Walking the path of Spirituality within BDSM,
an afternoon with Master Z
By: Bushido Bard
Spirituality and religion are often spoken of together as if the two are inseparable. Master Z suggests that your spirituality can be separate from your religion or fully integrated with it. Although he officially joined Leather in 2000 Master Z says he has been following his spiritual path ever since he can remember. Growing up he was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools for education; headed on the track to become a priest in his family’s tradition. Things were going great but there was something missing in his life.
After joining the NLA he began another journey finding his spirituality. Exploring the various aspects of this lifestyle he determined he was a service Top. He enjoyed giving back to others and the community. In part this is why he travels all over the United States giving presentations on various BDSM topics. In all discussions he stressed that this lifestyle is a journey and that as soon as one ends, another begins.
Master Z began speaking about various points in his life that were significant to his journey; both spiritual and Leather. Although he would say that the two are not mutually exclusive! A wonderful example he gave was from the children’s book named The Velveteen Rabbit. Characters were discussing the concept of what is real and it spoke to Master Z in a meaningful way. It made him focus on his path and come to a certain realization. This truth was that you cannot make yourself something you are not. You cannot decide to become a slave; you either are a slave or you are not. Forcing yourself to become one only harms you and your journey.
What is our calling? Master Z stressed this question greatly because it is something that drives him. “In different points in my life I have had a drive that called to me,” he said. “If I ignored the calling or the passion then I felt empty.” Once that call has been sounded do you have the courage to live it with integrity? Master Z pointed out many times in the presentation that answering your call takes a commitment, but that also you will be the better for it. Learning to hear that calling is the first step.
There are three types of energy or thoughts that permeate who you are according to Master Z. There are physical, intellectual, and spiritual modes that are at work. Your physical is the simplest to explain. It is who you are on the outside and how you choose to present yourself. Your intellectual energies are spent learning new things and experiences. There is always something new to learn and eventually master. Your spiritual energy is who you really are; your authentic self. With regards to your spiritual energy you cannot deny what it is because it is your truest self. It is important to know yourself so you can grow on your journey. By recognizing and harnessing these three energies you can begin to reach your personal truth.
When comparing your spiritual journey to the M/s relationship, Master Z says the two paths share a unique quality; the role of Master. “We all have a Master,” he said. No matter how you see yourself or what path you tread everyone has a Master they must serve in order to proceed. This Master can be physical, mental, or spiritual. In the simplest terms you can see this relationship when you consider that regardless of which side of the slash a Christian is on, their Master is still Jesus. Sometimes the student becomes the Master and this just means the next path has opened before you.
Obviously not one path fits all. What’s most important is the integrity we live with our calling when we travel along our truth. In his final words Master Z imparted this bit of wisdom: “You will succeed whenever you obey your Master; whatever you decide that Master is.”