Cover of Mystic, Shaman, Oracle, Priest

Mystic, Shaman, Oracle, Priest, is vol 1 of a 3 volume series, about the process from (1) purification, thru (2) contemplation on kataphatic sacred image, then (3) apophatic “no image, no desire,” experience, to (4) true union with an absolute, in whatever faith system one believes or share in. In this 4 stage process, all spiritual systems are identical. The series begins with the 3rd step, apophasis, because this is the only stage of the 4 step (4 “Dao”) process) that all agree with. The deeper point to emphasize in apophais is that no image, sacred or profane, can lead to true Absolute experience. For this reason, I long ago decided not read newspapers or watch TV, to keep my mind free of all extraneous, good or evil, negative or positive, and enlightening or depressing images. The 2nd volume, called “Art as Sacred Ecounter,” urges the reader to stay positive, focus on only good and happy things, in order to reach and effectively experience apophais. The definition of what is now called “original sin” (Genesis) is actually defined as “eating the fruit of the tree of judging good and evil.” Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, ie directly talking to YHVH, for doing this. The story exists in all mid-east pre biblical sources, the point being that if we stop judging good and evil, we will be back in the garden of Eden, talking directly with G_d/YHVH/Al_ah/Fuo/Dao. Offenses against of all sorts, whether Buddhist, or by other monks, pedophiliac priests, all offenders, profit oriented doctors, lay as folk as well as “clerics”, many in US as well as Thailand, China, Europe, are equally “out of touch” with human needs, compassion, as well as Transcendent awareness. Such people are best kept out of sight and out of memory, the true mystic way of spirituality, insists. A primitive tribe in the hills of Malaysia, called “Senoi”, were and are free from crime, until they become Christian or Islamic, ie, they never heard of such terrible things until until told about “sins” by missionaries, and rightfully decided to avoid all contact with them, so as to remain crime free. The Hawaiian word “Aloha” originally meant “sayonara, haolies, please go back to the mainland, unless you can learn Hawaiian joy and happiness in the now of compassionate human relationships, while enjoying the trade winds of reality.” (Note to readers: please do not order this book through Univ of Hawai’i Press, they have sent all of the copies to me, but still mistakenly advertise it on Amazon, as “out of stock.” It can be ordered from my address, the 2nd listed on Amazon, and PayPal, actual cost only, all profits go to support schools and students in Tibet, Afghanistan, and the poor here in Los Angeles). Svaha!

This calligraphy and poem of Wen Shan, modeled on a poem of Du Fu, states: “No one comes here to my home in south China to see me; the eagles sing “huan, huan” from the seashore sand’ ; the moon appears over the rivers and streams, making me think of home!”

Sumie painting from the Kyoto Shijo school, a part of the collection of the late Morimoto sama, who has now passed on to the “Pure Land” afterlife, leaving behind only the memories of a wonderful life of shared sacred art and beauty.

A meditation hut, also from the Shijo school sumie collection, showing a “karasu” black crow singing from a tree top to the hermit meditating within — “kao, kao, kao” — you will never be enlightened, as long as you want to buy things (“kao”) unable to give up all possessions, and experience true apophasis..

Dogs, representing the souls of monks who did not keep their vows of chastity, focused on sex and bad thoughts, instead of practicing true apophasis and loving compassion. The front yards of Tibetan temples are always filled with dogs, waiting to be fed and forgiven!

This is an abandoned temple atop Mt Hiei, Kyoto. The great contemplative monk, Ikuta Koken Sensei, Ajari Tendai master, once prayed here. The people of Kyoto said he was the “only true monk” atop Mt Hiei, so he was sent to the bottom of the hill, to Bishamondo, Yamashina, where he practiced and taught Tantric prayer until his passing. it was my honor, a deep and unforgettable experience, to practice Tendai prayer with him, over an 8 year period. Ch 4 of MYSHOP, tells of his teachings.

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