Zen and Being Alone

     The deeper on this journey in the direction I have chosen, the more I am drawn to J. Krishnamurti, Sri Nisargadatta, and Anthony D’Mello’s works. There is a singular message that stands out in their writings. I will attempt to define my interpretation of this message.

     The closer we come to the genuine self, the more transparent and naked we stand, increases the distance we become from others, and, the more genuine a love we are capable of giving. 

     As we move closer to our genuine center there are social conditioned layers that fall away. Those shells of conditioned behaviors, needs, wants, opinion, concepts, and judgments, all start to diminish. For most of us this it’s a gradual and slow process. For some it happens quickly.

     Imagine a core you, surrounded by layers made up of thousands of bits and pieces of conditioned mind. We start out thinking we are the surface of this conditioned mess. But, something happens and for many we start to see that there is something else. Something else deep down inside. 

     Maybe it was something someone said to us. Perhaps a trauma, personal tragedy, seeing or listening to a piece of art or a beautiful full moon and gentle rain. No matter how it comes to awareness, a part of the center suddenly knows itself. It starts to long to stay awake to this knowing. So the journey starts.

     We start seeking. For me this was via Zen and meditation. For others it may be a singular sport, an art, science, or any other method but it requires s type of singular movement. I am drawn to a meditative life. Not the practice of meditation as some precursor to a spiritual existence. But, meditation as life. Every person finds their own unique and singular path.

     Many find a “teacher” and practice a path by following. Seeking out all the Thousand Buddha’s and spiritual ancestors and finding guidance. That may work for a time and for some that is enough. We may chose to follow a path using internal wisdom and eschew the formal structured path. (You find with many ancient Zen ancestors the pattern was to have a teacher for a time and then forgo that to initiate a solitary practice.)

     We may start reducing who our artificial personality thinks we are until only the core is left or the basic “What we are.”

     We may start adding everything we can until it crashes and again we come to that most basic”What we are.”

     All of this loss results in an interesting dynamic. We begin to see that the core is alone and singular. This goes against much of what we have been socially taught but internally had a knowing. We are singularities that are connected in Karma. And, this is a scary part of the journey. Many feel crazed, act out, and leave the search. Some stay the course. Because we find something if we accept what we are.

We find that we are finally:

In the world but not of the world.

We are no longer seeking success, prestige, or power.

We no longer need approval, appreciation, or attention.

     No thing stands between us and anyone. Freedom to have clear vision, clean relationship, and loving without reason arises. Without any doubt, I truly believe that this perspective is what our spiritual ancestors were pointing towards.

     This process seems to resonate with lots of people. Does it resonate with  you? Do you have an experience with any of this you would share?


Bryan Wagner





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