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Author Topic: Re: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 7/22/2012 -- Jesus and Buddha  (Read 3166 times)
Alan
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« on: July 22, 2012, 09:45:43 AM »

Woo hoo!  Back to *real* stuff! - Alan

July 22, 2012

JESUS AND BUDDHA

    
The word “Buddha” means “I am awake.” The last words of Jesus
before his arrest in the garden were also "Stay Awake" (Matthew 26:38 [1]).
To be awake is to be fully conscious. The Buddhists sometimes call it
“object-less consciousness”; I might just call it "undefended
knowing.” It is a consciousness where we are not conscious of anything
in particular but everything in general. It is a panoramic receptive
awareness—whereby you take in all that the moment offers without
eliminating anything or attaching to anything. You just watch it pass.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+26:38&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

This does not come naturally to us, surely not in our culture. We have
to work at it. All forms of meditation and contemplation teach some form
of compartmentalizing or limiting the control of the mental ego—or
what some call the "monkey mind,” which just keeps jumping from
observation to observation, distraction to distraction, feeling to
feeling, commentary to commentary. Most of this mental action means very little
and is actually the opposite of consciousness. In fact, it is unconsciousness.
It is even foolish to call it “thinking” at all, although educated
people tend to think their self-referential commentaries are high-level
thinking.


Adapted from Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening (CD, DVD, MP3)
http://store.cacradicalgrace.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SP-C-26&Category_Code=&Store_Code=CFAAC


Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 07:19:32 AM »

July 23, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
The West has made an art form of the individual person; it is one of our
gifts to civilization, but we have paid a big price for this gift.
Because of our over-identification with the self, we overemphasize our
separateness and uniqueness, remaining trapped and alone. (Even
Christians usually seek an entirely private notion of salvation instead
of their communion with everybody else—which would be "heaven"
itself).

What mature religion does is give us an experience of what Owen Barfield
calls “full and final participation” in the mystery of God and
creation. This means that before you identify with your separateness,
you identify with your union and participation in something larger than
yourself. This no longer comes naturally to us; instead we crawl back to
our primal union with great difficulty.

The private self we are overly conscious of, the self we are absorbed
in, is the one that mystics say does not even exist as separate—at
all! Buddhists would call this passing form "emptiness.” Jesus would
call it "the self that must die"—and is going to die anyway in its
illusion of separateness. So Jesus would say, “Go ahead and let it die
now and then you will be free!”

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2012, 03:37:15 AM »

July 24, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
Moving to the level of “participative knowing” is first of all a
cellular experience, a full-body knowing. It is nothing you can prove
intellectually. It is something you know by inner experience—by
prayer, by love, and by suffering. Paul’s line, quoted even by
Buddhists, is “I live no longer, not 'I'; but I live with the life of
Christ, who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 [1]). Our little self that
appears to be visible here and takes itself so seriously is merely a
relative identity (whether good or bad); it is not our absolute identity
that we are eternally in God.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+2:20&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

The Buddhist idea of letting go of our attachment to our relative
identity is almost identical to Jesus’ teaching of dying to our self
(or even “renouncing the self” as in Mark 8:34 [2]). Christians got
themselves off of a necessary hook by thinking Jesus was talking about
various forms of mortification and little sacrifices, which were usually
nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on a Titanic that must and
will sink. I say it that strongly in hopes that this truth will become
full-body knowing.

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 11:53:19 AM »

July 24, 2012

Christians got themselves off of a necessary hook by thinking Jesus was talking about various forms of mortification and little sacrifices, which were usually
nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on a Titanic that must and will sink.

I say it that strongly in hopes that this truth will become full-body knowing.   Prayer:  May I be fully awake!




AMEN!
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ncjohn
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 12:21:44 PM »

That was also what jumped out at me. It is what the Church actually pushes, presumably so as to not ask too much of the person in the pews that they really don't want getting too involved or actually seeking union rather than just acting like sheep. We can become pretty hard to control once we know it just isn't at all about "the rules."
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Alan
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 03:31:15 PM »

That was also what jumped out at me. It is what the Church actually pushes, presumably so as to not ask too much of the person in the pews that they really don't want getting too involved or actually seeking union rather than just acting like sheep. We can become pretty hard to control once we know it just isn't at all about "the rules."

It's like:

It is Lent, the time of the year where we seriously consider ourselves and do a thorough examination of conscience and really focus on our spiritual journey and being prepared for the Lord's death and resurrection.  So we're going to ask that once a week you eat fish instead of meat.  Not every week, only a very few out of the year.  That's in the springtime so when your coworkers want to go out on Friday lunch to celebrate Spring weather, as you're at the buffet you can feel very deprived around others.  Your temptation is to tell them you're Catholic (tee hee, blush) so you can't have anything with meet.  And you will feel embarrassed. But if you're tough, you'll wait until they notice you making obvious body language to the same effect as you carefully tease out the meat from the Lo Mein.  When they ask, "are you avoiding meat," you can coyly say, "why yes, I'm Catholic."

This will cause you stress and self-mortify you and make you depend on God alone because it will cause you to experience first hand the futility of your own desires of the will, except the will to surrender to the will of the Father.  When I'm sitting there at LJS, noshing on grilled Talapia, rice, vegetables, with hushpuppies and lots of tartar sauce, yucking it up with the other Catholics there, I think I shall come to enlightenment because I will nearly be in despair of starving.  Forty days in the desert?  Yeah, I guess you could say that!  Grin

Alan
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 08:54:30 AM »

July 25, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
The Christian tradition became so concerned with making Jesus into its
God and making sure everybody believed that Jesus was God that it often
ignored his very practical and clear teachings. (How many of us love our
enemies?) Instead, we made the questions theological and metaphysical
ones about the nature of God (which asked almost nothing of us!). Most
of our church fights have been on that level, and no one ever really
"wins,” so it goes on for centuries.

What Buddha made clear is that the questions are first of all
psychological and personal and here and now. We created huge theories
about how the world was saved by Jesus. I think what Jesus was primarily
talking about was the human situation and describing liberation for us
right now. Clearly the Kingdom of God is here and now, as Jesus said.
However, we turned Jesus' message into a reward or punishment contest
that would come later, instead of a transformational experience that was
verifiable here and now by the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians
5:22-23 [1]). For Jesus and for the Buddha both rewards and punishments are
first of all inherent to the action and in this world. Goodness is its
own reward and evil is its own punishment, and then we must leave the
future to the mercy and love of God, instead of thinking we are the
umpires and judges of who goes where, when, and how.

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 12:28:00 PM »

However, we turned Jesus' message into a reward or punishment contest
that would come later, instead of a transformational experience that was
verifiable here and now by the fruits of the Holy Spirit


The bad part is that it is very difficult to even hold a rational conversation about this since those who have not experienced it as a transformational experience have no frame of reference from which to have a clue what you're saying.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 12:34:50 PM »

When I'm sitting there at LJS, noshing on grilled Talapia, rice, vegetables, with hushpuppies and lots of tartar sauce, yucking it up with the other Catholics there, I think I shall come to enlightenment because I will nearly be in despair of starving.  Forty days in the desert?  Yeah, I guess you could say that!

While I guess there is virtue to the strict abstention from meat--our former local pastor would have been all over you for eating the Lo Mein since it had touched meat!--my wife and I are very much of the persuasion that it is more about intentionally limiting what we eat than it is about differentiating between meat and fish.

Are vegetarians off the hook just because they've chosen to not eat meat at all? As you note, is someone eating a high-priced seafood dinner rather than a small portion of scalloped potatoes with a little ham actually more virtuous?

In the end it is all about the WHY of what we're doing. If it's just a matter of skirting the absolute compliance with the rules I don't think we've gained anything. If we are actually doing something to create surrender, identify with the poor, or find union with God, I don't buy for a second that the substance is really relevant.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 05:08:28 AM »

July 26, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
There are so many parallel quotes from Buddha and Jesus that it is clear
they are coming from a similar level of consciousness. Their diagnosis
of the human dilemma is very similar. For example, humans are ignorant
more than malicious, blind more than evil. As Jesus said on the cross,
“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke
23:34 [1]). The vast majority of humanity lives in blindness about who it
is, where it came from, and where it is going.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+23:34&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Both Buddha and Jesus were trying to give us a kind of cosmic shock
about what is real and what is unreal—about what lasts and what
doesn’t last. Marcus Borg says he believes the only real difference in
their teaching is the strong social and political undercutting that you
find in Jesus. The Buddha is so insightful in recognizing the games that
the ego (separate self) is playing, and puts most of his emphasis there.
The sad thing is that most of the social implications of Jesus’
teaching have been consistently ignored because we didn’t want to move
transformation to the political and economic levels. Christians kept
salvation very private and personal, but largely without the Buddha's
amazing insight and critique at that very level.

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 11:04:20 AM »

July 26, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
There are so many parallel quotes from Buddha and Jesus that it is clear
they are coming from a similar level of consciousness. Their diagnosis
of the human dilemma is very similar. For example, humans are ignorant
more than malicious, blind more than evil. As Jesus said on the cross,
“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing”

This quote compels me to respond to Fr. Richard.  Jesus did not say, "for the ones who do know what they are doing, forgive them too."   To me, Jesus did not need to say that because there was not a soul present who knew what they were doing.  All who condemned Jesus were blind to his goodness.  To the degree we fail to see Jesus or the wonder of creation in any human, we are blind and ignorant. 

What part of the human is the "evil"?  I think we may have established is that the "evil" part is the part that we resent, what we condemn.  Without question, we humans can and do universally agree on the parts of ourselves that we, at least initially, (or maybe for our whole lives) condemn.  Such condemnation has its place, and is functional, even necessary - but I think the gospel calls us to take a step deeper.  I wish we could continue on that other thread....
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 01:43:23 PM »


This quote compels me to respond to Fr. Richard.  Jesus did not say, "for the ones who do know what they are doing, forgive them too."   To me, Jesus did not need to say that because there was not a soul present who knew what they were doing.  All who condemned Jesus were blind to his goodness.  To the degree we fail to see Jesus or the wonder of creation in any human, we are blind and ignorant.


I think Richard would totally agree with you on this as he says essentially that in many places. I would say that belief is what prompts a statement such what he made yesterday:

"Goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment, and then we must leave the
future to the mercy and love of God, instead of thinking we are the
umpires and judges of who goes where, when, and how."

Quote

What part of the human is the "evil"?  I think we may have established is that the "evil" part is the part that we resent, what we condemn.  Without question, we humans can and do universally agree on the parts of ourselves that we, at least initially, (or maybe for our whole lives) condemn.  Such condemnation has its place, and is functional, even necessary - but I think the gospel calls us to take a step deeper. 

I agree with you to the extent that the evil or shadow side of us is the part that has been split off as unacceptable to us, usually because it is unacceptable to the society in which we are raised. To me that is very distinguishable from the evil we do however. While there is the very valid argument that even the evil we do is done out of a belief that it serves at least someone's good, and the argument that even the evil often is what prompts the good and the healing and is there for a necessary means to that end (the crucifixion as the road to redemption), I think there is a clear difference between being able to forgive--and to refuse to judge--a person as evil and condoning the evil that is done. We may say "forgive them Father..." about those in Darfur who butcher the helpless and hopeless, but at least for me it doesn't mean I don't stand between the two to try to stop the evil from occuring.

Quote

I wish we could continue on that other thread....


I assume you are addressing the thread that you and Blind Sheep had going. I had wanted to join in but had gotten so hopelessly behind, with little time available to read and catch up, that I gave up. Maybe I'll try again to go back and see what was going on there since I did have an interest in the topic.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 04:05:32 PM »

I think there is a clear difference between being able to forgive--and to refuse to judge--a person as evil and condoning the evil that is done. We may say "forgive them Father..." about those in Darfur who butcher the helpless and hopeless, but at least for me it doesn't mean I don't stand between the two to try to stop the evil from occuring.


Quote
I assume you are addressing the thread that you and Blind Sheep had going. I had wanted to join in but had gotten so hopelessly behind, with little time available to read and catch up, that I gave up. Maybe I'll try again to go back and see what was going on there since I did have an interest in the topic.

(OneSheep said that.)  Yes, that's the thread.  I'd say just read the very last post of his, and if you see a question or comment that begs your question or comment, let it show!

Alan
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 05:05:41 AM »

July 27, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
In many ways, Jesus and Buddha were talking about the same experience of
human transformation.

Suffering is the teacher of transformation for both of them. It is the
only thing strong enough to grab our attention and defeat the ego.
Suffering, for me, is whenever we are not in control. It is our
opposition to the moment, our inner resistance that says, “I don’t
want it to be this way.” The ego is always trying to control reality
and therefore it is invariably suffering, because reality is never fully
what we want.

Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation
of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with
the pain of the world, and our own pain. Lady Julian of Norwich
understood it so well, as if to say, “There is only one suffering and
we all share in it.” That is the way all mystics eventually see it.
That is the way the Buddha saw it. There is only one suffering, and for
Christians Jesus personified that surrender to that cosmic mystery—a
“non-resistance” to reality until we learn its deepest lessons. The
ultimate lesson is always resurrection.

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 07:21:16 AM »


Quote
I assume you are addressing the thread that you and Blind Sheep had going. I had wanted to join in but had gotten so hopelessly behind, with little time available to read and catch up, that I gave up. Maybe I'll try again to go back and see what was going on there since I did have an interest in the topic.

(OneSheep said that.)  Yes, that's the thread.  I'd say just read the very last post of his, and if you see a question or comment that begs your question or comment, let it show!

Alan

Oops....had the wrong sheep! Forgive me father for I have sinned....

I'll see if I can't find some time over the weekend to look through the thread.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2012, 07:28:21 AM »

Suffering, for me, is whenever we are not in control. It is our
opposition to the moment, our inner resistance that says, “I don’t
want it to be this way.”


This really spoke to me this morning as we watch our son go forward in a direction we find ourselves unable to accept. My wife in particular is really struggling with it so even if I am struggling less with the reality I struggle greatly with watching my wife suffer to such a degree.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 06:13:22 AM »

July 28, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

JESUS AND BUDDHA

   
The loving kindness that the Buddha speaks of (which is often translated
as compassion in Buddhist literature) and the love of God that Jesus
talks about are pointing to the same foundational reality. Both of them
see love and compassion as the full and final source and goal of
religion. The goal of religion is to make people like God and “God is
Love” (1 John 4:8 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+4:8&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

How can we move into the wisdom of both Jesus and the Buddha? First, we
Christians can start with honest Jesus scholarship, which is now readily
available. We can be honest about who Jesus really was and what Jesus
was really saying before we made him into "our" religion. Second, we
need more concrete practice concerning the issues of the many levels of
healing that Jesus was clearly concerned about, much clearer than any
founding of a church institution or making dogmatic declarations. Then
we will see for ourselves the immense similarities between the teaching
of Jesus and the teaching of the Buddha.

Prayer:
May I be fully awake!
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 10:14:01 AM »


I agree with you to the extent that the evil or shadow side of us is the part that has been split off as unacceptable to us, usually because it is unacceptable to the society in which we are raised. To me that is very distinguishable from the evil we do however. While there is the very valid argument that even the evil we do is done out of a belief that it serves at least someone's good, and the argument that even the evil often is what prompts the good and the healing and is there for a necessary means to that end (the crucifixion as the road to redemption), I think there is a clear difference between being able to forgive--and to refuse to judge--a person as evil and condoning the evil that is done. We may say "forgive them Father..." about those in Darfur who butcher the helpless and hopeless, but at least for me it doesn't mean I don't stand between the two to try to stop the evil from occuring.


I totally agree with you on the aspect of evil as what we do, and the condoning of evil.  We must do what we can to stop it.  But here is the link that makes it a matter of importance to clarify the nature of man.  If I say "he is evil or he is malicious, I am making a judgment about the value of the person.  Our young men in military training are taught the evil or worthlessness of the enemy: "gooks" "ragheads" etc.  I am convinced that such dehumanization (which is understandable, and the ability to dehumanize is a functional part of our nature) is a necessary precursor to any act of pre-meditated violence.  The question is, is there any "evil" aspect in the human?  That is what the other thread is about.  And unless Alan is Blindsheep, then it must be me.  I can take it. Grin 
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2012, 09:09:30 AM »


I totally agree with you on the aspect of evil as what we do, and the condoning of evil.  We must do what we can to stop it.  But here is the link that makes it a matter of importance to clarify the nature of man.  If I say "he is evil or he is malicious, I am making a judgment about the value of the person.  Our young men in military training are taught the evil or worthlessness of the enemy: "gooks" "ragheads" etc.  I am convinced that such dehumanization (which is understandable, and the ability to dehumanize is a functional part of our nature) is a necessary precursor to any act of pre-meditated violence.  The question is, is there any "evil" aspect in the human?  That is what the other thread is about.  And unless Alan is Blindsheep, then it must be me.  I can take it. Grin 

I am slowly working my way through the other thread to get caught up there. I'm not totally convinced that there isn't the occasional person who is just born evil though I would fully expect to be very rare. I'll probably get more into addressing those issues in the other thread though.

Sorry about referring to you as Blind. Hopefully that isn't my Freudian slip showing!
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 10:29:14 AM »



I am slowly working my way through the other thread to get caught up there. I'm not totally convinced that there isn't the occasional person who is just born evil though I would fully expect to be very rare. I'll probably get more into addressing those issues in the other thread though.

Sorry about referring to you as Blind. Hopefully that isn't my Freudian slip showing!

Looking forward to your post on the other thread.  We are all blind to some degree, so I don't mind the slip at all.  The question, of course, is "how does one know when one is blind?"  The answer: we don't know.  Other people can help, though.
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