Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done, I think this is number 650 that we’re doing today. And if you haven’t seen any of these before and you’d like to check out previous ones, go to backgap.com and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there are PayPal buttons on the website and there’s a page which suggests alternatives to PayPal. My guest today is Suresh Ramaswamy. Suresh is a transformational teacher and visionary entrepreneur, passionate about igniting and catalyzing the transformation of humanity. He is the author of “Just Be, Transform Your Life and Live as Infinity.” The book received many awards, including the Nautilus Book Award and the International Soul Bridge Body Mind Spirit Award. With his background as an electrical engineer and technology executive, Suresh brings an inspired yet pragmatic approach to elevating consciousness on our planet. Held in high regard by people around the world, Suresh’s light-filled presence and guidance awakens them to their innermost essence. Alrighty, welcome Suresh.
Suresh: Delighted to be here. Thank you, Rick.
Rick: Good to have you. This is a nice book, very beautifully designed and all these cute little illustrations in it. And I didn’t see, well, I did see them ’cause I flipped through it to see them, but I also listened to the book. I converted it to audio so I could listen, but I read the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a lot of practical advice in it, a lot of techniques and so on. I imagine that what you expect people to do is just sort of pick out certain techniques that resonate with them and try those ’cause you could make it a full-time job to do all of them every day.
Suresh: That’s right. Yes, as you said, there’s quite a few techniques, but there is a core technique that’s in the middle of the book, which I consider as, you know, this is fundamental. This is the practice I’d like people to do on a daily basis. And it’s called the Awakening Infinite Radiance or AIR for short. And that’s a practice that comprises of four techniques. So there’s like five minutes each technique, That’s what I recommend for a daily basis. But then there’s numerous other techniques depending on what’s relevant for you. Like if you’re dealing with an emotion, you wanna release those techniques for that and so forth.
Rick: So before we get into talking about those techniques and all the many things, I think we’re gonna talk about a lot of different things today. Let’s learn a little bit about you. You don’t talk about yourself very much in the book, although you have done a lot of interviews in which you do talk about yourself. But the only thing you really mentioned about yourself in the book is that at one point you were doing six hour long meditations in the hills above San Diego, and you had this profound infusion of light going on, but that would probably be getting ahead of the story. So I’ve heard you say you were born in India. So where would you like to start in terms of what’s significant to what we’re gonna talk about today?
Suresh: Okay, so we can look at some of the highlights on my journey, starting with my early childhood, if we wanna go there. So in general, I think, it was a pretty ordinary growing up experience, but as I’ve been doing interviews, I’ve been going back and really thinking about my childhood. And sure enough, there are some interesting things that happened as I really look back. And so one interesting thing I would say is probably this was pre-school years, maybe I was four years or so, and I would wake up in the middle of the night and I would see that everybody else is sleeping. And then I would initiate a lucid dream. And the lucid dream was always the same lucid dream. And the dream was not about characters or anything playing out, but it was all about light. So it was like these patterns of light, incredibly brilliant, very aware and intelligent. And it’s like I was moving through a stream of these light beams. And I would just keep doing that for, I don’t know how long until I fell back asleep. And this was not a passive thing because I could interact with the light. There was subtle exchanges with the light. And much later, to give you a very concrete idea of what this looked like, I saw the movie “2001, A Space Odyssey,” classic science fiction movie. And towards the end of that movie, the spaceship is hurtling towards, I think one of the moons of Jupiter. And I think the character’s Dave. You can see him going through some interdimensional space. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in a movie where you can see these incredible, colorful lights zipping by. And this goes on and on and he’s just looking. And you can tell that there is a physical thing. He’s sitting in a spaceship. You can kind of see the reflection off his helmet. And you can also see there’s something which is other dimensions. So it’s kind of going through our interdimensional portal of some kind. And that to me captures the essence of my lucid dreams. So I find it interesting that I could, every night this kept going on and on. And I would just do this. And I don’t think I talked much about it because people would think, oh, you got a good imagination. And probably that’s what I would also think. That’s probably good imagination. But anyway.
Rick: It sounds like you turned it on. You knew how to turn it on at will.
Suresh: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: Some little adjustment of your attention or something.
Suresh: That’s right. It could just be like, I have the intention and it would start. It’s like going back to the VCR and pressing play. So that was happening. I thought that was interesting in some ways.
Rick: Did you feel these lights were like angelic presences or any such thing? Were they intelligent?
Suresh: I would say they’re intelligent, but it was more, not so much like specific beings, but a more general sort of intelligence rather than specific lights being specific beings. It just felt like a general thing. It would be pretty exciting for me as a little kid. It was endlessly entertaining, never got boring. And I cannot say there was a specific message that came out of it or a specific being or any such thing. In fact, this theme plays throughout my journey. It’s not like spectacular, special things. It’s more very ordinary and very, you could say, it’s more like impersonal. It’s more impersonal.
Rick: But it sounds like you were tuned into some subtler realm ’cause subtler realms tend to be light-filled and somehow you’re able to just play around on a subtler level.
Suresh: Yeah, it’s quite possible. It’s quite possible. And now that I look back on it, I feel like, yeah, that certainly when I connected with meditation experiences later on, I do feel like, yeah, this is the similar kind of higher dimensional stuff.
Rick: Yeah, interesting. Okay, so that was like four or five years old, right? And then what’s next?
Suresh: Next is I would pick maybe when I was six or seven. And this is just, it’ll take a minute to explain it. One fine day I stepped out into the backyard and everything was crystal clear. Everything was crystal clear. That is the highlight of the thing. And that came with tremendous feeling of bliss that there was nothing happening. It’s crystal clear. It was blissful. And of course I felt like it’s gonna be like this from now on. It was just like, I was sure it would be like this. And it wasn’t, unfortunately it faded away, but it was pretty cool. It was pretty cool. So that stands out to me. Again, these are very, I suspect many of the viewers probably have had similar experiences. We’ve just forgotten them.
Rick: Yeah, some people critique it or criticize when people mention specific experiences because of teachings from people like Ramana who would say, well, if it comes and goes, it’s not the reality. But I think these things are significant. And I also think that I’m always interested when young children have profound experiences ’cause it suggests reincarnation that they have come into this life with a certain amount of spiritual development under their belt. And they start experiencing things at a young age. It’s interesting. And often people who do that are predisposed to get on a serious spiritual path a little bit later on and make significant progress.
Suresh: Yeah, very true, very true. I think you’re absolutely right. The experiences, if we pay too much attention and emphasis, we can get a little bit sidetracked. But at the same time, they are providing us some clues as to what’s going on.
Rick: Yeah. And there are going to be experiences, aren’t there? I mean, if a person’s on a spiritual path, there are gonna be all kinds of things. And so there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that it’s not all about those transitory experiences. It’s about something more deep and abiding.
Suresh: Right, right, exactly, exactly. So next point to jump would be my teenage years, I would say. And by the way, we aren’t gonna go through a blow by blow count throughout. We’re gonna start jumping.
Rick: Whatever you think is most significant.
Suresh: So for me, teenage years, much like many teenagers experience the teenage angst, I felt it, but with a particular unique flavor to it. And that was, you could say dismay or despondency that there wasn’t more to life than the usual stuff. Just doing well in school, get a good job, all these kinds of things to me was like, that is hardly satisfying. And that was felt like, I felt a certain kind of sadness. It can’t be just this. And if it’s just this, life is not looking too exciting to me. So fortunately, soon thereafter, I would say perhaps when I was 16 or so, I stumbled across a series of books. And books, by the way, have been a huge part of my learning experience and growth experience. They really made a huge difference. And these were books by mystics. They were books by people like Swami Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Paul Brunton. Paul Brunton was one of the interesting ones I stumbled across at my grandparents’ place. And his book called “Search in Secret India.” It’s a pretty popular book. And Paul Brunton is a British writer. He travels across India. He meets all these mystics, yogis, fakirs. And of course, many of them are questionable. And the climax is he meets Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai. And when he does that, he describes it beautifully. So you feel that connection. And to me, you feel that, the vibratory aspect very strongly because Ramana Maharshi was not a big talker. You know, he was really wanting to teach mostly through silence, unless somebody really pushed him and asked him a question. So Paul Brunton does a great job of showing what transpires in the silence. And so to me, that really caught my attention. And fortunately for me, my family were very open-minded. So I could talk about these things. And my dad, I should say a little bit about my parents. So my dad was an engineer too, like me. And so very linear, logical, analytical. And my mom was the opposite. Things she would say would defy logic. And over the years, I’ve actually come to appreciate that because I feel that some of the wisest things, they defy logic. You can’t hang on to logic too long. So in any case, my parents were very open-minded. In India, of course, there’s every corner, as you’ve seen, there’s temples, there’s yogis, there’s mystics everywhere. And that’s so cool. I mean, I really, when I look back, I feel like this quality of devotional connection with something bigger that you can’t even describe, that’s in the air. It’s everywhere. When I used to walk to school, all these shopkeepers would be opening their shops and everybody lights this incense. And the incense is, the beautiful fragrance is wafting into the streets. And I’m walking to school. It’s like you’re going to a temple. These kinds of things were everyday, right?
Rick: Yeah, the first time I went to India, I came out on the sidewalk of Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi. And it was like, ah, this feeling. Even though it’s taxis and beggars and crazy scene, but there’s this underlying feeling, in my experience, in India, that hits you even in a city. And I’m sure it’s much more profound in the Himalayas or in Tiruvannamalai or someplace like that.
Suresh: Yes, yes. And I was growing up in a big city. Most of my education was in Mumbai, which is a big, crowded, metropolitan city. So I was walking, dodging cars and all kinds of stuff. That was just how it was.
Rick: Did you ever go through a phase where you thought, “Okay, I wanna get serious about spirituality. I’m gonna run away to the Himalayas” or “I’m gonna join an ashram.” Or did you ever go through that?
Suresh: Well, it was not that extreme. I always felt like you can find it right here. So I did go to a bunch of ashrams, actually with my parents, because near Bombay, there’s Nityananda, who’s Muktananda’s guru.
Suresh: Who’s a great, Ganeshpuri, exactly, on the outskirts of Mumbai. So his samadhi’s there, Nityananda’s. And so going there, there’s hot springs there. These kinds of things. I did go to the Himalayas. I did go to Kedarnath, where there’s Adi Shankaracharya’s samadhi, which is pretty cool. I did go to Tiruvannamalai, again, with my parents. They were all like, “Yeah, let’s go, let’s check it out.”
Rick: That’s great.
Suresh: I did go to Ranchi, which is Paramahansa Yogananda’s ashram is there. So all these were part of the deal. And even on an average week, if there was some wise teachers passing through the city giving evening talks on Bhagavad Gita, my dad and I would go off in the evening, six o’clock, seven o’clock, catch the local train, attend these talks, and it would be really cool. I mean, I would enjoy that so much. In fact, I remember, even now, conversations with my dad on the way back, like there would be terms like from a verse from the Gita, you know, “One who can see action in inaction, and inaction in action, I call him illumined.” So we would talk about, “What does it mean to see action and inaction?” And these kinds of things. So I just enjoyed this kind of exploration, but it wasn’t any extreme thing that I wanted to, there was nowhere to run to as far as I am concerned. (laughs) It was all right there. And all of these great beings, they said the same thing. They said, “This is just tough. Reading is not good enough. You got to meditate. You got to find it out on your own.” And so I started my sort of feeble attempts at meditation. I would just sit and really not be meditating, just be sitting mostly. But it was still an attempt. I think it’s still an attempt. So I still count that as some earnestness in my seeking.
Rick: You didn’t try to get mantra diksha from somebody or anything?
Suresh: No, I didn’t. In fact, in my entire life, I’ve never found a teacher who’s still in their body who I felt, “This is my teacher.” Never. There’s a lot of people I really have a lot of respect for, but I haven’t had a teacher per se in the body. I’ve always felt this connection with light and infinity, as I call it. That I see as my true teacher and who’s presenting me with the right resources at the right time. And that’s how it’s been. So this continued on, and I would say I studied engineering. And then I came to the US to go to grad school. So I came to California at that point, actually. And I was starting to feel like I’m just reading stuff. I’m not making any real progress. And at this rate, nothing’s gonna happen. So I would try harder to meditate every day. But at the end of the day, I would say it would be like 15 minutes, which I felt like it’s not moving the needle. It’s not doing anything. So my solution to that was, I’ve got to find intensive retreats. And they’re gonna be tough, but that’s what I gotta do. So that’s what I started doing. I started looking up, at that time there would be these catalogs with all the retreats in the country. I mean, the internet was not a big thing in the time.
Rick: What year are you talking about now?
Suresh: This is would be in, yeah, it would be 90, I would say, yeah, early 90s, late 80s, early 90s.
Rick: Yeah, hard to find things in those days.
Suresh: Yes. So there would be books like Ram Dass’ book, there would be like a index of all the meditation centers in the country.
Suresh: Stuff like that. That would be, so you actually call these people up and all kinds of things. So anyway, I started finding that some of the best retreats were these Buddhist retreats. And I really started enjoying Buddhism because I felt like it was very getting down to the point, no nonsense. And let’s do the work kind of thing, not sit and chit chat. So I started going for these like week long retreats, (laughing) Because, man, some of these Zen retreats, you start at 3 a.m. And I was like, I’m not a morning person. At 3 a.m. you wake up and you directly go to the meditation hall. You don’t even wash your face. You go to the meditation hall and you keep going. Short breaks for breakfast, lunch, and so on. This was like, it was terrible. It was terrible. But I felt this is what I needed. This is what I needed. And it was very humbling because after all those hours, I felt like a loser because I felt like I could see all my stuff, including all the things I would rather think I don’t have, tendencies for all these desires, all these tendencies to avoid work, sloth, torpor, anger, temptation, you name it. All these things are showing up. And so I felt like I’ve got a lot of work to do. But it was, I think the insight that came out of it was, yeah, all these are within you, but you don’t have, it’s not you. It’s just all this stuff is there within you. So there was some inkling of that. And so I’m gonna basically, this was many years of retreats. And it starts sticking because you have transcendental experiences. A little bit here, a little bit there. And then you start saying, okay, I’m still not there, but at least I have some idea where I’m going. And that helps fuel your daily practice. So my daily practice started getting more serious. So let me pause here for a second and see if you have any questions.
Rick: Well, it’s going well here. I did have a, later on, I wanna talk about that Gita verse you brought up ’cause I really liked that one too, but that would be, we’ll get to it. And I admire your, what’s the word, your enthusiasm and endurance. I don’t know if I would have been able to do things like, I mean, I was on long courses, six months at a time, many hours of meditation a day, but I didn’t have to just stare at a wall. And it was a kind of meditation that’s very gratifying from day one often and not difficult and doesn’t involve concentration or control. But people who could do long Zen retreats like that, gotta hand it to them. And I also wanted to comment earlier that, I think it’s great that your teenage angst was immediately turned to spiritual directions ’cause most teenagers, they become rebellious, they do drugs, they do all kinds of crazy self-destructive things because they’re feeling that dissatisfaction, but they just don’t know how to channel it constructively. So it’s good that you had the parents you did and the culture you did to, bypass all of that self-destructiveness that you would have had to spend years repairing as was my experience.
Suresh: Yes, I was definitely very fortunate and very blessed in just so many ways. There’s still a lot of work ahead of me though. So I did keep pursuing that. And I’m gonna jump decades now because this is really, just kept going on and on. And if you were to ask me during this decade, is anything going on? Do you feel like you’re growing and developing and getting enlightened? The answer would be not at all. Nothing’s going on. That would be my answer.
Rick: I don’t think you would have been able to stick with it if nothing was going on, but something was going on beneath the surface that kept you going, I think. You think?
Suresh: Yes, I think so in retrospect. It was pretty subtle, but my honest answer still would have been nothing’s going on. That’s what it felt like. Because I read all these books about how incredible experiences people are having. And I wasn’t, I totally wasn’t. It was absolutely dull and boring, seriously. (laughing) So it’s continued on. And so I think about a decade or decade and a half later, I started doing longer meditations more regularly. And things started changing a lot. Even though, of course, I had done longer meditations and retreats, now I started doing as a routine. And I think I’d built up something because I could meditate six hours and it was enjoyable. It wasn’t like those early Zen retreats where I was basically counting the days and times when it would be over. It certainly wasn’t like that. Six hours would just go by. And in those six hours, there would be like less than a minute of something which was now pretty remarkable. So this, after I would say a couple of decades, there would be essentially, it’s like you were in a lightning storm in outdoors and you saw the lightning strike. I mean, it’s undeniable. So you just see that and then you are part of that lightning and the lightning, the light is so powerful, you are no longer outside of that light. The light takes you in. And it’s also initially intolerable. It felt like that. It felt like, whoa, stop it. It’s too much. And of course, after that, I would be like, why did I do that? But that would be my knee jerk reaction. It was too much.
Rick: Let me ask a question here.
Rick: At what stage of the game did you get married and start having children? Was that in the midst of all this business that you’ve described?
Suresh: Yeah, so I would say in my late 20s was when I got married. And in my 30s, mid 30s was when we had children. So all the stuff, householder lifestyle and ordinary, at first a corporate job and then entrepreneurial venture, they all continued on. So they were pretty, looked pretty ordinary, nothing spectacular, but it was all going on in parallel.
Rick: And obviously your wife was cool with your spiritual pursuits.
Suresh: So when we first met and we were still talking about each other’s interests, I was very clear. I said, on top of my list is this thing. This is my, like, I’m crazy about spirituality. And I don’t expect you to be, but I want you to be totally comfortable with this because that’s part of my day-to-day thing. And she was totally cool about it. And she was also had religious inclinations, actually pretty strong, but still spirituality was a little different, like sitting and meditating, that’s a little different, but she was quite fine with it. So thankfully I could do my stuff and mostly she would leave me alone because she had her own stuff to do. But to complete that story much later, maybe say a decade after we were married, she started getting really interested in other spiritual stuff and starting to–
Suresh: Whether it’s osmosis or whatever, I don’t know. But she really got seriously into meditation and we couldn’t stop talking about these things because it’s an endlessly fascinating topic. So many of our dinner conversations, if I were to summarize it, it’s always about two things. One is our children and second is about spiritual topics. It’s just fascinating, both these topics for us.
Suresh: That summarizes it.
Rick: That’s great. We never had children, but I’ve definitely been a spiritual fanatic for a long time and Irene has too. That’s how we met over in Switzerland, the headquarters of the TM movement back in the mid ’70s. But in any case, I think once you really get how profound spirituality is, I guess at some point it dawned upon me that, in fact, I can remember clearly, I was driving down a certain road in Westport, Connecticut and some guy in the back of the car was reading from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s translation of the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and they were talking about enlightenment and this little light went off in my head. I thought, “Enlightenment, yeah, that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s why we’re here.” (both laughing) But once you really get bit by that bug, it’s hard to forget, fortunately.
Suresh: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it eclipses everything. I mean, I think everything else is so pale. Once you understand what we’re talking about here, you can’t stop.
Rick: And we’re not talking about escapism, obviously. Your life is an example of that and we’re really talking about something that will enhance life if you go about it properly, which is important to emphasize because some people do become dysfunctional or withdrawn or get into spiritual bypassing and all that.
Suresh: Absolutely and those are great points because there can be a tendency to say, “Life is bogging me down.” You know, “all this livelihood stuff, it’s just like not helping my spiritual growth. So I’m gonna put myself in an environment,” whatever that is, “and just stick to that because that’s what’s important.” And you know, there have been people, of course, who’ve gone off into the caves for all their lifetime and that kind of thing has its place. However, as long as we realize that’s not the full story because the integration which comes is critical. So in fact, you know, there’s many styles of development. You know, you can go off 10 years and live in the caves and what you’re doing in the cave is mostly transcendence. You’re just transcending, transcending, transcending, but you have not done enough integration. So there’s many uncooked aspects of your being that are still sitting there waiting to get cooked, waiting to be brought into the light. And so you’ll have to do that at some point. So if you come back to the marketplace 10 years later, there’s a lot waiting for you, a lot of integration, and that’s important. So I think the good news for people who are living in the world is you can do this much more in a balanced and holistic way throughout the journey. So you transcend a little bit, integrate that right away. Transcend more, integrate it right away. So there isn’t a backlog that builds up and that can be pretty nasty.
Rick: Yeah, somehow I’m coming up with images of taking a mouthful of food that’s much too big to chew and swallow. You just have to take it one bite at a time. And there’s that verse in the Gita, which is something like, you know, “he who sits denying the experience of the objects of sense and yet dwelling upon them in his mind is said to be a hypocrite.” So, you know, you can sit in a cave thinking about, you know, hamburgers and rock and roll or whatever your samskaras bring up and, you know, struggling with that. And then there could be somebody in a busy life in the marketplace, you know, engaging all kinds of responsibilities that’s actually much less attached to the world.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. I mean, I think when actually one is fully cooked, you know, you actually don’t stick out. It really, you’re so well integrated, you kind of blend into what looks, like, pretty plain. And I think this understanding is slowly starting to develop and thanks to people like Rick, because you’ve talked to so many people who’ve had so many unique journeys that each of these is a great data point that says it could look like this too and like this too and like this too. And when you start averaging it out and sprinkle Rick’s wisdom on it, because every interview, Rick has got so much wisdom to bring.
Rick: Oh, you’re embarrassing me.
Suresh: You start seeing, no, it starts, actually this is coming forth, that there is a certain ordinariness to the awakening it need not, you can get there without a lot of fuss, without a lot of drama, and it can be quite beautiful in a very subtle way.
Rick: Well, that was one of the main motivations for starting this show was that, you know, I live in a town where several thousand people have been meditating for decades and people were having genuine spiritual awakenings and, you know, significant things, not just flashy experience here and there, but something profound and abiding. And they would mention it to their friends and then friends would say, “Oh, come on, you’re just an ordinary guy and you don’t float three feet off the ground, you’re not like Saint so-and-so.” And so they’d shut up about it ’cause they didn’t wanna like create waves. But so I thought, well, you know, people really need to see that their peers are having these kinds of awakenings and then they too will be inspired. ‘Cause some of these other people were thinking, “Well, nothing’s ever gonna happen for me and I’ll just keep meditating all my life, but I don’t expect anything.” And I thought, well, that’s not the right attitude because yeah, it can happen for you. So the tagline of the show is “Conversations with Ordinary Spiritually Awakening People.”
Suresh: I think that’s fantastic because we need to stop thinking, you know, you awaken and you’re gonna levitate or you’re gonna be relocating.
Rick: Glowing in the dark or whatever.
Suresh: Yeah. Or you’re gonna have some unusual visionary experiences, something spectacular and stuff like that. I mean, all that can happen, but that’s not what it’s about.
Suresh: Yeah. Yeah, so where were we?
Rick: Well, there’s a bunch of things. I mean, I think you need to say more about where when you had really kind of shifted into a state where kind of resting in being became the default and you began kind of thinking and acting from there and sort of making decisions from that deeper state. It’s like, you know, the Gita verse, “Established in yoga, perform action.” So, you know, somehow through all this struggle and determination, that eventually became your default.
Suresh: Yes, exactly, well put. So these spectacular, you know, momentary experiences of light, they, slowly, you adapt to it. So you actually hang out in the light just a little bit longer, just a little bit longer. And this was happening more and more. And also it starts leaking out. So it’s not just in the meditation, you may be driving. I’ve had such spectacular bliss, just pouring out of nowhere while I’m driving. And I know Rick, you had similar things happening. So this starts happening for no reason. And I think the meditation to me, long meditations have been a critical, important piece of my journey that I felt like this did make a difference. And slowly I started adapting and hanging out with the light. And the light, you first relate to the light as being something outside of you. And then as you get comfortable, you get drawn to it and you can’t really find yourself outside of it. And there is just the light actually. There is no me hanging out in the light. There is just the light. And this just happens, it just develops. And furthermore, now when I look back at even my first meditation back in my teens, I never thought of this, but I would close my eyes, I would look and it would be like there’s a sun in the inner sun in the sky. This was always the case. So I thought, big deal. I mean, this is probably what everybody sees when they close their eyes. It never occurred to me that this was something. It’s only took a lot of meditation to rediscover what was happening pretty early on. So there it was, this inner light, which I feel when I look back and I see people struggling so much, I mean, there’s so much suffering and even people on the spiritual path, there’s so much struggling. When I start looking at my experiences with light, it occurs to me that it doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be just full of drama and suffering, that when we proactively engage with higher consciousness, we have this dynamic where light can lift us up and pull us into itself. It’s a beautiful experience at that point. So it’s just not, I don’t see and hear about it as much. Everybody’s talking about their Kundalini rising and all kinds of things blowing up, the circuits are blowing up and then they had to rush here and go. I’m like, if you cultivate your energy circuits and light circuits, and then you proactively move towards light, you have the capacity to handle it and light takes care of the most important things. We can only do so much. Light can do the rest. So that’s kind of how it kept unfolding. And of course, this is starts permeating the entire existence. So all your day, all your night, you’re in the light. You’re just in the light. You’re not having to do anything. You’re just in the light. And of course, I started sharing about this, but very informally, because I always looked upon this as my own personal journey. It is relatively private. I wouldn’t talk about it outside much, but there came a point around this time when I was sort of prodded from inside to be more public about it. So that’s been the last 10, 12 years. I’ve been more public about it.
Rick: What would you say to somebody who just heard what you said? And they say, well, I meditate and I enjoy it and my mind settles down and it feels good and all that, but I’m not seeing any light. So am I doing it wrong or am I missing something or what?
Suresh: Yeah, so excellent question. Light itself can make itself known to you through a variety of means. So of course, the most obvious thing when we talk about light is we feel this kind of visual perception of light and we translate that to the inner perception of light. And that’s of course, makes a lot of sense, but light is also vibration. And you may feel this vibration in every cell of your being. So you’re still feeling light, but it’s like your body is like feeling full of this high vibration energy. You may hear light, and this is the, you may say the cosmic sound is nothing but light itself being presented as a vibratory sound. So it’s all connected. So I would say stay open to how it’s presented to you. It’s gonna be very unique. And I would say, don’t be too influenced by what you read, because again, all the things I had read, they were all good, but they all are not quite right when I started having my own experiences. So similarly, what I’m saying, just take it as a possibility, but your experience, whatever you’re having is just the right thing for you. That’s what I would say.
Rick: Yeah, and different people experience differently according to their makeup, according to their nervous system. I heard a lecture on this one time that, some people it’ll be more a sense of vastness and others more a sense of bliss and others may be light and so on. So, like you just said, all those books didn’t perfectly match your experience, but even what you’re saying now might not perfectly match somebody else’s experience and yet that doesn’t diminish their experience.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. And so I think the experiences of higher consciousness and awakening and enlightenment and all these things, you have to be very careful because two people reach that level, they will describe it differently. And it’s not like one is right, one is wrong. One will be very centered around, say, self. They will talk a lot about the self disappeared and I’m no longer feeling like a finite being. And that’s probably exactly right for them, but we don’t have a translated into, that’s exactly how it has to be and that’s on my checklist to make sure I satisfy the criteria. No, it could look quite different. To you, it could look like this amorphous vastness that you cannot even describe. And guess what? It is another facet of the same thing. So I think all of these descriptions are legitimate and valid.
Rick: Yeah, and some of these people might be very devotional and some very intellectual and some might be people who are primarily activity oriented just according to their dharma, their natural tendencies, but they could all be equally awakened on the inside, so to speak.
Suresh: Right, right, exactly. That’s why we have to be a little bit careful about, we wanna be crisp in trying to characterize what these high states are. But at the same time, if we get too precise, we may actually lose something in being trying to be precise. We have to be very careful. There’s a line when you cross that, the precision is actually diminishing the truth quality of it.
Rick: Yeah, in fact, referencing the Gita again, there’s a verse where Arjuna is asking, well, how does an enlightened man behave? How does he sit? How does he walk? He’s asking for all these external signals. And Krishna gives this answer, which is totally internal about the established intellect and so on, which you can’t really see externally.
Suresh: Yes, exactly, exactly. Absolutely. So I think all the things you hear, including on Batgap, I would suggest to all the viewers, use it as good data points to mostly inspire you to reaching higher states, but not necessarily taking these things as specific things you have to check off. Yeah.
Rick: Since we’re speaking about light, Michael Moran from Ireland sent in a question. There are some spiritual teachers who talk a lot about light and divine light, such as Mother Meera, and he’s wondering if you ever met her or other teachers who emphasize light.
Suresh: Yes, yes, yes. The reference to light is hardly new. You can go back over a thousand years, you will see references to light.
Rick: Yeah, when thine eye be single, the whole body will be full of light, Jesus.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. And we can talk a little more about what that light is, because there’s a lot to be said about light. But to answer the question, yes, a lot of these teachers are talking about transcendental light. I have met Mother Meera at one point. Yeah, she’s referring, from what I understand, to the transcendental light. It’s the same light. And I feel there is the ability to perceive this light is actually built into us. So we never have to question whether, I am able to do that. I can guarantee everyone that you have the ability. There’s absolutely no doubt. But when you have that experience, you’re gonna use different words to describe it. That’s also for sure. So yes, I would say this light is… So let’s a little bit talk about what the nature of this light is, if that seems relevant.
Rick: Yeah, that’s good.
Suresh: So we’re all used to the light in physics. We’ve learned in physics, if we first learn about electromagnetics, the electromagnetic wave, and then, okay, then we say, wait a minute, there’s particle nature of light, and there’s dual nature, light is both particles and waves. Excellent. This, to me, is what I call the nature of light on the physical dimension. So on a very manifest level of reality, you will see this, and it’s fantastic even at that level. But the kinds of light I’m talking about is non-physical light. So when you step into the non-physical, we’re dealing with subtle energy, and we’re dealing with, instead of electromagnetic, it’s magneto-electric waves. And it’s also been referred to as hyper-dimensional scalar waves. And if you’re thinking, where’s the science behind this? There’s a lot of good science. So if you need a reference, check out Bill Tiller, Dr. Bill Tiller’s papers. He was–
Suresh: T-I-L-L-E-R. He was the chair of the material science department at Stanford University before he retired. And he’s done, he’s written many books, many papers, many white papers, which are really readable. You will see what he’s done to characterize this, physics equations, measurements, all that good stuff. So it’s pretty interesting how time and space are different, and so on, and how to measure it. We are just starting to get into that, being able to actually measure this subtle energy and the magneto-electric field in a physical space. So that’s where the non-physical touches the physical. This is already pretty cool, but it’s not by any means the end of the journey. There’s further, higher dimensional light, which you can think of as cosmic light. And this light is something which I would think of as packets of intelligence. From our point of view, we can think of it as seeds, which are ideational seeds, ideational constructs, which when you bring it to a more manifest level, it turns into stuff that we know about. So think of it as the root of that. So it’s a very, very sublime level of creation, that level of light. So that’s the, you’re starting to approach the highest frequencies of light, which I call the light of infinity. So if you think about it as this pure consciousness, and from there creation is conceived, there’s the intelligence, which conceives creation. And then there’s the beginnings of the actual creation. That’s the first light. That’s the light of infinity. And from there, everything is more, you could say, the frequencies are getting more denser, is one way to think about it. You could also think about it as, there is plasma light, then there’s liquid light, and then there’s crystallized light. So by the time it’s crystallized, you’re looking at the table in front of you and what we think of as solid objects. This too is light, it’s crystallized. So that’s a little bit about what I think of as the fields of light, because literally all of creation is actually just light, including us. And we simply are tuning into these higher dimensional aspects, which have always been there. I think for somebody on the spiritual journey, this can make a radical difference, because it’s almost like upgrading to business class. It’s certainly-
Rick: You can lie down and sleep.
Suresh: I think you lie down into being, but not sleep, because sleep is a, yeah. You really shift within, where you’re naturally abiding in what I call the state of beingness. Because it’s really, there’s nothing going on, but you are just resting in your essence. And that to me is beingness. There’s nothing going on. And a lot of people, we are living in a world that is so much, you know, hustle and bustle, running around, doing stuff, all driven by the mind. This is a familiar world for most of us. So when you hear about beingness, a lot of people think, are you talking about just taking a nap and not doing anything? They keep thinking it’s not doing anything. And beingness is not that. Beingness transcends and subsumes doing and non-doing. So it’s neither doing nor non-doing. And you could certainly be engaged in action and be in being. So the difference is, you know, what I call my book title is “Just Be.” Because that I think summarizes it down to two words. Because when you’re just being, you can move through life through inspired action. So you still act, but it’s all coming out of inspiration, just like this Batgap show. There’s a lot of that happens behind the scenes. A lot of actions, but it’s coming from a place of inspiration. That changes it fundamentally. It’s very different. So that’s a little bit about light and how it can radically change the trajectory of our evolutionary journey.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, you can be very deeply established in beingness and playing a intense tennis game or something like that, you know? And racing all over the place, jumping back and forth. And yet there’s that, in your innermost experience, you’re not doing anything.
Rick: Pure silence.
Suresh: And this kind of goes back to that action in inaction and inaction in action. Strangely enough, that’s pointing at beingness. It’s really pointing at beingness. It’s saying, even if you do, don’t get caught up in the doingness.
Suresh: If you’re doing, stay in the being.
Rick: Yeah, my sense of that verse, see what you think about it, is that the second part of it, inaction in action, is what I just said. One could be playing tennis or something, and yet there’s a level in one’s experience, which is inactive because it’s just pure silent being. But the first part of it, action in inaction, is that the way the first part goes? Yeah.
Rick: Is that I think there’s something really interesting, which is that the field of pure silence or pure being is an ocean of intelligence that is bubbling with intelligence. So there’s dynamism within the field of silence. And you could think of the dynamism as impulses of intelligence, in the ocean of intelligence, but it’s pure silence, and yet at the very same time, it’s pure dynamism. And that to me is the understanding, as I grasp it, of action in inaction. So it’s not just dead, flat, silent being. It’s an ocean of potentiality that’s just bursting with energy, creativity, intelligence.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. So I think when you hang out in these planes of light, that’s exactly how I would say it. There seems like there’s nothing going on, and yet the possibilities are infinite. It’s bubbling with these infinite possibilities, and the potential to turn into a variety of universes.
Suresh: Yeah, so that’s absolutely.
Rick: Physicists talk that way too. They say that in a cubic centimeter of empty space, at the level of the vacuum state, there’s more energy, potential energy, than there is in the whole manifest universe. It’s just like tremendous.
Suresh: Yes, yes. Yeah. And I think science, I do see pockets here and there, where there’s really cool things happening. Where people like Donald Hoffman, I don’t know if you’ve interviewed him.
Rick: I’ve interviewed him. Yeah.
Suresh: You have? Okay, amazing. That’s amazing. I mean, that, you know, again, for people who may not be familiar, he’s a professor of cognitive science in University of California. He talks about how, what I talked about as crystallized light a minute back, he talks about it as the user interface for something that’s the deeper truth. So that’s an interesting way of talking about crystallization as the user interface for higher constructs of light, eventually leading up to the essence. So nothing is what it appears to be. You know, I mentioned that many times. And Donald Hoffman is talking about how you can prove that scientifically. And as a part of the evolutionary journey, how you can show that we have actually optimized it, such that the user interface is optimized, not that we see the truth, but we feel it has the right UI characteristics, which to me is a revelation right there.
Rick: Yeah. It’s funny, just like 10 minutes before we started this interview, a message came in, an email came in from a guy saying, “I really loved your interview with Donald Hoffman.” So it’s funny that you would bring him up. But I thought about that interview and it’s like, I spent a week preparing for it, my usual routine, walking in the park while listening to him. And I felt like my brain was gonna explode or something, ’cause I really had to stretch to completely understand what he was saying. But by the end of the week, I felt like, okay, I think I have it. We can have this conversation. But he was great. I encourage people to watch that one.
Rick: I wanted to ask you another question about light before we get too much farther. I don’t usually think of, I mean, I’ve had experiences of inner light and I can sometimes think of it that way, but I don’t usually think of pure consciousness as light because light to me seems to be a little bit more manifest level than pure consciousness itself. Light has a sensory connotation. And I think of perhaps what we might call the causal or celestial realm as light. And the beings there, doesn’t the word deva actually mean light being?
Suresh: Yeah, shining beings.
Rick: Yeah, that’s the literal translation of it, I think. So I think of that, of the light field as being a little bit warmed up level of the absolute, and which is all light. And there would be beings who have light bodies and will probably live in lighthouses, not by the ocean, but structures.
Rick: Yeah. So anyway, is that a valid distinction?
Suresh: Yes, no, no, that actually matches up exactly because there’s pure consciousness, the absolute, where there’s absolutely nothing going on. I mean, there’s nothing we can say about it. There’s nothing we can say about it. As soon as we say there is a vibration, which is really creation at that point, there’s vibration, there’s something going on. That’s where the light starts. So that’s the highest–
Rick: Yeah, the Bible says, “Let there be light.”
Suresh: Let there be light. The highest, purest vibration, and it’s still a vibration. So it’s already out of pure consciousness. And yes, there’s beings who are at that level. That’s their kind of baseline.
Rick: The stomping ground, yeah.
Suresh: Yeah, and from there, and that light is not necessarily what we think of as visible light. It just, light represents a lot of things. It’s not just the visible quality. It’s something, light can be invisible, actually.
Rick: And perhaps we could say it would be visible, but you have to have the eyes to see it. It’s a subtle form of light, which the average person’s nervous system is not refined enough to cognize, but one can get refined enough to cognize it. And that’s why some people actually see those subtle beings. I don’t know whether they’re seeing them with their physical eyes. Perhaps they’re seeing them with their inner eye and they could see them even if the physical eyes were damaged, but somehow or other, there’s that perceptual ability in some people.
Suresh: Right, right. So maybe this is a perfect point to talk about this, where the physical apparatus perceives the electromagnetic light. Then we shift into our inner energetic anatomy, energetic vision. We can perceive the subtle light. Furthermore, there is the light anatomy. So we have a whole causal anatomy, which perceives the causal light, which is the highest frequencies of light. So we have these three levels. So a lot of times, people will talk about Kundalini and energy centers. There’s a lot of emphasis on the energetic anatomy as if that’s the end point. And to me, that’s a stepping stone to the light centers, the light anatomy, and the higher perception, which is even now, even more subtle, even more subtle. And when I say subtle, don’t think always beings floating around in these dimensions. The subtle thing is very ambient. It’s just like, imagine you’re flying at 35,000 feet, and you look outside the window. Like, you’re not seeing a whole lot. There’s just open expansiveness, maybe some clouds. It’s more like that, as I see it. It’s not a lot of people busy doing a lot of things in the light plane. (laughing)
Rick: Little elves holding the plane up.
Suresh: Yeah, exactly. (laughing) So I’d like, so that’s why, as we build up our subtle perception, we don’t want to stop anywhere. Because even when we perceive inner light, we can perceive even higher octaves of this light as we keep going.
Rick: Yeah, and you could be walking through the woods and looking at a tree, and you’re not seeing a subtle beings or anything, but you’re seeing the celestial level of the tree. So it might be seen as glowing, you know, with a celestial glow, as if you have golden glasses on or something.
Suresh: Right, right. So in fact, you know, usually all the stuff we do with our eyes closed. So it’s typical, of course, we close our eyes, we focus on the inner eye, and that’s great. But eventually, it’s not either or. You can have your physical eyes open, and the inner eyes open at the same time. And it’s superimposed on this. So you can have both existing concurrently, and you don’t have to run back to your meditation cushion to perceive something in the inner world. It’s always on, it’s always there.
Rick: Integrated. Yeah, we’re gonna talk about integration more today. I know that’s one of your big themes. It’s important. Yeah, so what you’re saying is that the gross physical body is just the outermost or most manifest level of what we are, and there are subtler levels of the body, kind of like the Russian doll model. And those subtler levels have sensory apparatus, actually. I mean, when people have a near-death experience, in fact, a question came in about that, which I wanna ask you, or an out-of-body experience. I’ve interviewed many people who have had out-of-body experiences. Their gross body is lying on the operating table or someplace like that, but they’re off looking at something down the street. So there’s some kind of sensory apparatus that’s more subtle than the gross body.
Suresh: Yes, exactly, exactly. So we have these sort of, you could say, altered states of consciousness, whether it’s by ingesting a substance or a car accident or a near-death experience, where we totally see this kind of thing happening. But it’s kind of disjoined. It’s like, when I take the substance, I’m off in this altered state, then I come back. It’s like a dichotomy. But over time, you notice it’s all part of us, and it can be all equally existing at the same time. Happy coexistence.
Rick: Yeah, integrated. And I also get the sense, and I’ve talked to many people about this, there’s sort of like the way a camera can zoom in or zoom out according to what you do with the lens. So we gain the ability, as the range of our experience grows and incorporates subtler realms of creation, we’re not necessarily going to be dwelling and focusing on the subtle phenomenon all the time, like while we’re driving down the street or something, ’cause it’s not necessary or appropriate. So we zoom to the level of the street, and then maybe we go sit on a park bench and relax, and we settle down to a subtler level of perception. Do you think that’s valid, or does that need correction, what I just said?
Suresh: I think it’s actually awesome. It’s very useful to keep that in mind. I would maybe just add something to that, which is, I would look at it as three things to keep in mind. One is the baseline of consciousness. So it’s almost like, depending on evolution, we’ve parked our consciousness at some level, because we feel that feels comfortable. We’ve just adapted and built up to that level, wherever that is. So we’ve got to get a sense of where that is, because sometimes if it is parked on a very finite level, then the intensity of this drama starts feeling like too much, because we’re parked there. We don’t know anything else. We’re like, “This is it. This is it.” And that doesn’t feel too good. As our consciousness rises, we have a much more all-encompassing sense of things. So we see, yeah, there’s some crazy stuff going on here, but you’re also cognizant of something subtler, deeper, higher at the same time. So this baseline is number one I would look at in terms of level of consciousness. Second one is exactly what you said, which is the ability to be fluid in moving about to wherever it’s relevant. So whatever needs attention, we go there. If it’s on the light planes, we go there. A moment later, we’re needed in the grocery shop, checkout, we’re there. So we’re able to move and not be like, “Oh, I’m gonna stay in light.” That’s, something’s a little off there. So the ability to fluidly move about. And finally, I would say to complete the story, wherever we are, we have like this, you could say a bubble around us. And at first the bubble is a little small, it’s a little tight. It’s like the energy is tight. And as we evolve, there’s more sort of fluidity and flexibility and bigness. So wherever we are, we’re big. Even if it’s in the grocery store, we’re big there. If it’s on some super high dimension of light, we’re big there. So this bigness stays with us, we’re anchored at a high place, and we’re mobile. So to me, these characterize the consciousness level.
Rick: That’s really good. So in other words, just to reiterate, pure consciousness becomes the baseline. And then we are functioning in the relative field, in the field of activity, can fluctuate between gross and subtle levels according to the need of the moment.
Suresh: Yeah. Exactly.
Rick: And you can be doing something really vigorous, as we said before, playing tennis, pure consciousness is there. You could be sort of communing with the devas or whatever, pure consciousness is there.
Suresh: And increasingly, you are not defined by where you happen to be. That doesn’t define you. You could be out playing tennis. It doesn’t reflect badly or anything. There’s nothing wrong with playing tennis. There’s nothing wrong with meditating. It’s not like one is better than the other. They’re all just fine. And I think maybe when we talk later about exalted states of consciousness, we can talk a little more about this kind of thing, how things are a little bit different as you move from one strata to another.
Rick: Yeah, let’s not forget to do that. Let me get this question that came in from Rita. Don’t know where Rita is, but it’s related to what we’ve been saying and takes us off in a little bit, additional direction. She said, “You referred to early experience with the light as lucid dreams.” Guess when you were a little kid. “Can you explain the difference between lucid dreams and out of body experiences? There’s a distinction between lucid dreams and OBEs, but I don’t think I get it. They seem to be about the same thing.”
Suresh: Okay, okay. Yeah, it’s a good question because certainly there’s overlapping things here. And by overlapping, I mean, let’s look at it. So lucid dreaming, you are primarily highly aware and you are, it’s like you’re seeing a movie and you’re very aware that this is a movie. So you’re very lucid, basically. Out of body experiences, what’s happening is you are, most of us are like locked into this body and we’re operating from the physicality of our being. But if you unlock that, and now you’re floating in your astral body, which has some different characteristics to it, you can have experiences in your astral body. So you can have out of body experiences like, you know, you can travel to places, you can see remote things, things like that. So, but you have that disconnection from your physical body. So that characterizes out of body. Now, where it starts getting interesting is as part of a lucid dream, typically in a lucid dream, you’re not out of body, but you could step into out of body as part of your lucid dream. So this is where you’re having both. You’re having a lucid experience, which is out of body. And you could call it astral projection. And there’s all kinds of interesting things going on there. So they’re not the same, but they can be in overlap.
Rick: Okay, good. All right, so where do we wanna go next? We still have a lot to cover, I think. What would you like to discuss next?
Suresh: Oh boy. One thing I’d like to reflect on is maybe, well, practices. We talked a little bit about practices, but maybe the role of practices. I think sometimes there’s confusion about, people are like, “So do you believe in practices or not?” As if these are the only two choices. And I feel both ways. I think practices are very, very important. And I think we wanna do everything we can to discipline ourselves so that we can step into these higher dimensional fields of light. It does take discipline. It does take clarification of our internal state. So practices systematically take us in that direction. So I would say, find whatever practice you like and make sure you regularly do it. This is gonna be very important. On the other hand, what I actually saw when I started stumbling into some interesting places in consciousness is that when you kind of break through into a whole nother level, you realize, like when I was having this big experience with light, I knew instantly that no amount of meditation can get you there. So I felt like all my meditation was not sufficient to put me in that place. So you can tell that grace has stepped in and picked you up. And it’s not your practice. It’s so clear. It’s so clear. You can meditate for a million years. I mean, I knew this so strongly that everything I did, I could keep doing it for a million years. It would not be enough. And so practices are futile, in other words. Okay, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Of course, it’s very, very important. But don’t think you can make this thing happen. You can’t make it happen. You have to be, you know, sometimes I say this, it takes extraordinary simplicity, extraordinary humility, and extraordinary clarity to perceive this pure luminosity of infinity. So you gotta get so simple, so clear, and so humble. And practices can help that because they peel away your agendas, your personality, your identity, until you’re so simple, so clear, so humble, and pure that you see what’s already there. And you still recognize that it’s purely grace. It’s 100% grace. So it obviously seems contradictory on the surface, but it’s not. It’s not contradictory. You’ve got to have this unwavering focus, steadfastness, perseverance. You can’t stop. I mean, you gotta keep going with your practices. But obviously be smart about it. Anyway, you have to be intelligent in which practice is right and who you hang out with, you know, whether it’s the community you hang out with, or if you choose to work with a teacher, be discerning, you know, who that is. Makes a difference.
Rick: Different points, yeah. You probably heard the saying, enlightenment may be an accident, but spiritual practice makes you accident-prone.
Suresh: That’s fantastic.
Rick: And there was also some teacher who said to his students, you’re all perfect just as you are, but you could all use improvement.
Suresh: Yes, yes. You know, and another way to put it is, it takes a lot of effort to become effortless.
Rick: Yeah. I’ve been studying a lot of Vedanta in recent years, and you wouldn’t know this to hear some people talk, but Vedanta gives full, at least the teacher I’ve been studying with, gives full recognition and respect to all the various types of practices, you know, karma yoga, raja yoga, bhakti yoga, all the different things one could do and what Buddhism has to offer and all kinds of things. And they feel in Vedanta that the final step doesn’t have anything to do with practice. It’s as you just said, but that all these practices, and Shankara taught this too, that practices refine and purify one to the point where, you know, Vedanta can actually be practiced effectively. And it’s not really a practice. It’s more of a step of clarity of understanding that takes you across the final threshold. And I think the word grace, which you used, is also very good because it’s not something you do. It’s more like grace takes care of it when you’re ready for it.
Suresh: Yeah, exactly. And the grace, you realize even the force that motivated you to practice was also grace.
Suresh: It was also grace. So you realize this in retrospect, and you are filled with such tremendous gratitude because from the beginning to the end, the grace was there. It’s just that in the end, it was like starkly obvious. There’s one funny thing I wanted to relate. This is a saint centuries back who was sharing about his journey. And he said, “You know, I came across incredible practices and I really applied myself. I did it with all my heart and it didn’t work. So I would go to the next practice, work really hard, it wouldn’t work.” And he said, “Practice after practice failed until finally I found something that worked.” And everybody’s like, “What is that? What is that?” So he says, “Weeping.” (laughing) What really worked in the end was weeping. And basically, you know, when your heart reaches that point, when you truly cry out for the infinite, that is hard. So we don’t wanna get so caught up in practices and be so regimented and mechanical that none of that works, okay? You can’t convince infinity to say, “I’ve done 10,000 hours of this practice.” Who cares? It doesn’t work. But when you cry out, oh boy, that changes everything.
Rick: I’ve heard a number of teachers say that the most essential factor is the desire, the intensity of your desire. In fact, Patanjali says in the “Yoga Sutras” that yogis can be categorized as mild, medium, or intense. And the ones with vehement intensity, like enlightenment or bust, they’re the ones who tend to get it the quickest. Although you tell a funny story in your book about a teacher who says, you wanna tell the story? “Whether it takes 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?”
Suresh: That’s right, that’s right, yes. So this teacher, this student was obviously very, very gung-ho, goes to the teacher and says, “I’m gonna really apply myself here, and I’m willing to do everything you’re talking about. How long will it take for me to get enlightened, have the breakthrough?” Teacher says, “10 years.” And he goes away, thinks about it, comes back, he’s like, “I’m gonna double my practice. I’m gonna stop everything, do this night and day. How long will it take?” Teacher says, “20 years.” (both laughing) And this continues, he wants to even do it more. And then he says, teacher, “It’s 30 years,” so you can see where this is going. It’s really, it’s not about that, you realize that, yeah.
Rick: And I think part of my understanding of why this would be the case possibly is that there’s something about effortless effort. There’s a verse in the Veda someplace that says, “Be easy to us with gentle effort.” You can struggle and strain, and it actually can stress you out. I mean, it can create knots of tension in your nervous system. You can crack up, you can literally go insane. I’ve seen people do it. And Swami Sarvapriyananda talks about it too, of people who just struggle and strain so hard that they go nuts. So there’s some kind of a balance point between determination and surrender.
Suresh: Yes, yes, exactly. So there is, when I look at my years of meditation early on, there was clearly the energy of striving and efforting. And I look back now and I’m like, “You know, I wish I could just relax more.” You have to relax. There is this balance between having the motivation to practice, but when you do practice, you’re totally relaxed. Because these higher states, you cannot get there if you’re pushing. The pushing energy doesn’t work.
Rick: When I learned to meditate, the kind of meditation I learned, one of the main principles was that the mind has a natural tendency to seek a field of greater happiness. And pure consciousness is said to be a blissful state. So the technique utilized that tendency and allowed the mind to move in the direction of pure consciousness from the outset, and to encounter greater charm at every step of the way. So it was effortless for me from day one. And I don’t think I would have taken well to, I didn’t have the discipline to practice something that would have been arduous. So, you know, it’s kind of just taking advantage of something that’s a built-in natural tendency of our mind.
Suresh: Yeah. Yeah, that kind of technique could be very appealing to people. And I can see that dynamic is really good. It kind of draws you into subtler states. It’s fantastic. It’s fantastic.
Rick: One of the points in your notes you sent me is, awakening, is awakening gradual or sudden? I would say yes. (laughing)
Suresh: Yes to your yes. (laughing) So here’s the thing, all those years of practice, were they wasted? I look back and I’m like, no, they were not. Because there is the capacity to hold higher consciousness which is built up over time. And when you look at it, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But boy, when it’s not there, it’s like if you just go for a hike and you step into a flash flood. I mean, that thing is gonna, you know, throw you off. You are not prepared for it. Whereas if you’ve built up your circuits, slowly but surely, the circuits, the capacity of the circuits to handle the high energy is there. And then it’s actually pleasurable. That same pleasantness can be highly unpleasant if you don’t have the capacity. So the practices do have their role to play even if it looks like they’re not paying off right away. And furthermore, integration turns out is a very rough journey if your circuits have not been built up. Because integration has many dimensions to it. There’s a psychological dimension, there’s a somatic physical dimension, there’s an energetic dimension. These dimensions all have to be addressed. So if you’ve done a good job of building your energetic capacity, you at least got, you’re pretty strong in one way and you can focus on the psychological stuff. Or maybe the physical stuff. Maybe there’s, your digestion is thrown off or something crazy is happening. You can focus on that. Otherwise, if everything is thrown off, that’s tough. It can take you years to come back to what seems normal. You’re like, forget all this enlightenment. I just wanna be like an average person. It can get that bad.
Rick: Yeah, spoken like a true electrical engineer.
Suresh: Circuits, yeah.
Rick: I mean, I’m sure in electrical engineering, you understand that, I’m just reminding the audience that you are one actually, but too much voltage flowing through a circuit can fry it, blow it out. And that’s perfectly apt to the spiritual path. I mean, too much intensity in an unprepared nervous system can create serious problems.
Suresh: Yes, absolutely. So that aspect is pretty important. And there’s practices I talk about. I have a practice I talk about called river of light, where you move this light energy through your light channels. And so you’re building up this capacity basically. And there’s so many ways to do that. Spinal breathing, et cetera. Whichever you gravitate towards, even Qigong or yoga, et cetera, they all help you slowly but steadily develop this balanced inner circuit.
Rick: Yeah. I moderated a panel discussion at the Science and Nonduality Conference five or six years ago about the direct versus progressive paths. And this is kind of related to what we’re talking about right now. Some people have the idea that you can somehow just directly, bingo, be enlightened or cut short the whole path of evolution and just arrive at it. And others say, no, no, it’s gonna take time and you have to sort of build up. And I don’t think it’s quite as either or as that. I think one can have direct glimpses and then through having those repeatedly, progressively culture and refine the nervous system until that becomes permanent. But I haven’t actually seen any examples, I don’t think, of anyone who just sort of from day one had, or even day 10, had some kind of direct realization and then never lost it or, and was perfectly integrated in their behavior and their ethical values and all the other stuff that is involved in living a human life.
Suresh: Right, right. Yeah, I don’t think it’s an either or. Going back to your question, is it gradual or sudden? There’s a gradual part and there is a quantum shift. And there are many quantum shifts. In fact, I think of awakening as any quantum shift, you can think of it as an awakening. And this is to be expected. There’ll be a lot of gradual stuff, which is significant and not to be undervalued, simply because you can’t write a blog post about it. It’s actually stuff which is very important about it. Important. And then there is quantum shifts and then there’s like, whoa, something’s happening here. So I feel these both are important. And in fact, the quantum shifts are great news, but if you can’t hold onto them, you’re in trouble. So that’s where the gradual stuff plays and shows its role.
Rick: Do you think there is any final resting place or do you think that evolution is open-ended?
Suresh: Here again, I would say yes to both actually. So there is a thing I would say where you have mostly, you could say graduated from existing as an apparent individual. So there is that idea of graduating from that, but doesn’t mean you’re done because you can continuously, the embodiment can continue where you are constantly stepping into more refined ways of radiating that realization. That is indefinite and ever increasing and ever more subtle and ever more powerful. But at the same time, you can say there is a point where something is fundamentally shifted and it’s irrevocable and irreversible at that point.
Rick: Yeah. There’s the Hindu model of the 14 lokas, and you can reach a point where you don’t have to come back to the earth plane anymore, but you’re still on some higher loka and perhaps evolving upward there. So I don’t know, that model sort of makes sense to me.
Suresh: Yeah, yeah. Except I think that model, as long as we don’t think those planes are places where we have to show up, like I have to die and go to this plane and then I have to graduate from there. Right here, we have all the planes.
Rick: Right, right.
Suresh: So we don’t wanna be like, I hope I graduate from this plane, then I go to the next plane and then from there. You could be graduating from many planes right now.
Rick: And usually people who talk about those planes say that chances are if you go and dwell on one for a while, you’re gonna come back here again because that’s not liberation, that’s just some heaven.
Suresh: Yeah, yeah. So that’s a pretty long, very fascinating journey and it gets pretty complex. But I think the good news is the fundamental principles, some of these things we’re talking about, like beingness. You can be on whatever plane you want. The fundamental ideas of beingness, essence, infinity, light, they apply. So you stick to these principles, you’re gonna keep going in the right direction. I think that’s important.
Rick: Here’s a question that came in from Rita Sponenberg. Are there reasons that grace would withhold experiences from someone or is it because of a lack of openness or perception on the part of that person? Does it have anything to do with who deserves them or not?
Suresh: So clearly, if I had to say only one thing, I would say grace is very universal, very impartial and very neutral. So it’s fully available to everyone equally. So this is the more important thing. But when we sit in these bodies, the way we perceive grace trickling into our lives, we may see it in interesting ways. And we may use these kinds of ideas that I haven’t reached a certain level of development, maybe I don’t deserve these kinds of blessings. And it can feel like that. But ultimately, it’s not true. Ultimately, grace even gives us the best we can take. And so it’s not like it’s not held back. I don’t think it’s personally, I don’t think anything is held back in any way. It’s all there.
Rick: I can think of an example of grace holding back or at least providing an experience very reluctantly. In the 11th chapter of the Gita, Arjuna wants to see Krishna’s divine form. And Krishna basically says, no, you can’t handle it. But Arjuna persists and Krishna finally says, all right, here you go. And he has this experience and then he spends the rest of the chapter asking him to take it away ’cause it’s too much.
Suresh: Yes, yes. So, okay. So grace is there doesn’t mean I can ask for anything, I’ll get it. That’s certainly not, it doesn’t mean that. And on the spiritual path, we may reach something, we’re like, I want that. Can you give it to me? No, grace doesn’t operate. It’s not push a button, you’ll get it. No. But on the other hand, what you truly need will be given.
Suresh: That’s what I’m talking about. Whether we realize that or not, regardless. So I think it’s very important for us to be so open that wherever it comes in, we take it in. And then you see something bigger comes in and soon it becomes so undeniable that you will never question it. It becomes too much almost.
Rick: Yeah, the Rolling Stones had a song where they said, they sang, you can’t always get what you want, but you can try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
Suresh: Yeah, yes, yes. And a few minutes back, I talked about weeping. I think it’s always a good idea to pour out whatever you think, whatever level you are at, whatever you can think, just go ahead and place it at the feet of infinity. Don’t self-judge, self-evaluate, and try to figure out what’s the right thing for me. Just let it all go. And I think that kind of thing makes a big difference. It can happen anytime. Even now as we’re talking, I feel like telling all the viewers, don’t just think of this as an exchange of ideas to be digested by your mind. I would love for everyone to listen with their whole being, like with your heart, with your whole body, with your energy, and pick up what’s there. Because right now, grace could be operating and giving you something you really need. So be open to that. Be open to that in every moment.
Rick: Yeah, that’s really important. I mean, if we just think of this as an interesting conversation and then go on with our lives, it won’t have a lasting effect. Maybe there’ll be some influence, but ultimately, we want to experience all this stuff, not just understand it or be entertained by it. And so we need to find a way, each of us, to grow in our experience.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. So you feel this quality of melting. I feel like when you shift from your more intellectual, cerebral way of thinking of things to feeling into things, the entire spiritual experience starts changing. You feel like everything is softer, more diffuse, and you are entering into the soft, energetic field where you can’t help but melt into that. When these kinds of things happening, pay attention, because you’ve stepped into a whole other dimension when you start feeling that. This is quite remarkable. So don’t be looking for some flashy thing. This subtle softness, that’s a big deal.
Rick: Yeah. This whole conversation, this part of the conversation reminds me of something I’ve been wanting to ask you, which is the whole issue of psychedelics. You mentioned psychedelics earlier, and there’s some really good things happening with psychedelics in terms of helping people get off alcohol or tobacco or face death if they have terminal cancer without fear. And many people attribute to them profound experience, spiritual awakenings and experiences. But I have yet to be convinced that psychedelics can be a long-term viable means of attaining higher states of consciousness. They can give you a profound glimpse, but I don’t know. I haven’t seen examples of people who have taken them regularly for long periods of time. Who are satisfied themselves with what they’ve attained. I mean, there’s a great guy named Chris Bache, whom I’ve interviewed along with Michael Pollan, who’s a writer on a number of things, including psychedelics. And after, I don’t know, nearly 100 high dosage LSD trips, Chris still felt like, okay, I had amazing glimpses and experiences, but there’s something missing. There’s not this permanent abiding realization. I got the same feeling when I interviewed Stanislav Grof, that after all he’d been through over the decades, there was a sort of a melancholy or something I picked up on. So I don’t know. For me, I did them when I was a teenager and it really opened my eyes to the possibility that there was more to life than I had been perceiving, but I can’t imagine them having been a long-term solution for me. And in fact, they did damage as well as provide some glimpses.
Suresh: Yeah, I think, I mean, you really summarized it beautifully. I mean, I would echo that same sentiment, which is there can be glimpses which are very convincing. And for some of us, we’re still so starved because we’re so like, we had enough of what’s going on around us, that that glimpse gives us a ray of hope that boy, this thing is real. It’s not just books talking about it. I know it’s real. And that to me can be the positive aspect and it kind of pretty much stops there. You still have to do the work. You can’t own that. You can’t abide in that. So the danger is you might get a glimpse and you might be like, I can’t wait to have that glimpse again. And I know exactly the guy I need to go see and just need a weekend off and do this. This is the danger where you start going there as if that is a strategic approach. And it’s not a strategic approach because you keep getting glimpse after glimpse, but the glimpses get to be more of a mixed bag because your subconscious starts showing up in bigger and bigger ways. Material that is unprocessed is gonna start showing up. Secondly, you’re in a very imbalanced state to integrate that unconscious material. You’re not in a place of lucidity, clarity, and power. So I think that’s not a good place to be handling these things. Furthermore, you’re compromising your energy field. You know, if you look at the energy field of somebody who’s been doing any kind of substance for a long period of time, their energy field gets compromised. It essentially has, you know, dents and holes. And these will have to be repaired. These will need to be repaired. And the repair will require systematic, long-term energetic work, needs a lot of healing. So there’s no shortcut in the end. In the end, you’ll have to do the work. And I feel let’s start sooner rather than go down the path of substances and then 10 years later, I’ll really start doing the work.
Rick: Yeah. Yeah. I think even Carlos Castaneda’s teacher, Don Juan said something about that, holes in one’s luminosity. And you know, that long-term hallucinogens were quite destructive if you kept at them, but he felt like Carlos was such a dunce, he needed a kickstart.
Suresh: Yes, yes. I think during the early days, like I think back to 60s and Ram Dass and that generation, there was some confusion between altered states of consciousness and truly high states of consciousness, where you are, again, abiding in those states and you really have done the work. And so the consciousness itself was such an uncharted territory that even altered states were considered like, this is so cool, I’m gonna go for it. So I think there was a little bit of confusion. I think now we’re coming out of that confusion, where it’s pretty clear. Yeah, those are altered states. Yeah, they’re pretty cool, but only for five minutes. You can’t hang your hat on that. You’ll have to do the work, yeah.
Rick: You mentioned the energy field and seeing imbalances in the energy field. Do you have that kind of perception yourself? Do you see people’s energy fields?
Suresh: You know, when I meet incredibly talented people who can see that stuff, I feel like I’m nowhere, anywhere, have that kind of capabilities, but I do feel it in my own way. And it is much more, you could say subtle, rather than looking at a very, like as if you’re looking at an X-ray of somebody saying, okay, here on this quadrant, you got a little puncture. So I, no, I don’t have those kinds of abilities, but you start seeing, you talked about the intensity of seeking. You start seeing who has this fire really burning. You can feel that heat. And that really makes my day. When I meet somebody, whoa, it really is like this person means business. And I feel, wow, this is what it takes. I can see that. It may take time, but I can see that quality is there. And whatever the impediments are, they can be overcome. I don’t see that as an issue. Once that fire is burning brightly, you’ll get there. Because guess what? All of us have had to overcome a variety of things. I don’t think we need to glamorize our unique issues. They’re just issues at the end of the day. No big deal.
Rick: The Gita says no effort is lost and no obstacle exists.
Suresh: There you go. There you go. Yeah.
Rick: Here’s a question that came in again from Michael Moran in Ireland. And if you don’t know, if any of these questions I ask is not in your ballpark, just, we can pass on. But any experiences with the merkaba, the light body vehicle purportedly used for interdimensional travel, often reported as a catalyst for mystical experiences and experiences on celestial planes?
Suresh: Yeah. So, yes. So that’s a whole fascinating topic where when people start talking about the planes of light and how do you get there, how do you function there, how you navigate there. So there’s things like merkaba. But in general, I would say there is, what I mentioned as the light body. So our own higher dimensional aspect of our being, you could say has got certain aspects to it as you start understanding these things, you can amplify certain energies. So you can amplify by using sacred geometries, you can amplify by tuning into certain frequencies of light, like diamond frequencies of light. You can sort of tune in and tune up certain things in your light body that essentially activates it and strengthens it. So, yes, there’s ways of working with that. Again, it becomes a matter of you can operate on the light frequencies with much more ease and it becomes more natural at the end of the day.
Suresh: But there’s many tools, yeah.
Rick: Rohit Singh is asking, “What would be an example of not holding back asking for grace?”
Suresh: What would be an example of not holding back? So I feel a lot of us can sometimes have some tentativeness, could be lack of self-worth, could be lack of self-love, could be any number of things where we feel, you know, I’ve actually had conversations where I’m working one-on-one with people and I ask them, “If you could ask for anything, what would you ask for?” And they say, “I wish I could have a better boss. That’s really what I want, really what I want.” And this is, I’m not kidding. So we–
Rick: You know, it reminds me of a joke. So a dog found one of those magic lamps and rubbed it and a genie came out. And so the genie is, when you see the cartoon, the dog’s already gotten his first two wishes. And the genie is saying, “You only have one more wish. Are you sure you want another tummy rub?” (laughing)
Suresh: There you go. There you go. So we are all, sometimes, because of how we see and perceive, whatever we see and perceive affects what we ask for. So we ask for these boons, which end up being like very finite-oriented.
Suresh: Very small. And sometimes we may ask for, maybe we’ve read a lot of spiritual stuff. We say, “Well, I know what I want, enlightenment.” Well, we may still not be truly asking for it because enlightenment implies, are you willing to let go of everything? ‘Cause all the stuff can’t make it past that portal. So are you implicitly willing to let go of everything? So if you really mean it, it has to be right there. So you can’t just ask for it and not say, and bring along all this baggage. So we need to be truly ready for it. And if we are, I think things happen. So yeah, hopefully that answers it.
Rick: Yeah. Not asking for grace. I think one way of looking at desires, like you just said, like to get a better boss. Nothing wrong with them. Everybody has them. And desires could be thought of as steps for progress, hopefully. There’s a natural tendency in life to want to become happier, to expand one’s territory of influence, to know more, to be more, all this stuff. And we don’t necessarily leap to the highest possibility in one bound. Sometimes it’s incremental or step by step. But I think it’s also good, you know we’re often faced with different possibilities and we can’t do everything. And I think if we can discern that, okay, well, this one seems to be higher than this one, then go for the highest first, choose that one. And prioritize if you can. And that I think would be the wisest use of one’s time and energy.
Suresh: Yeah. Yeah, I think time to time, it’s good to take an honest look at what’s on my plate. And sometimes we have a spiritual aspirations, but we’ve got 25 things on the plate. And what’s left in terms of energy is very little for the spiritual aspiration. So we really need to simplify. You know, over time, we’ve got to say, well, yeah, reality is I’ve got to do these things today. Okay, fine. But over the years, you got to start looking at, if there’s 25, has it gone to 20? Has it gone to five? Has it gone to three? Because if this is maybe a good point to reflect on this, the desire, the general idea of desires. ‘Cause if you step back and look at the journey of evolution over a very long period of time, I look at it as for the longest time, you know, when we individuate, we’re like, whoa, I can’t believe I’m like this being. And this is so cool. And I can’t wait to have experiences. We have experiences, we love it. But we feel like I can crank up the intensity a little more because that’ll be more fun. So we keep cranking up the intensity by hiding our infinite nature from ourselves. So, because that is like such a thrill. Just for a moment, I forget that I’m an infinite being and I’m lost in my individuality. That’s so cool because when I rediscover my infinite nature, it is amazing. So we keep going back and forth and we keep hiding more and more. Under a bigger and bigger rock, we keep hiding. It’s harder to find ourselves. And denser and denser realities. We actually create denser realities so we can hide in a bigger way. This is the journey of involution, I feel, because what happens is, we are betting on individuation as being more fulfilling. So, internal to us, there is this voice. I humorously call it TED Talks. So TED Talks is this voice within us. And TED stands for Thrills, Excitement and Drama. So we feel somehow that if I have more thrills, more excitement, more drama, that’s so cool. I want that. So this is the individual saying, I would like to experience more of my individuality by having these experiences. So we think if we keep lining up better experiences, that’s the way to go. So this trajectory keeps going on and on and on and on for a long time. Until we start seeing suddenly one fine day, it’s just not satisfying us. It’s just not paying off. It’s getting more and more diluted. It’s like, I can’t get it. I can’t get what I really want. So this feels very sort of depressing, but it’s actually a huge turning point because we can make a U-turn and we can start going backwards to source. And this is the journey of evolution. So involution going out, evolution coming back. And when we make that U-turn, I think this is a big point in our journey because even though we are still got ways to go, it’s imminent. It’s imminent. It’s just gonna take X amount of time once you reach that point. So I feel very excited when I come across a person who is making that U-turn right in front of my eyes. It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal. And then of course, there’s a series of quantum shifts that happen that speed us along back to source. So we kind of go away from involution where we are, you know, the fear of missing out, right? That’s very commonly talked about. We’re always thinking, oh, somebody said this cruise is so good. I gotta check this out. I gotta check out this concert. I gotta check out this. We go from that to the joy of missing out, right? We’re so happy to be missing out of experiences because we no longer need experiences for fulfillment. We are finding inner fulfillment. So this is like a big picture look.
Rick: And I would say that doesn’t mean that everybody is gonna have to quit everything they’re doing cold turkey.
Rick: There’s, Jesus said, you know, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else should be added unto thee.” He also told the rich guys, it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. So give away everything to the poor and follow me. And they said, no way. But still, I mean, I don’t know. You haven’t given up everything. You have a family, a nice house, and a career and all that stuff.
Suresh: Yes, yes.
Rick: But you’ve added, you could say you’ve added a second element to your life, which is the spiritual dimension, which has actually enhanced all that stuff. And it made you more successful. So I think that’s an important point.
Suresh: Yeah, I think there’s a huge point right there, which I wanna actually emphasize. When you talk about letting go of everything, you know, what does that really mean? Since we live in a very materialistic state of mind, we think letting go means I have to sell my house, I have to sell my car, I have to move away from my family or whatever. This is totally not the case. It’s totally not the case. But a more important thing is you do have to let go, but your inner attachment and the way you relate to these things has to be completely radically different. So you’re there, but at the same time, internally, you’re in a very neutral place. You’re more neutral and impersonal compared to previously. You think you care by being attached, but you really learn to care without being attached, which is a little different, which is something unusual.
Rick: Yeah, I think the inner fulfillment enables one to engage in the activities of life without being attached. Let’s say you were a pauper, a homeless person living on the street, had very little money. You’d be very attached to every possession. And if somebody gave you $10, it’d be a big deal. And if you lost $10, it would be a big deal. But if you’re a millionaire, then things can come and go and you gain a thousand here, lose a thousand there. It’s not that big a deal. So the inner fulfillment that we’ve been talking about today enables one to have a proper relationship with means of outer experience and not to be overly caught up in it, but still to be able to enjoy it.
Suresh: Exactly. And I think to make that even more concrete, relationships, which is such a relatively complex topic, as a finite being, when we engage with relationships, we are necessarily trying to extract fulfillment out of that relationship. That’s just how we, that, we feel natural. That’s what we want. But when you reconnect with infinity, with your essence, with the source of everything, you get that in abundance. In other words, you’re a millionaire. You feel like a millionaire. And now it doesn’t mean you walk away from relationships. You are still in relationships, but your fundamental relationship with relationships is different. You are there to share and you’re not greedy and poor. You have a lot to offer and share and radiate, love, light, fulfillment. So this dramatically changes real world relationships because when you don’t get what you want, it doesn’t affect you in the same way. It just doesn’t. So relationships, guess what? They actually become really good for a change because we stop fixating on wanting them to be better. It actually gets better.
Rick: Right, another way of putting it is if two people are both sort of empty, then both are in gotta get mode, taking mode. And so both are trying to take, nobody’s giving, nobody gets. But if both are full, then both are just sort of overflowing and there’s just a sort of amplification of fulfillment, of the individual fulfillment. But the fulfillment is not dependent upon what is coming from the other person. That’s just icing on the cake ’cause the fulfillment is already there within.
Suresh: Exactly, exactly. The only thing I would add to that is it doesn’t have to be both people because I can see-
Rick: It helps.
Suresh: A thousand people asking this question. I’m not sure my partner is into this stuff as much as I am.
Rick: Yeah, no, I agree.
Suresh: Don’t fret because it’s not, doesn’t mean it’s hopeless or you can’t make this work. In fact, think of that as an accelerator because in fact, it’ll make you even go for a higher standard because you can be totally, even more purely unconditionally loving when there’s a partner who doesn’t quite get it, who doesn’t see it, who doesn’t agree with you, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It is not dependent on that. So you don’t have to hold your breath for your partner to reach some, whatever you think is a level they should reach. You never know what level anybody is at, number one. Number two, focus on yourself. Just connect with the source of everything. That’s what I would say.
Rick: That’s good, great. Here’s a question from Dijana Vojnovic in Toronto. “Can you talk more about letting go of everything? What does that mean? And how does one remain more open?”
Suresh: Turns out my next book is about, all about letting go. So there will be a lot more I’ll be saying about letting go. But let me say this. Usually we are operating as what we see our identity as a finite self. And operating as a finite self, letting go looks a certain way. It’s like I had a phone and you want a phone. Okay, fine, I’ll let it go, I’ll give it to you. That’s what it looks like. I let it go so you can have it. This definition of letting go changes. We start letting go into infinity ’cause what we start seeing is a, we’re not a finite self. We are much bigger. We are actually essence. And as essence, you’re this more fuzzy identity. You’re not the small identity. You’re this much more amorphous identity. And from that place, you don’t see everything as distinctly separate. It’s almost like in my own fuzzy identity, everybody is already kind of in that field. So there isn’t a distinct me and letting go of me to you. It’s all me. So within this field, I’m going to release something. And so the letting go starts looking quite different. That’s the letting go I’m really talking about. Expansion of consciousness. And then in that expansion, we release whatever we see we’re clinging to. And it’s an inner letting go. So it has nothing to do with physical movement of objects, et cetera, right? You can still have your car, but you just realize it’s parked in my garage. Doesn’t mean it’s my car. It’s just parked in my garage. It’s a very different relationship.
Rick: Nice. Okay, so we’re almost reaching the end of our time here. And I’m sure there’s a dozen things that we haven’t talked about that we could talk about, but is there anything uppermost in your mind that you really want to touch upon before we wrap it up?
Suresh: I’m delighted we’ve touched on so many, I think, very important things. Maybe there’s a couple of things I’ll touch on quickly. One is, I think this direct relationship is what I encourage people to move towards. So we have a tendency that we think we need a lot of intermediaries to access truth. We’ve got to start looking at, directly, at, let’s say, infinity is the word I like to use. And cultivating this direct relationship with infinity. And I feel that becomes the primary thing. And we are less distracted by various other resources along the way. Not to say nothing else helps, but the primary thing is the infinite, the relationship with the infinite. The second thing I would say is working with light. I mean, I feel like we didn’t get a chance to talk about the planetary sort of collective consciousness and so on, which is a big topic on its own. But all I’d like to say is, if we just look at the newspaper headlines, it can be kind of dismal. And it evokes in us a fearful response. We feel like, oh my God, what’s going to happen to the planet? There’s a hundred things to worry about. I feel that approach, which is based on the mind looking at something, taking the usual reductionistic approach, breaking it down, fixating on problems, judging who are the heroes, who are the villains, and now saying, what do I need to do? Shifting from that to a state of beingness, where we say, well, let me see what’s already there. And if you look at the deeper layers of what’s already there, it’s actually pretty good stuff. There’s incredible stuff on the planet right now. And so when you step into that, and that becomes an inspiration to say, this is so good, how do I make it even better? Not from a place of love, but a place of unity and inspiration. And that brings out a different quality. Now you can still engage in helping the planet, but it comes from a different place. And I feel that’s what’s really needed, not running around in fear. And there’s things like light emanation I talk about, which you can look up on YouTube and my website. So I won’t get into that. So I think working with light can be a significant game changer. And so that’s what I would encourage everyone to look at, because for a long time, our evolution is bullock carts. We’re trudging along. And there comes a point when we start working with light, where we can step into the supersonic era. And this also requires understanding the nature of light and also nature of transmission of light, where how can we pick up a higher vibration and through osmosis, through attunement, through resonance, we can use that to lift ourselves up. So we play an active role. It’s not a passive thing, but it is a real thing. And so I would encourage everyone to look at that if that speaks to you.
Rick: Yeah. I mean, it’s true. I feel like the world really needs a lot of people to evolve quickly now. And because that’s what the need is, that’s what the opportunity is. And so it’s a make hay while the sun shines kind of situation where we can hop on that supersonic jet and really make a lot of progress if we’re so inclined, if we seize the opportunity.
Suresh: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And tune into high people who you think are high consciousness, high vibe people, such as people that are on the show. You have like hundreds that you can pick. Who do you have the resonance with? And that resonance is the key to feeling into that. So I feel very excited actually about the future of humanity. Not so scared. I’m more excited.
Rick: Yeah, me too. I think we talked about this last week with Duane Elgin. I think there is going to be some chaos, but I’m really excited that the possibility of working through that chaos. Or as Joanna Macy uses the term, we have to go through it. And on the other side, things could be pretty amazing.
Suresh: Absolutely, absolutely. And that doesn’t have to be a promise that we will find out centuries from now. If you tune into the frequencies of light, you can feel that now. And you can operate inspired by that. And I think that’s the cool thing. We don’t have to sit around and wait for some war to end somewhere before we feel good. We can lift up our frequencies right now. So I think that’s very, I feel very optimistic. And a lot of the reason is because of viewers like you right now, people watching this, hearing this. You are the reason I’m optimistic, because I know you are right at the cusp of something absolutely fantastic. And if you’re ready to make the leap, there is the support for that.
Rick: That’s great. That’s a perfect note to end on. I certainly couldn’t have said it better. So thanks so much. I’ve really enjoyed having this conversation with you, and I hope we have more in the future and we can stay in touch.
Suresh: I would love to do that. Thank you. I mean, again, both you and Irene, I really appreciate what you’ve been doing such a dedicated way for the years and years. I think it’s remarkable because it’s truly shifting the collective understanding of what awakening is and giving concrete examples every week of what that might look like. So thank you.
Rick: Well, thank you, Suresh. So to those who’ve been listening or watching, here again is Suresh’s book, “Just Be.” It has dozens of different techniques and practices in it. And I’ll be linking to it on his webpage, on his page on batgap.com, as well as to his webpage and YouTube channel. And aside from the book, Suresh, what are some ways people can interact with you?
Suresh: I would say the best thing is my website. My name, sureshramaswamy.org.
Rick: I’ll link to it.
Suresh: That’s too complicated. Justbebook.org will take you to the same place. And there’s, you will find numerous things. Like I have a retreat coming up August. I have several things going on, mentoring programs, et cetera.
Rick: In-person retreat or online retreat?
Suresh: This is gonna be in-person in San Diego.
Suresh: So maybe next year I’ll do more online stuff.
Suresh: But my mentoring program is online. So you can join that from anywhere in the world. That’s an ongoing thing. Another website I would recommend checking out is my nonprofit, which is radiantfield.org. Radiantfield.org. So I’ll let you take a look at that.
Rick: Okay, I’ll link to that too. Great. Well, thanks so much. And thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. If you go to batgap.com and look under the future interviews menu, you’ll see who we have scheduled for the coming months. And every month we schedule four more people. And so the list kind of keeps shifting along as time moves. So great seeing you all, or not seeing you, but having you here and we’ll see you for the next one.
Suresh: Thank you.