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We Are More than Echoes and Shadows of Self-Doubt


There was a time when I made a home in 'self-doubt.' It was built on the four corners of physical, intellectual, intuitional, and spiritual insecurities about my worth as a person. The glue that held it together was substanceless greed, hatred, and delusion; fabricated from contorted survival instinctual thoughts about Reality without being the authentic substance of Reality.


The mind's skepticism of me grew. I spent a lot of time chasing echoes of beauty, while the whole time it was out there somewhere, like a book that could be bought off of a shelf and somehow...magically, I would become the book I was reading and finally own the echoes of beauty as my authentic self.


It was through the posture of zazen that I realized "i" was chasing I; seeking thought echoes without understanding their point of origination - that they came from my own unborn and undying Universal Identity of Loving Presence, sometimes called Buddha nature and by others the 'I Am.'


Zazen helped me to meet those aspects and Realize something that didn't come as "Belief," but Experience.


Physical Insecurity: Every time I felt discomfort with the reflection in the mirror of thought, I craved approval, like a drug addict on a search-and-destroy mission to gain another hit of 'like' or what seemed like 'love', seeking external affirmation and confirmation of worthiness. Yet, the Reality was that the impermanence of the physical form couldn’t define the timeless Universal Loving Presence within. For me, self-acceptance without having to justify my existence was a beautiful thing.


Intellectual Insecurity: Doubting every decision, and every thought led me on a quest for knowledge, believing that perhaps one more book or one more discussion would provide clarity. But true wisdom, I learned, wasn’t about accumulating thoughts but abiding without being swept away by them.


Intuitional Insecurity: Ignoring that inward feeling and vibe, that inner compass guiding me that I sometimes refer to as the inner mentor or true inward friend, I sought answers from others, thinking they knew better. Little did I recognize that intuition was the whisper of my unborn Being, ever-present and guiding.


Spiritual Insecurity: In the deepest sensation of the 'hole in the soul,' the mind 'thought' and conjured an imaginary disconnection from my Universal Loving Presence nature, a void that no ritual or external worship could fill. It was the cruel voice that always gave me a sense of being hopeless, helpless, and useless. I didn’t realize that the very essence I was seeking externally was already pulsating within, waiting to be acknowledged.


The irony of the journey was that while I chased beauty's distant echo across the universe's expanse, it reverberated from within all along, as my authentic nature. The external chase was a mirage, pulling me further from the True Source of the True voice that is echoless and timeless... birthless... deathless... beyond appearances and shadow. Zazen, Zazen, Zazen. If we don't diligently practice and train, it is obvious by life, we will never truly and honestly know.


一We Are the Practice Itself



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