Brian Wilcox 'Sharing Our Lives Together'
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The Way leads from more to less. The denuding of the mind allows an intimacy with phenomena before impossible except for brief moments. One finds with this pure subjectivity a sharing with phenomena not in themselves but as they and you are in Spirit. One discovers how the most ordinary of things, happenings, and actions become reflections of the Ineffable Life and loving intimacy with Spirit. Hence, in the unclothing of thought, one welcomes direct contact with matter, experiencing matter as the place where formless Spirit grounds itself in the world of form. We find, after all our seeking, we are one Life. We discover the notion of animate versus inanimate to be false.
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When you really get in touch with nothing to depend on and become one with emptiness, a different and new life comes up. It is a life that you have never expected. You are right on the flow of life energy, just going on a nice walk, not expecting anything at all. If you see a tree, the energy of your life and the energy of the tree's life are moving along together in peace and harmony.
*Dainin Katagiri. The Light That Shines through Infinity.
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Anam Thubten, in The Magic of Awareness -
There was a lama in Tibet when I grew up. He was one of those gifted people who never received formal Buddhist training, so he appeared fairly ignorant to the more educated monks. They often made fun of him behind his back, mocking his claim of having glimpsed the Buddha mind. One day they decided to ask him, "What is Buddha mind?" so that they could laugh some more. When they asked the question, there happened to be a drizzle of rain outside, and a bird was chirping. The lama sat down in a meditation posture for a while, and then said, "It is drizzling, a bird is chirping." All of the monks cracked up. They thought he was an idiot.
Thubten writes, "This story shows how we can miss the real thing in favor of lofty ideas."
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When attending an Episcopal church in Brunswick, Georgia, I enjoyed receiving the Eucharist each Sunday morning. Having been a clergyperson in another sect for many years, I had offered it to congregates weekly. To me, the Eucharist was the most important act of the Worship.
Interesting this regard, for I had grown up in a conservative, evangelical sect that offered the Eucharist once every three months, and that not at the central meeting, Sunday morning, but Sunday evenings. What a pastor said in a sermon was more important than the Eucharist - there called the Lord's Supper. For me, later, what I had to say on a Sunday paled before the mystery of receiving the Eucharist as a community kneeling in hushed reverence.
Now, attending this Episcopal communion, I would go with other laypersons and kneel at the altar. I would cusp hands to receive the bread and dip it in a chalice of red wine.
I recall the Sunday morning that this rite meant nothing to me outside the action of receiving it. All theories about what it was had dropped away. Now, it was the words the priests or layperson spoke, the kneeling, the receiving, the being silent, and the act of gratitude.
Oddly, this felt more sacred than the hundreds of times I had given it with a doctrine about it. The sacredness of it now was for it felt so natural, so unburdened of any ideology. The bliss was the embrace of the ordinariness of it all.
Did it remain a mystery to me, as before? Yes. Yet, I was able to let the mystery remain a mystery, naked of explanation. A joy! A relief.
Someone could ask me, "What do you think the Eucharist means?" I could reply, "Nothing." Indeed, we dilute intimacy with thought. In union with an act, we find and are found by Beauty.
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So, no, the Buddhist whom Thubten refers to was not an idiot. Rather, yes, drizzle happens, birds chirp. And some only feel drizzle and hear chirping, while some feel drizzle and hear chirping - and more.
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(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020