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 An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!

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Hisoka



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Join date : 2010-10-17

PostSubject: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:47 pm

I came across the following article (http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/future/training.shtml) today and thought it might be an intriguing read for people who knew Shasta in the early days. I'm not sure exactly when it was written but certainly when RMJK was still alive - maybe others of you who were actually there will be able to pick up more clues as to when it was written? I am also sure that the same people will be able to comment on any inaccuracies - certainly I'm aware that RMJK was not "born of Buddhist parents" but I'm sure there will be others. Have fun reading it and I'll be interested to read anything you want to add or expand on from your own experiences.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:52 pm

Hisoka wrote:
I came across the following article (http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/future/training.shtml) today and thought it might be an intriguing read for people who knew Shasta in the early days. I'm not sure exactly when it was written but certainly when RMJK was still alive - maybe others of you who were actually there will be able to pick up more clues as to when it was written? I am also sure that the same people will be able to comment on any inaccuracies - certainly I'm aware that RMJK was not "born of Buddhist parents" but I'm sure there will be others. Have fun reading it and I'll be interested to read anything you want to add or expand on from your own experiences.

It's an interesting read. I would describe it as mostly an outside view of the Abbey in terms the Abbey might have endorsed at the time. I would say it was an accurate (in the way a brochure is accurate) description of things during my stay there, ie 70s - 80s, but I don't see anything that would date it precisely. The writer initially presents the information without bias, but then at the end states that Zen is "without salvation" because it doesn't embrace Christ.


Last edited by Isan on Sun May 01, 2011 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:32 am

Although I do not know much of Shasta of the early days, exept from what I had heard about over the years, and from the OBC Connect postings, it was interesting to note in this article that the "Philokalia" was mentioned as being respected by the Abbey. I only became acquainted with the Philokalia after running across a little book called "The Way of a Pilgrim" out of Russian Orthodox literature, and had to think of the Most Excellent Mirror of Samadhi. I can't think of anything anywhere that could have a similar effect as meditation, mindfulness has, that would be able to let you become aware of delusion, illusion and let you become aware of the false self as those writings, (although from the christian perspective), and often wondered why it isn't more widely known about generally.
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Hisoka



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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:25 am

Thanks for that brejo. Where I live in UK we have an Interfaith Forum I attend, and occasionally we have talks by the (one and only) Orthodox Christian there, usually given in the local tiny Orthodox Church (a converted chapel in a cemetary). I always find him most inspiring, and the last talk he gave was on the Philokalia, which I too had never heard of before. If I should ever feel a need to align myself with a Christian Church again in any way (most unlikely) it would be to the Orthodox tradition/spirituality I would go.
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john

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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:36 am

Quote (I cant think of anything that would have a similar effect that meditation /mindfulness has)


I believe shock can and does awaken us,if we allow it,for how long depends on the circumstances.Life changing experiences from what ever source.
Loss of a love one, our own immenent death, people awaiting execution can have transformational experiences. Where doing meditation becomes, being,without any doing involved, resting in ease, just naturally arising.Nothing else needed, maybe just our own core beliefs hanging around.They can chop and change as things unfold.
Where or what is self, as it scrambles to gather.
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:12 am

It is notable that there is a French Orthodox priest, Jean-Yves Leloup, who has been also a student of Zen, and has lectured before Zen groups in France on the common ground of the Bodhisattva ethos and the Hesychastic meditation and practice of mercy. One particular book is a collection of those talks entitled, "Compassion and Meditation- the Spiritual Dynamic Between Buddhism and Christianity."
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Sun May 01, 2011 4:41 pm

I just took the time to read this piece. It is a fair minded and a good description, from a rather superficial and sectarian view, of the Shasta Abbey of the 70s and 80s that I knew. And the writer makes the mistake of generalizing that Shasta Abbey is representative of American Zen. One glaring error is the assertion that Shasta Abbey lacked a theology, a doctrinal grounding, and a clear ethical teaching. That couldn't be more wrong and some Zenists I knew simply wanted nothing to do with Shasta Abbey because it was "too religious." I would also say it is not represenative either of an Orthodox Christian viewpoint, because that is all over the map depending on who you might speak with. Well known writers and representatives of Orthodox Christianity, such as, Bishop Kallistos Ware, or Jean-Yves Leloup, find ample common ground with Zen Buddhist practitioners.
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: An Orthodox Christian view of Shasta in the past!   Fri May 06, 2011 1:41 am

That is true, and as for that matter, those of us that did come to train with the OBC did so precisely because it was a serious practice and we were looking for that and were ready for that. Those that left, monks or laypeople, did so for a variety of reasons, not because it was "too religious", but mostly because there were some serious conflicts with what one might understand as teachings of "skillful means".
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