As a, "Friend of the Order," Tom has trained for the past fifteen years with Renzai Zen lineage holder, JunPo, Denis Kelly Roshi, Founder of Hollow Bones/Mondo Zen <hollowbones.org> Recognizing meditative training as perfectly compatible with injunctions found in Christian scripture, Tom practices Zen meditation - the Buddhist method of transformation, recognizing that by opening the heart - Awakening - a person has fulfilled the seminal instruction to, "Put on the Mind of Christ."
Tom Carroll Laughs when speaking of his recently published book, “We often write what we need to read,” He says. “The Oracle, Guidance for Growing a Soul,” 114 pages released by Sojourn Publishing, Quoting from the book cover, The Oracle invites readers to experience their true self, beyond an identity that feels separated from others, alone and often fearful.”
Explaining his words, Tom said, “the concept of fundamental union with others is nothing new. The problem is that this is no more than an idea to most of us." Tom continued, claiming that those who experience the truth of these words will see themselves and others differently. It's an experience - one that can never be forgotten or taken away, I don’t want people to believe something I tell them,” he was careful to explain. “I want them to experience it for themselves.
“The Oracle” is Carroll’s first publication. He previously wrote a weekly column for Sedona.Biz, including articles covering everything from political and social commentary to thought pieces with a spiritual twist. “Religion is a word that makes people nervous. Many prefer to characterize themselves as being spiritual” Carroll said. “Really, either way, it’s not so much about the organ music or rituals. It’s about growing up.” He says. “Spiritual maturity involves recognition of the incredible gift that is our life in these bodies - separate, in one sense. But quite literally, One with all others - all creation when you come right down to it."
Tom acknowledges that most people feel too busy to inquire into deeper levels of spirituality. It can seem fairly inconsequential when you are raising a family, he said. “But it can be done," he continued, "Those who do, those who spend even a little time each day are rewarded in ways well worth their time.”
"We could talk about these things all day," Carroll said, "and I enjoy it. But the real magic happens when we begin to practice the principles that lead to an Awakening." Asked what he meant by, “Awakening,” Carroll explained that words like salvation and enlightenment have lost much of their meaning. "Awakening" he says, "is how it feels to experience the truth of the words used in spiritual texts."It's very much like waking up from a dream. Words fail," He said. "That’s why I wrote this book. Those who are interested can experience it for themselves. This will do two things." he said, "It makes the words come alive and it makes them unnecessary!"
Tom re-wrote the book several times before he could reduce it to a level that felt right. "That's why it's so short," he explained. "There's really very little that needs to be said. People have already heard it all. The question that remains is simply, whether or not a person is ready to begin the work that leads to transformation – ‘Putting on the Mind of Christ,’ as it is phrased in biblical scriptures.”
Tom’s next book, “The 10 Project,” is an explanation the art of surrender and the healing potential and power of agreement. Asked to say more, Carroll laughed, saying, "I think I've confused people enough with “The Oracle.” The Ten Project has my head tied in a knot. We'd best not get into that here!"
“The Oracle, Guidance for Growing a Soul” is available at a growing number of independent book stores in the Northwest, or through Amazon.com. For more information on “The Oracle," people are welcome to contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I want people to understand that the person they look at in the mirror, the person they think they are, is a small slice of the truth of being,” Carroll said. “We’re so much more than our name and the accumulation of our life experiences.” “When we realize this - actually experience it,” Carroll said, “fear drops away as we progressively realize that they are not separate, not alone. Suddenly, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Asked what he is afraid of, Carroll quipped, "I'm a little concerned about how people are going to respond to the article you write! Seriously, I really did write a book I needed to read. Like most people, I'm not all the way there yet."