A Living Master Shares Recovery Wisdom. The Road to Recovery From Addiction ~ The Zen Approach.

The Zen Approach To Recovery ~ By Zen Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi

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From the point of view of Eastern Asian medicine, the problem of addiction is the game played by water and fire. In a state of health, these two elements (of the five phases of transformation i.e. wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) ensure that people are deeply grounded and can grow spiritually when in harmony with one another.

However, if the two phases are out of harmony, one of them becomes overly dominant thanks to various ego processes. If water dominates, the person is pulled downwards, and the energy is channeled in the person’s lower chakras. The result is an addiction, an overemphasis on sex or the compulsive urge to fulfill seemingly essential “needs” (alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling etc.), which are actually the needs of the ego.

The standpoint of Zen is completely different from the principles of the East, primarily Traditional Chinese Medicine, as described above. It also takes a different viewpoint from Western medicine, which sees addiction as a kind of illness, from the brain via various organs of the body.

In Zen, the crucial step is in line with the longstanding Zen teaching, “First free your mind, and then do what you want!” If you do not free your mind, you will remain imprisoned and enchained. You will sacrifice your happiness, health, and contentment to satisfy your ego’s needs and accept the burdens it imposes on you, the roller coaster ride of feelings, the arguments about your being victimized, lowly, unworthy, unfulfilled or whatever else it convincingly throws at you to justify or coerce you into addiction.

Healing only by focusing on the roots of the problem

You can try to gradually reduce the effects of the plant or weed (= addiction) in your inner garden using various methods or even attempt to eradicate the weed. Think of substitute drugs, psychotherapy and the broad spectrum of therapeutic approaches. However, it is only possible to eradicate this plant if one severs the roots, the causes of this “evil” instead of just pulling off the leaves of this shrub. Therapy may have a soothing or beneficial effect but does not penetrate to the heart of the matter.

In Zen, freeing your mind is based on the experience of realization and enlightenment, and is the pre-requisite for the healing or salvation of a human being. As long as the mind is blurred, blinded and afflicted by a deep depression or you believe you have to abide in other painful physical and mental states, an addiction such as alcohol abuse, smoking cigarettes or drugs may seem to be the most obvious and natural way out and way forward.

 

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Achieving a breakthrough

Suffering is a very human trait. Buddha said that “all life is suffering.” Awareness, realization, awakening – that is the Zen approach. With the mindful, watchful observing and centered inner eye, you will make moderate use of the resources and opportunities at your disposal. In Zen, there is absolutely no problem in enjoying a glass of wine to spark the imagination or an inspiring drink with a good dinner, but the key is to adhere to the “Middle Way”, the measure of all things, which rejects extremes and does not go overboard or strive to do, have or consume too much.

For this reason, the one-sided approaches to addiction on the part of Western or Eastern medicine ultimately do not provide the permanent solution which is needed. These approaches may provide some relief or alleviation of the problem. But the real breakthrough to a new life, healing, and salvation, to love and bliss, is through clearing the mind by means of meditation or trusting a Master or another person standing in the truth. Meditation unfolds in us what we really are and have always been, namely unconditional, Absolute Being, the One Self which is infinite, timeless and unchanging.

Empowerment to overcome addiction

On the pathless path which we share, as described in our book “Find the Seeker”, and which all of us are on whether we know it or not, awareness, the inner guru, will lovingly but effectively cut the supposed cord of addiction. It will empower us to be Self-reliant without our depending on anything and anyone and enable us to embody the fact that we are whole and complete fro the start. In this way, we are transformed and free ourselves from the suffering and can contribute to helping all sentient beings to free themselves from suffering and experience a life of bliss.

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About Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”)

Gert Beirer, one of the few living Zen Masters was born in Austria in 1945, studied Zen, meditation, Kung-Fu, Qi Gong, and acupuncture in Asia. He was given the name Genro (“Origin of Joy”) Xuan Lou, Laoshi (Laoshi = “Spiritual Master”) by Zen Master Tetsuo Kiichi Nagaya Roshi.

Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi was named Zen (Chan) Master by the Abbot and Grand Master Kun Kong at the Lingyin Temple (Shakyamuni Buddhism) in Hangzhou, with whom he studied 11 years, by Abbot and Zen Master Shi Chan Ming in Wuhan, Province Hubei, China, and was also named Shifu or “Spiritual Teacher” in 2009 by Shi Xue Feng, Abbot of the Ding Shan Temple in Germany.

After returning to Europe, Genro spent decades as a therapist and business consultant and has been heading the Qi Gong Master School in Austria for many years, practicing in accordance with the Wuhan-Yangsheng style. Genro Laoshi has lectured at universities, appeared on TV, held seminars on a variety of spiritual and self-help topics, taught Qi Gong courses and published articles and books on meditation, Zen, motivation and communication, storytelling, body-reading, sexual Kung-Fu, autohypnosis and many more topics.

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I thank Master Genro for this special recovery post written just for all of my recovery friends and visitors. Please visit his website and blog as he and co-author Clifford Stevens present “Weekly Wisdom” that is inspiring and informational here at Find The Seeker!
Genro is also co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

 

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My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

My Zen Recovery ~ Special Guest Post By Living Master Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. “Enlightenment Awaits You”

It is not often I meet two very special people who have entered my life and learning so much from. Master Genro is one of the few living Zen Masters of today. Author, Clifford Stevens has had the privilege of being taught by Master Genro. And after reading their new book, “Find The Seeker! The Pathless Path to Fulfillment and Happiness” I have been using all the wisdom and unique advice and incorporating it into my recovery path. It has uplifted my spirit, enlightens my soul as I maintain my recovery in being more humbled and grateful.

See, when we choose to finally see and reach out to the tiny sliver of light of HOPE and abandon the bondage of addictions, we can choose a path or journey of our choice as we can begin to heal and work toward making healthy change within our “inner selves.” This is more of what the book guides you through. So, yes, my recovery has been more mindful, natural, and happy! I call it my Zen Recovery …

I hope you enjoy this second guest post as much as Genro’s first. And do get a chance to purchase the book! It truly is an amazing read! … Catherine

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ENLIGHTENMENT AWAITS YOU

It is not easy to put what we mean into words and into a book, which is the mirror of our experience. This is because Absolute, unconditional Being cannot be defined, described, categorized or explained in words. It is the reason why Socrates could only say, “All I know is that I know nothing.” It is the reason why Zen Masters often resort to laughing, making sounds or jumping. It is the reason why the true philosopher remains quiet. Ultimately one has to stop thinking, brooding and reflecting.

Speaking does not mirror one’s innermost nature, the underlying truth of all Existence. Rather, it is what is between the words – serenity, voice, charisma, aura – which can reveal how far a person is on the spiritual path. It may be easy for someone to sit on a meditation cushion and give the impression that he is inwardly serene. However, as one says in Zen, one can only look deeper into the ocean when the surface of the water is calm. In this way, one can find out and understand what the ego is about.

Meditative techniques are there to calm the thought processes, to make sure the monkeys jumping around – our thoughts – finally get tired of what they are doing, and to bring inner peace to the person. We are talking about Absolute Peace, which you cannot attain by any war, by any struggling on your part. It comes when Nobody is there any longer who causes unrest and agitation due to thinking, fears, and all our manipulative, emotional and intellectual processes. Peace comes when there is Nobody who deals with himself and the world in a warlike manner.

Beyond space and time


It may not always reflect our present-day priorities, but achieving inner peace, calmness, serenity, and equanimity is certainly one of our biggest longings. So much has been written about the techniques one can practice, and it is easy to do so. But a technique is only a part of the path. The fact is that the path is a pathless one and is not a path at all in the proverbial sense.

Being on the path means to pick oneself up again and again and plough on, with practices, to continue moving on, if one has not had the grace to embody “enlightenment”, as some of the great  Masters have had this blessing.

Our book is designed to show how such a path could look, how you can make your way along the path with grace, discipline, and humility, and how one can have this experience of enlightenment at the right time and the right place – always and anywhere, because it is beyond space and time.

 

 

Lying at your feet

We don’t usually speak about this. This is because all knowledge, analysis, and definitions don’t lead us anywhere! It is the experience and not the knowledge that is crucial. Take honey. You can conduct as many scientific studies as you want, but it is not the same as tasting it and its sweetness. In this case, you only stand at the beginning of the path and have not yet realized what it is about.

Once you have read all the books and heard all the scientists talking, and still remain dissatisfied, and there are still unanswered questions, then it is time to read this book of ours – perhaps the last one you will need. It shows the pathless path between the words and the lines, serving quasi as a signpost. It is a path that cannot be comprehended in thoughts and words and shows you that which is lying at your feet, as an old Japanese saying goes.

Free your mind

So, sit down, try to calm your mind, and learn to know your-Self. All the questions that arise are the result of the imprisoned and limited mind. Liberation takes place above and beyond everything that can be perceived. It takes place in your inherent, Absolute nature, which at that moment of realization is seen as that which always is enlightened and has always been. This does not involve effort, techniques, work or overcoming. But it requires grace, and your realization, which in itself is the Truth.

And when this happens, do what you want. This is derived from an old parable from Chinese Chan teachings, who said, “First free your mind, and then do what you want.” Our intellect is immediately worried about chaos and anarchy if one does what he or she wants. This concern is from the unenlightened spirit, worrying about things which anyway cannot be influenced. Learn how to entrust yourself, to practice devotion and thus open yourself up and make yourself ready for the workings of the highest Grace.

 

Free of thought

In the Heart Sutra, it is written: Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. The true interpretation is so simple and yet difficult to understand. Zen and our book deals with people who learn to be before there was thinking. The Zen spirit is revealed when thinking stops and the thinker consciously abides “free of thought.” This is the Buddha Nature, which you cannot realize in thought.


The experience of enlightenment awaits you.


Find the “seeker” and unfold the true Self already in you.

The essence of the path is simple, natural and clear.

 

‘Namaste’

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Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author Clifford Stevens of the recent highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book “Find the Seeker” now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle … (Amazon link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker). You may learn more from popular Master Genro on our website:  https://www.findtheseeker.com  and follow us on Facebook.