Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, and my guest this week is Sundance Burke. Welcome Sundance.
Sundance Burke: Hi, Rick. Nice to be here. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Sundance is the husband of Katie Davis, whom I interviewed last week. And the two of them live out in Redmond, Washington and quite a dynamic duo. They’ve both written very nice books. Sundance’s is called free spirit, a guide to enlightened being. And you guys do soft songs and travel around and talk to people one on one, I guess, over Skype and all sorts of things. And you’ve been doing this for quite a while. I mean, I think you you said you had your awakening and what 1982 or something like that.
Sundance Burke: I had the beginning, beginning. Right. Yeah. And the opening to a new way of being going inside instead of going without, right. Yeah.
Rick Archer: As you know, from having watched some of these interviews, and particularly the one with your wife last week, people do like to hear a mix of, you know, the person’s personal spiritual Odyssey. And also, you know, just sort of the knowledge that they espouse. And usually that knowledge is based in their experience. Uh, hopefully it is. If it’s not, then they shouldn’t be saying, and I think so. In your case, why don’t you just start telling your story, and then it’ll get it’ll get us rolling?
Sundance Burke: My story?
Rick Archer: You know what I mean? You tell it in the book a bit. I’ve heard you tell it in talks, you were a lawyer, you were living in Hawaii, this and that you ended up running into I think, oh, shows, limousine driver or something. But you can fill in the details.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. You have to give me a second because you know, I usually, this is the one thing about the awakening is that one thing that goes away is your story.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I know.
Sundance Burke: I don’t often tell it. But I will tell it like I can.
Rick Archer: And I’ll prime the pump that pump as much as I can jog your memory and stuff.
Sundance Burke: I mean, yeah, basically, you know, many years ago, I was trapped in the ego state of consciousness. I wasn’t a normal, quote, human being. And so I thought I was a person. And I thought I was this body and identified with my, my mind, the thoughts that ran through it, the thoughts that came up in consciousness. And, you know, where the story really starts, you know, in a kind of a true way. Is I, as I grew up, was the third Donald, Donald Russell Burke, the third. And I, I haven’t I idolized my father, who was a surgeon, and a very bright man, very magnetic man. And I was his oldest son. And in a normal growing up, I realized that as much as I loved him, he was not a happy person. And yet, he had everything in life that life would seem to offer. And I’ve said this before, but he had if he did, he had, he was a handsome man. He had money. He had a beautiful family. He had a great career. He was very skilled. But within his own existence, he was quite miserable. And
Rick Archer: how do you know he was miserable?
Sundance Burke: Well, he was often abusive. And in mean spirited, and it usually would happen around
Rick Archer: alcohol, right? Some sounds familiar, almost always
Sundance Burke: around. You know, drinking. Yep. Otherwise he was a very sweet, dear, kind hearted, serving human being I just became, you know, we study our parents, right? So this became a natural situation that my own awareness my own consciousness bumped up against. And it was an incongruity was a paradox. And ultimately, it was a problem in terms of establishing relationship.
Rick Archer: So, as a young boy, were you actually cognizant of the, of the paradox or the disparity between his outer life and his inner unhappiness, we you kind of like scratching your head and saying, How could he be so unhappy if he’s got his act so together? Or was it more subliminal, and you kind of kind of articulated to yourself later on in life?
Sundance Burke: You know, I was really aware. And I can only pick with say, when I was 16, I was aware of it before that, but I used to try to teach him to hug, you know, I put my arm around him while I was sitting on the couch and gently say, down Dad, just relax, you know. And, I mean, that obvious. And then when I was older, because this came to a head, when I was older, we’d go out together. And that would turn into a nightmare. By the end of the evening, after a few cocktails, when I when I was a lawyer, and he was a doctor, and we were in, you know, local posh bars, trying to have a relationship. And so as I said, that created an issue for me, because as it turns out, I wanted what most people want, I want, you know, love and happiness and, and joy, and the end of all this anguish, and pain in dissent and dissatisfaction. So, something happened, and this is really, this is the way life is my whole attitude toward life has changed, I now see that everything happens, as opposed to I do it or someone does it. And it happens that in the midst of this dissatisfaction, I, on a lark kind of spontaneous moment, took a trip down to California, presumably for business, and that day changed my entire life. Because I met a been a human consciousness that I had an experience with, that I really not going to go into the experience too much, let’s just say that it completely shattered. My idea of reality. The experience was so profound, and it was so inside me. I was at one moment electrified on the on the floor in San Francisco. And having a vision of how my parents had run there egoic relationship to me, and I was not only seeing them, I was also seeing myself. So I was completely, you know, in another space as, as this consciousness Did you
Rick Archer: run into this guy just by accident. So cold accident, you know, I
Sundance Burke: went, I went down to see my client, and it just turned out that this particular being was staying with them temporarily at his house.
Rick Archer: Why do you call him a being?
Sundance Burke: Well, I think being is our, our true name for ourselves. As opposed to person, let’s say,
Rick Archer: so use use that word because this guy was established in being and it seems superficial to refer to him as this guy, or this person I ran into,
Sundance Burke: you know, I really don’t know where this was a long time ago. And a lot of things Lots of things have happened since then, a lot of growth has happened since then. But I can tell you that he was knocking like I was at that time, right nothing other than the fact that all of us have the same true essence and his essence which was showing brightly but you Again, it’s hard to it’s hard to explain.
Rick Archer: That’s okay. So did you recognize something unusual about this being of the moment you saw him? Or was it was it more like you went home to your friend’s house and you got into a conversation and then it sort of something began to shift?
Sundance Burke: I was caught up in something, you know, I was caught up in a whirlwind of like, it was like, I was drawn into another dimension. And I didn’t even see it coming. Just his
Rick Archer: presence. His just zapped you like that. And it wasn’t just him.
Sundance Burke: You know, it was the whole environment. It was the whole experience was the fact that I picked up on lark and California for no reason I had a beard at the time, and I was shaving it off.
Rick Archer: I remember that. Yeah, you told the story, and you didn’t finish shaving because you’re late for your plane,
Sundance Burke: back a half of it off. And then I, I heard from my client, when he picked me up at the airport, that he had this master’s fan in his place. And, and I was excited, for some reason. And I was also scared for some reason. And, you know, if you’ve ever been in one of those situations where, you know, the hair on your skin is starting to stand up, and and you don’t know why. And it’s an unknown, it’s kind of a, it’s a brand new fresh experience. So that’s really what was happening. I mean, the unexpected of that,
Rick Archer: is he somebody that became well known, or somebody who no one would have ever heard of listening to this.
Sundance Burke: A few people probably know him because he was quite infamous in his own way. But
Rick Archer: I don’t mind telling you his name, or if
Sundance Burke: he doesn’t go by this name anymore. And, and he doesn’t teach and hasn’t for many, many, many years. And I haven’t had contact with him for many, many, many years. So he was name of Satoshi at the time. This is really kind of off the point in terms of what my present teaching is. But yeah, we’ll catch up. Yeah, just yeah, just the lead up to it. He had a lot of cities. And he was very close to Rajneesh later. Osho. And both of them were similar in that they had a lot of powers, and experienced within the first few months. Many of these powers, and I was 32. And he was about the same age. So we were young, fairly young, relatively speaking. And you know, it just blew me away. I mean telepathy, reading your mind from a distance, you go out of body for days, and come back. almost instantaneous healing, he can touch you and then your energy running out of your fingertips for hours, used to do it to his cat every time he came in the house. Give him a little wish, wish motion the capital. And, you know, I didn’t know this all at once these students just entered but can play any musical instrument, go into a park and just pick up any instrument and start playing with a group
Rick Archer: without ever having learned that instrument or just he had he had a musical background?
Sundance Burke: I don’t know he had a musical background but how he learned it? I don’t know because he literally can play anything. And he was emotionally very solid. He didn’t suffer. He didn’t his consciousness was just completely devoid of emotional. Yo Yo playing and and he can put anyone in a trance just by looking at them.
Rick Archer: Wow.
Sundance Burke: And that was my start. You know, I mean that that isn’t anywhere near where I’m at right now. But but if you really want to know how it got going that’s work kicked off.
Rick Archer: That’s interesting. I mean, did this guy you say he was notorious? Did he ended up getting himself in trouble with all this power? Did it sort of go to his head and
Sundance Burke: yeah, and he got in trouble. Yeah, but I won’t speak for them because I that to him it may have been no trouble at all.
Rick Archer: Maybe but you know the Scriptures kind of warn against getting carried away with this stuff because it can can go to your head
Sundance Burke: Yeah, well it’s it’s important for I suppose people to know Cities are really not the answer, right? However, it does tell you something about the human beings potential. Yeah. But an interest, one of the interesting things that did happen on this, this is tying back into where I started story. About three months after I met him and was in relationship as much as possible during that time, I mean experiences and learning, and watching and observing and participating. He told me, and we formed a close relationship pretty quick. He told me, that’s crazy. He told me that someone in my family was going to die soon. And he and he’s just said straight like that. And I started looking around in my mind, you know, like, at my different family members to see like, well, is anybody sick? You know, is there anything? You know, there’s any, just so I’m trying to go through some of the people in my family like who this might be. And also, you know, I thought maybe it would be me. I liked my news really short. So it ended up to be my father.
Rick Archer: 58. That’s pretty young. Yeah.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. Well, Anna, Anna was notorious death. Well, I can’t go there. I can’t go there. It was, it was really shocking. And it was out of the blue. And you can imagine, you know, how that got my attention. Yeah. And then the end of this beginning story is just the fact that when I ran into this path, the path of awakening the path of finding out who I really am, as opposed to who I thought I was, I realized that I had been waiting for this path my whole life. And in other words, I had never fallen absolutely in love with any activity or any passion. I went from one thing to the next might have something to do with my dharma being an Aries, you know, start and stop a lot of things. But nonetheless, I I never could settle anywhere. And then when this path came, I knew it instantly. And it you know, shocked a lot of my family and friends and and because I just completely turned all my attention and all my passion and all my energy toward this investigation and this inquiry, this awakening, and it started there.
Rick Archer: Did you quit your law practice? Or did you manage to juggle that? As well?
Sundance Burke: Everything fell apart. Everything every every structure, I had my ego built on. fell apart now it held together for a while. About five years, I was able to keep it going. And then it was gone. And everything else was gone. Family was gone. My money was gone. My job was gone. I ended up without a car and living in downtown Seattle doing stand up comedy at Open Mic sessions.
Rick Archer: That’s funny.
Sundance Burke: And I wouldn’t prepare?
Rick Archer: Whoa
Sundance Burke: I would just walk in. And some of those performances were okay. And others were completely humiliating.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Sundance Burke: But
Rick Archer: were any of them really great?
Sundance Burke: Few Yeah. But that again, that wasn’t my this is a part of this awakening thing is that you you at first you think it the real awakening is experienced bass. So you are seeking some sort of an experience and you’re hoping to find just the perfect experience and you’re hoping that it will be lasting. And you know, I found it. And so there were many, many, many times
Rick Archer: Um, yeah. Where are you like, you’re still with this Satoshi guy, or were you kind of like, try different teachers and try different things and stuff.
Sundance Burke: About three years. I was encountering in meeting with him, and even brought him up to my home in Seattle, from California, and we did some workshops. And he was a mentor, he, you even want to do workshops and put me at his side so that I could not participate. But watch I’d have to say that he was the really only teacher that I really had, in that kind of a formal relationship way. He also introduced me to shunyata in California, who got his name from Ramana Maharshi. In India, and when I met shunyata, he was 91. And he was labeled by that’s not the right word labeled but he was given the grace and blessing of Ramana. By by a personal encounter in front of Rama not were telepathic words. We are always aware she came to this being and he was one of the first people that Satoshi introduced me to when I went to California was actually a Marine. And he would, he just said you want to meet a friend of mine. He didn’t tell me anything about him. He just took me to his room, he was being hosted by a local family. And I walked in, and there’s this 91 year old mystic and quite honestly, they say that a mystic means the wholeness of the cosmos. And so it was actually kind of difficult to tell whether he was a man or a woman. But just being in his presence and seeing him actually blue Samar, my program, see this the whole thing all my condition was being destroyed and busted. And just being in the room with Juniata and Satoshi, and they would talk and I would say nothing, because I was actually stunned. And I actually couldn’t stay in the room for more than about 10 or 15 minutes in the beginning. It was just too intense. And not nothing was directed at me. It was just energetic. And and so that, that destroyed my concept of old age. You know, he floated around the room. He wore red high top Converse tennis shoes. And you know, Indian garb. turban and, and another dimension. You know, there were miracles happening all the time, crazy things right in front of my eyes. And I just
Rick Archer: overt ones or more again, on the mental level of telepathy and that kind of thing?
Sundance Burke: overt, overt, you know, I signed trip on the carpet. Like he was going to end he’d to me, he looked like a falling man.
Rick Archer: Yeah.
Sundance Burke: Then this leg comes out and stabilizes them. Just one lie almost like it’s some sort of a yogic thing or something. And, and then a lot of it was just funny. You know, one time we were in the room of him and he His room was really dusty and papers and books everywhere he was, he was he was very cerebral, very intelligent, very conscious. And somebody asked him about the accumulation of dust in his room. And his response to that was, I don’t bother it. It don’t bother me. It’s good. You can learn a lot from that, you know? Sure. Yeah. So I mean, it was just one thing. After another, I felt very blessed and I also felt scared and excited. And I was I was really being put through a course you Hmm, I will leave the old days a lot of this stuff doesn’t even happen anymore. I mean, it’s very, very energetic.
Rick Archer: Now, you’d be surprised I people get in touch with me all the time saying, you know that they just woke up one morning and all of a sudden their Kundalini was rising, and what didn’t know what was going on. And they started to like, thought they were going crazy. And it was just really starting to cook and looking for answers. And, and there’s all kinds of people. I mean, you take yourself and your book and elsewhere that there seems to be this global awakening taking place. And popcorn is popping all over the place. You know, in a way, what you were experiencing was maybe, I mean, certainly, people have through for 1000s and 1000s of years have been in the presence of people whose very presence was enlightening and, you know, transformative. But it’s a bit I suppose, of a new, relatively new thing in the West. And maybe in that regard, you were something of a pioneer these days, that actually is happening practically on every street corner.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. Which is nice. Yeah, great, beautiful. Yeah. It’s really happening in a big way now, are
Rick Archer: we doing any kind of spiritual practices or disciplines during this time are basically just living your life and things were popping.
Sundance Burke: I was given a, you know, again, here, we are still at the beginning. But I was given and this is fine. I was given a lot of spiritual texts read, okay. I knew nothing about it in any real way. No formal practices never really actually have ever had a teacher that recommended a complex mental practice. Almost all, almost everything that I was exposed to was communicating. Be aware, the only two words I ever got from shunyata, in terms of a teaching, and I went to him one time in a terrible emotional state, where my ego was just under huge attack. And I was resisting, and I was in a lot of pain. And I went up to him, you know, imploring for help. And he just said, he just looked at me very calmly and casually and said, two words that go within. And he didn’t say it was any great compassion that I’ve perceived, either. It’s just direct advice go within. And I took that to heart, you know, what does that mean? Go with Ben. So, you know, that became my contemplation. And I would say that, that is the main teaching, that it’s our, our attention normally is directed as a person to be to the world, and to the, to the self, the objects, the object, me the object world, the Object view. And this was known Turn around, turn around and investigate within yourself. And we know how to do that, actually, very naturally. We’re habituated to avoid it, in the old consciousness, but there is a consciousness now that is, is a rising very strongly. That is, actually we’re getting to know the consciousness itself, something that we actually never even dream of stuff. So we’re looking at what what is your beloved, you know, the one that will not betray you? What does not change about you? You know, what? What is always true? And and so,
Rick Archer: when you say we, I think you’re you’re you’re inferring we as a culture, because obviously there have been individuals throughout history who’ve, you know, been adepts, and in this domain, but there seems to be some something new about the proliferation of it, the commonality of it, you know, the fact that people everywhere are getting familiar with the kind of thing you’ve just been saying. It’s not so unusual anymore. Right? I mean, what that’s what you mean when you say we, because, in a sense, there’s nothing new under the sun, but in terms of it being more widespread?
Sundance Burke: I mean, I think I’m talking to those that are making the transition or about to Yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m talking to us who are awakening?
Rick Archer: Yeah. The kind of people who would be inclined to listen to This thing there has
Sundance Burke: always been. There has always been awake. Being right existence for sure. And but we were living out this drama story that is we’re living right now and the most amazing time is just incredible. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, so, five years in you, you’re doing comedy and nightclubs. And you know, your life was falling apart. So but you say that’s still the beginning, we really haven’t gotten to the more significant thing you wanted to say.
Sundance Burke: Well, I mean, that is the story part, you know, okay. And there’s many, many, many more stories.
Rick Archer: Sure, many stories and experiences. And yeah, but the point.
Sundance Burke: I mean, the point is, is that once once we turn within, once we turned to discover who we are, you know, hopefully that that is something that can be completed, you know, that you can actually I guess they call it self realized, now you can you can actually allow the ego to fall away. Yeah, the false self and to stabilize, right, and to find out in a very congruent and centered way, you know, who are you who am I to the point where you don’t need to ask that question anymore. Right. But I, I mean, the long and short of it is that I worked very, very, very hard for 17 years. Which is just a relative term, some people are less than some more and some never, doesn’t make any difference. But for those who say, there is no effort required, or nothing to do, I would say, No. I did hundreds of different things, and spent endless hours. But I didn’t get focused on and I didn’t go into many distracted ways of learning, at least from my point of view. And that’s all it is my point of view. I liked the simple teachings, I was in love with nizer, your data’s work, his expressions, I got that book very early, and I wore it out. I still have it, and it just falls apart in my copy. I just loved him. And because he had a lot to say, and it was all incredibly intelligent. And in essence, it’s all very simple. You know, I mean, his main teaching, and I agree, I help people in this way too, is just be aware of your base, the only thing you know for sure, and that is I am it’s a true facts, if you can say that cannot be disputed. And you get to know that you contemplate it, you feel it, you go beneath those two words. And you stay with that, as your meditation. In the end, you can doesn’t matter what you’re doing can be at work, you can be eating, you can be right here, talking. It’s I now see that this is the one thing that the human, and this is the story to our human story. This is the one thing that we never gave cognizance to. In other words, we’re very interested in the body, the physical form and very interested in our, in our mind, and emotions, and in our senses. But the power that allows all of that to exist, was never even spoken of, you know, like, you go to school? Yeah, they don’t tell you, you know, they say pay attention. But they tell you what to pay attention to. Right. But they don’t actually tell you to pay attention to attention, you know, or to see see what that power is. So in effect, we have all these people operating in this story world, or dream world who have no idea who they really are. And then they’re making assessments about everything they see around them. And saying that I know this, I know that I know this. I know that and they’re skipping it Well, I don’t know myself, but I know everything else.
Rick Archer: And most of them don’t know that they don’t know who they are. You know, most most people haven’t even asked the question yet or hasn’t even dawned on me, they might be something more than they take themselves to be. This I am thing you just said, I mean, you say that to most people, they’re gonna say, Well, you know, I am, Rick, and I like to, you know, eat such and such and play play the guitar, and I work at this job and I, you know, blah, blah, blah, which of course, has nothing to do with what you’re pointing at?
Sundance Burke: Yeah. No, it doesn’t. I mean, those are all those are things that you learn and you have, you can’t, you can’t tell anybody this, they have to look for themselves, they have to really investigate for themselves find it directly, that, my goodness, that image of myself that I see, or that I think, or that I feel is not really who I am. You know, and so with our intellect, we can actually see the things that are false. But that’s as far as really the intellect can take you. We can see the faults, we can see the faults, we can start letting things drop away we can, we can start to see the programming and the conditioning. And then and we start to invoke observation by looking you learn. That’s how everybody learns. That’s how we’ve learned anything really? Yeah, it was through paying attention.
Rick Archer: So were you kind of doing this during that 17 years reading books, and then just sort of continuing to pause? Yeah, it became probably second nature to you.
Sundance Burke: Absolutely, absolutely. It was constant. And so as an example, so it was a really good reason not to have a formal practice. Because formal practices are limiting. Usually, you have to have the right environment, you have to have the right amount of time, you have to, you know, set it up in a certain way. It’s got usually they’ve got big structures. But if you have just the practice and turning within just the practice of being aware that I am, in other words, I’m standing in a line in the grocery store. And in the old day, I’m aware, I’m aware right now that I am now, you’d be surprised, just check it out for yourself. Most people are not even aware that they exist. This is what is establishing presence. We call it presence in the western world or presence means I am, I am aware that I am. And you don’t really need to do anything. You don’t need to go anywhere beyond that. You don’t need to add anything to that you don’t need to take anything away just really actually experiencing bad flight. You know, and it reveals to you on its own the value of it, the truth of what it is.
Rick Archer: Yeah. In defense of formal practices, which I’ve been doing for 44 years, though, I would say that the it’s the things aren’t mutually exclusive. Right? No, you can do a practice. But you can also be doing what you just said, and they can actually be complimentary. That’s true. Yeah.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. I mean, there’s no I’m not I was not making a rule.
Rick Archer: And some people actually do well to have a discipline of some sort that they kind of, I mean, anything can be taken out of proportion or become obsessive or whatever. But I know in my own case, my life was such a shambles when I first learned to meditate at the age of 18. I dropped out of high school and been arrested a couple of times, and you know, things were crazy, that it was tremendously, you know, nourishing and, and healing and profoundly turned my life around on a dime, you know, so. So my tendency is to never sort of say, well, you don’t need this you don’t need that. It’s just say if it works for you, more power to you know, and ultimate maybe you could also say consider this because this is this is also good. You keep your eyes open keep all your options open.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, yeah. So that’s a that’s the problem with a personal story is it’s too limiting. Yeah, you know, i That’s why we’re here together. So between us we can broaden the picture. Yeah. And go beyond the person because it’s your right there. This is really all about each beings going within their own self and then they determined
Rick Archer: Yeah, Well, I think as long as personal stories are told in a way that doesn’t make people conclude that their story has to be like your story, or something in order for XYZ to happen, you know, it can be interesting. You know, you read Autobiography of a Yogi you don’t need to be like Yogananda it’s an interesting story. Yeah. And, and some people do, I do get feedback from people who say, I’d love to see the variety of ways in which, you know, the circumstances in which people woke up, not that the circumstances themselves are responsible for it, but it kind of gives people hope, sometimes, you know, that, even they, ordinary Joe Schmo, you know, doing this, that the other thing that you don’t have to be a special person for, for this sort of thing to happen.
Sundance Burke: That’s true, but as long as it doesn’t distract you, yeah. From your own. And I have actually seen where it does distract.
Rick Archer: I have, I have to, and I’ve seen people try to emulate others and eat what they eat and dress like they dress and talk like they talk and then that i Your point is very well taken, if that’s what a person ends up doing. Yeah. There’s gonna be a run on these, like blue sweatshirts after this. I doubt that. Okay, so where were we? I shouldn’t ask you that. Yeah. All right. Well, you talked about the 17 years and how there was this sort of intense, earnest focus reading and, and looking at yourself, you know, self self reflection, self referral. And the number 17 seems to be significant, because it implies that at the end of 17 years, there was some kind of breakthrough.
Sundance Burke: There actually, there was a breakthrough. During that period, I never was a teacher during that period I never shared. I always had even though I would have unbelievably profound. And toward the latter part of that time, I was actually I thought I was free. You know, I thought of liberated. Yeah, I mean, we’re talking the last two or three years I’m I was completely different from the beginning. And I thought I was liberated. And then and then in one retreat I went to with Eli and Gangaji. Give them a Kudo here, right. All of a sudden, I was with Katie, all of a sudden, we’re in Hawaii, all of a sudden, I have this enormous longing come up. And I hadn’t experienced that for for years. And actually, I felt my life was quite clear. And that’s only my feeling to me. And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, this enormous longing came up. And I was on fire. With it intense,
Rick Archer: didn’t have a target or focus, or is it just an abstract longing,
Sundance Burke: it was like, it was like, I felt bound. And it was, you know, at that point, I just, you don’t know, hopefully, you don’t deny, you know, what your experiences and, you know, whatever I was thinking I was like, it was had nothing, no power over what I was actually feeling in that moment. And, and, again, like I said, I’d never been a teacher and never shared. So there was something in me, right, there was some doubt, or this is hindsight, helping a little bit with the conversation, but I was burning on fire to express true liberation or whatever. And I’ve, I went up to it, you know, how it is, when you go to those events, I went up to the front row, and I was gonna get the microphone and I was gonna, you know, and I was gonna speak, I was gonna get Jesus attention. And she had spoken to my heart a few years earlier, I didn’t go to many of her events. I never anyway, that’s a sidelight. But I’m, I’m very intense. And the funny thing is, I don’t think Gangaji even knows this story. Because I’ve spoken with her later and, you know, just something that happened within me. And I started just tried to say some things to her and I was saying stuff in my going through my mind and I was like, I want to I want to die. You know, words are trying to come out. And, and they were kind of like heavy words. And, and I just, I don’t know if something happened. I just I just got, I just the whole thing is just collapse. And I sat there for a second just kind of stung. And I just put the microphone down in my lap. And I, again, the only funny thing that Gandhiji didn’t do is, after that happened, she, she sadly kind of stunned herself and she said, Oh, thank God, there is stopping. And there was nothing magical about that event other than what I just told you. But it just turns out that I actually realized, and it took many, many months to realize that something had shifted from that moment forward. And it was, I had stopped making trips to the mind to find myself to identify myself.
Rick Archer: Interesting. So So for many years, this, you know, self reflection self inquiry thing was a almost like a practice you had been doing and had gotten into the habit of doing, perhaps even unconsciously it had become so second nature. And then at that moment, that habit just sort of evaporated and henceforth, you didn’t do it, but you didn’t even realize it until later on that you had stopped doing it. Sometimes when I ask a question, I just restate what the person says in order to make sure I clearly understand what they did say, but that’s it, right? I mean, that’s what happened.
Sundance Burke: Yes, that’s pretty much it. I mean, I, I actually had the way I discovered it had stopped, who’s a singer, a spiritual singer, friend of ours came up to our house and was going to do an event is that, I think, yeah, it was good. And she asked me if I had longing. And I said, No. And it was only at that moment, when I answered that question. She was surprised. You know, like you kidding. And because that’s really part of her songs, too. I’m not saying anything about her, because I really can’t, but I’m telling you the story. And I didn’t have longing anymore. And I just realized then, and it had been that way, ever, ever since Hawaii. And so we were the ship there.
Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s interesting how sometimes the shift will take place. And it won’t even be recognized. At that moment. It doesn’t really recognize much later on, in retrospect, you know, you kind of like think, Whoa, you know, that was really a turning point. And I didn’t, I didn’t realize it at the time.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, along with that. And I think this is good for everyone to check out on their own. But I realized that on some level, I was seeking an experience. And I think along with the end of longing was also the end of doubt, the end of questions, the end of seeking. And, and the, because the real realization was, oh my gosh, it’s not an experience. You know,
Rick Archer: would it be possible to give us a little bit clearer understanding of what you mean by logging, what logging was and and what it wasn’t once it had stopped.
Sundance Burke: That’s your heart wanting to just totally break open. That’s like, that’s like this awakening allows your joy to come out your love come out, your smiles to come out. Your connection with nature, your innocence, your purity. And that whether we know it or not, we all long for that. And when we can get really, really honest with that longing, we allow it. And so most people are holding it down. And there’s a lot of belief systems that cause us to hold it down. I mean, we think it’s scary and it’s not good for Love hurts. And there’s many, many messages, much conditioning that is holding down this desire to awaken authentic authentically to who you really are, you know.
Rick Archer: So when you say that most spiritual seekers are consciously longing that’s what defines a spiritual seeker is this have conscious realization that there’s something more than what they’re living and they’re longing to kind of find it.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think it’s longing is very
Rick Archer: what’s the word? Natural?
Sundance Burke: Yeah. Thank you.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, you said, you know, some people say, well stop seeking and all that, if that’s, you know, cart before the horse. I mean, if if this, if the finding hasn’t happened to a sufficient degree, then the seeking is natural and you’re just going to be driven. Yeah. And maybe somebody said to you stop seeking the, you know, week after you first met that Satoshi guy. And you were just newbie on all this? It would have been completely inappropriate. Right?
Sundance Burke: Totally. Yeah. From my point of view, yeah. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I mean, you had to, you know, if we could say had, but you, you obviously went through 17 years of processing? And I don’t know if that could have been shortcutted.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, why? I don’t see anything wrong with seeking. And I don’t have anything wrong with not seeking, you know, I mean, yeah. Whatever, whatever the moment, whatever is truthful in the moment, and there. Here’s another point. There’s a few good points, earnestness, you know, like, really wanting to be free, wanting to be enlightened, wanting to be self realized, wanting to know who you are really being earnest about that. That’s good. You know, that’s, that helps. And then being honest, as much as possible with yourself. But it also plays a big role, being able to see yourself to witness honestly, what’s going on. So you’re not because we often, and I, believe me some 10 years is a long time. I mean, I went on many dead ends and, and didn’t tell myself the truth all the time. But it does pay to be as honest as you can possibly be.
Rick Archer: A lot of times, I think the stop seeking thing is often attributed to Papaji. And no and I interviewed Neelam a few weeks ago, who studied with Papaji quite a bit. And she said that the context in which that was said, was really, you know, in His presence there in Lucknow, with all these people, and you know, and he was, he was kind of saying, hey, you know, just relax. I mean, it’s right here, before your eyes and ears here in abundance, just sit chill and settle into it. And, you know,
Sundance Burke: and, you know, I think that not seeking is, is often totally appropriate in Satsang. I really do think that, that is the almost the best thing you can say, in south lawn is rest.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I was up on stage making a fool of myself one time with in the presence of marshy, Mahesh Yogi, and I don’t know, I was, I was a very intense guy. And he came up with this beautiful thing. He said, he said, every day is life. He said, Don’t pass up the present for some glorious future. You know, just sort of, and he went on a little bit, but that was the essence of it. And I think, you know, it’s took me down a few notches and, and I kind of realized that, you know, sure, the future may be more glorious in a sense than what is living right now. Because life has an evolutionary tendency to it. But if you pass over the present, first, you know, I’m going to be miserable until I, such and such, you know, then you’re, you’re putting yourself out of balance, and out of tune with the flow.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. Oh, the present. Presence is absolutely essential. And it’s, it’s the most radiant and richest experience of being is, is to be present and our life when its presence is going to change a lot. Because many teachers have talked about the seeking aspect, you know, moving away from this moment moving to the future. It’s the next moment. It’s not this one. It’s right here, right. Yeah. And it’s also the easiest and most sane way to live because then you’re not dealing with an imagination. Either coming from the past or projecting into the future, you’re not dealing with imagination. You’re dealing with a very simple experience of right now. And you realize that that is just so it’s so easy to be with And it’s not complex, right? The need to get into real complex mental state or, you know, do all these mental gymnastics. It’s all right here. And it’s it’s, it’s beautiful.
Rick Archer: When you were talking about your experience at the Ganga chi and Ely retreat, you know, prior to getting up on the mic, you said you this longing came up and you felt I think us were trapped or constrained or bound or something. Was it sort of a sudden dawning of awareness that, you know, you weren’t as free as you thought you had been? Because you mentioned you thought you were liberated. But then this longing came up and you realized you hadn’t been liberated? Was there sort of a sense of, you know, risk being bottled up or dammed up? And because then you mentioned when when that sort of relaxed or burst, like a dam, then there was this outpouring of kind of greater freedom of expression of love, and, and happiness and all that.
Sundance Burke: I’m not sure I would describe it the way you’re just putting it, but it was, because it wasn’t a contemplated situation. It was super present. Yeah, but the presence was incredibly present. And belonging was incredibly present. Uh huh. So, yeah, it was just it was like, I’m in a fire. I’m in it. And I didn’t even know what it was about. You know, I had, it’s beyond contemplation. It’s I didn’t know what it was.
Rick Archer: But it just came up. So I
Sundance Burke: just knew that I had to deal with it. Yeah, I had the face. And I had to come to terms with it. Well, I didn’t know what it was. And I didn’t know what those terms were. And then what happened? I did not expect. And that’s, it’s a mystery. I guess.
Rick Archer: It kind of sounds like though you did face it and come to terms with it right on the spot, and others like it bubbled up, because it was time to face it. And then there with Ganga, Ji, it sort of, you know, worked itself out.
Sundance Burke: Yeah. I think that’s the value of Satsang. Being in Satsang, is that it’s the perfect place. For that kind of encounter with yourself. Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of people have so called people have taken. You know, that opportunity to heart? Sure. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Did you say you were with Katie at that point? Oh, yeah. Okay, so you guys had already gotten together? Yeah.
Sundance Burke: We’ve been together since 1988. And Katie was also an enormous part of my awakening. And it’s just our heart connection. We, I’m sure we met by grace, there’s no other explanation, and the rapport and the natural intimacy, and I was in awakening, and she had awakened and these two awakenings come together. And that’s a story I won’t tell you
Rick Archer: how you don’t have to. But one thing about it is I kind of got Yeah, that’s neat. I kind of got the impression from her book that when she met you, you were already awakened, or somebody I met this wonderful, awakened guy, but you’re saying that she was instrumental in your awakening. So I guess maybe what you’re saying is that it was in process. And then she was another big engine on the train, which
Sundance Burke: now there was no, there was no distinction between us. So it’s impossible to put us on a scale of relativity. Yeah. When that comes together, there is no scale and the terms are awakened or self realized that that doesn’t make any sense at all, to the, to the relationship at all. You’re basically in service to the heart in something like that, and everything is falling to the heart. And so I would say that was more of the path of devotion. That was in my world, in our world. And it was a very, very, very natural devotion. It wasn’t there was no agenda And now, it was just so obvious.
Rick Archer: Some teachers say that only after Self Realization does the path of devotion really become, does it become possible for the path of devotion to really be profound? And because it has a foundation, you see of knowing who you are, as opposed to being completely oblivious to who you are, and so there can then there can be a really real flowering of, of the heart. Would you agree based on your experience?
Sundance Burke: I don’t know. Okay. I mean, devotion isn’t something I can describe with any true. That’s really all I can really say about it.
Rick Archer: Okay. Words are just too crude and superficial to do it justice.
Sundance Burke: I don’t know if I really want to make any statement about it. Honestly, it’s kind of sacred.
Rick Archer: Okay. That’s good. That’s, I understand. Yeah. It? Yeah. It sort of trivializes in a way to try to bring it out verbally and discuss it. I think I understand.
Sundance Burke: It’s not alarm you, right.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay, now, I’ve read about a third of your book, I didn’t get a chance to read the whole thing as I was a lot going on around here. But I really enjoyed what I read. are, you know, you have the book. So the whole structure and flow of the book, I’m sure, much clearer in your mind than it is in mind. Are there some kind of highlights as you kind of as you think about the book that, you know, it’d be interesting to discuss and perhaps interest people in reading it to, you know, find out more?
Sundance Burke: Well, why don’t you tell me what you picked up from it? Because, honestly, I don’t read the book very often. Well, you wrote it? No,
Rick Archer: yeah. Well, it’s one of these books that it’s kind of nice to read in small doses I found, because there’s a lot packed into different each sentence and paragraph. And I don’t know how many chapters I got through, but it’s just each each time I was I was really, I was kind of wishing you were there to kind of say, hey, let’s talk about this. You know, a lot of different points were interesting. But let me bounce it back to you. If you had to summarize the book in a short paragraph, what would you say it’s about
Sundance Burke: it’s about the two main paths to freedom that are that are on the wisdom path, the path of Jana. And that is basically self inquiry. So the chapter on self inquiry, I think, is very important. It’s very powerful. And the other is presence. Learning that you are presence, and using bad presence to, to deal with all the dilemmas of getting over your programming and conditioning, which are, you know, based in time, the Illusion of Time, it’s like a logical time of a false self. So only by presence only by the witnessing consciousness. Can you really, you know, be free.
Rick Archer: So you’re saying that self inquiry and presence are actually two distinct paths, and one might take one or the other and perhaps arrive at the same goal? So what you’re saying,
Sundance Burke: well, they are distinct. I mean, doing self inquiry does have a structure. And I use it often. And it’s in the book, and it’s laid out in in many places, by Ramana. And what better question is there to ask yourself, then who am I? Yeah, you know, I mean, if he had any question to ask you, so I think that would be the best one. And there is a structure to it. I mean, you. You want to find out what the source of that is from that. AI is arising from what that AI is. And it can, it can be a very practical technique that you can take anywhere. It’s not hard. It’s like, you can use it on the simplest things. Like, whenever you let’s say you get irritated or something on service at a restaurant, and you just might ask yourself, Who who is irritated? I am. Who is, it’s so incredibly powerful, that completely can disengage you from the egoic path, and the misery and suffering related to that, in such a simple way, as as Ken presents.
Rick Archer: So, I’m sorry, go ahead. Well, let’s say you’re in that restaurant, let’s say two people are in the restaurant. And they’re both getting irritated. And one guy uses the self inquiry technique, who am i Who’s getting irritated? You know, and so, presumably, that diffuses, the irritation, you know, because it sort of breaks the fixation on outer directedness. And I’m mad at the waitress, and, and so on, and so forth to sort of inner directedness and, you know, kind of a location of the source of the irritation and be deeper than that. And then the other guy, let’s say, uses presence or witnessing, I think you equate the two, elaborate on how that would work for him. In that situation, as opposed to self inquiry, just as distinguish the two things that you’ve laid out.
Sundance Burke: Well, presence is really understand that your consciousness, so instead of being a name, or a form or an object, you’re, you’re actually the moment of space, your the entire field, your field of now, a field of presence, you’re an emptiness. So if you’re truly present, if you are truly presence, nothing going on in that field will bother you. And if you’re not truly presence, if something is bothering you in that field, than if you just turn to presence, turn to consciousness, pure consciousness, then you will, you know, realize the truth, you will be liberated, you’ll be free. Otherwise, you’ll be bound by the resistance you’re having to that moment being as it is. And so you are identifying with the content, you’re identifying with the play of forms and experiences in front of you, in your field. And it’s always that identification, from whatever technique you’re using, with the limited self, which is literally a false self, because it will betray you constantly because it never lasts. It’s totally impermanent. So anytime we are identifying who we are, with the changeful, with the impermanence we will suffer the duality evolved in concepts.
Rick Archer: It sounds like the outcome is the same. In fact, I’m still not totally clear on the distinction between self inquiry and presence because it seems like self inquiry, as you’ve described, it sort of gets you to that state of presence.
Sundance Burke: Well, if they both lead in the same place, then you could actually say there is no difference Right, right. You know, I mean, here again, the mind plays tricks on us, is always wants to distinguish things, but really, everything is indistinguishable, right?
Rick Archer: All the raw,
Sundance Burke: nobody to talk. And by are talking, we can make that distinction. And it can be heard for others, that it’s so easy. We have this old habit with mental habit is very ancient. And it’s very established. And so anytime we can catch ourselves, because there’s like a tempting force trying to pull you back into identification. Yeah, I’m trying to pull you back into the idea that a concept is real concept is real. A concept is real. Here’s a real concept. It’s it’s No, they’re not. You know, even I am. You boil that down to a very basic concept. But actually what it’s really showing you is that your beyond your beyond the concept. Now there is there is, this is where the mind is really freed, because when the mind is no longer identifying, then it’s free to serve the truth. And that’s a great release.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that seems to be that’s the crux of it. Because you’re still going to need, you still need concepts in order to function. You couldn’t do anything. If we didn’t have concepts, we’d just be lying on the floor and days. You need concepts to go shopping, you need concepts to drive your car, you need concepts to have a conversation, and so on. But it’s, you know, the extent to which you are identified or locked in?
Sundance Burke: Yeah, it’s the measurement. That is, yeah, yeah, that’s why we just look at concepts as a tool. You know, they’re in our toolbox. Yeah. And I bring out a tool, and I use it, and I put it back in the toolbox when I’m done with it. And that’s, that’s, I think, really where concepts lie. They’re there with material form, there was names and places there with diversity, but they have nothing to do with who you are. Right? And absolutely nothing to do with who you are.
Rick Archer: And in that vein, could you even say that the ego is a tool, which, you know, you use as you use your intellect, your senses, your mind, your, you know, your physical apparatus, but it has nothing to do with who you are. It’s just, it’s usually in the driver’s seat. But you know, if things are properly sort of realized, then it just has a sort of a more of a subservient role and isn’t, seem to be really running the show. It’s a tool.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, I actually wouldn’t agree with just the way you phrased that, because I, I don’t see the ego having any reality. The ego is false. So it’s just false.
Rick Archer: Well, it’s everything false, then all the other things I just itemized are just the ego is false. And but the mind the intellect, all those things have some sort of functionality. So now
Sundance Burke: we’re getting now we’re getting into semantics, because now we have to figure out what false means.
Rick Archer: Well, people seem to pick on the ego in other words, and yet, you know, everyone seems to even you
Sundance Burke: don’t have to tell me first what the ego is, I don’t know what you mean, by ego,
Rick Archer: I would mean by some ISense. And, you know, some some sense of, you know, where somebody comes in the room says, Hey, Sundance, and you turn your head, you know, because there’s some sense of localization. And yet, you know, for as we sort of started out talking an hour ago, for, for most people on the planet, that’s the, that’s the kind of entirety of their, of their existence, you know, that’s me, that’s what I am. But, you know, for someone who has sort of realized the deeper dimension to life, it’s it’s peripheral. It’s, it’s kind of floating on the surface, but it doesn’t completely get eradicated. At least that’s my experience, but my experience may be, you know, immature, maybe at some point, my experience will be quite the opposite. I don’t know.
Sundance Burke: Well, I’m, I’d rather than have a discussion about the term ego, I’d rather frame it in the sense of suffering, okay. You know, however, you’re however we catch these things, or whatever their terms are. If there is, if you’re suffering, this is really around investigations, and whatever is going on that processes faults, right. And when I use the term ego, I’m really referring to miss identification. And that Miss identification causes suffering. Yeah. So absent that, I really don’t care about the word ego very much. I mean, to me, it doesn’t have anything to do with this body. You know, whether whatever you want to call this body or for the world itself, or for the fact that we, you know, you can move about the world. You can do everything with the physical body, everything with your emotions, everything was with thinking without thinking. You know, there doesn’t really have to be Have a image self there, you know, like, I carry, I look in the mirror in the morning, and then I carry that image around with me all day long. That to me is the ego, you know, I’m constantly thinking about myself in the past, I’m thinking about myself in the future, what I’m going to do next, how I’m going to handle the next event. So the ego is a bat, which takes you out of presence. It’s that which confuses you, as are veiled your realization of who you are.
Rick Archer: Okay, well, I can understand, you know, if you if you define ego that way, then I can understand why you would say that it’s just a, it’s, it’s unreal.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, yeah.
Rick Archer: I tend to use it more in the sense that there’s even a person who is not in the least bit identified or trapped or bound or, you know, overshadowed can still there’s still a kind of a kernel of I sense, which is not exclusively their, their sense of, I mean, there’s a much broader, vaster reality to what they know their selves themselves to be. But there’s there’s still sort of a functioning you know, utility utilitarian component to the, to the, to the personality structure that is never utterly eradicated. And it seems that if it were then it would be difficult to
Sundance Burke: function, you wouldn’t have any world at all. I mean, yeah, right. In my own experience, as long as there is consciousness, there is an eye sense. There you go. Yeah. I mean, it’s that simple. I mean, I have actually seen consciousness arise, come out of nothing. And before the world started, before my body started, before anything started, saw I, there was an there’s an identity there. But it’s nothing. But there’s a definite sense of being Yeah, but there’s nothing and then light and then body. This is gonna be like waking up in the morning can happen waking up in the morning. So consciousness brings in the I Am. I actually, this is I can’t speak about this. But I believe that really, there’s we are something beyond consciousness because I’ve seen consciousness arise, and I’ve seen it set. So who’s seen that and, but there’s no sense of I am not, there’s no sense of self. Right? So consciousness itself, pure Self, pure consciousness, same thing. And that’s, I but but really is the eye the body? Or is the eyes at some point, the eye becomes consciousness, pure consciousness. That’s, that’s who you know yourself to be in the manifest world. Right? In that which is manifesting, I am consciousness. So it’s very beautiful, actually, to live as that truth because that big sell is quite miraculous. And a lot of fun. And and you’re not clearly not the doer. I am consciousness is not the doer. The doer is the body, the person, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna get this handle. I’m gonna give it to consciousness. You let go of the struggle. That personal struggle, the personal fears. Everything personal. Because that’s not truly who you are. It’s not truly who I am. And it’s the graceful life.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s good. That’s very well put. It’s a matter of kind of proportion and perspective. You know, are you the ocean or are you the iceberg? Well, they’re both they’re both water. The iceberg is happens to be a little bit more precipitated. And it floats around in a specific place, but the ocean is everywhere. And, you know, maybe you’re, you know, all the icebergs are all essentially the same as the ocean. But they each have their some individual expression, but ultimately, they’re all ocean. Yeah,
Sundance Burke: we are. We’re everything. Everything in this world is consciousness. I am conscious of your consciousness, everything is consciousness. And I took that very pragmatically. And it’s amazing to me that sometimes it doesn’t seem to be able to be seen. But it is very pragmatic. When you wake up in the morning because we’re already having this discussion, you probably understand what I’m pointing at. Who are you? I mean, does this just your body wake up? To just your thoughts wake up? No, everything wakes up. It’s all there. You it’s all there. I mean, it’s everything around you is there? And it’s, it’s like, why don’t we allow ourselves to be our totality? We’re told some story, some other story. You know, but that’s not actually our experience. Our experience is that the totality of manifest life is present as us. And but of course, we’re, we have been told a false story. And that’s just the contemplating and investigate, what is the truth? Look, within be honest, take a good look at it. And we discover truths, when we look. And we see for ourselves.
Rick Archer: Some of it’s just a matter of what we’ve been told, you know, it’s not like one generation deludes the next, and so on. And so on. generation, after generation, it’s more like the mechanics of human experience are such that, you know, the outer directed attention results in you know, kind of a focusing down to the point value and a loss of the of the, you know, universal value, and it becomes habitual, it becomes conditioned. And we get locked into it to the point that, you know, we can’t just turn around and appreciate the, the universal value and like, like yourself, there was a process over many years of, you know, reversing that conditioning that that had become ingrained. Would you agree with that? That’s more of a statement than a question, but it almost sounds like, what do we say we’ve been told, it’s, it’s like, there was a sort of diabolical plot to delude us in our in our infancy. And we perpetuate that to the generations.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, well, it’s just a story. You know, I mean, I could say that the Eagles have diabolical plan. But, ultimately, this is honest, I just don’t, I don’t like splitting hairs to try to find truth. And it’s hard for me to, to do that, and come up with anything that makes any sense to me I, in a lot of ways, the most powerful teaching that Katie and I do, we don’t do it, but it happens, is just sitting in silence. As consciousness and so really, you know, because that’s where everything is really going. Right? You know, it’s going to silence, it’s going to stillness, it’s going to the mountain. You know, yeah. field. And so a lot of times, things can be said so many artful ways. But they always seem to be moving the opposite direction, that really, I see the truth. And I see the truth moving to stillness and silence, and pure awareness, you know, and not really having so much to say about what it’s like, or what it is or how this thing differs from that thing. You know, it’s, it makes for interesting talk. But it doesn’t really be truly, I think, in my opinion,
Rick Archer: you’re rebelling against your years as a lawyer. No, well, you know, well, just to play devil’s advocate to that. I think there’s, there’s truth in what you say. I mean, people can get really caught up in intellectual gymnastics about all this stuff, without any kind of correlation and in genuine experience. On the other hand, there have been some great teachers throughout history, who, you know, get engaged in vigorous debates, you know, like Shankara, for instance, he would go around India debating all these people fully established and the experience He, he was discussing with him, but it was, you know, that was just his tendency has his proclivity his capability. And it was in keeping with the culture. So I’m not an, I’m not a scholar, I’m not an intellectual person. But, you know, I don’t have too many advanced degrees or anything like that. But I’m just sort of making the point that I don’t think that intellectual discrimination and discussion is necessarily incompatible with presence and being and realization, it’s sometimes painted with that brush. But, and it’s largely a matter of sort of individual tendencies. And for some people, it’s completely inappropriate, but it’s one of those things like you said earlier about, you know, formal practices, different strokes for different folks to each his own. For some people that may work, and the the appropriate for others. It’s like, you know, nonsense, not interested in it. And I kind of respect all the different tendencies that people have, I mean, you go to the science and non duality conference in San Rafael, and you hear, you know, some brilliant minds really kind of discussing this kind of stuff, and, you know, great detail. And, and others, you know, they’re very simple to get up there and maybe have started having tears running down their cheeks or something. They’re just not, in fact, frankly, Francis Lucille when he when he got up to speak, he just sat there for 20 minutes. And at the end, he said, You know, it’s not so much what we say it’s how much we love that matters. And he got up out of his chair and left. So, thank you, but but if everyone who came to the conference did that, I think nobody would show up again next year. So you know, different strokes for different folks. Sly and the Family Stone,
Sundance Burke: we we, we fit beautifully together all of us.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Many flowers in the garden. And, and it would be, you know, wouldn’t be a very pretty garden if all the flowers are exactly the same. And one point I wanted to kind of come back to a little bit was your discussion of witnessing, because you kind of established that as a significant part of the book and I had gotten that far in the book. Are you suggesting that witnessing is a here we go again, with intellectual nitpicking, but I used to just say that witnessing is something when actually does or practices consciously and intentionally or is it more like a symptom of a certain state of being where naturally one finds oneself? The witness of all that goes on?
Sundance Burke: Well, the way I was taught it, and I actually feel the way it was realized, as well as didn’t start with winning things started with self observation. Okay. And I actually learned about that teaching that came from what was the source? I got it from was good, Jeff. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And then his, instead of calling it witnessing he call it self remembering. So yeah, self observation is often membrane. Very early on, I took up contemplating that teaching. It’s only the beginning of might start as self observation. So you’re basically you think you’re a person, and you’re just starting to observe yourself. And that’s good. And it bears fruit and spontaneously might deepen, have some moments where you instead of ourself, a person observing yourself, that you slip into a consciousness and Providence, you just slip into it? And see, there’s so many words for the same thing. Sure. Yeah. The point of the word witness, really is the non involvement. Right? With with experience. So you’re not taking sides, you’re not. You don’t particularly having a point of view except what they would call a neutral point of view. Sometimes I call it the harmonizing force. And it’s a little controversial nowadays to use the pyramid but in duality in the mind, you know, you’ve got the base and the polarized forces, active passive, moving back and forth being in Yang and then at the top of the pyramid, you have Eagle this overview. So The witness is not taking sides with either side of the, of the support structure, it is just viewing impartially what’s going on. So rather than in this witnessing power, rather than being trapped in the forces of duality, which are opposing and contradicting each other, and also working together, but basically, they create the dualities of life, pleasure and pain, desire and fear, stuff like that. The witnessing allows you, it’s called the harmonizing force, the peace force. You can imagine that if you’re trying to create peace, and you have two warring entities, that this mediator, if he’s willing to hear both sides, and to consider both sides is legitimate, is and is in is in. And because he has no resistance, or, or bias, either one, he’s actually taking in the true story, the true picture. So each of those parties are feeling met, then there might be a equanimity and a bounce that results from, from that consciousness that’s involved in the situation. And for if we call some period of humanity’s experience, the Dark Ages where, where these lower forces were in constant duality and conflict with each other, and the spiritual energy of the witnesses have not entered into the scene, then the possibilities for harmony and balance my peace, in a real way might not have been realized. And so I think what’s happening in the world, Downes that this spiritual force, this harmonizing force, this third force beyond the forces of duality has entered the scene. And to the extent that we access it, it’s bringing that to our own experience, not only on the inside, but also reflected on the outside.
Rick Archer: Is it possible to sort of be in tune with this harmonizing force or to be to be sort of in this witness consciousness, and yet, at the same time, take a stand, because like, for instance, in your book, your commentaries about the way our country behaved after 911, as contrasted with how we might ideally have behaved, to me kind of implied a sort of a progressive liberal perspective, which I share, and, you know, and yet there, is it possible to sort of have a have a kind of a conviction like that, and yet at the same time, be deeper level perhaps be impartial, universal in in one’s perspective.
Sundance Burke: I believe so. I mean, I believe we’re at that point right now, where as many of us as, as possible, as many parts of consciousness as possible, can get together and be present. And, and not be coming from the polarized forces of desire and fear, warring with each other. Right. At the end, I think that we could have an influence and that we can make appropriate decisions, almost what any specific decision would be certainly not reacting to a negative situation with more negativity. I mean, some of some of these things are just common sense. They’re not high spiritual principles. It’s, it’s obviously, the public is, is being completely manipulated to a very ignorant point of view. And is under the sway of a very, very dangerous beliefs. And hopefully we are, you know, if that goes too far, obviously it gets very, very bad, which is what’s happening now. And then out of that suffering. We finally had enough and we’re looking for a new way and that many times in the past that new way was not really a new way. It was just a change. In other words, I’ll throw you drawing some more despots and a whole thing turns into a mess, but 20 years later, but now it’s really really, really serious. You know, because there’s a lot. And again, this is kind of math, Oracle story of what happens on the inside. With all of us waking up. The two go together, it’s all one. And yeah, I, I believe that people will be looking to presents for the next decisions that are made in this world. I hope that is the case. It is real, it is present. And that’s what your show is about. There’s many, many others in the world right now. It’s it’s very active. As we sit here,
Rick Archer: yeah, I think you’re right. And you made an interesting point there, which is that the sort of there there’s a lot of change now on the outside people waking up people not kind of passively accepting stuff that is really unacceptable by any decent standards. And that the correlation to that is this sort of, kind of epidemic of spiritual awakening that seems to be taking place? I think the two are very much intertwined. And it’s, you know, we’re all playing different roles, some of us more political and activist and some of us more quiet, perhaps, but, again, you know, different flowers in the garden, we all have our individual roles to play. But it’s it’s heartening, you know, it’s kind of gives one hope.
Sundance Burke: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. No, it, it definitely is happening. You know, we’re, we’re bringing light, light has been brought into the situation. So it really was happening is that the faults has been exposed, collaboratively. Yeah, there are enormous falsehoods, there is an enormous disillusionment going on collectively, worldwide. Yeah. And that this illusion that collectively, is changing the whole paradigm of what their beliefs were, they thought the world was operating a certain way. And when you actually do find out what the real depth of it is, what the real story is, is just totally, literally nothing like what we’ve assumed. Yeah. And this is even true for me. I, in the last couple of years, as the story as the collective story has been revealed to this consciousness. It’s like, Are you kidding me? I mean, I knew things were wrong, you know, I mean, I knew that the world was definitely insane. But, but, but actually, what the real story is, is just so mind blowing ly different than we’ve been told that when people wake up to it, it’s going to not, it’s going to shake up all collectively, but it’s also going to shake our insights, because that’s you and your inner story will no longer make sense. Once the outer story is completely destroyed, yeah, it’ll shake you alter your foundations inside and out. And so I think at that point, I hope it’s a turning to the hearts and turning to love. And it’s, it’s seen from, it’s seen from the witness point of view that we are one being one consciousness. You know, and I have often said that there will be one job in the future. And you know, I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but you just might, just might, and that would be service, service, service to others. Only one job, and you may, it doesn’t matter, you’ll be doing all kinds of different things. But the attitude, the spirit, yeah. And the understanding, or as shunyata used to say, the inner standing will be totally, you know, you’re in the heart.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Like you might be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher or a bus driver or whatever, but it’s the it’s where you’re doing it from that everything will
Sundance Burke: change though. There’ll be plenty of money, there’ll be plenty of abundance, there’ll be no poverty, but none of that stuff will exist it’s only existed because of the lack of spiritual energy, the lack of witnessing force. Yeah, it’s it’s come it’s only come about in inattention, no presence. See, things are sneaking up on us in using us and we gave our power away. But you know, you can reclaim your power by being who you really are, being the witness be Being present, because really what can happen to you when you’re present? Who can who can sneak up on you and make you do something silly? Or say something silly or, or hurt someone or gotten blocked? Hear Your president here go off to war, go fight this war. Right? You know, I mean, hopefully, we have enough of a charge and a presence here that this was maybe a beautiful beginning.
Rick Archer: I’m glad you got on to this topic. It’s you get really animated when you when you begin talking on this theme, I appreciate it. It’s good. I was I was on a boat ride one time with Maharishi and people were talking about this, what he called the phase transition, you know, this, who this is like, 1975. This is huge change that he saw coming. And many people were even then talking about it. And then people said, well, how can we survive it? It sounds like it could be really cataclysmic. And he said, Well, hang on to yourself. You know, hold on to yourself. that’ll that’ll, that’s all you need to do.
Sundance Burke: And I think that’s so true now, yeah, those are those are very important words. Be Your truth. Be super let love bring you into as Eckhart used to say bringing you into intense presence. When when the going gets very dicey. Yeah, and and then you know how it is when disaster happens? How people come together naturally.
Rick Archer: Yeah, like earthquakes or tornadoes or whatever. I’m
Sundance Burke: believable. Unbelievable. How much our hearts open up how much our eyesight opens up.
Rick Archer: Yeah, even a snowstorm you know, here in Iowa, you have a big snowstorm everybody’s out helping shovel each other’s driveways and feeling all this neighborliness these people you haven’t talked to since last winter?
Sundance Burke: Yeah. But it’s important. I’m hopeful that we’re gonna get to the way. There’s, there’s two cruxes to the problem. One is inner and the other one’s ours. In a sense, they’re both the same, you know, and it is the ego you know, ego inside, and then the ego outside. And we need to get to the that ego. And we need to say, mere time is over. This is completely false. I’m done with you. I have realized who I am now. And you no longer have any power over over my life. In fact, I, I recognize you. I am I am looking at you. I’m watching you. Yeah, it’s like anonymous. Right? Except that you forget. Because there’s nothing to forgive once you realize, you know, everything’s fine.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s great. I remember back in the 60s or early 70s, when all the kinds of protests and riots and whatnot were taking place on the college campuses. And I was in college, and I was already meditating at that point. And I, you know, I thought, I felt like, Okay, well, I’m making my contribution. I feel like, there, these guys are just getting too carried away. without referring back to the foundation, you know, without the sort of, you know, there’s too much ego involvement, not enough self referral. And nowadays, I look back, I think, well, you know, if it weren’t for their efforts, the Vietnam war might have lasted a lot longer than it had. And, you know, so people need to do stuff on the outer level as well, you can’t just sit around meditate, expect the world to change, I think that there’s a kind of a balance and, you know, perhaps those who have been a little bit primarily inward oriented, could could actually benefit from being a little bit more engaged outwardly and vice versa, you know, the Occupy people and all have to be remain or have to remember that there’s a deeper dimension to this, that’s, that’s really motivating this, this awakening and, you know, stay true to that in order for in order to stay on track.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, I mean, it’s all one you know, it’s one big huge manifestation and that no part in that manifestation is unimportant, right. All Connected. Separation is a notion that has no existence in reality. So whether we know it or not, we are all rowing the ship, you know, together. Yeah. And I just honestly think we are living at an amazing time where we are going to see a paradigm shift and globally, and very, very different than the past, like the French Revolution or the American, right? We’re basically the same forces remain a new forces entering here and it is this consciousness, it is this witnessing it is it is the awareness of a higher truth. That is, that is already present does not need to be established. It’s just waiting to be felt and to be seen and to be lived, to be realized. And it’s, and that’s what, you know, it’s been growing and growing and growing and growing. And we always wondered if it was gonna grow fast enough. Yeah. Before the, you know, manifestation decided to take turn for the worst. But yeah. Don’t know if I would say, hopeful for me, as much as I would say, I’m kind of excited and enthused by it. And I don’t see any real disaster, you know, not from the point of view of who you really are. There’s nothing under threat. You know, but how do we live? Here? How do we enjoy this time? How do we, how do we spend this now together? You know, I’d like to be with you. And I’d like to be with people like you. And I’d like to. And I have a compassion for when I see them suffering, even when you know, you’re loving them. And there’s more than love grows, the more they’re surrounded by it. We can have a really, really sweet life, I hope.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s very inspiring to hear you say it actually, at one point, I got goosebumps when you were saying that it’s like, it kind of ramped up my, my inspiration level for this whole thing. So no, it’s beautiful. I’d actually like to recommend a book in addition to your book, there’s a there’s a friend of mine named Robert Cox, who about 20 years ago wrote this book called The pillar of celestial fire, and the last science of the ancient seers. And in it, he talked about what you were saying reminded me of it, he talked about subtle energy and how, you know, it’s this sort of subtle force which, which causes spiritual evolution and which kind of enlivens the physiology and so on. And he actually, he goes into great detail, but he said that there’s this sort of precession of the equinoxes, which happens on a cycle of 26,000 years, and we’re approaching the point at which a huge sort of influx of subtle energy will come kind of a wash, bombarding the earth from the sort of central center of the galaxy. And that, it’s, that’s why we’re experiencing this quickening in consciousness around the world. Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that. But I thought the book came to mind. And I think a lot of listeners might enjoy it. Yeah, Robert Cox is the guy’s name. So anyway, we probably should wrap it up or been almost two hours, is there anything? There are probably a million beautiful little nuggets in your book that we could go off on discussions about talk for another two hours, but out of mercy for our listeners, we can conclude is there anything that has kind of been in the back your mind that you feel like we ought to have touched on that we haven’t?
Sundance Burke: Well, just because you were mentioning the book, the only thing I’ll say about free spirit, and also Katie’s book, awake joy is that they were written in presence, yes, in presence. So more than the ideas that are in them, the real value in those books is that they contain that energy of presence and help. Everyone resonate with it, because that’s, that’s just what the book is. It’s, it has that frequency in it. So beyond the actual directions, and statements and words, there is a flow. And I think that’s the real value of the book. And I think that’s the real value of any true spiritual teaching is not what they say, but to be the realization that you’re trying to communicate so that it’s not a trying to communicate, it is an actual offering. And
Rick Archer: I got really well reading your books, both of them, they kind of kind of settle you down, you know, because of the energy that the level from which they were written. I actually was on a spiritual retreat a couple of weeks ago with Sharon Landreth, and had Katie’s book with me and got quite a lot of reading time in on the retreat. So that was a nice combination. kind of came back here and hit the ground running against quite as much time to read your book, but it was very, it’s very enjoyable. What I’ve read of it so far. Thank you. How do you get the name Sundance?
Sundance Burke: I don’t know. I mean, it came from a cat. You have cats.
Rick Archer: I have a cat. She often sits on my lap while I’m doing these interviews. What’s her name? Leila. Oh, nice. Which means play in Sanskrit. Yeah,
Sundance Burke: I know the word.
Rick Archer: We have a couple of dogs too.
Sundance Burke: Yeah, I just I don’t know how I got it. Actually. I mean, I I had a cat that we that we took cats that we picked up at Lake Como. They were wild. And they were living at a lodge and they needed a home. And their names were Sundance in moonbeam. And when we brought them home with us, Sundance in a day or two was gone, either eaten by something or or just took off.
Rick Archer: So you took his name.
Sundance Burke: Go figure. You know, it’s good.
Rick Archer: When I was a kid, there were two cats living across the street named sunbeam and moonbeam. Very close. Yeah. Anyway, that’s a nice name. So, so thank you, Sundance, this has been enjoyable. And I really hope I will run into one of these days. Give me a big hug. I’m sure well,
Sundance Burke: can I give a little schedule,
Rick Archer: right? Yes, please go ahead.
Sundance Burke: We’re gonna be somewhere near you.
Rick Archer: And keep in mind that people might be watching this two years from now 10 years from now. So let’s give a date and time.
Sundance Burke: So let’s go to our website, if you want to see our schedule, is my website is www Sundance. berk.org br Ke. And our schedule is posted there, Katie and my schedule. And in general. In June, we’re going to be in North Carolina, and Washington, DC, Washington, DC and then backs North Carolina for the wonderful gathering. And we’ve decided to do that. So thank you for sharing with me and being present with me. And I enjoyed it very much.
Rick Archer: Me too. We’ll do it again sometime. So let me make a couple of concluding remarks. You’ve been watching an interview, which is part of an ongoing series called Buddha at the Gas Pump. And all of these interviews can be found email@example.com Bat gap, which is an acronym for Buddha at the Gas Pump. And if you’d like to be notified every time a new one is made available, you can subscribe to the email notification thing there. Or you can subscribe on YouTube and YouTube will tell you when new ones come up. Although I’m having a problem with YouTube at the moment, then gonna go into that. There’s also an audio podcast that you can subscribe to with Apple’s iTunes. And there’s a link to that from the website. There’s also a fairly lively discussion group to discussion groups actually one on batgap.com That that crops up around every interview. And then there’s also a yahoo group called Buddha at the Gas Pump, which is a little bit lesser known, but there’s some pretty good decision discussions there sometime you’ll find a link to that on batgap.com also. So thank you very much. Thank you, Sundance. Bye bye Rick. By and thank you to those who’ve been listening or watching and we will see you next time.