Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, February 23, 2010
A monk who is skilled in concentration
can cut the Himalayas in two.
Anguttara Nikaya 6:24 [Buddhist]
I very often feel that we live in an era (at least in the West) where we have very little control. My perception is that this is the foundation of so much of the deep anxiety, often unconscious, that Westerners experience. And one thing I have been aware of for many years now: almost no Christian denomination these days teaches a spirituality with any power. Christian churches and “hierarchies” have become caught up in, have been co-opted by, worldly power and by the intent to control persons in a sterile “moral” setting. Why is it that after millennia, hierarchs have not learned that they are on a fool’s quest??
Jesus said (I am paraphrasing) that if one had faith, one could move mountains. I do not think He was speaking “literally”. Jesus would not be interested in showing someone hw to move a physical mountain; that’s just a stunt, with no mystical meaning to it, as well as no meaning for living one’s Life in society.
Whether mountains of the Gospel or the specific Himalayas of the Buddha, they stand for “obstacle” – things that stand in the way of becoming fully human in the imago dei. By which is meant, we are all destined to the highest manifestation of what the most holy imagination can conceive of as “human”. And ….. each of us contributes to the definition of the nature of that “manifestation”.
Roadblocks to Being are thrown up by Life every second of every day. That is the way Life is! That’s what makes it exciting. Every day we arise, we arise into an arena where we are confronted by “ravenous beasts”. They represent Evil, “false gods”, Deception, a host of powers seeking to drag or lull us into an indolent way. Our anchoring in the practice of Holy Living allows us to shake these succubae off!
Spiritual Truth is simple. It is easy to learn, if not so easy to apply. The principles are unshakably sound. May we be granted gifted Teachers and Livers of these Principles. And the courage to apply then in our daily lives. If we are faithful, the very “Himalayas” – every obstacle to Servanthood - will be cut in twain like the veil of the Temple, and we will unfold as a servant of Christ’s love in the World.