“You are addicted to yourself,” the Buddhist monk told me. “You spend too much time in the hell realm,” the Buddhist monk told me. “In order to get a different perspective you need to chop off your head for a while,” the Buddhist monk told me. “There is no separation, but you see separation everywhere. Zen is about seeing the unity and oneness in everything. There is no separation. This cup that I hold in my hand. There is no me and this cup. This cup and I are not separate. As long as you see a separation between you and the cup you will suffer like all separate individuals suffer,” the Buddhist monk told me. “If there is no separation between the cup and I then there is no separation between my self and anything. You can not be one with the cup and separate from the flower on the table. In order for you to be one with the cup you have to be one with everything. Do you see? For there to be unity there must be unity with everything. Then suffering ceases,” the Buddhist monk told me. “You are separate from everything because you are addicted to the self. When we are addicted to the self we take on certain behaviors or distractions to deal with the suffering which is a direct result of being addicted to the self. For you strip clubs, sex, alcohol, books, records- these are all behaviors and distractions that you have become addicted to in order to better deal with the perpetual anxiety and misery that is a result of being addicted to the self,” the Buddhist monk told me. “Who is the self? Who is this self that must write stories or read books? Who is this self which gets so angry about various things? You must try to find yourself to realize that yourself is not really there. It is an illusion that you are addicted to and this is why it creates so much suffering. There is something beyond yourself. It is this something which you need to find if you want to eradicate suffering and find more rest in your life,” the Buddhist monk told me. “Keep returning your attention to the breath. Continually return to the present moment. Come out of your addiction to the self. Return to this place of just being present with your breath. Keep doing it over and over again. This is where you will begin to discover this something else. You will not discover this something else with your intellect. That is more addiction to the self. You need to cut off your head for a while in order to discover this something else. It is this something else which will free you from your addiction to yourself,” the Buddhist monk told me.