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#83884 - 07/30/04 09:42 PM Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Are their any Christian MA's out there that have a perspective on the harmony of Zen and Christianity? I am very interested in the alleged focus and insight that Zen brings one, but am also a devout Christian, and am a bit concerned. Thoughts are appreicated!

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#83885 - 07/31/04 07:35 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
White-Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 280
Loc: Adelaide,australia
Isnt zen the focus of mind and body? What does that have to do with christianity?

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#83886 - 07/31/04 07:45 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Tom2199 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 832
Loc: England
sorry to say this christianMA but religion may get in your way with freeing your mind as you are already binded to set beliefs but dont let that put you off there is much to learn from zen

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#83887 - 07/31/04 09:30 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
The topic has been discussed here a few time before and I agree that you must read the book "Living The Martial Arts Way" by Forrest Morgan. He sheds a lot of light on the topic and states that they are two seperate entities. The book is a must read for all MA's anyway.

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#83888 - 07/31/04 09:50 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Tom2199:
sorry to say this christianMA but religion may get in your way with freeing your mind as you are already binded to set beliefs but dont let that put you off there is much to learn from zen[/QUOTE]

Blinded??!! did you ever try and explain Zen and MA to someone that is really a religous fanatic. A relative of mine and I usually end up in an arguements every time Zen is mentioned during our family dinners. I am satanic, worshipping to a false god, or idle....whatever [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/IMG]

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#83889 - 07/31/04 11:42 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Tom2199 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 832
Loc: England
sorry did not mean to say blinded, apologys for any offence
lol thats a funny one schanne [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG]

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#83890 - 07/31/04 01:05 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


White Tiger - Your point is well taken. I guess my concerns lie in Zen Buddism, in which guess I can seperate the two.

Tom - Freeing the mind is an interesting topic; especially in a Christian light, but that would take us down a religous track outside the scope of this thread. Thanks for the post.

Schanne - I do have that book, but haven't read it in several years. I will check it out again. Thanks for the lead!

There's a Zen center right down the street from my development, so I think I'll go see what they have to say.

Thanks folks!

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#83891 - 07/31/04 01:53 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Maybe your zen can be getting closer to Christ. Zen is a personal path of self discovery. Knowing yourself better enhances your relationship with others, whether it be your deity, your neighbor, or your enemy.

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#83892 - 07/31/04 03:33 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
nekogami13 V2.0 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 2643
Loc: Texas, USA
Zen is nothing but the japanese way of saying meditation.

Learning meditation to focus and calm the mind should not be a problem. Many christians over the centuries have in fact engaged in meditation.

Becoming a budhist on the other hand, that would definately interfere with being a christian(whole changing religion thing)

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#83893 - 08/03/04 10:28 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Didn't JC go out to the desert and meditate for 40 days (and nights). I think thats where the bible says he met the devil and was tempted. Maybe this gosepl story was meant as an allegory for self-awareness.

~ED

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#83894 - 08/03/04 02:57 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


ChristianMA,
If you are coming from a conservitve tradition you may encounter people that question
your motives. Others might express concern for your spiritual wellbeing. I can think of three authors that might be of intrest to you, concidering your question. Anthony DeMello, An Indian, Jesuit priest and psycologist-"Awareness". Thomas Merton,a benedictine monk-"Mystics and Zen Masters" and Niotobe? "Bushido the Soul of Japan". Im not sure on the last author. He was Japanese Quaker from the early 20th century

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#83895 - 08/03/04 05:07 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for your perspective MrEd. Your point on JC is well put and a good perspective on my question.

Thanks for the leads Oldman. In recent searches, I did see something about the Benedictine monk and his practice of Zen. I'll check 'em out.

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#83896 - 08/04/04 12:53 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


ChristianMA;

You really should check out a book by Dr. Wayne Dryer called "The Power of Intention".

The thought of reflecting (or in Eastern practices, meditating) and connecting to your spirit is very ok - this book will be of great help to you.

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#83897 - 08/04/04 03:10 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


ChristianMA,

Best of luck on your search.

I confess i havent read the book whiteknight mentioned, but I would like to say that i feel meditating is more than just reflecting, although it can be just that.

Meditation can include a variety of things such as:

1) Internal breathing exercises designed at regulating energy flow in your body

2) Exercises, such as visualization, counting, breathing, and countless others to achieve a higher degree of concentration

2a) Applying the concentration skills from point 2 toward a specific goal.

3) Exercises to acheive a greater degree of relaxation within the body and mind

3a) Applying the relaxation from point 3 to become a passive observer of your own actions, so that you can evaluate what should/shouldn't be changed (self-improvement)

In my expereience the more relaxed one is, the less subject they are to their emotions. Simply put, the more inner peace, the more Christlike your attitude. But also, the more Buddhalike your attitude. If i understand properly, Buddha's teachings focused more on freeing oneself of desires and the emotions that accompany them in order to achieve this inner peace, whereas JC focused more on the feelings of love and compassion to achieve it.

I don't see any of these to be a conflict of interest.

~ed

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#83898 - 08/04/04 08:52 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


yeah right. different way of saying it, but the same philosophy.

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#83899 - 08/12/04 09:44 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Anyone interested in connections between Christianity and Zen should check out some of the writings of Thomas Merton, particularly "Zen and the Birds of Appetite" and "Mystics and Zen Masters." Each book is a collection of Merton's essays, written in the 1950s and 1960s. Merton was a Catholic monk who spent a great deal of time studying Zen meditation. Rather than move him away from Christ, Merton found much in Zen that was similar to the ways monks and nuns have prayed and sought closer connections to God. As someone already said earlier in this topic, Zen is not itself a religion and nothing in Zen contradicts or negates Christian belief. Merton explains it all very well, I highly recommend his writings. Hope that helps.

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#83900 - 08/13/04 05:04 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks NoOne (and everyone else). I've just put an Amazon order in for Merton's Zen and the Birds of Appetite. For any of the MA's that may have read them, I also ordered Wendy Williamson's Christian Martial Arts 101, and Michael Chen's Christianity and Martial Arts Power. If so, let me know your thoughts.

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#83901 - 08/18/04 07:10 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have taken on a journey of discovery through practice of a meditation on violence through MA. If MA is tools for violence, and violence brings death (or a littlemeasure of it) for the sake of Christians, it must bring us to an awareness of our own mortality and foster humility.

Priest

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#83902 - 08/19/04 08:48 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


www.atlantis.to

this book and site explain many thing I didn't know and brings together everything I knew before as one.

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#83903 - 08/22/04 10:03 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey I go to church and practice zen as well. I wouldn't think of anything wrong with the two. I also read in another topic that you are currently taking kobayashi shorin ryu. That is what i am currently taking, awsome.

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#83904 - 09/27/04 03:36 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


There a few really good books that discuss the relationship bewteen Christianity and Buddhism. One by Thich Nat Han, a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, is especailly good and I would recommend it highly. It is called "Living Budda, Living Christ".

Your concern about your own faith and some of the martial art's traditions is, by no means, uncommon. The fact that the Asian MAs were greatly influenced by Eastern religion are part of thier mystique, but also a source of frequent misunderstanding. Far from involving any type of "religious instruction", these practices involve the development of "spirituality" from a different perspective. This is not spirituality in the western Christian sense but, ultimately, your own beliefs have a bearing on it. Do lots of reading. Dave Lowry is an MA and excellent author who seems to have been able to bridge the East/West gap. He speaks to much of this.

It can take some time to sort all of this out. Good luck on your journey.

- KiDoHae [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/cool.gif[/IMG]

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#83905 - 09/28/04 03:27 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
If you asked the same question in a forum about christianity (or your priest or something like that) the response might be a little less encouraging, or perhaps you already have?
This place is for zen/meditation so there's little risk somebody would advice against such, don't you think?
(just a thought)

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#83906 - 09/28/04 06:16 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nenipp - No I haven't posed the question in a Christian forum, but I will. I will ask one of the pastors at my church that is a bit more academic than the others. To answer your other question, I wasn't looking for advise against it, I was merely looking for perspective.

Thanks for the post.

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#83907 - 09/29/04 09:28 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Hi, I guess the second question was more or less rethorical, to underline what I meant with the first.
It would be interesting to hear about the responses you get at the mentioned places, if you'd care to share with us!

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#83908 - 10/01/04 09:44 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


How can you fill a glass with water when it is allready filled with milk?

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#83909 - 10/02/04 06:53 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


I thought it was about emptying the glass?

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#83910 - 10/02/04 07:31 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


I am a Christian Martial Artist. I graduated from Boston University School of Theology and attended additional course work at Andover Newton School of Theology. I have NO PROBLEM with any meditation, philosphy, qigong exercise with meditation or anything else I have learned in the martial arts. It is all good. If it provokes you to ask yourself questions, your ministers questions or post questions on forum then it is better still. I just erased suporting stories from this post 3 times and needed to remind myself that this is a MA forum and that I am not preaching worship. I'll conclude simply. Enjoy the journey.

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#83911 - 10/12/04 01:22 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


A zen monk in the mountains of korea said to my master you are western so breathe and meditate to your god, we are eastern and we breathe and meditate to our god.

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#83912 - 10/12/04 05:10 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Underdog and ajacks. Great words of wisdom from both of you. Underdog, I'd very much enjoy your stories. My email address is in my profile.

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#83913 - 10/22/04 08:36 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Xacklir Offline
Member

Registered: 11/30/03
Posts: 31
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
And what about those who are agnostic or even atheist, what would we meditate to? Would being agnostic or atheist affect meditation?

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


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.

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


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.`

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


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.....

"YOUR DOING IT ALL WRONG ! YOUR DOING IT ALL WRONG !!"

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).]

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


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.

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


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
Baerdy

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


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).]

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


DaltaMare,
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]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/tongue.gif[/IMG] THanx again,
Beardy

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


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

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


hey storm,

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

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


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]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/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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#83924 - 11/10/04 02:34 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


You really do give alot to think about with your post! I just want to add that I don't believe that Christians are forbidden to learn about and explore new things as lonng as it does not flat out disagree with christian doctrine also i whole heartedly agree with you about a person going to their God for anwsers and not just taking what the word of other people's usually biased opinions(no offense to anyone). Hope this helps answer peoples questions.
Also, if a person really wants to help someone in any good way you have to try and understand their piont of view first.

[This message has been edited by Stormdragon (edited 11-10-2004).]

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#83925 - 11/16/04 12:30 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Qisnake, Great read,
I am Christian, supose to be roman Cathlic, But I am bad I should go to church, but i wish not be guided by someone's interpitation, and your right most of the time biost opinions, many belive MA, meditation use of imagination and any other means rather than the bible is evil. I stongly disagree, even as a beliver in God and Jesus Christ, He is inventor of all things to my belief so if it's not ment for us we will not have it, if it is ment for us it is available.
I choose to walk my own path & I do talk to my God my self, I have studdied into depth with, Zen, Meditation, Hot Hands, internal/external Healing, Traveling, Spiritual Warefare etc... Now some stuff like the traveling I do belive is not ment for us as humans and to visit the astro plain is very dangerous, and If your not strong in spirit you will be subdued & overcome by things not ment to see. With this I come to find that Yes. Ask God your self.

But if your belief is with Christianity, atheist, Budism, Ala etc... Meditation is good for the soul, body and mind, No matter your religion or none at all their is Good and Evil regardless of belief. Breath & Meditate, breath in the good exhale the bad.

Sorry if i affended anyone, I just asked my God what to say and I was told to say what I feel so their you go.

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#83926 - 11/20/04 09:15 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]
Now some stuff like the traveling I do belive is not ment for us as humans and to visit the astro plain is very dangerous, and If your not strong in spirit you will be subdued & overcome by things not ment to see. With this I come to find that Yes. Ask God your self.
[/QUOTE]
If god has created all things, and is omnipotent and all-knowing... then every path you may choose, is one that god has allowed to be.
Follow your heart.
I've always loved the rule :
"If it hurts none, do as ye will"

In everything your freedom allows, let there compassion.

The astral plane is not as hostile and as ghost-filled as many would have us believe. Granted, there may be undesirable things out there, but negative things lurk everywhere. Particularly here, in body.

Your soul, heart, mind and body are gifts from some unseen source, gifts that cannot be taken from you..

[QUOTE]
But if your belief is with Christianity, atheist, Budism, Ala etc... Meditation is good for the soul, body and mind, No matter your religion or none at all their is Good and Evil regardless of belief. Breath & Meditate, breath in the good exhale the bad.
[/QUOTE]
True. Stress is never a good thing, meditation helps with that. I've actually found that meditation is a bit of an intimidating word.... when really all it is, is 'relaxing with an excuse' [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

[QUOTE]
Sorry if i affended anyone, I just asked my God what to say and I was told to say what I feel so their you go.
[/QUOTE]
And so long as you say what you want, with tact and respect, nobody has reason to be offended [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#83927 - 12/04/04 09:07 AM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


Zen now is an abstract concept. There are many ways to look at Zen. The roots of Zen come from Cha'an, which themselves derive (at least in part) from India...in particular from Nagarjuna's interpretation of Buddha Dharma.

If you want to go beyond the abstract, mystically poetic jargon suffusing most of what Westerners percieve as 'Zen', then comparison is easy. It comes down to very basic concepts. Chances are that you won't like them. But here goes anyway...
http://vajra.us/gus_oil_and_water.html

The title is 'Oil and Water' going on to describe how Buddhism and Christianity are as different as. I think many a reader here will find the content, dare I say it?...Enlightening.

Respectfully,

Gan Uesli Starling
Kalamazoo MI USA

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#83928 - 02/04/05 07:26 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by schanne:
The topic has been discussed here a few time before and I agree that you must read the book "Living The Martial Arts Way" by Forrest Morgan. He sheds a lot of light on the topic and states that they are two seperate entities. The book is a must read for all MA's anyway.[/QUOTE]
*** Great book *** I'm glad to read that this book has been recommended early in this thread. The author goes into great detail on this subject.

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#83929 - 02/06/05 02:33 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by oldman:
ChristianMA,
[snip]...Thomas Merton,a benedictine monk...[snip]

[/QUOTE]

Small point of fact here: Merton was a Trappist, not a Benedictine.

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#83930 - 02/06/05 02:51 PM Re: Zen and Christianity
Anonymous
Unregistered


I used to compare Buddhism to the old-style Microsoft Windows (apologies to the Buddha). Today, Windows is a real operating system, but originally it was a sort of overlay of MS-DOS, a graphical interface that allowed non-propeller heads to use their computers.

Buddhism is like that. It isn't an actual religion in the western Judeo-Christian sense because it does not affirm the existence of any deity. (The Buddha, revered as he is throughout the Buddhist world, was just a human being. His attainment is open to all of us.) But like the old Windows system, it just helps us make sense of whatever "operating system" we happen to be running, whether it's Christianity, Judaism, agnosticism, what have you.

Some folks would object that Buddhists reverence idols, and cite as evidence the practice of bowing to statues of the Buddha and various bodisatvas. This is a red herring. Bow to the statue or don't bow to the statue, as your scruples/commandments require. No knowledgeable buddhist practitioner would care. Superstitious ingnoramuses pop up in buddhism just as they do in all traditions, but that is the small mind of the individual, not the big mind of the Buddha. The Buddha is not an insecure fellow; he doesn't care if you bow.

I recommend Thich Nhat Hanh's book, "Living Buddha, Living Christ" for yet another take on this subject,

By the way, your humble correspondent is a practicing Jew, complete with the commandments about not making/bowing to graven images and the like, and while I am not exactly a Buddhist, I wouldn't mind one day becoming a Buddha myself.

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