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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My Recovery Thought Of The Day ~Take That Damn Happy Mask Off At The Door!

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers!

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. The President Of America, The Holy Pope, and some other guy! My Point Made…

Thanks to my good recovery pal *Dave J* who is always sending me funny stuff to use along with my recovery posts!
But I think you get the idea from the picture above.  You can’t convince me that the ‘POPE’ really isn’t thinking that, but he puts on a brave face to make it look like he is enjoying this visit.

Well many times as I sit in a’ Gamblers Anonymous’ meeting, and I look around the room and see all these people with plastic ‘Smiles’ on their faces, when I know inside, some of these people in my meeting have just gambled away their rent money, mortgage payment, or even their whole PAYCHECK! But in our addiction, our diseased mind makes us put this ‘HAPPY MASK’ on to make it look like were just fine…

How many of you know what I’m talking about? We hide the turmoil and the rage we have going on inside us, the head spinning with all the ‘cycle’ garbage of hiding, lie, and sneaking of what we have done, the money spent and wasted because we where chasing our gambling loss, or some life disappointment came along and triggered us with anger that we used the excuse to go gamble to blow off some steam.  Am I hitting close to home yet?  We all have done it many times.  But here’s the catch, “Your NOT Fooling Anybody”!  WHY?  Because like myself, those of us who have long-term recovery can pick up on that mask you’re wearing as soon as you open your mouth to share.

Those of us who made the commitment to turn our lives over to a power greater than ourselves,  who took  STEP ONE to heart as we admitted to ourselves and to another that ‘Gambling Addiction & Alcohol’  had us whooped, we then begin our journey with hard work, working the steps, going to meetings, meeting other recovering gamblers and alcoholics, sharing unity and fellowship within the ‘rooms’, getting a sponsor, and making a good, early in recovery Relapse Prevention Guide!  We learned in treatment, rehab, or where ever you chose to go get your life back from addiction, and learned how to use tools and skills to become healthy and happy again.  Free from the bonds of addiction.|

That’s how you just get started! We need to stay diligent, and not get complacent in our recovery. Because I can tell you, that ‘Happy Fake Mask’ is only going to work for you for a short time. People can see through it.  Don’t wait until you get yourself in a crisis. Because when crisis hits?  There is only one option,  DEATH, and you are worth way more than that option!

We also have to learn to walk through all our fears of the unknown, as it’s OK to not know what will come tomorrow. As addicts we want everything ‘Right Now’, but I can tell you recovery won’t happen that way. Your going to really learn the meaning of having patients, and that’s where your Higher Power is going to be of most help to you.  Your going to go through feelings and emotions that will come out of no where, and all kinds,  but it’s OK. You need to do this in order to become stronger, not hide behind that damn mask anymore, and know it’s ok to have those up and down feelings. How long have you been escaping those hurts, pains, life disappointments, and using gambling,  drinking, drugs until you feel nothing but blackness?

HOW LONG?  Well, then it may take even longer to go through that wall of fear and unknown,  but YOU will be better for it in the long run.  So come on and take that dumb,  funny, and ridiculous ‘ FAKE HAPPY MASK OFF, and go fight to get your life back from addiction!  Your Worth It,  You Deserve It,  YOU GOT THIS! ODAAT…

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Happiness And Blessings,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

Today Is Double Guest Blog Post Thursday! Meet A Few Of My New Recovery Friends…

Welcome & Thanks For Visiting Today,

 

You all are in for an awesome treat as I have TWO Special Guests for ‘Double Guest Thursday”!
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My first blog ‘Guest Spotlight’ is a new friend I met on Twitter recently. She does amazing work to help others! We have a little in common as she helps teach, and mentor parents, single moms, and many more. She has had a rough childhood like many of us out here, and she is determined to help be the “Solution & Break The Cycle”….
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Many were raised to not speak of family problems outside our homes. Loads of deep, dark family secrets can destroy families, and not to mention the impact it has on the children.  It’s what happened to me. Some of us use addictions, or many other unhealthy habits and behaviors we learn from an unhealthy family dynamic, addiction, or other things that we need to change and interrupt so it’s not passed down to the next generation of our families. That’s just the tip of the iceberg that my caring friend ‘Athena Morberg’ tries to accomplish in a safe and caring enviroment. Her is a more about her, and how she helps others…

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About Athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

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Hi I’m Athena!
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I am an aspiring entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other single moms get FREE from limiting beliefs so they can build a business and life they enjoy while spending more time with their children.
I was a single mom for 17 years and I struggled almost every step of the way.
 
Back in the 90′s when I was a teenager raising my son, I didn’t have a CLUE and I definitely didn’t receive a lot of family support.
 
Looking back, I remember a couple of things very vividly:
 
1) I didn’t have the best example set for me through my immediate family {multiple divorces, drugs, alcohol, ongoing abuse in many areas, neglect, multiple step parents, etc…}
 
2) I was determined to break the cycle for my child someday!  
 
I also knew I lacked the valuable-life-changing resources I needed to be a great role model for my son… and that overwhelmed me… literally almost every day. {really}

WE  NEVER  “ARRIVE”
 
Fast forward and here I am with my very own website, podcast & internet radio show.  I mean…really?   {pinch me}
 
If I could talk to the 19-year-old Athena right now, I would tell her a lot of things…
 
Mostly, it would be on the topics of parenting, having faith, {those not-often-talked-about struggles in life} and I would definitely mention business, now that I have been in it for 21 years.  
 
I would say, “Athena, build a business for yourself – sooner rather than later…  now rather than years from now.”
 
“Find what you’re passionate about and find a way to do that. It will be a great example. And whatever you do…don’t give up!“.
 
Since I have been doing this for a couple of decades now, I have made thousands of mistakes, maybe more. The best part?  I am so happy to be able to share my 21 years of first-hand knowledge and experience with YOU: a fellow traveler… a mom just like me.  A powerful, amazing woman with the capacity to love greatly and make a huge impact in the life of your child.   Yes, you.    “But Athena, you don’t understand my upbringing… I’m not equipped to be amazing…”    Yes.  You.  Are.   It doesn’t matter if you had dysfunction and poor role models growing up.  It doesn’t matter if you had no role model. The level of dysfunction you experienced in your life is insignificant at this moment.  {Believe me, if you wanna talk about dysfunction and ridiculousness I could make your head spin…we could probably share stories for days.}  
 
What matters in NOW.  Right now.  You have taken the first step to secure that your child gets the life he or she deserves, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this website right now reading about how I can help you.  You have made a conscious choice to break the cycle and raise an incredible man or woman.  Good job mom! 
 
That is why I am here.  That is why I exist.  That is my purpose!  I am so passionate about helping YOU with your journey and I can’t wait to see a difference in your life and in the life of your child.  I finally found a way to do this for a living and I count my blessings more times than I can mention.
 
I consider it a privilege to work with single moms just like you. I want to stand beside you as you overcome your past struggles, hurts and disappointments.  I will be with you when you become the most amazing role model you can be.  The role model you were created to be.

Oh, by the way, I get it… you’re not really here for you… in fact you rarely do anything for  “you” , am I right?  You’re here for your kids.  I get it.  Been there.  And I also want you to know – that is more than ok, in fact it is fantastic!  I am so proud of you.  You are here because they deserve a chance.  Perhaps a chance that you were never given.  A chance at a healthy life and a bright future. Bravo mom!  This is a turning point for you, this is where your journey gets good.
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*Here is a little more from her clients she has helped in changing lives*

what others are saying about athena

Athena-Moberg-Logo“Helping parents. Changing lives.”

 

“Athena’s obvious passion is encouraging single moms by helping them overcome their circumstances & build healthy, abundant lives for themselves and their families.”

 “I plan to continue with Athena, as I know she will be a large part of making my dreams come true.”

 “Athena’s enthusiastic and honest style puts me at ease every time I connect with her.”

I know for a fact, without Athena’s help in the beginning, I would not be where I am today.”

Athena’s energy, excitement, and ideas spurred me along”!

Athena is so encouraging.”

I always feel like Athena understands the vision I have for my life and my business. I have the utmost confidence that when she says she will do something, it will be done with perfection.”

As a business and personal development coach, Athena is improving our local economy, one business at a time.”

“Athena’s honest observation of my situation truly was spot on. Since our session, I’ve prayed wholeheartedly for God’s direction in my work life and my personal life.  For too long now, I’ve been stuck in a rut, with no knowledge or courage to get out.  Things are now starting to move and change.  I know life is going to pick up as I start being more aware of the opportunities that are coming my way!”

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In life we always need to remember it’s not about ‘Perfection,’ it’s about being a ‘Work In Progress’! So I encourage you to visit her helpful website if you have had a hard childhood, trauma, or just need help being a better parent, single or not. If your past trauma is knocking on your door? Then go see how Athena can help. I myself am a childhood sex abuse survivor, and went through things no little girl should ever go through by two family friends of my fathers. And it did come back to haunt me in my late 30’s through my mid 40’s.
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I wish I had known proper ways to process all of it when it did come back and bothered me. I got  tangled into an addicted gambling addiction and alcohol to try to ‘escape’ all those horrible memories. I used them both to cope, and that led to 2 failed attempted suicides. I felt it was MY fault for what happened to me some how. Not knowing any better that it wasn’t. My point is that we need to get help and process what we have been through in a healthy way. It’s why I share my story, and to let others have a voice, and know they are HEARD! I feel Athena does this a well through her helpful website!

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SUCCESS: you will never-ever forget this feeling

I have successfully transformed my parenting style and my lifestyle by focusing on the foundational principles I’ve learned in the bible. I have developed a specific method for my mentoring and coaching which focuses on 5 specific areas. I call it The ALOHA Method. Not because I live in Hawaii : ) ALOHA is an acronym for 5 areas of your parenting journey. It is powerful when implemented and has forever changed the lives of many parents & children. 
The lives of single mothers and their children have literally been transformed. Really.
I have not always lived this blessed-abundant life in Hawaii; my childhood and upbringing could make your head spin… To say I have an “underdog to overcomer” story would be an understatement. 
My testimony has encouraged thousands of women and given them hope during times of great discouragement and I am ready to encourage you….
Your can find, and connect with Athena Moberg on her website  http://athenamoberg.com and these other wonderful links!
http://about.me/AthenaMoberg/   Google+   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  and  Facebook ….
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My next guest is an interactive site all about ‘Shattering The Stigma About Addictions’ and raising awareness that ‘Addiction Is A Real Disease!
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We all know that stigma around those of us in recovery is still out there! So I wanted to help and share this important message from my new friends of, ‘The Truth About Addiction” http://thetruthaboutaddiction.org/end-the-stigma/
That addictions of all kinds are NOT a personal choice, but real diseases. Here is a little more about my recovery friends, and how you can help by  “Signing The Wall.”
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About and Contact Info

The truth about addiction is a community created to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism.

TTAA  is a community of people united to show the world that addiction is a disease. When we speak of addiction, we refer to anyone who was or is addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, gambling, shopping, love, sex, etc. Our sole purpose is to end the addiction stigma. We do not speak for any organization, diagnose or treat any illness, or recommend any treatment program. The truth is, addiction is a disease, not a choice or a crime. It’s a chronic, fatal illness affecting more than 23 million Americans. We stand together in peace and serenity, united in the knowledge that we suffer from a disease.

For more information, please email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com
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Sign the Wall to End the Stigma

Please join our mission to end the stigma against addiction and alcoholism. Our goal is to have one million people sign our wall. Together we can show others that we are suffering from a disease, not a choice or a crime.

To participate, please fill out the contact form below or email your name and location and you will be added to our wall.

Addiction is a Disease

No matter what it is you’re addicted to – drugs, alcohol, food, etc. – you are suffering from a disease, not something to be ashamed of!

  • Addiction is a chronic illness that is fatal if left untreated.
  • No one wants to be a drug addict or alcoholic when they grow up.
  • It’s not a choice. It’s a disease.
  • Drugs and alcohol (or food, money, relationships, etc.) are solutions to the problem, not the problem. They are what we use to ease the symptoms of our disease.
  • Addiction begins long before drug and alcohol use.
Want to submit your thoughts? Email thetruthaboutaddiction@gmail.com.
*SO PLEASE, if you our you know someone who has been touched by ADDICTION, then please visit their website today and SIGN THE WALL in that persons HONOR.*
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Together we can save & change lives one signature at a time!
I want to THANK both “Athena Moberg & The Truth About Addiction” for letting me ‘Share’ them with all of you today!
I’m a firm believer that we can’t have too much information and help at our disposal to guide us through a beautiful Life!
And since I have daily challenges being in recovery for a bit over 7yrs, living with mental illness, and learned to work through my own childhood traumatic past,I will continue to share my progress so others may know the is always  HOPE* with a little faith on the other side of despair…

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GOD BLESS ALL!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon


AND STIGMA! …