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#83914 - 10/22/04 12:01 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

Not necessary. It isn't a religious activity. It is a peacefully spiritual one. Something gets you there. You sleep without being religious. Sleep is a bit slower on the brain waves than meditation. Maybe it is thinking about a favorite quiet vacation spot (not a sports stadium or dojo) Maybe it is a favorite chair and quiet. Maybe it is a piece of music, but something gets you there. It is cultivating that brain activity which people experience as restful and restorative and depending on how good they get and regularly they practice, it aquires more benefits.

#83915 - 10/22/04 01:23 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

Interesting thread,

Reminded me right away about a Zen story from the book "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" I know everyone is recommending books, but I must say this one is great, and really is not about a religion, but more of an outlook on life which I have tried to apply and have found VERY much in harmony with the fundamentals of christianity.

It is story #16 "Not far from Buddahood"

The situation is a student reading the Christian Bible to a Zen priest: "The student continued reading: 'Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.' Gasan remarked: 'That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood.'"

I thought that was pretty cool. And very much recommend the whole book.`

#83916 - 10/22/04 02:34 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

Here is another story All martial artist need to hear.

A monk sitting out on a boat meditating, is doing his thing, training, meditating, training meditating....another monk on the beach hears this monk perfoming one of the same lesson's that he has also learned and knows and starts to yell to the monk.....


The monk then stood out of the boat and yells back, "What I can not hear you?"

The monk on the beach yelled back never mind, bowed his head and walked away.

[This message has been edited by Ajacks (edited 10-22-2004).]

#83917 - 11/05/04 12:23 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

The way I see it, meditation can be used for many thingsIt's not that you meditate but what you meditate on or to. You can use meditation to become closer to Christ or just for relaxation or any number of other things. It's simply a tool. Kina like deep prayer. The old knights of Europe would spend the night of their knightood praying, and this is kindof similar. Just my take on things, hope it helps.

#83918 - 11/05/04 12:33 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

I had a related question. I to am a christian and I have read a great deal about meditation. I even tried it a bit when I was younger but though I could relax well enough, I never had the supposedly awesome experiences it can produce. But its those experiences I wondered about. I have read that many encounter "spirits" or other paranormal activity when practicing zen meditation. It supposedly leads to out of body experiences, "visitor" experiences etc. As I have no desire to "wake up" to see some dark figure staring at my still sleeping body or things to start moving about in my house, I wondered if anyone else has experienced this stuff? Having never had an OOB experience I have no way to judge other than to say I have read about such events and wondered what you all thought or have experienced? Thanx

#83919 - 11/05/04 03:58 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

There is a lot of 'myth' and 'scepticism' about meditation. I for one have seen some wierd things .. simple things like eye colour changes, extreme heat on touch, lack of awareness to the surrounding even during large amounts of pain.

I have seen a few demonstrations of what meditation can do, but I think its suspect to a lot of speculation. "Out of Body" experiences and such. I think that is a personal thing as it would change for different people. There are some very wierd 'effects' that can occur during meditation I am told. But as far as I am aware it is a way to center the mind with the body.

I have to make a point about 'christianity and meditation' at what point in time do these two colide? No-where in either religions could I find the statement 'thou shall not meditate' nor have I found 'for true enlightenment you must believe in our god' I mean, its not really anything to do with religion. The idea behind meditation is to find ones self within ones self. Sort of, I guess I'm not very clear on the topic but I can't really get across what I mean. Let me put it in a way I think is closest to what I mean.

You learn a martial art as an art form, movements and tecniques to understand a form and heighten your senses, balance, movement, and overall physical health.

Meditation is somewhat the same, you do so for the same reasons, creating a focus and a strength. Its another form in itself, somewhat like a martial art.

I guess thats not a good explanation but I still don't see the conneciton between meditation and any form of religion. If you look at it like another form, example another form of martial art, there is no religious connections as such.

For the record I am Devout Roman Catholic.

[This message has been edited by Daltamare (edited 11-05-2004).]

#83920 - 11/05/04 04:21 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

Thanx for your thoughts. I did not mean to confuse you in my post. I was pointing out my religion merely beacsue I noticed the original thread was started by a christian asking a question. Unlike many religious people, I am able to seperate a tool (means of achieving something) from religious belief. (prayer for example can be good or bad as just about anything) However, that does not alleviete my concern for paranormal activity resulting from deep meditation. I have known some people and read many incidents of this and was just curious if anyone could attest to this truth. Warm hands and such doesnt spook me. But lucid "dreaming" (which sounds kewl!!), meditation etc have all been linked to "wierd" occurances. My biggest wonder is that science can produce with technology the heightened theta state that occurs in meditation. That said, it seems a biological ability more than a religious mysticism. And I like the fact that it seems innate! I am just concerned about the said negative "occurances" that seem to come with it. Anyway...anyones opinion is appreciated. And what do people think the "negative" or even positive things are. (for example: spirits, another plane, just really vivd dreaming...i have read em all but curious what people think)Oh and by the way Dalta...I used to be Roman Catholic lol [IMG][/IMG] THanx again,

#83921 - 11/07/04 10:14 AM Re: Zen and Christianity

Hey Beardy, ya made it!!!!!
What do you think about the site?

#83922 - 11/08/04 08:16 AM Re: Zen and Christianity

hey storm,

yes its a kewl site with alot of interesting things to read. I especially like the stuff on chi balls etc [IMG][/IMG] (ya know i was having trouble reaching super saiyjin but after reading a few threads i figured out how lol [IMG][/IMG] ) Anyway, as I said, some kewl stuff...and some whacky lol [IMG][/IMG]

#83923 - 11/08/04 09:36 PM Re: Zen and Christianity

Heh, I saw this post taking a turn towards religion vs something else.. and decided to skip reading it.
So sorry if I say something already covered!

Some people are born into religion, due to parental programming, or being more or less told its the 'right thing'. This kind of thing is terribly hard to break, and I myself went to a deeply pro-christian school as I grew up. My mind is quite a broad-horizoned and free thing, but from time to time, the old programming sweeps back in, on an instinctual level, and makes my spiritual progress a little more bumpy than it should be.
Other people get into a religion, because its what they believe... and in that case, there is no harm at all, other than any conflict of belief when you learn something new (such is the downside of any religion). This poses a problem for some, because they are left questioning what they really believe, and too many people stay where they are, not wanting to get any evil stares from those of their faith.

Peer pressure is something that remains throughout life, not just whilst you are young an influencable.

Some get into religion, because they want to belong.. heck, there are a LOT of reasons why a person gets into religion... the problem often lays within getting OUT of a religion.
Many faiths program their followers, so that they find it terribly hard to leave. Others find themselves fearful of new things, having found a kind of stability of spirit.

I guess, at the end of the day, you will have to be honest with yourself, about what you REALLY believe. Do not fear what others will think, and do not fear your deity/deities.
If those you worshipped were truly so worthy of being your god, then they will respect your choice to explore new things, follow your heart, and LIVE like they have given you the chance to!
If your deity appears angry or vengeful because you have chosen to explore the world they have given you, with the curiosity and freedom of choice they have allowed you... then perhaps it is time to ask yourself whether it is safe to trust your heart and soul to that deity (or the religion associated with it).

Come on, if you found yourself full of fear, just for questioning your own beliefs, that is a surefire reason NOT to be in whatever group you are in!

Im not saying any of this is true for you.. but.. im giving you something to chew over (if you havent already).

I would think that Zen is very flexible, and can adapt to almost any lifestyle. The trouble is, can your religion and its followers accept you for that choice?
If not, you will have to choose whether to hide your choice from your peers, to forsake the other paths that have piqued your interest, or to warmly bid your old religion goodbye.

Please bear in mind that beliefs evolve over time, alongside the growth of the individual. The reason why so many shun religion (and christianity in particular), is that it can easily slows and sometimes strangle personal, spiritual, emotional and even mental growth, when the 'teachers' do so irresponsibly.
We all live our own personal, unique religion, in every breath we take, we are our own walking prayer to whatever have caused us to be what we are today..

I personally believe that no matter the name you call 'god'... even if all you know it as, is "that damned light at the end of the tunnel" or even "chi/qi/life energy"... in a sense... we should not allow each other to become trapped.
Never be trapped by differences between people. Or what they call 'god'. Or how they think or feel. Never be trapped by the hatred others may place over your head, for they are like young, growing children too..

*is MAJORLY ranting again*
In the end, I would love to hear that you adapted this new path into your life... but I remain worried that your religion will hamper your natural spiritual evolution.

You know what? Christianity is a faith based on love and forgiveness. Why is it that today, most preachers are using it as a method of dividing people, and passing judgement?
Think on that. Why not return to the root of your faith, shed off what people say you should believe... and ask your god yourself.

"Hey god, its me. Im wondering. What are you really about?"
And trust ONLY what that voice says to you. Not what any religious teacher says.

Sorry if I got carried away by all this... but.. *sighs* We humans could potentially be living in a utopia right now, if only we, as a species, would take our heads out of our asses, and quit with all this pointless stuff that just complicates life for the average person.

"How do I fit this into my life, whilst remaining a Christian?" should not be the kind of question any person should need to ask [IMG][/IMG]

No matter what comes, I hope the path that you end up on is the best for you.. and knowing which direction take can be a bugger of a decision to make!

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