Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week are Puran and Susanna Bair. Welcome Puran and Susanna.
Susanna Bair: Hi Rick, how are you?
Rick Archer: Good, good to see you both. I was very pleasantly surprised when I started to read your book “Follow Your Heart”, usually I don’t have a chance to read the book of the person I’m going to interview until the week before I interview them. And so I didn’t know what to expect. But immediately I thought, whoa, this is a very mature teaching a very mature spiritual understanding. And so I didn’t even get a chance to finish the book, I read about a third of it, but I really found it enjoyable as far as I got. And the reason I
Susanna Bair: Thank you.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and the reason I call it mature. And the reason I enjoyed it is a reason for which I often get flak from people. And that is that, you know, I often talk about there being stages of development and levels of experience and levels of understanding and so on and so forth. People who have a sort of a conceptual understanding of non duality, don’t like talk of stages and levels, you know, if Oh, well, it’s one homogenous wholeness, you know, so therefore, how could there be stages and levels? But experientially, practically speaking, one grows into the experience of that wholeness and through stages through phases. Am I right?
Puran Bair: That’s fine.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Puran Bair: That’s how we say it. We even have a book about the stages. Our third book, Follow Your Heart delineates the nine steps that we identify in the spiritual path.
Rick Archer: Well, that’s the one I’ve been reading.
Susanna Bair: Oh, that’s the one
Puran Bair: Follow Your Heart.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Puran Bair: Oh, excellent.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Susanna Bair: See, Rick, I just finished a tour, the invincible heart tour, which we might get into, and I was in Austin, and a good friend of ours, you know, he has discovered unity consciousness, we are all one. And he said, if we are all one, we don’t need stages of development. We are right there unity is right there with you. And I said, Well, you know, maybe in our innermost being, but in our everyday consciousness, we are far away from it. Most of us, you know, the general, the general, everyday person, if that would be the case, we will have the Golden Age happening here. And that’s it. That’s what we’re actually working toward. And that’s it, there are a lot of different groups who work in their ways about it. And our work is working it from the heart, you know, teach applied meditation, because that’s where you there you really can feel and your life gives you feedback. You know, that is the interesting thing. Life is a feedback system of where you are with your unity consciousness. That’s very sad.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, if, if an understanding of unity where the same as the experience, then by the same token and understanding of food would be the same as eating, and when we solve, solve world hunger, all you’d have to do is think of a vegetable content.
Susanna Bair: That’s cool. That’s cool. Yeah. Today, I think a lot of spiritual work is tied up in eating. You know, instead of practicing meditation, we just finished a five day retreat in the Berkshires, in new in Lebanon, New York, Massachusetts. Exactly. And it was very interesting, you know, how people start meditation, and they liked the idea of meditation, but very often just move out of it. That to go really deep into meditation, especially into the feeling parts, you know, where you feel something. That’s where people want to run and flee and move away from it. And that’s what you do in our meditations. Right. You know, in our meditations, we move into feelings. So maybe, maybe we need to back up a little bit. I don’t know. But
Puran Bair: I’d like to talk about that. Actually. We were at the non duality conference in San Francisco recently.
Susanna Bair: And that’s when we met you,
Rick Archer: right?
Puran Bair: And I heard one of the speakers there say if you’re feeling emotion, you’re not in Unity Consciousness, you’re in duality. And I would beg to differ I would say there is no emotion which is the emotion of unity. And we call that emotion peace. We say that peace is the white light. Using that metaphor of emotion if you bring all the emotions to together at the same time, in the same heart, you get a combination of all emotional experience. And that feels like peace. But peace is not the absence of emotion as this lady was saying. It’s rather the combination of all possible experience. That’s how we see it with the Dalai Lama was here in Tucson a couple of years ago. And we got a chance to speak with him. And there was a, there was an assemblage of all different kinds of religions, the Imam was here and the leader of the Catholic Diocese and so on many. So we came as representatives of the heart. And the Dalai Lama was saying, well, his his aspiration is to experience nothing than nothingness, you know, and we said, Our aspiration is to experience the wholeness, the everything. And he said I was the same. And I think it is the same at some level of abstraction, but the path to get there is very different. The path to get to nothing. This is the path of monastic life. And the path to get to wholeness is the path of total life experience. And uses the heart.
Rick Archer: And sometimes I think the very same thing can be experienced in different ways. There’s a cannabis, a talk, I heard one time in which show Nevada pour Nevada was discussed fullness of emptiness, fullness of fullness. And it was really with reference to the same thing which according to one’s orientation to it, or cognition of it may seem empty, but perhaps upon closer examination, or more intimate under experience is found to be full.
Puran Bair: Yeah, the same thing happens on an experiential level. When you close your eyes in the dark. It seems dark. It seems like there’s no light. But as you look further into it, you see that you’re surrounded by light. There’s a light in the darkness, there is no darkness, actually, there’s only there’s only there’s even light in the darkness and the sound and the silence and so on. So it’s, it’s a wonderful confusion.
Rick Archer: So it’s like you say, I mean, it might be that someone with a monastic orientation is attracted to the notion of nothingness emptiness, but someone with a more householder orientation or worldly orientation, is attracted more to fullness. I don’t know. They’re probably exceptions to those generalities. But
Puran Bair: I like that. And I think, I would say in general, we should fight our proclivity, the people who are who are by nature, attracted to the monastic life, should should get out of it and experience the wholeness and the people that are so caught up in their busyness should experience the silence.
Rick Archer: Well, you know, there’s, there’s the crazy Ecclesiastes says is a time for everything. Turn, turn, turn, you know, I have a friend here in town whom I interviewed Francis Bennett, He’s coming. He’s come for a visit and he was a monastic for 30 years and TRAPPIST and Benedictine monasteries. And while he was in there, he was also practicing Vipassana and Zen meditation very intensively. And few years ago, he had this very profound awakening, you know, which profound non dual realization which stayed with him. And after about a year, he began to feel it’s time for me to leave, you know, I should leave this monastery and go out in the world and do something. So you know, I wouldn’t say that his 30 years were inappropriate or wasted in any way. That was fine. But at a certain stage of his development, they were no longer it was no longer appropriate.
Puran Bair: See, there’s those stages again. Yes, absolutely. Right. We go through stages. When, when we talk about these stages, Susanna likes to say there’s the even numbered in the odd numbered steps. So we go, we take one step in wisdom, another step in power, another step in wisdom, another step in power.
Rick Archer: We want to say something about that, Suzanne?
Susanna Bair: Well, you know, I’m listening to the two of you. And I do fully agree. You know, I think when I started meditation, you know, when it started this meditative path, I had this strong experience, what you would call non duality, I probably would call it something else. Maybe I haven’t found the name for it yet. And I think that kept me on the path. That was such a powerful experience, but I did my path in life. You know, we had children and we had to work and we had a mortgage. And this it, I do think it affects your life. If you have a mortgage and if you have five children we have we have no children together, but I have a former marriage and he and then you have all this and you don’t run away and don’t go to a monastery because this is it. Rick, what brought us on the path of the heart? And this is where we watched the steps, you know that there is progress there. If you keep meditating, if you applying meditation to your life that we did I felt that periods of times, well, yeah, I was in a so called uneven step, we call them the down steps, it goes deeper and deeper, and you have the feeling, oh my god, I make no progress. And then comes this successful up step. And so this is an we actually think you have to go through nine steps until you have the feeling you are finished there, you actually can contribute. I mean, this is what your friend would say, you know, I have to actually go out into life and do something. And this is, this is where we talk about, you know, there is a purpose in life, there is something to do. And lots of times you know, we have friends, they tried to solve all the problems with food and yoga and Colin cleansing and all this and don’t have a purpose. In it don’t have, I’m like, why you’re cleansing your, your colons so much, or why are you eating all this good food, it’s actually just, you know, and probably, they would say, I need to heal, you know, I need to heal. But I think if one doesn’t use anything else, you know, no, in the processes, because I do think meditation actually creates a lot of chemistry inside of ourselves, you know, there’s a lot of changes going on, on all different levels, you know, so you could call the mind the emotions, the body, but you could call it to, on the chemistry on the hormones, you know, on the on the all different than even on the, you know, micro cosmic levels of our neurons and all this stuff, that’s where all the changes happen. So this is what we experienced. And so our diet is not clean, our exercise is not there every day, you know, and our we travel a lot we work odd hours, are way too much, you could say. And we feel very strong, healthy and alive. And but we do feel the steps, you know, and we do have the ability to help people to guide through those steps, you know, because that’s still a whole other level to the work to be able to identify the steps within yourself. And then to know him so well that one can say, I can help you with those steps. I actually recognize, you know, in this retreat, there was a young woman there. And I could say to her, you know, I actually know where you are. And in a way, that’s so comforting to somebody who who listens to you that you can say, I know these steps, I’m familiar with it. And I know how to help you through it, it’s a question to create the trust.
Rick Archer: I think everything seems to have its value in its appropriate context. You know, like you said, yoga, diet, exercise, all those things are a value. But but sometimes people become obsessively reliant on one thing or another without the proper kind of, you know, balance of other things. Like for instance, again, my friend, Francis, he said, you know, he’d been counseling a lot of people lately and he said, you know, most of the people I talked to, they’re just so obsessed about sort of like, almost narcissistically indulgent about sort of little interesting things going on with them, most of them would do well to just get out and do some service, you know, go help people. You know, that would be the best technique for them.
Puran Bair: That’s it. That’s why we stressed the sense of purpose, so much in our work, that the idea is to prepare oneself to be better able to serve. So the diet should serve service, you know?
Rick Archer: Yeah, and you can I’ve gone through phases where I just was obsessive about my diet, you know, trying to eat only fruit or doing a lot of fasting. Oh, yeah. I like went a whole summer where I was fasting and eating nothing but fruit. And you know, and then I kind of rubber banded back in the other direction, and it was gorging on all the foods couldn’t stop. But there was just this obsession with the body which was out of out of balance.
Puran Bair: I know what you mean, I had a diet a couple of months ago, I was I was just eating the sun. Really? And that was really fun. That’ll burn your tongue. That’s right. But if that keeps you eating other things, doesn’t burn your eyes. So I would look at the sun for an hour a day. And and I wouldn’t have to eat.
Rick Archer: Yeah, so people in my town have been doing that.
Puran Bair: Yeah, it’s a it’s a high But then, then there’s the social thing about well, you know, people get together over food and, and then there’s the question of like, well, what’s Why does the body have all these wonderful sensations around taste? And so on? If we’re not meant to eat?
Rick Archer: Yeah. So and could you have done that for years on end? Or, you know, was it something you could do for a little while, but then you really need to get back to? We have physical bodies, and maybe we need to eat some physical food?
Puran Bair: I think so. But it’s really fascinating to know that we can sustain ourselves, right? It’s fantastic to know.
Rick Archer: Now, I don’t know what it is about the Sufis. You guys are successors to Hans Rati. Khan and Pierre Villa got in a con in the lineage lineage of universal Sufism. And I don’t know much about Sufism, other than listening to what Llewellyn Vaughan Lee, whom I think is brilliant, and you guys, you know, reading your book, but it seems that it has a very deep mystical orientation, you know, it’s profoundly experiential, right down to the core of life. And as far as Sufi practices are concerned, all I’ve been aware of and very tangentially is the whirling thing, I really don’t know much else about it. But But you say that you’re pregnant, you your primary practices of meditation practice of some kind of heart,
Susanna Bair: primary, primary, heart centered, you know, we, we like to pride ourselves, there’s a lot of people talk about the heart, and we’d like to have experiences of the heart, but we can do for the day retreats on the heart. And, you know, I had Buddhist monks come to my presentations, and they say, you know, I have been working for 30 years with the heart, but never, never listened to my heartbeat. And he said, by listening to your own personal, physical heart and filling that rhythm, it changes the whole game of it, because, you know, as long as you imagine your heart, you have no pain. Dizzy, so and pain is such a such a powerful experience of the physical life, you know, just like how Quran says, you know, why do we eat, we are all light beings, really, we can live off the sun. But that way we bypass the life on this physical life. And we didn’t have a body before this life, and we won’t have a body. Soon, you know, when we leave this planet in this body, we won’t have a body, we I think we all agree that we will exist before and after. But what is this experience here in the physical body about? Do you see why we are? Why are we here? What is this phenomenon that the one being is going through through us through each one of us? And how can we, through this physical life contribute through the whole me as being the one myself in this physical experience as the one? How do I experience this? And how do I contribute to the whole, I think those are the big esoteric questions in there. And, and we think by moving into the heart, and that is the signal that I am in the here and now I do v have this judgment, I can say it out loud about other meditations in there that when you leave your body in, and you have to know our teacher taught us those kinds of meditation, it’s not that we are not familiar with them. When we created our school, we changed the meditations because of those very reasons that I mentioned to you earlier, because of having children and mortgage and having to go to work and dealing with the stresses of the physical life. And the question is, how do you live a so called spiritual life? How do you live the experience of the Divine within myself and be totally available to the nitty gritty to changing diapers and, and all those kinds of great things? So that I think that is the challenge.
Rick Archer: So are you saying that your meditation practice involves literally listening to the heartbeat? Yes.
Puran Bair: Where we’re fascinated with this reality that the heart has a tangible signal that it gives as a as a homing beacon to draw us into it. We can tell when we’re when we’re concentrating on the heart when our attention is placed on the heart. We get feedback from that. I mean, you hear the heartbeat and And if we, if we were to imagine our heart without that feedback, how would we know we’re not focusing on our liver or gallbladder or something. So the heart has a signal, and it draws you by going trying to intensify that signal, we were drawn right into it. So homing beacon.
Susanna Bair: And then once you experience it, you experience it all the time we speak here, I feel my heartbeat. And the heartbeat changes, you know, the heartbeat is not something that is all the time the same. And so it sort of regulates, you know, like, when I’m nervous, and I feel my heartbeat, it speeds up, I can breathe differently, and I have influence on my heart, and my strengths, and my whole system starts working differently. If I focus in on there, and you learn to do this, like as a second nature sort of, is this so I can go speak publicly. And you know, you feel the nerves, you feel the audience, and I changed my breasts, move it into the heart and my heart starts radiating out. And before that, you know, I don’t know how people do this, who leave their body? You know, I haven’t figured that one out, I guess.
Rick Archer: What do you mean people who leave their body?
Puran Bair: Well, when you leave your body, you don’t have that internal signal of the heartbeat? Well, who leaves the body
Rick Archer: and that’s, let’s get God people,
Puran Bair: right. The out of the experience of being out of body,
Rick Archer: like you mean astral projection, that kind of thing.
Puran Bair: The original intention in the science of meditation was to experience what is death, the starting back at the Egyptians and read it into the Hinduism and Vedanta, the experience was, what is non existence? What is it to be free of limitation, you know, the body is temporal not eternal. It’s, it’s fixed in location, it’s not, it’s not infinite. So the great appeal was, well, I want to be eternal and infinite. And then therefore, I can’t be limited to a body and a mind and so on. And, and that was the theme for 1000s and 1000s of years. I studied that method, I studied that method under the in the in my discipleship to purify it. And I got to the point where I could stop my heartbeat. And I could produce delta brainwaves, the brainwaves of deep sleep. In fact, the experimenter who, who measured me said he, he found stronger delta waves in me than he sees in deep sleep. But I was awake at the same time. So I’ve learned this method of called Samadhi, which comes from Hinduism, which comes from really from the Egyptians. And as I say, the the motivation is to discover a non personal reality, which is not limited. But 2000 years ago or so things started to change. And the shift was, Let’s experience what life is like? What’s it like to be a human being instead of an angel? What’s it like to really get into physical physicality? Is it possible to discover the universe in the person, thing, that’s the could not today, we call that the microcosm, that the whole universe exists as the macrocosm exists in the microcosm. But that’s an that’s a relatively new idea in the history of meditation. And that’s where we are now. And it finds, it turns out that the core of that is the heart. It’s the heart that focuses the infinite into the finite,
Rick Archer: I would acknowledge that people can use meditation to take refuge in the absolute or take refuge in Samadhi, to the exclusion of relative concerns. But if approached properly, Samadhi is not necessarily an escape, because it can be integrated into waking experience 24/7 experience, in other words, one can, one the, the range of one’s experience can grow to encompass both the universal and the individual in one wholeness. And so regarding the body, it’s not something that you would want to escape from or that you could escape from. It’s actually the, as I say, the temple of the soul, it’s the tool by virtue of which this whole journey can be undertaken.
Puran Bair: Well, you’re very modern, and you’re thinking this is good. Okay, good.
Rick Archer: But I think that, I think, the ancients, if properly interpreted, at least some of the ancients had that same understanding, but it could be that those who became the custodians of their teachings distorted them in different ways. And you know, who knows what we ended up with?
Puran Bair: Oh, you know, Buddha taught there is no self even, right? There’s not even a self so let alone having thinking that the body is me and Hinduism. They say all the time. This is not my body. This is not my mind, right? This is not my ego. It’s just not myself. Oh, whose is it? You know, we’d say, No, this is me. And everything else is Me too. Right? So yeah, as I say, it’s the question of, are you looking for nothing? Are you looking for everything?
Rick Archer: The thing is, on some level, all these things are true. But but there’s just there’s always a bigger picture in which the the opposite is also true, or, or there’s a bigger picture, which incorporates all these paradoxes into a larger truth.
Puran Bair: That’s right. But as you as we’re charged with teaching people off the street, you know, people that come to us that haven’t meditated, and then people come to us that have meditated for decades,
Susanna Bair: TM people,
Puran Bair: and people that have done vipassana and mindfulness and sat for a long, long time, and they want the next step. And so, you know, we we need to understand how people get to unity, you know, they don’t just doesn’t just wake up, in fact, people who have said, well, I just woke up with a unity experience one day, I know, a bunch of teachers like that,
Rick Archer: that happens sometimes. Yeah, that’s fine.
Puran Bair: But it’s not, it’s not helpful as a teacher, because then you’re hoping that your students wake up on their right,
Rick Archer: yeah, it helps to have some systematic thing you can offer,
Puran Bair: if you can see what the steps are and what the process is how it changes at each step. And, you know, maybe we can be helpful to lead people through it a little faster than just when they wake up in the bathtub.
Rick Archer: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it’s, you know, and sometimes these awakenings are just the circumstances, they’re just so coincidental. I mean, you might be eating tomato soup, and you have an awakening. And it doesn’t mean everyone should run out and start eating tomato soup. It just happened to be a coincidence.
Puran Bair: Right? And also kind of want to hold that state. Right, that too. So we identify three steps in that process. The first is, Have you have you ever experienced awakening spontaneously? The next step is, can you trigger it to happen when you want? And the third step is, can you stay in that state as long as you want to stay in it?
Rick Archer: And could there be a fourth step that it’s not a question of coming or going, but that’s that that state, if you want to call it the state is so grounded, so rooted, that it becomes unshakable?
Puran Bair: I find that everybody can act like a fool. Yeah, we have an ability, we can fall out of it at a moment, if we want to, it’s just that we have the ability, once once we own that state, we have the ability to get back into it at will. But you know, we can get triggered and act and act. Act like a child, it’s just that we don’t have to stay there and, and get stuck in it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, even Lance Armstrong can fall off his bicycle.
Susanna Bair: I find, I find your discussions very interesting. And I think they, you know, they go really to the depths of you know, of the practitioner, you know, and where the practice can go to. I just What interests me these days a lot. And this is, you know, what I tried to address in my past too, with the invincible heart is, you know, I have the feeling there is, you know, is this evolution that one could say the whole, the one being is on the whole universe, or the one is in and I do think it is it looks like to me from the outer world and to from the inner world, you know, how one experiences one’s own inner stresses and the stresses of the collective, that there is a big shift going on, I agree. And what is on my heart very much is how to participate in that shift in this awakening in this new awakening of the whole, you know, where it’s on the one hand, economically and political, but it’s on the other hand to spiritual. And so I in this tour that I did, it’s not completely finished I, I speak about the new hero, you know, because each time has some individuals that come for us, and help to lift the hole to a new place. And so, I do actually think I’m sure of going bypassing his certain steps. I do think that in today’s time, it won’t be one human being that does it. It actually will be a collective like a group of 100,000 people or even more.
Rick Archer: Have you heard that expression? The next Buddha is the Sangha.
Susanna Bair: There we go. Yeah. Do you see and and I find that spiritually very interesting. And, you know, there are different religions. And I have given up, you know, our some spiritual teachers talk about the unity of unifying all the religions, I have given up on that a long time. But I do think that spiritual people have something else going on, you know, they don’t see so much, much the boundaries and the belief systems. And my hope is that there’s actually will something on that. So what happened on that level, that we realize, you know, we all speak, I mean, you go to all different groups of spiritual schools, they speak about the one being, and maybe we could do something together to lift this universe to another level. Yeah. And so what, I have this four steps in there, you know, this, being grateful, and being vulnerable, and create what you love and listen to the voice of your heart so that you feel guidance. And I, I really look to go to the people on the street, you know, one of my back rounds is St. Syrah. So I really liked to go to the people out there and this kind of four steps, it’s like, really, you can do these four steps without meditation. If you just want to get them fully developed, you have knee deep meditation. And what I found what is the hardest step for people believe it or not, is does not apply to people like you, and you know, people who decide to go to the monastery, but it applies to the everyday person on the street, to create what you love.
Rick Archer: That’s the hardest thing.
Susanna Bair: That is the hardest thing for people. People don’t know what they love, you know, what do they love to do? And people do not know. They are terribly afraid, once they found out what they love to do. They’re terribly afraid of doing that. Isn’t that interesting?
Rick Archer: That can be challenging. I mean, I love doing this, but I haven’t fully transitioned to it. I still have a day job, you know?
Susanna Bair: But then you have figured out what you love to do. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And, and you have crossed the boundaries that you say, I’m doing this on a Saturday morning, or whenever you do it, I’m gonna do this. So there’s a strong commitment and an inner thing there. But a lot of people, you know, I think this is the, this is where I see the big shift happening, you know, because we really coming out of eons of years of time of people being slaves, right. See. And that is I think that a shift is,
Rick Archer: yeah, there’s a secret. I mean, have you seen the Thrive movie? Oh, yeah. I’m going to interview those people in August. And as I recall, one of the points in the movie was that, you know, in a really more enlightened age, we wouldn’t be working, you know, we would all just be doing what we love, and the technologies are there for all the energy we need, and the food we need, and all that stuff, or they could be there. And so yeah, you know, imagine such a society because, you know, think of all the literal and virtual slavery that has engaged the, the whole humanity for so many 1000s of years. It’s like, you know, rather primitive,
Puran Bair: we’re still into it. And but somehow people accept the idea that a third of their income shouldn’t go to their housing or a half, right? There’s no reason for that most of that money goes to the bank, there’s no reason to for that kind of expense. You see, it’s the system’s fault. And so I think this is this is an important point about spiritual work is that spiritual work is not self development. It starts with self development, but it can’t end there. It’s not really about self development. It’s the universe developing itself through us. And, and we are each contributing to the awakening of the whole house ready Ned Kahn, who we represent has this saying, the aim of of spiritual work today is the awakening of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity of the human being. I love it. It’s not personal anymore. It’s, it’s the whole being, the one being of humanity is waking up to its own divinity.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and that actually harkens back to something we were talking about a few minutes ago when we were talking about Samadhi and individuality and you know, living as a person and so on. I mean, if you get right down to the real nitty gritty, what are we We’re that divine being which underlies and contains and gives rise to the whole universe. And but we’re each just sort of individual expressions of that, you know, like little villi little sensory organs and Uh, that’s waking up to itself to the instrumentality of me and you and you and each of us, correct, would you?
Puran Bair: That’s beautiful. Beautiful. You’ve got it. That’s it. And that’s, and there wouldn’t be wouldn’t have been that long ago that you would be tried for blasphemy and hearsay.
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah, for saying such a thing. In fact, even now, you know, when certain people hear someone say, Oh, you are God, or God is within you, and so on and so forth. They they hear that as being very, very egotistical statement, because what they think you’re saying is, your individuality is God. But what what they’re really saying is, you know, obviously, that your your innermost being your essence, that which ultimately you are, is that.
Susanna Bair: That’s right. And that is to see and that needs to be developed. And that’s when people won’t have a problem to do what they love to do. That’s when you won’t be clogged up with consumerism, and with getting afraid when you are being laid off in those. I think it’s so beautiful to see through the problem of in the outer world today, that the development of the one is collectively and that seem as if this is actually where our work should be to help that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it seems. Yeah. Speaking of Llewellyn Vaughan Lee, again, I mentioned him earlier, he just edited a book that was contributed to by Vandana Shiva and many other people entitled, spiritually ecology. And I haven’t read it yet. But as I understand the theme of it, is that, you know, the ecological problem, which is very concerning, has its ultimate solution, spiritual development. And we can say the same economic problems and this whole thing you’re talking about with everyone having to work so hard and all that. And obviously, most people don’t see it that way. They they kind of are just looking for technological solutions or political solutions, this, this party says we can solve it, and that party says we can solve it. But ultimately, without the spiritual foundation, there’s no possibility of any kind of real solution.
Susanna Bair: That’s right.
Puran Bair: We heard Llewelyn Vaughn-Lee’s talk at that nonduality conference
Rick Archer: At SAND, Yeah.
Puran Bair: And we’re very disappointed. So that your wife is saying don’t Why were you disappointed? He was expressing hopelessnesso He said, there’s, there’s there’s no point in in human life anymore. It’s senseless, and we can’t make any any meaningful contribution.
Rick Archer: I remember that. But I’ll have to listen to the talk again, because that was, as I recall, he was saying it could go that way. But not it doesn’t have to go that way.
Puran Bair: Well, he said, it is that way now.
Rick Archer: Oh, yeah. It might seem dire personally, actually, after his talk. And he also gave a talk with David Loy. about ecology and so on. And I did a little interview later on that day with David Loy and Igor Kufayev. And we were talking about this, and the main theme that came out is that there’s cause for optimism that if and Llewelyn is a deep person, I wouldn’t. I don’t think he’s gotten mired in pessimism. But if you kind of if you don’t have the appreciation of the spiritual upwelling that’s taking place in the world, which you’ve been referring to, you know, like this, this groundswell of you know, 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s of people, then I think it could become very depressed, because what hope is there that the economy is going to hell in a handbasket, and that the ecology and so on. But if you see this uprising taking place, and it’s subtle, so it may, you may not see it, unless you’re involved in it, then there’s reason for optimism. Lots of
Puran Bair: reason, this is an exciting time. This is the best possible time in the history of humanity to be awake, to be a great, it’s it’s very exciting. It’s very exciting. And there’s every reason for optimism, like these people who I mean, that’s why I was so disappointed. Somebody who’s a spiritual person should be just full of that vitality and excitement that this is it, you know, and we can we’re doing it and we are it and this is our time.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m gonna listen that talk again. And maybe I’ll give you my impressions of it. I have a recording of it. I can even send it to you that because, well, we won’t spend our time dwelling on the well. And but anyway, the the point we’re making is that no one should despair. There’s there’s something very, very exciting taking place in the world. And it’s not just the Arab Spring and you know, this and people, divulging government secrets and all those are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s some yeah, there’s some fundamental shift taking place and the New Agers have been predicting for a for a long time, but we’re kind of seeing how it’s actually playing out.
Puran Bair: I’ve been waiting for the revolution since the 60s when I was very much involved in the peace movement. It was I was a hardcore revolutionist in the 60s. And then I, I became disillusioned with that movement because they didn’t have a vision of what they wanted. They only knew what they didn’t want. Yeah, a group released the people I was hanging with. And so I, from there, I got into the, the lifestyle movement, you know, like, what is the lifestyle that is prophetic today? What, how should we live? Can we make an example ourselves of a spiritually aware ecologically sane lifestyle, and I spent 16 years in communes, having started several and, and then I can see, well, it’s not there either. It’s, it’s really in the individual awakening of this ability to see the divine in life. With that you need the heart. And I was meditating for decades on this is very esoteric, and very sort of far out cosmic experiences. And I didn’t have a heart. And now Now we focus entirely on the heart. And we see, that’s where the two worlds meet, the world that’s invisible, and the world is material, the world is universal, and the world is an individual, they meet in the heart. And that’s where you want to be, you know, so another guy that we have, when we take exception to is Deepak Chopra, who we listen to, we listen to a lot of his talks. And he’s he’s talking about how reality exists in packets. And in between the packets there is nothingness. Well, it’s, no, it’s not quantum physics, it’s Vedanta is what it is. In, there’s nothing in quantum physics that requires that reality be turned on and off. So he talks about the on off states of reality. And you want to get into the off state, because that’s where all the potential is. But the Sufis have never seen it that way the Sufis have seen always a universe, which is continuous, it’s, it’s never off. See, but this means this gives such a fundamental direction to the spiritual work, if our intention is to get into the off state that exists between the neon states, these, you know, very, very fine units of reality, then we need to be non existent as well. We need to be we need the monastic we need the monastic path. But if you see the universe as continuous and always existing and never off, then our objective is to become everyone everything, you know, incorporate all leave nothing out. And this is it, I find this very, very challenging, because the first thing people want to leave out, are all the things they call negative. Who wants to be negative? Who wants to have negative feelings?
Rick Archer: Yes. So it’s fun interviewing a married couple? Well, let me comment on that. Deepak is an old buddy of mine, I taught his tm course when he learned to meditate and lived with his parents for a couple of months in India. And I, you know, I think where he’s coming from, and I haven’t seen him since he became famous, but I think where he’s coming from, in saying that illustrates a principle, which is that you can take anything anybody says just about, and you can understand it as true within a particular context. For instance, when you were making your first statement, Susanna said, Well, that’s quantum physics. Yeah, there are certain things that are true on the level of quantum mechanics that make no sense whatsoever on the level of Newtonian mechanics, Newtonian physics, and you can’t interpose the two, you can’t, you know, take quantum mechanical laws and see them working on Newtonian levels of reality, and vice versa. So, you know, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s each of the each of these realities has its, and the the trouble people get into, which is, I think what you were alluding to, is that they sometimes take, probably not the experience, because it’s probably too deep, but at least the understanding of a certain level of nature’s functioning, they kind of transpose that onto their relative life, and try to live by it. And then that screws things up. For instance, you hear people saying, Well, ultimately, there is no self, therefore don’t bother to do practices because it’s only going to reinforce the notion of a practice or, and it’s going to it’s going to reinforce the notion of a self which is ultimately false, therefore, you’re making a mistake. So that’s what they’re doing. They’re kind of mixing up levels. And I think that’s what’s your I think that’s what you’re objecting to here. Very nice.
Susanna Bair: Well, he objects to a lot of different things, but that we have very cool The teachings and these are the teachings of the heart. And so, you know, I do think that is actually the challenge with the different spiritual groups. Moving forward is one, do you know what I mean? Yeah, that’s in a way. That’s what according to me, the world would need, we would need more of this merging because you know, when I listen to you, I can feel and understand that you have different practices than I do. But we have the ability to talk so deeply that I actually have the feeling I agree with you. And when I talk with you that I feel like I could actually sit in the same room right next to you, I could do my practices, and you could do yours, and we would feel good with each other. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And I want for a second, I wouldn’t for a second think that, well, your practice is inferior to mine, I’ve got the best practice, you know. In fact, I might want to try yours. Also, you know, although you don’t want to try everything under the sun, because that becomes a hodgepodge. But um, you know, you know, how you’re saying earlier about the unity of religions, and how we’re not going to achieve it by all religions becoming one, that’s just not going to happen? Because that’s not the way nature is. I mean, if you go to the Amazonian rainforest, it’s a very fertile ground, and you see all kinds of different foliage, and you wouldn’t expect to see all plants the same, you know, this animal, yeah, this flower, and that flower, and this tree, and that vine, so much diversity. And yet, they’re all very lush, by virtue of how nutritious the soil is there. So we just need to sort of nourish the ground and let all these different expressions of spirituality flourish. And to each his own, and everyone’s following their own path. But we’re all on the same team. That’s right.
Susanna Bair: Very nice, very, very beautiful. And, and, you know, if you don’t go if you don’t stay this one practice, you never get very deep if you go from one practice to the other, which some people do. You stay always on the surface.
Rick Archer: Like, how are you gonna find water Dig, dig 10 wells that are a foot deeper one? Well, that’s 10 feet deep.
Puran Bair: That’s very nice, lovely, wonderful metaphors.
Rick Archer: I don’t think I thought up any of them.
Puran Bair: All right, you can recall them. That’s the point.
Susanna Bair: Yeah. So I think I think spiritual people or spiritual seekers have a lot to contribute these days, to lifting the consciousness of the whole of the one. And I think that’s a very important job. Yeah. Yeah. So
Rick Archer: so I could ask you, I could take us on another line of discussion at the moment. But is there anything on either of your minds that you want to just sort of Express right now?
Puran Bair: Well, I would say that this, these different approaches that we’re talking about, they do come through in the personality. And so if you make personality development, a goal of the spiritual work, then you see that these the different paths lead to quite different personalities. Yeah, true. Because I’ve, I have studied with teachers that were just incredibly confrontational, and, and, you know, insulting, I had the feeling that if they just, if they just mowed you down, then of course, you could grow up again, as a, you know, as a proper being, we just have to destroy the ego as we have it, and so it can regenerate. Well, that’s not our philosophy. I mean, and I think you you feel that in a person, you feel it in, hanging out with them and being with them. You know, Susanna was talking about this retreat, we just led. We ate with people we ate in the same dining room, they rubbed shoulders with us, we had the same bathroom, we had the same shower people would meet us in the in the, in the communal shower room. I mean, that’s unusual for a teacher. But we think that’s really important. You know, it’s really important that we, that we mingle at every level that we that we that we be heart heart oriented, rather than I’m not.
Susanna Bair: I’m not sure that that’s important. But what was interesting, you know, we do evaluate, the people thought that that was important, and that was like, why is that important to you? And I do think what people struggle with, they said, it’s literally is that you develop as a spiritual person, that they have the feeling, you’re not like them, right? And by brushing your teeth next to them in the bathroom, you brush them very similarly as they do. I think that’s Just comes back
Puran Bair: a refresher.
Rick Archer: I know what you mean. I mean, there’s a tendency for people to put teachers up on a pedestal and to, and that creates a problem in which you feel like, well, I could never be like them, you know, they’re not like me. And there’s this sort of hierarchy that gets built on naturally. And, you know, sometimes teachers get so big that it’s hard for them to mingle like that, for instance, Amma the hugging saint, you know, she’s got this huge millions of people worldwide following. But she gets down in the mud. I mean, when there’s something to be built in her ashram, she’ll get out there and haul sandbags. And, you know, there was one story where she jumped into an open sewer to clear feces out of a sewer pipe with their bare hands, because no one else would do it. And, you know, they, they set up a bucket brigade until the thing got cleared. So, you know, I think sometimes teachers do try to set an example, even if they can’t sort of mingle to that extent all the time without getting mobbed day in and day out, never have a moment’s rest, that they at least try to demonstrate that, ultimately, essentially, we’re all we’re all one. That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Go ahead. So that what I was going to do was give you the opportunity, if you will, to kind of lay out the stages of progression that you discuss in follow your heart. And I don’t know if we have time to get into that. But there was a beautiful interpretation of the labyrinth. In the book, also, which I thought was fascinating how, if you follow the labyrinth, you, sometimes you come very close to the center, but then you actually have to go out again and come around, and then back again. And it’s a sort of integrative process, you think you’re almost there. But then you’re then then you have to go way out and to integrate something that you hadn’t integrated. And so perhaps we could weave that into the discussion as well. But maybe we could start by you know, what, there are different models and different ways people could explain stages of progression to higher development. And I myself was a meditation teacher for many years. And, you know, one thing I just want to throw it in before you start is that, as a meditation teacher, I spent years being very good at talking about stages of development, which I actually had not yet experienced. And I later sort of realized, I don’t want to do that anymore. You know, I just want to speak from my experience, what to whatever extent it’s developed, or at least make it very clear that I’m speculating, if that’s what I’m doing, I’m just that I am discussing something I haven’t yet experienced. So perhaps in laying out the stages, if you don’t mind getting a little personal, you could also tell us to what extent this is your own experience, or to what extent you’re parroting something your teacher has taught you.
Puran Bair: I love that about your IQ, you’re really honest. And that’s amazing. That’s wonderful. That’s because as you say, it’s so it’s so interesting to talk about these wonderful states, and it’s so fascinating. And then we a person can easily go beyond their experience and just in the realms of I read this, and I heard this and and what’s the point of that? You know, yeah. For we have books for that. Human beings are for this direct transmission from person to person have real experience are those books, that book that we read, we wrote, it’s called Follow your heart, it lays out the steps of the path to illumination. This is something that we’ve experienced ourselves personally, even further stages than those and that we have experienced in our students. We’ve seen our students go through those steps. And our our promise as a school is that we can take a student through those nine steps. That’s our, that’s our contract with, with our students, is that
Rick Archer: a particular time span or what?
Puran Bair: Well, faster than it happened for us? Okay. That’s, that’s the hope of every teacher is that their students have less of a difficulty than they had. And we’ve seen it happen in 10 years. We’ve seen it depends on at what point people find us, what step are they on when they find us, you know, Step seven, in the path we call Enlightenment. And then we’ve identified Step nine, and of course, this this whole man, by the way, that’s not ours. I mean, the conception of that is something we inherited, but the experience of it is ours. And the ability to recognize people in those steps requires identify remembering, it requires remembering, you know, oh, I, I see in you something I remember going through, you know, So one has to have the direct experience, to be able to recognize it in others.
Susanna Bair: What the other thing about this map that we describing there is, it’s really a map of the paths of life. You see, life itself pushes you through steps if you like it or not. And but what our experiences is that certain steps on the path of life, you won’t get further on. So when we wrote this book, we went on tour with it. And I remember having met a man who came to me afterwards, and he said, Susanna, thank you so much for coming here to this little town. He says, I have been on this particular step, for 27 years and didn’t know there was a further step. He says in that have been an antidepressant and in treatment heavily, because I didn’t know that this was a so called spiritual step. And that one can go further with it. So certain steps, you need a teacher or a guide as somebody who has broken through. And this is what I mean, with mankind, or humankind at this point, I’m sorry that I’m so insistent on this. But this is what I have the feeling mankind is at a certain step. And mankind is breaking through as a whole, to this to this new step, and that to our responsibilities. But let’s go back and talk about these steps. As we describe them. There wasn’t one more thing that I wanted to say in general about it. So life, I don’t know, it probably comes again. So listen to each other, it will come. The first step break is a very simple one. And people are being challenged in life to that, and that is making a commitment. You know, can you make a commitment? And then that’s like, on all different levels, you know, like to another person. But can you pay a mortgage? Can you make a commitment to a job? So that’s how you see that it is in life? A more difficult step is can you make a commitment to a pass? Cindy, since this is what we experienced, too. So you can go in your life, you can come to step four, or five, six, even six, some people go even further. But when they start making a commitment to a spiritual path, they go through all these steps. Again, I think that’s the other thing I wanted to say. So
Rick Archer: I guess two questions that come up is how do you determine whether the path is worthy of committing to? And another question might be, is that might there come a time when it would be advisable to break that commitment? Because the path has outlived its usefulness?
Puran Bair: That’s right, yeah, we say that. Not every path that comes down off the mountain from the spring at the top is the ocean, right? Sometimes a river was dry up, you know midstream. And so not every path of each to the end. And some sometimes you have to then you know what water does was like when it comes down the hill and doesn’t go any further it evaporates and re precipitates and try another path.
Rick Archer: And I’ve seen people who become dilettante who just like skip from one thing to another without really getting into it. And I’ve seen others who may be stay in a path to the point where they’re just all dried up. There’s no inspiration, you know, they’re just kind of routinely doing the same thing without getting anything out of it. And I’ve seen others who give something it’s it’s full shot for maybe even Dec couple of decades and then realize, alright, I’ve done it with this. Now I’m going to switch into something else. Absolutely,
Puran Bair: we get a lot of those people, because, you know, you a teacher, a teacher can’t make this off all the stuff up in one lifetime. It’s the complexities of the Unity State are so great. And that’s so hard to to conceptualize and to live. You have to stand on the backs of people that have gone before. So to look at these nine steps, in a broad brush, they there’s three groups, so we call them three stages of three steps each. And you can identify the stages pretty clearly in people’s behaviors. So the first stage is about being separate from each other. The second is about being connected to each other. And the third is about being unified. You’re in unity with each other. When you look at a person’s behavior, you can say you can kind of sense, I’d say it’s not, it’s not. You can kind of sense are they behaving as if they, their impact on another didn’t affect them selves, right? I mean, like if you if you do something that somebody else is going to affect you back but not everybody sees that. So that’s that would be step stage one,
Rick Archer: but an obvious example would be people who commit crimes. Rob a convenience store but but obviously there are more sophisticated crimes, and, and even social and political and economic policies that are very harmful to lots of people. And, and but you know, they may serve the stockholders and so they seem justifiable.
Puran Bair: Exactly,
Susanna Bair: that’s exactly it.
Puran Bair: And the for the second stage where one where we feel connected to each other, it requires the opening of the heart. Because that’s how we feel connected, the mind doesn’t connect it, but the heart feels each other. And whereas the mind is built to see the difference between people, the heart is built to feel the similarity. So with the heart, we feel Euro justify Comey in some way. And, and naturally, then I better I have to treat you in a way that’s going to be good for you. Because it’s going to be good for me, I’m going to feel good if I treat you well. And then,
Rick Archer: just to interject, I mean, Susanna was talking earlier about the whole society evolving, just the way an individual evolves. I mean, look at, for instance, race relations, and where the South was 3040 years ago with official segregation. And these days, most of the southern cities have black mayors, and everybody’s good friends. And, you know, the way you know, it had been several decades before is just so alien to what it is now. So. So there’s that there’s been this evolution.
Puran Bair: That’s why we, we think that they are society as a whole is moving in from this first stage to the second stage, right, which is, which is the first three steps into the next three steps. And that’s, and that’s because you see, all over the place, you see Heart, heart, heart, I mean, even in business consultants, they talk about heart and feelings and, and consideration and the deeper concerns not the immediate quarterly returns. And so it’s happening, it’s happening, we’re just happy to be a little part of it a little we, somebody who can talk about what this process is, it’s happening. It’s a process of the world discovering it’s hard.
Susanna Bair: But I think if a smaller group of people go through the details of the steps, that what kicks in the hole, and a small group of people feels it, you know, that person who came to me and talk to went through deep depressions, you know, there are certain people in this society who goes through deep depressions, a lot of them don’t, why don’t they stood, there are certain hearts who really feel it. And I think those hearts, they took on this work to lift the whole ship and write about this. But that’s how it is. Well, you
Rick Archer: know, in the physical heart, about 1% of the cells are called pacemaker cells. And they actually regulate the beating of the entire heart. So only a small percentage of the cells have to be sort of functioning in synchrony for the whole heart to function properly. So what you’re suggesting is that my tiny minority of society might undergo a significant shift, and that’s going to bring the whole society into alignment.
Puran Bair: That’s right.
Susanna Bair: Maybe this is the time to talk about the Cleveland experiment.
Rick Archer: Yep. Okay, clearly,
Puran Bair: you know, that in 1993, the TMX group did an experiment on Washington, DC, where they reduced crime I was there. Yeah,
Susanna Bair: come on. Tell us about it. We never met anybody who was really there.
Rick Archer: Oh, it was hot. It was like 100 degrees. And when we were scattered all over the city and different facilities. And I was at a bigger one, actually, here in Iowa, where we had 8000 people in one building, meditating together. That was really profound. But anyway, so there’s
Susanna Bair: 8,000 people.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Susanna Bair: Wow, it was numbers that TM is able to produce
Rick Archer: it was profound. You could, I mean, imagine being in a group of 8000 people all doing like a two hour meditation routine together. It was you could cut it with a knife. It was so thick. But in any case, this thing in DC and I didn’t mean to throw you off that you’re
Susanna Bair: no no.
Rick Archer: So, all I was aware of as a participant was, you know, we were just doing our twice daily routine together in groups, and that there was no one facility large enough so that You know, were some of us were in this college and some of us were in this hotel and you know, scattered about the city, half a dozen different groups. And, and it was nice and we went on for a couple of weeks like that. But then all these sort of sociologists and statisticians and so on, we’re working in collaboration with the police department collecting statistics on crime, and correlating it with other variables such as weather. And so were ordinarily hot weather would actually result in an increase in crime, because people will get hot tempered literally. But they found that there was a statistical reduction in crime during that two week period, which event eventually reverted back to normal after we left. And then we did another one where I was in Iran. And we had groups in Central America, Southern Africa, the Middle East, Iran, and Thailand. Because there were sort of trouble spots. At those times. It was like when the Shah was about to leave, and things were crazy in Iran. And again, they found reductions in violence, and social unrest, and war, war deaths and stuff, and the principle of it. And you know, some people have criticized the research and said that it’s just a PR stunt, and that they’re just, you know, wouldn’t hold up. But some of it was published in peer reviewed scientific journals. But the principle of it was that consciousness is a field. And if you enliven that field, then that enlivenment doesn’t just take place in the room where you’re sending it and takes place throughout the entire vicinity, and results in an upsurge or upwelling of coherence and orderliness in the entire environment, which ends up impacting people’s behavior, unbeknownst to them, but there’s just sort of a general and of course, there are always variations to any generality, but the general trend was for greater orderliness and coherence, reduce violence and conflict and so on. So that’s it.
Susanna Bair: Well, that just wanted to know, do you have an explanation for this? Because according to my understanding, you know, I had, I had two roommates who did TM. And according to my understanding, when you do TM, you leave your body
Rick Archer: I never have,
Susanna Bair: you never have no so but you, you really make breathing very slight.
Rick Archer: That’s a side effect. You don’t make it slight. But just like when you go to sleep at night, your your heart rate and your breath rate, and all those reduce because you’re you’re in a rested state. So the mind and body are correlated. And if the mind settles down to a much quieter level of functioning, the body is going to settle down along with it, the two are connected. So that’s all that happens. The mind settles down, but you haven’t left your body. It’s more of an integrative state rather than a disassociated one.
Susanna Bair: I see.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Puran Bair: And how many people were in your experiment in in in Washington, DC?
Rick Archer: Oh, I think about 3000 something. Yeah.
Puran Bair: All right. So I’ll tell you about our experiment with Cleveland. We had a friend in Cleveland, and she’s the number two person in the what’s it called the
Susanna Bair: United Way
Puran Bair: United Way. So she’s very plugged into the community. And she said, Can you do anything to help us? Cleveland is one of the most economically depressed cities in America.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Puran Bair: Which I thought it was a title reserved for someplace in Alabama or something. But no, it’s in Cleveland,
Rick Archer: they lost a lot of the auto industry that they used to have.
Puran Bair: They’re exactly, there are blocks and blocks of houses that are vacant. So I really interesting thing about Cleveland is that the the police department there is up to date, and they put on their website, every single crime in the database, you can and you can search it, and you can download it. So it the the data that they provide indicates Time of Day, Date, Time of, you know, type of crime details about where it occurred. Alright, so we have the data set. And that’s what, back in 1993, you didn’t have that advantage in Washington. And I could download that. And I’m a computer scientist by trade, so I can download all that data and build a database out of it and analyze it. Alright, so then we took on the project to meditate about Cleveland, from Tucson, we’re about 2000 miles, almost exactly 2000 miles from Cleveland. And so there was our friend in Cleveland, and then the two of us here in Tucson. We meditated at 3am, which was 6am, Cleveland time. Three days a week. And four days a week we did not meditate. And then we varied the days to avoid day of week bias. We did this for three months. And then we looked at the data for the days we meditated versus the days we didn’t meditate. I see what you did in Washington. It was a little different protocol. You were meditate. eating every day, and then you compare the data to a year ago, and then compensated for things like employment rate, and weather and so on. We didn’t, we didn’t do that, because we were the factors on a short term are less critical. I mean, it’s so we just looked at what were the crime, what was the crime, like on the days we meditated versus the days we didn’t with it within the same week, right. And
Susanna Bair: we had a fourth person involved to call us on what days to meditate. So it wasn’t like every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when it was randomized,
Puran Bair: it was randomized by a fourth person. And so analyzing all this data, we had 100,000 crimes, and we can analyze in three months, we found that the effect was much greater for the next six hours after we meditated. So from 6am, Cleveland time to noon, we had the most effect. And then there was there was an effect over the 24 hours from there. So within the first six hours, violent crime, decreased 34%. over the over the next 24 hours, it was down 19% violent crime, compared to the days that we didn’t meditate at all. And that’s three people. The way we did it is also different from what you described in, in the Washington experiment. Because we weren’t working on the ground of being raising the ground of being in or energizing the platform on which human consciousness is built. Right. What we did was we said, we want to think of Cleveland, and we want to bring Cleveland here. We also we weren’t, we weren’t considering sending energy from Tucson to create one, because by the square of the distance law, there wouldn’t be much left, right. So what we did instead was to think we want to, we want to absorb Cleveland, and bring it into our bodies. So that the effect is then local Cleveland is here. And I can have a very powerful effect on Cleveland, if it’s in me. And that means that then all that was happening emotionally, violently, enjoy, and then bliss, everything that was going on, all those emotions in Cleveland were happening inside us. And then our job was to process those emotions, integrate them, work them out, together, bring an integration and a piece to the inner experience we’re having, which was then reflected back upon Cleveland,
Rick Archer: when you were functioning that way, as a kind of a washing machine for Cleveland. Did you feel I mean, what did you literally feel like a lot of garbage that was going on, you know, the drug addicts and the rapists and murderers? And I mean, did you feel like you were sort of taking that all in and purifying it?
Puran Bair: Yeah. Yeah. All of that, all that emotion, that that despair, that anger, but at the same time, also the joy of people having babies and the joy of people making up and all that’s in there, too, right? And, and it’s just that in Cleveland, they’re separated, you know, this, this person’s feeling this and this person is feeling that. But if you can bring it together into one heart, then that mixes and everything becomes different, you know. And in that integration, there is less violence, there’s there is more harmony. And so people act more harmoniously.
Susanna Bair: I did not experience detailed emotion when I did the practice, in a video this practice to one on one, like as partner exercises always go with smaller groups, when I do the practice with this partner with one person, you know, to, to sort of assess the state or, you know, what step on the past would they be on? Or what archetype they are. I can feel when somebody has an ear ache, I can pick that up. They don’t tell me I have an AI but that can say, Wow, you left is really hurting. Or I can say something, what people might call medical intuitive. I’m not. I can not say their whole medical history or so on. But I can say certain things I pick up with the Cleveland experiment, which I was part of. I cannot say that there was like even in a heightened emotional state. It was just very, very overwhelming energetically. That’s how it felt mom. I couldn’t for me, it was hard to say was I in Cleveland, you know, like was that energy You around me? Or was I in it? I could I could have not differentiated. Yeah. It’s more like that, you know, it’s like a very, very strong vibrating energy. That’s how it felt.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Well, having participated in experiments like this myself, as you know, as I was saying, I fully believe that this is possible this kind of thing. And it’s sort of a hint that how we might undergo really profound and wide sweeping social change is even a relatively small percentage of people undergo sufficient development.
Puran Bair: Yeah, I like your what you said about the heart, there’s only takes a few cells to control the rhythm of the heart, which then controls the rhythm of the whole body. Right, right. And even beyond the body, because the magnetic field pulses when the hardest bosses and that goes straight out into the room. So arraignment, and yeah, yourselves really doing the work?
Rick Archer: Yep. So there are a number of other examples of like that from physics and biology to that’s just an example. But there, there are numerous examples where in lasers and magnets, various things were just a small percentage, sometimes even the square root of 1% is sufficient to shift the behavior of the entire system.
Puran Bair: Yes, that square root of 1% is a number that that TM people Yeah. And, and we wanted to know, what can one or two people do? Right, because those are the people we can directly connect with. And so this is our this is the work of our school is to train people to be able to do that in their own community, in their own families, starting with their family. And, and see if they can have an effect on harmonizing the whole family, so that people get along better in a measurable way, really emotionally significant. And then extend that to the group to a larger group.
Rick Archer: So we were talking about the stages, and we were, there were three groups of three. And we were going through the first group, and it was like, every man for himself, and then the heart wakes up and then more of a unity thing, as I recall. And somehow that inspired this discussion about Cleveland and everything. So maybe we could sort of put that back into context, and then take it from there.
Puran Bair: Well, when when they in the second stage, when the heart opens and becomes accessible, this enormous power develops in people. So we see the a lot of really successful people are using their hearts mean business people use their hearts, people that sports people, people that follow their passion, they’re using their heart, you know, and it gets to a certain point. And so the first five steps out of these nine are about personal development. And then step six hits. And that’s when it starts to unravel the dark night of the soul.
Susanna Bair: To help here a lot of our personal stories.
Puran Bair: We, we have personal stories about each one of these steps, because we can, we can remember, you know, going through each of these steps, sometimes multiple times, sometimes for years and years, right? Because we weren’t so familiar with the steps in the days that we went through them,
Susanna Bair: then I personally came to making a commitment to the past, according to my understanding of the past, you know, which is looking at it retroactive? Was it the stage six, and we find a lot of people, not all, but a lot of people come to the spiritual paths and stage six,
Rick Archer: and what is that? You mentioned 123, but you haven’t mentioned four or five, six.
Susanna Bair: Now, this is where I’m gonna get to, you know, So stage one is making a commitment. Stage two is testing it. And stage three is feeling very comfortable with it. So I went through those steps in my life, right, I could make commitments to a relationship, I could make commitments to work, I could, you know, earn my money, and I could. So all these things I could do. And I had even challenged myself in my personal life, you know, to heart openings, you know, to go because this would be step four, five and six. And, you know, step four is like that your heart opens and I think I experienced this in in personal relationships. So in particular, with my, my sister, you know, who had been in a monastery and was asked to leave the monastery because of mental illness. And that sort of ripped my heart because I really thought I had to help her and I was not successful in helping her. And that sort of leaves your heart in a state, you know, of being undone, being gripped open and undone, and where you have more the feeling. Wow, there must be more to it. And but I felt on a personal level of not being able to take care of this or not ever being able to take care of this. So I left that situation. And I said to myself, well, I have to take more care of myself and I was back then in the theater business, and I was able to be quite successful in that work. And what was interesting to me about it was that it didn’t create any inner satisfaction. And that is what brought me to this state. Step six, similar to with, you know, with my sister, you know, this, I left that I could not bring that to successful state, but the cedar was a rather successful state. And that is what created for me to step towards the spiritual path that I had to fill in, there must be more to life. And especially it was that intense in my personal life that I had been because of my theater work, you know, because you have to always give an out of face to your inner experiences. I said, Well, I’m searching for a teacher. And so I started this Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler, but it created no satisfaction whatsoever. And that’s how I found that my spiritual teacher, and I had to make a commitment. See, step one again, do you see how I’m right? And the difficulty for me, was now now, am I that needy, you know, that I’m committing myself to a cost? You know, these are the market stages again, do you see, although I had gone internally, through so much outwardly, by that being confronted, committing myself to a teacher, my mind is being full blown back and saying, Wow, now you commit into yourself, there are a lot of your friends and a lot of other people have told you. Now you’re hitting really low, you go into a cult, and who knows what the spiritual teacher is. And you see, and that’s a mental state and being back at step one on my spiritual step, and then going through testing with my spiritual teacher who says to Me, you know, you are an incredible evolved being, do you know what I mean? I was
Rick Archer: that the Sufi teacher? Yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Susanna Bair: Never mess with any other, you know, any other paths. Once I found that I’m somebody who, when that commit, hopefully I commit, and so so but there you go, then through testing and habits through testing this, my teacher, you know, this, you really see me, does he really understand me? Well, he really hold me. And that brings it down into step three, you know, you’re comfortable with the past yet. This is my school. This is my past, this is my Sangha. And that went off very, very fast for me till Amethyst men, do you see? Because that’s sort of, through my whole life a Patek. And in the spiritual school,
Rick Archer: do you see was that frowned upon? Or something or just
Susanna Bair: heavily he was married? And that was married? Oh, I see. Yeah. Having an affair and spiritual school. You know,
Rick Archer: that’s a no, no,
Susanna Bair: that’s a no, no. And it should be a no, no, theoretically, no, theoretically, nobody should have an affair because you abandoned and hurt the one whom you love. And that’s what opens up the heart. Again, on another level, one of
Puran Bair: the things is other things.
Susanna Bair: But do you see how, how these stages so
Rick Archer: they kind of loop around? That’s,
Susanna Bair: it is just not completely not like that. It only looks when you have gone through life. And this is what the experience with a lot of our people, they come to our school and it’s assessing, where are they in and then we can give them feedback on that’s what you’re going through. You’re in step five, you’re very accomplished, and you see the Abyss coming and you don’t want to go there. And then if they commit themselves to the path, it starts with step one. And that is fair, a lot of people a very, on the one hand, a piece giving thing in but they have the feeling now I’m in step one again. You know, and I have gone through all this again. But everything is experienced new, you know, I think a lot of spiritual has described that. And the scan is done to help to go through all the nine steps where and you go through this through this with the teacher with this, what you call the Sangha, we just call it the community of the heart. And I have the feeling if you go through all the steps, then you start becoming useful.
Rick Archer: And so then what, oh, I’m sorry, pour on. Go ahead.
Puran Bair: Do you want to just I could describe the steps a little, yeah, please. The
Susanna Bair: my theoretical versus emotional,
Puran Bair: that would be my job. The first three steps are about developing concentration. And you see a lot of people in life have developed concentration, or they because it’s necessary to be successful. The ultimate step in concentration is to be able to focus on something so intensely, that there’s no distraction, and nothing else exists for that.
Rick Archer: I could learn that one a lot better. I’m trying to work and then some email comes in at Oh, it’s
Puran Bair: but but you have you have shown persistence and deliberation and consistency with this work that you’re doing. You’re on Saturday mornings, and you’re very focused on it. And when you’re here, you’re not thinking about something else, I can just you’re right with us, right. So you’re really focusing on us. And that’s so it’s necessary to get to this point. But not everybody gets there. Some people still haven’t learned concentration. And so there’s there’s a lot of spiritual schools that really focus on this step a lot like focusing on a point on the wall, developing a mandala. There’s lots of ways to do it. The next, the next three steps are about emotional development, where we’re learning how to do content, but we call it contemplation. contemplation is where you the thing that you’re focusing on, you actually become it. So like, you could, you could concentrate on a plant, like if you’re a gardener, or you’re taking care of houseplants or something, you have to concentrate on what does that plant need. But in the next set of steps, you become the plant, and you can feel what it needs. And you when the plant is dry, you feel thirsty. It’s not like you remember, Oh, I missed my watering schedule, that’s still an objective outsider. That’s still steps 123 in steps, four, five, and six, you look at the plant and you feel thirsty thing. So that says change, change and identity. And that’s done through the heart that’s done by compassion is done by feeling. It’s not thinking it’s and anybody who gets really good at something, does it with their heart, I mean, golfers, CEOs, it’s all that they’re using their heart because they’re using their passion and their excitement. And, and so there’s a, there’s a step of step four, which is this great awakening, everything is now technical, where instead of black and white, you know, and you see the beauty and things that you were missing. And the beauty and another person, you see you fall in love so easily and you can cry at movies, and you know, there’s this whole emotional experience. And then step five is the ability to, to develop that beauty in something where you where you see it’s missing. The in for you’re able to discover the beauty that’s there. But that actually then leads to a rather cynical experience, where you blame people for not being the way you see they could be How come you’re not developing in your personal kind of, you’re not acting like the beautiful person, I see that you are, you know, so we blame each other for not being as great as we see them. But in step five, you are in the people could be great. If you love them more. It’s up to us to create and another what we see in them. And that’s a powerful thing. It’s It’s the power of the heart. And these so these five steps are self development. And when and this is as far as one can go with one’s own personal power.
Rick Archer: It almost sounds like the Cleveland thing was a step five thing because, you know, you kind of loved Cleveland in a sense and that made Cleveland better. It’s true.
Susanna Bair: But didn’t you want to have personal experience you
Rick Archer: can throw throw them in there as you go along? Yeah, sure.
Susanna Bair: I’ve been like so far Karang is the theory,
Rick Archer: it’s good to have both, you know, the theory and then the concrete example to illustrate it.
Puran Bair: What did you want to say about?
Susanna Bair: No, I just felt like, when I listen to you, I just get theory.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But I, it helps me understand it also. Because if you just tell, I think both are like two steps and walking, you know, you take your left step, your right step, and you keep walking along. So it’s always good to have an abstract theory, and then a concrete illustration, and then swing back and forth. So let’s swing to the to the illustration.
Susanna Bair: Okay, illustrate,
Rick Archer: you’re gonna illustrate you have a story?
Susanna Bair: Well, I didn’t, it’s just sort of I felt that I made myself very vulnerable. I made myself very vulnerable and telling a very personal story. And I don’t mind that I do that often. Sure. And no, I do. I do know the the theory behind it, I just think it would be a more balanced presentation, you know, if men become more vulnerable, instead of just, you know, he has the theory. And she’s the example because, you know, I go on the road on my own teaching, I give the presentation. And I give examples of the theory to Yeah, and, you know, our paths. And I think that’s what I want to say, too, is, you know, we teach a lot together and develop this work together. It is, it is a very vulnerable path. And our lives are very intertwined in that, you know, is because part of, you know, what I just said, by me, actually, he was the one who pushed for it that we are together, you know, I’m I wouldn’t have gone for this because it’s such a big no, no, in, in spiritual communities. And that, that brought us very much non talking. It’s brought me very much into into developing this heart, you know, because we became sort of outcasts in the community. And we built and we believed, I at least this is very interesting to Rick, he pursued me like mad, that was obviously to the community that this man has gone crazy about a woman and I became the outcast, not he
Rick Archer: says he was considered the temptress, there’s no such thing.
Susanna Bair: Flu is what I was considered as I did nothing to this man, you know, I had I was married, and I had in I had not done whatever, I don’t want to defend myself, because here I am with this man. And I’m very grateful for it. But the thing is, is like I became the outcast. And it did a lot to my heart. Do you know what I mean? And it brought me into this displace internally. Do I want to go for this? And why? What do I want to go for this stint? In which stage is my marriage? And what do I look for in life? And what is important to me? And how do I change all that? What I’m going through, you know, how do I get control over it. And that did not have the support of a teacher or, or a friend, my husband was mad at me. I mean, I was through the spiritual path pushed into the dark night of the soul, and had to figure it out on how to get through it. And this is, this is why I was the one who speaks about the invincible heart, you know, that is my topic, because the heart carried me through my own heart, and which has the ability to become the one heart. That is the power of the heart. It’s it is love. It is truth, it is sacredness, and trying to find peace, those are the qualities of the heart. And that is a tremendous amount of power. And I think every everyday person knows those qualities, love, truth, sacredness and peace. So this is an I said to myself, What is my bottom line? And those, those are the kinds of things that I had to count on. Because I couldn’t listen to friends because this was a man who had four children. You know, I mean, these are all things you don’t mess with us when you live from the heart. Right? And we did, and how do you get through it? And so we, you know, this story is 30 years old, so it’s easy to talk about it after 30 years. And that is what allowed us to create this school of the heart because we know the heart from inside out, and the power of it and what holds us together is Things really fall apart. So, and this is what I think the world needs at this point, because it fills in lots of places the world really falls apart. And this is where you can go to and this is where the step seven comes in, where you feel the energy of the Spirit. Do you see and that is, that is, you know, where the heart we say this is the step three in meditation that the heart opens up to the one to the to unity. And, and then the guidance becomes very strong, which is eight. And whenever I asked my heart, you know, which way should I go, My heart always strongly said, go with this man. And they I had to address those fears, very personally, and what it takes because what, what I all had to take on by making that step because so I moved in then with this man after some time, and then I had four children, all sudden, all of a sudden. And that’s all shows you about the paths of the heart. So the posture of the heart is not something you imagine. So and the voice of the heart is not something to you imagine it tells you do this, but then you have to create the strength to live the consequences of it. It has a consequence, if you follow your heart, and most people hear the voice of their heart or hear in the voices, but they don’t have the strength to follow them. Because it’s actually not always easy or glamorous, or, or that. But one has the strength. One has strengths.
Rick Archer: It’s interesting, there’s so many situations, and they’re illustrated in so many myths and stories, where people feel a calling to do a particular thing. And all of the social norms and the conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t do that. But they, you know, it’s like the hero’s quest kind of thing, where they fall that calling nonetheless. And then they ended up you gave a Jack in the beanstalk. I mean, or like that movie, close encounters and third kind where he had this feeling I’ve got this pile of mashed potatoes means something, you know, what is what is it trying to tell me and everybody thinks he’s going crazy. And he eventually gets to where the aliens land. It’s like, there’s so many it’s like a theme that runs throughout the culture. That’s right.
Susanna Bair: That’s right. And so here we are, you know, and that’s what we said. So we, because I had, you know, spiritual experiences before that. And so he had this, what do we do with it? And that’s how actually, then this school of the heart got created. And,
Rick Archer: yeah, okay, well, that’s good. And so that was, I think you’re delving now into steps into the third set of steps by telling the story, right. Okay. And where how far are we gotten any steps?
Susanna Bair: What I meant, you know, that this decision making process to sort of dissolve my my marriage and go with Quran, that was, for me, the dark night of the soul on the spiritual path. Because it really challenged, you know, I had the feeling I was stepping off a cliff, you know, because my destiny, my relationship with my husband was sort of safe, it was not as deep or as spiritual as this relationship then had become. And it was the sense of, too, that if I go this past that I can fulfill the purpose of my life, right?
Rick Archer: I was, but you didn’t want to do any harm, obviously. And
Susanna Bair: go ahead. See, that is, I think, the challenge often that we don’t understand, you know, and what, what I had to look at, you know, how does my former husband feel about it? And how does it affect all the people, you know, the four children and I had a child by then, and the former wife, so there’s a lot of consideration that we knew that we had to go through by making this happen. And so it was the first I don’t know 10 years of us being together all as mending mending relationships with the children and the former spouses and and we needed seven years that we knew each other that we got married finally,
Puran Bair: we made a big mess and we In the District a lot of time working on that mess. Yeah.
Susanna Bair: And that is a lot of that six day, you know, so it wasn’t like we met them we were happy ever after. I mean, we were not unhappy, but it needed a lot of mending. And that is welcome.
Rick Archer: And of course, a lot of people make that kind of shift and then realize that it was a mistake, you know, or they’re just chasing, they’re chasing after that excitement that you feel at the beginning of relationship, and they don’t, you know, several years into their marriage, they no longer feel it. So they think, Oh, I gotta go find it again, somewhere else, and they go through six or seven of those. So that’s what you’re doing, obviously, is to be distinguished from something more superficial, what you did? Well, we
Puran Bair: were, you know, we were each happily married. And I think so. It’s just that there is a person in the world. Conceptually say, I believe there’s a such a thing as a soulmate. And it’s, it’s a different kind of relationship all together. It’s not a relationship of harmony. And, and the wonder, and so it’s, it’s bigger than anything I had ever imagined. I thought I was with the person I would be with all my life, my ex wife. And but Susanna just blew that idea apart. I mean, it was in it was, I could not avoid it. I could not I could not reject it. i It was so compelling, the experience of being Mrs. Anna. And then as we say, you make a commitment. And then you have to have it tested. Everything has to be tested. So I had to live. I had, we had to live apart for three years. Before we could get together. And that’s, I think that was a wonderful testing time. Because as you say, there’s this temptations of I just chased the high, we had years of a real despair, would we ever get together and we weren’t in we couldn’t talk to each other, we couldn’t communicate. And, and we held, we held this ideal of being together through meditation, I mean, I would meditate. And I would, I would be with Susanna in meditation. And I didn’t, I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t trying to make it happen. It’s just that’s what what happened all the time. And so when you have those kinds of experiences, then you try to make them real. But this, what Step six is about, is this first step beyond the personal development, where you realize that everything that has made you successful, in stages in steps one through five, has actually been a special case, rather than a general case. So one has become really good at something, like one runs a company and gotten has gotten very wealthy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can do other things. Like hold a relationship together, there’s, there’s different skills, right. And so a part of a person has been has become specialized and really advanced. But in order to go further, you realize then that the very thing that I’ve relied upon has, is also my crutch, my my, my greatness, my my well developed parts are actually holding me back from experiencing the other parts of myself, because I rely on this part so much. And the invisible potentials of myself, don’t get a chance to get explored, because I’m always in my habit of being who I think I am. No. And so as the sense of self begins to enlarge, it actually kind of falls apart, because I no longer have that specific identity that I thought was me, my identity is getting bigger. And the rest of this I don’t know, I don’t know the rest of this person. And, and so there’s a there’s an existential challenge to one’s paradigm, the whole sense of reality that we have, how things were who I think I am, my relationship to God is all changing. It’s crumbling underneath my feet. And we have to go through that we have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And it’s only the shadow of death, right? Like it says in the Bible. It’s the shadow of death. But you have to walk through that valley and find somebody’s hand. Now work with me, so you can get through it. And so this is where a lot of people discover their teachers. Suzanna said we, we have a lot of people come to us in this step. They’ve done everything they think they can do. And that’s where I was when I met my teacher. I said to my, I was a I was at the top of my game in computer science research. I was a I was a very far end, you know, far out A futuristic computer researcher at a computer lab that was way ahead of its time. And I found my teacher and he said, What do you want? And I said, I want to die. To everything that I am, you know, I don’t want to be who I am anymore. I want to be what I think is possible, which I don’t understand. And he said, Well, you’re asking for a lot. And I said, Well, can you give me just even a taste of what, what a human being can be. And that’s, and then that’s when, in the Hindu philosophy, that’s when Krishna opens up the Arjuna, and shows him the glory of His being, and our journey is like wiped out, it’s like too much
Rick Archer: take it away again.
Puran Bair: So step seven, is very hard to integrate, because it’s the experience of working out of reality with no lens. And it’s very hard to integrate, it’s hard to be there and also do the dishes and pay the mortgage. And all that is a real challenge.
Rick Archer: And integrate is the key word there. Because you can’t, you can’t, it can’t be done, but it has to be integrated. It can
Puran Bair: be done. But for a long time want to be filtered in awe. You know, and meditation is less than an incredible experience. It’s just like, it’s better than drugs, you know, but so then eventually, one learns to work with that experience. And so that’s the next step where you begin to communicate with it. You’re not just being bombarded by the universe, you can talk to the universe and get answers back. So a relationship, that’s the work of a workable relationship develops with the universe, you can interact, you can you can get information, you can get specific answers, you can, you can, you know how to say it begins to work for you, you know, it’s not just overwhelming you. And that’s step A. And Step nine is very interesting, because in Step nine, this experience of the light of the spirit within one becomes so strong, it actually creates physical light in the heart, physical a measurable light, so
Rick Archer: that you perceive with your inner vision, so to speak, you can
Puran Bair: count it with it is measurable with a photon counter.
Rick Archer: So if you put a person in a dark, dark room, you’d be able to actually detect photons emanating from the heart,
Puran Bair: I did that the the threshold of visibility is 1000 photons per second. And of course, a photon, as you know, it’s like an electron, it’s tiny, right? So 1000 of these a second is like no light at all. But still, the eye can perceive that as visible. And I could make 100,000 photons a second. So that’s two orders of magnitude beyond visibility. And that was coming out of my chest. And that was being counted with a photon counter. So this is illumination, this is the ability to light the way is
Rick Archer: it? Is it subtle light, like an aura, which others might not be able to see? Or is it more something that even person without subtle perception
Puran Bair: would be able to see? Yeah, you can see it, it’s two orders of magnitude beyond
Rick Archer: visible, okay? Without real real photons,
Puran Bair: real photons? That’s right. These are not metaphysical photons, these, these are real photons.
Susanna Bair: No, he did that experiment in Germany, he was in a dark room, a man outside his photon counter, he had no clothes on to have no fluorescent on there. But the interesting part of it, tell the interesting part
Puran Bair: of it. Well, I had this, I had this opportunity to work with this guy who had a photon counter, which is an explosive device, and it’s liquid helium cooled. So it’s, it’s a fragile device, right? So it takes a big setup, and it takes a laboratory and all this stuff. And this guy, friend of mine, student of mine actually had such a setup because he was doing some research on plants. And he was investigating whether organically led fed plants produce more or less light than regular plants regular. So he had this machine so I was there for to do a seminar. And so the opportunity arose. And I was in the lab with him all day. On a Saturday. I spent the whole day trying to make light come out of my chest. I know lots of practices, I know Kundalini yoga. I know the hierophant practice from the Egyptians on and on and on. And I could get bursts of light, but I couldn’t sustain it. And so I got really worn out and I went back, I was staying with him overnight and went back to his house and we found that his son was sick. So he went to deal with his son and I I went to bed. And I woke up early in the morning with a realization of how to do it. And I said, Let’s go to the run to the lab, we went to the lab, it took a couple of hours to get the machine ready. Finally, it was ready in the room was dark, 20 photon, a second background count, which is really dark. And then I turned on the light, one way I did it was I imagined the sick boy, who I was, was very real to me, because I was staying with him, I seen the boy, I imagined this boy who was sick, who needed light, I imagined him in front of me. And his need pulled it out of me, I was able to make like to send to him, because he needed it. It wasn’t just an experiment anymore. It was you know, useful. And so this is what I learned about science experiments is you can’t do them in cold blood you need you need to have a reason to do it. You know, the body responds, the psyche, the whole being response to a need. And the need isn’t, I want to see if I can make these make the instrument, you know, the need is human to human so. So ever since then we’ve been realizing the way to make yourself light up is to imagine sending light to somebody that needs light.
Rick Archer: And at this point, people might be wondering, so what you know, what’s the purpose of this? Why should we make ourselves light up? And I think I could give an answer, but I’d rather hear yours.
Puran Bair: Well, first of all, when that that vade, which is spirit is the lightest spirit, when it comes into the mind, it makes the mind light up, it makes the mind brilliant, very, very creative, you get inspiration in the body, it becomes it becomes vitality. But
Susanna Bair: it’s a side effect of helping others you become enlightened.
Puran Bair: But it gives you this incredible courage, this, this sense that they’re I mean, when you know that you’re walking around with a lamp in your chest, you have a different light, you have a different life. You know, you’re not afraid of darkness, not afraid of death than dying and illness and, and not being well liked. And, you know, lots and lots of stuff and people walk around, you know, out of fear. And there’s just no fear. When you know that you’re sending out light
Rick Archer: reminds you that Bible verse or when your eyes single, your whole body shall be filled with light. Yeah, yeah. I single. So did we reach stage nine? Or was that a?
Puran Bair: That was nine. Okay, good. So, going into the nine steps of the spiritual path which we commit to, for a student, we want our job is when we take on a student, we say, Your path is no longer your own, we’re there to this is you now have a companion on your path. And you have your responsibility. But we share that responsibility. And if you’re not making progress, it’s as much our fault as your phone. Now, having reached that nine step, now, as Anna says, we’re ready for service. Now we’re ready to help. We’re not helping out of need, we’re not helping out of out of curiosity and what how does how do things work? What kind of effect can we have on life? Where beyond we’re over that we’re ready to serve? Because that’s what we do? Not because it makes us feel good, or because we get recognition or best. It’s just because that’s what people do. And now there are nine more steps,
Rick Archer: nine more steps, okay? Subsurface steps of service.
Puran Bair: They’re not steps of development anymore. And and in that the ninth one of that second group of nine steps is the is the Christ consciousness Hmm. Where it goes, or Buddha consciousness.
Rick Archer: So would you say that? So these nine steps of service which we probably don’t have time to elaborate but service becomes a path and that path. Facility facilitates your evolution. I’m just sort of summarizing and leads to what you say Christ consciousness of Buddha consciousness or Enlightenment or whatever.
Puran Bair: Yeah, this this part of the path is all about your sphere of influence. How much? How can you help humanity evolve? Okay, how can you transmit invite and consciousness and energy to other people live there? There’s a there’s there’s a stage on this path of the teacher, which is these nine steps of service. There’s a stage in there where where you can, you can communicate a technique. Oh, that’s, that’s early, but there’s a later step where you can actually transmit an experience. And you can do that through a glance you don’t have to use The technique anymore, you know, it’s beyond the technique. And there’s even a state where you can raise a person in realization in a way that is that is lasting is not just at the moment, you can actually make a person evolve through your presence. Yep.
Rick Archer: Amma, the hugging saint is coming here in two days. And she’s, she’s a nice example of that. You know, she’s just having these brief interactions with person after person after person after person 1000s of them. And yet, there’s this really significant shift that takes place for I’d say, everybody, although not everyone is aware of it to the same extent. And maybe it’s, the degree of shift is different according to one’s receptivity. But, you know, she’s like this kind of generator that is charging up all the little batteries.
Susanna Bair: That’s right. But one needs to be prepared. So I do think humankind can be prepared for that. And I think life on this planet would look very, very different. Yeah. And a lot of lot of stress that we experience now could just be absorbed and go away. And a lot of fear, you know, I do think what, in this hemisphere we experienced strongly is fear. And we sort of would need some beings who vacuum up all the fear in us. So that’s, those are the engagements on the higher levels. This
Puran Bair: is one of the roles of a teacher is to absorb the karma of the student.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and if you take a scoop of mud, and try to dump it into a glass of water, that one glass of water can’t really absorb it. But if you take that same scoop and throw it in an ocean, it’s just dissolve, so have to be an ocean.
Susanna Bair: Because what you hear so often from people say, you know, you know, he or she, they really have a good heart, their intentions were good, they’re really wonderful people, but, and I think if that can be lifted, and transform, then you have the person with a good heart. And we don’t have to fill our prisons, with all these people who are actually innocent. They’re all innocent in that the beings and we just wasting lots of energies and monies. Yeah. So I think that’s the future of it. But that’s just a lot of work ahead of us.
Rick Archer: But it’s a fun job. It’s not an onerous task, you know?
Susanna Bair: Yeah. It’s a privilege, let’s put it that way. I don’t know that. It’s always fun. You know, I find it sometimes hard work. You know, when you travel, when you travel through the time zones, and it’s just, it’s sometimes it’s too, but I think it’s an honor to do our minds that
Puran Bair: our hearts ache. Yeah, but fortunately, we have the resources to deal with it. It’s like the things that made a person that made you upset when you were a child. Don’t make you upset anymore. And, and that we get upset over other things. Because
Rick Archer: I think in your book, you quoted the St. Francis prayer, you know, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. And I think you did. And so what you’re saying here is that at a certain stage of your development, you become an instrument, that’s your primary sort of function or in orientation, you’re, you’re not living for yourself merely, but rather you you become a fit instrument to use the word again, for a larger purpose, which you could what you cannot really effectively have been 30 years ago, you know, when your peace movement and all that stuff, you do it, you’re doing your best, but there was too much sort of isolation and individuation to really? That’s right. Yeah.
Puran Bair: I didn’t know enough. You know, when I was in the peace movement. I was very idealistic. I’m still very idealistic. But I didn’t understand enough about how things got to be the way that they are. I think one needs to really have a deep understanding of why things are the way they are before we can change them. Yeah. And I didn’t appreciate that. There were what the force is aware of that created the world we had, that we have now. It’s, I mean, I worked for I worked for some years in the financial, financial industry and in the specialist specifically in a firm that developed the mutual fund, first mutual fund 100 years ago. And I discovered that mutual funds are sold not sold on the basis of service or wish was originally the intention, they sold on the basis of fear and greed. And the marketing is very clear. In fact, the whole way the mutual fund company runs is all it’s all about fear and greed. And so one has to understand that in order to change it, you know why, why is why mutual funds. So why is that such a big business is because there’s a lot of fear and greed. And
Susanna Bair: this actually, you know, Rick, the reason why that is, is because the world wants to stay on stage. Step three. Step three is harmony, where you don’t have to worry and you just are taken care of. And it’s, when you look at our chart in the book, step three is a very long step. And four is the heart opening. And this is where the brink of the world is. And it’s the end of mutual funds.
Rick Archer: Oh, good thing, I don’t have any
Susanna Bair: didn’t know what I mean, is that metaphor, because I’m like, why did we talk about mutual funds? And it’s just because it’s the end of that world?
Rick Archer: Yeah, so mutual funds is just a case in point. And there are all sorts of things which are symptomatic of a stage three mentality in the world. And what you’re saying is, we’re moving into a new stage, and perhaps a lot of these symptoms are going to shift, you know, kind of tumultuous Lee perhaps as the whole deeper shift takes place.
Puran Bair: Yeah. And you see that in the movie thrive in the Thrive movie that you pointed to it, which was, which was a beautiful example.
Susanna Bair: Yeah. And that’s where we need people, you know, evolved beings and cooperation of spiritual beings, you know, to hold and live, because it’s not easy to go through that step. Having experienced it personally, you know, it is, it is an even step, it is a down step. And it’s an important step, and it’s full of feelings.
Puran Bair: So I just wanted to mention that in our conversation here that the combination of our work as teachers is, this is the development of a university, we have, we have an institute called the University of the heart, which gives a two year graduate program, we give the equivalent of a master’s degree, we’re not yet accredited, but we will be. And it’s a master’s degree in heart studies, the application of the heart, how to how to use the heart, to develop healthy relationships and accomplishments. And in these two years, we’re packing in there what I learned in 20 years. Because it wasn’t taught in an orderly system. By our teacher, he didn’t teach that way. He taught him a very sort of holistic way. But but it was beautiful, but it wasn’t organized like that. And so by organizing it, and making it very clear, and using biofeedback and using objective tools, we can take people through through a course of experience, which would take really decades to go through on one’s own.
Susanna Bair: See, and the reason we needed that long created universities because we have in the university retreat guides, we have WebQuest teachers, we have mentors, we have what is it called people who hold that whole school together, and we have to train them all because the system that we use in these people in had to be trained through the heart, they had to go through those nine steps.
Rick Archer: Is the university decentralized and online or is it something a physical location
Puran Bair: is 51% online, okay, because there’s a special accrediting group that works with a 51% of online classes. And then this 49% in person, either through group retreats, which are scattered around the country and one in Europe. Also, private retreats, seven day private retreat is necessary part of the program and a 12 day once a year residency here in Tucson. So this is a lot of personal time with us and with other people that we’ve trained group
Rick Archer: showers
Susanna Bair: fun fun.
Rick Archer: I didn’t need to throw in a frivolous point, but you know, it’s great. I really admire kind of, I mean, there’s so many people who just sort of get up on the podium and talk and kind of relay their experience and go on to the next city and everybody sort of gets what they can but I I think there’s a something laudable about practical application and trying to systematize and make it so that people can really own something, you know, not just hear some words and perhaps get some upliftment, but really own it and their bones.
Susanna Bair: Yeah. Well, this was wonderful, Rick, you know, we have to go on I have not to teach a class in our university. It’s just right now and me. Okay,
Rick Archer: well, let me just take one minute or less to just wrap it up because I have to go to and this is great. And people will know how to get in touch with you, because I’ll put a link to your site on batgap.com. And as well as like a little bio about who you are, what you do, and links to your books and things. And also, for those who’ve been listening or watching, if you go to batgap.com, you’ll see all the other interviews I’ve done archived about 180 of them so far, and a chat group that you can participate in, too. Each week, they have several 100 posts about whatever has been discussed in the interview. There’s a Donate button, which I appreciate people clicking if they can, and then you can sign up for an audio podcast, if you’d like to listen in on your iPod while you’re commuting or whatever. And one more thing, email sign up. If you’d like to be notified of future podcasts or whatever, these are future interviews, you’ll be notified by email, but once a week if you sign up for that. So that about covers it. Well. Thanks.
Susanna Bair: Well, thank you so much fun,
Puran Bair: terrific. I’m so happy. I’m so happy to be able to talk to you because you understand what we’re saying. You’re just tremendously with it and and inspired. I’m very happy for your work,
Susanna Bair: contribute to their involvement, do you contribute to the evolvement of the whole so thank you so much.
Rick Archer: Thank you. So and thanks to those who are listening or watching and we’ll see you next week.
Susanna Bair: Yep. Okay, bye bye.