Sequoia tree trunk at Sequoia National Park.
© 2014 Marina Rundell
Excerpts below from Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh:
“No single tradition monopolizes the truth. We must glean the best values of all traditions and work together to remove the tensions between traditions in order to give peace a chance.”
“There is a story of one woman who invoked the name of the Buddha hundreds of times a day without ever touching the essence of a Buddha. After practicing for ten years, she was still filled with anger and irritation. Her neighbor noticed this, and one day while she was practicing invoking the name of the Buddha, he knocked on her door and shouted, ‘Mrs. Ly, open the door!’ She was annoyed to be disturbed, she struck her bell very hard so that her neighbor would hear she was chanting and would stop disturbing her. But he kept calling, ‘Mrs. Ly, Mrs. Ly, Mrs. Ly, I need to speak with you.’ She became furious, threw her bell down on the ground, and stomped to the door, shouting, ‘Can’t you see I’m invoking the name of the Buddha? Why are you bothering me now?’ Her neighbor replied, ‘I only called your name twelve times, and look at how angry you have become. Imagine how angry the Buddha must be after you have been calling his name for ten years!’”
“Christians may do exactly as Mrs. Ly did if they only follow the rituals mechanically or pray without really being present…In Christianity, as well as in Buddhism, many people have little joy, ease, relaxation, release, or spaciousness of spirit in their practice. Even if they continue for one hundred years that way, they will not touch the living Buddha or the living Christ. If Christians who invoke the name of Jesus are only caught up in the words, they may lose sight of the life and teaching of Jesus. They practice only the form, not the essence. When you practice the essence, your mind becomes clear, and you attain joy. Christians who pray to God also have to learn deeply Christ’s art of living if they want to enter His teachings. It is by watering the seeds of the awakened qualities that are already in us, by practicing mindfulness, that we touch the living Buddha and the living Christ.”
“We can touch the living Buddha. We can also touch the living Christ. When we see someone overflowing with love and understanding, someone who is keenly aware of what is going on, we know that they are very close to the Buddha and to Jesus Christ.”
“I do not think there is that much difference between Christians and Buddhists. Most of the boundaries we have created between our two traditions are artificial. Truth has no boundaries. Our differences may be mostly differences in emphasis.”
“You are born in your tradition, and naturally you become a Buddhist or Christian. Buddhism or Christianity is part of your culture and civilization. You are familiar with your culture and appreciate the good things in it. You may not be aware that in other cultures and civilizations there are values that people are attached to. If you are open enough, you will understand that your tradition does not contain all truths and values. It is easy to get caught in the idea that salvation is not possible outside of your tradition. A deep and correct practice of your tradition may release you from that dangerous belief.”
Quote below from Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Buddhists and Christians know that nirvana or the Kingdom of God is within their hearts.”
A state of misery
shows me its beauty
to own bigger-than-life tanks
to carry bigger-than-life bullets
to cling to its rightness
to attach to its truths
to act on its state of mind
to fight for its thoughts
to re-enact its beauty
to stay beautiful
a beauty it can’t seem to stop
whenever it returns.
So the solution is up to me.
I must solve this beauty,
watch it, let it
leave my heart.
© 2014 Marina Rundell
Sequoia National Park Pictures Directory
Occasional Pictures Directory