Q: What is one general advice you'd give from the height of your ~60 years to someone who is ~40. For what should one pay attention? I understand all "if"s and "but"s, your life is your life, my life is my life, and I don't care. Spit it out!
So, if you have watched my Zen path story you know that I went silent for 17 years, only returning to ‘public zen’ recently.
After making the Zen path videos, I reconnected with some old Zen friends and he told me what his teacher said:
As my teacher put it in a London pub: « I you want to awaken from a dream, whatever you do within the dream, meditation, yoga, mantra, you name it, won’t do anything to wake you up, as these actions are still part of the dream ».
It was a few days later while driving Uber in Las Vegas while making a left turn from Silverado onto Durango, the passenger was talking to me but I was not really paying attention to him, because my mind was on what my friend’s teacher said…
Suddenly, everything came into clarity, and in a flash as it began it was over. I made the turn, dropped of the customer then went to the Silverton to just sit in the casino AC to reflect.
We dream because we don’t want to wake up. The realities of this existence if seen directly are overwhelming. Manh who awaken even for 1/10 of a second so often get spooked, realize that true reality is not what they expected.
I became very keen about the suffering I casually create for myself and others. Long ago I met a monk who refused do to anything other than eat and meditate, because he was terrified he ‘might‘ create suffering. Yet, it is not that you cannot prevent suffering, it is that you have the CHOICE in where you are AWAKE to have the choice of creating suffering – or not to create suffering.
So, that is my advice – To always have a choice to do something different. You don’t have to do what everyone one else is doing, what is popular or expected, or even what you did in the past. When you have a choice, you are Awakened to this moment of your own mind.