Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Out of the Temple


And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables. And he said unto them . . . take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise . . .
---John 2

Sermon on the Mount


And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them.
--- Matthew 5

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let Christ Be Born Today


I have spoken of a light in the soul, a light that is
uncreated and uncreateable ... to the extent that
we can deny ourselves and turn away from created
things, we shall find our unity and blessing in that
little spark in the soul, which neither space nor time
---Meister Eckhart

Friday, December 12, 2008

Zen Gifts for Christians

I am reading a book by Robert Kennedy, a Roman Catholic priest and Zen teacher, called "Zen Gifts to Christians". Here are some of my notes from the Introduction:

After some of his early Zen retreats, Kennedy says that he was so impressed with "the value of the meditation experience when it was guided by the inspirational leadership of Zen teachers that I believed it belonged in the church."

Here are some quotes:

those Christians who are tempermentally inclined toward practicing Zen to enrich their lives

no one devotional practice possesses the whole Christ

(these Zen gifts can make us better Christians)

(these Zen gifts) offer us a spiritual experience rather than a theory

(Zen practice for Christians may involve an) apostolic endeavor to listen attentively to the other in an attitude of respect and admiration at how truth manifests itself differently in other cultures and pesonalities

Quotes about the ten Ox-herding pictures:

(the ten bulls represent the) successive steps we must take to realize one's true nature

Kennedy uses the ox-herding pictures, the corresponding verses, related koans, and Western prose/poetry to reveal insights into the ten steps.