Understanding all Ascended Masters went Against the Grain.
I like to think that Buddha was a rebel. Just as Jesus was and many of the ascended masters, such as Gandhi, Mary of Magdela, and Kuan Yin. The doctrines and traditions they challenged and had broken, was to pave freedoms path given to us to challenge the things today that go against our inherent knowing of the right or wrong way to do or believe something. This would mean even in the way the ascended masters did it.—As truth is only what we know it to be.
If these masters didn’t go against what was traditionally happening within their eras where would we be today? Perhaps someone would have unleashed similar truths within some form of enlightened opposition, enough so their followers would have formed a religion after them, as there were many more enlightened beings who transformed many a mindset that eventually turned into other religions as well. However an enlightened being is a mere example of what we are inherently capable of transcending within our personal understanding of being. When this occurs it’s usually opposing some prior form of a mass religion or controlled belief system.
If we focus our attention on Buddha’s and Jesus’s teachings for a more familiar example, this is exactly what they were exposing. They did this in different forms, but the message was the same.
“My teaching is like a raft used to cross the river.
Only a fool would carry the raft around after he had already reached the other shore of liberation.”
Buddha was stating he was provided as a guide only for you to transcend your knowing. The liberation of your truth as your own understanding. If one reached the shore of liberation, it would be upon the realization that it was indeed to be their own raft. That reaching the ‘shore’ is synchronous within allowing your own knowing transcend, not Buddha’s.
Buddha taught us to question everything, even his own teachings. That it is foolish to hold on to him as the guide, as the true guide can only be oneself. He taught us to doubt anything that wasn’t from our own understanding. To rise, therefore ascend was within mastering oneself. Buddha’s ultimate enlightened understanding was knowing all is one and there is no difference in the ability for another to attain perfect enlightenment.
As a Prince, Buddha in his late 20’s ran away from the luxury of his kingdom when he discovered it was a kingdom of deception, separation, rooted in a lie of fear and control. If he didn’t question what was being told to him, if he didn’t break out of the walls of blinding shelter to see the reality of suffering and poverty for the first time, and if he didn’t strip away all he was told and go deep in his practice in his own way, he may not have had his awakening within his prior conditions and we may have not been introduced to his pure enlightened teachings. This is why it is important to question everything, to guide ourselves, and allow our own understanding take us there. This perspective cracks open the door to enlightenment, however it is contingent only upon your own truth.
Perhaps Jesus was the ultimate embodiment of zen understanding perfected. We see this in his teachings of love being the oneness of ourselves as our neighbor, or in his words of, “the father is in me and I am in the father”. Similar to Buddha, Jesus was demonstrating a constant state of inseparable consciousness. Through this expression and traveling mission was an intention for all to know they too were inseparable within this consciousness. People refer this to as Christ consciousness, however Jesus taught it is inherent within of all humanity.
Jesus’s teachings was believed to be blasphemous and went against the grain amongst legalistic minds of that time, as this would imply the liberation that Jesus was providing in teaching a higher understanding in the oneness of us as God was thought as dangerously rebellious. Yet still, Jesus remained unshaken and ever instilled in this state, going further, pushing beyond the conformed boundaries of fixed spirituality and continued to confront the absence of truth directly to these legalistic minds. This gives us insight to Jesus’s being in his intended ‘rebel’ purpose.
The Illusion is Religion
The commonality between these two masters was they both saw the conformity set in place was developed out of fear. They saw this fear created the illusion of separation and that it became rule. They both illuminated separation in their understanding of all as one and emphasized on the teaching of the unity within our divinity. Both stating we are not separate from God.
The word and meaning of religion is rooted in separation. Amongst popular definitions, it’s translation describes religion as the worship of God or Gods in moral obligation. It describes God as separate from humans and includes someone’s idea of what one must do in order to become yoked or joined within Gods divinity (implying we are not inherently yoked already) and most include to fear the wrath of God(s) punishment as consequence to our disobedience.
Buddha and Jesus were successful in their loving rebel mission of shedding light upon this illusion of separation, however, naturally over time people stuffed these masters enlightened understanding in a box and said this is the way you have to do something in order to be enlightened or ‘saved’. Cycling back into the fear based control that initially needed to be liberated. Forgetting what truly transpired. Forgetting what Buddha truly meant about attachment. Forgetting the words of Jesus on the hill, “We are the Temple of God.”
Some recreated religion in naively thinking rules were the way to sustain these ascended masters teachings after they died, some out of self righteous control, some out of greed and manipulation. Either way, the on going excessive adherence to prescribed forms and the hardening mindset it produces was the very reason these ascended masters lighted truth up out from revolving into darkness in the first place. Yet still today, one who might question these orthodoxies would be believed to be rebellious as this would mean an attempt to take a religious belief out of the ‘box’.
Buddha wasn’t a Buddhist, nor Christ a Christian.
“My teaching is a means of practice, not something to hold onto or worship.”
My parents were traditional Zen Buddhist Priests (Oshos). Their zen practice was profound indeed and I am grateful they never forced me to be taught in their understanding of Buddhism, however, since I was a young child I have witnessed and participated in Buddhist traditions and practices, and although I honor them, I honestly wondered where all the colors were. Everything was so black and white. To me it was too much focus on self in how one must attain enlightenment in a certain format. Possibly somewhere down the line in Buddhism the freedom of unconditionally being was lost within the tradition of it’s uniform and perhaps with it, it’s color. Buddha in all his wonder, was vibrant color to me within their understanding of black and white.
At the age of 21, I rebelled against my Buddhist parents and became a Christian. This makes me laugh now as it is typically the other way around with most running away from their Christian parents to learn Buddhism or other ‘foreign’ religions and practices. In any statistic, I know why I had to experience both Buddhism and Christianity.
Initially, I found Christianity refreshing, as it did not focus on the self at all, as the goal was to be totally selfless in the act of pouring yourself into loving Jesus and to teach others to do the same. But I soon witnessed the separation it was creating within the fear that loving yourself was ‘evil’ and pounding this as conviction. As well as, in the teaching that God was a separate thing that would punish us for our imperfections of being human.
For one example, a Christian leader who was assigned to ‘disciple’ me as they put it, told me I was a mockery of God because I didn’t heed to what he was telling me to do as my leader. The list of condemnation goes on and you can imagine what it did to my confidence of being human, as I never felt good enough already, yet simultaneously, I had a deep rebelliousness in my nature, a nature that wouldn’t allow me to be told within another’s belief. Anyway, after several years I left Christianity and then pursed the path to follow my own understanding.
I must say, I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience Christianity, as I was able to witness the teaching of separation in action. It later allowed me to gain a higher perspective after decades of experiencing a life of severe suffering, because in it, lead me to truly understand what Jesus really was teaching. Jesus didn’t want us to love him, but to love like him, especially in the learning to love yourself. This allowed me to understand Buddha’s teaching as well. The teaching that went against the grain of the Christian mindset—that loving myself would be loving all.
Again, the understanding of knowing this interconnected love is only discovered by your experiences. Not from a ‘leader’ or anyone for that matter telling you. The experience was my teacher. I had to personally learn this within my suffering of not loving myself and others not loving themselves. All in the fact that we are not taught to unconditional be. If I held on to another’s teaching, I may have not come to this understanding.
The attachment that spirituality is someone else’s understanding is the absence of the understanding, when in fact, spirituality just is. It is larger than anything we can try to can, create, condition, or carry.
Again, this is what Buddha was teaching. Once we listen to our knowing is when we arrive.
My parents died 5 months apart in 2017. Years before my father died he threw away all attachments to formed practice as he declined in health. One day as he could barely make words out, he desperately told me it was all God. “Everything is all God” he said. My mother upon her death bed despite all what she held on to within her zen master teachings, told me to do me and follow my own way of zen understanding. It brought me much joy (tears of joy) to know they came to their unconditional understanding before their final transition. Sometimes we arrive to this understanding through various moments of experience throughout life and sometimes approaching death is what awakes, giving us true understanding.
Strings or no strings
I find buddhist monasteries and zen centers some of the most pure and beautiful places in the world. I see their hearts and know the path they are preceding is to great levels within their different approaches and methods in following the enlightened ones practices. These Buddhist monks are not only doing this for themselves, but holding vast space within their being collectively for the world as a whole. Some come together and dress the same to help the understanding of the formlessness of oneness or shave their hair to be undistracted, unattached, and live simply.
Traditional Buddhism is a powerful practice and can be effective for getting to the goal of enlightenment, as it has transformed a many heart and mind. I mean it worked for Buddha Right? I deeply respect Buddhists intentions and what works for them or anyone for that matter. I agree in coming together in devotion as a sacred practice, to discipline ourselves in meditation, and seek the path to our higher selves. Yet I don’t feel it is the only way to enlightenment and I don’t feel tradition was Buddha’s ultimate or initial intention, as it too causes separation, seclusion, and attachment to form in what you have to do in order to attain enlightenment. Remember, tradition is what Buddha ran away from.
Buddhism is not a religion, but it becomes one when we say we have to do anything. When we hold on (attach) to Buddha’s teaching. When we say we have to follow the path of Buddha or bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) to become enlightened is again where we are missing the point, as enlightenment is only manifested within our own direct experiences.
I believe Buddha wouldn’t have called himself a Buddhist. I believe Christ didn’t want Christianity.
If Buddha and Jesus spoke the same message within their teachings of the oneness of all without separation, perhaps they didn’t come with labels or titles either.
As a zen practitioner, when someone asks me if I’m a Buddhist, I reply, I am Abigail. I don’t label, just practice. And in my understanding if someone wanted to use the way I practiced as a guide, I definitely would not want them to call themselves a Abigailist, nor would I call myself that either. Although, it would only apply to me being myself in my practice. And so, I do not call myself a Buddhist.
To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.
In the pursuit to liberate all beings from the illusion of separation, I don’t believe Buddha would have wanted those to adhere or attach to the claim of Buddhism, as he knew we are all capable of becoming ‘Buddha’ (enlightened). The capacity is within a nature we are all individually able to attain (or remember that already exists), perhaps through a practice yes, yet ultimately it is by experience, not by the use of a name, a name those have attached to what they call enlightened perfection referring or comparing it to Siddhartha Gautama.—As this can create separation itself because what worked for Buddha doesn’t necessarily will be what works for all in a fixed format.
I believe Buddhist actively pursue to understand what was spoken by Buddha about attachment, but going further still, would be cutting all cords of attachment to Buddha and that would include calling yourself one too. I know Buddhism is profoundly much more than a name, but I am speaking of the attachment that applying your whole being to another ones practice. I’m not sure if Buddha would have called himself a Buddhist or another’s name while he practiced unless it was to say there is nothing in a name since we are all one, hence any clinging grasps separation and as we are already connected, we are already attached, so let go.
Jesus (Yeshua Hamashiach), most definitely did not intend to have all what he displayed, the traditions he broke, and the message he spoke of the oneness of love as all be misconstrued and turned into a dogma of God is in the sky and we are down here to be placed like a label on a box. His LOVE and message is quite the contrary. I have met some beautifully gold hearted Christians and I’m not saying all are convoluted in a topsy turvy understanding. I have also witnessed such generosity in Christian giving it goes without saying, but the overall majority of Christianity goes against what Jesus was teaching— missing the bigger picture altogether, that was of which there is no separation of God and that all is of love and to be loved, including yourself.
These are examples of what we try to place in a container, but no matter how hard we try to understand or make one understand, truth in all it’s rebellion pushes deeper, questions harder, and compares less, as to attain the wisdom of truth and it’s liberation is our ultimate choice of what we allow our experiences teach us.
Throw away the raft.
When we throw away everything we have been taught we find our own raft, there, we behold truth.
Maybe enlightenment is the realization we are already attached so no need to attach to anything. And since we remember we are this oneness we know we are the raft and we let go.
Through whatever avenue we take along our path of practice, if we strip away what is holding us back, drop what we are grasping, and throw away anything that is not from our own knowing we remember nature is not something to attain or become, but rather to allow as it already exists.
The Sum of Love
If there is one rule to be followed, acknowledged, or remembered, it would be the universal rule of love. However, it is more law than rule, as nothing could ever exist without it. But how this love is to be practiced is where we can manipulate its purpose, as love cannot be put in a box, nor can it truly function within a box’s limiting container. The truth is, there is no box, uncanned christianity, or rebel rulebook. The rebellion is there are no boundaries within love. To open its boundless container, lies compassion. As compassion is a formless shape of love. The only truth in it’s unending written novel.
This is only my understanding.
We are all having a living experience, in it, is the pursuit of knowing we are all one.