Enza Vita

Who are you without any concepts of who you are?

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Who are you without any concepts of who you are? If you let all concepts about yourself, others, existence, reality, and spirituality, come to rest completely, who are you? This question, if genuinely followed, reveals a non-conceptual space that is prior to all thoughts, feelings, states, sensations, or experiences.
For these people it is recommended that they allow all thoughts to come to rest on a frequent basis throughout the day. These moments of being able to rest as awareness become longer and longer until there seems to be a spontaneous natural return to presence/awareness.
This return, however, is not an event in time to which you, as a separate person, are returning. This space is what you are, what you have always been. “Leaving” and “returning” to awareness are realized to be just more experiences coming and going, inseparably, within awareness itself, always eternally present, regardless of whether it is recognized or not.
You are beingness itself, pure presence/awareness, whose true nature encompasses enlightenment and everything else you think you have to work for in the story.

It is the absolute that becomes aware of itself inside you

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You are already That! All you need do is STOP, turn around, and recede back. In this stopping, the self can recognize itself. It can awaken to itself. No seeker can ever become enlightened. No one can ever wake up. In the simple moment of recognition, it is the absolute that becomes aware of itself inside you.
We hope and wish and try to find an enlightened version of “me’, but we can never find one. And because we don’t find, the seeker starts to seek again, and there is more doing, more efforting, and more practices. Maybe there are different practices that we hope will work better, and sometimes there can be mind-blowing experiences, but they won’t last until the no-thing wakes up to itself. When this occurs, you will think, “How could I have missed this?”
We miss it because, even after we become spiritual seekers, our mind is always looking somewhere else, outside of ourselves, continuing to believe, “I don’t know who I am, and I must find out!” This goes on until someone tells you, “You are right here. You are already YOU!”

Noticing what you already are

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Become quiet for a moment, and be aware of a thought arising out of awareness.
Notice that in this vast space, there is no separation between the thought that arises and the awareness that is aware of the thought. It’s impossible to say that the thought is located over here in one place and awareness is over there in another.
The thought and the awareness of the thought are indivisible, and it is essential to realize this. Emotions, states of consciousness, and sensations, along with thoughts, are all inseparable from the ground of awareness within which they exist. Without awareness, there is nothing for anything to appear in.
It is possible to be aware of what is happening in awareness and to be aware of awareness at the same time. When you realize that the things appearing within awareness are not happening to you as an individual, then the boundary lines between awareness and whatever appears in awareness disappear.
Who you really are is that aware presence itself, and that awareness registers the appearances that are occurring within it. When you notice a thought, what is doing the noticing is not you as you think yourself to be, an individual with a mind and a body. Awareness itself is noticing the thought, and you are that awareness.

The body-mind, consciousness and awareness and how they relate to each other

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When you first start to inquire as to your true nature, you might begin to see that you are not the body-mind. Then you might identify yourself as the conscious presence or witness that perceives everything. But then from that vantage point you begin to realize that this consciousness is just your universal body, the body of the absolute, and that your ultimate nature is actually before consciousness.
Consciousness is just a ripple, a wave rising and falling as a vibration or pulsation of presence/awareness. In that ripple, worlds, beings, and all forms, including the body-mind you believe yourself to be, appear and disappear endlessly. All your perceptions of the world arise out of that ripple, but ultimately, all that is, is presence/awareness and consciousness is only a modification of that.
Awareness is timeless and eternal, and this gives birth to consciousness. Consciousness is the background for the appearance of the body-mind. Awareness is what perceives what the consciousness is doing as well as its comings and goings.
Awareness stands as the ground of everything, illuminating everything—all thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and states—including the state of being conscious or unconscious.You are this wakeful presence that registers all that comes and goes in its field, including consciousness itself.

All that has been, all that is, all that will be, you are

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The most important point I can make is that you are, naturally so, and that you exist right now, effortlessly. Can there be any doubts about that? Awareness is, and as awareness, you are not only aware, but brightly present. You are awareness, awareness-ing, in every moment.
Every search, however broad or knowledgeable, comes back to this simple seeing. Your mind wants to continue the search for the truth because the mind cannot grasp the simplicity of it all, so it clings to the idea that it is a separate entity. The mind generates questions in order to validate its own existence. You must be extremely clear in your direct seeing of this.
This is so simple and so basic that it continues to be habitually overlooked. As humans, we tend to pile complexities on things that we do not understand. The mind likes to form puzzles to unlock. The mind creates concepts like time, future, past, striving, questions, and obstacles. But the answer is so simple. You are awareness in this present moment, and awareness is all that there is.
The true essence of your being is embodying itself moment to moment, becoming the flow of life, moving through your body and mind just as it moves through the bird, the tree, the rock.
You come from no-thing, an ocean of pure potentiality, into being. You think you are just one of the waves, a short life that ends crashing on the shore. As a wave you live and you die. Eventually you crash upon the shore and there is the end of your existence. But the truth is that you are the ocean itself; you create the waves. Each wave is your present life story, which is only a part of you. Yes, the story of who you are will eventually crash against the shore, but you, as the ocean, remain.
When you realize the truth, everything remains the same, except that you no longer believe in a false idea.

The cloak of nothingness

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At the core of the mind is consciousness, and at the core of consciousness is the pure non-dual, non-conceptual absolute. Consciousness manifests out of the un-manifested dark radiance of pure awareness, the pure potentiality of the Absolute.
In order for consciousness to exist, there also must exist something for it to be conscious of. This can be an object, or the lack of an object, or even an experience of being absent such as you might experience when you are in a deep dreamless sleep or under anesthesia. You are the subject of your own consciousness. Objects of consciousness can be the world around you, your mind, your body, or even an experience or idea. But pure awareness exists without the appearance of objects. It is beyond any concept of subject and object.
Imagine that you are the sun burning in space with no other things near you. You shine, but you cannot see the light or yourself because there are no other objects around to reflect your light. Without that reflection, there is no confirmation of your presence in that area. You are pure light, but you cannot know light, because knowing something about it infers that it exists apart from you.
In this way, one cannot know his or her original nature because that is what one is. Awareness cannot be known; it can only be experienced as what one is. You are awareness. You are the I am that knows that it is.
Consciousness is an expression of awareness like the sunlight is to the sun. Consciousness is similar to the reflected light of the sun, and it arises when the body-mind also arises. The sunlight can be reflected in a thousand ponds but there is only one sun. The reflected sunlight is not really any different from sunlight itself, and in the same way, your mind in a body is really ultimately the same as awareness and consciousness. The whole universe—all worlds and all objects—appear both upon and in consciousness. When consciousness then identifies with those objects, the sense of individuality, the “I am,” is born, and with it separation and suffering. At some point, consciousness realizes its mistake and remembers its true nature.
The death of the body causes the consciousness to return back to the source, which is the awareness itself. But this is just an appearance. What constitutes you has never changed in birth or in death.
You remain the primordial presence/awareness in which everything, including consciousness, comes and goes. You are not part of any one thing, you are part of the no-thing-ness that constitutes all things, and which gives rise to all appearances.

You are what you seek

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You cannot possess awareness because awareness is not a thing. Awareness is not an object. You cannot become aware or develop awareness because you already are awareness. The only thing that is required of you is to stop identifying who you are with the many forms that awareness takes. As soon as you stop identifying with form, which is the “content” of awareness, then all that is left is pure awareness. YOU.
Awareness is open, transparent, and always aware of itself. Awareness is absolute spaciousness, and this spaciousness includes everything, keeps everything within its embrace, and lovingly lets all things exist in whatever way they choose. What happens in this space does not corrupt or debase it. Everything in existence emerges from and falls back into this pure, immaculate, and incorruptible space; be it emotions like pain and anger, battles and armed conflicts, despotic dictators, all manifestations of weather including rain, wind, snow, and the clouds that float across the sky, as well as the people in our lives whom we cherish the most. The “you” that you think you are also arises in this space that you are.
Close your eyes and take a moment to simply be aware of the vast space that is immediately within and before you and which surrounds you. It has no beginning or end, yet it always has, always is, and always will, exist as this changeless, eternal, still, and immediately available ground of beingness.
There is an aspect of you that has accompanied you through all of your life experiences as your very nature. Can you identify what this is that is perpetually unmoving and always present? Wise men and women from time immemorial have talked about an “all-embracing ultimate reality,” which is none other than your very own ordinary present awareness. Try not to stray from this profound simplicity.
Just be aware of a sense of presence that is always here. Now, don’t think about what you have just read. Simply notice the presence that is seeing the world through your eyes now and is always seeing the world through your eyes. This seeing is timeless and never leaves you. What is looking, the watcher in you, is this pure awareness, this ultimate presence. The truth of who you are is that actual awareness, which has always been free. You are that freedom.

Don’t mistake yourself for the I entity

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Observe this that you are calling I. The one who is masquerading as the real self is asking how to get rid of the I when he himself is the I don’t fight this I, you will lose, and even if you win for a while through mental effort, this state is worthless in the long run. Once the effort slackens off, all the I’s will push in again and nothing will have been achieved.
So leave the I alone. No need to get rid of it. Just notice the vast aware space of your natural state in which the I is appearing and disappearing.
When you continue to think that the I exists, and that this is who you are, then there can be no end to what that I can be, including lost, unenlightened, confused, and more. If you continue to believe in the existence of an I, then you will continue to believe that you can change it for the better, and that this I will finally one day realize that it and awareness are one. Additionally, if you believe all of this, then you have to take the bad with the good.
It’s not possible to have a totally free I, because if the I exists, it is both free and bound. What you need to question is if you are really separate from your nature as presence/awareness. You need to inquire if this I that you think is there, is really there. So the first step is to have a look and inquire: is there an entity separate from presence/awareness? If you continue to treat the symptoms and never address the cause, the symptoms will go on forever. If there is no entity separate from awareness, then no one needs any fixing of any kind, and there are no more questions. You do not need to be fixed, and you realize that all your questions are answered. This is a realization that is instinctual and does not involve your mind or your intellect.
You are awareness, simple awareness. Don’t mistake yourself for the I entity. You are not this entity! If this continues to bother you, ask yourself, Am I really this entity? Then go back to that still point of awareness and you will have your answer. Realize yourself as the aware space in which all questions arise and everything is resolved.

This moment of pure Presence

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Right now, just for a moment, for this moment, refuse to be distracted by outer objects and notice the awake knowingness already present in you right now. Do not pay attention to the worldly phenomena;! Understand what is experiencing this life.
Do not let awareness linger anywhere in particular, but stay present to the experience of vast, spacious awareness. You may find at this point that there is no separation between outer and inner and that everything is happening inside you.
If you set all that aside, and if you keep digging deeper, the only thing you are left with is a self-aware, clear and brightly awake intelligence.
Look directly into this bare awareness. Notice its spacious, transparent, invisible formlessness while being at the same time fully alert, luminous, and present—obvious, clear, pure beingness itself.

You are not your thoughts

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We are taught since childhood to identify ourselves as thinkers and to always be thinking about something, so we miss the fact that who we truly are is the awareness from which the thoughts originate. You cannot be your thoughts, because your thoughts are seen by you and not the other way around.
This understanding is deceptively simple, and so it is often underestimated. The mind thinks, “This is too simple; that just can’t be the answer,” and so the mind will want to dismiss the idea altogether. When this happens, we are back off running around again searching for answers.
This postponement is a tactic of the mind to delay any dis-identification with thought, because then the mind would have no purpose or job to perform. So the mind continues to fabricate all kinds of images of what “it” will be like when “it” finally happens, and all the while the reality of the situation remains hidden.
This presence/awareness is what you are, the true self, and it remains unaffected regardless of ideas, emotions, and beliefs that might appear in it or be projected onto it by the world. Awareness is what has always been here, perceiving through your body-mind.

Liberation is liberation from “enlightenment”

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What we are is not an altered state, but an innocent original unmodified stateless state and yet many of us are trying to get enlightened and have ideas of merging with the cosmos or experiencing great energetic states, but those are altered states.
What we already are is the natural state, and so the idea of arriving to where we already are by altering something is an absurd trick of the mind.
We are taught since childhood to identify ourselves as thinkers and to always be thinking about something, so we miss the fact that who we truly are is the awareness from which the thoughts originate. But you cannot be your thoughts, because your thoughts are seen by you and not the other way around.
This understanding is deceptively simple, and so it is often underestimated. The mind thinks, “This is too simple; that just can’t be the answer,” and so the mind will want to dismiss the idea altogether. When this happens, we are back off running around again searching for answers.
This postponement is a tactic of the mind to delay any disidentification with thought, because then the mind would have no purpose or job to perform. So the mind continues to fabricate all kinds of images of what “it” will be like when “it” finally happens, and all the while the reality of the situation remains hidden.
Many, many seekers are searching, purifying, growing, awakening, stabilizing, deepening, and so on. Years later, they are doing the same thing because they do not realize that they have bought into a conceptual prison with no exit.
The way to get home is to recognize that you are already there.
Those who are actively seeking enlightenment will not find it because the act of looking for it is the distraction from it.
The idea that you can become enlightened implies that this is not already so, that you are not free enough or complete enough, that you are a limited being with a problem, and that problem is that you are not enlightened.
This is incomplete contradiction to the basic position of the great non-duality traditions that say that there is a reality and “thou art that.” I invite you to search long and hard in these traditions to try to find anything suggesting that you need to “become” that or even to “deepen into that.”
All of the world’s greatest spiritual teachings say the same thing: “I and the Father are One.” “You are That.” “Your own mind is Buddha Mind.” “The eye by which I see God is the eye by which God sees me.” Do you recognize these phrases?
Many people expend much effort trying to remove what they believe to be obstacles to enlightenment, all the while never realizing that the first and largest obstacle is the belief that there is an obstacle.
The second largest obstacle is the belief that it’s difficult and you have to struggle to reach it.
What’s needed is to take all the energy and attention that goes into maintaining those beliefs and shift it to turning the attention back in to itself. This means we can simply stop, pause, be still, and not entertain any thoughts or beliefs. We can actually turn the energy around, turn it inward, and be present with ourselves. Just by stopping all those cluttering thoughts and ideas you begin to tap in to that stillness and into what is here now in the present moment.
Absolute freedom is available to you right now. Everything you have been looking for is that which is reading this page right now.
Who or what is reading these words? When I speak of “awareness,” I am speaking precisely of That.

Today I am the wind

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Today I am the wind
seeking the form in the formless

Spiralling and flowing
from an unbridled space

Throwing myself at all I see,
dancing, singing, jumping, playing

Coursing through the veins of the world
giving, giving, giving

Blowing on all and everything
I dent all I touch yet I harm nothing.

Today I am the wind
my invisible touch known by its shadow.

An ocean is beyond me
so close that I can smell its shores.

Presence everywhere
like a dream within a dream.

My feet walk upon It,
my eyes are filled with It,

I breath It. I laugh and cry with It.
There is no place within or without where It is not.

Meet me here

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No seeking?!
What now?
Not a clue!

who is this stupid fool?!
Not a clue!

You light up the sky

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I looked up at the sky today
and saw it shimmering in the sunlight
dancing right up to my face

As I looked up again
that moment was gone,
the shimmering had ceased.

But it was here still, always here
displaying itself in the next moment
in a new way, in a new form.

Here, here, only ever here.
Why do we forget and seek it in the labyrinth of mind?
What is this madness?

Dancing with itself

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You are the infinite expression
of a shimmering endless Ocean
lightning Itself to see Itself,
to taste Itself.

You ebb and flow with the Oceans’ tide
and every wave, every ripple is your dancing
the moon and stars bathe in your radiance
and the night sky envelops you.

The price is your life

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We want to be free
lose the chains that bind us
reach the Sun
touch the face of God

But we are in the way
we are the covering,
we are the veil,
hiding the precious one

There is nothing we can do
but to leave ourselves behind
there to remain no traces of an I
revealing all, hiding nothing.

Get out of the way,
vanish, dissolve, just evaporate,
and the glory of him, the Sun
will pervade the universe with its brilliance.

No longer my eyes

This secret seeing is the space,
where the real meets what is not.

It sees all things, knows all things
the seen, the unseen and the not-yet-seen.

Live from this, as this, now,
don’t wait for that special moment.

Remove nothing, add nothing, seek nothing,
simply look from this place, through these eyes

This secret seeing is not yours to get
it is a gift to you from that which sees.

Just being is enough

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I don’t remember who I am right now.
Without remembering, who am I,
does it really matter who I am?

If I am not remembering who I am,
could I have an opinion?
The thought that arises, who does it apply to?

Do I need to be “someone” to be here?
Is there hereness here?
Is there anything besides that?

This breeze is your breath

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This breeze is your breath,
infused with the perfume of orange blossoms,
the scent of Presence where I have pitched this tent.

This place where I am your sky but also your clouds
where I see you with a billion eyes,
each one looking in a different direction.

You are the greatest alchemist
through you all things are sacred
merging existence and non-existence.

You fill this cup over and over again,
sometime scorching it
with your pure, unimaginable beauty.

Leaning to be the blade of grass rather than the sun
To be the moth rather than the flame
To be the fool and know the wisdom of serving you.

Interview with Enza Vita by Jerry Katz

This is a transcript of an interview with Enza Vita conducted by Jerry Katz from Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression on April 27, 2013.

Jerry: You’re in Adelaide, the state of South Australia. You’re from Italy.

Enza: I was born in Sicily, you know, the Mafia country. … (laughter)… Just a small village, a couple thousand people when I was born there. I came to Australia when I was 17. I came as a tourist by myself. I had an auntie in Alice Springs so I went to Alice Springs and I loved the country. I resonated with it and I decided to stay. My parents thought I’d gone mad.

Jerry: I want to hear about Sicily. You grew up in a small town. What was the town?

Enza: The town was called Solarino. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solarino. On some maps it’s not even there, but you can find it. Now it has about 5000 people.

Jerry: It sounds like a wonderful, romantic, beautiful place.

Enza: It was a very small place and everybody knew each other. Just one school for everybody. I wanted to get out of there, in search of adventure maybe, something different, some freedom. Because life there, even though it was idyllic in some ways, my path was such that the best that could happen to me was to find a good man to look after me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I wanted more. I wanted to travel, I wanted to see other cultures. We didn’t even have a library.

Jerry: Was all your family there?

Enza: Yeah, grandparents, great grandparents, I’ve got four sisters, I’m the oldest.

Jerry: Tell me a funny romantic story about growing up there.

Enza: I remember making up this idea that I really didn’t belong there in this village. My parents were lovely, they loved me, I felt loved, but I felt out of place. I made this story in my head (but I really also believed it) that I would tell people that someone had dropped me from a spaceship and that I wasn’t really from this place.
Mainly the reason was that since I was very young I was having these weird experiences for such a village, where I liked to be by myself, I was very shy, but also I was having some experiences such that when I told my parents about them they couldn’t support them, they thought I had some schizophrenia or something like that.
They took me to a psychologist. I would tell them I would see things. I would see lights around people. I got out of my body at night. Sometimes I would sneak out in the middle of the night. I would get this feeling that I wanted to get out under the sky. I was only 6 or 7 and there was a metal ladder that went up to the roof. My parents didn’t know. Even in winter I would sneak up there and sit up there and stay there until the sun came up. My parents started seeing this behavior, especially in a little village everybody knows everybody and the word was, “Oh, this child’s a little bit weird, maybe should take her somewhere.” So we did a big trek, maybe 50 kilometres, to go see a psychologist. My sisters weren’t having this sort of experience. I felt strange, I guess. I felt like I didn’t quite fit in.
My second sister, we’re only two years apart, I would tell her some of these stories and she would say, “Oh Enza don’t tell me this stuff, I get scared.” She couldn’t sleep. I would tell sometimes it feels like I melt. And then I disappear. She didn’t want to know about it. We’re two years apart, we grew up together, we played together, and even with her I couldn’t talk about it. At one point I decided I’m not going to talk about this to anybody. My parents just got worried. I found my mom crying because she thought there was something wrong with me. So I felt a bit isolated.

Jerry: When did all those experiences start?

Enza: As far back as I can remember. And then my sense of “Enza” was not very solid, it felt vague, like I couldn’t quite grasp it. Sometimes when I was by myself was even more so, it felt like I was like mercury. In later years I wanted to become normal like others and I tried very hard to be normal so that I could have friends, and I did have friends, close friends. But there was this other stuff I couldn’t share (with them). I did share a little with my closest friend and she seemed like she understood. She was supportive. She didn’t tell me I was crazy. But she couldn’t understand what was going on. She couldn’t relate to it.

Jerry: Not everyone you talk to who’s coming from the place of realization has had such childhood experiences and you had them intensely.

Enza: And there was absolutely nobody around that could even help me with them. There was nobody around that I could go to. And so I decided I had to find out. I guess leaving the town and going to a country where I didn’t even know English, on the surface it looked like I wanted to visit another country, but in retrospect it was about trying to find the reason for having these experiences.
The first night I got into Alice Springs and I was walking down the main dirt road with one of my cousins and through the window of a bookstore on the shelf there was a book. On this book there was a symbol. If you come to my house in Italy, (this symbol) it’s carved everywhere. When I was little I would draw it on everything. I would draw one of these two symbols but I didn’t know what they were and people around me didn’t know. One was a lotus flower and one was a geometric shape, like a mandala. If you go to my house in Italy they’re carved on the roof, they’re carved in the courtyard. Mom said, “Why are you carving this onto the wall?” I would say, “Mom I have to remember, this is like the future.” Of course that added to the idea that I was very eccentric as a kid.
So when I got into Alice Springs the first thing I saw was this Yoga Patanjali book and it had on the cover the lotus flower, and I’d never seen it before, and I said to my cousin, “Oh my God, there it is.” I bought the book, though I couldn’t read it. It was the start of some confirmation …. that’s where my journey started. I got this book home and I had an old dictionary I brought from home, English-Italian. I started looking up every word to make sense of what this book was about. I thought it was the Holy Grail I’d found. It was a book on Yoga. It confirmed that I wanted to stay in Australia because obviously this was a sign and trying to understand what the book was about, I started to learn the English language. I could write English long before I could speak it.

Jerry: Before we leave Solarino, can you tell me anything about it that involves pasta and olive oil and family, marinara sauce, anything like that? Then we’ll move on to Australia.

Enza: I eat really well there. My mom is a very good cook and we’re going back at the end of the year. My son is getting married and he wants to go to Italy so we’re going with him. Already I’m telling my mom what to cook. She’s on the phone saying, “What do you want me to cook when you come?” She wants to cook all the favorite recipes I liked as a child.

Jerry: Did you have family dinners?

Enza: Yes, lots. I remember as a child that all the extended families, for Christmas or Easter, and in Sicily we have all the Saints that get celebrated, Saint Francisco, Saint Paulo, Saint this, Saint that. On those occasions the entire families, not just immediate family, but cousins and everyone else, all come together. In my house there used to be five tables that went all the way from the front door through the corridor to the kitchen and all the people would bring food (to share) …and those are my memories when I was a child.

Jerry: What kind of food?

Enza: Fish. In Sicily it was a lot of vegetables, fish. Not so much meat because meat was expensive. Most people had a garden where they raised their own chickens so they would sometime bring a chicken. And the women would be in the kitchen. Sometimes the men too. Usually the men would be roasting something outside.

Jerry: What kind of pasta?

Enza: In Sicily the pasta is more like the Napolitana pasta. It might have some eggplant in it or peas. It’s more like a vegetarian spaghetti. There might be sweets. I remember for Easter ,my mom would be making all these ricotta little cakes, they were everywhere around the house. Food, family… all part of growing up. There would be 30, 40 people for lunch. And everybody would have their own kids so the kids would be mucking around, running around.

Jerry: And you were probably thinking of going up on the roof.

Enza: I did. I did. It’s not that I was totally anti-social but most of the time they would say “Where’s Enza?” “Oh, up on the roof somewhere, go and find her.” “Come down, are you there?” Sometimes I wouldn’t answer. .. Ask me more if you’d like.
Jerry: I could stay right there in Solarino. The other day I interviewed Didier Weiss who lives in Auroville in southern India and he quoted Muriel Rukeyser, a poet, who said, “The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms.” So here we are telling stories. Stories of your childhood, stories of your growing up. To what degree is all this nonduality stuff stories?
Enza: They’re all stories. I don’t make a difference between the transcendental view and the story of Enza. They’re sort of one and the same.

Jerry: What’s not a story?

Enza: First you discover the transcendental and then you realize everything is one substance. It’s awareness when it changes forms and awareness when it’s empty. It’s all one big soup.

Jerry: Now we’re getting into awareness, but in your story you’re 17 and you’ve taken off to Australia.

Enza: My parents tried to stop me. I was young but I didn’t feel young.

Jerry: Was going to Australia like climbing on the roof?

Enza: Yes it was. It was like the feeling I would get lying in my bed and I had to get out under the stars. It was the same feeling. “I have to get out of here.” And Australia was an easy step because I had an auntie in Alice Springs. I’m not sure why Australia, but in retrospect it was what was meant to happen. I also had relatives in America but Australia seemed to be the place.

Jerry: What are some of the milestones of the trip to Australia (besides the seeing of the lotus on the book)? You were young.

Enza: My parents were obviously very upset. But I had this calm. I was sad leaving them, but there was this calm: this is what I have to do. My aunt asked me how I could be so calm, like I didn’t care. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it’s just that this is what I needed to do. This is the right thing to do. I was still a minor and you have to be at least 18 to do something like that, and my dad said to me, “I’m not going to let you go. You can’t leave the country without my permission.” I said, “Dad, I’m going to go anyway. In six months I’m going to turn 18 and I’ll go, so let me go now and give me your blessing. Don’t try to stop me.”
Now when I talk to my dad, he says, “I didn’t see a 17 year old, I saw an adult, really strong, convinced that this was the way to go. I had to let you go.” That was his experience. For me I didn’t think about being 17, I didn’t know English. It was like, “I have to go, time to go.” I left. When I got to Alice Springs, I stayed for a few months with my auntie.
I couldn’t ask my parents for money. They were in no position to support me here. My auntie was working cleaning in a hotel. I told her maybe I could find a job. “But you can’t even speak the language,” she said. I said I’ll do anything. It happened a dishwashing position was available and you didn’t need to know the language and I washed dishes and pots for a while. Then there was a pregnant lady there that used to make all the salads and I liked the artistic way she made the salads. I would rush to finish the pots so I could go help her. She soon took leave since she was having the baby and she recommended me for the position. It was funny because everything had to be written up in English. I couldn’t quite speak it. I got the position. I was in Alice Springs for two years. Then I came to Adelaide.

Jerry: How were your consciousness experiences during that time?

Enza: Fine. For the inner life the library in Alice Springs became the hangout. I was there every spare minute that I had. When I wasn’t working I’d be at the library. I’d be looking up books and trying to decipher them with my Italian English dictionary. Experiences were still going on even though they were not as prominent as when I was a child. But now I was a seeker. I needed to find a reason why all this was going on.
Jerry: As a seeker you’re trying to make sense of these experiences. You don’t have anyone to talk to but you realize there’s something in books.
Enza: Yes, I realized that maybe there was an answer there.

Jerry: What kinds of books were you reading?

Enza: All sorts. Anything to do with spirituality. I can’t even remember now. In some books I found a resonance. Some books I didn’t understand because I wasn’t schooled in the material. Then when I came to Adelaide, that continued. I got involved in different groups, different meditation groups. Then I met Leo. I went to school.
Another thing I loved when I was a kid was making herbal potions. I’d go into the country and in my mind I knew what the herbs were about. And I’d make potions. I remember I made a potion for my auntie where she was losing hair on the top. I said to her, “I could make you something.” I was about nine years old and I made this potion and bless her heart she used it just to make me happy. And after a while she started growing black hair. She showed her doctor and the doctor said it’s just because you’re rubbing the lotion in. “Maybe she’s a genius!” she said.
I remember my mom was receiving a calendar from a French herbalist. I started writing him letters and he responded. His name was Maurice Messegue. I went to college. I did three years in naturopathy. So there were those two interests in my life. One was the health thing, becoming a naturopath. And the other interest was the spiritual… I was still reading books and going to see meditation teachers that came to Adelaide.

Jerry: You’re very grounded in nature.

Enza: I love sitting in the backyard and just do nothing, just stare at the grass and the trees and the flowers. I find it really amazing.

Jerry: So you were reading and going to meditation groups.

Enza: If we speed up my life, I found that the books that I had the most resonance with, that had the most answers, one was a Nisargadatta book. For a few years that became my bible. That’s all I read and re-read and read again. He was saying what I already intuitively knew. Others were some of the RamanaMaharshi books. Much later I got my hands on Dzogchen books and they also resonated with me.
In a way it might sound conceited but I actually feel that all the experiences I had and all the books I read and all the teachers I met, because in my job with Leo we actually met a lot of teachers, Sufi teachers, Tibetan teachers. We interviewed them. We did some of their retreats together. It’s almost like all these teachings streaming from all the different teachers and all the different experiences, they’re now flowing through me. It’s almost like the lineage of these teachings, it’s in me. And some of them are totally different (from each other)…. I’ve got this sense I’m guided. And really it’s nothing to do with me. I really feel inside the energy of the connections with these teachers, some more than others, and some connections I don’t even understand.
Right now I’m exploring a connection I’ve got with a Tibetan teacher, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. I met him three years ago and I felt a real strong resonance. For the last five, six, seven years every time I saw his picture it was like (an invitation), “Come, come.” (he would say). And it was funny because we went there and we did a seven day retreat. We did an interview with him, so he invited us to go there.
We had never met before…. He started telling a story about when he was in Tibet, he was nineteen years old. On one of his inner journeys he met this little girl that was travelling in a bubble. The minute I heard that it was, “Oh my God.” And Leo was next to me, his face dropped. That’s what I did when I was little. At night I would travel in some inner world, I travelled in what looked like a bubble, a glass bubble.
Norbu is an old man. I never met him before. And he’s telling all the people about this little girl travelling in a bubble. Leo looked at me and said, “What’s going on?” Because he knows all my stories. Then Norbu says the little girl wore a velvet green dress with little daisies on the bottom. That was my dress. My auntie made it for me. It was my favorite dress. Leo couldn’t believe it. There’s a connection with this old man, he’s got an amazing presence, so I’m exploring that. I feel his energy through me. It’s weird but that’s what it feels like.

Jerry: Would you use the word channeling?

Enza: I don’t believe in all that stuff. It’s more like a resonance or an energy. The only thing I can think of is that there may be something in this body and this mind that resonates with something in that body and that mind. Ultimately it’s all one thing. Why with some particular people you feel this resonance, this energy, I really don’t know. That is my experience over and over again.

Jerry: You have loose boundaries to your personality.

Enza: Loose! That’s the word.
Jerry: You’re all over the place.
Enza: I’m everywhere. It’s funny, when an experience happened back in 2007 I was meditating with a local meditation group. Actually I’d been meditating and doing retreats with ateacher who came from a Zen background. We went there for five or six years, attended regularly. She was mainly teaching the breath meditation, Zen style.
I found that the more I tried (that technique), the more the sense of self became prominent. I told her that I respected her teachings but that I feel this (the technique) was wrong for me. She asked me what I wanted to do. I said I had to do the opposite, instead of trying so hard I had to surrender into it. She warned me that I would lose myself in the mind. But I started surrendering, where you open up 360 degrees and slowly your boundaries disappear, and that worked well. She told me to keep going that way but don’t tell anyone else (in the mediation group) because she didn’t want any of the others to do the same, because they would get lost in their mind.
When I had the realization and I talked to her, my only words were, “I’m all over the place.” Coming from a different tradition she didn’t understand me and asked, “What do you mean ‘all over the place’?” It took me a few years before I could even talk about it in a way that other people would understand.
Jerry: Going back to the encounter with Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, what do you think of it now?
Enza: I don’t know what to think. You can go into the idea of past lives, or parallel lives, I’m not sure how to explain it. I just know that was my experience. When I was a child I would sit in a lotus position. Nobody taught me that. My parents would say “That’s strange, she’s always sitting like an Arab,” because that’s the closest they could associate it with.
That’s what was most comfortable. Why was I doing that? I have no idea. I didn’t see it done. Nobody told me about it. I was just doing it. Does that mean it was from a past life in India? I definitely feel a resonance with India. I went to India and felt, yes, I have a resonance with that place. But it’s a mystery.
So a guy (Chogyal Namkhai Norbu) that saw me in some inner worlds and described a dress I had as a child, made especially for me, the bubble, the whole thing…. I don’t know. It’s a magical mystery.
Jerry: People meditate, they do yoga, and when you do it, there is a reversal where you’re being meditated. And it sounds like that happened to you. As a kid you were being meditated.
Enza: Definitely. It happens to you. It’s not something you’re doing to have this particular thing happening to you. It happens to you. You don’t know why. I still don’t know why.

Jerry: It’s as though it descends upon you in some way. Like grace?

Enza: You could call it grace. People ask, “Does it take time to get to here?” No it doesn’t, but the paradox is that you need time until you know that you don’t need it. It’s about all these paradoxes. If you try to explain a paradox in some logical way it becomes a limited explanation.

Jerry: Doesn’t sound like you’re someone who would give a step by step instruction in your teachings.

Enza: It’s more like an unfolding process. I tried things that led me to a certain point. Leo is a conscious man, he’s been meditating a lot longer than I have. I wasn’t a very disciplined meditator. He was meditating every day, doing all the retreats. So when this realization happened to me, he probably thought, “What!? Why you? Tell me what happened.”
He wanted me to help him. So he became a kind of guinea pig. How could I point to him, this? Out of this (attempt) some very loose practice — I wouldn’t even call it a practice — has come about. He is the one who has encouraged me.
This book I’m writing comes from my personal journals, questions and answers from different blogs. When Leo saw them he said it was good stuff and that I should consider publishing them. I’ve been putting them together.
Right now I don’t teach. I don’t have people I teach. I’ve had people asking me but I haven’t done any teaching because part of me thinks, what am I going to teach them? What am I going to tell them? I haven’t got a set of teachings.
I have a meditation teacher who’s also a friend and she’s been encouraging me for the last few years. She says it’s good to teach. It’s not that I’m against it. I could do it but it would be just as easy for me to sit in my backyard and do nothing.
But there is something else and if I could find a way to help some people, I’m willing. Right now I don’t have a proper idea how to do that. I’m waiting for stuff to become clearer.

Jerry: Come on, you’re flying on bubbles. Why can’t you just teach?

Enza: Enlightenment has nothing to do with light shooting out of your third eye. All that in a way, is like spiritual entertainment. Even though I had those experiences I knew they had nothing to do with what I was looking for. I knew every time some big spiritual experience would happen — and I had them during my meditation days — it was like, “ no, no this is not it”. And I knew from the books I was reading that what I was looking for didn’t have a beginning or an end. So all the spiritual experiences sound good but they don’t lead to freedom.
Jerry: All I’m saying is that if you can do all these things on the physical level, and go to Australia, and everything, well teaching only requires sitting in a chair in a room at a designated time. Five or six people come and you start talking. But you’re saying you don’t have a handle on it.
Enza: No it’s not that. Even with Leo, unless he actually asks me something there is nothing I want to say or can say. It’s like there’s no one home. The letter box is empty. I can only speak, if there is someone there who will ask me something. Otherwise there’s nothing to say.
Jerry: I’m thinking of Darryl Bailey who lives in Winnipeg, Canada. It’s not known as a spiritual city. But he got talking to his friend, a yoga teacher, and she realized he has something to say worth hearing. So she organized a speaking opportunity for him at her yoga studio. He’s become quite well known.
Enza: If there is a need I will do it. There was an email the other day from Germany from a man who gets my newsletter and he invited me and said he could put together a group of 30-50 people. This is a beginning step. I’m not sure in what way it will unfold. I’m waiting. This is how I run my life. I haven’t got a plan that I’m going to be a teacher, that I’m going to do this or that. Right now I’m talking to you and this is my first interview and this is what is happening.
It all really has to do with the other person. If Leo really wants to know something, then stuff comes out. If there was no question, I dry out, it’s a dry well. The other person brings it out. I’m actually a private person but now this is going on.
My experience so far, has been that if I’m meant to be teaching, something will drop out of my life to give me the space to do it.
When I was breastfeeding my son Jonathan, one day I was sitting in a coffee shop and Jonathan started crying. I was sitting with some people so I tried discretely to put him on my breast. The crying of my son started the milk going. I wasn’t doing anything. It was just happening. Every time Jonathan cried, even if I was in another room, milk would start flowing. It was the cry of the baby that made the milk flow. It’s a bit the same with teaching.
There’s usually nothing and then there is someone there and they ask me a question, and I feel some energy, and I hear myself giving a response. But most of the time I don’t think much about it at all. So if there’s a need there’s going to be a response, but I’m waiting to see how things unfold.

Jerry: How do you deal with terminology? You use words like awareness, consciousness. Do you keep those separate?

Enza: I make a difference between consciousness and awareness. What I’m calling consciousness is what people call universal consciousness or the witness or the witnessing presence, that sort of terminology. And awareness is the one without a subject or object.
The way I use consciousness is that first you wake up as the space that contains everything and you realize that everything is also That. In consciousness there is a universal space that contains everything. At first I thought that was “it.” Then I started realizing that it wasn’t the end of the journey. There’s something beyond that. It’s what Nisargadatta said … “when the subject and the object become oneand you go beyond it, then you are in the absolute space”… that’s what Icall awareness.

Jerry: To me those are the two teachings, of consciousness and awareness. People in the nonduality scene overlook the consciousness place. But it’s a good place to come from.

Enza: It’s a very good place. That’s why a lot of people want to rest there for a long time. Because the step after that, is like suiciding yourself. From the position of the mind it feels like you sacrifice beingness to move into the next stage of awareness, awareness that doesn’t know that it is. That could be quite scary for some people to even contemplate, sacrificing beingness.
Jerry: Some people may be coming from the place of consciousness and not realize that it can dissolve. Yet they can live a very conscious life, make intelligent decisions, and be an effective, kind of realized person. If they get into the literature of nonduality they may realize that where they are at could dissolve. Some may take steps to bring about the dissolving some may not do anything, do you observe those two options playing out or do you have any comments?
Enza: I don’t really have a comment. I think everybody’s doing what they’re doing. Ultimately there’s just one play in all this. I believe that to go into awareness, to go into the dissolving, is not something you can do. Nisargadatta said that you can only make a little bit of an effort toward becoming the I Am and after that it’s grace.

Jerry: When you say “I Am,” do you mean…

Enza: Universal consciousness, the space that contains everything, awareness where you know you “are.” I call that consciousness.
What I call awareness is the core of consciousness which is like a dark radiance with nothing in it. There is nothing that can reflect the light, so you don’t even know that you are. You need an object to know your own existence. The sun shines but unless the sunlight hits an object the sun wouldn’t have any awareness of itself.
It’s all one thing. If this moment of presence or being awake right now, if it’s left as it is, then it’s awareness. If this moment moves, if it’s altered in any way, then it becomes consciousness. They’re made of the same substance.
Jerry: The nonduality scene today doesn’t give much value to the “I Am” or consciousness, as you call it. Yet you can get to the place of consciousness. It’s something you can do by focusing on your presence or existence. And like you said you can’t do anything to know you are awareness because there’s no one there to know it.
Enza: Consciousness is only there because there is a body/mind that is reflecting it. Once the body/mind is gone and there is no object for that consciousness to reflect against then all that’s left is the pure unmanifest, dark radiance of pure awareness.

Jerry: And I hear you saying, you mentioned Nisargadatta in this regard, there’s no technique.

Enza: I don’t remember his exact words but he said you could approach the I Am by concentrating on the sense of existence, it’s the way to get there, giving your devotion to your sense of existence. This is the true guru, the inner guru. Then it’s up to the inner guru to take you all the way. You can’t go past the sense of existence, or beingness, or universal consciousness.
Jerry: What I find is that people are going right for the knowing of the absolute, or awareness, instead of the knowing of consciousness or the I Am. But right away there’s some nondual teacher saying that’s not enlightenment, you’re just stuck there. I don’t care for that attitude. It’s like everything is being “Tony Parsons”d away. And it’s true that the I Am state is no different than the chicken a relative brought to your house in Solarino. I’m not saying it’s special. Or rather it is special. Better to come from the I Am than a lot of other places.
Enza: It’s the first step. Like Nisargadatta said, that’s the guru, that’s to who you give devotion and attention.

Jerry: Why don’t people in today’s nonduality scene focus on the I Am?

Enza: I’m not sure. Do you mean the people who say there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go?

Jerry: I don’t know. How about you? What gang are you in?

Enza: I sent a couple chapters of my book to someone, I can’t remember his name right now but he said the teaching was progressive. Basically my idea is that this realization is right in front of your nose, everybody’s got it, everybody’s had it forever. I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t looking in the right way. I was so distracted with what I thought it would look like that I didn’t notice that it was always here.
For the first few years I felt you don’t need to do anything… there’s nowhere to go, nothing to seek, nothing to know. I was talking to Leo, and he said he understood all that mentally, that all I was telling him was what they say in all the books, but he said, “Can you show me in another way that there’s nothing to do? I get that but that’s not where I am.”
At the level of absolute truth everybody is already enlightened, free, complete. But at the level of relative truth we’re still suffering because we haven’t realized that. And I realize those truths are inseparable. They’re two sides of the same coin. The goal is to embrace both.
So what I’ve tried to do with Leo is do what I call the practice of presence. And it’s a paradox to practice what we already are. But for Leo the words “nothing to do,” “nowhere to go,” weren’t enough.
It helps if you resonate with this practice of presence and Leo resonates with it. The practice is meant to help you notice what is already here, what we are looking out from. It’s not about giving you something you don’t have.
On a relative level a person is suffering because they haven’t realized the absolute (which ultimately is who they are). So what do you do? You have to start where you are. You have to start where the person is.