Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Mukti. Mukti, whose name means liberation is a teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti, her husband, and it’s the only mochi on your Skype name it says Mukti Mukti. So I guess that means mukti squared, which means like a whole lot of mukti. Together they founded, she and Adyashanti founded the open gate Sangha in 1996 to cultivate the awakening of consciousness in those who yearn for truth, peace and freedom. In teaching, Mukti brings flavors of feminine quietude and nurturing as well as kinesthetic visual and precise pointers to truth. Many speak of her being particularly gifted in her offering of guided meditations. Her keen interest as a teacher is in Revelation of consciousness touching and transforming human experience. She is licensed in acupuncture and certified in yoga instruction. And her website, which contains sample teachings, audio clips, downloads, further information is moved to source.org Although that redirects to subsection of the adyashanti.org website, but no problem with that. All right. So here we go.
Mukti: There we go.
Rick Archer: There we go. So I imagine we’ll be talking about all the usual interview type stuff, you know, your spiritual background and your awakening and what you teach and, and things like that. But I thought I’d just for fun, start by asking you a question you may have gotten in interviews, which is, what is what question or or concept most inspires an interest you these days? What do you find yourself thinking about when you’re walking the dog or something that just really kind of lights your fire?
Mukti: That’s great, I love it. Let’s see. All it really interests me lately, I’m going to try to put this into words, because sometimes when something captures our imagination, you know, we’re with it for a while. And you know, almost like a wordless contemplation, I’ve just been kind of chilling on it. So we’ll see it, we’ll see how, how it comes out and words. But what I’ve noticed is, I work with some people, either ongoing or who I in private meetings, or who I come upon when I’m giving public Satsang, who have had significant awakening experience and not that awakening is ultimately experienced, but they’ve had awakenings. And they’ve lived with them for some while. And there seems to often be a kind of period where they’re carried by the profundity of that. And then there’s often times on the heels of that, that things come up in their psyche that are challenging. And what it feels like is that if I were to put a an image on it, you know, ultimately, I can’t know. But what it feels like is that the parts of ourselves that are are not clear or are less refined or are seeking their liberated state sense that there is the ground has been prepared through those awakenings to prepare the person for a level of awareness, openness, availability, for that content to arise. And what I really, really chew on a lot is, is how to meet that in a way that’s, that’s truly and deeply transformative. And I think that what happens for a lot of people who have been in spiritual circles for a long time is they have their tools in their toolbox as odd you would say. Where they know certain inquiry questions that have worked really well for them. They know meditation techniques that have served and maybe they know physical things that help them whether it’s exercising or or doing Qigong or whatever. But what is a kind of what are some of the most effective ways of being with that content that maybe isn’t just one thought to look at or isn’t just one energetic sensation in the body or one emotion, because it’s content that that is like has many strands that reaches into many dimensions of their person. And so to just tackle them with one tool that’s to look at the thought or to look at the emotion, may not really address it at its root. And when I studied Chinese medicine, they talked about treatment principles where you either treat the branch symptoms or the root cause. And sometimes it’s the correct time to treat the branch, like it’s an acute situation, you know, sometimes you have the luxury of not having acute situations, and you can actually address the root. And so so that’s what what I contemplate is, you know how to really address that root. And it’s different for every person. And, and yet, there seems to be some commonalities. And so, so I look for those commonalities I look for, in how to speak to them, speak to those commonalities, when I’m giving talks or when I’m working with people. And then I’m really a student of all of the particulars and uniquenesses of everybody, and I’m constantly learning how to, to adapt what I see as common, and not work formulaically, but work individually to really address the What is particularly unique to each person.
Rick Archer: Cool. So let me just reiterate what I think he just said, to make sure I understood it and help the audience understand it. So what you’re saying is that very often, a profound and genuine awakening can precipitate some sort of release of stuff that has been kind of lodged in our psychology or in our physiology, it’s as if it shakes the tree and fruit starts to fall or something. And people might sometimes be unprepared for that, and be seeking methods to facilitate and smooth out the release that seems to be taking place. And you’re saying that perhaps, you know, maybe Chinese medicine or Ayurveda or yoga, or maybe some kind of psychological modalities could be brought into play in order to smooth the transition that the person is undergoing? Is that what you’re saying?
Mukti: Um, I think I could springboard from your summary and just say what I was, especially highlighting is that when people have tried those things that you mentioned, which are fantastic, I’d recommend them that sometimes they reach a point where they try to reach in their toolbox. And there’s no one modality or one approach that’s addressing the complexity of what’s arising. So that’s what I’m really interested in is how to address the complexity in a way that’s truly transformative. Really,
Rick Archer: can you give us an actual concrete example of some
Mukti: Yeah, I love that.
Rick Archer: That went through something like this? Yeah,
Mukti: I would love to. But if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to backtrack. And just a piece of your speak to a piece of your summary, which is what I’m speaking about, doesn’t necessarily only present on the heels of awakening, but what I see is that the content that arises within people who have had awakening is sometimes material that has been so unconscious, or so root in its structure, that it often will tend it can surface more, apparently, or more. In totality, when there’s that space and conscious awareness, that that material almost feels like it, it registers it’s like, oh, now I can finally come up like this deep, unconscious material or these these core workings in my ego structure can come up, perhaps more readily on the hills awakening, but there’s signs of it, you know, all along, whether there’s awakening or not. And so anyway, I just wanted to speak to that.
Rick Archer: Do you think it would be fair to say that awakening can act like a powerful solvent and before awakening there can obviously be releases and purges and whatnot of things that are bottled up. But the if a more radical or profound awakening takes place it, it’s really a powerful solvent and in the face of that are in the context of that it’s very likely that that things are going to begin to be released, because they’re just, I mean, they just don’t belong in the physiology, you could say, Can’t so easily support that awakening, if it has this, that and the other thing clogging, clogging it up. And so those, you know that the awakening is going to be like a solvent to help too. And the stuff is just going to start dissolving more with a greater pace than it might have before.
Mukti: Yes, yes, I think I think I really agree with a sense of what you’re describing. Yeah. Yeah, that’s absolutely true. So, I mean, that’s what I found. So could you help me trace back to the question you wanted me to answer? Let’s see if we can call it back up. The audience would know, but but they don’t have microphones.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, maybe we’ll get around to it. So I guess you know, and is it your experience that sometimes these releases are the issues that one begins to confront are kind of a lot they become even more critical in a way after an awakening that the sort of intensity of the of the release has to be dealt with more urgently, it’s, it’s more kind of you, there’s a lot more shit hitting the fan, so to speak, than then before awakening. And of course, we’re generalizing there exceptions to every generality. And so that’s why you consider this such an important issue. There’s a lot of people dealing with this stuff that may not Oh, and I know what it was the thing you wanted to get back to because in my summary, I was mentioning this that the other thing I Aveda and what that might be helpful. And you were saying, Yeah, but those are the kind of the usual tools that it might be necessarily to go to a more root level, you know, to really deal with it. And I also asked for an example. So that’s our summary.
Mukti: Okay, great, great. You want to go for the example now?
Rick Archer: Sure, whatever comes to mind.
Mukti: Okay, great. Well, well, let me see What does come to mind just gonna give it a minute. So, um, first, some reason, an example isn’t coming, but I can tell you that feel of what I’m talking about a little bit more.
Rick Archer: Okay.
Mukti: So Adya, for example, has has an in some, in some years past, and maybe in present as well, sometimes he’ll talk about a person’s core story. And in other teachers have addressed this to maybe, like a core core identities. And they may map them to systems, like the Enneagram are different things. And so sometimes there’s a way that we organize around a certain construct, and that construct feels familiar as to how we know ourselves, you know, maybe it’s the helper, you know, maybe it’s the protector, maybe it’s people who could probably name a million of them right now. But there’s, there’s different names for them. But it’s not always so simple as like one label. Because we’re holistic human beings. And so, we may have had certain experiences that we want to repeat or certain experiences that we don’t want to repeat. And those may play into our behaviors and kind of layer upon how we organize. And we may find ourselves in certain situations where maybe there’s certain triggers that may go off and they may feel unrelated to that core organizing identity are core stories Ida has called it and so it may not be as simple as people like to make it there’s a way that in spirituality, people love to be simple when it comes to what they want to latch on to feel comfortable, like I know that this is your A whatever you’re up to on the Enneagram and this is how you need to solve that and address it. You know, or I know what you need to do with that thought, you know, you need to ask if it’s true, or whatever it is. And And people love that because there’s great comfort and having black and white structures like that, that you can just, you know, move through. But sometimes and quite often you As I see, especially on the heels of awakening, there’s territories you get into where one tool, or one black and white white model of looking at, it just starts to break down. And so.
Rick Archer: So it’s more subtle, it’s more complex, it’s much more complex or intertwined with all kinds of different facets of your makeup.
Mukti: It’s, it’s very intertwined. And we can be from like, how you hold your body energetically to your work, you know, where you grew up, and your worldview on this and your conditioning on that, or, you know, opportunities that you have, you know, things you desired that never came to be, you know, unfulfilled desires, or, you know, so many, so many different factors can play in at a given moment, to present a certain milieu of suffering. And, and so I think that my main interest is in how do we have conversations like this, which is great about territories where the black and white model of viewing things is breaking down, because it’s really important to have those conversations really aware, valuable to be aware of that, and to not put ourselves in those black and white models, because sometimes, sometimes they’re fantastic. But sometimes it’s actually almost cruel to try to take the whole complexity of what you are and reduce it to these more simplistic models, and try to shove them in that, that that model, and think that it’s supposed to work, because maybe some authority said it would, or we’ve been spiritually conditioned that, you know, that’s what we’re supposed to do. And so I don’t know if I’m making myself more clear, but it’s helping you we’re getting there. Yeah, yeah, we’re getting there. Good. Well, you’re helping me too. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, actually, one, one example came to my mind, which, which is odd to himself. I mean, he talks about his first awakening. And this isn’t quite the same as what you’re saying, but I think it relates and then he kind of like got back into his habit of being a competitive athlete, and pushing himself harder and harder. And next thing, you know, he was flat on his back in bed for six months or something, you know. And then he recovered from that. And then the old habits that eventually started to creep back in again, he started to do it again. And then it’s almost like nature was slapping them down saying, No, buddy, this is not what you’re gonna do anymore. You know, this is an old habit, and I have different plans for you. So just cool it on the bicycle racing.
Mukti: Exactly. Yeah. And me, that’s a perfect example. And I can’t speak for it on this, but you know, you just take like, Okay, you got a guy in his 20s. And there’s certain, you know, hormones and chemistry and all of those drives that are happening that and push that kind of come competitiveness, you know, it’s not just as simple as, you know, a thought like, I need to be a winner to whatever it is, you know, to be happy, or I need to be competing to be happy. I mean, there’s like, the physical drives, there’s the love of the sport mixed in, like you, you may some people actually love bike riding, other people who are competitive athletes have said, like, Are you kidding me, it’s like a grind from start to finish, I don’t actually like it, you know, so but there’s different, you know, there’s all kinds of different information in here. And it may not just be the identity of an athlete, you know, it could be just some energy that wants to express and this is where it feels satisfying to express it, and are, you know, you know, what I’m getting at, there’s many, many factors happening here. And once somebody like I like to use Word on pack, you know, once someone kind of unpacks, like, what what are many of the ingredients that go into that desire to compete, then you can get a better feel of all of the ingredients in the in the in the mix, and then kind of be with that and create space around that and see which ingredients kind of come to the surface as the ones that want to be, you know, seen seen, in their own time, maybe in a certain order that we couldn’t even guess, but just somehow, all that content may seek its own liberation, and may know its own rate and its own order of unfolding. And so my interest is in you know, how to support that and, and to have various skills that we’ve developed as practitioners to address some of those different components. In a way it can lose support that unfolding transformation.
Rick Archer: So does this relate to the whole idea of embodiment as you understand it, I mean, we’re all in bodies, right, or we dwell in them. And most people in the world think they are their body. And, and so if you’re going for Enlightenment, you’re going from a transition of, through a transition from knowing from feeling and thinking that you are your body to, you know, living as the totality of reality that you know, within which the entire creation is contained. And that’s, that’s quite a range of transition. And so people go through all this stuff as they make that transition, and very often sort of identifying, you know, more strongly with the absolute to the exclusion or to the detriment of the body. And you know, and other things can happen, you know, your your ability to hold down a job, your, your relationships, Steven Wright, is a comedian had this joke, he and his girlfriend broke up because he really wasn’t into meditation, and she really wasn’t into being alive. So, you know, there’s this huge transition that people have to go through. And there’s a lot of reshuffling and rebuilding and restructuring that has to take place in the process. And, as I understand it, that’s what people mean when they talk about embodiment, that they mean, in kind of embodying the absolute and embodying the eternal, unbounded, you know, consciousness in in a way that you can, you know, hold down a job and be in a relationship and is successful and do all the normal human stuff, while at the same time having this kind of cosmic awareness. How does that sit with you?
Mukti: I love I love this conversation. Because, you know, you might have as many notions of embodiment as you do people, you know, I mean, people all have their own sense. And everyone’s using the term differently. And so I like it when people are clarifying terms, and I feel excited to have these kinds of conversations. I think that people mean many things about it. And I think you’ve given voice very well to how a lot of people view embodiment. I think what I’d love to say initially, is that, in a sense, it can, there’s a perspective, there are perspectives where we no can come to our know ourselves as almost like having two bodies all and then ultimately live without reference too much to either, but, you know, you describe the sense of being identified with the body, and then maybe having a certain kind of awakening to sense of the absolute nature of our being, which in a sense, can, it will drop the particular identity of with the, our, our, our purse, the personal notion of our body, and then often that can give way and it’s not always in this order, but often it can give way to a sense of, of the one universal body. And there can be a way that our energetics kind of remap from the local physical body and start to map to the universal body of creation. And in that, there’s often the experience that our attention will go from one to the other and back and forth. Like there might be moments where if you have very identified with this physical form, you know, you have physical pain, you have an emotion come up, you have trigger, whatever it is, and then there can be times where when that’s either when that’s not happening or simultaneously, there’s like a an energetic mapping to the universal body.
Rick Archer: And talks about the I got it, I lost it phase that people Yes, yeah. And that can go on for quite some time. And that
Mukti: can be more of a a construct of mind. Well, it’s in a sense, in some ways it you could say that about a lot of things, or maybe even all things that there’s some some projection of mind, but um, that I got it I lost it can be kind of held and more of an internal experience and a referencing of when they had it and, you know, gathering evidence to support I’ve lost it. But it can also be this sense of this org energetic organizing and almost like mapping to the local and the global or universal being. Maybe it might slow down for a while and a lot of the energy is going back to the local and then people will feel like they’ve lost us Answer energetically knowing that universal and I think that you might be speaking about is that does that sound?
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. And even if it’s not, even if the clarity of universality isn’t so great, I mean, in my own experience, I went through a phase where, you know, there would just be smooth, harmonious, blissful functioning, and, you know, it’s just like, you’re on automatic, and everything is just flowing. And then, you know, it would kind of lose that and everything would feel constricted and confined, and things would be rough. And it’s like, there were sharp edges and everything, and then back again. And there was this, there was a quite a phase of oscillation, and then, but pretty much that eventually ended. But so I actually, let me ask you this even now, related to this, in your own experience, do you find that there’s, it’s like a zoom lens, where sometimes there’s kind of more greater identification, whether immersion in the universal and sometimes a greater focus in the, the individual personal, and yet, it’s not as it’s not sort of either or the way it used to be, it’s more like just a focus according to the need of the moment, or the kind of the appropriateness of your situation. But somehow the two have come to coexist in a stable and harmonious way.
Mukti: Yeah, yeah, I love that image, I use that image in the zoom lens a lot. I think there’s a thing, there are phases in this territory, that seem to be common. And so initially, when there’s that liberation, from the sense of the identified form, to the absolute, or maybe to a sense of the one universal body, which in those moments, you’re not even calling them that you’re not calling them absolute, or the universal or oneness or anything, but we’re trying to get in terms when those happen, there can often be a great sense of, you know, what people call being in the flow. But even more than just being in the flow, as a person who experiences himself in the flow, in those moments, there’s a sense of there only is the flow, and there’s not a sense of oneself as being in it or out of it, there’s just not a sense of oneself, there’s just the one body of manifest intelligence expressing, and then and then it can, it can move to an experience of a feeling kind of more nuts and bolts, like the camera, you know, like, I have this experience of being right here with this or zoomed out into the big, you know, the sense of the one big I call it the big body, sometimes the big body and then the little body. And, and there can be that experience. And then there’s another phase beyond that, where or even intermittent with that, where there’s just this sense of, there’s no referencing any of that. And so, this sense of zooming in and zooming out becomes just part of the one intelligence expressing and so and so that is, is more my experience these days. And, you know, at that point that are not even just at that point that at any point, there’s a way that we can have a sense of our nature that is looking at our eyes, our nature of beingness that is really beyond all of these visuals or, or reference points whatsoever and it doesn’t mean it’s beyond and that they they disappear into some you know, vanilla experience, but they disappear in terms of like how we organize completely start completely or more completely leaves those reference points of personnel universal relative absolute and and then or even flow or not flow or guarded or lost it like a lot of those can can fall away.
Rick Archer: That’s nice. Yeah. I like your use of the word intelligence and I also in your recordings that I was listening to you use that word a number of times and there was a quote in the newsletter that I just sent out last week or maybe it was this week in which he said, Life is divine and your life is your offering back to life. And reason I like that is that there’s a you know, in some spiritual Circles, some maybe non dual circles, there’s a sort of a rigidity that seems to have crept in, in which there’s very little mention of the Divine or the intelligence that seems to be governing the universe. And that, you know, and so on. And in fact, my friend, Francis Bennett, whom you and I were talking about, before this interview, he actually says he gets Flack, sometimes on Facebook for, like mentioning God, or prayer or devotion, and that sort of thing. But I think some people find that, that begins to become more and more meaningful and rich for them. As time goes on. That, you know, awakening can’t just kind of stay at the stage of flat and personal kind of thing, but that, that appreciation for the sort of the Divine begins to really Dawn and become important. So is that the kind of thing that God was alluding to, in that quote? And is, can you relate to what I’m saying?
Mukti: I definitely can relate to what you’re saying. I think that there’s there’s some phases in this territory, too, you know, at least in my experience, a lot of people I work with, you know, there is a sense, especially when awakening is new in the initial weeks, months years, depends on what kind of awakening by the way, that’s a whole other conversation. But there, there’s can be a sense that you know, any reference to a god or something outside of ourselves or something, to pray at some something, or someone to pray to, I mean, all of that construct just falls. And that’s all part of the liberating movement, you know, for those things to fall away. Just like we were saying, the the kind of way we might organize around the body can completely shift. But once once there’s that release of some of those constructs, there’s a way that it’s almost as if that pure energy starts, after it’s been released, starts to kind of come back into a new form, like you mentioned the word embodiment earlier, and those new forms seek to be vehicles of expression of presence. And it’s just what they like to do, you know, and so that expression of presence very much feels like a divine experience, and it feels like it, that presence arises from nowhere. And there’s this sense of that grace of that presence arising, that that fits the word divinity, you know, it fits the word, intelligence of something beyond our known human concepts, but that moves in this mysterious way that, that seems to really, really be ruled by another order than the constructs constructs of egoic conditioning. And so people seek to find words to speak to that experience. And if people haven’t felt that liberated energy begin to really settle and ground into their form and be expressed, free of most concept points, reference points or concepts, then they may not relate to that those terms of divinity. And they may even resent that there aren’t new terms being used, because the concepts of God and divinity are associated with, you know, many people and many times and many religious institutions that maybe weren’t really speaking from this presence that I was just alluding to. And so I think there’s a reaction against those terms, because maybe people are actually seeking new terms, you know, new new ways to shake out that those old terms and, and and move forward with a more liberated expression.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And obviously, hopefully, obviously, the sense in which you and I are using such terms has nothing to do with you know, an old guy with a beard in the clouds, any kind of external or far distant deity who is like, you know, overloading and judging judging us. It has to do with the sort of the the Vinod, the subtle unfathomable intelligence innate in every particle of creation, you know in our fingertip and those flowers behind you and every little thing, even from a scientific perspective, we hear what science is telling us, there’s something marvelous going on and every little bit. And if you start really pondering what that is, and if you know if that’s the, if that’s the intelligence that’s running the show, you know, if that’s the artist that has created this beautiful piece of art that we see as creation, and you kind of want to meet the artist after a while you become more become more intimate with with that. Yeah, that vine level of creation.
Mukti: Yes, yes. And you may feel that meaning of that in your own expression, as, as all of the parts of yourself also reverberate that in in unison with, with all of these expressions that are reverberating, and in that, that harmonic is, is part of the you know, that expression of the dowel.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So you mentioned a couple of things. At one point, you said, different there could be different definitions of embodiment. And then a couple minutes ago, you said different definitions of awakening. Yeah, you know, and these terms and types. Yeah, these terms are thrown around a lot, you know, and, you know, my wife, Irene coordinates the scheduling of people these days, and I’ll suggest somebody and just say, Well, is he awakened? And I’ll just have to say, Well, yeah, but you know, the term is so has such an absolute connotation. And there’s, there seems to be no end to awakenings. And so I don’t know where to, you know, label it to say, Oh, yes, this is awakened. And this is not awakened. It is like to it, it’s like saying, Are you educated? Well, yeah, up to a point. But there’s, there’s more. And I’ve even heard, I just say, you know, that he can some, he often thinks of himself as just a beginner. And, and I think that’s what he said. And if that’s the case, then I guess a good question to lead into your response would be, do you see any end to it? Or is there is it sort of a matter of never ending? Deepening and clarification and, and greater embodiment? With no end? in sight? Yes. The ladder?
Mukti: No. Oh, yes. to both? Yes. To both? Yeah. Yes. To both really. Um, I mean, I think that certain things and, you know, more or less seeking can and more or less movements toward attachment, and I don’t know, the preferences ever end.
Rick Archer: Like, you gotta like Chinese food better than Italian food or, you know, prefer your husband to some other exact character on the street or whatever, exactly.
Mukti: Or, you know, in the process of a loved one dying. Sure, attachment may not be overriding feeling, you know, maybe you’re, you’re with what’s happening, maybe attachment does arise, because there’s really a preference for them to stick around. You know, I mean, there’s healthy attachments, right? But that’s, that’s really a big part of what this conversation is about is people 10, like I was saying earlier, to really want things to be black and white, and even a term like attachment or awakening, embodiment, liberated, I mean, we had a few others in here, but there’s, there’s several that, you know, there’s just no consensus on them. But But in general, there is an end, there’s a trajectory, how I like to talk about it is there’s a trajectory of embodiment, that tends to look like less and less attachment, you know, less and less argument with what is, you know, less than less of a sense of self. less than less than that a sense of, of referencing where you’re were referencing spiritual territory in general, you know, and there could also be maybe more references of more, you know, like maybe more and more quiet of quietness of mind, you know, more and more energetic rest in one’s body and being you know, and of course, there are exceptions to this you know, we have stressors and everything. But I think there’s just feels like there’s a trajectory. And, and yet, there are Are certain pivotal moments where significant shifts in one’s perspectives and construct come into play that, you know, we might call awakenings that, that can be very much feel continued. And yet there can be a point where more or less more pieces have fallen into place or fallen away, whatever, whatever is appropriate.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So kind of like milestones, you know, there’s, you’re going to California, and there’s only state borders, you crossed. And each one of those is a milestone. And, of course, you do get to California, but then there’s Hawaii. Yeah, right. Right. Japan?
Mukti: Yeah. And then you just feel so comfortable with, you know, not? You don’t need to organize around a sense of the end. Yeah. It’s just like, there’s right here. And it’s the beginning, the middle and the end, you know, the whole time. So it’s just the way we organize around it, I think changes even more significantly, so that the the questions start to break down, you know, it’s like, they don’t compute anymore. Like, why would you? You know, like, in a sense, maybe that perspective might say, you know, why are we talking about whether there’s an answer or not? I mean, what’s the point?
Rick Archer: Well, the reason I bring it up is that I do, I do actually run into people still, who say, you know, have some realization? And they say, I’m done. I’m finished. That’s it. Oh, no. And I’ve heard you address this too. And there’s a kind of a, for some reason, there’s this sort of very convincing quality about awakening sometimes where it, it seems like there couldn’t be anything more, and this must be it. And I’m very skeptical that that could be the case.
Mukti: Well, I know that in my own experience, and in in talking to others, that sometimes that can be a phase, you know, like, there, there’s just there’s no way you could compute in from that perspective, that there’s anything else in that perspective. There’s just, you could not fathom it. You could have a gun put to your head and say, like, would you stake your life on it? And the person in that perspective would say, hands down, I would, and then boom, maybe go? Yeah, maybe not. Maybe they’ll always remain in that perspective. You know, because there’s, there could be exceptions to what I’ve experienced, and other people’s have experienced. You know, so I’m not saying that I wouldn’t get blown out to, you know, if I said, Well, you know, I’m, I’m going to say that that perspective, will, will go just as everything comes and goes, you know, I could get the shot in my head, you know, because, in one sense, that perspective that they’re speaking of is, is the eternal perspective. And yet, as eternity is expressing, it expresses, as that which changes and, and expresses infinitely in an in an infinite number of ways, with without any, you know,
Rick Archer: good answer. And as you were saying that it occurred to me that, you know, we all have different dharmas, different roles. And it could very well be that for some people, they have a significant degree of awakening, and they’re gonna spend the rest of their life just living in that and, you know, without any significant other significant on on foldings. And that just might be the way they’re wired. You know, that just might be the role that they’re cut out to play.
Mukti: Yeah, I love that. I love that. I love that. I like that perspective, because it frees us from from thinking it should be a certain way.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. Yeah, love that, Rick, thank you. I can’t help. But I confess, though, to having a bit of a roadmap mentality in terms of, you know, wanting to codify all these terms people use such as awakening and Enlightenment and embodiment and so on, because we’re all using them all the time. And if we really want to be communicating, then there needs to be some kind of agreed upon understanding of what we’re actually referring to. If everybody’s referring to something somewhat different in the use of such terms, then there’s a lot of kind of Tower of Babel. Yeah, situation.
Mukti: Yeah. Well, it certainly can be wonderful to strive toward that, you know. Yeah.
Rick Archer: So let’s loop back now and talk about the story of Mati. Okay, and I’ve heard you, you explain it beautifully on your conscious TV interview and other things. But my listeners may not have heard those. And then maybe we’ll bring in some little unique angles or something that you didn’t talk about in those other interviews. So, as I understand that you, I think you said you grew up in an Irish Catholic family and take it from there.
Mukti: Oh, gosh, how much time? Do you have just like a five minute question
Rick Archer: as much time as you want. You know, whatever you feel is appropriate in the context of this, that just so people just people always want to know more about the person as in addition to whatever philosophical or spiritual perspectives they might have that people want to know. Well, yeah, how did they get those perspectives? I mean, what did they go through that maybe I’m going through, or will go through or something that, you know, might be helpful to me to hear about?
Mukti: Yeah, well, there’s obviously infinite ways I could answer this. But what comes to me in this moment is that what what I feel most grateful for is that in my formative years, and other people would go, why, because they didn’t have the same experience. But I had a very positive experience of growing up in Catholicism. And I, I have heard ADIA, especially in his early years of teaching, talk about progressive paths and direct path teachings. And I feel like in my formative years, if I were to call that experience with Catholicism, the kind of progressive path and then I was also introduced very young, like age seven to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. And my dad became interested in those and, and yet the whole rest of my immediate family and extended down, I was still very involved in Catholicism. So I really, I mean, it would be to very much oversimplify those two traditions to just just say, okay, they’re both progressive and a story. But for sake of trying to communicate, I feel like
Rick Archer: unless just asked, by progressive, indirect, do you mean like, sequential progressive progress as opposed to some kind of immediate full realization? Is that what you mean? I was just
Mukti: about to go, thanks. Okay. Yeah, and then and then after those formative years, I had more direct path teachings through ADIA and what I what is a bit tedious about the way I see those is that in progressive paths, they’re very much building a foundation in a person to have a healthy sense of tribe community individuality, morality, service to something much greater than themselves, you know, a God loving others. There’s, there’s pointing towards discipline and introspection and contemplation that would help people be the most Christian or the most loving people that can be in the world. And that that sense of, of love really comes from a connection to a well fontal spirit. That is, is the ultimate source of love that that can express through us and that can speak to us when we call upon it, etc. And so, for me, those foundations were incredibly valuable to me to really steep in what is possible as far as a beautiful expressions of humanity, you because I know there’s a lot of ugliness out there.
Rick Archer: So for instance, some of the Catholic saint Saint Francis, St. Teresa of Avila, and then Yogananda and Shri up to Shuar. And, and so you’re just speaking of those as being examples of what it’s possible for a human being to be right.
Mukti: Um, I guess you could say that, but mostly, I’m speaking of my inner experience, but I was inspired by this outer experience of the damp examples of those lives, you mentioned as well as their pointers, you know, to to look within and to develop a sense of, relating with the Divine Presence. And, and, and, and to sense how that is, is feed for us, in our nature of spirit, and to also, you know, take on their direct constructs of like, you know, guiding principles, whether they be the Commandments or whether they be, you know, the the the Self Realization fellowship lessons that Yogananda did meet all of those were, were not only like you’re saying, being, presenting profound examples of what’s possible as far as living an authentic expression of being meaning that, you know, supports our well being, and, but also the actual tools and teaching me you know how to how to hold some of these things and how to navigate. And so I felt really lucky that then when I was exposed to more direct path teachings, that were a little less focused on the foundation, although there was definitely some focus on that, but the primary emphasis was on who is it? That is living your life? You know, what are you that is engaging in this business of living, praying, meditating? You know, what is it actually that you’re praying to, you know, what is this I am, that is spoken of in, in, in the Bible, you know, what, what is this psalm, Be still and know that I am God, you know, what, what actually is that indirect experience. And so the direct path teachings that I got from module were really like, you have to, you have to delve into your direct experience to come upon an unknowing, like an order of knowing that is, is not something that’s been presented to you, but something you come to know, through your own inquiry, and I had a little bit better that through Yogananda, you know, and there’s probably a fair amount of that in in Christianity that, that I didn’t expose myself to as much. But I just felt like the marriage of the two created this fertile ground that was greatly supported through those progressive paths of Catholicism, self realization, fellowship, even in my studies and Chinese medicine and hatha yoga, and then to then have that foundation on which to take in, and to feel secure enough to and attracted enough to delve into the self inquiry questions that Adi presented, I felt was a real, real blessing. And I feel it’s also a blessing in the embodiment. Also, because there’s some sense of the flavors of what can be embodied and the presence of what can be embodied that I think was great nurtured prior to my awakenings, that kind of Trent catapulted me into more absolute view or transcendent views, I think, I think knowing that divinity helps, whatever we want to call it, my soul, my person, ascend into embodied expression, because there is a sense that it is it’s not like before when we incarnate at birth, where there’s a sense of me, coming into form expressing it’s, it’s, it’s literally it’s so different this time, because the Divine is, is has has taken up in our in one’s consciousness, to such an extent that it it literally feels more like the Divine is incarnated, whether we want to say with us or as us through us, through us exactly so. So I felt like all of those years of, of getting a sense of the Divinity made has made facilitated making it feel like that, that divinity is always an ever present and expresses us as what I am in the falling of wings of what I thought I was
Rick Archer: nice. So it kind of sounds like you’re saying that at least in your case, direct path and progressive path teachings can be complimentary mutually enriching or supporting. I believe so. Yeah. And there’s a some old Zen saying it’s a Enlightenment may be instantaneous, but what is it Enlightenment may be an accident but spiritual practice makes you accident prone. You know, so it’s like all this culturing and refining and enriching of your your sense of the Divine. Even I guess that would be the progressive thing brought you to a point where a direct path teachings such as audios was perhaps able to be more fruitful than it might otherwise have been.
Mukti: That’s my feeling. Of course. You know, I’ve only lived this one life so I can’t say categorically but that’s my that’s really my instinct. My my sense of Have something that the pairing of those to the progressive path teachings and the direct path teachings for me, has felt like it’s made it much easier for me than other people I observed to, to have things, especially the process of embodiment, and the ease with that come about more smoothly. And there may be other factors that that, you know, I don’t claim to, to be able to track or know, you know, notions of karma or other things that have made it easier for me, but, but I still feel like, yeah, even but even people who have had difficult karma, I have seen, I have seen their foundation in progressive path teachings helped them tremendously with embodiment. Yeah, that’s my, my interpretation of what’s happening.
Rick Archer: But it’s no, you know, you’re talking, you’re saying before, in the beginning about how simplistic Pat solutions or techniques or perspectives don’t necessarily cut it when one is dealing with, you know, some critical issue. And I think there is any, that we have a 10, I think you said that we have a tendency to try to grasp it, those. I think people do have a tendency to want to glom on to black and white thinking, you know, exactly simplistic perspectives. And I see nothing wrong with nuance and paradox. And, you know, both and, in fact, I think it’s extremely helpful. So there’s, there’s absolutely no conflict or competition between direct path and progressive path, you know, doing practices, and at the same time, realizing that, you know, you are already that and, you know, all kinds of such things that these debates take place on. Right, right, chat groups, and so on.
Mukti: Yeah, I mean, it’s so funny, I mean, because, you know, when you take a side, you know, you can, you can definitely shoot down the other side really easily, you know, and, and, you know, I can’t do you know, I could be in a debate and shoot down each side. And, and I could probably shoot down what I just said, but I think in the end, what’s more important than then winning the argument is, what’s, what’s the nourishment that’s, that’s needed to know and express the clarity of being at any given juncture? You know, and just to just to sense that, and I think it’s wise to be open in this business of coming to know and express ourselves as an infinite. It’s, it’s wise to open to the infinite myriad of expressions, because they’re all those facets
Rick Archer: are ourselves. Yes, beautifully put. I mean, you know, God is not a one trick pony. And, you know, there’s this verse in the, in the Bhagavad Gita someplace where Lord Krishna says, you know, however people approach me, so do I favor them. And that any, any sort of spiritual effort or aspiration or interest or initiative, is acknowledged, and, and rewarded as it were. So, yeah, I think if we’re really serious about this business, you know, if we, if we really are genuinely sincerely interested in and awakening as profoundly as possible, and as being and being as great a kind of a contributor to the world as we can be, then we’re not going to dismiss or reject any possibility that would, would foster that.
Mukti: Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s good. I mean, you know, I know that sometimes it’s appropriate to give some really black or white structure for somebody to given juncture. You know, and, and so, and, and there is a appropriateness to let someone stabilize in certain viewpoints that they’re opening up to, and to just to let them think certain things for a while, you know, as they really come into the full power of that, I guess, our the right word, and full embodiment of that. And what’s nice is even if we just keep our mouth shut and left that happen or you know, we can have confidence that all the that the other facets in their own time will seek to will seek their expression as well. And that that things do come and go and change and, and as consciousness itself seeks to, to know itself through us new perspectives will, will begin to unfold.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no good point. Back in the 70s, I was teaching meditation at West with a team of three other guys and we were traveling around a bunch of states. And for some reason, whenever we flew into Las Vegas, it would take forever to get the luggage, you know, and without fail, there were Hari Krishna people in the airport. So I would always, you know, entertain myself by talking to the Hari Krishna people while waiting for my luggage. And, you know, I remember talking to one guy who had been helped so much by that path and that approach, and I was, you know, on a different path teaching a different thing. But you can remember, there was a lesson for me, I think, to the just that not to in any way. And of course, I’ve been other examples, but not to in any way diminish or compare or, you know, my path to his, and just to appreciate how, how much value he was deriving from what he was doing. And I doubt that he’s doing that, you know, now 3040 years later, but it was great for him at the time.
Mukti: Great. I love that little vignette. That’s awesome.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So let’s get back to Mukti. The story of Mukti
Rick Archer: so we kind of veered off. But um, you you were talking about how, you know, you’d had this upbringing with first Christianity then then Yogananda and that, that had, in a way prepared you or kind of built a ground or Foundation, which then made the direct path more potent or fruitful or, and that direct path was with Adi, as I understand it, that you met him even and married him even before he started teaching. And so pick up the story from there. What was he doing when you first met? And what were you doing when you How’d you guys meet?
Mukti: I was working in high tech in in
Rick Archer: Palo Alto area, some kind of programmer or something?
Mukti: No, I had at the time, I think I was working as in that year, I kind of flipped back and forth between technical writing manuals, and for software and hardware and marketing of those products, because it’s small company. So you know, sometimes I’d market at trade shows around the country or, you know, just do different things on the phone surveys and direct marketing and things like that. But, um, I knew my time there was ending, you know, it’s kind of seeking to get certain products out, and then I knew that I’d be leaving and but in that year, what was significant about that year for me is, it was I was about maybe age 24, or something. And I had decided, you know, since graduating from college around age 2122, that by the time I was at that age, oh, gosh, I can’t remember action seems like I’m messing up my ages and guess I graduated at 21. But anyway, because I had been working in high tech for four years. But anyhow, so I, I made a commitment to myself to meditate twice a day and do the energization exercises, which are some pranayama breathing yogic exercises that that Yogananda recommends daily for a year straight I made that commitment to myself because I was kind of abysmal discipline when it came to meditation. And also during that time I
Rick Archer: was the yogena on the meditation arduous or there was a kind of gratifying and motivated you to sit down and do it
Mukti: I don’t know that it was arduous for other people, but it’s arduous for me, okay. And, and yet, the devotional part of me like I always loved the, the prayers and the chanting and everything. So that part was arduous, arduous and I love just being together and community with the people meditating. So I committed to that and I kind of was moving away from my socializing as I had known at any university and, and so I spent also many evenings going to longer meditation groups. And so it was a really fruitful year for me spiritually speaking, and I and I was praying quite a bit. Then and really kind of preparing myself to, to attract someone into my life. As Yogananda put it, you know, you can attract someone of like vibration. And I thought, gosh, I’ve always really wanted a partner who was really, really committed to spirituality, because I had considered being a monastic and had spent some time at an ashram myself before that. yogena. Sorry, sorry, after that, after that, as it turned out after that, well, yeah, you. Yeah, and it wasn’t a postulate or anything. I just worked in the offices as a lay person, but that was just after I had met Adi actually. And so I was lining that up for my life. And I thought I wasn’t really I didn’t really know if I wanted to be a monastic or have a partner, but I knew that I wanted spirituality be central in my life. And then in as it happened, I lived in one of these group households where a lot of people rented rooms, you know, we all like found our housing on the university bulletin board, you know, and then we shared the common areas, and one of the young men that had a room in this larger house, started dating on his sister. And so I got to know his older sister, and one day we were chatting, and I mentioned to her that I meditated daily, and her mouth, kind of like her eyes kind of went like, you know, got wide and her mouth got open. And she called to her, you know, her her boyfriend, like, yeah, why don’t we ever said think of setting up you know, Annie, which is, you know, my, my lay person’s name Annie with my brother. And you know, her boyfriend’s like, Oh, my God, like, what did we think about it? About that? And, and she said, Yeah, you’re the only two people who I’ve ever known who meditate. So maybe you guys would like each other. So, yeah, so we tried to go on a double date with them a few times. And then finally, we ended up going on a blind date. He called me and asked me out so
Rick Archer: well wasn’t exactly blind, because he knew who he was calling.
Mukti: Yeah, exactly. wasn’t totally blind. Sight unseen, easier
Rick Archer: to take this one out. Oh, I see. You hadn’t met yet? And he called Right, right. Yeah. And so good. So you kind of hit it off and I’m letting dogs in and out here by the way, if you see me opening Oh, it’s it’s happening. Okay. Yeah. So it Was it love at first sight?
Mukti: Um, I, I don’t know I kind of not in the way you typically think of it like sparks flying,
Rick Archer: right. So the deep recognition kind of thing.
Mukti: I do describe sometimes, like when when I opened the door, like something it was just like, something shifted in him where he felt how does he describe it kind of like the the troubles of his current life just kind of fell away. And when he saw me, he just knew like, this person will be significant in my life for the rest of my life. Interesting. And that’s what he knew when he saw me. And and when I saw him it was just more like, I saw him and I thought I’ve never met a person like this. And I was curious, you know? And
Rick Archer: you mean, so at first glance, you thought I never met a person like this or laughter? What was it about when you thought
Mukti: it was about the phone conversation before the date and the date? And
Rick Archer: what was it about him that was unprecedented in your experience?
Mukti: Um It’s very subtle. It’s a great question. He didn’t want anything. You know, I didn’t feel like he wanted anything for me. He didn’t want anything in particular to happen. He wasn’t putting on a show. He wasn’t like jockeying for position or or trying to make an impression it was there was a comfortability in himself to not necessarily be talkative or I mean, this is all in the first few minutes right, but a confidence in himself to speak when he spoke. In it, it doesn’t mean that other people don’t have these qualities, but it was something about the blend. Yeah. And that I thought, I haven’t come Be honest before myself. Yeah.
Rick Archer: That’s a nice characterization. Yeah, that’s really nice. Yeah, just probably we could sum it up with the word naturalness.
Mukti: Yeah, but the funny thing is it is very natural and yet not ordinary. At the same time. You know what I mean?
Rick Archer: Yeah, totally no, like, yeah. You know, having had lunch with him that time he came to Fairfield and having you know, known him for from his teachings, but there’s this kind of real head in the clouds feet on the ground kind of quality about him. Just a real sort of what you see is what you get. But there’s a lot going on there that, you know, there’s there’s a great depth, and yet at the same time, a great sort of down to earth ness and kind of simplicity. And
Mukti: yeah, I think you described him fantastically. Thank you.
Rick Archer: So how long did you guys go out together before you decided to get married?
Mukti: Well, we had an interruption there, because around the time I met him, and I’d already lined it up to work at at the ashram. Oh, I
Rick Archer: see. Yogananda
Mukti: so yeah, so we dated for a while got interrupted. But but for about, you know, various reasons, we put it on hold. And then I think we really, really got going dating about a year and a half later, but that whole time, we were at a distance. And we were doing something kind of very traditional. We were just writing letters to each other all the time. And we really got to know each other a lot through the letters. And through the times, we did see each other through the year that I was away, I had made a year commitment to the ashram. And, and then after I returned, I think we got to remember. I think we got engaged about a year later, and then got married something like eight years after that. I can’t I can’t quite remember, of eight months after that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I said years. And we got
Mukti: married when I was 28. So somewhere in there. Okay.
Rick Archer: And then. So you were going along? And then at a certain point, I guess after you were married, you decided to become a teacher. Right? And you
Mukti: use his teacher asked him to become a teacher. Yeah. Right. Yes. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And, and you, and you went along and decided to, you know, help be his backup person for that and help him organize the OpenGate Sangha and everything.
Mukti: Exactly. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I remember in the thing, I was
Mukti: a little thing we might enjoy. Yeah. When we were dating, I was really practical person, you know, and I was asking a lot of questions, and what what do you want to do for his life? And, and one thing he said is, he said, just have this sense that someday I’ll be a teacher. And I said, What do you think? What kind of teacher you know? And he’s like, Well, it’s gonna be a teacher of adults. And he said, it may be like, in a university setting, but he’s like, it might be in a spiritual setting. And, and I said, What do you think it could look like? Your teachers, and one of his teachers has a hole. So it’s really like an abbot of the whole Zen Center. And he said it could be and boy, would I have to sit with that one for a long time. Like, do I really want to be, you know, the wife of an abbot running a Zen Center? Yeah, you know, but in a way, I could see the perfection of it because I had considered the monastic life. And I had considered the lay life and I was like, Wow, this was like a hybrid. But, um, but it was an interesting curveball for me when we were dating because I was such a loyal student to Yogananda. And so to think of like, being, you know, resonant in the Zen Center, practicing my yogic path was was kind of a something to chew on for a bit.
Rick Archer: Since the two of you both had a kind of a monastic background in a way did you have any trouble adjusting to married life?
Mukti: We are really easy for us. Easy Yeah.
Rick Archer: One One thing I always find refreshing about this teaching is that even though he had this, I mean
Mukti: I should rewind a bit. We had a few we have a few challenges, but overarching it was very easy right? Just say Yeah, a few you know a few just adjusting. I don’t need to like paint it you know how memory can you can get kind of forget things and then like after I answered, I was like, Oh, I kind of forgot there was there’s a few works and warbles but in general you know, we neither of us are people who enjoy arguing, you know, some people love to argue and it’s really fun but, but we are both people that love to have harmony and in general, we would work things out and keep things smooth.
Rick Archer: What relationship hasn’t had a few warps and warbles? You know?
Mukti: Exactly, yeah. And at that age, you know, too, I hope I hope we get wiser as we age some, you know,
Rick Archer: Yeah, seems to be the trend. So what was I gonna say? Oh, yeah, I was just gonna say when one thing I think a lot of people appreciate about is teaching at least under Bindu, one of his feet. So I don’t know what goes on there. But there, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of trappings, you know, just what you described about his personality earlier when you first met him in terms of naturalness and simplicity and all that. That’s the way the whole thing comes across. You know, when you watch various videos and and talks, there’s just not a whole lot of folderol? Yeah. Which is refreshing. Good. Glad you’re joining. Yeah. So yeah. Well, actually, you know, it’s, there’s somebody who emailed me just today, I think it was who’s who said, I wonder if I know more, because I’ve listened to more of your talks. But she says, I wonder if mukta is enlightened, I mean, are awakened. I mean, she can’t help but not be hanging around with audio all the time. I mean, if he was already, if he had already undergone awakening, prior to your getting together with him, was there some sort of osmosis effect that you began to feel when you when you were together? Is it contagious?
Mukti: I love this great question. Great question. You know, I don’t I don’t think I give a black or white answers is the quick thing, because it’s kind of the theme of our interview, right. But, um, one thing I sense when I look back is have such a profound trust in him as a human being, and I had that from day one. And in general, I’ve had such a life where I can have the luxury of being pretty trusting. And, and so I feel like I really could touch into him in a way that maybe others who may feel less have the capacity for that trust may not be able to, you know, and so I feel in that. In that way, I was really open to His pointers, very receptive. And I’m very much engaged him as my teacher. And so there was almost like to two tracks going, you know, audio, my husband, audio, my teacher, and they weren’t, they didn’t feel really separate, like we shifted between the two really fluidly and still do. But you, but I think the transmission that really opened my horizons as far as direct path, teachings and spirituality and inquiry and the pointers that he gave, and continue, you know, continues to give his a teacher not so much to me personally now, but just to people at large, similar pointers, I think that there’s a way that my connection to them allow them to go in very, very directly. And that trust really provided an openness for them to come in quite directly. And I had that trust, also validated in our personal life and who he was in, in that role. And and then I think there’s also perhaps a component of which I can’t definitively say, but I think there’s a component of presence and or, and, or the PRI and Kundalini, that that I could feel being close in his proximity. You know, days, day after day, night after night, a lot of that I didn’t really feel as acutely until after the more significant awakening that occurred for me. But it’s, it’s also interesting because I think the two of us together supported one another. It was really when he could kind of rest into our relationship and our marriage that things really began to unfold for him quickly, more quickly, I think But in some ways, I’ve had an easier karma than him. And I it feels like when you get married, you really share each other’s karma. And, and so I feel like, you know, we’ve been mutually supportive in our spiritual unfoldings. And, you know, he jokes around with me, you know, saying that I’ve taught him a lot about just, you know how to be a better host or have manners when he has guests or how to how to have conversations with people. You know, so I think that, that some people have that lens of like, oh, you know, for sure, it’s, you know, I’ve always had this great influence on look D, but there’s really been been an influence this has traveled both directions. And and, you know, I’m not saying that to, you know, toot my horn. But I think it’s just a valuable perspective to see that, of course, we all influence each other constantly. So there’s no way I could ever say that his presence and has has not had a profound impact on my life, because that’s what we are for each other. Yeah. And I think, I think it’s probably beyond our comprehension, how much effect we have on on those around us or on on every single human being? No,
Rick Archer: that was a great answer. Yeah, there’s so much wonderful stuff in what you just said. And and I’m glad you said the bit about you influencing him, because I don’t mean to imply by all these questions, so what is it like to be married to? You probably get that a lot. And I’m sure that, you know, your influence on him as every is every bit as important as his influence on you. And you know, so I don’t mean to imply otherwise, by asking all these questions.
Mukti: Get that, Rick, thank you. I didn’t get that at all.
Rick Archer: Okay, good. And the thing he said about transmission, I think, is significant, too. Because, I mean, I’ve been around some teachers that had a lot of Shakti, you know, and marshy, Mahesh Yogi and Arma. And I never met Muktananda personally, but I went into one of his centers one time in New York, and it was cooking, you know, there was just a lot of Shakti in the atmosphere. And I noticed that also in sitting with Ida at lunch, and here in Iowa, that it was just like coming off in like heat waves off a hot road, you know, and in the summertime, there’s just a lot of of Shakti that is just kind of spontaneously transmitted. So I imagine that has, you know, was influential for you, as you said it was?
Mukti: Yeah, yeah. Just to let you know, that you really, like the volume on that really goes down when he’s not in a teaching setting? Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah, just, you know, kind of goes in, and then that presence really comes forward. When, when when it it, it has the intelligence to do so.
Rick Archer: I’m sure you’ve experienced that yourself as a teacher, you know, you’re up in front of an audience of people. And somehow, when you put yourself in that role that really amps up exactly in your back. Because it wouldn’t necessarily need to be amped up like that.
Mukti: Absolutely. And then when it’s amped down, it seems that that’s restful for the body to you. In other words, you can almost feel like you get your circuits fried or something.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, I was a TM teacher for a long time and give a lecture in front of 500 people or something. And, you know, you really were cooking. Yeah. To your audience be up until four in the morning, you know, you couldn’t get to sleep because there’s so much so you wouldn’t want that all the time necessarily. I haven’t tried it yet. But yeah. So anyway, so kind of continuing along here. So I heard you tell the story of how you’re on some retreat with audio or something and you had a pretty significant awakening. And hadn’t you didn’t even quite realize it had happened until the next day, when, you know, we’ll go ahead and tell that story. Oh, gosh, in as much detail as you want. I mean, we you know, there’s obviously so many things we could talk about, but bring it whatever you feel with the significant in the context of this conversation.
Mukti: Okay, I’ll do that because you know, people can go on to conscious TV and there’s sure
Rick Archer: they can see that whole thing and
Mukti: you don’t need to repeat it all over it’s actually a little bit of on the first video and a little bit more on the second video but but yeah, maybe just to touch in with what might be significant here what would I would love to do and I’ve been wanting to do at some point in this interview. So I think there’s a good time as you know, that tendency of people to kind of make their approach to ego or suffering or embodiment or whatever, all these different parts or to the spiritual territory, they can tend to make that approach very black and white. Yes. And we can see, sometimes there’s a tendency to really want to make it really simple. So there, there’s something really concrete to relax into. And just like give your energy to, and, and it’s interesting that sometimes that really works, especially if it’s, if it’s at the stage where it’s absolutely appropriate. You know, sometimes it’s like, you know, trying to use the wrong tool, or the just all the tools come up short. But interestingly enough, sometimes in spiritual practice, things aren’t simple enough. And so that’s the paradox of sometimes we really want to oversimplify and it doesn’t work. And sometimes we don’t almost have the capacity to simplify enough to have ourselves engaged in one thing that really gives transformative power. And what happened for me on that retreat with ADIA is I had been cooking for some time on with an inquiry that kind of helped me get through incredibly busy time. You know, multiple jobs and, and acupuncture education program, newly married all kinds of things, what it starts starting open socket, right. So you’re familiar with this, this this thing I was cooking on? What is rest? contemplating that for a long time, we’re using it such that asking the question would direct my attention to a sense of the rest that was already present? And to invite that sense of rest? Almost like I was asking it, what are you, you know, to have that sense of rest present itself in a more palpable way. And then when I was on that retreat, and it gave a talk on stillness, which is on this is on the conscious TV interview, but I really sat when everyone went to bed, I really sat with that question, what is stillness and, and energetically dropped it into, from my mind, just into my body and into the quiet sense of rest that I had been cultivating? And just let it ripple? Just let the question ripple and carry my attention into into stillness into a direct sense of stillness and, and being that simple. had it taken me a long time to come to a moment where I could be that simple and just give the entirety of my being to that question. And it wasn’t just a capacity I had developed, it was when I had heard him give the talk on stillness, I could feel I could feel where he was speaking from, and it was still in my system. And in that inquiry, I let the inquiry take me to, to that which was being transmitted in his talk. And, and that it took it into take someone’s knee, but I just my attention, laid its head down in that, and just merged with that. And that had its own unfolding from there. And, and so that’s one of the most important things I can convey about my awakening experience. Is that that question really captured me. And, and that’s how I knew to give myself to it completely.
Rick Archer: I wonder if your Yogananda background had any? Did Yeah. Because affirmations, you know, and you had cultured the ability to follow an affirmation down to a subtler level or something. And so you were, you’re primed to be able to do this.
Mukti: Well, two things as I look back on the yogena stuff, it definitely I had practice affirmations. And, and also, there’s like, two things that I look back on. And one is that when I was very young, like, well, not super young, but maybe like 14 I was in a Yogananda activity with other young women who were my age and we were all embroidering this song be still know that I am God. And I just was so taken by how I didn’t know what that was. And so that seed was planted in me at a much younger age. And I would chew on it periodically, you know, throughout my life, like what actually is it to be still I don’t know if I’ve ever been still and could you actually know God? You know, and how could this still in the show me that you know, so? So there’s something that I was already in the mix, I think. And also just the the time that I had spent with Yogananda, his teachings where I had become more attuned to presence and transmission that I could I could really, I really can take could take notice of it when it was giving his talk and, you know, sense it very acutely. And so I really think Yogananda was tremendous in in that, and also the way he always pointed Yogananda you have to take things into your inner laboratory. Yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Nice. So anyway, he was giving this talk about stillness. And you were asking, had been asking the question, what is rest? And somehow rather, there was a significant shift, which he talked about in much greater detail on conscious TV, which people should look up that interview and to hear all the details, but but in any case, that was kind of a turning point for you.
Mukti: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, spiritually speaking, it was, it was like, the, it was really like my sense of self was turned inside out, you know, just the sense of believing who I was at the center of experience, like right here, looking out at the world looking out at the territory of spirituality, as I turned in, it was as though I merged with that inward sense of stillness, that, that literally almost like felt like it pulled myself as I knew myself to be into that stillness. And then when a sense of self re emerge, it was literally like being turned inside out. And instead of feeling like I was this one, in the center of the eternal, I literally felt more like I was the eternal looking out in itself. So
Rick Archer: that sense fade after a while, or did it much just integrate and stabilize and kind of become the, the kind of the norm for you,
Mukti: is a little bit of both, it depends how you look at how I feel, what happened was that turning in that sense of the eternal, it really took up residence in a way it almost just felt like it it entered the architecture of, of what, who, and what I was in such a deep way that that has never left. In fact, it seemed to be that it always has been and always will be, you know, whether I haven’t body or not. But what did change was that sense of like, the eternal looking out my eyes, almost like they talk about like the Holy Ghost, I felt like how I felt I know what they mean by the Holy Ghost. It’s just the sense of like, these two eye sockets and infinity, like looking out of this body, you know, and, but that sense changed in just the the, on the heels of that shift in the next couple of days, that sense of emptiness, looking now at itself, kind of also, I don’t know that it did a flip. But it did a almost like an energetic merging, where inside and outside just, they both like aligned. And so that sense of eternal looking out at creation. It’s like that the creation and the Holy Ghost, just like they just aligned and lined up and became the same. And so it was the sense that the manifest world is this emptiness.
Rick Archer: Or fullness as the case may be? Yeah, is
Mukti: this eternal? I mean, yeah, the words break down the eternal is the eminent gotta make
Rick Archer: sense. Because if the eternal is the infinite, and if it’s really sort of infinite and omnipresent, how can that look out? You know, I mean, exactly looking at itself. So
Mukti: yeah, yeah. And then it went kind of from looking at itself to this is myself, you know, yeah.
Rick Archer: Nice. Yeah.
Mukti: And so that, that that basically has stayed although what happened on the heels of that, just to finish the question like that is more of a sense of the construct of my personality and, and ego started to come back, but I was surprised at how how much of the ego had just seemed to vanished. But, I mean, a lot of times people are surprised that any ego comes back. And that’s can be a bummer. But I was almost surprised at how much had fallen away. Like, oh my gosh, where did that go? I don’t I think people experienced both, you know, surprise on both counts, and then, but that sense of the ego not ultimately being what I am, has made. It just made it a completely different experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And would you agree that the ego is faculty like, like the sense of hearing or any of our other human faculties, and you need that faculty in order to function in the world? So it’s not like, you can be completely and utterly egoless, you know, without any sense of, of sort of personal self and and be able to function? Or am I wrong? It does, is it not that way,
Mukti: I think it’s almost like you know, I don’t know, it’s at a certain point, that or from a certain perspective, I should say, the, the referencing of the ego goes offline. So at that point, like, you could still call it ego, and that’s fine with me, or you could just not call it ego. And that will be fine with me. But it’s almost just like, it’s almost like the ego can come back in, it’s almost like different strands of the former structure come back, and they may come back in a different way, or they may come back in just the very same way. And, and when they come back, they’re seeking their place in the scheme of that liberated state, and they’re, they often are seeking their liberation, or maybe they’re just seeking to be a conduit for the expression of that awakened state. And so it’s almost like, it may feel like it’s in the black or white, it’s like, oh, it just all gets liberated and discarded, but it’s almost more like, it energetically transforms into a different vehicle. And some of that doesn’t need to transform so much, because it’s basically a pretty healthy conduit for expression of spirit, you know, and, and, and some of it, as it reforms can look very concrete, you know, can really look like a personality and expression. And, you know, we could call that ego, you could call that personality, we could call it a, whatever we want, in, you know, embody spirit. But at that point, you really have to, like, take the magnifying glass tower using the terms. And again, you know, and say, in that point, you’re like, splitting hairs so much, and your, your lived experiences, like, it’s just not necessary to get in there with the microscope, because you’re too busy going on with the business of living, you know, yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, I think in Sanskrit, the best equivalent to ego is a honker, which means I maker. And, you know, it seems to me, and I’m not arguing the point, but I’m just saying you’re willing to refute it, if you if that’s what your experience is, but it seems to me that, you know, there’s gonna be some sense of I obviously, even though the kind of the impersonal cosmic awareness, or whatever you want to call, it might be predominant. But if if somebody calls, calls your name, you’re gonna turn your head or if you stub your toe, that’s different from a rock being dropped on your driveway, in terms of the lived experience of the situation. There’s some localization of, of experience as long as we’re a human entity. Absolutely. And if people expect to be completely and utterly free of that, and have no personal identity whatsoever, they may end up spending their lives looking for something that’s never going to happen.
Mukti: Yeah, and they may miss out on a really rich human experience here.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s an interesting point, which is that, you know, as opposed to snuffing out our human experience, doesn’t all this awakening actually enrich and enliven it? Yeah, yeah, make it much more sumptuous.
Mukti: It certainly can. You know. I don’t want to be Pollyanna ish. You know that it’s always you know, rich and beautiful. You know, there’s a unicorn Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s the grit there’s the boots on the ground, you know, there’s the the spice in the sweet you know, the bitter and the sweet whatever you want to call it but but you see it all as yourself more in the sense that you don’t have to have it be sweet you know, and beautiful and yet that you’re also not running away and missing the beauty when when it can present and and strike you you know, very profoundly Yeah.
Rick Archer: How are you doing on time good to go for the longer you want to run. So
Mukti: let’s start to head toward wrapping it up. Yeah. I mean, I don’t have an endpoint. But I think, yeah, it’d be nice to Sure. Transition to other other arenas of life that might be wondering, wondering what’s happening?
Rick Archer: What happens? No, that’s good. And I think in a way, we’ve come full circle. In this discussion, we kind of we started out talking about, you know, dealing with stuff that may erupt when awakening occurs, and we talked about embodiment, and so on. And we’ve looped around through a lot of good stuff, and, in a way, come back to that very thing, you know, the living of awakening through the human instrument, and maybe what What a precious opportunity that is. So that’s good.
Mukti: Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: So I think anything you’d like to say in conclusion?
Mukti: um Yeah, just as you were talking, the feeling of something was coming forward, it seems to be that, that within ourselves, you know, going back to the earlier part of the interview, that seeks its liberation, as perhaps as far as a con, we could, it’s a little over simplistic to call it content of conditioning, but just energies that may seek a new harmony, as those are coming up, whether it be thought constructs, behavioral patterns, traumas, whatever it might be, as that’s coming up, if, if there is a capacity to rest in oneself as, as Spirit, and to rest in, in one’s nature as, as the seeing of awareness, that that liberation seeks, then there’s a way that that awareness can both be directed as, as, as one is attending to that, that content of experience and of directing one’s attention to be present for that. And so, and that seems to somehow further encourage that content to want to join that sense of aware space, we could call it and and when that that content begins to join, it’s it’s liberated standards nature as awareness, it literally can release energy from our, our human expression, to be to be available for other expression and, and to be available to be really valuable contribution for our own lives and for our world. And so, you know, being available to that, too, sometimes takes a tremendous amount of courage, and dedication, and, and love and, and that that is not only something that is needed by those aspects of ourself that seeks that liberation, but it’s also something that we can thrive in because it’s our nature to express as attention, love, compassion. A beingness that that is receptive. And so it’s not only about us, you know, that process of liberating that content of what some people might call ego. It’s, it’s also about our nature spirit to get to welcome itself in these forms of, of condition patterns, and to let that functioning of our nature spirit function and and be present for for all of these aspects, that long to join that freedom.
Rick Archer: So I can hear you saying that, you know, spirit wants to if we can anthropomorphize it a bit. It wants to express fully through us and in us. And we can be, we can call and choose to cooperate more with our attention and our intention, we can be more cooperative and help to facilitate it’s in its desire is again, anthropomorphizing its desire to make us as fit a vehicle as possible for its expression.
Mukti: Exactly, yeah. Yeah. And it’s kind of reminiscent of, you know, all those images of, you know, us chasing God, when God’s chasing us. You know, there’s that sense of it may feel like, we’re trying to, you know, liberate this stuff sometimes, when in actuality it’s, it’s, it’s the nature of things to move toward liberation. And it’s an it’s the nature of our expression of spirit to be that liberating agent. And, and to be enriched by all that, that becomes liberated and joins that. That union of spirit was
Rick Archer: perfect. We’ll end it there. Okay, great. But let me make some money. Yeah. Thanks for let me do that. Oh, for sure. But just let me make some concluding remarks. But yes, you’re very much welcome. And thanks for doing this. And I know, you just got back from Europe, and you’ve been busy and all and there’s a lot of technical setup involved. So I really appreciate the effort you’ve made to do this. And it’s been a lot of fun.
Mukti: I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while and looking forward to you know, who will come upon it and, and find find their way to sharing with you and honor, you know, our great love of this?
Rick Archer: Yeah, so let me so mukta Will have her own page on batgap.com. This particular interview will have its own page. And on that page, I’ll have her bio and alto link to her website, mukta source.org. And also a link to a audio book that she has put on that sounds true. It’s as published that I’ve been listening to this week.
Mukti: Oh, I think that’s something that’s for sale. It is.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s for sale. Sure.
Mukti: You want to give him the link that we gave you for the
Rick Archer: No, no, no, no, no, I’m gonna give the regular link to sounds true page where they can buy the book. Yeah, I don’t love that sounds to a lot gonna give them your personal password. Yeah, so there was that and it’s a nice book, you’ll enjoy it. And also, if you go to mukta source.or Am UK ti so you rce.org that will redirect you to a page on Adyashanti site where you’ll find all things all things moody. And this. And you obviously, I know sometimes you conduct the Wednesday night phone call thing or video conference thing that audio does. So people can subscribe on adyashanti.org To be notified whenever there’s going to be one of those Wednesday night things and sometimes it’s you. And do you have any other kind of newsletter or anything else that you keep in touch with people with?
Mukti: Yeah, I’m part of the open gate Sangha newsletter and website and, and it’d be great to check out the website. You know, there’s, there’s like a great guide. I mean, a lot of people have liked this guided meditation I’ve done it’s free on there called let down and let be. There’s lots of clips and songs. And then there’s the Indian internet show that you know is free. And I think I know I’m gonna be on sometime later this fall. Yeah, so good. Just have fun on there. There’s a lot to explore. And we’re working on stuff all the time to add to that we’ve got some exciting stuff coming out in the future to
Rick Archer: great. Okay, and regarding Buddha at the Gas Pump, it’s the website for that as batgap.com Bat gap. And there’s all kinds of things there are two 250 previous interviews and they’re all under the past interviews menu. They’re all categorized in different ways, alphabetical, chronological and so on. And there is the future interviews that are upcoming or announced under the future interviews tab, as well as some other stuff. Look under the About Us tab you’ll see some things. There’s a Donate button that I appreciate people clicking which makes this thing possible. And we’ve started putting ads on YouTube. I kind of apologize for that because those are annoying, but you know that there’s a need to monetize this a little bit more. BatGap is a nonprofit organization registered as such in the US. So but donations are appreciated. There’s a place on BatGap to sign up to be be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. There’s a discussion group which is has its own little section for each interview. So there’ll be one for this interview. And that’s just about it. Oh, there’s also an audio podcast. And there’s a link to that with every interview so you can subscribe on iTunes or whatever to listen to the audio of these interviews. So thanks a lot for listening or watching. Thank you again. Mukti.
Mukti: Oh, you’re so welcome was so fun.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Great fun. And we’ll see you next week. Next week is Barbara Marx Hubbard. So that’ll be fun too. So thanks.