Nondual Ramp Up – Kenny Johnson
I can remember longing for something to inspire or motivate me to endure one more day, week, month and year, even decade. Yes, there was a point in my campaign of rage, where it came down to searching for some sort of wisdom or knowledge that would provide me the strength to endure ten longs years or more. That is when meditation and contemplation on all sorts of secular and scriptural material, was the key to survival.
It was during these solitary moments in prison where I would read about people who were transformed. Malcolm X to Muktananda are some examples. Then in my deepest despair, Norman Vincent Peale would pay a visit in the form of “The Power of Positive Thinking.” ~Kenny
*Please enjoy this short excerpt from his forthcoming book of inspiration entitled “The Last Hustle” [Nonduality Press].
Free At Last
. . . For many weeks thereafter, day in and day out, I sat in the dark solitude of my little microfiche workroom in the prison. My boss got used to it. I’d make some excuse, say I was searching for parts, and then I’d just sit in the dark, reveling in the love and the bliss that continued to reveal itself inside me.
Whenever I asked myself, Who am I? and I looked deeply within, I honestly could find no one there. “Kenny” appeared to be just a thought in my mind, not the actual truth of who I was. And yet, there I could see myself, this body, this man I knew as Kenny Dale, sitting in the microfiche room, but I no longer seemed to be who I’d always thought I was. This new Kenny was joy. He was love. No longer did I have the usual limiting thoughts running around in my mind, labeling this “good” and that “bad,” this “right” and that “wrong.” There were no judgments of any kind, only an empty mind, resting in pure awareness, an awareness that was aware of nothing but itself. There was no need to think about anything, and that was the greatest gift of all. The old Kenny had ceased to exist. An all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving power had taken over my mind and set up residence in my heart. I was free.
As I did what little work I had to do in my darkroom, every simple act of doing something was just that—”doing.” My actions left no tracks in the mind, like someone walking down a beach and leaving no footprints in the sand. I could feel my humanness and at the same time this divine power coursing through my body, but I couldn’t find any separation between myself and what I could only call the Divine. That force knew what to do when and why. I didn’t need to know. I didn’t even have to think about it. It knew what was best for me. It knew what was best for all beings, everywhere. I decided to trust it. I let go into it. I let it have all of me.
I had thought that this kind of grace would arrive at my death, or at very best through my going to church. In my imagination I had always seen myself struck by grace in the middle of a preacher’s fiery sermon. I had envisioned grace blasting my sinful heart open, then walking up to take the altar call and give myself to the Church. I had even tried that strategy a few times at my family’s insistence, on the rare occasions when I’d found myself home from prison. I would sit there in my pew, waiting on the Lord to descend upon me, and nothing would happen. Eventually I’d walk out of the church the same sinner I’d walked in.
Now, here I was locked up in a place with a lot of pissed off men of every race, each one actively sinning, yet grace had somehow made its meandering trek through the mine-fields of my skepticism and into my waiting heart. Grace knew I was ready to receive this amazing gift of freedom, something I could have never known.
To this day my heart spills over with gratitude for this unexpected and incomprehensible gift.
*Finally, some laughter in nonduality! Thank you Kenny, we love you.
For more information about Kenny Johnson’s work, please visit: