photo: Enza Vita
I recently interviewed Enza
Vita, whose places on the web are
The first hour and sixteen
minutes were interrupted by blasts of static
that somehow snuck into the recording. So I
wrote a transcript of that portion of the
interview, which makes up this issue.
Next week I'll post
theВ hour long audio portion of the
interview that has no static.
Transcript of an
interview with Enza Vita conducted by Jerry
Katz on April 27, 2013:
[Enza is delightful and
she laughs a lot. You'll have to listen to the
audio interview, when it'sВ available
next week,В to get a fuller sense of what
she is like.]
in Adelaide, the state of South
Australia.В You're from Italy.
was born in Sicily, you know, the Mafia
country. Just a small village, a couple
thousand people when I was born there. I came
to Australia when I was 17. I came as a
tourist by myself. I had only an Auntie in
Alice Springs so I went to Alice Springs and I
loved the country. I resonated with it and I
decided to stay. My parents thought I'd gone
Jerry: I want to
hear about Sicily. You grew up in a small
town. What was the town?
Jerry: It sounds
like a wonderful, romantic, beautiful place.
was a very small place and everybody knew each
other. Just one school for everybody. I wanted
to get out of there, in search of adventure
maybe, something different, some freedom.
Because life there, even though it was idyllic
in some ways, my path was such that the best
that could happen to me was to find a good man
to look after me. Not that there's anything
wrong with that, but I wanted more. I wanted
to travel, I wanted to see other cultures. We
didn't even have a library.
Jerry: Was all
your family there?
Yeah, grandparents, great grandparents, I've
got four sisters, I'm the oldest.
Jerry: Tell me a
funny romantic story about growing up there.
remember making this idea that I really didn't
belong here in this village. My parents were
lovely, they loved me, I felt loved, but I
felt out of place. I made this story in my
head that I would tell people that someone had
dropped me from a spaceship and that I wasn't
really from this place.
Mainly the reason was that
since I was very young I was having these
weird experiences for such a village, where I
liked to be by myself, I was very shy, but
also I was having some experiences such that
when I told my parents about them they
couldn't support them, they thought I had some
schizophrenia or something like that.
They took me to a
psychologist. I would tell them I would see
things. I would see lights around people. I
got out of my body at night. Sometimes I would
sneak out in the middle of the night. I would
get this feeling that I wanted to get out
under the sky. I was only 6 or 7 and there was
a metal ladder that went up to the roof. My
parents didn't know. Even in winter I would
sneak up there and sit up there and stay there
until the sun came up. My parents started
seeing this behavior, especially in a little
village everybody knows everybody and the word
was, "Oh, this child's a little bit weird,
maybe should take her somewhere." So we did a
big trek, maybe 50 kilometres, to go see a
psychologist. My sisters weren't having this
sort of experience. I felt strange, I guess. I
felt like I didn't quite fit in.
My second sister, we're
only two years apart, I would tell her some of
these stories and she would say, "Oh Enza
don't tell me this stuff, I get scared." She
couldn't sleep. I would tell sometimes it
feels like I melt. And then I disappear. She
didn't want to know about it. We're two years
apart, we grew up together, we played
together, and even with her I couldn't talk
about it. At one point I decided I'm not going
to talk about this to anybody. My parents just
get worried. I found my mom crying because she
thought there was something wrong with me. So
I felt a bit isolated.
The only person I could
talk to that I thought was a skillful thing --
because sometimes I would have some silver
visions of what I thought were Jesus, because
in Sicily everybody is born Catholic, is
baptized. When I talked about some of my
experiences with the Priest his answer was
(unsatisfactory) and I was like, "There's
something going on, I want to know what's
going on, why am I having these thoughts?"
Jerry: When did
all those experiences start?
far back as I can remember. And then my sense
of "Enza" was not very solid, it felt vague,
like I couldn't quite grasp it. Sometimes when
I was by myself even more so, it felt like it
slowed like mercury. In later years I wanted
to become normal like others and I tried very
hard to be normal so that I could have
friends, and I did have friends, close
friends. But it was this other stuff I
couldn't share. I did share a little with my
closest friend and she seemed like she
understood. She was supportive. She didn't
tell me I was crazy. But she couldn't
understand what was going on. She couldn't
relate to it.
everyone you talk to who's coming from the
place of realization has had such childhood
experiences and you had them intensely.
there was absolutely nobody around that could
even help me with them. There was nobody
around that I could go to. And so I decided I
had to find out. I guess leaving the town and
going to a country where I didn't even know
English, on the surface it looked like I
wanted to visit another country, but in
retrospect it was about trying to find the
reason for having these experiences.
The first night I got into
Alice Springs and I was walking down that road
with one of my cousins andВ through the
window of a bookstore on the shelf there was a
book. On this book there was a symbol. If you
come to my house in Italy it's carved
everywhere. When I was little I would draw
everything. I would tell my parents, I would
tell everybody, I would draw these two symbols
but I didn't know what they were and people
around me didn't know. One was a lotus flower
and one was a geometric shape, like a mandala.
If you go to my house in Italy they're carved
on the roof, they're carved in the courtyard.
Mom said, "Why are you carving this onto the
wall?" I would say, "Mom I have to remember,
this is like the future." Of course that added
to the idea that I was very eccentric as a
So when I got into Alice
Springs the first thing I saw was this Yoga
Patanjali book and it had on the cover the
lotus flower, and I'd never seen it before,
and I said to my cousin, "Oh my God, there it
is." I bought the book, though I couldn't read
it. It was the start of some confirmation
that's where my journey started. I got this
book home and I had an old dictionary I
brought from home, English-Italian. I started
looking up every word to make sense of what
this book was about. I thought it was the Holy
Grail I'd found. It was a book on Yoga. It
gave me the sense I wanted to stay in
Australia because obviously this was a find
and trying to understand what the book was
about I started to learn the English language.
I could write English long before I could
Jerry: Before we
leave Solarino, can you tell me anything
about it that involves pasta and olive oil
and family, marinara sauce, anything like
that? Then we'll move on to Australia.
eat really well there. My mom is a very good
cook and we're going back at the end of the
year. My son is getting married and he wants
to go to Italy so we're going with him.
Already I'm telling my mom what to cook. She's
on the phone saying, "What do you want me to
cook when you come?" She wants to cook all the
favorite recipes I liked as a child.
Jerry: Did you
have family dinners?
Yes, lots. I remember as a child that all the
extended families, for Christmas or Easter,
and in Sicily we have all the Saints that get
celebrated, Saint Francisco, Saint Paulo,
Saint this, Saint that. On those occasions the
entire families, not just immediate family,
but cousins and everyone, all come together.
In my house there used to be five tables that
went all the way from the door through the
corridor and all the people would bring food
and those are my memories when I was a child.
Jerry: What kind
Fish. In Sicily it was a lot of vegetables,
fish. Not so much meat because meat was
expensive. Most people had a garden where they
raised their own chickens so they would bring
a chicken. And the women would be in the
kitchen. Sometimes the men too. Usually the
men would be roasting something.
Jerry: What kind
Sicily the pasta is more like the Napolitano
pasta. It might have some eggplant in it or
peas. It's more like a vegetarian spaghetti.
There might be sweets. I remember for Easter
,y mom would be making all these ricotta
little cakes, they were everywhere around the
house. Food, family's all part of growing up.
There would be 30, 40 people for lunch. And
everybody would have their kids so the kids
would be mucking around, running around.
Jerry: And you
were probably thinking of going up on the
did. I did. It's not that I was totally
anti-social but most of the time they knew.
"Where's Enza?" "Oh, up on the roof somewhere,
go and find her." "Come down, are you there?"
Sometimes I wouldn't answer. Ask me more if
could stay right there in Solarino. The other
day I interviewed Didier Weiss who lives in
Auroville in southern India and he quoted
Muriel Rukeyser, a poet, who said, "The
universe is made up of stories, not of atoms."
So here we are telling stories. Stories of
your childhood, stories of your growing up. To
what degree is all this nonduality stuff
They're all stories. I don't make a difference
between the transcendental view and the story
of Enza. They're sort of one and the same.
Jerry: What's not
First you discover the transcendental and then
you realize everything is one substance. It's
awareness when it changes forms and awareness
when it's empty. It's all one big soup.
Jerry: Now we're
getting into awareness, but in your story
you're 17 and you've taken off to Australia.
parents tried to stop me. I was young but I
didn't feel young.
Jerry: Was going
to Australia like climbing on the roof?
it was. It was like the feeling I would get
lying in my bed and I had to get out under the
stars. It was the same feeling. "I have to get
out of here." And Australia was an easy step
because I had an Auntie in Alice Springs. I'm
not sure why Australia, but in retrospect it
was what was meant to happen. I also had
relatives in America but Australia seemed to
be the place.
Jerry: What are
some of the milestones of the trip to
Australia (besides the seeing of the lotus
on the book)? You were young.
parents were obviously very upset. But I had
this calm. I was sad leaving them, but there
was this calm: this is what I have to do. My
Aunt asked me how I could be so calm, like I
didn't care. It wasn't that I didn't care,
it's just that this is what I needed to do.
This is the right thing to do. I was still a
minor and you have to be at least 18 to do
something like that, and my dad said to me,
"I'm not going to let you go. You can't leave
the country without my permission." I said,
"Dad, I'm going to go anyway. In six months
I'm going to turn 18 and I'll go, so let me go
now and give me your blessing. Don't try to
Now when I talk to my dad,
he says, "I didn't see a 17 year old, I saw an
adult, really strong, convinced that this was
the way to go. I had to let you go." That was
his experience. For me I didn't think about
being 17, I didn't know English. It was like,
"I have to go, time to go." I left. When I got
to Alice Springs, I stayed for a few months
with my auntie.
I couldn't ask my parents
for money. They were in no position to support
me here. My auntie was working cleaning in a
hotel. I told her maybe I could find a job.
"But you can't even speak the language," she
said. I said I'll do anything. It happened a
dishwashing position was available and you
didn't need to know the language and I washed
dishes and pots for a while. Then there was a
pregnant lady there that used to make all the
salads and I liked the artistic way she made
the salads. I would rush to finish the pots so
I could go help her and do rosettes and stuff.
She took leave since she was having the baby
and she recommended me for the position. It
was funny because everything had to be written
up in English. I couldn't quite speak it. I
got the position. I was in Alice Springs for
two years. Then I came to Adelaide.
Jerry: How were
your consciousness experiences during that
Fine. For the inner life the library in Alice
Springs became the hangout. I was there every
spare minute that I had. When I wasn't working
I'd be at the library. I'd be looking up books
and trying to decipher them with my Italian
English dictionary. Experiences were still
going on even though they were not as
prominent as when I was a child. But now I was
a seeker. I needed to find a reason why all
this was going on.
a seeker you're trying to make sense of these
experiences. You don't have anyone to talk to
but you realize there's something in
Yes, I realized that maybe there was an
Jerry: What kinds
of books were you reading?
sorts. Anything to do with spirituality. I
can't even remember now. In some books I found
a resonance. Some books I didn't understand
because I wasn't schooled in the material.
Then when I came to Adelaide, that continued.
I got involved in different groups, different
meditation groups. Then I met Leo. I went to
school. Another thing I loved when I was a kid
was making herbal potions. This wasn't part of
my family. I'd go into the country and in my
mind I thought I knew what the herbs were
about. And I'd make potions. I remember I made
a potion for my auntie where she was losing
hair on the top. I said to her, "I could make
you something." I was about nine years old and
I made this potion and bless her heart she
used it just to make me happy. And after a
while she started getting this black hair. She
showed the doctor and the doctor said it's
just because you're rubbing the lotion in.
"Maybe she's a genius!" she said.
I remember my mom was
getting a calendar from a French herbalist and
he had some recipes on it. I started writing
him letters and he responded. His name was
Maurice MessГѓВ©guГѓВ©. I went to college
here. I did three years in naturopathy. So
there were those two interests in my life. One
was the health thing, I thought I was going to
become a naturopath. And the other interest
was that in private I was still reading books
and going to see meditation teachers that came
to Adelaide and such things.
Jerry: You're very
grounded in nature.
love sitting in the backyard and just do
nothing, just stare at the grass and the trees
and the flowers. I find it really amazing.
Jerry: So you were
reading and going to meditation groups.
we speed up my life, I found that the books
that I had the most resonance with, that had
the most answers, one was a Nisargadatta book.
For a few years that became my bible. That's
all I read and re-read and read again. He was
saying what I know. Others were some of the
Ramana Maharshi books. Much later I got my
hands on dzogchen books and they also
resonated with me.
In a way it might sound
conceited but I actually feel that all the
experiences I had and all the books I read and
all the teachers I met, because in my job with
Leo we actually met a lot of teachers, Sufi
teachers, Tibetan teachers. We interviewed
them. We did some of their retreats together.
It's almost like all this teaching stream from
all the different teachers and all the
different experiences, they're now flowing
through me. It's almost like the lineage of
this teaching, it's in me. And some of them
are totally different. I've got this sense I'm
guided. And really it's nothing to do with me.
I really feel inside the energy of the
connections with these teachers, some more
than others, and some connections I don't even
Right now I'm exploring a
connection I've got with a Tibetan teacher, Chogyal
Namkhai Norbu. I met him three
years ago and I felt a real strong resonance.
For the last five, six, seven years everytime
I saw his picture it was like, "Come, come."
And it was funny because we went there and we
did a seven day retreat. We did an interview
so he invited us to go there. We never met
He started telling this
story about when he was in Tibet, he was
nineteen years old. On one of his inner
journeys he met this little girl that was
travelling in a bubble. The minute I heard
that it was, "Oh my God." And Leo was next to
me, his face dropped. That's what I did when I
was little. At night I would travel in some
inner world I can't even explain, I travelled
in what looked like a bubble, a glass bubble.
Norbu is an old man. I
never met him before. And he's telling all the
people about this little girl travelling in a
bubble. Leo looked at me and said, "What's
going on?" Because he knows all my stories
that I've told him. Then Norbu says the little
girl wore a velvet green dress with little
daisies on the bottom. That was my dress. My
auntie made it for me. It was my favorite
dress. Leo couldn't believe it. Then I thought
there's a connection with this old man, he's
got an amazing presence, so I'm exploring
that. I feel his energy through me. It's weird
but that's what it feels like.
Jerry: Would you
use the word channeling?
don't believe in all that stuff. It's more
like a resonance or an energy. The only thing
I can think of is that there may be something
in this body or this mind that resonates with
something in that body. Ultimately it's all
one thing. Why with some particular people you
feel this resonance, this energy, I really
don't know. That is my experience over and
Jerry: You have
loose boundaries to your personality.
Loose! That's the word.
Jerry: You're all
over the place.
everwhere. It's funny, when this experience
happened back in 2007 I was meditating with a
localВ group. Actually I'd been
meditating and doing a retreat with this lady
who came from a Zen background. We went there
for five or six years, attended regularly. She
was mainly teaching the breath meditation
using your stomach, which is Zen style. I
found that the more I tried that the more the
sense of self became prominent, which was
weird. I said to her that I respected her
teaching but that I feel this is wrong for me.
She asked me what I wanted to do. I said I had
to do the opposite, instead of trying so hard
I had to surrender into it. She warned me that
I would lose myself in the mind. But I started
surrendering, where you open up 360 degrees
and slowly your boundaries disappear, and I
told her that worked so well. She said to keep
going that way but don't tell anyone because I
don't want any of the others to do that
because they will get lost in the mind.
So I had the realization
or whatever happened there and I talked to
her. My only words were, "I'm all over the
place." Coming from a different tradition she
asked, "What do you mean 'all over the
place'?" It took me a few years before I could
even talk about it in a way that other people
Jerry: Going back
to the encounter with Chogyal Namkhai Norbu,
what do you think of it now?
don't know what to think. You can go into the
idea of past lives, or parallel lives, I'm not
sure how to explain it. I just know that there
was my experience. I just know that when I was
a child I would sit in a semi- lotus position.
Nobody taught me that. My parents didn't even
call it that. They'd say, "That's strange,
she's always sitting like an Arab," because
that's the closest they could associate it
with. That's what was most comfortable. Why
was I doing that? I have no idea. I didn't see
it done. Nobody told me about it. I was just
doing it. Does that mean it was from a past
life in India? I definitely feel a resonance
with India. I went to India and felt, yes, I
have a resonance with this place. But it's a
A guy that saw me and
described a dress I had, made specially for
me, the bubble, the whole thing, it's like I
don't know. It's a magical mystery.
People meditate, they do yoga, and when you do
it a lot there could be a reversal where
you're being meditated. And it sounds like
that happened to you. As a kid you were being
Definitely. It happens to you. It's not
something you're doing to get this particular
thing happening to you. It happens to you. You
don't know why. I still don't know why.
Jerry: It's as
though it descends upon you in some way.
not sure. You could call it grace. I haven't
got a name for it. People ask, "Does it take
time to get to here?" No it doesn't, but the
paradox is that you need time until you know
that you don't need it. It's about all these
paradoxes. If you try to explain a paradox in
some logical way it becomes a limited
sound like you're someone who would give a
step by step instruction in your teachings.
It's more like an unfolding process. I had
some things I tried that led me to a certain
point. Now Leo is a conscious man, he's been
meditating a lot longer than I have. I wasn't
a very disciplined meditator. He was
meditating every day, doing all the retreats.
So when this realization happened he was like,
"What!? Why you? Tell me what happened." He
wanted me to help him. So he became a kind of
guinea pig. How could I point to him, this.
Out of this some very loose practice -- I
wouldn't even call it a practice -- has come
about. It is he who has encouraged me. This
book I'm writing, it isn't written as a book.
It's my personal journals, questions and
answers from different blogs. When he saw them
he said it was good stuff and that I should
publish it. I've been putting it together.
It's a progression. From one moment to the
next I don't know what's going on.
Right now I don't teach. I
don't have people I teach. I've had people
asking me but I haven't done any teaching
because part of me thinks, what am I going to
teach them? What am I going to tell them? I
haven't got a set teaching. I have a
meditation teacher who's also a friend and
she's been encouraging me for the last few
years. She says it's good to teach. It's not
that I'm against it. I could do it but it
would be just as easy for me to sit in my
backyard and do nothing. But there is
something else and if I could find a way to
help some people, I'm willing. Right now I
don't have a proper idea how to do that. I'm
waiting for stuff to become clearer.
Jerry: Come on,
you're flying on bubbles. Why can't you just
Life has nothing to do with light shooting out
of your third eye. All that in a way is like
spiritual entertainment. Even though I had
those experiences I knew they had nothing to
do with what I was looking for. I knew that
everytime some big spiritual experience would
happen -- and I had them during my meditation
days -- it was like, no, no this is not it.
And I knew from books I was reading that what
I was looking for didn't have a beginning or
an end. So all the spiritual experiences sound
good but they don't lead to freedom.
All I'm saying is that if you can do all these
things on the psychical level, and go to
Australia, and everything, well teaching
only requires sitting in a chair in a room
at a designated time. Five or six
people come and you start talking. But you're
saying you don't have a handle on it.
it's not that. Even with Leo, unless he
actually asks me something there is nothing I
want to say or can say. It's like there's no
one home. The letter box is empty. I can only
speak of there is someone there who will ask
me something. Otherwise there's nothing to
thinking of Darryl Bailey who lives
in Winnipeg, Canada. It's not known as a
spiritual city. But he got talking to his
friend, a yoga teacher, and she realized he
has something to say worth hearing. So she
organized a speaking opportunity for him at
her yoga studio. He's become quite well known.
there is a need I will do it. There was an
email the other day from Germany from a man
who gets my newsletter and he invited me and
said he could put together a group of 30-50
people. This is a beginning step. I'm not sure
in what way it will unfold. I'm waiting. This
is how I run my life. I haven't got a plan
that I'm going to be a teacher, that I'm going
to do this or that. Right now I'm talking to
you and this is my first interview and this is
what is happening.
It all really has to do
with the other person. If Leo really wants to
know a lot of stuff comes out. If there was no
question, I would dry out, it's a dry well.
The other person brings it out. I'm actually a
private person but now this is going on.
My experience has been
that if I'm meant to be teaching, something
else will drop out of my life to give the
space to do it. Do you know what the need to
talk about this stuff is like? When I was
breastfeeding my son, one day I was sitting in
a coffee shop in town and I had Jonathan with
me and he started crying. I was sitting with
some people so I tried discretely to put him
on my breast. The crying of my son started the
milk to engorge the breast. I wasn't doing
anything. It was just happening. Before I
could put him on my breast, the milk shoots
out about three meters onto the table next to
me. I compare it to that. As a mother
everytime Jonathan cried, even if I was in the
other room, milk would start flowing. It was
the cry of the baby that made the milk flow.
It's a bit the same with teaching. There's
usually nothing and then there is someone
there and they ask me a question, and I feel
some energy, and I hear myself giving a
response. But most of the time I don't think
much about it at all. So if there's a need
there's going to be a response, but I'm
waiting to see how things unfold.
Jerry: How do you
deal with terminology? You use words like
awareness, consciousness. Do you keep those
make a difference between consciousness and
awareness. What I'm calling consciousness is
what people call universal consciousness or
the witness or the witnessing presence, that
sort of terminology. And awareness is the one
without a subject or object. The way I use
consciousness is that first you wake up as the
space that contains everything and you realize
that everything is also That. In consciousness
there is a universal space that contains
everything. At first I thought that was "it."
Then I started realizing that wasn't the end
of the journey. There's something beyond that.
It's what Nisargadatta said when the subject
and the object become one and you go beyond
it, then you are in the absolute space and
that's what I'm choosing to call awareness.
Jerry: To me those
are the two teachings, of consciousness and
awareness. People in the nonduality scene
overlook the consciousness place. But it's a
good place to come from.
It's a very good place. That's why a lot of
people want to rest there for a long time.
Because the step after that, someone said to
me is like suicide-ing yourself. From the
position of the mind it feels like you
sacrifice beingness to move into the next
stage of awareness, awareness that doesn't
know that it is. That could be quite scary for
some people to even contemplate, sacrificing
Some people may be coming from the place of
consciousness and not realize that it can
dissolve. Yet they can live a very conscious
life, make intelligent decisions, and be an
effective, kind of realized person. If they
get into the literature of nonduality they may
realize that where they are at could dissolve.
Some may take steps to bring about the
dissolving some may not do anything, do
you observe those two options playing out or
do you have any comments?
don't really have a comment. I think
everybody's doing what they're doing.
Ultimately there's just one play in all this.
I believe that to go into the awareness, to go
into the dissolving, is not something you can
do. I subscribe to what Nisargadatta said that
you can only make a little bit of an effort
toward becoming the I Am and after that it's
Jerry: When you
say "I Am," do you mean...
Universal consciousness, the space that
contains everything, awareness where you know
you "are." I call that consciousness. What I
call awareness is the core of consciousness
which is like a dark radiance with nothing in
it. There is nothing that can reflect the
light, so you don't even know that you are.
You need an object to know your own existence.
The sun shines but unless the sunlight hits an
object the sun wouldn't have any awareness of
itself. It's all one thing. If this moment of
presence or being awake right now, if it's
left as it is, then it's awareness. If this
moment moves, if it's altered in any way, then
it becomes consciousness. They're made of the
nonduality scene today doesn't give much
value to the "I Am" or consciousness, as you
call it. Yet you can get to the
place of consciousness. It's something you can
do by focusing on your presence or existence.
And like you said you can't do anything to
know you are awareness because there's no one
there to know it.
Consciousness is only there because there is a
body/mind that is reflecting. Once the
body/mind is gone and there is no object for
that consciousness to reflect against then all
that's left is the pure unmanifest, dark
radiance of pure awareness.
Jerry: And I hear
you saying, you mentioned Nisargadatta in
this regard, there's no technique.
don't remember his exact words but he said you
could approach the I Am by concentrating on
the sense of existence, it's the way to get
there, giving your devotion to your sense of
existence. This is the true guru, the inner
guru. Then it's up to the inner guru to take
you all the way. You can't go past the sense
of existence, or beingness, or universal
What I find is that people are going right for
the knowing of the absolute, or awareness,
instead of the knowing of consciousness or the
I Am. But right away there's some nondual
teacher saying that's not enlightenment,
you're just stuck there. I don't care for that
attitude. It's like everything is being "Tony
Parsons"d away. And it's true that the I Am
state is no different than the chicken a
relative brought to your house in Solarino.
I'm not saying it's special. Or rather it is
special. Better to come from the I Am
than a lot of other places.
It's the first step. Like Nisargadatta said,
that's the guru, that's to who you give
devotion and attention.
Jerry: Why don't
people in today's nonduality scene focus on
the I Am?
not sure. Do you mean the people who say
there's nothing to do, nowhere to go?
Jerry: I don't
know. How about you? What gang are you in?
sent a couple chapters of my book to someone,
I can't remember his name right now but he
said the teaching was progressive. Basically
my idea is that this realization is right in
front of your nose, everybody's got it,
everybody's had it forever. I couldn't see it.
I wasn't looking in the right way. I was so
distracted with what I thought it would look
like that I didn't notice that it was always
For the first was years I
felt you don't need to do anything else,
there's nowhere to go, nothing to seek,
nothing to know. I was talking to Leo, and he
said he understood all that mentally, that all
I was telling him was what they say in all the
books, but he said, "Can you show me in
another way that there's nothing to do? I get
that but that's not where I am."
At the level of absolute
truth everbody's already enlightened, free,
complete. But at the level of relative truth
we're still suffering because we haven't
realized that. And I realize those truths are
inseparable. They're two sides of the same
coin. The goal is to embrace both.
So what I've tried to do
with Leo is do what I call the practice of
presence. And it's a paradox to practice what
we already are. But for Leo the words such as
"nothing to do," "nowhere to go," weren't
enough. It helps if you resonate with this
practice of presence and Leo resonates with
it. The practice is meant to help you notice
what is already here, what we are looking out
from. It's not about giving you something you
don't have. It helped Leo and some of my
friends. It recognizes what's here. On a
relative level a person is suffering because
they haven't realized the absolute. So what do
you do? You have to start where you are. You
have to start where the person is.