I just finished reading Christian Zen by Robert Powell. And while it isn’t perfect — it’s too short, it assumes a working knowledge of Zen, it doesn’t cover every saying in the Gospel of Thomas, and it doesn’t tie the G.O.T. back to the four canonical Gospels — it did give me another perspective from which to view Christ Jesus.
Here are the high points of what I learned from the book. To be clear, the book didn’t make these points explicitly, it just put me in the frame of mind to see them. And, to be honest, I think it helps if you read it right after you read some books by Alan Watts.
- The title “Prince of Peace” refers to inner peace. I always thought it mean peace as in the opposite of war. How did I not know know this already? Christ Consciousness and Buddha-mind are opposite ends of the same stick.
- “The Kingdom of God” looks an awful lot like “Satori.” In Zen, in order to experience the One, an individual must let go of personal notions about reality and allow the One to be experienced. In Christianity, salvation cannot be achieved — only allowed to manifest. In both cases, the One/God gives the gift and we only receive. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or, ‘Lo there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” ~Luke 17:20-21
- A Zen koan is a Christian parable. I believe that the similarity between what a student of Zen might call Buddha-mind and what a Christian might call Christ consciousness is more than just skin deep. Apparently the author of the koan “Not Far From Buddhahood” agrees with me.
- Atonement is “At-One-Ment.” No, seriously. It really does mean that — for real.
- Tea Ceremony is to Zen as Communion is to Christianity. Both see the One/God “in a grain of sand” such that the simple act of preparing and consuming something with full intention, attention and care offers a window into paradise. As Alan Watts said, “We fail to see the window because we are painting on the glass.”
And now for the workout of the week.
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #86
This one should help you burn off some of those holiday treats.
- One nasty, 10-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Set a timer for 20 second intervals. Complete 6 runs through the following 5 intervals: Jump Squats, Twisters, Get-ups, Clap Push-ups, and Rest. 6 sets of 5 = 30 intervals (10 minutes).
- Grappling Conditioner #3. I know we just did this one back in WOOTW #82, but it came up in my rotation yesterday so I did it again. Set a countdown timer for 10:00 mins and complete as many sets as you can before the timer beeps of 5 Bag Lifts, 10 mounted strikes, and 5 Splay ‘n’ Punch. Here’s a video. Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish. Then, after you cool down…
- Eat or drink something and experience it fully. Doesn’t matter much what you do, just do it with complete care and attention to detail. Make your lunch and eat it. Make tea and drink it. You can even cut a piece of bread, pour a glass of wine, and try to experience “at-one-ment” while you consume them.