Saturday, June 29, 2013


I believe it was the Buddha that had once said we are all enlightened beings; we just don't know it yet.

Our natural state is enlightened. I'll borrow from the Taoists when I say I believe our innate state is our Wu Wei Nature, it's just blocked.

I call this state, or at least the avenue towards it, The Dharma Entanglement.
Solace and Compassion are entangled by Dharma”.

It's important to understand what these terms are and aren't.

Solace is basically inner peace. Solace calms one's fear of suffering. Fear is its opposite and fear fetters solace.

Compassion is a form of empathy, but much more than that. Compassion is action. It will not just sympathize, it'll do something about it. To only sympathize is Pity. And Pity is a very pale reflection of Compassion.

What will block and impede Compassion is Envy. Yes, there is fear and jealousy, but Envy is much more damaging and dangerous. With Envy there is also the intent or desire (either directly or indirectly) to inflict misfortune or harm onto another. Not only do you desire what they have, you don't want them to have what you possess. It is Compassion's opposite and a stumbling block.

Although Dharma is a Buddhist term, I don't see the concept as exclusively Buddhist. I believe the Buddhist's understand it and draw from it, but don't 'own' it.

Dharma is our openness and willingness to accept the truth, whatever it may be. Our receptiveness to it and our ability to allow it to lead us, rather than force it to fit our preconcieved notions and agendas.

The truth never needs defending. Only our truths needs defending.

If we are open and aware and allow ourselves to be led where ever it is that the truth leads us, we consistently reduce the levels of delusion in our lives.

Delusion is Dharma's enemy.

Solace and Compassion are entangled by Dharma.
These three form The Dharma Entanglement, and this leads us back to our innate Wu Wei Natures.

Fear, Envy, and Delusion lead us astray. They form our illusionary Ego and our Ego entraps us, imprisons us, and stagnates our spiritual growth.

When we associate ourselves with some sort of tribal identity we add to this toxic concoction a Corporate Ego as well.

This tribalism of Corporate Entities can be anything from a favourite sport's team, to a political party or position, to a nationalist (being patriotic), to religious affiliation, and the list goes on.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Mu Portal

The Dharma Entanglement is blocked by the encircling Ego.
We are entrapped by our Ego.

Ego is fabricated by three elements; Delusion, Envy, and Fear.
Dharma, Solace, and Compassion compose The Dharma Entanglement and our innate Wu Wei Nature, for Dharma emancipates us from Delusion, Compassion from Envy, and Solace from Fear.

The way forward through these blockades and barriers of the Corporate and Private Ego is through the Mu Portals.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The heretical Rabbi, Yeshua of Nazareth, spoke of a strange and elusive concept he called The Kingdom of God. Something that was yet to come, yet strangely present in the Here and Now; within ourselves (Luke 17:21). An unrealized potential.

Yeshua was an exemplar; he was a Revealer rather than a Redeemer. It is religion, religiosity itself that kept us ignorant, captive, and slaves.

What I believe Yeshua truly taught wasn't the advent of new religion (Christianity), but a heightened awareness - a sort of freedom and enlightenment, rather than a salvation. Yeshua's Kingdom of God wasn't a new religion, but the end of all religion. The escape hatch from this Edenic Birdcage; emancipation from the Entrapment of Religiosity itself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mu is Japanese for “not” often used as a prefix, but can stand alone, simply as 'not'. It can mean to “unask the question", suggesting that the problem does not lie within the answer (there is no correct answer), but within the question itself. The problem needs to be approached from another point of view. I think this gateway is critical to one's spiritual journey. Without it, it is simply stagnation. Growth becomes impossible. The entrapment of religiosity remains unbroken.

Although there could be many possible paths to the Dharma Entanglement, ultimately I believe “Mu” is a necessary gateway to escape the shackles of Religiosity and enjoy the emancipation of Spirituality. (Only then can Spiritual Solace be realized, cultivated, and nurtured).

I think this may very well be the defining difference between the Religious and the Spiritual; parting ways from the disease or plague of religiosity. Abandoning these slave masters.

I have found many monotheists, as well as many Atheists, lack a healthy sense of Doubt, and suffer from an addiction to Certainty. And when we fall victim to the Certainty Addiction everything becomes a matter of knowing and fact and proving one's beliefs. Faith dies. Truth takes a back seat to being Right. Thus enters the hidden and silent inner conflict. Combine this addiction with inner conflict and the monotheist's concept (fear) of Damnation and their Solace's destruction is complete.

What we need to discover is our Mu Portal. Not only an exit point from our own dependencies on religiosity, but the knowledge and wisdom to realize that our religiosity is not only unneeded, but the one thing that kept us captive. It is the only way to attain Spiritual Solace and growth. It is our only way to break Fear's grip.

Mu” (regardless of which avenue one arrives here or even by which name one recognizes it as) is the ability of simply 'letting go' and be at peace with not-knowing. What is important is the meanings and the lessons and the wisdom that are behind these myths, images, and symbols. These stories can be just as true for the Atheist as they are for a Christian or Buddhist or a Muslim or a fill-in-the-blankAllowing a Faithful Doubt (rather than a Doubtful Faith) and living at peace with its mystery. Something many religious people (especially institutional religions) struggle with.

The Mu Portal doesn't belong to a specific religion or spirituality or tradition. All traditions have their Mu Portal(s) and they're not limited to one each. There could be as many Mu Portals as there are people. They may look drastically different and their purpose is not necessarily to deliver away from their individual religion, faith or tradition.
(But most often, I should imagine, it would drastically open one's eyes; rather seeing it as an exit from their religion or faith or tradition, they may prefer to see it as moving beyond it).

The Mu Portal frees the individual from the confines and entrapment of religiosity.
I believe a great many people never find the Mu Portal and never seek it.

I believe some, discover or stumble across it. Their first experience with it would be extremely confusing and terrifying – causing them to flee into the perceived comfort of the familiar and structured and established. Many will never revisit it again.

But some, even as frightened confused and wary of its extreme alien-ness, will sense a truth and an attraction to it and be slowly drawn back.

It won't make sense. It can't. By its very nature it is incomprehensible from the context it is being viewed from.

It is a spiral stairway with no banister or railings on a space station.
Without the railings there's no support structure, no guiding rules or regulations. Without the banister there's no safety; no protection from falling.
It isn't until you realize in 0-g you can't fall but only float.

It's difficult and challenging to understand this because of the context you were always taught to view things from. That is the nature of the Mu Portal.

It is both an Inner and Outer Journey.
To break free of the Edenic Birdcage, the Confines of Religiosity; to pass through the (1st) Mu Portal is to escape from the Corporate Ego. (This is the Outer Mu Portal).

The second Mu Portal (inner)delivers one through their Personal Ego and into The Dharma Entanglement and to their true and innate Wu Wei Nature.

But it is vitally important to remember, what I speak of belongs to any and all traditions. I use some Taoist, Buddhist, and Christian terms (and even some I've been forced to name an label myself), but I am only capable of seeing this from my own experiences and attempting to express it from my own point of view.

Our innate Wu Wei Nature - this Dharma Entanglement - will be known by many other names and experienced in many different ways. Our Corporate and Private Egos will be known as something different as will out pathways and 'escape hatches'. Our passing through the Mu Portal will look like hundreds of different stories.

The last thing a corporate entity - an institutional religion - will allow is the escape of dependency upon itself. Of course most traditions don't speak of it, nor name it, or acknowledge it. It is the reason Yeshua was killed. It proposes the end of all religion. It is not important what we call it. What's important is that you acknowledge the Mu Portal's existence. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Te: Spiritual Sojourner

The road to Spiritual Solace can be a tricky and hazardous one. The traveler may themselves seek protection from the trials and tribulations of life itself; the futile hope to become insulated from uncontrollable changes. Then there's also the pitfall of those organized religions which are all too happy to offer these empty promises, often with conditions of becoming 'good', or 'good enough' – by defining what 'good' is and must be.

It's a bait and switch tactic. Spiritual Solace on the condition of being 'good' will bring you fulfillment and happiness, but, ultimately, what you get is entrapment.
“...chasing an illusion of what it means to be a ‘good’ person: by being too humble, self-sacrificing or introverted; by thinking simplicity means denying themselves practical, emotional and spiritual support and abundance; by trusting everyone and everything without reservation or question. Rather than living within their ‘Te’they restrict their integrity and potential by following someone else’s guidance, expectations or demands, of what is ‘appropriate’,‘virtuous’, ‘moral’ or ‘good’. They work hard to be‘correct’ and yet they feel unhappy, unbalanced and unwell, and they don’t understand where they are going wrong.” 
I know I've encountered these obstacles in my over 25 year spiritual journey. My mother's death triggered it. From the hallow ritualism of Catholicism and its unofficial belief that you don't really deserve spiritual solace, to Atheism's lack of any promises (empty or otherwise) and its absolute lack of any path or hope, to Christianity's close minded  spiritually shallow bandage solutions, to Gnosticism's cynical (and hopeless) world. One always ended up falling short of being good enough and solace would only ever be found in ignorance or denial. (And please don't take my comments as insults against these world (or not so worldly) religions. There are only my personal experiences). Freeing oneself from these 'religious' fetters is the step in the right direction. This is the Mu Portal, escape from the Edenic Birdcage.

It was the longest time before I could readily identify what I was really searching for and then sometime before I could admit it. I wanted to find happiness (when I only had to unlock it) and I wanted to be protected from the worry and anxiety of uncontrollable change (when I needed only to embrace this apparent chaos). This was the entrapment.

It was 5 years ago that I stumbled across Jungshin Sooyang (“Moral Culture”) in the beginning of my journey of attaining my Black Belt in Taekwon-do. And Jungshin Sooyang was my first real and practical encounter with Taoist concepts and tenets. (Through Taekwon-do I learned that one of my biggest challenges and obstacles was Fear itself).

I have also experienced startling healings through acupuncture, also based upon Taoist concepts and influences.

I think that is why for the past 5 years I've been slowly gravitating towards Taoism and Buddhism.... and that should be a bit surprising, because for what I claim to be looking for, it is the last thing Taoism offers.

David James Lee, of Wu Wei Wisdom , might have stated it best (if somewhat bluntly) when he asks:
Do you seek out the certainty and comfort of life’s smooth and open road, whilst secretly fearing the hidden corners and unknown twists and turns that inevitably lie ahead?
All life and energy will move and transform whether you like it or not...the hidden corners and unknown twists and turns will always remain.”
My answer to his question would have been “yes”. However, I've also realized that isn't my
answer but my Ego's answer, and my Ego, I am not. (That I learned from Buddhism).

In Taoism the only thing that never changes is Change itself.
What an unsettling thought!

And that is where my warfare with the Ego commences. That is where my wu wei nature comes into direct conflict with my illusionary self (Ego).
Understand that your Ego may try to control the direction and speed of your life journey as a misguided form of self-protection. Unlike your... Spirit centred mind, your restricted Ego... doesn't perceive value in the unknown or the unfamiliar. Instead it constructs negative outcomes and certainties where none exist. 
Remember, your Ego is your friend yet you should always take firm and loving control of it, almost as if it’s a scared or out of control child. Allowing yourself to be enticed by its illusions of an imagined future will draw your precious energy and attention away from truly living in the present. You begin to assume that change and uncertainly always mean disaster and distrust your authentic ability to be flexible, creative and resourceful in the face of new or unexpected circumstances. 
Moving away... like this disconnects you from the abundant and glorious flow of Universal energy. You separate yourself from Oneness. Most importantly, you overlook the many possible lessons.” Wu Wei is trusting as you move into the unknown 
I think that's where my attraction to Buddhism comes into play. Buddhism has the facilities to educate and give you the tools to engage this illusionary adversary.

Having long since moved beyond Christianity, I find myself at the crossroads where Taoism and Buddhism meet... and I think I very much like this place...

Am I there yet? No. To be honest, I'm not convinced there is a 'there' anymore. But for the first time in over 25 years I'm on the path.

haven't found a spiritual destination I call home (I'm coming to the conclusion that there isn't one), but I've become at home with this spiritual sojourner I have become. I'm beginning to think I am, at long last, following my Te.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

God's Favorite Place on Earth

Shortly, I will be receiving a review copy of God's Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola. The book released May 1st and stayed in the top # 50 on for 8 straight days. There's a lot of buzz about this book on the Web, and I plan to write a review after I read it. 
Here are a few interesting nuggets about the book:

  • It's been recommended by 47 Christian authors, including John Ortberg, Jack Hayford, Leonard Sweet, Tricia Goyer, Mary DeMuth, Greg Boyd, Todd Hunter, Jon Acuff, Phil Cooke, and many others.
  • Here's a book trailer introducing it:
  • The book tells the story of Jesus in the little village of Bethany and the amazing things that happened there through the eyes of Lazarus. It combines biblical narrative, dramatization, theological insights, and nonfiction devotional teaching. It argues that "Bethany" was God's favorite place on earth and explains how every Christian and every heart, home, village and church can be "Bethanys" today for God.  
  • The book addresses 18 specific struggles that Christians face today and offers hope, challenge, and fresh insight. 
  • You can check all of this out at and get the book on discount.