“Flake” (believe in what you know to be true)
When I was a teenager I was interested in sports and girls. Those things made me normal.
I was also interested in Zen, Buddhism, and yoga, and those things made me weird. (30-40 years ago those things were incredibly not popular in the United States, and how I ever stumbled on them I may never know.)
My dad used to refer to anyone interested in these things as a “flake,” and he didn’t mean that in a complimentary way; he thought these things were weird, and anyone who was interested in them was weird. Knowing him, I’d further extrapolate to say that he was interested in things like “success” and productivity and conquering at least some part of the world, and if you couldn’t help him in those areas he didn’t have much use for you.
In retrospect I can see where his attitude held me back significantly. More accurately, because of my personality, I allowed his beliefs to take precedence over what I knew to be true. (I had my first two OBEs when I was 16 years old.) That was a significant mistake on my part, and it led to years of confusion for me, and significantly affected everything in my life, including the colleges I went to and the career that I chose.
A nurse named after a Zen Master
As a brief aside, I initially thought about this topic a few months ago when I met a nurse at a hospital. She was named after an ancient Zen Master, so I asked her about that, and she said her parents were Buddhists. So even though she was born here in the United States, Buddhism was natural for her.
I told her that my dad’s idea of religion was for us to go bowling on Sunday mornings, and also relayed a little of this “flake” story. I think that’s when it really hit me how much of an influence my father had on me back then. Whereas she could have talked to her parents if she had OBEs at age 16 — and might have even been praised for them and turned onto higher teachings — those OBEs and many others that followed were a closely guarded personal secret for over two decades.
What I know
These days, I’m extremely comfortable with “what I know” to be true. As time has gone on and I’ve read pretty much any book on Zen, Buddhism, and yoga I can find, I’ve found that the most advanced masters in each of these practices say the same things I’ve written about on this website. They talk about OBEs (out of body experiences), precognition, lucid dreams, and much more. So where I used to question myself — and allowed my dad to have way too much influence on me — I now find myself reading these books and nodding in agreement. “Right on, brother,” is what I usually say or think to myself as I read the books.
Sadly, what I also know is that most people in the world won’t experience the things I’ve experienced. If they’re lucky they’ll experience these things in the time before they die, and then they can say, “Hey, that Tequila Monk was right,” and then they’ll have some peace of mind before they die. But until then they’ll probably also think I’m a flake, but I’m alright with that. I only hope that they die just slow enough so they can experience the “subtle body” before death, and then they can nod in agreement with me.
So I finish this blog post with the hope/wish that you too will experience these things at least once before the death of your own physical body. If you can experience your Self outside of your physical body just once (that is, your consciousness apart from your physical body), you too can also be a proud flake. :)