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FOLDER ONE

THE FIRST STEP ALONG THE PATH





The first thing we have to do is establish some sort of credibility between myself and you so you will feel comfortable in taking the information provided in this course as being viable. As a beginning I offer the following:


When I was in the Peace Corps, former Peace Corps Volunteers travelling the world, would stop into the Peace Corps office, usually located in the host country's capitol, and request the name and location of a current volunteer so they might obtain food and lodging for the night or stay a few days. In the country in which I served my place was always among those suggested.

Returning home following my tour of duty, many former Peace Corps Volunteers world travellers continued to seek out my place in the States as somewhere to visit, hang their hat, or as a short-term base of operations to access the surrounding area. However, out of the Peace Corps my time was not nearly always my own as it had been as a volunteer, so I was not able to assist them in some of the local and regional interests such world travellers tend to seek out. For those who wanted to hike the local mountains, for example, I searched around and found what I considered the best local hiking guidebook available, taking into consideration my OWN experiences actually hiking the same trails. Of all the various guidebooks on the shelves, the one I picked out most accurately depicted where to leave a vehicle, points of interest, the trails, distances, topography, where one could find water, etc. The travellers made their own decisions as to what trail, how long they would be gone, how much water to carry, how far they themselves could go before the need to turn around, that sort of thing. True, they could have gone off on their own, unprepared, wandering around forever following any trail, however, my meager offerings, gone over previously by others and put into the guidebook BUT selected by me from my own personal experiences travelling the same trails myself, provided a pointing of the way so undue hardships would be less likely forthcoming. Some heeded my suggestions, some didn't. Some reached their goals, some didn't.


The above, although true, is also a parable of sorts. Your job is to search out the thread I have weaved through it, extrapolate it into your own thoughts, and cull out in your own words any meaning.

Now, in order to continue to solidfy and cap my credibility with you, you now need to move on by reading three interconnected pages, the first of which can be found by going to the ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT link below.

NOTE:

Right about now, however, and especially when you start getting into and reading the link below, you will be thinking to yourself "What is this all about?" because up to this point and especially after you start reading what is presented in ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT, that everything has to do with me, me, me...that is, the Wanderling...and nothing to do with YOU or YOUR Enlightenment. Not true. It has EVERYTHING to do with YOU, YOUR Enlightenment and YOUR spiritual quest along the path. The thing is this medium, the electronic cyber world, does not allow for an intimate face-to-face encounter like otherwise might transpire at a Sanga or Zen center. Enlightenment is a serious thing. Your future and your quest as you seek insights into Enlightenment ARE serious. Anybody or anyone can come along and tell you anything and you don't have that personal face-to face connection to make the same decision you might in "real life." That is WHY I am laying so much ground work...so you come to KNOW who I am and inturn feel comfortable in considering what is offered as valid. You will find I fade into the background as you progress forward. The first two sections are tough because initially I am presenting who I am THEN I present offerings that tear apart Zen...but with that you should start out fairly well stripped of preconceived notions and be ready to seriously continue along the path toward Full Awakening. You may recall from the opening pages the following quote, associated with and attributed to me:


"Being neither teacher nor guru, and since from the first not a thing is, the most one can do is to offer a glimpse or help point the way. In the end it resides in you"


From the quote you can see instead of a teacher or guru per se', for your endeavors here, I am really much closer to the role that St. John the Baptist played in the Bible. As St. John the Baptist was a precursor to the Messiah --- and an important one too, setting the groundscape, environment, and path, my role here is as a precursor as well --- to ease the Dharma Gate for those who may be so interested. The quote takes on a much more indepth and stronger meaning when the following quote is considered:


"The desire for recognition and to be a guru dies along with the impure ego and Ramana Maharshi states that the jnani affects the world even if he/she goes nowhere and does not attract many followers because the Divine is now in charge, not the ego."


That quote comes from the larger context below which inturn is found in the works of NonDualityOrg:

"(There exists) lots of anecdotal evidence from those now considered jnanis that Ramana Maharshi did not publically recognize those who may have Realized with his aid, not that it didn’t happen (i.e, he just did not publically recognize them). In the West, we imagine that when we become realized, we will be the guide to many others. But the desire for recognition and to be a guru dies along with the impure ego and Ramana Maharshi states that the jnani affects the world even if he/she goes nowhere and does not attract many followers because the Divine is now in charge, not the ego. That makes sense to me. Now, a list of those considered today to have been jnanis associated with Ramana Maharshi includes Annamalai Swami, Poonja Swami (Papaji), Sri Muruganar (who stayed with Ramana after his awakening), Sadhu Om, Ramana’s Mother (at her death), Lakshmana Swami, Mastan (a muslim devotee), Swami Ramdas, and Sri Matha (who founded her own ashram with Ramana Maharshi’s blessings after realization in 1938 around age 32). That does not even include westerners like a teenage Robert Adams who went on to teach small groups, or another interesting AMERICAN candidate who met Ramana Maharshi as a child personally according to: http://www.geocities.com/the_wanderling/rajamani.html. Given Ramana Maharshi’s approach to this, and the nature of jnana itself, there is every reason to think there were more we do not know of. None of these adopted the neo-advaita approach. Ramana Maharshi’s “production” is therefore quite respectable by any historic measure, and evidence suggests he was effective with westerners as well."

Contents of the above cited click through URL (in blue) is elaborated on more thoroughly in SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: The Last American Darshan. Now, so said and so offered, please continue with:


ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT: THE PATH UNFOLDS



The pages are loaded with various links throughout the text (underlined and in red). It is suggested you explore and read all the links within the text only as you move through the pages. When you have completed the reading, and if you would still like to continue, please come back and click through to the next folder:

NOTE:

There are two very important links within the text of the above mentioned paper, both appearing on page 2. They offer an insight to a great deal in what is being presented and if overlooked or under-ingested could leave a hole in your down stream comprehesion. PLEASE go to and review or re-review:



You may have become somewhat disconcerted upon reaching and reading page 3, ZEN, THE BUDDHA, AND SHAMANISM and my interaction with a man of spells called an Obeah high in the mountains of Jamaica. Don't let it throw you. It is something you must know, especially as you reach deeper and deeper levels of meditation and realization.

Buddhism teaches that after a practitioner achieves a certain degree of realization, spiritual power develops. A person at the level of an Arhat is said to possess six supernatural powers. Even so, it is understood that it is through Enlightenment that supernatural powers are manifested, rather than that supernatural powers enhance Enlightenment. Furthermore, it is acknowledged as well that supernatural powers are not attainable exclusively JUST by Buddhists and Buddhists only. It is possible for anyone who has deep religious and spiritual cultivation to develop some kind of "super-normal powers."

So said, some explanation is due regarding page 3, how it relates to me, Enlightenment, and your quest along the path. For your own edification please go to SIDDHIS: Supernormal Perceptual States before continuing.



ADVANCE TO FOLDER TWO:
SECOND STEP ALONG THE PATH



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