Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Me and the Buddha: How many Paths to "Enlightenment"?

Good God, but I had a moment yesterday with this blessed Buddha statue that I have to share...

As part of my daily meditation practice, I pull out a tea light, strike a match, and place it squarely in the base of my Buddha. It's a devotional routine, that helps me move into an intentional space conducive to my own brand of Centering prayer/ Buddhist Meditation/ Medicine Wheel work.

Yesterday, I leaned over to kiss this statue's sweet cheeks, and my hair caught on fire.

I laugh out loud now, thinking,
"Another kind of enlightenment, eh?"
I'm thinking I'll be writing more about my encounters in meditation in coming days, as I'm naming for myself that this is the most important transformational work of my life. Listening to this conference, "Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening - Finding the Four Noble Truths in the Heart of the Gospel" recorded at the Center for Contemplation and Action, in New Mexico, is also nudging me in this direction.

James Finley, a former Trappist Monk, who studied under the guidance of Thomas Merton, said today, "It's possible to be a devout Buddhist and Devout Christian." And that really rocked my world.


I like being given permission to be on fire in faith and love! It sort of just mirrors what I already am experiencing in this crazy life of mine.

In peace, love, light,


Anonymous said...

Good grief, I knew you were one to really take things in and also to see how things 'fit' on but setting your hair on fire is going a little bit far isn't it?

Seriously dear one, if you choose to write more about your meditation encounters I know they will be great and I will read them all. I love your blogs.

Hopefully no more setting your hair on fire though. k?


David said...

When your hair caught fire, what was the first thing you said? "Jesus!"

That's the really funny thing!

Sr. Katherine said...


kara and ben nak said...

Melissa, you crack me up. Your post made me think of the Mason Jennings song, "I love you [Jesus] and Buddha too." It was the song of the day on the current the other day and you can still download it for free at:

Thought you may like it. Sorry we didn't get to see you today. We just got back from Arizona. Can you believe it was 60 and raining the whole time we were there!? what a bummer. Oh well, have a great holiday weekend!