Life Challenges: Ananta on Caring for a Parent with Dementia - In Conversation with Grace Bubeck (2018 & 2019)
Authenticity of Being - Interviewer Nurit Oren (2015)
Deepening - Interviewer Grace Bubeck (2015)
Authentic Living - Interviewer Prajna Ginty (2015)
The Love Affair of Everybody is Myself - Interviewer Wolfram Umlauf (2013)
Face the World Collective Drama - Interviewer Reenah Sun (2012)
Different Points of View, Him/Her - Interviewer Reenah Sun (2012)
Ananta in Thailand - Interviewer Richard Miller (2012)
Waking Up To Your Essence - Interviewer Iain McNay (2011)
CLICK HERE TO read the transcript for this Conscious.TV Interview with Iain McMay
Iain: Hello and welcome again to Conscious TV. My name is Iain McNay and my guest today is Ananta. Hi there.
I: And she has a fascinating story and she has had many deep realizations so we are gonna start at the beginning and work through. So I know from what you were telling me when you were about nine years old you were quite a rebel, weren’t you...?
You were very determined to find freedom.
A: Somehow I knew that it was 'my right' to be free... And what they were telling me, like I was supposed to do this, I was supposed to go to school, I was supposed to wear this to school; It was like, 'how anybody could have made all those rules?'
I could not understand how there could be somebody who could take my freedom away!
I: And so, what where you like? You were presumably trouble for your parents or for your teachers.
A: Errr well the household I was growing in was quite troublesome. So, yeah, I used to just like, love to go and just spend time alone, just sit with myself. So any way that I could just go and be alone I used to do it.I wasn’t really troublesome for my parents.
My brother was locked up when he was twelve, so she was already dealing with a lot of trouble.
I: So when you say he was locked up...?
A: He was, He was put into care.
I: OK. So there was already a lot of trouble going on...
A: So I just kind of stood back and went: 'Well... this is madness'. And I just wanted to be alone.
I: And when you were alone how did you feel?
I: Talk more about that?What did good feel like?
A: It was just good just to Be. I just kind of needed, like... space, because in the household there was a lot of shouting and screaming and fighting and nothing made any sense. And now as I understand it, when I look back there was a kind of a struggle inside me to know what was the point of all of this?
Where was the purpose to it all?
I: And, so I know from the notes that you gave me beforehand, that you had this thing inside you, that you wanted to be free. And then as you grew older you thought that having money, would bring you freedom.
A: Yeah. I guess when I was about 16 or 17 and I started to, uhm, I was kind of waiting to grow up to see how I could err... go far away and find my own way and I thought that if I’d had a lot of money, I could do whatever I want, I would be free. I had the material illusion, it was the first one, yeah...
I: And so I know again that shortly after that you were in Spain and you were sitting on the beach...
A: Yeah. I went to Spain when I was about 19 and I just went for a 2 week holiday, and I was sitting there... and I just saw that there was no end to how far I could go, like there were no limits...
I saw limitlessness looking out at the horizon...
It was like... 'where does it end?' And I just felt like... That’s it, 'I am not going back to England'! And er, I just let my ticket go, I didn't have any money, so I just slept in my suitcase and um, I just waited... and after a few days I was offered work cleaning in somebody’s house and then I was offered working in a club, dancing, and it just kind of went like, step by step, like I just didn’t have any doubt at all that.. it was 'my right' to live in a free way...
I didn’t need to be in this kind of, this way that I saw that everybody growing up, getting a job to get the money to get the house, get the husband, to get the kids and to grow old and die!
It's like, 'how it can be about all that? I don't want it...' So then, there must be something else... So I went, like, looking for that 'something else'... And er yeah, in Spain, that something else appeared in the form of a series of rich men who I would drive around with in their big flash Rolls Royce cars and kind of, errr yeah, I was living a life of, yeah, what I called freedom in that moment.
I: And when you had what you called freedom you presumably realized it wasn’t the complete picture of freedom ?
A:Well, I was telling you about that story I met a Saudi Arabian man, a Sheik,
A: And straight away he gave me an apartment and a car and lots of money and all these things, but what came with it was a lot of restrictions... So suddenly it was like I had piles of money and everything materially but slowly my, my life was being taken away.
I: So it was in a way like being in a prison… without being in a prison.
A: Yeah, it was a prison of luxury!
I had somebody drive me everywhere and watch me wherever I was going, and um, yeah I started to feel imprisoned...
I: And you also started to take cocaine with him?
A: Yes, yes. It was a wild time of sex and drugs, it was like a kind of a thing I got into with him... and instead of getting… my idea was that I would go with him and at some point I’d clean him out and run away!
You thought you'd take his money and then…(both laughing)
A: Yeah, that was my idea... And, it was the other way around.. He cleaned me out!
(laughter...) because he was like 25 years older and much wiser. And I was just young and somehow naive
Yeah, and he pulled all the strings and he knew how to handle me and... slowly he had me like a locked up er... like the princess in the…
I: and then you were in Prison...
A: Yeah, yeah. So very quickly I got hooked on cocaine, yeah.
I: And then you made the decision to get off cocaine.
A: After a few years that cocaine turned into heroin and I went through really a deep teaching, a struggle... with that... like I would, he would go away every month and I would clean out and come off it and then he’d come back and I’d be hooked again... So I went in and out and in and out for a couple of years before I really got the strength, like I really hit the bottom, I couldn’t go any lower. It was like OK, I’m gonna die with him or get out of here...
And then I saved up a little bit of money and, took off.
I: Where did you go?
A: I went to Thailand... but we didn't, It wasn’t over... it was like we were still very much connected but I got the strength to go, to try to heal my body, and um, I went to Thailand... yeah.
I: And what did you do there?
A: Um.... I got back my freedom. But in another way... it was like err... I connected with Nature, really strongly. It was like I was suddenly in touch with the magic of the ocean, and the sunsets and the parties and the trees and there were lots of people doing the same things like me, just living freely without a job just kind of like a bit of a drop out. Yeah, and I was just learning to be really free and true to myself.
I: And what did being free and being true to yourself mean then?
A: At that time it meant very different from what it means now. At that time it took the form of saying whatever I felt to anybody all the time. And if I did not want to sit at a table and someone would come to sit, I just tell them I did not want them to sit with me, or you know, I just started being like really true in every meeting I had, just telling the truth whatever it was, so I kind of, yeah, yeah....
After a while I found out that truth does not need to look like that (smile)...
I: So what did you find out what truth needs to look like?
A: It doesn’t look like anything but it’s not like now, there is more compassion in the meeting.
I: To follow the story, then when you went to Japan, didn’t you, and you spent some time in Japan.
A: Yeah. I went there to work. Yeah.
I: And you went back to Thailand for a time, so you would earn money in Japan, and back to Thailand to hang out?
A: Yeah. I’d make money in Japan and then I’d go to Thailand and be free, and be free for a few months just partying and then I started to go to India... because it wasn’t enough somehow. It was like there was a kind of a... a feeling underneath everything that something's not right. Something... it was like a kind of a depth, a feeling in the depth, like er... it doesn’t matter how many parties, doesn’t matter how much sunshine. There's something that’s just not clear and I need to know what it is...
I: And also in the notes you gave me you said you felt actually very depressed inside at that point…
A: Yeah, there was — on the surface I was not, I was not... but it was something like I hadn’t understood what had really happened in the whole thing with the Arabian guy I was with... like the process. And um, I hadn’t understood so many things and I wanted to understand what was really, what’s it all about? You know, it doesn’t satisfy me just to be running free again... Like there is something more mmm.
I: And I think what happened was that you found a book by Osho Rajneesh, Bagwhan Shree Rajneeesh as he was... And that pulled you to go to India... but by the time you got there he'd died?
A: Yes, Yes.
I: And then you... decided to go to Kathmandu? and you trecked on your own in the Himalayas for two months, is that right?
A: Two, three months, yes.
I: That’s very brave of you... So you justliterally had a backpack???
A: I did not want to speak with anybody. When people spoke to me I would just find a way to finish them. Just like (makes a cutting gesture, laughing). Yeah, I was really like a sword at that time. Really like I didn’t want anybody in my space.
I: And you had a tent on your back? Or how did you…?
A: No, I had 16 kgs on my back and I was walking up er... Yeah, I was mad (laughing). But I was determined. I had a very strong will and it was like I wanted… Silence was calling me... And I didn’t want any guide carrying my bag so I carried it myself!
I: You are not only strong emotionally, you are strong physically as well.
A: Well I was, then, but not so much now, life has played out... I think it was more my determination than my physical strength because I broke my ankles in that walk, where I found myself having to surrender and be vulnerable to allow somebody to help me... You know it was like kind of…
I: But you still carried on walking with broken ankles?
A: Yeah, I stopped for some days, a week or so to rest and then I got a horse and I was going on a horse with a guide, a guide was guiding the horse... I was on the back of a horse.
I: So when you talk about you longed for silence, did you find silence, that silence when you were trecking in the mountains?
A: Ahm, I was not aware of it then, but when I look now it’s like if I wasn’t engaging with anybody... then silence always is, right? So if I wasn’t engaging there were thoughts and, and things passing by.
I was just OK in that nothingness. But when I look now it was like, yeah, I was just at home in silence.
I: And for most people who are on a spiritual path to be at home in silence that would include probably bliss. Was that something?
A: No, there was no bliss. There was still something even within that silence there was something that was like an ache. Yeah. Something was aching...
I: So you had the silence that you longed for…?
A: I wouldn’t say that. No. It wasn’t like er… I wasn’t aware that I was really longing for silence. I was longing, I didn’t know what for... And I didn’t want to speak to anybody.
A: But I knew that what I wanted was somehow… I had booked a 10-day silent retreat…so somehow I knew that Being in silence I will find it. I don’t know how I knew that.
I: And did you?
A: In that 10-day retreat that was the first glimpse um... Like I felt.. Yes! Now I know what I am looking for... Now I know where it is. Now it’s like I got a few answers. My mind got a few answers and there was like deep peace. When the mind slowed down and there was like, after 10 days of silence and meditation, there was a slowing down of the mind, there was an opening and there was a lot of understanding coming about the nature of Existence.
I: Yes. I am just reading my notes I made from your notes, you had said that was the first opening of awakening beyond the mind without drugs,
A: In that retreat?
A: That was. But I wasn’t aware of, ahm… It was, it’s like it really was something that opened me and touched me. It was really something strong, but when I look from where I look now I still was full of illusion around that... because it was with Tibetan Lamas and they were teaching the whole Buddhist thing and I was getting the idea that there was something called enlightenment. They were teaching all the Bodhisattvas and all this stuff. Yeah, I was like, I had an illusion about finding a certain state, going on a journey to find a certain state and I was getting a taste of that state.
I: So you felt that you were moving in the right direction?
A: Absolutely. I knew that was really like I knew that my life was in that direction, I wasn’t interested so much in the party scene. You know, it was like... Now I know I am on the right track.
I: And then I think you went to Poona. Is that right?
I: Yeah. How did you find that?
A: It was the most incredible time... Yeah, because in Poona it was very different than the Tibetan teachings, it was more like, in the Osho meditations there is all this being able to fully express and shout and scream and go mad and go beyond the limits of the mind. So it was a different approach. And in that process… I mean I was also there for a few months with the silent badge. I didn't want to speak to anybody, I was just going on my process there and I went from group to group, awareness intensive groups and primal deconditioning and all this stuff, and it was like I was freeing whatever the body was carrying, the weight of the family story somehow, It’s like I was just breaking out of all that...
I: So you felt your emotional story in your body… you felt…
A: I was loving to scream that’s for sure (laughing). Yeah, it was great. Yeah.
I: And then, um, you went back to Japan. Oh, no, I am just looking again at the notes… You agreed to marry, the Saudi billionaire.
A: Yes. There was a point in that e, in the story in between, where he called me to Egypt. I was working in Japan and he called me to Egypt, and he was looking like he was getting near to… he was on his way out. And he said that he had one wish. And he was asking me to marry him. And there was a real like deep love after all these years, it was like ten years. And it was as if like he was seeing in me a freedom that he couldn’t have, and so that was the connection that he was pulling me because he was tasting the freedom through me and um, yeah, it was like er, really a decision that took a while for me to digest. And then I felt that I could spend half the year with him...
I: And then?
A: Yeah. And he died the night I took Sanyas and got the New name, and by the morning I had the fax that he was gone... And so that was like a whole part of my life just gone! And that was really...
The mind completely stopped. And er, it didn’t get going again for about a month. The mind was just like a big shock, there was just this open space... but there was deep pain, there was er... things processing, but there was just a stopping.
I: It’s interesting how this, the death, the death thing in India because you went to see Osho/Bagwhan andhe died on your way there and then you take Sanyas and then, your, I suppose your Fiancé if you like, you get the news, that he has died.
A: Yeah. I felt like I had married Osho that night. It was a funny feeling. (laughing). Yeah. Yeah.
I: And then you were in Tokyo, we won't go into details of how it happened, but you were arrested for possession of LSD?
I: And you had a trial of five months?
I: So how was that? Did they translate for you in this trial? Did you know what was going on?
A: Yes. When I was arrested there was 21 days of interrogation and all of it was being translated..
A: And everything was being translated. Yes.
I: And did you feel you might go to prison?
A: I was sure I was going...
I: How was that?
A: It was like on the surface I was…er… my friends were trying to help bring in a lawyer and trying to get me to find a way out. But I knew deep down beyond all what I would like... I knew, that 'No this is for me. This is like, this is my time'.
I: So there was that acceptance about it even before…
A: Not straight away, No. I would say er actually there was 2 things happening. And now when I look at it I will describe it like the identity was totally freaking out, Like everything was being taken away... So at the identity level, at the me level there was a screaming, an absolute NO. But at another level, there was another deeper level that was just knowing that this is absolutely as it should be. This is absolutely right. So this was at the same time mmm. And I was writing while I was on trial, I was writing and during these writings I was writing from the witnessing of it. And er, yeah, I was witnessing all the screaming and the struggle inside, I wasn’t being it... right from the beginning it was like that.
I: So you could watch your mind without engaging, reinforcing the mind, Is that right?
A: I guess, I was in and out... Yeah.
I: And then you got the news you were going to be in prison for three and a half years...
A: Yes. Yeah, it was a shock and it wasn’t as well. But it was shock when I arrived there. A big shock!
I: In what respect?
A: When I arrived there I really thought, they are joking. I really thought, that this must be, like... for the first two weeks. This is gonna be like this for about two weeks... and then, it will be something different. It must be that they are joking, that must be.
I: You mean the conditions that you were living in?
A: Yes. It was complete mad, mad mad.
I: In what way?
A: That everybody was like a robot, no eye contact. Everything is in silence, everybody is in silence and not allowed to meet the eyes, so everybody is just like that (stiffening her body) and being shouted at constantly and standing to attention and turning their head and everything was just like… so strict.
I: So you were not allowed to speak in prison?
A: Absolutely not. And I got handed about 500 rules. They were all in Japanese. And I, I asked for translation and they said: 'You are not special. You better get that straight now. You are not special. Everything is in Japanese. So you better learn fast.' And the first rule was: Never break a rule. So I had to find out what the rules were by breaking them... That’s how I found out. By being screamed at, constantly!
I: But how did you learn Japanese?
A: Well I didn’t. I learned broken Japanese. Because, anytime I needed to communicate, it needed to be in Japanese.
I: Right, and so, how are you then, you are in these terrible conditions, you can’t speak, you have 500 rules, I know from the notes you gave me they gave you a job which was very painful working in a machine shop... How was all that?
A: It was hell. It was really hell, to start with, and there was also a situation where within that silence, there was a lot of mental torture happening... through the prisoners, like they really wanted to make sure that I was suffering as much as them. So within the silence there were things going on, that nobody could see. So that was really the strongest hell for me. And I would go home… well, go home… go back to my cell every evening and break down and cry my soul out. Yeah..
I: And you asked to be in solitary confinement?
A: Well, you would either be locked in with seven Japanese, or alone. So I, I demonstrated that it was not possible for me...
Yeah, I needed to be alone.
I: But then something changed at some point...
A: Yes, it did. I would say after, about towards a year there was a point where erm, everything had been taken. Nothing more could be taken... and I started to become aware of something that was untouchable. Something that… there was a moment, I mean there were many moments, but there was one particular moment that comes to me now, where um…
One day I just leaned back against the wall, cause you were not allowed to lean against the wall.. and the guard came and screamed at me! Dame Dame Dame!…And I looked.. and er, I started laughing, instead of feeling like I usually felt like: Ahhhhhg (heavily frustrated)… You know feeling like punished and victimized, I started laughing! And I started to become aware of something that could still laugh... And that nothing could take that away...
So although everything had been taken, this could never be taken. It couldn’t be touched! And I just started to laugh, kind of like hahaha. And everything started to seem funny! Yeah...
And then there was a moment coming when I laid back and... just there was a surrender into the pain. And that night changed everything mmm...
I: Tell me more about how it changed everything.
A: Well, until that point the mind was frantic constantly, trying to imagine what would be the date when I might get released. Because they don’t tell you that. And my mind was busy with that constantly. Constantly. My mind was so busy. And, err, that evening, I always used to read a few pages of Osho before I laid down, and this evening I was just like, 'I can’t read this any more'. I was exhausted and I laid back in the bed, and then there was a… like I described it before… it’s like I always do this (hand making a dropping motion) because this was the feeling... It’s like a falling, a relaxing into my experience, and as soon as I started to relax I could feel the body. The pain of the body was so strong, as soon as I started to relax I could feel it more and more and more. There was just like a letting go into it. And I kept letting go, letting go kept happening, and then there was a moment where… everything opened up. And there was no more... the feeling of a body, I couldn’t feel the body anymore.. and there was just like a wide open space... That in that moment was appearing like Light. And, there was maybe a thought, there was an Awareness of, 'What’s this?' And I just kept letting go and letting go and letting go... dropping, dropping dropping into... and it kept opening and opening. And there... was freedom.
There was nobody in jail. There was no jail.
I: And is that something you could hold, or, it held you, it was maintained?
A: Well, I didn’t think about it, actually... It wasn’t something I wanted to hold or maintain, because my whole experience every day was changing. And um, it was at that time… the interpretation of my mind, was that I had found a doorway. A place where I could go and be Free... So um... yeah, And there it was like a kind of bliss.
I: And that door was always open?
A: Yeah. Well, whenever I laid down and relaxed into it, it was there, and during the day the mind had all dropped and I didn’t care anymore when I would get out... And I started to see the joke of everything, it all looked so funny when the guards were screaming. In a way I felt compassionate because they were in this role and believing... You know, I didn’t believe in the prison anymore, and I started to... everything within me was changing in me like a bursting in my chest, it was like a real physical feeling in my chest. It was like bursting open and I was feeling a love beyond the feeling of love... for everything in existence and for everything that ever happened... and for everybody... And this was like, it was like my whole body was starting to, err… I was feeling my body as vibration, instead of this physical pain. The physical pain came and went also within that. Yeah.
I: And this happened, like a year into the sentence. And I think you were…
A: Maybe a bit more, I think er, maybe by this time it was a good year and a half, yeah...
I: And then I think they let you out a bit early didn't they...
A: Yeah, they did, and that was really a shock!
Yeah, I didn’t want to go!
The day they told me, They just do this: (pretending taking garment off). Take off your thing and take off that and take you out to the factory and, whenever that happens you see they never come back... So then they told me take this and take this and I was like (opening her eyes wide in shock), 'No, No.' It was really a shock!
I: So why didn’t you want to go?
A: It wasn’t that I didn't want to go, actually... It was just mmmm shock. Like I don’t know if I am…
I: If you’re ready somehow…
A: Like, 'What? ME?' You know, I was having a good time those last 9 months actually. There was a Swiss woman who came in to my factory, It was the first Westerner, and she was put on a machine by me and you were allowed to speak 5 minutes a day... So um, what will you say in that 5 minutes? So you would wait 23 hours and 55 minutes to say what?
I: (laughing) It’s an interesting process.
A: Yeah. So, I’d be like, 'OK, I'll say that, No! (she waves arms brushing things away) That’s not needed, that’s not needed. That doesn’t matter. That doesn't matter…' Whatever I could see that could be worth it to say didn’t matter! And so when it came to the 5 minutes it was just direct meeting and purerealisation. And we had an agreement that one day I would speak, she would listen. Next day I will listen, she will speak... and this was really like, Bang! A True Meeting! I was fulfilled, you know?
I: So when you were released you were sent back to London.
I: How was that?
A: Ah, Disappointing. Yeah... That was the beginning of um… (sighing) that was the beginning of a process. Yeah, because I wasn't used to seeing the personality any more...
I: So your personality had dropped away to a large extent in the prison?
A: Yes. Because if you don’t relate, at all, and you don’t have any role, then what is left?
I: Well, I think that most people in prison the personality gets reinforced, because it’s a fight, against the situation, but you weren’t fighting it...
A: Yeah. I mean I was lucky in the sense that there was no relating, there was no role to play. You know if there is no Male, there's no Female, that already drops away. Yeah, I noticed that as soon as I was released there were the bodies of Males and I became aware that Ah, there is a Female here... but I had totally forgotten that... And then slowly as I was being asked to engage in England with my family and with people I was watching roles re-appear. And I was watching a personality play coming in... That was just like, not true!
I: So when you say, 'Not true'…
I: Talk more about that.
A: Well, I knew that I wasn’t that... I knew that I’m not that, and um, I couldn't... er, there was no way to really meet anybody from the place from where I was looking, or from where I was really experiencing myself. There was nobody who could receive me or even look in my eyes... So it was either play the game where they are in these stories... or don’t relate, and I chose not to relate, in the first 4 or 5 months I stayed alone. It was unbearable to start playing a lie pretending to be a separate person, a personality pretending to be somebody.
I: Did you feel free where you were? In terms of…
A: Well I did, before I came out of jail (laughing).
I: And the freedom was challenged because of the environment you were living in.
A: Yeah, because I was getting triggered, my body was getting triggered. All these feelings were coming up. And, yeah, I started to feel confused... like, 'How was I gonna live in the world? How would I ever be able to... relate with anybody?' I mean I was in a depth... and everything really seemed to be really superficial. That was my, projection.
I: Somehow it seems like stories of sages of old who'd lived in caves and they’d be perfectly free and then they'd go to the real world and be completely lost, yeah...
A: Exactly, yes. Exactly that. Yeah.
I: So I know, you then went back to Poona?
A: Yeah. I got into a relationship, with a guy and um that triggered everything... and then I was emotionally being torn apart through the heart, and at the same time I was also knowing that all this is not err…(pauses)... I was confused. And then, yeah, I was listening to Gangaji and She was speaking… because I didn’t know what had happened in my system. I didn’t have some idea: 'Oh, this is Awakening… and all these people are not.' I didn’t have any idea like that. I just, knew that, some shift had happened, I didn’t know what it was.
When I heard Gangaji talking, she was talking what I was experiencing inside... So then it was like, 'Aha!' because she was speaking in a way that was very direct and that was touching me... and then I heard on one of her tapes somebody talking about a woman called Dolano, and I happened to be in Poona, I didn’t go there looking for Dolano... and the first person I met handed me Dolano’s email. And, OK, and then I wrote her.... I didn’t go like desperately looking for Dolano. It just was a happening. But um, it was great, yeah. She accepted me on her… it was her second Intensive I think… and um, yeah as soon as she started the first investigation of 'Who am I?' It was clear! Actually before that I had just been going to a couple of satsangs of Tyohar who was an old friend of mine... but still it was like I was hearing it in a way similar to Osho. And there was this idea that there would be a master and disciples somehow... and then when I went to Dolano and she was speaking about… she was investigating 'Who Am I', 'What Am I?' She was doing a direct inquiry.
I: This is where you asked the question, the one to one 'Who Am I', is that the way it is?
A: No, She was er, you are not allowed to ask any questions with her for the first nine investigations... She brings one person in front and makes a direct inquiry with that person. And during the first moments it was just like: 'Bang! Clear! Oh my God, it’s THIS!'
She is talking about THIS, that I’ve been experiencing all along... 'It’s THIS, how it could be... the very thing that was always looking, was looking for THIS. It’s THIS! Oh my God, how it could always have been ME? It’s ME!'
I: So that was a recognition, in you...
A: Absolutely, yes. It was a recognition of... what had actually shifted in jail.
I: No I understand. Yeah.
A: Yeah. It had happened in jail, I mean, had happened, there was a shift... But I didn’t know what it was... So with her... I came to know that this was what was called Awakening, or Recognition of 'Who Am I'.
I: And I guess with the Recognition there is a strengthening of that, is that so?
A: Yes, that was an Absolute, I mean, everything went, Bang... the mind stopped, when I got that recognition with her... And I went off and I sat in Osho Park and I just sat there for hours and everything was just coming through and being seen, falling into place and this was, yeah... in that moment the side effect was bliss.
And in the very same moment I was living with a guy, the same relationship, and I went home that night and he was really pissed off that I had recognized and he started triggering me. (smiling...) And so everything in my system, like all the personality stuff and all of that, was being triggered, at the same moment of this recognition coming in... So this was quite interesting for me.
I: So there was the non-duality and the duality interplaying with each other...
A: Absolutely, Absolutely! And that didn’t stop... The drama with him went on for months after that and er, because he turned around and said, 'If my true nature is love and I am love, then I don’t need you!' And he kind of gave me this big rejection which triggered the wound of the child that the body carries... And all that stuff was being activated at the same time that I was sitting in Absolute untouchable, pure love, not needing anything. At the same time all this was being triggered...
So that drama went on for months and months and it made me go with inquiry into everything that was being touched in my system.
I: And how did you do that?
A: Well, I used to... talk into a tape whatever this stuff, the story of my mind, the me-story that was going around, I used to let it talk into a tape. And then I would listen to it. And then I could hear, (pointing finger) 'That’s not true' and 'that’s not true' and 'that’s not true' and 'that's not true!' So I was listening to the mind and then I would speak again, what I was seeing, what I was seeing. And I would do this a few times and I came to the point of seeing that the only reason that my whole story about him was so alive was because it was all a me-story. Without there being a me-story there is no other!... so it was all a me-story.
I: Hm, interesting, yeah.
A: So then the whole projection of other fell away. And, all the blame game fell away... And um, it was a matter of like being true to that in each moment of the play... Yeah..
I: So we have about 7 to 8 minutes left. So let’s bring it up to date not in terms of the things you have done, but where you are in yourself. How is it for you now? Do you still have this duality coming in sometimes in terms of the drama, or is that dropped away now?
A: Well, it’s all inclusive, it’s all inclusive. I mean, my experience is it’s a human experience. And in the human experience is the play of duality appearing in what I AM, which is that which looks through... every pair of eyes... but that is playing out as duality just as you sit there, I sit here. We are playing as if you're interviewing me. There is a play of duality, yeah?
I: And do things… do you, when things happen that, in the drama, affect you emotionally, are you able to still access like you had in prison, pretty much get access to that door in the stillness at will?
A: Yeah, it’s not that I need to access the stillness. It’s now like it’s all together as one. It’s not like the stillness and the duality. It’s like it’s all at the same time. So I am always knowing the reality even if within relationship. Relationship (lowers her hands), you know the ship goes down.
I: Well, not always (laughing)
A: Relating… you know, for me it’s like: The relating, the ship… what I mean by that, it’s all the expectations and all of that. But, yeah, it’s all at the same time. Whenever the drama is triggered or playing it's just this, it’s not different, It’s not that space and the drama.
I: And do you still sometimes do an exercise like you did with the taping?
I: Or you just let everything happen?
A: I meet everything. It’s like if I do anything at all, there is a meeting of everything. A direct meeting like whatever can be touched in the body that it’s just being there right in it.
I: So meeting means on a practical level putting your awareness and tension there, is that correct?
A: Yes, allowing it to be directly experienced totally. There is no moving away from more trying to change this direct meeting. It’s just like a wave arising in awareness rather than somebody who is like... I am angry... would be... is a sensation arising and falling like a wave, like a wave rising and falling. In my experience it’s not like, 'I am that.' It’s not like I guess after many years of meeting everything is an automatic thing that happens by itself now. It’s not like I need to put attention or try to do anything. It’s happening.
I: And you feel there is a movement still to happen with you to become more free? Do you ever think about that or…
A: My feeling is that awakening is endless, that there is no place for you to arrive where there is not more. That the body itself is carrying centuries of unconsciousness from the genetic imprints and human condition and all of this is like it’s always processing. I feel like there is no place to arrive to call the end. It’s going on.
I: You have really, looking back at your life, you have had a life of contrast and some extreme drama. Do you find things are quieter now in terms of dramas or…?
A: Well, I still have… it’s still I think the way that this vehicle is imprinted there are tendencies towards extreme experiences and, yeah, it does still play out. Yeah. Each one of us is so unique and even after we wake up beyond the duality there is still the same tendencies, in my experience.
I: Do you want to talk very briefly about the work you do? I know you do some sessions and satsangs?
A: Yeah, the work is changing all the time also, and my way seems to be that first thing I work with a person to bring them into a direct experience of that which is always free, who they really are. I work with an inquiry to bring them into total stopping of the mind and a clear direct recognition. And then from that point let them invite everything to come and be met. So in the groups I hold, the first place I go through with everybody to get this recognition directly clear in the experience of the moment. And then, OK, let’s see what plays, there is always gonna be triggers when you got human beings together. Let it just all come up and process it, or then look deeper and, yeah, it’s kind of integration work.
I: OK, Ananta, we need to finish. I really appreciate you coming along here and talking to us, I gather you're flying back to Thailand tomorrow…
A: Tomorrow I am flying to Copenhagen.
I: To Copenhagen tomorrow, OK. So it’s not so far.
A: Thank you, it’s been a real pleasure to meet with you.
I: Thank you. And thank you for watching Conscious TV and I hope we see you again soon. Good bye.
Ananta on Buddha at the Gas Pump - Interviewer Rick Archer (2010)
Pure Presence - Interview by Alan Steinfeld (2010)
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