This morning I woke up to read this beautiful email from Pia describing a transformation to the state of bliss. It reminds me how it doesn’t need a change in a person to approach realization of bliss. It requires the realization of Ekonkar, the principle of oneness. And then all differences vanish. A Buddhist monk reminds you of the perfection preached by Jesus Christ. Angela surround you. It’s a beautiful read.
My guru removes my fog
I see Ekonkar in all!
Pia Valeriana’s email:
My first experience at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado was truly an awakening. Ten years ago, while participating with a small Christian group that met regularly for Eucharist and meditation, I accompanied them on a weekend retreat to this special oasis. I was immediately awestruck by the isolated beauty of the location, but what inspired me foremost was meeting Theophane the Monk. He had delivered an engaging, spiritual presentation to the attendees and I was mesmerized by his inviting presence. I had come to the “Magic Monastery” with no particular purpose, but I left searching for life’s significance. And through this monk’s enlivening and magical eyes that twinkled inquisitively at everything he saw, and with a sly wit that was manifested in an easy, charismatic smile, I sensed a sagacity far beyond mere words. Immediately I had to find out more about this enigmatic person and learn his secret to living well. This began a short but close friendship where ultimately I moved up near the monastery visiting with Theo almost everyday.
I suspected that the key was transcending the mundane, yet what I encountered was not a man detached from the world, but one who was intimately a part of it. He was genuine and without pretense and I admired the simple sincerity in which he lived his life. I discovered what I perceived as a missing element of my being and I wanted to be cleansed of my imperfections through the learning of timeless wisdom. I wanted to be aware like him, to be wise like him, and ultimately, to be free like him. Although he wasn’t an accomplice in my pursuit of Religious Life, he most definitely was a protagonist in the discernment of its truths. We talked about that constantly. In fact, his last words to me were “Remember to keep dancing,” inferring that my inner soul was questing to move through the music in my life, never succumbing to an alternate tune.
In A Path With Heart the renowned Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield states, “The wholeness and freedom we seek is our own true nature, who we really are.” And I think this is precisely what Jesus implores in today’s gospel when he says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Since it would be impossible for us to be perfect as god is entertained impeccable, the Christ surely is implying another reality. I believe he is compelling us to be faultless unto ourselves, thus fulfilling our god-given purpose. This is the wholeness Kornfield suggests as he continues, “Whenever we contemplate what it means to live well, we have begun the inevitable process of opening to this truth, the truth of life itself.”
Being true to oneself is the key to a complete life. It’s not trying to get something you don’t already have or of becoming like someone else. What made Theophane, Jesus, or god special is the fulfillment of their own inherent nature. My perfection is the acceptance of my imperfection – not to exclude the undesirable, embarrassing, and incomplete parts, but to embrace and dance with it. It seems that life’s quest is not so much to learn perfection but to experience, maybe even to love, its imperfection.
One thing, all things;
move among and intermingle,
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
–Seng T’san, 3rd Chinese Zen patriarch