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Zaya & Maurizio Benazzo Interview
Rick Archer: 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. I’ve done 530 something of them now. And if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to bat gap calm batgap and look under the past interviews menu. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it, and would like to express that appreciation by making a donation there’s a PayPal button on every page of batgap.com. My guest today are some dear friends Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo. I’ve been seeing them for how many SAND conferences have you done so far?
Maurizio Benazzo: 2012 in the US right 12 years in the US since 2009.
Zaya Benazzo: Okay, it’s gonna be the interviewer 30
Rick Archer: All right, so then I’ve been seeing his for 11 years because I missed the first one. And they are as they just implied, they are the mother and father of the science and non duality conference, the sand Conference, which I’ve been attending for the last 11 years. And we’ll talk about that during the interview. But let’s a little bit about them first. Ziaja is a filmmaker from Bulgaria with degrees in engineering, environmental science and film. For many years. She worked as an environmental activist in Holland and Bulgaria, and later produced and directed several award winning documentaries in Europe and the United States. Maurizio grew up in Italy, and in 1984, came to the United States on a 98 year old sailing boat, he started working as an actor, model and filmmaker, but his thirst for knowledge was only satisfied in 2001 upon encountering I Am That the seminal work by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. While he was in India, shooting the award winning documentary Shortcut to Nirvana. Maurizio and Zaya merged their lifelong passions for science and mysticism, when they met in 2007. And their first project together was filming the documentary Rays of the Absolute on the life and teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. This project sparked their next level of creation and collaboration, which as we just mentioned, is the Science and Nonduality Conference, which we’ll be referring to as SAND, a global community inspired by the timeless wisdom traditions, informed by modern science, and grounded in direct experience. So, welcome.
Zaya Benazzo: Thank you Rick.
Maurizio Benazzo: Thank you Rick
Rick Archer: I’m really happy to have this opportunity to talk to you because the only time I ever see you is it sand, and everybody is so busy, especially you since you’re running the conference, that we never really have a chance to talk except maybe an occasional breakfast or something like that. And even then it’s kind of crazy around there. So much going on. So this will be fun. We’ll really get into all kinds of interesting stuff.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah, we definitely look
Zaya Benazzo: forward to the conversation with you. Yeah, yeah. And the community,
Maurizio Benazzo: you’ve been in our satellite universe with sand, you’ve been such a support, and presence residence so strongly in our community, that is a pleasure to finally connect, even though we have few people listening, we can freely have a conversation. And yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, I feel like part of the family. So maybe you can each answer this question separately. How did how did each of you first get interested in spirituality? I know you’re a good little Catholic boy. Exactly. Catholic boy trying to do good Catholic boy,
Maurizio Benazzo: try try feel dramatically. And around the age of 10. Finally, I always was interested in the big question. And I finally was able to stop doing the sign of the cross. And when I realized in the morning, Jesus didn’t send the lightning bolts to kill me and I was still alive. I thought it was free. And then after that, I bumped into everything that came to Italy from the children of God that Roseanne to anything you can think of TM everything that appear to Italy, in this in this late 60s, early 70s. I bump into it. And then in my late, early 20s, late teens, I got back to Jesus strongly I tried to become a Catholic monk. They kick me out after a week because not a good Catholic boy. And and so I was always in search of the big question. Oh, was always intrigued and desire but I could never find any, any any answer that was satisfactory fully. I found that you know, something was not right, you know that for me personally, would never. And then Nisargadatta was the first person I was a human being, I was able to give me something that I could put my teeth in it and feel satisfied. So because there was the idea that or not having a natural not having a, you know, there was no religion connected to it, there was no dogma somehow other than the the pure teaching, and
Rick Archer: when you started reading Nisargadatta, did you that inspire you to do some kind of practice that he advocates some kind of practice? Or was it just reading his book deeply and perhaps repeatedly that became a practice for you,
Maurizio Benazzo: to me to practice in some bizarre way has always been life. And I don’t know what to say to to. I don’t remember a specific practic other practice other than contemplation on the ward and contemplation on my thought and understanding I action more and more in the light of what was the the thought, duration or the or the ambition of the this sensation of oneness, know how to how to be what I was heard that I could be or shouldn’t be out to be? Somehow.
Rick Archer: And so you found like, contemplating his thoughts and words, to be transformational in some deep way?
Maurizio Benazzo: Absolutely. Absolutely. It was like, mind blowing gave me that sense of peace that I didn’t know. I couldn’t experience otherwise, the sense of, you know, it’s a sensation that you had before, but sporadically, maybe sometimes I remember when they probably for 1415, there was like doing somersault in the middle in the middle of the heel, on top of my hometown, crying, looking at the beauty of the universe and the birds. I mean, this mystical outburst I had them, but they were never connected to a specific. There was no continuum, there was no logic that were coming and going and witnessed that I was able to see and understand, give it give a put my mind that is in understanding what those experience could be and why it makes any sense.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it does. How about us?
Zaya Benazzo: Well, I, I was born in a communist country. So spirituality was not something that was practiced or that one could have easy access to. I was one of those kids that was driving my parents crazy. Since I was four. I was like obsessed with the question, where do we come from? Why we are here. And my parents often will be losing patience. I’ve no idea and thank God, they were not religious. So they kind of left it quite open the answers, but I was relentless in my questions. And then so I was trying to get into any spiritual book I could in Bulgaria, and there was almost nothing. So it was reading in Russian. So the first access to spirituality was through books in Russian, and mostly philosophers, and by vasca, like the esoteric teachings of, of Artscape. Yeah. And then, the book that really kind of woke me deep in a deep way was Castaneda. The books of Castaneda were translated in Bulgarian. And that’s what actually eventually brought me to the state. I came here to study with Castaneda and with the women. Yes.
Rick Archer: Did you actually meet them and study with them?
Zaya Benazzo: I did. Yeah. And that was about 10 years, that period in which I was very deeply committed to the path. There was a specific path, there was a specific practices that I was doing most of my days. And
Rick Archer: just out of curiosity, did you did you include that custom data made most of that up? Or do you feel like it was pretty genuine? What he wrote
Zaya Benazzo: this question is so hard. To me, he was genuine. He was genuine. Yes. But what I so true, like at the end of the path there, I saw all the shadow all the unresolved, unmet human messiness that was there as well. Deeply covered in the spiritual structure that he created together with widow women and the whole organization, there was so much of that. That’s a familiar story. Very familiar story that it took years to actually fully unravel what happened. But the thing is that I was still quite young, and I came across I’m death. And the moment I got to the book, and I started reading, it was like, you know, yeah, peeling the layers of spiritual dogma understanding that I have accumulated over the last 10 years to slowly became obsolete and it made no sense. And I need to mention a human being that really helped me in that process was Steven Berlinski. at that phase, when I met Moritz, you, I also met Stephen and we the the journey with Stephen to India. And for me was like a crash course on Advaita Vedanta with being with Steven, like, I had so many questions like we spend hours every day he was just deconstructing dismantling anything I have constructed in terms of spiritual understanding. Has he ever spoken
Rick Archer: at Sand? He spoken the first year,
Maurizio Benazzo: he opened the first year, first year. Yeah, he is not a guy. He was a big
Zaya Benazzo: part of starting sin. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Rick Archer: I’ve invited him to be on bat gap. But it was sort of like, Hey, I don’t do that kind of thing. You know, you just prefer to just communicate through words and not have a video presence, it seems. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting, though, isn’t it? How? I don’t know, you’ve probably run into this a lot. I have, that. People who end up like us, you know, just sort of fascinated with all this kind of stuff. Often had a fascination from an early age. It’s kind of like we’re wired that way from the start.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. I always knew there must be more to life, there must be more than what we’ve been taught in school, then what what I what society’s revealing us what is teaching? Yeah, yeah. And I did have also my own out of body experiences and things like this that did inform in through my body, really? What the masters have been describing.
Rick Archer: Yeah, for me, it didn’t really hit me till I was about 17. And I, you know, found LSD and Timothy Leary, and Richard Albert’s book and stuff like that. And then oh, yeah, wow, enlightenment. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what I’m supposed to do. But before that, it was pretty muddled. I didn’t really have I don’t think I was as clear a seeker as you guys were in the earlier years.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah. To me, I connected in the last two years, I’m starting to connect it to trauma, in a way because the death of my mom when I was seven, was such a traumatic event that I had to find an answer somewhere else, then what is because what is was too painful at unexplicable? It made no sense. Dude up there. I mean, come on. Sorry, here, that’s gonna be sad, you probably are not in charge, because you cannot do this, this kind of thing, you know, and so and then, therefore starting to go slowly off the hook. And but then there must be an answer. So continue searching. So I can I’m starting to see a connection there in those between those major trauma of life and mice my desire to go deeper and find more answers. I don’t know if it’s a pattern for everybody. I don’t want to say that. But I’ll be curious to explore that.
Rick Archer: I was just listening to some podcast and some I forget who it was a matter of when a Tim freaks episodes, but um, some guy was talking about diseases or of despair, or deaths of despair, where people try to blot it all out, you know, they take alcohol or opioids, or they overeat, you know, grotesquely and so on. Because the life is painful, and they just want to dull it out. But I think one thing I realized kind of early on was that the more you try to dull it out and suppress it, the more you’re going to have to deal with later. So be better get going on the project of purifying and clarifying and, you know, moving upward rather than trying to try to suppress it.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, and for many of us, actually, on the spiritual path, we have used spirituality to do this, to suppress that to use spiritual concepts and teachings and philosophies to disconnect from our own being in the body. And so actually, this is what we have been seeing more and more, but we will get to that in our journey we’d send that this is where collectively actually we struggled. That’s
Rick Archer: it. I was gonna ask him about that. But maybe before we get into that, we’ll touch a couple more points. So, so you guys, tell us the story of how you met? That’s kind of a sweet story.
Maurizio Benazzo: It might depends who you ask is. But it didn’t mean that switch story. In both case, it depends on how you ask is that we met because I have my version that is very both version, sir. It’s so beautiful. We agree. We agree on most of it, after all, but anyway, should I or should? Yeah, no, go. I go. The beauty
Rick Archer: This is. This is a little sample of what sand is like. It’s kind of a Abbott and Costello team where XyO plays the straight man and ratio is Costello
Maurizio Benazzo: wasn’t first? Yeah. It’s our life real life. Yeah. We are perfect for each other in so many, many, many, many ways. So well, you know, asked, right, the forum, you know, the
Rick Archer: share were an error or hurt. Yeah, yeah.
Maurizio Benazzo: So we met at the forum, in the process of separation from our previous partners, and I saw her I told her you liked her. I remember she was sitting in front of me, and I was trying to. And then when she was exiting the room, I Nick my card, and I use one of my favorite toys. I basically told I have a sweater exactly like that, which was the case but it totally hippy, beautiful, pointy, yummy hoodie. As I really had one like that. She looked at me say haha, but she took the car. Okay, whatever. And, and then few days later, she apparently looked at a card. And my company was called Nitin at films, and I was making movie with Steven Berlinski. On Nisargadatta Maharaj. So they’re all on online clips and stuff on YouTube. And so we made this movie. And so Oh, my God, you do move about about Nisargadatta. And, and they said, Yeah, I’m going to India in few weeks to make another movie, this ray of the Absolute. And she said, Well, I’m a camera person. I said, well, I need one. And and that was our basically, our first serious date was going to India to shoot this movie rays of the episodes, which you can find on YouTube for free there.
Rick Archer: Maybe I’ll link to it from your Bandcamp page so people can see it if they like.
Maurizio Benazzo: It’s, it’s a beautiful movie, if you choose. Because we interviewed the translators of Nisargadatta. So the unsung heroes of this story, basically.
Rick Archer: Okay, so, so then Ziaja What, what’s your perspective on this story?
Zaya Benazzo: No, it’s pretty close. I don’t have I really like Maritza right away. And I felt like, it’d be like, Oh, he’s such a cool guy. Like, why would he love me? You know, why would he like the, the low self esteem kind of response? And then, but then when I really and I felt like I don’t know if there’s enough depth there for me to wonder, the beauty then. And but when you when we really connected and we talked about new circondata it was really, we met right there where we were both at the same place in our spiritual path, which created I think, immediately a very strong bond. And we both have creative passionate hearts that we just met in that creative energy, the rest actually didn’t matter.
Rick Archer: Well, you had a destiny to fulfill in more ways than one. So Alright, so let’s kind of inch along towards the birth of the science non duality conference. How did that idea come up?
Maurizio Benazzo: Should I go with another star? It’s on the master. afterwards. Yeah. So the basically coming back from India literally came back from India. We had a dinner with a friend at the Steven Wolinsky workshop. When it was my birthday, we had a dinner with this with Fred, Fred, our friend, Fred, Uncle Fred, and he said, Well, why don’t you guys make a conference about science and spirituality? Because one of the translator of Nisargadatta in the movie said that one day in his Agata Buddhists would set when they said what I’m teaching is not spirituality, what I teach his science, one day scientist will come and understand all this. And that sentence strikers, you know, because we bolted at the extreme desire to understand also science were both, you know, hanging around a lot of science, gatherings and books and worship.
Rick Archer: Let’s take a minute to define and contrast science and spirituality and then you can continue your story. How do you understand Nisargadatta statement that what he was teaching is science.
Maurizio Benazzo: Like, I can just put one little, he says, fluid come together and sense sense of self appear sense of myopia the sense of it, so he’s all in together.
Rick Archer: fluids, like, fluids he
Zaya Benazzo: was, he didn’t have a sophisticated language, he was a BD maker. So he was using very simple terminology, his language. Yeah. So he says, and the sense of I appears, basically what neuroscience is about the
Maurizio Benazzo: brain fluids in the brain, in the brain, are brown. And they give you a say, so we are a mechanical somehow, in an interesting way, we are
Zaya Benazzo: describing, let’s say, black holes and things like these without even know having the concept. But he would point to scientific concepts in his teaching that were just emerging spontaneously, yeah. And he, and funnily
Maurizio Benazzo: enough, we heard that he was sending his disciples if you wish, the people who came to him to study he was sent off of them, then along the spiritual path, enough of them that you become a quantum physicist, you become a neuroscientist you were sending people to
Zaya Benazzo: for a buck. So he would, if someone comes in the person is very, usually Westerners, they’re very rigorous, they’re very much in their heads, he would give them the they need the knowledge, but so he will explain he would talk to them for hours. And then many of his Indian disciples, actually they were backed, they, they didn’t care about understanding it intellectually. So he would just give them a mantra and say, you practice the mantra, and whatever it needs to be revealed, it will be revealed to you. And we met many of these people that to this day, they just do that their mantra, and they don’t need to understand, there’s no need for inquiry or understanding or questioning, you just do the mantra. And the same, we met a woman that she went on and became a quantum physicist and a professor. So her path was, because through academia to understand who she was, and what’s the nature of reality, so he was really meeting people where they are they were at.
Maurizio Benazzo: So you from this was saying, you can understand the birth of science and why. Right, there are so many doors, choose the doors that you know, if you’re a hammer, you want to nearly for a screwdriver, you want to screw, I mean, whatever it whatever kind of tool your brain are required to take it to the next level, the next layer take sort of duality. That’s why he has all this variety of angles and options for for that, you know,
Zaya Benazzo: any circuit that they used to say like there is a key for each human being like there is a key to unlock your door, whatever that key is, use that use it, find it and use. And that was the idea with Sam, let’s put some keys that we have used in our our own spiritual journey and has worked and see if more people resonate with those keys. And that’s how we started by putting the variety of teachers and scientists at the beginning was mostly spiritual teachers and scientists together. And then later, we added psychedelics to psychology more key. As life got more complex. Collectively, we needed more keys to meet life.
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah, this such a rich point, really. One that I think about a lot. And I’m very interested in fact that the 2015 Sand talk I gave my whole talk about how science and spirituality are both cooperative collaborative tools for understanding reality and how both contribute to the other, each contribute to the other and neither alone can can be can present the full knowledge as fully as it needs to be presented or understood.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, because knowledge is limited by itself by nature.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Another point is that the human nervous system is a great scientific instrument if we know how to use it properly. And it’s actually much more sophisticated in many ways than the most sophisticated, more than the Hubble Space Space Telescope or the Large Hadron Collider. It has capabilities that those instruments don’t have, if we know how to unlock those capabilities,
Maurizio Benazzo: and still is nothing compared to the amount of the absolute knowledge is Way, way above I mean, the Absolute Truth is way, way above any possible we cannot get there. I mean, you know, through through understanding
Rick Archer: to understand through 100 Yeah, but that actually brings up a point I meant to ask you, which is that, you know, Ramana and Nisargadatta, and all kinds of great sages like that didn’t say that we can get there. By being that, you know, by recognized but through through that sort of recognizing itself through the instrumentality of, of our mind body system. So, in a sense, you can get to absolute truth, but not as something you can stand apart from and say, oh, there it is absolute truth, only by sort of waking up to the fact that you are that ultimately,
Maurizio Benazzo: okay, so the heart can only know the absolute truth of the heart, you will never know the absolute truth of the of the lungs, we can never understand the Absolute Truth of the galaxy or the be, we can only we can only be there, as we are here. Therefore, we can understand our place in the absolute but not pretend that we understand the Absolute, we understand our point of view of the absolute and we are setting and we are that. And by that we are the absolute, but we are we still are, you know, there’s still this. If it makes any sense.
Rick Archer: That’s making sense, you want to add to that desire. Are you good with
Zaya Benazzo: traffic? Or to reflect is the I used to be very fascinated by conversations like this. And now I’m noticing I’m losing interest, like, something in me just goes like, because it’s way, it’s way simpler. And immediate than that, like the access point. Yeah,
Rick Archer: we’re trying to put words and onto something that it really has to be an experience and words never do justice to any experience, like the taste of an apple, you know, you can’t really do justice to it.
Zaya Benazzo: If I’m experience is limited in time and space, and we’re talking something beyond the experience, even Yeah, which
Rick Archer: are beyond experience that the senses could bring us.
Zaya Benazzo: Exactly, exactly. Or awareness, or tenses or perception, or, yeah, yeah, I used to be obsessed with understanding and questioning and knowing and, and now I’m starting to lose interest in that. I’m just watching it. I don’t know, what is it, but it’s like part of the journey. I know, this is just one more.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think you can trust it.
Zaya Benazzo: I fully trust that. Yeah.
Rick Archer: I guess just to wrap up this point, what I would say is that there, you know, and I think I’ve heard many scientists at Sand and elsewhere say this, that you can sort of get, if you sort of take anything and creation, you can kind of analyze it down scientifically or whatever, to the point where you arrive at its ground state or its ultimate reality. And you find that the ultimate reality of all the diversity is one unity, or one non dual field. And, you know, I think when can can verify that experientially, we have the equipment through which to verify that, of course,
Zaya Benazzo: yeah. And so me what spirituality is, or practice or anything is really how that gets revealed. leaved in moment to moment is like, where, in each moment, that kind of unity, how it’s expressed through this organism, absolutely. What I’m fascinated with,
Rick Archer: and that seems to be the evolution of sound itself, as well as probably our our own evolution, the three of us is that, you know, a, kind of a, I wouldn’t say a shift, but as sort of an evolution, or maturation of the emphasis on, you know, that sort of abstract on manifest field, to how it plays out in relative life, how it’s embodied or expressed or lived in the living, because there have been all kinds of people who’ve claimed to have experienced that, but then when you look at their personal lives, it doesn’t seem to be playing out as one might hope.
Zaya Benazzo: And, and even that, like even deconstructing even this statement that like, holding it, we all have that, right? We all have aspects of us that have not been fully blessed by the realization of oneness, or and always will have. Exactly, exactly and how are we that and how we relate to that and how are we intimate with that? That’s to me a endless fascination Think practice, like, again, moment to moment? How do I relate to those parts in myself? And then how do I, how I am with when I see that in another human being? And? Yeah,
Rick Archer: yeah, you want to add anything here Maritza.
Maurizio Benazzo: It’s the same old estimate of the, the realization, the sensation, the feeling of being one of the interconnectedness, interconnectedness of the universe and me part of it, and yet me part of it, and me being it as a, as an apparently, or that’s not even discussed is apparent, as a separate object. Because if I ever had, you don’t necessary, and yet, we are interconnected, we are all part of the same, they go back to the metaphor of the body, mind organism is made up of heart, lungs, skin, nails, in all this part or separate part, a heart cell will reproduce creates another heart cell, if the heart cells start to work in the lungs, I’m in trouble. Yeah, so there is an absolute that is comprised of diversity doesn’t negate
Rick Archer: unity. Very good point. Important point, it was the combination
Maurizio Benazzo: of the two, the balance of the two, the dance we dance is the that the dance of the DIS feeling understanding of oneness, and also this feeling and understanding your separateness and find a balance between the two to meet. That’s where that’s the sweet spot.
Rick Archer: Yep. And so often people try to absolute ties, one or the other particular perspective, like like the blind man arguing about the elephant, whereas really, you know, what really works is to, I mean, think of it this way. Pull it, what became Nisargadatta, one of his sayings was that the ability to appreciate polarity and know what was it paradox and ambiguity is a sign of spiritual maturity. And if you think of creation itself with all of its polarities and diversities and, you know, apparent, incompatible realities, yet somehow they are all contained comfortably within the totality of of creation. So if God can do it, and if we aspire to that sort of realization, then perhaps we should get in the habit of doing it.
Zaya Benazzo: And the paradox tends to be more in the mind again, like, there’s not many paradoxes for the heart, if you really go into the heart. Good
Rick Archer: point. Heart unites. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Interesting.
Zaya Benazzo: And I just want to say something you mentioned about using absolute understanding or descriptions for relative situation, that was actually a beautiful, I would say, collective realization that came at the last session at our social justice panel. That actually it I felt it kind of illuminated the room when condom Mason actually said, let’s, let’s pause for a moment and see how we often we how we do that, like, we use those beautiful abstract concepts to a very relative situation. And it doesn’t work doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. We need to meet the situation, right there in its relative newness, without bringing an absolute concept. And then we can see what’s the truth of the moment? If we are right there with what’s been revealed.
Rick Archer: I must be in tune with you guys, because that was the theme of my talk this year sand.
Zaya Benazzo: Really? Yeah, absolute and the relative
Rick Archer: just how, you know, the 10, the human tendency to, to gravitate to a certain polar perspective and to sort of cling on to that to the exclusion of its opposite. And how, you know, I’m sort of saying it might be advisable to, you know, rather than sort of grip onto one or the other to expand our capacity to incorporate both to incorporate all the diversities and polarities and ambiguities and all that stuff, within one awareness. To be comfortable with that.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. With knowing and unknowing,
Rick Archer: exactly those right there. certainty.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. And also to watch that often when we go to this absolute point of views and realizations. They it comes with a certain sense of self righteousness, almost righteousness at times, it can come that way. Like this is how it is reality is this. Yeah, and there is like the comes with his kind of sense of like, vandalism.
Maurizio Benazzo: Here you have the separation immediately, you created the separation. When you when your belief of the truth, you created the separation all of a sudden, because I know you don’t?
Rick Archer: Yeah, yeah. So perhaps that’s a symptom of some remnants of ego, they’re sort of filtering the knowledge. You know, I know. Yeah.
Zaya Benazzo: And we always say that when we open sand is like, you would not find the absolute truth here, because we don’t believe in the Absolute Truth in absolute truth that this little mind and body mind can comprehend. We don’t believe that is possible, basically. And I know for some teachers, spiritual teachers that this is really very upsetting. But I still, we, we still I feel like, this is where we stand. Yeah, we know
Rick Archer: you made that movie. You made a movie called razor the absolute right. But we’re just we’re just raised, we’re not the I mean, we can say we are the absolute ultimately, but as individuals we’re just raised. And it’s not that the individual comprehensive, how can the whole ocean be squeezed into a drop? It’s that it comprehends itself. And we’re an instrument to facilitate that, and then have it become a living reality and a living breathing reality? But it’s not like, you know, the individual comprehensive. And then many teachers say that, and many don’t, and many don’t. Variety is the spice of life. So, let’s see here. Yeah, there’s a question coming in about Nisargadatta. All right. Well, we’ll ask, we’ll get back on track. This will be a bit of a segue for a second here. Jay from Victoria, British Columbia asks the saga that his guru said, the saga was not given any cities powers, and your movie about Nisargadatta. The translators said that he has argued that it would give people some kind of spiritual experiences. But later he stopped doing that. The translator said that these experiences were nothing special. Is there a difference between cities and these spiritual experiences that Nisargadatta gave people?
Zaya Benazzo: I don’t know. I don’t know. Okay. This is what we learn from from from them from Mohan and Jayashri, that at the beginning, when Nisargadatta start teaching, he was giving cities to some of his closest disciples. Yeah. And then very quickly here, he realized that actually, he was doing the service, because the tax did become extremely serious. They got distracted and more. Yeah, so he stopped doing that he’s never done it afterwards. That’s what we, it’s what we’ve heard.
Rick Archer: Interesting. I just found he said something to me one time about how, at a certain stage earlier on he, he found he had a knack for just sort of waking people up just like that. But then he later realized that he perhaps was doing so prematurely. You know, like maybe cracking an egg opened before the chick is ready to peck its own way out. And so he stopped doing that.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, yeah. The Sakura was relentless about anything that might you might cling on to or think you understand, or you know, and has to be immediately dismantled. So even the experiences they were having those disciples were needed to be this deconstructed, because they were not serving.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah, yeah. And it’s so easy to get attached to a CD to next amazing experience of like, oh my god, it’s so easy. And in an immature state, as we all are, it’s so tempting. It’s like the devil typed in Jesus in the desert, you know, you know, there is always the temptation to stop on the path and stay at a certain level, you know, unless you get over it, you remain a superhero, but like the Joker, you know,
Rick Archer: I haven’t seen that movie. So, but it’s interesting because Nisargadatta I never actually read I am that cover to cover I sort of dipped around in it and obviously talked to people who were with him like Timothy Conway and others, but um, I get the impression that he spoke with a certain degree of authority. He was quite quite the master. So how do you juxtapose or how do you reconcile is his own? Was he assertive? Did he Did he it was his authority. Did it have a sort of a absolute flavor to it? Or was it always tempered by at the same time, you know, uncertainty Are humility of some sort that made it less absolute?
Zaya Benazzo: Hey, good question. Um, you know, I don’t read I’m that anymore. I can’t go back to that. cannot go back. No. Teachings, I feel like they served their purpose. Exactly. Yeah. And maybe partially is because what you’re saying here? Yes, he was the man of his time. And that’s how teachers were teaching in this time, he was very certain he was very. But like, I never doubted that he was coming from a place that was pure, pure fears. Selfless, he was penetrated, if I can say by truth, like, I don’t question that. He, I’m sure there was a shadow there as well. You know, as any human being. He had his own. But he, you know, he was in a culture that emotions do not exist, feelings. Any psychology was not part of this time and culture. So none of that was part of the teachings or other inquiry. So.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s like, I think sand is a reflection of this. And I think that gap all too is. And I think our way of thinking is, but it’s that, you know, everybody is an instrument of the Divine, we could say, and all these different teachers and everything, they they serve a certain function, and maybe even teachers that end up, you know, disillusioning people because of their behavior or something, maybe that function is legitimate in the big picture of things. But no one teacher serves all functions for everybody.
Maurizio Benazzo: Absolutely. Exactly. In a different stage a different time. I mean, once I said I’m not really I’m not reading, I am that many years. But I’m not saying Oh, no one better Hi, Bob. Oh, you haven’t even started. So there is no linear path of understanding the finger that points to the moon that is attracted to you and the poison does the finger you should follow it. Sometimes you will look at the finger sometimes you will look at the moon. We are doing the best we can I mean, we all do that. No, we are all on the on this path of growth. There is no we oh,
Zaya Benazzo: hold the longing. I think it’s quite unconscious that there is one person there that knows it all can deliver, it can give us the truth. This is kind of the unmet father figure that many of us project on a spiritual teachers, and I really respect teachers who would say, I don’t know, this is not something I have expertise in or, or they would say to the student, I think you need to go and get help about this aspect that I cannot help you. That’s, that’s very humbling. When I see that. When I see a teacher saying, I don’t know, it just melts my heart of like, okay, I can trust that.
Maurizio Benazzo: And yet, sometimes people as the need also to, as Rick was saying, to bump into teacher, right, I mean, in the abusive situation, is an extreme case, could be a trigger to speed up the process for people, for people to get over it. Could could everything is perfect as it is at the end of the
Rick Archer: day. Yeah, good point. And I sort of have I always have this feeling that the universe has this evolutionary agenda. And that all is well, all is well and wisely put that I mean, you know, I was born to parents who had fought in World War Two and my father had alcohol, he was an alcoholic and, and my mother ended up trying to commit suicide and ending up in, you know, mental hospitals. So it was not a real smooth ride when I was a kid. But, you know, I chose that life. I feel from my perspective, I feel like okay, I it was karmically appropriate for me to be born under those circumstances, and to go through all that. And hey, I once said to my mother, actually, when she had gotten a lot better and was you know, she was doing pretty well meditating and stuff and said, you know, Mom, don’t ever worry about the way you raised me because I’m really happy that with with the way things are turning out, so you must have done the right thing.
Zaya Benazzo: This view freedom, yeah.
Rick Archer: You know, points like the one I just made a point like that could turn into a two hour philosophical conversation. So we just have to sort of roll past those things. And if people listening, they don’t agree with that. Don’t worry about that. There’s a discussion group on Facebook where you can hash this out if you feel like it.
Maurizio Benazzo: And also we don’t agree as well. It’s just a matter of time. Yeah. That would not have agreed with me two years ago. I will not that Who would be two years from now? Most likely, good point.
Zaya Benazzo: The limitation of this form of communication, right? The we kind of lock each other in this in positions or statements that are they’re morphing, they evolve, they change. Yeah, it’s good to hold any conversation lightly, that this is what is revealed in this moment. But in the next moment, he will have a different flavor,
Maurizio Benazzo: the way of sand, you know, which there is an absolute jewel, we are interested in the question, we’re interested in the question just in the conversation. And we are interested in having a quote unquote, good time. And that will mean a good time, like getting drunk and stupid time meaning, having fulfilling conversation with non dogmatic people, that they have their point of view, they’re not afraid of sharing it, they’re not afraid to listen, and then not afraid to, you know, this is the essence of sand for us, we see it, no, a bunch of mature intelligent people enough mature and enough intelligent people that are able to gather together, aside from their diversity, exploring, you know, the big question that, you know, and then, you know, evidence, you know, yeah,
Rick Archer: I think that’s the essence of both science and spirituality at their best. But if not, at their best, you have sort of materialists who won’t live in the Dean Raiden. Or, you know, because what he said couldn’t possibly be true. So they’re not even going to look at it. And, you know, you have religious people who won’t, you know, get through it. Well, Galileo, Galileo, church, and Galileo’s they wouldn’t look through the telescope, because it couldn’t possibly be true. So you know, people get into these sort of narrow mindset. But you don’t see that. And, and, I mean,
Maurizio Benazzo: we’ll see that we all have a narrow site, or at least we are aware that we have a narrow Yes. I’m not saying Oh, no, we are so open, I understand that bullshit, I’ve no clue. I have my narrow mindset. But I listened to your narrow mindset aware of my narrow mindset, and appreciate your narrow mindset until it gives me off too much. And then I’ll tell you, he pays me off when I move, but not or upset or whatever. But let’s keep it lightly. That’s what I’m saying. Lightly. In an old village, in Italy, when I grew up, I mean, there is the fascist and the communists, they fight all day, and in the evening, they are in the bar playing card, and I mean, a drink. The day we’re gonna, we’re bored, we’re gonna die, you get sick, I get sick, I gonna help you, you’re gonna help me. And yes, somebody like chicken, somebody likes salmon. You know, at the end of the day, we are here in the same boat and try to make to make sense of this absolute mystery.
Rick Archer: One thought that comes to mind and at this phase of our conversation is that despite all this talk of openness and flexibility, and not logging into particular perspectives, at the same time, you know, there’s a, there’s a danger thing sometimes of extreme relativism, where, you know, the universe, there is no sort of universal truth or laws of nature or anything else. It’s all a fabrication of whoever we happen to be perceiving it. I think that’s very anthropocentric. That’s the right word. You know, gravity has been functioning presumably the same way for 13 point 8 billion years. It didn’t chain with function, when Sir Isaac Newton came along and said, the same could be said, of all kinds of laws of nature. So nature itself, you know, has a certain reality to it, which human beings only grasp a tiny portion of, but nature’s not subservient to humans in terms of what it is or how it functions, if the other way around, were subservient, and trying to rise to the level of understanding that would really injustice to what actually is, that makes sense.
Zaya Benazzo: Yes, yeah. Yeah. And again, the last piece of what send is about we invite people to that we stay close to our own direct personal experience. Yeah. The which is really all we have. And again, unfortunately, in spirituality, but also in our society, that notion towards this embodiment is it’s been so in the Western culture, I would say, so prevalent, prevalent in, you know, it’s getting more and more like, it’s really sad to see the young generation. I mean, they spend seven to eight hours disconnected from their bodies in front of the computers and screens and we all do that. And humanity. We’ve done it in every phase of life. In every stage. We have done it in different ways, but this particular time, I think, is really alarmingly, we are alarmingly disconnected from our bodies. And what is underneath that is all the things we don’t want to meet or the things we don’t want to feel it’s usually below the destruction. Anyway, where I’m leading with this is I just want to mention a project we’ve been working with. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Gabor Matta where his work. So in the past two years, we have been working on a documentary about trauma and addiction. And this is one of the things that in the collective fields we came five years ago, I would say attend to realize that there is no way we can really progress on the spiritual path, unless we meet our trauma, Shadow, unconscious, whatever you want to call it. This is really where maturation happens in meeting in creating intimacy. I’m not talking even about healing trauma or resolving because that’s a whole different conversation. But a big part of our spiritual work is is meeting trauma that we have carried in our bodies I would say for generations and now we have the luxury the privilege to actually become aware to fill it to meet it and we have the tools to do that. So
Rick Archer: yeah, Julie Brown Yeah, well last October when when we were out there do you feel that give us an example or two of spirituality as a means of spiritual bypassing which tries to ignore suppress trauma? And and how how a more mature spirituality would would look which doesn’t do that?
Zaya Benazzo: Well, I would say for us how we saw it is how it played in our personal relationships like the first five years of our marriage was perfect because we were residing in the absolute it was all perfect. We were not the doers you know there
Maurizio Benazzo: was no house caught fire but we just bought this house. It caught fire. Remember, we’re sitting in the garden looking at it is only an illusion. really mean it from your heart and not saying in a in a bizarre way? We really we were not that touched? You wish even though we were touched, but we’re observing it from it from a hiring. Yes, yeah, no.
Zaya Benazzo: So we were not touching some deep feelings within us that gradually life you know, the intelligence of Life provides opportunities to wake up. So as we started touching some of those deeper grounds within us, it became the relationship became super uncomfortable, like we had to meet individually and as a couple tow much shadows, so much unconscious material, that I would say a big chunk of our spiritual journey has been in the past several years, in what sort of, in really meeting these places that we were very comfortable with our spiritual concepts of, I’m not the doer, I’m not choosing these these just happening and yeah, okay, it’s not maybe what I want. But this is what’s given here, it’s so perfect, perfect.
Rick Archer: There’s a truth in that, and there’s a perhaps a level of experience or stage of experience, which that is one’s actual living experience. But if that makes one detached from or disinterested in or passive, you know, toward so called real world realities, then then I think there there is a spirit of bypassing take taking place. I mean, for instance, the, you know, in Gita Arjuna says that I want to fight this battle, and, you know, and, you know, it doesn’t matter what happens and so on. And, you know, Krishna eventually says, Well, you have to fight the battle, and actually, you’re not the doer, but you have to engage in action with full force and full invention. And, you know, you can’t sort of hide out, in a sense of non doership be established in that, yes, but perform action dynamically. Exactly.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. Well, I was an activist in my 20s. And I know that my activist work was fueled by my trauma. It was not fueled by my spiritual realization. So that’s why I stepped out, and then I went to a period of a little bit of work. you’re describing is like, Yeah, well, it is what it is why? Why fight? Why try to change anything? And now I think also we’d send, we’re coming full circle where it’s like, yes, we’re not in charge. And there is the action that each moment calls for. And am I available for that action? Not because I know what needs to happen, but because I’m available for life to move through me in a way that the situation is calling in that moment, which I might not even have a conceptual understanding or grasp of what is what is really calling here. So I, I see you
Rick Archer: make yourself available, and you end up probably doing what needs to be done afterwards. You think, How do I know to do that?
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, yeah. And like, how I am available is through really being intimately connected to what is revealed, in my body, in my heart, in my heart.
Rick Archer: So you mentioned that, you know, for the past five years, or something you’ve been dealing with or processing, a lot of trauma which had been repressed or buried or ignored. And it’s been a little bit harder work than it was during first five years where you’re just hanging out in this detached place. So how have you been doing that? Have you been engaged in therapy? Have you been, you know, just sitting down I and hashing things out for hours? And then how do you deal with this try? What’s your process?
Zaya Benazzo: All of it, I would say we have we’ve been doing therapy, some
Maurizio Benazzo: great fights, some serious
Zaya Benazzo: unraveling, allowing quite a bit of the suppress emotions to come up some somatic experiencing. Yeah, although they can take
Maurizio Benazzo: off again, it’s unnecessary to see how because everybody has their own path.
Rick Archer: Here, you never say yeah, and they might think I should probably do that. What should I do now?
Maurizio Benazzo: Well, Lisa, to your heart first.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, no, for us, I would say it has therapy has
Maurizio Benazzo: helped. But then again, it has to be the right therapy. On the other hand, because if you dwell for months talking about you know, yeah, mom didn’t like you. kind of you know, yeah.
Zaya Benazzo: And we, you know, it finding the right balance because once you go on this path, you can become so lost in processing and making it all psychological. So there’s that that danger there as well. So striking the right balance that yes, there is some increase some understanding, some unraveling, and yet come back to the simplicity of the moment that everything we need is right here. And it’s, it’s available fully, there is no obstacle to the moment. So remembering to come back to the simplicity of the moment. So there’s been little bit our dance, getting last little bit in processing and then coming back now, it’s simple. We don’t need to understand all the trauma that happened for seven generation before it’s kind of nice. My mind loves to go and well and my body feels some of that energetically. And then coming back here.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Interesting. We’re gonna need something Rachel.
Maurizio Benazzo: Just no, no, I cannot agree more. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s it’s to dance again. What we said before is the dance between knowing that you are the absolute, you know, the present moment is absolutely perfect. Everything is perfect as it is. And everything is perfect, because it’s absolutely imperfect. The perfection cancel this beautiful Japanese. There’s this beautiful story objection and American Indian, they make the most amazingly beautiful pottery takes years to build. The absolute Potter is perfect. The moment is done, the teacher scratcher. And it’s a Whoa, why you? It’s important. Like, why do you why are you broke? I said, because this is as to be in this world. As to what perfection is not for this world come on.
Rick Archer: Well, it’s interesting point you make about you know, finding the balance between slogging through all the trauma that one could possibly manage to excavate, you know, and at the same time, balance between that which would be a real quagmire endless one, and, or, you know, just completely staying out of all that and ignore it. It’s, it’s Probably a ongoing art to find that balance. It’s like like riding a bicycle or something, you can ignore balancing or you’re going to crash. But it does become perhaps a little bit more second nature after a while.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. And again, my body would tell me when I have gone too far into processing like, is like the sensation of something, it’s stuck or, like, oh, I need to, like shake her and you know, step out of this and come back to the aliveness in my body. And so, yeah, developing that kind of somatic intelligence that we all have. But it’s been kind of forgotten because of the ways we leave and the ways we’ve been taught to inquire spiritually also that do you feel sorry, for what I was trying to say is like, again, especially in the Advaita Vedanta tradition is very much about inquiry without the body like the body is not necessary. And included, the tantric, the Kashmiri tradition is is different, again, at send, that’s one thing we try to balance in our brain, bring practices and modalities that do bring and develop more the intelligence of the body of the heart, and maybe see, I would like to mention something one more, if we reflect of what’s happening in the collective what I see in the field, that that kind of dropping from the head to more of the hearts, Felton’s, the presence in the heart has been happening. And with that, I think we are opening also to include more spiritual perspectives, at least in our community, more that are connected to the earth. So we are beginning to bring a little bit more indigenous wisdom, indeed, which has not been in the case for Sen before. But I feel collectively we are getting ready for that, because we’re reaching the limitation of understanding exploring here. And the indigenous traditions they have had for centuries, that deep connection to the earth that we have lost. And I feel at this time, there is something that we all can learn from reconnected to the matter to the matrix of life, there is something that is coming, and I don’t, I can’t really formulate it, but it has to do with relationships. And that’s what actually the indigenous people say that the crisis we’re facing at the moment we call it playing with crisis, but they call it a crisis in relationships, in religion in relation, meaning relationship to ourselves to each other, to the planet, the cosmos, the cosmos. So that’s a conversation that an exploration that has been emerging I would say in the same because
Maurizio Benazzo: one danger to me and I don’t know if I’m jumping too far and then come follow me if you can. Think may may fear is that to go from the mind, to the heart, is not a direct path that can bring anywhere it can go bizarro, to me from the mind, we have to go to the ground to the earth and from there going to the heart. So the sun is something like a Taurus and the heart is the center in which the to connect means from the heart that you can connect the mind and the earth. If you go from the mind to the heart, you’re still missing a foundation. I know personally, I’m always in my mind Advaita perfect for me because oh my god yeah, it makes so my mind is satisfied. And I can stay there in the absolute bliss, but I’m floating 60 inches from the ground right? And I don’t have that that I never had that groundedness that that her tea you know and to me I need that to be able to balance the high and the low and find and when I found the balance then the heart can take over as the as the as the center of it. And the action can become more measured and more precise. I can feel more that if
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, makes so and I think also collectively that’s the movement we have been watching we are moving up like where life is speeding up. Everything is faster and faster. We feel less so we really yeah, we’re limiting our experience to realms that are right here that are be disembark, read abstract. Yeah,
Maurizio Benazzo: my baby’s mind
Zaya Benazzo: Strong. The like we did technologies we spend our Yeah. Anyway, we went through that, but that’s something so we see at San bringing little bit more of the earth wisdom traditions as well that is very much needed at this time.
Maurizio Benazzo: Like like biocide is beautiful. Beautiful senator, the timer urgent? We need to slow down.
Zaya Benazzo: ancestor.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m gonna have bio on in a month or so
Maurizio Benazzo: Oh, his rival
Rick Archer: he says on the race thing a minute ago as I which was that made me feel like something I already knew but it made it reminded me that I’ve uh, I’ve always felt that you have your finger? You both do you have your fingers on the pulse of culture to a good extent by virtue of who you are, and by virtue of what you do. And we first set that up moving from the mind the heart, I wasn’t sure whether you meant the said the collective, I wasn’t sure whether the entire world or the contemporary spiritual community or the sand munity or what. But maybe you could talk a little bit about your subjective experience of your sort of intuitive sense of how things are moving the world? And what sort of we’re talking about the whole world, we’re just talking about spiritual people. So quote, unquote, yeah,
Zaya Benazzo: yeah, I can’t talk about the whole world. I would say our small community, spiritual community, ourselves ourselves. But there is something about Western civilization that I don’t have the expertise to really make big claims. But I do see it like seeing how life is evolving here in the Silicon Valley, how the young generation relates. So based on on these observations, I do see that tendency of this embodiment everywhere. That’s what I mean, the collective is not the whole world, because we were just in Mexico. And I wouldn’t say that people there and this embodied, they’re more on their phones, but they’re still, you know, more in relationship to their community, to families to nature. Yesterday, I went for a walk in San Francisco, I never go in the city. And there was this beautiful park was absolutely empty. They were benches and trees, like there was no human beings beautiful spring, summer short of sunny day, and was like, Where are the humans? And, and then it was like, yeah, in the rat race, you know, there is no time for posing to enjoy to smell the flowers. On the other hand, in Mexico, two weeks ago, if you go in the middle of the day in the park, it’s full of life, children and mothers, and you know, it’s like it’s alive. So these days that that we have lost that kind of aliveness in, in our western world.
Rick Archer: Well, somebody said a little while ago, reminded me that, you know, nature has its own way of resetting the bounds and correcting things when you’ve gotten off track. And it’ll be interesting to see, it’s interesting to see now, and it will continue to be interesting to see how things proceed. You know, if we can look back, people living in a particular time in a particular culture, never really can imagine what its gonna be like 100 years later, they always sort of think, well, this is normal, this is the way it is, this is probably way low as baby Najin. You, you know, living in the 1860s. And thinking that and then suddenly, transporting to now and how shocked you would be at how much things have changed. People say the pace of change is accelerating. And we’re kind of riding that wave as we go along. So it’d be interesting to see over the course of the rest of our lives, how how things evolve, but I I definitely think that spirituality is going to be a big big part of it. It’s really the missing ingredient for what ails the world.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, I think that’s our hope to stay sane because even the the leaders in the Silicon Valley they saying we can we can even imagine what’s going to be the future for our kids. It will be so different from what we are living today. That I think you’re right, spirituality is the only hope for us to
Maurizio Benazzo: but then let’s define the spirituality. Because if we, let’s define that word, let’s do a spirit a spirituality that is able to give us enough strength, ability knowledge, humbleness, love have a connection to solve the problem that we have as spiritual doesn’t make us even more separate. The symbol Irfan does embody a spirituality that takes us back to the body takes us back to our family, take us back to our community, to the people, the less fortunate people that the abuse the the oppressed and everything has been tried to help us fix this mess that we have been creating. Yeah, because it’s inevitable. I mean, I don’t know, some people claim that the economy is doing super well, but as a society, yeah, I know, you have in our town of 50,000 people, we have 300 people all listed are chased left and right. And nobody wants to find a place to rest. I mean, how can we do that. And these people we met his movie we are doing, then there was this guy who has a job, paid $35 per hour, full time job, it cannot hold the hold. It doesn’t have enough money to pay for the rent. Because in San Jose, California, the rents are so high with a salary of $35 an hour, which is more than we do more than we make, he cannot hold the house. He lives in his car from six years. Wow. How can we let something like this happen? In our society, the most we are the most what we say the most? Oh, the economy’s doing well. I don’t care if the common economy is doing well like the Buddha unless the last person is enlightened. My enlightenment means nothing. I mean, I there is such a sense of inequality in the world is such a sense of oppression and abuse that is unnecessary. The medical system I don’t want to talk about politics, I’m talking about spirituality, I’m talking about love talking simple understanding of the human nature, we are all on the same boat here there is only one boat. And we are missing that boat to this little round rock, we are messing that to to meet that spirituality to me to meet that spirituality or spirituality, this famous love that we all read this famous love, you know, and then like Charles Eisenhower said, then we are able to step over a homeless person while we go to a yoga class. To on for an hour and a half. Come on, you know, it’s just without that I feel more and more body, I feel my spirituality is just simply an answer to my trauma, because the spiritually helps me not to feel my pain, or trial, it is the same as watching Netflix, you know, to stay in front of stay on Facebook all day. And I don’t want that spirituality, I want something that makes me whole human responsive. And it gives me the strength to be of service.
Rick Archer: Exactly. And my definition of spirituality would be summed up in two word holistic development. And that is that we have all these faculties and aspects of our makeup, you know, mind, heart senses, all the different things. And you know, spirituality is the sort of full blossoming of all of them, not some of them to exclusion of others, or, you know, to ignoring others. And you know, that this, it’s possible to make a lot of progress in one or another of these. What is it? Ken Wilber calls them lines of development. But you get more and more lopsided if you don’t bring all along and allow them all to to blossom simultaneously.
Zaya Benazzo: And it’s, and it’s not always pretty, it’s not. It’s not always gracious. What isn’t? Spirituality can be messy can be mean the process of process. Yeah. And how we relate to, to that messiness to that that spirituality. Can we still find love when we are lost or when we are caught in? Yeah,
Maurizio Benazzo: doesn’t rage? That’s the real test. That’s the real test.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Okay. Well, I think it does. You mentioned politics, but it does relate to politics. And I hear the voices of a couple of politicians, in my mind, as you were saying that stuff about, you know, how well a certain percentage is doing compared to the vast majority and so on. Like, you know, Elizabeth Warren, it’s working great for millionaires and billionaires. So, so
Maurizio Benazzo: and I don’t want to enter again, just to be clear, I don’t want to send is not politically oriented. We have our ideas. Sure. What can we say? I mean, honestly, okay, let’s face it. The most traumatized people in the world, we make sure they become our presidents and governors. I mean, because if you look, yeah, I mean, these people are really messed up. You’ve seen our movie
Zaya Benazzo: when he got Trump in a killer Hillary Clinton, Margaret
Maurizio Benazzo: Thatcher and Obama and all of that is true. Those people I mean, it’s true. I mean, people if you want that much power, sorry, you Have to have had a serious trauma you’re in need to be in control, something must have gone probably, seriously. I guess so.
Rick Archer: But could we imagine a society in which, you know, we have the sort of enlightened leader so to speak, who is that for the sake of, you know, getting a hit on power, but actually is doing it as a, as a, as a serve as a great service, you know, mega serve as kind of almost personal sacrifice rather than a personal aggrandizement.
Zaya Benazzo: God, which is was also a true leader is about Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Yeah, these are the leaders
Maurizio Benazzo: representing the people. I mean, I’m serving you, I’m what service? Is it public service? Is it called? Right?
Rick Archer: So perhaps we’ll delve into that, you know,
Maurizio Benazzo: I mean, again, I’m not gonna it’s not a political statement, here is a stated statement about humanity and pain we are going through, and, and, yeah, and I don’t want to make it sound political in one direction or the other.
Rick Archer: You know, but everything is interrelated. And, you know, the kind of spirituality we have just defined, touches all aspects of life. You know, politics, health, economics, every, every
Zaya Benazzo: diversity. Yeah. Diversity is a big conversation right now for us as well. Yeah. As you know, most of our spiritual communities are predominantly white. And that’s something that we are also a sandwich seeing and we’re meeting it finally
Rick Archer: did a good job. I mean, all kinds of people.
Zaya Benazzo: Were doing a small steps towards diversifying and how, because he’s not just bringing people of color, but also how are we together when we bring more diverse point of views that might not might contradict some of our white, spiritual privileged perspectives on life? So how are we going to be with that? This is a little bit some of the questions we are right now, asking as an organization, when we bring diverse community, how can we create a container that is conductive to deeper conversations and healings and not creating more separation and otherness? When we enter these kinds of conversations, especially you’re aware, in the States, the the conversation around diversity in equity and white privilege, white fragility, they’re huge. They, you know, and it’s like, we cannot just spiritually, bypass them and say, Oh, we’re all one. What do you mean, you know, this color? Or what do you mean? You have a black body? That right? So, again, this is one of those very delicate, I think, grounds where we’re working on together right now. And this is our inquiry, like, how do we allow for this inquiry to happen? While we’re still based and grounded in deep understanding, and an embodiment of our interconnectedness? And yet, allow us to see all the places in which that might not be the case still, even in our spiritual community?
Rick Archer: Yeah. I mean, I have interviewed a lot of people who go to sand and I have interviewed just about everybody who contributed to your book, which we’ll talk about in a minute. And, you know, both me both at Gap and sand have a certain theme, a certain orientation, we have had a certain understanding of spirituality. And what you’re saying is you’re trying to make it more diverse and inclusive, and but not sort of throw people in there because they have to be black or gay or Native American or something, but somehow blend them in in a way that relevant to what you’ve already built and allow you built to expand in a coherent way to incorporate them Right
Maurizio Benazzo: exactly. There is a lot to learn from these voices. Yeah, they seem that different tone you make a choir, you need all the voice, you need all the notes and those notes are missing because we are we are tone deaf, our own music.
Zaya Benazzo: And one thing about 10 is the whatever we will do, we will not do it because it’s politically correct. Like that doesn’t work for us. We have to kind of it has to come from our own being or realization. So yeah, and and, for example, including buyer last year at Sand. I think he created a beautiful report in the field just because he brought such a different perspective. Spirituality and
Rick Archer: but they place at all. It really did fit. In fact, we were we were interested in trying to set up an interview with him, right. And we were suggesting a certain time of day to know that the time of day when I put the kids to bed, that’s sacred time. You can’t do it, then. You know, so that was that was in itself like, well, that’s, that’s nice. That is the saying that. Why is it the suppose that, you know, I mean, first of all, the spirituality that got you guys going and me too, came from brown people over in India mostly. And, and then the contemporary spirituality that has been the sort of the main fuel of sand and backcap, as you said a minute ago has been, you know, mostly white Westerners involved. Because there’s a language think they have to speak English more or less to participate, but white feel like the Native American and indigenous and, and, you know, African American, and so on communities have just sort of naturally been a part of it and proportional to portion of degree. Any any theories on that? Well,
Maurizio Benazzo: the first thing that comes to mind, to me as an ignorant human being is disposable income. We have a huge amount of disposable intellectual income in our brain, that we can ponder this question that you cannot ponder if you leave in a reservation, or if you have to work three jobs to send your kids to school, or if you’re afraid that the policeman stops is going to shoot you. Yeah. And it’s really bland. This is the first because this the luxury to have in this conversation. It is a luxury, the privilege, the privilege, that alone, being able to read I am that in the survey, or whatever you decide it was a reader be able, as you said at 17 to meet the teaching of Ron das and Timothy Leary. I’m sorry. It’s something you and I could
Rick Archer: do while drive that car,
Maurizio Benazzo: while driving the car. Yes, exactly. So think about the people around you. 95% were light, or slightly
Rick Archer: more than that, I think there might be two kids, two black kids in my high school, maybe black, there was over 1500 kids in the school.
Maurizio Benazzo: So that alone gives you you know, your answer. And then then these people like you became the teachers and all of that, then you know, it’s that’s one simple. First thing that comes to mind very bluntly, I’m sure there’s people way more intelligent was better.
Zaya Benazzo: And also for Santa me, look where we are holding the events. Sure. Right. It’s a very nice hotel. privileged place. Yeah. So that’s already pre selects people. Again, this year where again, Sen does not turn anyone away for lack of funds funds. So we haven’t
Maurizio Benazzo: said this out loud. We have a scholarship. Anyone away everybody come in with this scholarship. But
Zaya Benazzo: now we’re even thinking more how can we include more diversity? Like, what are the ways in which Well, the
Rick Archer: thing you did with the young kids and cut last couple years was great having this someone offered some sponsorship for a bunch of kids who are in their late teens early 20s to come in, they had their own little subgroup as and that was an isometry maybe somebody could do that for you know, the black community or, you know, the, the Native American community or something like that. prions Yes. But yes. Yeah.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah, but be careful how you do it because we have to be radio’s as a community to receive that. Because if you do it as a gesture or let’s try to be 30% African American 27% is not gonna work. Yeah. Well as to come from as a growth of the community and the understanding and the need as to as to come from a why from Assam. Why? Why we are doing this shot because well, because it’s politically correct. And when those two characters on the side, we don’t give a shit about politically correct we tend to be as to be politically correct to our heart that was our strong belief, then there is nothing that we are open to every cent to be the last one that we often say is the lesson is the lesson because we are we are not attached to the result we are attached to the expression of it is attached to the evolution as you said to the impulse towards evolution, that’s what what inspire us and keep us going.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s not like a great money making opportunity for you guys.
Maurizio Benazzo: It’s you’re actually putting
Zaya Benazzo: the finances on our website, our p&l. So we’re nonprofit so anyway, that has that’s already public. Yeah. But we are making the extra step to put it on the website. So it’s really right there. You only survived because of donation
Maurizio Benazzo: at the end of the day.
Rick Archer: Yeah. But the point we’re making here I think is is a good one we can move on in a minute but um You know, the idea that it’s spirituality as we understand it, if if, if our understanding of it is universal enough, should be exclusive to a certain subset of society doesn’t seem right. And it should somehow be made available to everyone just as a way, I mean, I think society is gonna have to undergo a great equalization in a way because even with, you know, automation and things that are happening now, a lot people, a lot of jobs that people depend upon, are going to cease to exist, and it just won’t make sense for 1% of the population to have, whatever it is at 40% of the wealth, there’s something there’s gonna have to be some kind of distribution. And, and which, ideally, if it were done intelligently and compassionately could free up a lot of time for a lot of people to actually pursue spiritual and creative and artistic things. You know, they wouldn’t have to work so many hours and just be exhausted, but they could meditate or they could paint or, you know, whatever, whatever their Darla dictated. So I met, I just said, this is going to have to happen, it’s not necessarily going to happen. But ideally, it should happen.
Zaya Benazzo: What we are interested in, is kind of bring shining light to the ways in which as a spiritual community, we might be unconscious or blind to the ways in which we might perpetuate otherness. And we might not be fully receptive to the diversity where we are inviting, I mean, there might be some of my spiritual beliefs actually creating obstacles to the diversity to be present. And that’s what I would like to bring the inquiry in the field are over.
Maurizio Benazzo: And I want to add something because you I perceived that you are talking about spirituality as something we have no spiritual, I mean, there is not our it’s not that people has to come to our spirituality. You know, let’s make clear spirituality. In every culture, every human being every I’m sure Brune, our chocolate lab, dog has his own form of spirituality, I’m saying spirituality is embedded in life, every every culture every day of their own, and is not that as you said, No, then they will come to us and we will find a spirituality, they will understand. No, they have we have to go to them as well. I mean, there is no there is no one spirituality, there is an expression of spirit through these embodied body, in the interconnectedness of the universe, if you wish, you know. So it’s not that people come to us so they can understand that we are open to them so they can understand what we do. Now, we are open to hear what they do and go to them. If it makes any sense. There was something you said about five minutes ago that made me like, give me this thought,
Rick Archer: which I don’t know. Sounds good. I’m glad you brought it up. Yeah. I mean, it’s, I suppose I don’t know what the word is. But it’s, it’s easy to sort of think of one’s own understanding of things as you see it through your own lens, you know, and and you think, Oh, those people are so different. They must not have it as it’s insidious. There’s a, there can be a subtle sort of arrogance of, you know, they don’t get it as well as I get it. Because they don’t express it the way I do or something. You really have to guard against that.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah. And until they speak my language, they will not get it so calm, and come to me and speak my language that I know your spiritual.
Rick Archer: No, I mean, JP, Sears, you got to bring JP Sears back, we bring back Oh, good, good.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, there is a sense of linearity that we keep reaffirming, and again, some of the indigenous spiritual paths, they don’t have that linearity. And that’s, I think, also, as we’re facing more and more the crier climate crisis, we see that our approach to that that is based on cause and effect, reducing co2 emission is coming to a we seen the the limitations, that that’s not a solution, that’s not gonna that’s not the level at which we can resolve what we’re facing. And we need a kind of multi dimensional approach to life that we have lost touch with.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I often say that all the problems in the world, including climate change are just a symptom of the collective consciousness of all the people who make up the world. And if you try to change the problems without change the collective consciousness then you’re kind of like you got it backwards. You have to sort of has to be a shift in consciousness for these things to really resolve.
Zaya Benazzo: And what we even point to is again, coming to diversity and is the other otherness that we have created so that we see the ugliness everywhere. And that’s what creates the crisis of relationships crisis of,
Maurizio Benazzo: because because the white supremacy, the white culture, it’s very united states based, we should talk about the other and the oppressed, the abused any person in a, in a less fortunate situation with any being any being we should go for the Beingness. And the otherness.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Just this morning, I was fantasizing some guy posted some silly thing about how I should be run for president or something I thought, you know, I said, Oh, dear God, if I were, but I’m saying, Okay, if I were president, what would I do? I would think I would ask my advisors. Okay, where is all the suffering in the world? You know, and what, we have this trillion dollar military budget, how about if we take all that money and channel it into, you know, the saving the kids in Syria who are freezing to death, or the people in this country who are starving? And so, I mean, the United States would be so beloved, if we actually, you know, not not sort of not not some kind of manifest destiny thing where we think we’re superior, and we’re going to, you know, impose anything on them, but relieve the suffering. That is everywhere. That would be such a sort of the world, is my family kind of way of functioning? I don’t know. I don’t know.
Zaya Benazzo: I don’t know. I mean, it’s one way it’s one way. And again, it’s more looking to resolve the symptom. Which is this place for that absolutely. Much better to start there, then not then give it to the military. And yet,
Maurizio Benazzo: I don’t know if it will be another Muirhead you a little
Rick Archer: Yeah, well, that’s the that brings in the point of multi dimensionality, you can’t just deal with something on one level, it’s like watering the leaves of a tree instead of watering the root.
Zaya Benazzo: Another example is the movie we are doing, we went to a homeless shelter in San Jose, where they have 120 rooms. So people who have lived for most of their life in the streets for 2030 years on the street. Finally, they have a room a shelter where they can leave, they have a horse for the first time in their life. And what happens when they have that they actually fall apart? Because for the first time they can actually feel so this is where because because, again, until then, their
Maurizio Benazzo: attention you know, where do I get the food? Am I safe? How do I stay protected for 30 years of your life? Now they are 45 years old woman was armless from the age of 15. And you get a wall and a door that you can lock. Now you’re scared now you meet yourself, yourself. Now you’re your trauma, your pain, your fear, they come now, because oh, I’m safe here. And now that I’m saying what do I do? You know,
Zaya Benazzo: that’s where we’re getting closer to the roots, right? So when we start feel all the places in which we are strangers to ourselves, or we have outcasted aspects of our being that are too painful to be with.
Rick Archer: That’s why solitary confinement is such torture.
Maurizio Benazzo: Or such a blessing?
Rick Archer: Yeah,
Zaya Benazzo: depends which practice. Solitary confinement
Rick Archer: voluntarily Yeah, well, so they’re ready to go.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, even the person is delightful, because you get to bypass so much. Right?
Rick Archer: Do you want to talk about your book at all? Like doing that?
Zaya Benazzo: We can I just say that the book was an evolution 10 It’s a compilation of teachings and research and essays that kind of culminated in in one book, and again shows many different perspectives on where we are collectively in this moment. In time, when it comes to what it means to be a human being
Maurizio Benazzo: of the mystery of being is the title of the mystery of being published by your Harbinger available at a bookstore near you. Yeah,
Rick Archer: their main their main themes of the book, you know, voices of contemporary spirituality, the rebirth of metaphysics, science embraces consciousness. You know, the wonder of nature, the body is Teacher art of heart of intimacy, exploring the shadows, doorways to heaven. Do you are there any particular themes in the book that you feel like spending a few minutes talking about that, particularly interest or inspire you or you think it would inspire the audience
Zaya Benazzo: Again, I see those as keys to open different doors in which key depends on where we are on our journey for someone, it could be that a psychedelic experience in this moment can unlock the door for them to move to the next level to see things that are experience aspect of themselves that they haven’t had access before.
Maurizio Benazzo: There can be the analysis that tricked analysis of quantum physics or neuroscience or now the body work how the brain works, how the absolute of the more you look into a microscope, you find more and more nothingness, there is more empty space in this table than been in the universe, you know, for other people is the more de the Yani approach. I mean, each one of this chapter is a good is a buffet, the buffet of the knowledge and potential, triggering the positive opposite in a positive way. Point to trigger a new level of conversation and discussion with your own self or with others. So only provides
Zaya Benazzo: pointers if you choose one specific exploration, it gives you some pointers to use to explore, let’s say, relationship, intimacy, that’s a beautiful doorway to knowing ourselves. And we’ve organized in addition to send several events that focus only on we call it in radiant intimacy, that bring aspects of sexuality and relationships, intimacy, using those as a doorways to understand ourselves still in
Maurizio Benazzo: the framework in the understanding of our interconnectedness, because that’s another thing. You know, how do you deal with sexuality, sensuality, with eroticism in the understanding of oneness? Later, how
Zaya Benazzo: many spiritual teachers are there to bring the topic? In? It’s right, it’s a taboo, and why? This is a big part of who we are as human beings. So why not go and explore? There’s a lot of deep learning that can happen there.
Rick Archer: Yeah, usually they don’t talk about it. They just do it behind the scenes right? inappropriately.
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah, well, that’s the suppression has led to that. Yeah, right. The shadow.
Rick Archer: I haven’t gotten to read too much of your book yet. I’ve read a few chapters here and there and a bunch of your introductory statements to different chapters, but um, but they may we could touch upon for a minute is, you know, Robert lenses essay on rethinking the dumb random universe model of existence, Robert was spoke at Sand a couple of years ago. And I think that’s important because, you know, the scientific paradigm, the materialist paradigm, which tends to dominate science, and thus, dominate technology and our society is that the universe is sort of dumb, and random and accidental. And, as Alex Securus likes to say that we’re sort of biological robots in a meaningless universe. And I think that that in itself is, is to some extent, the root of the despair that causes people to, you know, commit suicide or take opioids or whatever it the whole, whole society is built on that edifice of the universe is this dumb material thing, random. And, you know, guys, I’m separate, and I’m separate. And that’s why I’m excited. Like people like Mark Gober, for instance, who tried to flip it upside down, in a way consciousness is the foundation and everything arises from that, which I think is basically a fundamental theme of sand. And I think that, you know, just as the understanding of astronomy changed so much when we realized that the sun was the center of the solar system and not the Earth, it made everything made so much more sense. I think that if we if this paradigm shifts to understanding consciousness is fundamental, and everything else is emergent from it. I think the the ramifications for every aspect of society are going to be huge, gigantic. Nada, not any, any thoughts.
Zaya Benazzo: Most likely, how do we leave this moment tomorrow? Because the real change will come really when the rubber meets the road, right? Because we can conceptually conceptualize, we all understand we have one consciousness. It’s all arising in consciousness and behave as a separate individual. Right. So I think it’s still part of the equation is not it It’s it’s, again, we’re going back to the absolute and the relative. Yes. And
Maurizio Benazzo: is always and there is no, yeah.
Zaya Benazzo: Because even if we are, let’s say, everything, we all realize we are one consciousness, we all understand. I’m not sure if life
Rick Archer: will, it’s not just a matter of understanding No, it would be. I mean, if it really, if we understood that, then and if we acted accordingly, then educational systems would be geared around enabling people to have that as a living reality and experiential reality, rather than just an understanding. And then people thus educated would go out and affect the world, you know, in a very different way than people do now. So it would ripple out, I think, yeah. Yeah.
Zaya Benazzo: Or the other way is to repo from within out, right. So more and more people are having this realization within ourselves. Living life in this way becomes like contagion, like
Rick Archer: the virus, that’s, that’s what will change the paradigm
Zaya Benazzo: is what would change the paradigm, right? That even if science still believes in some way that consciousness emerges in the, in the brain? If, if the reality is that we live from that place, we relate we create, then then life,
Rick Archer: things will change. Yes, yeah. Well, you know, go ahead.
Maurizio Benazzo: I said, the only thing we can really change is ourselves. Yeah, even though I’m the absolute, I’m not, I ain’t gonna change the absolute.
Rick Archer: She doesn’t take the time to change. Yeah, I’ve
Maurizio Benazzo: tried for 13 years to change Zaya, she agrees that’s gonna work. So I can only change myself. And by changing myself, I will, I will recreate the change in the two of us and
Zaya Benazzo: not even change,
Maurizio Benazzo: changing awareness and become intimate become intimate with like all others, recognizing my shadow recognize me all my pain, my trauma, my shadow, and my beauty and my all of it, and aware of it that will allow me to be more real, more honest, more intuitively. attuned, more like,
Zaya Benazzo: yeah, sometimes I see, you know, how we say, Oh, if we reduce the co2 emissions, then we fix the climate crisis. This is little bit the same. If all the institution realized we owe consciousness, then, you know, this is the same mind the linear mind of cause and effect, and that’s how we’re going to fix it.
Rick Archer: But what you’re saying is that, what you’re saying is, if they’re going to realize it, it’s going to be through a sort of a fundamental grassroots change in that, you know, many, many individuals are realizing it within themselves, and then that will sort of percolate out out. Yeah. And, and also this, what Max Planck said, which is that science progresses through a series of funerals. So you know, it’s just like,
Maurizio Benazzo: yeah, life progresses. So same for the spiritual community as well.
Rick Archer: Yeah. So what are your you know, you’ve done sand for 10 or 11 years, 12, or something? I don’t know. And it has undergone an evolution during this period. And as you said earlier, you know, any year could be the last year, you know, you don’t have any long range goals. But for all you know, you could be doing it 2010 years from now, still. So, do you have any sense or feeling of how, how it might look 10 years from now, if you’re still doing it? Yeah. Do you have a sense of the direction in which it is evolving? Or is it really impossible to say?
Maurizio Benazzo: No, I don’t I don’t know. It’s funny some people come to us and they sell they try to sell well, we should have I can help you and you’ll be okay. Okay, wait, three to five year business plan and we look at them.
Zaya Benazzo: We put the and then we walk in and we look at Oh, this now we have no idea. No idea. That’s the fuel new way. Let’s
Rick Archer: shorten the site a little bit. I mean, what what would you like to see happen next year that hasn’t happened yet?
Maurizio Benazzo: More inclusivity
Zaya Benazzo: more diversity and what we’re trying to break away a little bit from that. Speaker audience dynamic and become more of a exchange create more spaces of exchange of opinion participation of inquiry. So that’s really what we want to see these. This year, less 20 minutes, talks one off to another that we don’t have time to reflect or digest a little bit less of the TED like moods. And more, okay? Let’s take a moment here to be with what’s been delivered just to contemplate to let it in, or to have a conversation around that. So we’re exploring different format, I would say the fear.
Maurizio Benazzo: And if I can talk, really from the top of our head as the conversation happened, maybe sand is not, maybe sand needs to be smaller, 1000 people, it’s insane. Because in 1000, people, we cannot get an intimacy, maybe there will be three cents over the year in three different parts of the planet, or the counter or whatever, in the same place. I don’t know, we know more than 250 people like we do in Italy, maybe maybe less is actually less is better. Because what is not that, you know, I mean, there is no,
Zaya Benazzo: like, oh, event in Italy, it’s 250 people and let’s stay together for six days. And it really builds intimacy, and we go deeper in in the conversations and the experiences. It’s a possibility, we will
Maurizio Benazzo: because at the end, at the end of the day, we are a community, we just for some reason, we have been, we have somehow we get the responsibility in this community to channel to channel something through us. And that is happening, which is called sand. But we really are a game of, of response with you. And we’d everybody else in the community. And you said when we were talking about having the poles, we don’t have any poles, it seems that the poles pulsate through us. And somehow it comes. We’re not getting in the way as much as we can we try not to get in the way of what needs to happen. That’s, and it feels like science is changing. Definitely. Salaries change. Yeah, what is going on? No
Rick Archer: idea. I felt like it’s changed quite a bit over the years. And I’ve enjoyed the direction in which it’s going. And there are certain things which are there even when I first went that I still enjoy. But there was definitely more of a no, no there, there was more of an there were more there was more participation by teachers who were saying the world is an illusion, than there is now which is good.
Zaya Benazzo: And my dream is to see teachers being even more human than less projecting that kind of a perfect human being have perfect real lives I realize being image and being more real, real and more humble and more intimate with their own shadow because we all have it. And And actually, that’s freeing for the students, for those who listen, when a human being is there and saying, No, I haven’t figured it out, I still have places that I’m growing and learning and and maybe I have things that I don’t even see that then I think we are a dream or we are creating a field of trust in deeper listening, not just projecting that it’s my dream to see more and more of that.
Rick Archer: I seem to feel I seem to see that teachers who do that are people are more and more attracted to them and that they enter they like them and off those often those teachers are teaching in smaller venues. Whereas people who are still trying to project some kind of ideal illusion about who they are. Some of them are quite popular, but they often get into trouble. Because you can only keep that up for so long.
Zaya Benazzo: It’s an illusion you
Maurizio Benazzo: can hold you can hide your shadow as much as you can see, I mean why don’t understand why. Why he doesn’t come though.
Zaya Benazzo: He doesn’t take away from your brilliance right from our brilliance. We hold both the contradiction and the clarity, the light in the darkness we all we That’s life. You Can’t Take It Out you come? Yeah, the perfection and imperfection of it.
Rick Archer: Shadow is an interesting thing or sort of self delusion one can get into is an interesting thing. I was reading a conversation the other day between Andrew Cohen and another teacher and it was before undergoing went through his big downfall or whatever you want to call it. And the other teacher was saying, Well, you know, how about your shadow and Cohen didn’t even know what he was talking about. And these days, you know, Andrew looks back at that and he’s trying to make amends and he’s he’s going to Mother Teresa’s place and working with with the poor and doing all kinds of stuff and he says, I can’t believe I was so blind to the way I was behaving, you know? So isn’t it strange the way one can Be so blinded by one’s
Maurizio Benazzo: aren’t we all? We have been that way, we still are all in that place.
Zaya Benazzo: Isn’t it beautiful that just that act of listening what he is, is like opens my heart, like I feel.
Rick Archer: Yeah, is the most contrite I know of of teachers who have screwed up in some way and then are trying to make amends. I mean, he physically traveled to meet face to face with as many people as possible, who would be willing to meet with them whom he had wronged and he went to Peru and did ayahuasca and he’s done therapy, and he’s driven and Uber in order to support himself and all kinds of things like that. Just you know, so it’s, it’s laudable, you know, and there are many people who will never forgive him and don’t want him to ever show his face again, anywhere. But um, I admire that the effort at least. Yeah.
Maurizio Benazzo: We got a little burn up. Andrew, be so nice to meet him again. i Yeah.
Rick Archer: Yeah. I’ve really enjoyed spending a little time with you. And this has been, obviously just a sampling of what we might have discussed, another conversation might have covered very different points, but I think hopefully has given people a glimpse of who you are, if they haven’t met you before. And, and the same Cafritz itself is sort of a reflection of who you are. I think there’s, there’s, you know, intellectual clarity, and there’s humor, and there’s a little bit of self deprecation. And, you know, and diversity of perspectives, you know, that you’re able to comfortably, you know, adapt to, regardless of how diverse they are. And so I think it’s, you know, it’s a beautiful project. And, you know, I think it has inspired a lot of people, and I do hope you do keep doing it for a long time to come. As long as you feel like it. Yeah.
Zaya Benazzo: Thank you. Thank you, Rick. And you’ve been an integral part of that community in this process. And we learned by getting feedback, and you have been one of the the AVID voices of the community that is like, Oh, look at this, and I really, really love and appreciate that. Because sometimes we all can get lost in our own world and not fitting. Yeah.
Rick Archer: There was a Robert Burns or some poem, you know, would some god the gift He give us to see ourselves as others see us?
Zaya Benazzo: Yeah. Yeah, we’re mirrors of each other. And, and may we become more honest to fully see ourselves and allow others to mirrors back in the places we don’t see. Nice.
Rick Archer: Nice. Okay. Well, thank you very much. So I’ve been speaking with, oh, in terms of upcoming events in all, so we’ve been alluding to sand. And there’s two of them. The two main ones is the one in Italy, when is that one,
Maurizio Benazzo: July 13, to the 20th in an incredibly awesome castle in Umbria, two hours north of Rome and two hours south of Florence, in the center of Italy, six days 13 to the 20. And right after that, we have another retreat with Gabor Martin. And that’s the politan about trauma from the 20 to the 24 in the same place so you can stay in Italy, bring the kids bring the family it’s a total of family oriented event is beautiful, is really like the old, that utopian community that you have dreamed of if you’re in this conversation, because you will have toddlers and teenagers and people running around the yard.
Zaya Benazzo: Have conversations we have a lot of time to talk about. can even
Rick Archer: stay in a tent there I believe.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yeah. Yeah. Food is incredible. All you can eat is our party at night music, dance, art. It’s really and yes, then we have the Italian in October, the UFC event which is like the jam, the the mothership, the mothership, the mothership.
Rick Archer: And that’s in late October in San Jose, California. A lot of this is is detailed on this your website, which is science, science and nonduality. Calm, right, right. Yeah. Or if you just search for a science non duality conference in Google, you’ll see it and I’ll link to it from your page on bat gap. And also there are various it seems like every month or so you have a webinar of some kind with somebody that people can do from wherever they are to webinars.
Zaya Benazzo: And we also invite people to propose us talks or experiences it sends so we have something called abstract systems. So anyone who feels inspired to contribute We welcome proposals.
Maurizio Benazzo: Yes. And the movie will come out very soon the wisdom of trauma we are the final editing this movie that will be it’s an amazing movies feature length documentary. And where will people be able to see that? Well, it depends which kind of lag the baby is going to grow probably will do the festival route first or straight to Netflix or go to Amazon. It’s the it’s so it’s impossible to know at this time. It’s impossible. I will definitely see it. If not, is going to be on YouTube free for everybody. Good just like we all our movie at the end, we’ll put them there.
Rick Archer: I don’t know if it’s relevant to ask how you finance something like that. But I guess maybe you have the Fetzer Institute or whatever people have been on
Maurizio Benazzo: the fence or Fetzer is helping us in other way very small ways. A private don’t try it. We have a private donor that gave us funds to make this movie and being filmmaker all our life. You’re able to make movies way, way below budget. We are the same strength we use for Santa to stay alive. It’s said we stay alive by making amazing movie at below a fraction of the cost. Yeah.
Rick Archer: You have a free camera lady. Yes. Agent. Editor,
Maurizio Benazzo: users. Gorgeous.
Rick Archer: You got it. Alright, thanks. So for those who’ve been listening or watching, obviously, I’ve been speaking with Zion retell bonanza. You know who they are pretty well, by this time. This is part of an ongoing series of interviews. And as I said, In the beginning, there have been over 500 of them, and there’ll be many more. So go to bat gap comm. Check out the menus, sign up for the email notification if you want to. There’s audio podcast, you can sign up if you want to, and so on. And there’s also an upcoming interviews page where you will see who we’ve got scheduled in the coming weeks. I think next week is Claire Dubois, who has an organization called tree sisters, which is going to be talking about something a little bit outside my usual comfort zone. This is going to be a little different. I’m going to somehow fit it into the bat gap universe, but we’ll manage. So thanks, guys.
Zaya Benazzo: Thank you. Thank you for your work.
Maurizio Benazzo: Thank you in October,
Rick Archer: October and early July. I don’t think so. But I see you in October. And that’s where I’ll get by then. Yeah, we’ll see you somewhere else. Somewhere else. We’ll be there. All right, thanks. Bye.