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Showing posts from March, 2013

Forgiveness, Part 1 - Self and Other

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‘He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.’ Those who think such thoughts will not be free from hate. ‘He insulted me, he hurt me, he defeated me, he robbed me.’ Those who think not such thoughts will be free from hate. – The Dhammapada
Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another … sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”NRSV

Yes, we can all stand to be a bit more forgiving, can’t we? It’s a capacity that spiritually-oriented individuals will likely recognize as being worthy of cultivation – for the sake of community, for the sake of relationships, for the sake of our own well-being, for the sake of the world. But even as we aspire to being more forgiving we might also wonder at the possibility of being too forgiving, thereby condoning bad behavior that serves nobody well in the long run. Is it even possible to be too forgiving? Should we finally say “enoug…

Dropping the Lotus Seed Back in the Pond

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It had been a workday like many others – not particularly memorable, but pleasant enough in its normality. Spring was just around the corner after what had been a long, dark winter. In fact, it was already warm enough for one to say that spring had arrived – in reality, if not in name. Briefcase in hand I let the door swing wide into our apparently ransacked living room, and from that moment on it seemed that life would not be normal ever again.
The first thought that appeared within the stunned blankness of my mind was that we’d been robbed. Unfortunately, however, it was a thought that couldn’t quite be squared with the reality of that which had been left behind. Why wouldn’t they have taken this? Or that? And then a pattern began to emerge. The walls were bare because her artwork was gone. Things were in disarray because her things had been removed. I went into the bedroom and threw open one of the drawers of the chest still standing where it had always stood; and that was when I …

A Buddhist Takes Communion / A Buddhist Take On Communion

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Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”Luke 22:19-20, NRSV
Yes, at the risk of prompting the eyes of many Buddhist-leaning readers to begin glazing over (What, is this going to be a sermon or something?), and at the risk of prompting the eyes of many Christian-leaning readers to narrow in suspicion (What does this Buddhist know about Christianity, anyway?), I’m going consider how the Lord’s Supper might appear if viewed through a Buddhist lens. In doing so I hope that Buddhist and Christian alike will glimpse something that leads to deeper spiritual understanding within each respective tradition.
Perhaps a little personal background will assuage your curiosity as to why I’m even considering such a topic in the first place. As …