Sunday, November 06, 2005

Being a Child

Went to a public talk a few weeks ago, to hear Sakyong Mipham (a noted Buddhist teacher & spiritual director) speak at the Society for Ethical Culture in NYC.

He said that someone once taught him that some old Buddhist monks seem to get younger as they advance in age.

My take on it is that their meditation practices and "right" actions (in the Buddhist sense), lead them to such a state of enlightenment and compassion for others, that they become very innocent. They are no longer ruled by their fear. They know that all things in life arise and fall away. And, they can accept all as it is -- people, pain, challenges, joy, happiness.

Actually, when you think of it, this state is more like a kind of pure wisdom, a sophistication and knowledge of the world and the mind and the way it works. And it’s an understanding that these things, the world, the mind, are merely tools for us to use…and we are not to be used by them.

I think the earth would heave a sigh of relief if we could all somehow arrive at one-tenth of that state of be more accepting -- of ourselves and others.

I know that I feel relieved and free when I can accept myself, my thoughts, my desires, my failings...and fears.

But it occurred to me, as I sat and listened to this Buddhist monk, that Christ told us the same thing...and it's really one of the greatest things he said. And I love this about him...probably above all else:

One day, as he was teaching, he was asked to bless some children that the people had brought before him. His apostles tried to push them away.

But Jesus knelt down to see the faces of the little ones, and maybe he opened his arms and smiled broadly (this is purely my imagination), and he said: "Suffer the little children, for such is the kingdom of heaven."

In other words, he said: Let them come to me, and let me love them and be in their presence, and enjoy the things they say and do. They're pure of heart. They trust everybody and accept things for what they are -- not what they should be. And when they're afraid, they are worthy of compassion, the compassion of their Father. They know they are protected. And they trust the Father.

I think that, to be enlightened, is like being in the kingdom of heaven. And to be enlightened is to have this childlike acceptance of oneself and of others…and to trust in the wisdom of God.


Jeff Pioquinto,SJ said...

hey you got a nice blog. thanks

Buddy said...

thank you for stopping by!