Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Did the Buddha have a teacher?
With acknowledgements to the author, Tom Ragland (see links under Gnostic Tom)
Gotama turned away from the Hindu teachers,but in a way he distilled their quest,
their purpose, their merging of Atman with Brahman, their quest for Nirvana,
he stripped off all the talks of gods and sacrifices and devotions and authorities
and rituals, let go of metaphysical speculation, let go of dogmatic assertions, let go of cherished ideas, and reached for the core of awakening within himself, or in spite of his conditioning and the mind games he had come to identify with.
Jesus turned away from the Jewish teachers, but in a way he distilled their quest,
their purpose, their bringing on the Messianic age, of envisioning a people merged
with God's will, on earth as in heaven, not to destroy the Torah but to bring it to
life in the heart, to channel God for the rest of humanity.
Today, perhaps, Christianity and Buddhism andall of the traditions of the past need to be turned away from, but the essence of the original quest must be somehow revived in a new and meaningful way that works for this generation.
What would Jesus do today? Would he sit in a church on Sunday and sing hymns?
What would Gotama do today? Would he sit on a pillow in a zazen session and breathe?
They were both about getting past the structures and formalities of religion
and learning how to make it real and meaningful and practical.