“None of this represented the solution to a crisis of faith” Leonard Cohen On Choosing To Live At Mt Baldy Zen Center & Be Ordained A Buddhist Monk

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None of this represented the solution to a crisis of faith. I looked at it as a demonstration of solidarity with the community. I was never looking for a new religion. I was perfectly satisfied with my old religion.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Poet of Brokenness by Mikal Gilmore (Rolling Stone: 30 November 2016) Note:  The entire article – an excellent read – is available at the link.

“Are you an enigmatic person?” Leonard Cohen: “I’m not sure what enigmatic means”

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After an agreed definition is reached, he [Leonard Cohen] says

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I have a great suspicion of positions taken, particularly in the matter of religious belief. Anyone who has seriously examined themselves knows that sometimes they believe in God and sometimes they don’t. And sometimes they can express themselves from a position of disbelief and sometimes they can’t. The mind is continually dealing with yes and no. I believe, I don’t believe…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Cohen at 50: On His Songs, His Women And Children by Chris Cobb (Ottawa Citizen: April 21, 1984)

“What I was after was a significant high, so during the ’50’s and ’60s I tried everything I could get my hands on. But in time I found that this high became more available through other forms of activity…” Leonard Cohen

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What I was after was a significant high, so during the ’50’s and ’60’s I tried everything I could get my hands on. But in time I found that this high became more available through other forms of activity. And the mind that is produced by certain kinds of study, certain kinds of discipline, is so much more finely-attuned to those areas you want to get the news from that, in the end, even using hashish is like treating a pocket watch with a sledgehammer. I wouldn’t go near drugs nowadays. Cigarettes are the only drugs I’m combating now.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“I have great respect for organized religion. I have great respect for anything that’s organized. I think we live on the edge of anarchy, so whatever forms operate & nourish its constituents deserve respect.” Leonard Cohen On Religion


Rebirth Of A Ladies’ Man by Steven Blush. Seconds No 22: June/July 1993.

Leonard Cohen On Experiencing “The True Self” – “Our Real Nourishment”

You’ve said having sexual intercourse is the greatest peace. Is that zero?

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The sexual embrace is beyond self. You don’t exist as you. Your partner doesn’t exist as your partner. That is the place we all come from. Then we come back to life. That zero or emptiness or absolute is when we don’t have any questions. The self we have is just the result of a question. The question is who am I? So we invent a self, a personality. We sustain it, we create rules for it. When you stop asking those questions in those moments of grace, as soon as the question is not asked and the dilemma is dissolved or abandoned, then the true self or absolute self rushes in. That’s our real nourishment. A real religious education makes that experience available to people. The kinds of religious education available today are mostly concerned with a very specific definition of what God is. Just to define God specifically is a great mistake. It’s better to have a kind of education that doesn’t even mention God, that allows people to experience that absolute or the dissolution of the particular self.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Interview / Leonard Cohen By Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld. Originally posted Mar 27, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“But there are moments when you stop searching. Those are moments without doubt or questions.” Leonard Cohen On The Benefit Of Zen


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If you decide to search and look for an object outside yourself, you’ll, of course, never find it. But there are moments when you stop searching. Those are moments without doubt or questions. And if you practice Zen, there are many such moments.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen als Zen-Mönch, a video shot during one of the several visits Leonard Cohen and Roshi made to a Zen Center in Austria from 1990 to 1996. Quotation interpreted and, in part, translated by Rike.

Note: The words quoted are from a videotaped interview that is overdubbed in German. This quotation as represented comprises Leonard Cohen’s words in English except portions obscured by the overdubbing, in which case a translation of the German overdubbing is used.