Un-elaborated (or gradually elaborated – and probably fairly un-informed) sketches on parallels between different “systems of seeking”; i.e. Seeing the perinealism of mystically-practical Buddhist psychology and practically-mystical Christian theology:

Kenosis (“In prayer come empty, do nothing.” -St John of the Cross); Hesychia (stillness; emptying the “cup” of awareness of its sensory/worldly/created contents); Logos (Jesus accepted the Logos (Will/Way of God) and became the Christ) — Wuwei (empty of resistance; giving way to the Way); Tao; Wei Wu Wei said that humility is the absence of any one to be proud; “A Buddha is the embodiment of the Dharma, the law; he is not apart from the workings of it. Having taken birth, decay and death must inevitably follow. Whether you are enlightened or unenlightened, this is part of the natural unfolding. But the truth itself is timeless, and having been shown the path to understanding, we need not rely on anyone outside of ourselves.
” (Goldstein)

Emptiness (“unfindability” of…; includes non-self, dereification of subject-object distinction, etc);

• Difference between “emptiness” and “mere nothingness”

• Unborn consciousness/un-manifested knowing

Nepsis: St John (“loving awareness”); St Hesychios: “awareness” is a spiritual method (“nēpsis can be translated as “awareness” including different types of awareness such as alertness, sobriety, watchfulness, attentiveness, mindfulness) — Sati

Paradoxical teachings of Jesus (parables; when the disciples asked for explanation) — “noble silence” of the Buddha (koans; “I will not allow this poison-tipped dart to be removed from my body until I have learned whether the man who shot me was…”

The camel through th eye of a needle (the narrow path that camels had to walk through) — Mumonkan: passing through the barrier-gate (like a toll) and the “mu” (“no”; “not”; “have not”; “nothing”)

Theosis (deification aimed toward likeness/union with God; via catharsis: purification of mind/body; and theoria: illumination) — Nirvana

3 stages of theosis (describes process and aim): purgative way (purification – katharsis), illuminative way (illumination – theoria: ‘Contemplatio’ is the Latin translation of Greek ‘theoria’), and the unitive way (sainthood – theosis) — 3 kinds of nirvana happiness: path consciousness, fruition consciousness, and parinirvana (when an “enlightened being” dies); also: rebirth in the realms of hell, animal, peta, etc

Christ’s Divine-human perfection/Second coming of Christ — Mahamudra (character and practice)/Maitreya

Provocation-Conjunction-Joining-Habit-Captivity (Philokalia Vol 1 p171; Heiromonk Damascence p312) — Dependent Origination (chain of causation)

Christ (Logos) “In the beginning…” — Buddha (Tathagata) “The Tathagata who was perfectly enlightened so long ago has no limit to the duration of his life, being ever-lasting. Never extinct, he makes a show of extinction for the sake of those he leads to salvation.” (The Lotus Sutra ch 15-16)

Trinity: Father (YHWH) Son (Logos/the Way), and Holy Spirit (Ultimate, Particular, presence and action all of which are one in the same) — 3 Jewels: Dharma(-nature), Buddha(-nature), and Sangha (Ultimate, Particular, presence and action all of which are one in the same); Tantric metaphor: sky (ground/base – gzhi), sun (sky’s vast capacity for perfect clarity of awareness – rigpa), and the sun’s rays (descending light/energy/motion that penetrates and illuminates the dark clouds of ignorance/aggregates of clinging – ‘od gsal)

Gnosis (insight; translation of Hebrew “ha’ath”) — Panna

Salvation; Habitus; Judgement (“judge not lest…”) and Cloud ch 4 (holy and worldly desire) — Karma

Sin (hamartia; missing the mark; to fail – as a result of unconscious motivations; “springs from a state of moral darkness brought on by a lack of awareness” – John Sanford Kingdom… p111); lust, anger, and confusion (what St John calls spirits of fornication, blasphemy, and vertigo) — 3 roots of suffering (3 poisons?); attachment/clinging

Repentance (‘turning around’; ‘changing the mind’) — satori (‘turning about’ of the mind)

Heart — Will/Volition/Formations (?); “There is a third kind of love, higher even than universal lovingkindness. This love is the natural harmony which comes from the breaking down of barriers arising out of the concept of self. No “I,” no “other.” It is love born of wisdom and at this level, “love” and “emptiness” are the same experience. There is no concept at all of “I am loving.” It’s free of the concept of I, of self.” (Goldstein)

Hesychios (“On Watchfulness and Holiness”): “continuity of attention produces inner stability; inner stability produces a natural intensification of watchfulness and in due measure gives Contemplative insight into spiritual warfare.” — Samadhi -> Jhana -> Insight

Concentration (prayer word with breath – word falls away at a point of absorption) — samatha (breath instead of word-matched-with-breath) anapanasati-jhana (applied and sustained thought fall away at a point, and concentration moves from an eagle flapping to soaring)

“There is within us a sort of mental craving that is fragmented and frayed (pathos was the Greek word he often used) [split; knot; papanca], with the result that we are nearly always either grasping at something or pushing it away and find it very difficult to receive with open palms of simple gratitude.” (Laird; “Sunlit…” p35) — tanhā (craving); upādāna (attachment; clinging; grasping)

(Evagrius) Passions (good or bad: thoughts that lead us away from contemplation); there are areas of life in which obsessive patterns tend to occur — Papanca

Metanoia (to change one’s mind or convert; meta- to go beyond or change + noein to have mental perception – from noos: mind, thought) (St Hesychios) Vigilant watchfulness provides an antidote to chasing thoughts and deriving a sense of self from them by “closely scrutinizing every mental image or provocation” – instead of chasing thoughts, “turn around” (metanoia) to stop the chase; OR “turn around” to look them in the face (with stillness and silence – seeing through/past them) and stop the flow of being carried away by them; move from agitated victim to silent witness —

7 mortal/deadly sins (originating with Evagrius and taken to Europe by his student, John Cassian – evil spirits; excessive versions of the passions: anger, envy (contempt/spiteful hatred?), pride, sloth, covetousness, lust, and… gluttony) (vs. venial sins that can take root in the soul if treated with carelessness) — 5 hindrances

Satan (one who opposes, obstructs, or acts as an adversary; one who plots against); Devil (one who throws (something) across the path of another: diabolos from diaballein “to slander, attack,” literally “throw across,” from dia- “across, through” + ballein “to throw”) — Mara

Holy Spirit (Paraclete: advocate; helper; counselor) — Buddha-nature (or Buddha Principle refers to several related terms, most notably tathāgatagarbha and buddhadhātu. Tathāgatagarbha means “the womb” or “embryo” (garbha) of the “thus-gone” (tathagata), or “containing a tathagata”); “The Buddha is within. It is the experience of the truth. Always bringing it back to the present moment, to the experience in the now.” (Goldstein) Qi (ch’i: “breath”, “air”, or “gas”, and figuratively as “material energy”, “life force”, or “energy flow”); anima mundi – or world soul – of the Stoics

“God has a sense of humor” — the “cosmic joke” (Michael Taft)

Lose yourself and you will find yourself — when you disappear, you are most fully here

Humility; selflessness (as the way to purification) — freedom from Sakkaya-ditthi (wrong view of self with regard to nama and rupa)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s