I had a great text interview with Colette Davie on Instagram and we went deep into spirituality.
Manish Kadave:- What’s your full name?
Colette:- Colette Davie.
Manish Kadave:- Hi colette davie, What do you think is spirituality?
Colette:- Spirituality is a means for seeking what we are. Throughout the course of life, people seek happiness in objects such as relationships, material things, states of mind and substances. At some point, we realise that none of these things ever seem to fulfil us, and if they do, it isn’t for very long. So, many of us turn toward spirituality as a sort of ‘last resort’ means toward the happiness we seek, hoping that it will finally be found in it. When true spirituality is practiced (if one could call it a practice), we reach a state of fulfilment. In other words, through spirituality, we discover who or what we are, and that fulfils us.
Manish Kadave:- Great answer, now can you describe your spiritual journey in short? If you had one*
Colette:- As a child, my father (who practiced Zen Buddhism at the time) taught my younger sister and I to meditate. We had to do that every day, and that was the extent of my ‘spirituality’ for a long time. I didn’t do much more than sit on a meditation cushion once or twice a day. At some point, it was realised that I was suffering deeply, despite ‘meditation’. Anxiety, depression and other mental health issues had arisen, making daily life unbearable. I also went through an event which truly shook me, and left me at a total loss. I then turned to nonduality (or Advaita) in an attempt to stop the suffering. After following the teachings of enlightened teachers like Rupert Spira, Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle, it was realised that the happiness, peace and fulfilment I had been seeking outside of myself, had been ‘within’ me. Basically, the true ‘nondual’ view of the world permeated my experience, leaving me with nothing left to seek – totally fulfilled in the knowledge of what I am.
Manish Kadave:- Great…Do you think you are a part of the rising of new age spirituality in the world right now?
Colette:- If you think I am, then I am. However, I don’t think I am anything! From a conventional view, I may be viewed in that way. However, I don’t see myself as a part of one thing alone. I’m a part of those practicing spirituality, and I’m a part of those who are not. We are one!
Manish Kadave:- Nice….Do you believe that truth is hidden in every religions? But people don’t dig deeper in their respective religions?
Colette:- Absolutely. I think that many (if not most) of the worlds most prominent religions are founded in the same Truth. The reason that people have wars over religion is that they fail to see that all religions are talking about the same thing. The same one thing.
Manish Kadave:- Yes you are right! Have you read any religious books or scriptures? If so then Which books would you recommend to read?
Colette:- I never read any traditional religious books or scriptures until the Realisation, so I’m busy catching up now! I’m currently busy reading the Ashtavakra Gita, which I highly recommend for anyone on this path. Apart from that, I highly recommend the books written by Adyashanti (I have read them all, and they are all wonderful), as well as my favourite book, Perfect Brilliant Stillness by David Carse. I don’t want to leave out those written by Rupert Spira – as Rupert was basically my ‘teacher’ on this path. I recommend those to anyone – Rupert is brilliant!
Manish Kadave:- Great… Do you think a guru is needed in a spiritual path or do you consider life as the supreme guru?
Colette:- Both! A lot of the time with those that I speak to or teach, and in my own experience, a teacher or guru is needed to answer questions the mind might have that are preventing it from discovering its True Nature. If it weren’t for my first teacher, I would never have known the answer to certain questions, and who knows if things would’ve ended up like this? Probably not. On the other hand, the implication of having a teacher is that the teacher has something which the student does not have, or that the teacher is somehow ‘special’ in some way. This, of course, is not true at all. You don’t need anything (and I mean anything) to be what you already are. In terms of life being the supreme guru – if life didn’t ‘push’ us toward suffering and, therefore, seeking happiness, we would never awaken. In that way, life is also a teacher.
Manish Kadave:- Great answer.. Final question.. Do you think Enlightenment is a fixed thing or a gradual timeless process?
Colette:- Both. I used to believe it would only happen in a big ‘boom!’ moment – that’s often what we read about, isn’t it? We hear ‘and suddenly, there was no one here’. We hardly hear of gradual ‘awakenings’, so our minds keep sort of ‘waiting’ for that moment. I’m happy to say that for what I used to call ‘me’, that moment never came. Somewhere, something changed, or shifted, and when I looked again, everything was different. It was truly a ‘gradual’ process, and I will never know when it happened. It was so subtle, and I’m grateful for that, because now I can tell people that they do not have to wait for that moment to happen! It really enforces the idea that you are already what is here now, and I think that’s beautiful.
Manish Kadave:- Yes right…
Colette:- No one really wakes up, and you realise that really profoundly when it’s not some kind of kundalini moment! You realise you are what you’ve always been, but now you see it’s not what you thought you are. Although this initial understanding seems to happen once, albeit gradually, I think we have the opportunity to wake up to every moment. In every moment, there is a choice of whether to abide as what you are, or to abide as illusion. It’s not a once off thing! Wake up to this moment. And this moment. And this moment. It’s a never-ending ‘now’, which can be deepened into indefinitely.
Manish Kadave:- Be Here Now! Is the timeless message given by all the teachers!
Colette:- Yes! And this is exactly why. Enlightenment is not an achievement which happens somewhere in the past that the person is totally free to carry for the future. That’s not how it is at all. Enlightenment happens now. Awakening is now. Even if that means awakening again and again, being born again in every moment. Whatever! It’s now.
Manish Kadave:- Yes… It was great interview with you…and thank you for giving your valuable time… I think I got a good friend like you 🙂…