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"living Buddha, Living Christ"

"Living Buddah, Living Christ"   4 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you interested in a chapter by chapter group reading if this Thich Naht Hanh classic?

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144 posts in this topic

I am game ... but if we could do it slowly so to speak.

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I just received my copy today. Chapter by chapter? I, too, have found internet communication best in teaspoon size doses.

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I will be happy to join in on the discussion.

 

Burl you are automatically the discussion leader since you initiated the thread.

Edited by JosephM
added 2nd sentence
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I have asked my wife to order a copy.

 

Over the years for work I have done a bunch of leadership courses.

I have never been sent on a followership course.

 

Having said that I can't help thinking they are sides of the same [dualistic] coin.

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FOREWARD

 

The foreward was written by David Stindel-Rast, a Benedictine monk. http://gratefulness.org/brother-david/about-brother-david/

 

He describes the Holy Spirit as the breath of God in all living things, and quotes Romans 8:14, "All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Most are not aware of how often and how broadly the term "son of God" is used in Scripture.

 

He notes that Nant Hanh spent considerable time with Dr. King, Thomas Merton and other Christian theologians so we can expect TNH to express an informed and educated discussion of Christ and the Buddah.

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So if our Tich had spent time with learned skeptics then we might not expect informed and educated discussion?

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I read part of the foreword online at amazon look inside. Won't have book for another day or so. In it he says Thich says " Discussing God is not the best use of our energy" . He prefers practice at mindfulness where we are less likely to "get stuck in notions". I thought that was a great point.

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Rom,

 

i don't think Tich advocates educated discussions from what i read in the Foreword.

Edited by JosephM
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Rom,

 

i don't think Tich advocates educated discussions from what i read in the Foreword.

 

Quite possibly ... I was just curious about Burl's suggestion that we might.

 

edit ... might take a while to get my copy ... rural Canada n'all

Edited by romansh
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Quite possibly ... I was just curious about Burl's suggestion that we might.

 

edit ... might take a while to get my copy ... rural Canada n'all

I will wait for all y'all to get the book and comment before moving on to the introduction. If possible, get the same edition as in the image so page numbers will align.

 

I have not read further than the foreward. We may progress together. The book is what it shall be.

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The 20th anniversary edition is unavailable in Canada ... ordered the 10th anniversary edition.

 

This will be what it will be.

 

Expected to arrive early next week ... will be out of town that week. So I will be able to start reading in two weeks.

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I guess Amazon Prime has me spoiled. I'm sure your dog sled will get there eventually.

 

Do you mind if we move on to the introduction next week? We can always back up, but participation on this board is slim at best. I think having a concrete focus will help. It would put us into the text in two weeks. This preambling is really not the point, but it sure beats dead air.

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I guess Amazon Prime has me spoiled. I'm sure your dog sled will get there eventually.

 

Do you mind if we move on to the introduction next week? We can always back up, but participation on this board is slim at best. I think having a concrete focus will help. It would put us into the text in two weeks. This preambling is really not the point, but it sure beats dead air.

 

no problem ... I can be the peanut gallery until I get the book.

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Picked up my book from the library this afternoon. Read Introduction and 1st chapter. Will read both again more slowly and wait til everyone has their book and you are ready for comments

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INTRODUCTION - Elaine Pagels

 

The foreward established TNH as having significant interaction with respected Christian mystics, which is an important qualification.

 

Pagels is a popular non-academic author on religious history. Her introduction largely discusses her own writing on the Nag Hammadi texts. My guess is that the publisher asked her to do an introduction simply for the sales value of her name. She has one or two points taken from the text, but these are better addressed in the author's context. Frankly, the introduction seems self-promotional.

 

On to the first chapter! I believe I can hear Amazon shushing its way towards the romansh household. Hopefully Trump has not managed to get Canada segregated behind a snowfort wall, even though the Canadians would probably be more than willing to pay for it.

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My take on Chapter 1

 

Chapter one seemed short and easy to read. Its pages encouraged its reader to be "nourished by the best values of many traditions". Also, to practice non attachment from ones own views so as to be open to other viewpoints . Thich attributes a cause of killing (wars ?) to people clinging too tightly to their own beliefs. His answer to it is understanding and real communications. He attributes effective dialogue coming out of a deep peace from within through being still and "deep listening". He uses both references to Christian teachings and Buddhist teachings to make his points.

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Chapter One: Be Still and Know

 

TNH had the thoughtfulness to divide his chapters into carefully labeled subsections. This encourages analysis, and we cannot dismiss TNH as a lazy author or as a façile theosophist. He is not squirting ketchup and mustard over God in order to make Him slide down more easily.

 

This work is intended to be read in detail and with intellectual intent, but not divorced from internal reflection.

 

I did suggest taking this work chapter by chapter, but I was wrong and romansh was right. This should be approached more slowly than I expected, and as the author has provided his own guide stones we should use them.

 

As discussion leader, I feel we should adopt TNH's subheadings and post to each subheading. I pray this will result in a mutual respect and understanding of each individual participant.

 

My goal in starting this exercise was to structure a method of sharing our thoughts (which are not always intellectual) in this forum format which is bounded by language and intellect.

 

It is really all about us sharing with each other. The book is but a vehicle, which I suspect is its purpose. May we learn to love each other in difference and agreement.

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Goodish news

My book arrived early ... I will be able to start reading it more carefully on Monday evening.

 

Tomorrow is our fortieth wedding anniversary ... so I won't be able to bury my head in the book in the next couple of days.

 

rom

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Rom,

 

Enjoy your fortieth. I would normally say "have a very special day" but at this time i find all days special each with their own experiences. Just celebrated my forty-eigth (48th) in July. See you on Monday.

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
added (48th)
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Ch 1, sec 1: Religious Life is Life

 

Buddhists were shocked to hear that TNH had partaken in the Eucharist.

 

As what is best understood by me as Wesleyan, TNH Buddhist critics sound superstitious. They seem to echo an RC dogma, which is understandable.

 

Per Peter Abelard, 16th century, the Eucharist represent the transformation of the ephemeral gift of God (grain; grapes) elevated into relatively indestructably human value (bread; wine)by human effort. Grape juice rots and grain is inedible but with the work of man it becomes life-sustaining.

 

God has a purpose for man, and the Lord's Supper edifies that purpose.

 

TNH is evidently not intellectually aware that the Eucharist represents the Christological transformation of the mundane into the sublime but he partakes as a gesture of faith, not as an intellectual submission to his RC friends. I sense that TNH is reaching out across superstitious dogma, and he will not allow silly intellectualism to become a stumbling block.

 

Perhaps TNH will realize in time the transcendal reality of his polite gesture, but the fact that he is willing to extend his tongue to Christ on the basis of faith alone speaks volumes. TNH is absolutely not a spiritual coward.

Edited by Burl
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40th? May God continue to bless you both!

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40th? May God continue to bless you both!

 

Just as an aside Burl:

My wife and I could not have children.

We ended up adopting twenty five years ago. Our child developed an intractable, nasty form of epilepsy which took him sixteen years later.

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Just as an aside Burl:

My wife and I could not have children.

We ended up adopting twenty five years ago. Our child developed an intractable, nasty form of epilepsy which took him sixteen years later.

I am sorry to hear that, Romansh.
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