If I ever leave this world alive
The days of thy life are running from thee:
why dost thou vainly waste thy zeal on the things of the earth
and puttest behind thee all the things of heaven?
Thou hast spent thy life sunk in the worries and cares of the world,
working thyself into a decline through the pains and the sorrows.
Thou art a stranger housed in a body of the earth defiled:
How long therefore hast thou been heedless of what thou ignorantly doest?
Thou toilest all thy time to nourish thy body:
yet hast thou not worried, poor thing, in what way thou canst be saved.
Thou weepest and sheddest tears for a son or a friend dying:
yet thy own departing, the thought of it enters not into thy heart.
Look therefore at that which is hidden from thee and see from today henceforth:
Lo, the way to travel is before thee; forget not thy departing.
Choose not the life of this body before eternal life:
put the fear of God in thy heart and thou shalt live without toil.
Psalm CCLXV, MPB, p. 82 (From Davidson, 1995)
“I’m not talking my own book. It’s just that I went to the last chapter of the book, and it’s not a happy ending. Leave.” – Thomas Kaplan, resource speculator and conservationist
I created this site after I experienced an awakening on June 12, 2018. Like the Japanese master Hakuin, I had no one to guide me at that point, so I turned to wisdom literature, beginning with some books on Zen I had by D. T. Suzuki. I had two aims for the site: to keep a record of my own growth, and to organize the resources that I considered effective.
I quickly discovered remarkable similarities, often using the same words, among the wisdom teachings of the major religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Catholic mysticism. This shows that Neander (1825) was right when he wrote:
“It is a gross error to infer from the resemblance of certain religious phenomena, the relationship of which is to be traced to a common inward cause, inherent in the human mind, that they have an external origin, having been copied from the other. (Ginsburg, 2005, p. 68)
How best to use this site: if you have entered the stream, I don’t need to tell you what to read. If you have not yet entered the stream, I suggest that you first read “Hsin-hsin Ming.” It is forty verses long, so if you only read one post on a verse per day, it will take you less than forty days. Pay particular attention to Jeanne Guyon’s guide to “prayer” (Do not labor to quiet your thoughts), which is an introduction to mindfulness meditation (as opposed to releasing, which you must also learn to do). With Jeanne’s method you pick a sacred writing and you read a short passage from it. After reading the passage, you pause for a time and focus your thoughts on what you have read. The text itself matters less than the fact that you aren’t thinking about other things, but writings such as the Hsin-hsin Ming or Adi Shankara’s Self-Realization are good subjects for meditation. Less poetic but no less true are the words of Lester Levenson in The Ultimate Truth.
After you have read Hsin-hsin Ming and have become familiar with some form of meditation, I suggest you look over Ten Practices. If you don’t understand the purpose of a practice, read a related post, such as The Perfection of Acceptance, The Perfection of Faith and The Perfection of Love. Then, when you have a good grasp of the purpose of each practice and how you are going to accomplish it, set aside three months of your life, put on “The Secret of Healing,” and become your glorious unlimited Self.
I will end this introduction with the words of National Teacher Zhong:
It is a rare privilege to be born
as a human being,
as we happen to be.
If we do not achieve
enlightenment in this life,
when do we expect to achieve it?
— Nanyang Huizhong (675-775)
(Updated on 12 March 2022 in Long Beach, California)
Davidson, John (1995). The Gospel of Jesus: In Search of His Original Teachings. Element Books.
Ginsburg, Christian D. (1863-1864) The Essenes: Their History and Doctrines and the Kabbalah – Its Doctrines, Development and Literature. New York: Cosimo (2005).