Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From "Confessions of a Christian Agnostic":

August 30

In Zen Buddhism, one method of spiritual enlightenment is the koan. A koan is a paradoxical statement that shatters accepted ways of thinking. A student goes to his master and is told a particular koan and then sent off to meditate upon it. One of the most famous koans is "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Puzzled and perplexed, the student absents herself for hours or days or weeks and returns to the master in the hope of impressing home with her wisdom. It rarely works. Most often the student is sent away to meditate on the koan some more. The process is repeated, sometimes for years, before the student is judged to have experienced some kind of enlightenment from the meditation. An arduous task, to be sure, and radically different from our western understanding that a couple of college degrees and a few impressive books in your library is all that you need to be considered spiritually wise.

From my study of scripture, I believe that this Zen method may be closer to the method by which Jesus taught than our more traditional image of him lecturing to the disciples as they all sat entranced at his feet, furiously scribbling away at their notes in order that one day they could be famous authors of something called a gospel.

The idea of Jesus teaching in koans may be troubling to those who like their Christianity neat and tidy. I am sure it was particularly offensive to the Pharisees who had God all figured out. Certainly the most disturbing koan of all was not something Jesus said but something he did. The greatest koan would have been "Christ crucified." No one expected God to wind up dead! No one expected the messiah to hang out with the outcast and the unclean and then die a sinner's death! "Christ crucified" is still offending us and troubling us and upsetting us two thousand years later. We're still trying to figure out what that means. If the idea of a Christian koan is as intriguing to you as it is for me, then let me offer one more that you might spend some time...like the rest of your life...meditating upon. It is from Jesus, the greatest of teachers...not because of his degrees and intelligence, not because he was respected by the powerful and admired by the successful...but because he was a teacher who, as they say, practiced what he preached and what he preached, I believe, were illuminating stories and intriguing little koans.

Here is the one for you to take today... "Whoever loses their life will find it." You've heard it before, of course. Hear it again and again and again. "Whoever loses their life will find it." Now go and learn what this means.
 

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was meditating on 2 Cor 1:19-21 and it was a perfect koan for me. My brain just kind of stumbled and fell down in the mud.

The Son of God, Jesus Christ... was never Yes-and-No; his nature is all Yes. For in him is found the Yes to all God's promises and therefore it is "through him" that we answer "Amen" to give praise to God.

I will stay with this one for a while. It somehow seems like the right one for me.
 

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fr. Theophane:

I knew there were many interesting sights, but I didn't want any more of the little answers, I wanted the big answer. So I asked the guestmaster to show me directly to the House of God.

I sat myself down, quite willing to wait for the big answer. I remained silent all day, far into the night. I looked Him in the eye. I guess He was looking me in the eye. Late, late at night I seemed to hear a voice: "What are you leaving out?" I looked around. I heard it again. "What are you leaving out?" Was it my imagination? Soon it was all around me, whispering, roaring, 'What are you leaving out? What are you leaving out?"

Was I cracking up? I managed to get to my feet and head for the door. I wanted the comfort of a human face or a human voice. Nearby was the corridor where some of the monks live. I knocked on one cell.

"What do you want?" came a sleepy voice.

"What am I leaving out?" "Me," he answered. I went to the next door. "What do you want?" "What am I leaving out?"

A third cell, a fourth, all the same.

I thought, "They're all stuck on themselves." I left the building in disgust.

Just then the sun was coming up. I had never spoken to the sun before, but I heard myself pleading, "What am I leaving out?" The sun too answered, "Me." That finished me.

I threw myself on the ground. And the earth said, "Me too."
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top