The purpose of this AO is to push the PAX along their journey in developing the 3rd F – Faith. We recognize that PAX are at their own place on the journey and proceed at their own pace. PAX are encouraged to share. It is not required to share (wise men learn by listening), but there is a requirement to allow others to share. What is shared in this 3rd F stays with the 3rd F; it is a COT. None of the PAX has a monopoly on the truth, though we are all truth seekers. It is fine to disagree. If there are not disagreements, then we are probably doing it wrong.
This 3rd F event:
1. Is free of charge.
2. Is a discussion based on faith and open to all men.
3. Is peer led by volunteer Qs who may or may not be certified/ordained.
The topic: Finding common ground in faith: Focus on Biblical and Buddhist ideology.
Baseline for the discussion:
535 Million Buddhist followers (believed to be a suppressed number by Chinese government)
2.5 Billion Biblical followers.
How the life stories of Buddha and Jesus are similar.
• Conceived in a miraculous manner
• Similar names of mother (Maya for Buddha, Mary for Jesus)
• Was a bit of a child prodigy
• Underwent a long period of fasting while traveling alone
• Tempted by, but overcame, the devil
• Began an itinerant ministry around the age of 30
• Had disciples who traveled with him.
• Performed miracles, such as curing blindness and walking on water
• Renounced worldly riches and required his disciples to do so also
• Rebelled against the religious elite (Brahmans for Buddha and Pharisees for Jesus)
• Dispatched disciples, shortly before his death, to spread his message
While Buddhism is based primarily on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (a spiritual teacher from India who lived from approximately 563BC to 483BC and is known as the Buddha or enlightend one), Buddhism incorporates a variety of religious traditions, beliefs and practices. Like Hinduism, Buddhism provides no singular unified view about Jesus, although a number of Jesus’ characteristics are described by many Buddhists.
Jesus Was An Enlightened Man
Most Buddhists acknowledge and respect the fact Jesus lived a self-sacrificial life and had compassion on those who were in spiritual need. This kind of compassion is seen by Buddhists to be the key to happiness and enlightenment. For this reason, many Buddhists, including the 14th century Zen master, Gasan Jōseki, refer to Jesus as an “enlightened man”.
Jesus Was A Wise Teacher
Most Buddhists also respect the teaching of Jesus to a high degree, especially Jesus’ teaching related to loving one’s neighbor and the need to demonstrate kindness and forgiveness. His teaching related to compassion, for example, impressed the Dalai Lama greatly. Jesus is seen as someone who possessed the correct perspective on life and his teaching helped others to embrace the truth. Some Buddhists including the 14th Dali Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, have even recognized Jesus as a ” bodhisattva” (one who dedicates his life sacrificially to the service and betterment of others). While Jesus is seen as a wise teacher, He is not seen as divine.
Jesus Was a Holy Man
The current Dalai Lama often describes Jesus as a “holy man” and includes Jesus in his list of such people. In fact, the Dalai Lama does not typically elevate Buddha to a greater status than Jesus when discussing the two figures. The Dalai Lama met frequently with the Pope in the early part of the 21st century and showed great respect for the teaching and person of Jesus Christ.
Are the man Jacob wrestled with, Siddhartha Gautama, and Jesus all incarnations of the same Spirit brought forth at the exact time and place when needed?
God did not create Religion.. Man did. Why does man paint themself in a tiny box and label it when they all have the same desire to get to an Afterlife that is peaceful and whole?
Is the afterlife segmented like our physical life? Is there multiple heavens or does the division of man’s faiths disappear when we leave this current life?
The Answers are COT… and what is said in COT stays in COT. If you want to know more, join in on the next 3rd F on 8/3 when we continue our Faith journey.
Thank you for letting Homer and YHC lead today.
John (Gypsy) Boles