Just a Bit: Living Buddha, Living Christ; and RIP Thich Nhat Hanh

As one raised in a Christian tradition, but seemingly forever also looking beyond to connect with all of humanity, I was, am delighted to have this book as a reference, guide to some of the universal truths…

…and I’m the next breath, a little tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Zen Master, who died this weekend.

An excerpt from this amazing book, linking East and West…his words live on…

“…The living teaching expressed by the lives of the Buddha and Jesus should always be the models for our practice.

The sutras are not the living teachings of the Buddha. To receive the true teaching, we must emulate the life and work of the Buddha himself. The same is true of Christianity.

The Gospels in their written or even oral form are not the living teaching of Jesus. The teachings must be practiced as they were lived by Jesus.

“The church is the vehicle that allows us to realize those teachings. The church is the hope of Jesus, just as the Sangha is the hope of the Buddha. It is through the practice of the church and the Sangha that the teachings come alive.

Communities of practice, with all their shortcomings, are the best way to make the teachings available to people. The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit need the church in order to be manifested. (“Whenever two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am.”)

People can touch the Father and the Son through the church. That is why we say that the church is the mystical body of Christ. Jesus was very clear about the need to practice the teaching and to do so in community. He told His disciples to be the light of the world. For a Buddhist, that means mindfulness.

The Buddha said that we must each be our own torch.

Jesus also told His disciples to be the salt of the world, to be real salt. His teaching was clear and strong. If the church practices well the teachings of Jesus, the Trinity will always be present and have a healing power to transform all that it touches.”

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