Advaita, India, Buddhism,
'Ism's, Doings, and...
In A Nickel's Worth, in Master,
Swami, Nun, Sinner, Swinger, ONE, and in the novels The Shiva Paradox, and Vengeance,
Justice, Good Man, DIE, the spiritual message focused upon is that of Advaita, "non-dualism." Actually,
many sages and scholars hold that “Truth is Truth,
and if it is the Truth, then it’s the same for all of us, and every great teacher, every truly enlightened sage,
would have to at the most basic level, agree with all of the others.
“Don’t preach, but if you are asked,
Mark Sawyer lives by these words, which were given to him in India during one of his last visits to his primary Advaita
teacher, Ramesh Balsekar.
Mark came to Advaita after a strong upbringing in Christianity followed by years of studying and practicing aspects
of Zen and Shingon Buddhism during about fifteen years living in Japan and in Korea. He has taken the eight precepts
while practicing at Forest Tradition Temples in Thailand, and still lives by the five precepts. Since the 1980’s
he has been in India for extended periods. In India (and Nepal) he has visited the four main pilgrimage spots of Buddhism,
and has stayed for extended periods in the hills above Dharmasala in the current unofficial "capital" of the Tibetan
he heard much of Krishna (Vishnu), Shiva, and Brahma. He savored the spiritual energy of some of the Hindu holy places.
Among holy books, he was particularly attracted by aspects of the Bhagavad Gita.
Then came Advaita, where (to his mind, as
much as he’ll admit to having one) it all comes together. His first inspiration was Ramana Maharshi. He then learned
more through the live and written teachings of the sage of Mumbai, Ramesh Balsekar.
*******"Every true teacher I have met quotes from Jesus, Buddha, the Sufis,
great Hindu Masters and Texts, and from anyone else who has passed along words or teachings that can
help one to the Truth. Truth is Truth is Truth. In comparison, all of the isms and ologies based upon blindly recited and
retained dogma are excrement."
for whom the character
was named in The Shiva Paradox.
The picture above,
and other art on Mark's websites, is by
Totally unexpectedly, Mark Sawyer ended up living much of his life overseas.
Europe in the US Army was not a big surprise, but nine years in Japan, five Korea, and many in India and Thailand were not
planned until they happened.
Even more shocking was
that he spent years in Buddhism, as a meditator, a visitor to some of the great and hidden temples, and moved onto Advaita.
"My greatest blessing was becoming friends with some of the greatest non-dual masters on the planet, including Bob Nickel,
Robert Wolfe, Ramesh Balsekar, Swami Atmananda Udasin, and V. Ganesan.
Now Mark spends time each year encouraging people to travel to great temples, ashrams, and holy places (like the
sacred mountain Arunachala). He also invites special persons like Swami Atmananda Udasin and Thai Forest Tradition Theravada
nun Maechee Brigitte to teach and share in teh USA. There is much about all this at www.MarkSawyersWorld.com.
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
inspired Mark's parents to name him