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Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done about 620 of them now and so if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones please go to batgap.com and look under the past interview’s menu. You can also subscribe to You Tube Channel and explore on You Tube but on batgap.com we have better organization system with categorial listing and chronological, most popular, transcribed ones, and a bunch of different things that you can’t easily do on You Tube. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers so if you appreciate it and you’d like to help support it there’s a PayPal button on every page on the website and there’s also a donations page that explains a few alternatives to PayPal.
Rick Archer – My guest today is Rhonda Byrne. Most of you have probably heard of Rhonda or at least you’ll remember who she is in second. She is the creator of The Secret which is a documentary film that swept the world in 2006 changing millions of lives and igniting a global movement. She also wrote a follow up book also titled The Secret which became a worldwide bestseller and translated into more than 50 languages. Rhonda has since released another five bestselling books covering such topics as the power of love, gratitude, the law of attraction and the hero’s journey to success and her latest and most important book to date, and those are her words, the most important, is called The Greatest Secret and she describes it as a quantum leap that takes the reader beyond the material realm and helps them discover who they truly are. Rhonda in addition to things I’ve mentioned Rhonda also served as a Producer on the inspirational 2020 family movie, The Secret: Dare to Dream based on her book. The film starred Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O’Connell.
So welcome Rhonda. It’s funny I first heard about The Secret quite a few years ago it must not have been long after it came out and I was taking tabla lessons from a guy and because I used to be a drummer and play tablas a little bit and he was all excited about it and he leant me the thing so I watched it and everything and you know we talked a little about it afterwards and he well you know obviously there’s something to this but you also have to be realistic, you know I’m not going to become the world’s greatest tabla player at the age of 60 any more than I’m going to become any competition to LeBron James or somebody. We have certain limitations, but I’d imagine you would say people limit themselves a lot more than they need to maybe.
Rhonda Byrne – Correct! (Laughing) I would and as I was listening to your words, then I thought well then you wouldn’t be the world’s best player because you have to believe you can be and I mean law of attraction says absolutely anything is possible and everything is possible so if we can open our minds to that then we reduce all of the limitations that we impose on ourselves, that society imposes.
Rick – So LeBron James doesn’t have to worry about me, 5ft 10ins and 72 years old?
Rick and Rhonda – (laughing)
Rick – I don’t know.
Rhonda – But I think anyway that you’re drawn to, you’re attracted to what you’re meant to do so you have an enormous dream it’s not a coincidence that you have that dream. I certainly know from my life that once I discovered this then what ensued anybody would have said that is totally impossible for that to happen. Somebody from Australia to create a documentary, I had hardly any money to do it and to have it affect tens and tens of millions of people around the world and change their lives, you know that would be an impossible dream, but it happened.
Rick – Yeah, yeah. I want to mention that you’ve done several other interviews, and lots of them probably in which people have gone in great depth about your whole biographical background and Iain McNay of Conscious TV did a great one, I listened to it twice and I don’t want to spend half of our time together going over the same stuff you’ve said a million times and that people can listen to elsewhere but we’ll cover some of that in just a second. In fact, let’s do that now and then will get into some more points about the main things were going to talk about. You just touched upon you were this person in Australia but let’s do the synopsis of the story of Rhonda?
Rhonda – Oh gosh. Born into a very modest family background, I guess you could say our family was quite poor, but I wasn’t aware of that as a child, but I was incredibly lucky to have had a very safe and secure childhood. Just went to public school nothing incredible although I would have to say that I was always curious as a child and asking questions. So did all of that and I think my first job was being a stenographer and I didn’t even have any big dreams then. Being a stenographer was what I thought I could be and not anything more than that, but as time went on, I went into radio. I became a producer on radio and the person I was producing on radio said, ‘Hey come to television it’s the same as radio but with pictures.’ So, I worked on a tonight show which was incredibly nerve wracking and just like Jay Leno, a show like that but live and so worked on that and that gave me all of my television background. I ended up by leaving the network that I was working for and started my own production company, jumped off the cliff and took a risk. Then I made a lot of prime-time kind of television shows, and I would come up with the idea a concept for those shows and then in, basically I look back I say well I was asleep all of my life until September 2004. And as 2004 was a tough year because my father died suddenly, and I was also making television movies about unsolved murders and so everything that could go wrong went wrong that year. It was on a grief frequency you know, it’s tough.
Rick – Let me just interject here do you feel that making television shows about unsolved murders had a deleterious effect because you were putting your attention on such dark stuff all the time?
Rhonda – Absolutely. That year, you know it was perfect, I just look at it, it was perfectly lined up. I just think everything when I reflected back that everything in my life that happened at exactly the right time. I went through a really difficult relationship break up just prior to 2004 so there was that as well. So, all of that came together and my mother was grief stricken so that year was really really challenging in making this show on murders and the other thing is that there were psychics involved in that format of that show. I think just filming and working with them had me open my mind. I really do think, we all like to think we are all very open-minded mostly we are not open-minded and that experience even though it was terribly terribly difficult that year it really opened my mind. I began to sense things intuitively where I hadn’t before. Yes, in September I just hit the skids with one thing went wrong after another after another.
Rick – I once heard an Indian sage say, when the postman knows you’re going to move he tries to deliver all your mail. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have really gone through a rough time just prior to some big breakthrough as if they are just getting rid of a whole load of karma before something clears.
Rhonda – Yes, it’s extraordinary really. The particular night that I collapsed in a heap was my accountant called me you’ve gone over the budget and you’re going to lose everything in one month and my mother called me immediately after I hung up the phone and said, she couldn’t go on because she was missing my father so much. You know it’s so perfectly timed Rick it’s incredible. I play that over and over and over that one night it was just incredible, and my mother was a long way away from me and so I couldn’t get to her, but I talk to her said I would be there first thing in the morning and hung up the phone from her and then just collapsed because these two things I just could not solve. My daughter walked in my adult daughter walked in and said, what’s wrong and I didn’t really want to upset her and said something had gone wrong. She disappeared and came back with this photocopied bulldog clip on these papers all crumpled up and she said here you are read this it will help. I mean I read it it’s like, Henny Penny the sky is falling in, and I sat there, and I read it. I was weeping and it took 90 minutes to read.
Rick – What was it?
Rhonda – It was The Science of Getting Rich from Wallace Wattles, 1910 I think it was. I read it in 90minutes, and I knew much more that was in that book after I read it. I knew we didn’t die. I knew that we had way more power than we thought we had, it was just incredible. It was my first sort of awakening and my first step to freedom. I was just like I can tell the world doesn’t know this. I researched it for about three or four months without telling anybody what I had found. I went back through history and said, we’re going make a documentary and I said, to my accountant I’m going to make something that is going to help millions and millions and millions of people all you need to do is keep me afloat and I’ll make it. And so, he did.
Rick – Yeah (laughing)
Rhonda – So I put everything on the line to make that documentary.
Rick – Yeah, I heard about that, you maxed out your credit cards, you mortgaged your house to the hilt. You really did…
Rhonda – Yeah, I did. I had an overdraft on my company.
Rick – Yeah kind of a jack and the bean stalk situation, remember? (laughing) He sold the family cow for a handful of beans and the beans turned out to be magic.
Rick – Then of course the whole thing really took off practically overnight. I was wondering I was hearing you say you made the film and you put it up on the internet and it really took off but how did you monetize that?
Rhonda – Because it was like $3.99 a view something like that. It wasn’t meant to, I had this vision it would go round the world in 24 hours and because of my television background I had pitched it to all of these networks worldwide and they were all desperate for it. Then when we reach the point of completion, they all backed away. I kind of knew enough then to know there was another path that I wasn’t seeing, and it was going to be a better path. I remember seeing this commercial on the internet, and the internet was so early days and I saw a commercial on the internet and I thought wow we could put our movie out on the internet. I told my CEO at the time, and he said, no, no way we can’t do that. You can’t do that and then he said maybe at some other time, and I said yes this is it this is it it’s going to go around the world in 24 hours. He had a technical background, can you believe it, per chance, no. He worked with a company that put that ad out which was two streets away from my company in Melbourne Australia and we work together with them, and he created the pause and the fast forward and the rewind and so we were the first movie to go out on the internet.
Rick – That’s great. Most people are probably familiar with The Secret but for the sake of those that aren’t give us a nutshell synopsis of what it’s about?
Rhonda – The Secret explains to you that you create the life through your thoughts that you think. So, your mind is whatever we focus on is what we will create in our lives so it’s really talking about the power of the mind that affects everything in our lives. For example, I certainly did this before The Secret, I’m broke, and I would say that all the time, and when you say your broke all the time then indeed you will be broke. You have to think about, and you have to focus on what you want, not what you don’t you’re lacking. So really that’s it in a nutshell but then The Secret shows you all the ways to apply it to relationships, health and money and your life and your job all of those things. It’s what I lived my life doing that, being very positive and grateful. Gratitude is a huge part of The Secret and to just be grateful. When you think of all of those things like kindness and positive words I would wake up in the morning and I would intend my day, the day that I was going to have and then I would also set out that I’m going to make other people’s lives better today because I touch their lives. What it does and certainly what he did for me is helps get you off focusing on negativity and things that you don’t want and limitation and to focus on what you do want and break the limits of your mind.
Rick – I saw a cartoon once in which there was a dog and there was a genie that had come out of a lamp, and the genie is saying to the dog, now you only have one more wish, are you sure you want another tummy rub?
Rick and Rhonda – (laughing)
Rick – The reason I mention that because it seems to me that if you can manifest anything you would want the first thing you should wish for is wisdom so that you can want the right things.
Rhonda – Good. Good. Absolutely.
Rick – Yeah. There was a guy in your book for instance who wanted to date three women a week, it’s like alright, I can think of many things more useful. More edifying, more uplifting, more evolutionary, but maybe that’s where he was at and we do progress from stage to stage through what we desire.
Rhonda – And he did to because he did that for a while and then he wanted to marry somebody, he wanted to find the one. So. it was even a steppingstone for him, he wanted to find the one, so he needed to change what he was doing and what he was focusing on.
Rick – How did you, I just want to mention this before asking you this question, in the Vedas they have three kandas and they’re like different aspects of the whole Vedic wisdom and there’s the Karma-kanda which pertains to performing actions, there’s the Upasana-kanda that concerns itself with the worship of the divine and then there’s the Jnana-kanda that pertains to self-knowledge. So, it seems like in a way The Secretwas Karma-kanda pertaining to action, getting things accomplished and fulfilling your desires and then you kind of jumped to Jnana-kanda the portion of pertaining to self-knowledge with The Greatest Secret. I mean that’s what The Greatest Secret is all about.
Rhonda – Yes, yes it is.
Rick – How did you make that transition?
Rhonda – It was how many years – it was about 14 years. I was just this is sincerest seeker you could find. I dedicated myself 24/7 searching, searching, searching because after The Secret I knew there was much more of the truth that I did not know. I certainly knew we didn’t die. I inherently knew that and so I wanted to know the truth. I went through lots of different traditions. I was made an honorary member of an order and I did a whole lot of degrees there and I was just searching, and do you know I didn’t think in the searching that, I thought I would always be searching, and I would just find all these nuggets along the way. I love the nuggets and then it was in 2016 and I remember hearing some teachers and it could very well have been BATGAP because I most definitely watched many, many, interviews that you had done. I would hear them say that once you discover this, you will, the search will be over. Once you know who you are the search will be over. I could not imagine the search being over. And yet in 2016 it ended. I did discover who I was, so I just think it was all of those years of searching to just stop and I don’t know why took that long. You realize that you had to go through all of the things that you went through to get to where you got to. There’s no explanation for that but it was just your destined journey and that was my destined journey. I just feel incredibly blessed that I had the biggest awakening of my life.
Rick – Yeah, I want said to my mother I said mum don’t ever feel bad about the way you raised me because I had a pretty difficult childhood through no fault of hers, but I said because I am really happy with the way my life is turning out now so whatever you did or whatever has happened it’s been good, so don’t worry about it.
Rhonda – Yeah, it’s so true. All of the things that we would think are bad things that we wished, or we thought we’d call bad, and we wish didn’t happen, I am so grateful for every single thing that has happened in my life that led me to realizing who we really are, and that having that freedom, you would go through anything, anything to get to that point, absolutely anything.
Rick – As a matter of fact the intensity of your search could well have been the result of the sort of difficulties that you had experienced. They say and some spiritual circles that the angels in heaven aren’t interested in enlightenment because their life is too good it’s too easy and they’re happy there. So, they just don’t even think about there being something greater, possibly.
Rhonda – Makes sense to me because I just think that when life is just going along really smoothly, you’re not really searching all looking for answers. It’s when life delivers you big shocks, big shocks that you begin to ask questions and one of those shocks is when somebody that we love dying suddenly. If events have us ask questions, who am I, and what’s going on, and what’s this all about? Then they are just the gifts, the absolute gifts.
Rick – On the point of big shocks, the old Indian adage comes to mind, for the wise only an indication is necessary. So, in other words if one has wisdom a subtle hint could be sufficient but if we’re kind of a blockhead then a good smack upside the head might be necessary to… (laughing)
Rhonda – I had smacks on my head for sure (laughing). For sure, I definitely did, but I’m really grateful for those, I really am. Just listening also to other people ‘s journeys they’re experiencing of their awakening all of those things make such a difference. I think I always get something out of every single interview I have watched. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have watched it you know. I put there to watch it for a reason, there is something in there, in that interview that is going to open my consciousness more.
Rick – I always get a lot doing them and preparing for them because I usually spend many hours each week preparing for each one and it’s just this enriching process which is just wonderful.
Rhonda – Best job ever.
Rick – Yeah and it sounds funny to call it a job even.
Rhonda – Yeah, it’s not at all. I feel the same way because my work has allowed me to search 24/7. That is what I did. I just could not have been more blessed to be able to do that.
Rick – And when you say your search came to an end it sounded like it was kind of abrupt and I’ve actually heard you tell the story about it so why don’t you tell us the story about it?
Rhonda – (laughing) Okay. I had a circumstance that took place on the 1st of January 2016, I mean it’s irrelevant the circumstance but January 1st, 2016, but what happened from that circumstance I felt enormous disappointment. I was so shocked that I could feel something like that so strongly when I always felt so good because I felt so good in using The Secretprinciples. I couldn’t get over it and I decided I wanted to get rid of that feeling I didn’t want to feel that feeling anymore, so I grabbed my iPad and I put Conscious TV on. They were interviewing somebody that wasn’t a teacher just an everyday person who had woken up and that was David Bingham. I listened to David Bingham, and he talked about how he woke up and he’d listened to a particular podcast and so I traced David Bingham’s footstep and you know it was really interesting because I woke up, I kind of had the second awakening over several days. It wasn’t like David‘s interview began it, and then the podcast really hit me and then I reached out to David, and I spoke to David and that was all over a few days, and that was it, I was just, I was, oh my gosh. I was so overwhelmed with joy and then the search did completely stop, and it was a couple of months later that I met somebody who would become my teacher and I was very fortunate because she was really quite tough on me. I wanted her to be really tough on me. When I say tough in showing me the mind and the tricks of the mind. It was really fantastic because she really helped me see the mind and all of its tricks and so really since 2016, I have been doing the welcoming practice, which is in The Greatest Secret, which is basically releasing all beliefs, all negative emotions, just releasing those with everyone you get happier happier, happier, happier, happier. It’s glorious and it’s very rare for me to feel any kind of negative emotions I still can, but I notice it right away and then just welcome it and it just dissolves away. I remember Krishnamurti used to talk about that anger kind of flowering and then collapsing and it didn’t make any sense to me at that time but now I get it. That’s really how it all happened.
Rick – So the way you describe it, I mean I’m sure it’s going it’s about six years since that episode with David Bingham and don’t let me put words in your mouth, but you probably feel like you’ve grown a lot through these past six years, and you continue to, right?
Rhonda – Yes, yes, absolutely, never stop.
Rick – Right, right. So, the thing about the search comes to an end doesn’t mean that the journey comes to an end, somehow just a milestone that the energy changes from this kind of desperate seeking to a more of an abiding contentment and then on the foundation of that one continues to learn and explore and the adventure continues.
Rhonda – Yes and I think rather than I was looking on the outside and I had the joy of many, many, teachers looking on the outside that over the last six years it’s been internal. Yes, looking inwards and it’s all been inwards, so there’s nothing now to know because I’m undoing all those, all of that, peeling all of that away, and just being really that’s the thing, just being aware being aware of awareness. That’s my life and don’t need to read a book any more just need to be who I am, consciously be who I am.
Rick – And if you wanted to read a book you can still be who you are reading a book.
Rhonda – I mean if you’re drawn to read a book or if you’re drawn to do something then that absolutely you are meant to do that. I know that there are no coincidences, and we are drawn to exactly what we need in the moment in every moment. I do have Lester Levenson’s book by my bedside table and I do listen when I go to sleep at night, I always listen to somebody but it’s not because I’m searching for anything but because I just can’t get enough of it. I can’t get enough of it. It’s so good.
Rick – In that way too I’m kind of a spiritual junkie or something (laughing).
Question came in and this might be a good time to ask her it’s from Elizabeth from Colorado. The question is, who or what is the I that creates my own reality? Is it a personal “I” for instance an individual in a human body your mind, or is this “I” that creates my own reality something universal or transpersonal?
Rhonda – And the “I” our true nature, the “I” is who you really are.
Rick – Actually I heard you talking in The Greatest Secret about this thing where we create what we perceive, and you actually play this game with yourself where you would leave you the room and turn around really fast to see if you could see the room coming into manifestation if you turned around fast enough. Actually just last night I asked Swami Sarvapriyananda about this, I take classes from him, and he said, well in Vedanta it is understood that there is sort of a universal reality to things that is not dependent upon individual perception in the sense that we have inner subjective agreement we all see the same tree and the same car going by and stuff like that, but obviously the individual perception of colors and everything but he said there’s this kind of a more you could say cosmic mind or Suguna Brahman which is called sort of a synonym for God that gives rise to the Universe and ultimately there is a universe and we are all completely one with that and it also depends on where you want to take you stand. You can shift from level to level and the whole consideration changes.
Rhonda – That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right because the difficult part with that question that question could be answered on a few levels. But ultimately, there’s only awareness, consciousness to use another word, and that’s all there is.
Rick – Yeah. Obviously there have been different schools of thought and philosophies throughout history and they all kind of argue these different viewpoints which might seem contradictory or conflicting but it’s really just a blind man in the elephant situation where they’re just describing different perspectives of the same thing.
Rhonda – They are because I was so for many years on the progressive path. I remember I used to ask my mentor at that time when I was doing all of these degrees in this order, I asked him there must be a faster way because they’re 33 degrees and most people don’t finish those degrees in one lifetime, and so I said to him there must be a faster way? And he said what’s the hurry you’ve got all of eternity, what’s the hurry. And I’m like no, I want it now, I want it now. I know there must be a faster way because I can think there is a faster way, I can have I thought there is a faster way so it must exist and so I did find that, and I know that I summoned that basically that fast faster way. Interesting you know. The progressive path served me very well, but I know when I look at everything that I learned in the progressive path that it’s just the same thing just said in a different way.
Rick – Yeah. And you know there’s another old Indian saying which is to say the goal is all along the path and so…
Rhonda – Oh I like that.
Rick – You like that?
Rhonda – I do, I like that.
Rick – So what that says to me ones part of can be both direct and progressive and I feel like in my own path when I first learned to meditate 53 years ago, boom, directly of the self but then I made huge progress since then and yet still the self, so it’s kind of like it becomes clearer and fuller and so on but it’s really the same thing that you can have a pretty clear flavor of from day one.
Rhonda – Yes you can, and I know with the progressive path that there was like a refining, certainly in the order that I followed you were refining the person, refining the person like a diamond until and it was absolutely pure and there was nothing left on it, right. So that was that journey whereas the direct path is start with the fact that you are the diamond. Do you know you are the diamond and as things arise and they go away, they fall away? I didn’t know it was just right for me that direct path, something so direct was just right for me at the time. I have such an appreciation for all the traditions and how they serve people and help people. I mean we need every one of them we really do to set people free.
Rick – Yeah very true. For instance, all of your books each address different facets of life and people you know just using yours as a case in point those different books would be different relevant to different people at different stages of their path I no one thing is universally relevant for everybody, it’s just the way it works with anything right?
Rhonda – it is and I remember my mentor saying to me there are three levels of people there are those that want a better life this life, and he said The Secret services those people and then there are those that will begin to seek there the second level so they will begin to seek and then there is the third level her while this is sincerest seekers and will not stop until they find the answer. He said there are less people on each of the levels and I’m sure that’s true but what you do and hopefully what I do is to try and encourage people to go to the third level because you’ll never ever want to turn back.
Rick – Yeah that pretty much mirrors the three kandas that I said earlier the action one and the divine one and the knowledge one. The thing is though, and I’m sure you’ll agree with this that each succeeding level kind of incorporates the previous ones. It’s kind of like if you’re going up a building to the second story third story fourth story it’s not like you lose the view of the second floor when you get to the fourth floor, you still have that you… but you have a wider view contained within it.
Rhonda – Absolutely I agree with that 100%. In fact in The Greatest Secret my mentor again he always referred to the mountain of consciousness and that in the valley you can’t see very far you don’t know what’s around the corner, there is a lot of fear in the valley but as you begin to climb the mountain you can see more your perspective changes and the vegetation changes and the atmosphere changes and of course then when you get to the top you can see everything but you are still the mountain of consciousness, the entire mountain. That I agree 100% that is the same thing.
Rick – That is a good metaphor or analogy with that mountain example which is that someone standing on the top of the mountain doesn’t necessarily help people who were climbing it to shout down a description of what he sees, you know, and just kind of, it doesn’t do them any good really they need instructions that can pertain to the stage of the climb that they’re at.
Rhonda – Exactly. Yeah, because they can’t hear. I remember I think it might have been Jack Canfield, I can’t remember when we were filming The Secret it was one of the people in The Secret and they referred to the UPS driver that has this really big package that they need to deliver except the mailbox had this little slit and they can’t get it in, they’re trying to deliver this big package into this little tiny slit of consciousness that hasn’t yet opened up and I always remember that. It’s like the cake is too rich and the people can’t digest it, it’s too rich so most definitely is at exactly the level in that the person is at and step-by-step.
Rick – Jesus is always talking about the pearls before swine those that have the ears to hear let them hear, so constantly saying things that indicated that you know that he can speak the truth from his level, but people aren’t necessarily going to get it from their level, and I think the art of a really good teacher is to… He’s another Indian saying when the mangoes are ripe the branches bend down so that people can easily pick them. So, a good teacher can teach on the level of development or consciousness of the student.
Rhonda – Absolutely yeah and they just have that ability to see right through the student or what they’re struggling with and just to be able to redirect them and that’s the wonder of a teacher and like a lot of people ask me do you need a teacher and I didn’t have a teacher for many, many, many years although I had many teachers along the way but not a teacher that I connected with personally, but I had many teachers that I followed. In fact, all of the teachers in The Greatest Secret every one of them affected my life in one way or another I know mostly actually but to have but then when I did find a teacher it just accelerated everything because they’re so perceptive and as you said they can just see through everything. All of the concepts and beliefs and everything that you hold onto and the mind getting in the way. Because that was the biggest thing for me, my teacher would say to me, it’s all the mind Rhonda, everything you are saying is mind, it’s just mind. I’d be like oh I want to tell you something that happened since I’ve seen you and she’s like it’s all mind. It’s the mind in other words it’s totally irrelevant it doesn’t matter at all. A teacher is incredibly valuable I think when you find a teacher.
Rick – I just want to say because we’ve already got one email about it your teacher doesn’t want to be known right? She wants to remain anonymous and so please everybody don’t send 100 emails saying who’s your teacher? Because she doesn’t want to say.
Rhonda – She does she does she doesn’t she wants to remain anonymous; she’s not really, doesn’t consider herself a teacher. She wants to be low key basically in the silence to be honest. But you have her, you have all of her in that book you have all of her in that book all of those incredible words I get quite emotional just thinking about that. I think when we were chatting, I talked about when I first met her, and I was overcome with this incredible bliss, and I realized I’ve finally arrived home. So, when you have a teacher like that that takes you home like that immediately it’s just that teacher will always mean everything to you.
Rick – Yeah that’s great. Let’s get back to that, let’s put a pin in it as they say because there’s another point that I just want to finish wrapping up we were talking about the progressive in the direct paths and there’s a few dangling thoughts on that. One is this old Zen story, where the master hands this student a brick and he says polish this brick until it becomes a mirror and you can’t, but this guy polishes it for some days and it doesn’t get anything more like a mirror and that was meant to sort of indicate that the progressive path is refining, refining, refining might have no end to it so there’s that, but analogies have their limitations and you use the analogy of diamonds and I can say you could pick up a rough stone on the street and it’s all dingy looking and has dirt on it and think of this is just some stone but it could be a diamond and if it’s polished and cleaned and prepared and cut properly you have this beautiful sparkly thing. So, I’d suggest at same time refinement has its place and refinement will be never ending as long as we exist there will be continual refinement in addition to perhaps hopefully to direct transition.
Rhonda – Yes, yes. There has to be. Continual cleansing and purifying, continual purifying until there is nothing else there but awareness and then I don’t know that we’re here (laughing)
Rick – (laughing) Yeah, we’ll see what happens.
Rhonda – Yeah exactly.
Rick – And I just want to say it’s not something you and I am making up all the traditional teachers and scriptures if you respect those say this kind of thing and have examples of it of how profoundly refined one can actually become and how incredible that can be so there is always something to aspire to.
Rhonda – Yes there is. It’s the less opinions and all of those things, the less person that’s there the happier we are and that is certainly what I have found and it’s really interesting because the person is still there but not really in so many ways, as well. It’s a little bit like what you said before with the building that’s there, but awareness is there. I mean nothings deleted in the universe, there is no paddock of absence up in the far corner of the universe. So just being more being that awareness, and not allowing, and that love, and intelligence, and presence is shining through the form of the person.
Rick – Maybe one way of putting it is realizing that where the ocean doesn’t mean that we are no longer still a wave, we are both, it’s much cooler though to be the whole ocean and be a wave than to just be a wave (laughing)
Rhonda – Oh totally (laughing)
Rick – Waves get kicked about you know (laughing)
Rhonda – (laughing) Most definitely. Yeah.
Rick – On the point of teachers, let’s talk about that for a little while. There are all kinds of wonderful teachers in your book, Rupert Spira and Pamela Wilson and many people I’ve interviewed and a few that I haven’t and those are all to me friends and inspiring people. There’s a problem in the spiritual community, which is that a lot of teachers, a lot actually seem to go bad in some way seem to go off the rails. It’s revealed that they’re engaged in some inappropriate sexual behavior or financial shenanigans all control things where they’re working students to death, and this and that and a lot of people become delusional, some kind of give up on the spiritual enterprise altogether because they feel so burned by the experience with some teacher. Do you have any thoughts about that?
Rhonda – Well I’ve never come across a teacher like that so I’m very fortunate in that way and I’m sure it would be incredibly disheartening but it is also, I do believe we are meant to hit each lily pad that we hit and so if you are connecting with the teacher who has gone bad there’s a lot for you to see in that, and to learn in that, and more discernment or whatever. But just to keep going, you know just to keep going. I’m sure even if a teacher went bad that that student received a lot from that teacher even if they did something. You know the order I was talking about is very interesting, it was open for 120 years and then it closes for 120 years, and it’s done that since way before the Knights Templar, way back…
Rick – That’s intentional, is that a pattern, is that intentional?
Rhonda – Yes that’s intentional and the reason that they do it is so that no family can have the power, this immense power of knowledge and miss use that power. They knew that with a certain amount of power people are tempted, you know there’s temptation there, and so to avoid that they closed. 120 years open, 120 years closed. I just think that is part of life and you just move onto somebody else.
Rick – Yeah, it’s interesting. I think one reason that people get burned is that they, like you said you went from out to directed to in a directed but a lot of people that first get into spirituality have a very outer directed orientation and they invest everything in the teacher to the exclusion of their own sensibility sometimes and their own confidence and so on and they allow themselves sometimes to be led way off the track because they doubt their own judgment. Give precedence to the teacher about everything.
Rhonda – I think you hit the nail on the head. I really do because if we look at every single moment and circumstances my teacher says, ‘every moment, every second, every circumstance, is to take us home, every single moment, every meeting with the person, the words that you hear, every event and circumstance is a gift to take us home’. And so therefore that teacher we gave all of our power… because I know if my mentor would say to me there’s only one master and if I ever said to him, that something where I was bestowing upon him superior wisdom, he would say (shaking head) ‘there is only one master, and that master is within you’. I think you’re absolutely right that if we do invest too much and given our power away, we were on the wrong track and we need to redirect.
Rick – Yeah, another sort of healthy variation on that is sometimes teachers will give all the glory and credit to their teacher and there and they often have a picture of their teacher behind them, and they say it’s not me I’m just a spokesperson for this guy, and he’s the spokesperson for the guy before him and so on and so on.
Rhonda – Well you see my teacher I was thinking before when I was talking before about my teacher, my teacher wouldn’t, she doesn’t want to, oh how do I phrase this… she doesn’t want to be given any credit or accolades or anything whatsoever. If I’ve ever gone to say something to her, like recently I remember I was recapping when I first met her, and she said I let you go on for a reason for you to let all of that go. Let it all go let that memory go with everything else. There is no possibility with her that, always she’s reflecting that one being that we are.
Rick – Yeah that’s good. Yeah well you were describing that I kind of flashed of the absurdity really making a super duper fuss about their individual of a teacher because from that teacher’s perspective if they are the real deal their individuality is pretty negligible and really it’s the divine that they just reside in and we just see them as a window into the divine but it’s the divine we are interested in not the window, so much.. (laughing)
Rhonda – Exactly, exactly. They’re just there temporarily. For you to discover who you are and then and I don’t see my teacher very much anymore. Because I know now other than enormous gratitude that I have, but I don’t see her.
Rick – I’ll tell you a cool story that plays out the devil’s advocate to the point we’re just making. A disciple one day came upon his teacher and God incarnate standing next to each other, and for a second, he thought so who should I bow to first, I mean there’s God and my teacher and then he bowed to his teacher, and he said I bow to you my teacher who has shown me my God.
Rhonda – Mmm… but they are both the one, right?
Rick – Exactly.
Rhonda – Right? The teacher is, they are the one, they’re the same. I’d be bowing to both of them, actually (laughing)
Rick – (laughing) Yeah bowing right in the middle. Alright, let’s talk more about The Greatest Secret now. I was reminded of a verse of the Gita that I copied down here Chapter 2, Verse 29 one sees him as a wonder another likewise speaks of him as a wonder, and as a wonder another hears of him, but even on seeing speaking and hearing some do not understand him. And they use the word him and that but they really talking about Brahman or Being, or Self or whatever you want to call it. There are all kinds of versus like that about how, and not only in Gita but all kinds of books about how there’s this profound reality, which is really all that exists, or if we want to think of it as transcendental, it’s within everything, and yet the vast majority of people are completely unaware of its existence, and isn’t that odd?
Rhonda – Isn’t it? I think about every day. Every single day about this, and I understand because I didn’t see it for decades, so I understand and yet when you see it, it’s so obvious. It’s always been there, that consciousness has always been there for every single second without it there’s be no experience whatsoever. And yet it is overlooked by so many people, and I guess it’s just where things are at, at the moment, where people are at, at the moment.
Rick – Yeah! Yeah, I mean some people say there have been ages in the past such a Satya Yuga where it was kind of the norm to know this and now we’re in a Yuga where it’s a rarity, so who knows about that. I guess when you consider what we’re talking about here actually which is this ocean of bliss and then when we consider how much unhappiness there is in the world and how much suffering it’s kind of like a fish been thirsty or something here, they are just immersed in the ocean craving water (laughing).
Rhonda – Totally and the unhappiness and suffering isn’t necessary it doesn’t have to occur but if we invest everything in the world and that its all real and think that is the one reality then we will continue to be buffeted around because as my teacher said, every moment is to take us home then I certainly in my experience of that confirms it. While we continue to believe in something that isn’t real then we will continue to be buffeted, there will be suffering and there will be difficulties and challenges.
Rick – And not only we as individuals but the world. There is kind of a macrocosm microcosms thing where the world is getting buffeted around and sometimes there is world wars, and sometimes there’s pandemics, and sometimes there’s economic collapse, and so on. Ultimately, I think those things are arbitrary or capricious or insignificant there is an evolutionary impact to everything.
Rhonda – Absolutely. And definitely the timing, I’ve just recently what we’ve been going through it’s perfect in its timing. I mean I watch that event and the effect that it’s had on people and can see that, all of it, there was an invitation there, because there was great fear, you know so there’s an invitation to be free of fear, and to recognize and realize the truth to look beyond to look beyond because one of the things that everybody strives for, is safety and security and to feel safe and secure and what the last couple of years did was say, well you may never be safe and secure because you don’t know what is it around the corner. And I can see the beauty of that, that if you find out who you are you have total safety and security, amidst the turmoil and the turbulence, and not suffer, and to be at peace and to be filled with happiness in a really challenging world situation, you know you found something incredible.
Rick – Something that I know that it has happened in this pandemic and we’ve been talking about a lot on the news is called the great resignation where a lot of people are thinking, well what am I doing on this job, and their resigning from their jobs and I don’t know if they’ve all figured out what they’re going to do next but it’s actually a big thing and causing a labor crisis because people think I don’t want to spend this much of my time doing this thing anymore, there must be something better for me.
Rhonda – Right, which is great isn’t it because they are questioning, I mean it makes it difficult for the world to keep turning in the way that it’s been turning, but it isn’t meant to. I mean I think when something dramatic happens we are being directed to take a right hand turn not continuing down that path anymore we’re turning out right and turn and I absolutely know that everything that is coming is for the better everything absolutely everything. I think for sure people…this kind of thing will help people to wake up and as you say, to not want to continue and to resign from their jobs and to all those people that have relocated. You know people left cities and then move states and relocated and to get out of the city and we know the impact of nature and the peace and the silence and that has on us, so one has to think that’s heading in the right direction too.
Rick – Yes and interesting. There’s a lot we can talk about with this kind of thing, but we’ll just keep swimming along, but I’ve often been as fascinated with the societal implications of what the spiritual significance of what happens in society is, as much as I am as the spirituality of the individuals and there’s major shifts and trends and transitions and the whole collective consciousness goes through.
Rhonda – Yes and I agree that I always fall back on the words that Robert Adams would say and adjust resolves all of it for me, ‘everything is unfolding as exactly as it should’. And I’m just like everything is unfolding exactly as it should. Argh! It’s beautiful I carry that with me everywhere.
Rick – Did you ever hear that story of the Zen teacher that comes in and looks at his student and says, ‘you’re all perfect just as you are but you could use improvement’ (laughing)
Rhonda – (laughing) No I haven’t heard that one.
Rick – There’s another question that’s came in, this ones from Maree in Oak Park Illinois. Since awakening to your essential self, do you still feel the impulse to use the law of attraction to manifest things as a process of intending, requesting, praying for things changed in any way?
Rhonda – That’s such a good question. One of the things going back to my mentor and the order, my mentor was definitely self-realized however when they… the order was non-profit so whenever they needed anything he would visualize, and he would visualize that they had it already, and he was self-realized so I was very fortunate to have been connected with him because I saw how he still used the mind and visualization to manifest things, and of course they would manifest things really fast. So, there might be a really ancient book by Francis Bacon that they wanted to bring back to the order so that so he would visualize having it. So, I do still, I do still I guess use the law of attraction, use the mind however, it’s very fast. Because I don’t have, I’m not reading opposing thoughts and thoughts of doubt and all of those things. It’s like the thought dropped into fertile soil and it will just manifest, so that’s one thing is that it manifests really quickly, yes, I do, and it manifests really quickly so I’m not visualizing for days and days or anything like that, but the second thing is, I don’t want for things really. So, I don’t have that, I don’t have that yearning anymore for things. I just find that even before I’ve realized I might want or need something it just appears. Right? It’s like wow, it appeared before I realized I needed or wanted that. I’d like to give Maree something because when we no longer, when we are so effortless, and letting go of everything, and not this desperate white-knuckle kind of thing to try and control life but when we let go life delivers to us far more far greater than we can actually ever imagine.
Rick – There’s actually the mechanics of this explained in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there’s a word called Samyama, and it’s this process where you entertain a desire but it’s not this white knuckle thing that you described, where it’s like grr… this intense thing but it’s a really subtle impulse and then you just relax, sit back into the transcendent just let it drop into the ocean and then the result comes, and if we’re doing that in a really clear level like you said the result comes immediately.
Rhonda – Yes yeah that’s exactly what it’s like you described it you described it perfectly that’s exactly what it’s like because when you know that you are the one and only then everything is you. But one of the things that I realized is that and I might just say this to Maree for visualization is very early on with The Secret I would visualize, there would be, I would visualize myself and the object in pictures so there were two things in the picture and it worked just fine but a faster way to visualize is to be one with that object, to be that object to be one, there is no separation no gap between you and the object, you are one with it, and I know the Knights Templar created these tarot cards to contain the truth because all the books were being burned so they put all the truth in tarot cards and gave it to the gypsies and said these are fortune-telling cards and this was so that the wisdom would last through the centuries for whoever would come up on it, and one of those cards has a woman pregnant very pregnant in it in a field and I had a really big impact on me that card when I was learning all about the symbols because that’s exactly what it needs to be like when you want to manifest something is to be pregnant with that desire to be one, to be totally one and that happens in a flash. That happens so fast, you were just saying it, and then it just drops away and it manifests immediately.
Rick – Yeah there’s a saying that I actually researched it to try and figure out where it came from that appears that a number of cultures have this saying, ‘that first deserve then desire’. And I think it’s kind of what you’re talking about here, you know there’s, we can desire at a level of at the mind where the mind is very agitated and dissipated and full of conflicts and impurities and so on, or we can desire it from a very refined area where the mind is pure and settled and just shimmering along on the surface of the self so to speak, and there’s a big difference between desiring at this level and desiring at this level in In terms of the power and efficacy of the thought or the desire.
Rhonda – Yeah that sounds, it’s perfect really. As long as, because the mind separates everything so it’s turning the universe into all itty bity pieces, keeps making itty bity pieces everywhere, carving up more and more and more whereas everything is actually all one, and so when we visualize something when we are one with it, we can manifest it just so fast because then we’re not getting time involved we’re not getting space involved, when they don’t exist anyway for law of attraction, time and space don’t exist and so you can manifest something really quickly. It’s a really wonderful thing when life is giving you everything before you can even think that you might want it. It’s really, really a wonderful thing and I would just say to anybody watching or listening that it is the way to go because it’s a delight. It’s so beautiful.
Rick – Yeah, your itty-bitty pieces phrase reminded me of a Gita verse, Irene passed me a note twice saying I’m talking too much but I just want to say this first (laughing)
Rhonda – (laughing) I love all your pieces of wisdom.
Rick – So this first verse goes, ‘for many branched and endlessly diverse are the intellects of the resolute, but the resolute intellect is one pointed’. So, you can think of it like a bicycle wheel where some people live at the hub and all the spokes radiate out from them and others are kind of out on the spokes and they’re scattered.
Rhonda – Yes exactly scattered all over the place. I used to be like that.
Rick – Yeah me too, and still am to a certain extent (laughing). But you know, more and more.
Rhonda – More and more. That’s it more and more of your self.
Rick – Now this thing you brought up a couple of times now about having something come to you before you realize that’s the thing that you needed. I think this is a beautiful point and might be worth us discussing that a little bit more. Maybe I can ask you, what do you feel are the mechanics underlining that phenomenon?
Rhonda – Good question. I never really thought about that. Now when anything happens, I’m like well this was meant to happen. When something happens when something comes, I don’t even question it because well this was meant to happen at this exact time and it is divine timing. I don’t even look to see, like it has to do so much with no resistance to anything right? And this openness that you carry with you, so I don’t think anything comes that’s out of place. I think it is something that you need for the journey that is no journey. It’s so interesting because with law of attraction you use the mind but when these things happen this is beyond the mind, you know these things come from beyond the mind. Do you have thoughts on it?
Rick – Yeah and I can probably use you as a case in point which is you’re serving a beautiful function propagating some nice wisdom to lots of people and so in that sense, you’re serving as a sort of agent of the divine, an instrument of the divine. Since you’re doing that you receive a lot of what we could say support, we could say supportive nature from the divine if you want to call it that, and like you said earlier you don’t have a lot of superfluous trivial desires of things that you want it’s pretty simple in a way, so you’re not getting showered with Mercedes-Benz’ left and right but the things that you really do need, which will help you serve your purpose your function as an instrument of the divine, come to you because the divine wants you to successfully fulfill that function.
Rhonda – Yes. I love that actually I really love it. And too when you don’t have any resistance then you’re just kind of surrounded with all the love, and well you are all of the love, but the very abundant physical world that we exist in is absolutely abundant of everything. And so, I think also, it’s a reflection of everything that you have inside of course. I’ve never really thought about that, but I love your take on it. I’m just always so grateful and then the days are filled with, I must call someone so all and they call, or I must do and no then they email, and so, and you would think I would sit down and say oh okay now I’m going to get someone to call but I don’t but I just have this effortless thought, this effortless thought, oh I must call so-and-so and then next thing they’re texting me on or calling me. Yeah, it’s just an incredible way that it works, and it just makes my life is so effortless and free.
Rick – There’s a saying nature knows best how to organize.
Rhonda – Yes, yeah.
Rick – And when you think about the organizational capabilities that it must take to run a universe (laughing)…
Rhonda – Yes (laughing)
Rick – That it must take on a cosmic level to the galactic level and all this intelligence is functioning so perfectly, it’s kind of like pretty light work to fill the desires of a person who happens to be attuned to that intelligence.
Rhonda – Yes. I remember hearing these words be like a hollow bamboo, many years ago I heard. And those words had a big impact on me as well and I realize that the last six years that’s what I’ve been doing. You know becoming a hole that hollow bamboo and when you are that kind of empty, just everything flows in.
Rick – So I have in front of me here, and we have some time still, plenty of time. And also, incidentally if any thought pops into your head and I haven’t asked you a question feel free to launch into it even if it’s a gear shift into a different topic or something. But in terms of The Greatest Secret, we’ve touched upon the notion that it’s hidden in plain sight, and I like that phrase and it’ll be interesting to dwell on it a bit more because we’re not talking about something that’s far away or you know impossible to reach or anything like that, it’s some say it’s closer than your jugular vein.
Rhonda – Closer than your breath. Closer than everything, it’s just filling the room that you’re in, it’s filling the entire universe and it has no boundaries and then that’s when you begin to look and see there are no boundaries, it’s just infinite. To try and help people see this and it’s really sensing it isn’t it, really sensing it. It occupies my day, every single day to try and find ways that will absolutely every single person will say it. Like I think there must be something where everyone can see this and sense this, there must be, there must be, and I want to find it, I want to find that way. It’s here and now and the mind is taking us to the past to the future and this presence, and this is another word that helped me to, this presence that I think everybody can sense and feel. That the presence in life this presence but for me now, it’s just so obvious it’s filling this room and all of us. When I look at you there it is. So, this really beautiful consciousness that we are.
Rick – Yeah, we were just discussing a verse last night that goes about Yoga says, ‘the self in all Beings and all Beings in the self’. Swami went on about 45 minutes about that one verse.
Rhonda – And I think that just deepens and expands more and more, goes deeper, and expands to be further and yeah. Just with every day the more that we can be conscious, conscious of consciousness of awareness. Because I certainly found for myself the more that I am aware of awareness the weaker of the mind becomes.
Rick – Weaker in the sense of less intrusive right, not weak in an innovating sort of way.
Rick – Correct, No not at all, but just becomes weaker so then I’m just using my mind for what I need to use it for which is on a particular time for when I’m talking to you but I don’t have that psychological mind that is like the torturer, and was the torturer for me in my life most certainly and for many people that psychological mind that just kind of causes all of the suffering and people and I don’t have that. It can’t trick me anymore you can’t pull me in anymore. So are use the mind for what I what it’s designed for my teacher says, ‘we created the mind for only one purpose and that is to manifest what we want’. That’s it we created it for that and of course the mind is creative so if you want to use that word, creative in the dream, so it’s always going to create what we want and what we don’t want. But yeah, ultimately it is all a dream?
Rick – Well we can get into that for a moment, but this thing of the mind one way I’ve heard it explained if the mind is just chattering along and constantly going along like radio static on with a million different thoughts then all those different thoughts are dissipating our energy, it’s been dispersed in all kinds of 99% of which are irrelevant and useless, but if the mind is sort of settled and refined then you still have thoughts, but you just have the ones that are actually appropriate and all that energy that was dissipated before can be channeled into as much fewer and therefore the thoughts have more potency and efficacy.
Rhonda – Yeah that is exactly right and people would know that by their own experience because if they got really upset over a circumstance or somebody said something to them and they just got really, really, upset then they will find that that upset or anger or whatever that negative emotion is, that is just food for the mind, and the mind is just delivering one thought after the other, after the other, you should’ve said this, you should’ve said that, and just continues on and on and on at the end of that day you can barely crawl into bed you’re wiped out. Right? You’re just a total wipeout. People would know for sure through their own experience exactly what you just said, is what occurs. Of course, when the mind is still and you’re just using it for what you meant to use it for, and it’s not your psychiatrist, and psychotherapist, and commenting on every single thing that you do, you’re not going to feel depleted of energy.
Rick – And I don’t know about you, but I’ve met a few people whom I considered quite remarkable in terms of their level of evolution or consciousness or whatever, and the level of energy is astounding. I mean hours and hours and hours and hours on end without appearing to get tired, or unhappy, or grouchy, and all of those things (laughing)..
Rhonda – (laughing) And I mean some of them only sleep like a couple of hours a night you know don’t sleep very much. I still sleep the whole night, but yeah, they just have this unlimited amount of energy and as you say, you can feel it when you’re near them, that energy is just, you can surf that energy.
Rick – Yes it like this field that absorbs you or something.
Rhonda – Yeah wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
Rick – Looping back to about two minutes ago you were saying your whole day all the time is to make more people aware of this. I think one key point in there is what we’ve been saying about how this reality we’re talking about is an ocean that we are swimming in and therefore everyone should have the confidence that they could realize it. I think if you’re able to think I thought, if your able to listen to this interview, it’s well within your capability to have this realization, it’s not just for famous people or people that wear white robes, or any such thing, it’s for ordinary people.
Rhonda – Yeah and it’s actually already there for every person, it’s what they are already, so it’s not something you have to go and find, all look for, it’s already present, it’s already present within you it’s just that the mind can be so invasive and chattery that appears to be blanketing the presence, and the consciousness that is always there and underneath it. But I mean we wouldn’t even be aware of the mind if it was not for awareness, we wouldn’t even be aware of thoughts if it were not for awareness. I know Francis Lucille says, it is the one that is hearing these words’. He uses that all of the time, and so it’s the one that you are, it’s the one everybody is, it’s present and it’s here now, it’s who you are. It just doesn’t have that story of limitation attached to it.
Rick – What you just said reminds me of the second verse in the Yoga Sutras it goes, ‘Yogas chitta vritti nirodha’ which means, ‘Yoga (or union) is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind’, and then the next verse is, ‘then the seer rests in the self’. I’m wondering in your own case, you described how your mind coming much more quieter and less chattery and all that, did that happen kind of spontaneously or did you engage in a meditation practice or something to settle your mind?
Rhonda – I think with The Secret and really wanting to be positive for all those years and when I say positive, I mean to think about what I want and not what I don’t want. So that I think really kind of trained the mind to be positive, to be grateful, to be loving. So that was a really fantastic first step I think for me, and then when I went into the second stage of realizing who I am, then it really did become a process to… because the mind would rise up, and it didn’t happen instantaneously for me. The mind would keep rising up, and I would find that I was following the mind and an hour later, I’d be like, oh no, the mind got me.
Rick – Where have I been.
Rhonda – And then I would welcome that and release on that, so yeah it was over some time, but it just got weaker, weaker, and the way that I could measure it was the degree of happiness that I felt, and the degree of peace that I felt inside, and so that…… it’s the way that we measure is the way our own experience and the level of happiness and peace. And then what’s extraordinary, because you can just marvel at it, that the things that used to bother you that that person would irritate you, or you would get hot under the collar about a particular subject, and all of those things, they just don’t affect you anymore. Like how did that why did that person bother me? There’s nothing wrong with that person, and so nothing affects you the way that it did, and in fact where I reached a point where I really wanted everything, that I was asking for anything, I wanted to see it, I wanted everything to come up, all of the beliefs and the concepts and everything, I wanted all of them to rise up so I could just like welcome them and just dissolve them and have them collapse. It’s kind of fantastic, if an emotion does arise like a bit of impatience, like a dog and I have a dog and she’s really old now, she’s 16, so occasionally she’ll, there will be an accident occasionally there will be an accident on the floor and that I’ve noticed… and then I’ll be like ‘ahh’, then immediately I would just welcome that feeling and not making not wanting to make it go away, and let it be here and the oh my gosh, it just kind of collapses, and there’s all the happiness sitting there so beautifully underneath it. There’s still things like that that come up, but that’s the main one actually that’s the main one (laughing)..
Rick – The dog pee, is the main one? (laughing)
Rhonda – Yeah, yeah (laughing)
Rick – Well if that’s the biggest problem then I think you’re in pretty good shape.
Rhonda – But really, I’m good at welcoming it and then I felt this actual overwhelming love and compassion for her because she’s 16 years old and wow she’s a legend, she’s incredible, so it doesn’t all of that swept over me so now the dog pee doesn’t affect me in the way it was before.
Rick – That’s interesting. There’s kind of a cart and horse question in here. It seems like you’ve undergone a lot amount of purification over all the years that you’ve been focusing on this stuff and, purification of the mind is again in traditional…spiritual traditions is considered to be extremely important in order to prevent us to mental turbulence we’ve been taking about from continuing, all that turbulence is said to be symptomatic of pent-up impurities or impressions or some scars, so it seems like you’ve purged a lot of that stuff just through the whole process that you’ve done, and I kind of find it fascinating because in my background I practice meditation it’s been my main path, and then I don’t think about it too much during the day but that benefit carries over but many teachers and then he quoted in The Secret and Ramana Maharshi for instance did advocates something that you would kind of do throughout the day in terms of self-remembrance or the way you deal with stuff that comes up, and it seems like in your case there’s been a lot of your path and it’s been very effective for you.
Rhonda – It has and really it was Lester Levenson who came up with that kind of releasing and welcoming, and because of The Secret and because I studied the subconscious mind quite a bit especially with my mentor, I understood how much we created from the subconscious mind by default, and so suppressed thoughts, and suppressed feelings, and beliefs all stored in the subconscious mind so it became very clear to me that with each releasing of those suppressed and repressed feelings that I would be free, I would be freer. I mean and Lester Levenson said he did it in three months, I mean it was incredible what he did. That’s the main thing that I focus on. I will watch out for a belief but really, it’s feelings and when an emotion arises, any kind of emotion that is not a pleasant emotion, then I will just allow it to be here and feel the energy which you can feel the energy coming up through your chest and out. I just found that incredible, really incredible, because you can measure how you’re going because you’re getting happier, that you’re not feeling, you don’t feel anger like you used to feel. My teacher says that once you’ve released all the anger it’s impossible to feel angry ever again once you’ve released it, you can’t feel it anymore. Certainly, my experience has been that that they’re emotions now that I just can’t feel, I just have the happiness. For me it was the fast path and you talked about meditation and I have such admiration for all of those years of meditation, and I decided not to meditate on my path and the reason, and the only reason I chose not to meditate and I have to define this to, was because I didn’t think that millions of people, hundreds and hundreds of billions of people would meditate, and so I thought I have to find another way, rather than meditation however that said, I have spent all of these years in contemplative meditation. And so, it’s not really the case that I didn’t meditate because I think that every second and of every day is contemplative meditation.
Rick – True even just meditation where you just sit down and do nothing but that for a while or 20 minutes or an hour or whatever, if that has come a long way since the 60s when it was a little unusual these days and these days and you have Yoga centers on every corner and a lot of people and Dan Harris at ABC News just left his job so that he can focus on his meditation teaching career. There’s this thing called 10% happier and Sam Harris who is a staunch atheist is teaching meditation through his app, so meditation has become pretty mainstream I don’t think and everyone in the world can do it, but it’s coming into its own more and more.
Rhonda – Oh definitely it is, and I think mindfulness and people are really into that and a lot of companies are using all those things now…
Rick – And it’s been taught in schools, and prisons, at halfway houses and all kinds of things.
Rhonda – Yes and it’s wonderful because what it means is that people are understanding more that the biggest challenge they have is actually their mind. You know that is the one the mind. I certainly used to think that it was the people circumstances and events in the world that were the problem but it’s the response and reaction so those things that’s the problem, not those actual things in and of themselves.
Rick – I think it might have been Gandhi that said, ‘it’s a lot easier to put leather on your feet rather than to pave the earth in leather (laughing)
Rhonda – (laughing) that’s good
Rick – (laughing) In other words wear shoes or sandals in his case which is not to say we shouldn’t help the world, but first things first, you know.
Rhonda – That’s right.
Rick – Oh I know what I want to ask you next. Now again you were saying in this really undermined a lot what more can I do to disseminate this knowledge more widely, and help more people and be to be aware of it, and I mean you’ve already got your book out what are you thinking what are you planning are you cooking up something additional that you might do or are you just doing more of the same or what?
Rhonda – So I’ve been doing LIVES, podcasts like this and what is really wonderful is that social media lives, where I do them on Facebook and Instagram, and what I found is that we get a lot of mail from people and they’ve said they’ve read The Greatest Secret but when they watch the LIVES, they got it.
Rick – By the LIVES, you’ve got like a webinar that people can join?
Rhonda – I do Facebook and Instagram LIVE, like 30 minutes and answer questions and so it’s very focused on The Greatest Secret with those. Because people are asking questions then the way I talk about it comes through differently from the way that I perhaps expressed it before, so several people have said that on the LIVES when I watch the LIVE I just use different words and described it in different way and they have they saw it immediately. And that makes me really happy. I suppose to try and do as much as I can like that, and there are things in the back of my mind thinking that maybe I’ll write a book about understanding the mind more for people. Of course, understanding the mind so that you can go beyond the mind because that’s always what you kind of hope that people will do. I am toying with something like that but just to be able to answer people’s questions and talk to people, if they ask a question then something just may come through that has not been said before. Letting go you know, Lester would talk about letting go and I think he used to do this thing or Hale Dwoskin does, and to let go is your holding a pen like that and letting go of for example letting go of anger is a simple as opening the hand and letting it go. When somebody have a really strong pattern of an emotion like anger and it arises up in them and it feels like it’s taking them over, and so it can be really challenging to just for them just to do that and so I’m always trying to think of analogies, like floating, be like floating in a swimming pool, you cannot have any tension in your body at all or you will sink and so you have to let go you have to be totally, totally, relaxed and it’s so interesting when you don’t resist an emotion it just evaporates. It’s incredible, it just evaporates.
Rick – I think you were quoting Carl Jung in the book, ‘what you resist persists’. Is that Carl Jung?
Rhonda – Yes, it is. I could write a book on resistance easily hands down.
Rick – Isn’t that what they say on Star Trek, ‘resistance is futile’ (laughing)
Rhonda – Right (laughing) Yeah resistance if you wanted to just drill down there are some things that are so simple and resistance which is not accepting of the way things are, you know just letting things be the way they are, because the thing is, if you just let things be the way they are they change. They change. You can’t… but we resist, we resist when something happens, and that resistance holds that circumstance and that energy in that one place without moving. So just need to let things go.
Rick – And people shouldn’t feel like there’s something wrong with them if they have a hard time doing this, I would say… because there’s a whole neurophysiological component. You know we’ve spent a lifetime creating deep impressions that actually have a neurophysiological basis and you’re not just going to snap your fingers and have all those impressions disappear overnight, they kind of have to be worked out and there’s this whole science of neuroplasticity that the brain can change, but it doesn’t change in a minute, it can take time for the neurophysiology to rearrange itself and new neurona connections to be established and all this stuff. There’s a great saying in… I think it’s shanaih shanaih, and it means slowly, slowly. Sri Ramakrishna used to say this, and I think Vivekanada, and they didn’t mean like just be lazy, and take all the time in the world with this spiritual business, but they also said, don’t bust a gut, it has to happen kind of, in its proper time, and you just have to tune into that flow and be sensitive to it and not be lazy, but not struggle and strain either to and find the sweet spot.
Rhonda – Yes. I recall when I first realized, when I first discovered The Secret that our thoughts create, and I would sit down and decide I’m going to have no thought…
Rick – Good luck.
Rhonda – …And I’m just going to look at the gap between the thoughts. (laughing) I would just be like, no thought, and then I’d be like no thought, and then I’d be like no thought, it was just still firing at me and so that’s how I started, that was the place I started from where there was zero gap, and they were just coming one after the other. But little bit by little bit as you say, and then all of a sudden you find that things are a little quieter and it’s worth every step, it’s worth every step to whatever process somebody finds, whether it’s meditation or whether it’s releasing to have the mind be quiet because only in an extreme event, do we know how we’re going. You know in a dramatic event, because all we can think, ‘Oh know I’m doing really well yeah’, ‘I’m great’, but then when something goes wrong, then that’s when mind jumps on that energy and all the drama, and you get and just see exactly where you’re at, with the mind. And we all have the same mind thoughts to overcome. And it’s not really overcome, it’s just not to believe them. It’s just not to give them all the attention because when you stop believing them then all the energy drops, and the mind just doesn’t have that strength anymore, but it’s one step at a time, as you say. Some people are fortunate, it just all drops in a moment, and they’re free…
Rick – That’s rare, I mean usually it doesn’t work that way, but sometimes it does.
Rhonda – No and you know what, I wouldn’t change anything. I love the journey. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love it.
Rick – Yeah, there’s so many interesting threads to this conversation. I guess the last comment that you made triggers to the thought that everyone really does have their own journey so people shouldn’t compare themselves to me or to you to Rupert Spira, or to anybody. Envy is not a useful sentiment in this game, and one shouldn’t compare oneself to others level of development or anything like that it’s just a waste of time. But you know the old saying, ‘seek and you shall find’, I really think that is true and I have seen so many examples of it when the desire gets really sincere, and strong, things come, the opportunities just present themselves, oh you’re ready, here you go, here’s something.
Rhonda – Yeah and that’s true. My mentor would say you know he was not about that progressive path, he’s not about killing that desire, they’re particular teachings was not about taking out desire, because being a sincere seeker was everything in terms of their perspective. That you would find your way to self-realization and enlightenment if your heart was on fire and you wanted the truth and you wanted freedom more than anything, then you would absolutely bring it to you. It is interesting because desire…I think Anthony de Mello said, ’the Buddha didn’t mean to take out desire, he meant to take out attachment’.
Rick – Yeah good one.
Rhonda – Right. And that just lit up the room for me. I was like yes of course, of course the attachment to the desire. That there wasn’t anything wrong with desire in it, in and of itself, it is the attachment that was the problem.
Rick – I don’t think anyone can live without desire and even the greatest sage that ever walked the earth at some point is going to feel, I’m hungry, I want a burrito or something. There’s going to be a desire (laughing).
Rhonda – (laughing) exactly. And as you said it does it play a very big part, and the desire for me on my journey was massive to the desire for the truth and the desire to be free of suffering was enormous, absolutely enormous. That carried me and held me in really good stead.
Rick – I think one thing that happens that one’s desires get transformed over the years from all me mine to universal kind of…. You look at the great sages and saints and they were thinking what more can I do for the world, how can I eliminate suffering, how can I do more for people in the world, and that kind of stuff.
Rhonda – That’s exactly what… that’s exactly it, giving is our true nature and so it’s all you want to do was give and help as many, many people as want to be helped.
Rick – When the cup is full it run us over.
Rhonda – Yes, yes it does, it certainly does.
Rick – Okay attachment. And a couple of things their attachment and happiness. I guess when we’re thinking about desires, the question arises why do we have them, and I think there is an underlying reason which is that ultimately, we want to be happy, and desires are kind of like impulses of that fundamental impulse or fundamental quality of all of life, I would say, not just human nature but all of life. I’ll let you take it from there I could say more but I’ll let you take it from there and elaborate.
Rhonda – On attachment?
Rick – On attachment and the fundamental impulse toward… let me give you a quick example and then you can refine it. We have this deep desire to be happy and ordinarily our attention is directed out outwards, and we think this will make me happy, and this will make me happy, or whatever, and then inevitably it may for a brief period, but then it doesn’t, and okay now I need this. But I would say all of those things are just kind of like a reflection, just little mirrors that reflect a tiny portion of the unlimited happiness that exist deep within us, and once we turn things around on and align ourselves and we begin to rest in that field of unlimited happiness, then our whole orientation changes and we can’t easily get attached anymore because our happiness is not invested in things and so if things come it doesn’t significantly increase our happiness and if things go, it doesn’t significantly decrease them. It’s like a millionaire who can win or lose thousands, no big deal, but someone who only has 10 bucks in his pocket winning or losing a dollar is a big deal, he gets attached.
Rhonda – Yes and certainly I lived my life with that happiness, like the desire to get objects and then feel some happiness, and then it would just dissipate, and always fleeting and always temporary and it’s always so fleeting, and yet we continue to do it. You know…
Rick – Because what else do we know.
Rhonda – Right. It’s like even if you’re only in your early 20s you would know that whatever you want it’s brief even that big thing that you want, the happiness it still really brief and then it’s gone again, and then you’re looking for the next, and then you’re looking for the next thing, and then next thing, and you can leave your whole life like that, and it’s never going to it’s just going to slip through your fingers, it’ll just disappear like that and then when you find the qualities within you, like love for example, when we really love everything and everyone no matter what, the happiness that is there within us is absolutely incredible and beautiful and doesn’t move. But it feels like a different happiness doesn’t it because the depth of it, it’s like a blissful happiness where is the fleeting happiness is… it doesn’t feel nearly as deep, but I think of Francis Lucille who says there’s only one happiness, you know there’s only one, and it’s who you are. And so when we get those things we feel briefly happy, we are getting a tiny glimpse of who we are, and then it goes away because the mind comes in and it wanting other things and wanting to change this and change that. But to find lasting happiness, which is what I talk about in The Secret, there’s only one place you can find happiness and that is to know who you are, and to be who you are. And then you have it and then you’ve got it, and then life is just incredible. It’s a wonderful thing and you’re right, that when you have that happiness no attachment is gone, it’s when you find who you are, that attachment isn’t there anymore because you’re way more excepting and allowing of life and not so determined that this should happen this way, or should happen that way, or when you have the happiness what else do you need. Because everything that we want and we don’t want is because we think will be happy happier with the having of it, or with not having of it. So, it’s what drives us and yet here we are, it’s like a big joke isn’t it? It’s like we’re all searching for happiness but it’s who we are already.
Rick – Yep, it’s like kind of looking in the wrong place. It’s like that Rumi story where the guys looking for his house keys or something under the streetlight, and then someone comes to help him and they look for a while, and they look for a while and the guy says, so where do you think you lost them? Down the street there you know. So why aren’t we looking there? Because the lights no good down there.’ (laughing) So people are looking in the wrong place.
Rhonda – (laughing)
Rick – Just again a lot of things are coming up that I’ve just been reading last night this verse from the Gita that we’re studying, the contact with Brahman is infinite joy, and Brahman meaning the self or totality… and that’s what you are, it’s infinite joy and it’s not just contact like dip your toe in, you become that, you know yourself as that.
Rhonda – Yeah absolutely beautiful. And then it’s a life worth living every single second and from my perspective that’s why we are here. We are here to discover that and that’s our as my teacher says, ‘that’s our secret intention to discover who we are’.
Rick – It might be the reason the whole universe is here. I’ve heard teachers say, one teacher in particular that the purpose of creation is the expansion of happiness, and we are the creator in our essential nature, and so if that is the creator’s ultimate purpose then that is our ultimate purpose because we are that (laughing).
Rhonda – Exactly we are that. Yeah. And it’s teaming with happiness.
Rick – It’s what?
Rhonda – The universe is teeming with happiness. When you tune into that and just feel that way you can feel all of yourself and the happiness of all of yourself all around you, and all through you.
Rick – And we may sound like a couple of bliss ninnies here, but this is real you know.
Rhonda – (laughing)
Rick – But this is real you know. It’s not a mood.
Rhonda – That’s true.
Rick – That was an old phrase from the TM movement, bliss ninnies (laughing)
Rick and Rhonda – (laughing)
Rick – All righty. Let me just quickly read the chapter titles from The Greatest Secretand if there’s anything that jumps out at you that you feel that we haven’t covered that we should just touch upon otherwise this will serve as a summary of what’s in the book so just interrupted me if you want to comment.
Hidden in Plain Sight
The Greatest Secret: Revealed
The Reveal Continued
You’re Dreaming…It’s Time to Wake Up
Freedom from the Mind
Understanding the Power of Feelings
The End of Negative Feelings
No More Suffering
Dissolving Limiting Beliefs
The World: All Is Well
The End – There Is No End
Have we pretty much covered all of that?
Rhonda – Yeah, I think we’ve covered it. We have covered so much. I love the last chapters in the book, The End – There is No End and The World: All Is Well. When thinking about this book, honestly, I didn’t even know whether I would be able to write this book but then there was this overwhelming push within me to write it. I could always feel that I wanted the revelation, and I wanted people to experience the revelation the way I experienced the revelation because its life changing. And then get down to all the practical things of the way to purify and become happier and freer and then at the end of the book to really like go out, with riveting incredible news, more incredible news. Everlasting happiness and The World: All Is Well and The End – There Is No End to me is just so beautiful in the last chapter which talks about all of the teachers contributing and talking about that there is no death. It’s just the words are so beautiful in that chapter, and I get really teary. This book would not be what it is if not for those incredible beings who contributed they’re amazing wisdom and love really.
Rick – And if people listen to the audiobook as I did you will hear them in their own voices in various people, Rupert and Pamela and Francis and those people. It’s nice
Rhonda – And it was really fantastic because I asked them if they would do it, and they were just yes, pretty much every one of them said yes. A couple didn’t but mostly they all said yes, and they were really wonderful to do that. It makes such a difference when you have the energy of those teachers speaking. All of the teachers that are featured in The Greatest Secret every single one of those teachers has been a teacher that I had spent some time following their teachings, whether I followed them for three months or three years, but every one of the teachers in the book impacted my journey and helped me awaken and realize the truth. That is the 14-year journey from The Secret to The Greatest Secret, all of those teachers.
Rick – And you know some people say well you should’ve just focused on one teacher or one teaching and dig one well don’t try and dig ten wells at the one time, but it may be another way of looking at it maybe you could use 10 different tools to dig one well like each tool has its own function.
Rhonda – Yeah right. Yes, and that I think if you become really tapped in and feel where life is taking you to then you’ll be in really safe hands because you will land at one teacher and then you may only be following that teacher a few weeks and then there’s another teacher and then you begin to follow them. I was never confused, I would always just stay with the teacher I understood the way they presented the truth and I stayed with them for a while, quite a while very often, and then would look at another teacher. Another teacher would just appear so I would just follow their teachings and there is no right or wrong way about any of it. Which tradition, or how many teachers, or which teacher, or which path, that that path was a dead end. Everything is unfolding as it’s meant to and as it should. Everybody is going to get there. Like everybody’s going to get there, right?
Rick – Yeah everybody’s going get there sooner or later.
Rhonda – Yeah sooner or later (laughing)
Rick – What you just said about all those teachers, and it doesn’t mean that you’re a dilettante or superficially dabbling from one teacher to the next because obviously you were going very deep, but Mirabai Starr gave a nice talk at the SAND Conference one year called, ‘Bees in the Garden’. You might have even been there that year, but it was about how the bees goes from flower to flower and that really works for the bee they don’t just stay on the one flower all the time. But it might be perfectly appropriate for someone to be with just one teacher for decades, but it might be appropriate for other people to be like the bee and go around.
Rhonda – Absolutely, and I had I guess a few teachers, if you look at them, if you look at the list of all of those teachers, but then I follow their teachings for quite a while, I have to say for the majority of them years in many cases. But it was always that I felt that I kind of knew that I had received what I needed to from that teacher, and I got so much from every teacher. I got so much, and so many a-ha moments, and eyes opened and consciousness expanding. So, I would just say to anybody we’re so blessed now because there’s YouTube and there’s podcasts and I mean it’s a smorgasbord out there for people. So, there’s no excuse, right?
Rick – Yeah for all of its shortcomings, the internet has provided a means for global enlightenment that would be hard to achieve that global enlightenment without communication in a medium like this.
Rhonda – I agree. I agree. because I watched, I mean Mooji is in The Greatest Secret and he does so many talks, he is prolific, and I was able to watch so many of his talks. Actually, all of the teachers I watched on YouTube and subscribe to many of them as well and listened and I would just listen and listen one after the other, I just couldn’t get enough. All I wanted to do was do this one thing and let the world pass by.
Rick – I think it’s paid off for you. So be sure to let me know about…if I don’t have it in my links, I’ll be sure to get it from you. Oh, wait a minute there’s one more question that came in this is from Amel from Portland, Oregon. I’m wondering if Miss Byrne was also compelled to change her diet as a result of her purification process in terms of eating healthy, plant-based, all that kind of thing?
Rhonda – I probably did yes. I think so, and really pure and organic all of that makes a really big difference I think too. But again, and earlier in my life that I’ve done a big job, drink champagne for celebrations, and I just watch that fall away you know, it just fell away, it wasn’t anything I planned, but I just wasn’t interested anymore so that happened with a lot of things. It just naturally happened it wasn’t anything that was forced, or it’s just gradually, gradually occurred. So again, if you just trust, if people trust in what is appealing to them and not appealing to them rather than forcing anything. I think that’s the best part is to take the effortless path as much as possible in every aspect of your life
Rick – Row row row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.
Rhonda – Life is but a dream (laughing). Life rowed the boat, and just sit back.
Rick – Exactly and the stream is doing most of the work (laughing).
Rhonda – Yeah that’s right (laughing)
Rick – You mentioned you have these LIVE things on Facebook and Instagram so make sure I have the links to those so I can send people to them, and they can join in. You ought to have some guest people once in a while or some of the people from The Greatest Secret could get in there and…
Rhonda – I think my team are putting their thumb up behind the scenes here because that is definitely what they want to do next year.
Rick – Truly I’d be happy to do it let me know…I could suggest some others to you that aren’t in the book.
Rhonda – Oh that would be amazing.
Rick – Okay so thanks so much I’ve really enjoyed this time with you.
Rhonda – It’s been lovely and thank you very much for having me.
Rick – It’s been a lot of fun.
Rhonda – Yeah, thank you for having me, I really appreciate it very much.
Rick – And I appreciate you coming on the show, it’s been really a lot of fun.
Here are the books and documentary film mentioned in this post: