A person must be prepared, when they open themselves for True Reality to reveal itself…
Our human concepts will begin to peel away, and we will be left with a tug of war of “Reality vs. our human opinions”
Unless we open ourselves to the change which reality brings with it, this tug of war will make us “Stuck” and the sense of struggle will only grow…… it puts us in a holding pattern.
Zazen, as a purely natural act, allows the layers of mental conditioning to peel away, layer by layer. Reality is what is left.
A brief overview of Christian teachings …………….
“If I am a Christian, can I be a Buddhist as well?”
This question comes up often on social media sites, and I would like to write a bit here regarding what i see as a confusion of terms, which leads to an ongoing struggle.
The two “religions” represent very different and fundamental world views or cosmologies. We will deal a bit here with fundamental Christian cosmology.
Christianity represents “Chasm Theology”, and Buddhism represents “One Substance”.
The later representations in Buddhism where there are gods and saviors are a departure from the fundamental teachings of the Buddha. (This is a “mythologization” process which takes place among humans, turning humans into deities over time)
Christianity practices “Chasm Theology” which shares fundamental beliefs common to 98% of the worlds Christians. There is a very small element who are mystics which practice Christianity who may have some pantheistic or panentheistic views (varying degrees and views that the creator and the created are of one essence).
Other than that very small group (although it is growing in response to the “findings” of modern science), Christians practice chasm theology, which is the simple belief that:
There is a Potter, and there is the Pot…. and the potter and the pot are not a part of the same essence.
So fundamentally there is an “essence chasm” between creation and the creator. There is really no method of fixing that chasm, which they say is in the very fabric of everything. And if it is fundamental in the nature of everything, then no redemptive act can fix it…… There is either one essence at the root of things, or there is more than one essence at the root of all things…….
Then if one adds the “fall of man”, and the doctrine of Original Sin, the “belief” stage is set for most of the worlds Christians.
The worlds older religions, in response to this “knowledge”, performed sacrifices to “whoever it was” which they needed to “reconnect” with, or pay penance to…… and it is truly abominable to them to even consider that this way of looking at the cosmos is not the case. Anyone who dared to disagree was done away with in one form or another. This fear of the “divinity” on the other side of the “essence” chasm and what they needed to do, to resolve any problems with that “other side” was FUNDAMENTAL to these systems.
This human concept carried over into Christianity and all other “chasm theology” religions and thought concepts.
In Christianity, this chasm theology needs a redeemer, Jesus or Yeshu to perform the act of atonement for sinful mankind to be saved from eternal damnation, paying for a sin which was visited on them due to a sin which Adam and Eve committed.
Quite frankly, if a person doesn’t believe these fundamentals, then i am not certain why they would call themselves Christians, other than in order to be in a group. Christianity has “Christ” at the center. The very definition of Christ or Messiah, is one who comes to save, and the rest is written in doctrines of the various groups,
What happens when a person begins to “open oneself” to reality?
When a person practices a pure form of meditation, this sense of a Chasm, or chasm theology begins to fall off naturally as all of our human concepts begin to “peel away”, and our true essence is “uncovered”…..
(I might add here that as the true essence is uncovered, the opportunity to look into “what it is that is so terrifying to humans” arises…. Christianity covers this question, and all other like questions with “Satan is trying to deceive you”, so the process ends abruptly)
When our true essence is uncovered, it reveals that we are all “a part of” one essence….. . So then once this realization begins to become clear, to continue to hold onto a sense that there is a universal separation which needs to be healed, creates a barrier or a “struggling point” which ties that person back into their old opinions.
When this happens, a vicious tug of war of “seeing reality and trying to make it fit with our human concepts” sets in…. and for myself, it held me in that spot for a LONG TIME…..
One must remain open to what takes place when one gives reality an open hand.