Thanks Bill. Actually there is no difference between our reasoning at all 
regarding what you said about Nirvana and the Kingdom of Heaven.  Another 

These terms 'Nirvana', 'bodhisattva', 'Enlightenment' etc. although necessary, 
can at times entangle the student in a web of conceptual difficulty and lead 
them to believe in the existence of such terms (the classic problem of the 
finger pointing at the moon). This is why zen transcends words. Not just 
because words are clumsy tools/teaching aids as such, but because they can only 
ever be tools which lead to mental constructs and therefore not to that which 
lies before our very noses. Sometimes I think the best piece of advice I've 
read on this list is Al's throwing away of his books on Zen.

Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:                                     
  On Thursday, January 03 Mike Brown wrote:
        >Hi Bill. I don't have much to say about your words regarding sentient 
beings, Christianity and Enlightenment >because I think our views are in 
accord. However, I'd just like to add that in discussions about zen and the 
>bodhisattva ideal there is often some confusion about what this actually 
means. What do you think about the idea >that a bodhisattva isn't someone who 
puts off entering Nirvana as some 'solemn duty' (Watts words, I believe) in 
>order to save us, but that Nirvana is here and now and that an Enlightened 
person realises there's no difference >between the transcendental and this 
world. Look forward to reading your thoughts. Mike
  It looks like we’re in agreement again.  What an unfortunate turn of events 
for the Zen Forum!  However, my reasoning is a little different than yours.
  ‘Nirvana’ is a mental construct, a teaching tool.  Anyone that is truly 
enlightened has grasped that there is no ‘enlightenment’, nor ‘Nirvana’; so I 
would think that to a bodhisattva, this saying is meaningless.  It much like 
the Christian concept of The Kingdom of Heaven.  This is not somewhere you may 
go when you die. It is here, now, all around you. (Matthew 10:5 7)  It is 
available to you immediately – just like enlightenment.

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