Unknown Date, Serial 00229

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Another thing, too, when we think about further meetings like this is to allow some time for
I had this kind of visceral experience yesterday of almost being sick, and I was so stuffed.
It's not just the great food here, but it was all of the talks that we had here.
And, I mean, this was so full and so rich that how do we do this again in addition to
making some shift to the practice, just so that we can have some time and space to ourselves
to process some of this and to think about it.
I think that would be something to look for in future planning.
I was going to say that I think it's really a challenge to each one of us to work in our
own practice, so that when we have this time to share, that we can see the commonality in
the practices.
Because I think all of us, if you look at each practice, there's something essential
in it that draws on us as a human, why it touches us, whether it's a mantra, whether
it's the work, Professor Chong is saying that the work or the self-inquiry, and Vipassana,
it's watching the ideas go by and objectively distancing ourselves from it, the Jesus prayer
or the mantra, the emptiness of the mind.
What's it do to us?
It touches us in that way that we get more in touch with our essential being, or the
Word of Enlightenment.
And so I think if we all do our own practice, all the richness, like for myself, I could
have more and more of these talks because I could practice all year by myself.
I'm not saying that I truly enjoyed the multi-faith sharing.
I thought it was extremely rich.
There was a really personal element to it that each one brought their own tradition
that's very humane, that's very touched.
But also, what we share here is just to see the commonality and to see that there's
not these differences in really the task within the task, what the practices are, what
it's all about.
It's very, very common to all of us.
I'm most impressed by the other day's inter-religious ceremony in that afternoon.
I think we should have some idea of what I call inter-practice and multi-practice.
In other words, why we cannot share the same practice?
Even a monastic Christian, I presume, can go to different Christian churches on Sundays.
If you're not here, you go to another church, and you probably join them.
So someday, a Christian can go to a Buddhist church, and a Buddhist can go to a Christian
church and join the practice.
Because, in essence, what we share in common is the being and non-being, the emptiness,
because you talk about practice and meaning.
So we can talk about, therefore, multi-practice, shared practice, inter-practice.
I invite you to dream up that day.
People can really go into this and that and talk about not only Christians being Christians
and Buddhists being Buddhists, but Christian Buddhists and Buddhist Christians,
in my confusing integration.
Separate two hands.
I just want to back up also what Thay and Professor Chang were saying.
Because, as we say, ritual is ideology and action.
The ritual expresses, somehow, our relationship to reality.
So to practice together, and then to maybe, for you to explain, for Hung Hsu to explain
the bowing, we understand our whole worldview even from our practices.
This is a great unexplored area, which we've talked a little bit about already this week,
that we'd be really well to dive into.
I guess into the parachute position.
Just speaking, not for me, but for Norman Fisher,
who said that he would like to have people go to various prayer communities
and have both practice and also dharma talks.
Not so much presentations about stuff, but actual talks geared in the direction of the practice
that the outsiders could also participate in
and then be entering through the word more deeply into those other practices
and learn more about it, not from an academic presentation,
but from a particularly related to the practice, so something like a dharma talk.
Maggie, are you still there?
You know, a foursome that would be interesting and very practical for me
would be to have the four yogas, I know there's more,
but, you know, Karma, Vajra, Gana, and Bhakti.
And then how we all have practices in those four dimensions.
And then we all have teachings and we have literature and Lekso Divina in those areas.
And then how that influences spiritual direction.
Because that's when people come to you,
and practice is how they can continue their initiation or their illumination
through Lekso Divina of the, let's say, reading the practice of the presence of God,
but then a practice of it.
I think that would be most illuminating from the Asian traditions with Christianity.
Gabriel, and then let's turn to our next question after that.
At future gatherings, it seems to me we ought to have, every day,
one session of interfaith prayer like we had the other night.
A brief following up to Cyprian.
There's a kind of art and there's a kind of practice to entering into a different practice.
So it's not something actually to take casually.
I worked on this when I was doing my Master's a dozen years ago in San Francisco,
to actually learn how to, and I've been to Christian services now
in Protestant and Catholic contexts in a lot of ways,
and it took a lot of work for me to actually, as a Buddhist,
be able to go to a Christian service and thoroughly enjoy it and participate in it
and feel present with it.
And so it's not, I would imagine, for a lot of the brothers here,
it would be difficult to come to a Buddhist,
whether a Hongshu or my version of a Buddhist meditation and service.
So maybe we actually do need to attend to how do we share practice
in the sense of how do we learn to participate in somebody else's practice,
not giving away our own tradition of art, but also entering into it.
And that's a different kind of dialogue.
It's very challenging. It's not casual.
If the monastics could do that, what a wonderful gift to the world.
Let's turn to our next question.
I'm so glad you're playing the heavy here.
People expected me to be the heavy, and I'm not a heavy.
But, you know, I've gone to synagogue service,
and I fully participated, no problem, you know.
But I've twice been at recitations of sutras,
and I'm just uncomfortable, because I never was a Buddhist.
And so, you know, I see the point, but yet in India,
I've been at recitations where mantras were used
with generic names of God, as you were careful to use.
And that worked. That worked.
So it's real ticklish.
And it takes a very creative liturgist to...
And I think one's enough.
You know, sitting...
Really, one's enough as a kind of good experience.
But let me say this.
Quietly sitting at a vigil is multi-religious.
Our quietly sitting at evening prayer is multi-religious.
Now at Gethsemane, we were building each other up
at 5.45 in the morning,
sitting there, you know, for 30 minutes.
Then you could go to morning prayer after that.
I mean, that was health, you know.
But we were building each other up,
and so that was going on.
And they did create some sort of evolution rituals
and stuff that we did, sparsed it through,
you know, that kind of work.
Smudging, that works.
The smudging isn't just Hindu.
But I think that, back to Meg's point,
if you just took something like Lectio Divina
or incessant prayer
and connected with spiritual direction
and practice,
why is it that a spiritual guide
would give this text of scripture
to be read by this candidate,
by this person in the community?
Or why would this Buddhist teacher
give this mantra to this particular person?
So now we're kind of getting into typology
we're getting into the function and so forth.
I think there's a lot there
that we could share back and forth.
I just wanted to say,
I think all of us,
when we go into any sort of religion,
have to, we all translate.
Even if we're in a tradition, we translate.
If we're Christians going into a Christian tradition,
when we hear the words of the liturgy,
we translate it into our own experience.
I think all of us have to be open containers enough
that when we hear something
we can translate it something
so that it's meaningful to us.
And I think that's something
that we have to do ourselves.
It's our own work.
We have to be free enough and open enough
to be able to grow
where we can do it and live.
And the other dimension here,
there's some people here
who are Jews,
who are Christians,
and are doing other practices.
So they bring another dynamic to
the worship that's already going on here.
So, that's another.
I just say,
one thing that we learned
that is pretty,
the location really matters.
And when you're in their location,
you do that prayer.
And then if you,
you can't really replicate a Buddhist thing.
And I, and truly,
so I think there's where you do someplace.
And we can't do it all in one lifetime.
How's that?
So the Kamal Halis would do
the Kamal Hali prayer
in an interfaith
and then the silence.
I don't think you can replicate
you know,
a total ceremony
like you have your Vespers.
You know,
so I mean,
we just have to come close.
We could come close
and what we could do
is in a place like this,
we could actually do
a puja to Lord Jesus.
And it would be as,
you know,
it would be very Hindu.
And we could have
a real Hindu RIT here.
So I mean,
there's some things at the heart
that really do translate.
Okay, turn to our next question
and I'll ask you to open it up.
Okay, open it up.
awakened being,
and one who awakens other beings.
one who knows enough
to reach
Master Eckhart's detachment,
knows enough to get back
to Zhuangzi's state
of undifferentiated chaos,
undifferentiated true being,
but who doesn't,
who stays around,
moves back to the inner city,
someone who
devotes his or her life
to speaking
instead of silent,
and does so specifically
because with the aid of
practices and vows.
Those are the things.
The vows typically are
living beings are numberless,
even so, I'm going to save them all.
And when you make that vow,
you throw your watch away.
You're not waiting for enlightenment
or hoping for Buddhahood in a weekend.
You say, however many eons,
I'll save them all.
Only then do I realize
based on suffering.
Afflictions are endless. I vow to cut them all off
even though they're endless. I'm going to do that.
Purify my mind as it connects
to all beings to the infinite point.
That's in accordance with the
truth of affliction.
Dharma doors, methods of practice,
be it Lectio Divina, be it
Eucharist, are limitless.
I'm going to learn them all.
And that's in accordance with
the truth of cessation.
And then the Buddha's way is supreme.
I vow to attain it,
together with all living beings.
So it's a big heart.
And this is particularly
the Buddhist province of the Mahayana,
of the Northern tradition.
Theravada talks
about Bodhisattvas, but usually
individuals. They refer to the Buddha
of the Jataka tales
and past incarnations as the Bodhisattva
in Pali. But the
Bodhisattva path, with all its dimensions,
is not articulated in the Theravada.
The Vajrayana, the Tibetan school, feels
that this is OK, but
it's kind of implicit. It's not articulated.
So what we're talking about
is largely the tradition,
the sutra tradition of the Mahayana.
And it includes
the great Bodhisattva, sometimes called
the Celestial Bodhisattva,
who, the story says,
was a Buddha, but who didn't
stay in Nirvana
because, witness to the suffering
of living beings, we pointed to
the cross two days ago, just to save
yesterday to say, this is
some confirmation of the fact
that living beings are still suffering.
And if Jesus came to testify that, then
he was speaking, the Buddha was
underscoring that lesson.
So, another
is Manjushri, who uses
great wisdom. Kashidagarbha,
Urstor, who made a vow to go to the hells
until all living beings were saved.
And then the last one is Samantabhadra,
the Bodhisattva of
great practices.
So, that's just a rough
outline of how one tradition
articulated this re-entry
into the world, the descent.
The Tzadik in Judaism, in Hasidism
is another being, who
comes back to the marketplace
to rescue
his fellow suffering Jews
and stays there, enduring the pain
until they do.
Christ is the most available figure that I
know for Western Americans.
What's this Bodhisattva stuff? I say, you know one
very well, whose
behavior, at least, resembled that of a
Bodhisattva. I don't mean to
call out Jesus as a Buddhist, but
just to say that that is
a symbol of exactly what that
might be. So,
just to open that up, when I hear
the Arhat is one who knows
enough to save himself and says, I'm out of here.
You know, quickly, by a
suffering place. And if you can save yourself,
it takes great effort. The Bodhisattva's
heart is, I think,
the inspiration that maybe brings
people to Christianity.
This realization
that there is a possibility
for salvation.
Okay, you know.
David and Taigan
and then we're finished.
This connects me to Bodhisattva.
I feel like many of us
cave, but I don't
know about descending to hell
to save our living beings.
But to come out of the paradise
of the self, to
serve for a conference like this,
is a little bit along the same
I'd like you to
point out for the Gabriel who has
been serving us.
Taigan and then Father Joseph.
I was just going to put in a plug for a book about
Bodhisattva, you were describing
Bodhisattva archetypes.
Anyway, a book I wrote.
Just one little thing
to turn that further. What we do,
even as monastics on the mountaintop, has a
tremendous impact on society.
People have talked about social
action. The world out
there is in a terrible mess
as it maybe always is, but
really it is now.
That's part of what we're
doing here. That's where the bridge
between Buddhism and Christianity goes both ways.
We're learning. Yes, I learned a lot
from Christianity about the Buddhist
Bodhisattva path.
need to conclude after this
one week
long conference.
first is a request
anyone has some
comments or
suggestions about
symposium, it would be most welcome.
If you don't leave
immediately, you have time, you can
just take a standard sheet
of paper and write some
comments, either
what you
you would like to continue
to see,
things you appreciate,
and especially your suggestions,
you think something can be
improved or
can be done differently.
I think those are both helpful.
Please, either
before you leave or
after going home, you're still welcome
to send some comments, either
to Fr. Bruno or to
myself. Those will be
useful for the future. So the first is
a request.
Second is
I think
everybody feels
we should be grateful,
grateful to
to Buddha,
the highest,
the higher
To the grace of God,
it's a
graceful moment of grace,
a week of grace, so we must
just keep
maybe half a minute of silence
to give this Thanksgiving, and then
I will express my thanksgiving to you
So after expressing our
thankfulness to God,
then I would like really to thank
each and every one of you,
those who have come
from far or come from
near, for your
goodwill, for your
positive and very supportive
response right from the beginning.
It's the dialogue
for me that has been going on
for the last two years, the correspondence
and so on.
I always find strong support
from each and every one
for your hard work in
preparing the paper
or preparing the response,
and for your
friendly and positive
attendance throughout this week.
It's not easy
four sessions a day,
two in the morning, two in the afternoon,
but there's always a kind of positive
energy right to the end of the
day. Discussions are always
... time is always too short for
discussions, so I think this is
a goodwill on the part of each
one of you. I'm very grateful
for that, so thank you for this
sharing on different levels,
of course we hope
that the fruit
can be preserved and
can be different.
Then a word of thanks also
for the hospitality, although
I am in
between this week.
I'm in between.
I think I'm more on the side of those
receiving hospitality.
So I would like
on behalf of the
participants, would like really
to express a sincere
thanks and appreciation for
the community, beginning
from prior
Father Raniero,
always helping the
kitchen work,
washing dishes, and so on.
That's a good example for
the community, and so for the
different people, everybody
involved in this hospitality,
the guest master, as I say,
the kitchen master is in the
kitchen, and so
we really should express
also our gratefulness to them.
then also I would like to
ask you for a prayer for all those
benefactors who have
for the
expense of the
symposium. That's quite
a considerable sum of
total money, but may
God bless their generosity.
I think we can
express our thankfulness to
one another, and to
our host,
Father Raniero, with a
sincere clapping
to express our thanks.