Zen Tapes

Rapid Mental Development

Zen Tapes - Rapid Mental Development

(Zazen music plays in the background.)

Hi there! Zen Master Rama here. Today we're discussing rapid mental development - how to gain the most from your time, life, and mind; how to have an alert poised mind, a happy mind, a relaxed and balanced mind; how to have more fun with your mind and be more successful at work, in school and in meditation, in all places, in all phases of being.

The experience of eternity - each time you dip into the well of existence, it changes you.

In the background is Zazen from their new "Urban Destruction" album. For the next 40 minutes or so, let's consider the mind, the ultimate battleground, where all things are real and unreal simultaneously. Going and coming are the same.

Eternity is your friend. It is, of course.

(Zazen music ends.)

What do I mean by rapid mental development? Well, rapid mental development is the escalation of consciousness. Mental development is not really IQ, per se. IQ is based upon a series of tests that are given to a person, really not to evaluate their intelligence but their ability to learn certain socially endorsed skills - reading, writing, grammar and so on. Intelligence is not limited to one's ability to function in a predefined world, in my opinion. Plants are very intelligent; I don't think they'd do very well on an IQ test. So are porpoises.

Intelligence is something that's not just thinking, it's feeling. Ultimately, in my opinion, the highest reflection of intelligence is intelligent life, cooperative life in which all benefit. A life, a planet, a society that destroys its own environment that supports it, I would not consider to be intelligent life. It's like the cancer that ultimately kills itself by destroying the host it feeds on. Symbiosis is certainly a much higher reflection of intelligent life.

So when I speak about rapid mental development, I'm not simply talking about one's ability to score higher on an IQ test. That may or may not be part and parcel of rapid mental development. Rather I'm discussing your ability to become more aware, more intelligent - but not as intelligence is measured or defined by a scholastic system or a society.

As a former university professor, I am well aware of the measurement of intelligence used by our society and our school systems. I think it's a good system in its own way, but it certainly does not reflect all points of view. It's limited. We live in the dark ages - still. Because again, if an intelligent society can destroy itself in large numbers and if an intelligent society places the largest amount of its revenues into instruments of destruction, it's certainly not an evolved society or an intelligent society. It may be working toward that, and if it survives it might get there, or it may be like the cancer that destroys itself by destroying the thing that it thrives on.

Naturally, there's reincarnation - otherwise life would be pretty dull. Part of rapid mental development is to understand reincarnation, to experience it, to see beyond this lifetime and the patterns of this lifetime. Actually, all of the patterns in this lifetime are resulting from patterns in other lifetimes. And the patterns that you're setting up now, in this lifetime, as you interact with past patterns and create new patterns, will ultimately affect you in your lifetimes to come.

One lifetime is not all there is. Enlightened people know this because they can see beyond the doorway of death. As you meditate and develop your mind through the practice of Zen and other forms of meditation, you will discover, pleasantly, that you too can see beyond this life, that you can see your eternality.

We are made up of light. We are made up of intelligence, light, or whatever we wish to call the basic structural unit of existence, which is intelligence itself. Rapid mental development simply means becoming more conscious of the intelligence that you already possess. Again, not intelligence simply as it's measured on a standardized IQ test, but the intelligence of being.

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.