am actually sharing and teaching these people from this experience, cause, everything that I offer as a teacher is really coming out of both years of deep study and working with people, but very much direct experience, my own direct experience. And so a big part of what I learned going through all of this, going through a classic, kind of, you know, threshold of awakening into a new juncture of pure being…what people don’t really talk about is that, they talk about the spiritual glory as though you have this big spiritual orgasm, and that is it, and I don’t believe that that is accurate, because for every opening you have if you are going to actually live it, it is going to need to be integrate through the psyche, through the body, through the nervous system, and through right down into the way you walk down the street. And so that usually involves a dismantling process of existing ego structures and they rear their head after the awakening, and then they have to be worked through. And, umm, deep layers of dis-identification need to happen and that is not an intellectual exercise, that really invites us to a deeper engagement, and it requires certain qualities. So I, I noticed in the process of my own integration that I had to learn to strengthen and deepen certain qualities, that if we look at the great mystical traditions, they’ve shown up time and time again as the virtues. So you are talking about the beneficent universe, well, we have to learn to trust, if, if what is required of us, again and again and again is surrender, which is really what it comes down to, ‘Will you surrender?’ then surrender isn’t a thing that can be done, it is the one who is trying to surrender is the one who is in the way. So in a way, I like to use the word, and a big part of my teaching emphasizes is to be undefended, undefended presence, being undefended with reality, however that is manifesting. And that, that’s, that requires tremendous amount of trust and trust is what gives us the courage to actually allow, umm, ourselves to be penetrated by grace deeper than our mind. Allow God or reality to unfold us into the next dimension of what we really are. And trust is a virtue that we cultivate, and that we can cultivate through, umm, where we chose to put our attention. So for example, whenever we are taking a step into the unknown, which is going to feel to the ego like the void, the end of what we know, we have to trust. In our own soul, we have to trust that there is an intelligence deeper than our mind. We have to also trust that somehow, the force of reality itself is beneficent because if we can’t accept that, we won’t open. We can practice and meditate and pray all we like, but if can’t actually trust sufficiently that there is a beneficent force underlying everything, then we can’t open to allow that to go to work on us, take us deeper. And yes, I wrote that article on humility, because humility is another of the virtues that we need, and it, to, to really help to pop the inherent arrogance that comes with our egos, that are always oriented towards trying to control life, and umm, humility is a very very important one that helps us open into the unknown, and not contract in the unknown, to actually relax and to, umm, to allow this space.
R. You mentioned, you know, the idea that after an awakening there has to be an integration, and that there are layer upon layer upon layer of conditioning that has to be unwound, umm, and now you are talking about, you know, being willing to surrender and the humility needed to do that, to allow this unwinding to take place, uh, to let our defenses, to be defenseless, I think you said – so I guess my question, my question is, umm, the turtle needs its shell, and our body needs its skin, so there are certain natural defenses that are built in, umm and I, I, I assume, let’s see what you say about this, that a person couldn’t just become 100% defenseless suddenly, and that it wouldn’t actually be advantageous for them to do so, that there has to be sort of an incremental, umm, maybe simultaneous strengthening and dropping of defenses, so because, if there were complete dropping of defenses with no strengthening, then we would really be vulnerable in a negative way…pardon?
M. That’s usually when people, you are absolutely right, that’s usually when people go into spiritual crisis, I see a lot of people these days who do ayahuasca or serious medicines like that, that can have their values, but one of the dangers involved is that they can, you know, dissolve the ego before a person is really ready, and then they usually have a very difficult time after that because to really experience, you know, you are not who you think you are, you don’t even exist, in a, you know, like, it can really bring up a lot of fear. And then what comes into play is difficulty in functioning, and that is why often, I think, historically, deep spiritual awakening have happened in monastic settings where there is a lot of support, and there people aren’t having to function. But if you look at most people on the path today are doing, you know, most people that I work with are not living in monasteries, they are raising kids, they are running businesses, they are living a life in the world, and so it is very important that they approach the awaking path not only with clear orientation, what the how is, what is really involved, but also with some support and that is really part of where, of what I have come to, from my own journey and what I have seen I’ve seen, I saw that, for me to really lend the realization of be as you are, rest in god, to really, even understand what that means, if we come back to be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, become nothing, seek for nothing, relinquish nothing, be as you are, rest in god, I see that is actually a practice. That is the how. That it is the practice I call the undefended presence. Being absolutely here, and absolutely undefended to see what is really here, and who is really here, but before you can really see what’s here and who’s here you have to let the learned identities and habits, the trying, the getting that’s all coming out of the ego’s sense of disconnection and approaching everything, including spiritual practice, to try to get a particular state, to try to become someone more awakened, to try to relinquish the personality flaws and this, and all of that is in the way, so pretty much all of that ego efforts is what is actually blocking the deeper direct realization of what you inherently is, that is actually very immediate. So I am really interested in people know and tasting what they are, but very clear that the process is what all of the great spiritual teachings have really come down to in their essence which is be still. Be still and know..
R. So how does a person do that? I myself have had a meditation practice for many decades, and so I feel like I have a methodology for being still but, uh, if a person doesn’t have that is that something that you would advocate that they do? Or what does that average busy mother with three kids and doing this, how would they be still?
M. Well, I, I teach the three aspects to what I offer people that work together, self, holistic self inquiry, meditation and devotion and embodiment practices. Those are the 4 elements of my teaching of my approach…
R. Could we spend a couple minutes on each one?
M. We can absolutely, but I want to before I do that, come back to saying, when I was saying be nothing, do nothing, get nothing that is the how. Everything I do with people is just be here in this moment, whatever you are experience is, and see if you can relax. You are trying to do something about it, you are trying to get something different than what’s here. You are trying to seek for something other than this, you are trying to relinquish what you think is in the way, what you think should be happening, so you really have a look at be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, you see the formula’s right there.
R. And that doesn’t mean does it that you are not going to have motivations and set goals and you know, go for the PhD or whatever…
M. No, it is not, but really what it is saying is, relax the ego agenda first, and be as you are. Like just here, just this, rest in god. Rest in god doesn’t necessarily mean meditation, because we actually already are resting in god, if you really want the truth, but to really let awareness rest in the totality of being is a very simple and direct invitation, and it is an invitation that is every moment, so essentially it says, just rest, just stop, just be, for a moment. Now that’s really the fundamental beginning of holistic self inquiry, which is the primary offering, primary engine of what I am teaching. It is very practical, and it begins with, what actually is here, just seeing what’s here, feeling what’s here, inquiring with the whole of our being, not just inquiring as a mental construct, which is usually just thinking, it is not inquiry, but just resting in the present, being undefended with what is. So that there is a settling of the surface activity, from which we can start to inquire more deeply what is really here, and who is really here. However, I want to go back to something. We were talking earlier about the virtues that are needed for people in order to really genuinely dive or drop from the ego shell of their being to their deeper dimensions and for people to really genuinely do that without going into unbalance states, without becoming derailed, and unable to function, you need a support structure. So that is why I have a teaching that I begin with people before I teach self inquiry and that is you know, the virtues, cultivating the virtues. Trust is the first pillar, love of the truth, is the next pillar, curiosity is the third, non-attack is the fourth, humility is the fifth, willingness is the sixth, patience is the seventh. These virtues that, where I would start with ordinary people I would say take a look at these virtues, and I also have a whole teaching on what blocks these virtues, what are the issues that come up around these virtues. For example, trust usually brings up our infant memories because usually our pathways around ‘is this a safe place or not, am I loved and held or not’, is things that, decisions and beliefs we were constructing when we were infants. So it is a lot to do with our very early experience of life and how held we felt or not. So some people need help in their various practices I share. That actually helps work through those difficulties and open up that felt sense that unheld, that there is loving goodness here, that I can relax and trust in. Love of the truth, that is where the, umm, devotion comes in, because love of the truth is true devotion, it is devotion without an object, so I share in all of my groups and classes and retreats which aren’t a lot. We pray a lot, umm, to feel our way into that deep heart and its true desire, so the true desire isn’t desire for, ” I want a bigger car or I want a better husband,” true desire is that the deep yearning in the heart itself, that is like a flame, that really actually is a very powerful and passionate love for existence, for the source of our own being, and the deeper and the more connected we are, it gives us the strength that we need on the path to be dedicated, to go towards the things that might be difficult for us that we need to address, to umm not run away or collapse in the face of obstacles, so we need that robustness, otherwise we will collapse in junctures of the path where we are, we are at the end of what we know, you know, we need to not collapse, not fall into a puddle. Open is not, to be undefended is not to be collapsed, there is a difference. So curiosity, I am merely going through the virtues, there is a lot I could say here…
R. No they are beautiful, just hear you read the list it was like: ahh, uh ahhh, uh ahhh
M. So if you visualize these pillars like standing stones that create a true holding around your being, it is not, what we are trying to do with these pillars, is create a holding that gives us more depth, more maturity, more substance, true ground, so that the ways that our ego has learned to try to create a sense of holding for itself, can actually dissolve, and we are not going to go into some unbalanced state. This I have seen, and the more I work with people the more I, important I see this is, and it is why I say my approach to awakening, is I think inherently feminine, because I see how important it is that we have good support, not just, and I don’t mean support in terms of just other people, although that is very helpful, but the, the. the true support within our own being is there, and then we can really dive, and using curiosity we can really explore, wow what is this like, beyond what I know, who am I really, I have no idea. And we can be with questions about our self, about our own difficulties, about the nature of reality, even if we don’t know the answers, or we don’t have a first clue about the answers, we can feel our way into the open questions our self, and then curiosity, makes the whole process, actually very joyful. Just notice that when we are curious, we feel very alive, we feel very turned on, we feel excited, you know, we feel motivated, we feel umm, interested. And that is a really important quality that we need, and it produces open mindedness. So it brings me back to what Jesus said in one of the parables, “Be ye as little children”, and notice how little children go through a phase in their development where they are insanely curious about everything, you know they’ll say, “why is the sky blue?” You know, adults can’t give them real answers, you know, they just ask why everything, and you know they are curious, and of course, children learn, language, that they learn music, they learn things at a rate that is almost impossible for an adult, because they are open-minded, they are not greeting each moment with preconceived, fixed ideas about the way things are, and so that is really important, that we don’t just hold on to our fixed ideas. And I see a lot of people who, you know, have done a lot of practice, and you know, heard a lot of teachers and teachings and then they just create more structures in their mind that become rarefied, umm, you know, rarefied ways of thinking that really get in the way. So this curiosity is really important.
M. Non-attack is an interesting one, I could have called that compassion, but I decided to call it non-attack for a very specific reason, because one of the things that I’ve noticed, both in my own journey and working with other people, one of the things that happens after a big spiritual awakening, is, you see, the ego worships familiarity more than anything else, and so, there is this dimension of our ego, you know, that psychologists call the Super Ego, and I like to think of it a bit like a condom over our ego structure, a membrane, and its job is to hold your ego together, right, and to shrink it back into, you know, and it uses judgment and punishment, and good, bad, right, wrong, you know, umm to do that. So Ramana Maharshi actually spoke about this dimension ego, he called it ‘the thief dressed as the policeman, here to guard the treasure’, think about that for a second, it is an interesting one, wonderful metaphor. It is actually a thief, but it’s coming in the guise, in the tone of I’m here for your own good, but you are actually getting ripped off. So, what I, tend to happen is when people start to stretching out beyond their known ego structure, usually what comes up is these negative put downs, that really feel like the criticisms that you heard as a child, from your parents or your school or your teachers or where ever you heard it, that we interjected, and it has become a part of our ego structure. And it usually…
R. Start putting down others, or themselves?
M. Both, but typically yourself first, there is usually a lot of thoughts of attack and judgment and criticism commonly the things I hear, people feel ‘I’m a fuck up, I feel I am no good, I’m stupid’, that kind of stuff. And it basically has the effect of contracting your mind and your consciousness putting it back in its place. So it is extremely important to see this for what it is, to see this as inner attack and to learn how to disengage from it. To see it for what is, and not give it any energy, as if you are literally peeling back that condom, and saying thank you sharing.
R. So would you say that the ego has a sort of innate tendency to try to umm retain, and even, umm..
M. Of course.
R. …aggrandize its own status and so it, when its status begins to be threatened or jeopardized by a big awakening, it rises to the challenge, and tries to shut it down again.
M. Yeah, it is like Star Wars, The Ego Strikes Back.
M. Because it, the ego is trying to keep the familiar, all the time.
M. Trying to reestablish itself, trying to maintain its own existence and there are places within our ego where there is a lot of aggression, such as, you know, what I am talking about now, the super ego, there is a lot of aggression in it. And a lot, this actually shows up a lot as depression, this is a major cause of depression in people, so it is something that I work on a great deal, is really helping people to see how their own super ego works how to disengage from it using practices and teachings on that, so that they can create a very compassionate and kind atmosphere towards their own humanity. This is so important, so many people, even deep spiritual practitioners, I find, can be so unkind to them-self and, umm, so harsh on them-self, especially when they find them-self falling short of their spiritual ideals. You know when deeper levels of the ego come up that seem you know, more primitive things that you thought you dealt with are arising again, and there is the shame and the self-judgment about the fact that that is happening, and to, just let that run, the shame and the self-judgment, is very negative, and, umm, unkind. So it is extremely important that we learn how to work with our ego in a way that isn’t aggressive, doesn’t lay on aggression upon aggression, because really see that the ego is really just a call for love, what we are really dealing with is you know, a very, is a very disconnected sense of self that feels very frail, scared, all alone, and thinks, ‘I have to do everything myself.’ Believes that, honestly believes that. And then goes about trying to do everything itself, trying to get enlightened by itself, trying to fix itself, trying to, and it is just impossible.
R. You mentioned the word thief a little while ago, and we have talked about the Gita here, and there are some verses in the Gita, about how the appropriation of the sense of the actor, is actually a form of thievery you know because that which we take to be the actor, isn’t really the one doing the action, and if you take it that way, then we are no better than a thief, in a sense.
M. Yeah, exactly, but you see, we need to see the action of that thief with kindness, with compassion as if to say, ‘oh sweetheart, you know, relax, you are not the one who even can get enlightened, you are not supposed to do anything, be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, become nothing, seek for nothing, relinquish nothing, be as you are, rest in God.
R. Do you think that in a perfected enlightened state, if you want to get generous with what’s possible, that there is still going to be a kind of kernel of ego which is necessary in order to function as a human being, it is just that on the average, such states, such people are rare, and so in almost every case there is a lot more ego structure than there ideally or ultimately will be if the person is fully enlightened. Does that make sense?
M. Well yeah, I think that for as long as there is a body, there is a certain, there’s a certain level of ego that is just there as part of the human animal, if you like, and, umm, I mean it is still mysterious to me, I don’t claim to have all the answers by any means. But what I do know is that it is really not about trying to not have an ego, because I don’t know whether that is possible. I think it is about just letting our ego become more transparent, and more refined and so these structures, that have, like for example, our bodies have these animal instincts in them like the desire for self-preservation and for sexuality and for survival for socialization, I mean those are inbuilt structures that animals have too. And you can see in a lot of the more primitive aspects of our ego, a really coming out of these instincts that are inherent with having a body, you know, and having a physical vehicle. And so we have to work with them, and they have to get more refined and come more into harmony with the deeper impulse of our soul, with what heart really wants and loves this above all else. But I don’t think it is necessary to try to suppress or umm, or in ways that have been done formally, sexuality and self -preservation, but more to understand and work with these instincts that are just part of being a human being and to be real about them. So what I seem to see is that, with souls that I have met, who seem to be very awake, umm, the body, and the voice and the mind it, it, it kind of falls into place more as a vehicle. So it is not necessarily negative, this is something that a Course in Miracles says, it says that everything that the ego has created when it has been given over to the Holy Spirit or God, for a different purpose can become a vehicle of communication.
R. The reason I bring up the question is just that there are some teachers who emphasize this ego business thing to such an extent, you know, they just keep hammering again and again on the idea that there is no one here, and there is no one there and it is just a, you know, an isness and, and so it, but I don’t know if that is ever actually anyone’s experience ultimately so I am afraid it must confuse people to a certain extent.
M. I think it does…
M. …confuse people, cause it is really a confusion of levels.
R. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
M. Because on the level of what is called Ultimate Reality that is true.
M. There is no one here, there is no thing, there is no one, there is no body, we are all one, there is only the is, or god, or however you want to call it. And yet on the level of the relative, which comes out of the absolute, umm, there is differentiation there is bodies there’s minds, their voices, you and I are having a conversation, your body is in Iowa, my body is in California, so, but I, to me, the true non-duality, if nondual really means, not two, then it also means that the relative, you know, particularity of existence, your body, my body your voice, my voice, etc., and the absolute, the, the inseparable unity of everything, is not two. And so where does the particularity of the individual where does that come from? It comes from the one, but, doesn’t mean that the particularity isn’t relevant.
R. Yeah, you know that verse in the Gita, not the Gitas, the Vedas, Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate, you know it goes on and on, but you know, this is full, that is full, taking fullness from fullness, fullness remains, so you know, you can’t, like, so all this diversity, you know, is a fullness in of itself, contained within the greater fullness, which contains both absolute and relative.
M. Yeah, and then I think it is a real disservice to people because one of the classic problems that appears with, that I call neo-non-dual teachings, is that it is not understood or unpacked very well, that, umm, you know, the relative aspect of our human life, it is also part of the totality, and therefore, is worthy of our attention as well.
M. And umm, so to me, that can lead to, you know, ways of relating to our human experience, that isn’t very compassionate. But ultimately I don’t think so. Which is a big part of why I make non-attack and compassion, umm, so that we learn to work with our relative human experience, and our ego knots and difficulties, in a way that genuinely serves to let them become transparent, to let things integrate and to also appreciate the preciousness of our individual soul and its unfolding process, and the mystery of that. Which leads onto humility again, in that there is so much more for us to learn and discover and, umm, you know, our egos do tend to be inflated and arrogant, only because they are frightened, umm, and you know, and so how to work with that and in a real way, how to work with our limitations, and to turn the things that we find in our ordinary human life. I wrote that article umm, on humility in a time when I was in a really intense crippling back pain, with a serious spinal injury, umm, I am doing a lot better now, I am grateful to say, but what I learned…
R. Yeah, I was going to ask you about that, how your back is.
M. I’m doing a lot better, yeah, I’m skiing and…
R. Oh good.
M. ….able to do everything that I love to do, but I, I had to go through a passage there of, really facing the possibility that this might just be how it is for the rest of my life. And if that is how it is, could I accept it, and it was a really important juncture, cause the ego is always trying to bargain to get what it thinks, you know, what it wants and what it thinks should be happening, you know, my ego is no different from anyone else’s in that regard and of course when you are vulnerable and hurting, whether it is physical hurt or emotional hurt, psychological hurt, financial hurt, or whatever, it is very difficult to open and surrender. But that is the practice, you know, open and allow reality to enfold us with whatever is happening, so I practice with intense back pain and those junctures with my ego really wanted to fix and change it, and just get rid of the pain. Not there is anything wrong with getting treatments that might help our situation, but it is more the mental grip that we can get into that causes the unnecessary suffering. And, umm, for me, the something was that we Richard Rohr said it beautifully, he said that we grow spiritually the most through both great love, and also great suffering. And if we learn to walk with those things, both the extraordinary beauty of our life and the difficulties, then we are grown, and, umm, what I learned in my journey was the importance of humility, and learning to welcome, I did not know what anything was for. So I practiced that when my back was intensely painful, 24/7, when I couldn’t get out of pain for quite a while, and I don’t know what this back pain is for, help me open to it. And umm, it was beautiful, potent and powerful.
R. Yeah, again, if it is a beneficent universe, then although it may be hard to understand sometimes, everything is for a reason.
M. Yeah, and not to just Pollyanna it, because we can play that as a platitude, that actually isn’t the same thing as genuinely letting the virtue of trust, in synthesis with the virtue of humility, open us into life. Open us into the mystery. So that then brings us to the willingness which is just the sincerity of what is it that we truly want what our true will is, and the place of our choice in the matter. I think that we so, so used to here in the West, going after what we want, and thinking that is the right way. But, when we look at what it is that we truly want, I know for myself, you know, working with such an issue as intense back pain and, umm, when what I truly want is to be at peace. What I truly want is to be able to live, in grace, with whatever is happening, that is my true commitment. And each of the us, with whatever set of circumstances or karma we have, we need to harness that with as much grace as we can. And there is an element of personal choice, true willingness, not trying to exert my will egoically and direct the outcome, but being sincerely willing, umm, for something deeper than just personal desire. And then the patience, to not try to control things, which is such a hard line with patience to really be with the fact that you know, I love what the Zen Master said, that enlightenment is a divine accident, but spiritual practice makes one more accident prone. And you know the truth of the matter is that each of us can engage a path and a spiritual practice and if we are genuine about waking up we do need a path; we do need a practice. Meditation or prayer and inquiry and devotion need to find a path and a practice, that is appropriate for us, workable for us, that we can engage in our life that is suitable for our soul’s development, and we need to engage it. But there is no guarantee what is going to happen.
R. I get some comments from people, I got one just the other day actually on YouTube, umm, that I am kind of a fool for insist… emphasizing the value of practice , as you have just done, so maybe we are both fools, ha aha ha, but, umm, I think the notion that makes people anti practice is … has actually been voiced by some well-known teachers, is that somehow a practice can, umm, reinforce the sense of the practicer, and therefore be counterproductive. Could you speak to that for a moment?
M. Sure. That is true, it can. It depends entirely on how we are practicing. So, a big part of what I am encouraging people in terms of their practice, firstly, if we are genuinely to practice presence or inquiry, it is not the same thing, I am not saying be still and think you are God. That was not teaching that any of the great sages gave.
R. Uh huh.
M. And I think so often we can think that we are engaging, umm, with a spiritual invitation, but we are really just engaging on a conceptual level.
M. It is not the same, as…
R. Hear. Hear. I meant I, I recognize…so many people who are just kind of conceptualizing non-duality or something, and they think that that’s what it is all about.
M. It’s not what it is all about. That is a greater excuse.
R. Yeah, it is like reading a restaurant menu, and thinking that you getting nourished or something.
M. Right, exactly. And so all of the great spiritual teachers and teachings have encouraged us to go within. There is not a spiritual tradition in the world that does not emphasize the importance and the place of spiritual practice, of meditation, prayer, devotion. Umm, and of the need to come back to have something that helps us to come back, to stop, to relax, to disengage from you know, the very slippery tendencies to the ego. And not only that, but the whole world is oriented on, you know worldly frames of works – egoic frame works, and so just being a person in the world is a very real need to quieten the surface activity and give yourself into this, where you come back to, umm, pure being. So it is really about what methodology of practice that you engage. If you are talking about non-dual experience, a nondual awakening, so the meditation teaching that I give is firstly methods of concentration. I teach different methods of concentration, just because most people that I encounter are so caught up in their minds, their nervous systems are so agitated they don’t, they don’t know how to go within, not in a real way. So firstly, there is a need to just concentrate one’s energy, and then we shift the point of concentration from concentrating on something, to just being.
R. So when you say concentration, are you implying an effortful sort of practice? Cause that would sort of seem, seem to be a…go ahead.
M. The degree of effort focus on the breath, or focus on the heart or focus on the belly, there is different approaches…
R. So a gentle effort?
M. Gentle effort…
M. It is not an effort to get to a particular result; it is just a gentle effort to bring about more focus. To shift the point of…because really, the effort that we are exerting anyway, egoically, is an effort that says, ‘I’m a separate someone, I have my thoughts and opinions, about reality, even about the spiritual path’, there is no dropping in that. It is conceptual. Umm,
R. There is actually a verse in the Vedas someplace which says, “be easy to us, with gentle effort.
M. Exactly. Beautiful, and then we shift that gentle effort from focus on the breath or focus on the belly, or focus on the heart, to just being. To letting yourself be. To just being here, just resting in God, no need to do anything, fix anything, get anything. But yet, I instruct people in the beginning of their practice, that when they find their mind starting to crank up or get busy, or go into thinking, just to bring yourself back to the point of concentration.
M. Very simple.
R. I suppose a mantra would be a similar…
M. Yeah, I teach a lot of mantras, I actually just produced a mantra album, called the Heart of Being, and umm, it is some of the mantras that we always do, umm, when I am offering retreats and these are things that my students, umm, love to work with. And it is just helpful, as you are going about your daily business to actually work with a mantra, is a way not only umm, staying in touch with, umm, the more subtle dimensions of your being throughout activity, but it is also a way of remembering that you are the latest in a long line of souls who have been feeling this emptiness, true remembering, to wake up throughout time, and it is intelligent to, umm, as you chant, you remember, for example, if you are chanting Om Namah Shivaya, umm, there are billions of souls who’ve felt that yearning that you are feeling right now, and who have chanted that very beautiful, when we open to receive that support.
R. There are some people that I know, umm, who, seem to have had a profound realization and a very abiding one, and they, they feel their practice is just no longer needed or relevant or appropriate or even possible, for them. You know, if they sit to meditate, nothing happens, because they are already there, does, does, can you relate to that idea, is that your experience, or can you envision it becoming your experience?
M. My experience is that there is a more consistent what I would call abiding in presence, so it is never not there. That the grace and the depth and the knowingness, my experience is that it is never not there, only, umm, it is very beautiful to sit for longer periods and to just give full attention to that abiding and nothing else.
R. What happens when you sleep?
M. When I sleep, hahhaha…
R. Well the reason I ask is some people say that that presence or that pure awareness remains as clear and as awake as during the depth of sleep as it is any other time.
M. Well, my experience is, umm, I don’t really know.
M. I don’t really know, umm, I don’t experience it not there; I don’t experience anything coming and going.
M. It is more just that sometimes that there is other things that are taking my attention as well. It is not that the, the presence is never not here.
R. How about um, how about perception? Do you feel, as you ski down the ski slope or walk down the sidewalk or whatever you are doing, is there sort of a, an altogether different quality of perception than you used to have?
M. It is more dimensional and more defined.
M. More dimensional is what, how I would describe it. So I see things, and I know things without having to go about it in the ordinary way.
R. Things just come to you.
M. Yeah, oh, all the time
M. There is just a, oh this is this and it is very, there is a degree of effortlessness that wasn’t there before. And fearlessness that wasn’t there before, so much more freedom, as a sense Ramana awakening, and obviously, you know, that something that has taken a lot of time, many years to integrate, and land and umm, stabilize, and it still continues and there have been other awakenings since then too that are continuing to unfold, I get to just see more.
R. Yeah, yeah, the time dimension one or two.
M. Oh, gosh, where do I don’t know where I’d begin with that.
R. Well, let me ask you a more general question, perhaps something will come to you…
M. There is, yeah, there is more experiences where I have been in, umm, in backpacking, or, I tend to kind of get access to these kinds of things, usually when I just take time off.
M. And I love to go with my husband, you know, into the wilderness and just spend a week there and we don’t see anyone else. It is very beautiful, because there is no interference at all, there is no ego interference whatsoever. And umm, so last time I was up there in June was such a nectar like quality to my experiences. I was, umm, and umm, umm, it was not, there was no inner and no outer no him, and no I, and no water and no body, umm, but yet there was such a deep fullness. So that’s what is happening more in the last year, there’s a very realmed full nectar-like quality to my awareness, that is profoundly joyful, and I am seeing in a way, like all the deities that we have seen in all the great traditions, you have mentioned the Bhagavad Gita, speak a bit about the deities. I, I, I am experiencing them as inseparable from my own true nature, and aspects of them coming alive and synthesizing with other aspects. So that is what I mean when I say becoming more dimensional, so classically we would think Parvati aspect it is very different from the Lakshmi aspect, it is very different from the Kali aspect but, my experience is of, of those aspects that reflect dimensions of enlightened consciousness that are also very particular. And experiencing a lot more of the particularity, umm, within the unity of what is in my own being, that are within the soul…
R. Do you experience subtle beings like that, eyes open, walking around, like in the supermarket, would you be seeing some subtle beings in the atmosphere, doing things or whatever, or is it more of an inward meditative kind of thing where you cognize them?
M. Umm, both, umm, I mean, I think of Tara and, umm, you know, Shiva as inseparable as real as you and I are real. Umm, they are really dimensions to me, of true nature, that, umm, that are existing in the subtle realms and that are present like you and I are.
M. So, yeah, I see and feel the effect of…, it is most strong when I am working with people.
R. Mmmmhmmm, the reason I find this interesting, is that, umm, I just feel like as we evolve as a culture, there will come to be a , a , more and more nuanced understanding of the range of possibilities, and as it is now, sometimes, it is fairly simplistic, I think in terms, of what is really possible. And when you mention, subtle beings, angels, people think that you are getting all Woo Woo, but there are people around who experience this stuff routinely and it is actually part of the structure of reality, and I think rather than dismiss it as Woo Woo, we could perhaps see it as a vision of possibilities, or you know, that we all might grow into over time.
M. Yeah, yeah, I think that, umm, that is a whole other conversation that we could have some other time Rick, but yeah, in essence I agree with you.
R. There is one question that someone wanted me to ask you, cause they knew I was going to be interviewing you, they said, ” I would love to know who Miranda’s sat with, subsequent to her opening in Tiruvannamalai, what teachers?”
M. Okay, umm, well, I said this earlier, I sat in my 20’s with Sister Elaine MacInnes, who is, umm, a, both a Catholic Nun, and a Zen Master…
R. This was after the cave?
M. Oh, no, before, so I sat after the cave, I sat with two women in particular. The one that had the strongest impact on me was Siva Sakthi Amma, beautiful, beautiful, umm, being, who is still alive, in a body, giving darshan in Tiruvannamalai. And I experienced her as, like the presence of Ramana, but in the feminine, Just beautiful, she works mostly in silence, and, umm, through presence, and umm, I would, I sat with her on countless occasions and for extended periods of time and so am so grateful for what I have received with her. I also sat with another extraordinary being called Almm Amma, umm, but not for very long. She was extraordinary, I don’t know where she is based now, umm, at the time I was there she was based in Tiruvannamalai. And she didn’t speak either, she was an ecstatic feminine mystic, who was, who, I think really helped me a great deal, umm, to release a lot of the stress that was in my nervous system that really needed to move through. And then when I came to California, and really needed help to integrate all that I had been through, I sat with Lama Palden Drolma, an extraordinary woman who is here in the bay area, runs something called the Sukhasiddhi Foundation, umm, then, more recently in the last few years, I sat with Hameed Almaas and Jeanne Hay, umm, who I work with privately, umm, to help with my continued and integration process, Jeanne Hay is who I go to privately, for that.
R. Thanks, I think I am almost scheduled to interview Hameed pretty soon. I don’t know about Jeanne Hay; I will have to look her up.
M. Well, Jeanne Hay is one of the senior Diamond Heart teachers.
R. Oh, with Hameed? I see.
M. Yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, so you will have a wonderful time with Hameed, he is an extraordinary…
R. Yeah, I have seen him at the Science and nonduality conferences. He is great.
M. Yeah, mmmhmmm.
R. Well, that is great, I know that I have a whole list of things that we could talk about, but I know that you don’t have unlimited amount of time, umm, so, we will do another one in about a year or two if you like…
M. I would like that.
R. …and perhaps go into some of the other areas that we haven’t discussed today. Umm, so anything in, in conclusion that you want to say?
M. Let me just encourage, you know, people who are listening to this, to, you know, to really work with their own awakening journey in a way that is holistic, and that is kind. And umm, you know, to take seriously what you and I have discussed today about the role of practice in the awakening process, it is not that practice is necessarily going to guarantee you the result you might want, but it is part of the humbling, surrendering process that is necessary for a genuine spiritual practice. And umm, to know that you are not alone, that there is love and support on the journey and that I really hope that what we have shared and discussed today is felt by you as, umm, as some words of love and support for your journey from one friend on the path to another.
R. Beautiful. When you were reading that list of points, the thought that kept coming to my mind is that all of this builds a foundation and you need a really strong foundation because , awakening in its full value can be immense, and, umm, ha…
R. My teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, former teacher, at one time he said, you know, out of mercy, God wouldn’t contact you in your current state, he said it would be, he couldn’t even telephone from a distance, you would be crushed. He said you have to build a strong foundation for a realization of that nature.
M. Right. So that is why with my students, we spend time building that foundation through those virtues, cultivating those virtues, seeing where we are with those virtues, looking at the practices that can support them, so that then, we can start doing the deeper dive into the what you think you are, through that into what you really are, umm, that sounds, oh, how wonderful, but what you meet along the way, umm, is so profound, and umm, surrender is what it is all about.
R. Great. Alright, thanks Miranda. Let me make a few concluding remarks. Your website is mirandamacpheson.com?
M. That is correct.
R. Okay, and it is spelled M A C pherson.com, and I will be linking to if from BATGAP.com Have you written any books?
M. I have written a book called Boundless Love, and it was published under my former name, Miranda Holden, my new book, which will be called Tasting Grace, should be out in the next year.
R. Alrighty. Is your book on Amazon?
M. It is yeah.
R. Okay, good, I will link to it from your page on BATGAP. Umm, and you and I imagine, you mentioning all your students and your people you talk to, umm, are, you do this by Skype primarily, or in person?
M. No I have a private practice in my home in Mill Valley California, and I have two ongoing Sanghas, one in Marin County, one in Sonoma County, both in California, and then I teach at various centers in the world, I teach at Esalen, I teach at Kripalu, I teach, you know, wherever there is a genuine body of people that want to get together and, umm, come. And I also teach in, umm, London, in Ireland, in Scotland, and in Holland, and I go there twice a year. And so most of the people who work with me, umm, become students learn this method, umm, and journey together,
R. And I imagine there is schedule on your website of where you are going to be…
M. There is.
R. …and all that and a mailing list people can get on and so on.
M. Yeah, the mailing list also is a good one, because I send out newsletters that are not just promotional, this is what’s going on… I always send out some content, so that is where I publish new articles and umm, there is a lot more videos coming down the chute too. Teaching videos and things.
R. Yeah, great, so umm, let me just make some general concluding remarks, umm, to those who have been listening or watching, umm, this has been an interview with Miranda Macpherson, umm, part of an ongoing series of interviews there are well over 200 now. They are all archived at Batgap.com BATGAP, umm, there is also a YouTube channel, and there is an audio podcast iTunes that I link to from each page on BATGAP. There also you will find a forum, where discussions crop up around each interview. Each interviewee has their own page in the forum. There is a donate button, which I appreciate people clicking on and Batgap is now a 501-C3 nonprofit organization which has relevance for US citizens. Umm, there is a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted, and a few other odds and ends if you poke around in the menu you will find things. Incidentally I shouldn’t say, apparently you can’t see all the posts in the discussion forum, until you register, so if you go there, and you don’t see anything, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything, you have to just click the registration button, you have to go through that process and then you will see all the discussion that has been taking place. I am going to try to fix that so you can see them whether you register or not, but so far we haven’t been able to. So, thanks for listening or watching, and thank you again Miranda…
M. You’re welcome. Thank you.
R. Yeah I will, we will talk again one of these days, and we will see you all next week.