The Journey Of A Christian Reaching For God With The Aid Of Buddha's Teachings

Archive for April, 2012

Who was Jesus the Christ?

Jesus of Nazareth (also called Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Messiah) was believed to be born around 6 – 4 B.C in the town of Bethlehem, Judaea.  Though Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25th, there is no true record of his date of birth.  His mother was Mary and his step-father was Joseph.  The Holy Bible states that a Mary became pregnant when the Spirit of God descended upon her.  At the time of Jesus’ conception, Mary was a virgin.  I was foretold by several prophets that a baby would be born in the Jewish community that would be their Messiah or the savior.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem inside a stable.  During this time, there was a census of the land which required the people to go to the city of their birthplace with their family.  Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem and found that the all the inns were full.  Therefore, they stayed in a stable where Mary had baby Jesus.  Since they were in a stable, Mary and Joseph laid baby Jesus, who was wrapped in clothes, in a manger (an animal feeding trough).

The Holy Bible, in the book of Luke, doesn’t speak of Jesus again until when he is twelve years old.  Jesus leaves Mary and Joseph and goes to the temple in Jeruselm.  There, he speaks for three days with the doctors and scholars and all who hear young Jesus speak are astonished with his wisdom and understanding.  After this account, the Holy Bible does not speak of Jesus again until he is around 30 years old.  He is baptized by John the Baptist (called this because he baptized people not because he was the minister of a Baptist church).  After Jesus was baptized, not unlike the Buddha, Jesus began to wander in the wilderness and fasted for 40 days.  During this time, Satan, the evil one or devil, tempted Jesus three times.  First, Satan tempted Jesus by telling him to turn the rocks into bread so that he can eat.  He was tempting Jesus with physical needs.  Second, Satan tempted Jesus with the kingdoms of the world.  He was tempting Jesus with lust of the eyes and wealth.  Lastly, Satan tempted Jesus with an easy way to prove that he is the Messiah.  He told Jesus to jump from the high point of the temple.  If he did this, Jesus would show all the people that he truly is the Son of God as the angels would have saved him.  Jesus defeated Satan’s temptation.

 

 

After being tempted, Jesus began his ministry.  He gathered 12 disciples to teach and continue his work after he dies.  Jesus taught his disciples and ministered to the people for around three years.  Then, the Jews (namely the spiritual leaders of the Jewish religion) were angry with Jesus for saying he was the Messiah, the Son of God.  They convinced the Roman government to put Jesus to death on the cross, which was a typical way for the Romans to put a man to death.  The Holy Bible says that Jesus died without sin, which made him a pure sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days after Jesus was put to death, he rose from the dead, breaking the bonds of death and proving that he was the Son of God, the Messiah.  He ascended into the heavens and will one day return to the Earth to take all those who believe to a place of pure joy and happiness.

 


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It will be okay

Another great post from istopforsuffering…

Low Energy in Los Angeles.. or maybe not?

See what 20 minutes of meditation can do to your outlook… Thanks for the great post…

The Responsive Universe

I am born and raised in Southern California; South Orange County to be exact. Now I live in Chicagoland. I am here in Los Angeles for the week. There is so much wellness out here in the LA basin. I see yoga and pilates studios on every other corner – especially in newer developments. During my travels, I was worried about not juicing – not a problem as there is a Jamba Juice next to almost every Starbucks. Still, Los Angeles is a busy place: Just drive north up the 405 freeway and you are greeted by unrelenting traffic, oil refineries, concrete and a mess of power lines. There is a controlled chaos here that reverberates this buzz that seems to stay in your head even in the sanctuary of my Double Tree hotel. There are even ear plugs next to my bed with a note from the hotel apologizing for…

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April – Earth Day Challenge – Coming to an End (What’s Next?)

I had a great time hearing about my followers and friends adventure in completing.  Together we can make a difference.  Even though Earth Day has past, it does not mean that we should stop caring for our environment.  I still plan to clean the area around my apartment from time to time to maintain the cleanliness of my home.

So what comes next?  What will the May’s challenge be?  This month, I am going to challenge myself, but you are more than welcome to participate, to meditate every day for 30 days straight for at least 10 minutes a session.  Everyday in May, I am going to post a quote from Buddha and/or Jesus in order to help motivate myself.  Since I am untrained in meditation, I am going to use a guided chakra meditation.  Chakras are not Buddhist, however the idea of focusing on specific body parts to increase meditations are Buddhist in nature.  I am hoping that within time, I will be able to change and learn more about meditation so that I can use other forms of meditation including true Theravada meditation, which is sitting in silence.

May you all find the courage, patience, and understanding to join me in my journey to increase our mindfulness, concentration, tranquility, and insight.  If you are a Christian, increasing your mindfulness, concentration, tranquility, and insight can help you to gain a better understanding of God and yourself.  If you practice another religion or do not practice at all, meditation can also aid you in decreasing anxiety and stress in this highly stressful world.  So join me in the month of May for May Meditation.

I found this brilliant blog about being who you are inside and removing the junk on the outside that hide the true you. Christianity would agree that you need to remove the junk in your life to be the person God created you to be. Enjoy…

AlongTheTao

Source: Uploaded by user via Diego on Pinterest

There is a story of a monk who lived in a monastery with a large plaster statue of Buddha. One day while the monk was looking at the statue he saw a reflection from a crack in the statue.He moved his light closer to the statue and saw that the crack appeared to glow from within. He called the other monks and they removed a piece of the plaster. There was gold underneath. They proceeded to remove all of the plaster from the statue and found that underneath this ancient statue that had been in their monastery for years was solid gold.

I heard this story from a podcast featuring Tara Brach, a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She went on to say that the statue in the story was a metaphor for how we…

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Who was Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha?

Gautama Buddha (born Siddhārtha Gautama) was born around 566 B.C.E, in the small kingdom of Kapilavastu to his father, King Suddhodana and his mother, Queen Maya.  It was foretold by wise men that the young prince would one day become the next Buddha.  This troubled the King as he wished for the prince to be a great ruler.  In order to avoid the prophecy of the wise men, the King enticed Prince Siddhārtha Gautama to stay in the palace by making the palace so pleasant that the prince will never want to leave.  Prince Siddhārtha Gautama married Princess Yasodhara at age 16 and was given three palaces so he would never think about living outside of the palace.  As time passed, the prince decided to go out of the palace.  It was noted that he left the palace four times and saw four different things. On his first time outside of the palace, the prince noticed the sick.  On his second journey outside of the palace he noticed old age.  On his third time leaving the palace, he noticed death.  The fourth time leaving the palace, the prince met a wandering monk who had given up everything he owned to seek an end to suffering.  The prince decided to be like the monk and began pondering the end of suffering.

Siddhārtha Gautama decided to leave the palace and his wife to become a wandering monk.  He left all his worldly desires, cut his hair, put on ragged robes and began going by the name Gautama.  Over a six-year period, Siddhārtha Gautama spoke with wise men and studied their ways in order understand how to an end to suffering.  None of the wise men knew the answer.  Gautama decided to meditate to find the path to end suffering.  In meditation, he ate only roots, leaves and fruit and sometime nothing.  He became very thin and unhealthy.  He could endure more hardships than anyone else of his time yet he did not find happiness.  He thought, “Neither my life of luxury in the palace nor my life as an ascetic in the forest is the way to freedom. Overdoing things can not lead to happiness. ”  He began to eat nourishing food again and regained his strength.

At last on a full moon night in May, Gautama sat under a fig tree, now known as the Bodhi Tree, and decided not to move until he gained enlightenment.  During the night, he was visited by Mara, the demon, who tried to tempt him away from his path to enlightenment.  Mara sent his beautiful daughters to lure Gautama into visual and physical pleasures, but, Gautama resisted.  Next, Mara sent bolts of lightning, wind and heavy rain to distract Gautama, yet he resisted.  Last, Mara sent his demonic armies with weapons and flaming rocks, however, Gautama met the armies and defeated them one by one with his virtue.

In the end, Gautama realized the cause of suffering and how to remove it.  He had gained enlightenment, the most supreme wisdom and understood things as they truly are, and became the Buddha.,  ‘The Awakened One’.  For the next 45 years, Buddha traveled teaching others how to gain enlightenment for themselves.  He taught of such teachings as The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, and Nirvana. 

At the ripe old age of 80 years old, Buddha knew that it was close to his death.  He received his last meal from a blacksmith who offered him food.  The Buddha is noted to have told his disciples that he is dying of old age, not because of what he ate (food poison).  The Theravada tradition generally believes that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, which is acceptable in Theravada Buddhism as the monks and Buddha would ask others for alms and eat whatever was given.  The Mahayana tradition, however, believes that the Buddha ate some sort of truffle or other mushroom, which is required as they are highly vegetarian.

The Buddha’s final words are reported to have been: “All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.”  At last, Buddha passed on and his body was cremated.  The time of Buddha’s passing is either around 486 B.C.E. according to Theravada tradition or around 383 B.C.E. according to Mahayana traditions.

Say No to Stress

Here are some great ways to reduce your stress… Thanks Panacea for a great blog…

PANACEA

You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life if you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated.    Sometimes you need to put your foot down. Needless tolerance can bleed you dry of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively. Here are some suggestions on how to say no to stress by avoiding or stop tolerating some or all of these situations in your life:

  •  Negative thinking. What do you typically think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths or your weaknesses?  The best that could happen or the worst that might come to be?  Pay attention to your self-talk.  Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more success, is your way of thinking. The sun is always shining on some part…

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