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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Willigis Jager

We've been born as human beings to realize who we are and to experience how we participate in the divine. This is what I see as the meaning of life. We are here to become true human beings, to go beyond our individual egos, and to realize that our true essence is the essence of God. When I say this, I am saying it to people who probably have not had a mystical experience themselves. But I still want to say it to encourage them to believe in the possibility of such an experience and to live their lives in such a way that a mystical experience will be possible for them. For this purpose, it is indispensable to offer them something they can trust. I thus have the following words of encouragement for people who come to me with their questions about the meaning of life: "Give yourself over to this process of life and trust that it is God's process!" In traditional religious language that means to obey the will of God, not with gnashing of teeth but with a basic, unreserved trust that life has meaning. To bring people closer to this trust, teaching them how to let go, how to open themselves, seems to be the most important task a spiritual teacher can take upon himself or herself.

From Mysticism for Modern Times: Conversations with Willigis Jager, pg. 72

Sunday, June 23, 2013

As I continue to work through my life's koan of what it means to be a Buddhist/Christian, the following words spoke some clarity for me from the Platform Sutra:

What do we mean by no-thought? The teaching of no-thought means to see all dharmas without being 

attached to any dharma, to reach everywhere without being attached to anywhere...

excerpted from The Platform Sutra – The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng translatedby Red Pine

Thinking back on work this week, this was actualized 

during an encounter with a patient as we

were talking about his very intimate death. He was

very articulate about what he wanted to do about

any treatment at this point and did not want to delay

the inevitable. He even passed up a comfort measure 

offered by his physcian, thinking it would only delay

his death. His wife acknowledged that they had no 

religious affiliation. I told the patient I was not there

to direct him towards any particular faith, I was there

to address any spiritual issues or questions he might

have at this point and wanted to support him in any

way I could. We had a very fruitful conversation re-

garding comfort measures and I affirmed his courage

regarding the acceptance of his impending death.

I reminded him I was available if he needed any further

conversation about spiritual issues that might

arise for him. He thanked me and said there probably

would be some questions come up for him but he was

not afraid of death. End of conversation. I gently 

touched his feet and and said, "I pray you have a 

peaceful and meaningful journey."

" to reach everywhere without 

being attached to anywhere..."

I reached and we did connect. It's hard to replicate 

that moment in just these words but there was an 

intimacy and acceptance in that moment...

"Just This"...

And in that intimacy, "God" was present.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy 42nd Anniversary Laurie

LALA...aka...Laurie...aka...My WIfe of 42 Years!

Growing old together,
Settling into a rhythm of life
Where at times it seems our breaths are one.
Our differences no longer challenged
Just accepted.
Growing old together,
Graced with the gift of seeing the fruits of our love
In four precious souls who, 

Without their knowing it,
Have matured us in ways we could have never born ourselves.
Watching you give and give,
To these little ones
Has been one of the greatest gifts you have given me.
I love you deeply as my wife,
But there are times I love you even more
As Lala to those little ones.
So happy anniversary to a great wife
And an absolutely wonderful grandmother.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.*