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Cave with a View

November 22, 2013

So here I am, sitting on the porch of my stone cottage in the late afternoon. The awesome view overlooks the whole southern plain of Sri Lanka. It’s rainy season, and storms cruise over the horizon like motherships, dropping sheets of water on the lowlands.

I’m fully occupied, very busy doing nothing. It’s about time.

My whole life up to now was driven by the need to find a solution for the suffering of human existence. I have literally been running, looking all over the world, under enormous internal pressure. I was sick and tired of the constant mental tension and emotional stress.

And I have arrived at something: the original teaching of the Buddha. It has given me substantial, tangible relief. I feel released from the burden of finding a cure, and ready to get on with the purpose of my life.

Which is—what?

Helping other people get the same profound benefits that I am experiencing. But that part of things is, unfortunately, not going well.

I have tried my best to document on this blog the final stages of my transformation from an angst-ridden American artist to an enlightened Buddhist monk. I’d love to be able to plug you in and pour the delicious tranquillity and ease I am feeling directly into your brain. But since I am limited to using words, sounds and video, I have a problem.

You’re not getting it. Not as far as I can tell anyway.

So my career as an aspiring Bodhisatta is being cut short because I have no idea how to get people to take seriously what I am trying to communicate here. As far as I can tell, I’m not getting through.

Oh, there are one or two who show up now and then and emit signs of intelligent life. But it’s very hard trying to transfer my knowledge, experience and expertise to people who just don’t respond.

Of course, as I have written here before, there is only one question—‘How can I end the suffering?’—and only one answer: the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. That is documented very nicely in the Theravāda Suttas. So my only job is to be a friend, to help you with your misunderstandings and encourage you to take your medicine.

But if you don’t talk to me, how am I supposed to know what’s going on with you? In the absence of that feedback, how am I to structure this material? I have all kinds of ideas, like a doctor with a bag full of medicines. But if the patients won’t tell me about their symptoms and ask for help, there isn’t much I can do.

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Meanwhile I sit in my modern cave with its terrific view. For the first time in my life, my mind is full of tranquillity and ease. There is nothing I need to do. I know I have found the solution. I am willing to share it.

Your move.

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