Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Journey

The following is an autobiography I wrote to submit with seminary applications. You might recognize a few lines from some of my previous blog entries, but most of it is new.

It took me forever to write this. It certainly is hard to condense 28 years into 2-pages, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. 

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A friend once told me about a child who announced to his father, “Daddy, I invited Jesus into my heart.” The father was pleased. “That's wonderful, son,” he replied. Yes,” the son said, “and I also invited Batman into my heart!

Was that the moment of the child's conversion? Only God knows, and the same is true for me. I prayed a prayer when I was four or five. My parents had told me about Jesus, so one day I took a break from playing with my toys to invite him into my life. When they found out what I had done, they were very excited, and I was happy because they were happy. “Jesus loves you,” my parents said. I knew they loved me, so I figured Jesus really must, too.

Random Thought #352

I thank God that no matter what happens, the sky is always there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Living Buddha, Living Christ: Ch 4a

Chapter Four: Living Buddha, Living Christ

This is, by far, the longest chapter up until now. Lots to think about.

Hahn begins by distinguishing between the historical Buddha/Jesus and the living Buddha/Jesus. He says that the historical Buddha was born in Kapilavastu and died in Kushinagar, but the living Buddha - the Buddha who transcends all ideas and notions - was never born and never died. Similarly, he says, the historical Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was crucified upon Golgotha, but the living Jesus existed before the creation of the world and lives beyond the crucifixion.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Living Buddha, Living Christ: Ch 3

Chapter 3: The First Supper

Hahn begins this chapter by recounting an incident that took place at a conference on religion and peace. He says a Protestant minister approached him and asked if he was a grateful person. When Hahn said he was, the minister said, "Since you do not believe in God, you are not grateful for anything."

I hope the minister wasn't as curt as Hahn recalls, because I do think he had a point worth making. As I said in my last post, "If the world around us is not the byproduct of God, any gratitude generated by our mindfulness will be homeless; there will no one to thank." Of course, we will always be able to feel gratitude toward other human beings, but when Hahn talks about mindfulness, he's talking about something that leads to gratitude for the things that only God can take responsibility for (i.e., the ability to draw another breath or the capacity to enjoy the taste of food - even existence itself).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Top 10 Songs of 2011

In light of the New Year (and because I feel like taking a break from studying for the GRE) I thought I'd post a list of my top 10 favorite songs of 2011. I've decided to limit this list to only songs that were actually released in 2011, because if I didn't I'd never be able to pick just 10.

So, here they are. These are the songs released in 2011 that either (a) I couldn't stop listening to, (b) meant something significant to me, or (c) both. I'm limiting myself to one song per artist.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Living Buddha, Living Christ: Ch 2

Chapter Two: Mindfulness and the Holy Spirit

In this chapter, Hanh draws comparisons between the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the Buddhist concept of mindfulness.

I found this chapter very interesting because the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is something I've had to think about a lot. Last year I gave a seminar at our Winter Conference on the Holy Spirit, and last semester I spoke on how to make Spirit-led decisions at our movement's weekly meeting. I've also done some research on (and had personal experience with) the charismatic movement. After all this, I still find the role and operation of the Holy Spirit to be one of the most mysterious things about Christianity.