During a conversation someone recently asked me how I landed up doing the “spiritual” and Buddhist stuff I do. For me having never thought about it it was a linear path from childhood where the curiosity was brought to life by a Pastor in the church asking a question on interpretation of a select piece of scripture. At the age of 13 and I actually knew the answer. I was at that stage anyhow fond of reading and trying to understand the Bible. In the communities we grew up in ,in the 60’s and the 70’s there was nothing else. I think that incident gave me a sense of truth and accomplishment with mental acuity.
And so my life with the spiritual and alternative teachings started. I was always reading finding out and asking difficult questions. It seems like asking and questioning at that stage was not supported. I can remember one or two teachers in high school actually supporting my mental inquisitiveness.
At first it was getting to grips with Christianity and the words of Jesus, his life and preaching. By implication because I read more and different types of books my angle on these subjects were never mainstream.
Then I went through a phase of New Age trying almost everything that presented itself. Still being a veracious reader and becoming more cynic as time progressed I still was the outsider, still unclear what it was that the search is about just knowing I am driven to understand to grasp the complexities of our human suffering and complexities.
I did a introductory course to Transcendental meditation in my first year of university, very below the line as those things were frowned upon. The process and benefits for me was immediate and I found a certain affinity with it, never getting too involved with it or practicing too much.But for me a door was opened and years later for me to step through.
In my thirty sixth year of existence on this planet I was in a serious motor vehicle accident. As a consequence of the operations to fix my broken bones and burst bladder, I had what is referred to a Near death experience.
Yes it did change my life dramatically. Where previously I was interested now it became an almost compulsive preoccupation to find that elusive answer and explanation that will clear it all up. That will make the fog lift and let me see as for the first time as the Bible says.
Then in a bar in Stellenbosch 4 March 2016 someone asks me so why do you do the things you do and the answer presents itself with a sense of quietness and simplicity.
That what I have been searching for for 30 years is silence.
Silence in my mind. Silence for my own thoughts, silence for me to be me, silence for my glow to radiate, silence , silence, silence, silence.
And I understood some of , The sound of one hand clapping.
Thirty years of searching and now the exploration of that silence can begin.