Waterfall with steps

The water cave of the master’s master

In Insight and Experience by LivingNowLeave a Comment


It had been a very miserable and cold winter in the mountains of Eastern Taiwan. I was elated to be up a tree on a perfect summer day, picking one of my favourite fruits. Only in Taiwan have I encountered the large oranges that the locals call ‘Jui Tz’. It was one of the most delectable fruit I had tasted in all my travels. Good fortune had it that these extensive orchards belonged to the temple where I had lived for nearly five years. Every year, as soon as the fruit was ripe, it had become a habit of mine to go out and pick my breakfast every day. I was particularly enjoying my picking on this day, as I was in the lower orchard with the most beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted. I was aware that I was not alone in this orchard. I stopped my picking and intuitively looked straight ahead through the branches. There at the edge of the tree’s shadow was the form of a man sitting cross-legged, looking out upon the mountainous panorama. Sensing my gaze, he turned to smile at me. It was my teacher Jwen. My heart skipped a beat as our eyes met. Even at that distance, I could feel his enormous energy field. His eyes beckoned, and I quickly abandoned my work to join him.

We both gazed ahead at the hazy ridges before us, basking in the sweet fragrance of the orange groves. Though his inspiration was always with me, I hadn’t seen Jwen in a long time. I was eager to discuss the insights I had been having since my visit with his old mentor, Master Bing.

Still gazing ahead, Jwen spoke up, characteristically addressing my concerns before I could ask. “Master Bing enjoyed your visit. As you know, he has joined you several times since then. He wants to save you from your kundalini affliction. He asked me to pass on his advice: “Stop messing around! Don’t play with a loaded gun!” Jwen turned to look at me with his penetrating eyes. “Bing wishes to commend you for your steadfast practice of Transensing. You are beginning to understand The Essence. Be grateful for that! If not for Transensing, you would be on fire by now!”

I was flabbergasted by Jwen’s words. Yes, it was true that several months ago I had decided to resume my Kundalini exercises, passed on to me by a previous teacher in Java. It was also true that, just as I thought I was gaining success, my spine began to burn, more and more. Even when I abandoned the exercises, my spine still felt as if molten lead were filling it from the bottom up. Just when I had arrived at the most excruciating agony, Master Bing appeared, gently reminding me to expand consciousness to all parts of my body simultaneously, seeing, sensing and receiving all the cells and their structures. Gradually, over an hour’s time, the burning subsided, leaving only stillness and the quiet, re-assuring hum of the unified field of life energy. Thank you Master Bing!

“Stick to the point!” Jwen’s unusually stern tone startled me out of my recollections. “Look at the big picture!” He continued, “You must learn to practise with gentle alertness. Stay natural and never force. Above all, don’t get greedy! As you continue to practise correctly, moment to moment, day by day, your unfoldment will appear naturally, like a flower from a bud, or the subtle change of the seasons.” Jwen looked away. I reflected on a line from Lao Tzu (a Taoist sage):

“Force is not the Way at all,
Let life ripen, then fall.”

Nearby, there was an exclamatory thud! of a plump orange falling to the ground. Could I detect a smile on Jwen’s lips? He had just shared with me the most valuable practice advice I ever received, before or since; it was perfectly relevant and correct. I had become impatient with my inner progress; indeed I had attempted to pluck success before my practice had ripened, and the fruit tasted bitter and foreboding. As I reflected on this, I began to count my blessings for having such patient, such compassionate teachers.

“Well”, Jwen suddenly exclaimed, “did you think we were about to abandon you to the serpent just as the fruit was ripening!?” He looked directly at me once again. There was a long pregnant pause, then another little smile appeared on Jwen’s lips, just as another loud plop! sounded just behind me. My nerves reacted, and I jumped. Then we both broke out laughing, and laughing, till the “ha has” echoed through the valley below. Finally the mirth settled back into stillness, leaving only a pleasurable effervescence bubbling through my brain. I felt a deep and intimate connection with my friend and teacher, and in that moment a conscious sense of gratitude soared up beyond all other thoughts and emotions.

Jwen turned to me once again. This time, his eyes sparkled. “Mas I came here today to tell you that it is now time to meet the master’s master!” Before I could query him about this, Jwen stood up abruptly, and I followed. “Let’s go”, he demanded. “You can leave your oranges here. The temple will be safe. You won’t be gone for too long.” He turned to go, heading toward the old dirt track running up the mountain. I followed him without question, for he had transmitted an intuitive understanding to me that we needed to take advantage of a special window of time. This was to be a unique opportunity, and Jwen intended to share it with me. There was the sense of some sort of a ‘seal’ on the truths he had already shared with me. As we set out, I could feel the quiver of excitement around my solar plexus.

We proceeded up the track at a quick pace. Jwen seemed to be floating with the greatest of ease, while I was having trouble keeping up. Soon we turned onto a small path and then on to another, and another. The vegetation was getting wilder and more dense. I could hear running water off to my left. I had no idea where we were. The sense of being lost disturbed my composure. Suddenly he took a sharp turn, and everything changed. As I later recorded in my journal, “Around the bend, a secluded valley was suddenly revealed. Jwen paused at a small vantage point, where I joined him. We quietly observed the pristine nature. I imagined it to be just as God had made it.” A sparkling brook cascaded down the middle of the valley, and we soon descended to a little overgrown path that ran close to the water. The next surprise was that, as we rounded a gentle curve, a marvellous waterfall came into view. As we arrived at the pool below it, I could feel the fresh mist on my face, and a rainbow appeared in front of me. Perhaps this was some sort of miraculous intersection of the higher dimensions. As this thought crossed my mind, I looked sideways at Jwen, and he was beaming at me, just as I had expected. Then he turned, continuing on the path to the left side of the falls, and then disappearing behind a bush. I followed him with great anticipation.

I found Jwen waiting for me on the other side of the bush, his back to the cliff face. We stood facing, close together in this small space. Once again, Jwen fixed his eyes on mine, penetrating deep inside. I could feel a sort of tickling between my eyebrows. From past encounters, I knew that he was transferring information. Though I couldn’t process it at the time, I knew that it would de-code later, as I needed it.

Finally, Jwen broke eye contact and nodded toward the edge of the fall. I could see that the path continued behind the falls. He gestured with his hand for me to take the lead. Upon entering the small, narrow path, I was thrust into a magical environment, with the water rushing down on my right and the vertical cliff face on the left. The deafening crash of water was all around. Intuitively I knew that the “Master’s Master” must be somewhere nearby. After several steps, I paused to look back at Jwen. He had remained standing beside the bush. He smiled and held his right hand up, palm toward me. I could feel a surge of energy between my eyebrows, and a quiet voice inside my head instructed me, “Continue with your journey. You no longer need me.” I obeyed, and turned to continue down the narrow path. That was the last time I saw Jwen in form. After a few steps I paused. I felt a sense of bewilderment, then survival mode surged up and I could feel my heart beginning to race. My inner voice blurted out Hey!How’m I gonna get out of here!? Straightaway the clear, calm voice of Jwen replied, “Just put one foot in front of the other! Now, continue… turn left!”

I looked to left and the cliff face had become a veil of water. Slowly I put my hand into the water. Somehow I knew I must go through it, like some sort of a test, or a baptism. I continued reaching through the water, all the way up to my shoulder, and then, finally, plucked up the courage to thrust my whole body through the veil. On the other side I found myself thoroughly drenched, yet relieved that I had made it through. Once again, I heard the reassuring voice of Jwen’s inner guidance, “Go straight ahead”.

I progressed several more steps, then paused to survey the extraordinary chamber I had entered. It looked like a magnificent natural amphitheatre, with high, vaulted ceilings. Surprisingly, the interior was not dark, but was illuminated throughout with a soft, uniform glow, which seemed to emanate from the rocky walls and surfaces. I was feeling awed by the cavernous space when a glint of light caught my eye, and I focussed on the far wall, about 20 paces from where I stood. The inner voice of Jwen directed me to proceed forward. As I approached the wall, I noticed that there was a large flat stone, like a pedestal, and upon it a figure began to appear, slowly becoming more and more illuminated. It appeared almost like a hologram, a projected image lacking in density and slightly out of focus, reminding me of Jwen’s visitations. Gradually, my eyes adjusted and I could discern the image of an older man, apparently Caucasian, with a blanket draped around him and an Afghan-style hat.

“You are safe”, the inner voice reassured me. This caused me to reflect that I felt no fear whatsoever; in fact, I had begun to feel warmth in my chest, around the heart centre. A calm, friendly voice came from the figure, “Welcome, and take a seat”. He gestured toward a flat rock just in front of him. Once seated, I could see that he was quite a bit older than myself, yet with a glint of energy in his eyes. He fixed that energy on me now, and I began to feel my heart expand out. Involuntarily, I began to return the ‘heart radiance’ process, which Jwen had shown me long ago. It was like exchanging an energetic hug! As the exchange continued, he spoke up once again, “Let me introduce myself. You can call me Mas… that’s short for Master!” At this point he broke out laughing. I could feel the humour, and I joined his laughter. As the laughter subsided he wiped the tears from his eyes on his sleeve as I was doing the same. When I looked up, he was beaming at me. In fact, I now noticed that he looked like me.

“You know, I don’t really put too much stock in this master stuff… and this master’s master stuff… well, I reckon Jwen went a little over the top!” He waved his hand dismissively. ‘He even talks like me!’ I noticed. “But you can still call me Mas…. because that’s my name. He was looking directly at me once again. I felt shivers up my spine. “Do you remember our house on the mountain in Chattanooga, or the house fire on Christmas Eve when we were nine, how our mother took us out on the lawn for safety then ran back in for her old parents. They never made it out, did they?” A long pause intervened as the truth slowly percolated through my conditioned, ‘can’t be’, consciousness. The warmth in my chest returned. Slowly, he began again. You see, I’m also a student of Jwen’s. After I left the temple in ’87 he continued to teach me, and continues to this day (as I write these words on my computer). This old water cave is where he used to take me for the higher lessons. You too have been here, only in your dreams. Now you remember it, right?” In a flash the ‘silent’ dreams I had been having for the last year became totally lucid. I remembered the sessions at the water cave, and at the same time I realised that the information was to be released only over a period of time. “This will be the beginning of your access to that information!” He was obviously tapping into my thoughts. A long silence ensued. My mind went completely blank.

“So, if you want to speculate why Jwen insisted on the master’s master thing, it’s because he wanted me to tell you the next step… give you a few pointers.” He adjusted his posture, and then continued, with a gentle smile. “You must love your life! That is essential. Also, be grateful, for today you will come to know, just as I now know, how to take total responsibility. These two go together: To truly love your life, you must learn to take total responsibility. So what’s all this about responsibility? It’s just an appropriate response to the karma that’s always right in your face! And the ability: the ability to respond. That’s the power of ling shiou (Chinese soul recovery): to respond by cutting through the karmic waste dump and transmute the old rubbish into compost. As we practise, we refine our karma… we repair it. Jwen brought me here to tell you these things so that you could witness first hand what the refinement of karma looks like…. this is it!” He exclaimed, pointing to his heart. “How ever I am today, I owe it to you—the choices you’re making, the responsibility you’re shouldering. So, thank you Mas! And you get to thank your former Mas. The interesting thing is that, since time isn’t linear, you get to thank me too!”

He stopped talking to let it all seep in, then he resumed, in earnest, “But there’s more! There’s more we can do to really bring on the joy of the journey. Just as all ‘others’ are actually at one with our continuum of being, so our continuum of personal growth depends on choices in the now. You know very well that if you choose harmful behaviour, you will, to various extents, harm all beings. You haven’t yet considered, however, that this harmful behaviour affects the karmic pattern of your past…and your future. That’s me!” He once again pointed to his heart.

I protested, “I’m sorry if you feel the negative impact of my ignorant choices. You’re right; it’s painful to me, knowing that even my negative thoughts will harm other beings, but I’m not quite perfect yet?”

He sat still and I could sense his calm, aware breathing as I began to witness my heart warming up, expanding out to the rest of the body, with the usual desired effects; the physical comfort, the tingling of the nerve endings, and the palpable expansion of my energy field, to fill the cave. At the same time, I became aware of his energy field expanding to embrace me. Our hearts had locked into one perfect cadence of harmonious being-ness. What a solace that was! I felt so totally loved and accepted, including all my failings. Then I felt another level of acceptance, so deep and profound that the ‘failings’ lifted and dissolved. I found myself in the radiant cloud of allbeing, witnessing the times of failing Mas: the intimate relationships that disintegrated due to selfish indulgence, the injuries I’d endured because of egotistical thrill-seeking—a whole catalogue of regrets. I had long ago forgiven myself for these unhappy episodes, but now, as I encountered the ‘me’ of those times, I was led to avoid regret and instead to bless each incident with ‘heart radiance’ energy, repeating the simple phrase, “allow grace, allow love.” Immediately, each incident was bathed in radiance, and disappeared. The karmic baggage just got lighter and lighter! Finally arriving in the present, I intuitively blessed the older Mas before me, consciously extending “allow grace, allow love.” In a flash it became clear that to really accept our lives, we must grace the whole continuum of me’s – past, present, and future – with the unconditional love that we can only offer in the now. That realisation was followed by a period of absolute bliss.

Gradually, I emerged from that timeless, spaceless zone. A soft inner voice began to speak. It was not the voice of Jwen, but of Elder Mas. “Thank you for sharing me in this extraordinary way. Now you know how to love your life.. the whole of it.” Strangely enough, at that point an old Simon and Garfunkel refrain came to mind: la da da de da da de da da da, feelin’ groovy! ‘Does groovy feel like this?’ I wondered. “Probably,” the voice shot back. We had one more good laugh.

When Mas opened his eyes, the figure in front of him had disappeared.

I, as Elder Mas, the identity writing this memoir, opened my eyes to the familiar ceiling of my old house in Upper Plenty, near Melbourne. It was early July, 1997. I was astounded. My energy body projection had finally been successful. The thought arose, ‘Thanks to Jwen’. Then I quickly closed my eyes again.

I could feel a sense of confusion arising in my younger self, since I had not been able to hold the visual projection. I gathered up my confidence and concentration. Surely, I could manage to project my voice into his consciousness. ‘The day is getting late. Soon you must return to your temple. Blessings on you Mas; you shall feel my grace and love each day.’ I could hear a faint reply ‘Thanks. Heartfelt thanks.’ However, a moment later I could sense panic arising in the heart of the lone figure in the cave. This time, his thoughts came through more loudly, ‘How will I ever be able to navigate my way back?’ Calmly, I spoke to him once again, echoing Jwen’s advice, ‘Just put one foot ahead of the other. Trust.’

By Mas Rogers

Mas Rogers passed away in Melbourne on 3/1/2011. His gentle nature will be remembered by all his friends and workshop participants and his contribution to the holistic niche is substantial.

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