Interviewer: What do you think of the current styles of Buddhist
meditation generally practiced by the public?
Dark Zen: I think most of them are wrong. Just doing meditation
alone is like putting the cart before the horse. Whether or not
we are discussing Vipassana or Zen meditation, I think some of
the public who engage in meditation without studying the driving
theory of Buddhism might be actually harming themselves. Some people
I have met have the idea that Buddhist meditation is being aware
of sensations; not attaching to them. Others think Buddhist meditation
is keeping still and not thinking. Such practices are not found
in Buddhism If they had studied Buddhism they would know this.
Interviewer: That is interesting. So, specifically, in what ways
Dark Zen: They harm themselves by not seeking the absolute in
their meditations. Mediation is certainly not what Vipassana centers
portray it to be using the technique of observing. Nor is meditation
the kind as taught in most Zen centers. It is not about sitting
on a pillow trying to be as physically and mentally still as can
be like an upright corpse. I am also a little shocked to see that
meditation is peddled as a way to mental health as if the correction
of mental afflictions is nirvana. If we practice these kinds of
meditation how shall we come to see the undying, as the Buddha
called the absolute? Let me tell you that the Buddha discovered
something very profound and very positive. His unique meditation
is supposed to guide us to the substantial vision of the absolute
which he, himself, saw.
Interviewer: In right meditation should we come to a vision of
the undying? Is that what you are suggesting?
Dark Zen: I am suggesting that meditation as originally taught
in Buddhism is fundamentally about the discovery of what we really
are which goes far beyond our mortal physical body. To meditate
as the Buddha did, means to look inwardly and clearly see the very
highest. It is not some state or experience like peace or oneness.
These are mental abstractions unconsciously fabricated by us.
Interviewer: From what you are saying, it appears that there is
a lot more to meditation than just sitting or being mindful of
bodily sensations seeing that they are transitory.
Dark Zen: Correct. Anybody who is normal will eventually get tired
of just sitting and move on to a higher practice. And that goes
with Vipassana meditation and the rest. It is one thing to be aware
of impermanent things. It is quite another matter to see that which
is permanent and undying. True meditation should be about inwardly
looking for the permanent, that is, looking for our true nature
which is not subject to change, death or rebirth. If anybody believes
that Buddhist meditation is about sitting to be sitting, they have
no clue what the Buddha taught. The whole point of meditation is
to connect us with the absolute, getting us beyond phenomena wherein
death and rebirth are operative.
Interviewer: What do you mean by the absolute? I thought Buddhism
taught there is no absolute.
Dark Zen: The absolute as found in Buddhism is, as simply as I
can state it, about the liberation of will which in Pali and Sanskrit
is called citta, often translated as mind. Such liberation means
that the will is intrinsically free of its willed creations, which
we perceive as phenomena. We say that will, when it becomes the
absolute, is absolute when it comes into perfect identity with
itself-not being anymore mesmerized by its phenomena. This, in
fact, is the whole thrust of meditation. It is about the renunciation
of phenomena, then turning the will to its incorporeal nature which
is empty and free of its phenomena. You see something-yes something
very dynamic and powerful. But it is not a phenomenon.
Interviewer: This is very interesting. I have never heard of meditation
being about will. Could you explain more?
Dark Zen: I would be happy to, although I can't
tell you everything. Some of this is not for public consumption
least they reject it
and come to catastrophic harm. Let me begin by saying that we are
intrinsically a will entity striving for fulfillment in the midst
of our own loss and pain. Fulfillment is the other meaning of vidya
which scholars translate as 'knowledge' as opposed to 'ignorance'.
(I should mention, these same scholars seem to forget that vidya
can also mean fulfillment!) What we see before us, including our
body, is what has been willed as possible fulfillment. But then
the Buddha didn't see this as complete fulfillment. Not by a longshot.
Eventually our little willed-out empire collapses. Buddha reckoned
that if we had attained complete fulfillment, our body would not
suffer. The Buddha knew that fulfillment can only be properly obtained
when will comes into complete identification with itself, called
samadhi or sambodhi. Anything less than this is identification
with suffering-a kind of asymmetry or disharmony. This is what
Buddhist meditation seeks to remedy, in other words. The will is
working to find itself thus reaching absolute fulfillment in which
all desire for will-made things has been quenched.
Interviewer: Related to unfulfillment, then are you suggesting
that will is out of sync with itself which is the cause of suffering?
Dark Zen: Yes. That is a good way to put it. This out of syncness
is disparity and suffering. We call it duhkha. Sounding scientific,
this out of syncness is a phenomenal moment as well, being the
smallest unit of suffering since all phenomena, according to the
Buddha, are synonymous with suffering and unfulfillment. I can
even declare that the curvilinear nature of the universe is emblematic
of suffering [laughing].
Interviewer: Okay, I get it [laughing]. So when will comes into
identity with itself, what is that like?
Dark Zen: The will then is unconditioned an in sync with itself.
It is not a phenomenon. The senses can't sense it. It is invisible.
For me it is real-more real than phenomena. Being now with itself,
the will is able to subdue the lure of all phenomenal arisings,
that is, it is able to subjugate even the most subtle mental phenomenon.
We also realize that what we experience as phenomena are just this
pristine will sliced up into billions of particles, so to speak.
Interviewer: Where does nirvana fit into this?
Dark Zen: In complete nirvana there is no disparity between the
will and its full assimilation into itself. On the other hand,
with incomplete nirvana the will is coming closer and closer to
itself. Its disparity and self-alienation are becoming less and
Interviewer: That makes sense. It is the best explanation I have
every heard. Does Dark Zen Meditation help us discover our pure
will so it can come closer and closer to itself?
Dark Zen: Yes. This is our meditation in a nutshell. Our mediation
is different from all other meditations is this respect. It is
the most advanced and yet the most simple to execute. We believe
it was the meditation of Gautama the Buddha which has long since
been forgotten but was rediscovered by me in 1991 without any help
from the canon. I simply put two and two together.
Interviewer: That sounds a little prideful and condescending,
don't you think so?
Dark Zen: Not really. As proof, if you read the ancient commentaries
dealing with meditation, everything I have said about Dark Zen
Meditation is proven to be absolutely true by the ancient teachers
who probably composed some of the commentaries when the Buddha
was still alive. This should be a great cause for celebration in
Buddhist world. Indeed, the Buddha's original meditation has been
discovered and is being practiced by many thousands. In my estimation,
which I dare say is not final, for some 2,000 years the Buddha's
meditation has been hidden beneath a mound of sectarian dogmas
Interviewer: Some might call this bragging. Can you really be
so sure that your meditation is the true one?
Dark Zen: Yes. I even have a passage memorized which tends to
prove that there is something beyond just the in and out breath.
It says in the Patisambhida-magga, "The primordial will is
the efficient cause of the in and out breath."
Interviewer: But how does that prove anything?
Dark Zen: In Dark Zen Meditation when we apprehend the thoroughly
antecedent of breathing, called in Pali, parimukha-sati, we touch
the Buddhic light or the same, the primordial will. This light
is also called, the unbound sovereign will. It is not the dualized
volitional will mired in phenomena, connected to our breath and
the body. Rather than over focus on the breath, I recollect its
source and tap into this power.
Interviewer: This is too hard for me to understand. Isn't there
a much more simple way to express it for those who aren't there
Dark Zen: Of course. Just sit down and try Dark Zen Meditation.
Try and become anterior to in and out breathing. Once there anyone
will sense, for the first time, the sovereign will. They will also
understand that this is the beginning of nirvana in which the will
is coming near to itself. But remember, you are not going to gain
access to the fullness of sovereign will in a matter of minutes.
It will take time. Most people are still heavily tied to the breath.
It is unimaginable for them that, as will, they are really thoroughly
before the breath-including the physical body.
Interviewer: If Dark Zen Meditation is the meditation of the Buddha,
why hasn't it caught on with the Buddhist public?
Dark Zen: I can only speculate. For the most part the public wishes
Buddhism to be dumbed-down to its level. They want Buddhism to
justify their bourgeois lifestyle. They are unwilling to look beyond
their materialistic needs, in other words. On the other hand, those
who practice and praise Dark Zen Meditation are Buddhists who have
been, in the past, monastics or serious practitioners of many years
standing. One day they got fed up with the meditation malarkey.
They realized that siting on a pillow makes for blood clots and
Interviewer: What do you think of Vipassana?
Dark Zen: I think it is better than sitting on a pillow or, as
one Zen master called such sitting, 'ghost-sitting'. Vipassana
affords the practitioner an immediate way to overcome the inertia
of bad habits that control the body-oftentimes making it sick.
Still, at some point, the serious practitioner must aim for the
absolute. This means cutting through the layers of the phenomenalized
will which includes old habits, emotions, concepts, and other kinds
of experiences that block out the absolute. The will got itself
into this mess and by right meditation it has to pull itself out
of this sludge pit. Vipassana is a good strategy for doing this.
But Dark Zen Meditation is the piece de resistance. When you get
to that place before the in and out breath, sensing a kind of magnetic,
clear light, for lack of a better expression, you know that you've
hit the jackpot of meditation. The rest is crap.
Interviewer: Could you use all three kinds of meditation?
Dark Zen: Oh I guess so. Somebody new to Buddhism should try Zen
meditation first. Then when they got tired of just sitting, they
could move on to Vipassana. After that they could try Dark Zen
Meditation. I guess that would work. Actually, if you think bout
it, one is moving from the superficial to the profound. But most
people these days are stuck on the superficial. They believe that
if you just sit long enough, you will turn into a Buddha.
Interviewer: I notice that the The Authorized Dark Zen Meditation
Manual of Buddhism is out of print, selling used for $198! It seems
very popular, why don't you reprint it?
Dark Zen: We hope to have an improved and revised one in major
bookstores within a year. But we continue to be plagued by a lack
of funding to finance the project. Let's not forget, Western Buddhists
are cheapskates [laughing]. They spend more time supporting fast
food enterprises, and their SUVs, than supporting the Dharma. Recently,
much of our funding for the new edition of the manual was stolen
by a former Vipassana student who worked with us and was going
to illustrate the new The Authorized Dark Zen Meditation Manual
of Buddhism! So times have been difficult. Mara the Evil One has
been busy in our neck of the woods, you could say, trying to prevent
the Buddhic light from entering into our world. This is no joke.
Evil is quite real in Buddhism and there are many who wish us ill.
Interviewer: That is most unfortunate. From my own experience,
many who come to Buddhism these days are materialists. It is good
to hear that you are revising the old manual. I recently read some
review that The Authorized Dark Zen Meditation Manual of Buddhism
is very much like Dogen's Kukan zazen gi. What are your views about
Dark Zen: I can't agree in principle. First, Dogen Fukan zazen
gi is pretty much a copy of an earlier Chinese work. Dogen says
nothing original at all. In his Fukan zazen gi, there is no treatment
of 'parimukhasati', that is, 'recollecting the thoroughly antecedent'.
In other words, that the beginner is supposed to strive to be anterior
to the in and out breath in nowhere mentioned in the Fukan zazen
gi. And compared with the Chinese meditation manuals such as the
Tso-ch'an i, and others, The Authorized Dark Zen Meditation Manual
of Buddhism is far superior.
Interviewer: I am just curious, but why doesn't Dark Zen get rates
of funding like other Buddhist organizations?
Dark Zen: We have become the bad guys I guess. Some believe we
are cult although we don't have even a tent in which to meet. So
might substantially commit to our path are lacking in any meaningful
numbers. I guess we are both feared and respected. But in the end
we will triumph regardless of cash flow [laughing].
Interviewer: It is puzzling why people don't contribute more to
your cause, if I may call it that. I have tried Dark Zen Meditation
and that it actually works. I can feel a little surge of that light
of which you speak. It surprised me when I first noticed it after
doing this meditation for months. One day while driving back from
work, I got it. It felt like a small magnetic field around the
upper part of my body. What is it like with you?
Dark Zen: I sense
it much more. I guess that is the difference. It never leaves
me. It's like a powerful magnetic field which is always around
As I assimilate into it, it grows stronger, overshadowing my
physical body. From this I can draw a number of inferences the
of which is that this light is free from the physical dimension
of this body. If I follow it I shall, too, free myself from the
body. This is the real meaning of nirvana.
Interviewer: That is too much for me to think about [laughing].
I must confess that this is over my head. But I know that Dark
Zen Meditation showed me something unexpected that I had no idea
I would find. Can other people sense your power, if I may ask?
Dark Zen: They can. But these people are spiritual human beings-not
craven humans who are pledged to materialism and spiritual blindness.
I am reminded of a passage in the Christian Gospel of John which
says, "And the light shone in the darkness and the darkness
apprehended it not." And so it is with these lightless ones-these
materialists of our world who will cause the ruin of all. Oh-let
me say this. This is not to say that on one side we have the light
and on the other materialism. This is wrong. The material is only
an image of this light. There is no actual spatial separation between
the two. We, as fundamentally light or the same, pure will, upon
seeing this image become beguiled by it. After that, we come to
fear it, trying to manipulate it which is now our body and the
outer world our body faces. The only difference between those who
sense the light and those who live in darkness is that those who
cling to the darkness fear the light.
Interviewer: That, for some reason, reminds me of the movie out
now called, The Return of the King, which is based on Tolkien's
novel, Lord of the Rings. The people who follow the evil Sauron
only want darkness. Didn't the Buddha divide people into aryans
and the profane essentially saying that those who are aryan follow
the light and those who are profane follow the evil one, Mara,
who is like Sauron?
Dark Zen: Yes he did. Let me say that Tolkien's ideas are very
Buddhist, although if he were alive he would never admit to it
[laughing]. I know he was a Christian. Then of course, Paul's letters
are very Buddhist in my opinion-so what is the significant difference
between the two is anybody's guess. I find the whole Tolkien trilogy
very moving. The movies, too, are very enchanting and profound
as well. We need this kind of art. It inspires our youth to become
spiritual warriors and not materialists. We all need to throw the
One Ring of materialism back into the fire where in belongs, in
the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow [laughing]. I think
Dark Zen Meditation is the key for doing this. It proves beyond
a doubt that we have been beguiled by Mara and Sauron too long
[laughing]. When we first experience the light something tells
us things today are evil-that there are many Orcs out there [laughing].
Interviewer: I find it so amazing you enjoyed the movies directed
by Peter Jackson and were able to see them as echoing Buddhist
Dark Zen: The Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson were awe
inspiring. All who participated in the movie put their hearts into
it. My hat is off to everyone who helped put this epic on the screen.
For our youth it offered inspiration that it is time to throw materialism
back into Mount Doom. And for us crotchety old spiritual warriors
of the past [laughing] it gave us faith that not everybody is stark
Interviewer: Do you think there is a serious chance for the light
to come into the world as you believe?
Dark Zen: I think so. I am somewhat of a believer in Sheldrake's
morphic field theory. If you don't know what that means, it can
be liked to an invisible matrix which stores each and every pattern
of action which gives rise to phenomena. If what you put into this
matrix is garbage, that is what you get phenomenalized eventually.
Presently, we are dumping lots of garbage into this matrix which
in Buddhism we call the Alaya. I firmly believe that Dark Zen Meditation
can change the course of our decline by adding a new energy and
vigor to what is now a matrix of decadence. But to be effective
we must believe that the present world can be changed; and that
its evil can be curtailed.
Interviewer: I am curious. What do you mean by a matrix of decadence?
Dark Zen: Decadence occurs when all begins to lose its vitality.
The very principle of life begins to ebb away. Insanity and illness
begin to make significant inroads into our very way of life so
that this is all we are concerned with as a people. As a consequence,
we become a nation of care givers and sick people in which nobody
is healthy. Religion, too, fails. It becomes a dead history in
which faith is replaced by hope and mere belief. In other words,
religion loses its ground.
Interviewer: But isn't god a ground?
Dark Zen: No. The word god is just a semantic place holder for
our subjective consciousness. This is not a ground. God is a metaphor
for the subject. It is an extreme abstraction. Buddhism, on the
other hand, is grounded on the will. We connect with the pure will,
distinguishing it from it phenomenalizations. We understand that
all is intrinsically the content of will called, Cittamatra in
Sanskrit. From this, we ground our terminology upon our discovery
of the pure will. Samsara, for example, is our will striving for
fulfillment but never finding it because it is chasing after its
own creations which only lead to more discontent and more blind
Interviewer: Okay I get it. Your meditation is designed to help
us find this ground which your call pure will before it turns into
phenomena. Okay, that makes a lot of sense. God, by comparison,
is just a word which has no reference to anything except the subject.
But why is this meditation so difficult to understand and accomplish?
Dark Zen: Because we are taught from birth to follow the creations
of will, including thoughts and ideas. We are like a great and
powerful king who, spending too much time with his subjects, forgets
he is a king. Because of this, the kingdom goes to ruin if he cannot
awaken. This is my gripe with materialism which is anti-religious.
It dooms us to endless samsara. Materialism makes us slaves to
phenomenalizations of will. As a result, we become dense and ignorant.
We refuse to listen to the sages who tell us otherwise, that phenomena
are empty and the cause of suffering. In fact, we attack the sages
being, ourselves, unable to come into communion with the pure will.
What is more, materialism makes its way into Buddhism. We soon
find teachers teaching materialism.
Interviewer: Who are these Buddhist teachers?
Dark Zen: Any Buddhist teacher who tells you that Buddhism rejects
an absolute; teaches insubstantiality and emptiness as ends. Ask
yourself, "What is the purpose of meditation to these teachers?" This
will expose just how hollow they are. For such teachers, meditation
is just learning how to relax and accept your anxieties and your
eventual erasure in death. That is pretty depressing in my book.
It smacks of radical pessimism. On the other hand, Dark Zen meditation
helps us access the Buddhic light. From there it is possible to
pass on to the undying realm.
Interviewer: I agree that the central purpose of Buddhism is seeking
the absolute and that meditation is its means. If teachers teach
that there is no absolute, there really doesn't have to be meditation.
What is its point?
Dark Zen: That is my question, too. For modern Buddhism meditation
often becomes a ritual. It leads, at best, to learning how to relax
yourself. But it falls short of the goal of original Buddhism.
For the Buddha and his followers meditation accessed higher worlds
and eventually the absolute. How then can Buddhism be about insubstantiality
Interviewer: What can the average person do who is not ready for
Dark Zen: Let me say that we are reaching a crises of sensory
overstimulation in our culture seeing an increase, for example,
in attention deficit disorder problems among children and adults.
There needs to be a sensory fast. The average person needs to minimize
the sensory input to their bodies. It is too much. This means turning
off the cellular phones, TVs, the music, the simulation games,
and anything else that can overload the senses. This includes lighting,
too. Subdue it. Use lower wattage light bulbs. Stop taking the
car to work, also. Use public transportation. Anybody who does
this will notice that in only a few hours their concentration will
increase. If this is continued, they may notice that they will
begin thinking more profound thoughts. If this sounds like too
much, maybe do this fast once a week. Just let me say something
about our national problem with obesity in regard to this. Not
only are we externally overstimulated, but our organs are overstimulated
by eating too much. In addition, we are sexually overstimulated
where now impotency is a problem. If the average person can't cut
back on the need for heavy amounts of sensory stimulation, they
need to seriously worry about their mental health and their physical
health. As I look around me I see people who unconsciously want
their senses to be bombarded. They are sensation addicts They can't
sit still, appreciating the silence around them. They have to be
on their cell phone, or doing something like eating or shopping.
It is a frightening development for our nation's psyche to be in
Interviewer: Sense this crisis might have a more adverse impact
on our youth what would you recommend they do to spiritualize themselves?
Dark Zen: Two suggestions come to mind. First, read philosophy.
And second, do a lot of hiking. Philosophy helps see through the
malarkey of bad views which any society tries to instill in its
youth to make them become obedient slaves. A people who claim to
love freedom must also love freeing themselves from wrong views
which exploit the very foundations of freedom. This is part of
what of philosophy is about. Our founding fathers read philosophy
and did away with monarchy. Next, a lot of hiking is a form of
meditation. It serves to clear one's head of the impressions put
there by the modern artificial landscape which psychically pollutes
the capacity to see one's Buddha nature. The gas stations, the
liquor stores, the hideous malls, and the noxious freeways can't
stand up to beauty of a waterfall or a pristine ocean beach. What
I am saying, is get back to a simple life. If our youth don't rebel
against modern pollutions they will become consumer zombies who
eventually will be, themselves, consumed. The excellence of the
Buddha's spiritual path cannot be reached by corrupted minds.
Interviewer: Are there other ways for the average person besides
what you've touched on so far?
Dark Zen: Sure. Try a sweat lodge or a dark cave [laughing].
Interviewer: Are you kidding
Dark Zen: No, not in the least. Long ago Native Americans discovered
the benefits of healing the senses by reducing the amount of simulation
they would normally receive. The used the sweat lodge to achieve
this. Even the ancient Greeks did almost the same thing. They went
into dark silent caves to heal. Solitude is very important if we
are to heal ourselves as beginners before we get serious about
meditation. But anybody can do it. That is the beauty. Stay in
a dark room for a while. Or soak in your bathtub turning out the
lights. When the old cravings and patterns no longer interest us,
that is a good indication that solitude therapy is working. I used
to meditate in an old abandoned copper mine. Talk about dark and
isolated [laughing]. But what an amazing effect it had upon my
psyche. I noticed that my reasoning improved. It was easy to break
old habits. I could even reprogram myself to a certain extent.
I can remember looking forward to meditating in the mine. I think
when the outer environment is as non-sensory as can possibly be,
the body and the nervous system try to follow it. As a result,
the body undergoes an amazing change. In studies I have read about
Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (R.E.S.T.) the benefits
are truly astonishing. Mental illness, cigarette smoking and other
like disorders seem to fall by the wayside when therapeutic solitude
Interviewer: This is really fascinating. I especially like your
theory about the body following the outer environment and becoming
like it, for better or for worse. In Dark Zen Meditation can you
say the same thing, that the body is trying to conform to the Buddhic
Dark Zen: Yes. Well put. If we are in a world of sensory overloading-something
happens to our body and nervous system. And it is not good. On
the other hand, if we live quietly, hike in the mountains, learn
to use solitude, something good happens to our body and nervous
system. With Dark Zen Meditation when you access the Buddhic light,
something really good happens. One transcends all possible suffering
and its rebirth.
Interviewer: This seems like a good time to end the interview.
Thank you so much.