In 1998 a Vietnam veteran named Bob arrived with his partner at Earthsong. Bob had killed many people during the war and, like many veterans dealing with PTSD, Bob had spent more than twenty years in extreme states, unable to function without drugs and alcohol. Bob arrived at Earthsong identified as a murderer and re-emerged into life as a bodhisattva of compassion. His transformation stunned many people. In gratitude, Bob returned to Earthsong two years later to offer his skills in carpentry.
As a gift of thanks, Bob’s partner donated this statue of Buddha to the land. He is referred to as “Buddha Bob” and now resides beneath a bodhi tree at Kipukamaluhia.
What makes a method (or non method) Buddhist is the fact that it promotes the final awakening that Buddha experienced – the awakening into the nature of consciousness as pure and unstructured. When we understand Buddhism in this way, two things become apparent. First, “Buddhism” exists outside of Buddhism, since many people have realized their real nature having never heard about the Buddha or Buddhism. Second – many of the teachings, methods, interactions and institutions that are called Buddhist are not Buddhist, because they don’t awaken people to their ultimate, unconditioned nature. Instead, they condition people’s experience or leave them with a set of beliefs.