WHY ZEN? A Living Zen Master Shares Why Turning to Those ‘Spiritual Options While Recovering Works.’

WHY ZEN? A Living Zen Master Shares Why Turning to Those ‘Spiritual Options While Recovering Works.’

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With So Many “Spiritual Options and Paths”
Why Zen?
by Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

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Social media, Internet, bookstores and large numbers of coaches, trainers and teachers offer countless recipes for the “right” path to happiness and different formulas for “reaching” the Kingdom of God. In this seemingly endless universe of “spiritual options”, the question sometimes posed by seekers, or people aiming to lead happier and more fulfilling lives, is; “Why Zen?”

Let it be mentioned right up front that Zen does not claim exclusivity, nor does it thrive on missionizing people to “convert” them, making fun of or criticizing other practices. In fact, throughout the ages,  Zen Masters have respected and revered great teachers and enlightened ones who pursued other spiritual practices.

Zen is not an institution one “belongs” to. It has evolved to become inclusive, and as such has room for those preferring to worship or practice the rituals they choose.

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This text will not overly focus on emphasizing all the ways in which Zen is “different” from other spiritual paths, as this goes way beyond the length of a short blog. Suffice it to say that there is hardly a spiritual path which is comparable to Zen. In itself, Zen is only a concept or word and cannot be easily described.

It goes beyond conventions, ceremonies, and confessions, even if Buddhists may claim it as its own because it goes back to Buddha. Zen transcends fundamentalist beliefs, scriptures, specific steps and rituals, and focuses on the spiritual dimension underlying all Existence.

The Underlying Basis of Zen

Zen sees no duality, no selfhood apart from that which is unspeakable, indescribable, and boundless in us, the One Self, God, One Mind. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. You already are and embody what you seek, have always been and will always be this way. Divine awareness or God-consciousness is the ever-presence that will never leave us. God-awareness is Self-awareness. Nothing can take away from your inherent nature of Oneness, the Buddha Nature in all of us.

This is what Zen says in a nutshell. However, let me say that Zen is also down to earth and practical. It gives us one of the most natural and simple approaches that exist to accompany us along the boundless and pathless path as these ultimate truths are revealed.

It enables us, with grace – and not because of what we “do” – to unfold our own inner teacher, master, and guru. There is nothing to “grasp” or understand. The Kingdom of God within us, though not describable in words, can be directly “experienced” – and can lead to what is referred to as salvation, enlightenment or clarity.

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Self-reliance

The age-old Zen parable, “If you meet the Buddha, kill him”, admonishes us not to depend on anything or anyone outside of our-Selves. As such, Zen is definitely empowering and makes us Self-reliant and self-less instead of self-important.

But do not make the mistake of thinking that Zen is a “customized” spirituality adapted to the individual ego and reflecting our modern-day desire to “go our own way”.  This is because you are not the doer. Instead, grace leads us. Progress can be made when the “seeker” gives up the fallacy of being a separate individual, that his or her actions are the basis for enlightenment.

We may search, diligently practice spiritual techniques such as meditation and be guided by others, but the decisive moment is when we can put all pre-defined commandments, tools, seeking and procedures behind us and stand in truth – as if struck like a bolt of lightning out of the blue.

Enlightened Beingness

There are many examples of individuals who “stand in the light” or are in “enlightened Beingness” or awareness – representing their awakening to a seemingly new state of Beingness which is inconceivable yet has always existed. In realizing what you have are, there is nothing to do except to be humble and thankful, abide and BE in the Oneness, Suchness, Isness, which naturally encompasses truth and wisdom and all that you need.  I AM – that in itself is sufficient – because it IS.

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However, as long as people are imprisoned in their egos, they will suffer, create suffering for themselves and others and also destroy our planet, and have to continue living with this suffering.

Zen has the potential to enable us to penetrate to the Last Things, and possibly – when the right time has come and one enjoys the grace of something higher which is intangible and incomprehensible – to awaken us out of a kind of slumber to our natural state of bliss that we are and have always been. This is not an empty promise. Nothing is promised or held out as a possible which is not experienceable.

The “Challenge” of Zen

In essence, Zen may seem challenging and daunting, because it throws you back upon yourself, calls upon you to let go of your thinking and past, asks you to unlearn what you were brought up to believe in, says you ultimately do not need any teacher or texts, steps and goals, and that there is nothing to achieve.

I am aware that this is not easy for many people to swallow. There may be a long list of reasons you have to reject what has been written here, and the dualistically-minded among you may consider all this to be humbug.

However, you are free to take the pathless path of Zen and consider it on its merits.

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Truly hope my Special Recovery Guest, Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi’s wisdom and words have been of help to all my recovery friends and visitors as it has been to my recovery!

You may learn more within his amazing book on sale on AMAZON and titled Find The Seeker!: The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness” Now 99.cents on Amazon as a Kindle and Paperback on Sale!

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You are invited to visit Master Genro and Co-Author Clifford Stevens on their Official Website of “Find The Seeker – Meet Master Genro.”

 

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Flash Back Blog Post ~”We all are Winners With or Without Money!”

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome New Visitors,

 

I happened to see a new visitor come by my blog and he was reading an old blog post from when I first brought my blog to WordPress from another blog hosting site, which I won’t say from where. But it got me thinking of how far I have come as a writer, author and blogger. So I thought I would re-share this post, as it deals with a question that I know everyone has thought about before. I would love to read your comments and thoughts about this, so don’t be shy! . . .
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“OK, You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in your States Lottery. You do not have to pay tax on your winnings. What would YOU do and how will you spend the money?”

 

Now of course many of you know already I don’t Gamble . . . .
And I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer” for all the rest of you fabulous people who enjoy spending a little for a chance at your piece of a fortune. Sadly, the odds of winning a lottery win-fall is so great that you would most likely have a better chance at getting hit by lighting, then you would winning a “State Lottery Draw Jackpot” . . .

Powerball officials say, “What are your chances of winning? A quick look at the Powerball website tells you the probability of winning the jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510. To see where that number comes from, imagine purchasing every number combination.”
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I spent many years employed in the banking field, and oddly enough I had the good fortune to meet, two separate lottery winners in my home state, in Southern Oregon.  I have to say though, both stories are true, and a wee bit sad.
The first bank clients of mine that won Oregon’s “Megabuck” lottery were an older couple. They had bought their winning tickets at an Albertson grocery store, where they shopped at weekly.

The wife told me she has a set of numbers she used for each weeks draw, and it was the winning ticket that won with her numbers picked.  They came into to the bank and asked if I could help them invest the some of the money, and set them up with our investment specialist, so I made them an appointment with our financial planner.  A month or so went by, and I seen them in the bank again. She gave me the sad news that her husband was just diagnosed with MS.

They then came over and sat at my desk and explained the difficulties they have had ever since winning their money.  That their kids were all fighting because “they” didn’t share enough” of the winnings with all of them. She then told me how all their friends and family were making them feel like “THEY” have changed since winning, but that it was the other way around. She said all their friends started acting different and kind of became jealous, making them feel so uncomfortable.  So they put their house up for sale, and sadly they were moving to Carson City, NV.

They were having a house built there that will have special features so it would be a safe place once her husband became wheelchair bound from having MS. And, that was the last time I saw them. So it made me wonder about winning the lottery. Is it really worth it? We don’t understand that money can maybe make things financially easier for us, and that is about it. It won’t change WHO YOU are inside. Maybe in attitude or personality, but not the on the inside. Money alone can not make you happy.
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Now the following year, a young man also had won our Oregon’s Lottery “Megabucks.” He had won $2.1 Million. He took his in a lump sum payout. I know this because he came to my desk with the check.  The check, after tax was $885,000.00.  He worked at a local hotel & restaurant, and he ran the food service for the convention center of the hotel. His name was Steve, and he was only 24 years old. Of course he did what any 24-year-old would do if winning a lottery, he paid his mom’s house off, bought himself a new car, truck, jet-ski, a boat and MORE!

I did open him a checking account, a money market account too. Just the interest alone from the money market was netting him in interest monthly, $2,800.00. That was more than he was making at his job, so he quit his job. What a mistake that was, because then came all the trips to Reno and Las Vegas. Then came all the relatives and friends came out of the wood works that he didn’t know until they heard he had “Money!”

So I did make him an appointment with our investment/financial planner and he attended the appointment, but never followed through with the financial plan. Of course sadly in a little less than a year his money was GONE!!
YUP! No Shit! He came in and sat at my desk and told me his money woes. He had lent a lot of money to friends that said would pay him back, but of course they didn’t. He was smart to have them sign a written promissory note, but I’m sure he won’t ever see that money again.  So again, what would you do if you won a large amount of money in a State Lottery?


And I guess my point is most likely obvious. You have to be careful what you wish for in life. Even if it is having a large amount of money.  Remember, nothing is worth having if you haven’t worked. Nothing is really free.
And like the saying goes,  “Money Changes Everything” ~ “Mo Money Mo Problems”  .  .  .  .
Please, gamble and play responsively!
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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate.

Product Details $5.99Kindle Edition

“My True Story of Addicted Gambling. It cost me more than money, it almost cost me my Life” . . .