How Does an Awakened Person Perceive the World? by DAVID LOY

image: Oltjon

“The eye is made to wonder, just as the flower is made to bloom.” ~ Claude Nurdisany

How does the world appear to an enlightened person?

Obviously, that’s an important question for nondualists including Advaitins and Buddhists. ‘Waking up’ – attaining moksha or nirvana, experiencing satori, realizing your true nature, etc. – is the ultimate goal for both, and we naturally want to know what difference that makes to one’s perceptions. In what ways is the experience of someone who is Awake (the literal meaning of ‘a Buddha’) transformed?

Curiously, the best description I know is not from a tradition that we normally think of as nondualist. It’s in Centuries of Meditations, by a seventeenth-century English clergyman and poet named Thomas Traherne.

His book was not published until 1908 but has since become widely regarded as a mystical masterpiece – and for good reason. The fact that Traherne was a Christian cleric, and apparently unaware of Buddhism, Vedanta, Taoism, Sufism, and so forth, is important because it reminds us yet again that no religious tradition has a monopoly on spiritual insight.

The passage below is one of the classic passages of world mysticism. It employs some old-fashioned language and requires some reflection in order to appreciate its deeper meaning. In particular, two words in the first sentence need some explaining. An outdated meaning of ‘corn’ is ‘grain’, which is why Traherne can say that the corn he saw was wheat. And ‘orient’ is used in its old meaning of ‘iridescent’ or ‘lustrous’, one of several references to the luminosity of the world he describes so wonderfully.

“The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting. The dust and stones of the street were as precious as gold; the gates were at first the end of the world. The green trees when I saw them first through one of the gates transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things. The Men! O what venerable and reverend creatures did the aged seem! Immortal Cherubims! And young men glittering and sparkling Angels, and maids strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty! Boys and girls tumbling in the street, and playing, were moving jewels. I knew not that they were born or should die. But all things abided eternally as they were in their proper places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared; which talked with my expectation and moved my desire. The city seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven. The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it… So that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.”

I first read this description many years ago, but reflecting on it from a nondualist perspective has unlocked treasures unappreciated earlier. I am eager to share it because it is so similar to basic Advaitic and Buddhist claims about the nature of reality, when we experience the world (including ourselves) as it really is. Here are the main aspects that stand out for me:

Light and ecstasy. The world that Traherne describes is incredibly beautiful and blissful. The trees ‘transported and ravished’ him, their unusual beauty made his heart leap ‘and almost mad with ecstasy.’ And he is specific about the nature of that loveliness, referring again and again to the luminosity of things: the corn is ‘orient,’ the young men ‘glittering,’ angels ‘sparkling,’ and playing children are ‘moving jewels.’

Mystics in many traditions have emphasized the world’s radiance: things that we usually perceive as solid objects now glow. A distinction that we normally take for granted, between physical objects and the light that they reflect, no longer applies. The difference between them is actually something that has been constructed: it is a product of our ways of thinking about the world, including the names that we assign to things. I overlook the radiance when I see that as simply ‘a cup.’ I don’t really pay attention to it: it’s just something I use to drink my tea. That is how we learn to grasp the world, yet that habitual way of perceiving can also be unlearned. When we see things as they are, without unconsciously distinguishing between objects and the light they reflect, the visible world is no longer a collection of fixed, material, self-existing things but appears as a confluence of interacting, luminous processes. The cup on the table next to my computer is not just a piece of molded baked clay that just happens to be there. Its being-there is an activity. And such processes are not self-sufficient: they manifest something, which Traherne later points to.

Time. Religions tend to be preoccupied with immortality – helping us qualify for an eternity in heaven with God, for example. Traherne describes a different type of ‘everlasting,’ which is not about surviving death and living forever into a never-ending future, but experiencing here-and-now in a different way: dwelling in what is sometimes called an eternal present. His most wondrous line begins: “Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day…” The ‘immortal’ wheat he sees was never sown and will never be reaped, having stood there ‘from everlasting to everlasting.’ In that regard Traherne doesn’t distinguish between wheat, stones, trees, or humans: not only are they all radiant, each abides eternally insofar as it manifests the Light of the Day. In another Centuries of Meditations passage, he declares: “All time was Eternity, and a perpetual Sabbath.”

Nondualist traditions such as Buddhism emphasize realizing the ‘deathless,’ and often mention ‘the unborn’ as well. What would it mean, to transcend life and death? Do such claims refer to an afterlife? Traherne’s account suggests a different perspective. It’s the nature of all living creatures that they are born at a certain time and sooner or later die at another time. Buddhism does not offer an escape from such impermanence. But if living beings, like all other things, are not self-existing – if they too are interdependent processes that manifest something – then perhaps they cannot die insofar as they were never really born in the first place.
Manifest what? According to the Buddhist tantric tradition, our minds have three inalienable and inseparable aspects: they are luminous, blissful, and ‘empty’ (shunya).

Emptiness. “Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared…” Traherne does not mention God, except at the very end when he refers to becoming a little child again so that he might enter the Kingdom of God. The only other place in this passage where he perhaps alludes to God, or to some other spiritual reality, is this ‘something infinite.’ We are reminded of a better-known aphorism by William Blake: “If the doors of perception were cleans’d, everything would be seen as it really is, infinite.”

What is striking about this infinity for both Traherne and Blake is that it is not described as existing separately from perceived things. If things are really unborn – because they do not self-exist but are always just manifesting something else – then the infinity they manifest is not something experienced apart from the ‘empty’ things that manifest it. The Heart Sutra says it better: “Although form is not other than emptiness, it’s also true that emptiness not other than form.”

Mahayana Buddhist teachings sometimes talk about ‘the nonduality of emptiness (shunyata) and appearance.’ The distinction between the conventional or relative ‘lower’ truth, and the ultimate or absolute ‘higher truth,’ is the difference between how things usually appear to us, and what they really are. But the term ‘appearance’ can be misleading insofar as it seems to imply that the world we normally perceive is nothing more than a dream-like illusion.
Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche clarifies the Mahayana understanding of the relationship between manifestations (which we usually misperceive as separate, self-existing things) and that-which-they-manifest: “‘Appearance’ is a funny sort of word. It means some kind of surface thing, but with something else called ‘reality’ that is behind it. ‘Presence’ is a much better word. Something is presenting by itself, whose essence is emptiness. What appears is the phenomenal world, but it is empty because it has no real substance (in “Empty Splendor,” Buddhadharma Fall 2013).

Presence is perhaps the best English word to describe what Traherne is pointing at. What we normally perceive as solid objects, is the luminous presencing of something infinite — something not-finite, un-bounded – which is manifesting in these ways. This ‘empty’ infinite has no name and form: it is literally nothing in itself, or, better, a no-thing that therefore can presence as anything.

Transcendence. Religious dogma often postulates a cosmological dualism: the duality between this created world and God in heaven is a common example, and the Buddhist distinction between samsara (this world of suffering) and nirvana (the Buddhist goal) is another. Salvation usually means escaping from this vale of tears by attaining access to the ‘higher’ reality. Such an orientation inevitably involves some devaluation of this ‘lower’ world, and encourages us to turn away from its problems. The spiritual path is not about fixing this world but transcending it.
In contrast, Traherne does not allude to any other reality that transcends the magnificent world he describes. The implication of his account is that this is ultimate reality. It can still be understood as transcending the way we usually experience this world, but it is still this world. As Nagarjuna put it: “The koti of samsara is the koti of nirvana.” The place that we usually experience as a realm of suffering is not other than what we seek, nirvana itself – when we see this place, right here, as it really is. Traherne makes the same point by referring to Eden and Heaven: The city he tells us about, which usually appears to us so commonplace and unremarkable, now ‘seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven.’ There’s no need to aspire to anyplace else, for he doesn’t need anything more than what’s already here.

Nonduality. Traherne’s account builds upon itself, becoming more moving and profound, until it reaches a climax: “The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it.” What are we to make of this mine-ness? Is his experience solipsistic?

It depends on what we mean by solipsism. It is usually defined as the belief that the only reality is the self, yet that claim can be understood in different ways. To insist that atman (the true self) is brahman (the ground of the cosmos), as Vedanta does, is to assert that the self is the only reality – but we need to realize what the true self really is.

Buddhism emphasizes that there is no self, but if the basic problem is a sense-of-separate-self confronting that which other than itself – inside vs. outside – there may be no difference at all between an experience of all-Self and the experience of no-self. What’s important in both cases in that the delusive duality between self and other has been dispelled. Nisargardatta has made this point better than anyone else: “When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that’s wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that’s love. Between these two my life turns.”

The difference between these nondualist traditions and Traherne is that nondualists usually prefer to say that ‘the streets were me, the temple was me,’ etc. I am reminded of Zen master Dogen’s description of his own enlightenment experience: “I came to realize clearly that mind is nothing other than rivers and mountains and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and the stars.” It seems to me, however, that the difference between their accounts is less important than the similarities. Both have transcended the usual dualism between an alienated and anxious sense of self that is trapped within an external, objective world.

Yet Traherne says that he was ‘the only spectator and enjoyer of it.’ Doesn’t that still dualize between the seer and the seen? No: the mind that Dogen refers to still sees itself from a particular perspective, the presencing we call Dogen. It is the same with Traherne’s account: it is with him – or, better, as him – that the ‘empty,’ infinite Brahman/nondual mind awakens to its own true nature. For a while, anyway.

The Fall. Traherne’s exalted depiction concludes with a sudden deflation. The experience he has just described to us has been lost, for he ‘was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world.’ But there is hope: those devices he can ‘unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.’ The allusion is to Matthew 18, where Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This verse is normally understood to refer to where we might go after we die, but we do well to remember something else Jesus reputedly said: “Behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21; more familiar to most of us is the King James version: “The kingdom of God is within you.”). In the context of everything else that Traherne has just written, his desire to enter the Kingdom of God should surely be understood in the same way. The point is not to attain some otherworldly salvation, but to ‘return’ to the beautiful, luminous, blissful, eternal, nondual heavenly world he has so poetically depicted for us.

‘Return’ is in scare-quotes because he has not really lost it. He cannot lose that world, because his experience was a glimpse into what it really is, whether we are aware of it or not. Having had a taste of it, Traherne knows what he has to do: to unlearn the ‘dirty devices of this world’ – the world, that is, as normally experienced by ‘corrupted’ people. It’s not obvious what he means by corruption and the world’s dirty devices. We may suppose that he is referring to immoral behavior, and that dirty devices are the ways people deceive and abuse each other. Yet corruption here might also include the types of delusion that the nondualist traditions also emphasize. Delusions collude with cravings to reify the sense of a self that feels separate from the world it is ‘in.’ Then I am motivated to pursue my own supposed self-interest indifferent to the well-being of others. Grasping at things in (what we understand to be) the world, we lose our birthright: the world that Traherne so lovingly portrays. But we can always return to it, because it is always there. It becomes here whenever we open up to it.

It is important to notice also what Traherne does not mention. Everything he describes is visual: what about the other senses – such as the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and the laughter of the children? Were they also ‘mine’? We wonder if he heard them nondually, like T. S. Eliot’s ‘music heard so deeply/ That it is not heard at all, but you are the music/ While the music lasts.’ And we don’t read anything about how Traherne’s bodily awareness may have changed.

The biggest lack in Traherne’s account is perhaps something that he would not consider a shortcoming – and that some nondualist teachers would also not emphasize. In Buddhist terms, the ‘higher truth’ that he describes so well is sundered from the conventional ‘lower truth’ that we are more familiar with. Traherne’s world has no problems: each luminous thing is a way that ‘empty infinity’ presences, including the children playing in the street… but do they go to bed hungry at night? Although everything manifests eternity in the Light of the Day, in his day most of those particular manifestations died before their second birthday. Yes, the ‘higher truth’ is that they didn’t really die because they had never been born; from the perspective of the lower truth, however, there is birth, and death… and suffering. Traherne’s society was organized hierarchically, for the benefit of those at the top of the class pyramid. Patriarchy and slavery were the norm.

To dwell blissfully in the world that Traherne describes so well, while ignoring such problems, is ‘clinging to emptiness.’ It is important for us to experience the infinity he refers to, and not to rest there. We all start from an awareness of the ‘lower truth:’ the world as a collection of separate things, including me, anxious and insecure within it. We are eager to become enlightened and realize the true nature of the world, including ourselves: the empty infinity that presences as you and me and everything else. But it is just as important not to devalue those presences – in Buddhist terms, the forms whereby emptiness (shunyata) manifests. As William Blake also wrote, “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.” Empty infinity is in love with its presencing! Because they aren’t really separate from each other.

The spiritual challenge is to realize that these two truths are two sides of the same coin, and to live in the light of that realization.

Source: scienceandnonduality

The true meaning of emptiness(GDD-144, Master Sheng Yen)

In Buddhism, “”emptiness”” means that all phenomena, either material or psychological, are not eternal and unchanging. Therefore we should remain undisturbed by them in our minds and don’t fall victim to all kinds of negative, contaminated mental reactions.

Emptiness is NOT nothing – teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh.

“Emptiness is not nothing.” Thich Nhat Hanh talks about emptiness – the root window of perception (HERE) within the I AM HERE teaching.
I AM HERE is a system of teaching presently being introduced world-wide by Dr. Bart ten Berge and Georgi within the Chashymie School of Inner Growth of the International School of Spiritual Psychology (ISSP)

Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love by Stephan Bodian (Author)

Happiness is your birthright, your natural state. Beneath all the frightening and depressing stories you tell yourself lies a deeper level of intrinsic peace and well-being. Mindfulness teachers insist that if you practice certain meditations daily for months or years you’ll gradually get happier. But there’s a more direct approach—just turn around and recognize the inherent perfection and completeness of this moment right now, just as it is. This is the secret to fulfillment that the great masters and sages have taught for millennia—and it’s available to anyone who reads this book.

Drawing on his own awakening and his years of study with teachers of the nondual wisdom traditions of Zen, Dzogchen, and Advaita Vedanta, spiritual teacher Stephan Bodian offers powerful teachings and guided meditations designed to point you directly to your radiant true nature, beyond the mind, which is compassionate, joyful, and undisturbed by the roller-coaster ride of life. Prior to every experience and identity lies the ultimate experiencer, the one who is eternally wakeful and aware—and that is what you are!

If you came to mindfulness in search of spiritual awakening, here’s your bridge beyond technique. If you’re tired of efforting to get somewhere else, learn how to take “the backward step” to rest and abide in your own natural wakefulness and love. And if you’re already familiar with the “direct approach” and want to follow it all the way to enlightenment, this book will guide you home.

An internationally known author, psychotherapist, and teacher of mindfulness and spiritual awakening, Stephan leads regular retreats and offers spiritual counseling and mentoring to people throughout the world. His popular guidebook Meditation for Dummies has sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide, and his digital program Mindfulness Meditation (with Mental Workout) has been praised in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His new book, Beyond Mindfulness, is now available on Amazon.com. Stephan trained for many years as a Buddhist monk and edited the magazine Yoga Journal for a decade. His other books include Buddhism for Dummies and Wake Up Now.

BROWSE HERE

Stephan Bodian – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Jan 26, 2015
Stephan Bodian offers satsangs, intensives, and retreats in the tradition of his teachers, Jean Klein and Adyashanti. His gatherings are noted for their humor, warmth, spontaneity, and intimacy and combine direct pointers, lively dialogues, silent sitting, and guided self-inquiry. He’s the author of several books, including Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love.

Stephan spent a decade practicing Zen intensively as a monk but left the monastery because he sensed that the rigorous practice of meditation was obscuring the truth he was seeking. After studying Dzogchen for several years, he met his guru, Jean Klein, a European teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who told him to stop meditating and instead discover the meditator. Shortly after meeting Jean, he had a profound awakening to his true identity as timeless presence. After Jean’s death, Stephan met Adyashanti, and in 2001 Adya gave him Dharma transmission and invited him to teach.

Stephan is the founder and director of the School for Awakening, an annual eight-month awakening intensive, and he leads regular retreats and shorter intensives In Tucson, Arizona, and at the Garrison Institute in New York.

Trained and licensed as a psychotherapist, Stephan also offers individual spiritual counseling and mentoring sessions to people throughout the world. His approach blends direct, experiential, nondual wisdom with the insights of Western psychology to support students in realizing who they really are while inquiring into the stories and patterns of thinking and behaving that continue to cause suffering.

Website: http://stephanbodian.org

Other books: Meditation For Dummies, w/Audio CD(Also available in various languages.) Timeless Visions, Healing Voices: Conversations With Men & Women of the Spirit

Interview recorded 1/24/2015

The Natural Bliss of Being by Jackson Peterson (Author)


The author designed his book to be a transformative journey that conclusively reveals one’s own “enlightened self-nature” directly, leaving no room for doubt or uncertainty. For those who are serious about self-realization, this book offers explanations, insights and practical methods that can easily be applied without prior knowledge or experience with meditation or Eastern practices.

The key teachings originate in the Tibetan wisdom tradition known as the “The Great Perfection”, but are inclusive of other traditions such as Zen, that offer insights and methods into discovering our True Nature immediately and directly, not after months or years of study, meditation and practice.

The author also studied deeply the teachings of the Sufis in Kashmir, India which revealed the wisdom of the Heart and Love, both necessary qualities in realizing one’s true nature. The approach shared is very direct and capable of revealing immediate benefits. The overall goal is the acquisition of a completely new perspective on life that is grounded in spontaneity, freedom, joy and unconditional love for the benefit of oneself and others.

The journey includes delving into the nature of thought, mind and ego-self to learn how we create our own suffering. From there we are introduced to our own inner jewel of enlightened awareness and knowingness that has always been present but never or rarely noticed. We then learn methods of how to broaden the “recognition” and how to stabilize and integrate this wisdom awareness into all aspects of our lives. Finally we are introduced to the nature of our spiritual Heart the seat of unconditional love and True Being. We learn how we are all just “one life”, and with this recognition we find joy for ourselves and love for all beings.

The author has spent over forty-seven years in pursuit of the wisdom teachings that can bring about enlightenment and liberation from personal suffering. As a result his travels to meet actual masters who were themselves accomplished in this path, took him to India, China, Nepal, Japan, Korea, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

This book represents the essence of those teachings yet are presented in a completely generic and unique approach that anyone can benefit from. The author shares: “It is my hope that seekers of all types may find the realization of their goals fulfilled through the reading and application of the teachings as offered in this book and are able to realize the immediate presence of the Natural Bliss of Being for themselves as I have, and realize: ‘Relishing and celebrating life’s journey is the realization of Enlightenment itself!'”

Browse Here

Dzogchen Immediate Recognition

Published on Mar 22, 2014
This short video is intended to be a direct “pointing out” of our already enlightened nature. It is the Direct Introduction to Rigpa in Dzogchen and the “Natural State” in Essence Mahamudra. No practices or meditation are needed for this immediate recognition.

You can learn more about my approach from my book “The Natural Bliss of Being” available at Amazon and Kindle Books. Also please visit my website: wayoflight.net

Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax

In this long-awaited book of inspiring and practical teachings, Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax offers the fruits of her many years of work with dying people. Inspired by traditional Buddhist teachings, her work is a source of wisdom for all those who are charged with a dying person’s care, who are facing their own death, or who are wishing to explore and contemplate the transformative power of the dying process.

Halifax offers lessons from dying people and caregivers, as well as guided meditations to help readers contemplate death without fear, develop a commitment to helping others, and transform suffering and resistance into courage. She says, “Why wait until we are actualy dying to explore what it may mean to die with awareness?”

A world-renowned pioneer in care of the dying, Joan Halifax founded the Project on Being with Dying, which helps dying people to face death with courage and trains professional and family caregivers in compassionate and ethical end-of-life care.
Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on applied Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; Being with Dying: Compassionate End-of-Life Care (Professional Training Guide); Seeing Inside, among others. She is a Lindisfarne Fellow and a Mind and Life Fellow and Board member.

BROWSE HERE

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she’s learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.

Sokuzan Bob Brown – Trust Your Self


This is a Dharma talk given by Sokuzan Bob Brown at SokukoJi Temple in Battle Creek Michigan.

Sokuzan met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, in late 1973 and became a student. In 1974, Sokuzan attended the first session of Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. In 1975, he established the Dharma Study Group of Battle Creek, Michigan. It offered weekly meetings for meditation and study, as well as monthly nyinthuns, which are all-day retreats. In 1978, Sokuzan became an authorized meditation instructor through Vajradhatu in Boulder and later completed the Vajradhatu Seminary in 1980 at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. In 1990, Sokuzan met Kobun Chino Roshi, a Zen meditation master from Japan, and became a student of his, and received lay ordination from Kobun’s brother, the late Hojosama Keibun Otagawa. Sokuzan received full ordination as a priest in the Soto Zen lineage in 2007 and Dharma transmission in March of 2013 from Kuzan Shoho Michael Newhall, Abbot of Jikoji in Los Gatos, California.

A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World by David R. Loy (Author)

Engage with a new vision of Buddhism and the modern world with the bestselling author of Money Sex War Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution.

David R. Loy addresses head-on the most pressing issues of Buddhist philosophy in our time. What is the meaning of enlightenment–is it an escape from the world, or is it a form of psychological healing? How can one reconcile modern scientific theory with ancient religious teachings? What is our role in the universe?

Loy shows us that neither Buddhism nor secular society by itself is sufficient to answer these questions. Instead, he investigates the unexpected intersections of the two. Through this exchange, he uncovers a new Buddhist way, one that is faithful to the important traditions of Buddhism but compatible with modernity. This way, we can see the world as it is truly is, realize our indivisibility from it, and learn that the world’s problems are our problems. This is a new path for a new world.

David R. Loy’s books include the acclaimed Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution; The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory; The World Is Made of Stories; A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency; and The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons, a finalist for the 2006 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award. He was the Besl Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Cincinnati’s Xavier University and is qualified as a teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Buddhism.

His articles appear regularly in the pages of major journals such as Tikkun and Buddhist magazines including Tricycle, Turning Wheel, Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. He is on the editorial or advisory boards of the journals Cultural Dynamics, Worldviews, Contemporary Buddhism, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and World Fellowship of Buddhists Review. He is also on the advisory boards of Buddhist Global Relief, the Clear View Project, Zen Peacemakers, and the Ernest Becker Foundation. He lives in Boulder, CO.

David Loy: Society is Separating the Self from Nature

David Loy, author of Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, argues that in establishing a separate self in a constructed civilization, we have grown disconnected from ecology and the natural world.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/essential-conversations-rabbi/id986011617

 

 

The Zen Monk ~ Mooji

Published on Nov 24, 2014
The question is, ‘What is your twig – the thing that gets to you?’
The mind knows your moves and will press the buttons.
This is the divine game.Every part of it is good. Every part of it is in service to you. But you must be smart enough to know that.

A video extract from Satsang with Sri Mooji at Monte Sahaja
12th October 2014

Music: Harida Quinteros on Santor: http://www.nazcamusic.com

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is Passing Away (Video)

With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage…

Thich Nhat Hanh on Compassionate Listening – Super Soul Sunday – Oprah Winfrey Network

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says listening can help end the suffering of an individual, put an end to war and change the world for the better. Watch as he explains how to practice compassionate listening.

Thich Nhat Hanh is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.

At present, Thich Nhat Hanh is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.

For the last two months, Thich Nhat Hanh’s health had already been fragile due to his advance age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.

All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thich Nhat Hanh this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thich Nhat Hanh will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.

Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thich Nhat Hanh. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thich Nhat Hanh our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thich Nhat Hanh has manifested in his lifetime.

On behalf of the Monastic Dharma Teacher Council of Plum Village,

Bhikkhu Thich Chan Phap Dang

Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong Nghiem


The Magazine Patheos reported earlier on Thich Nhat Hanh:

It appears that internationally renowned Zen teacher and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, is in the process of passing away. As with all such things swirling around the internet, take these unofficial announcements as you see fit – wait for official word if you wish, or take this as an opportunity to join those who are holding him in their hearts and minds now. The 88 year-old Buddhist leader has been ill for several months and today the following was posted to the facebook page of Chan Indonesia, where it is said that they have confirmed the news directly with a monastic at Plum Village.

Dear Sangha Friends,

We get a sad news, it says that one of our great master, Thich Nhat Hanh, is passing away in Plum Village, with his disciples around him.They are calm and focused, and so should we be. His continuation is already here in his senior students, and we also are part of that continuation.

There will of course be official announcements as things unfold, and they will be passed on to you. But his passing out of this material manifestation is imminent. The Sisters ask that you sit, peacefully for Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh), as they are doing, and send him your love. Also, that you might like to chant for him (you could do it along with the monks and nuns) this Avalokiteshvara Chant: The clip is 3 minutes long.

Namo Valokitesvaraya – Plum Village Chanting

Source: Om Times

Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution by David R. Loy (Author)

  • What’s Wrong with Sex?
  • How to Drive Your Karma
  • Consciousness Commodified
  • The Karma of Food
  • The Three Poisons, Institutionalized
  • Why We Love War
  • These are just some of the chapters in this brilliant book from David R. Loy.

    In little time, Loy has become one of the most powerful advocates of the Buddhist worldview, explaining like no one else its ability to transform the sociopolitical landscape of the modern world.

    In this, his most accessible work to date, he offers sharp and even shockingly clear presentations of oft-misunderstood Buddhist staples-the working of karma, the nature of self, the causes of trouble on both the individual and societal levels-and the real reasons behind our collective sense of “never enough,” whether it’s time, money, sex, security… even war.

    Loy’s “Buddhist Revolution” is nothing less than a radical change in the ways we can approach our lives, our planet, the collective delusions that pervade our language, culture, and even our spirituality.

    David R. Loy’s previous books include the acclaimed Money, Sex, War, Karma, The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory, and The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons, a finalist for the 2006 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award. He was the Besl Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Cincinnati’s Xavier University.

    Browse here

    Verses on the Faith Mind – Hsin Hsin Ming, zen

    The Great Way* is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for, or against, anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

    The Way is perfect, like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things. Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things, and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves. When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity, your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one extreme or the other, you will never know Oneness.

    Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

    To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.

    Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion. Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

    When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought-objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (objects). Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains, in itself, the whole world. If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine, you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

    To live in the great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go. And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited. Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way, and there will be neither coming nor going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

    When thought is in bondage, the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separation?

    If you wish to move in the one Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true enlightenment. The wise man strives to no goals, but the foolish man fetters himself. There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.

    Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams or flowers in air; foolish to try to grasp them. Gain and loss, right and wrong; such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

    If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally, the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.

    Consider movement stationary, and the stationary in motion; both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.

    For the unified mind in accord with the Way, all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish, and life in true faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of Suchness, there is neither self nor other-than-self.

    To come directly into harmony with this reality, just simply say when doubts arise, “Not two”. In this “not two”, nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it, a single thought is ten thousand years.

    Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So, too, with being and non-being. Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this. One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

    Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it, there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.

    * NOTE: The Chinese character translate

    Zen Encounters with Loneliness ~ Terrance Keenan

    Pub Date Nov 4 2014

    Embark on a poignant and sometimes comic journey through Zen, poetry, and the transformative, personal practice of writing.

    In Zen Encounters with Loneliness Terrance Keenan weaves together poetry, memoir, and raw insight to give voice to the lonely “nobody” in everyone. From his memories of early childhood to his struggles with addiction, writer’s block, and human relationship, Keenan delivers a heart-rending portrayal of the human hunger for selfhood and connection. Through his beautifully crafted literary reflections, he finds that Zen does not comfort our dream of being somebody, rather, it reveals connection only when we face who we really are—nobody. Zen Encounters intimately calls us to recognize that the well of emptiness is also a well of potential—to grow, learn, and overcome adversity.

    Terrance Keenan was formerly a special collections librarian and head monk at the Zen Center of Syracuse. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in national journals, including The Georgia Review, Epoch, White Pine, and River, as well as in numerous anthologies. Keenan was trained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist priest under Roko Sherry Chayat and Eido T. Shimano Roshi. He lives in County Cork, Ireland.

    The Heart of Zen Enlightenment, Emotional Maturity, and What It Really Takes for Spiritual Liberation Written by Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi and Keith Martin-Smith


    While we are more and more familiar with popular ideas of enlightenment and spiritual awakening, life still comes at us full force, and hope can turn to frustration as the gulf between our spiritual belief and our everyday life seems to loom ever larger. Through spirited Q&A sessions with Zen master Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi, The Heart of Zen takes a gradual, step-by-step approach to what has become a vexing problem in spiritual circles.

    What is missing is integration. If awakening truly transforms every part of the life of a person, where are we getting stuck? How can negative emotions like anger, shame, envy, and jealousy continue to arise? How do our relative egos relate to the Zen teaching of Emptiness, and what does this mean for our intimate relationships, our emotional bodies, our views of the world and its problems?

    The Heart of Zen represents the next generation of spiritual books because it addresses awakening and spiritual life within the context of creating lasting change through the integration of spiritual insight into the flow and flux of everyday life. Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi explains how well trained meditation students may learn to be nonreactive to emotions, but they seldom learn how to transform their negative emotions (and the ego that holds them) as part of a more deeply integrated, lived spirituality. This book describes precisely what this means in great detail and with exercises for the reader to follow. Part discussion on these intricate topics and part experiential guide, The Heart of Zen offers a one-of-a-kind take on enlightenment, emotional maturity, and the integration required to take one’s seat in true liberation.

    UN PO (pronounced June Poe) DENIS KELLY ROSHI is the 83rd Patriarch of Rinzai Zen, having received inka from Eido Shimano Roshi in 1992 at the age of 50. Jun Po has been teaching Zen ever since that time and has built an international community called Mondo Zen that spans the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His extraordinary life was detailed in the biography A Heart Blown Open (Divine Arts Media, 2012), which has just been used as the basis of a screenplay. Ken Wilber said, “…this is the story of our times, an absolute must read for anyone with even a passing interest in human evolution…”

    KEITH MARTIN-SMITH
    is the author of three additional books, including the award-winning A Heart Blown Open. In addition to writing, he also teaches Shaolin Kung Fu and is an ordained Zen priest.

    Click here to take look inside.

    What is Awakened Mind

    unPo Roshi addresses the question: What is Awakened Mind?
    JunPo Roshi is the Abbott of the Hollow Bones Rinzai Zen Order. He has brought the ancient tradition of Koan training into the 21st century and into the heart of western culture in a process he calls Mondo Zen.

    Genpo Roshi on Why We Suffer

    Genpo Roshi, Part 1 – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

    Genpo is a long-time Zen practitioner, now Master, who has developed the “Big Mind Process”, through which “Novice participants without any formal meditation training can have profound spiritual experiences with persistent enhancement of well-being…”. The interview was interrupted by technical difficulties after about an hour, so we agreed to do a “Part 2” in a couple of weeks.

    Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden by Karen Maezen Miller

    Come See the Garden That Is Your Life

    When Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller and her family land in a house with a hundred-year-old Japanese garden, she uses the paradise in her backyard to glean the living wisdom of our natural world. Through her eyes, rocks convey faith, ponds preach stillness, flowers give love, and leaves express the effortless ease of letting go. The book welcomes readers into the garden for Zen lessons in fearlessness, forgiveness, presence, acceptance, and contentment. Miller gathers inspiration from the ground beneath her feet to remind us that paradise is always here and now

    Karen Maezen Miller is a wife and mother as well as a Zen Buddhist priest at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles. She and her family live in Sierra Madre, California, with a century-old Japanese garden in their backyard. She writes about spirituality in everyday life. She is the author of Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life, Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood, and her writing is included in numerous anthologies.

    Click here to browse inside.

    Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Maezen Miller

    Karen Maezen Miller Interview

    Karen Maezen Miller, author of Momma Zen and Hand Wash Cold, on The Fulfilling Life with Kelly Dahl. Find the video and more at http://www.perchedtofly.com

    Hwansan Sunim: Son Meditation for the Modern World

    Chapter 1. Son Meditation for the Modern World(현대인과 참선)

    방청을 원하시는 분들은 매월 둘째 넷째 주, 목&금 저녁 6:50.
    서울 서초동 불교TV(BTN) 3층 스튜디오로 오시면 됩니다.(2호선 전철 방배역 2번 출구 방향으로 나와 마을 버스(13번, 15번)로 두 정거장./ 걸어서 10분

    t seems that he was worried that the Seon meditation teachings these days are being lost among the latest health and lifestyle fads and trends.
    It seems that meditation in general, and even Seon meditations in particular, are being presented strictly as a way to gain so-called ‘healing.” Or “well-being.” Or “stress relief.”
    – Now, Seon meditation does provide those benefits,
    – but the original purpose of Seon meditation has always been and must always be: enlightenment.
    And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.

    요즘 사람들이 건강을 위한 생활문화로 선수행을 하다보니 마치 유행처럼 받아들여져 수행의 근본 정신이 사라질지 모른다는 걱정을 하셨습니다.
    – 사실 많은 사람들이 명상, 또는 참선수행을 할 때,
    단순히 심신안정, 건강, 스트레스 해소 방법 정도로만 이해하는 듯합니다.
    – 물론 실제 참선을 하면 그런 기능적인 효과들도 생겨납니다.
    – 그러나 선수행의 근본 목적은 항상 깨달음에 있어왔고
    이후로도 역시 깨달음에 목적을 두어야만 합니다.
    – 바로 이 부분(깨달음)에 대해 오늘 말씀드리고자 합니다.

    방청을 원하시는 분들은 매월 둘째 넷째 주, 목&금 저녁 6:50.
    서울 서초동 불교TV(BTN) 3층 스튜디오로 오시면 됩니다.(2호선 전철 방배역 2번 출구 방향으로 나와 마을 버스(13번, 15번)로 두 정거장./ 걸어서 10분

    Dongshan’s Five Ranks: Keys to Enlightenment ~ Ross Bolleter

    Pub Date May 13 2014

    The first in-depth English commentary on the Five Ranks—-a core text of the Zen tradition that teaches what can’t be taught—which contains new translations of all of the key texts of the Five Ranks cycle.

    We imagine ourselves and the universe to be distinct, but within us glimmers the suspicion that we are in fact intimately connected and inseparable from all that there is. The dawning and expansion of such awareness is called enlightenment. In his masterwork—a suite of dialectical works known collectively as the Five Ranks—Dongshan, a Zen master of Old China, approaches enlightenment from five angles, using paradox and poetry to lay out a multifaceted path whereby we might discover enlightenment within this very moment.

    Ross Bolleter Roshi assembles and provides commentary on all of the core texts of the Five Ranks, including the precursors that inspired it and works inspired by it. Approaching the Five Ranks from a rich and sophisticated koan perspective, Bolleter Roshi augments his explanations of the works with liberal doses of humor and storytelling, bringing this esteemed classic to life. Each part of the Five Ranks focuses differently on the relationship between the timeless realm of our essential natures and the contingent realm of life and death. They encourage us to transcend naive individualism and to bring our best qualities of compassion and wisdom intimately into our daily lives. In this regard, Dongshan’s Five Ranks lays out the path that every student of the Way must traverse on the journey to becoming a teacher.

    Ross Bolleter is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha tradition. He trained with Robert Aitken and John Tarrant, and received Transmission from them in 1997. Ross Bolleter teaches in Australia and New Zealand. He is a composer with numerous CD releases, especially in the field of ruined piano. His book of poems, Piano Hill, was published by Freemantle Press in 2009, and was the subject of a television documentary aired in Australia and New Zealand.

    Waking the Buddha: How the most dynamic and empowering buddhist movement in history is changing our concept of religion ~ Clark Strand

    Pub Date: May 1, 2014

    Is there more to Buddhism than sitting in silent meditation? Is modern Buddhism relevant to the problems of daily life? Does it empower individuals to transform their lives? Or has Buddhism become too detached, so still and quiet that the Buddha has fallen asleep?

    Waking the Buddha tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement in the world today—and one that is waking up and shaking up Buddhism so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives.

    Drawing on his long personal experience as a Buddhist teacher, journalist and editor, Clark Strand offers broad insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai, with its commitment to social justice and its egalitarian approach, has become a role model, not only for other schools of Buddhism, but for other religions as well.

    Readers will be inspired by the struggles and triumphs of the Soka Gakkai’s three founding presidents—individuals who staked their lives on the teachings of the Lotus Sutra…and on the extraordinary power of those teachings to help people become happy. These three men dared to revolutionize Buddhism by restoring it to its true purpose: to help people transform their lives and the world they live in. The result is a uniquely relevant form of Buddhism—one that “just makes sense” to the modern mind and is ready to meet the challenges of a global age.

    Waking the Buddha will appeal to anyone who wants something more out of Buddhism—or any religion—as it explores the foundations of the Soka Gakkai’s practical spiritual path in which people take the principles of Buddhism and put them to work in everyday life. What makes the Soka Gakkai International unique in modern Buddhism? How could it have grown from a small organization of Buddhist educators into a global movement of over 12 million members in less than a century? What aspects of Soka Gakkai culture would other religious groups have to adopt or develop on their own if they wanted to move forward as this movement has done?

    Through the author’s encounters with early Japanese Soka Gakkai pioneers, individuals who rebuilt their lives from nothing after World War II, and his interviews with the movement’s top leaders today, readers will find answers to these and many other questions in a book that places the Soka Gakkai International at the very leading edge of religion in the 21st century.

    Clark Strand is a spiritual writer and former Zen Buddhist monk who was previously senior editor of Tricycle magazine. He is the author of How to Believe in God: Whether You Believe in Religion or Not and Meditation Without Gurus as well as countless groundbreaking articles, including the first comprehensive feature article ever written in English on internet spirituality. He has founded and led spiritual study groups, taught workshops and retreats, lectured at colleges and universities, and has spoken at some of the largest Buddhist gatherings ever held in America. He lives in Woodstock, New York.

    DAISAKU IKEDA is President of the Soka Gakkai International, the world’s largest Buddhist lay group and America’s most diverse. In a rare interview, Ikeda speaks to contributing editor Clark Strand about his organization’s remarkable history, its oft-misunderstood practice, and what its members are really chanting for.
    Read Here

    Training in Compassion Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer

    Lojong is the Tibetan Buddhist practice that involves working with short phrases (called “slogans”) as a way of generating bodhichitta, the heart and mind of enlightened compassion. Though the practice is more than a millennium old, it has become popular in the West only in the last twenty years or so—and it has become very popular indeed, because it’s a practice that one can fit very well into an ordinary life, and because it works.Through the influence of Pema Chödrön, who was one of the first American Buddhist teachers to teach it extensively, the practice has moved out of its Buddhist context to affect the lives of non-Buddhists too.

    It’s in this spirit that Norman Fischer offers his commentary on the lojong slogans. He applies Zen wisdom to them, showing how well they fit in that related tradition, but he also sets the slogans in the context of resonant practices throughout the spiritual traditions. He shows lojong to be a wonderful method for everyone, including those who aren’t otherwise interested in Buddhism, who don’t have the time or inclination to meditate, or who’d just like to morph into the kind of person who’s focused rather than scattered, generous rather than stingy, and kind rather than thoughtless.

    Click here to browse inside.

    Authors@Google: Norman Fischer

    In Sailing Home, renowned Zen teacher Norman Fischer deftly incorporates Buddhist, Judaic, Christian, and popular thought, as well as his own unique and sympathetic understanding of life, in his reinterpretation of Odysseus’s familiar wanderings as lessons that everyone can use. We see how to resist the seduction of the Sirens’ song to stop sailing and give up; how to bide our time in a situation and wait for the right opportunity; and how to reassess our story and rediscover our purpose and identity if, like the Lotus-Eaters, we have forgotten the past. With meditations that yield personal revelations, illuminating anecdotes from Fischer’s and his students’ lives, and stories from many wisdom traditions, Sailing Home shows the way to greater purpose in your own life.

    Norman Fischer is a poet, author, Zen priest, and abbot. Founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation (www.everydayzen.org), he is one of the senior Zen teachers in America. In addition to his own retreats and events, which take place in his groups in Canada and Mexico, as well as the United States, Norman teaches at many other meditation centers around the world.
    This event took place on October 7, 2008

    Norman Fischer, Jack Kornfield and Sylvia Wetzel at the Garrison Institute

    Buddhism’s growth in the West has spurred a rich cross-fertilization among the great traditions. In this spirit, Buddhist teachers have met in support of one another on past occasions in the US, Dharamsala and Europe. During the 2011 Buddhist Teachers Council held at the Garrison Institute in June, 2011, Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Wetzel and Norman Fischer sat down to discuss the state of Buddhism in the West today. They spoke with Robert Gabriele, Chief Operating Officer at the Garrison Institute. To find out more about the Garrison Institute:

    Visit our website: https://www.garrisoninstitute.org

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