The Penny That Blots Out The Sun – Alfred Pulyan

This episode’s reading is an essay by Alfred Pulyan titled “The Penny That Blots Out The Sun.” Pulyan was a little-known Zen teacher based in Connecticut and active in the 1950s through his death in 1966. Like so many authentic teachers, he labored in relative obscurity, yet his words and deeds continue to affect many. See my review of Alfred Pulyan for a few more tidbits.

This is podcast # 4 in The Induction Series. The aim of this series is to focus on “inspired” writings, those that carry the “living word.” Franklin Merrell-Wolff called them “mystic writings” and said that “when the ‘Voice of the Silence’ speaks into the relative world, the Meaning lies between the words, as it were, rather than in the direct content of the words themselves.”

Richard Rose said that “If you are interested in looking for Essence, from the point of the Process Observer you can be stimulated only by writings of inspiration rather than reason or direction” and referred students to his poem “Three Books of the Absolute.” While Rose used the term “inspirational,” clearly these are not necessarily inspirational, uplifting writings like one typically finds collected under that banner.

alfred pulyan
Photo by Ryan Olson on Unsplash

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Selected Links and Topics from this Episode:

  • Seekers caught in continual seeking
  • The actual way in which a student is brought to awakening
  • Subud and Pak Subuh
  • Consciousness seeing itself
  • All mental attempts to reach the pure consciousness are in vain
  • The real enemy is the “my” consciousness
  • “All we do is rotate our own ideas like a squirrel in a cage.”
  • Grace
  • Transmission
  • Check out Bart Marshall’s Letters of Transmission: The Enlightenment Method of Zen Master Alfred Pulyan to see correspondence between Richard Rose and Alfred Pulyan.
  • Leave a review on Amazon of my book Subtraction: The Simple Math of Enlightenment. Our goal is to reach 100 reviews by the end of The Induction Series. We’re now at 44!

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