A journey of discovery-part last (7)

A journey of discovery-part 1   A journey of discovery-part 2   A journey of discovery-part 3

A journey of discovery-part 4   A journey of discovery-part 5   A journey of discovery-part 6

When I picked up that dusty Bible again, I rediscovered the lessons of Saint James. I am not in the position to debate whether or not these are the actual words and thoughts of Jesus’s brother, half-brother, or his cousin, depending on your religious affiliation. I have read several sides of the argument, and I can honestly say that it has no bearing on me one way or the other. What I do care about is how, if taken to heart, these common sense words, written many years ago, can change us. It is interesting, though not surprising, that some of James’s teachings contradict Paul’s, but none contradict the example Jesus asks us to follow.

When I read the Book of James now, I understand that he is not just teaching us lessons on how we should live our lives, but how we should live with good intentions free of hate, desire, and misconceptions. In Buddhist parlance, these lessons follow many of the percepts offered in the Eightfold Noble Path: right thought, right action, right effort, right speech, right livelihood, right attention, right concentration, and right understanding. If we live accordingly, we will suffer no karmic consequences, meaning we will bring no harm to ourselves or to other beings.

During the time when I had just begun studying Buddhism, I went on a very difficult bicycle ride. This was an eighty-five-mile excursion with over seven thousand feet of climbing with one very nasty three thousand-foot mountain in the middle. When I reached the peak of this mountain, I stopped to catch my breath, take a drink of water, and enjoy the panoramic view. A gentleman who was a couple of years older than I am and obviously, to my chagrin, was much stronger, was already at the summit resting and taking in this truly wondrous sight. Looking northwest on this clear early spring morning, the view stretched for miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains. He smiled at me, knowing what we had both just accomplished by climbing this wicked hill, and he said, “Very Zen-like, isn’t it?” I still hadn’t quite caught my breath when I answered him sarcastically, “Which part?” He smiled again as he looked out over the vista and said, “All of it.” At that moment, I understood just how right he was. There is no way I could have enjoyed or appreciated the beauty of this vista if I hadn’t also experienced the slow misery of the journey to the top.

Zen teaches us to live in the moment—to understand that all of our actions contribute to the whole of where we are and who we are. It’s about all that we experience each day, and as I studied the Book of St. James, I understood that following all of the lessons he offered with the right intentions and the right heart would make my life a complete circle. And that is very Zen-like, isn’t it?

Thank you for allowing me to share a portion of my journey with you……

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Gautama Buddha


About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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13 Responses to A journey of discovery-part last (7)

  1. Patty says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey and sharing your personal thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Advanced Research Technology says:

    Much of what Christ and Buddha taught seems to be similar, if not the same. It’s a variation. There is a possibility that the same spirit guided both. Now wouldn’t that get all twisted in somebody’s knickers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes that would be a knicker twister for many! If you want to read a great book: Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Advanced Research Technology says:

        What if Source was such a big God that it did not come in just one form to one people? What if it too is a form of consciousness, appearing to all in their distinct cultural perspective? Thanks for the reading option!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I contend Jesus, through the efforts of Paul, entered this world to bring those unaffiliated closer to a single spirit or in your words a “Big God”. It’s the Book John that muddies the water and the direction of the so called “New Way”. Paul created a lot of doctrine, the Book of John was written, in my very humble opinion, to justify all of Paul’s doctrine. Or my analogy is, Paul dug the holes, the Book of John filled the holes with content.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Advanced Research Technology says:

            I can see that. The trick is, like versions of Paul and John, and even Buddha, assimilating into the Big God and becoming our own distinct revelation of what it means to be in it spiritually.

            Liked by 1 person

          • For me the Big God, Big Spirit, Big Space or Big Picture is for us to treat ourselves and others with compassion, love and grace. Doesn’t matter which team you play for, each team teaches and expects this of it’s followers/members. It’s really very simple, we make it complicated.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Advanced Research Technology says:

            It is interesting, but as time goes on I see less teams, less followers, less members. All I see is one Spirit in all and through all for those that are open to it and can differentiate it living inside outside of their programmed cliques. You said it well, treatment of one another as ourselves, because as the Spirit abides inside,it is ourselves, only another version of it.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I do get this! I enjoyed sharing your journey and thoughts, beautifully written. You have made me look at things again that I have accepted unthinkingly for most of my life. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Personal belief system” – exactly, I like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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