Jesus was a very fearless person, a straightforward person. He was a famous teacher who had a great capacity for loving, for healing, and for giving. With His unusual emotions and His unselfish suffering, Jesus had a feeling of interior loneliness that none could fill. He often withdrew by Himself to “a lonely place” to think and pray, and He practiced meditation regularly. The following images are my paintings of “Jesus in Deep Meditation.”
There is a French writer whose name is Andre Gide. He said that God is available to us twenty-four hours a day. God is happiness. God is peace. Why do we not enjoy God? Because we are not free. Our mind is not there. We have no capacity of touching God, or of enjoying Him. The practice of mindfulness helps us to free ourselves to enjoy what is there.
Mindfulness is a Buddhist word. With the energy of mindfulness, we can see deeply. With the Holy Spirit, we can see deeply. Mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha. The Holy Spirit is the energy of God. They both have the capacity to make us present, fully alive, deeply understanding, and loving. That is why in our daily life, we should live mindfully.
I grew up in a Buddhist family in Taiwan. My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents had been good Buddhists. So, I consider myself a Buddhist. After coming to America, I embraced my spiritual ancestors, and I take refuge in the Buddha. The Buddha says that all sentient beings possess Buddha nature, and the Buddhanature of all beings are equal. The Buddha can be touched everywhere and especially within ourselves. So, taking refuge in the Buddha means to touch the Buddha nature in ourselves, to touch the seed of enlightenment in ourselves, to liberate ourselves from suffering, and to help other living beings.
In America, I met with a number of Christians who really embodied the spirit of love, of understanding, of peace, of Jesus. Thanks to these people I have touched deeply Jesus as a spiritual teacher.
As new immigrants to the US settling down in Marina (which is a small town close to Monterey Peninsula, Central California) during years 1974 – 1988, our big family was so fortunate to have met Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Anna Lee who are devout Christians. Mr. Lee is an artist, educator and the founder of the Chinese Bible Fellowship. My parents, my siblings and I had received so much care and assistance from Mr. and Mrs. Lee during our days in Marina. We will always remember and be grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Lee for their love and kindness. (07/18/2016)
I am very pleased to share with you the following beautiful photos of Mr. & Mrs. Lee and their family.
It is possible to know the Buddha and at the same time know Jesus. There are people who have roots within both the Buddhist tradition and the Christian tradition. In my living room, there are small Buddha statues, and there are also my paintings of Jesus Christ as one of my spiritual teachers.
The Buddha and Jesus are always in me and they are very peaceful and united with each other. There is no conflict at all between the Buddha and the Christ in me. They are the real spiritual teachers within me. (Reference: “Jesus and Buddha as Brothers,” by Thich Nhat Hanh)
“God is in everything. He is everywhere. He is always with you.”
“Buddha is with you. Keep Him in your mind and heart.”
Buddha is never far from my mind. All I have to do is close my eyes to see Him: His straight-backed sitting posture, His calm, serene face, His elegant hands resting humbly on His lap…..
Gatha for Transfer of Merits
May palms be joined in every world
In kindness, compassion, joy and giving.
May all beings find security in
Friendship, peace, and loving care.
May calm and mindful practice seed
Patience and equanimity deep.
May we give rise to spacious hearts
And humble thoughts of gratitude.
(By: Hsi Lai Temple, www.hsilai.org)
One of my good friends, who is a practicing Christian, has recently become interested in Buddhism. He asked, “Since there is no God in Buddhism, can I be both a Christian and a Buddhist?”
Buddhism is defined as a nontheistic religion, which means that it denies any kind of separate creator. The Buddhists view that mind is the cause and answer to suffering. Some Christians see God not as an external creator, but as universal love, wisdom, and the basic ground of the universe. If that’s your experience of God, then God and Buddha are merely two names for the same ineffable spiritual reality. (07/31/2016)
(Source: “Lion’s Roar – Buddhist Wisdom for Our Time,” September 2016 Issue)