Writer, traveler, Monk and Teacher of Rinzai Zen tradition of Buddhism, Leonardo Anfolsi has played his role as a spiritual friend and therapist for more than thirty years.
He is loved for his cheerfulness, his going straight to the point, his erudition and availability, but also for his understanding of the soul of every being.
"Each of you is my old friend"
A Master of the West can teach you from where you are; can teach you something that is real. In Buddhism, tradition is a support. In the West, it has been a wrapper for two millennia, but in fact, tradition can be only the awakened light of your eye.
In this freedom you are called to embody the Masters of all time. You are the umanation of this universe. In this freedom there is no need to believe or to speculate, you just see and see again. Practicing meditation serves this purpose. This view is freedom of thought, the true heart and the true root of our civilization of the West.
Franco Battiato has published a book of Leonardo Anfolsi in 1987. His name was the only Italian in the precious collection, L'Octave, personally supervised by Franco Battiato who collected fourteen titles. The book by Leo Anfolsi "Bananananda" is the ninth in the series along with texts by Gurdjieff, Soseki, Al Qadir Jilani. Battiato himself writes: "Rarely we approach a writing so bright and crisp, destined to become the substance of things and words, like authentic food. The tone is ironic and cheeky, oracular and concrete, sharp and sweet. This book is a revelation. "
He has published various books that relate to spirituality and philosophy. One of these bears the preface of a teacher known worldwide, the scholar and Tibetan Lama Namkhai Norbu, who has long taught him the methods of Dzogchen.
Leonardo was born in 1959 in Bologna.
Like any child he loved to explore, run and jump but sometimes he posed terrible existential questions to adults who answered with great seriousness. The question was typically, "Why are you running so much if you just die?" He seriously questioned life and death and was not impressed by what adults were telling him.
One day, he wanted to understand what is felt beyond the senses, so he covered his ears, closed his eyes and tried to see something but he could not find anything about what adults told at church.
He found a dancing light. He later called the experience "the fountain of lights". For this reason, as an adult, he continues his experiments and his research in the field of mind and consciousness.
As a child, a playmate said: "Maybe we're all dreaming." He felt an absence of weight of the body and his breath disappeared.
As he was thinking of the question from the boy... "But my parents have never told me!"
The boy told him point blank "Perhaps they are dreaming."
From that day often, at sunset, he felt that impression and slipped into a state of oceanic joy where everything is included.
At the age of seventeen, he opened a book by Alan Watts and discovered that this experience was already known. So it was that then that he met Zen, and for more than a week, could not contain the joy of that discovery which annoyed all his friends.
At age eighteen, he crossed the threshold of the monastery of Zenshinji and has since been studying and practicing with Master Engaku Taino.
He spent long retreats alternating practice with travel, climbing, pilgrimages, and crafts of all kinds.
He is now a researcher in healthcare, and therapeutic use of plants, metals and minerals. Because of this, he has quickly gained notoriety and credit for his healing abilities by working with physicians and health professionals. In 1983, he was chosen as director of the therapy center of the larger and well-known naturist institution of Europe, the "Naturist Association Bolognese".
Leonardo Anfolsi is a contemporary Buddhist meditation teacher of the Rinzai Zen tradition according to the lineage of the teachers Yamada Mumon and Engaku Taino. He was ordained in April 1981, at the age of twenty-two years after four years of practice, as "Reiyo". He is still a minister of worship of the same tradition.
Travelling, exploring spirituality and global civilization, he received education or training from teachers of all ethnicities including the Dalai Lama, leader of Tibetans in exile, Adam Fortunate Eagle of Lakota Sioux, Baba Balnath from India, Douglas Harding of England. The Lama Gomo Tulku, a seer much respected by Tibetan Buddhists of all schools, recognized him as an accomplished Master of the past.
His friendship with Corallo Reginelli and other followers of the Neo-Platonic philosophical tradition marked his education in the thought of the West. Corallo Reginelli, ninety-three years old, wrote to him: "Not from experience, but out of habit is spoken in many traditions of "initiatory death", of "dying to the self ", but for us now that we see the sun-love, and we are Alone with All, they are only empty words of a past that we make real in our life."
Leonardo Anfolsi was educated within the same brotherhood from which contemporary Master Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff drew the essence of his teaching, a fellowship very active in European Russia in the early twentieth century who welcomed researchers to address every philosophical and religious, in virtue of this is recognized as a master of the so-called "Fourth Path". Leonardo Anfolsi trains professionals and managers: the main themes of his seminars are the "resilience" (the energy management equipment), the fervor and the optimization of the relationship.
Leonardo Anfolsi lives in the Tuscan hills where in '92 he founded a cultural association of soul searching and organized and inspired his students to volunteer in the community: among them a theater, a nursery and an herbal laboratory, all three activities started with very little substance but have been successful .
In the West, there are now thousands of practice or centers of Buddhist culture. Yet here in the West, we must learn to live in modern times differently; to be in meditation but at the same time to be the most active. Moreover, we need to be fearless and radiant. Only what works is "upaya", a "skillful means" and Buddhism can be multi-faceted and understandable to people with a different experience. No matter what the conditions of our life, taking care of everything, we remain inwardly free, we have ourselves. This is the place where one meditates and realizes satori.