When you walked into the room, the first thing you noticed was the carpet. Actually, that was about the only thing you noticed. Because first of all, the room was mostly bare.
And second of all, the carpet was a HIDEOUS orange color with brown flecks. The carpet was left over from the early 1970's, even though it was now 1982. It was so orange that it pulled your attention to it. You wouldn't even notice anything else in the room.
But eventually you'd notice there were two black mats on the floor. And one of the mats was empty.
A 21-year-old guy enters the room, walks over to the empty mat, and kneels down. He then settles back with his legs folded underneath him and his butt on his calves - Japanese style. He folds his hands in his lap.
The other mat was already occupied. The young guy looked at the Roshi (Japanese word for "teacher") kneeling on the other mat. The Roshi looked back. The room was quiet.
"Why are you here?" the Roshi asked the young man. "Why do you want to learn this?"
The Roshi asked the young man. "Why are you here? Why do you want to learn this?"
The young man said, "I took a course on Eastern philosophy in college, and I've read a number of books about Zen and Taoism. I want to learn more. I want to understand myself and the world around me. I think Taoism and Zen are the right paths to do that."
The Roshi looked at the young man.
"Bullshit," the Roshi said. "Stop kidding yourself. The real answer is you don't know what you want, or even why you are here. Not yet anyway."
He continued, "Stay with it long enough though. It may take a few years. But one day, you'll actually know WHY you want to learn. You'll actually get to the real questions - the ones that really brought you here. You have no clue what they are right now, but stick with it, and you'll find them.
"It will be a long journey. But it starts right now."
click here to continue (part 3 of 3)
The Roshi, as it turns out, was wrong. It didn't take a "few years" to get to the real questions.
It was more like thirty years.
My name is Al J. Simon. I have been involved in meditation, mindfulness, and chi life energy for over thirty years. I am the author of eleven books on mindfulness, plus the creator of the Mindful Masters newsletter and the Mindful Masters Academy.
While my teaching draws heavily from Zen, I've synthesized all that I've learned from both Eastern and Western mindfulness paths into a practical approach I call "applied Zen" or "applied mindfulness."
And I would like to introduce YOU to this unique approach to mindfulness.
I send out DAILY emails (five days a week) on applied mindfulness. I'd like to invite you to join my mailing list, so you don't miss out on any of these valuable emails.
Just enter your best email address below to get started ...
In these emails, through traditional Zen teachings and a unique "Three Monks" approach, you'll discover:
About the Author:
Al Simon is a Mindfulness Specialist, Zen Sherpa, Chi Master, author, and teacher. He has been involved in meditation, mindfulness, and chi life energy for over thirty years.
Al is the author of eleven books on mindfulness and applied Zen. His books include "Mindfulness Breakthroughs", "Point Your Mind", and "To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water". His most recent mindfulness book is "Mindful Solutions: How to Spot and Calm Twenty-One Common Mindfulness Traps to Bring More Happiness, Love, Joy, and Success Into Your Life".
Al was also the creator of the Mindful Masters monthly newsletter. In addition, Al is the founder and director of the Mindful Masters Academy with ongoing training in advanced mindfulness.
In the field of Chi Life Energy, Al has been inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame three times, including as a Master and as a Founder, for his innovations to Tai Chi and Qigong. He has been featured on both "Living Energy Secrets" and on "Secrets of the Qigong Masters". His articles have been in numerous magazines, including Natural Health Newsletter, The Empty Vessel, and Qi Journal.
Al is also a member of Mensa, the high I.Q. society.
He has (at last count) 5,257 chi and mindfulness students worldwide.