Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Knowing -Believing

You should know that so far as buddha-nature is concerned, there is no difference between an enlightened man and an ignorant one. What makes the difference is that one realizes it, while the other is ignorant of it.
The Platform Sutra of Hui-neng, Wong Mou-Lam & A. F. Price
Thanks to Ted Biringer, The Flatbed Sutra blog fame, for the above quote 

I looked for a picture to express this "knowing-believing title but could not find one that was suitable, so being a first time grandparent, well, you get the picture.
Anyway, there is so much to say about knowing and believing. The discussion could go on for a long time. But in my  spiritual journey, just "believing" does not work for me anymore. I need to know, I need to experience something for myself. I need to own it. It needs to be mine. 

Here's the bump in the road I trip over though. 

There has to be some kind of "believing" in order to be motivated to do what you can do, so you can "know". It seems to me (and this has been my Christian experience) that too many people just stop at "believing". They just receive what has been given without serious work on their part to "own" it for themselves. Yes, that is a generalized statement. Yes, there are Christian mentors in my life that have done the hard work of "working out their own salvation" and they have made an impact in my life. In fact, they are the ones who gave me the freedom to begin this practice of Zazen. 

Nine bows to them! 

I'm rambling now. I was afraid to start this reflection for this very reason. One could go on and on about it.

This is not an Us vs Them. This is about discovering the truth for all of us, which in the end resides in all of us, from the beginning until the end. If there is a beginning and an end.

The difference is the "ignorance".

Sentient beings are numberless
I vow to save them all

Bows,
Alan

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