November 7, 2012 by  

If you read the piece below, "President Obama Wins," you will know that it was written and posted before the polls opened anywhere in the country. There was no logical way for me to know the outcome of the election. I could have entered a hope, a desire, a guess. What I did was state my case emphatically, leaving myself no avenue of escape. Either I was right or I would embarrass myself before all of you. So what moves a person to take a dive into the unknown?

For me, discernment is an inseparable component of my life and work. Discernment can be a life-preserving power but it can also be a link to the Divine Intelligence and The First Breath behind the functioning universe. To be able to discern, we must empty ourselves of our own ego-driven realizations. We must learn to feel and to listen honestly. We must listen with our vital essence, not our ears. Most important,however, we must realize that discernment is not an analytical process, it is a spiritual one. By its very nature you must reach beyond the knowable.

Long before I understood the nature of my calling,as clarified by Sadguru Sant Keshavadas, my path of contemplative Christianity morphed, for all practical purposes into Zen.

Zazen became my observable practice, yet my acceptance of Christ was not affected. It was while practicing zazen that there was an implosion in my being that changed the nature of my life, affecting nearly every facet. Immediately noticeable was in my practice of the Martial arts. Suddenly, unexplainably, I could discern how to move and defend myself with grace against all comers, practitioners and real attackers. So deep was this power of discernment (satori, in Zen terms) that Martial arts masters who heard of my experience asked me to come before them for testing. I entered the dojo where masters of various disciplines were assembled and took on the challenges presented. I arrived as a white belt. I left with black belts in two arts, a Third Degree in one and a Second Degree in the others. Master C.O. Neal told me that the board did not want to issue any higher rank in a single day but they would examine me again. The names of the disciplines I was ranked in had no real meaning to me. I functioned by virtue of that discerning power. In time, I traveled all over the world teaching in wonderful dojos. What I showed was the power of discernment in action. That ability permitted me to sense the nature of an attack and counter it in creative ways. I called my path Zen Mushin Ryu, which indicates activity which flows from the Unconscious. While I took risk standing on the mat with so many experts and masters, it was real life situations which taught me the value of this gift. On several occasions, while helping others or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time, I found myself facing eminent death at the hands of criminals. In moments like that the Zen enhanced power of discernment brought me through with flawless grace. There was not knowing what to do and doing it. There was just doing it.

Discernment is a gift of The Spirit. When that is combined with action we approach the domain of Zen. Zen teaches, "Above all do not wobble." We must be decisive, not double-minded. It was Jesus who abhorred double-mindedness in his disciples. There is another Zen admonition that may underscore my point. "Underneath the sword held high is hell making you tremble but go ahead there is the land of bliss." We can not let fear rule us. To act on the power of discernment you must overcome fear. It will feel like you are traveling blind. Just like the swordsman, however, you must muster the courage to move in spite of the threat of danger or perhaps, failure.

When I contemplated the outcome of the Presidential Race before the polls opened I knew nothing. I just meditated. It was akin to waiting for a Wi-Fi connection. You know when you are linked to a router. At the moment that sureness was there I acted upon it by writing my article. I would not waiver. Discernment is a wonderful gift to have. It can help you save face but more important it can also save your life. It has long been a major part of my work to promote this understanding and help people to achieve it in their own lives. Look into this. I am here to help. My book, Under The Sword will spur you on.


Kitabu Roshi


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