President’s Letter

Sunday, 08-16-20 – Now and Zen

Dear Friends,

This week, I am − once again − sharing Jon Mundy’s entire message for the week.  It’s so very apt regarding the message I had actually prepared for today − our challenges to find our way in this world and beyond.

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Now and Zen

When there are no unnecessary thoughts in your mind every day is a good day. -Zen saying

A minister was conducting religious services in an asylum for the insane in England. His discourse was suddenly interrupted by one of the inmates crying out, “I say! Have we got to listen to this tommyrot?” The minister, surprised and confused looked to the supervisor and said, “Shall I stop speaking?” The supervisor replied, “Keep right on. That won’t happen again. That man has only one sane moment every seven years.”

What is so attractive about Zen and the Course is the appeal they both make to reason and sanity in an otherwise insane world. Both schools of thought encourage us to look to the quiet, receptive mind where we can see without adding any interpretation to what is seen. The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts (T-11.V.13:1). Notice the Zen-like qualities of the following passage from the Course.

The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because It is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because It does not seek control. It does not overcome, because It does not attack. It merely reminds. It is compelling only because of what It reminds you of. It brings to your mind the other way, remaining quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you may make. The Voice for God is always quiet, because It speaks of peace.T-5.II 7:1-7 

Zen says observe without comment, criticism, or commentary; observe without judgment.

The Course says, “words are but symbols of symbols and thus twice removed from reality. (M-211:9-10).” The word starts the world. The moment we enter the world of words, the world begins. So it is that an infant lives in the void until they begin to develop words, labels, identities − especially the identity of me and mine Everyone is born a mystic, then we draw the child toward the school and the church and the mystical fades away in face of the material – the social – the personality — the world.

A Christian philosopher attending a conference on World Religions in Tokyo said to a Shinto master, “I don’t think I get your ideology. I don’t understand your theology.” The Shinto master looked at him for a moment and then said, “We don’t have a theology. We do not have an ideology. We dance.”

A universal theology is impossible. But, a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. C- In. 2:5 

Zen is not a theology. Zen is a pure, absolute, inculpable religion. Theology contaminates and pollutes. Theology is something about which we may have “debates.” People have been arguing for centuries because of “dogmas,” ideologies, geocentricism, egocentricism, nationalism – “anyism” will do. Anyism is an illusion. Only knowledge of the pure heart of God brings us to the truth.

In Love and Peace,

Carol