Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. There have been about 350 of them now and if this is new to you, you can go to batgap.com and you’ll find them all, all the previous ones, organized, categorized in various ways under the past interviews menu. This show is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you feel like supporting it, there’s a donate button on the site there. So, thanks. My guest today is Tree Wiseblood. That wasn’t her original name and maybe we’ll get into how she ended up with that name. But she’s in Australia, out in the Boondocks, or The Outback as they call it, somewhere near Sydney. She’s on 17 acres of land. She said she was watching wallabies and kangaroos jumping around this morning. In fact, it is morning for her right now, it’s about 8 o’clock in the morning there, I read her book, which is called “Hot Flush, Dark Cave” is the title of it. And it’s in essence about menopause as a spiritual phase of life, a spiritual opportunity. There are all kinds of very interesting things in it that happened to her during that phase. But first, before we get into any of that, I would like to read her bio. “The spiritual journey does not consist in gaining what a person does not have, but in dissipation of ignorance concerning himself and life, and the growth of understanding which begins with spiritual awakening. To find God is to come to one’s own self”. And that’s from Avatar Meher Baba, of whom Tree has been a devotee for many decades. And it’s kind of interesting because after we scheduled her interview, someone emailed and said, “Hey, how come you’ve never interviewed anybody who knows anything about Meher Baba?” And I said, “Well, as a matter of fact, we’ve got somebody scheduled”. Going on with her bio, this is in her words, “No longer the person with its conditioning and history, here now there is only this, and the overall feeling is, ‘I don’t mind.’ No fear, no push, a great emptiness that is also a rich and all-pervading fullness. Here there is silence, peace, and an exquisite sense of joy. Here it feels so light, there is no distance, marinating in the Self. It is as if nothing is happening, and yet, happening graciously unfolds. Yet here, happening graciously unfolds. To look back at the dream, the necessary mistaken identity, it seemed like so much happened. Personhood was such psychological suffering, separation, feverish, fearful struggle, always restless, dissatisfied, looking outside for love and fulfillment. Now peace and love reside here. I have spent thirty years with Avatar Meher Baba in deep devotion. Baba has administered His kiss and His kick, expertly unraveling the ego identity, longing for the truth, and with nothing more to express in this life, I knew I was going to die. Not sure if it was the body or the ego, I completely surrendered. Shortly after, whilst watching Mooji on the net, he pointed and I said with total conviction, “I am that”. In that recognition, I hysterically and uncontrollably laughed for hours. I could hardly breathe from the laughter, and I asked God to help me. The laughter only escalated. Thanks God. The funniest thing, the divine joke, was that I knew I had always been that. I love Meher Baba and Mooji, the brightest reflections of the true Self, I know. It’s quiet here as I experience the bliss and love of the Self”. So that’s Sri’s bio, as you can tell she’s a good writer. So welcome, thanks for doing this.
Tree: Hi Rick.
Rick: Yeah, and Tree is one of those people whom you wouldn’t have heard of ordinarily. She’s not out there as a spiritual teacher, not kind of like on the satsang scene or anything like that. She happened to email Irene about something and Irene’s curiosity was piqued and they emailed back and forth a little bit and Irene suggested that maybe she would be a good person to interview, because her experiences seemed to be rather profound. And so one thing led to the next and here we are. So maybe we should start out at least by going a little bit chronologically, that always seems to work, and then we’ll see where else we end up. So was Meher Baba the first significant thing that we want to talk about or are you one of these people who even as a little girl had, “Oh yeah, there was something I read where you were just nine years old or something and you went outside and you just cried out to God or something, ‘Is this all there is?'” You know, tell us that story.
Tree: Yeah, I did that. I was living in like a brick house and with the television continually going and I don’t know, the electric lights happening and the family, and something felt bizarre and not quite right and like empty, but not a beautiful emptiness, just an empty. And so I did go out and cry and implore to the night sky, to God, “This isn’t it. This isn’t it, is it?” And I received a really beautiful hug, like a divine hug, and I got told, “No, this isn’t it. Just wait, just wait”, and so I continued on.
Rick: And you were just a little kid, right, eight or nine years old at that time?
Tree: Yeah, I think I was about nine, yeah.
Rick: That kind of thing happens fairly often, I mean, not every day, but I find it interesting. I’ve heard a lot of stories where people sort of implore whatever they’re speaking to, maybe they don’t know, and it answers, it gets some kind of response, you know?
Tree: Yeah, from my experience if you implore with all your heart, you’ll be answered, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, it’s an interesting thing. I mean, perhaps you would like to elaborate on the reasons for that, I could give you some, but you’re the person that’s being interviewed here. So, how is it that the universe is so sentient that we can implore like that and get a response?
Tree: I think because we’re, well, I don’t really know, but I can just waffle out what’s coming through here. I think because we’re put on this planet to realize who we are, so each and every soul, God has the time and space for each and every soul, you know?
Tree: Like, to that finite being, your soul, your soul, just, I don’t know, you’d cry out from all your heart, but all your heart, and you’ll be answered. That’s just my experience, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, and to some people, even to say that there is a God who could respond is a leap of faith, something they don’t believe in. But in reading your story, your orientation is that the universe is very intelligent, very alive, and very responsive to our needs, or we could say maybe more concerned with our growth, might be a better way of putting it.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I feel like everything’s here to administer to us to find who we are, yeah.
Rick: So, what happened between age 9 and this crazy teenage years?
Tree: Okay, even before then, I can remember going, my parents weren’t at all religious, and so God for me, isn’t it, it can be a bit of a dirty word in some circles because people have had bad experience with religion. So we were, my sister and brother and I were sent to church for Sunday morning, not because my parents were religious, but because they wanted to sleep in. So we would go along to church and I was the youngest and I went to Sunday school and there were these beautiful hippies in Sunday school, a man and a woman, and they were sort of deeply in love and deeply in love with Jesus. So this was my first experience and I can remember seeing a beautiful light surrounding them as they sang to Jesus. So I really, I loved that. And then when we came to an age where you had to go to the church, you were older and you came up and we had to go into the church and I can remember really loving the religious art and the windows, but the energy of the people, it didn’t work for me. Yeah. So I went…
Rick: It was probably boring.
Tree: Yeah. Yeah. And just, it was the energy, like the energy that young people had and the love was there, but in the church it was not, not, yeah, it didn’t feel good. So I went home and said, that’s it, I’m retiring from that. And my parents were fine because they weren’t religious. And then I went from that to, yeah, to like to the starry sky, to nature, to the mountains, the rivers, the trees, just nature. And I always felt presence, like as a kid I felt a presence behind me, often, and sometimes I felt that presence coming through me.
Rick: Yeah, I was just skimming my notes here. There’s so many, I mean, your whole book is so nature-oriented. You’re always kind of, you basically lived in a cabin or something for three years and you’re always sitting out in the woods and under the sky and climbing mountains and just really nature was like your religion in a way out there.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, very much so, yeah. I sort of see now like Avatar, Meher Baba and Mooji and nature just perfection, like perfect reflections of the Self.
Rick: I guess – well this is a bit of a theoretical question – but can a human being ever be as perfect a reflection of the Self as nature itself? I mean, we’re part of nature but it almost seems like we’ve alienated ourselves from it to some extent, to one degree or another. And an Avatar of course is supposed to be an incarnation of God who didn’t come into this life in ignorance, but Mooji would readily admit to having done so and most spiritual teachers we know about.
Tree: Well, I think at our core, Baba, yes, and all of us at our source, you know.
Rick: At our source.
Tree: But our mistaken identity – not so much, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, I think that’s an important distinction because a lot of people, they say, “Well, we’re all already enlightened”, and yeah, true, ultimately in our essence, but you have to apply that to all 7 billion people in the world, then it’s not so obvious with some people as with others. And so, it renders the whole term “enlightenment” meaningless and we really should aspire to some more ideal reflection of that essence than is ordinarily the case in most people’s lives.
Tree: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: If I make a statement like that, you don’t necessarily have to agree with it, you can always say, “No, I don’t think so”. I’ll say things that aren’t questions, they’re just like statements, and feel free to discuss or disagree or whatever. So how did you find Meher Baba? How did you run into him?
Tree: So I always had this belief in universal source, God, as I say, this presence behind me and it’s sometimes coming through me. And I’d just gotten married, would have been 33 years ago, and my husband was a dancer and he was doing a dance show and he discovered Meher Baba in Sydney looking through a book of photos. And by the time he finished the book of photos, he was crying with recognition that, “This is God, this is God”. And my husband was a big spiritual seeker and he felt when he married me, it was a failure to his seeking.
Rick: He thought he should be a monk or something?
Tree: Yeah, yeah. He was sort of drawn to that and then drawn to me. And yeah, so he felt a lot of failure around that initially. And then he started to read about Baba and he said, “Oh, read this stuff about marriage. Meher Baba talks about marriage that, yeah, in an ideally celibacy and that life is a way to go and that’s the ideal. But if you’re not at that state, it’s ridiculous, you’re banging your head against a wall to try and be celibate. So marriage is the next best thing because you go through hell and back almost in marriage. That’s been our experience. You know, you go through the hard times, the good times. And it’s just like it’s a really great thing for ripping apart the ego shred by shred really. And I think that’s Meher Baba’s, the way he works. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah. I spent about 15 years on the monastic program in the TM movement and I had the same sort of hang-up your husband did. And it was a bit of an adjustment getting married. But I would agree with what you just said, it’s like having your own private guru in a way, you know. Because I mean, hanging out with the guys in the monastic setting, people could get very idiosyncratic, very carried away, very obsessive, and there were really no checks and balances that much, you know. And so some people were having good experiences and all, but in many cases there was a great lack of integration and groundedness and so on. And since then a great many of the guys who I was with left that program and ended up getting married, some of them in their 60s because they finally realized, “Well, this is really not what I got out for”.
Tree: Yeah, I think it’s for some I think it’s for some and what a wonderful thing. But for us it was marriage and we had a lot of work to do and a lot of reflecting.
Tree: Of each other, yeah.
Rick: And there were a lot of great saints, I mean, wasn’t Yogananda’s master a householder? Lahiri Mahasaya or Lahasaya, whatever his name was, and many others. I mean, if you look at the tradition of teachers in many traditions, I mean, some of them, everyone is married, like the Jewish tradition, but even in the Vedic, there are a great many masters and the whole lineage that were married and had children and they passed on the lineage to their sons and so on.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the story then goes that – it’s hard to remember this – the story then goes that he fell in love with Baba and sent me the teachings on marriage and I went, “Oh yeah, this is true. This is great. This is truth”. And then he was overseas in London dancing and he said, “I’m going to go and visit Meher Baba”, and I just got this really strong, I didn’t really even know who he was, I just got this strong push inside, “I’m coming”, you know? And so he said, “No, I’m going to fly somewhere, I don’t know where it was, on the way home and then go to India, so it’s too hard to come back to Australia and then go”. And I said, “Oh, okay”. So I just sort of let it go and he couldn’t get a visa to fly that way, so he had to come back to Australia and it was almost like Baba wanted both of us. So within weeks we were both in India at Baba’s tomb.
Rick: Yeah, I mean you speak of Baba as if he had been alive, but of course he wasn’t at that point, but so you’re talking about going to his tomb. And if he’s not alive, why would it matter if you went to his tomb or just connected with him in Australia?
Tree: Okay, good question. In a way, like he is so alive and he is everywhere and so I can experience him equally here, but it was just this really strong longing to go, to go to his place, yeah. I really felt called to go, yeah.
Rick: And I remember reading in your notes that you got your head stuck to his tomb or something, I wasn’t sure what you meant by that.
Tree: Okay, yeah, it was quite bizarre. When I first went into Baba’s tomb, I was sort of quite naive. I didn’t know anything about gurus. It had only been universal source and nature, a little bit of a warmth towards Jesus, but I just turned up and I walked in very naively and said, “Hi Baba, my name is Michelle. I’m here. I’m from Fitzroy. I’m here”. And when I heard, when I said that, I just said – I just felt overwhelming love and I said – “And I love you”. And in the tomb, the feeling is just so alive and so beautiful and divine. It’s a very special place. And I came out of the tomb, I took darshan, came out of the tomb and like was gobsmacked. I couldn’t speak for days, yeah, just couldn’t physically speak. And there were a lot of Americans into Meher Baba and they were sort of going around, “Oh”, it was a bit like, “Oh, the little Aussie ladies, she must be mute”, because I couldn’t utter a word.
Rick: And neither did he for 30 something years, right?
Tree: Yeah, I think 44, but I’m no good at figures. You’d have to look that up, Rick. But yeah, Baba kept silence and of course, here am I talking today, but it’s anniversary of Baba’s silence today, yeah, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, so many people say, some people say that there was one famous, who was it, I forget who said it, but he said, “Dead gurus don’t kick ass”. In other words, if you don’t have a live teacher with whom you can interact, you can kind of get away with anything because who’s to say whether what you’re doing is legitimate or not, or useful, or whether you’re off the track, or this or that. But in those notes that I just read, he said there was both the kiss and the kick.
Tree: Ummm, definitely.
Rick: So, somehow or other, he kept you on track, even though he wasn’t in the body.
Tree: Oh, hell yeah. Yeah, just very alive, very here, and yeah, orchestrating the whole show, and yeah, just even in dialogue, like, if you sit still long enough, or it’s not that I sit, but I walk in nature, I do sit in nature, and listen, he is alive and conveys messages and talks, not, yeah, very clearly, very clearly, and arranges situations, and yeah, yeah.
Rick: Now, how do you know that it’s Baba doing that, not just sort of the divine intelligence, which is omnipresent anyway?
Tree: Sort of same-same, but a little bit more personified in that you feel his presence, and he smells like a rose, and you feel him in you. Yeah, yeah. It’s a bit hard to describe, Rick, but yeah.
Rick: Well, it’s not so unusual, really. I mean, there are millions of Christians and Muslims and so on, who are devoted to Jesus and Mohammed, and probably other examples, who could very much relate to what you’re saying in terms of their own chosen path of devotion.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so, back in Baba’s tomb, we only stayed for two weeks, and it was a honeymoon. It was an absolute honeymoon with Baba, and at one time, it was Women’s Day, and his very close women disciples, in those days, there weren’t many people, in the ’80s, there weren’t many people there. So all his mandala was alive. His most beloved woman friend, Meera, was alive, and his sister, and all the women mandala and men mandala were there. And we, well, I came to Baba’s tomb on Women’s Day, and it was very beautiful being in the tomb with his beloved, talking and sending love towards Baba. That was the most magnificent experience, to see that absolute devotion. And on coming out from there – this is getting to the head stuck bit, Rick, I’m trying to keep on track – coming out of the tomb, you pay your respects, you bow down at the master’s feet, so you put your head on the tomb and send your love. And I put my head down on the tomb, and my head literally got stuck to the tomb. It sounds bizarre, and I’m getting a bit panicky and trying to pull up, and there’s all people waiting, so it was quite embarrassing, you know. They’re all waiting in line and this Aussie woman’s hogging the tomb, you know, she won’t get up. But I tried and I tried, and I just could not lift my head. And in the end, I just surrendered, thought, “Oh, well, it’s Baba’s tomb, he wants my head stuck here, I’ll just wait it out”. And so I just waited and waited, and then tried again, and then after about five minutes, I could get my head off the tomb. And I came out, and I did have a very strange sort of bee from sucking onto the tomb on my forehead. And then I walked out, and one of the women mandalas said, “You take the flowers in to Baba’s tomb”. And I went, “Oh, God, I don’t know if I want to go back in again, because the protocol is to put your head down again”. So I took the flowers in, and I took darshan again, and the same thing happened again, just twice in a row. I don’t know what that was about, but…
Rick: Do you think you just went into such a deep state that you really just couldn’t get up?
Tree: No, because I was totally present and in my body and aware. I just… and I wasn’t really at a level of getting into any deep states.
Rick: You weren’t immobilized?
Tree: I just physically couldn’t lift my head off, like it was suctioned on.
Rick: Did you ever figure that out, or still to this day it seems like a mystery?
Tree: Baba talks about taking your sanskaras, if you put your head at the master’s feet, they absorb your sanskaras. So maybe I just had a hell of a lot to absorb, yeah.
Rick: I was just reading something about Ramana Maharshi talking about that very same thing, about how he would really be taking on a lot of the sanskaras or the vasanas or the karma of disciples, and he said he had to flush it out every day by sitting in samadhi for a certain period of time, otherwise it would accumulate. But after a certain period he stopped doing that and then he started aging more quickly and ended up getting cancer. And when he was suffering quite a bit with the cancer, somebody, one of his devotees said to him, “Why don’t you just take all of your suffering and apportion it among us, we’ll gladly take a share and then you won’t be suffering”. And he said, “Where do you think I got it from in the first place?” I would suppose maybe that if one is no longer incarnate, perhaps there can be a much greater absorption of karma without it taking a personal toll, because there’s no body for it to take a toll on maybe.
Tree: Maybe. If you look at the films of Baba taking darshan, you can see him as thousands of people pass. I don’t know if you’ve seen any films of Meher Baba, Rick, but yeah, you can see him. Yeah, it feels like the body is really suffering. I don’t know, but it appears that he’s taking the suffering.
Rick: Could be, yeah. Alright, so you were with Baba, or I would say you still are, for it’s been And I guess for most of that time it was pretty exclusive, right?
Rick: But then more recently you’ve branched out a little bit, so to speak.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. I have branched out. A friend of mine, Amanda, came and she had some beautiful DVDs of Mooji and we sat and watched together. And she’d been to Rishikesh to see Mooji many times and she said, “I think you’ll like this beautiful being”, and we sat and watched and yeah, like same thing, like just total recognition, just total recognition of the Self in Mooji, like what a beautiful being and so prolific and generous and powerful, yeah.
Rick: And then we’re not, I mean, we still have plenty of stuff to talk about, but just to get to the punchline. So you were watching Mooji one day and well I read that in your bio also, there was just some major awakening that took place.
Tree: Yeah, before I, just a little bit before I went on tour with my husband, he drives trucks now. I was going to join him on tour and I’ve never done this before, but before I was going to go I was walking up and down in our house and I just felt like, “Oh, it’s over, it’s finished”. I didn’t have anything else more I wanted to express or do. It was like, “Oh, there’s nothing”.
Rick: In life you mean.
Tree: In life, there’s nothing left to do, like there’s nothing left. And I thought, “Oh God, maybe I’m dying”. I got a real sense of, “I think I’m going to die”. And so my sister and I are really close and so I rang my sister and I said, “Hey, I think I’m going to die”. And she’s like, “Oh, don’t you dare…” – because my brother has died, and she’s like, “Don’t you dare because I’ll be left”. And I said, “Something’s dying, I don’t know if it’s the ego or me, but it’s over”. And I hung up from that phone call and I just got this incredibly desperate longing of, “Oh, I can’t do it anymore, Baba”. Like so over the person, just, “I don’t want to do it anymore”. And like this is in sobs and throwing myself on the floor, a bit of a tantee. “Baba, you do it, you do it”. And so from there, I packed my bags and went on tour and I had lots of time and my husband’s got a little laptop and so I was just devouring Mooji when he was out doing his work. And Mooji’s such a beautiful, warm, giving being and so knowledgeable and so easy to understand. With Baba’s writings in the past, I didn’t understand them, I couldn’t understand them. I only ever naively devoted and loved Baba. But when Mooji spoke and pointed, I found it easier to understand. And one night, my husband and I were both watching one, and he’s not into Mooji, by the way, but he was sitting watching with me, luckily. And Mooji pointed and I understood that I was that. And just started to laugh and laughed hysterically for hours and the joke was that I knew that I’d always been that, yeah, yeah.
Rick: When you talk about that now and it stirs up so much emotion in you, why do you feel that it does?
Tree: It’s just that the self seems to bubble continuously with this blissful bliss. There’s just bliss that bubbles and bubbles and bubbles out, yeah.
Rick: All the time?
Tree: It’s there all the time. Sometimes it’s underlying and I’m active and doing things, but bottom line is there’s that bliss and sometimes it is joy, but it’s also excruciating. It’s almost like an excruciating, it’s not painful, but there’s this heart and bliss that comes out. Sometimes you look sad and you get a bit teary, but you’re not actually sad.
Rick: Oh, I know you’re not sad. I know it’s a moving experience. Some traditions say that once self-realization has happened, then the development of the heart can proceed much more significantly than it ever could before. The analogy used is that if a small pond tries to rise up in big waves, it just can’t do it or it stirs the mud up at the bottom in the attempt to do it, whereas an ocean can rise up in great big waves without stirring up the mud. The idea is that once the self has been realized, then it provides a platform for the heart to really start to blossom much more than it ever has. Appreciation can grow more and more and more profoundly because the appreciator has been known. If you don’t know who you are, how can you properly evaluate or appreciate anything else? But once you know who you are, then you can really start to appreciate creation. So do you feel like something like that might be in process with you?
Tree: Definitely. Everything is, like even washing the dishes is a joy. As a person, I remember I would martyr and I’m washing the dishes and it was a whole story and always fights over the dishes and psychological sagas and drama and you know, just ahh. And now it’s just washing the dishes, the bubbles in the water look beautiful and the cups shining and… yeah.
Rick: Yeah, that’s a nice little illustration of the point. And do you feel like it’s something that actually continues to become more and more profound as time goes on? Like the bubbles are even more beautiful this year than they were last year or something?
Tree: Well, this is all like only a year ago this happened, so I feel like I’m just integrating now and becoming functional actually. So the last year everything has been just really like visually it was too much and I was reading in Baba, now I can read Baba and understand him which is great because I never could before. I was reading in Barba the other day, he says when you see the self it’s such a shock, like it’s so, such a big shock that you can think it’s over, like the whole thing is over, you know, but it’s not, but it is a big, it’s still a big, an enormous shift in consciousness and I must admit I was, I’ve been out to it like pretty well totally for eight months, just adjusting to particularly the vision, like the vision of everything is so clear, visually clear, that it’s sort of that gobsmacking thing where you, I don’t know if that’s an Australian saying but…
Rick: It’s British also.
Tree: Is it? Okay, yeah. I was blown out of the water really and it’s sort of so empty here that you’re sort of everything, you’re everywhere, so I realised a few things, like the other day my husband said oh look at the mountain like separately looking at the mountain and I got where he was coming from but I couldn’t look at the mountain, do you know what I’m saying?
Tree: Yeah, there’s no distance between me and the mountain. I don’t know if that describes it but…
Rick: It does, it does.
Tree: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: That thing about the clarity too, you know that saying from the Bible about seeing through a glass darkly and then eventually it’s going to be clear, it’s as if we have kind of dark foggy glasses on or something and then the glasses somehow become clear and oh everything is so we’re no longer shrouded by that sort of distortion and dullness that characterizes most people’s experience to some extent, usually even without their even knowing it because they don’t know what’s possible.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn’t realize life could be like this, yeah, yeah. Another funny one for me was when I saw, I was like staring at a McDonald’s sign, you know the McDonald’s thing?
Rick: Golden Arches.
Tree: Yeah, whatever they are, and just looking at it and just enjoying it and a person would never have enjoyed a McDonald’s sign, there would be a whole political story around it and a whole judgment happening and yeah, I just find my head spins around and just, there’s no judgment, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, yeah, I have a friend who said that after her awakening she used to just sometimes sit and stare at a rock or something and it’s just like an utter fascination.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I was at a cafe with my daughter in Sydney, in the city and I was just, you just get drawn into the detail and the beauty and the texture and a woman had this beautiful wavy hair and I was just staring and my daughter said, “Mom, you’re in the city, you can’t just sit there staring, it’s not right”. And I was like, “Oh, okay, yeah”. So getting used to that visual has taken a long time to integrate I think, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, and I think it’s an ongoing process and there’s a story – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to tell this story, he was my teacher for many years – but he said that, he talked about this principle that we’re discussing where once the self is realized then the ability to really appreciate the objects of perception dawns significantly for the first time and continues to grow. And as it continues to grow it’s like the appreciation becomes more profound and more profound. And he said it’s like if there was an artist and he was painting these paintings and he heard that there was some guy in some town, some person who really appreciated his art, or very few people did, but this person he keeps hearing, “This guy really gets me, he really understands, really appreciates my art”, eventually the artist would want to go meet that person and he would come to the person to introduce himself. So Maharishi used that example to say that once the appreciation of God’s creation reaches a profound enough degree, God himself will reveal himself to us because he has found in us someone capable of really appreciating his creation.
Rick: Yeah. So, I read your book – what was it, remind me of the title?
Tree: It was Hot Flush Dark Cave.
Rick: Hot Flush Dark Cave.
Tree: Thank you, yes.
Rick: Oh actually there’s one more little thing before we get into your book which is kind of along the same lines as what we were talking about, it was kind of amusing. You said you were watching one of my recent interviews and towards the end I said, “Oh and I’m going to be interviewing this woman in Australia”, and you said you felt like kind of a shock because your identity is more vast than that now and all of a sudden I kind of narrowed you down to a woman in Australia where ordinarily you’re kind of more of a more universal existence.
Tree: Yeah, I did feel a jolt in the body, it was like, “Oh, oh, oh, he thinks I’m a woman, yeah, he thinks I’m a woman”.
Rick: “And I’m in Australia”, you know. I hope people get the significance of that because it is significant, I mean we’re so much more than our physical appearance and even our location or anything else, I mean, how can the ocean be squeezed into a drop? Okay, got that out of the way. So let’s talk about this book. It was quite a ride and it might, I mean if we really got into it… you and I talked yesterday because I called up and I was reading the book and I was thinking, “You know, how are we going to handle this?” Because there’s so much amazing, far-out stuff in the book and many people are going to just disconnect if we start really getting into all the details because unless you really kind of tune in and appreciate your sincerity and so on, it may seem that you’re just kind of crazy, or were kind of crazy when you wrote the book, but I don’t think you’re crazy, you know. And I think that you were kind of going through a phase, maybe that phase is over, but you were going through a phase where you were just really tuned into, we could call it the spirit world or the subtle realms or something, and it was part of your rite of passage or something that accompanied menopause. So let’s kind of proceed sensitively and let’s talk about some of the things that you talked about and maybe we can put this in a way that will help people relate to it and derive benefit from the discussion, what do you think?
Tree: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: So, I’ll help you by reading a few notes that I took from your book as I was reading it. And you can add other things and respond to the notes that I read, but here’s something, you received this message, I don’t remember from where, but you can tell us, but it is, “Because you are vibrating at the same frequency, you are a conduit for cosmic energy to earth, something in regard to helping shift the earth’s energy. There is also a balancing of male-female energy. You will receive spiritual gifts, releasing them in each other”. So it was like you were going through this whole process where you were being sort of shepherded along or worked with, worked on by these various entities, which we can refer to as we go along, but they were like putting you through this initiation period, so to speak, preparing you, really putting you through the wringer in a way, and helping you purify in various ways and so on, all with kind of all with the sense that you have a role to play and now you have to go through this kind of purgatory in order to be capable of fulfilling that role. Is that a fair assessment?
Tree: I don’t know about the purgatory bit, but it was a very rough ride. I did feel like the menopause, at the time, was a portal for me to go in and down and dive down. Actually there was that deep feeling and yet at the same time it started off as just a restorative. It was sort of like, you know how the householder, it’s over, my kids had left. It was a period in time that I could just have a look, just have a deep look, and it ended up being three years, you know.
Rick: And you went off and lived in some cabin or something?
Tree: Yeah, we’ve owned this property for many years. We sort of brought the kids up in a tin shed here on the property and we’ve since built a house when the families grown up and left home. But I got an intuition to go. I wanted time to myself and we were living in Melbourne and kids went to uni and my husband had a job and I just thought I’m going to the tin shed. I called it my cave but it was a tin shed. And yeah, I received in the stillness and the quiet because it was very quiet. You know, no television, no internet at the time, just lots of listening, lots of listening. And then yeah, there was seeing into subtle realms and I feel like a refining process and a clearing out and a healing of the person. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah. And it seems like you’re going through a lot of past life stuff in this process of refining and healing. I know a lot of old Native American things you went through and stuff about, I mean, here’s two men, a torturer and a victim, but it’s the perpetrator who needs the light to help lift them out of their state. You know, you were kind of just, seems to me, working out some horrendous stuff. I mean, there was one scene where you were apparently part of a Native American tribe and you had gone down to the river with your horse and while you were down there, soldiers came through and massacred the whole tribe, but you escaped the massacre because you happened to have gone down to the river and you’re feeling kind of great remorse about that and guilt for having been away from having escaped the fate of everyone else. So I mean, there are all sorts of specific instances, but perhaps we can talk about, I mean, some people don’t even believe in past lives and they bring that up in interviews or they bring it up in response to interviews, commenters, because they sort of jump to the conclusion that if there’s no person ultimately, if we are not ultimately a person, then how could there be reincarnation, because that implies there must be a person in order to reincarnate. So it’s kind of a conundrum or a paradox. So maybe to frame this into a question, maybe you could comment on that whole principle of past experiences and the necessity to work them out, resolve them, purge them, and if there is no self ultimately, how is it that we have apparently played all these roles in successive births?
Tree: Okay, I suppose there’s a person until there’s not and there’s a soul’s evolution. This is only my experience. I have experienced, I am aware, or have been as a kid aware of quite a few past lives. And when I went into the cave, I thought I just had to work through this person’s life, you know, and get a few wounds out and clear it up and clean it up and just sort of move forward on the spiritual path. But it happened that the soul was carrying guilt from a past life. And this past life being did keep surfacing in me and I could feel it and I would strut and walk. And I was a male American Indian in one past life. And as a kid, I always had this re-occurring dream that you mentioned of coming out early morning, flipping up the teepee flap, riding a horse to the river and I’d wash my face in the river. It was just a really strong, re-occurring dream. And the dream would always stop there. And I didn’t really think much about it. But when I was… during the menopausal, three years, this warrior would appear within this being. And I felt like him. And he had a bone chest plate and he was a really strong, young, beautiful warrior. I don’t know. I don’t know what you make of that. But that was my experience. And yeah, I thought I’d just have to clear this, but I also had to clear the guilt that he was carrying a big guilt. And I did re-experience a scene of that and a whole load of people gathered. But yeah, I was relieved of my guilt and great love was given. So it’s like now there is this, and that doesn’t exist, but it did, it did exist.
Rick: And I would say that there is this because you worked through that. I mean, you went through a lot of things. We’ll talk about more of them, where various deep deep impressions were removed in the form of daggers, actually, which we can talk about, but they were removed. And with each removal there was a new degree of freedom, a new sort of lighter burden, so to speak. And I would regard all that as very significant to the liberation that you eventually experienced with Mooji. I mean, some people think that little kids come in as tabula rasas, that they’re enlightened, they don’t have any baggage, whatever, they’re totally innocent and then they get corrupted as time goes on. But according to the whole reincarnation way of thinking, we come in with plenty of baggage, which is why we come in. We bring a bucket of it with us from God knows where and when. And it has to be worked through. And it’s not enough to say intellectually, “Oh, I’m already enlightened”, because that’s like writing sugar on a piece of paper and expecting it to be sweet, you know, it’s not the actual thing, it’s not the actual experience.
Tree: Yeah, definitely. That is, I feel, felt here.
Tree: I am this is felt here.
Rick: Yeah, in other words, it’s a living experience.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. Because I wasn’t an intellectual person, so if you needed to be intellectual to get it, it wouldn’t happen.
Rick: Yeah, and do you find now, in talking to various people, like your husband or your kids or your friends or anybody else, do you feel like it’s sufficient to say to them, “Hey, there’s only this, it’s only that, you are that”, and so on? Or do you feel like that would not really be a tremendously useful instruction for most people that there’s some kind of – and I don’t mean to be just sort of… I mean, some people accuse me of just promoting my particular little agenda, but this is just my understanding of things and I’m open to changing it, but I kind of see some people speaking this way and I just wonder how helpful it is. And I think we really want to be helpful. I do at least. I want to somehow make this whole thing useful for people’s evolution, not just sort of an intellectual exercise.
Tree: I think probably when Mooji says that, he carries a whole…
Rick: There’s an energy with it or something.
Tree: Yes, thank you, Rick. You read my hands. There’s an energy with it and with Bhava and there’s work that they’re putting through. And I think if people are at that point to hear that, then that’s great. It wouldn’t go down so well with my kids and yet they’re aware of all this stuff and they’re more aware than they probably let on. They often say funny things like, “Oh, my person’s really pissed off about this today”. So, yeah, they’re getting awareness. But I don’t feel it’s my role to teach anyone anything and… yeah, I don’t know.
Rick: There’s something significant in what you just said, which is that there are two components there. You know, there’s the teacher who is transmitting some sort of energy and then there’s the student or the recipient, and both have to be sort of in the right condition. I mean, any old character can’t just sort of come, get in front of an audience and say, “You’re that”. It’s not necessarily going to have the desired potency. And the recipients, as Christ talked about throwing pearls before swine and all, there are going to be different degrees of receptivity and ability to actually receive anything from even the most enlightened being that ever existed. His efforts may fall on deaf ears if he just took a random crowd.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, I think so.
Rick: Such people have often been persecuted and killed by random crowds who couldn’t appreciate what they were saying.
Tree: Yeah, I wouldn’t like the message. Definitely. I think you could possibly just, like, without words, just stare into Meher Baba’s photo or stare into Mooji on the net, and I think it could almost be that simple, really. Yeah, yeah. Although the teachings are also useful, but just when you can see in the creatures or in the eyes of someone if they’re silent, you can just feel and see the self.
Rick: Yeah, and that’s how some teachers give darshan, just through a look. Ramana did that a lot.
Tree: Okay, yeah, yeah. I had, a few months ago, a vision. I’m sort of into the mountains and I’ve had a house cow and milk, so I’ve sort of got a bit of a connection there, just a small connection. But I had a vision of Ramana the other evening – oh, months ago, time’s not great – and he walked past me with a calf and yeah, he just looked into my eyes and yeah, the look, it’s the eyes, yeah.
Rick: Do you know much about Ramana?
Tree: Not a great deal, no.
Rick: Did you know that one of his primary devotees was a cow?
Tree: I did watch something recently and yeah, and I thought, ah.
Rick: Lakshmi, Lakshmi the cow.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. And I’m always looking at the mountains around here and just yeah, I go to the mountains, so yeah, there’s a little connection there. But yeah, his eyes were just so burning and beautiful, just divine.
Rick: Tell us more about this whole phase of your life, living in the shed, in the cave. Tell us some of the more significant things you went through and why you feel they’re significant.
Tree: Okay. There was a lot of input from spirit world, and for me that was significant because I really feel like spirit world does try to help us, like it’s almost their job to help us on the path.
Rick: What is spirit world exactly in this way you’re using the phrase?
Tree: I had in particular two spirit guides come to me and guide me, give me guidance. I mean the whole…
Rick: One was a buffalo man and the other was an eagle man or something?
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and the buffalo man sort of taught me his craft which was hands-on healing. And the eagle spirit man was just there, he was just full of light and guidance. You know I was a bit nervy and said to Baba, “Is this okay? Is this okay?” And he’s like, “They work for me, they work for me”.
Rick: He said that?
Tree: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I got.
Rick: In other words they were his henchmen so to speak, they were his assistants.
Tree: Yeah, the spiritual realm does…
Rick: I see.
Tree: Yeah, works for him. So I felt that it was all okay and I feel like other beings just sort of helped in the purification and the lightening of the vibrations of the vessel really.
Rick: And how did they help? What did they do to you or with you or whatever to help?
Tree: I had a lot of healings done on me, a lot of visions and a lot of healings where these beings from other spheres, like not from the gross plane, came and helped and did literal healings on me. So it was very real, it was as real as real as this gross plane is real. This subtle sphere was very real, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, do you still perceive it or did that go away with the self-realization?
Tree: With the bubbling of the self, I’m self-sufficient, like I actually did stop before the awakening with Mooji. I did get the intuition to stop. It is very alluring. There are many adventures on the subtle spheres. It was a part of my journey but I got a guidance to stop so I did stop and pretty soon after that I had the awakening with Mooji. So I wouldn’t sort of suggest “run around looking for spiritual beings or other planes” but I felt it was a very strong instrument and work on me.
Rick: Well you hadn’t really been looking for it yourself, had you?
Tree: I hadn’t been looking.
Rick: It was just happening.
Tree: It was just happening, yeah. It just happened and it was very wonderful and very helpful and it also helped to like fly up, like lift apart this density of the gross identification because the world was so much more.
Tree: Okay, so it sort of…
Rick: In other words, the world was so much more than you were perceiving it to be due to the sort of the binding influence of the identification to you.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. So I sort of feel like it was also just an instrument in lifting – enlightening – the identification a bit.
Rick: When you were in the phase where you were perceiving these guides, did you perceive everyone’s guides or just your own?
Tree: I perceived my own, only my… well I actually spent a lot of time in solitude here so…
Rick: There wasn’t a lot of people.
Tree: I didn’t see a lot of people. I did go singing, chanting to the Red Temple in my local town every Saturday but not a lot of mixing with people at the time, yeah.
Rick: So it wasn’t like you saw guides around everyone you encountered, it was more like just something you yourself were dealing with?
Tree: No. When I’d come into the stillness of the cave or into nature I would sense it then but I was also working in making coffee in a cafe and at times like that sometimes people would come through that had passed and wanted to pass a message on but I didn’t see other people’s guides.
Rick: I see, yeah. Was that a significant thing at all, people wanting to pass messages through you to some loved one or was that just sort of a little side thing that happened?
Tree: Just something that comes and that still happens occasionally and if I feel okay about it I’ll pass it on.
Tree: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: There are some people who make whole careers of that.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. It sort of doesn’t interest me to chase this up but if it’s helpful then I just pass it on, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, okay. Let’s see here, this is a nice little phrase I liked, something I lifted from your book – the wind can either blow on and through you with ease or you can brace yourself against it and fight it. Life is also like that. Let me flow through you, surrender. Who said that?
Rick: It’s just something that came to you.
Tree: Yeah, there’s a lot of… why I wrote that writing is because I’d come in and tell my husband, sometimes when he was visiting, something that I’d heard and he’d say, “You should get this stuff down. Some of this stuff is really good”. And the stuff that is good is the dictation basically.
Rick: Yeah, things that come to you like that.
Rick: Did you kind of… were you sort of fighting it for a while, blowing against the wind so to speak?
Tree: As a person always, yeah. Always fighting everything, yeah.
Rick: And then you just surrendered by degrees.
Tree: By degrees, yeah.
Rick: I think that’s what happens with most of us. It’s like we don’t even realize the extent to which we’re trying to hold the reins, but then through successive degrees of release we surrender more and more and allow something larger to hold them. There’s a saying in the Vedas someplace, “Brahman is the charioteer”. Brahman would mean the wholeness, the totality, God. And that’s really holding the reins of the chariot of our life. But ordinarily, pre-enlightenment at least, we think we’re holding them.
Rick: So you had experiences even of sort of historical and mythical figures during this whole thing. You had some kind of cognition from Saint Francis and so on. Let’s skip ahead to this thing of dagger removals. That was kind of interesting. And again, feel free, if there’s anything that comes into your mind that I’m not asking about, go ahead and talk about it. I’m just picking and choosing here. Talk about dagger removals. I won’t begin to describe it, but because you can do it better.
Tree: Okay. Well, it seems like a long time ago and I see… I remember being in the cave at night and being told to go in and down and just find the wounds, find the wounds that the person’s carrying. And with the wounding, the noise, the stories, the entrapment I feel was really tight like that. So these guides came and started to perform these fantastic ceremonies of smoking and pulling out wounds. So identifying the wound and beings from the subtle realm would come and perform the removals.
Rick: So if someone had been in the room with you and had been watching you, they would have just seen you lying on the bed and nothing unusual going on. But with the subtle perception, there were beings and they were actually using some kind of smoke or sage or something and performing a kind of a subtle surgery on you in a way.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, it was subtle surgery. My husband was in bed once beside me just sleeping and…
Rick: A whole thing was going on.
Tree: …enactments going on. And it was very real. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah. So just for the sake of interest, and I think it might be instructive, talk about some of the different daggers that were removed and what they signified.
Tree: Okay, I can’t even remember. Rick, can you prompt me? Isn’t it terrible?
Rick: Oh, well I didn’t write it all down, but as I recall there were about at least four of them and they were kind of stuck in various parts of your body and each one represented a particular trauma that had been held for who knows how long. And withdrawing those daggers was in itself a little bit of a delicate operation and when they withdrew there was actually some subtle bleeding or emission of some kind of substance from your body and so on.
Tree: I’m forgetting, remembering now.
Rick: Okay, good.
Tree: Yeah. Okay, I can remember one and just quite pathetic little trauma, some of them. But trauma is anytime the system’s overwhelmed, that’s the definition of trauma. So I can remember my brother dying and at the time it felt, it may sound bizarre but totally right. He died, he left the body. It was a very violent death. He died in a car accident. I’m going off the track now. And so that was stored as a trauma in my being and I was attended by a whole lot of beings and to tell you the truth, Rick, now I can’t even remember. Like I’d have to, you’d have to read the story to recreate the scene for me. But each wound was sort of pulled out. It was in the, in this stage it was in the form of a dagger and it was pulled out and just a great release and a lightness of being after every little wounding and trauma was removed. So yeah, in the life of the person, sort of, I felt it was great work because it… stripping all layers, wounds, stories that you carry and make this life sort of heavy and bound.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, you said an interesting thing there, which is that there were certain experiences which were overshadowing, I don’t think you used that word, but that they left deep impressions. And that’s what vasanas are, that’s what these… they’re impressions caused by any experience which kind of overloads the sensory apparatus or overloads our emotional apparatus or whatever, but it sort of leaves an imprint and those imprints can be very sticky and we don’t know how many of them there actually may be, but there could be piles and piles of them all sort of stuck and keeping our identity bound and constricted, and they have to be removed. I think you’re a much more visual person than most people are, so you know, where with you you’d be perceiving guides and daggers getting removed and all that stuff, the average person wouldn’t necessarily experience all that stuff, but they might experience other symptoms like physical pains or physical movements or some sort of manifestation as the deep impression starts to get itself worked out.
Tree: Yeah, definitely, yeah.
Rick: I actually had one thing that was reminiscent of your kind of experience. It sort of happened during my sleep, but I was ushered into this room and asked to lie down on a pallet on my stomach and hold on to some handles and some sort of being came and worked me over with like something, like a trident or something up and down my spine and it was absolutely excruciating, but I kind of realized that something really good was happening and I held on for dear life. And then making a long story short, I kind of rose up out of it into waking state, out of this really deep thing with this feeling of vast relief and release and feeling like I had been bound by steel bands or something that had finally been broken, this huge thing.
Rick: So Irene passed me a note, she says, “I hear you talking a lot”. I am talking a lot, but you’re not a blabbermouth, so I have to kind of keep priming the pump here. But I don’t know why I told the story, I think I’ve told it once or twice before on this show, but it gives an indication that maybe things like that are happening to people that they don’t, that they wouldn’t ordinarily know about and they just experience some surface symptoms but there’s some kind of deeper mechanics going on.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So lots of clearing, lots of clearing. And with the clearing then the stories leave and the more stories that left the more you can just be here.
Rick: Yeah, there was this thing where you had like a splitting headache really bad and then finally the headache burst through the crown of your head and you got this message saying, “Your body is the building and now on top you have a vessel”. That was kind of cool.
Tree: And I did have some very painful dramatic sort of openings and they were sort of like on a metaphysical level, but at the same time they were physical and a lot were very painful and one was an incredible headache, incredible headache, where I thought, “Oh, should I ring the ambulance?” And I thought, “No, I can’t, I’m in too much pain, I can’t, I think I’m just going to die”. So I sort of ran out to the front of the cave and sort of threw myself down in the dirt and was just rolling and holding my head screaming to God and God just said, “Let go, let go”. And I just felt like this burst, incredible pain burst through the top of my head and it was like a birth of some sort. So there were lots of those sort of faculty openings and a lot of them were quite painful.
Rick: Yeah, that’s what I meant when I used the word purgatory before. I mean purgatory is not like an eternal hell, it’s a place where people supposedly go and kind of get all their sins wrung out of them and then they can go to heaven afterwards according to the mythology. But…
Tree: Maybe that was it.
Rick: Yeah, just a period, it wasn’t necessarily a bed of roses. I mean there was just all this really intense stuff.
Tree: It was intense, yeah. It was really intense and it was fantastic and intense and painful and it was quite bizarre, quite bizarre. And it did end in the third year in absolute illness, in the bed, finished. Yeah.
Rick: Yeah, let’s talk about that a little bit.
Tree: Yeah, I actually got chronic fatigue in the end. It was almost like maybe this was all too much – all these opening of faculties – and I ended up with chronic fatigue and severe pain in this face, incredible pain in my face that just wouldn’t go away. And I spent months and months just laying in bed, laying in bed and I sort of had this vision of my body all chopped up and dismembered in a rubbish bin at the end of the bed and it sat like that for months and I just got guided, “just surrender, surrender”. So it was almost like this experience was like some sort of prototype of experience for the next awakening sort of, because I did come up out of all that rebuilt, still as person, less person, but still person was there until the Mooji thing.
Rick: Yeah, but there are precedents for this. I mean I believe Saint Francis nearly died and was extremely sick and when he came out of it, he was Saint Francis. It was a big transformation. There are a lot of other stories like that too, where people just really go through the wringer. So we keep coming back to this point, but I think it’s significant and I don’t think everybody takes it on as intensely and as quickly as you did. It may not have seemed quick to you, but some people can spend decades just working through this stuff more slowly and it never reaches a sort of a critical point, but others it can be very intense. And then this reading about Ramana recently, he said that he could enlighten people if he wanted to just like that, but it would kill most people. So there are very few people that he would, often in a few instances he actually enlightened people as they were dying, because they were dying anyway, so if he killed them it wouldn’t matter. But the transformation can be so radical for the body that it can be more than you can handle, and so it has to be kind of parceled out sometimes in smaller increments.
Tree: Okay, yeah, yeah, I could see that, yeah.
Rick: So what is this thing you’re doing now – I’m linking to it from the Batgap website – some transformational release or something?
Tree: Yeah, it’s called TRE and it’s Trauma Intention Release.
Rick: Trauma Intention Release.
Tree: Yeah, a man called David Berceli, an American man who works in the field of trauma recovery, he devised this technique and it’s basically tapping into our body’s innate release mechanism, which is tremoring. And we all have this mechanism in us as mammals.
Rick: Tremor, meaning moving, shaking.
Tree: It’s a shaking, yeah. You’ve probably seen Rick, your dog, shaking in a thunderstorm.
Rick: Sure, yeah, they get scared.
Tree: Yeah, well we see that, we’ve sort of interpreted that merely as fear, but in fact David Berceli has realized that it’s the release of fear. So it’s the release of the charge that’s been built up and the muscles contraction that we go into when we’re in fear, so it’s like shaking out all that muscle contraction and balancing the nervous system. So yeah, after my great illness and coming out of illness and being rebuilt, I didn’t have chronic fatigue anymore, but I still had incredible pain in my face. And I had… and I thought it was maybe my teeth, so I just kept getting teeth pulled out and my dentist was like, “They’re all fine, they’re fine, the teeth are fine”. I’m like, “No, I’m in such pain, I don’t care, I want the teeth pulled out”. So I did get a whole load of teeth pulled out and I still had pain. So my sister introduced me to TRE and because I’d been doing shamanic work and often on the table people’s bodies will shake in a certain area and release, and I’ve just intuitively felt that’s a release, the body’s releasing. So when she mentioned this shaking and TRE, I thought, “Yeah, great, I’ll have a look into it”. So I went along to a three-day workshop and I came out and my whole face contraction unwound. So the pain just gone, gone.
Rick: But you wish you hadn’t had those teeth pulled out.
Tree: Yeah, I’ve got false ones now in there so I can chew and smile without scaring people. But yeah, there you go. But that too, losing teeth, fantastic for tearing off more shreds of who you thought you were. So I’m grateful for even the teeth going.
Rick: I don’t think I’m a teeth but I prefer to hang on to them if possible.
Tree: So yeah, so I’ve trained in TRE and do the shamanic work but I feel that this… I know Mooji says and I totally believe it and just listen to Mooji or Baba and it is there but my experience was clearing out and cleaning out the trauma and so yeah, I do do that work now.
Rick: What did you say, it is there? What do you mean by that just then?
Tree: I don’t know, what did I say?
Rick: You said Mooji and Baba saying it is there.
Tree: Like the self is there and it’s just there and it is and it is, but my experience was I cleaned out some trauma.
Rick: Yeah, I think that’s everybody’s experience. I mean you know the self is there for everyone. But do they experience it? You know for the most part, no. You know there’s a saying in the Gita that one sees the self in all beings and all beings in the self. So in an elephant, in a dog, in people, it’s all the same self but just the fact that it is, I mean it’s the same self in Adolf Hitler and all kinds of nasty people but that doesn’t really help any in terms of, if we just brush it off that, “Oh it’s all the same self therefore everybody is ultimately enlightened”, there’s a big difference between that and actually embodying it and clearing away all the crud that would make us a genocidal person or even minor infractions or whatever.
Tree: So yeah, I do feel that in my experience the shamanic work that the guides and the subtle beings did on me and then followed by a few years now of TRE practice and… yeah.
Rick: So since you live out in the middle of nowhere and you hardly ever see anybody, how can you really do TRE practice with anyone?
Tree: Good point.
Rick: Or you just do it on yourself?
Tree: I do do it on myself but people come, they come but yeah, obviously my audience is limited in customers in a small town but I can work in the, I can drive to the town and work there also.
Tree: Yeah, yeah. But I’m thinking of – I live in such a beautiful place – and I’m thinking of maybe having it as a retreat place for people to come and get the joy of working in nature and perhaps some trauma release and tension and stress release and growth into, or just having the chance to be here and like I was allowed to be here, you know.
Rick: Just seeing if any questions have come in. Okay, so is there anything that we’re… I mean, you and I talked the other day about how there’s no end of stuff we could talk about in an interview like this. We have to sort of take a snapshot and give people a taste and is there anything you feel has been significant for you, is significant now and so on that you really want to have the opportunity to express that you’d like people to hear?
Tree: Okay, I suppose I can only share what helped me because everyone’s path is so different but for me it was surrender to the Guru, yeah, and reflecting myself in nature and feeling myself as that perfection of nature. So the combination for me was Guru, solitude, devotion, lots of devotion, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, I was actually just listening to a talk today by a woman named Joi Sharp whom I interviewed some quite a few years ago, talking about devotion and surrender, and she was talking about how in some non-dual circles those ideas are kind of put down people feel like, “Well, it’s dualistic”, or “It’s emotional”, and so on. And she was giving some pretty good counter-arguments to that idea. I wonder if you would care to address that how you feel devotion and surrender are significant and perhaps don’t contradict the principles of non-duality?
Tree: Just the love is there for that perfect being and yet at the same time I feel that perfect being coming out through here, and coming out through here. So in a way there’s no separation and yet I can enjoy their beauty and adore them at the same time.
Rick: So it’s a little bit paradoxical?
Rick: So there’s oneness and yet there’s a flow of devotion?
Tree: Yeah, yeah. And the more I adore Baba and Mooji and nature, the more the bubbling flows out of the self.
Rick: Yeah, which is enjoyable I would guess.
Tree: Yeah, blissful.
Rick: Shankara said – Shankara was one of the founders of non-duality – but he said that the intellect imagines duality for the sake of devotion. And to me that phrase implies that there’s an intrinsic beauty in devotion, sweetness in devotion, that it’s experience one would want to have, even a master of non-duality like Shankara, and that he kind of sets up dualistic conditions so as to create some sort of flow, like you were just describing, to have the bliss bubble.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Well, I’ve seen Baba pray, and Mooji pray to Papaji.
Rick: It’s actually quite a devotional scene around Mooji, from what I’m told.
Tree: It is, yeah.
Rick: Almost a little bit over the top.
Tree: I’ve never been, I’ve only ever seen Mooji on the net, but whenever I see all the beings like in his presence, they look so clear and very light and beautiful.
Tree: Yeah, yeah.
Rick: So do you have a sense of… I mean, it’s only been a year you said, since his awakening, and I’m sure that if we were to talk a year, five years, ten years from now, it will have matured and deepened and whatever, quite a bit. Do you have a sense of where that’s heading, or kind of a sense of what the horizon looks like, as it were?
Tree: I don’t know, I don’t know, but I realise, like I realise, coming down and integrating a bit, I was so sort of, I feel like I was so far gone and way out, that people would start talking from their person and I was inappropriately laughing, thinking – this was quite recent – thinking, “Aha, they think they’re the person”, you know, and I would laugh and it was inappropriate. And then I had nights and nights of visions, of really violent visions of humanity, you know, rape, torture, just humanity’s violence. And then a few nights after that I experienced everything, the elements, mountains, the creatures, the people, all the hopes and dreams and just the great beauty of the play. And it sort of brought me in and down and a bit more integrated and more functional. So that’s been the change so far and as Baba says, “The shock when you see the Self is so great, but it’s just the beginning”, it’s the beginning of the involution. So yeah, I don’t know Rick, but yeah.
Rick: Well that was a good answer and it’s interesting that he referred to it as the beginning because some people would think of it as the end, but I suppose …
Tree: I know, I may have misquoted him, but I read that late the other evening and it was like, “It’s such a shock, but it’s not the end”.
Rick: Yeah, I’m not sure there is an end, personally. And I think it’s perhaps wise to have that attitude. I know a number of teachers whom I respect – Adyashanti, Amma and others – have said it, and even in Zen there is that saying, “Beginner’s mind”, they have said it’s always good to have the attitude of a beginner because it’s so easy, I’ve heard Adyashanti give full talks about this, to have an experience that seems so complete and so profound that you think that must be it, I couldn’t imagine anything more than this. And you can kind of get stuck there unless you have this attitude of kind of innocent willingness to be open to more.
Tree: Yeah, you just prompted a thought. I’m just sort of following promptings in life, but I did get the prompting that you’re wallowing a bit in the bliss, you’re wallowing in the bliss. I got that intuition recently, yeah. And then I got those visions, like I got the intuition, “You’re wallowing a bit in the bliss here, you’ve been staring at the concrete floor for eight months, not doing a lot”. And at the time I felt like there’s nothing to do, like I have nothing to do, I don’t want to be anything, I don’t want to do anything, and that was so strong. And I spoke to Mooji on the net about that and he said, “Yeah, you feel like that, but there will be doing”. And there has been doing more recently, yeah. I’m back into working and I feel more functional, but there’s the underlying full empty bliss happening there, so yeah.
Rick: Yeah, you know they say that there are I think five sheaths, they’re called “Koshas” and I can’t name them all, but they get more and more subtle. Maybe the body is the grossest one and then they get more and more subtle. The subtlest one is said to be Anandamaya kosha, which is the bliss sheath. So even bliss by that model is said to be a sheath and by sheath it means it’s something that constrains us in some way. And it has to go, it has to be broken through.
Tree: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got that intuition quite strongly, like you’re wallowing, slap!
Rick: Yeah, yeah, snap out of it.
Tree: That’s very Baba – chook, get on.
Rick: Chop wood, carry water.
Rick: Okay, good. So this has been sweet. I think we’ve covered a nice bunch of stuff. People haven’t sent in a lot of questions, although there have been about 100 people watching most of the time. Is there any final words you’d like to say to people about anything?
Tree: I suppose I would like to say, talk about, I’ve spoken about TRE, but I would say if people are interested in, take it up as a practice, because it calms your physiology down and, because we are in the body, we’re in this human condition and we can get stuck in states that are turned on, fight and flight, freeze, disassociation, flop, and by regulating the organism with the TRE, we can come to a really calm mind and come into the present state. And David Berceli doesn’t say anything about enlightenment. This is just my experience. Which certainly makes you a more easy-to-live-with person. You respond as opposed to react, so you’re less reactive. It’s just a fantastic practice for the human physiology.
Rick: Do you have to learn it from a person directly or can you learn it off a website or what?
Tree: You can get a DVD, but it is really great to learn off a person and it is a self-healing technique so you just learn and once you can self-regulate, you can go away for life and practice it.
Rick: Are there teachers of it all over the world?
Tree: There are teachers everywhere in the world, yeah.
Rick: Okay, and I’ll link to your website about that, but then I imagine… well, you let me know if you want me to link to anything different, but I’ll just link to that and people can go there and learn more about it.
Tree: Yeah, well, there’s lots of teachers. You just get on the global TRE website and there’s lots of teachers and yeah, I think it’s a fantastic practice.
Rick: Okay. Do you have any inclination to like talk to people around the world? Sometimes when I do these interviews, people like to connect over Skype and some people I interview charge for that, some do it for free, but do you have time and inclination to do that or not so much?
Tree: I’m not really feeling that, Rick, yeah, I’m not really feeling that. I will have this place for maybe like retreat at some stage where people can come and be in nature and just have the enjoyment. I feel particularly women would like to go and be in nature but don’t feel safe to go camping in the bush, so this little 17 acres with trees and mountain, I will work towards setting up retreat for people, not just women, but anyone.
Rick: Yeah, although you could have women’s retreats exclusively sometimes.
Tree: Yeah, maybe, yeah, yeah. So I’m sort of looking to that as part of the work but I don’t know, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, see how it goes.
Tree: Yeah, see how it goes, yeah.
Rick: Okay, well great. I appreciate your taking the time to talk to me and to the Batgap listeners. It’s been a nice settling conversation. I’ve talked a little bit more than usual but I feel very settled talking to you so I’m not like on coffee or anything. You’re enjoyable to talk to. So let me just make a few concluding remarks. I’ve been talking with Tree Wiseblood, originally Michelle was your name, Michelle something. And this book that I read that I found rather fascinating, is it in print? Is it downloadable off your website?
Tree: No, I haven’t even edited it. I just sort of wrote it down. It’s not published.
Rick: So it’s not even available at this point.
Tree: No, no.
Rick: Okay, do you have any intention of publishing it ever or no?
Tree: If there was an interest, yeah. If there was an interest, yeah.
Rick: Can people contact you through your website?
Rick: Alright, so if they’re interested in the book maybe they could send you an email and you could let them know if and when you make it more publicly available.
Rick: Yeah, that would be handy. It was an interesting book, far out. It was fascinating. I like reading things that kind of stretch my assumptions about the way the world works.
Tree: Yeah, well it certainly stretched mine, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, it was interesting. You’ve been on quite a ride. Okay, good, well thanks. Just a couple of concluding remarks. As people watching this mostly know, this is an ongoing series. There’s a new one every week. To be notified of new ones every week, either subscribe on YouTube or sign up to be notified by email on the BatGap website, or both. This also exists as an audio podcast, if you like to listen to things while you’re commuting or whatever. The “Donate” button, as I mentioned earlier, and a bunch of other things. If you poke around in the menus on BatGap.com, you’ll find some things that you may find of interest, including, as I mentioned earlier, all the previous interviews categorized and alphabetized in every which way. So thanks for listening or watching, and we’ll see you next week. Thanks, Tree. Wait a minute, let me get a shot of you doing that. Very good. I had to switch the camera. Okay, thanks a lot. Bye.