Greetings. I'd like to introduce myself as a new contributor to this multi-blog. My name is Danny Fisher, and I'm a graduate student working towards a Master of Divinity degree at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, USA. At present, I'm wrapping up my second year (of three) at Naropa, preparing to begin a Clinical Pastoral Education unit this summer at a local hospital. I also maintain a weblog of my own.
I guess it's appropriate that someone from Naropa participate in this multi-blog. It seems like Naropa has been one of a few key locations for Buddhist-Christian dialogue in America, along with the Abbey of Gethsemani. In fact, we recently hosted our second Buddhist-Christian Dialogue Conference. (The first, held in the mid-1980s, resulted in a tremendous book entitled Speaking of Silence: Christians and Buddhists in Dialogue.)
As a way of beginning to participate here at Interlog, I thought I would share a few choice quotations from the keynote lectures given during Naropa's most recent Buddhist-Christian dialogues. The first keynote, delivered on March 4, 2005, was by Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and founder of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.
Here are a few things he said that struck me:
* "Ultimate Reality--the least objectionable term for 'God.'"
* "There isn't anything other than God, it just looks that way...to know God truly is to know one's self."
* "Everybody is a chosen soul just by virtue of being born."
* "You can't have a big enough idea of God...of His manifestations in the present moment."
* "God's last great act of humanity was making himself equal with us."
The second keynote, delivered on March 5, 2005, was by Acharya Reginald A. Ray, Ph.D., one of my professors at Naropa and the author of what I think is probably the most important work of Buddhist Studies in the last twenty-five years: Buddhist Saints in India.
Here are a few things Reggie said that struck me:
* "By using the term 'God' as something outside of the self, Jews and Christians are reminding us that Ultimate Reality is something outside of our control."
* "You can't be unique--you are unique...Not-self is awareness of who we are...[it is] a complete and total embodiment of who we are."
* "Our individuality is not personal...when we become who we really are, we are completely transparent to God/the Buddha-nature."
* "[Engaged Buddhism]...the Christians reminded the Buddhists that, hey, this is in our tradition."
* "The only true love is the love that is not intentional."
I hope I've given us all some things to think about with my first post! I look forward to seeing where we can go together.