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 the 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's available next week, to get a
fuller sense of what she is like.]
Jerry: You're in Adelaide, the
state of South Australia. You're
Enza: I 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,
Enza: It 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
Enza: Yeah, grandparents, great
grandparents, I've got four sisters, I'm the oldest.
Jerry: Tell me a funny romantic story about
growing up there.
Enza: I 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
Enza: As 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.
Jerry: Not everyone you talk to who's coming from
the place of realization has had such childhood experiences and you had them
Enza: And 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 and 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 kid.
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.
Enza: I 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
Jerry: Did you have family
Enza: 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 of food?
Enza: 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 of pasta?
Enza: In 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,
Jerry: And you were probably thinking of going up
on the roof.
Enza: I 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 you'd like.
Enza: I 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 stories?
Enza: 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 a story?
Enza: 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
Jerry: Now we're getting into awareness, but in
your story you're 17 and you've taken off to Australia.
Enza: My parents tried to stop me. I was
young but I didn't feel young.
Jerry: Was going to Australia like climbing on the
Enza: Yes 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
Enza: My 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 stop me."
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 time?
Enza: 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.
Jerry: As 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 books.
Enza: Yes, I realized that maybe there
was an answer.
Jerry: What kinds of books were you
Enza: All 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 Mességué. 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
Enza: I 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
Enza: If 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 understand.
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 before.
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
Enza: I 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 over again.
Jerry: You have loose boundaries to your
Enza: Loose! That's the word.
Jerry: You're all over the
Enza: I'm everwhere. It's funny, when
this experience happened back in 2007 I was meditating with a local 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?
Enza: I 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 mystery.
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
Jerry: 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
Enza: 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. Like grace?
Enza: I'm 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 explanation.
Jerry: Doesn't sound like you're someone who would
give a step by step instruction in your teachings.
Enza: 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 teach?
Enza: 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.
Jerry: 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.
Enza: No 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
Jerry: I'm 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.
Enza: If 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
Enza: I 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.
Enza: 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 beingness.
Jerry: 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?
Enza: I 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
Enza: 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 same substance.
Jerry: 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.
Enza: 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.
Enza: I 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 consciousness.
Jerry: 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
Enza: It's the first step. Like
Nisargadatta said, that's the guru, that's to who you give devotion and
Jerry: Why don't people in today's nonduality
scene focus on the I Am?
Enza: I'm 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
Enza: I 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 here.
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