The Truth Is The Truth No Matter What State You’re In – Peter Ralston Newsletter

Hi Peter,
One concept in some of the Buddhist studies I have been involved in brings light to the importance of “leaving family,” meaning leaving worldly attachment and focusing one’s life more on the study of “Truth.”
Obviously there are differences in your directive and the Zen Buddhism directives. My question is? I would imagine returning to the world may be difficult after such in-depth understanding. I have already found this to be a challenge for me with my extensive exploration and meditation practice starting in 2010.
Where does one go once they go deeper into integrating the truth? For me, it feels like ultimately building my own retreat center for similar exploration and choosing more and more solitude in nature will be the direction I will travel?



It’s good to note that “leaving family” is a deep internal shift, it is not really related to where you are. Your world—family, culture, assumptions, beliefs, programming, et al—lives within you, not in the environment. It will follow you no matter where you go.

As for intense contemplation or studies, there can be a transition when you go back to the general populace because you will be more sensitive and open than most people, but it is temporary and you’ll adjust. But to be clear, such a shift is a change of state. This shift can occur by engaging in any intense focus or openness for a period of time. It is not restricted to work on enlightenment or consciousness. Instead, it’s about one’s state of mind or awareness, and not direct consciousness. I never had a problem “returning to the world” after any enlightenment. Freedom is the hallmark there, so environment isn’t a problem.

Remember, the truth is always the truth no matter where you are or what state you’re in. Being in a quiet and focused place may be helpful to contemplate, but it isn’t essential, and the truth is already what’s true even in the most noisy and hectic place. Eventually you’ll need to be conscious of what’s true no matter the environment or your own state.

You are probably putting the cart before the horse with the idea of creating a center. I suspect you’re not ready for that. Such a center should arise when you have achieved not only deep enlightenment after enlightenment but have matured in your work enough to have something of substantial value to offer to those attending. But it sounds like your idea is to create an environment that provides you with what you think you need to pursue such goals, and if that’s the case you shouldn’t be the leader or facilitator, you should be a student. As the facilitator your job would be very different, and the danger there is you’d simply end up pretending you are wiser than you are and trying to create an image that fits your idea of what that should look like. That would be a big mistake and short-change your real growth. At least that’s my guess.

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