Unknown Date, Serial 00211, Side B

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


AI Suggested Keywords:


Archival Photo

AI Summary: 





We have two people who arrived yesterday, we have Katie John, one of the discussants, welcome Katie John. And also, yesterday I forgot to say, welcome to Joon Woo from the Korean Pastry Samosa in Camel Valley. Welcome. I hope I haven't left out anybody. Now the White Hats, they were supposed to, James and Kevin White Hat, they were supposed to arrive yesterday afternoon, but they sent a fax saying that because of a thunderstorm, the flight was cancelled. And they hope to arrive today afternoon around 4 o'clock, and will still be hoping to give the informal presentation at 8 o'clock this evening.


But in case they don't show up before that, then Father Lawrence is willing to anticipate his Thursday presentation this evening, on his Holocaust, on the theme of the Way to Peace, which is so much needed. So I hope everybody will be certainly interested to come for the presentation. So I'll let you know whether it's White Hat or Lawrence Freeman at the end of the day. There are two news sheets here, a summary of Professor Chung's paper, so you can get them during the interval and put them inside your binder. Actually, for the meeting, what you need is the binder, the schedule, and that particular sheet.


I will say something about that particular sheet at the beginning of the second session, so as not to occupy too much time from the speakers this time. I think that's what I have to say now. Maybe at the beginning of the second session, I'll give some small announcements, so that I won't take too much time from the folks. Thank you. Good morning. Just to review our strategy, Father William has a 45-minute presentation or so, well, so many less. And then we'll have a 12-minute response from Maya Lahey, and then a three-minute reply from Father, and then a 30-minute discussion.


And the discussion basically is our discussion, and then hopefully we will respond at the end or as needed. But we want to get the discussion. His question is, what do you think about his paper? I'm glad to answer that. It is my pleasure to introduce Father William Skidlare. He happens to be my boss. He's the chair of the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Board, as of last summer. And he comes to us from Japan. When he wakes up in the morning, he sees Mount Fuji. He means, I see a great elevator message. William comes from St. John's Abbey in College Hill, Minnesota. And he spent some years in Brazil as an associate father to learn more about pastoral ministry, because he was in the School of Theology as dean at College Hill and wanted to know more about the pastoral scene.


And he also holds a doctorate in homiletics from Princeton University. And he's very versatile in language, but most of all in people. Let us welcome Father William. Good morning, everybody. Just one of the little things about that introduction. I didn't know when I was in Brazil from 1985 to 1990 that that was preparation for Japan. But in fact, it was. And preparation in a very specific way, because the Brazilians in Japan now are the third largest group of foreigners in Japan. There are about 270,000 Brazilians in Japan, mainly descendants of Japanese immigrants to Brazil, an immigration that began about 100 years ago, and now are coming back as unskilled laborers mainly, because they can make more money in Japan doing factory work than being a lawyer, for example, in Brazil.


So many come back to work for a brief amount of time, although that brief amount of time frequently gets longer and longer. And as a result, my ministry in Japan now is almost entirely to Brazilians. The area of Japan that we live in, Nagano-ken, has the third largest concentration of Brazilians in Japan. So every Sunday I'm in a different Brazilian community throughout Japan. So that was a kind of strange but fortuitous coincidence. As I mentioned in my precede, the topic or the idea for my presentation today came from something that I read in Thomas Merton's Zen and the Birth of Apathy. Although it's in the precede, let me just read it again. He was commenting on the comparison of Zen consciousness to a mirror. And he said, Zen consciousness does not distinguish and categorize what it sees in terms of social and cultural standards. It does not try to fit things into artificially preconceived structures.


If it seems to judge and distinguish, it does so only enough to point beyond judgment to the pure void. Here we can fruitfully reflect on the deep meaning of Jesus saying, judge not and you will not be judged. Beyond its moral implications, familiar to all, there is a Zen dimension to this word of the gospel. Only when this Zen dimension is grasped will the moral bearing of it be fully cleared. Now I can't remember exactly, but it must have been just about this time of the year that I read that particular passage from the Birth of Apathy. Because as some of you may remember, yesterday, Monday, the twelfth week of Ordinary Time, we had the reading from Matthew's Gospel which says, judge not and you shall not be judged. Yesterday morning at Mass, you heard it? And I'm now hearing those words in Japanese.


And I think, and I was just beginning my study of Japanese at that time. I'm still just beginning. I'm just reminded of a comment of a classmate of mine when I was taking my first year of Japanese. A young French priest by the name of Jean-Francois. He said he returned home one day very discouraged, very discouraged about his lack of progress in Japanese. And one of the old French missionaries said to Jean-Francois, what's the matter? And he said, oh, I'm just not getting it. It's just not coming. And this old priest, who had been in Japan about 50 years, I think, said, Jean-Francois, don't worry. When it comes to learning Japanese, the first 20 years are the hardest. But as I say, I was just beginning my study of Japanese, but I was beginning to recognize some of the nuances. Some of the nuances in the language. And I noticed that the Japanese translation of this, judge not, came out, sabaku na.


Now, normally in Japanese, when you want to ask somebody not to do something, you do so in a polite way. You would say, sabakanaide kudasai. Now, you probably wouldn't ever say to somebody, please don't judge. Although you might. You would probably say something a little stronger. But even so, it would be possible to say in Japanese, to be a little stronger, hito wo sabaitewa naranai. You can't judge. But in this particular translation, it came out, hito wo sabaku nai. Anata ga demo sabakanai nai tabi de aru. It's a very strong, very forceful way of saying something. I went back to one of my early texts in Japanese, a text by Eleanor Hart's Jordan. And she says, in commenting on this direct style of negative commands, she says, the way a command is heard depends, of course, on context, tone of voice, facial expression, and other nonverbal indicators.


However, it can generally be said that this negative direct style imperative is, and this is a direct quote now, extremely direct, aggressive, and not at all polite. You would almost never say to anybody, you know, shina, don't do that. I never hear it. It's probably the sort of thing that's only said in the family, not when you're telling your child not to touch that hot stove. It's that aggressive, directed, and not at all polite way of telling somebody not to do something. But that was the translation that is used in this ecumenical translation of the scriptures that's pretty well in use throughout Japan in Catholic and Protestant churches alike. The question, of course, is, is this an accurate translation of the Greek? And so I looked back at the Greek again. My Greek is even worse than my Japanese, but I had some resources I could check out. And I found out there that it's mekine te.


Do not judge, and that's a present imperative, and that's a way of giving what's always to be done, or always to be avoided in this case. For example, I think a more forceful or dynamically more equivalent translation of mekine te in English might be stop judging others, or don't even think of judging others. Sabaku na! Very strong, very direct, aggressive, and not at all polite way of indicating a command. So, not judging others, I would propose, is a particularly clear and forceful expression of purity of heart. The topic of this particular meeting that we just gathered. Now what I would like to do is reflect a bit on the meaning and importance of this command in the teaching of Jesus, the teaching and practice of early Christian monasticism, and then I will try to show how I understand this teaching of Jesus


in the light of the non-dualistic worldview of Buddhism. And then finally, to conclude, some reflections on my own practice of zazen, and how it has helped me to recognize the fundamental importance of not judging others, and to appreciate the possibility of attaining that purity of heart, which is expressed in a non-judgmental attitude toward others, and in fact toward oneself. I'm not going to spend a lot of time now going through the synoptic gospels and the way they deal with this word of Jesus, not to judge another, except to say that it's interesting that in the Gospel of Luke, this word of Jesus, do not judge, is immediately preceded by Jesus' word, be merciful just as your Father is merciful. And I think there is a significance in Matthew's decision to put those two words of Jesus in connection with one another. Not judging is in fact an expression of mercy to the other.


John does not have this word of Jesus. John has a lot about judging in his gospel, a lot of words of Jesus on judging and not judging, but his main concern seems to be to show how Jesus does or does not judge us. And he seems to conclude by saying that in the last analysis, it's really we who judge ourselves by our response to Jesus and to his word. I spent some time looking, not very systematically, because of the limited library resources we have in Japan, but looking at the English commentaries on this passage. And what I was mainly struck by there was the way in which most commentators seem to say, well, Jesus really didn't mean that. Something like this, for example, from one commentator, this verse liberates us from the need to be everyone's conscience or censor, but it does not free us from all need for judgment.


Every simple sentence, such as this cow is brown, is a judgment. And in adult life, we cannot escape the obligation to make some judgments, even on the moral character of others. Parents, fiancees, employers, civil judges, church administrators, all have this duty. But that refrain seems to be coming up again and again, saying in other words that, well, this is another of those examples of Semitic exaggeration. Jesus really didn't mean this. But I would like to maybe engage in a bit of hermeneutics of suspicion of the hermeneuts, and to suggest that these attempts to mollify the command of Jesus about not judging are more a reflection of the preconceptions of the exegetes than of the mind of Jesus. Coming out of a Western dualistic culture, these interpreters fail to allow for the possibility that Jesus may not be operating out of those same preconceptions.


And so I do believe Merton is right when he says there's a Zen dimension to this Word of the Gospel, and that when we recognize this Zen dimension, it can lead us to a much deeper and ultimately more fruitful understanding of the good Jesus. This passage from Merton's Zen of the First Appetite, connected with my hearing this command of Jesus in Japanese, in this direct, aggressive, and not at all polite form, must have reminded me of the fact that not judging was a very, very frequently repeated admonition of the Desert Fathers. And so I went back to the collection, the alphabetical collection, of the sayings of the Desert Fathers to refresh my memory. And in fact, it's everywhere. It's everywhere in the Fathers. To such a degree that Benedicta Ward, Sister Benedicta Ward,


who translated and edited the alphabetical collection, says that what the monks were really interested, these early Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers, were really interested in was not asceticism. What they were interested in was God. And the way to God was charity. And then she adds, one of the marks of this charity was that the Fathers did not judge. And I expect it comes up so frequently in the sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, because their life was one of such austere asceticism. Their passionate commitment to this regime of fasting and unceasing prayer and sleep deprivation and solitude, I expect, very easily tempted them to look down on the worldly ones or on their own fellow hermits who were not as observant as they were. And so we find this refrain coming up again and again in the Desert Fathers,


not to judge. The most complete, at least, expression of this insistence on not judging, that I was able to find, comes from the Abbot Moses, who says, the monk must die to his neighbor and never judge him at all in any way whatsoever. And then he expands on this. Let me just read this lengthy passage, but an important one. To die to one's neighbor is this, to bear your own faults and not to pay attention to anyone else wondering whether they are good or bad. Do no harm to anyone. Do not think anything bad in your heart toward anyone. Do not scorn the man who does evil. Do not put confidence in him who does wrong to his neighbor. Do not rejoice with him who injures his neighbor. This is what dying to one's neighbor means. Do not rail against anyone, but rather say, God knows each one.


Do not agree with him who slanders. Do not rejoice at his slander. And do not hate him who slanders his neighbor. This is what it means not to judge. Do not have hostile feelings toward anyone, and do not let dislike dominate your heart. Do not hate him who hates his neighbor. This is what peace is. Encourage yourself in this thought. Affliction lasts but a short time, while peace is forever by the grace of God the Word. So I said there are a lot of sayings, but let me just give you a couple short ones to give a bit of flavor of what this is like. Abbot Theodore said, If you are a temperate, do not judge the fornicator, for you would then transgress the law just as much. He who said, Do not commit fornication, also said, Do not judge. Be aware of your faults. Do not judge others.


Put yourself below everyone. If someone speaks about some topic, do not argue with him. But if he is right, say yes. And if he is wrong, say, You know what you are saying. Do not argue with him about what he is saying. That is human. Abbot Xanthias said, A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge. In the end, not judging means dying to the neighbor. That is, letting go of every attempt to evaluate others, and even oneself, in relation to some abstract external norm or rule. Such an attitude, I believe, does not imply that there is no need for conversion and transformation, and perhaps even at times the forceful, although non-violent restraint of behavior that is harmful or destructive. Not dying to the neighbor,


not judging, is a way of recognizing that interior and lasting change does not come about by trying to conform oneself or others to some external norm. True conversion is only brought about through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit of God. This is how I, as a Christian, would name that power. And that power can only operate in us when we let go of all pretensions and accept ourselves and others as we and they are. Such truthful acceptance is what the Christian monastic tradition refers to as humility. As our becoming quiet and centered gradually enables us to let go of every thought of judging others or ourselves, we will, as the old men told Epiphanius, be at peace. I'd now like to reflect just a little bit


on the literature of Zen, at least my very limited familiarity with the literature of Zen and about Zen, to note that, or at least what struck me is, at least in comparison, for example, to a body of literature such as that from the desert monastics, there is almost no reference to judging and not judging in this body of literature that is about and by Zen practitioners. Now, I believe that, at least as I understand it, absolutely fundamental to Zen is a non-dualistic conception of reality. And I have a hunch that Zen's insistence on the unity of all that exists is a particularly intense expression of the perception of reality that is much more common in the East


than in the West. Let me just give another little example from Japanese. A teacher of mine once said that the word chigao in Japanese, or chigaimasu, is the second most used word in that language. The most used word, he said, is isogashii, busy. You're always telling somebody, oh, you're so busy. Oh, thank you for coming to see me. I know how busy you are. It's always isogashii, isogashii. And whenever you do anything, everybody always thanks you and says, I know how busy you are. But he said the second most used word is chigao, or chigaimasu. And that word means different. It's different. Now, the Japanese use chigao, or chigaimasu, in, at least as I've been able to notice, almost those same situations in which we would say that something is wrong. That's wrong. But the Japanese don't say that.


They say it's different. Now, that to me says something about a certain perception of reality. The Japanese prefer to say something is different rather than it is wrong. And I think for most of us, shaped by a way of thinking that places such a high value on distinguishing or judging between what is true and false, orthodox or heterodox, right or wrong, that Japanese way can appear to us to be a sort of cop-out. It's like they don't like to take a stab. It's just different. But I think it may be an expression of a way of relating to the world that begins with an intuition


of the fundamental oneness of all that is rather than a fundamental division or separateness or opposition. Within that fundamental oneness, there are differences. But to say that one expression of being is right and another wrong, that one is true and the other is false, does not seem to be the way the Japanese mind instinctively responds to these differences. It simply notes that there are, in fact, different manifestations of reality, which is one. So now, to return to the literature of and about Zen, on almost every page, one finds references to this non-dualistic approach to reality that is at the very heart of Zen. Kon Yamada Roshi, who was the founder of the San Zen Do,


to which I belong in Japan, the father, in fact, of my first teacher in Zen, used to speak about this fundamental insight in his Teishos by contrasting Buddhist teaching with the presumption of ordinary people that subject and object are in opposition, that the objective world is standing before our consciousness as the completely different other world. For this reason, he says, these ordinary people, as he calls them, suffer pain and agony because the outer world does not obey their will and circumstances do not go as they wish. In one of his Teishos, he insisted that the most fundamental point of Buddhist teaching, the true Satori of Zen, is that subject and object are intrinsically one. To intuit, experience, and realize this fact


is the main reason for doing Zazen. He went on to say then, in the world of the essential nature, is there anything, after all, to be called gain or loss, good or bad? As I tell you so often, in the world of Mu, there are no such dualistic oppositions. He's referring here to this response of Jusho? I forget his name always. Josho. Josho. When a disciple came to ask him if a dog has Buddha nature, and he simply said, Mu, or Wu, meaning none, in a way, not answering it. And that has become, for early practitioners of Zen, the syllable one repeats with every breath. Mu. None. One does find occasional comments in Zen literature that are, in effect, admonitions not to judge.


Shunryu Suzuki, for example, once said, when you listen to someone, you should give up all your preconceived ideas and your subjective opinion. You should just listen to him, just observe what his way is. We put very little emphasis, he said, on right and wrong or good and bad. We just see things as they are with him and accept them. But when talking about the necessity of obeying the rules of Zen, he insisted, it is not a matter of good or bad, convenient or inconvenient. You just do it without question. That way your mind is free. The important thing is to obey your rules without discrimination, without judgment. Parenthetically, again here, I received the manuscript of the Reflections on the Rules of Dharma, which Norman Fisher was involved in, and it was kind of amusing for me to find Judith Simmer-Brown say in one place, a famous Buddhist sage says,


there is no right and no wrong, but right is right and wrong is wrong. That, I think, might be a way to keep something in the background here. We just don't worry about whether it's good or bad. There is no good or bad, but right is right and wrong is wrong. There still are one way is different, and that different way is not acceptable here. Now, as a Westerner and a Christian, I have to confess that Buddhism's fundamental intuition, about reality, about the fundamental unity, the non-distinction of object and subject, is so different from mine that my first reaction is simply to reject it out of hand as erroneous. I have been so shaped and formed by a culture which esteems individuality, which promotes competition and creativity, which constantly wants to separate things,


to distinguish things, and which simply assumes as a given that the world is ultimately composed of or explicable in terms of two basic entities, mind and matter, that I sometimes feel I simply do not have the ability even to begin to understand what Yamada Roshi is getting at when he says subject and object are intrinsically one. I don't know if I can understand it, but for reasons that are perhaps more intuitive than rational, I'm fascinated by it and attracted to it. What I can understand, however, is that if one operates out of a non-dualistic worldview and strives to come to an experiential realization of this way of conceiving reality, then there is very little reason to insist


on the necessity of not judging. That one should not, that one fundamentally is radically unable to judge, because there is nothing out there to judge, is simply taken for granted. As I see it, it is precisely because Buddhist teaching is grounded in and built on the affirmation of the intrinsic oneness of subject and object that references to not judging are virtually non-existent in the literature of Zen. Just to conclude, let me read to you this translation that appeared in the Manual of Zen Buddhism by Setsuzuki's anthology. I'm Believing Mind, by the third Chinese Zen master, Zeng Can, who died in 606.


This sort of puts it in a kind of poetic form, this insistence on the radical oneness of everything and of the non-possibility and therefore non-necessity of judging. Transformations going on in an empty world which confronts us appear real all because of ignorance. Try not to seek after the true, only cease to cherish opinions. Abide not with dualism, carefully avoid pursuing it. As soon as you have right and wrong, confusion ensues and mind is lost. The two exist because of the one, but hold not even to this one. When a mind is not disturbed, the ten thousand things offer no offense. In one emptiness,


the two are not distinguished and each contains in itself all the ten thousand things. When no discrimination is made between this and that, how can a one-sided and prejudiced view arise? So, in the light of this, I think I would ask what else are all our attempts to pass judgment on another if not a one-sided and prejudiced and therefore limited and ultimately erroneous discrimination between this and that. I'd like to conclude now with just a bit more autobiographical part about my own practice of Zazen in relation to this command of Jesus not to judge.


One of the reasons I accepted the abbot's invitation and it was an invitation, he said I won't send you to Japan if you don't want to go but I'd like you to go. One of the reasons I accepted that was precisely so that I could in some disciplined way undertake the practice of Zazen. And so I began looking for a teacher almost as soon as I arrived but it took about a year before I finally linked up with Yamada Roshi and the Sun and Zen. And since then I've continued to practice usually I try and sit twice a day. When I can, I try to make a session. It's becoming more and more difficult for me now because of my involvement in the pastoral ministry to Brazilians. And also we're living out of Tokyo now so I don't have that immediate access to my teacher. But again, things are working out. I have to get back to Tokyo once a month and usually that works the very weekend that one of my teachers has a Zazenkai


and Yamada Roshi, who is also now back in Tokyo he had been abroad for a number of years also has a Zenkai at his home. So I will have once again more regular contact. But the introductory lectures given at the Sun and Zen dome recommended that one select a room that one can regard as sacred in which to practice Zazen. And for that reason, I generally go to the oratory of our monastery and sit near the tabernacle that receptacle for the consecrated bread of the Eucharist. But I sit alongside the tabernacle. I don't sit in front of it. And my reason for doing this is because I regard my practice of Zazen in the presence of the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood not so much as a way of focusing my attention on the mystery of the Incarnation and its continuation in time and space through the sacramental signs of bread and wine but rather as a way of expressing my desire to participate in the Sun's


silent adoration of the Father who is infinite, eternal silence. Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say that one of the reasons I as a Christian have undertaken the practice of Zazen is to allow myself to be drawn more deeply and more fully into the Son of God's silent adoration of the Father. So, I do understand my practice of Zazen to be prayer. But prayer expressed not by conversing with God but simply by being silent in the Divine Presence. A Japanese Carmelite priest by the name of Augustin Ichiro Okumura in a book Awakening to Prayer recalls an incident that occurred when he was nine years old. Imitating the example of his Buddhist parents as he left home on the way to school or play he would pause to pray in front of the Shinto


and Buddhist altars that were in his home. One day his father asked him what are you praying? He was a bit taken aback by the question and not knowing what to say he said he sort of mumbled well nothing. That's it! His father said. For you to remain a moment before God with a pure heart is enough to please Him. Father Okumura says that he believes these words of his father are very likely the starting point for his ever growing realization that we also pray when we simply come before God with empty hands and say nothing. Prayer understood as being silent before God as participating in the son's apophatic adoration of the father takes on I believe an even deeper meaning when we reflect on it in the light of Jesus self-emptying his kenosis


to which Paul refers in the second chapter of his letter to the Philippians. That passage from Paul's letters included in the Roman liturgy for vespers on Saturday evening and we pray the Roman liturgy the Roman form of the liturgy of ours in Japan and so I pray those words about Christ's emptying of himself at least once a week. Again in the Japanese translation of the liturgy of the hours this verse emptying himself he became a servant is translated as jibun wo munashiku shite tsukaeru mono ni natta so emptying himself he became a servant even though the mu of munashiku is not the same as the mu that I use in my zazen the mu of munashiku means empty and the mu of zazen means not or un to become empty and to become nothing are really pretty identical in meaning.


And so as a Christian I understand my practice of zazen to be a way of sharing in the silent obedient self-emptying of Christ which allowed the glory of God to completely possess and transform the human form, the human morphe which he although equal to God took upon himself. And I might add that this way of understanding the practice of zazen was encouraged by Koum Yamada Roshi when he would have his doksan with Christians. In his book Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit Father Robert Kennedy recalls that Yamada Roshi told him several times he did not want to make him a Buddhist but rather he wanted him to empty himself in imitation of Christ your Lord who emptied himself, poured himself out and clung to nothing. And then Father Kennedy adds whenever Yamada Roshi instructed me in this way


I thought this Buddhist might make a Christian of me yet. So to empty oneself in imitation of Christ our Lord in order to share in his risen life to suffer the loss of all things regarding them as rubbish in order to gain Christ and to be found in him not having a righteousness of our own that comes from the law but one that comes through faith in Christ this is from Philippians. That is the call of the gospel. And for me at this time in my life the practice of zazen is one of the ways in which I try to respond to that call. There was another word from the gospel that struck me so much when I heard it in Japanese and that's ujibunosute we translate that in English to deny yourself take up your cross, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Now again, coming out of a Catholic childhood and all the rest denying yourself meant what? Not denying yourself. Denying yourself meant not eating sweets


all those kinds of things. But ujibunosute means throwing yourself away stay away I learned stay away my first connection with that word in Japanese in connection with the garbage that's what you did with the garbage going away, stay away. And this is the way that Japanese translation translates this word of Jesus not deny yourself, but throw yourself away ujibunosute get rid of the ego leave the ego is really what it said. That I remember hit me so strongly too it's something that I've referred to in my books on devotion. Now, the question is this practice helping me to grow in love and compassion by becoming less judgmental? This practice of zazen. And I have to confess that at times it seems to be producing just the opposite effect. On one occasion when I was participating in a zazen kai led by Sister Kathleen, I told her that after I began practicing zazen I seemed to be getting even more judgmental


than I was before. Looking down on everybody else who didn't meditate and those poor slobs. And her reply was that progress in zazen means coming to the awareness of those poor slobs hardly. And a couple months later I repeated that same concern to Kubota Roshi who was conducting a session at the Sanin Zen. His response was very interesting. He said the practice of zazen heightens perception. And so it does make us more discriminating. But this does not imply that one is to act in a critical way. When the breakthrough comes we will recognize our oneness with that which in this dualistic experience of reality we see as other and inferior. Continue to live the life of Mu he repeated over and over. That's all you have to do. That's all you have to do. Now these conversations


took place about two years ago and since then there have been no dramatic breakthroughs. But I think there has been some movement. And I continue to meditate in the hope and the conviction that my practice of zazen will continue to move me in the direction of non-judgmental compassion. If I continue to sit, continue to try to concentrate on Mu letting go of my desires to be someone, to accomplish something I believe that I will gradually or maybe even through some sudden and undeserved breakthrough be brought to an experiential realization that it is not I who live but that it is Christ who lives in me. The Christ who prayed that all be one as he and the Father are one. The Christ in whom all things hold together and in whom all the fullness was pleased to dwell. As this truth moves from my lips and my mind down into the depths of my heart purifying it from the need to set itself over and above what it still thinks is outside itself


I believe my heart, my true self will be set free from its compulsion to judge, be set free for love. At that point I believe I will be able to recognize and realize that the reason Jesus tells us not to judge sabahunah is ultimately because there is no one and nothing out there to judge. In him we live and move and have our being. In him who is divine love incarnate we are all one. Ultimately of course the following of Jesus with a pure and undivided heart goes beyond not judging others. It means loving them with the same love with which God loves us in Jesus. In all three of the synoptic gospels Jesus is asked to question about the greatest of the commandments. Each of the evangelists interestingly enough interprets the reason for asking this question a bit differently. Matthew understands the question as a test. In Mark's gospel the question is put by a scribe who is sincerely impressed by the way Jesus responds to the other scribes. And in Luke's gospel the questioner wants to know


what he needs to do in order to inherit eternal life. But in all three gospels Jesus' unequivocal and unambiguous answer is the same. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. For the Christian the practice of Zazen can be I believe a way of putting this commandment to practice. One sits in silence before the one whom one loves above and beyond all else content simply to be silent in that presence. And in this silence one gradually or perhaps even suddenly comes to the realization that in this all-embracing love all differences are overcome. There is no need to judge. All that is needed, all that is possible is to realize the oneness, to realize our oneness, to love the other as we love ourselves, to love the other with the same love with which God loves us. In silence


one can come to the ecstatic recognition that we are all one and that this awe-inspiring unity, as the Christian would put it, is nothing other than the one Christ loving himself. For in the words of the author of the letter to the Colossians, Christ is all and in all. Thank you. applause