KeithA wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:26 pm
A while ago, I was asked to speak to local Episcopalian Church group about Buddhism. I wasn't raised as a Christian and really had no idea about it. So, I decided to read up about it and look for commonalities. Boy, was I surprised! I didn't know about mystic Christianity, desert fathers, Thomas Merton, centering prayer, etc. Long story short, the part of the quote I emphasized reminded me a little of the words that might be used by a Christian mystic,a tradition I have great respect for.
A little off topic, but I had a similar experience. A few years back I had the chance to participate in an interfaith thing with Catholic folks, discussing Merton and the dialogue between Christian and Buddhist monastics he helped pioneer.
While prepping for that, I came across the story about Thomas Aquinas: one day while celebrating mass, he heard Christ address him, asking him what he desired. Aquinas replied, "Only you, Lord," at which point he arrived at a profound experience. Afterward, when asked to write and teach as usual, he supposedly refused, saying something to the effect of "Everything I have written seems now to me as straw."
This touched me, reminding of course of Tozan, who wrote a treatise on the Diamond Sutra and - packing it on his back - traveled south with the intention of refuting Zen. Upon arriving at his own awakening, though, he burned his treatise, saying that all the profound Buddhist teachings were nothing more than "a single hair in vast space."