teachings of a modern spiritual adept

Bite size teachings across 30 years.

For 30 years t.k. has offered radical spiritual teachings on the divine nature of non-dual contemplation and realization. Enlightened mind here and now, born from this culture, addressing the issues of this time and place t.k. offers transmission through countless forms - words being one of them. Here are some short pieces from his teachings over the last 30 years.

You ask: “When you look at us what do you see?

Dear --

You ask: “When you look at us what do you see? I am so full of self doubt and I sometimes fear what I must seem to you.”

I do not see with eyes of judgment. I see with the eyes of tender-heartedness. Each person sees their own mind when they look at the world. I see you as Buddha, as the divine I have come to serve.

Sometimes it might seem I hit you with my words, criticize you, because I see you have built a cage of misery around yourself so I smash the bars of this cage … call you out into the noon-day sunshine freedom. But never, never, do I see you as anything other than the mystery of utter divinity. It is only compassion that causes me to correct you sometimes. If possible, I would always prefer to say nothing, but sometimes it is too much to watch you suffer. Because you have asked, and if there is an opening, I work to help you destroy the obstacles, which hinder you, sever the ties which bind you.

The problem is that these very same ties are often your most cherished possessions. In the misery of your prison you have enshrined small things, worthless trash, and called it precious and … you can become scared or it can hurt if it is taken away. It is not my desire to hurt you in any way, but I see you running toward the edge of a cliff thinking you are safe and it is possible I might have to interfere. Buddha once said, “I am like a man walking down the street and I see a house on fire. It is night and late and all are asleep inside the house. They do not know their house is on fire. They do not know the danger they are in, so I yell and shout from the street. All they hear is someone disrupting their sleep. At first they feel grumpy “What is this madman doing?” they think. Later they will feel grateful, but at first they feel annoyed.

Once the eyes are opened to the beauty of wisdom’s ornaments—all appearance—then one sees only Buddha, godliness. Mind that I do not say 'god,' for there is no 'god,' no creator in that sense, but there is tremendous godliness, only godliness for the one who is no longer sleeping. Even when I see your mistakes, your sufferings, I also see the actual wonder and beauty behind this temporary veil. And you are especially beautiful, because you have begun to become conscious of higher possibilities.

You are beginning to wake up and you have discovered your longing. This can be a hard moment because the old you is not yet dead and the new you is not yet born. Gurdjieff said “Happy is the man in the chair of sleep, and happy is the man in the chair of awakening, but woe to the man in between.” This is where you are right now—in between. This is why you feel so uncomfortable with yourself. You must make a decision, the longer you wait on the banks without jumping in, the more complex and painful it becomes.

It is hard; it is arduous, because for lifetimes and lifetimes you have been sleeping. Plato tells a story of a people who live deep in a cave. Light never comes there except perhaps for a few dim glowworms. Their eyes have adjusted and only now and then does one of them wander up, up, up the long corridor toward the outside. As they get near their eyes hurt and burn with the pain of sunshine and so they turn back. Rarely, rarely does someone continue until they are outside and and take the time for their eyes to adjust. Then, what a joy! Amongst those who come to know the beauty of this new life, this new world, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of flowers and fruits, the play of night and day, the passing of seasons—of these only one in a million returns to the cave to tell others. This is the Bodhisattva, the liberated one who returns to the world to share with others. But those he shares with seldom want to hear, even what he knows to be good news. They are accustomed to the small darkness of their lives.

In the darkness they make up worship of the cave walls. Business people buy and sell goods to make life in the dark wet more comfortable. Religions grow up around the reasons why things are the way they are. Small corners of drab dark are decorated by glowworms and bits of moss and this is called “home.” Beautiful lies are invented to make the cave seem profound and vast. Over time the peoples’ investment in lies becomes so great that Truth is a terrible threat. Sometimes those who return are killed, abused, and shunned.

The words of the Buddha are said to be for “those with little dust.” For days the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree without moving, without any urge to teach. The gods came and encouraged him but he replied, “What I have discovered will not be wanted by almost anyone. Those who are not ready can not be swayed with words and those who are ready can discover it for themselves.” One of the gods pondered this for days and then returned and said, “Great Buddha, what of those with only a little dust covering their eyes? What of those who are almost ready but only held back by a small hindrance? If you teach, then these ones will enter the stream of wisdom.” After a moment, the Buddha rose from his seat and went to give his first teaching. Buddha’s words are for those with little dust.

When I see you, I see a Buddha. What else can I see? I do not have any notion of Buddha or sentient being. It is exactly this notionlessness that sees with the eyes of tender-heartedness. I see you as Buddha because I see everything as the single body of Life—the unity of appearance awareness, bliss emptiness. I also see that you suffer and do not see yourself clearly and that you have taken the first steps on the path. So in Truth, I see Buddha. In relative truth, I see a Bodhisattva who has entered the stream. Either way, I see you as most precious.

I know you do not hear my words fully … yet. Yes, you hear the sounds but you cannot hear the meanings as fully true of you. The meaning lies in Silence. The meaning lies in simplicity so vast and profound that you miss it in your complexity. This is why there is a path. The path helps you to become simple. The path helps you to remember Silence, simplicity. In you, the unwinding of delusion has self-awoken and begun. You may come swiftly or slowly depending on your wishes, but it has begun and it will end in perfection—the perfection of “as it is.”

I hope this finds you well, and these words find your heart.


this love

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