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ORIGINS

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Christopher, founder of Village Temple

When I was first introduced to Buddhist meditation in 1971, at the age of fifteen, I was completely unaware that I was embarking on a lifelong journey of self-discovery.

 

My parents were not religious.  It was rare for them to even entertain the topic but when they did, it was clear that they had no belief in God whatsoever.  Throughout their lives, they had always turned to science for answers about the universe rather than contemplating any form of spirituality.  It was therefore natural for me to grow up without any religious guidance.   

 

Looking back, I feel fortunate to have been raised without being exposed to other people’s ideas about the human spirit, much less being taught any specific religious doctrine.  I was always comfortable knowing that there were many things in this world that I simply did not know.  And of course, many things that I might never understand.

 

However, my religious naïveté as a child did not stop me from having quite powerful, other-worldly experiences in later years.  Throughout my life, I have had numerous deeply moving experiences that defied any ordinary explanation.  Each of these events had a profound, life-changing effect on me.   Through the years, as I look back on these experiences, I have greater appreciation for their transformative power.

 

As I look from my current perspective, it is clear that these experiences were spontaneous, initial encounters with spiritual awakening.  Interestingly, my failure to have this insight at the time, in no way diminished their transformative effect on my life.

 

As mentioned above, I started meditating at the age of fifteen and I have engaged in various forms of self exploration throughout my life.  But it was not until I was in my late forties that I was drawn much more deeply into Buddhism.  My immersion in spirituality became, more and more, the central focus of my life.  

 

For years the only thing I wanted to do was meditate.  I would meditate for hours every day but it never felt like enough.  Except for practical tasks of daily necessity, meditation and the nature of the human spirit was all I ever thought about.  

 

During these years, I was meditating so much that without being aware of what was happening, I had begun stabilizing a newly awakened Buddhist perspective, as conscious-presence.

 

Awakening to my true spiritual nature was never a goal that I had.   Without any intention on my part, it seemed as if I was simply being carried along effortlessly and inevitably toward this beautiful, life changing realization.

 

Throughout my earlier years, I had not yet realized that I was on a spiritual journey.  My obsession with meditation seemed like something that was happening to me, rather than feeling like something that I was choosing to do.  It seemed spontaneous and choice-less.  

 

I still remember the tremendous depth of emotion that arose the first time I actually experienced the infinitely vast, open, universal perspective of pure “Buddha Consciousness”.  This spiritual shift came with the realization that this truth, living life from this awakened perspective is my life’s journey.  Ever since this realization, my identification with personhood (my earlier self-identity as a separate, unique person) continues to become less and less compelling while it is simultaneously being replaced by the increasingly stable perspective of true “Buddha Nature” or conscious-presence itself.   

 

When experiencing life from this new perspective, I have become increasingly aware that, as infinite awareness (which is our core spiritual essence), we are un-harmable.  We exist as pure consciousness in a dimension of complete safety.  Despite the constant warnings generated by our psychological mind, there is no actual vulnerability.  There is nothing to fear.  There is nothing to defend.  There is only, an ever-present, peaceful wholeness, freedom and a gentle harmony with all of existence.

 

I continue to find the awakening of the human spirit, awakening to our true Buddha Nature, endlessly compelling.  This knowledge is so very simple and yet at the same time there seems to be no end to the depth of its integration.  

 

Without any doubt, this is the most profound and important  discovery that a human being can make in their lifetime.

 

Despite the multitude of respected sources for this information, much of the time enlightenment seems to be presented as mystical, exotic, overly complicated, and essentially unattainable.  I am therefore passionate about simplifying and then sharing these insights in a way that is hopefully much more accessible.

 

I created the Village Temple as a Buddhist Center for Awakening, to provide clear, simple guidance for those who are searching, longing to re-connect with the true core essence of their being.  Their Buddha Nature.

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