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I was under pressure. The deaths of my dad and grand-dad were violently pushing me towards total independence, but I felt I needed to catch my breath. I was a bit disorganized and in a new pressure-cooker with a really challenging, but very unsympathetic guy. Yeah, I was at a flying monastery and there were no walls here. A lot of emotional garbage was coming up. My fears were getting amplified. I needed a direction. This Zen pilot waste no time.

I mean he told me to take off all my clothes except for some shorts and walk in a straight line! It didn't matter where. He told me to leave all my belongings behind and forget who I was and who I thought I was. I mean all opinions and ideas had to go! I was really scared. I mean this guy really meant it! I started walking in circles and he just started laughing. I mean it was really brutal. I was being put through a hoop of fire.

But boy did I get clear really fast. I kind of went deep inside myself to the core of my fear and came out in a different place. I was a lot calmer now. I was doing tantra again and it was a strange Zen version of it. The chaos at the airport was well-suited for this. The Zen guy had a strong aura that disorganized you. I mean I thought it only happened at the movies. But it was happening to me now and I was having a weird kind of satori. I was experiencing a harsh environment and a harsh new vibration. I felt I was disintegrating and that my pieces were spilling all over the place. The Zen guy was pushing me to the brink. I could resist and struggle, or surrender and transform. I mean it was that intense.

My next lesson came pretty quick. We went up for a ride in the guy's ultra-light. I mean we went up in the air in a plane that really had no cock-pit. The flyers were totally exposed to the elements. We went up about five-hundred feet and the Zen guy went into free-fall, but I knew what he was up to and so didn't flinch. We saw some terrified cows run for cover before we turned up and the head-rush was truly incredible. Tantra said: whatever was happening, that's what was happening and so you had to play with it. I was now stuck in Lodi with yet another crazy.

The Zen guy hated to talk about dead-lines and schedules. I mean he just dealt with problems as they came. You could spend your entire life worrying about problems. As far as he was concerned, good and bad were irrelevant. Doing and not doing was the crux. This guy would ask me: " Michael. Do you have a focused mind or a scattered mind today? " I mean this guy really killed me. It's like he was Zorba the Greek with an airplane. It was refreshing and also downright scary. You never knew what this guy was going to do next! I mean he had a daily routine, but it was just that. A routine which he didn't really take seriously. I hated being in my tent, so the Zen guy let me sleep in the hanger. It was quieter. I could kind of doze off without having to hear the trucks on the freeway and the planes taking off at four in the morning. It was a tough existence for a while.

This guy had spent a little time with a very famous Zen master in northern California. He gave me a copy of the master's sayings. I was really impressed. I mean the master kind of echoed what the Zen pilot was saying. It was crucial not to scatter your energies. Put one-hundred percent into whatever you were doing. This was so important. A neurotic and indecisive mind was a scattered mind. I mean you were dead meat. So you really had to focus.

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The following comments are for "Harvest of Gems: The Zen Pilot"
by gamblerman

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