28 April 2015

Here is my view. I am not a stranger to Zen and Advaita. I was a Zen monk for 12 years and was named the First American World Teacher of Chogye Zen Buddhism 15 years ago. And my greatest teacher was Robert Adams, student of Ramana, and my other teacher was Jean Dunn, successor to Nisargadatta. I wrote books and websites about realizing my true nature as the Absolute, as the Noumenal and taught it for years.

But then I fell in love with a woman and returned to humanity, to life, energies, love, and passionate living. My world was opened up to the individual, to the human, to compassion, vulnerability, and the Life Force.

Now I encourage people to wake up out of the narrowness of entirely focusing on "one's true nature," the unchanging absolute, or the emptiness many mistake for the absolute, and instead focus on living life with love, passion, compassion, accepting the vissisitudes, pains, and joys of everyday life--and in that total acceptance, in the "eating" and metabolizing grief, anger, terror, love, lust, loss,depression, bliss, somehow, somehow, one's own Manifest Self is revealed to you--the Self of love, bliss, power, Shakti as she dances through our lives.

I am not talking about experiencing for the sake of experience, but to focus on them, bring them into our hearts, thereby owning those energies previously avoided. And somehow, somehow, the long hidden Self within is liberated and we find God in us. We and God are one. We are incarnations of the divine.

This is a spirituality of embodiment, not of quietude and peace.

With the discovery of this Manifest Self, finally I knew who I was as embodied sentience. Knowledge, existence, and bliss were mine in the midst of the total activity of everyday life lived to the fullest.

As to service, I emphasize service as a path to the love needed to complete oneself. I have been a tireless animal rescuer for 25 years as well as a liberal political activist fighting for justice, equality, and openness in government and society.

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