Innocence (# 1051)

11 08 2016

Adams Rubble: Good Morning!
***: Good Morning to you too!
Adams Rubble: There seems to be a hodgepodge of stuff in the past week or so. Where do we start?
***: The idea that to want happiness and to avoid suffering is innocent.
Adams Rubble: Whoa.
***: In Buddhist terms, all sentient beings want this. It is the unskilled means that may cause more suffering and unhappiness.
Adams Rubble: Is this Buddha nature?
***: I don’t think so; it would seem that the understanding of our being part of the greater whole would be closer to Buddha nature.
Adams Rubble: Hmmm. Then to he happy one would involve acting as part of that whole?
***: Yes, letting the little self go, the “me”, the “me first” attitude
Adams Rubble: Ayn Rand would not agree
***: That’s for sure. To continue, it is important to care for oneself as well as others.
Adams Rubble: Yes, and for some people that is hard to remember.
***: I am going in other directions. I want to be sure to get Rabbi Hillel’s version of the Golden Rule in here:

Once there was a gentile who came before Shammai, and said to him: “Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. Shammai pushed him aside with the measuring stick he was holding. The same fellow came before Hillel, and Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a

Adams Rubble: I know you were surprised to find that.
***: yes I was. When one thinks of Judaism and the Talmud, one thinks of laws. Traditionally there is a count of 613 commandments. Here Hillel is saying that the whole Torah is treating one’s fellow as you want to be treated.
Adams Rubble: That is a bit like the Buddhist exchange of oneself and others, isn’t it.
***: Yes, although the Buddhists go a step further in exchanging suffering for love or happiness.
Adams Rubble: You indicated there is more.
***: I spent a good deal of time on this last night when I should have been sleeping; I have been told that in Christianity, sin is the separation from God. The more separation, the deeper the sin.
Adams Rubble: Well I was told, not you, but do go on 🙂
***: OK, I stand corrected; you told me then I guess or I overheard :). Being close to God or Being, one is in touch with all others, with the larger self, with the universe. Isn’t that then the same as one’s Buddha nature.
Adams Rubble: We like to compare and contrast spiritual traditions, don’t we (we=you and I)
***: I am stopped by the meaning of the confession of sins in the liturgy. If sin is the separation from God, what is being confessed? Are we confessing the bad things we may have done? And, I am not comparing Christianity to anything else in this case, I am trying to explore my understanding of Christianity which seems to be so different than what is being portrayed in the news in this country. The most intolerant of the fundamentalists seem to be the loudest voices.
Adams Rubble: I just had a half-serious thought; what if you were to follow the scripture readings for a year and write your reactions each week, a written meditation on your reactions to the readings. Do they still do an Old Testament, an Epistle and a Gospel each week?
***: I had to Google. Yes and a Psalm too. The readings are rotated in three year cycles; this year is year C. Hmmm, I wonder if it would be possible to fit this into our schedule.
Adams Rubble: We could do it on this blog; even if we only did it for a few weeks it would be a good meditation.
***: Let me do the readings for this week and see what happens. In the meantime, thanks.
Adams Rubble: Bye for now.
***: Adiós mi amiga.

***********************************
1. Gr. for all the blessings I have been given.

2. F. A form of tonglen from Dzigar Kongtrul, The Intelligent Heart: (tong) Giving affection to others; (len) taking on our intolerance.

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