Street Art by The YZ

Street Art by The YZ


By Daniel Scharpenburg

There have always been spokespersons for spirituality.

These are the mystics who dwell in both worlds, traveling deeply on the spiritual path, but also bringing something back to share. These are shamans, yogis, and gurus who go beyond the culture to the Truth and bring some of the Truth back with them.

This was the case for thousands of years of human history, when spirituality was flexible, mystical and transcendent. This paradigm is probably not what it used to be in the modern world. But, I’m not writing this to criticize the state of religion today.

In any case, these mystics, these representatives of oneness served the purpose of helping others discover transcendence in this world, guide others in the spiritual life or, at least, demonstrate what the spiritual life could be. They set an example and actualize spiritual goals.

For an individual to walk this path, of course they would need to have seen something of ultimate reality themselves. They have to live the path—as I said dwelling in two worlds, the world of void and the world of form. The mystic has to have used the spiritual eye to see beyond the world of delusion, the world of separation, and penetrated the oneness that is fundamental to reality.

A vision of unity is important.

The mystic can’t make others change the way they look at things. The mystic can point the way to seeing beyond duality and unlocking our minds. The mystic can even give advice (if it’s asked for) and can certainly set an example. But no one can break out of the delusions of duality and see their true nature without putting forth their own sincere effort.

In tribal cultures it was easy to find a spiritual teacher. Mystics had a role in the community. They were isolated at times, but had an important role to play in a lot of the functions of society. Is this still true? No.

A seeker can have a hard time. A good spiritual teacher will hopefully present themselves as a guide instead of a master.

So, what are those of us who teach mystical truths to others?

I am not a teacher or a priest. I am an awakener.

Our purpose is to walk between the worlds of void and form and to help others do the same. I am dwelling in oneness and pulling others onto the path with me.

Photo: (Street Art by The YZ)

Editor: Dana Gornall



Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is a dharma teacher in Kansas City. He gives teachings Monday nights through the Open Heart Project, an online meditation community with over 20,000 members.

He went through facilitator training at the Rime Center in Kansas City, where he took Pratimoksha and Bodhisattva Vows. He was trained as a teacherin the Tsaotung Chan Tradition through the International Chan Buddhism Institute, where he took the Brahmajala Precepts and he is now recognized as a Dharma Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Sangha.

Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook and Youtube
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