Friday, June 14, 2013

By their fruits...

As we drove across eastern Washington, we kept seeing groves of trees with long narrow leaves.  We knew they weren't apple trees, but it wasn't until we stopped at a fruit stand that we were able to walk right up to some and see that they were cherry trees: "by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:20)"

And so, this morning, reading Jack Kornfield's observations about the development of Buddhism in this country I thought again about this famous saying.  It turns out Buddhism is plagued by many of the same failings that distort Christianity -- sectarianism, abuses of power, patriarchal organizations, and indifferent and/or irrelevant practice.

It seems to me that whether our practice involves Centering Prayer or some more Buddhist variety of meditation, we inevitably find ourselves struggling with the same kinds of demons on a more personal level -- our fears, our hungry egos, and our need for security.  But in the end, it seems to me, the success or failure of that practice, whether Christian or Buddhist, can be characterized by the same fruits: compassion, inner stillness, and wisdom.  So.  How is your ripening process coming?

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