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

Thursday, August 28, 2014


“…AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND AT MY AGE, I HAVE COME TO VALUE EXPERIENCE WITH GOD ABOVE DISCUSSION ABOUT GOD.  IN MY YOUTH I WAS A PUGNACIOUS DEFENDER OF THE FAITH.  BUT NOW, HAVING LEARNED A FEW CONGENIAL THINGS BEFORE MY ADVANCING DOTAGE, I SIMPLY TAKE GOD AS A GIVEN. I TAKE GOD AS DISCERNIBLE BUT NOT DEFINABLE, HIDDEN AND REVEALED, INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND EVERYWHERE PRESENT. (GOD) DOES NOT NEED MY DEFENSE; (GOD) CAN TAKE CARE OF (GOD'S SELF) AND ADVANCE (GOD"S) OWN CAUSE. IF THERE’S ONE THING I’VE TAKEN TO HEART FROM MARTIN BUBER’S I AND THOU, IT’S THIS: GOD IS ALWAYS TO BE ENCOUNTERED DIRECTLY, AS YOU AND NOT “IT.” EVEN WHEN TALKING ABOUT GOD IN OBJECTIVE “IT” TERMS, THOSE TERMS ARE NEVER FINAL AND ALWAYS THE BEGINNING OF GETTING “IT” WRONG. When GOD IS YOU, GETTING HIM WRONG IS RARELY A PROBLEM. THIS CONVICTION HAS ONLY INCREASED IN ME OVER THE YEARS, AND SIMPLICITY OF THIS TRUTH HAS ALLOWED ME TO VIEW DOGMA AS INDICATIVE RATHER THAN ABSOLUTE. WHAT IT INDICATES MAY BE EITHER A CLEAR-CUT PATH THROUGH THE WOODS TO THE DWELLING OF GOD, OR A MISLEADING WAY INTO A SWAMP OF WORDS AND FORMULAS AND ENDLESS DEFINITIONS. WHICH ONE IT WILL BE ALL DEPENDS ON HOW THE DOGMA IS APPROPRIATED. GOD CAN NEVER BE REDUCED TO REASSURING ABSTRACTIONS (THE PRINCIPAL SIN OF JOB’S FRIENDS), CAN NEVER BE CONFINED WITHIN A SYSTEM OF THOUGHT, AND IS NOT THE PROPERTY OF DOCTRINES. GOD IS YOU---THE ONE “IN WHOM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING.”

The Ox-Herder and The Good Shepherd: Finding Christ on the Buddha's Path
by Addison Hodges Hart

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