--- On Fri, 14/1/11, Chris Austin-Lane <ch...@austin-lane.net> wrote:

We are all already our own conselors. Zen adds nothing to this basic
fact of reality.
MEL: In my younger years, I used to see movies where a temple monk or some 
hermit from some mountain out there would be seeked out and their advise asked 
for, and I've always wondered myself how was it that such characters were so 
wise(even though they were just movies...ah, the joy of being young and 
However, I finally understood where all that advise were coming from(I had also 
seen such moments in real life between holy men and the laity), but it would be 
impossible for me to make connecting dots or arrows from the moment of 
questioning, right to the point when answers were given. I can see the picture, 
but there's no way I'd be able to draw or even describe it
Religious training does make one wise, but I don't know how to explain how

I am currently also a practicing Christian, and the above deleted
phrase is identical to my approach in sharing Christianity, except for
'sit' the thing is 'attend my church'. 
MEL: Then please do forgive me if I was somewhat less than respectful towards 
Christians, Muslims, and Jews...as well as the inhabitants of the Near East. 
Truth be said here, my fascination with the Near East will never cease. I've 
currently taken a break from bible-reading(Up to Book of Judges) for some 
in-depth study of Zen literature
There is more cultural baggage attached with the church, so the times when 
recommending it seem useful are rarer is the main difference.
MEL: Yes. I left behind all the other churches(RC, Baptist, Anglican, Salvation 
Army, etc) to join the Quakers. However, even the pacifist, most 
peaceful, quiet, neighborly, and very helpful Quakers couldn't be of any help 
to me, or my needs. Without the bible or agreement with any/all within it, 
then there's no church...not even a 1-man church(I know someone in this 
category, and I just spoke to him the other day...*grin/smiles*)

For what it is worth, my experience with the church is that most
people who practise Christianity for a long time have a lot of
non-dualistic elements in their understanding of it. 
MEL: That's the first time I came across such thinking. Interesting
I think that dualistic perspectives wrap around any thing in our lives, because 
that is what our brains do. and that life keeps on beating us until
we notice the non-dual nature of it. 
MEL: That's a very interesting perspective. It's most interesting that there IS 
a thought on non-dualism itself within Christendom. I myself had always thought 
as ED, that dualistic thinking had always been part of Christendom and will 
always be
If one is a Christian, but cannot love neighbors without judging them, I 
recommend they try zazen :) 
MEL: That's a bit of a hard call. Most Christians I know who would hear that 
from me would think that I had lost all my screws in the upstairs department, 
and their reaction would be something like....
...'Sit? And do what? Nothing? Just sit on my a**? Mel, are you crazy?'........
But if some one grew up worshipping in a Christian church, but life has
changed their perspectives, but they seem to miss worship as a
community, I will tell them there is no inherent-to-Christianity
reason why they cannot worship in a Christian church as is, and
receive and offer non-judgmental love in that church. There might be
some church shopping involved, of course. I think God cares less about
our thoughts than a good Zen teacher, and that is very little.
MEL: I feel sorry, definitely sorry for a Christian seeker who is in the 
predicament above

Whoops, my last few sentences are not aimed at you, just an
elucidation of the thinking that might lie behind my offering
attendance at my church during a conversation. Please carry on your
pesonal life as is best.
MEL: Nah, everything's cool. It's ok, and thank you

> A politician visits the wise zen master and asks the secret. The master 
> replies, "do what is good and do not do what is not good." the politician 
> rolls his eyes and says, "my kid can tell me that!" the master says, "we all 
> know this, but even this wise zen master has trouble doing it."
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> MEL:....(*BIG LAUGHTER*)...I loved it, thank you!

Despite the reference to good and not good?
MEL:...*smiles*...I took the above as humor. To me, there's only activity. Good 
and bad are relative, but that's just me
be well


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