Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 18-21

March 10, 2008

My college years were a time of spiritual searching. After a few courses in philosophy, I admitted to myself that none of the thoughts I’d been writing down in the morning were really guidance from God. In fact, I wasn’t even sure there was a God who gave guidance.

Looking back, I now see my earlier experiences as steppingstones moving from a dogmatic pseudo-spirituality of the brain to a free and genuine spirituality of the heart.

In my sophomore year, I joined the Unitarian Fellowship in Canton, Ohio. There, at a Sunday morning adult discussion group, I heard one of the members present a discourse on Zen Buddhism. I was fascinated by the idea of enlightenment and bought books by Allan Watts and D. T. Suzuki. In the library I found a copy of Asvagosha’s Discourse on the Awakening of Faith. I  found both Asvagozha and Suzuki difficult reading, but Watts made a bit of sense to me.

His book – Nature, Man and Woman – introduced me to the idea of sex as a doorway to enlightenment and spiritual understanding. The practices presented by him were things done by a man and a woman; and I, at the time, was still coming to terms with my sexual orientation. But I remember saying to myself, if two men can together achieve the spiritual state that he describes, then homosexuality must be a valid mode of sexual expression.

Many years later, in my first workshop with Joseph Kramer, I discovered that it indeed was possible to make sexual practices between two men the doorway to spiritual consciousness that Watts described.

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