After decades of leading retreats, Instinct for Freedom is radical book of personal and planetary exploration, a visionary blend of adventurous autobiography, self-inquiry and independent thinking. Here Alan presents what he calls World Dharma, an approach to personal development that mirrors the narrative of his visionary life. He gives voice to an essential calling that is common to all people -- a world dharma based in one precious human value: freedom, the liberation from fear, ignorance and dogma, and the elevation of dignity, conscience, and beauty.
For Clements, freedom is rooted in real life experience, in holding life's complexities in balance with its wondrous gifts, and in the transformational power of relationships with other people and with the world. Exploring the nature of consciousness and our place in the mysterious cosmos may be the key to our freedom, he says. In detailing the early years of his Dharma life living in silence in a Burmese monastery, Clements presents a rare, beautiful, and nuanced account of the actual experience of intensive mindfulness meditation and what it can offer.
Yet Clements's approach is not a doctrine. It is an intuitive process realized through deep inner trust, gentle self-inquiry and naturalness of spirit and expresses itself in daily acts of courage and love. No amount of spiritual practice or meditative training can adequately prepare us for life, he says. We must find our liberation through living in love, in this very moment, now, in whatever circumstances we face.
Clements has been interviewed on ABC National, Talk to America, CBC, VOA, BBC, the New York Times, Time and Newsweek magazines, the Sydney Morning Herald, Utne Reader, Yoga Journal, and scores of other media worldwide. He also delivered a keynote at Amnesty International's 30th Year Anniversary at the John Ford Theater in LA. You can learn more about Alan's work on his website: www.AlanClements.com.
"How to describe Alan's presentations? A tall order. Love poems/riffs/odes/chants to the goddesses of compassion, deeply inscribed with the blood of Burmese slaves, soldiers in Iraq, Palestinian children, freedom fighters anywhere. A momentary entry into an internal tete-a-tete, ad infinitum; a glimpse at all that inner discursive dialog which marks us unequivocally as members of the human race. Just in case we get too spiritual, let's not forget that we are required to, by nature, include everything. To paraphrase the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn's poem, "Please Call Me by My True Names," I am both the 12-year-old raped girl and the pirate who raped her. It is difficult to reconcile seeming opposites, and it takes the heart of a poet. Thich Nhat Hahn is a poet; Alan is one as well." -- Marcia Jacobs, a psychotherapist specializing in victims of war, rape, and trauma; a senior U.N. representative for refugees in Bosnia and Croatia, 1993-1997; and a former officer of the International War Crimes Tribunal
"Alan's life is material for a legend. An intellectual artist, freedom fighter, former Buddhist monk, he shares his insights and experience with a passion rarely seen and even more rarely lived. He'll make you think and feel in ways that challenge your entire way of being." -- Catherine Ingram, In the Footsteps of Gandhi and Passionate Presence