Living Free: Being Authentic with Alan Clements

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Lao Tzu said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. You embark on your adventure never knowing where it will lead. Your thirst for enlightenment takes you to a Buddhist monastery in Burma, where you think, "This is it! I'm home." So blissfully immersed you are in your practice that it never occurs to you that the country is ruled by a dark dictatorship. After ten years, they throw you out of the country. As you follow the twists and turns of your journey, you earn the dubious distinction of being enlightened in three different traditions, and find yourself still suffering, but today, you're free! These are a few highlights from the fascinating story of author and international lecturer Alan Clements. Clements, who spent time with Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, shares his wisdom with stories and anecdotes as he weaves the tale of his life. He stresses the importance of freedom, and accepting fully who we are. He challenges the "enlightenment industry," and calls us to return to the authenticity of massive mystery. "I think we need to reinvent the openness of being rather than lock-jawed down into the finality of enlightenment."


Alan Clements is the author of:

  • Burma: The Next Killing Fields (Odonian Press, 1991)
  • The Voice of Hope (coauthor ) (Seven Stories Press),
  • Instinct for Freedom: Finding Liberation Through Living (New World Library 2002)

To learn more about the work of Alan Clements go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How you can find true freedom
  • Why it's a risk to live more aligned with your deeper self
  • How to fully experience your deepest authenticity
  • Why enlightenment is folly
  • What you can do to free yourself from the indoctrination of perfection
Interview Date: 11/6/2002                  Program Number: 2955