Peter Cutler Transcript

Peter Cutler Interview

Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I think Peter Cutler, my guest today, is number these before and you’d like to check out previous ones, go to B-A-T-G-A-P and look under the past interviews menu where you’ll find all the previous ones organized and categorized in various ways. This show is made possible by the support of appreciative viewers and listeners and so if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it there’s a donate button on every page of the site and a donate page that explains all that in a little bit more detail. So my guest today is Peter Cutler. Peter calls himself a spiritual midwife, evolutionary healer, author and artist. He lived down in Sedona, Arizona where pretty much everyone in town describes themselves that way, right? Peter had a profound awakening experience at the tender age of 22 which we’ll talk about but we’re going to even talk about things prior to that before we get to that. Ten days after it began he promptly fell back into the dream state most of us consider our lives, not having a clue what had happened. He began a spiritual search that took him through many spiritual teachers, practices and traditions, finally flowering as this great light of profound peace, unconditional love, freedom and contentment. As he first discovered at age 22 the radiance of this awake being seemed to have a profound effect on people, often leading to remarkable healings. This made it crystal clear that we don’t awaken for ourselves alone. As a spiritual midwife for those who are ready, Peter assists in the birth of the awakened nature that lies within each of us. He offers weekly teachings, healing, living awake groups, retreats and private sessions at his spiritual center in Sedona, the Sedona Zendo of the Awakened Heart or online. His first book is The Zen of Love, Discover Your Own Awakened Heart. It’s available on Amazon and there’s a free digital download of the book which I’ll be linking to on his page on that gap. And Peter says about the book, this book will improve your relationships miraculously, so if you honestly follow its suggestions. If you’re not in a relationship it will teach you the secret of irresistible magnetic attraction. Okay, so what does irresistible magnetic attraction have to do with awakening for starters?

Peter: Well, the book itself was kind of like a bridge, right? Because I found that when I was teaching, a transmission would kind of happen, so people could really experience this awakened nature, maybe not even from anything that I said, just sort of being in the room with me. But then it would fade after a few days, so if the thing was on Saturday then by Tuesday or Wednesday that already start coming back into a life with problems and suffering and things like that. So I wanted to find a bridge that would allow them to stay like this and not have to keep coming to me basically, because this is something in them that’s awakened, it’s not me. And the transmission is just awakening something that’s already in them, right? But they keep forgetting this. So in order to find this I went on a seven month silent retreat. It was only supposed to be three months but it just kept, I didn’t want to come out of it once I was in it, it was so beautiful. And about five months in this realization of how I had awakened came to me that was totally unlike everything that I thought it was. I mean in doing like Zen practice for 30 years or so and many other different practices in it. Those all helped but it was really life itself and particularly experiences of love and relationships that had actually brought this to be. So when you say a realization of how you awaken, what you realized was that your relationships were for you a powerful catalyst for your awakening? Is that what you mean?

Peter: Well yes, yes, but really all of life was. From the moment I was born everything that had happened to me was guiding me to this. Relationships were a very, very powerful part, you know, to find love. What I found was there is, people don’t understand really what love is the way I’m speaking about love, this unconditional love that’s always here that never changes, the sort of essence and foundation of all existence, right? They don’t experience this, they don’t feel this, but in every relationship, every feeling of love, no matter whether it’s for another person, a pet, a child, it doesn’t matter what it is, there’s a seed of this and that’s what I discovered there. There was a seed of this for everyone so that was the bridge that I could show people this. And I’ve done this before with people, sometimes people will, someone will leave them and a relationship will break up and they just feel despondent, they feel like they’ve lost love, they’ve lost a piece of themselves and it can go on for years like this, they can be suicidal, it’s very, very … a lot of suffering comes from this. So I started working with a few friends of this and could introduce them to this experience that the love that they felt at the very highest level with that person was already in them before they even met them during the time and after it’s over it’s still there now. So that would give them enormous relief because they would feel that this was true, right? They could feel this still sense of love, it’s not coming from outside from a person, it’s something that’s in us always, it’s basically the foundation of what we are.

Rick: Yeah, I mean there’s that saying you know God is love and Muktananda used to say God dwells within you as you, so that if God is love and God is dwelling within you as you, then you are love. And so what you’re saying is when you have a relationship and love sort of bubbles up and becomes much more vivid in your experience you’re getting a kind of a glimpse into who and what you really and everything else ultimately are.

Peter: Yeah, especially the falling in love part, that the falling in love part is actually an introduction to awakened nature, to awaken consciousness if it’s intense enough and then after a while it sort of fades and we feel like you know start noticing problems with people or whatever happens, it’s like the honeymoon phase is over and we kind of think of the honeymoon phase as something that’s illusional, it’s not like oh well eventually you’ll come back to life, you’re like glowing now but eventually you’ll come back to the real world where you won’t have this, but the real world is the dream world, it’s the falling in love where you’re starting to open to what you truly are, because my experience is it’s springtime maybe that’s part of it now, but basically always I feel the falling in love, you know, that most intense falling in love it’s just my nature and it’s wonderful, I mean there’s a certain glow that happens from that and people pick up on it, you know, they can sense this when someone falls in love and they’re in that relationship and they’re just in that heightened falling in love phase, everybody knows it, they don’t have to say anything, they just walk down the street and people feel happier just being around them, right? Because that’s in them too and all of a sudden they have a recognition, it’s a transmission, so everybody that’s in that falling in love phase is transmitting to other people just the same way a guru does or anything, it’s exactly the same thing, they’re showing people what they are and they’re recognizing it, what they are recognizes it and sort of comes to the surface for a moment.

Rick: Yeah, of course there’s usually a lot of other crazy stuff going on, a lot of hormonal you know things.

Peter: Yeah, there’s all kinds of crazy stuff, there’s all kinds of filters because our conditioned thoughts, so we think like one, it’s the other person that’s doing it, the other person is somehow giving me this feeling, but it isn’t that at all, they’re just reminding you what you are and yet we put all our focus in the other person instead of looking in and saying where is this feeling coming from? And besides all the hormonal stuff what is deeper than that? What’s deeper than that?

Rick: Yeah, I remember hearing, I don’t know if this is true, but I remember hearing that certain Native American tribes considered falling in love to be a form of insanity and they’d kind of lock the people up in separate teepees until they got over it.

Peter: I think all of conditioned society thinks that.

Rick: Yeah, and you know and people do all kinds of crazy things in the state of so-called falling in love and there seems to be a spectrum in terms of how sublime or ridiculous it can be. Robin Williams famously said that God gave man both a penis and a brain but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time. So I don’t know, you know it’s like it’s one of these euphemistic phrases that almost seems a bit overused because there’s so much craziness associated with it and it doesn’t like seem to, in many cases if not most, it doesn’t seem to bear a heck of a lot of resemblance to what we would understand enlightenment to be. But I understand your point and I think on an esoteric level there’s sort of energies being enlivened that are very central to the whole process of enlightenment, it’s just a matter of what we do with those energies.

Peter: Yeah, yeah, but I think it’s best to take away all the concepts about it, you know, as we have so many concepts of love we need to take away that word love and feel what’s beyond concepts because love is beyond concepts, God is beyond concepts. So the word God, if people have concepts about God it stands in the way of their direct realization of God. If they have concepts about love it stands in the way of their direct realization of love, of the love that I’m speaking about that doesn’t and is no different than God, it is no different than life. It’s basically the simple way of saying it is it means no separation, it’s just the realization, the direct experience of no separation, it’s a very powerful thing and so when people have that falling in love phase what happens? They don’t feel a separation at least between the person that loving, somehow that falls away and that feels amazingly good. They walk down the street and they really don’t feel that separate from anything that’s happening around them, so the other people pick up on that, you know, they just feel the oneness.

Rick: Yeah, that’s good. Well we’ll talk about this a lot more and I want to get into your story a little bit more so people have a better sense of who you are and how you got to be where you are. I thought an interesting place to start might be your story of Ginny when you were five years old.

Peter: You read my book.

Rick: I read your book and I remember when I was five years old being in love with a snake. I had this pet snake in the backyard and I can distinctly remember just feeling this tremendous love for this snake that I had in a little box or something.

Peter: Yeah, yeah.

Rick: But Ginny was more than that.

Peter: Well Ginny was my neighbor and my childhood was not the most pleasant childhood. There was a great deal of suffering. Both my parents were alcoholics and there was a lot of violence in the house and so I often stayed by myself, you know, went out in the woods. We were surrounded by woods, my house, so it was beautiful. I could escape and be out there and there I felt very at one. But Ginny was my neighbor and I felt very connected to her, you know, I loved her, right? I mean this was like, I think this might have been the first child that I had met other than around these crazy adults and her life wasn’t, her family life wasn’t quite as crazy as mine, but you know we like just really bonded together. And then she was a year younger than me so I started school and she came when I was in first grade, she was in kindergarten, she came into the school.

Rick: And I’ll just cut you off here for a second to say that in your book you elaborate a bit on just how totally sweet and innocent and full of love your relationship was with her. There was like an incredible bond between the two of you, but go ahead.

Peter: So she, meanwhile I’d been in school for a year and you know was with different boys in the school and wanted to have friends and how to fit in, trying to fit in and everything and these boys hated girls for whatever reason, I don’t know why, they just thought they didn’t want to associate with girls.

Rick: They had cooties.

Peter: Cooties, exactly, yeah, so whatever they were. And so you know I played along with that in order to fit in and during the first day of school in the second year when I was in first grade, Ginny came to school and she was so excited because she was going to go to school with me, you know, and she was looking forward to this and she was looking all over the school for me and I was the only person that she knew and so when she found me she went running up to me and hugged me and I you know my friends were there and they were like looking at me with like what the hell are you doing, you know, what’s going on here. So I pretended I didn’t know her, I just like kind of pushed her away and pretended I didn’t know her and said you know you can’t come up to me in school and it totally, it just destroyed her, you know. She just this you know young sweet girl and it just destroyed her. She didn’t actually come to school for the next week and her parents didn’t want me to associate with her and I really hurt her and it destroyed me. I mean it felt so terrible to do that, it was like my first betrayal not only of her but of myself because I did love her, you know, and I didn’t really know these, I was just trying to fit in with these guys, I didn’t even know them, you know, and here was someone that I really knew in a very close intimate way.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: It was sad. I don’t think much about my past, my life, I mean I write it in a book when it’s appropriate and it comes up and it’s useful to teach somebody or help somebody, it comes but the way that I sense my path and feel it about my past is that it’s a dream, you know, it feels like a dream and when it’s time to remember it, if it serves some purpose it just comes right up and along with the feelings and everything but I don’t have an identification with it as me or any actually even happened in a way, it’s like this is a dream that happened, you know, but I learned from it though. I mean everything that happened, all these dream episodes in my past were part of awakening to this, to the truth, everything, that too.

Rick: Yeah, I just found the story poignant, I mean, you know, just sort of the shattering of the childhood innocence and purity that you were experiencing there was, you know, a real lesson.

Peter: Yeah, and heartbreaking.

Rick: And if we could all be as innocent as you were before that betrayal, you know, what a world it would be.

Peter: Yes, well we come back to that too, because the state now is purely innocent, it’s just absolutely pure and innocent, it’s the same as a child, it’s even more innocent than that child now, entirely vulnerable, you know, so it takes some… I guess one of the reasons that we don’t want to stay here is because of this complete vulnerability and nakedness and openness, this is what kind of scares us back into the conditioned life, you know, but at some point we see that this is like all-powerful, the vulnerability, the innocence is unlimited in what it is, this is the true power, being like you know, like a person that you can… some solid person that you can say this is who I am, is not power.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: It’s totally vulnerable, it’s got so many chinks in it, we’re always trying to protect it.

Rick: And it takes a lot of energy and effort to protect it.

Peter: Yeah, it does. So when you let go of it you have this enormous energy because you’re not doing that anymore, you’re not living in a thought world. The real world, your body is naturally filled with energy, extraordinary energy, I mean you couldn’t be alive without it, your cells, everything needs this energy. So when you let go of using it for things that are not productive, all of a sudden you find this, that’s why when you wake up you have these experiences of bliss where your whole body is like an electric charge is running through it, you know, and love too. None of it is separate, bliss, love, peace, it’s all the same thing. There is no separation, it just depends what we want to call it and when we call it something then it has a different kind of a feeling.

Rick: Yeah, it’s sort of like different flavors of the same food, you know, maybe there’s some food and it’s kind of sweet but it’s tangy and it’s a little bit, you know, something else, you know, different qualities all mixed in but they’re all reflective of the same fundamental reality.

Peter: It’s all the same thing, yeah, it’s all the same.

Rick: Well, let’s learn a little bit more about the you that you’re not, in terms of how you kind of progressed along, you know. People like a little bit of the personal story even though I get your disclaimer but it’s like because they can relate better, you know, okay he went through this, that, and the other thing and oh so did I.

Peter: Yes, no, exactly, I wrote that in the book, you know, the reason too it’s very helpful because people can put a something that they can understand on something that they can’t,

Rick: Right

Peter: because there is no understanding what this is. I have no idea what I am.

Rick: It also humanizes it, I mean, if people sort of think, right, that guy’s just as much of a turkey as I am, you know, he’s been through all, he’s made similar mistakes and this and that and he seems to be doing okay so maybe there’s hope for me.

Peter: Yes, that’s a very important part of it, yeah. So as I said, I grew up in a family with two alcoholic parents and a mother that didn’t want children, you know, I was the firstborn so all the way back to the womb I felt this like not wanting to be there, this kind of rejection, abandonment, and there was a lot of violence, you know, just unpredictable drunken violence. So as a young child it was very frightening to be in in the house and one of the things that

Rick: It’s amazing because you said your father was incredibly handsome and he stayed incredibly handsome even into his little weatherbeaten given the lifestyle.

Peter: He was tough, well he worked outside all the time and when he wasn’t working outside he was doing sports and stuff, he was an athlete. So he spent a lot of time doing that and that allowed him to be drunk. My mother, you know, they started in the morning drinking, you know, and then, you know, she would just go all day and then until she like passed out at night. So what happened was I needed to one, have this kind of empathic experience because I needed to know if it was safe to be in the house, you know, what was going without going in there because then I was kind of stuck if they were angry or whatever, wanted to do something to me, you know, where were you. I had to know what was going on inside before I even entered the house. So I developed this kind of very open perception of people’s feelings and thoughts which was difficult as a child. But when I was alone in the woods that surrounded the house I often felt like totally filled with peace and it was like filled with love, you know, like where was this coming from. I didn’t know, I felt completely connected with the surroundings out there. I knew every little cave that was there and I felt connected with all the animals and birds, just no separation. It felt so wonderful and it was probably what allowed me to survive my childhood, you know, to have this one part where I wasn’t totally terrified because when I was in the house I was terrified, you know, I would, you know, in the West they talk about in Westerns sleeping with one eye open, you know, like when they discover gold at the partner they come and kill them and sleep or something, you sleep. And so I slept with one eye open, it was like I was always ready to get up and try and get away if something dangerous was going to happen. I had a lock on my door, I never knew what was going to happen and every morning I would wake up feeling like I survived, you know, but I lived in terror basically, so I lived in afraid of everything. So I had this feeling of this presence of light and love when I was alone and when I first heard the word God I called it the presence of God, you know, that’s just what I felt. Actually I was pretty accurate to it too, but I suppose that around age 11 or 12 I started being really interested in girls and you know being a rock and roll star or whatever, you know, so I forgot about that, I kind of let that part go, just put it way into the background and you know wasn’t paying attention to it anymore. It was a big part of my life up until around 11 or Saint Francis of Assisi and I just completely connected with it. We were supposed to write book reports and everybody was doing like Lou Gehrig or something like that, right? And I saw this and I didn’t write a book report on it because I didn’t want anybody to know that I was totally fascinated with this guy’s life and this monk life and I just felt like it’s so much like mine, right? I don’t know if his family was as dysfunctional that they were fairly wealthy and well-off and he took this poverty thing and I felt somehow very, very close to that, you know, because he’d also had that experience that I had when I was alone, this field with light and so but at age 12 or so that stopped, it just sort of faded into the background and I became really interested in girls, you know, basically that was it, everything was sort of going around that and so that just went on until I was around 22. I went to a…my mother was in a rehab center, when she would get so drunk that her life was endangered and she would be in a hospital and send her to a rehab center afterwards, so she was in a rehab center.

Rick: And by this time you were married with a couple of kids.

Peter: I was, yeah, yeah, I was around 22, yeah, I was married. So what happens when you’re interested in sex that much? A shotgun marriage, but the kids were amazing though, probably saved my life really. And so I went, so they invited family members to come down over the last week that she was there to help her, you know, sort of reacclimate and maybe not be an alcoholic anymore. So my brother and I agreed to go down there, it was in Florida and we were in the north, so we had a chance to go down for a week in warm weather and probably that was at least part of our reason to go, and maybe something could help, maybe something could happen, nothing had before. So we went down there and as people were telling these stories, you know, it was like an AA meeting, right? So in AA meetings people tell the stories of like this is what I did, this is all the terrible things that I did, that happened when I was a drunk. So people were telling these stories and I was listening to this, I’d never been to an AA meeting, so it just, I felt so angry, you know, like hearing these stories. I mean it was bad enough that my mother had like ruined the lives of her kids, but you know this one guy in particular, he was the head of surgery at a New York hospital, a very well-known New York hospital, and he was the head of surgery and he talked about how he would come in, you know, from like an alcohol and pills and his hand would be shaking so much that a lot of people died on the operating table when he would do this and that the staff would cover up for it because he was the head of surgery, they couldn’t say anything about it, I guess, or didn’t, and he felt terrible about this because he knew it was because of that but he couldn’t stop, and it was, I mean he was pouring his heart out but I just was furious, it just made me so angry, I said this guy is murdering people, you know, I just wasn’t feeling warm to these people telling these stories, I thought they were terrible and inexcusable. So after listening to that for like the second day I told my brother, I said I can’t take this anymore, I’m going home, I’m going to just like, I’m going to start like attacking them or something, it’s like I can’t take this. So I packed my bag and that night I went to sleep that night totally ready to leave the next day and I just I woke up and I woke up, right, when I woke up there was no more of that person that was angry that had been angry for so long, it was gone completely, there was no self-identity at all, I just felt love, I felt like I was love, I was filled with light and love just like when I was a young child in the woods but much more intense, like when I was a young child and I experienced that I was still a person experiencing it. At this point there was no person to experience it, it just was that, that was all.

Rick: Had you already been doing a bunch of spiritual practice at this point or did this come out of the blue?

Peter: This came really out of the blue, you know, as a hippie and a rock and roll drummer I did acid.

Rick: I was a drummer too.

Peter: Yeah, oh were you? Cool. Yeah, so yeah I mean I’d had some experiences doing that and then when my kids were born at some point you know the people came over in the band and they were smoking, people were smoking pot and around them and I thought my God these are just little innocent babies, I can’t do this anymore. So I said no one can smoke in my house and I stopped and said how am I going to stop? I just started getting interested in yoga and meditation because I knew other people who had done that. So I did that so I’ve been you know but I was just I got a book by Swami Sat Chit Ananda on yoga, right, so I was doing some yoga things and I had another book on Raja Yoga which is meditation like focusing on a candle and doing that. So I’ve been doing that for about a year but I knew nothing about other than the acid trips spiritual stuff really. Oh I had a book by Yogananda called How to Know God and so I’d read that but it was really no preparation at all. I mean I understood the word God. Basically what I thought is I was the second coming of Jesus Christ that’s all I could know. I mean I didn’t know what to say so I said maybe that happened because I was healing people in this rehab center. These people would come to me and were just drawn to me and they would come and like you know be sobbing and I would hold them like you know this didn’t happen before but all of a sudden all these people were coming to me, drawn to me and I somehow was healing them you know because I had this radiance, it was literally glowing radiance. I mean I felt that was happening but people actually saw it and so yeah that was it, it came totally out of the blue and that’s why I said you know like ten days later it faded. After I left the place it was still happening. When I was on the plane a stewardess came and said can I sit with you, I don’t act this and she sat with me and she had to move the guy sitting next to me to another seat she moved him up to first class and you know and she sat with me and she was telling me about this. I didn’t, I was just there just this hippie you know and she said I don’t know why I’m telling you this and she told me about this relationship she was in, this traumatic relationship with her boyfriend and it was really bothering her. She was sobbing and I held her the same way I did the other ones. I just I loved everyone and I saw everyone. It’s like I could see their entire life from the time we’re an infant up to that point and everything that had happened but it happened all at once so I didn’t like separate things out but I could feel them and all I could feel was love like the guy who is the doctor he did the same he came and I hugged him and I felt nothing but love for him. It was exactly the opposite of what I had felt before for everybody I felt this you know and there was, it was amazing I mean it showed me something that love is it’s not what we think it is at all. I mean it has the power to totally to heal people, it’s incredible. This is it has way more power than we have any idea, any concept of what it is and so I didn’t know anything about it and when I got home my wife was scared you know because she saw like who is this guy you know like it just frightened her because I was so totally different you know but I completely loved her you know I had a lot of problems with her. We had a shotgun marriage and you know I was actually in love with somebody else when we met and she got pregnant and this and wanted to you know and I had a lot of problems with her but there I just felt enormous love for everybody you know my neighbor who kind of was this kind of disgruntled like guy and was really angry with me all the time. I just totally loved him too but after I felt this desire for people to have me come back to where I was you know to somebody that they could see instead of this saint I suppose you know and it just happened I guess. I don’t really know why or how. I think it happened because I wasn’t ready you know I wasn’t ready to embody this for the rest of my life so what I had was a glimpse of what life could be like you know of what reality is and that was enough for me to go on a path to try and find out what it was to get it back again.

Rick: Yeah, more often than not that’s the way it goes you know people have some profound glimpse and then it fades over some time and then they think all right I’ve got to figure out what that was and make it permanent.

Peter: Exactly, what the hell was that about?

Rick: God gives us a taste.

Peter: Yeah, so I got really interested in looking and finding what was this and doing meditation practices and studying you know it just I mean there were times when I wasn’t totally focused on that but it was always in the background because it was so much and I didn’t see the world the same way ever again you know I mean I didn’t totally believe everything I was seeing because I knew there was something much more real and much more beautiful than this.

Rick: Yeah, so I know words don’t do justice to it but let’s talk a little bit about what love is. That brings up Forrest Gump, I may not be a smart man but I know what love is.

Peter: He was filled with love, yeah, that’s why he was so successful in everything he did.

Rick: Yeah, true.

Peter: Because he didn’t know he couldn’t be.

Rick: Yeah, there was this innocence about him.

Peter: Yeah, we understand our unlimited nature, we don’t put these concepts about how limited we are.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: We just let them go, it’s not like we say I am unlimited, it’s just we let the unlimited, we let the limited go and what’s left is the unlimited. You know we put what isn’t love, we let that go and then there’s just love because love is something that’s here, right? This is what we, I teach people these practices who are going through all kinds of different suffering to embrace them. It’s not uncommon, right? You’ve talked to so many people doing this, is instead of trying to escape which is our natural way from painful feelings we totally open to them, we go the other way, we totally open to them. But these painful feelings always turn out to be illusions and when we open to them it reveals that it’s an illusion and then we’re free, it’s let go. But when we open to love and we say well let go of that, like we can’t, it just grows deeper and the same with peace, you know. These are not emotions, love is not an emotion, it’s a fundamental essence of what we are, it’s a very different thing. It’s not something that we feel, it’s something that we are and we really are this. So it’s on the deepest, deepest level this is what we are, the bodies come and go but this stays, this is something that doesn’t leave, it’s beyond the physical world, it’s beyond bodies but it’s in the physical world and it’s in bodies. It’s not like God, it’s not separate from anything, form or formless.

Rick: Yeah, well that right there is a good definition of what love is. It’s not an emotion, it’s not merely something we feel, it’s what we are.

Peter: Yeah and you do feel it though, I mean it is like the experience of falling in love when you feel just this blissful feeling and you’re like connected to everything, it is like that, you know. So people who when they’re falling in love that’s why I say that that’s an experience of truth, that’s like my opening on a lesser level to my opening when I was 22 where I felt that that’s all I was at that point. It’s like going into the Sun, it just burned up everything else somehow and the reason it happened at one point I was, well for quite a while I felt I was channeling, right? I would ask a question and this what I called God would answer, right? I would ask a question I would get an answer. Every time, you know instantly, the most puzzling things in my life would just instantly be answered in the most obvious way, you know and I would always feel like, oh you know how did I miss that, right? Because I missed everything, it was amazing, it really was humbling and also had me lose trust in my mind because I was a hundred percent wrong. I mean how are you a hundred percent wrong with everything that happens in your life but I was you know excellent at being completely wrong. I was like you know I would have an A and missing every single thing but then when I asked it was the right answer was given to me you know and it was so obvious, not mystical, it was really just much more obvious but about that experience that I had at 22 it simply said of course I would ask about that. It’s just what you needed, you know you were going in the wrong direction and you needed that experience to put you back on the path again.

Rick: Yeah and I don’t think we, I mean it could be some kind of channeling thing where there’s some you know guardian angel or something that’s feeding us answers but it could also just be and maybe this is probably what you think, right? Just your own innate deeper intelligence that you’re tapping into more clearly.

Peter: Yeah, yes because your own innate intelligence is not separate from God, from any formless beings, from any of that, you are all of that.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: So of course it could come into you because you are that, you just you let go of what’s an obstacle to that and channeling is interesting. Well you know in Sedona a lot of people do channel, right? So the channeling is coming from them but they have a certain name for it and I did for years I said this is coming from God, you know this channeling is coming from God and I wouldn’t accept that there was no separation between me and God, it was me and God and I had this a relationship like Mooji calls it being held in the lap of God. So for years I was held in the lap of God, I was guided to do things, things were given to me, events would just spontaneously come up which was exactly what I needed and I just surrendered, I just kept surrendering and surrendering, but I was surrendering, I was surrendering to God and at some point the I just it just wasn’t of any use anymore really, you know it just sort of like got smaller and smaller until it just faded away and all that’s left is life.

Rick: And do you still get answers and stuff like you know support of nature we could call it or you know?

Peter: In every way I ask now. At one point I thought well I’m not going to ask a really unimportant question like what should I have to eat tonight or you know what color should this graphic be in a website or something but now I do that everything, I don’t trust my mind for anything, you know I don’t say like oh I think this would be a good color, I don’t care what I think, I don’t care what my opinions are, they’re meaningless because there’s something else that knows everything so I don’t feel bad about asking everything you know.

Rick: So pretty much you’re totally running on intuition with everything, every little thing, you go into a restaurant and you feel like there’s some kind of guidance as to what to choose on the menu or whatever.

Peter: And which restaurant and why I went into that and who I’m going to meet and everything and you know I just surrender to life and it’s taken care of me you know and that’s the thing when you surrender to it you see that it takes care of you. Do you know who Peace Pilgrim is?

Rick: Oh yeah I love Peace Pilgrim. So Peace Pilgrim totally surrendered to the point where she would walk with no money back and forth across the country and you know and she would sleep on the side of the road right or she would you know and she wouldn’t eat until someone invited her you know met her and she was taken care of for years like that and the more she did it it was clear she’s taken care of. This is what Zen monks do when they go in a pilgrimage right, they have no money they’ve got a begging bowl they just walk a great distance like maybe back and forth across the country like she did. And you find when you do it that life is taking care of you but it always has been from the time you were born. You cannot take care of you, you don’t have control of what’s going on in this body, your liver, your kidneys, you’re not consciously saying get to work here do this, it would be way too much work. Talk about the stress of just trying to be a person if you tried to control your body all this stuff is being taken care of you know all of it. There’s this infinite intelligence here like when it’s springtime where you are right? So spring has just started here so the buds are just starting to come up on the trees so you look at that the tree didn’t say it’s time to make the buds there’s an infinite intelligence that’s doing all of this and so we can see this in nature and we can accept this easily in nature but not so much with ourself because we want to have some control we believe if we didn’t have control everything would fall apart. And it doesn’t you know the fact is it just becomes miraculous the things that you need come to you before you even know that you need them you know at the same moment you get it you go oh I just I needed that oh thank you you know but you’re not even thinking you need it you’re not manifesting like I think I need this you don’t even think about it until it comes and then you have it it’s everything there’s a perfection in life that we don’t understand that we don’t see you know it’s like at this point my feeling is that everything that happens is absolutely perfect and absolutely for my highest benefit whatever it it could be cancer it could be you know losing my house becoming homeless but I know that whatever happens is perfect there’s just this inner trust and knowing of this because it’s happened so often like this something that I thought would be bad turns out to be exactly what I needed and then once I realize that and realize what the lesson is then the thing just resolves by itself.

Rick: Do you agree though that not everyone could sort of just instantly snap into that way of functioning I mean we couldn’t all you couldn’t take any old person anywhere and say okay start functioning the way Peace Pilgrim did and wandering around the country with just a shirt on your back. I mean if you read Peace Pilgrim’s book.

Peter: It wasn’t an instantaneous thing like that she worked her way up to it and then at one point she was sitting somewhere I think out in a rock and the peace came to her. She had a very profound inner enlightened condition and enabled her to function that way. But for everybody this is happening from the moment we’re born everything is guiding us to this point you know whether we most of us don’t accept it it’s like there’s enormous resistance and you know when we work with students it’s like what we do is try and let the resistance go try and let the resistance go and love is a beautiful way of doing it because people are used to saying like oh love is good I don’t need to resist this right it’s as scary as what about how about emptiness yeah I could resist that. It doesn’t sound that good right because we don’t know what emptiness is right when we experience that then we like it but love everybody likes.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: Everybody likes love so when we to do that to sit in a room with people and allow them to experience love often I feel it is it’s like something is coming down through the crown chakra and filling your body this light you know I can even see it happening and when I healed people that’s all I did I would just describe what was happening and ask them to let go and say this knows what it’s doing it’s totally for your benefit and they could do that so they would stop resisting and then the resistance in their body would loosen up and what needed to be healed would be healed because they’re not resisting it anymore when they say oh I have this terrible problem that’s filled with resistance it’s a one they’re talking calling it a problem instead of a message or a benefit and they’re feeling pain and they’re feeling all these things because of this resistance when the resistance goes the natural healing ability of the body just happens because it’s always trying to heal itself, you know, but it has messages when we’re not doing it and the messages stop resisting, stop resisting, life is here life has got your back.

Rick: Yeah I guess that’s just a little doubt in the back of my mind is that just that this in my understanding and experience this is sort of a progressive thing it’s not like somebody can hear this message for the first time and realistically expect to snap into the state of functioning you’re describing.

Peter: No.

Rick: And if we assume everyone can then a lot most people are going to be disappointed.

Peter: That’s right.

Rick: Pardon?

Peter: It’s a gradual thing and it was for me too I mean it took many many many years for this to happen. I was in a Zen practice for a very long time which has its own traditions and rituals and things that go along which is lovely and a good way of opening to this but when I really opened to it there was the healing there was a channeling there’s nothing in Zen about this right I had to just go like I don’t know what this is this is like but it’s happening and then I just surrendered more and more just surrendering all attachments you know and it was definitely a progression, it’s a progression now the progression never ends but there’s this enormous trust so that’s here now right and the trust had to be kind of earned with me because I’m skeptical I grew up very skeptical you know I don’t trust anything you know it was very hard to accept my first teacher I saw many teachers and I rejected all of them. It’s like no that person had a cold no that he can’t be perfect except that. That was Sri Chinmoy yeah sort of disciple and he brought me to him and had a cold and that was it for me no he’s got a cold he can’t be good enough you know so there was a lot of resistance a lot of skepticism about everything so it had to be proven in real practical material world for me in just over and over and over and over again things that we would call miracles right that we just can’t explain would happen you know things that are just unexplainable and that got me to think like I don’t understand the world at all. I’m surrendering to not understanding it because these things are happening and they don’t logically make any sense. The healing itself was a miracle it didn’t make any sense to me why would I be healing people I knew nothing about this you know like Jesus was a carpenter he didn’t study healing he didn’t like go to school for healing, he didn’t think about it just happened yeah you know and then what are you gonna do if this happens you feel compelled like we feel compelled to teach when we have an awakening it’s like it’s not our decision we weren’t thinking I want to be a teacher that would be a cool thing to do maybe some do but most don’t you know it just comes upon them it’s this inner thing is acting like channeling right something is taking you over and you realize it’s okay this is better better than us better than this frightened you know person that’s scared of its own shadow and like that you know that this is it’s better.

Rick: Yeah and some people do think hey it would be cool to be a teacher and I think sometimes they’re premature in that assumption and another thing I just wanted to add is that I wouldn’t discount Zen as having been very influential in what you’re now experiencing even though Zen didn’t talk about that stuff same thing with Adyashanti I mean he’s sort of talking about and experiencing a lot of things these days that really weren’t part of his Zen training but you know everything we do along the way I think contributes to what eventually unfolds.

Peter: Absolutely, oh no Zen was amazing and Thich Nhat Hanh that particular teacher was just a very loving, you know when I first encountered Thich Nhat Hanh he was the first teacher that I accepted. I listened to an audio tape of his and heard his voice and I realized wow this guy is like he’s the mother and the father both and I didn’t really have the experience of a mother and father you know later I did with my father but in the beginning no and never really with my mother and so here was this loving mother and father right here so I said okay that’s it I can go for that.

Rick: And he didn’t have a cold either.

Peter: He didn’t have a cold no I’d never seen him with a cold but he has a stroke now so he’s not in that same. But since I moved to Sedona people said oh you’re going to leave the Sangha, is there a Sangha there? You’re going to leave the Sangha so everything there’s an addiction and attachment to the Sangha which was beautiful I mean it’s beautiful it’s easy to get attached to that and I don’t know but I was compelled to come to Sedona so I had to come and there wasn’t you know everything was new here. I knew nobody and it was you know I got involved with Mooji and Ramana. I didn’t know about Ramana before and Papaji and

Rick: Not in person but reading books and looking at videos and all that stuff.

Peter: Yeah exactly Advaita you know very much into Advaita and Mooji I very much identified with Mooji when I saw him. I mean what happened is I’d seen a couple of things and I said awesome a Jamaican guy with this cool accent, this is great. I’m really happy to have a spiritual, see a spiritual teacher from Jamaica, how rare is that and you know just that and then one day I picked up a book and I realized that he was an artist and he was painting sort of like I do you know these Zen paintings. So I just felt like that was me you know like here was not me but there Mooji was me and I went to my friend who had an ashram across the street and I took this picture of Mooji and I said would you like to see a picture of me and he said sure and I showed him the picture of Mooji. He said that’s not you, but it was though because Mooji was speaking from that place in me and I wasn’t quite at that place yet you know that was in me, but over time I did these retreats with Mooji actually where I would.. Mooji would have a retreat and I would invite people in and we would watch videos. I mean his satsangs are like two or three hours long right and he would do it day and night. So we would have a silent retreat and just watch these videos six hours a day and when I would watch I would only hear like the first couple of words and then I would just go into this space of bliss the whole time and only if someone laughed or something happened would my attention go back to the video and the rest of the time I was just sitting in bliss but I did that every day. I mean I always did it with the intention of watching the video but it never happened. I just fell into this space and that was good enough you know. That was good yeah. Mooji is open and very loving and he had the experience of sitting in the lap of God which is the same thing that I experienced so I felt yeah, yeah there was something really beautiful about that.

Rick: There seems to be a tremendously devotional scene around Mooji these days you know. Yeah. People just really feeling devotional throwing flowers in his path and stuff like that.

Peter: Yeah.

Rick: As far as I can tell he’s handling it okay. Yeah he’s allowing that to happen. Yeah. That’s love right?

Rick: I mean yeah I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t think that should be stifled. It’s like people do have a it’s definitely a phase where you become very devotional and there needs to be a legitimate outlet for that and I think it’s important that a teacher have the maturity to be able to allow that to happen without it going to their heads you know.

Peter: Without it going to their heads yeah. No it’s a guru tradition and it has backfired and created problems for gurus and followers too but probably not as often as we think because those things get blown up and we really hear about that so many times there is no problem with it because we’re surrendering to ourself and we’re giving it over to the guru like Ram Das did for his guru you know. So that’s a step right? That’s a progressive step and the guru eventually will point it back to you and say there’s your guru, it’s in you, all is in you. At first you can’t accept that and then eventually you can and that was my experience with God you know this being held in the lap of God for a long time I couldn’t accept that that was me you know, that wasn’t any separation and at one point I was with a teacher in Mexico, Sahaja Nada at a yoga place there. He’s a beautiful awakened guy and I told him about this thing that other people had said, it’s you who’s answering these questions, it’s you who’s doing this, it’s not a God outside of you. That I sort of intellectually understood it but I couldn’t accept it because I thought my ego would go, I’m God, you know, go there right? So I didn’t want that to happen. I knew my ego was very powerful and I told him about that and he said that Rumi said that the most humble thing any man can say is I am God and there is no you and it just was at the right time for him to say that to me you know so when he said that that was the beginning of my acceptance that there wasn’t because I figured the ego, one thing the ego is not is humble right or he’s the most humble person in the world but he’s never actually humble and just the word humble ego doesn’t like that so I figured that was safe.

Rick: Yeah, well it’s very true if understood properly. If it’s more like I, me, this individual is God then you get into trouble but you know but the deeper truth is you are, we are, that’s all it is. I mean if God is omnipresent then show me a place which is not God, show me something which is not God and the scientific evidence in my perspective is that God is omnipresent I mean because you look at anything closely enough and you see this miracle of intelligence functioning.

Peter: Yes, exactly, exactly, yeah, spring is a beautiful time to see this you know when things come up because partly because we’re not resisting as much you know we love spring, oh look the flowers came up and we’re not resisting at that moment. Anything that we really appreciate, that anything that we love we’re not resisting at that moment right, we’re not resisting love you know we see something really beautiful and it just sort of takes our breath away and at that moment all that’s happening is we’re not resisting because everything is like this, every single thing in life is like this, there is no problems, everything is only this expression of God everywhere.

Rick: Here’s a question that came in that will switch us to a slightly different topic, not that there’s anything wrong with this topic but I think we pretty well covered it. This is a fellow named Joshua from Portland, Oregon who asks and this is what your book is all about, “How can one use a relationship as a spiritual practice or to progress on the path of awakening? Is it valuable to have a partner that is also using the relationship for spiritual growth?” I guess the add-on to that question would be what if you’re in a relationship with somebody who’s not into spirituality you know then what?

Peter: It doesn’t matter, you know it’s your love, it’s your love right, love is what you are and so you’re expressing love, it doesn’t matter what you express love to, you could express love to someone who thinks they hate you, but it’s you have this privilege. There’s a beautiful movie called Adaptation, that Nicolas Cage plays two brothers and one brother is very kind of fancy-free and hasn’t really buckled down to create a success for himself and the other brother is a famous screenwriter so he doesn’t respect his twin brother at all and at one point they’re being…someone’s trying to kill them, shoot them and they’re hiding behind this thing and think they’re not going to you know live through the night and the brother that’s a screenwriter looks at his other brother, his twin brother and says, “You know when I started not respecting, you know it’s like we were in junior high school and there was this girl that you had such a crush on, you just loved her so much and you went up and you were talking to her and when you left she was laughing with her friends and saying what a loser you were, right, and you didn’t hear…you were oblivious to it, you didn’t hear it at all and the brother said, “I heard every word but there’s nothing she can do because it’s my love, she can’t take away my love, I can love whoever I want.” And the you know the screenwriter brother realized, “Oh my God this guy’s wiser, really wiser than I am, he understood it because my life is miserable, I’m having all these miserable relationships and trying to get things.” So it’s our love, right, and we can love anyone and if we do enough, if we’re open enough it will heal them and transform them in the ways that they need, but it’s yeah, it’s… I mean I’m not in relationship now and often I go for these long periods of silent retreat, you know, where it’s just I mean initially I thought it’s just me and God, you know, and that relationship is incredible, right, so now it’s just being in love, right, not with any object of love, just love itself. So everything I see is an object of love, right, it doesn’t matter what it is, you are, this screen is, all the people listening are all, you know, if I want to express love that way and it’s beautiful to express it when I’ve been in relationships after this awakening, it’s just because this love is unlimited, right, you know, if someone doesn’t give love back to you it makes no difference at all, you just pouring out. I had a relationship with a woman that was quite narcissistic, right, and so she was kind of an endless, you know, like a black hole for attention, right, there was no, you know, she could accept all the attention you could give, she could accept all the love you could give and that’s kind of rare to find someone that can accept that much. Some people may go, okay, whoa, that’s a bit much, but she accepted all of it, so it would just poured through me, you know, and I felt wonderful being able to do that. I didn’t need anything from her, you know, it is just an opportunity to express love and focus it on one person rather than everywhere at once, which is just good, you know, but that’s kind of it, yeah, I mean that’s at the high level of a relationship and so what he’s asking is how can you use a relationship to get to that space, to get to that place, right, and that is recognize where love is coming from, that it’s not from another person and so every time we feel this love recognize that too, you know, you’re focusing on the other person, that’s beautiful, but recognize where love is coming from, that this feeling, you’re having that feeling, the feeling is in you and allow yourself to see if that feeling is not always here, always here. I had that revelation when I was 16 years old, it was amazing, it just came to me. I was in love with this girl I had a crush on in high school and I found out at some point her friend came up to me and said like, you know, Rachel wants to know why you’re not talking to her, asking her out, she has a big crush on you and you’re cute. I was like, oh wow, I was shy, right, so I didn’t talk to her, so I was really happy, I went up and talked to her and afterwards we went back to her house, her parents house and they weren’t home, they were working, so you know we had a good time and when I was leaving I was walking back to my place and it was about a three-hour walk for me to get back to my place. We lived on two opposite ends of town and as I was walking, you know, it was springtime like now, right, and the birds were chirping and stuff, but I was just like walking on clouds, you know, I still had this enormous love and not only that people who were driving by were like smiling at me and waving adults, right, and I was kind of this scruffy sort of a juvenile delinquent, right, the adults wanted to stay, keep their kids and everybody, you know, away from me, you know, and here these adults were like smiling at me and laughing, I had a black leather jacket and all that and it amazed me, this has never happened before, what’s going on here, you know, what’s happening here, I’m feeling this love and somehow it’s affecting these people around me and I realized then that where’s this coming from, I haven’t been with her for at least two hours and yet I’m still feeling this and I realized that she triggered this feeling in me that had always been here but I was completely unaware of it, just covered over by fear, you know, and anger and yet it always been here, you know, I mean it didn’t last for long but for at least that time when I was walking home I experienced something that’s very true, you know, this place and so this is what we can see in any relationship to see where this love is coming from and say this is an opportunity for love, this person is giving me an opportunity to love, it doesn’t matter if she’s yelling at me, it doesn’t matter if she’s sleeping with my best friend, I just find this out, it’s always an opportunity to love and that’s always the answer in the end, it’s always the answer, right? We can be very angry if she cheats on us with her best friend or something, you know, and crushed and angry but that’s also an opportunity to love. If we can love then something amazing, you know, has happened to us and to the person that we love.

Rick: Yeah, I thought of some things while you were talking, not that I wasn’t listening but you’re triggering some memories. A couple things from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, once he wrote a poem called “Love” and there’s a line in it in which he said, “Individual love is concentrated universal love.” I kind of like that, it’s something you said reminded me of that, so you can remember if you ever when you’re a kid you get a magnifying glass and start and burn things with the sunlight, you know, concentrating the sunlight, so it plays into what we’re talking about here, the sort of universal field of love and individual love is a focus of that, a concentration of that.

Peter: Yeah, it is, it’s like focusing down to one person, that’s the beauty of a relationship is it allows you to love in that way. It has nothing to do really with the person or getting anything back or giving anything, you’re just focusing this ray of what you are. I see love and light, you know, as light is sort of a physical way of seeing what this is, you can see it, you can actually see love as a form of light, so you could direct that ray down to this very point and it feels wonderful to do that, especially if someone can take it, it’s very healing to them. I mean, actually all my healing was just really in the end was just about love, you know, I didn’t understand what it was but it was just having love, you know, do this and allowing this freedom. One person I remember, a friend of mine that I’d worked with who is also a healer and I, you know, started with this thing, let the love come through, flow through and watch this happen and he ended up like rolling around on the floor, like convulsing, you know, like just like trying to I guess resist this. Finally after and I was just watching, right, I’d already done this, love was, it was his love, you know, I wasn’t doing anything, I was just observing what was happening, kind of amazed and after a few hours he stood up and he said

Rick: You rolled him out for a few hours?

Peter: Well, pretty, I don’t know how long, but he did it for quite a while and it’s quite violent really and when he got up he said, “Who would I be without my suffering?” right, because he wanted to hold on to the suffering and the love was washing, it was like cleaning, it was like washing everything out and he’s told other people and me at times, you know, later he said, “It was just like a flood of love, like literally like water just flooding through me and I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t control it, but I wanted to stop it, you know, I wanted to put the brakes on, it’s too much, I can’t take that much.” And we often think that, I mean, you know, I don’t know if you’ve had awakening experience where the bliss is so intense that you don’t think your body will be able to take it and maybe it will kill you, you know, I don’t know, I’ve had that.

Rick: I’ve never had that, it’s been pretty enjoyable when I’ve had bliss, you know, profound bliss. I have had a thing or two, you know, a long time ago when I was only been meditating a couple years, I had this thing where I became so unbounded that it was scary, it was like there was no up, no down, no near, no far, it was just omnipresence and it was like, “Whoa, this is too much.”

Peter: Yeah, that’s like Samadhi, this feeling of everything falls away, you’ve gone and what is there, there’s no concepts at all and sometimes the physical experience of that can be intense, even love, love can be so intense you think like, “Oh my God, the body can’t stand it.” I’ve gone through this many times. What happens is the body adjusts to it, you know, you basically go to sleep and the next day you can take all of that and the body has actually transformed in a way to hold that much more energy. So this is going on, I don’t know, maybe a dozen times for me, these times where I think it’s going to kill me. So at this point I know it’s not because it hasn’t. It can feel like that but the body adjusts in a different way and you find that the body is healthier after that, it’s like something has transformed it, has like cleaned it, purified it in some way so it can take this, you know, more and because the energy is unlimited, right? It’s not going to take the actual full unlimited amount of energy because it couldn’t take that but it’s going to take incremental amounts more and more and more so you get closer to that and that’s how the transmissions happen. As this energy got really strong it transmits to people, you know, somehow people like you’re just totally in love you know and everybody walks into the room all of a sudden they’re happy, right? You know, because somehow you’re transmitting this and this is like that but more so.

Rick: Yeah, there’s an important point you just made really that about the body adjusting or adapting. Ayurveda says that you know if you, spiritual evolution that’s too rapid can actually damage the body and I’ve been in touch with a woman in Spain who’s going through a severe Kundalini crisis, has been for quite some time to the point where she’s virtually paralyzed and can’t do anything and it’s like her body just can’t adjust to the volcanic huge energy that is coursing through it. So there’s something to be said.

Peter: I think it’s resistance that she’s going through. Could be, maybe I’ll put you in touch with her. Resistance because I mean because of the healing and stuff that I’ve done I’ve just been taught you know to just surrender, that all you can do is surrender in every single circumstance surrendering is always the best thing to do and when you do that it changes. I mean you know like well when you start awakening really you don’t have a subconscious anymore right? Not all at once but the subconscious just starts filtering up and all the things you’ve repressed in your life all of a sudden now you’re re-experiencing them, you’re actually experiencing them for the first time and if it’s something when you were a child or an infant you’re just raw emotion so you’re experiencing that raw emotion of an infant. It’s very very difficult, it’s very painful, very challenging, but as that happens if you resist it and try and repress it again it’s going to be really painful. If you just let it go it’ll come up and be released, come up and be released. You have to experience all of it but it will come up and it’s like a broken heart right? You have a broken heart means that you have a wall in your heart and that wall breaks. It’s not your heart that breaks, it’s not the love that breaks, it’s like you’ve tried to close something in and it breaks so what happens when your heart really breaks and you let it break and you open to that broken heart you feel freedom, you feel the expansion right? So always about surrendering, it’s always about letting go of attachments because we are life, we are God, when we let go that’s what we are, we are what we truly are without all these resistance. The ego is just made of attachments and resistance, it has so much and things are stuck in our body and you know releases it.

Rick: Brings up a couple of thoughts, one it kind of reminded me the old you know acid days where if you started fighting it you know like freaking out and like oh this is scary then it would get worse but if you just surrender to it they would be pretty good.

Peter: Yeah, it’s persist right?

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: This is why any suffering, any physical illness that we have as long as we’re resisting it, as long as we’re calling it cancer, we’re calling it like you know some disease or illness or calling it the flu right? We’re saying oh I got the flu it’s so bad I have the flu it’s terrible. This is a resistance to what’s really happening because the flu is not this bad thing, the flu is a cleansing process to get rid of stuff that you’ve put in your body that you shouldn’t have in there right? This just being unhealthy, not exercising enough, whatever you’re doing to make it harder for your body to do its natural healing job. This is like releasing that and it’s the symptoms are you know a sore throat, headaches, fever you know, but it’s a cleansing, healing crisis they call it.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: So if we allow it to be the healing crisis and say this is a benefit that’s helping me, it doesn’t really feel bad. Still a headache, still that, but our attitude toward it is totally different. You could have terrible pain and if our attitude is different it’s not a problem. Yeah I mean you see these ads on television for flu remedies where you know people pop the flu remedy and then they go out bowling or working on an oil rig or something like that. Instead of allowing the, basically what they’ve done is they suppress the symptoms.

Peter: Yeah, because what do you want to do? You want to go to bed, you want to rest, you want to sleep for 12 hours. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do, that’s how your body heals. You can’t go out running and expect it to, you know, it’s using its energy for healing and it’s showing you exactly what you need to do.

Rick: Yeah, although I did see a story in the news the other night where this woman who got stage 4 breast cancer at the age of 27 for some reason and was going through chemo you know, managed to deal with the fatigue by getting into exercise. She go out jogging and the doctors were saying yeah, they were finding that this is actually, I don’t know if anyone could do this, but it was actually helping her heal.

Peter: Oh yes, no that does, it does in that way, but the flu is only asking you to sleep for one day.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: It’s just you feel really exhausted, you rest. I mean our society is so screwed up in that way. You work in a company and when you’re tired you just get more coffee. You don’t take a nap, no one’s allowed to take a nap. If you’re sleeping at your desk you could get fired, but that’s what you’re supposed to do. Your body is clearly saying you need to take a nap now.

Rick: Yeah, Google actually provides nap rooms.

Peter: Yeah, that’s sensible, you know, that’s like going along with the truth of life. Because we live in a dream world, in our own dream world, that our whole society is based on our individual dream worlds, the society is a dream world. It’s not dealing with truth the way it is.

Rick: Yeah. Let’s talk a bit more about relationships. That’s always a popular topic with people. So I was reading your book and there was one point that you made that made me a little skeptical and see how you address this. Basically you were saying that, you know, well, you know, you go from relationship to relationship because you need to learn different lessons and if you’ve learned the lessons you need in one relationship, then you know, it’s time for the new one. And unless you’re like a real slow learner or you have a lot of lessons to learn in one relationship, then then you might stay with a person for a lifetime or something. And I think exception to that a little bit. I mean, that would imply that, you know, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor were real quick learners and went through all these marriages, whereas George and Barbara Bush were slow learners or something. There perhaps are lessons to be learned in terms of perseverance and loyalty and dedication. And maybe you go deeper in certain ways if you kind of weather the storms and hang in there, than you do if you just sort of bail when things seem to go flat, it’s a mixed metaphors.

Peter: I’m not saying that, but it’s about learning and most people in relationships don’t learn. They just repeat the same lesson over and over and over again, maybe entire life and never learn anything about what they’re supposed to learn. But each relationship gives you that learning. It’s not just the purpose of relationships, it’s the purpose of everything in life itself. Everything is giving you this, you know, you get a traffic ticket, you get a flat tire, all of this is teaching you. There’s nothing that happens in life that is not teaching you and relationships are that too. There’s something that teaches you. They can teach you some very powerful inner lessons if you’re willing to look at it, because people are mirrors, right? If we see the person as a mirror and we’re not saying like you’re so lazy or so flirtatious or so whatever, you know, so grouchy, whatever it is we’re saying about the person and we just put it back and say I’m so lazy, I’m so this.

Rick: Sounds like Byron Katie. Yeah, like Byron Katie. Byron Katie is definitely on the right track, particularly with puncturing your concepts, saying everything you think is not true, you know. I know with my students it’s very hard for them to totally take that full absolute step to say like every thought that I ever have had and ever will have cannot be true. You know, it’s like well someone because they’re hoping one will be, you know, or they’re thinking well this one was but they never are because thoughts are concepts, thoughts are abstractions of reality.

Rick: But I get the impression from your book that you’ve been through a lot of relationships and

Peter: I’m not like a serious, like a philanderer or yeah, or using person, you know, or something ever. It’s always been love, you know, it’s always been about love. I mean my marriage, my last marriage was 22 years, you know, it was amazingly beautiful and I learned like a huge amount and it was beautiful. I mean I lucked out to be with a woman who is like an extraordinary person, maybe this might be the only, you know, the most, you know, one or most perfect person or something for me, but that ended, you know, it ended because something else had to happen. I mean she wasn’t going to follow me into a monk life,

Rick: Right.

Peter: and she wasn’t going to follow me into the way that my, you know, spiritual path was going. Even it’s funny because when I moved to Sedona she said, my youngest daughter Lindsey, she was the one I had in the second marriage, she said that Lindsey and I are worried about you, we think you’re going crazy, you know, with this healing and stuff and I, you know, I said like, oh well, I said all I know is that I’m happy, you know, and if that’s crazy then I’ll take it and that calmed her, she felt like, okay, we don’t have a problem anymore, you know, she’s happy, you know, because she could tell I was happy.

Rick: Yeah, reminds me of something my father said to me one time. I had done the monk thing for a while, you know, and then at a certain point I said, hey dad, I’ve got a girlfriend, you’ll be happy to know I have a girlfriend, and he said, I don’t care whether you have girlfriends or not, he said, I’m miserable and you know, you seem to be a pretty happy guy, so whatever you’re doing, you know, you know better than I do.

Peter: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

Peter: I think that’s what you thought.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: I mean, not that she’s miserable,

Rick: but yeah. So maybe we just dig into this a little bit more. So, you know, I mean, what would you have to say with regard to, you know, enduring relationships that might last many, many decades or a lifetime, versus moving from one to the other? Like you just said, a lot of people, they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I think the statistics show…

Peter: Why not stay with the one if you’re going to do it?

Rick: Yeah, I mean, I think the statistics show that second marriages, you know, and the divorce even more than first ones do, which is about, you know, first ones are 50% in this country, and perhaps it even gets worse with the third and fourth. So, you know, I mean, what would you recommend in terms of like hanging in there and working through things versus bailing and, you know, trying something new? And this can all be related back to the whole theme of awakening and spirituality.

Peter: Well, it’s about the lessons, you know, so bailing and staying are not what it’s about, it’s about the lessons, right? So are you learning something here? You don’t have to think about that, I mean, you kind of know, right? Because if a marriage becomes really, maybe you call it flat, right? Just flat, just like, yeah, we’re kind of roommates and not even that, you know, it’s like I barely really want to talk to her, but I have no interest in her anymore. It’s time to go at that point, right? If you have no interest in being married, why be in the marriage anymore, right? There’s no interest, but if you’re having conflicts and fighting and stuff, there’s a lesson there to be learned, you’re not learning it, you know, like that in that case you want to get to the point not where flatness is but where love is, right? If you’re hating each other, there’s still a lesson there, right? You’re gonna probably leave that relationship if you do and go into another one that’s just like that, right? Why that’s going on?

Rick: Well, it’s like, you know, look at your parents and mine, for instance, my father was also an alcoholic and they stayed together for the sake of the kids, you know, and my mother ended up, you know, trying to commit suicide three times and going into mental hospitals because she was so abused, so it would have been a lot better for the kids and for them.

Peter: I used to pray when I was a kid when my parents would go away on a trip to Europe or whatever that they would get in a plane crash or something so we’d be free. I was only like seven years old or six years old when I did that but I did it all the time, you know, so it’s, yeah, to stay together for the sake of the kids, it was not helping the kids at all. We could have done a lot better being out in the street, yeah. Yeah, so I’m not saying in the relationship that it’s like, you know, anything that I say only comes through this other thing, you know, I have no personal opinions about this at all, I don’t have any personal opinions about anything really, but I was shown with, I had one relationship with a woman, Lily, who was an awakened person, you know, and I wasn’t, you know, and so I had this relationship with her and my ego is still there and I thought, oh, I’m, you know, a great meditator and I’m teaching meditation, she can learn a lot from me, she’s just a yoga teacher or whatever, but she was awake and I wasn’t. She was very humble, she would never say anything about it like that. It was afterwards that I realized this and when it was over it also was really interesting how it came to be and I think I also feel this too, when relationships come to be they’re not what we think they are, they’re not that we think, oh, that’s the person for me or something else is going on that is this infinite intelligence like all of life is guiding you to this person and guiding this person to you for specific purposes that the mind doesn’t understand and maybe never will, a lot of it the mind will never understand and that’s perfectly okay. So with Lily I just felt this connection with her so thoroughly and so quickly, you know, there was like no like getting to know, it was just like just just totally bonding, just totally in love, you know, and both of us felt that so I thought well this is that’s really interesting, you know, I mean I usually try and suss things out and go step by step how much I’m going to open my heart but it was just bang, just there full out and not only that it was this radiance, you know, this radiance was pouring out of her and because I was with her also pouring out of me. So when that was at some point she wanted me to move in with her and move to another place and I was dragging my feet I said, oh, I don’t know if I could do that yet, I’m a little bit, this is happening so quickly, like in three months or something. So at some point she just decided, okay, well that’s fine if you’re not going to come up here, okay that’s over and like, you know, good to know you or whatever or you know we learned our lessons and that’s it basically is what she said. So at some point, you know, I thought like, oh crap, I made a huge mistake, you know, this is like my soul mate, this is my twin flame or words like that, you know, these concepts that I had and now I blew it because there’s just one and this is like, you know, destined through eternity or whatever, this is like very dramatic feelings and did I totally blow it? So I asked, you know, I just asked God, I said, you know, so is that my twin flame, is that my soul mate, is that the one shot that I have with that, did I totally blow it, should I go back and you know try and repair things? And that’s when I heard it’s no, none of it is that, there is no such thing as these things, it’s all for lessons, it’s all for your learning to be to what you truly are and she was the one person in the world that you needed to be with at that time to learn what you needed to learn and it was amazing. I mean I learned, I had my first past life experience with her since then, many, but that was the first one and she’d had many before, it was like old hat to her.

Rick: Were you trying to have it or did they just

Peter: No, it just happened, believe me, I wouldn’t want this one. It was very traumatic, it was very a great deal of suffering, a great deal of suffering. It prompted me to move to Sedona and a lot of other things to try and figure out why that happened and how I had… a past life experience the way I experience them is it’s a strange thing, it’s not like anything else, it’s literally like simultaneously being in two places at the same time. So you’re here, right, at this point we were like in bed and then you’re in this totally other place at a completely other time in a different body, but it’s literally happening, it’s not like a memory, it’s like you can feel the sun on your skin, you can smell things, it’s like all your senses are active at the same time, you’re literally in that place and in this place at exactly the same time. It’s just that you can’t see your face, you know, it’s like you’re in that body and you can see your body but you can’t see your face because unless there’s a mirror and at this point this was a Native American shaman and basically the reason I had this is because you know I was asking this question, how do we know each other? Maybe we were together in a past life, you know, just the things you say and then all of a sudden she said like, “Oh, I have something, I want to do something,” and she went and she put on this music of Native American chanting, you know, and then she laid down and watched me and all of a sudden this whole thing came back to me. It was like these Union soldiers, blue coated soldiers came into the village. I was like an old man, like a hundred or so and they would take me every day and prop me up by this tree in shade because it was around here, so there was no shade, this one tree and the rest of it was just open sun. And the soldiers came in and burnt the village to the ground and my granddaughter, I love my granddaughter above everyone else because she was going to be the shaman, she was a natural healer, she was born to be a healer and this would be the first female healer that the village had ever had and I was so proud of her and I was dying, you know, I was old, not in the dying part but soon, so you know this was, I was so happy that she was going to come in, the soldiers came in, burnt the village down and killed every single person there, every single person but they left me and I could see that they killed my granddaughter.

Rick: Did you ever do historical research and find out whether this really happened?

Peter: I don’t know how I would do that.

Rick: There might be some record of it, you know.

Peter: They did destroy a number of Native American villages. This was a small village so I think it was during the time maybe when I don’t know if it was in Sedona or not, either that was all the village he had or it was a traveling one, you know, they could travel with them, so they was like this is coming to Sedona to do the sacred worship or whatever and then go back to the other place. And so I realized that Lily, my girlfriend, was the granddaughter and she knew that, she knew that because she’d already had that same experience before, she knew all about everything that I described and it was traumatic. I mean I just sobbed for hours, you know, and then it came back to me many times after that, you know, just as traumatic experience. It was so traumatic, I hated those soldiers so much and I died, slowly starving to death up there, dying of thirst and starvation with my heart completely hating white people and then my next life, white person, perfect right?

Rick: Is this your next life or was there an inter

Peter: This is my next life. Yes, about maybe 300 years or something like that.

Rick: You hung out for a while before this one.

Peter: Yeah, well no, I hung out and I also remember the hanging out part. Yeah, I remember the hanging out part and that was amazing because like I had spirit guides, right, you know people, it’s like okay there’s the overall everything, God, whatever you want to call it and then filtering through an expression of God comes all the way down to humans but before that there’s like beings in other realms that are other, not other realms, I don’t know what they are, just not in form. They’re not in the form that we can see, that’s all. So there’s that and then down you know lower and eventually into physical form but it’s all still just an expression of God. So I still just called it God but it was clearly coming through different kind of formless you know beings according to what I needed at any point. One of them happened to be this past life called Little Rock, this Native American who appeared to me when I could see it in a younger version when he was a brave before he was a shaman, you know, not old man. Now I lost track of where that was, where I was going.

Rick: You’re just talking about the life between life.

Peter: Yeah, life between, oh so I remembered because I had these spirit guides that I was a spirit guide, that I was in that formless dimension helping people in the form dimension and that’s like an amazing life, you know.

Rick: That was during the 300 year hiatus.

Peter: Yeah, it was amazing. I mean it was so beautiful because without the physical body there’s not these restrictions of the physical body plus we’re conditioned with emotions like fear and anger and envy and despair, none of that. That doesn’t have that. It’s only the essence feeling of love, peace, and bliss always only and just full out. And the challenge and why I chose to come and at one point I when I had that experience I just wanted to leave and go back there. I didn’t want to be in a physical body, I just desperately wanted to be back there and not in a physical body and that had a lot to do with my awakening finally and the next time. It was the reason that I came down which I discovered was because or into this form was because when you’re in that form to communicate with people in form when you’re in that formless state to communicate with people in form it’s very difficult because their energy, their vibration has to be open enough so that you can match enough so you can even get that feeling, the intuition or the or the words you know from that and then they have to pay attention you know so you can be open in that but you could just go yeah yeah turn on the television, what’s another distraction, we’re distracted like crazy in this life so you can just ignore it like I did for so long. They were with me my whole life but I mostly ignored it until I stopped, until I was shown just don’t ever ignore it again and you live like that and I realized that what I was then before I came into form I’m still the same, nothing has changed I just have a form so this form is no problem and that was shown to me too because I had cancer like maybe 12 years ago or so and I was shown that well basically you know I’d been doing Buddhist practice for a while and I felt like I’d sort of reached a spiritual plateau which I was quite happy with but it was like I would like to go more but this is good you know I have equanimity and not suffering and so I had the cancer and I thought well I asked the doctor I said how long would it be what would happen if I didn’t have surgery and he said well it would probably progress and you’d probably be dead in five years if you did nothing about it throughout the whole time and I thought that’s okay I’m ready for that you know my career had done really well I couldn’t really get much further on that my kids were things were starting to work out pretty well for them you know I felt the family was doing pretty well so I felt done you know and I thought well okay I’ll come back again and then I could wake up right because I’ve sort of reached a plateau next time I’ll start from here and then I’ll be able to do it because I’m not going to do it in the rest of this life probably so that’s okay I’m ready to go you know and also I got five years to make peace with everybody to make sure everybody’s comfortable with that we’ll talk about it so they won’t have any regrets that they didn’t say something to me I talked to my kids about it but nobody that I knew wanted to go along with that everybody said just go to the doctor you’re a baby you never go to doctors you’re just afraid of doctors don’t you know do this and then I talked to my friends in the Sangha and they said the same oh I had surgery five years ago so and we all have surgery just go don’t be you know afraid of that or don’t you know just go and have the surgery so I figured okay there at the same time I had this like you know this still silent voice came across like a megaphone do not have the surgery is what’s supposed to happen this is destined to happen and if you do this this is like a huge sacrilege to God you know huge you know this is planned this is what’s supposed to happen so just die at that point you know you’re supposed to that’s it and you know don’t rock the boat you don’t know what you’re messing with and so what I figured well in a democracy there’s like a hundred people that want me to have the surgery and there’s just God who doesn’t want me to have it so I guess that loses right a hundred to one maybe it’ll give him ten because it’s more than people but that was my thinking and how bad could it be and they just convinced me to do it and I knew they loved me and I didn’t want to hurt them so and I thought how bad can it be you know so I went and I had the surgery and I spent the next three years living in hell just living in hell it was all the spiritual work that I’d done and had just been like ripped out of me and I was like this empty shell you know there was like sort of just the outside body and there was nothing inside and not in a good way not in a real emptiness way this was like just a living dead person you know.

Rick: Do you mind my asking what kind of cancer it was what kind of surgery?

Peter: Bladder, bladder cancer. Okay so you had the surgery and what did that entail? It entailed putting like this I don’t know how big a thing like up your penis right into your bladder and then burning the cancer out and then and then taking pictures and then pulling stuff out for a biopsy and all this stuff like that.

Rick: And you’re in hell because?

Peter: I was in hell because I didn’t listen to this inner voice.

Rick: What was your actual experience? Were you in pain or did you lose any sense of spiritual progress you had made or what?

Peter: Oh god I lost all of it. It felt like a flattened dull. That had never happened the last 30 years never did anything.

Rick: Why do you suppose the surgery had that effect on you?

Peter: Because I went against this inner voice and this inner voice was really important to listen to. This was the truth and I was listening to everything that was out of the dream. It wasn’t true and you know to teach me that I should listen. So I went through three years in hell. Literally it was just indescribable how bad it was.

Rick: But now it’s 12 years later and you you’re still alive and you have had an awakening.

Peter: Because of that, because of that, because I went against it and then because I went against it and saw how bad it would be and suffered through that so I said never again will I ever not listen to this inner voice. So I made that thing and then five years after the surgery on the anniversary of when I was going to die well one thing happened. My daughter was having trouble with alcohol and drugs and so we had her in therapy and once a week the parents would go to the therapy, we would have the family therapy and when we go there the therapists would often say, you’d ask everybody what they would like as an outcome and then or what they would what they wanted in their life you know and then he asked me what do you want in your life and I said I want Lindsay to be happy. He said no you, what do you want for you? I said I want Lindsay and Judith to be happy. He said no you, you what do you want? And I had no idea, I had not a clue and so I said I want to be happy. I just made it up, I had no idea what I wanted, I just thought I just wanted to stop asking me because I didn’t know what I wanted and then I went to a workshop about organization or something, it had nothing to do with spirituality really but they’d ask that same question, what do you want in your life? How do you want your business to be run? What do you want? You know what do you want? And I didn’t know you know I was talking to the teacher afterwards and she said if you don’t know what you want in your life you’re not fully human. No one can relate to you if you don’t really know what you want and so that stuck in my mind and then on the fifth year anniversary it struck me as what I wanted. I had that feeling of what it was like to be before I manifested the in-between time from the last life and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want to be in a human form anymore and there was nothing else that I wanted but that. In other words I guess I want to die but I wasn’t depressed, I just didn’t want to be in the human form anymore. Really didn’t want to be in the form but I didn’t know what to do. I mean because you know I couldn’t commit suicide, we already had a suicide in the family, my son-in-law and it just devastated all of us including me so I couldn’t do that to my family at all and I was thinking like what could I do, how could I you know die you know without them knowing that I killed myself and I thought well maybe I could you know join the military and go in the front line but they knew I was a pacifist and against the universe so they never believed that.

Rick: A little old for that.

Peter: Yeah a little old too and so then I thought well maybe if there’s a fire I’ll like rush into the fire to save someone and burn up or something but there were no fires. I mean Somerville where I was living had fires all the time and there were no fires while I was away so I said I don’t know what to do so I just did the only thing that I learned to do when I was really at a hard place is pray to God and ask you know like what can I do you know please and this time I was asking for something not just information but I wanted God to do something. I wanted to die in my sleep so no one would think I committed suicide of natural causes or something and if God granted me that I would give up everything that I loved, everything that I was proud of, my talent, you know everything that I ever wanted or was proud of in life. It’s easy to give up what you don’t want but I said I’m giving up everything that I care about, that I feel proud of, that I you know like my creativity, my relationships, my family, everything I’ll give all of that to you if you just take my life and my was really desperate and what happened was this where I realized that I don’t care that the body is no problem, it’s no problem at all, it’s your ego that’s the problem, the body is no problem, the ego, this self centered thinking that’s your problem.

Rick: That’s the thing you really wanted to have die.

Peter: Yeah I didn’t know that and God said like in the five years that was going to die anyways. You weren’t physically going to die at all you know because actually the cancer was in remission, it was healing itself when they found it.

Rick: On its own?

Peter: On its own, well I’d done, I’d been on a macrobiotic diet, I was exercising like yeah.

Rick: So even if you hadn’t had the surgery it probably would have healed.

Peter: Yeah but in five years the ego would go. Yeah I see. So it wasn’t physical death, it was the ego death right? So but all of it was perfect because I resisted this and and so a lot of the ego didn’t just go at that point but it’s like a chunk of it sort of left and I got and I had the realization that nothing had changed with the body. I still was exactly this free spiritual spirit being you know the same as I was before, not only that I was the whole thing you know God but I didn’t get to that point yet I just realized I was the spirit being that other level, that higher level in a physical body and the reason why I was in a physical body that was good that I can use this for teaching people it was then that the healing began you know and even a stronger connection to God like God just worked through me to heal people and I would surrender and then if I ever didn’t surrender I thought I’ve got an idea how to help you or I had this experience it would just dead, it would just kill the whole healing process. So I learned just shut up and what comes out of your mouth will just be not you, whatever is supposed to come out and you just sit there listening to it and it was so beautiful I would hear my voice it would go I wish I had a voice like that that’s coming out of my mouth but it just sounded beautiful it just sounded so loving and so perfect and even the tone of it sounded beautiful so it just taught me bit by bit to just totally let go and totally surrender and then when I started teaching it was the same, my friend said I was teaching, he went on a trip and he told me to take over his group and I said I don’t know what to do what am I going to do and he said well that’s perfect just go and hold the space you know how to go into the space just go there and hold the space so I did and words came out of my mouth and all was perfect for each person there so I thought wow you know how effortless this is right you don’t do anything at all you just surrender and then everything that you need just you know whatever’s supposed to happen comes out perfectly so I learned that and then at some point I said why don’t I live like this all the time that’s what I want because I want to have this perfect voice I want to be this thing I want to just live my whole life like what I eat what I you know going into a store talking to someone I want them to be healed just because I walked into the store and bought something you know and I want always this radiance to be expressed and then I went in these long retreats then, I started doing these long you know month-long silent retreats to just saturate in this you know like Mooji says zip yourself up in the sleeping bag so every year I do that I just sort of drop into these places I tell my students I’m not going to see them no one’s coming to the zendo for a period of time and I’m in Sedona so they accept that now all my friends accept it that I’m not going to see them until that happens, girlfriends maybe have a little harder time with it you know which I don’t I don’t know if I ever will have another relationship like that again you know because of that because this part is very important it’s like it’s very natural you know it’s like a tree all the leaves fall off a tree in the winter right and this is when I feel called to go into it the leaves fall off the tree and the sap like goes in but there’s a lot of stuff happening there a lot of transformation and stuff is happening for the tree and for me right I don’t know what it is it’s just happening I don’t have a concept about it but it’s changing and transforming and often there’s these states of like enormous bliss right and then the body adjusts to it and the radiance more light is able to come through the physical body and then come springtime the buds are coming out in the tree and I’m also I’m like flowering you know so now all this loving energy that was percolating and building is like now expressing out into the world and people and everything that I see you know this radiance is like coming out and every year it’s the same thing, it just becomes more just comes more all the time simply from just not talking to anybody for a few months.

Rick: That’s a nice routine.

Peter: Yeah I don’t know how I don’t know what you know a marriage would be like that it’s a little I mean going more intense into this but it’s also showing me this love is here so there is no need of anything there’s no need of anything at all everything that’s needed is God and this is whole you know like I mean I love my ex-wife Judith you know she is like an amazing person and I feel very sad that when she’s suffering I feel her suffering I’m so connected with her but I am connected with her you know I don’t have to live with her because she cannot be separate from me nor can anybody else so I can go for seven months without talking to a single person and never for a moment do I feel any loneliness not even for a second it’s like just absolute completion if anything I’m more connected then than I am when I’m with a person because I’m sort of connected with everything and all people too all individual people and I think I’ve explained this to them and I think they know it and they feel it like oh I’m not going to see him for like this period of time for this months but he’s not separate from me he’s thinking of me and I’m like one with him and then when I do see him somehow it’s going to be wonderful you know there’s going to be some radiance that’s going to have an experience.

Rick: When you do these retreat things do you have somebody doing your shopping for you and stuff or do you you do that kind of thing you go to the store and buy groceries?

Peter: I go to the store but initially when I started doing it I would go to the store five minutes before it closed you know so I just rush around and no one would have time to talk to me because I could always run into someone that I hadn’t told that I was doing this and they Peter because I’m very verbal as you could tell you know so that we’d have this long conversation they’re used to that but when I’m doing that if someone comes up and says oh Peter it’s wonderful to see you how are you and I go fine.

Rick: You could say I’m doing silence for a few months good to see I’ll talk to you when I come out.

Peter: I don’t even want to go that far I just hope they’ll go away so I mean I love them but I don’t want to get in a conversation you know so it would be good to say that it sounds because then people get this feeling that I for some reason I don’t like them.

Rick: Yeah you don’t want to mislead people.

Peter: Yeah so after I come out when I see them I go you know I really do like you and it wasn’t that I’m just in a silence and they go oh okay I get it good but most people now know this, that I’m this strange person.

Rick: You go through this.

Peter: Yeah I do this every year in the winter too it’s like the winter retreats.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: It happens to come in just at the time of the winter retreats it may be a little longer than three months but it just works perfectly. I mean I’m looking at spring and seeing that nature I’m realizing I’m just no different than a tree. Just doing the same thing it’s like life is living me right and so that’s what life does you know. It comes in the thing and then in the spring it like blossoms and I’ve actually done it before I ever knew anything about this when I lived in the city I lived in the northeast in Cambridge Massachusetts or Somerville it’s snowing and cold there in the winter and people just naturally I would go in I would do a lot of writing a lot of creative work during that time and as soon as the first day of spring would come I would walk into Harvard Square and I would see like 30 people I knew and everybody was doing that and it was just wonderful it was like everyone was a flower, everyone was a budding flower, it was just spring and we were so happy you know to do that but in the winter we went into caves you know we all did.

Rick: Like bears. Here’s a question that came in from Mark Peters in Santa Clara California, it seems like the opposite of love if there is one is not hatred as is generally held but something closer to fear or maybe the lack of presence can you share your insights on this?

Peter: The opposite of love?

Rick: Yeah he’s saying it seems like the opposite of love is not hatred but something closer to fear or lack of presence.

Peter: Yeah I don’t think hatred probably has some element of love in it actually you know if you really hate someone you’re super emotional about them right? You’re connected to them like I just can’t stand Donald Trump every time I see him. There’s some connection there, some learning.

Rick: Yeah there are stories in the Vedic literature where someone would really hate Krishna you see and they’d be you know just focused on him like a laser beam all the time, hating him, trying to kill him and all that stuff and then they’d end up getting enlightened because they were so focused on him.

Peter: Yeah just like the love, like just like the magnifying glass of the love. So fear is yeah, because fear is resistance right? Fear is, we’re always resisting with fear we go like okay life you stay there you know just not too close to me that’s kind of what the ego is doing right? The physical posture the ego is like don’t come too close until I figure out if it’s okay, if you’re safe or not you know if you can do something for me or to me I don’t want you to do something to me I want you know we’re resisting. So fear is resistance and that is yeah the opposite because love is no resistance, there’s no separation so what is there to resist, who is resisting? Right, it’s just gone so you’re so open right and the beauty of it is we all experience this right, every time we see something of beauty or experience love we have that lack of resistance, lack of fear, lack of separation. We’re never going to look at a beautiful flower and you know be like oh I love this but I’m kind of afraid, if that you’re not really loving it enough there’s still a little bit of resistance to it. When we totally open and go oh it just took my breath away you know then we’re experiencing what it’s like not to resist. Attachment and resistance are the only things that keep us away from this bliss of awakening consciousness. It’s very simple really, rocket science right, it’s just whatever we’re attached to is going to prevent us from opening to that, from even having it or even seeing it right and whatever resisting is the same. I mean if we, one form of meditation is simply to not resist life, to just accept everything that’s happening in this moment, it’s beautiful, you know just for a moment, just everything that’s happening in this moment, just allow it to be exactly as it is. If you’re feeling fear in that moment allow that to be exactly as it is, don’t wish it away, just experience it and that’s how we heal fear right, we totally open to it and then it just sort of fades away right, but we can’t resist it if we go like no fear, I don’t want to feel any more fear, I want to keep fear. Yeah, we’re just going to keep it as long as we keep doing that. It’s so funny, it’s the opposite of what we learn isn’t it? It’s the opposite of how we’ve been conditioned, the truth of life is the opposite of of our conditioned world.

Rick: I have a question for you, you know you’re talking about I forget the woman’s name who was like you thought she might be your soulmate and she triggered

Peter: Lily

Rick: that past life experience and at that point you said well she was awake and I wasn’t and you made comments like that several times during the interview which kind of indicates a kind of a black and white on-off understanding of what awakening is, is that the way you see it? I mean is there some kind of threshold which one crosses and after that one can definitively say well now I’m awake and I wasn’t or is it more kind of gradations and many degrees of awakening?

Peter: No, I think many degrees of awakening, yeah, it’s all a process, it’s all a progress.

Rick: So you were awake then just not to the same degree?

Peter: Yes, exactly, she was much more awake than I was. I thought I was awake, not awake but I thought I was pretty like highly spiritually developed. I mean all my life I’ve had certain things like the sensitivity that comes from this empathy where I can feel people’s feelings and their thoughts and things like that which was a survival mechanism for me that I never learned how to shut down and I realized that everyone has this but everybody’s learned to shut it down because it’s really hard to be in the world and just you know go to school and you’re feeling everybody’s thoughts and feelings, it’s challenging to say the least.

Rick: Okay, I just wanted to ask that because I mean when I hear people talk that way it puzzles me a bit because it doesn’t jive with my own experience which is that I could say I’m a heck of a lot more awake than I used to be and at the rate things are going I’m probably not as awake as I will be but I never and there have been some significant milestones.

Peter: I would say the same, I was using it’s in language we’re doing you know to be quick about it, like awake or not awake is easier than saying her progression of awakeness was higher than mine was at that point then we miss the story by kind of trying to figure out what level that was.

Rick: But it’s good to clarify because otherwise people they scratch their heads and they think well geez I guess I’m not awake because I haven’t had some big aha thing and but you know for many and many people some people do have big aha things but many people just this gradual incremental thing which is if you could snap back to where you were 30 years ago it would be catastrophically different but it’s just grown like the way your body grows or something you know you don’t notice it from day to day so much.

Peter: Absolutely, absolutely yeah and actually that’s a good point too Rick because one of the things that I say in the book too before I tell the story of my awakening you know I spend like at least like two or three pages you know saying like this is not your awakening your awakening is happening for you so don’t think you have to have any single one of any of these things in what my experience or to look at your thing or anybody else’s experience that you hear here right this is our own awakening is going to be very unique because how we were conditioned to be asleep is very unique for every one of us so it’s going to be different so the thing to pay attention to you can use inspiration from listening to Ramanas or Eckhart Tolle’s or mine or anybody’s but the thing to pay attention to is yours, is what’s happening in you, you know in every moment because that’s the awakening that matters my awakening doesn’t matter.

Rick: Yeah and even here the terminology is tricky because it’s not like awakening is something that a you gets you know it’s lived through the vehicle of of an apparent you but it’s obviously something more impersonal than that.

Peter: It’s freedom from that you it’s the freedom from that you, it’s like, if the you dissolves then there’s just life and there’s still a body and everything but is this body not life? Is this different than a tree or a bud or a flower you know? It’s different in some ways you know but it’s life it’s not different in that this is not life and the tree is life it’s all life and when you surrender the you that’s what happens right? You feel this not separation even oneness is a word that we get conceptualized it’s better to say what it’s not.

Rick: Yeah here’s a good question that just came in from Susan in New York. You mentioned you had a pretty rough childhood and so did I I mean but my childhood was absolutely rosy compared to what some people go through. I mean I didn’t grow up in you know Syria or something like that and but here’s her question she said I’d like to know what he would say about children who were abused by their families what the purpose of that is in terms of our development and awakening?

Peter: Yeah well I was abused, I mean my father was very violent, you know, and knocked me out at times and you know not being conscious I was terrified of being killed you know, so and also my mother was quite violent too.

Rick: So do you look back and see an evolutionary value in that? Yeah I mean you know in Buddhism they talk about the the lotus growing out of the mud the lotus blossoms because of the mud and this is a common thing in Buddhism is that the suffering that you have you know, it flowers into this awakening. Now it doesn’t happen for, it’s funny because I’ve seen this so often, that I met somebody who her life just seemed really pretty perfect from the time she was born you know she’s a Christian scientist and just everything she said about is like I’m so lucky everything just flowed and I was so supported by everybody I knew and she’s wonderful you know I mean she really is in this really wonderful state as far as the progression of awakening not as much as I am but really close and her feeling of of the joy of life and love is very close to that. So she’s one person that I met like that I was really curious because I was very excited to meet someone that had a life like that because I haven’t met anybody like that before. But I think for most people the suffering from abuse and things like that can very much flower. I mean look at Eckhart Tolle, he’s a perfect example. He lived a hellish life he probably wanted to commit suicide every day of it until he woke up when he was in his 30s but it was hellish and that night he was going to kill himself.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: Just sounds absolutely restricted ego horrible, you know thing, but people can feel that, I mean suffering can come for anybody. You can be living in a palace and be you know carried around and I don’t know you can just live this like as a prince you know or a princess and be given everything and if your mind is set, your ego mind is set to suffering then you’ll suffer just as bad as somebody in Sri Lanka or dying of starvation you know even more depending on where their mind is at you know and how restrictive they are with this ego. The ego creates the suffering not you know if you’re starving to death you’re starving to death right without an ego you’re just hungry and you’re in pain and you’re dying.

Rick: I’m trying to think of the name of a, maybe Irene will remember the name of a woman that I interviewed a while back, lives up in Oregon, had a real horrific childhood and she was raped by her father and stuff like that so it speaks to Susan’s question.

Peter: Yeah.

Rick: I can’t remember her name at the moment. Yeah but there’s a number of people I’ve interviewed that have gone through really bad suffering and they see it as kind of catalytic to their awakening like Shruti was another one.

Peter: Yeah I think so because if your life is really really perfect it’s going to be harder for you to say like okay I’m going to surrender this. I don’t want to surrender it, it’s awesome right but from a very young age I was questioning everything because I couldn’t trust what adults said. I mean the adults were like crazy you know one minute they you know alcoholics are funny because everything is unpredictable you know. Like I mean I, didn’t you know as a teenager I was a kind of a wild kid I stole cars I did gangs I was like you know like well that’s how I grew up you know so you never would know what they would do. I could steal a car and they’d say like hey that’s the chip off the old block you’re really really that happened to me.

Rick: Your parents said that?

Peter: Yeah, my father was like yeah, he’s a rascal, look what he did, you know and then you could just walk in the house for nothing you know and not have a smile on your face or something and then he could like beat the hell out of you you know. So you didn’t know what it was you could come home with a good report card you know and then they could hate you because of that you know and then you could do something but it depended sometimes you’d do something that society wouldn’t like and they would it was totally unpredictable always so you just never knew which created a lot of fear because you just never knew what was going to happen, those explosions that would just come from nowhere. So it gives you a sense of not trusting what you’re seeing as real you know and then in order to survive I don’t know if this happens to other people that are abused but having that experience of being filled with light and love when I was alone, as a relief from being in a place where I was in terror all the time was a super help, super you know a catalyst. I mean it was it’s like I do feel that everything that happens to us is perfect so it must be all part of this process, all part of this progress and you can ignore it right, you can go away from it and just whatever become a criminal or become an alcoholic yourself and never progress, you know but the lessons are there, no one’s holding your head down and forcing you to learn the lesson but the lessons are presented and if you open enough you’ll see the lesson.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: That’s why the ego is so bad because it has its own ideas and opinions about what the lesson should be right and it’s they’re not right you know you have to be open and then you see the lesson if you think you know what the lesson is you pretty much don’t, right, because it come through thinking.

Rick: A few points here, one is Irene looked up that woman I was just trying to remember, Shelly Ray was her name so Susan or others might want to watch that interview. Second thing is I remembered another quote from Maharishi as you were speaking, he used to say it’s really hard for the angels in heaven to even be interested in enlightenment because it’s just they don’t want to close their eyes you know it’s just so glorious in what they’re living. Here it’s much more easy because you know we’re beset by so many things that we really want to you know find an escape or a solution. And a third point is just that on this point you just made about everything being a lesson, I think it bears reiterating just that you know what it implies or what it leads to is that there is a sort of an evolutionary motivation or trajectory to the universe. There’s a term evolutionary panentheism, that everything is imbued with intelligence and that there’s an evolutionary momentum or purpose to the whole shebang, you know the whole show. And if we kind of like keep in mind that well you know God is, if we understand God to be omnipresent intelligence, then how could anything happen capriciously or randomly or accidentally or anything else? And if we further accept or understand or believe that there really is this, you know I mean look at the order that has come out of complete disorder. There’s the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, everything crumbles down you know if left to itself. But life is this force that is the opposite of entropy and that emerges from you know from disorder and so that there’s this evolutionary drive that is the you know the force behind life. And anyway I guess I made the point that things are not accidental. There’s a nature wants to evolve more and more sophisticated forms through which it can know itself.

Peter: And the important thing of all of that too I totally agree with all that, this beautiful understanding of life is to realize that we don’t need to understand it, you know we just need to surrender to it because it totally is taking care of everything, not just us but everything, everything in nature. When we look at nature I think we love looking at nature because it shows us this, you know, we don’t know really necessarily what we’re seeing but it’s showing us this evolution and in humans now what’s evolving is our consciousness which is extraordinary. I mean you are a testament to this, you’ve interviewed like 400 people right? Where else in history, in human history has this happened? Human consciousness itself is evolving into this state and it’s an amazing evolution. I mean I think it’s really similar to the Neanderthal to the human, you know it’s a big thing. When you think about people in this process of awakening, these things that happen, the ability to heal, you know abilities to know, to psychically communicate with people without words, you know ability to move to other places without the body moving there and see things that are there. I mean these are all the siddhis we call them right? But these are not uncommon things that happen, you know maybe not to everybody and it’s not a good idea to be attached to them, you know they arise when they need to arise and there’s no reason to try and make them better or more.

Rick: But they’re human potentials.

Peter: Yes, they’re human potentials and this is what humans are evolving into. It’s a species that we’re not even going to recognize from here and it’s for me the big part of this awakening push that happened and has been happening and is still happening now is like it feels like I’m riding on a tidal wave, you know there’s the power of a tidal wave and I’m like surfing on it and saying like okay I’m going with it, you know. People who are fighting it, it’s going to be harder and harder to fight against this and resist it because this is like enormously powerful and the more people that are awakening the more power this has. It’s just human consciousness, you know. You can tell there people are dragging their feet a lot, you know. A lot of times people in great power, you know they want to hold on to that power and not just let go of everything which is what is being asked, you know. If we’re going to go into a new species we have to let go of the old species, we have to let go of everything and then we’ll be shown by this inner guidance system like when we let go awesome, you know, like wow this is amazing, you know, whatever it is when we totally let go to it we just feel so good and if we resist it life has a lot of problems and worse than it’s ever had, you know. We’re going to see that people that are dragging and trying to hold on and resisting this evolutionary process are going to suffer a lot, you know, even if they can live through it.

Rick: It’s very well put.

Peter: It’s wonderful. We’re living in a time in this physical body. We are so lucky to have chosen to be in the physical body at this time to go through this evolution because I think this is way better than Neanderthal to the human. I think this is like I don’t think they, maybe they experienced a lot of bliss when that happened too with the first people that were up and stuff.

Rick: Yeah. I’ve been reading this wonderful book called Reason and Wonder, a Copernican Revolution in Science and Spirit by Dave Pruitt. He traces the whole history of human knowledge and all the various scientific, you know, breakthroughs such as Copernicus and others and then kind of brings it up to consciousness and the breakthrough that’s happening there and how that will be as earth-shaking and world-transforming as any previous scientific discovery has been.

Peter: Oh, way more.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: Because this knows everything. We feel the way to access it is to not know anything, to realize that we don’t know anything, just cancel, cancel all knowing, you know, take any concept we have in the opposite and put them together until they just dissolve and are gone. And then this infinite knowing is just here, it’s just totally available to us, whatever needs to come is just accessible to us, you know, not even our own memories but the memories of all humans of all time, whatever we need, it’s amazing, it’s just unlimited. That’s all, you know, to try and find out how it’s unlimited is we’re just chasing our tails then, we’re just making more concepts but it’s enough to just surrender to it and and let it do what it does. And again it’s not it’s no different than a tree, you know, we’re having this consciousness that can do these amazing things. I can’t speak for a tree what it’s doing but it’s not that different than a tree, the tree is also evolving, you know, spiders, insects, they’re evolving. Everything is evolving to be the best it can be, to be of the highest benefit for whatever it is, you know, and in us it happens to be consciousness which is really pretty cool. Well we were the first ones to be aware, I think, self-aware, maybe not, dolphins are probably far advanced from us, but as far as we know we’re the first self-aware which is a form of consciousness, it just got us into this attachment to ego which for a long time created a lot of problems.

Rick: We better wrap it up because we’ve been going pretty long but I just want to read you one more question that came in because it’s a nice question and pretend you’re on NPR and it’s like I’m going to cut you off at a certain point if you answer too long.

Peter: I’m sorry.

Rick: No, it’s okay, you’ve been saying great things and it’ll satisfy the people that tell me to, you know, talk less during interviews because I just let you run with it most of the time. But let me just ask this woman’s question, give a fairly brief answer and then we’ll wrap it up. So this is Flory from Germantown, New York, who asks, “I have had an experience in meditation several times. For example, in meditation today a thought came into my field of awareness about an experience with someone who until then I was not aware had hurt me. Suddenly I was extremely clear about the situation, healed and at peace. I felt I put it into words but in fact I just knew instantly without words. Does this experience sound familiar and if it does would you discuss it?”

Peter: Well the awareness of someone that hurt me that I wasn’t aware they hurt me, I don’t know about that.

Rick: It sounds like a repressed thing was resolved, you know, during meditation. I think that’s what it was. There’s something that she hadn’t even been aware of and it bubbled up, got healed and boom, gone.

Peter: Well I think the feeling of freedom and release from something repressed coming up, yes, is very common. I mean it is as far as I know the only true way for healing, for real healing, for cures of things, you know. Putting a band-aid on things or cutting out stuff for that is just a very temporary thing. Whatever you do that with there’s a message in there and you’re cutting it out, it’s just going to come back somewhere else. It’s the whole thing about cancer treatment. So internally what we do when we repress things, we store them in our body and they can make us physically sick if we don’t let them come up. But when they come up, when we open to it and we let them come up then they reveal everything about themselves and one of the things they reveal is they’re not true, right? I mean you look at, oh I had that thought when I was two years old, okay, that’s a two-year-old thought and it feels all this stuff but you see it and it just dissolves, the whole thing dissolves. And one other thing that happens when we do this kind of a healing, if we do this as healing, which is a form of meditation in itself, to open to this is that if we’re feeling fear or anger or whatever, these things that aren’t our essential nature feelings, they’re energy, right? And so the more we can strip off words, say we have a feeling of fear, we’re terrified of something, you know we can just ask ourself is it necessary to use that word fear? What if we took that word fear away, then what’s there, right? So then we have sort of anxiety, is that necessary? You could take that away and then maybe we have a sensation, oh there’s a big sensation in my stomach, it’s really sensations there, you know, but it’s sensation it’s not fear so you don’t have a negative connotation, it’s just wow there’s a sensation there and we say is the word sensation even necessary? And then that dissolves and pretty soon that energy becomes, doesn’t stay in one place, we realize it’s like moving throughout our whole body, it is throughout our whole body and it’s only because we called it fear that it felt bad, it’s actually the energy of a living body which we can celebrate and say whoa I’m alive, I’m really alive, right? Because when most of us are not aware of the energy of in our body, aware of what it is like to be in a living body where we can feel every molecule in our body, everything from the you know our toe to the top of our head, we can feel all of that intensely like a little child does, you know and really it feels wonderful. I mean we could even call that the feeling of bliss to just be aware of being in a living body you know at any age, it doesn’t change too, I mean we can be 90 years old and still feel all that energy, it’s not the energy that sort of goes away only after the body dies is it gone, it’s there the entire time, it’s no different than when we’re really young, this energy.

Rick: Yeah.

Peter: so that’s a huge a wonderful feeling to have that come up you know to just release things in that way just by being open to them, just by being wide open to everything that is, we let all the things that aren’t true show us that, you know, we totally want to see, we’re willing for it to show us that it’s true, we’re totally open to that and it just happens that it’s not and then it dissolves you know, it’s like we’re loving even these negative feelings that are causing us suffering, even suffering all of it, we’re just opening to it and it resolves itself simply by doing that, it heals itself amazingly, things that were stuck in the body, the thoughts come up, we see we let them go, the energy is released and it’s not stuck in one place, not in the stomach, not in the shoulder, whatever we have, it’s throughout the whole body and it’s this wonderful feeling of relaxation and intense aliveness you know, we are alive, just like the trees in nature we look and we say oh that’s alive but we’re not aware that we’re alive, we’re in this amazing living thing. These bodies are incredible, I mean I don’t identify with my body as me, I think of it more as a car, you know, like a vehicle that I use but it’s an amazing vehicle, it’s a incredible self-healing amazing vehicle and it itself is an expression of God, right, so I don’t identify with it as me but I am aware that it’s an expression of God and I totally love it, I take care of it you know, it’s like bodies are funny, they’re like if we were told when we were going to get our first car we had a you know wise salesman that sold us our first and it’s a brand new car and he said this is the only car that you can have for the rest of your life in this life, you can get another car in the next life but only one car can you have in this life. So take care of it and I’m going to let’s go for a little drive and I’m going to take you to a place and he takes you to a junkyard showing you all the other cars that weren’t taken care of so well, they’re rusting there. So take care of this car and it’ll last you for your whole life and you can have fun with it, you can take it off-road as long as you get the right wheels for it and stuff but you know take care of it, it’s beautiful and at some point you may even identify with it because you’ve had it for like 50 years or so but you don’t have to, it’s just a vehicle.

Rick: That’s the realization I had when I was 18 I kind of realized you know you’re stuck in this body and if you damage it you’re going to be stuck in a damaged body all your life. So that kind of turned me around and I’ve been taking care of it ever since. Yeah, what you put in it you know and fasting is like an oil change, right? Washing it is like going to the car wash. You just take care of it, you take care of it and you love it but you don’t identify with it, you don’t have to think this is me. So then you know because you don’t identify with your car, if someone says “Hey, that’s a nice looking car” you go “Yeah, oh that’s cool, yeah you like my car” but it’s not you. You know if someone says “I don’t like that car” they go “You don’t like the car.” You know.

Rick: Well on that note we should probably wrap it up.

Peter: This is good, I wanted to interview you.

Rick: Maybe someday.

Peter: Because I was so interested in that you’ve talked to like almost people interviewed 400 people. I mean this is amazing. You’re like a vehicle and a conduit for the evolution of consciousness, you know. You are, I mean you have a very a position in this evolution of consciousness which is amazing. When we had that little trouble with the technical thing, you know, lagging. I went to look at a lot of the things to see if other people were doing that too and it was so beautiful that we had that. This is how things are perfect, so we had this trouble with this but it sent me to look at many many of your things. So I looked at all of it and said, “Oh this is great, there’s so much here from JP Sears. I think he’s hilarious, you know, stuff. What a great interview that was. You’re trying to be funny, you know. He’s like hilarious with everything.

Rick: He’s really good. Some people didn’t realize that was a joke until about 20 minutes in, they thought I’d really flipped my lid.

Peter: It’s beautiful though, I mean there’s such a treasure trove of things here and it helps all of us, you know, to awaken just to see what people are going through. And so many people that are in the process of coming into this now are benefited from this. I mean it’s part of the all of us are helping this awakened consciousness grow even when we’re not aware of it. And as we start awakening we become aware that this is kind of what our job is, you know. It’s like life is evolving. So if we’re open to life that’s where we are helping the evolution.

Rick: And as you know when you put yourself in the service of this then you get a lot of support and you know your own evolution is accelerated.

Peter: Yeah, well thank you.

Rick: Thank you Peter.

Peter: It’s wonderful, it’s a privilege to be with you.

Rick: Yeah, likewise. Let me make a few general wrap-up points. So I’ve been speaking with Peter Cutler and I’ll have a page on Batgap where I link to his websites and his YouTube page and his chat. He has a nice Facebook site where he writes a lot of stuff and some good discussion goes on and and all that. So if you’re watching this on YouTube and you want to know those things go to, go to Peter Cutler’s page. I’ll have a link to it right there on the YouTube description and then you can bounce from there off to all those things. This is an ongoing series as most of you are aware and if you go to and then go to the “At a Glance” menu you’ll see all the various things we offer on the site including being notified by email of new interviews and subscribing to the audio podcast and so on. So go and check that out and that’s about it.

Peter: Oh, one other thing. The book is free on the website.

Rick: Yeah, I’m providing a link to that.

Peter: Okay.

Rick: Yeah, so people can just download it.

Peter: So they can get a PDF of it for free.

Rick: Yeah, yeah, good. So thanks again Peter and thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching and we’ll see you next week.

Peter: Thank you Rick.

Rick: Yeah.