* * *
I can affirm as Christ for me, what was spoken by a person who was a member of a church I served as pastor and student of my contemplative prayer and life classes. I asked her, as we stood together in what we called the fellowship hall, “What do you think about the relationship of Christ and Buddha?” “I think they’re the same,” she spoke. They are not, of course, the same if we equate Christ with Jesus and Buddha with Gautama Buddha of about 1500 years ago. Otherwise, the words “Christ” and “Buddha” point to the same Truth, the same Presence. So, Buddha is not a Buddhist, anymore than Christ could be a Christian. One mind is predisposed to meet the Immanence of Grace as Christ, another Buddha, another as Shiva, another as Father, another as Mother, and so forth.
That is, we experience the Christ in different ways, yet that the word "Christ" indicates is not a collective or personal experience, rather prior to and beyond it, though related to through the image. This means, the mind that experiences Grace is within Grace.
* * *
the Divine, known through many names,
is one Divine
we never know in advance
how this Sacred will reveal Itself to us
however, our preconditioning
provides a temporal context for Grace to appear
if one is a Buddhist
the Divine is likely to appear as a Buddha
and if one is a Christian
the Divine is likely to manifest as Christ
yet, also ironically, Buddha is Christ, Christ is Buddha
for both expressions of the same Holiness
this is implied in the Christian teaching of ~
incarnation, manifestation, epiphany
these words speaking of the one act of Christ assuming matter
so there is no opposition between matter and spirit
the body of beings, of Earth, of the ground and sky
means of the expression of Christ, of Buddha, of Wisdom
so, the story…
A man wanted to meet with God. He had heard of persons meeting God at a mountain on the other side of the world. He traveled to this far-off place. Upon finding the mountain, as he had been told, there would be a path leading to the top. There he would be told how to meet God.
This man walked to the summit, enthused to find the answer he had sought for so long in earnest longing. He was surprised; on looking at a little wooden sign with words painted on it in blue and an arrow in red pointing back toward the trail, he read, “Return, I am down there.”
to say, “I am down there”
does not mean merely location
for the Spirit is equally “up there” where is the sign
"down there" speaks of grounding in this world
finding the joy of the Holy amid other beings
manifesting heaven on earth
* * *
what makes the manifestation possible?
we can lose the sense of the Divine if immersed in matter
this is why we adore Nature for what Nature expresses
we do not worship matter as something in itself
this is the essential mistake of idolatry, creature worship, Earth worship ~
identifying the Whole with a part, even what we call a holy part
so, another story…
The Abbot summoned a young monk to the chapel. The monk always showed great respect to the Abbot. When the monk arrived in the chapel, the Abbot said, "You show too much respect to me." Pointing to the windows, the Abbot continued, "Windows are the means of Light. Be attentive to the Light." Later, after the monk complied, the Abbot said, "You do not show enough respect to me. Remember, I am a window of the Light, in respecting me more highly, you respect the Light more highly." For a time, this apparent contradiction confused the monk, until he saw it was only an apparent contradiction. Then, too, the monk understood why his Abbot, unlike some other Abbots he knew, respected so highly those under his spiritual care.