Dear Mindfulness Enthusiast -
Here's a Zen story that you might have heard before:
One day, two monks were sitting outside, and they were watching a flag blowing in the breeze.
And they began to argue about what exactly was moving.
One argued that the flag is what is moving. "It's obvious. The flag is waving," he said
The other disagreed. "Well, the flag is only moving because the wind is moving. If there were no wind, the flag would just hang there. So it's obvious, the wind is what's moving, not the flag."
During this argument, another monk who was also a Zen master passed by. They decided to ask him to settle the problem for them.
They told him the problem, and each explained why he thought whether the wind or flag was moving. So they asked him, which one was correct?
The master said, "Not the wind, not the flag; the mind is moving."
There are hundreds of Zen stories, but to me, that one story - once you understand the symbolism and decipher the hidden meaning - really explains everything you need to know about the human condition and about the big questions in life.
Have you ever asked yourself these big questions?
Questions like - why are we born? Why do we live? Why do we die?
Why is there suffering in the world? Why are so many people unhappy? Why can't people get along? Why is there so much anger, frustration, and sadness in the world? And with unhappiness and suffering all around us, how can we live joyous, fulfilled, peaceful lives? How do we reach our full potential, and living meaningfully? And how can we be truly happy?
If you've asked yourself these questions ...
If you've searched for answers for yourself ...
If you want a better life for yourself and for those around you ...
If you want to live to your full potential ...
... then this one Zen story can help.
The story doesn't actually have the answers to these questions. But the story points the way to help you find the answers that are unique to YOU.
My name is Al J. Simon.
I'm a Mindfulness Specialist, Zen Sherpa, Chi Master, author, and teacher. I have been involved in meditation, mindfulness, and chi life energy for over thirty years.
I'm the author of eleven books on mindfulness and applied Zen. My books include "Mindfulness Breakthroughs", "Point Your Mind", and "To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water". My latest book is "Mindful Solutions: How to Spot and Calm Twenty-One Common Mindfulness Traps to Bring More Happiness, Love, Joy, and Success Into Your Life".
I'm also the creator of the Mindful Masters monthly newsletter. This is a private newsletter (by invitation only) for experienced mindfulness students. It explore the advanced techniques and practices of applied mindfulness.
In the field of Chi Life Energy, I have been inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame three times, including as a Master and as a Founder, for his innovations to Tai Chi and Qigong. I have been featured on both "Living Energy Secrets" and on "Secrets of the Qigong Masters". My articles have been in numerous magazines, including Natural Health Newsletter, The Empty Vessel, and Qi Journal.
I'm also a member of Mensa, the high I.Q. society.
I have (at last count) 5,257 chi and mindfulness students worldwide.
I began studying Taoism, Zen, and Zen meditation in 1982. Besides these Eastern paths, I also spent the better part of the decade between 2000 and 2010 exploring Western esoteric, motivational, and mindfulness approaches.
I have been an avid student and teacher of Zen-based mindfulness. While my teaching draws heavily from Zen, I've synthesized all that I've learned from both Eastern and Western mindfulness paths into a practical approach I call Three Monk Mindfulness.
Although I've publicly taught Tai Chi since 1994, I had only taught Three Monk Mindfulness privately, either in one-on-one sessions or to small groups of under 10 people.
That is, up until 2012.
In 2012, I invited 115 students to join me for the FIRST EVER public teaching of this "underground" mindfulness method.
These students got to "look over my shoulder" as I created, practically right in front of their eyes, the first ever written version of the Three Monk Mindfulness training.
Once or twice each week, for a seven month period, I emailed these students a new lesson, immediately after it was written. They read all 51 lessons as they were created. They were able to try out all the exercises and practices, and see immediate improvements in their happiness, well-being, and mindfulness. And most importantly, they got to provide feedback and comments as we went along, to make sure the course WORKED as it was written.
Through this process, we were able to create the DEFINITIVE version of the Three Monk course
Or what I thought was the definitive course.
Because this year, we've made the course even BETTER.
The original 51 lessons of the course have been collected onto a private membership website that now includes DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO. Many people have told me how much they like to learn by listening. Especially today with the smart phones many of us carry, it's easy to pop in our ear buds and listen to audio. So this new online version of the course will have BOTH written text plus audio. You can listen to the course, or you can read the text, or you can do both – whichever way you learn best.
The Three Monks story, the same one I told you above, forms the basis of this 51 lesson course.
As we expand the story, you'll discover the symbolism and hidden meanings behind the Three Monk story - how each monk symbolizes a part of ourselves, and how those parts work together, or work against each other, in our lives.
To create your NEW mindful, meaningful life, I'm NOT going to ask you to quit your job, leave your family, renounce your friends, or give away all of your possessions.
I'm NOT going to ask you to run off to a monastery in order to do some Zen.
And I'm NOT going to ask you to sit in lotus position and start meditating for hours a day.
And I'm NOT going to ask you to totally re-arrange your life to bring Zen into it.
Instead, the Three Monk Mindfulness approach uses a combination of:
You can also think of this as a "meditation-lite" approach to Zen. Since the word "Zen" literally means "meditation", I know that may seem like a contradiction in terms. But in this course, we'll be focusing on insight practices and chi energy work rather than meditation.
While this course is a great companion to any meditation practice you might do, meditation is NOT required to follow it.
Interestingly, we've had a wide variety of people take this course. We've had newbie beginners, who have never meditated or heard the word "Zen" before this course. We've had experienced meditators, who have a firm grounding in Eastern mindfulness. And we've even had several ordained Zen priests with years of study and Zen meditation take this course.
You can also think of this course as "Zen for ordinary people" or "Zen for busy people." It's for those of us who can't spend hours a day meditating or totally re-arrange our lives to practice Zen, but still want to reach their full potential with greater awareness, mindfulness, joy, and love.
Three Monk Mindfulness Part 1:
Three Monk Mindfulness Part 2:
Three Monk Mindfulness Part 3:
Your NEW Three Monk Mindfulness course will be delivered to you with AUDIO and WRITTEN TRANSCRIPTS on our brand new membership website.
In addition, some of the course lessons include PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS or a few VIDEOS. Those are included on the site, with the links embedded right into the lessons.
When you register, you'll create your own username and password and get immediate access to the website.
Then each week, until the end of the course, we'll add two or three lessons from the course to your member's area on the site.
Now, you do NOT have to "log in" at a specific time, or show up online on certain days. We'll put a new lesson on your site every couple of days, and it will stay there permanently, ready whenever you log in.
In this course, there are no time limits, no deadlines, no assignments you have to turn in on time - nothing like that! You can listen to the audios or read the transcripts any time you want.
There are also a few videos in the course, but the primary learning methods are AUDIO and WRITTEN TRANSCRIPTS. So you can listen to the audios, OR read the written text, OR do both at the same time, OR do one after the other - anyway you learn best.
These lesson go into MUCH MORE DEPTH on these "applied mindfulness" than any other course of its kind. When all is said and done, you'll have over 50 lessons on our complete approach to mindfulness.
But don't let that intimidate you.
The basic format of the course is "bite-sized" lessons that focus on a particular topic. Because the lessons are short, and you are getting only two or three a week, they will be easy to learn and follow.
I'm NOT going to ask you to quit your job, leave your family, renounce your friends, give away all of your possessions, and run off to a monastery in order to do some Zen. And I'm NOT going to ask you to sit in lotus position and start meditating for hours a day. And I'm NOT going to ask you to totally re-arrange your life to bring Zen into it.
But I am going to ask you to start on this path with an open mind and open heart. I'm going to ask you to have the courage to start on the path and look for answers, WHEREVER you may find them!
Of course, it's helpful to have guides on the search. Like the sherpas who guide mountaineers climbing to the peaks of Everest, it's helpful to have someone who knows the territory.
When it comes to Zen and mindfulness, I'm not a guru. I'm more like a sherpa.
Most mindfulness "gurus" find a path up the mountain, and then start presenting it as if it's the ONLY path or at least the ONLY TRUE path.
Of course, there are many paths up the mountain. I'm nobody special. I'm just a guy who has found one of the paths. I've found one that I like and that worked for me, and has worked for the people I've taught it to.
And now, I'm teaching this underground method to mindfulness openly for the first time. So if you'd like to try this path yourself, here's your chance to join me in an expedition up the mountain.
Sometimes people ask me, "What if I try this course, but then I find out I don't like it?"
My answer: "Then I've done my job!"
Seriously, this isn't about "liking" what we're going to do. This is a course about experiencing mindfulness, finding your True Self, and becoming who you are. Sometimes that's pleasant and enjoyable. Sometimes it isn't
Think of those people I mentioned above who climb Mt. Everest with their sherpas.
They aren't staying in five-star hotels on the way up. They are staying in tents in the freezing cold!
Because for them, it's about the challenge. It's about the accomplishment.
Think of this course as your "personal Everest". I'm not going to try to make you "comfortable" or make you "feel OK" or cater to every little whim you have on the way up. I'm going to challenge you. I will challenge your perceptions of yourself and the world around you.
Zen isn't always pleasant. Mindfulness work can be difficult at times.
The irony of course is that if you work your way through this short-term discomfort, you may just find the long term comfort of joy, happiness, love, and success.
Then again you may not. There are no guarantees here. This is about becoming who you are, and at this point, you may have NO IDEA what you are really like when we strip away all the layers and reveal to you your True Self.
So as a practical matter, there are no refunds or money-back guarantees for this course. All sales are final. I've done this on purpose. You have to be "all in" on this. You CANNOT develop mindfulness if you are just a "dabbler" who signs up for things but never follows through.
I've had people tell me that they would be willing to try the course if I offered a guarantee.
To be blunt, I don't want these people in this course. This course is precious to me. Of all the courses I teach, it's the one closest to my heart. So I want to sell it to people who will treat it with the same respect I do. I want to sell it to "doers" not to "tryers".
I know from experience that when I offer my other courses with a guarantee, I actually sell more. But I'd rather sell LESS of this course than sell it to the wrong people.
So here's the deal:
The Three Monk Mindfulness course if you order TODAY is just 6 monthly payments of $69.
With your first payment, you'll get instant access to the member's area of our website, plus the first week of lessons. Then each week, we'll add two or three new lessons to your member's area.
Over the next six months, you'll receive all 51 lessons. The lessons contain DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO that you can listen to on your PC, Mac, notebook computer, tablet, or smart phone. You'll also get WRITTEN ONLINE TRANSCRIPTS for each lesson that you can look at online or print. They will contain all the discussion, insight practices, and chi exercises that are part of the entire Three Monks Course. Plus, in some lessons, you will get printable worksheets for the course, plus a few videos so you that you have everything you need to start learning the right way.
With your first payment, you'll be ready to get started immediately on finding your True Self and getting the mindfulness (and the life) you really want.
So bottom line: you have to be willing to take a chance on yourself. You have to be willing to take a leap of faith to try to make your life better, especially if you want to follow the mindfulness path. If you are ready to take that leap, this course is here for you.
NOTE: There are no refunds, trials, or grace periods for this course.
All sales are final.
Yes, you can really practice Zen mindfulness WITHOUT hours of meditation and without the "cultural" trappings that go with it. Please join me for the DEFINITIVE version of Three Monk Mindfulness, and just watch your happiness, success, understanding, and love grow!
Wishing you the best for your own mindfulness,
Al J. Simon,
Mindfulness Specialist, Chi Master
Zen Sherpa, Teacher, Author
I have had some concepts like these rattling around in my head for some time, but could not easily explain the ideas. I have enjoyed seeing these concepts focused and actually intelligently put into words.
Now I can feel like someone who can be committed (to mindfulness) and not someone who should be committed (to a mental institution).
I had an "unofficial" psychology major in college (no one told me I had actually accumulated the credits in addition to my biology major) and have been amazed at the correlation (and sometimes different vantage points) to the older psychology concepts (specifically id and ego).
This is definitely an ongoing process, and one that I am looking forward to continuing. Thank you for taking the time to put this course together and sharing it with us.
- Katherine Cross, 41, Willow Grove, PA, USA
I have seen many benefits and changes in my life for the better. At this point the change I have seen most is my relationship with my wife!
My wife and I have been married for 25 years and dated for 13 years before that. We have had our ups and downs over the years and gotten along fairly well for the most part, but there has always been this constant bickering.
Now instead of going on the defense with a programmed response (and raising my voice), I calm it and respond more cordially. At first she didn't know how to act with me by not arguing back! Now those little arguments hardly ever occur.
Al, I have been blessed to find you. I guess I was in the right place at the time for the Mindfulness course. I have learned so much from you and still learning!
- Kenny Robertson, 58, Austin, TX, USA
Well Al, it has been really great, there are so many things to like. I loved receiving each lesson and the order that you sent them was great, it was just like stepping from one stone to the next.
I admire your courage and honesty, to be guiding us whilst still able to explore and share this exploration of yourself is really awesome. This encourages me to explore my own programming in order to be the best that I can be. I loved the way that you focus on the true self and encourage us to look inward.
It was Carl Jung that said "He who looks outside dreams. He who looks within awakens."
Thank you so much for your skill, guidance, patience and courage. Significantly improved my ability to remain calm under pressure and to see the way forward. I am less frustrated with others and am developing my ability to understand how to guide others as a mind coach.
- Clive Bowers, 57, Mallorca, Spain
Your mindfulness course is real wisdom and not pure abstract theory. Reflecting on your own personal experiences creates burning immediacy.
I liked the clarity and lucidity of the presentation. You expressed your thoughts in a straight-forward and direct manner. I appreciated your sense of humour. Occasionally you were eloquent and always open and forthright. You have a great ability to express complex thoughts succinctly and without rambling or pretention.
I stop and think about my emotions and identify my programming more often. I have been able to calm myself more often and expect to continue to do so. I have become more aware of what's in my head. I am more focused. I am inspired to stay present.
- Carol Schiffleger, 75, Whangarei, New Zealand
The best [part of this course] was your style and openness presenting the course. It has shown me I have a hard time keeping my beginners mind! I have studied meditation and meditated most of my life.
The benefits that it gave me a better understanding of the conditioned self and hopefully has changed some of that conditioning. But as life is a work in progress I will continue to work on changing for better of self and others that I inter act with.
Of the many courses and books on this subject, I must put yours at the top of my list.
- John Pearce, 60, Sunnyside, Washington, USA
I had the sense that I was hearing from a very human (though talented) guy who was wrestling the thoughts out of himself, really trying to marshal the wisdom of his 35 years of 'seeking'. (Even the mistakes were good!)
Also I liked the fact that you didn't shy away from complexity. Lots of 'spiritual' type people are desperate for simple answers, (which sometimes I call 'Guru Farts'!). They will often confuse 'thinking' with 'over complicating' things.
Though simplicity and 'poetic' type wisdom is desirable, life is sometimes complicated, and requires complex, painstaking answers, even if the end result is a simplified life. You are willing to go there with us. That's good!
- Steve Rouse, 54, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK
I liked the fact that you had a set of premises that you repeated throughout the course so that a person does not lose his/her way.
I have been able to see how I have been influenced over the years.
Overall, this course is a valuable course to bring mindfulness from mystical abstraction into a manageable, actionable program.
- Steve Condry, 70, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
I really liked the way the information was delivered. It was concise and clear, and there were many examples included from real life. Also, the Zen stories were wonderful, because there was always a message, but it took much thought to see the connection to the lesson.
It has changed some of my automatic reactions and ways of thinking. I tended before to become offended by things that others said and did. Now I realized this was just my programming that I learned in childhood.
Now I am much more open, forgiving, understanding, tolerant, etc, towards others. This is a great gift!
Another thing is I have a strong motivation to work toward becoming my True Self, and letting my True Self lead my actions. I am still working on the latter half of the course, so I have much still to learn. I am thrilled that I can continue to work on this course and come to a better understanding of the concepts, and I don't have to try to do it all at once.
I know it has already made me a better person, and that is going to continue.
- Diane Parenti, 64, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
The clarity and the continuity of the course which makes it easy to understand and apply. It has strengthen my believe that the peace of mind and happiness comes from ourselves and not from the others.
- Marin Chintoan-Uta, 52, Cascais, Portugal
[I liked the] relevant information and life examples provided on a variety of topics related to Zen that can be applied to your personal life. More awareness of self in the of why one acts the way they do (especially in relation to emotions and feelings). Simple yet profound exercises one can perform.
- Robert A., 43, New South Wales, Australia
[I liked] the challenge to think differently about things. I especially liked looking at both sides of a situation - but have to admit I need to spend a bit more time on the "Becoming one of them" lesson as well as a few others.
I have tried to fit this course into my daily routine. Mental Clarity exercises and Dispersal Qigong have helped me relax and think more clearly especially when tense. I do that every morning and I have noticed a difference in my focus while doing other Qigong forms.
Asking why has exposed the tip of the iceberg on some areas I need to really dig into, but now have a way of getting at more of it. Before I didn't have the tools.
- Doug Thomson, 55, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
I want to thank you for this wonderful course. I could see the hard work and dedication you put into each lesson. You took a very difficult subject and made it "Do-able". Difficult situations are less insurmountable with the tools that I am learning.
- Gale Clark, 49, Grand Haven, Michigan, USA
[I liked the] mix of old zen stories with 21st century practical examples we can use in daily life.
- Adam S., 54, London, England