Sangha Spotlight: R. Scott Malone


R. Scott Malone



December 2017



December 2017

Clear Light Sangha: “Tell me about your background, Scott.”

R. Scott Malone: “Both of my folks are chiropractors. My dad was initiated into Kriya Yoga by Roy Eugene Davis who was Paramahansa Yogananda’s number one disciple in the States for a long time. I’m a lifetime martial artist and an acupuncturist for 20-21 years.”
“I was born in Jacksonville. Once my parents got out of Palmer chiropractic college in Davenport, Iowa, they just decided to start driving across the country until they found a small town that they liked… to live in and open a practice. It happened to be in Senatobia, Mississippi which is outside of Memphis, Tennessee. So, before I was a year old, we moved to Mississippi.”
“I was six or seven when we moved from Mississippi to Florida. Mississippi was nice because I grew up in the woods. I went out and I played in the woods every day and that was one thing that I found that I really missed when I moved to Florida is there’s not really woods in Florida, mostly just Palmetto scrubs. So, I moved from the woods to a more urban environment. We sailed sailboats for years and years; Catamarans 16‘, 18’ Hobie Cats and then we had a 27’ Coastal Cruiser. Over the summer, we would spend 3 days a week, at least, out on the boat.”

CLS: “You don’t have a southern accent.”

RSM: “Actually, I did a lot of theater so that was one of the first things to go. Most of my life was spent in Florida. I think it was in 2000 when I moved to Colorado. I was about 33. I went to Berkeley Prep in Tampa for high school. I had one sister who was younger than me and one who was older. As we all got older, my sisters and I grew closer. Before it was basically; older sister does her thing and doesn’t want me around. And I was doing my thing and I didn’t want my younger sister around. Now we’re all pretty good.”

CLS: “Were you raised with any particular spiritual outlook or religion?”

RSM: “When I was very, very young I read Autobiography of a Yogi. My dad did something very interesting. He was leaving with my mom to go someplace and he said ‘OK, son, these are my books in here, so, just leave those alone. And then you can read your books.’ I think he was really saying, ‘This is where I keep my books.’ He had all of these esoteric books. So, I read Autobiography of a Yogi when I was about six years old. And when I read that book I thought, ‘OK, I want to be like that guy!’ And, really, that was a huge gift.”
At one point, I asked my dad, ‘So, like, what are we? Are we Christian? What are we?’ He said, ‘Well, your mom and I are this way…’ (talking about the Yogananda stuff) ‘But that’s not necessarily what you need to believe.’ At the moment, I was kind of pissed. I was thinking, ‘That’s not an answer. You’re not helping me.’ He said, ‘You know what, when you figure it out, you’ll know. Find out what you believe, and you’ll know when you find it.’ So, that was the start of my looking and looking and looking and looking.”

CLS: “Did you witness them meditating? Did you get a sense of growing up with people that had a practice?”

RSM: “You know, my dad did some interesting things. I don’t know how much my mom practiced but my dad had some interesting abilities. At his chiropractic clinic, the back room was really cold and scary. And there was something there. Essentially there was something there that wasn’t supposed to be there. One day he went back there and said, ‘I’m not having something that’s dark like that in my clinic.’ And so, he booted this thing out of his clinic. After he did that, it was always OK back there.”
“I think probably the most interesting story about my dad is about a patient he had that was on his table, an older gentleman who died on his table. He told me, ‘Son, his bowels had evacuated and he was face down on my table, dead.’ He said, ‘I thought to myself, nope! Nobody dies in my clinic. I did a Toggle-Recoil adjustment. When I did it, it felt like lightning came down through my head, into my arms, and into this patient. He coughed and sputtered and he came to.’ He said the patient was super embarrassed because he had ruined his pants. He lived about two more months and then he passed away for good. So, dad had some juice.”

CLS: “Yeah! He was on it! Sounds like you were implanted at an early age with the desire to maybe get some siddhis. Where did it go from there?”

RSM: “It was a good thing and it was a bad thing, right? Because I read that book and because it was such a branding impression on me, I then had it in my head that you had to have a guru and that you would go somewhere and, one day, somebody would say, ‘I’ve been waiting for you.’ And then you would start your relationship with your teacher. And so, I was constantly looking for the teacher. Well, when you’re that young there were books. I read whatever my dad had; Ernest Holmes and Roy Eugene Davis. Mostly it was the Yogananda and Kriya Yoga books. Then in my high school years,  I was into theater, drama, and martial arts.”

CLS: “So you’re an extrovert, hmmm?”

RSM: “Yes, in that way. It’s interesting because I like to be around people but I definitely need time away from people. So, I’m a little bit of a mix these days. I’m sure you can identify with that.”

CLS: “I totally can identify with that. Were there any key events in high school?”

RSM: “For a while I was going to be an actor. In high school, I had done all the plays. We went to state. I got scholarship to go to a school in Mississippi. I didn’t want to go there so I didn’t do that but I thought that I would go to the University of Florida into the theater program. I really had the bug still. I went to college until I had a falling out with my father over acting. Basically, the talk I got was, ‘Well, how’s it going there?’ ‘Pretty good.’ I said, ‘I think I’m going to go into the theater program.’ I remember there was this long silence on the phone and I remember hearing my dad say, ‘I’m not paying for you to go to school so you can get a degree and starve.’ Since that was the only reason I really wanted to be in college, I quit and I got an associate’s degree. That was really it. Something kind of broke inside of me about that. I realized, one, I didn’t know if I could actually do that by myself. And two, I didn’t have any support if I did decide to do that. If you ask yourself, ‘Can I do that?’ And the people close to you say, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ you know, at that age, it was done for me.”
Then I did Iso-kinetic muscle testing. I did thermography. I worked in my dad‘s clinic. I did some things in the healing profession but more on the diagnostic, medical side. It was after college, I was probably 25, when I went to India.”

CLS: “Do you ever look back on it and wish that you were still acting?

RSM: “When we first moved to Colorado I did some local theater in Lafayette. I did Shakespeare; Midsummer‘s Night Dream. I did it just to see ‘could I still do this.’ And it was good. I enjoyed it and I realized, ‘Yeah, I think I’m done with that.’”
“Acupuncture school is basically what happened out of my trip to India. I had been involved with the Sufi order for a long time and spent some time with some different Native American shamans, too. My Sufi teacher, Kabir van Wilt, was into Tibetan Buddhism, as well. I would go to Tibetan events with him, get empowerments and that sort of stuff.  My teacher said to me, ‘Pir Vilayat, the head of the order, is going to India. You should go.’ I thought, ‘Isn’t that just for people who are way up in the order?’ And he said, ‘Anybody should go. You should go.’ When he said that, it kind of struck me so I managed to gather up enough money to pay for the trip and go.”
“It was a month in India. There was a lot of Tibetan Buddhist influence. We stayed at the Kopan monastery. We went to different Sufi shrines. There was a lot of meditation. We went to the cave of Padmasambhava in Nepal. When I got back, my teacher said, ‘You are back from India. What are you going to do?’ I said, ‘Well, there’s a guy, Dr. Katz, at the University of South Florida and he’s teaching Tibetan Buddhism and I think I might go to school to become a College teacher and teach Tibetan Buddhism.’ He said, ‘Have you ever thought about acupuncture?’ When he said that, it was like somebody hit me in the stomach with a bag of bricks. Within a month, I had enrolled. I finished up my Associates degree which took two years and then it was three years in acupuncture school. The first place I practiced was in Zephyr Hills at my dad’s and uncle Jerry’s chiropractic clinic.”

CLS: “How was it for you, working for your dad?”

RSM: “Good. I thought chiropractic was neat because I had worked in my dad‘s clinic before and it was just really neat to see people coming in not well and then watch them get well. I thought that was a pretty neat way to make a living. But I also realized that with my dad, if I went into chiropractic, I would never have the last word.”
“I had been training martial arts my whole life and I had always studied the philosophies of the tradition; when I was training karate I would study the Japanese. When I was training kung fu I would study the Chinese and while training in the Indonesian martial arts I would look at what the Indonesian people were doing. I was constantly reading about eastern culture so acupuncture dovetailed perfectly. The acupressure points we’re the same points that you use in martial arts. My dad really liked that I was within the health field. But I could do my own thing.”
“I worked with my dad there for a few years and then I worked at another clinic for a couple of years. I didn’t really like working for somebody I didn’t know so much. Then my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, had a job offer in Colorado. She’s in the tech industry. They flew her out for an interview and then they said, ’We need you here in 10 days.’ I said goodbye to my friends, my martial arts teachers, my spiritual teacher and my folks and moved to Colorado.”
“I found a chiropractor that I liked and now I’ve been working with him for most of the time that I’ve been in Colorado. It’s a really good fit. The place is not terribly esoteric. So the stuff I actually do in clinic I have only just started to advertise on the website. I do not do so much regular acupuncture anymore. Mostly, I do Neigong. Qigong is something that I have practiced most of my life, mostly as it relates to martial arts and building internal power. So in Qigong, Qi is Energy, and Gong means ‘work over time.’ Nei means ‘internal.’ When I do Neigong, it’s more internal. I put patients on the table, I plug into their meridian system, and then I awaken the meridians by hand.”

CLS: “When you say ‘by hand’ do you mean you manipulate muscles, cells, or…?”

RSM: “No. Initially when I did it, I would put fingers on acupoints on the meridian, points that I wanted to work with. Now I put my hands on somebody, say, from the feet and I will light up the lung channels so they can feel it and hum to the organ. When the patient can feel the left and the right side are balanced then they know that the meridian is balanced. I’ll ask them, ‘What do your lungs feel like?’ They may say, ‘Well, they feel damp and heavy.’ And I will sit with the meridian and the lungs and say, ‘Let me know when that changes.’ And then they’ll tell me how it changes.”
“If it’s not a visceral experience for the patient, then it didn’t happen. If it’s not an actual visceral experience where they feel the meridian or the organ light up, then we need to come at it a different way. That’s pretty much what everyone feels on the table.”

CLS: “So meanwhile, what was happening with the thread of finding teachers? How did you find your Sufi teacher?”

RSM: “So, while in Florida, I would go and see anybody who is anybody. If there was a Hindu guy in town, I would see the Hindu guy. If there was somebody who was a healer I would see the healer. I spent time with anybody who would teach me things. What I found really, was a lot of self-aggrandizement. Like, ‘Look at me. Aren’t I special?’”
“Qahira Qalbi was the first Sufi I ever met, and the first awakened person I ever met. She was this beautiful middle aged woman with silver-white hair and piercing blue eyes. After a daylong meditation, she hugged me as we were all leaving. After the hug should have been over, she didn't let go. For 30 or 40 seconds, she held on and held my gaze. Her eyes were other-worldly. She looked into my eyes, through me and into some other place. It was almost as if another dimension was looking at me through her eyes. There were energetic fireworks going off inside me and I was paralyzed. I thought, just bordering on panic, ‘What is she doing to me?’ I was stunned. I was shocked and maybe a little bit afraid.”
“After that I thought, ‘OK, I don’t know what the Sufi stuff is, but whatever it is, if it created someone like her, maybe I should find out more. And then after that, I met my teacher, Kurt van Wilt Kabir.”
“He did an evening seminar. I was really taken by the fact that he didn’t say anything at all about himself. He said, ‘We are going to do meditation. We’re going to do practices with light and sound.’ And that was about it. Afterwards, I spoke to him and we hit it off.

CLS: “Why didn't you didn’t take Qahira as your teacher?”

RSM: “She was a traveling Sufi… mmmm... probably because she scared the pee out of me a bit. Ha ha! I met her one more time at the Abode of the Message in Albany, New York and I spoke to her for maybe six minutes. She left me in shock and walked on. What I hear about Qahira Qalbi was that she was one of the great initiators in the Sufi order. She would meet somebody and have a very brief contact with them and change the course of their life. And she certainly did that for me.”

CLS: “What is it about Sufism that resonates with you?”

RSM: “I practiced with the Sufi and the Tibetan Buddhism communities for a number of years and I would probably still be a part of one or both of those communities if a friend of mine hadn’t introduced me to Adya. Robert Weiland and I were martial arts friends. We would often pass DVDs and CDs back and forth. Rob dropped off a bunch of Adya’s CDs and I thought, ‘I don’t need another Hindu guy. I’ve listened to enough people with Hindu names.’ I guess because I was moving in another direction. After about the fourth time that I saw Rob and he asked again, ‘Hey, have you listened to Adya?’ and I knew I was going to meet with him, I thought, ‘All right, I’ll listen to 30 minutes of it just to get him off my back.’ I listened to about three hours of it and I was like, ‘Oh my God! OK!’ And that was it.”
“So, I would see Adya when he would come to Boulder. I saw Mukti there a couple of times. Then at one point, Rob said that he had been to a retreat in Crestone and it had changed his life. And he told me about Sharon. I went to some of her satsangs and then my first retreat with her about two years ago.”
“So… I think I prefer the non-dual rather than the group. I’m not really interested in the structure of those groups. I’m not interested in the hierarchy or in practicing with groups on a regular basis. I’m a little more introverted in that way. What’s interesting is that I think because of Adya and Sharon, my relationship moved past the structures. I have a relationship with certain Sufi saints. I have relationship with certain Tibetan Buddhist beings. I love the Sufi people and the Tibetan Buddhist people. There were huge gifts to be had from both of those traditions. I still have a relationship with those traditions but not via a group. I love the native American tradition; I’ve spent time with some pretty potent folks. And they changed me. And now that’s on board, too. With Adya and Sharon, you know, you come and sit when there’s an event but there’s nothing really to join and I like that.”

CLS: “What’s happening now? What’s your life like now? Do you have kids?”

RSM: “I have one son who is 12 years old.”

CLS: “And did you tell him not to read your books? Haha”

RSM: “Haha. No, actually, I’ve taken him to see some Sufi people and Tibetan people and he’s seen Sharon. I just want to expose him to those traditions and then he’s either going to take to it or not. It’s basically up to him to do whatever he likes.”

CLS: “What has been your experience with Sharon?”

RSM: “It’s so funny because my whole life I was always looking for a teacher, looking and looking for a teacher, and even when I had my Sufi teacher I thought, ‘Well, he’s not my guru.’ I got to the point where I realized, that maybe I don’t get a guru. Maybe I have to do this sort of thing mostly on my own. And Sharon, I recognize as my teacher.”
“As I’m remembering, I realize that my first and last teachers are almost like perfect bookends. When I met Sharon at a satsang in Crestone, she started speaking and her eyes became luminous blue sapphires. I didn't know what she was saying or talking about, I became lost on the cushion. I had an otherworldly experience that was not taking me away, but like with Qahira, was happening in my body. After I found myself again, I knew I had come both full circle and home again.”
“When I was on this last retreat with her, I had a vision of White Tara. Before that, I had been doing a lot of wrathful Tibetan practices, you know, VajraYogini, Kali, and others. I had not told Sharon anything about the practices that I had been doing. During the dokusan before the retreat, she said, ‘I see a lot of the fierce Tibetan beings surrounding you… I forget what they’re called.' I said, ‘You mean the wrathful?’ She said, ‘Yes, that’s it. They are with you. I don’t think you need to do that anymore. I would suggest maybe White Tara.’ I would never have thought to do white Tara. I did get a White Tara empowerment but was only because they were giving them while I was waiting to get a wrathful empowerment or something like that. So, I started doing the mantra and then while I was in the retreat this last year, I had a vision of white Tara. And White Tara became a part of me. And I realize that White Tara is me. It’s just a different face of whatever I happen to be.”
“She has been extremely helpful in my practice on the table. I have an idea of what I’m going to do with somebody, and then at some point, the wisdom comes in and I do whatever is appropriate for that patient. What’s fascinating about it is that there are times when I have no idea what I’m saying to the patient. I’ve never heard it before and I’m thinking, ‘Wow! That’s really fascinating! I should write that down.’”
“What I do now is treat he body as the vehicle for awakening. So, in the clinic for the appropriate patients, I prepare the body for awakening. I open up the Axis Mundi and help them with their connection with Dantian, with the chakras above and below the body. That means different things for different people. Sometimes it means helping somebody clear their channels. Perhaps, clear their central channel enough so they have an effortless Kundalini awakening. For some people that means awakening the Amrita so that there is that sweet purification of the body. To me, purification just means a finer balance. We connect them infinitely in both directions through the body. And then it meets in the heart and it cascades out into the four directions and then in all directions.”
“And then the wisdom comes in and says, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do.’ And I just get moved to do a certain practice, or go to a certain channel or a certain chakra in the body, and then sometimes new healing modalities show up and sometimes it’s something that I’ve done 1000 times.”

CLS: “Is there anything else you might say about the effect that Sharon has had on your life?”

RSM: “She mentioned White Tara to me. And I have not considered White Tara for decades. And then the next thing I know I’m in the Zendo, and I’m basically having a conversation with White Tara. There were some intense purifications that happened. And She’s never left me.”

CLS: “This was at the Crestone Zen Center Retreat just this past September?”

RSM: “Yes.”

CLS: “So I guess you’ll be at the next retreat?”

RSM: “That’s my plan. I’ve been to the last two. I wouldn’t miss it. It’s interesting; I consider Sharon my teacher but what she’s done is introduced me to the guru I have on board inside me already. And it just happens to have White Tara’s face because that’s the face I need right now.”




Sherry Summers