I was talking with a friend about a young monk we all know who is very aggressive, who is often mean to younger students, pushing them toward a very austere practice. I told him that it’s just a stage you pass through. You think that you have to follow some kind of rule in order to attain your true self, you have to be extremely diligent and forceful. Super moralistic. Don’t touch the smartphone around these types! I guess I was like that for a while. You get to a point where your practice matures and you start to become aware of your true self, the brightness of samadhi—the ecstasies of spiritual practice. You attain something, but it’s still another stage. You have an experience of the One Mind as something apart from you, but there’s still a duality. I wasn’t able to resolve this for more than a decade. It’s one of the reasons I returned to Korea to become a monk. Just the other day I realized that the creative aspect, the true self that’s ceaselessly blasting into existence, if you take away time and space, phenomenal existence, whatever’s in front of you, and its blasting into form is the same thing. Suddenly I saw it, not as some impossible distance that must be surmounted, but within easy reach, intimate and warm… and completely unknowable. How could anyone perceive the infinite reaches of the cosmos?