Sri Bodhi Prana

Satori by Faking It

As you may know, I have a thriving business teaching people how to fake enlightenment. The basics are easy: you just learn to look like a guy at one with the universe, a guy without a care in the world, like me. Even though it is easy to describe how to do it, not everyone can learn to do it well. The payoffs are fantastic, though, so it is well worth it to learn how. Why? Because chicks dig it, and there is a lot of money in it. You can make three or four chicks a day, and even at the same time, if you learn how to fake the look, walk the walk, and talk the talk. Guys will dig you too, but in a non-sexual way. You will have a better job, make more money, or even have people just give you money! It's like having control of the tilt lever of the luck plane!

OK, enough of the promo. In the process of teaching people how to fake enlightenment . I have discovered something fantastic: people are actually achieving satori THROUGH THE PROCESS OF FAKING IT! I know it counds crazy, but just hear me out.

If you read the first of my essays on faking enlightenment, you may remember some of the lessons: you must learn first of all how to look the part. This involves letting the muscles of your face and body go slack. Each of us (well, not me, because I am in a perpetual state of enlightenment) has a sort of rigor vita of the face, a living mask whose character has to do with the nature of our ego and our relation to the world and society. Certain sets of muscles are unnaturally tensed in accordance with our conscious and unconscious thought processes. Look at yourself in the mirror -- see the worry lines, the scowl lines? If you had been enlightened since you were young, you wouldn't have those. They are the result of years of unnatural muscle tension. If you can learn to let it go, you can fake the look of someone who is in direct contact with the source. There is a look, eyelids slightly drooping, muscles relaxed, just the hint of a smile, associated with someone completely at home in the universe.

Now, learning to do this involves letting go of not just ones muscle control, but also of the thoughts that disturb this relaxed state. Try looking in the mirror and letting your facial muscles go slack. See how long you can keep it up. If you are like most people, you can't keep it up for more than a minute. Thoughts intrude. You think "Why am I doing this? What's the point?" Of course if you knew me, you would see the benefits, and might not be so quick to dismiss this exercise. Another part of the program is learning to walk the walk of a Buddha. There is a relaxed, rhythmic walk that the fully enlightened master has that speaks of freedom and power. If you can do it, you look like you are fully in control, and yes, it drives the babes wild, even if you are skinny or overweight. Learning to walk the walk also requires a similar discipline (of course, for me it just comes naturally!) You have to let your muscles and bones move freely, in a way in accordance with their natural tendencies. You can't rush it, you can't be in a hurry... after  all, who is God trying to impress? In the same way that you can't keep "the face"  for long before thoughts intrude and ruin it, it is difficult to keep up the wald for long before you become conscious that you are trying to not try, you are trying to influence your body to be free from the influence of the ego: YOU ARE JUST FAKING IT!

 Well DUH, you say. That is the point: you are learning how to fake it! But this is the amazing part: This whole exercise in faking it is a simple koan, designed to focus the mind on what it is that separates you from the enlightened masters. If you have thought about the process of enlightenment at all, you know how it usually works, at least in the stories. A young man goes to a monastary to learn how to sit and concentrate on some nonsense sentence, but because it is given to him with an air of solemnity by a highly revered spiritual teacher, he knows that it must be taken seriously: it is a kind of subtle logic puzzle that must be solved. He sits and sits and meditates, trying and failing to keep his koan at the center of his attention night and day. Some sit for years and never get it. But the lucky few find in a moment of blinding clarity that it really was just nonsense! They run to the teacher, tears of transcendent joy streaming down their faces and he just looks at them and sees that they GET IT. They understand!

What has happened? Their continual striving to solve a puzzle that cannot be solved caused them to break: at some point they just gave up, but not like ordinary giving up: they really gave the hell up all at once, and in such a way that they dropped everything, the pose, the ego, the koan... they experienced the true glorious freedom of quitting a job you really hate, the job of being YOU!

 Now there is nothing special about zazen and master issued koans. There are numerous stories about monks or ordinary people experiencing profound satori in the midst of ordinary activities, the "chopping wood, carrying water" tales familiar to everyone who has an interest in Zen. So what were the "koans'" used by Basho, by Jesus, by nenslo? Nothing at all out of the ordinary: just an extreme form of self consciousness that concentrated the mind on an insoluble problem.

 In the course of teaching people how to fake it, I have discovered that many of them have had satori as a result of faking it: the sheer effort of concentrating on how to lose the appearance of ego, how to move and walk and interact as if you were at one with the Godhead is so stressful on the mind, at least for those people who really work at it, that at some point they just GIVE UP! They go SLACK all at once, and discover who they really are! Now, you might think that this is cheating, that this is somehow dishonest, like giving up drinking by pretending to be sober, but it works.

This is not for everybody, though. Some have to do it their own way, but for those of you who want a better life NOW, who want to grab the tilt lever on the luck plane and just LEAN INTO IT, this method is for you. The advantages are enormous compared to the usual path of quiet meditation: You get all the sex and money and power you could ever want WHILE YOU LEARN! Three, four, five chicks at a time, a BMW, a Mercedes, a Jaguar, a swimming pool and thousands of dollars, all for just following my simple instructions! Of course, unless you really  work at it you will probably not get it, but hey, who cares when you are living this large?

Sri Bodhi Prana