This week’s topic is: How to Practically Apply Peace into Daily Life with Rupert Spira
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Rupert Spira, who is a published author and teacher of the Advaita Vedanta direct path method of spiritual self-enquiry. Listen in as Rupert shares meditation tips for beginners, how to practically apply peace into your daily life, coming back from shame and learning how to forgive yourself, and so much more!
- Meditation for beginners and how to integrate connecting to the true self…
- How to practically apply peace into daily life even when we mess up…
- Rupert shares a simple practice to simply BE…
- Coming back from shame and how to forgive ourselves…
- Conflicting approaches to embracing an uncomfortable feeling…
- The result of when you become more…
- Clinging to experiences versus letting go…
About Rupert Spira
Rupert Spira is a teacher of the Advaita Vedanta direct path method of spiritual self-enquiry. In his meetings Rupert explores the perennial non-dual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions. He holds meetings and retreats online as well as in Europe and across the US.
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Rupert Spira’s Interview
Other Podcasts you may enjoy!:
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- Moving Through Self-Doubt and How To Become A Peace Warrior
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Kimberly: 00:01 Hello, beautiful souls and welcome to our Monday interview podcast, where our very, very special guest today is Rupert Spira, who is an incredible teacher. He’s a spiritual teacher, he’s an author. And he teaches about the direct path method of spiritual self inquiry. And I do not say this lightly when I say that our conversation today is one of the most powerful conversations I have ever had. And if you are new to Rupert and his energy and his incredible wisdom, you are in for a real treat, he has several books. One that I really love is called Being Myself and his new book out, which is also incredible is called You Are the Happiness You Seek. And I can’t say enough about how I can’t use another word, but powerful Rupert is so loving, so practical in his teachings and so comforting, especially in a world where there is so much confusion and there’s so much anxiety. Rupert has a way of really distilling things down to peace and finding the happiness that we all want. And I am so excited to share this conversation with you
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Kimberly: 03:01 Before we get into the interview today, I’d love to shout out our fan of the week. And her name is Browngirldiaries, and she writes therapy for your soul. I love Kimberly, even though we’ve never met, I feel like we’re connected. She’s authentic and passionate and imparts so much wisdom. I listen to her every morning when I go for a walk, her podcasts have made me practice, self love, gratitude, and self acceptance. Thank you, Kimberly, for all the wonderful content. I love you. Browngirldiaries. I have my hands on my heart. I send you so much love. We are 1000% connected. There is no separation. That’s the truth and love transcends time and space. And we are all one. And so I’m so grateful for you and our sacred connection together.
Please leave a review on iTunes
Kimberly: 03:59 And thank you so much for being part of our community and my loves for your chance to also be shouted out as our fan of the week. And also just as a gesture of support, which I appreciate so much. You could leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcast means the world. It’s a wonderful way to support the podcast in a way that just takes a few minutes and it’s easy and it’s free. So thank you again from the bottom of my heart and in the spirit of oneness, I encourage you to share this podcast with whoever you think would benefit. It could be colleagues, friends, loved ones, and we are here to share with each other. We are here to be generous. And so the more that we can share resources and information, the better, the better it is. So I encourage you to send the show along and also to please subscribe to our show. And that way you don’t miss out on any of these incredible interviews. I can’t even imagine if anyone would accidentally miss our interview today with Rover, which quite honestly I’ve found life, changing myself. So subscription is always a really, really good idea.
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Kimberly: 04:57 And lastly, I will say that our new book baby is out. You Are More More Than You Think You Are – Practical Enlightenment For Everyday Life, which has come from my heart and has come from this real inspiration to share what has helped me to create more peace and love and creativity and abundance in my life. And I want nothing more than for this book to also help support you in your life. So now you can pick up a copy, wherever books are sold. And yes, all of that being said today, let’s get right into our interview with the incredible Rupert Spira.
Interview with Rupert Spira
Kimberly: 00:43 Well, Rupert, this is, um, such an honor for me. I am so grateful to have you on today in particular, I’m a big fan of your books and being myself was the one that really touched my heart, but I know your new book, you are, the happiness you seek is also a continuation and expansiveness of this conversation, um, that you’re putting out into the world. So, first of all, thank you so much for sharing so much with all of us.
Rupert: 01:12 Thank you. Lovely to, to join you today for the conversation. Thank you for asking me.
Kimberly: 01:18 So the central message that you teach is about this idea of, of non-duality of connecting to the truth of who we are, the, the true self. Yes. We can say. Yeah. And I think for many of us Rupert, we hear that and it, you know, to varying degrees, it rings true. And we know that, yes, I, I know this intellectually, I know this mentally, but then the challenge is the integration in daily life, especially when things get really triggering or they get challenging or they, we start to feel really chaotic. So, um, you know, these are big, huge questions, and I know so much of your work is really detailing how we go further along the path. But you know, you talk a lot about self inquiry and then there’s an aspect of your work where you talk about just, you know, being the meditation for beginners who are hearing this idea of non-duality and it seems like such a big idea. How do you recommend that? Those just beginning to hear about this start to really live it or integrate it?
Meditation for beginners and how to integrate connecting to the true self
Rupert: 02:21 Yes. Um, Kimberly non-duality can sound very, uh, complicated and, uh, people discuss it and argue about it and it seems complex and sometimes intellectual to people non it could not be simpler,
Kimberly: 02:41 Love that.
Rupert: 02:42 And really the, the entire, if we were to take the last 3000 years of, of non-dual philosophy, understanding, practice scripture and so on from all the traditions. Yes. And we would, we, we were to distill it all and, and ask, what is, what is it really about? What, what is the essence, what, what is being said in all this complexity? And it, it’s very simple. It, it boils down to this peace and happiness are the nature of our being. And we share our being with everyone and everything, that’s it? That that’s it, peace and happiness are the very nature of ourself and ourself. Our being is not limited to us as an individual. It is shared with everyone. And, and this is in fact what we refer to as, as love.
Rupert: 03:47 Yes. But when we love someone, we feel that at least to an extent that we are, that we are one with them, that everything that separates us from them dissolves. And we call that the experience of love that that’s why love always has this, um, melting quality to it, a coming together quality to it. It, it is the, the dissolution of the sense of separation. In other words, it is the, the felt sense of our, of our shared being that that’s, it, that’s really all the non-dual understanding says happiness is our nature, and we are one with everyone and everything, that’s it. If we’ve understood that we’ve understood the essence of all the great religious and spiritual traditions and all that remains is to live the implications of this understanding to the best of our abilities. I, in our lives
Kimberly: 04:46 Rupert, I come from the, the yogic tradition and my, my guru is Paramahansa Yogananda, where we talk a lot about the ego and the true self that’s the language that he uses, right? So it’s, the ego is always this fixation on the exterior. And in modern times, we see that even more, right. And practically speaking with social media and makeup and the body shape in a million different ways, versus this turning the energy inward to the formless self in the modern world. There’s, you know, we could say, I mean, maybe over all the time, but even more today, Rupert with the, you know, imagery and everything that is causing many people to fixate so much out here. What do you think is the antidote for, like, as you said, if we’re sharing our being, it means this formless part of us versus the denser physical part, what do you think in, in modern life is gonna help the suffering of the separation that we see in some ways increasing?
Tips for sharing the formless part of our being versus the denser physical part, in modern life
Rupert: 05:53 I think the antidote Kimberly is simply to recognize who we essentially are, what, what we mean by I, or myself. Of course, everybody has a sense of myself, everybody, or not, not just those of us that are interested in, in spiritual matters or, or non-duality, but all 8 billion of us have a, have a sense of being myself or I am myself. But whilst everybody has a sense of being myself, not everybody knows their self clearly. And it is this lack of clear self knowledge that is responsible for the, for the sorrow and the suffering on the inside and the conflict on the outside. And that is why all the great traditions I’m sure Paramahansa Yogananda would agree with this, all the great traditions sooner or later, end up with self knowledge, this exploration of the nature of ourself. Now, what, what does this mean? The exploration of the, the nature of ourself?
Rupert: 06:57 Well, ourself is, um, what we always are. Everybody feels I I’ve been myself all my life. I’ve been the same self all my life. We don’t think I’m a different person today. As I was yesterday. I may have different thoughts and feelings today, but I, I basically feel I’m the same person that I was that I am today, that I was yesterday last year. And when I was a five year old child. So it, our essential self is that aspect of us that remains consistently present throughout all experience. So thoughts, feeling, sensations, perceptions, these are always coming and going. They are not what we are. They are experiences that we have. Mm. So for instance, we, we say all our lives, we say, um, I am 10 years old. I am 30 years old. I am 60 years old. I am cold. I am tired, I’m hungry, I’m excited, I’m depressed.
Rupert: 07:59 And so on in all of these statements, we, we refer to this basic I am. And the I am is always the same when we say I am tired today. And we say, I am excited tomorrow. And the next day we say, I am in love. And the next day we say, I am depressed. The I am is always the same. The coldness, the tiredness, the feeling of excitement, the feeling of depression. These will change all the time. They’re not what we essentially are, but the I am remains consistently present throughout. So the, the, the, the pure I am is what we essentially are. Just our being, just being, or just the awareness of being before it is, um, colored or qualified by experience before it gets mixed up with the content of experience. It’s like the transparent screen behind the movie. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> the movie represents our thoughts, images, feelings, and so on. The transparent screen represents our being. And most people, most people’s sense of their self is so mixed up with their thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions that they don’t know their essential self. Clearly they don’t recognize this pure I am.
Kimberly: 09:22 Mm.
Rupert: 09:23 And all the, really, all the great traditions say that the, the nature of this, I am the nature of our being is peace and happiness.
Kimberly: 09:33 Yes. So the
Rupert: 09:35 Remedy
Kimberly: 09:36 <laugh>,
Rupert: 09:37 The remedy is simply to recognize the essential nature of ourself. And it’s not, it’s not, um, complicated, you know, the, the, the term enlightenment or awakening is attached to this recognition. And it sounds enlightenment. We think it’s an extraordinary or an exotic achievement. No, enlightenment just means the recognizing the nature of our being. There’s nothing extraordinary about it at all. It’s the least extraordinary experience there is. It’s just recognizing the nature of our being before it is, uh, colored or qualified by experience. So enlightenment is not something we become. It’s just, it’s just the recognition of the being that we always and already are, but we overlook it because of our exclusive fascination with the content of experience,
Kimberly: 10:41 You know, Rupert, I can, I can speak personally and say, yes, I can. I can recognize the weakness of yes. You know, we are one, this is who I really am. But then going back to practically applying this, what’s been really helpful in my personal practice is actually sitting in meditation and taking that time to withdraw the senses and then feel that piece, and then try to bring that more and more into daily life, because yes, the truth is Rupert. And I think for a lot of us, I know that what you’re saying is true. And then I feel in meditation and then, you know, my goal is unconditional love. And sometimes I embody that and sometimes I stumble and sometimes triggers happen at work or at home or whatever it is. And so we dip in and out of that separation, even though I recognize the truth. So what Do we do about that?
How to practically apply peace into daily life even when we dip in and out of that separation
Rupert: 11:33 Well, a as you say, in, in meditation, you, you, we close our eyes. We turn our attention away from thoughts away, from feelings away, from sense perceptions. And so on. We, we, we go back as it were to our being or, or to the fact of being aware, we, we, we go inwards to, and then, and then when we go back out into life, again, our thoughts, feeling sensations and perceptions, they obscure our being, or they take us away from our being, we lose ourself in the content of experience. So we could say that in, in everyday life experience, um, obscures our being, whereas in meditation, being out shines our experience. Yes. So it’s easy when your eyes are closed, you, you turn off your phone, you close it. I like it in there. You like it in there. Why? Because you, but it it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit like falling asleep whilst remaining awake.
Rupert: 12:34 The world leaves you, your troubles, leave you your thoughts and feelings, leave you the difficulties at work leave. You just remain in your being. And as you say, you like it there. Why? Because it’s peaceful there it’s, it’s fulfill. There’s no sense of lack there it’s, it’s quietly joyful there. So, but, but then in everyday life, our experience veils, our being, it doesn’t completely eclipse it, but it veils it in the same way that we might say a movie veils, the screen, the movie doesn’t really veil the screen. But if we are so fascinated by the, by the drama in the movie, we will seem not to see the screen. Well, it’s the same thing. We never really lose touch with our being, but if we are so lost in our experience, thoughts, feelings, activities, relationships, we seem to lose touch with our being. And therefore we lose touch with it’s innate peace and quiet joy.
Rupert: 13:33 So what what to do, yes. What do we do in daily? As you say, can close our eyes all day. Exactly. You can’t close your eyes out there, but it’s, it’s good. We, we, we spend a certain amount of time with, with, with eyes closed, um, going back to being, um, but then the, the challenge is to, um, emphasize your being, not just in the background of experience, but in the midst of experience. So let, let’s say you have the, the feeling, um, I am lonely. So you, you, you you’ve come out of meditation. You’re, you’re, you’re, you’re alone at home and, and you feel lonely. And normally the feeling of loneliness or anxiety say is so intense that our being gets obscured by it. So when we say I am lonely, we overlook the I am. And we emphasize the loneliness. Yes. All that’s necessary.
Rupert: 14:28 You don’t have to close your eyes again. You don’t have to turn away from the loneliness like you do in meditation, in the, for the same reason that you don’t need to turn off the movie to see the screen. The Mo the screen is shining in the movie, not just behind the movie. Likewise, our being shines in the midst of experience, not just behind experience. So let’s say you are feeling lonely, all all that’s. And, and so you say to yourself, I, I am lonely instead of emphasizing the loneliness. You just emphasize the, I am, you can be walking down the street. Um, I’m, I’m seeing the, I’m seeing the street. I’m hearing the traffic, just normally the sites and the, and the sounds obscure are being all that’s necessary is to emphasize the, I am to remain with the, I am in the midst of experience.
Kimberly: 15:26 Wow.
Rupert shares a simple practice to simply being
Rupert: 15:27 Do it now, for instance, just pause just 10 seconds. Close your eyes. Go back. Just make touch with the fact of simply being.
Rupert: 15:43 And now let’s open our eyes and continue our conversation, but don’t lose touch with being just don’t let our conversation, this, the sight of each other’s face the sound of each other’s voice. Don’t let it eclipse your being just remain in touch with being, but instead of turning away from our conversation, turn towards it again. Now, just now keep going. Nothing’s changed as your being disappeared. Of course not your being is exactly the same place as it was 10 seconds ago, while you were meditating, don’t let the sight of my face or the sound of my voice. Obscure your being. You can be meditating now in the midst of experience, you don’t it’s, it’s good to close the door, shut your eyes, turn your phone off. It’s it’s of course, it’s good to do that, but don’t think that meditation comes to an end. When you open your eyes, keep it going. Now, remain in touch with the, I am remain in touch with your being now,
Kimberly: 16:48 You know, just hearing you this moment, it actually makes me feel a little emotional because of something I’ve been going through this, I would call it this big ego death. Since my last book was published a few months ago, which is actually called you are more than you think you are. And it’s based on yoga. NA’s teaching lovely,
Rupert: 17:06 Modern life.
Kimberly: 17:06 Lovely. Yeah, but I found Rupert that I do, like my biggest goal is to wanna connect more to the, I am to the true self. And then sometimes I struggle to have goals and to wanna do things out in the world in this
Rupert: 17:24 It’s great, have goals, do things in the world. If you are a creative, um, passionate, energetic person, that’s fine. There’s absolutely nothing about that. That, um, would prevent you from being established in your true nature, in the midst of all your activities and relationships. If you’ve, if you’ve got that kind of energetic, creative character, you, you, you obviously have then, and, and, and you are, you are obviously already doing this, just be sure that all your activities, your creativity, your relationships are in service of this understanding. Yes. And then go out into the world, work 16 day hours a day, if you want to. But as, as long as you are, your, your work is, um, the means by which this understanding is shared in the world, which in your case, it, it, it undoubtedly is, but remember this little tiny little practice we just did.
Rupert: 18:21 Yeah. You’re actually use couple of times a day. You, you, you, you turn your phone off, you close the door, you shut your eyes. You, you know how to find your way back to being, you. You go there easily. You’ve been there so many times, you shut your eyes. You are straight there. So now when you’re doing that, just introduce one activity at a time, move, start moving your arms around with, with your eyes closed. You’re meditating, but you’re no longer motionless. Yeah, you’re moving. But, but the, so start doing something to begin with. Just start moving your head, moving your, but remain in touch with the I am. And then very slowly open your eyes, but remain in touch with the, I am. Nothing’s changed your being hasn’t gone anywhere. Then you start walking around your room. Don’t think I’ve stopped meditating. Now, no meditation is what you are. It’s not what you do. It’s what you are. It is your being, you are always your being. Or then you start walking around the room. You’re still meditating. You’re still in touch with being then turn your phone on again, check your emails, but remain with the, I am go to work. You’re still meditating. You remain with the, I am you, you feel very quickly that you’re meditating all day long. Mm
Kimberly: 19:40 Rupert. Let’s talk about your perspective of action, right? So you’re saying you’re turning on the phone, you’re doing things, right? So I’ve always thought of it in the context of co-creating right? So there’s, you know, there’s spirit coming through who we really are, but then we are in this human experience having some will, right? So like you were saying, and then I read the Dow, you know, it talks about, do nothing and nothing gets undone in some of this philosophy. How are we, how are we to act? Do we, are we so in touch with the IM and we feel this or organic intuition moving through us or how, you know, how we’re supposed to act in the world,
The two aspects to the non-dual understanding
Rupert: 20:24 Just understand. Well, there, there are the two aspects to the non-dual understanding. The first we discuss you are the happiness you seek. Happiness is your nature, the second aspect. And, and, and that is in relation to our interior life, our thoughts and feelings. Now, the second part of the understanding, we share our being with everyone and everything it’s to do with our activities and relationships and our external experience. So, and this is, this is your, your question is about that. It’s about action. Yes. Or just understand this one thing that you share your being with everyone and everything. In other words, we are all one. There are no real independently existing objects ourselves. Yes. There are the appearance of objects themselves, but the ultimate reality of everyone and everything is the same. Many people appearing on one screen. The reality of all the people in the movie is the single screen.
Rupert: 21:31 And the screen is indivisible. It appears as 10,000 people, but when you run your finger across it, it’s all one thing. So that’s all that you need to understand. Now, when you are now to go to your question about action, just make sure that your actions in the world, your work in the world, your relationships in the world are an expression of this understanding. That’s it is there. And, and in your case, there’s no doubt about it. The work you do, the purpose of it is to bring this understanding of oneness into the world, to share it with humanity. So as long, in other words, the work you do is not initiated by an individual self for the purpose of that individual self. No, you are using your faculties, your mind, your thoughts, your, your, your, your body, your skills. You’re using this in the service of love and understanding, which means in the service of oneness, mm.
Kimberly: 22:36 Now, Rupert Y who is yo guru says, and I’m paraphrasing here, but he says, forget the past, because until we’re anchored in God, in the true self, whatever term you wanna use, human behavior is unstable. So we’re listening to, and we think, yes, we wanna be in service to the love in oneness. But what if we get impatient with our partner? What if we, you know, fall off the path? Are we to feel shame? Okay. Or do we, how do we come back? What happens and forgive ourselves.
Coming back from shame and how to forgive ourselves
Rupert: 23:09 Okay. What happens? You get impatient with your partner. You get upset, you get irritated, you get angry. You say something unkind that, you know, you’re going to regret later. Okay. Pause, or you, or you find, you are arguing with your partner having, uh, some kind of conflict. Pause, go back to the basic understanding. We are one. Yes. We appear to be two people. Yes. But behind the appearance, behind what seems to separate us, our thoughts, our bodies, our feelings, our actions behind all of that. We are the same being. That’s what the experience of love is the felt sense of oneness. So you pause the, the conflict, the irritation, the argument connect with that feeling. Yes, my partner, uh, their behavior, that, that their activities are irritating me, but the be, but make contact with the being behind that. Don’t, don’t focus on the actions, the activities, the thoughts, the behavior feel that you and your partner are literally the same being, and then carry on the conversation. You know, that you were, you were arguing about something. There was something to be discussed, some issue cropped up in your relationship, and it needed addressing. That’s fine. But, but the, the conflict, the hostility, the, the little Clippy comments and everything they come, because we feel at that moment that our companion is someone other than ourself.
Kimberly: 24:44 Mm-hmm
Rupert: 24:44 <affirmative>. If, if you make, if you really feel that the being of your partner is the being of yourself, if you feel that, I know we all understand this, but if we feel it, if we pause and we really feel that about the other, and then allow that feeling to inform the conversation you carry on, discussing whatever it was that needed to be discussed. But it’s almost impossible for there to be hostility and conflict if we feel this.
Kimberly: 25:15 So it’s
Rupert: 25:15 Same. So at work or, or at work situation, or, um, so sorry I interrupted you.
Kimberly: 25:21 No. What you were saying is it seems like it’s so important to take these pauses
Rupert: 25:26 To yes. Reconnect. Yes, exactly. Just because, because we we’ve, we’ve got irritated. We’ve at that moment, we’ve forgotten that, that we are the other, that, that the other and ourself are, are one. And the same being we’ve forgotten that we’ve just temporarily overlooked that because of something they did or something they said, and that makes me feel separate. And I think that they’re separate and I’m irritated with them and, and sort of pause. And it, it doesn’t, you don’t need to pause for 20 minutes. You can pause for 10 seconds. It, it, when you get, um, practiced at this, you can pause for two seconds in, in time. You won’t even need to pause. You’ll, you’ll catch yourself mid flow, mid, mid sentence. And there’ll be this recognition. I’m speaking to my partner. I’ve forgotten that, that, that my partner is the same being that I am. And you just pause there. You can pause mid-sentence and say, oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that two seconds, pause, reset the place you’re coming from. And then you carry on with the conversation yet, just these tiny pauses That they’re like homeopathic pauses. They seem to be almost nothing, but they have a tremendous effect on our relationships.
Kimberly: 26:50 Mm-hmm <affirmative> and relationship with, with self as well. You know, we talk about the other person that it’s easier to object things.
Rupert: 26:58 Absolutely. So I, I, in these little pauses, you, you, you may have a, a meditation practice before you go to work. You sit for 20 minutes or half an hour and the same in the evening. But when you’re in the middle of a busy day, you don’t have time to, to, to turn your computer off and sit for 20 minutes. But we all have time in between emails to pause for 20 seconds. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it’s all that’s necessary. Particularly if you have this well established practice that you do, where you are, where you are used to going back to your being and, and resting there morning and evening, then in the day, it doesn’t take much. All you need to do is pause between emails, between calls, pause, close your eyes, go back to being for 20 seconds. And then you go out into the world again. Mm.
Kimberly: 27:44 Rupert, there’s so many things I wanna ask you, but you know, this, this experience, this really beautiful, expanded experience, which feels so poignant now, while we’re speaking, especially one of the biggest stumbling blocks, I think a lot of us can relate to is big emotions, right? Especially connected to say childhood triggers, where you can start to see, oh, this really bothers me. And this happened in the past, but you still may feel that victim mode, or you may feel that heart closing to certain situations. Now there’s certain, um, philosophers along the we’ll call ’em philosophers along the way Dr. David Hawkins, if you’re familiar with him, he talks about leaning into the feeling until it metabolizes, so to speak. What would you say? Let’s say just that anger rises up or that familiar feeling of whatever it is, sadness or not being seen or whatever it is. What, what, what do we do
When childhood triggers or big emotions arise, what can we do?
Rupert: 28:42 All our lives? We have tried to find, um, strategies, coping mechanisms for dealing with this well of painful emotions. And there are all sorts of, uh, from substances to activities to, to excessive thinking. There, there are all kinds of strategies we employ, uh, all of them really. Um, they all serve one purpose. And that is to prevent us from having to fully feel the discomfort of these feelings. Anything, anything would be better? Yes. So we, we all, we all have a, I mean, the, the repertoire from which we choose is not that broad, but we all have our own, uh, well, tried and tested means of, of avoiding the discomfort of these feelings. So what to do, do the one thing we’ve probably never done, which is not to do anything to them, turn towards them instead of turning away from them, turn towards first of all, turn towards them and then actually welcome them.
Rupert: 29:55 They’ve always been the enemy. We’ve always thought, what can I do about these feelings? How can I get rid of them, go to therapy, practice this PR PR always, what can we do? And the question, the, the, the, the, the real question behind, what can we do is how can we get rid of them? The one thing that we’ve probably never done is ceased, trying to get rid of them, turn towards them, and actually welcome them. Do the opposite of trying to get rid of them, say, turn towards this deep sorrow or loneliness, or the feeling of being unloved. Almost. You can almost personify the feeling. You can almost say to it all my life. I have been escaping from you. I’ve been trying to get rid of you through, um, through substances, through activities, through therapy, even through spiritual practice is a sort of refined form of trying to get rid of uncomfortable feelings.
Rupert: 30:57 And none of it works. The one thing we haven’t done is turned towards these feelings. And in order to do that, we really have to stand first as the presence of awareness. We have to know ourselves as the open, empty space of awareness and, and to allow the feeling to come into that space, because the, the, the space of awareness is like a physical space. It is completely without resistance. Mm. So if we take our stand as this open, empty space of awareness, then from that point of view, the feeling is welcome. It can stay forever if it wants to. So that, that’s what I would recommend turning first, turning towards the feeling, and then actually positively welcoming it, befriending it, giving, giving this it’s. You almost feel that you embrace the feeling rather than yeah. Reject it.
Kimberly: 31:54 And then where’s the Lineer. Before we were saying, I am lonely, where you shift to the, I am, where is, how do we know you say, embracing the loneliness versus shifting it back to being this? Do you know what I’m saying?
What are the conflicting approaches to embracing an uncomfortable feeling
Rupert: 32:07 Yes. The, the two different approaches really Kimberly, the first approach is more the Vedantic approach. The second approach, where, where we turn away from the content of experience, the second approach is more the tantric approach, where we are inclusive of all experience. And I, I, and these are very often, um, described as being too conflicting approaches. No, they’re complimentary the more deeply we, we turn away from our experience initially, and just rest in being, or being aware that the more that is strengthened in us, we, we begin to be established in our true nature of simply being and, or being aware. And then from that perspective, we are then able to turn around towards the feeling and, and welcome it into us without resistance, so that they are completely complimentary. I, I, I would recommend practicing both as you, as you do spend, spend time, first thing in the morning, cl close your eyes, turn your attention away from your thoughts away from your feelings away from the world. And, but then on other, at other times, you, you, you do the opposite. You still in meditation, you can keep your eyes closed, but instead of turning away from the feeling, you turn towards it and, and just say, I, I am this open, empty space of awareness. You are completely welcome inside me. You can stay for as long as you like, I offer you no resistance whatsoever, because it’s not really the feeling that is painful. It is our resistance to it that he’s painful.
Kimberly: 33:52 Robert is someone that’s been practicing this for years. Do you feel that because you’ve been non-resistant for so long, the big feelings are coming less or do
Rupert: 34:06 Yes. They come less. And when they do come, they last for less time. That that’s one thing that when I say they come less, what I mean is our, our reactive emotions come less. When we are in a, a situation that would previously have triggered us, hurt us, upset us. We, we are, we are less easily upset because we are more established in the fact of simply being. So we’re upset, um, less and less often. And if something does, um, agitate or upset us, it doesn’t last long. It doesn’t last for three days and turn into a big conflict with your partner. It lasts for three minutes, and then you find your way back home. So that’s one thing, but there’s another thing which you alluded to, and that is that these very old feelings that, that, that we have the, the, that were laid down usually very early on in our lives that, that, that some scars in, in, in your, in the yoga tradition, um, these are feelings that are not the result of reacting to a current situation that, that they’re already, they already lie in the depths of our heart.
Rupert: 35:34 Yes, they might be triggered by an outside event, but they’re not caused by the event. So, and there is the, in, in, I was gonna say in almost all of us, I think it would be true to say in all of us, that there is this residue of, of, of feelings, these residues of, of, um, some scars that, um, that are buried mostly in the body. And the more established one is in one in one’s true nature, the less, um, tendency we have to suppress these feelings. So they actually begin to come up and that’s very healthy because the, the, the, the, as these feelings, um, emerge from their hiding places in the body, they, they bubble up into the light of awareness. And then in time they are able to dissolve, but in order to dissolve, they have to first come up into the light of awareness. So there’s less that that’s another consequence of, um, being more established in one’s being is that, that we don’t suppress these feelings. They’re not so overwhelming. They’re allowed to come up and they’re just processed naturally in, in the space of awareness. And in time, gradually dissolve,
Kimberly: 36:53 Would you call this shadow work? Could we say, this is starting,
Rupert: 36:57 You could call it shadow work. Yes, yes, exactly. It would be the, the, the, um, the exposing and the gradual dissolving of the, of the feelings that live in, in the shadows. In other words, the feelings that are not normally available to us in the waking state, yes. You could call it shadow work.
Kimberly: 37:17 And do you also find Rupert along this path? I could say in my personal experience, when you’re more, you get to be more connected, established, as you say, I have less desire to do things. I mean, I’m still in the world, but I used to make a lot of time with recipes and foods. Now I eat very simply. I don’t, I’m not drawn to screens. My parents in law are here now, and they can’t believe I don’t wanna watch movies. And they probably think I’m a very boring person, but it just, I don’t know, life feels
The results of when you become more
Rupert: 37:52 That’s very true because a lot of our previous activities, the reason why we kept ourselves busy 24 7 was because as long as our attention is directed towards something, a person, an activity, a thought a then we don’t have to feel this emptiness inside. Yes. So much of our activities, not, not, not now, but much of the previous activities that you, you described, their, their purpose was really to, uh, um, prevent you having to feel the unbearable, um, emptiness or loneliness or dissatisfaction. So now that there’s less of that in you, there’s no need, you don’t want to be distracted from yourself anymore. Because when you go inside yourself, it’s not a turmoil of sorrow and anxiety. You find the piece of your being, you don’t need to distract yourself. You don’t want to distract yourself from your feelings all the time through substances, activities, relationships, and so on.
Rupert: 38:59 You are actually quite home, quite, quite, quite, quite happy. Just being quietly at home, not doing very much because your, your happiness, your peace, it’s no longer invested in the world. It doesn’t mean say that you don’t interact with the world. You still interact with the world. You have friendships. You, you, you have activities, but, but your happiness is no longer invested there. Your happiness, you found the source of your happiness. So you’re not constantly seeking happiness out in the world. On the country. Your activ, the purposes of your activities is to bring the happiness or the peace that is inside you out into the world. You don’t, you don’t use the world for, to find happiness on the country. You bring your, you use your happiness in service of the world, not the world in service of your happiness.
Kimberly: 39:51 It’s almost like we were this dissolving of trying. You’re not trying to be something in the
Rupert: 39:56 World. Exactly. You’re not trying to be something. And, and this allows your, your, your, your, your, um, unique character, because we, we all have unique. We all have thoughts, feelings, skills, activities, proclivities, and so on. So because the, the, um, the, the ego, and the sense of lack that is inherent in the ego is no longer driving your activities. All your, all your skills are available, but then no longer used in service of the fears and the neurosis and the anxieties of the ego. They’re now available to be used in service of, of love, of understanding, truth, beauty.
Kimberly: 40:39 Know Rupert. When, when you were talking about, at first, though, people may think, oh, okay, I’m gonna follow Rupert’s teachings. And I go inside. And at first it doesn’t feel very good in there. Like you said, there’s a lot of anxiety that comes up this emptiness, because they’re people are so used to filling life. So what do you say to people that are like, okay, I tried it and I didn’t feel good. Okay. To get underneath that.
We discuss how to implement Rupert’s teachings when it doesn’t feel good
Rupert: 41:01 Okay. So let’s say you, you, you go inside and as you say, the first thing you find are, uh, the first thing you find is a, a layer of thoughts. Ask yourself the question, but what is it that is aware of my thoughts? I am aware of my thoughts, whatever it is that is aware of our thoughts is not itself a thought. Okay. So we just take a step back from the thoughts. I am that which is aware of the thoughts. And then you hit this layer of feelings. Ask yourself the question, but what is it that is aware of these feelings? Whatever it is that is aware of our feelings is obviously not itself a feeling. What is that? You take a step back, you realize, oh, I am the one that is aware of my thoughts and feelings. I’m not the thoughts and feelings themselves.
Rupert: 41:53 The thoughts and feelings are always appearing and disappearing. I am the one that is further back. I’m watching them, I’m witnessing them. I’m aware of them. And that for, for many people, that, that this is really the first great recognition. I am nothing that I am aware of. I am that which is aware, oh, previously I felt that I was just this bundle of thoughts and feelings and bodily sensations. Now I’ve taken a step back from all of that. I am the one that is aware of all of these, all of these are continually changing, no thought or feeling, or sensation lasts for long. But, but I, the one who is aware of these am always present in the background of my experience. Always just looking, watching, knowing, aware of the content of my experience. J just this step brings a, a measure of peace because we, we step out of the turmoil of thoughts and feelings
Kimberly: 43:00 So much suffering. You said this changeless nature is because we wanna cling to things. Being a certain way. My, my younger son is, is not yet too. And sometimes I walk around with him and these mothers have older kids and they just think, oh, I wish my kids were young. Again. I missed that so much. I’m missing out on that. Right? So their hearts are suffering because they’ve attached or they’ve projected their happiness into that one experience. So what would you know? I, I think I know the answer, but I’d love to hear you eloquently say when their suffering comes from a memory or something, we can’t hold onto, or, you know, women age they’re face. Well, everybody ages, but women in particular, whoever today feels like, oh, I’m changing. Or this was like this and this. So it’s like this clinging to experience.
Clinging to experiences and letting go
Rupert: 43:49 Yes, yes. Yes. So, um, aging, um, any kind of aging, any sort of failure, any kind of letting go E E everything has to be let go of sooner or later. Our thoughts, our feelings, sensations, activities, relationships. And in fact, if you think about what happens when we go to sleep at night, what, what happens when we go to sleep at night, we let go of everything. Our thoughts, our most intimate feelings, our most treasured relationships, we let go of all of them, but we remain well, it it’s, it’s the same. It’s
Rupert: 44:33 We, we just, we just let go, let, let everything that comes, come while it is present. We, we are, we are aware of it. And then when it goes, we, we let it go. But we remain as the one we always remain as the presence of awareness, presence of awareness is like the space of a room, whatever ha whatever comes into the room, the space allows it. Whatever exists in the room, the space allows it and whatever, and leaves the room, the space doesn’t hold onto it. It doesn’t take, oh, where did that person go? I want it back again. And the more established we are in the fact of simply being, or being aware, the more able we are to simply let experience flow through us, without seeking what is not present, um, without R rejecting or holding onto what is present. We, in other words, our piece, we begin to derive our piece from our being, not from what’s happening in our life, our, our pieces, the piece of our true nature is prior to thoughts, feelings, activities, relationships, which is just the fact of being
Kimberly: 45:53 That’s tremendously comforting to know that it does gets easier in the sense we’re less attached to the more established we are here.
Rupert: 46:03 Yes, yes. There’s less because we, because our iden, because we derive our identity, our security, our peace from our being, there’s less need to manipulate our external circumstances for the purpose of deriving peace and happiness from them. It doesn’t mean say that we stop attending to, to, to, to, to our lives, to our children. And, but, but our peace and our joy is no longer invested in them. We begin to be, we begin to be stable in our true nature. And then that, that enables us to, to let go to let things go when they go to let them come when they come and to, to remain quietly in being as being,
Kimberly: 47:00 Thank you so much, Rupert, I am a reader by nature. And as I mentioned, I really do love your books as a writer myself. But I have to say that being in your presence is incredibly powerful. And I know that one of the things that you offer, and I spent a lot of time also looking at your site or these incredible videos. And so I would encourage everybody listening to this to also check them out. We will have a direct link in the show notes, because sometimes as you know, Rupert, it’s the energy. And sometimes
Rupert: 47:36 Yes,
Kimberly: 47:36 Yes. We receive things through the written word, but we can receive in presence.
Rupert: 47:44 Yes, yes, absolutely.
Kimberly: 47:46 So thank you so much for sharing your wisdom,
Rupert: 47:49 Kimberly. Tha thank you. It’s been a beautiful conversation. Thank you for your, for your love of truth and for everything you do. And please tell me again, the name of your book. I’m going to, I’m going to look it down, but
Kimberly: 47:59 It’s called, um, you are more than you think you are practical enlightenment for
Rupert: 48:04 Everyday. Very good. I’ll I’ll get a copy. I look forward to having a look at in,
Kimberly: 48:09 Well, thank you so much, Rupert, and thank you again for all your time and wisdom.
Rupert: 48:13 Thank you, Kimberly. Take good care. Bye-bye
Kimberly: 48:20 Rupert. Thank you so much. That was one of my favorite conversations I’ve ever had. And I’ll just say, you know, my mission now is really to spread truth and I look forward to really helping to promote your work. I posted you beautiful. One of your quotes a couple weeks ago, and I will continue to do so, just because I really, you know, I’m, I, I don’t usually cry during podcast Rupert. I don’t usually get these goosebumps. I’m sure you, you get a lot of people saying this to you, but your work is so important right
Rupert: 48:48 Now. Well, I’m, I’m touched that you say so. Kimberly thank you. And the work you’re doing is, is, is beautiful. I’m going to get your book.
Kimberly: 48:54 Oh, I, you like it very much. Thank you so much.
Rupert: 48:57 Okay. Great care. Take good care. Much. Love.
Kimberly: 49:00 Bye.
Kimberly: I hope that you enjoyed our interview today with Rupert. As much as I enjoyed the conversation so much, please check out our show firstname.lastname@example.org and pick up some of Rupert’s books. Being myself. You are the happiness you seek. Also please go to Rupert’s site, which is rupertspira.com, where you can see all these incredible videos where you can really continue to be in the presence of this powerful teacher, this life changing teacher who has so much wisdom to share with us. And so we will link to all of this in our show notes, as well as some other interviews, I think you would enjoy and recipes and articles and meditations and so on. We’ll be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast till then take care and sending you so much love.