Jesus in Buddhist Language

This post includes links to others in a series on Jesus’ Teaching in Buddhist Terminology.

Until I am enlightened, I go for refuge to Jesus, Dharma and Sangha. With God’s grace and through the virtue I create by practicing giving and the other perfections, may I become a beacon of light to benefit all sentient beings.

Jesus Taught in Koans
Koans are unsolvable riddles.  Jesus’ parables are koans, in that they go after a spiritual truth in a way that is meant to confuse your mind.  These teachings are far from simple, even if they can be conveyed to children in the context of a Sunday school. Jesus sometimes spoke in a riddling way purposefully, knowing that deep truths take time to grasp. They and reveal themselves slowly, as flowers open slowly to the sun, as the mind dwells on the parable. As perspectives shift, the mind itself may be changed.  In this way, Jesus’ dharma teachings help us gain wisdom and awareness, even insights into the true path to joy. Jesus’ riddles also bemuse our thinking minds, so we can be still and awaken to something that’s deeper: a growing awareness of one’s connection with God. During the three years of public ministry, Jesus is recorded to  have told at least thirty and perhaps up to seventy of these, depending on whether we count those in the non-canonical literature. Here is a favorite:

“Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  [Matthew 13]”

At first, it appears to be a riddle. Later, Jesus explains: the seed is the teaching, and we are the ground. It’s our job to provide a hospitable environment, in our lives, where the seed can take root.

See also:

A Prayer using Buddhist Terminology
In Buddhism, the three jewels of the Buddha are Buddha (a peerless teacher who can guide us safely to enlightenment and out of samsara), Dharma (the teacher’s teaching) and Sangha (the community). The opening prayer on this page is a direct modification of a Buddhist prayer, for use by Jesus followers:

Until… (Prayer)
Until I am enlightened, I go for refuge to Jesus, Dharma and Sangha. With God’s grace and through the virtue I create by practicing giving and the other perfections, may I become a beacon of light to benefit all sentient beings.

Categories Edify | Tags: | Posted on August 23, 2013

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