Dr. Robert Saltzman New Interview
Quotations from the interview:
“The current nonduality teaching seems to be the same old wine in different bottles, in some cases, baby bottles.”
“I was expected to get it and to make any and all efforts to accomplish that. Any laziness at all in the work of getting it was severely criticized and I might be told that if I really wasn’t interested then perhaps I should just leave and stop wasting his time. … He knew how to laugh with a wonderful freedom. … He knew how to suffer, too. He never tried to avoid it but just took it all in.” Saltzman speaking about his teacher.
“The most difficult misunderstanding about awakening is that awakening is some special state which is somehow attained through effort. That is totally wrong. The emptiness and silence of awareness already exists everywhere and nowhere. Awareness is beyond description and no person will ever attain it or own it.”
“I did not awaken so I am not awakened. Awakening happens suddenly, and since the imagined ‘myself’ no longer cares to stand in the way of that or to struggle against it, awakening continues to happen. … Awakening never ends.”
Photo: Dr. Robert Saltzman on the left, Buddhism teacher and psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hall on the right, teaching a couple weeks ago in Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico.
Dr. Robert Saltzman re-addresses and expands upon questions asked in an earlier interview. I believe you will like his honesty and the detail with which he considers and addresses each question. This interview is recommended for students and teachers. These are the questions asked and addressed:
What is the role of a spiritual teacher?
What is spiritual awakening?
What is the heart of what you teach?
How do you communicate the heart of what you teach?
You’re a teacher in a world of nonduality which claims there is no student and no teacher. How do you respond to that?
Talk about practice, its value and its limitations.
Tell us about your active website and forum.
Tell us about your teacher, Walter Chappell.
How do the roles of psychotherapist and spiritual teacher play out in your life? How much have the roles merged and how much separation do you give them?
There are traditional psychotherapists and these days nondual psychotherapists. How does know which one to go to?
There is training available to psychotherapists in nondual sensitivity, how do you feel about that? If psychotherapists came to you for such training, how would you approach such a challenge?
What does it mean to awaken?
What are some of the myths about awakening?
Would you discern between the intense and true desire to awaken and the intense and fashionable desire to awaken?
You write, “My entire interest is focused upon whatever is arising now in this very moment.” How can it be otherwise or does it just appear otherwise?
Since you mention context, how important is it to put teaching and confession into context?
A student or seeker might sit with you perceiving you as enlightened and awakened while perceiving themself as ordinary, limited, or unenlightened. How do you perceive the coupling of yourself and the seeker or student?