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Not just the illumined wise ones but every single being in the interconnected world is a dweller in the boundless infinity of love. - Prajnaparamita
My name is Kevin Curnutt. I am nothing special. I am totally insignificant. I am but a tiny part of the whole.
This website is not about me, it is about the lessons I've learned over years of struggle, despair, peace, joy, and happiness. If you want to know how I came to be in the physical situation I am in, read A Day Which Changed My Life.
I've learned many priceless lessons over the years, lessons about life, about love, about peace, about happiness, about acceptance, about serenity, and about many other things. These I hope to share with you.
Much love and happiness,
Some of my favorite quotes:
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
"Love everyone, and tell the truth." - Maharaji
"There is no past, there is no future, there is only the now." - Buddhist saying
"I am what I am." - P. T. Sailorman
"My religion is to live--and die--without regret." - Milarepa, Tibetan poet
"There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." - Dostoevski
"When you forget all your dualistic ideas, everything becomes your teacher, and everything can be the object of worship." - Shunryu Suzuki
"We need to ask ourselves not what do we expect from life, but rather, what does life expect from us". - Viktor E. Frankl
"Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you." - Unknown
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." - Stephen Covey
"Become the change you seek." - Mahatma Gandhi
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." - Matthew 7:1
"Calmness of mind does not mean you should stop your activity. Real calmness should be found in activity itself." - Shunryu Suzuki
"Whiskey River don't run dry..." - Willie Nelson
"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." - Viktor E. Frankl
"But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you," - Matthew 5:44
"Our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and to inspire others to do so as well." - Stephen Covey
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Mark W. Muesse
What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula
The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Miracle Of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
Soul Sword by Vernon Kitabu Turner
The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita by Thomas Byrom
Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass
Miracle of Love by Ram Dass
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Ram Dass: Fierce Grace
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
Fort Worth Star-Telegram articles and videos about me:
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a series of three articles about me written by Tim Madigan. The articles have been combined and added to a collection of other articles by Mr. Madigan into a book called "A Life Among Humans," which is available at bookstores. It's also available for download from Amazon.com.
At the time of the publication of the articles, Jennifer Friedberg of the Star-Telegram created a video about my story as well. Here are links to the three parts on YouTube:
A Day Which Changed My Life
Several people have asked me about my somewhat unusual position and how I came to be where I am. If any of you are wondering, I thought I'd briefly explain the events of a certain day in my life:
January 25th, 1981
I was 13 years old, and my best friend, Trey Shelton, had spent Saturday night at my house. After attending church, we went over to Trey's house to spend Sunday afternoon together. It was Superbowl Sunday, in fact. Trey and I decided to ride dirtbikes before the game. One of the motorcycles was a large one that belonged to one of our friends, and the other one was smaller and belonged to Trey. Since Trey rode quite often he took the larger bike, and I, who hardly ever rode, took Trey's, the smaller one.
Trey and his family lived on several acres in south Arlington. There were pastures, barns, wooded areas, and dirt roads connecting the different areas of the property. It was a great place for a couple of kids to have fun riding around. We rode for a little while; I don't really remember how long. What I do remember was that it was a great day to ride. The air was cool, but pleasant.
Unbeknownst to the two of us, a neighbor of his, a guy named Richard Tiedemann (whom neither Trey nor I had ever met or had any dealings with), had apparently snapped, and was in his house drinking heavily and becoming more and more angry with us for making so much noise with the motorbikes.
He loaded his shotgun and came outside. One of the dirt roads on Trey's property ran adjacent to Tiedemann's property, so he stood behind a tree waiting for us to come up over a hill. Trey was in the lead, and when Trey came up over the rise, without any warning at all Tiedmann fired one blast into Trey. The spreading shotgun pellets hit Trey in the chest and head, killing him instantly.
I didn't hear any of this because the motorbikes were so loud. At least, I don't remember hearing or seeing anything. I then came up over the rise and even with Tiedemann. He fired once at me, hitting me with one of the shotgun pellets in the side of the head.
Tiedemann, apparently deciding his job was done, went back into his house, only a short distance away. Trey was lying in the road dead, and I was lying there not too far from my best friend, in convulsions and bleeding from a massive head wound, my life rapidly fading away with every beat of my heart.
Thankfully, there was a witness to all of this. A small neighbor child, playing in his front yard, saw all of this happen and immediately told his mother, who in turn called the police and paramedics. The police responded right away, and at the risk of their own lives they were able to interpose themselves between Tiedemann's house and where I was laying, enabling the paramedics to come in, stabilize me, and take me to the nearest hospital.
Meanwhile, while I was barely clinging to life, the Arlington Police Tactical Unit surrounded Tiedemann's house. They waited and tried to negotiate on that cold January afternoon, but to no avail. About 3 hours after he shot the two of us, Tiedemann came out onto his front porch and began shooting at the police. The police then shot and killed him.
Here I must say a little something about my feelings toward Tiedemann. Nearly everyone I tell this story to says "good, he's dead, he got what he deserved." Or something very similar. And at first I couldn't have agreed more. As time went by, though, I became more and more convinced that, although someone might be qualified to say who lives and who dies, it sure isn't me. I feel nothing but pity for the guy. To have so much hate and anger inside yourself must be horrible.
It was very doubtful whether I would survive, of course, but after numerous surgeries and three weeks in a coma I finally pulled through. Very much worse for the wear, I might add. I couldn't move a muscle, couldn't hold my head up, couldn't speak a word, could barely communicate at all. Very frustrating to be able to think but not be able to speak. Maddening, in fact.
However, over the coming months I learned to speak again. Mobility (other than cruising around in a wheelchair) eludes me, and I think forever will, but I have learned a great many things in the interim. Things about life, about love, about suffering and happiness, about pain and joy, and about what it means to be alive. Sure, it can be tough sometimes, but I've had an incredible opportunity for personal growth that few people ever get. Not many people can say that.
Much love and happiness,
Love is like a beam of light, shining in the darkness, illuminating those whom we love. Most people choose to see themselves as a flashlight, shining their love in one direction and then another, and at times turning their light off altogether. A few choose to see themselves as the sun, sending out love in all directions, at all times, never asking who, or why, or asking anything in return.
Much love and happiness,
The Wisdom Mind, the nature of Self, Meditation, and finding God within yourself
You, and I, and all of us, we were born with a mind pure and uncluttered, free from all extraneous thought and emotion. We were able to simply "be", resting in a mind that was free from worry and concern. A mind full of love and peace, which knew or cared nothing about yesterday or tomorrow, only about the now. That mind is the Wisdom Mind.
The Wisdom Mind is the place that is within all of us, the place which is the wellspring of love, and of peace. It's not only the place of love, it *is* love. Some people think of this as your "soul", your inner core, your heart, and it is, but it's that and much more.
We're all born with this Wisdom Mind. It's there within you. It will always be within you. You can see the Wisdom Mind, or "Original Mind," in children, who live in the moment, open and carefree, full of love and the joy of life.
But something happens after we're born and as we grow. In order to cope with the world around us, we start to build concepts and structures within ourselves that, while they help us deal with and make sense of the world, are totally at odds with the formless beauty that is the Wisdom Mind. These things we build create the "Ordinary Mind", which surrounds the Wisdom Mind. The Ordinary Mind contains all of our conscious thoughts and feelings, our knowledge, including our sense of "Self" (our name, personal history, where we went to school, whether we're a father, mother, brother, sister, etc, what we do for a living, our likes and dislikes, in short, everything we think of when we refer to ourselves).
We have been taught since childhood that this "Self" is who we are. In reality, this idea of "Self" is just an illusion. We cling to this idea of "Self" because we want to believe in something solid, something concrete. As people, we naturally want to build a framework of ideas and beliefs that we can hang our reality on. The Ordinary Mind wants to relate everything we see and feel in the world to a structure which makes us feel comfortable. Left to its own devices, the Ordinary Mind shies away from the formlessness of the Wisdom Mind. It becomes fearful of losing itself in the vast expanse, the "emptiness", which is love itself.
The reality, the truth, is that this structure, this framework, is not natural; it is of our own creation, and it covers the true reality, that of the Wisdom Mind. The Wisdom Mind is where we began when we were born, and it is where we will end when we die. It is our home now and always. It is the priceless gift we're all given at birth.
Our job, our one true goal in life, should be, must be, to uncover our Wisdom Mind. Only by opening this door can we end the delusion of Self and find true happiness, the peace and happiness inside of yourself which doesn't depend on any external person or thing.
How do we open the door to this place of beauty, where we're surrounded by peace and love? We do this by quieting our mind through silent contemplation and meditation. The purpose of meditation is to clear our mind of all thoughts. Left unchecked, these thoughts chase each other around in our minds. By stilling these thoughts, our minds have the ability to simply remain in stillness.
By quieting our mind, the thoughts, concerns, worries, and ideas of our Ordinary Mind are dissolved, revealing our Wisdom Mind. As the thoughts of the Ordinary Mind dissolve, the clouds of uncertainty dissipate and the sky clears, allowing our Wisdom Mind to shine forth.
It has been said that while praying is like talking, meditation is like listening. For most of us in the West, meditation is a new concept. We're used to praying. But rather than asking for something in prayer, we need to learn to let go of our selfish ideas and just listen. Really listen. Quiet our minds and listen to the beautiful song of the universe.
Only by quieting the thoughts of our Ordinary Mind can we unveil the vast power that is our Wisdom Mind. The Ordinary Mind is like a curtain which is covering our Wisdom Mind. By quieting our thoughts, the curtain is drawn back and our Wisdom Mind is revealed. From that source a bright light shines forth, a light full of love and understanding, of peace and serenity.
That light is the center of your being, the core of human consciousness. That light is within you right now. It is not something new which you need to seek for, because you already have it. All that you need is inside of you. All the components to create, grow, and nurture the perfect, loving soul are within you already. Like a seed it lies in the soil, ready to blossom given the correct tending. It does require tending, though, through contemplation, understanding, meditation, good thoughts, and good deeds.
To be awakened to the nature of the Wisdom Mind is to be awakened to the nature of God. The Wisdom Mind, once revealed, is the source of all divinity. This is what The Great Teacher, Jesus, taught: God is within us. We have only to see it. Not an anthropomorphic God, but a God without form or shape, a God which does not love but *is* love. It is often said by those who anthropomorphize God that Man was created in God's image, but the reality is that the Universe created Man, and then Man created God in his own image. Man was groping for answers, trying to know the unknowable, imagine the unimaginable, and fathom the unfathomable.
But, for the most part, aside from a few, people were caught up in the thought of God as something outside of themselves. If one quiets one's mind of all thoughts and delusions of Self, however, the truth becomes apparent: What is inside of me, beyond Self, is God. It is not that I am God, or you are God; it is that we have God *inside* of us. It is there inside each of us. For all too many of us, it is buried deep down, but for the blessed few, it has risen to the surface.
It is up to you to find this within yourselves. It will be the most worthwhile journey of your life.
Much love and happiness,