I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been to share this interview with all of you. Of course words don’t do it justice, and eventually we’ll be able to make the YouTube of the interview public, but until then, I hope you enjoy.
First, I want to share a story about my grand daughter, Arleen. Now that she’s a big four year-old, she’s able to attend preschool. For the first couple of weeks, she knew the name of her teacher (Sarah) but she wasn’t able to share the names of any of her friends with us. Lately she has been able to recite the entire list. However she loves to talk about one she calls Tracy. She says that Tracy has gray hair and blue eyes and is about a foot taller than her. Tracy loves to play with her. and they ofter talk about princesses. When I asked her if Tracy was a teacher, she laughed at me like I was crazy and said no. When I asked her if she was one of her friends, she said, “No, silly. She’s from Heaven.” Wow. My jaw dropped. She also mentioned that Erik sometimes comes along with Tracy.
According to Robert, Tracy is one of her guides. In this case, she’s probably helping her transition to being away form Mommy and Daddy for eight hours a day. He says Tracy also likes to sing lullabies to help her fall asleep. How sweet.
Okay, okay. I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath so here’s Buddha. We get to share his company for six or seven days. What a wonderful houseguest!
Me: Erik, can you go get Buddha for us?
Jamie: He’s been here.
Me (surprised): Oh! Hello, Mis-ter, um. Buddha? I always have trouble with that.
(I’m referring with my difficulty deciding how to address religious figures. Is it Your Grace? Sir? Your Holiness?)
Me: It’s an honor to have you here with Erik, Jamie and me.
Buddha: Thank you.
Me: I hope you don’t mind us asking you a few questions.
Jamie: No, he’s very welcoming to it. He’s a very gentle, even-spoken, thin man. Beautiful skin. Short hair.
Me: Mm hm.
Jamie: Uh, he’s wearing a gold or yellow kind of wrap. I don’t know what it’s called.
Me: Okay, so he’s not a portly man as I pictured in my mind.
Jamie (laughing): No, no! He’s not a big man at all!
Me: Now, did you live a life as an ascetic with self-deprivation starting in your early youth? If so, why? What did you learn from that?
Jamie: Self-deprivation meaning to go without?
Me: Yeah. You went without a great deal of food, etc. Is that correct?
Jamie looks way up to her right as she listens to what Buddha has to say. Clearly he’s standing.
Buddha: There are many misunderstandings as the story has been told, but everything I did as a child on was to support my spiritual growth. I did not go without to create self-suffering. I went without to create simplicity and joy.
Me: Okay. Now, you eventually found that extreme self-deprivation really didn’t work and that moderation did. You called this The Middle Way. What would be the proper mix between self-indulgence and self-deprivation or does it really matter?
Buddha: There is not one structure that can fit everyone as a whole. It must be an internal challenge and decision based on every mind. It is important to allow yourself to –
Jamie (again, looking far up to the right at Buddha): Can you, can you sit down?
Jamie bursts out laughing.
Jamie: He says, “Of course I can sit down!”
Jamie (to Buddha, still giggling): Would you please have a seat, I should say?
Jamie: He’s so (pause as she chooses her words) soft-spoken and deliberate with his words, and I asked him before we began, because he was here for some time, if he would just simplify some of the concepts that he grew to understand while he was alive, and I know he is choosing his words wisely, you know, ground level.
Jamie (to Buddha, now not having to look up so high): And I, thank you, I appreciate that.
Jamie (to me): He’s sitting down.
Jamie looks off to her right at Buddha and grins widely, then looks back at me and starts to giggle.
Jamie: Sorry, I wish I could show you what I see in my head! He’s talking about not allowing the mind to gain control, to make all of the decisions, because the mind is mostly interested in the external world rather than the internal world.
Buddha: It is the heart that is more focused to achieve inner guidance and joy. When you ask for balance between indulgence and enlightenment—
Me: Or self-deprivation.
(I can’t believe I just interrupted Buddha. Oops.)
Jamie (to Buddha): Self-deprivation.
Jamie (stumbling on her words): That there is not. (Jamie mouths unintelligible words). Balance is not, uh.
Jamie (grinning): We’re going to get a hold of this. Don’t worry, we won’t stutter this long, or I won’t.
Me (chuckling): Don’t worry, Jamie. You’re doing well.
Buddha: Balance of the two will never exist unless you find a sense of joy within it. They are not qualities you can place on a scale and decide that one holds more value than the other. In terms of value, I mean the quality your life must have to achieve the goals that you wish to gain. If we could, as a human, remove both desires off the scale (self-indulgence and self-deprivation), and remove half of the scale so it is just one and consciously place emotional joy—if you can let your mind focus on emotional joy, then you will be able to stand tall and describe balance to the fellow human next to you.
Just a reminder: Jamie and Erik have some spots open for the conference call on 10/4. If you want to talk to a loved one or ask about career, health, relationship, spiritual issues or more, sign up here: https://withloveandlight.com
Also, remember to share this post and Channeling Erik as a whole! You are the light and the light must shine into the darkest of corners, too.