Here’s a free piece of advice. You have to believe in yourself! In your story! Ups… those damn slips of the tongue, I mean, you have to believe in me! Yes, in me and my story that I am trying so hard to sell to you. Believe in me, so that you can make my dreams come true. I mean, who else, if not you, can change the world? Be the change you want to see in the world. Be me! You have to believe in me! I am me because of you. And you are you because of me. And if I am I because you are you and you are you because I am I, then I am you and you are I. Twist it whatever way you want, but the fact remains that we are fundamentally inseparable from one another.
I receive daily ten thousand letters from all parts of the world asking me the same questions all over again and again. “Why are you so awesome?”, “How did you achieve your dreams?” and “What’s your formula for success?”. Since I cannot respond to each and every inquiry individually, my answer to you all collectively is this: “Believe in me!” It is really that simple. There is no need to think it through any further. No need to over-intellectualize or analyze beyond the obvious. You only have to remember this golden maxim and repeat it before going to bed every night: “Believe in me!” There are no conspiracy theories or monetary matters involved in here. I can assure you of that. Take my word for it. I have no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives. In fact, I have no self-interest at all in what I’m about to tell you. I only want to help people. I only want to help you. Believe in me. Continue reading
Rigidigong. Rigidigong. Gong. Gong. The small bell rings softly. I enter into the smoky incense filled room where the forty and something-year old Swiss German Zen master sits motionless in a full Lotus posture. His body is covered in the fine robes of an eminent authority. He wears a black kimono, most likely imported from Japan than bought at some local cheap martial arts shop. He appears to be in a deep meditative state. His eyes are closed. His face – relaxed and peaceful. A few yellowish candles burn next to the small Buddha statuette behind his vertical torso. On his right I notice the small ritual bell. It vibrates no more. A wooden stick about two and a half feet long lies to his left. Old Japanese books, which, thanks be to God, had been translated and interpreted into colonial English tongue, mention that the wooden stick in the Japanese Zen monasteries was designed purely for the purpose of beating the crap out of insolent students who ask too much questions and stick their nose into business which is not theirs. If a student’s mind could not be silenced with a koan like “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” or “why is my leg like the leg of a donkey?”, he was to be beaten with a wooden stick and thus forcibly humbled to dust, tears and blood. But in our sanitized Western world of human rights and Geneva conventions, the sole manifest purpose of the wooden stick has been limited to the symbolic realm. Western Zen was a vaccinated spirituality and an emancipated religion, in which the wooden stick was never used as an instrument of torture or punishment. It was only a symbol. A symbol of the spiritual authority of the teacher. But in the sacred halls of meditation, where enlightenment was usually attained, sometimes the wooden stick came in handy to straighten out the crooked spines of enthusiastic practitioners. At other times the stick was used as a gentle corrective tool to keep spiritual seekers awake when they fell asleep during the intensive, prolonged meditative sessions.