Nonduality Talk Interview with Brendan Smith

Here’s my conversation with Brendan Smith. The main topic is space itself in which is allowed “the freedom of raw perceiving.” I feel this is an important conversation because it could inspire a pursuit more toward space than teachers. As Brendan says, “Space is the teacher.”

List of tracks below.

Download link:

Brendan Smith is a 27 year old intern at the Krishnamurti Foundation of America in Ojai, California.  His main interest is space itself in which is allowed “the freedom of raw perceiving,” and that is the primary topic of the conversation.

Brendan is co-hosting the Timeless Spring retreat in September, 2013:

Brendan’s informative and revealing website is

Sixteen photos are featured, several from a 2012 retreat Brendan hosted in the Sierra Nevada.


0:00 – 4:44 Introductory. Moving their friend to a new home. Working on the herb garden. Krishnamurti Foundation of America. An interpretation of Krishnamurti’s statement that no one understood what he said.

4:44 – 7:12 How Brendan got into the KFA internship program. Jaap Sluijter mentioned.

7:12 – 8:38 Space rather than content being what is valued at KFA.

8:38 – 10:57 Educational background at UC Davis where he designed part of his degree in religious studies to emphasize nondual wisdom traditions.

10:57 – 14:34 Prior to college, an experimental time as a youth walking in the woodland in Maryland. Experiences. Getting a “real” education in terms of experiencing himself in a new way.

14:34 – 19:22 A game with a wild red fox. Sensing the “softness of the fabric of our perception.” Description of this perception and how it was his education. Allowing the space to see all that. Value of Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND) discussed.  The freshness of his experience in the woodland.

19:22 – 20:43 A Upanishadic story about the woods and non-human encounters and application to his experience.

20:43 – 23:03 Silence. The two ways to do an interview. Sweetness of just being here.

23:03 – 26:15 Gathering. Quaker meetings. Brendan’s interest in setting up gatherings. Changing perceptions in California. “Opening space for people to come and die.”

26:15 – 29:45 The Timeless Spring retreat Brendan is designing:
Nature of structuring the retreat around space (the unconditioned) rather than content (the conditioned).

29:45 – 35:09 Timeless Spring compared to The Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND). The emergence of structure in an unconditioned space. Questioning. No reference place in nonduality, nothing being taught or facilitated. Brendan’s website. Nonduality as popular among “kids.”

35:09 – 38:51 The location at Far Horizons Theosophical center. Location, lodging, meals. Value of nothing happening.

38:51 – 42:14 Nature of leadership at the retreat. Nature of structure. Designing spaces for questioning. SAND discussed.

42:14 – 45:42 Everyone can express themself from their own beingness. More about the Timeless Spring retreat and the magic of it.

45:42 – 47:36 Explaining to people what the retreat is about.

47:36 – 53:18 Marketing the retreat. More on the vision for such a retreat. Cost for the retreat.

53:18 – 54:45 More details about the retreat. It’s a two week retreat but you can come for one week or even a day or a weekend.

54:45 – 58:03 The apparent spreading of nondual awareness among people. The emergence of a lostness. Nature of lostness.

58:03 – 1:01:03 Wisdom 2.0 Conference discussed and compared to lostness. Lostness of the knowing mind collapsing into the lostness of not knowing.

1:01:03 – 1:07:37 What Brendan is doing after his internship ends in April. Building a community out of this lostness. East Bay Open Circle mentioned. The nature of the space further discussed.

1:07:37 – 1:09:27 Visions of the proposed community.

1:09:27 – 1:13:42 Center for Nondual Awareness discussed. Will teachers be less in demand? Challenging all knowing as what nonduality is about. The teacher can dissolve in this kind of community.

1:13:42 – 1:17:14 Existence playing at being a teacher. One of the revolutions in Brendan’s perception being of the nature of non-separation and without a center. Walt Whitman.

1:17:14 – 1:22:47 Physical death and the losing of the sense of “I.” Comparing that context of hospice to the realization of the nondual. Death. Facing death now.

1:22:47 – 1:25:17 Is there an experience of nonduality? Explaining nonduality to his mother.

1:25:17 – 1:29:08 Brendan’s music. Suggestion for more music at SAND. Brendan talks about his website. His book and his album.

1:29:08 – 1:34:32 Importance of the internet for the dissemination of nondual teachings along a level playing field. Shift from pursuing teachers to pursuing space. Space as the teacher.

1:34:32 – 1:36:29 What they do on the weekends at KFA. Conclusion.


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