Between the age of 20 and 40 I was consumed with a wide range of existential questions, but despite endless thinking and reading, I never found a single answer. Due to some business-related stress at the age of 40, I started a simple meditative exercise as a way to acquire some peace of mind, and within two weeks a major insight occurred that led to more meditative activities. Five months later a huge cosmic-consciousness event answered seven of my questions and catapulted me into a different reality. I then concluded that all answers were “within,” and for the next 15 years I went on silent meditation retreats with Christians, Buddhists, and Advaita groups during which all of my other questions got answered. Nevertheless, I still did not feel free. Then, a new question arose, “How is it possible to stay in a unity-conscious state of mind permanently rather than oscillating between a sense of selfhood and no-self?” In 1999, after a deep experience of gratitude on a solo hiking retreat, “the little guy in the head” (the sense of a personal “me”) totally vanished, and the result was freedom, contentment, and understanding.
Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
YouTube Video Chapters:
00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump 00:04:43 – Questioning Beliefs and Exploring Existential Questions 00:08:25 – The Journey of Seeking Answers in Zen Philosophy 00:12:17 – The Shift in Perception 00:16:07 – A Reality Shift 00:19:54 – The End of the Construction Company 00:24:03 – Realization of the Incomprehensible 00:28:16 – Simple answers to Zen riddles 00:32:17 – Finding Freedom in the Middle of Responsibilities 00:35:50 – Questioning Selfhood and Freedom in the Mountains 00:38:59 – The Dissolution of the Sense of Self 00:42:30 – The True Self and Identity 00:46:00 – The Silence of the Mind 00:49:19 – Non-Abidance in the Mind 00:52:39 – The Kingdom of God Inside and Outside of You 00:55:59 – Shifting Attention Beyond the Mind 01:02:47 – The Benefits of Practice and Reconfiguration 01:06:16 – The Natural Inclination to Help Others 01:09:50 – The Depth of Awakening 01:13:12 – Falling Asleep During Meditation 01:16:26 – Realizing the Irrelevance of a Silent Mind 01:20:00 – Seeking Benefit in the Present Moment 01:23:32 – Intuition and the Home of All Knowledge 01:27:00 – Knowing and achieving specific things in life 01:30:50 – The Blissful State on the Deathbed 01:34:07 – Embracing the Unknowable Future 01:37:31 – The Universal Sound 01:40:44 – The Challenges of Maintaining Friendships 01:48:00 – Wrapping Up with Bob
Stephen Doetsu Snyder began meditating daily in 1976. he has practiced since in the Zen tradition as well as extensive practice in Theravada Buddhism. he is a lineage Zen teacher as well as a lineage Theravada teacher. He was also influenced by Diamond Heart teachings and practices.
He combines the ancient Buddhist heart practices with awakening practices of the Zen tradition into a heartfelt journey of realization and embodiment.
Andrew Holecek has completed the traditional three-year Buddhist meditation retreat and teaches internationally on meditation, dream yoga, and the art of dying. He is the author of six books, and many articles, including scientific papers on lucid dreaming. Dr. Holecek is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a concert pianist, with degrees in music, biology, and a doctorate in dental surgery. He is the co-founder of Global Dental Relief, which serves impoverished children in six developing countries; the founder of the online platform Night Club, which supports the nocturnal meditations, and the founder of the Preparing to Die Institute, a nine-month spiritual and practical training program to help with the end of life.