There are many routines in the life of a societal human being.
There are many distractions.
There are untold numbers of chores.
There are responsibilities.
There are obligations.
There are things that must be done.
There are things that must be tended to.
And each of these things is an interference with the way that a human being in his or her Native State longs to live.
It must be understood that there are no real “modern” human beings.
And the only reason that the idea of a “spiritual” human being arose is because human beings lost their way.
They poured cement over virgin soil.
They created buildings where there were once rainforests.
They created noise where for thousands of years there had only been silence.
I caution you against viewing my words as ammunition to champion the cause against deforestation, industrialization, global warming, and technological progress. For to do so would be to become societal all the more.
To do so would be to miss . . .
Every human being seeks Peace. This is natural.
Every human being seeks happiness. This is reactionary.
I am both aware of, and involved in, the day-to-day necessities and responsibilities that saturate a modern life.
But I cannot overstate the power that has forever drawn me toward a monastic existence.
From where such things arise remains unknown to me.
But it has invested all that I am and all that I do.
I have often said that I know not what it is that I do. I have long abandoned any attempt to decode it. But as I watch my fingers type the words that appear on the white background before me I will state that perhaps what I do, advertently or inadvertently, is to bring human beings on a Journey toward an inner Monasticism.
A monasticism that walks with them, plays with them, and stays with them. A monasticism that is with them in their exhilarations, and their sorrows.
A monasticism that keeps them centered in Peace. As they create empires. And as they hold their children in cradled arms.
My mind often returns to village scenes from The Last Samurai and the Japanese land of full moons and mountain silhouettes that welcomed Dogen. And the Shaolin Temple of Hunan Province.
There are some things that a man knows that he was made for. He just knows it. It gives him goose bumps. It gives him a feeling of Coming Home.
A home that he lost along ago.
Having strayed thousands of miles he one day awakens to find himself living in a world of noise and crowds and speeding cars. A world that in no shape or fashion resembles his True Home.
Rarely is one’s true home the place of his birth.
It is the place that brings soft tears to his eyes when he thinks of it.
It is unfortunate that a Monastic life cannot really be had in a monastery. Some may argue otherwise. But it is with sadness that I must hold firm. For it is unfortunately true.
The Shaolin Temple has been demolished. The warrior monks now travel the world performing on stage for societal entertainment.
The Monasteries have devolved into group activities aimed at performing rituals, burning incense, and pursuing forced concepts such as ritualized silent meditation.
One human being is ideal. Two can be perfect.
Three is a disaster.
And any more than three becomes ritual and form.
To sit on the edge of a cliff and watch the falling moon.
To close your eyes and feel the wind that blows only for you.
To lose yourself in the fractured reflection of blue moonlight on the dark river three hundred feet below.
To live in a hut at the edge of a forest and a stream where the loudest sound outside is the river, and the loudest sound inside is the sound of a teacup tapping a saucer . . .
To trade the sights of billboards, lights, and colors for the visions of still trees, falling snow, and innocent streams . . .
And most important of all, to create a Monasticism within you that is not interrupted by that which is around you.
To continue to live where we live. Do what we do. Create what we create. And pursue what we pursue.
A chain unbroken . . . of Inner Monasticism.
To some, this will remain a beautiful idea.
To others, it will be something to strive for.
But then there is that One, who upon reading it will see his own reflection in the words.
And within moments of seeing it, comes to the gentle realization that it is He who these words were written for.
That for the whole of his life, whether he knew it or not, he has now come to realize that it is This that he has been searching for all along.