Transcript of BatGap interview with Andrée Morgana

Andrée Morgana – BATGAP Interview

March 4, 2012

{BATGAP theme music plays}

Rick:      Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest this week is my old friend, Andrée Morgana. And if you happen to have a background in the TM movement, you may remember her as Andrée Leonard. And Andrée and I have similar backgrounds, up to a point. We both became teachers of Transcendental Meditation a long time ago. She – in Rishikesh, India in 1969, I – in Estes Park, Colorado in 1970, and we both taught on the East Coast, and eventually all over the place. In fact, we even taught together briefly in around 1978 or ’79, or so, in Rhode Island.

And we both went on a lot of these long courses in Europe, where we would meditate for 8 to 10 hours a day, for months at a time – in Andrée’s case, two years straight, I think. And then we also both share the distinction of not being in the TM movement anymore, but on looking back on it all with appreciation, and having branched off in different directions; so radically that it’s even hard for me to conceive of some of the things she now experiences or talks about, but that’s what we’re going to get into in this interview.

And I think people will find this interesting and a little different than a lot of the interviews I’ve done. So, welcome Andrée and thanks for your patience in our getting this together.

Andrée:   Thank you Rick, I’m looking forward to this, it’s going to be fun.

Rick:      Yeah! So let’s take it somewhat chronologically, to lay a foundation in people’s understanding of where you’re at and what you’ve been through, and so on. So you might want to, and you can start wherever you want – you can start in your teenage years if you want to – but you might want to start with that whole experience in Rishikesh, that might be a good starting place. And I guess you were there the year after the Beatles, and you might want to talk about that whole experience.

Andrée:   I grew up in Berkley, California. And when I grew up in Berkley it was the 50s, it was very middle-class, but then it began that whole transition in the 60s. And I was married at that time to Lew Leonard, and he was the one that had actually found Transcendental Meditation; he was looking for spiritual practices.

And we went to a lecture that was given by Jerry Jarvis and his wife Debbie, and they were so new at it that they were reading the lecture notes on a piece of paper. And then let’s see, about a month later they arranged for a course in Berkley and Beulah Smith was my instructor.

And I was so amazed because I was part of that whole 60s environment and she was an elderly lady, very elegant, and it was a kind of twister for my mind, you know? How could somebody like that be meditating? But we started TM and within a week we were just really sold on the whole idea. And then Maharishi came to Humboldt and from there we got interviewed and went on to India.

So that was the beginning of it all for us, and our family didn’t understand anything that it was about, and we really didn’t either, but we just loved every moment of it. And off to India we went, and it really was exciting, being there with Maharishi. We were there for six months – three months in Rishikesh, and then we went up to …

Rick:      Kashmir.

Andrée:  Yeah, exactly. I think we were the last group that was in Kashmir before they closed the country off, and we were on Dal Lake. One of the things that I really loved about India was that Maharishi introduced us to saints that people from the public wouldn’t have access to. We met Tat Wale Baba, and that was amazing for me because he came and spoke to us for four hours, and he spoke only about the absolute; he didn’t speak about anything regarding the relative. And to me that was just, you know, I had never grown up with anything like that before, and that was so exciting.

And even just seeing him as a person – when he got out of the vehicle that they brought him to Rishikesh in, to Maharishi’s academy – he stepped out and he was just wearing a loin cloth, his hair was all the way to the ground and back up again, braided. And at that time I think he was about in his 70s, but he looked like he was in his 30s. And I’ve never seen this with anyone before, or since, actually, you can see auras with people, but in his case, his skin, it was like there was a light bulb inside, radiating from inside, outward.

And it was amazing, all [of] that was such an eye-opener to us and so exciting to be part of it and everything, we just loved it.

Rick:      There’s a really cool book called The Journey Home, by a guy named Radhanath Swami, whom I interviewed, and I highly recommend this book, you can find his interview on my website. He ended up living in caves with Tat Wale Baba for some time, and Tat Wale Baba asked him to become his disciple, but he declined and went on and had other adventures. But it’s amazing, it’s like Autobiography of a Yogi on steroids or something, this book is like so exciting! Anyway, so continue on.

Andrée:   Well just that, and actually after Rishikesh, we went to Cambridge. And that’s where we started teaching Transcendental Meditation. And in those days, 800 people a month were starting through the Cambridge Center. It was just amazing. We loved every moment of it. There were people from Harvard Medical School that came, the head of Harvard Medical School, and that’s where Herbert Benson first heard about Transcendental Meditation.

I instructed the head of Harvard Medical School, so that was sort of exciting, because I was still a young person, and all of this world was opening up and being very exciting. We spent a lot of time, Lou especially, went around all the colleges with Joe Clark, and I did a lot of the prep schools in the area.

And it was a time when it was brand new to people. There were some monks that came from Spencer Academy, the monastery in Massachusetts that wanted to start TM, and they had to get permission from the Vatican to start Transcendental Meditation [because] it was so new to the world at that time, and it took about six months for that to happen. And what Maharishi did was he combined it with the science of creative intelligence, so that they would have the full understanding of the practice. So lots of good and fun things happening during those days.

Rick:      Yeah, and I was down in Connecticut at the same time, teaching a lot of people. And in fact, you and I taught at one of the same prep schools, Taft, in Watertown, Connecticut, where I initiated John Hagelin, and you initiated a whole lot of people.

Andrée:   So you initiated John Hagelin?! What fun!

Rick:      Yeah, yeah, he was in a body cast and if people don’t know what we’re talking about, he’s a world-renowned physicist who’s become a kind of spokesperson for the juxtaposition of physics and consciousness. And he had been a wild and crazy teenager who had gotten in a motorcycle accident, and he was in a body cast.

And I was staying in the infirmary because I needed a place to stay, where I was teaching, and saw him lying there and he said, “What are you doing?” And I said, “I’m teaching Transcendental Meditation, wanna learn?” And he said, “Yeah!”

Andrée:  That’s great.

Rick:      So I kind of set the whole thing up and instructed him there, in his cast. Anyway, this is probably inside chatter that people aren’t going to be so much interested in, so continue on.

Andrée:   Let’s see, actually, Maharishi started to teach people outside of India, how to be teachers. In Majorca, Spain, and in Fuiggi, Italy…

Rick:      Yeah, Estes Park, yep.

Andrée:   And so we participated in those. Then there was one point where we ended up in Michigan, and that’s where I was born, and we were in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. And one fun thing which happened there, which will lead into my personal experiences with Transcendental Meditation, was there was a young man that called the Center, and he wanted us to go with him before a judge, and to ask the judge to sentence him to meditate twice a day, for the – I even forget what it was; it was some sort of misdemeanor, but something that was involving the judge.

And so we had permission to do that and the judge sentenced him to meditate twice a day. And then shortly after that, we had arranged for Maharishi to come to Michigan, and he was going to Chicago after that. We had him speak to 500 people of the automobile industry, and Lew and Jim – oh, I forget his last name – set up for Maharishi to speak to the senate up in Lansing.

And then after that, Maharishi went to speak to a group of thousands of educators in Chicago. And we went there, and we were sitting in the front row, and I don’t know … there must have been 3,000 or 5,000 people – just a huge audience. And Maharishi pointed to me and he said, “Tell them about Detroit.” And I so I knew what he wanted me to say; he wanted the people to hear about the judge sentencing this young man to meditate twice a day.

So I went up on the podium and started to speak, and then all of a sudden, it was like I had no body. It was like my whole consciousness filled up the room and it was like, “O oh, what do I do? Where am I?” And I even looked down, I couldn’t see my body! And my thoughts were occurring out in the middle of this big, huge, enormous room; they weren’t even inside my head! And I just, for a moment, panicked! It was like, “Oh, this is exciting, this is consciousness,” you know?

But fortunately, I knew enough of what I was supposed to say, and I just said it. I looked at Jerry Jarvis and I just said it, and then I got off the podium. But that was my beginning for really appreciating what Maharishi was offering, in terms of consciousness – it’s a direct experience, it’s something that’s powerful, and it is all-pervasive. And that was really, I think, the beginning for understanding that process.

Rick:      Although your description of that first glimpse might not be very alluring to people, you know – no body and my thoughts are out in the middle of a room! Do I want that?!

Andrée:   Well what it is is that we are more than just this human body, and our life is a consciousness that is unbounded. And once you have that experience, it also is accompanied by a tremendous amount of happiness and fulfillment. And so when you look at how people live their lives and the suffering that people go through and the problems they have, it is such a contrast to that, and so it is significant in that regard.

Rick:      And obviously, being a first glimpse, it wasn’t integrated, and it was sort of strange, but obviously later on it …

Andrée:   Yeah, I guess we shouldn’t have started the interview that way, but you were asking my story.

Rick:      No, that’s okay, that’s cool. And people get in touch with me all the time, that in many cases don’t have any sort of inkling of spirituality or interest in it and saying, “What’s happening to me? My body is going into convulsions, and I looked it up on the Internet … and I’m reading about kundalini, what’s that?” And I’ll refer them to somebody who has really been through a lot of that and can help them out. But initial spiritual awakenings can be disconcerting.

Andrée:   It’s true and you know, we’re really that first generation that’s exploring it. Our family, our parents didn’t know of these things. Maybe they would meditate but it would be a simple closing the eyes and a simple experience, but we are now part of a phenomena that’s taking place worldwide, where people really are looking at these experiences. And fortunately, a lot of the scientific community has gotten involved to give an intellectual understanding to it, so it has its validity, but on the other hand, we really are kind of stretching the limits and looking at things that were not really understood a long time ago.

Rick:      Yeah. Okay, so you’ were teaching in Detroit, then at a certain point, you started going to these longer courses.

Andrée:   Yes, I forget … when did those start, in the 70s?

Rick:      Well, we started doing what they call those “ATR” courses, where we go for six weeks and meditate a lot for six weeks, then we come again for four-and-a-half months, then go over again for six weeks, and that was great fun. That went on for a few years, but the really long ones, the six-month courses started about 1975.

Andrée: And what they were for was … Maharishi called us the “Governors of the Age of Enlightenment,” the “teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Program.” So we were invited to go to Switzerland to, not only engage in longer meditations but because we were more advanced in our practice of Transcendental Meditation, it was intended that when we were meditating we would also have an impact globally, as well.

So I went over there, and each course was six months. We stayed in hotels on the offseason, in Switzerland, and then every so often we would move to other hotels because of the oncoming ski season and all of that. And I ended up staying there for two years. And we did meditate 8 to 10 hours a day, and it was pretty amazing.

And the thing that was most enjoyable about it was that Maharishi would travel from hotel to hotel because it was such a large body of people that we couldn’t all fit in one hotel. And then he would spend a lot of time with each of us in our hotels, going into the advanced experiences of meditation.

And I really found that I love the whole process, not only of the concept of meditating and making life better, but for me, I really loved going into the exploratory aspects of consciousness and what it’s all about and the ramifications of it, and that was definitely an opportunity to do that.

Rick:      Yeah, in your little bio on your website, you talk about … “developed a profound, direct, personal experience of consciousness,” and you also say that after a certain point, consciousness became a continuum; it wasn’t a matter of having it come and go, or being lost or anything [like that], but an unbounded aspect of consciousness was retained no matter what.

And then you also begin to talk about … “development of perception of the most refined areas of the mind, the junction between consciousness and the emergence of thought.”

Andrée: That was what took place for those two years, and Maharishi called it “Ritam,” that place where there is the experience of consciousness and then something starts to manifest from consciousness. In this case we would focus on the emergence of a thought coming into the mind, at that most refined level. And the ability to be able to see a thought at those more refined levels was also the process of expanding awareness, and then that was part of the process of expanding consciousness.

And from there I found that – although the first time I actually experienced the infinity of consciousness was way back in India, during the teacher training course, I remember that one, where my eyes were closed, and I was just kind of looking at that space right in front of my eyes. And then all of a sudden it just opened to infinity, and I kept looking into it and getting more and more infinite, more and more infinite, and I thought, “Wow, that’s cool!” That was way back in ’69 – but this did it in a more integrated way, and your feet are on the ground a little bit more, and in a slower and more steady process.

And it was interesting because at that point I became interested in that aspect of consciousness that is unbounded. It’s interesting because when we came back to the United States and were involved in an ‘Ideal Society’ campaign in Rhode Island, and we were talking with Maharishi on the telephone about the TM teachers that were on that project, about our experiences, and we were talking about qualities of consciousness. And one of the TM teachers was talking about consciousness as power, and I thought, “Well that’s interesting. I never thought about that!” I never thought about that at all; I was always interested in the unboundedness of consciousness.

Well interestingly enough, that TM teacher went on to become a very successful businessman. And I often thought it must have been all those years when he was looking at the strength and power of consciousness that had given him what he needed to be so successful in the business world. But for me, I was always interested in the unboundedness of consciousness.

Rick:      I once heard Maharishi say that different qualities of nervous systems will experience different qualities of consciousness, just because of their constitution. So some constitutions – for some the unboundedness aspect, for some the bliss aspect, for some maybe the power aspect, and so on, for some the intelligence aspect. It’s all the same consciousness of course, but we tend to appreciate different qualities of it more or less, depending on our physical constitution.

Andrée:   Interesting, yes, that’s a very good insight. I hadn’t heard that aspect before and it does make sense.

Rick:      I remember him talking about vastness. And I actually remember this so well because I had brought up the experience of vastness, and that kind of prompted him to go into that talk of ‘different qualities for different people.’

So for you, you like the unboundedness, which I guess is synonymous with ‘vastness,’ and that’s always been one of my favorites!

Andrée:   In the early 80s, my mother had health problems, so I came back to California to stay with her for two years, until she passed away, and one of the meditators gave me a library card to the University of California Berkley library. And the UC Berkley library is this huge library that has like 8 or 9 floors down, underneath the main library, they call them “the stacks.”

So I started to look into all the Vedic books that they had there, all the Vedic literature. And it turned out that they had one of the largest collections in the whole world. I think there’s one other university that has a larger collection or a similar size, perhaps in India. But it took me 8 months, no; 6 months, 8 hours a day, to read through all of their books. And I don’t know Sanskrit, so I only read the English ones, but I just did that on a regular basis. Because while I was at home with my mother, I really didn’t have any other activity to do during the day, so I would go down to the UC Berkley library.

And it was interesting because at the end of reading all of those books, about a couple of months later I realized, “Oh my gosh! I can see unboundedness in the outer environment!” And then I realized, “Okay, that’s what they call ‘Brahmin.’” You know, it’s one thing to be able to separate out consciousness from your daily activity and to identify it as an experience, and then another thing to identify the different qualities of consciousness, like you were talking about.

Rick:      And let me just interject, when you say, “identify as an experience,” it doesn’t have this usual structure of experience, where there is an experiencer over here and an object over there. So it’s not like there’s some little guy separate from consciousness that experiences consciousness as an object; but consciousness has this self-referral quality, where it knows itself in a way which you can probably explain more eloquently.

Andrée:   Well no, actually it’s pretty interesting what you’re raising because you could actually say it is both – where you could observe consciousness, initially, but then afterwards, what you’re saying, is that there is a more developed state of it. And I think you know that consciousness Itself reveals Itself. And that’s really beautiful what you just said.

In this case, it was like I would be walking down the street and everything was unbounded! And I thought that was pretty cool.

Rick:      So the cars were unbounded, and the people were unbounded – just everything had the quality of unboundedness?

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah. And it happened that from that point on, that quality has remained with me. And I remember thinking way back in those days, because I was a kind of devotee and Maharishi was the teacher of teachers – and I always had such tremendous respect for him and for what he was bringing forth, and how fortunate we were to have access to the knowledge that he gave us like that – but how could I myself have that experience? And it took me about 3 or 4 … 5 years to really accept that, yes, that’s what I was experiencing.

And you’d read about Brahmin in the Vedic literature, well the reason you read about it is not that it’s something that happened to a group of people thousands of years ago, or just to a special select group of people; but it’s intended to happen to all people. So I had to mature into that experience before I would accept that even I could have that experience.

Rick:      Yeah, let me backtrack just a second because I just remembered that you glossed over something that people might have a question or two about, so we’ll just talk about that for a bit and then we’ll come back to this, and that is that you mentioned the word ‘Ritam’ and examining the emergence of thought as it arises. And I meant to ask you at the time when you brought that up if you could give us an example of two or three such experiences, and what the practical implications of that are.

Andrée:   At that time, when we were with those courses in Europe, in Switzerland, we were learning what Maharishi called the “TM Siddhi Program.” And in the Vedic literature, there are people that they call “Siddhas,” that were able to perfect certain extraordinary feats, and in the process of doing that, that was a demonstration of the quality of their consciousness.

So we were taught advanced techniques that would help to strengthen different qualities that would be representative of expressing that quality of consciousness. So some of those techniques were to develop the ability to observe thought at the more refined levels, and how to expand the perception.

And then, the value of that is if we could entertain a particular thought that was closer to the emergence of the thought, that the thought itself would instantaneously – if it was thought about something – would instantaneously bring about that effect. And one case, of course, was the levitation process, that he would teach us how to levitate, and if we were able to entertain that technique or that process right at that juncture point, then our body would lift off the ground. And if we were able to maintain the awareness of that thought at that first inception, then we would be able to maintain the body staying afloat for a longer period of time.

Rick:      Well, big emphasis on the word ‘if,’ because thirty-some odd years later, I’ve never observed, and no one that I know of has ever observed anyone actually defying Newtonian physics. You know, there’s this hopping thing, but if your legs were paralyzed you wouldn’t be hopping, or if you weighed 300 pounds, you wouldn’t be hopping!

So there is definitely an inner experience, but full disclosure would be that, to my knowledge, no one has ever demonstrated levitation in the TM movement.

Andrée:   I think there’s two reasons for that. One reason that Maharishi explained during our course, which made sense to me, and later on I began to appreciate it more as I began to live outside in this world out here, is that there’s a certain density in the world right now and that density – just the fact that, you know, you figure fifty years ago people weren’t even talking the word ‘consciousness;’ now consciousness is more accepted, people understand it more. So there is an awakening that is happening globally that wasn’t there fifty years ago. And so there is a density that exists in our world and that could be one of the reasons.

Also, I think, maybe he himself didn’t have the exact technique to teach us properly, because there are people in India that, if you read the literature and so on, especially with Paramahansa Yogananda, one of his masters was able to demonstrate it. So there have been people that have been able to get beyond that density and accomplish that, but certainly not on a wide-range scale.

But that was the understanding of the mechanics of how you could do that, and that was taking – I think we had about maybe 10 or 12 or 15 different events; techniques that we were doing, and that was one of them, and that was a more extreme one, like if you can really prove that.

And I think that in the future people will do that. It’s hard to say when and where that will happen, it doesn’t seem to have happened on American soil, but it has happened in India. So, you know, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Rick:      Yeah, and perhaps for the benefit of those who are saying, “So what?” at this point, “What’s the significance of that? Who cares if you can levitate?” And the implication is that … well it has interesting implications for what consciousness really is, what the human physiology really is, what the relationship between the human beings and the laws of nature actually are.

I mean, a couple of hundred years ago, a jet plane flying over would have been miraculous to the average … to anybody! Because there weren’t such things except for birds, but now we take them for granted, and we understand the laws of nature which enable them to fly.

And the suggestion here is that there are perhaps subtler laws of nature, or a sort of interface between human consciousness and laws of nature such as gravity, which if properly mastered, could enable a person to counteract gravity. So it’s a bit of a moot point still, until it’s demonstrated, but it’s an interesting proposition anyway.

Andrée:   But it does bring forth what you’re saying, which is that whole phenomenon of consciousness. So somebody says, “Well, why am I interested in that?” Because, okay, maybe they’re not going for the levitation aspect of it, but just starting the meditation and to have a correct technique of meditation. And in that way I think we all received a really good technique for meditation from Maharishi, and we were very fortunate in that regard, because we were able to, fairly quickly, identify consciousness as an experience, separate from everything else.

But what happens is when a person does experience that very simple state of consciousness, they also start experiencing peace, they start experiencing happiness, and then their life begins to have a greater stability. So it is directly affected to the quality of life that the person is going to going to enjoy in their outer environment.

And sure, you and I are discussing it because we’re so interested in the concepts of consciousness, we kind of go way out in the deep end of looking at it all, but it really is practical and people have, from the meditation practice, gained huge amounts of benefits in their lives – their lives have gotten more stable, they’ve been able to accomplish more in their lives, if students, then their grades have gotten better, and so on and so on. .

Rick:      Yeah, yeah, no doubt. And these days, the David Lynch foundation is teaching thousands of kids in inner city schools, and people in prison and all sorts of things, so consciousness doesn’t have just a metaphysical significance; it is something which really enhances the nitty gritty of life, if one learns to unfold it or experience it in its pure nature.

Okay, so you had this experience. Now do you think that it was the actual reading of the Vedic literature – presumably the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana, and the Upanishads, and all those things that you must have read – that influenced you in such a way as to ripen this experience of what we’re calling “Brahmin consciousness,” or seeing the unboundedness in everything, or everything in the unboundedness; you can say it both ways, or do you feel like it was just something whose time had come, for you?

Andrée:   It might have been both, but I think that there’s a value in reading the literature and reading about this angle of it. Like there is this whole process in that tradition called “not this,” and so you involve in techniques that are “not this, not this, not this.”

Rick:      Neti, neti.

Andrée:   Right, and so I would read about all the different things that they were saying. I’ll tell you something, and this kind of leads of where I went into the future, with all of this. They say that the Vedas were cognized by Veda Vyasa, and I remember reading about that at that time. And the one thing that he said when he cognized them, that I thought was interesting, was that he was receiving information, and the one thing that he asked for was to maintain consciousness while he received that information.

So that was just a little seed that got planted in my brain somewhere along the line. Then later on, you’ll see in the interview, that stayed with me and was kind of like my mentor as I decided to venture out in new avenues of exploration.

Rick:      Yeah, okay. So let’s start getting into those new avenues. So here we are, four or five years after this Brahmin consciousness, and you’ve gained the confidence that, “Yeah, this is what they are all talking about in these ancient scriptures, and somehow little old me has come to enjoy this.”

Andrée:   Yes. I like your byline at your Buddha at the Gas Pump, where you talk about ‘ordinary spiritual people?’ I’m right in that category, I’m as ordinary as you can be, I’m not some big charismatic figure like Maharishi was, or anything like that.

Rick:      Yeah, but he had his ordinary aspects too, when you got to know him. It’s like there is a lot of hoop-la built up around famous, world teachers, but when you get in the inner circle and peek behind the curtain, the great Oz is not necessarily as flashy as he appears to the public. But nonetheless, I’m not casting disrespect, I appreciate everything we got from Maharishi and all these other teachers; it’s just that they’re all human beings.

Andrée:   Yes, that’s right, and we’re all in the same boat. But it is true though that while we’re in that boat, our lives do feel very ordinary, and our day to day life is very ordinary, and yet, we ourselves can have some pretty amazing experiences. And I think both you and I are in that category; I know myself, I am.

That’s really been where my heart sings, is that I really like to explore all these experiences, I really want to know what’s out there, I really want to know our place in the universe, I really want to know much more than what I was ever taught growing up in this country.  And now it seems to be coming more and more available and lots of people are exploring it. I like to hear what people are saying, I like to look into what they’re doing, and then I found my own ways of exploring that.

I know that what I’m doing right now is about 100 years of its time. I know when Maharishi came to – when we were in Cambridge, when we were on the East Coast teaching – Maharishi came to Poland Springs, Maine to give a course. And that was the first time that he met with a group of academicians – people from universities – and created a university.

And during that time, this is just an example of what I’m talking about – timespan – Herbert Benson, who was from the Harvard Medical School, was very much involved in always seeing Maharishi whenever he came to the East Coast and wanting to talk with him and everything. But he was going to be objective and not start Transcendental Meditation, and that was his way of doing all of that, but yet he participated in all of those meetings and loved hearing, and so on and so on. And then years later he started his own program that he gave for people.

But I remember about a year or two ago, I was on the Internet – and that time, other than that, as much as Harvard was involved with the Transcendental Meditation Program, it was always on the periphery and people as individuals getting involved – but I remember looking on the Internet and all of a sudden I saw Herbert Benson and I thought, “Oh, what’s he doing now?” and this is about forty years later. And so I’m looking, and he has started a wellness institute at Harvard Medical at Harvard! It’s in conjunction with Harvard, and it is to study the mind-body coordination.

Well Maharishi created at his university the first PhD in neurophysiology of consciousness, and that was way back when. But here is now Harvard, forty years later, acknowledging and researching the relationship between the mind and the body and consciousness! So what I observed was that that took forty years for that to happen, to become mainstream in our culture. And the type of knowledge that I’m exploring right now is, I figure, 100 years ahead of its time.

Rick:      Hmm, we’re going to talk about that in great depth, but don’t jump to it because I want to proceed systematically. So it seems like the next major stage in your progress or your journey, was the exploration of Afro-Brazilian spiritual traditions.

Andrée:   Yes, another area of controversy in our country.

Rick:      Yeah. Do you know Cynthia Lane?

Andrée:   Yes! Yes, yes!

Rick:      Well she’s going on a similar route to yours, and I interviewed her quite a while back, so you could find her on, but anyway, go ahead.

Andrée:   Yes, I did look at her interview, and she was on the two-year courses with us. I think she was there for a year, and we were going from hotel to hotel together, and she’s a wonderful person. I love her laugh; she’s got a great laugh.

Rick:      Yeah, she’s great.

Andrée:   Real liveliness with her. Okay, so let’s see, so after my mother passed away, here I was in Berkley. I had left the womb of the Transcendental Meditation Movement that had been part of my life for … it ended up being twenty years. And I was just like kerplunk – out in the environment, there I was. Now, what to do with my life?

And it was an adjustment actually, for a while, because I realized that I was experiencing something that other people around me weren’t experiencing, and I was okay with that, but then what was I going to do with my life, and that was the thing.

And I had a friend – let’s see, at that time I had moved to Marin Country, after my mother passed away, we sold her house and I moved over to Marin. And I had a friend – I was doing real estate at that time for a source of income for myself, and I helped these people find a home in Tiburon, and I lived in their home for six months while it was being remodeled; they were from England and Hong Kong.  Well when they returned back to Tiburon, I moved to another place in Tiburon. And this person and I had heard about some group up in Sebastopol that was doing something, and we thought, “Well, let’s just go check it out!”

And we went up there and there were all these drums, it was noisy and there was a song and it was interesting, you know? All these years of meditation where everything is approached with quietness and silence, this was just the opposite! Yet there was a level of bliss, a level of happiness that was radiating in the room, you could feel it very clearly. But what they were doing was even more strange – they were bringing in spirit beings, they were mediums!

And I remember Maharishi had always cautioned us about that saying, “First capture the fort and then all the territories are yours, but be careful, don’t get involved in those things.”

Rick:      As Jerry Jarvis once said, “Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re smart.”

Andrée:   Well that’s true, that’s a good point. But the thing is, the dead, when they leave the earth, what’s the consciousness that they had?

Rick:      It’s what they end up with.

Andrée: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They still have that with them, they still have to deal with that. But anyway, so here’s this group of people, it was not a large group of people but …

Rick:      They were aware that they were bringing in these things? That was their intention?

Andrée:   Oh yeah, it was all orchestrated. The drumming was very specific drumming, and the songs were very specific, and then there was a certain moment…

Rick:      Were there drugs involved or not?

Andrée:   Oh no, no, no drugs at all, no drugs at all. And then a certain moment where – Bingo! – there were about four or five people, they all brought in these entities at the same time!

Rick:      How do you know they brought them in?

Andrée:   Well you could see it was very dramatic.

Rick:      They changed their whole …?

Andrée:   Oh yeah, some of them bent over, and their face expression changed, and it was very obvious. So then in their process was that you would go, and  you would pick one of the mediums that you would want to consult with, but you weren’t consulting with that person that you’d known just a few minutes ago; you were consulting with some spirit being that was coming through them. So I just thought that this was pretty interesting, but I was very, very hesitant.

Rick:      Yeah, well Maharishi’s whole caution about that was that even if the information that comes through is useful and interesting, it’s very bad for the medium – him or herself – that it sort of breaks down their mind-body coordination, because it sort of relegates their own individuality to a corner, so to speak, and something else takes over. And if you do that enough, you can really hamstring your own evolution.

Andrée:   Compromise, right, exactly. And there is truth to what he is saying, but it’s not the whole picture. But nevertheless, that was what was in my mind when I was looking at all of this. Then

Then about a month later, there was the woman who had taught this group, from Brazil, who was coming to Sebastopol. So this friend of mine – her name is Carmel – so Carmel and I thought, “Well this is fascinating, let’s go check it out, let’s go see what this woman is like.”

And she was going to have the people all meet out at the ocean, on the West Coast there … I forget what beach we were at. In fact, it was one tiny little beach that most people don’t know about. So we go in these cars – we first go to their center and then we car pool and we go out to this place, and the drummers come along, they’re all dressed in white. And we go out to the beach and the drummers are all in a row. I think there were maybe about four or five drummers with these big drums from Brazil. And by that time I think there were 30 or 40 people with us, and still I didn’t know what I was even looking at here.

So people were singing, and she was getting ready. And then this woman, her name was Baby Garroux, she brought in one of her spirit beings, it was called the Marinheiros, and I don’t know what a Marinheiros is, you know, so I was like, “I don’t know!” But [anyway], her personality changed, and he seemed very jovial and very happy.

Then what happened was that the people that had been part of that center, they all went up, one by one, to the Marinheiros. He touched them on the forehead and instantaneously they incorporated these beings! And everyone was moving – that one was over here, and that one was moving over there, and that one was doing something over there.

Rick:      So in other words, to the objective observer, you saw a transformation in the appearance of the person and their behavior. That’s what you mean when you say, “incorporated the beings”?

Andrée:   Yes, exactly. That was their language – to bring in the spirit beings they use the word “incorporate.”

Rick:      Yeah, so their whole expression changes and their body posture and all that stuff.

Andrée: Yeah. So Carmel and I are standing there and we’re going, “Well why don’t we go stand in line? Let’s go see what happens.” So you know, we’re in line there, and we’re waiting, and the person before us is doing something, and that one goes off in that direction, that one goes off in that direction. And then I get more and more nervous because I’m getting closer to the front!

So then I go up there and I’m very nervous, and the lady – the Marinheiros – taps me on my forehead and I fall back! Well Carmel said [that] I went through the air six feet, and I knew that I had gone through the air, but certainly not six feet.

Rick:      You’re on the sand I guess, at the beach?

Andrée:   Exactly, yes. And when I land on the sand, just this explosion of white light inside me, and I’m just filled with bliss, and I just start laughing and laughing and laughing. And it was like … that’s my joy, but there’s also something else there at the same time. So I kind of get up and I find my body – kind of moving here and there, and so on and so on.

So that’s my first exposure. I kind of took that leap of faith, I certainly didn’t expect that experience, and yet it was something. It was definitely a very distinguished experience.

Rick:      It just wore off after a while?

Andrée:   No, they create what they call a sacred circle first, and then there’s a certain period of time where the mediums … and all during this time there are these different songs and drumming that’s going on, because it turns out the drummers play a major role, and the singers play a major role in this whole phenomena. And then there’s a point where you say goodbye to the spirit beings, and so there are songs that are sung to say goodbye. And the mediums [know] that that’s the point where the spirit beings are getting ready to leave, and the mediums come back toward their bodies. And then there’s a song where they’re actually to go, and then bingo, it all just sort of happens like that. So that’s that process.

Rick:      I see.

Andrée:   And somewhere along the line, I don’t know, I came out of it, and it was new territory to me, so it was kind of a fuzzy experience. Years later I came to know what it was all about, but certainly not at that point.

And then a month later she had a group go down to Brazil, so I went with that group, and that was my first experience of going down to Brazil.

Rick:      So, are you going to tell me that you ended up taking Ayahuasca or no?

Andrée:   Oh no, no, no.

Rick:      Okay, good.

Andrée:   But it is interesting that tradition down there, there is a segment of it that does do all of that, and they still do the same drumming and the same songs and stuff, but they use the Ayahuasca to get them connected.

Rick:      Yeah, a lot of people are interested in that these days, and I have one friend at least, who did it and really had a bad trip, you know, he really kind of got blown away, and is perhaps still getting integrated from that.

So in any case, when you went down to Brazil, what was your involvement, what was the nature of that?

Andrée:   At that time, this woman was married to this guy and they had what they call “Forest Academy” on 44 hectares, and I can’t remember how that connects to acres, but you know, a sizable place, and really quite a beautiful place. We slept outdoors, it’s very nature oriented. They had a big, huge circle with a large pit – an open fire pit – in the center, and all of our training took place outdoors around that fire area.

And then next to those fire areas, they had these small building, they were kind of octagonal, they call them “roncos” – r-o-n-c-o. In Brazil they pronounce the ‘r’ as an ‘h’. And those buildings, I was told at the time, were dedicated to different Orixás. Now I didn’t know what an Orixá was, but what would happen is that during some of our training we would go into those small buildings and do our training within that little area. So between the little area and the large open circle, we would do our training.

And the first night that I was there and fell asleep, I saw this Indian chief.

Rick:      Native American Indian, or south Indian?

Andrée:   I thought it was Brazilian! I’m in Brazil, right? I’m thinking… it’s there tradition, right; I didn’t know who it was. And all night long, in my mind’s eye and even in the external environment, I kept seeing this chief. So in their tradition they teach you to connect with seven lines of beings, they call them lineages, and the first one is called a “Caboclo,” which is supposed to be your main spirit-guide, so I figured, okay, this is going to be my Caboclo, and that’s all I knew about that.

And then, in their tradition they don’t connect you directly to the spirit being; but they connect you to what are called the “Orixás” first, so that you’re introduced to this spirit being in terms of the spirit being’s Orixá. So it’s a very sophisticated tradition, it’s as sophisticated as the Vedas are sophisticated, but you don’t really hear about it, especially in our country, or if you do hear about it, you kind of hear about the bad aspects of it, so to speak, or the lower range aspects of it.

Rick:      So let me catch up on a couple of things here. Orixás are sort of like the attendants of this bigger being, is that what they are?

Andrée:   No, they’re not beings themselves at all; they are the energetic formations of the universe. So they had in their tradition, which originally came from Africa, they had in their tradition – and I really give my credit to Maharishi, because as I started to wind my way into this tradition to explore what it was really about, because of my training with Transcendental Meditation, because of my training with consciousness, I was always looking for those aspects in their tradition, whereas a lot of people that I was with, they had their other reasons for becoming involved in that tradition.

But I was able to find that in their tradition they had seers, thousands of years ago, who had the ability to look into the universe and could see that the universe was made up of energetic formations. They had that quality of perception, and they were able to come up with over 2,000 different qualities. So that, to me, was like a real insight, because I don’t have that kind of perception! You know, even though all the training I had with consciousness, [it] didn’t train me to look into the universe and see the qualities of the universe itself.

Rick:      Although Maharishi always used to talk about the ‘impulses of intelligence,’ and ‘the laws of nature,’ and all that. So is that what you think he was talking about, the same thing as this?

Andrée:   I would say, yes, exactly. In fact, you’re the first person that’s made that connection, and I think that’s a good observation that you’re making.

Rick:      Well you’ve certainly thought of that connection, I mean, haven’t you? Because he talked about that all the time, and that creative intelligence has these organizing principles that are each specifically responsible for one particular manifestation, or one particular aspect of the universe.

Andrée:   Exactly, exactly, but you said it so succinctly, you know? And now all of a sudden we’re dialoguing and there’s an expression of that. The one thing that Maharishi didn’t say though was, okay, he would talk about ‘qualities of,’ and he would talk about them in terms of Western language, but we never had techniques of how to see those qualities in and of themselves, and that’s what this tradition is all about.

So they had over 2,000 or twenty-four hundred, sixteen qualities … something like that, some number … that they had seers that were capable of perceiving that. And then what they did was they grouped those qualities into smaller qualities and kept grouping them down. And then they finally were able to group all of those qualities into four qualities that are found on earth, or that we know about – the elements – earth, fire, water and air.

And so they were able to take all of those qualities that they call the Orixás – that’s the name that they gave for them, that’s what Orixás means – and they were able to bring them down to this very simple structure of four. And today worldwide what you see is people are working with about sixteen Orixás.

And it’s interesting, because going back to that conversation about how Maharishi said the density of the world wasn’t allowing people to levitate, well I perceived in this tradition the same phenomena is happening! Here are all these qualities, and there were people that could see all of that at one time, but right now because of the condition of the world, they can only see 16 of them, or maybe 28 of them, but that’s about as many as they can perceive and work with.

Rick:      It sounds like, from what you’re saying, in fact I was reminded of Hagelin again while we were talking, because he gives these charts where you take all the different diverse aspects of nature and boil them down to more and more fundamental laws of nature, and then you end up with the four forces: gravity, the weak force, electromagnetism, and I forget what the fourth one is, and then physicists are trying to take those and boil them down even more fundamentally, to a unified field.

And what it sounds like you’re saying is that, given the nature of collective consciousness, people can see a basic 4 or basic 16, but that the subtlety isn’t there to see the fine-fabric details of all the other permutations and combinations that might be possible. It’s sort of like [how] certain music is very crude, and you’ll hear a song and it just sort of bangs away on 2 or 3 or 4 different notes over and over again, and that’s a song. But then you listen to Mozart or Beethoven or something, and it’s so intricate and there’s so much subtlety and variety, basically composed out of the same fundamental notes, same scale, but there’s so much more richness to it.

Andrée:   Yeah, exactly. There’s a green thing that just went on the corner [of my screen.] Is there any change in our recording?

Rick:      It’s just a little bug, I don’t know what it is.

Andrée: Oh, okay. But it’s really fun speaking with you because you come in from a different direction and yet saying the same thing. Although I think that the four forces that he’s talking about are different from the four elements. So it would be interesting to have a conversation with somebody of his understanding, a scientist, to explore what all that is about.

Rick:      He’s done it actually. He’s written papers and given talks about trying to correlate those principles of physics with the five elements, or whatever number of elements that the more ancient traditions understood, but that is sort of tangential to this conversation, but it’s there  to be looked at.

Andrée: Yeah, or we could see down the road, the work that I’m doing right now, I would love to have people like him, who have that scientific mind, go on these journeys and see if anything happens, but we’ll get into that down the road!

But anyways, so you’ve got these energetic forces of the universe, and in their tradition – it’s really quite beautiful. And when you look at it from the outside, you don’t have an understanding except you either like it or you think it’s too far-fetched. But what happens is, they look at the human body as being a vessel.

Rick:      A vessel?

Andrée:   A vessel. And they train their people to see the emptiness of the vessel. So Maharishi taught us through meditation in a different way – we sit and close our eyes; they don’t do that. Your eyes are open and your whole body is a vessel. They have a word called “quartinia,” it’s like a vase. So your body is like a vase and inside it’s empty. So in their training they teach you how to experience that emptiness.

And then, again it goes back to those seers, when they saw all of these qualities out in the universe, they had to figure out how to make the connection between those qualities with the people living in their villages, and how to connect the people to that. Because they saw it as something that was the original state of the human, is that they were originally, at some point, connected to that, and then they lost that connection.

So what they did was they understood those energetic forces as having vibration, so then on earth they created a phenomena of vibration and that became the drumming.

Rick:      I see.

Andrée: And then they learned how to align certain vibrations with the actual vibrations of those particular Orixás in universe – those energetic forces in the universe. And that when they would drum in a certain way, what would happen is that it would call forth that energetic force. That energetic force would enliven in the environment in front of them, and then they would teach the people how to bring it within them, because their understanding is that that’s what you are anyway.

In other words, with Maharishi, we are consciousness, so his technique was to teach us how to experience consciousness inside. We went through the mind, but in their case, you have this open vessel that’s empty, and so you allow these forces of the universe to come forward, because you are those forces, you are that.

And it’s really quite a developed science. What they were able to observe – I don’t know how it happened in their tradition, but it’s just always been there – is that at the moment of conception, that there’s a certain vibration of the universe that’s predominant around that moment. So that they say that that’s your Orixá and you come in with that force, you carry that force with you, and it’s a force of protection.

So here is all of the universe and yet you’re going to be born in this little body, and you need a protection so that when you enter into the environment of the earth and all that is here, that you don’t lose that connection with who you are.

And then they have people that are there with you when you’re born, that whisper into your ear to enliven that protection that you have, to enliven that force so that it’s there with you from birth. Well even so, in their traditions, they have some people that have that knowledge and some people who don’t have that knowledge.

So then you go to, for instance Brazil, and have these Terreiro, which means ‘temple’, and you go, and you learn how to reconnect with your own Orixá. So that’s one of the processes, in fact, when it came first from Africa to Brazil, it came as a tradition called Candomblé, came into Salvador, Bahia. And then it – this is an interesting side point – then it began to be integrated into the Brazilian tradition, which at that time was [the] native people, who had their own way of connecting to the spirit realms.

So then what happened is another tradition came forth, called Umbanda, and Umbanda would take the Orixá tradition, but then would take the indigenous native tradition of their country, and teach people how to connect with their spirit guides. So Umbanda is really a kind of two-fold process: one is, it teaches you about your own Orixá, what your own energetic force that you carry within you is, and then the other component is if you want to be a medium, will teach you how to connect with your spirit beings. But they don’t teach you directly how to connect – and this is why I zig-zagged away from this initial point, was – they don’t teach you initially how to connect to your spirit being; they teach you how to connect to the Orixá of your spirit being.

So it’s like they really take you out in a broad way. It is sort of like their process of creating unboundedness for you, of creating expandedness of awareness for you. So you’re experiencing the Orixá of the entity, so you’re not experiencing the entity’s personal life, but you’re experiencing the Orixá first.

So it’s like the Orixá is coming forward to give you the protection, so that as you develop as a medium, there’s a protection around you as the medium for when that connection eventually gets made. So it is a really interesting process.

Rick:      Yeah, there’s a couple of things in what you just said that reminded me of the Vedic perspective on it. One is, you said that these things really aren’t outside of you anyway; they’re really all within you, and of course in the Vedic perspective it is said that all the laws of nature are contained within consciousness, and you are that consciousness.

And then there is that saying that, the Rishi’s seek out him who is awake, so that if a proper level of awakens or awareness or realization is there, then these impulses of intelligence –Rishi’s, which are verses of the Vedas; impulses of intelligence that comprise the Veda – seek you out. Now I don’t claim to 100 percent understand what that actually means or what the implications of it are, but it sounds like that’s what you’re talking about. And you could probably elaborate on it more.

Andrée: Well it interesting because we have to qualify, do they mean by the Orixás that that’s separate from the impulses of nature, or are the Orixás intelligences with their own personality that are representing that, or are they the impulses themselves?

Rick:      Or do the impulses of nature have their own personalities? Is everything really animate and personalized – the sun, the moon, everything?

Andrée:   Well see, in this tradition it is that way. They have the Orixás, and that is exactly what those seers, that they had perceived, was that it wasn’t just [like how] our science people say, that it’s something you can look at through a telescope. But when they saw those forces of the universe, there are two things they said about them: they had personality and they had intelligence – they had this self-referral; they were aware of themselves, as who they were.

So even though they were the impulses of the universe itself, they also had that separation. So it’s interesting, it is like how Maharishi has given it out, and yet [this is] another tradition that needs to now step forward and be acknowledged for its greatness as well.

Rick:      Oh yeah, I’m not mentioning the Vedic thing to in any way give credence to this tradition you’re talking about; I’m just saying that it’s interesting that there are these similarities between both traditions. And in the Vedic tradition, very much, the sun is Surya– it is considered to be a being, and the earth is Bhumi, and the moon is … I forget what. But each one is not considered to be a hunk of rock of fusion reaction; it’s considered to be a conscious entity, which only superficially is rock or a fusion reaction or whatever, but it’s really just this mass of intelligence that has that sort of a body.

Andrée:   Yeah, and I wasn’t saying it in reference to you; I was saying it in reference to my observation of how people look at this half of Brazilian tradition, especially in our country. And you know, most people are like, “I don’t even want to go there,” I mean, they don’t even want to have a conversation about it. But in an environment like this, with this interview, you’ve opened the door to really bring forth the depth of that tradition. And we were fortunate to really have received the depth of the Vedic tradition from Maharishi, so we’re these lucky, ordinary people!

Rick:      Yeah. Alright, well let’s continue on with your story. I wanted to throw in one other question – you mentioned that when you first went there, to South America, and you were experiencing this being all night long, was it kind of customary for you to maintain awareness during sleep, which is one of the characteristics of awakened consciousness that Maharishi always used as a criteria?

Andrée:   Well that’s a whole other discussion, isn’t it? That happened there very clearly. I’ve always found a couple of hours during sleep to still be a couple of hours where I don’t have awareness. So that’s always been there with me through the years, I don’t know how it is with you. But Maharishi always said that that was the ultimate gateway for …

Rick:      It was the acid test.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah.

Rick:      He always insisted that if you’re not maintaining pure awareness during sleep, 24-7 throughout the night, then you’re not really established. But very seldom do you hear anybody talk about that kind of experience. Most people who appear to be very much awakened are out like a light, when they sleep, so I don’t know.

In my own case, and I’m generally out like a light, but sometimes something will wake me up and in the process of waking up, I’ll kind of realize that I wasn’t asleep, even though I may have been snoring or something. But you don’t realize it until you wake up and there are some faculties with which to realize it.

Andrée:   And actually what you’re saying right there is the whole process when people first start meditating, how they come to know consciousness. I remember my very first moment of knowing consciousness was like, “Oh, I just had an experience. That’s consciousness, and I was experiencing it from the moment before, but I didn’t call it that then.”

Rick:      Yeah, yeah. In fact, most people say that when they really have a profound awakening. They say, “Wait a minute, this has always been the case I just never quite saw it this way, I never quite noticed what was right before my eyes.”

Andrée:   That’s interesting. When I had that experience of that being, then the rest of the time that I was there, they had told me who his Orixá was, which is called Xangô. And Xangô is a force of fire, and it’s that quality of fire when it starts to crystalize. It’s like the volcano and then all the fire starts to crystalize. So that’s the element of this Orixá of this Caboclo, this main spirit guide. So on that particular trip, that’s what I learned about.

And they had me work with that Orixá, which of course the spirit guide was right there at that moment, but I wasn’t working with the spirit guide; I was working with the Orixá. That Orixá force is obviously not my force; it was so intense, so difficult for me to bring it in because it was just so powerful, and I had never known anything like that before. It was just really like, “Oh my God!” But you know, I was game for all of this – it’s fun, exciting. But that was my first introduction to the Orixás, is that they are very powerful forces. And it is good that you have a tradition that gradually teaches you about the different ones, and you gradually learn how the different ones feel and how to work with them and all of that.

Rick:      Are there casualties sometimes when people circumvent that tradition and just try and go for the fast track?

Andrée:   Well you know it is interesting, down there, this is one thing that I really like about their tradition that I didn’t notice as much as with the Transcendental Meditation Program, with us being teachers we were always like, “Give me more and more meditation, give me more and more meditation,” we just loved the experience of meditating as much as we could.

In their tradition, for instance, when you are a medium and you go to this big Terreiro, you only go once a week, so you’re only a medium once a week. And then the rest of the time you’re just living your regular life, which is this huge integration process. And so I think in their tradition they actually have more integration than the Vedic tradition, or at least the Vedic tradition in the way which we were introduced to it.

And I think even so in a lot of meditation processes in our country, a lot of different techniques people want more and more of, and there are some imbalances that you see from time to time. But this is very, very balanced. Yeah, I would say that that’s one thing – you know, I always wanted more of it, but I had to wait, because they weren’t in a rush to give it to me, the knowledge. And in the process, there was the integration that took place in a very nice way.

Rick:      So this guy who came through that first night, that was whom you call Hayehwatha?

Andrée:   Well what happened is that I had no idea during that time; I just thought this is some Brazilian-Indian, you know? And then I came back to Tiburon after the course, just living my life, and I would go up to Sebastopol once a week. And then one day I just felt like I’ve got to go to the library and read about the Native Americans. And I was like, “Huh?” I didn’t even know how to talk to the spirit realm, it was just that that was my own thought, I thought. It was like this feeling in my heart of, “I’ve just got to do it;” I was compelled.

So I went to the Tiburon library and looked at their books on Native Americans and wasn’t drawn to any of them. And I thought, “Oh, okay, that’s interesting.” And then I went over to the children’s section and I went over to where the Native Americans / Indians were, and I just felt drawn to three books. I picked them up quick, just like that, and walked out of the library and took them home.

And I opened up the first of three books and I went, “Oh! My! God! That’s who it is.” And it was Hayehwatha, it was a book about Hayehwatha!

Rick:      So he was a literal figure, he wasn’t just a Longfellow poetic character?

Andrée:   Right, that began my journey of “who is this character,” you know? But it was interesting because it was years later that I realized he was the one that pulled me to the library, and honed in on where was that book that would talk about him.

And yeah, he is of the Iroquois tradition. The Iroquois people, they call themselves the Haudenosaunee people. Today we find them in our country in Upper State New York.

Rick:      Running casinos probably.

Andrée:   There are some that are doing that, and there’s that whole thing within their own culture, whether that’s a good thing or not, or whether it’s payback time or whatever, you know! But it is interesting, he is a very interesting character in history. He was at a time where his people were at war with one another, and all killing one another! And there were five main tribes, or they call themselves “nations,” that were literally out to destroy one another. And they had built up such a culture that if you killed someone, that was an honor, and that was a glory to be had.

And Hayehwatha at that time was a chief, and he was a chief who spoke of peace, but the people did not listen, they weren’t interested in what he had to say. And the story goes that there was born among their people a man that they referred to as “the Peacemaker;” they don’t like to say his name verbally, so they call him “the Peacemaker,” because they consider him very sacred to their tradition, so they keep that held close to their heart. Sort of like we would with the mantras – you don’t talk about them.

But he was an extraordinary individual in that he was born of a virgin birth. And he was born of a mother, with a grandmother, and they went and lived in the forest until he was ready to come forth and bring his mission of peace. So what happened was when he came forward and started to talk about peace, he had a stutter. So Hayehwatha became his spokesperson.

And the two of them went and began to teach peace to their people and were able to stop war, were able to create a situation where they created a big, huge hole in the ground, and they put all their weapons – everybody put all their weapons into the earth, and buried it up and planted a tree, a tree of peace. But more than that, they were able to create a governing structure of how they could live with one another with a good mind, with respect toward one another, and a good sense of power – to use power in the right way.

Well they created a governing structure that interestingly enough – and I didn’t know about this, but I think if I had been raised on the East Coast I might have known about it – when our first founding fathers came from over in England and tried to create, at some point wanted to create a constitution, they didn’t go to the English constitution because that’s what they were running away from. They interfaced with the Iroquois people that lived on the East Coast and learned of their ways. And so many of their principles are from the – they call it the Iroquois Confederacy – many of these principles of the Iroquois Confederacy, of which Hayehwatha was one of those makers, were incorporated into our constitution, like the ‘balances of power’ of the government, the voting. And actually, in the Iroquois tradition, originally, everybody had to agree; it wasn’t majority votes. But our founding fathers did it as a majority vote.

So a lot of the concepts that created our U.S. Constitution were actually borrowed from the English peoples’ interaction with the Iroquois people.  They say that it is the first written governing structure on our land, was the Iroquois Confederacy.

Rick:      Good, so that’s interesting, it really is. Well I’m not sure how to proceed here. You talk about Hayehwatha and Vovó Anamalia, and we’re going to get into more stuff like exploring the universe and so on, but should we jump to that, or would you rather unfold it based upon your personal journey of how you discovered all these things, how they unfolded for you?

Andrée:   Could we introduce a little bit with Vovó, because that gives rise to the journeys into the universe, the work that I do right now. As I mentioned, when they teach you how to be a medium in the Afro-Brazilian tradition, they teach you how to connect with these seven different lineages. And it turned out that that one I had connected with way back in California on the beach, was a Marinheiros, and that’s a lineage that works with people at the water and works with peoples’ emotions. So it is a particular spirit being that works just with peoples’ emotions.

Rick:      And just at the water, which is why he came in, because you were at the beach?

Andrée:   Right, right, right. And so even though I had had that experience of Hayehwatha and was having the training of how to connect through his Orixá, they also had this other line called Preto Velhos, which means “old blacks” in Portuguese.

Rick:      Old blacks?

Andrée: Old blacks, yes, which is the word ‘velho.’ I don’t speak Portuguese properly, so I apologize for that. Velho is masculine, velha is feminine – Preta Velha. So anyways, that was actually the first group of beings that they introduced us to, to connect with them as the spirit beings. And so we had the training on how to connect with these Preto Velhos.

And the Preto Velhos, the reason why they have the name ‘old blacks’ was that when they were last on earth, they were of the black race. And they had a huge amount of suffering and difficulties, and they gained their wisdom through all their suffering.

Rick:      Are we talking about slavery or something else?

Andrée:   Yes, slavery and the whole nine yards; whatever it was during that range of time.

Rick:      So you’re saying a lot of the slaves now exist as these sort of spirit beings who became very wise through that ordeal?

Andrée:   Right, what happened is that during the slave trade, many of their people were brought to the New World – some to Brazil, some to Cuba, some to America, you know, that whole island structure – and they were brought over during the slave trade. And then they established their tradition, Candomblé – at least in Brazil, they established it there as Candomblé.

And then also, as they started to integrate into the synchronization with the native tradition, and then the people that had been brought over to this New World learned how to connect with their ancestors through the native traditions that existed in Brazil. So that’s what started this line of Preto Velhos, because they were all black, and that’s what they called them: Preto Velhos.

So that’s a very ancient tradition in Brazil. Interestingly enough, that tradition, the Afro-Brazilian tradition that came over as Candomblé and then became Umbanda, also synchronized with the Roman Catholic Church. Because during that time, the Catholic Church was a big part of Brazil, and these days it is about 85% of Brazil. So they’ve got a whole other thing where they’ve taken all the saints in the Catholic tradition and connected them to different Orixás, saying that they had different qualities of these different Orixás, but anyway, that’s sort of a side thing.

So here I was, I think that first time, learning how to connect with a Preto Velho.

Rick:      And the Preto Velho is the old blacks?

Andrée:   Right, right.

Rick:      Okay, good, just verifying.

Andrée:   So they would teach me how to connect with my Preto Velho.

Rick:      Oh okay, the specific one that you would be connected with. Okay.

Andrée:    Right, right, right. And this is sort of a description of my medium process: they had us sitting down on these little stumps we were on that big, open circle that I was telling you about, and there was the music playing, and the drums playing, and there were certain songs. And by that time I had learned that there were certain songs, that when a certain song came, that’s when that being was supposed to come in. So I was waiting for that moment, you know?

And all of a sudden my mouth started to do these funny things, and it wasn’t me doing that. It was like, “Wait a minute. What’s going on?”

Rick:      For those listening in just the audio, she’s taking her lips and stretching them in different directions, and the mouth was going into different grimaces.

Andrée:   On its own.

Rick:      On its own, yes.

Andrée:   Without me using my hands. So then that’s when I realized, there is a being somewhere around me that’s going to be the being I’m working with, and they’re trying to figure out how it all works, because they’re trying to figure it out also. We usually just think of it from our side, but it is a two-way street. So that was the beginning.

My experiences as being a medium were more like feeling like a puppet. So I was still here, in my body, still Andrée, and I was feeling different parts of my body moving. So that was the beginning really of what it felt like to be a medium. And then when I went down every year for twelve years and I learned all these different seven lines of beings and how to bring them in, and how to work with them, and got really comfortable with the whole process, I would have to say, in terms of the actual internal experience – and all the course is taught in Portuguese, so I missed a whole lot of knowledge because I don’t speak Portuguese, so I would just be able to observe – but my experience, going back to what Maharishi always said: “Be careful,” it was like, I don’t lose awareness because I’d developed a quality of consciousness that I can’t lose awareness anymore! But what I experienced for myself is like as if I’m in another room.

It’s like I go to another room and I’m still present here, but it’s like I’m in the other room and I’m hearing what’s going on here from a distance. So it’s like I’m out here, beyond my body, but if I need to come back in the body I can, but I’m observing what’s happening from afar, whereas I think that maybe there are some mediums that do lose awareness.

I don’t know if whether the group I was with, whether that was the case or not, I don’t know, because I wasn’t having those kinds of questions at that time to really know, so it’s always been a little bit of a question on my side.

Rick:      Yeah, there is that verse in the Yoga Sutras, which is: “When invited by the celestial beings, that invitation should not be accepted nor should it cause vanity, because it involves possibility of undesirable consequences.” Did you ever contemplate that verse in light of what you were doing?

And the second part of that question is, have you ever noticed any deleterious aftereffects from doing this?

Andrée:  Yes, okay. Here’s what I observed, and it wasn’t in my personal experience. But what I observed, because they taught us to work with seven lines of beings, and each line had a certain reason. Like the, because they were all black, and that’s what they called them: helped people with their difficulties, there’s another line called Boiadeiros, it helps to bring unity to a group of people that are having difficulty getting along together, and then the Marinheiros, that works with peoples’ emotions. Then there’s another line called the Elegbara which work with all the dark forces that people carry inside themselves, all the addictions, the afflictions, peoples’ propensity to drugs, to alcohol.

So they themselves are a dark force, and when you incorporate them their whole purpose is, number one, to protect you from the dark forces, and then secondarily, anybody who comes in front of them, they will help that person with their dark forces.

So that is a very touchy line of beings to be working with, but I found that – at least the groups I was working with, two groups in Brazil – they had the full integrity of understanding all of those issues and had the impeccability to teach it in the right way.

However, what I found was in one case, the head of that organization allowed himself in his personal life, to veer into those dark forces, out of exploration but also fascination, and it involved other people.

Rick:      And so did it sort of ruin his life in some ways, and the lives of those whom he influenced?

Andrée:   I wouldn’t use the word ‘ruined,’ but it caused deep suffering in the lives of those he impacted in that way. But it is no different than what I observe in even the guru phenomena, so it is the same stepping off.

Rick:      Sure, try to find one who hasn’t screwed up in some way, it’s a little bit hard.

Andrée:   So yes, but it does exist down there, and it exists when you work with that particular line.

Rick:      So do you feel like it was something that he knew he was getting into, that he knew what the consequences would be, but he did it as a self-sacrifice in order to help people with their dark forces, or was it more like he got lost in the process?

Andrée:   Yeah, he got lost in the process, and he got fascinated with the phenomenon of being able to take advantage of people.

Rick:      Yeah, well it’s just like that Patanjali quote that I just said, you know?

Andrée:   Yeah … but he was able to step back from that, and then the rest of his teaching was perfectly …

Rick:      It was okay, yeah, it’s just a compartment got corrupted. And in your own case you are saying that you were somehow spared from that by having first established consciousness so solidly.

Andrée:   Yes, I think so, I think so. And, you know what was interesting? This first group, they had a temple in a very poor area of Brazil called Favela, and they would have about 300 people a week come to this Terreiro to get advice, help, healing, everything. And there would be thirty mediums in the central area, and there would be about seven drums, there would be all the music. And then all the mediums would just incorporate at the same time, and it was like this mass of white light just exploding in the room -it was pretty phenomenal.

And all the people that would come – they would be little kids, they would be grandparents, the whole family would come, and they all knew the songs, it was very celebratory, everything like that. And then what would happen after the beings came in, then they would open up these little gates where all the public were sitting. And then they would come in and they would choose which medium to go up to help.

And they would have me standing next to one of the mediums to observe the process; that was part of the training. And what I would observe was that they would come up with all their problems – they were so poor they couldn’t go to a doctor, so they relied 100% on these mediums to take care of their lives, their whole families’ lives! And it worked! And I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty amazing,” you know? – that they come, and they’ve got this problem here, and this problem there, and they would be taken care of. The little kids would come in, the grandparents would come in, they’d have money problems, they’d have whatever, whatever!

So I thought that when I was going to be working with spirit beings that that’s what I would be doing … that they would come and the Vovó Anamalia and Hayehwatha would be helping people with their difficulties in life. Well for me, it started out that way but then it started to move in another direction, and that’s where it has gone now. And I take that to be a lot of my preparation with all those years of meditating, that somehow, I was destined to work with these beings even though I didn’t know that at that time, you know, the window shade was pulled down over me during all that.

And yes, I did accomplish this, and [was with] those people [who] started TM and all of that happened, and I learned for myself, but I really think it was a preparation, because their work is so extraordinary that I’m not sure it would have happened if I hadn’t had all that development of consciousness, and the training that Maharishi gave us.

Rick:      So you’re saying that their work now, through you, is so extraordinary?

Andrée:   I think it is, yeah.

Rick:      And so what is it exactly that you do that is so extraordinary?

Andrée: Well first of all, what I observe with Vovó Anamalia is that she teaches people about the Orixás, where they are out in the universe. And I can’t say if this is really true or not because I don’t speak the Portuguese, but when I would go to the Candomblé temples in Bahia, and when I would listen to the people talk … well that’s just pure Orixá. And when the Orixás come in they don’t speak; they just come in with their force, and they enter into the body of the individual. And then there is all this drumming and music and the person is dancing around in this circle area, and the blessings from that Orixá are going out into the room.

What I have heard, and I don’t know how much of this is true or not, [is that] some of the Terreiros look upon those beings as their spirit guides, and so I’m wondering if they’re working with spirit guides, or if they’re working with the actual Orixás.

Rick:      And the difference between the two again is..?

Andrée:   Well spirit guide is like a being.

Rick:      An entity.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, it’s like a being that was on earth and is now an ancestor or is [a being] coming down from a celestial realm; a being working through the medium.

Rick:      Whereas an Orixá is more of an inanimate force of nature.

Andrée:   Exactly; of the universe, exactly.

Rick:      Which still might be animate, but not in a way that is as easy for us to conceptualize.

Andrée:   Well it is animate because it has intelligence and personality, so when it comes forward it is filled with that.

Rick:      Right, but it is just so dissimilar from what we ordinarily consider to be any sort of personality or individuated soul, that it is almost in its own classification.

Andrée: Exactly, it hasn’t lived in the heavens, it hasn’t lived in the celestial realms, it hasn’t lived on earth, it hasn’t lived in Orion or the Pleiades or any of that; it’s just the force of nature, the forces of the universe itself.

Rick:      Okay, good. So we were talking about what you’re doing with this and how it is different by virtue of your whole background with establishing consciousness and all that stuff.

Andrée: Well first of all, the tradition of how they train you to bring in the Orixás wasn’t primary to what I was down in Brazil for; it was secondary. But when you go to the kondomble houses like in Bahia, it is primary. And you go and you stay there for like thirty days, in seclusion, and you’re connected with your Orixá. And you have to learn your Yuba, you have to learn all kinds of stuff! It’s like learning the Vedas, it’s a seven-year process, I never did any of that. So from my side, I don’t claim to know the Orixás, but Vovó Anamalia does.

Rick:      And Vovó Anamalia is like Hayehwatha, a being that you are involved with.

Andrée:   She’s the precedent.

Rick:      Oh, oh, she’s the old black?

Andrée:   Yes.

Rick:      Okay, good, good, good. Getting my orientation here.

Andrée:   Right. But she does, her tradition, those are her people, so I’m just kind of like, “Whatever she wants to teach, let her teach.” Well I’m pretty amazed because she doesn’t have the conditions that they have in Brazil, she doesn’t have the trained drummers, she doesn’t have people that know the songs. So in her own way, she is actually teaching people how to connect to those universal forces, and it happens in the first one or two or three visits that the people are with her! It happens quickly; it’s not like a seven-year process. .

Rick:      So when you say, “they’re with her,” what you really mean is [that] they’re with her by virtue of you?

Andrée:   Right. They come to a workshop, I incorporate her, and the workshop goes on for 2 or 3 hours, and during that period of time she teaches them about the Orixás.

Rick:      And what experience do the people actually have during these 2 or 3 hours?

Andrée: They connect with the Orixás! They connect with these forces!

Rick:      And how do you know and how do they know that they’ve connected? What’s the experience of connecting?

Andrée:   It’s a personal experience, first of all, and it is something that is by and large is new to most people, especially here in the United States. And then I’m always listening to the tapes afterwards to really hear what went on, and she’s always asking people about their experiences and stuff like that.

There is one gentleman here, for instance, a young guy – I live in Mount Shasta, California now – young guy, he’s 26 years old, he started coming to the sessions that I was doing with Hayehwatha and Vovó Anamalia. His experience – when she was working with the Orixás with him and she asked him about his experiences afterwards, he said, “Well I was out there in the universe and I moved our galaxy.”

Ha! You know? This is a 26-year-old kid! I mean to me, that’s pretty amazing!

Rick:      Well, that was his experience, and I’m a little skeptical as to whether he actually moved the galaxy, but it’s an experience he had.

Andrée:   Yes, that’s right, that’s right.

Rick:      Because galaxies aren’t that easy to move, you know? They’ve got a lot of inertia!

Andrée:   What I was more amazed with – I didn’t even consider that aspect, what I was more amazed with – was that he had that experience.

Rick:      Yeah, he had some kind of galactic experience, right.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah. But he now, since he is connected with his Orixá and it comes in pretty fully, and so he’s only been doing that for about 2 or 3 years, he works with the Orixá called Ogun, which is another force of fire, but it’s that force of fire where you see the movement in the fire, that gives the force of movement.

And when you see him incorporate, the Orixá is true. And I know enough about the Orixás just from what I observed all that time that I was down there, he’s definitely incorporating that Orixá.

Rick:      And what sort of impact has this had on his life? His relationships? His job? His whatever?

Andrée:   It’s a wonderful thing. In the last two years he took over management of a local company, and he’s been running that company. Took it from a state of … the company was going to close or go into bankruptcy; he now has made it a viable company. He is now on the board of directors of the local chamber of commerce, he is on the board of directors of the rotary club, I mean his whole life just like … bingo!

Prior to me knowing him he was doing what a lot of young kids in America do these days; he was into this and he was into that, and he was into this and, you know, all of that. And here’s a whole other interesting thing: his family now comes, and he comes from a very Christian-based family. And so I asked his mother, how can she reconcile this with the group that she’s with because they’re very…

Rick:      Conservative.

Andrée:   Very conservative. And she said, “This is the only thing that’s brought my family together, and that’s why I come.”

Rick:      That’s cool.

Andrée:   So you know, that’s the success of it all really.

Rick:      Yeah, only in Mount Shasta. I don’t know if you could pull this off in Peoria quite yet! You probably could though, because people are waking up, all over.

So there’s a whole chapter in your story about exploring the universe. Do we want to get into that yet, or have we not fully done it justice through all the things we’ve talked about?

Andrée: Yeah, sure.

Rick:      This is the question I have now: you say, “I can see the universe. I choose to work with Hayehwatha and Vovó Anamalia and let them guide people to see the universe.” And in some other places – maybe when we were talking or some of the things I read – you talk about how you do spend a fair amount of your time exploring the universe. So talk about those explorations a little bit.

Andrée:   Okay, so I left the TM movement, I was living a very ordinary life, meditating twice a day, and then I start going down to Brazil, and I’m just caught up in learning the process. So I’m really not doing anything out of the ordinary with the meditation, and I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary with my own consciousness; just focusing on trying to get this process down.

And then, I’m at a point where I can start to be a medium on my own, I’m given, sort of, the authority to do that. Again, it’s a very structured process, you don’t just go out and willy-nilly do like that; you’re taught how to do all that, how to work with the public, and you’re only taught with this being – to work with the public, then you’re taught to work with the public with that being, and so on and so on.

So I was very caught up in all of that, and my sessions with people would be maybe half an hour, or an hour, and more of it was just allowing people to ask their own questions. So again, nothing out of the ordinary was really happening, other than that people were walking away feeling good – whatever they were wanting to know about they were felling was being resolved for them. And I was down in Marin County at that time, I was down in Tiburon.

Let’s see, I went to Brazil in 1996 and I moved to Mount Shasta in 2008. So about a year before I moved to Mount Shasta, there were a couple of people who wanted to come and work with Hayehwatha, and they had sort of advanced questions about wanting to know about the universe. And one lady was working with the phenomenon of Gaia, and the phenomenon of bringing forth new wisdom for women on earth and was very touched by the Greek culture where they say that there were women that had virgin births and all of that and wanting to understand that phenomenon. So she wanted to come and ask Hayehwatha questions about how all that could happen, and what is the relationship with Gaia, and were these women connected, and so on.

So in that session, Hayehwatha took her away from our galactic system and took her out into the universe. And Sophia came forward – Sophia of the traditions that you read about.

Rick:      Greek goddess of wisdom.

Andrée:   Yeah. I didn’t know anything about Sophia! It certainly wasn’t anything that I could have conjured up.

Rick:      So just to interject, when you say that Hayehwatha took her out of the universe like that, presumably the two of you are just sitting there having a session, are you saying things out loud at this point, or are you just working on some level of consciousness and then she correspondingly is having subjective experiences of what you’ve just described?

Andrée:   Yeah, I step out of the picture, Hayehwatha steps in, and then he takes her, verbally, on a meditative journey.

Rick:      So you are actually speaking – Hayehwatha through you is speaking.

Andrée:   Correct.

Rick:      And then she is sitting there with her eyes closed or something, and as he speaks, she experiences where he leads her.

Andrée:   Exactly, exactly.

Rick:      So her subjective experience was actually of [her] perhaps losing awareness of herself sitting in a chair, with you, but actually going out beyond the universe?

Andrée:   Exactly. Well she didn’t go beyond the universe; she went the beyond the galactic system. She was still within the universe.

Rick:      I’m sorry, I meant galaxy.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, and so there she was, out there. And I don’t know, I’d have to listen to the tape, I don’t know if Hayehwatha said Sophia has come in or [if] she said it. But somewhere along the line Sophia came forward.

Rick:      Did your voice change?

Andrée:   Pardon?

Rick:      Did your voice change from a main man’s voice to a main woman’s voice when Sophia came in?

Andrée:   I don’t know, I’d have to go back to the tape … I don’t know.

Rick:      Okay, maybe that’s a superficial question.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s interesting. I don’t know, I don’t remember that. I’d have to go back and listen to that tape again.

Rick:      Okay, no problem. Sorry I interrupted. So that was a filler, so okay, continue.

Andrée:   Well just that, and that there was a connection, there was an exchange of knowledge that she was thirsting for, and even some of it that she didn’t even know about.

So that was kind of the turning point where he was starting to take people beyond the earth and taking them into our galactic system. And then actually most of those sessions, he was taking them beyond the earth to where they were before they came to the earth. So most of those sessions were like that.

Rick:      Meaning like they might have lived on some particular planet, in some other star system or something, and he took them there, or what?

Andrée:   That happened with some people, but most of the people, he was more interested to take them to that place where they were before they just came to this lifetime.

Rick:      I see, so some kind of intermediary stage that we live between lies – he took them to that place where they had been before they were born into this life.

Andrée:   Exactly.

Rick:      Which is not necessarily in some geographic location in the galaxy but is on some level or other.

Andrée:   More like a “preparation for coming into the earth” level.

Rick:      Yeah, and why would we want to go there?

Andrée:   Okay, well then both he and Vovó started doing that. Vovó means grandmother, by the way – that’s the Portuguese word for ‘grandmother.’ Why the other name is Anamalia, I have no idea. So both of them started doing that and both of them spend a lot of time, more so Vovó now, with taking people to that place, because she has them preview the life that they’re living now, that they saw before they came here.

And she says it is like a movie screen, and then when they come here, they enter into the picture. And what they didn’t have when they were looking at the movie screen is that they didn’t have the emotional interaction with the film; they were just seeing – they were just putting together the mother, putting together the father, they’re all making all these arrangements … and then we’re going to have these brothers and sisters, and it was all prearranged. So she has them go back and see all of those situations, then she brings them back to their life right now and it has an impact on them.

Rick:      I imagine it would, yeah. I mean, you realize that so much of what you’re going through was your choice.

Andrée:   Exactly, that’s the whole nine yards. And I would say, and that brings up a whole other thing, both of their teachings are giving people full responsibility, 100% – you’re not connected to this, you’re not beholden to that, it’s time to see who you are, and you’re 100% responsible for your health, for your whatever, whatever, whatever … your relationships with people – 100% responsible.

And I would say that out of all of this, that’s what their teachings are about. With Hayehwatha, his meditation process seems to have a more long ranging effect on people, and people will come and see him, and I may never see those people again. It’s like, you really did something, and they got it, you know? Whereas with Vovó they come back and they work again, and again and again; she works more on the problems in the life situation, but she also connects them to the Orixás, and more and more of the Orixás come forward for them, and then there’s that integration, because she only comes in once a month – I only work with them once a month. And that’s about as much people can take.

Rick:      Do you still in instruct people in TM or encourage them to practice something like it on a regular basis, to provide a better foundation for all this?

Andrée: Well I’m finding with Hayehwatha that he gets people out there like that! whereas it took us four or five years to really get it. And he, within one session people get it. But there was a period of time where I gave some … we have a place called The Shasta Yoga Center, and I gave some talks there on Brahmin consciousness. And interestingly enough, there would be these old TMers that would show up at the class! And some of them were TM teachers, and some of them were people with their own meditation, and so what I did in that case was just kind of get people on the right path.

Like there was one lady that came that was doing concentration, and you know, she’s getting headaches and all of that, so I gave the knowledge of what we give as TM teachers – I didn’t give mantras or initiation, but I gave the concepts, and it just helped people.

Rick:      So do you spend time exploring the universe on your own, as opposed to just helping others do so? Do you sit down twice a day or maybe for an hour in the morning or whatever and just go out and explore?

Andrée: I find that during the sessions, especially with Hayehwatha, that I’m right there when he goes outside the universe and it’s like, bingo! I’ve got it, now it’s there. So there’s no need to “go there,” you know, I don’t have that. Although it’s interesting what you ask, because I live in one of the poorest counties in California, and I live in a very small area, only about 4,000 people. And the economics have really hit this area hard, and people have left in droves.

There are spiritual people who come up here, can’t establish themselves, and they leave. So I experienced the burden of that for the community, and I also experienced the effect of it in my own life. So what I find, [in regards to] the question you’re asking, there was somebody that asked about one of her sessions with Hayehwatha. So the other night I went and listened to that tape and was writing down what Hayehwatha was saying, and at the end of the tape it was like, “I don’t have any problems anymore, I feel great! I can handle all what’s in front of me.”

So it sort of happens more in that way, when I’m trying to get the information ready to put as study materials for people or to answer peoples’ questions. Eventually … I’m taking this television production class out in Siskiyou, which is our local community college, to become a producer out there. And then I want to take the 100s of hours of Vovó and Hayehwatha, and I want to start taking that material and putting it into DVDs so that people will have access to it. So that process of doing all of that is how I get integrated back into the experience.

Rick:      Is it in video form or audio form or both?

Andrée:   I’ve been doing both.

Rick:      Well you could put that on the Internet too.

Andrée:   Yeah, well I’ve just put a few short clips of Vovó and Hayehwatha on there, just 3-minute things. Here is the other thing, for me it’s like, I’m so much of an American, it’s still a bizarre process to dress up as Hayehwatha and dress up as Vovó Anamalia and let them come through me.

Rick:      Do you actually physically dress up differently? Do you put some kind of headdress or something?

Andrée:   Yeah … yeah. It’s really interesting and it started with the tradition of the Orixás, because when people would incorporate the Orixás and the Orixás would come into that vessel, then they would start to dance, and the energy would come out of the vessel and go into the room. What happened was in that tradition, they didn’t want to look at the body of the medium; they wanted to see the clothes of the layers and layers and layers of joy that was going out.

So if you look at it down in Bahia, at the costumes of the saints, the Mãe de Santos (Mother of Saints) or the Pai de Santos (Father of Saints) – they call them Babalorixás or Yalorixá, like they are the gurus – and the people that are incorporating those Orixás, they have these beautiful costumes like Oxum, which is one of the waters of the river, and just full of opulence and affluence. They have these beautiful golds and yellows and colors and everything.

So that tradition has been going on since Africa, actually. And then when they started to integrate it into the native tradition, then they started to dress the mediums in the clothes of those entities that they were working with. And I actually really love the process and I can see the value of it because for instance, with Hayehwatha, he wants you to experience his presence, he doesn’t want you to be thinking about me, you know – to get side-tracked off him onto, “Well this is Andrée, she looks funny doing this.” He doesn’t want that to be part of the equation.

Rick:      Yeah, that totally reminds me of Devi Baba, which Amma does. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to see Amma, the hugging saint, but she does this thing on the last night of every tour-visit which she calls “Devi Baba,” where she embodies Devi. And she dresses up as Devi and the whole vibe in the room changes dramatically, especially at the very end, there is this blast furnace of darshan that comes through. And her eyes are like this and it’s an amazing experience.

Andrée:   That’s exactly it, 100%. And see, she’s dealing with the forces out there. Now it’s hard to say and I’d have to think on it, whether it’s a force of nature or a being within that force, it’s hard to say where all that is.

Rick:      Or whether she is an avatar of that, and she just removes a lot of the veils at that point, and just lets it shine through fully.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, that’s exciting. But that’s the same phenomenon, it’s the same mechanics. And Vovó always says – you know, she’s very sarcastic, she calls them the “science people” – she’s very sarcastic and she says, “The science people, if they saw this at this moment, they would blah blah blah…” But she always puts it out there because I think she’s hoping that they’ll start to think about it.

Take this example for instance, of Amma, you’re looking at her and how could she bring in this force? Now a science person in order to make it real is going to have to be able to measure that, is going to have to be able to explain it in their language. But in the meantime, there are a lot of people like you and I; we don’t need to wait for the scientists, to do that. We feel the reality of it, and we respond to it and pursue it and so on.

Rick:      It’s funny because she stopped doing Devi Baba in India, because she said in India, people expect Devi to look like a young girl and now she’s 58! She still does it in the West because people don’t know what to expect anyway!

Andrée:   Well see, it’s the same sort of thing, you know? You don’t want to look at the medium because you get caught up in the medium and not the reality of what’s coming through. Interesting.

Rick:      Yeah, yeah. You should go see her sometime when you get a chance.

Andrée: I did when she came to San Rafael, yeah, got my hug.

Rick:      Oh good, good. It’s kind of a mob scene there but…

Alrighty, have we really done justice then to the whole thing about how you say, “Now I can see into the universe?” Is there anything else you want to milk from that statement?

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, about Hayehwatha’s work. Because what he does now, and the first time he did it with me was when I was learning how to incorporate him, he took me to the edge of the universe and I’d never been there. I had been into consciousness, but I had never been to what was called “the edge of the universe.”

And when I got there I was actually afraid – “Oh my God,” you know? And I looked over and I couldn’t see anything on the other side.

Rick:      Did you ever read Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

Andrée:   No.

Rick:      There’s a chapter about the restaurant at the end of the universe.

Andrée:   Oh, but it was so real, it was like, “Oh my God, do I really want to go there? Am I even going to be able to get back again?” That was my concern.

Rick:      Was it just pure black emptiness or something beyond?

Andrée:   Well, what I saw initially was just pure white, and I couldn’t see any details, I couldn’t see anything within it. It was just like a flat, like that (makes hand gesture for flat). It was sort of like, “Well, what’s next? Come on.” And now again, you know, there’s an integration process, you can’t just do it all at once; you’ve got to prepare for it.

So what he does is he takes people on a journey starting with the earth. And he asks them to use their imagination. And he has them connect with the forest, with trees, with animals in the forest. But what he does is that in the visualization process, he has them become aware that that tree is aware of them, or that animal is aware of them. So they start to enter into a communication with that phenomena, and then they start to receive messages, or receive a gift from that animal or that bird or that river, or whatever.

So he starts out there, where people are comfortable, then he lifts them off the earth – and he has this certain way with which he does that – then he lifts them where they become outside the earth, and then he spends some period of time adjusting their body so that they can see their body as transparent and filled with light. So they don’t see it as this physical form that we see it as right now.

And then he introduces them to his people, his sky-people, and has them get familiar with how to operate in that area of the universe. And then he has them become aware that his people are aware of them, and then you know, gifts are exchanged, and knowledge is exchanged, and wisdom is exchanged. So they have that experience at that level.

Then he slowly takes them out of our galaxy and then spends a great period of time adjusting them to the universe, and then he expands them beyond – he actually takes them through the folds of the universe, so they are folding out to the outer side. They don’t just kind of go through “linear,” but he has them go through in an expanded way.

And then they are outside the universe, and then he keeps reaching them further and further and further and further back, to where they start to experience their own origin. And he is saying that their origins are time-specific, that they all came forth at a moment, but they came forth, first of all, as a presence. And then he has them separate themselves from that experience. So it is a reality that exists somewhere.

And then he has them coming back and starting to experience all the presences and all the souls that are outside the universe, introduces them to the souls that created the universe – he doesn’t’ say that it’s just one thing that happened, God, and it got created; he says it’s a very  elaborate, sophisticated process. So he has them get introduced to that.

With some groups he has them see other universes. It’s interesting, I’m getting the wind that he’s kind of tailoring it to each group that he’s with because he gives different experiences, different ways to look at it all with different people.

Then he shows them how to get back into the universe, has the experience, and has them remember that moment when they first came to the universe. And then has them go and here and there, and again, depending upon the different groups. And then approaches this galactic system that we’re part of, and then introduces them how to come into that environment and has them remember their moments when they actually first did that, because there was a first moment for that.

And then he spends some time, again depending on the group, sometimes he takes them right to the earth, sometimes he goes to these other planetary systems, depending upon who they were. And a lot of times he’ll have them go into the different heavens, he’ll have them go to this Loka or that heaven or these different places, again, different things. And then takes them to that moment where they first arrived at the earth. And for some people it’s actually been before the earth existed and they were part of the process of witnessing that, for some people it’s right at the beginning of the earth, for some people it’s later on.

At this past Mount Shasta conference I had a Hayehwatha workshop, and there was a woman from the San Francisco Bay area who really wasn’t into any spirituality at all; she was just coming up to Mount Shasta to see what it was about. She told me, after her session with Hayehwatha, she said that during the session, when he brought her to the earth for her first time, she said, “I saw myself growing a Lemurian body.” She didn’t know anything about Lemuria.

Rick:      She didn’t know what that was or anything?

Andrée:   Yeah! So it’s really pretty amazing, you know?

Rick:      I wanted to crack a joke that it must be hard to get up and go to work the next morning, after all this, but do most people go through all this with the same vividness and clarity with which you’re describing, or with some people is it just a vague sort of feeling, like, “I don’t know, it seemed like that but I wasn’t really clear on it,” you know – that type of thing?

Andrée:   No, it seems like they’re all pretty clear. Now I did find with two women recently, on the journey when he took them into the galaxy and then out into the universe, they stayed in the galaxy. They listened to what he was saying about the other stuff, but they said they didn’t journey there.

Rick:      So they didn’t want to go farther than the galaxy, in other words.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah! And then I realized, there are some people that are just not ready for this experience!

Rick:      Yeah, well the galaxy itself would be a bit of a stretch, I mean, it’s a 100 thousand light years across, or something.

Andrée:   Yeah, yeah, and he fortunately doesn’t talk all the science verbiage, but he does talk at it in terms of getting them to experience expandedness of it, and they do have that reality. And that’s why I say that this knowledge is 100 years ahead of its time. I’m dealing with a specific group in Mount Shasta that are interested in spirituality, and even among those people, only a small portion have come to this experience. Because more of them are experiencing working with the ascended masters within our galactic system, working with this planet or that planet, and that’s their comfort zone, you know? But to get them to go further back, in terms of their own soul … You know, they can do the ‘I am presence,’ but it’s sort of safe in the comfort of bringing the ‘I am presence’ right here inside their body, rather than going to where it came from.

So it is interesting and again it is our refinement of how we’re looking at it all, and I get all of that from how Maharishi trained us, we have this ability to look at all these details. But even when people are doing their spiritual journeys, at least even up here in Mount Shasta, they’re not going very far. I mean for them it’s as big as can get, but when you explore it and compare it to all of the phenomena that exist out there, they’re still within a little corner of the universe. Because you can access God, you can access the Creator, you can access the ‘I am presence’ anywhere and everywhere, but still it’s not the full picture of who they are.

Rick:      Are you able to do this with people remotely, like over Skype, or do they have to be sitting in the room?

Andrée:   I’m starting to think about I might do that, and I’m starting to figure out how to do that. There’s a guy, he reminds me a lot of you. If you ever come to Mount Shasta, I want you to meet him. His name is Shahabad, he’s a wonderful person, and he has this company called Blue Skies Unlimited that does audio and video. So he has been videotaping some of those sessions; other sessions I just use this little camera, it’s kind of homespun. But I’m trying to get material together to make a DVD and to get that and there, and then if people wanted to do like a webcam type of thing, then I’ll do that. But I’m still needing another [few months], up and through the fall semester to learn how to edit these videos, at the COS, to take those classes.

So I’m trying to move in that direction, because you know, what I’m finding about Mount Shasta people is that people love Mount Shasta, they’re drawn here, it’s a spiritual destination, but especially with this economy these days, it’s a hard trek for a lot of people to actually come here.

Rick:      Yeah, yeah. Okay, well that’s good. Very interesting. We’ve gone a little over two hours.

Andrée:   Oh my gosh!

Rick:      And we probably shouldn’t go on to much longer.

Andrée:   Right, that’s enough!

Rick:      But I’ve really been enjoying this and there’s really such richness in it. And I think it’s good to hear all this stuff you’ve been saying. I think it’s good for people to kind of stretch their concept of what spirituality is. And even though maybe not everybody would find it relevant to them to explore all the things you’ve been talking about, at least it’s good to perhaps acknowledge that it’s relevant for some people, and it may be relevant for them somewhere down the line.

It’s like Adyashanti said it very nicely, he said, “Awakening can be so intoxicating, almost. It’s as if you wake up to an aspect of reality and there’s something inherent in that, which makes you feel like, this is the totality, this is it.”

But there are so many different aspects and so many different flavors. And it’s like the blind men and the elephant – it’s not just like a tree trunk, it’s not just like a snake, it’s not just like a wall; there’s a much bigger picture. And I’m always probing and prodding when I do these interviews to have people perhaps acknowledge or suggest where they think this might going for them, or where it has gone since their initial awakening.

And I think you provided a really fascinating picture of where it’s gone for you! Because I think the awakenings you had back in the 70s were every bit as much as people setting themselves up as TM teachers have had and are kind of proclaiming to be the be all end all. And it’s interesting to see how much you’ve been able to elaborate that into something very diverse.

And it could very well be, speaking in this egalitarian way, it could very well be that other people would go off in completely different directions than you’ve gone, after having established consciousness as the foundation and totality of life. But they might find completely different ways to elaborate it and unfold it and enrich their experience of it and their interaction with other people, and so on and so forth. But you’ve obviously been called to do it this way and you’re doing a good job at it.

Andrée:   We’ll see where it goes

Rick:      Yeah, yeah, that’s interesting too. Life is fun, isn’t it? It’s an adventure and you never know where it’s going to take us.

Andrée:   I’ll tell you what my guidepost is, where my mentor is right now. My mentor is the phenomenon of Sat Yoga. Because when I read those books at the UC library and I was reading about Manu and things like that, I realized a lot of that was man-created, and a lot of the knowledge that we have, even from the Vedas, is still confined within Kali Yuga.

So my observation is that there is a phenomenon called Sat Yoga, that we’re just barely peeking into, really, you know? And that’s what I want to see if I can unfold as much of that as possible. What was it like during that time? We’ve got all the [information on] consciousness and how it folds on itself, blah blah blah, and all this wonderful stuff, but I think there are details there that are so extraordinary that we don’t even have the concept of there being more details – that hasn’t even occurred to us yet.

Rick:      Yeah, and there may be other planets, other places in the universe where people are already living life with that degree of … that quality. But it seems phantasmagorical to us here on earth, which are so gross and dense and so on, that we’re just getting peeps of it. Who knows what our planet can become, or will become, whether within our lifetimes or whenever. Nice to speculate.

Alright, well thanks. This has been great. I’ve been talking with Andrée Morgana, an old friend of mine from decades back, who lives in Mount Shasta, California. I’ll be linking to Andrée’s site from and you can get in touch with her through that link. Actually, she has a couple of sites, I’ll be linking to both of those.

If this is the first time you’ve watched one of these shows, I think this is show number 113 so you have a little catching up to do. I keep doing new ones each week, so there will be more. And if you would like to be notified of new ones as they are posted, just subscribe on YouTube or go to and sign up for the email notification.

There is also a discussion group there that gets quite lively around each interview. You can also subscribe to this as a Podcast so you can listen to the audio, if you like to do such things while you drive or commute. There’s also a ‘Donate’ button. And I have a lot of plans for this, I would ultimately like to be doing this fulltime, but quite far away from that still, but it really helps to receive donations. Even small ones, you know, like five bucks a month – there’s a subscription button where you can automatically send $5 a month. If everyone listening to this did that, I could retire! But everyone doesn’t do anything.

But whatever you feel like doing, it would be great. I intend to keep them free and available for anybody who wants to watch. So thanks a lot and thank you, Andrée, and we’ll be in touch. And if you’re listening or watching, see you next week.


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