"The monastery itself was a cold, stark environment high in the mountains above the tree line, far removed from the western world and civilization, operating beyond the bounds of time, whose lineage, rituals, and beliefs hearkened straight back unbroken and unfettered to the likes of Hui Neng, Bodhidharma and the Buddha. Doing so enabled me to be guided, via the master's skillful means, through to the full level of the unveiled truth, springing unhindered and unencumbered from it's original grounding source. Returning to America I have, because of that experience, through comparison and similes, been able to cut through and discard the trappings overlayed over the centuries, stripping bare to the undiluted core."
FOR MORE ON THE ABOVE AND THE WANDERLING CLICK HERE.
OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTINUE:
For a quick concise insight and overview into the Wanderling, from early childhood to grown man, one of the best sources around is found in a biography of sorts of one Adam Osborne. Adam Osborne was the son of Arthur Osborne, the esteemed and noted author of a whole series of the best books ever written about the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Adam Osborne spent his childhood growing up at the Ramana ashram in Tiruvannamalai south India, starting from a mere toddler to around age eleven. During that same period, also as a young boy, the Wanderling visited the ashram and he and Adam crossed paths. With Adam and the Wanderling being basically the same age, their birthdays being only a few months apart, they spent a great deal of time together. Intertwined in the Adam Osborne story, as found in the link below, are, in the main text and numerous footnotes, all of which are a must read, many, many references to the Wanderling concerning his childhood and adulthood. See:
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI
WINDSWEPT, ZEN-SWEPT, MIND DUNES
THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE
Their Life and Times Together
FLYING TIGERS AND MORE
THE BOY IN THE MAN REMEMBERS THE LEGEND
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HIGH MOUNTAIN ZENDO
THE WANDERLING, CONTINUED
HOW THE WANDERLING GOT HIS NAME
WHAT HAPPENED TO AWAKENING 101 AND THE GEOCITIES PAGES?
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TIME TRAVEL: MEETING YOURSELF
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE WANDERLING:
As most of you know, if an email address can be readily scaned by search engines the next thing you know you can't even find the legitimate mail in your box. Hence, the why of how difficult I've made it. Below I offer some suggestions on how to get any number of your questions or concerns along the path answered. However, if you feel a message or personal response would be helpful in your endeavors, e-mail me through the Wanderling link directly below and follow the steps. Be advised your message could be lost in the shuffle or forgotten to death using the above method anyway as there are a number of SPAM FILTERS IN PLACE that block just about everything --- BUT, and this is the secret, if you type AWAKENING 101 --- in capital letters with a space between AWAKENING and 101 --- in the subject line of your email it has a much better chance of being sorted out of the tons of unsolicited material and actually be read rather than being blocked or deleted:
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
FOR MORE, SEE:
THE WANDERLING UNMASKED
THE WANDERLING AND WIKIPEDIA
DOING HARD TIME IN A ZEN MONASTERY
THE BUDDHA AND THE QUALITIES OF A DHARMA TEACHER
"Real Masters never charge for their services, nor do they accept payment in any form
nor in any sort of material benefits for their instructions. This is a universal law among
Masters, and yet amazingly, it is a fact that thousands of eager seekers in America and
elsewhere, go on paying large amounts of money for "spiritual instruction." Masters are
always self-sustaining and are never supported by their students or by public charity."
---Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (1939)
On occasion people DO email me about Enlightenment, the Awakening process and any results thereof. Matter of fact, they do it all the time and on a regular basis. For some of the most interesting go to:
GETTING LETTERS AND EMAILS
If you would like information regarding a given Zen or Buddhist related subject, term, word, guru, teacher or Ancient Venerable or anything else you can think of, enter that or any name, word or term in the numerous variety of search engines that permeate the web such as Google along with the word Wanderling and see what comes up.
Seekers along the path and others so interested can do the same type searches in other areas as well, most of which when related to me, eventually lead back to Zen, Buddhism, and Enlightenment. As a young boy I was fascinated with flying things such as Zeppelins and underwater things such as U-boats and submarines, all for given reasons that are explained along the way --- and of which again, lead back to Zen, Buddhism, and Enlightenment --- sometimes even to the mysterious hermitage said to exist somewhere beyond time in a remote area of the Himalayas known under a variety of names such as Gyanganj, Shambhala or Shangri-La:
"From a young boy wandering from foster home to foster home with nothing of any real personal value to myself other than a Captain Midnight decoder, to being drafted into the military and having hours and hours of training, like an arrow shot straight and true to the very center of it's target, my life's trajectory placing me in the hands of a non-English speaking Buddhist monk, all within striking distance of the mighty Himalayas and unknowingly, the secret hermitage of Shambhala."(source)
Growing up I loved Leonardo Da Vinci, Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, especially Tarzan and the Huntress, Warner Brothers cartoons, astronomy, the cosmos, rockets to the Moon and Mars, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, along with a myriad superheroes, especially the 'mortal' type such as the Spirit and Captain Midnight. So too, as a young boy, aligning myself as close as I could with the precepts found in the Cowboy Code of the West, high on my list were western comic book heroes and cowboy movie stars such as Firehair, the Durango Kid, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers, their horses such as Champion and Trigger, and cowboy sidekicks such as Smiley Burnette, Gabby Hayes, and Andy Devine.(see)
THE DRAGON LADY
SPIRITUAL GUIDES: Pass or Fail?
BUDDHIST LINKS AND SITES
WHAT SARLO HAS TO SAY
If in using the searches above as suggested and what you seek is not forthcoming in the fashion you desire, OR if you simply wish to email or contact me, again, please feel free to do so. Remember, in your quest, and for life in general, if the intent of your actions carries within it the RIGHT escort, any downstream outcomes from such endeavors will in their context, deliver the strength of favorable impulses as they unfold.
THE BEST OF
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SO, DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
ON THE RAZOR'S
WHEN INFINITIES COLLIDE
AS THE DAY BROKE IN ITS SPLENDOR
THE MEETING: AN UNTOLD STORY OF SRI RAMANA
THE AWAKENING EXPERIENCE IN THE MODERN ERA
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
As to the subject of donations, for those who may be so interested as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
"The man I am writing about is not famous. It may be that he never will be. It may be that when his life at last comes to an end he will leave no more trace of his sojourn on earth than a stone thrown into a river leaves on the surface of the water. But it may be that the way of life that he has chosen for himself and the peculiar strength and sweetness of his character may have an ever-growing influence over his fellow men so that, long after his death perhaps, it may be realized that there lived in this age a very remarkable creature."
WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM The Razor's Edge
People often comment about my continued championing of Zen, Enlightenment, and Buddhism. As it was put in an email so blithely one day, me blathering on-and-on ad infinitum about my Mentor, so alluded to in the above quote, as though he was some sort of major Dharma-mover, but who in the end, like me they say, having no real of formal direct-lineage or training.
They ignore, discount, or don't give any credence, for example to either myself or my mentor and our experiences in the normal flow of things under the auspices of the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi or mine specifically, directly related through my mentor to Yasutani Hakuum Roshi, Alfred Pulyan and the like. So too, even if a short shrift would ensue for some regarding my study-practice at the Mahasi Meditation Center in Rangoon, Burma, mentioned further below, how can it be ignored me having spent a good portion of what has happened in my life Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery under a Zen master in a monastery completely free of western influences located high along the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau hearkening straight back to the First Patriarch of Zen, Bodhidharma and the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng as so described and so presented in the opening quote a the very top of the page.
In Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery, linked above, I write that after becoming fully immersed in the monastery culture and goings-on I began going into the village some distance down and below the monastery with a few of the monks on occasion. On one of those excursions a man in the village who had a rudimentary use of English tried to tell me something I wasn't getting the full grasp of. He signed me to wait while he went to get something, returning with a well worn magazine, possibly German or Dutch, and pointed to pictures of the women in the advertisements. What he was trying to say, showing his hands with his fingers up and counting, that 10 to 15 --- what I determined to be months before --- a western woman had come to the village. When I asked what happened to her he pointed toward the mountains. At the time I didn't quite know what to make of it and for the most part quickly forgot it --- until one day what he was trying to tell me bared fruit and high in the mountains I met a western woman traveling alone by the name of Hope Savage. Back in the village on a second occasion he tried to tell me something again, only this time more of a warning, and of which in that it wasn't clear I didn't take heed at the level I should have.
On that that second occasion, a morning super early, after a long trek to the village and back on my own, found me having just crouched down in the fields some distance outside the walls of the monastery doing my business before returning. In the process of doing so I felt the shadows of three men fall across my face. Evidently what the man in the village had been trying to tell me was that three men had been snooping around the village for a day or two seemingly looking for me. After I left they either got up or were woke up, then either heard or were told the white monk was in town. Learning I was gone they apparently followed along the trail in my wake in an effort to catch me before I entered the monastery and be beyond their reach. If I would have figured out beforehand three men were in the village, especially two from the west, I may have been suspicious enough to have looked them over first. Or, even without me knowing, had I not stopped in the fields outside the monastery I may have had sufficient distance and time between me and them to have made it through the doors unhindered. Instead neither happened and I fell within their grasp, being abducted by the three, all of which were military irregulars. That night, well down the trail after an all day travel from the village, under the cover of darkness several Buddhist monks stealthly spirited me away from the irregulars. Hours later, after stopping a couple times that second day with the monks begging food and sharing with the soldiers and myself during the stops, we pulled into a large area full of buildings and structures and got out. The monks were met by a few other monks, the truck with the two soldiers drove away, and I was escorted into a building apparently to sleep.
The next morning I was met by a man, a monk, that spoke English who told me I was at the Mahasi Meditation Center in Rangoon and brought there for, among other things, my safe keeping and overall well being. By the end of the day, over a period of several hours, I met with the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, the center's meditation master and Principal Preceptor. Through others it was explained that I was welcome to stay as long as I liked. The whole thing, well intentioned as it was, possibly even as an effort to detox me back to normalcy after my time in the monastery, was short lived. Within several weeks or so, after having entered their meditation sessions --- but most assuredly before I could turn around and really start making sense of things --- a couple of Burmese government suit-types arrived looking for me (nothing gets by the authorities). I told them I was not complacent in any of the endeavors that brought me to the center and it was, from start to finish, all done so without any previous knowledge or instigation on my part. Everybody in the pipeline seemed to agree and following an up-and-down the pipeline mutual agreement, without getting into too many of the logistics, I was soon back to my original starting point and back to the states as though nothing had happened.
The Mahasi Meditation Center, located in what was once called Rangoon, Burma, but now called Yangon, Myanmar, was founded in 1949 by a group of highly involved Buddhist adepts, including the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita, whose sole interest was in expanding the knowlege and use of the same meditation method developed, used, and taught by the Buddha. So said, the center is a massive twenty acre compound set aside and designed exclusively for the participating in and the learning of Vipassana Meditation. Those who seek admission to the center undergo full-time Vipassana meditation for about six to twelve weeks which is considered an appropriate period of retreat for one to gain a basic knowledge and experience of Vipassana meditation.
Amazingly enough, for those who may be so interested, for foreign meditators, the entire period of their stay for study-practice at the center --- six to twelve weeks --- is FREE, including both full boarding and lodging.
MY RETURN TO THE CENTER FOR THE FULL 12 WEEKS:
Again, for those who say I have no real of formal direct-lineage or training and, although above I mention that I was unable to reach completion of the full 12 week meditation regimen as offered by the center, that mention of same refers to that particular time and event. Thirty years plus later, after having volunteered with the American Red Cross and being deployed for weeks-and-weeks and working four hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike) I made it a point to return to the center. In-turn, from the beginning, re-participating in and completing all 12 weeks of the sessions. I did so primarily because I wanted a distinct separation --- and return to the quietude of the center mixed with the milieu of the Asian atmosphere --- without concern by or for others with my support system. For almost anything you would ever want to know regarding staying at the Mahasi Meditation Center, etc., please refer to the center's frequently asked questions section by clicking HERE and HERE.
ZEN IN TIBET
There are those who come forward on occasion taking issue as to what I have cited as Doing Hard Time In A Zen monastery, a monastery they take as being in Tibet --- with Zen and Tibet in their view not necessarily going hand-in-hand.
The monastery of which I speak is one of the ones operating independent of time. Such entities are beyond both time and place. Others aren't. If you have read of the exploits of the Buddhist monk Hui Shen, said to have traveled to what is now called North and Central America, but known in 500 AD as Fu Sang at the time of Hui Shen's travels, you will see he was, although a Buddhist monk, born somewhere within the landlocked area adjacent to China which now days would be considered Afghanistan. Borders, countries, religions, and present day deep-set cultures as they exist today have not always done so. What may seem out of place now, may not have been in the old days.
On the ancient Silk Road, of which I have made reference to in a number of places in my works, AKA The Tea-Horse Trade Route the Tea Horse Trail or Road and more formally the Chamadao, and of which regardless of what it is called, all being integral parts of the Silk Road, there is a place known as Dunhuang in northwestern China on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Sixteen miles southeast of Dunhuang is the Mogao Caves, a complex of some 700 or so caves dating back to 400 AD, perhaps before, carved out of the living rock above the Dachuan River. One after the other of the caves are adorned with Buddhist statuary and art, among them one cave specifically noted for having a hoard of manuscripts known as the Dunhuang Manuscripts discovered hidden and sealed away for well over a thousand years. The following is what Wiki writes on the manuscripts:
"By far the largest proportion of manuscripts from the Dunhuang cave contain Buddhist texts. These include Buddhist sutras, commentaries and treatises, often copied for the purpose of generating religious merit. Several hundred manuscripts have been identified as notes taken by students, including the popular Buddhist narratives known as bian wen. Much of the scholarship on the Chinese Buddhist manuscripts has been on the Ch'an (or Zen) texts, which have revolutionized the history of Ch'an Buddhism."
There is a book titled TIBETAN ZEN: Discovering a Lost Tradition (2015) by Sam van Schaik based on his study of rare Tibetan manuscripts discovered among the hoard of manuscripts found in the aforementioned sealed cave. Taken together van Schaik's works offer a heretofore unknown window into the existence of a Tibetan Zen tradition that has not been known previously to scholars and laypeople alike, whether Tibetan, European, or Chinese. See:
TIBETAN ZEN: DISCOVERING A LOST TRADITION
THE MOBIUS STRIP
RETURN TO MAIN PAGE
HOW THE WANDERLING GOT HIS NAME:
In the year I was born a very well received novel that would ultimately receive a Pulitzer Prize titled The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, was published.
In the website The Battle of Los Angeles: 1942 UFO, wherein an incident about a giant object of unknown origin that overflew the city of Los Angeles is described, in a section subtitled A QUICK PERSONAL NOTE, the following is found:
"My uncle (i.e., the Wanderling's uncle in the original text) told me the first time he ever saw me I was basically not much more than a walk-around one or two year old toddler. According to how he remembered it he came by the house one day to see my mother and father while on a trip through Southern California. After that, nearly six years went by before we were to cross paths again."
Right around that six years later time when my uncle and I crossed paths again a movie version of The Yearling was released. Years before, when my uncle first saw me as a walk-around toddler, my mother was reading The Yearling as it was just published. At that time he called me a "Yearling." When we met again the movie just came out, and he was reminded of what he called me as a toddler. By then, of course, my mother was long gone, my father had married my Stepmother and I was no longer remotely close to being anything that resembled a Yearling. Knowing I had been to India and returned in a somewhat can't quite put your finger on it altered state where I seemed to "wander" in and out, my uncle, in an interesting twist of fate, began calling me "the Wanderling" --- a sort of play on the words of the term "the Yearling."
In later years the person that would become my spiritual Mentor in things Zen and who had studied under Sri Ramana, came across me and heard that my uncle had called me a "wanderling," he immediately took to it --- primarily because of a very important aspect regarding the historical background of Ramana's life as presented in the following quote from Ramana's biography. FYI, Venkataraman, so mentioned in the quote below, was the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi's given name:
"There was a curse on Venkataraman's family - in truth, it was a blessing - that one out of every generation should turn out to be a mendicant. This curse was administered by a wanderling, an ascetic who, it is said, begged alms at the house of one of Venkataraman's forbears, and was refused. A paternal uncle of Sundaram Aiyar's became a sannyasin; so did Sundaram Aiyar's elder brother. Now, it was the turn of Venkataraman, although no one could have foreseen that the curse would work out in this manner." (source)
Extraterrestrials, ray guns, UFOs, curmudgeon old desert-southwest types...the following quote comes from the source so cited:
"I have read quite a bit of The Wanderling's writings and found it very intriguing. Much of what he has to say about Zen and Buddhism was helpful, but at the sametime I was skeptical about his apparent fascination with esoteric, 'new age' type topics like Carlos Castaneda, shamanism, UFOs, etc."(source)
THE ROSWELL RAY GUN
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PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR
BILLY THE KID
From my very early years on I had been known to have jumped off one-story porches, garages, and house roofs with a sheet made into a parachute or flaring behind my back tied to my wrists and ankles a la Captain Midnight's glider chute. My uncle stated many times that he felt the reason for such a fascination, or destiny as he called it, went back to an incident that involved the fly over of a giant airborne object that I witnessed as a young boy. The object, of an unknown nature and an unknown origin, was seen by literally thousands of people along the coast of California barely three months into World War II. See:
THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: 1942 UFO
As for the battle, during the early morning hours of February 25, 1942 the whole city of Los Angeles and surrounding communities were in an uproar as thousands of rounds of anti-aircraft shells were expended in an attempt to pull down whatever it was in the sky that night. The slow moving object, said to be as big or bigger than a Zeppelin, was caught in the glare of the searchlights from Santa Monica to Long Beach and seemed impervious to the constant barrage of shells. It eventually disappeared out over the Pacific after cruising along the coast and cutting inland for a while. The huge object was never clearly explained and was basically hushed up without response from the authorities.
THE BLACK CONDOR: THE MAN WHO COULD FLY LIKE A BIRD
The Buddha said "If a monk should frame a wish as follows: 'Let me travel through the air like a winged bird,' then must he be perfect in the precepts (Sila), bring his thoughts to a state of quiescence (Samadhi), practice diligently the trances (Jhana), attain to insight (Prajna) and be frequenter to lonely places."
AKANKHEYYA SUTTA, Vol. XI of The Sacred Books of the East
THE BEST OF THE MAUGHAM BIOGRAPHIES:
SPIRITUAL GUIDES, GURUS, AND TEACHERS INFLUENTIAL IN THE RAZOR'S EDGE: