“Creativity leads us to evolve, while curiosity takes us to freedom.” Kai-Lin Yang
Here is how Kai-Lin describes his own journey:
“I was born in Taiwan. Like most people, when I was young, I had to deal with many challenges and forms of personal suffering. My pain was around abandonment, rejection, shyness, educational violence, societal criticism and suppression, bullying, discrimination, depression, death anxiety, and meaninglessness. After enduring a few crisis experiences at an early age, my interest in understanding human suffering was evoked. The more seriously I looked into my own suffering, the more I realized that the only way to understand it is to learn about human inner experience. I began to study Buddhism, Taoism, J. Krishinamurti’s philosophies, Ken Wilber’s transpersonal and integral theories, and other writings in philosophy and psychology.
As my understanding about inner experience grew, I could not allow myself to continue to live a life without personal meaning. I decided to let go of a steady career and take on a new adventure to the United States. The new venture offered me precious opportunities to fully engage the study of inner experience. Through the study of personal growth, psychology, and spiritual practices, I determined to become a helping professional, was certified as a life coach, and then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Integral Counselling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco.
At this, my personal journey entered into the study of consciousness and transformation, psychological issues and healing, the human condition, and existential and Eastern philosophies. I discovered that depth psychotherapy (an approach that encompasses Transpersonal and Gestalt psychology and Hakomi therapy, among other approaches) reflects on significant spiritual practices (Buddhism, Taoism, and Integral Yoga) and is very effective in transforming consciousness, and in mobilizing energy in the psyche and in the body. Depth psychotherapy facilitates real change and allows conscious learning to flow. In other words, the learning process that happens on the intellectual level is too limited and could hardly release one from pain rooted in one’s personal Shadow. Only when real personal transformation takes place can one begin to experience inner freedom.
In my study and inner process over the years, everything I have studied points in an obvious direction: towards spirituality. When it comes to spirituality, everything naturally falls into the right place. The more I experienced the depth of spirituality, the more clearly I could see the issues residing in different levels and states of consciousness. Allowing spiritual practice to be the most significant part of my journey, I came to understand life in a more direct, honest, and human way. I began to see that all my experiences were equally valuable to my learning and growth, including both its darker side (pain, struggles, frustration, confusion, and sometimes a sense of being lost) as well as brighter aspects (ego maturation, heart opening, expansion of consciousness, and other positive spiritual experiences).
In the areas of personal growth and spiritual development, my learning has been grounded in an ever-deepening understanding of Buddhism and Taoism, attained through a close study of writings by a wide range of authors, including the Dalai Lama, Bryan Katie, Ken Wilber, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chödrön, Reggie Ray, Genpo Roshi, and J. Krishinamurti. The most important teachers for me are Professor Lu Grey (my mentor at CIIS), the Classical Asian philosophers (most notably Buddha, Laozi, and Zhuangzi), the Vietnamese buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and above all the American spiritual teacher Adyashanti.
In September 2013, my first awakening experience emerged: for the first time, I profoundly perceived a vastly expanded reality. A sense of Truth was complete and ever-present, all the time, no matter what. The self who had this awakening experience became everything he saw, and at the same time, did not really exist as a self. Through this awakening, I came to realize in a direct way that my ego has nothing to do with with who I really am, on a fundamental level. My self-identity shifted. My ego couldn’t attach itself to me in the old way anymore. This awakening experience lasted for two months and took me into a deeper journey.”