Interview #1 – Anjali Hill
Watch this if you…
- feel like there’s something greater going on
- are interested in the non-physical, inner universe
- really want love, truth, connection, and reality
- don’t know who you are and want to find out
- know who you are but aren’t living it fully in the world
- are interested in de-identifying with your ego
- would like a manual for the mechanics of life in relationship, communication, and contact
- want more harmony and truth with who you are, what you desire, and how to go about achieving it in a way that’s non-injurious to yourself and others
- are committed to living your own source of truth in life and fulfilling your purpose
- could benefit from a sense of inner peace no matter the conditions
- want to build skills in communication – to express yourself, to be understood, and to receive others
- are interested in the two forms of happiness in life
- want to know how to know whether you are on the right path in life
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Amir: Hi Anjali, thanks for joining me on this inaugural pilot interview.
Anjali: Beautiful. Yes, it’s very good.
Amir: It’s a pleasure to have you as my first interviewee. And, I’ve been looking forward to this. I’ve participated in a series of your works over the years, and I really have loved what I’ve experienced with you. And so I thought I would conduct this interview for the purposes of introducing other people to you and your work. Hopefully, we can get it out somehow.
Anjali: Beautiful, that would be just great.
Amir: So tell me about yourself, how you got to this point, and how you got into the work that you’ve been doing. And then we’ll introduce the work as we go along.
Anjali: Okay. Well, it feels like something was always there, even in childhood. And I think it’s probably true for maybe everyone, I don’t know. But as a child, every once in a while I would be aware of something or have some kind of experience that didn’t fit the norm. And there was this sense that something much greater is going on than I could possibly imagine. So there was already something in me trying to figure things out, like “What is this, what’s going on?” And I come from a highly dysfunctional background as far as my home – alcoholism, violence, abuse. And so as an only child, I was like, “What’s going on and is there any way to resolve this?” Basically, I think I was looking to end suffering for myself and others. I could see so much suffering.
And I got married, I had a baby, I was doing life in my early twenties, and a girlfriend and I decided to go out one night a week just to go out of the house. She asked me what I wanted to do and I said, well, I’ve heard of this thing called yoga. I don’t know anything about it. It was back in 1973 – something like that. Yeah, it was, nobody knew about it.
Amir: That was the early days of yoga in the West,
Anjali: My neighbors called it “yogurt.” “Are you still doing the yogurt?” Because nobody knew, right. It was just coming up.
Amir: Oh man!
Anjali: So I read about it and something clicked and I went and I fell in love with yoga in the first class. And there were all these postures, which were kind of weird. My body was moving like a pretzel, and it wasn’t very agile. But at the end he had this lie down on the mat and do a relaxation and meditation. And he guided us through a meditation. And I’d never done anything like that.
And it was guided. It was inward. And I had this experience that I wasn’t sure what had happened, but it was instantaneous. And it felt in that moment the inner world when I looked inward. I mean I knew there were feelings and thoughts and sensations, but that was about it. I was very, “What’s going on out here and how can I figure it out?” And in this moment he took us deeper inside and all of a sudden there was this, I can’t even explain it, that there’s an inner universe that is just as vast and unlimited as the outer universe. And it was like, who and what I am disappeared. And there was just as far inward and through and as far outward and through and it felt like there was no end. And that who and what I am was more like a doorway, an empty doorway.
And it struck me. I was like, “Wow.” And I got really interested in Yoga, but it wasn’t so much the physical and the postures. It was, “What’s this?”
Then I started yoga teacher’s training. I took yoga classes and then decided to be a teacher. And in the teaching, there was a workshop given. The director of the center went to California and met a man there and took a workshop and was so excited about it. She wanted him to come to Toronto where I lived at the time.
He came and I took this workshop called the Enlightenment Intensive. And it was given by the originator of it at that time. And again, I’d never done anything like it, but it gave us a question to work on for several days, three days. And it was up early in the morning to bed late at night. All you did was meditate and you did it in partners, where you would communicate what arose as a result of meditation. And then you change partners and it took you deeper, deeper, deeper.
And I had this experience again, an experience that was unlike the ordinary and yet it was clear that it’s the way it is. And I got who I was. I didn’t know… I had no idea who I was. And in this instant I got me. I don’t know how I didn’t have me, but they didn’t. And suddenly it was there and it seemed, on one hand, to be no big deal because it’s who I’ve always been, I just didn’t know it. But on the other hand, it changed everything.
Amir: Did you know that you didn’t know who you were?
Anjali: Yeah, yeah. I felt really lost. Basically, my modus operandi was, “What is it you guys want? How can I give you that so I can get what I want?” What I wanted was love and connection and truth and reality and you know… love.
So I understand from the work I’ve done that people fall into three groups, in a way. Some people don’t know who they are. I don’t know how it’s lost or whether it’s never developed or it’s the background, but there’s confusion about “Who I am” as compared to everyone else. And then there are people who know who they are, but they don’t live it. And then there are people who know who they are and they’re living it. They’re just in their self and their soul and they express in the world and it’s really, it’s an event of this person expressing itself.
So this was major for me and I got very interested in the Enlightenment Intensive. I went on to do several of them and then I started staffing them and teaching them myself and learned how to give intensives. And through that work and a series of other work originated by the same man. His name was Yogeshwar Muni. He’s passed away now, but he developed the work. I felt a real affinity with it. It made sense to me. It was just when I was in it, I was thinking, “Why didn’t somebody teach me this when I was three years old?”
You know how they always say “You don’t come with a manual. There’s no manual.” This felt like a manual. This felt like it was so simple, so clear, so, aligned with what’s true and what’s real. And it didn’t have… even though he was associated with the whole yoga philosophy and so was I, and I fell in love with the whole eastern Hinduism – that was my vein – what I saw was the benefits of it weren’t dependent on the philosophy all. It was dependent on the truth itself. And then anyone could experience this if they really set out to do it. That it was something that was obtainable and available. So when it happened to me, I was like, “Man, if I can do this, anyone can.” I got really excited about it. It just totally changed everything.
Amir: The first one… the first Enlightenment Intensive you did?
Anjali: Yeah. The first experience was de-identifying from the ego. I still didn’t know who I was, but I got, I wasn’t “that.” That was really big. And then next was to get “this… this one. Me.” It was amazing. So through all of that work, my own, experiences in giving intensives, staffing intensives, taking intensives, and then there was a whole other developed work that was more to help a person in their daily life.
So the Enlightenment Intensive is designed so people have a flash of absolute truth. And then there’s, “What do you do with it? How do you live your life from there, and how does life work?”
So I had this whole other volume of work appear that was more about the mechanics of life in relationship, communication, and contact. And it opened up worlds for me and it’s just been in my heart ever since those first events. And it always is. I get so excited still 45 years later. I start talking about it and get all excited again because it’s new every moment because it’s truth now. And it’s always, always fresh. It’s really beautiful. Unending.
Amir: So these two seem… I guess they’re in the same vein of work, but these two bodies of work – the Enlightenment Intensive and your programs, which are called Living From Truth – they seem to have a symbiotic relationship. Can you comment a little bit on what’s the benefit of enlightenment versus living a good life? When I got into this work and I wanted to pursue enlightenment, it was very alluring and I’d heard stories and read texts. And I initially had the thought that if I became enlightened somehow my life was going to be fixed or better, or I was going to be better where I would get what I want out of life, et cetera. Can you comment on that a little bit?
Anjali: Taking Enlightenment Intensives and having, it’s called Direct Experience – instead of indirect experience through the mind, through the logic, through the sensations, it’s this moment of union with the truth itself and there’s no separation. To have a moment like that, it puts everything in a different context. So it’s like the whole universe shifts. But immediately you know you’re in truth.
And in itself, it doesn’t seem to give the ability to live life as we have it structured. So what gave me more ability in life was all the philosophy behind it, all of the learning things like how to communicate, what communication is, how to have really good contact with another, how to face a crisis and be able to work through it, how to stay present to what’s occurring. And people often want to be very peaceful inside. They long to be peaceful, but they try and set their lives up to be peaceful so they can then step into peacefulness and be peaceful. And actually, I think what we long for is to have that sense of peace no matter what the conditions.
So I found that the Living From Truth program… I developed it with friends. We pooled together our resources and our knowledge and how to develop a program where people could build their ability to be in life, have a successful life, good relationships, feel fulfilled and still have wisdom as to the greater truth. And to have both work together.
So both of them are based on deep elements of what’s true and what’s real. And because of that, doing the practices, doing the work tends to transform. And what it does is it transforms the programming. The programming changes. We are programmed with all the messages we got growing up, other people’s expectations, society, religion, and our relationship with each other. We want to be with each other, so we all try and work it so we can be with each other, but we’re all individuals so also have our own path to walk and at times those can collide. And how to deal with those situations on a daily basis.
This was phenomenal to find this other whole element of work that taught me about all of these things, and I couldn’t get enough of it. My life was transforming. Everything was changing. You know, it just changes and it wasn’t me changing it. It was me getting more into harmony and truth with who I am, what is desired here, and how do go about achieving that in a way that is non-injurious to me and non-injurious to others. To find that middle path Buddha talked about. So extremes are fun but for contentment, for true peace of mind, there’s this middle way that is so deeply restful.
Amir: I found that when I had my de-identification, at first it was like mind-blowing. The fact that for me to realize the separation between self-ness and what’s really true behind what I thought myself was, which was my identity – the facade. And then I was able to see that, “oh no, there’s this whole other me-ness back here. There is this whole other space back here.” And that separation that de-identification actually gives me a degree of space and a degree of freedom so that as the ego gets triggered and act up and has desires and wants to pull me in a lot of different directions, I have kind of a buffer space where I can actually observe that happening. And I can say, “hmm, that’s not really the truth of me in this moment. That’s not really the truth.” And with that freedom, I get a greater degree of choice in any given moment. This was how my direct experiences have… yeah, it’s not that the direct experience itself didn’t give me ability, but ability came as a byproduct of not being identified with my ego.
Anjali: Right. And so all the work in Living From Truth is encouraging people to go into who they really are, speak the truth. And we set it up in a way. So that it’s very safe to do that and it’s very supportive.
The thing that blew my mind on that first Enlightenment Intensive – because we were doing it in partners – it was a particular process and I was working on who am I, I just want to know who I was. And so for three days I meditated on that and there’s a particular structured meditation, but you do it with a partner. So my partner would say, “Tell me who you are.” And then what I would do is put my attention on me the best I could, whatever I had right now, intend to know who I really am, be open to the truth of it right now. And then whatever arose as a result of that process, I would authentically and totally communicate to my partner. And they wouldn’t do anything with it. They wouldn’t give me feedback, they wouldn’t discuss it with me, they wouldn’t give me their opinions, their advice… nothing. When they understood it – they had to understand it – when they understood it, they’d say, “Thank you.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was sitting there and going, “Oh my God, I’ve never had an experience like this.” I’ve never had anyone come up to me and say, “Tell me who you are,” be really interested, and for five minutes keep their attention on me and really just want to know the truth. And that there was no interference. I could actually have these moments – with someone’s full attention and support on me – to go inward and sort it all out in myself to my authentic truth without being criticized, invalidated, questioned, challenged. It was just, I got to do that over three days. Man, I sat there and I went, “Why didn’t somebody teach me this in grade three?”
I was like outraged that nobody taught me that it’s that simple. That communication is the most natural thing in the world.
Amir: …if you’re not interfered with constantly.
Anjali: Yeah, exactly. And the minds, get so activated. You know, we want to give our advice and our opinions so we don’t hear, we can’t really hear. And I still work on quality of listening and hearing that just receives the other rather than going into all the content of what I want to figure out. You know? So it was profound. And all of the work in Living From Truth is based on those deep principles. And then what we do is we work specifically on areas of life to get them sorted out for you the way you want it. Because how you want it is going to be different than how I want it.
But my experience is if a person isn’t living their own true source within themselves and fulfilling their own… you could say purpose in life or path in life or trajectory in life… if they aren’t doing their own, it doesn’t seem to work really well.
Someone said it’s better to do a half-ass job at your own Dharma than an excellent job at somebody else’s. And Dharma means your life-work, whatever your life work is.
So there’s always been this – even if it’s challenging or something hurts – through all the years, I felt the truth is worth it. Reality is worth it. Being free is worth it. Being in peace, deep is worth it. It’s worth all the work to do it. And the payoff is amazing. So I’m just so glad. I can’t say enough about having done this in my life. I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I’m just so grateful for it.
Amir: Tell me about some of the transformations, either in yourself or that you’ve seen in others having done this work.
Anjali: Well, it’s a shift in consciousness. You see it occur in a person. They’re in one state of consciousness, like “not knowing who I am,” haven’t a clue, lost crying, you know, “I can’t find myself, don’t know.” And it’s – some people call it grace – it’s an event that takes place, but it’s just this shift of consciousness. So one moment the person has no idea – they’re seeking, they’re searching – in the next minute, it’s so. You have no idea how it happened.
And my first experience when I got who I was, it was so funny. This is the third day of the workshop. I was just miserable. I was sure, you know, I’ve just wasted the whole time. I couldn’t find who I was. I was sitting under a blanket. My partner said to me, “Tell me who you are.” It was like, “Oh God, we’re going to do this meditation yet again!” But I authentically shared what was going on in me to the depth of me. I just said, “this is how I feel right now.” And at the moment I was doing that, because I’ve been doing the meditation for several days, something said in the back, “who am I?” And at that moment it was there.
And my first reaction was, “That can’t be it.”. And who’s there… but it is. And it was, I was looking for something or someone, something other than me. And I was asking “who am I?” and got me, and it felt like “What?!” But then it was so obvious. Right. So obvious.
And I’ve seen other people. Sometimes it can come in just a timeless instant that’s beyond time. A blip, but then one knows. Other times people can kind of sink into it and spend hours in it – it’s just pouring out of them – and then sooner or later, the mind reconstructs itself.. And there’s the basic idea that I’m separate from everything else, which again starts duality.
But my own transformations… it’s difficult to talk about because there’s no way to speak it. So if I tell you the truth of me, it would sound not within the realm of regular understanding. If I talk about the event that took place, I can tell you events like I was working on “What is life.” I spent an intensive one time working on the question, “what is life?” And the third night, walking out the door, I asked the question and suddenly my body wasn’t moving and my foot was up in the air to take the next step but the step was being taken. It was just frozen, perfect balance, nothing. It was just frozen in the universe, and all of a sudden it was like everything that is is also what I am. Everything that is is also what I am. And there was no longer separate-ness from what life is or what another is or what I am. It’s all one.
Then I remember I was so surprised, and I went up to one of the staff members. I was crying. I came running at her out of the dark going “Oh my God! I just got this.” I was just blown. And she looked at me, she said, “Oh that upsets you?”
And I kind of stopped and looked inside and went, “No, I’m not upset. It’s just so big. I didn’t expect it to be the whole thing!”
Amir: All of it.
Anjali: All of it.
So it really is unique for each individual. Each individual will get their own experience. It’s happened in the Living From Truth courses where people will be working on some aspect of life and all of a sudden they have the truth of it. It’s life-changing.
Amir: Yeah. It’s really interesting experience to have that moment of union because we walk around so often from our egos and looking for a sense of belonging, a sense of love, a sense of connection. And so there’s this kind of lifelong relationship between self and other. And then whenever that duality dissolves and it just becomes like… you’ve arrived at the destination is already here. “What do I do with this now?” That dynamic isn’t there anymore. And it’s like a baby just learning to stand and it’s like, whoa, like it’s already there.
And we talk about it intellectually, and we can read books about it. But when you actually experience it, it’s a whole other thing. It’s like, “Whoa.” And the seeking stops.
Anjali: All seeking is gone.
Amir: It’s gone, and there’s nothing to do. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nothing to say. It just is. And unity is, and union is. And there’s no longer a desire for belonging or a desire for union because it already is the truth. And it’s just mind blowing to have that experience.
Anjali: I also discovered something in giving the Living From Truth courses. So I’ve been doing those for about 15 years. And it’s been so beneficial to take sections of life, really work on them, and build ability in that area of life. So people working on their skills to communicate – to express themselves, to be understood and to receive others – working on their ability for having better contact with others, and all of the things that we did. A lot of the people who come to the courses have not had what we would call a Direct Experience. They haven’t done an intensive or just hasn’t occurred. And if somebody follows the principles, it takes them there anyway. It’s because it’s already so. So someone can do all of these principles and apply them and their life starts to get better and out of that, they start to experience something that they hadn’t experienced before.
So people want happiness. They want joy, happiness, freedom, and self-development. They want to live to their full potential, meet their full potential. Everybody knows like, “I’m here. I really want to do something with it.” Or are we get so discouraged, we want to give up and kill ourselves because you know, there’s no point.
So people come in all of these varying conditions, but when they’re in an environment where they can actually – with others in a very safe environment – put their attention on something and start working it and not be interfered with, not be judged, evaluated, or interfered with and be really supported, they tend to bloom and blossom on their own, in the right environment. It’s just a natural thing. And through their own fulfillment, they find happiness.
And there are two forms of happiness. It’s great. There are two forms and it kind of represents what we’re talking about here. One form of happiness is making known progress to known goals. So a lot of people want to do growth work and self-development work so they can attain the things they want to attain. They want more success, they want money, they want relationship, family, new sports, car, whatever. It’s like these things are moving them.
What’s interesting is if a person actually feels they’re making progress to a goal that they know they want, they will tend to be happy. You don’t even have to have the goal yet. As long as they know they’re making progress, there’ll be happy. So that’s the life structure. Goals in life. We’re geared to go into relationship to give in the world, and there’s the whole exchange of money and success and achievement. And that’s the life structure. So that’s the form of happiness that is making known progress to known goals.
The other form of happiness is knowing who you are.
So for me, I can’t see that I ever could have really rested until I knew who I was on some level. Right. And knowing who I am, I may not always have the answer, I may not know what to do, but it’s kind of like I know where to look to find it. And if a person has goals that are out of alignment with who they really are, they suffer in life.
So a child grows up in a family that puts a lot of pressure on them to be, a doctor or lawyer or they say “We want you to be this.” Or say the kid has had two generations before him and they’ve all been lawyers, so you’re going to be a lawyer, “My father is a self-made man so I’m going to be a self-made man.” And so people get into this pursuit. It’s a very natural part of life to pursue their own fulfillment and success. It’s in everyone – and it should be – we grow and develop. And if they’re trying to do something out of trying to please others or need other people’s expectation and it’s not in alignment with their own soul – their own calling inside – there’ll be this discrepancy inside, and they’ll suffer.
And so my feeling is when a person can get who they are, what they really want, and where are they really want to go and what they want to do in life, it’s much more likely to occur than if they’re not in touch with that. They don’t know if they’re doing something that’s opposing that themselves.
Amir: Because then at least you have access to the compass. You may not be using it, but at least you have access to the compass that can help you navigate.
Anjali: … and a deeper truth inside people. People try and find it outside. Whenever it’s happened, it’s always been inside.
Amir: So how do you know when you’re on the right path?
Anjali: Positive and negative indicators. Oh, these are just great. It just changed my life as far as what I teach. What I love about this work is that it takes it out of the realm of good & bad, right and wrong – “oh you’re bad to do that” or “that’s really good” – and it’s based on every time you’re kind of in alignment with truth, you’re going to get positive indicators and every time you’re not, you’re going to get negative indicators. And the negative indicators and positive indicators can be external or internal.
So we’re having a conversation now, and we’re on the same side of the fence. We’re in the affinity, your understanding, it’s going quite well, and then all of a sudden something happens and suddenly one of us is reactive or something goes off, and immediately you’ll feel it.
You’ll either feel it in yourself – something feels upset or tight or it doesn’t feel as good anymore. Something went wrong, something’s happening. Or you’ll see it externally – like the other person will start to fall asleep or they will go under or they’ll get distracted or their eyes glaze over, or they’re getting upset. And what I’ve learned is, in the moment of upset, stop what you’re doing. It just means something’s out. Something’s out of truth. It’s come down now that if there’s any disturbance, negative indicator, I’m going to check and see am I still in truth here? And I find that’s actually the original split. After that, it just magnifies and then gets reflected back.
Who did that? Oh, it was me.
Amir: So positive and negative indicators. This is another benefit of doing this work was I was able to, I used the phrase “access to compass” before. I was able to start paying attention to… “feeling” isn’t the right word. It’s deeper than feelings. It’s a knowingness, and it’s a certain kind of message from inside that says, “Oh, go there. Don’t do that.” And getting access to that and opening up that channel was really valuable to me. I may not always follow it. I May not always listen to it. And you’re right, it causes suffering because I have other agendas like money, security, safety, and other egoic agendas that pull me in directions that are out of alignment with that truth sometimes. I said “pull”, which is victim terminology. I choose to follow my ego, and when I do, it causes sustained chronic suffering.
And when I do listen to that inner compass that gives me indicators on the direction to go, a lot of times it’s scary to make the choice to go in that direction. But then there’s the outcome. I’ve never listened to my inner compass, taken action on it, and had an unfulfilling experience. The outcome is always fulfilling. It’s not always egoically preferential. It’s not always easy. But it always has been deeply fulfilling when I listened to that compass. It’s amazing to have access to it.
Anjali: The depths of truth.
Amir: And at the end of the day, when I’m on my death bed, I think I would rather have more moments of fulfillment than moments of achievement. Hopefully both.
Anjali: I think it is a balance of both.
And I think especially in young people… when people are young, their energy is growing and developing. There’re pursuing. They want to discover, they want to achieve, they want to build, they want to create, they want to have babies. It’s just life going on.
I have a friend who said something a while ago that was just perfect. He said that old age and age is forced surrender. And it really is. Being the age I am now, the metabolism is not up to doing all of those things. The generating energy is not trying to pursue those things anymore. It’s more reflecting on the quality of life now. Is there anything else left? And there’s this peace and this quiet.
And there’s still creative energy coming through. There’s still the Work coming through. It’s like it doesn’t stop. So still feels like there’s something to do with that, but there’s more a sense of “thy will be done.” It’s just this, no longer feeling all separated and trying to acquire or achieve. It’s more in the magnitude of everything that is already perfect and fulfilled. It’s just incredible.
Amir: Tell me a little bit about Living From Truth as a program and what it is.
Anjali: I saw that people needed help in life. It’s great to go for enlightenment – people would be blown away and leave the intensive and their life was changed forever – but they still went home to a relationship that wasn’t working or they weren’t happy in their work or they didn’t have enough money or they had some health problems.
With enlightenment itself, if a person has the ability to sit and rest in that eternally, it really is true that it is beyond life and death. It is beyond the wheel of Karma. It’s beyond time. So it has no problem in it inherently at all. So first it has this moment and they see, “Oh my God, that’s the actual truth. What the heck is this?”
And then the structure of the mind comes back in and in the structure of the mind, it re-forms. Now it has a difficulty because it had now has this… you can’t even call it an experience because in union there’s nobody their experiencing it. But they’ve had this like, everything got erased, they know for a moment, and they saw into the absolute truth of it all. And then within a short period of time – some people hang out in it for a while – it starts to restructure. And the mind now doesn’t know what to do with this thing. It doesn’t fit. So it really isn’t about trying to fit the truth into your life. It’s not going to fit.
So as one works with it, you have this choice: you can resist it or surrender to it. You can live it or not, but it will always be there. It’s just the way it is. And then what one does with it.
So the Living From Truth program is extraordinary. I’m getting to the point where I’d like to try and put this online somehow so that more people can actually experience it. And what I love about it is it’s real. It’s about real life.
People would say when they had direct experience – they’d have a moment of enlightenment – then afterward they say, “Well, yeah, but when I go back to the real world…” And it’s actually reversed, it’s the unreal world.
But in the beginning, you have to have some way to deal with that. So we took a lot of the practices that were developed to teach a person how to lead an enlightenment intensive or how to work with people one on one – all the training. I’d been taught all of this and I thought, but wait a minute. This helps me so much in my life every day. Why would I have to train to be an enlightened master to be able to do that? And I thought, not everybody’s going to want to do that, but they are going to want their life to work better. So what I did is I took all of these things and I created and combine them into a format where people could get the benefits of the practices, and the benefits of these communication exercises. Their ability grew. It blew my mind.
I was traveling and going from city to city and I’d walk into a hotel room full of 60 people who I’d never met before – they’re in various stages in their life with many different problems – and I would take them through a format where they actually began by just sharing the truth with each other. And then looking inward and telling the truth. And we created a safe environment. What happened is people started to open up. And they opened up into their truth and who they are and be able to find the ability to live it, be it, express it, interact with the world, and create what they wanted to create.
So I would give four courses in a city a year. I gave the first course – I didn’t know how it would work – and came back three months later. The same people plus some new people came into the room. I couldn’t believe the difference.
Amir: Yeah, it’s like totally different people.
Anjali: Well, it’s more them. They were in there before, but there were layers of stuff on top. And then when they came back, it was like they were more there and more there. And to see their ability to develop. When they first came in, they couldn’t present themselves. And suddenly they could and it was okay. Or they didn’t have the ability to keep contact with another person for very long before they get upset or distressed. And we work on all of these areas like money, sexuality, self-expression, how to master cycles in life, success in life – that’s one of my favorite courses -how to solve the problems in relationships. What do you do when somebody is doing this and you can’t kill them? Is there another way?
Amir: … or you could, but it might lead to unpreferential outcomes.
Anjali: So it, it was so much fun being with people just working with them in their actual life and what they wanted to achieve. I found drawing on all these principles was like a support to everyone and they can just take off from there. Beautiful.
Amir: Is doing the Enlightenment Intensive, a prerequisite for doing Living From Truth?
Anjali: Not at all. No matter where you enter from, if you’re interested in truth, truly interested in truth and you want it, it’s going to get you.
Amir: Yeah. You’ll get there… well, you are already are there.
Anjali: Yeah. And through a sense of community, people felt like they were no longer struggling all by themselves. They had a community of people who were all really interested in this and supporting each other in it.
Amir: Yeah. Some of the best friendships I have in my life resulted from that community and continuing to do so. Even people who I’ve lost touch with – because I was doing a lot of this work when I was living in San Francisco, and I haven’t kept in close touch with everybody -but whenever we do connect, there’s a certain foundation that we can relate on that isn’t out there in regular society. And you know, it’s one thing for me to be responsible for the state of a relationship and to create the connection with whomever I’m talking to. It’s really great when both people can be on the same level and speak the same language. There’s a certain foundation that you can rest on and open into and trust and say, “I’m going to choose to present myself more in this moment and feel safer.”
Anjali: Right. Yeah. It’s hard to be who we are if we’re surrounded by judgment. It’s hard to be who we are if we’re busy judging everything else and everyone else because judgment itself is a contraction. And so what it does is becomes very tight and it’s immediate separation and it creates this situation where now we’re longing again to not feel separate. So just sets this whole thing up again. So we really work on how to fulfill life without having to judge ourselves and others.
Amir: You know, in spiritual communities, people poo poo judgment a lot too. And what I like about your teachings is that you don’t necessarily go there. There’s a place for judgment. There’s a use for having separation between self and bus on the street going 40 miles an hour towards me. There’s a benefit to having the ego tell you “Get out of the street to stay alive.”
Anjali: I would say though that there’s a difference between judgment and discrimination. So you can discriminate that there’s a separate you, there’s a body and it’s going to be hit by the bus, so you should get out of the way, and there is this duality where “that’s not me… I don’t really want union with that.” So yeah, we have our brains and our organism is designed for self-preservation. We have this ability.
What I found about judgment is it’s a different energy. If I go into the ice cream store – which I absolutely love – and I have a desire for a particular flavor of ice cream. I can get my latest favorite is rose-water pistachio. That’s pretty cool, right?
Amir: Incidentally, that’s a Persian recipe. I don’t know if you knew that. Rose-water pistachio is called “Akbar Mashti.”
Anjali: Oh, God…yeah! So I go in and there are all these flavors and what I notice is there’s a desire and I’m trying to sort out what’s the desire for. And there’s kind of a sense of when it’s there, “Yeah, that one.” And then it gets fulfilled. In doing that process, I’m trying to kind of discriminate, where does this energy want to go to get fulfilled? What will really do it, but I don’t have to judge the other flavors of ice cream in order to be right about choosing that one. And that’s judgment. It’s like you don’t have to judge anything. You can still choose. You can discriminate as to what direction you want to go in, what you want, but judgment always has this thing of “right & wrong” in it – good and bad. It’s this place of “either/or” and my experience is – I work with people privately. I give sessions, I give coaching sessions. I’m just loving it. I’m absolutely loving it. And when a person gets into “either/or” on anything, it’s a horrible place. It’s like, oh, I have to choose and it’s this or this.
And neither one feels right. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s because there’s a deeper truth, and it isn’t “either/or”. So you’ll see someone going into the ice cream store – we’ll use that as a simple example – and they go, “Oh, chocolate is terrible. Oh my God, Maple Walnut, how can you stand it?” But the process is so alienating to everything. It alienates us.
It isn’t at the time. You’ll notice. Do you notice this? I noticed this, that if I’m being right about something, I have no sense of being in pain. I just have this sense of being really right and self-righteous about it. And it’s such a separating thing to do that. Whereas discriminating is choosing. You just choose. You don’t mean to make anything else wrong to make yourself right about what you’re choosing. The ego will do that, but the heart and soul don’t have to do that. The heart and soul don’t have to judge anything or anyone. It can still work towards what it wants to work towards without that energy of hurt.
Amir: Yeah, that’s great. So Living From Truth is coming into new form. What are your thoughts there? What are your ideas?
Anjali: One of the difficulties for me is my process – my own depth of meditation and everything – has taken me more into less structure and pure flow. So I’m in this place like if it doesn’t happen of its own accord, it’s probably not happening. There’s no, “I’m going to do this. I want to do this.” I feel almost ill saying that because it’s so not where I’m at.
What I see is the structure of the basic principles. People took full weekends and they took 12 of them on 12 different subjects over three years. I think it can be simpler than that. And what I see is the basic structure of the basic principles being given so that anyone and everyone can just learn those. You know, the basics for good relationships, good communication skills, having great contact with people and giving just the basic fundamental principles. I trust that if somebody participates in – first of all is attracted to it, wants to know, gets involved in it, and learns that – by that experience, they will know in themselves whether they want to do more or not. They will just know. And I’d like to set up a structure of the basic material so that people can get that. I’d like to have another format where people can go much deeper into the work if they want to.
I’d like to set up or have some sort of communal experience for them so that they’re connected to everyone else because one of the problems with doing it online is everybody’s in different places. And we worked with that in the courses because people would fly in from other cities and other continents to do the courses. And we had to set something up so they could do the practices together.
I think it can be done, but I’m very clear that unless information can help to a certain degree. But take good eating habits as an example. Most people know what good eating habits are. It’s our ability to do it that’s the problem. Most of us have more information and knowledge than we actually need. It’s our ability to apply it, live it, do it.
So Living From Truth works on ability. That’s where our emphasis is, to grow your ability from being scared to approach someone in a room to be able to go over, have really deep contact, feel, very natural, and say, “Hi, how are you?” That’s a huge thing for someone if that’s their issue. For someone else it might be a series of never having fulfilling work or never really making money, to go in and look, “What are you really trying to do? Who are you really? What is it you deeply want?” And then help the person build the structure to be able to get from there to there and fulfill it.
And also, it’s just I see such a volume of work that could be segmented out in some way that people could do. And I feel in that the place where I’ve probably overrun it because I’m at the place now of really wanting to get it down so I can let go of it too. Just let go of it. And I feel a responsibility – not just a responsibility – a mission. It’s a condition of having to do it. I’m in a condition of having to do it. And I’m excited about it, just not quite sure how it’s gonna turn out.
However, there’s something really important here. The truth spoken without love is a lie. It’s huge.
So it gets into relative truth and absolute truth. Our point of view is a truth. I have a point of view, so it’s my truth. But it’s just a point of view. And if from my point of view, I’m angry with you and I think you’re a pain in the ass and I want to tell you that and I do and I hurt you, I can say, “Okay, I’m right about that. That’s my truth. That’s real. You’re a pain in the ass!” But it’s not the absolute truth. It’s not who and what you actually are. And I’m not that point of view. I can get a point of view, but I’m not limited to a point of view nor are you. You’re not limited to my point of view.
So if I can transform it in myself – my own reactivity and my own upset – what I have to do is take that and apply all the principles and work it through until I can come to you and tell you exactly what I’m doing that’s creating the condition of our relationship right now. Not what you’re doing.
Amir: Yeah. Beautiful.
Anjali: And so that phrase has just been wonderful.
Amir: Fantastic. Anjali, thanks a lot for your time. I really enjoyed talking to you. Hopefully, we’ll have you back for another one if you’re up for it. Is there anything you’d like to say to be complete? Maybe a little, a little message or a “love you” to whoever’s listening to this?
Anjali: And it’s just because, I look inside, what happens is I’ll hear your question and I look to see, and it’s just endless peace. There’s nothing there but peace. And I would just say blessings to everyone and also there is nothing wrong. It just looks that way.
Amir: Thank you, Anajli. Now say goodbye and leave. Hah, it’s an inside joke for the Living From Truth people.
Anjali: Yeah. Yeah. It’s all the classes I gave them and the homework I gave them… “Say goodbye and leave.” Always end your cycles cleanly. Good, good. Thank you, Amir. Very beautiful. Thank you so much.