Raichozan (Thunderbird Mountain) Zendo

We are a lay sitting group in Glendale AZ. We meet on Tuesday evenings at the West Valley UU Church at 59th and Cholla. Offering instruction in zazen (Zen Buddhist meditation) and the opportunity to practice with the structure and support of a group inspired in the Rinzai Zen tradition.Beginners welcome.

We meet on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30
First time visitors should call 602.492.2212 or email mui@cox.net for orientation instructions.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Have you been born again?

In the Book of Romans Paul says “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”. When I first strayed from the Christian path it wasn't because I no longer believed in the bible but because I was sick of feeling guilty. It wasn't because I lacked an intellectual understanding of this verse but because I lacked an intimate experience of forgiveness. At some point I realized that the happiest Christians weren't those that Jesus forgave but those who found forgiveness in themselves.
At some point along the way I found myself as a student of Zen Buddhism. It just somehow made sense to me. People ask why I became a Buddhist and I might have said I don't know but really it just makes sense to me. Sometime people ask “ Does it help” and I would just say “no”, but this isn't the compassionate answer. The truth is I don't know. I didn't come to Buddhism for help, by that point I'd already forgiven myself, I came because it just made sense. I've heard it said that Christianity is better because you can be born again. Buddhism also teaches rebirth, the Buddha said that each instant we experience completely, birth life and death. We are always only co arising each instant together with the entire cosmos. I suppose in Buddhism it would be a greater miracle NOT to be reborn! Because of this there is always only a fresh slate. Below is a chant thats heard in many Zen centers.

All evil karma ever committed by me since of old,
Because of my beginning less greed, anger, and ignorance,
Born of my body, mouth, and thought,
Now I atone for it all.

May all beings intimately experience forgiveness

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