Instinct for Freedom: A Maverick’s Guide to Spiritual Revolution by Alan Clements

After spending ten years in Burma studying as a Buddhist monk, author Alan Clements began traveling the world as a human rights activist. Instinct for Freedom is part memoir and part spiritual inquiry. He details his early years of living in silence in a Burmese monastery, offering a rare, beautiful, and nuanced account of the experience of intensive meditation and what it can offer. He goes on to illuminate a doctrine he calls World Dharma, the belief that no amount of spiritual practice or meditative training can adequately prepare one for life.

One must find liberty through living firmly in the present no matter the circumstance. He gives voice to a politically engaged mysticism, based on the irreducible value of freedom. He teaches liberation from fear, ignorance, and dogma, and the elevation of dignity, conscience, and beauty.

Alan Clements

Artist, activist, and spiritual teacher Alan Clements trained as a Buddhist monk in Burma for the better part of a decade. Instrumental to bringing a nonsectarian Dharma to the West, Clements has lectured and taught hundreds of retreats in North America and Australia. He has performed his Spiritually Incorrect monologue in theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada. He lives in Vancouver, BC. Since disrobing in 1983 Clements has become an evocative voice for freedom and dignity, exploring their essential place in contemporary spirituality.

Since 1988 Clements has played a prominent role in bringing Burma’s “revolution of the spirit” to the world. In 1995, he coauthored The Voice of Hope, the internationally acclaimed book of conversations with Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991’s Nobel Peace laureate and leader of her country’s nonviolent struggle for freedom. He presently teaches retreats and speaks to audiences on the fundamental importance of trusting one’s own deepest experience. His website is

The Myth of Enlightenment – An Interview with Alan Clements

Alan Clements, a former Buddhist monk turned author/activist, explains the fallacy of absolute spiritual truth in an interview for his book “Instinct for Freedom.”

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