The Spiritual Masters were all rebels

If someone told you you can’t do it what did you do? For me, of course then I had to do it.

We hear a lot of things about happiness and spirituality. Like, you have to suffer, or not this life, you have more karma to burn, or lessons to learn, etc.

What if you became outrageously impatient, not willing to take ‘no’ for an answer? That’s what happened to me, for both happiness and spiritual fulfillment. (The former, taken to extreme, makes both inseparable anyway.)

The greatest Spiritual Masters of history were radical rebels of their times, and ours.

Ramana Maharshi – At age 12 his father died, and due to intense fear of death at age 16, he discovered self-inquiry as a direct way to Self-Realization. (He also recommended devotion or surrender.) He left home without telling anyone, and traveled to Tiruvannamalai, where he remained for the rest of his life. (1879-1950)

Nisargadatta Maharaj – A shop owner who at age 36 was told, “You are not what you take yourself to be, you are Divine,” and to attend to the sense “I am” and nothing else. He carriedon with life, but spent every possible moment in contemplativemeditation on the sense “I am.” Three years later he realized the Truth. (1897-1981)

Siddhārtha Gautama, Buddha – was a prince who abandoned family and worldly comforts to discover the Truth. He tried all things, even neglecting the body, but his enlightenment came after he abandoned extreme austerities, creating what is called the “middle way,” based on moderation. (Est. 563 BCE to 483 BCE)

Bankei – Zen Master best known for his talks on the Unborn. He taught that the Unborn is the natural state of man, and we need to detach from illusions, and dualistic thoughts and fixations, which, “neither trying to prevent nor encourage further thought, they will certainly stop of themselves.” (1622-1693).

As a child he was rebellious and mischievous, and was so dissatisfied with attempts to explain the teaching: “The way of great learning lies in clarifying bright virtue.” He implored his teachers to explain “bright virtue,”) but nobody did, and his need to find answers became a greater priority than school, and he was kicked out of the family home. He was offered a small hut, which he raised the sign “Practice Hermitage” over.

He was obsessed with finding answers and went from zen Master to zen Master until he just sat by himself without bodily comfort, and contracted tuberculosis. He spat black phlegm against the wall which rolled down the side and suddenly realized, “All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.” His doubt and questioning ceased, and then his health improved.

You don’t need to go live in a cave, abandon family, or become a hermit. The crucial thing that all of these Spiritual Masters have in common is an uncommon, uncompromising inner rebellion.

They turned away from the mental-emotional conditioning of society–and that is what is required in order to discover what else is possible, what is real a true beyond that conditioning.

I heard ideas like you needed to meditate 10,000 hours, and did the math on that, and realized I didn’t have enough years left in this life!

It can’t be true that it takes that long! Or we’d all be in a heap of trouble.

So I did not accept that, recognizing that if there is Truth, then it is here and now–it must be available here and now!

And that is the Truth.

But you must be radical to breakthrough the conditioning. To drop the attached interest in the outer world, even as you function within it.

You must be “extreme to reach the supreme,” struck me, and stuck with me. With that earnestness, it is easy–without it, it is impossible.

How can you use every precious moment of life that you have?

I realized that my meditation practice was not just for the 30 minutes on the cushion, and that I could carry forward what I learned there, keeping attention in the body at all times, whatever I was doing.

The 10,000 hours were suddenly no longer another lifetime.

How long do you want to take?

Have you run out of time? Have you decided you don’t want to wait one minute more and that you want to know the Truth of who or what you actually are, and what Life, birth, and death are?

Then there is precious little time left before you reveal it to yourself. If you will not accept anymore delay, then nothing can stop it from being revealed.


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