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There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren. — John Woolman, "Considerations on Keeping Negroes," 1746
– George Fox. and when temptations and troubles appear.. do not think but submit. Hearken not to that. and all will be hushed and fly away. Epistle 10 “Be still and know I am God. sink down in that which is pure.” Psalms 46:10 . Stand still in the Light and submit to it .. And earthly reason will tell you what ye shall lose. but stand still in the Light.After thou seest thy thoughts and the temptation. and then power comes.
Hindu temples and the rich Orthodox Christian churches.Recently I have been revisiting my interest in Quaker spirituality. I remain intrigued by a special connection and some extraordinary similarities between these two ostensibly divergent faiths. though a Buddhist priest of the Jodo Shinshu tradition. It is this aspect of silence. attention. thus I have felt equally at home in Muslim mosques. that has been engaging me of late and . and its importance to what I believe the true beginning of spirituality. The reason for this is simply that. Actually. I remember the times when I lived in communities without any Buddhist temple nearby and I gladly attended the Quaker services because I felt here was a connection to the deepest feeling I received in Buddhism that has led me through several of its grand traditions. this feeling has little to do with forms of any kind. All retain that feeling I speak of and all possess the power to draw me inward and to hold me in that warm embrace of silence that forces me to become more attentive to who I really am.
they seem to energize the practitioner in spiritually powerful ways. In the Quaker tradition. These are neither rehearsed nor written and yet I have heard on occasion some of the most inspiring talks emanating as it were. in the midst of a deep quiet a “testimony” begins. the first feeling of truly being alive. We move away from the practices revitalized. he a noted . a beautiful and moving. Conducted in silence. or the articulateness (or not) of the exercise.might be of some relevance to those journeying on the Fourth Way. creating for many. the proprioception. spiritual practice.” Jacob Needleman. silence is the heart of church services and a place of unique. When. As most Fourth Way students recognize. In “Lost Christianity. from the most “ordinary” of people. energized in our Being. or sensing exercises have a power beyond the limitations of the bodily area focused upon. spontaneous “sermon” often greets us. from Spirit itself. and powerful.
a now in which the working of his vows extends even to the weakest “sinner. In Jodo Shinshu or Shin Buddhism. It is only in development of this attention in us that we begin the creation of a “soul. offering us rest in the Pure Land that exists not only in the Time beyond Time after our death.” from which only then are we able to be Christians in more than name only. Namo Amida Butsu. whose very Name refers to Infinite Light and Infinite Life. or and is related to “hearing the Light” (monko) of Amida. both characterized by a deepening of faith in Amida Buddha. but in the ever-present Time of the Present. We return again and again to hearing the Light of Amida shine in our deepest beings. relates the story of Father Sylvan who speaks eloquently for the vitalizing power of deep attention to oneself and emotions as a necessary precursor to developing true Christian feeling.Fourth Way practitioner. the main “practice” is deep hearing or monpo.” This we receive as a gift of faith through the power of his Name. .
as a contraction of Amitabha and Amitayus means simply. luminosity and energy are two of the basic and generally unrecognized aspects of the Mind. re-enfolding me after my death? In fact. As well. and illumination? For example. or infinite”. the intensely personalized Japanese Amida is a Buddha whose two defining traits are his immeasurable Light and his immeasurable Life. endless.What happens to us when the effulgence of Being is given a place to reveal itself through the stilling of our body. in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition. (Amida. Amida Buddha therefore might be translated as: “The Awakened One of Immeasurableness. this Life I call my life is merely the . so often called. enfolding “me” before I was born. mind and feelings in that moment. the Eternal Now? Why is it that so many mystics of so many traditions characterize this experience with words like timelessness.”) [Note: How close is this to Gurdjieff´s characterization of God as “His Endlessness”?] Are these words not merely representations of the same ineffable things? What is this Endlessness but the timeless luminosity reflective of the universe’s beginnings. “immeasurable.
how many of us remember the period before we were born? Yet we may rest assured that that phase. that period existed. shining our own reflections of Divinity so weakly in the face of what we arose from and what we must inevitably return to.“gap” between the dark vastnesses from which I once arose and to which we all return. as surely as we now know we exist in the present. what can we offer but silent. For example. the Creation of all. humble recognition of the vastness of the unimaginable before us and acknowledgement of the unknowable vastness before “I” was? In this time. existed in some great Mysterious past. And yet that little shine of ours is the stuff of our awareness. we may . that state. Then we come. fiery gap between the numinal darkness that contains. in which we see our “whole” Life. We are merely a fluttering. the grand container of all humanity’s dreams and Time-bound culture. I say “dark” only insofar as it is unrevealed to us completely. and that that Time will continue after we are gone. That “time”. the realm of our civilization. as a womb. Into this gap that is our life.
who are but little flickers of light bookended by eternity have a choice: to burn with radiant depth. or to sparkle a bit and then dissolve back into those depths from which we originated. that determines if we truly “become.” And can there be any more noble goal than to truly become? What do we see in those moments of attention but the luminous vibrancy of atomic energy bouncing in embodied. merely changing .enter those moments of luminous awareness. linear middle. pulsating forms we call Life. But aren’t I a collection of atoms that never die. we call a human life? It is in these moments that we are made greater than we normally are for we join both those dark ends into this radiant. It is our attentiveness to this Life. What is this moment but an intimation of those two grand bookends that enclose this little life of mine? We. and to which we must all return. stretching into a present that we sense is much greater than the linear present in which we normally live. solid but for a few infinitesimally tiny moments. this gap between the Great Timelssness that gives birth and that Great Timelessness which receives us once again.
the terrible fragility of humanity. I am. despite the inevitable . if I am attentive enough. not less. whether that be an emotion or a child. I think this is what is truly meant by the Buddhist “non-attachment. the greater my “distance” is to the observed. given a chance to Be and to witness all Being in its multifarious diversity. For then I see.” for the more I can “see” the bigger picture. even more clearly. And from this vista. my habitual reactions and less-than-enlightened way of relating are abandoned. and “higher” view. therefore I can love more. I am given a vista beyond any previously imaginable with eyes still attached to believing these 80 or so years as the sum of my “life”. I am open to this newer.form and returning into the womb of nascence I once arose from? Into those moments. For when my nervous attachments are removed. Though perhaps counterintuitive. the more tenderly I regard the objects of my vision and the more ready I am to forgive or understand. the delicate softness of Being itself and allow the automatic outpouring of compassionate concern for the vulnerable beings we all truly are to flow out from me.
granting me a vision of things as they really are. indeed. Divine Attention I pay to the inner movements of my interior life. so to speak. nothing that appears to come from me. At such times I notice that the insight attained is really a gift. The deep. Jose Tirado .intrusions of habit. with God’s eyes. teaching me to see. but appears to come from outside of me. directs me to a higher awareness that seems to be far beyond myself. to those Divine moments I give my self over to. enabling me to take in the entire range of Creation at once. grander and quite set apart from the day-today personality I call my waking self.
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