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‘How I got into practice’ by Jez Lovekin

I am a twin, I shared a womb with someone else. Something inside me stirs when I write these words. So my sense of incompleteness didn’t show early and not until I gained my teen years.

This search for identity, once established but not recognised, led me to leave a comfortable environment and end up mixing with some very different and interesting characters. The physical move out of the rat race was never going to work but it sowed a seed that opened my curiosity to many possibilities. It made me realise that there was a world beyond the material which was full of fascinating possibilities, full of literature, and full of characters who promised an end to my search. From the local sitting group I discovered John Crooks, Hogen Roshi, Genpo Roshi and many others.

So I settled on Genpo Roshi as I felt he spoke the same earthy language and had a very non-intellectual approach to practice. The effects were dramatic and immature as I was. I plunged into this world of non-duality with breathtaking trust. I would leave my family as a fairly stable and responsible parent and return a raving nutter. Deeply upsetting for some around me, my partner at the time ending up thumping me, such was her frustration. Genpo agreed I should back off and just sit but the experiences kept happening and so they have continued more or less ever since. I shudder to think what I put people through in my quest for ‘the truth’.

However I have met some wonderful people along the way, Ken Jones, Dave Scott and many others and learned some vital lessons in how to cope. Everything Genpo talked of has come true, The need to trust yourself, living with doubt and delusion, the oneness of life, never feeling comfortable, raising the Buddha Mind, etc.etc. “Who am I ?” gave me a strong sense of self but little did I know at the time how fundamental this question is, and what a gift it is for us humans! Is there anything else in the universe apart from us humans that is blessed with this sense of duality. Another creature that is driven to search for harmony and piece of mind and appreciate it? What a chance we have.

When we take the dog out for long walks, Karen, being an artist, living a visual life, remains in contact with the outside world. I, being shortsighted and more inward, wander along in a dream, treating myself to a long and complicated dharma talk or trying to make sense of another strange experience. Sometimes she will speak, “Those pizzas in Aldi are really good value, don’t you think……?”

“Aren’t you listening?”

Jez, April 2016