Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Middle Path

 Having studied the great religions and thought of our time - there is a path that can lead to enlightenment - the Middle path or Buddhism. As with many philosophies close to religion there are may variations of Buddhism as there are Islam, Christianity or Judaism. Each variation suits a particular culture , each is unique yet a part of the middle path. Pure land Buddhism has always been my favorite along with Zen. It is so similar to my own spiritual experience that sometimes it contains many if not all of the elements of the same path.
 When Jesus said you must become as a child to find the kingdom of God, the Buddha remembered an experience he had as a child where he was close to enlightenment and returned to that train of thought after ascetic practice was not yielding the mind path he was looking for. Buddhism in the Zen format has the perfect middle path. It balances all things out to the result equation of nothingness. there is neither good or evil , there is no desire the cup is always full. Do the right action for the human reason not as a religious act. It is also my experience the christian has a full cup as they return to the well of prayer to fill it.
 Jesus was very much in the same way as he was human first , he wept , he ate did all things as a human. The Buddha never claimed to be divine and desired no worship. He even asked to be cremated that none of his remains became relics or would be adored. However it is said that one tooth survived and was fought over in many wars. The one who owned Buddhas tooth was said to be a supreme ruler.
 Comparing the life and works of Christ to the Buddha can be interesting. Buddha faced the Goblin and Christ faced off with Satan. It has been my experience we all will eventually face off with an internal primordial being that represents a new direction in spiritual evolution for us personally. It is a step in spiritual evolution we try to explain within our own cultural knowledge. Then we enter into  the pure land where the mind is free from its old distinctions and on to the path of truth. The master of lies is defeated our primordial self is no longer in charge. We are at perfect peace and that particular struggle is gone , the mind can then pursue higher development.
  To the christian it is to become more like Christ , in essence to become one with Jesus as he and the Father are one. In Buddhism it is to become the Buddha to obtain the knowledge of the middle path , through right thinking and actions. There are very few distinctions considering the Buddha existed 500 years before Jesus is not surprising to me. We seem to have a spiritual evolution every 500 years and each step or stone has a statement of the one to follow would be even greater or a return of an even more glorious one another messiah. The Jews had been looking forward to a Messiah , the Buddhist another Buddha, Jesus was coming again it is evolution in its finest. Greater works than these will be performed by those that follow me.
  Will we miss the next super guru , the next divine being? To the Sikh the granth guru sahib is the last guru the sacred book containing all the famous wisdom of the prior gurus , to the christian the bible has all the truth, to the Jew it is the Torah , to the Muslim it is the Quran and many others have their holy books. We have in essence collected the wisdom of our time and made that our Lord. To preserve wisdom is not such a bad thing only we need to recognize that wisdom is continuous like a tree of life - evolves. We are told this by all the gurus all the teachers all the holy men wisdom does not stop with one generation to look forward to the next revelation.
 The middle path is one of peace of mind it is not that the Buddhist does not care to take on a cause or be benevolent. Peace and purity are the middle path. Any personal desire will cause an inner conflict and the result would be contrary to inner peace. Once giving away all my worldly goods sought this path of no desire. I was recluse on a deserted island for a year in prayer with a bible and catching water in rain barrels , feeding on the the local honey and cocoanuts and what goods that were brought to the island occasionally it was like a spiritual oasis. As extreme as it may seem my experience was to continue it was merely another step. Similar to the Buddha going through his ascetic stage it passed. I returned from the pacific Islands with hair down to my back and beard to chest to another reality.
 We often hear the kingdom of God is within us. We search inward for answers sometimes escape from the life of everyday chores to find this inner peace. To me inner peace is all that matters and it is also important to share this inner peace with others through encouragement and kindness.
 We are told not to put the candlestick under a table - to let our light shine for others to see. This is harmony within and outside. The wisdom of the ages can be found many places and it is my contention we should keep an open mind. We learn to love others as ourselves for we may be all in the same boat - this planet earth. Am I a Christian or a Buddhist a Jew or a Muslim a Sikh it would seem that we can learn a lot from each other. Perhaps another stone in time created by living water.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.