— 2.B.2 Christian Response by Philip Sheldrake

(Response to 2.B.2 Hakuin’s Song of Zazen, presented by Ruben Habito)


I could find resonances here. Christianity in its own way recognizes that often what stands between us and what we deeply desire, and urgently seek, union with God, is our ego. As Jesus is recorded as saying (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 10, v 39 and parallels) “whoever gains his life will lose it; whoever loses his life for my sake will gain it”. Various Christian spiritual teachers also talk about the need to be freed from our lack of spiritual freedom – our “disordered attachments” in the language of the 16th century spiritual teacher, Ignatius of Loyola. For many Christian teachers, the quest for detachment is a major key to entering the spiritual life. Equally, the sentence that “the Pure Land is not far away” reminded me of Jesus’ teaching that the Kingdom of God is “near” or “within”, depending on which Gospel text you read.