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

Friday, August 3, 2012

We Are A Wordless Proclamation

One time when Zen master Seung Sahn asked his student a question, the student answered, “One.” Seung Sahn said to the student, “Where does this ‘One’ return to?” Even the One has to return somewhere. The student replied, “I don’t know.” Seung Sahn smiled at her and said, “Only don’t know—wonderful!”
 It’s the same with the unborn; you can’t define it, you can’t grasp it, but it is to be realized. We long for this. The birth of the Buddha is about the proclamation of the unborn. If it’s unborn, it means it can’t die, because it never was created. When the temporal body of a great teacher dies, there is still this eternal life that continues aeon after aeon, or kalpa after kalpa, beyond space and time. Realized or not, this is the case because there is no beginning and no end. It is the same when ordinary people die; there is the same eternal life because eternal life is the no-mind, or unborn, this infinite spaciousness and great peace that we cannot define because it is not limited by any conditions. Some of you may have experienced this by being with those who have died. It is neither here nor there, big nor small, female nor male, neither living nor dead. It’s beyond words. That’s what it means to be a wordless proclamation. We can’t say anything about it. But that’s also why it’s great. (Great means “no beginning, no end.”) We should know that we are inherently endowed with this greatness. This is what the proclamation of the birth of Buddha is all about. Real practice is the realization of this. That’s our celebration.

Roshi, Jakusho Kwong (2007-12-18). No Beginning, No End: The Intimate Heart of Zen (p. 230). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

Was the birth of Jesus about the proclamation of the unborn?

Story of the Word John 1

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2The Word was with God in the beginning. 3Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being 4through the Word was life,a and the life was the light for all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light.

6A man named John was sent from God. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. 8He himself wasn't the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light. 9The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world. 10The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn't recognize the light. 11The light came to his own people, and his own people didn't welcome him. 12But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God's children,
 13born not from blood from human desire or passion, but born from God. 14The Word became flesh and made his home among us.

Common English Bible (2011-06-15). CEB Common English Bible (Kindle Locations 49991-50002). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.  Locations 49979-49990). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

Seems this past year I have spent a lot of time trying to integrate much of Buddhist thought with Christian theology.

Reading this past week from No Beginning, No End: The Intimate Heart of Zen, I came across this "wordless proclamation". Then I started thinking about this word becoming flesh thing. Then I started thinking about realizing and actualizing. Then I started thinking about the "I am the way, the truth and the life", then I started thinking about mind and body and embodiment.

None of this probably makes any sense to anyone but me right now but I had to write it out.


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