On Meditating and Arriving at our Buddha (or Christ) Nature

Continuing our discussion of the “C” of Contemplation, we are listening again to Buddhist teacher Lama Tsomo.

Inside the curl of the wave. Photo by Joshua Dewey on Unsplash

We are in our true selves, this ocean of awareness that constantly makes beautiful patterns of waves all over the place, and whatever we define as ugly is actually having to do more with the splattered bugs in our own windshield, karmic bugs on our windshield, and the twists in the windshield and the colorations. 

Tsomo sees lots of meditation practice as “cleaning our windshields” of mis-perception. 

Because reality, as it actually is on its own terms, is more beautiful than we can probably even very well imagine….We are simply this piece of reality that is also Buddha Nature, just like everything else, because what isn’t?

“We’ve got so much bug splatter, I can’t tell why I took this picture.” Photo by Karen Chung on Flickr.

In Christianity, what Tsomo calls Buddha Nature, is the Christ Nature or the Cosmic Christ which is part of every being in the universe, the “light” in every being in the universe, the “light of the world” and the entire universe. Scientists tell us every atom in the universe contains light waves or particles. 

So we share a common cosmic consciousness that is, shall we say, very optimistic.  Though to appreciate this we do, as Tsomo says, have to clear our “windshields” of delusions that we or our culture impose on us, delusions of our separateness from the brilliance and what Aquinas calls the “radiance” present in all beings so that we can see what is truly there.  We ourselves are other Buddhas, other Christs.

Sun breaking past clouds, Oahu Beach, Hawaii. Photo by Marvin Parks on Unsplash

All this is what I mean by “original Blessing” or what Aquinas means by “original goodness” and Hildegard of Bingen by “original wisdom.”

Tsomo says that “original purity” is a term that they use in Tibetan Buddhism for “original blessing.”  The word in Tibetan is kadak.  “So then we too are actually, in our true selves, Buddha Nature.”  Our neurotic emotions are “like clouds covering the sun” and in meditating, “we clear the clouds away from the sun.  And then, of course, there’s the sun, and that’s what we really are: Buddha Nature.”

Crumpled and gazing at ourselves in darkness: the anguished self-focus of sin. Photo by Bianca Salgado from Pexels

Of course, our culture can interfere with this obvious vision of our Buddhahood or our Christhood. 

Consider religion, for example. It fails us if it begins with the anthropocentric (such as sin) instead of with the reality which is the cosmos that was 13.8 billion years along before sin (and humans) came on the scene. 

Or education that ignores our capacity for the whole, for the cosmos and awe and wonder and focuses exclusively on the rational and how to fit into an economic or political system that is less about greatness than about shrinking the soul. 

The fact that science is currently demonstrating the profound changes that occur in the brain when one meditates is a good sign that we can move beyond sectarianism to common practice that can put ourselves in contact with our deeper selves and move beyond our petty and warring selves.

Adapted from Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo, The Lotus & the Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity, pp. 31, 55, 59f.

Banner Image: Music-making as meditation. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Do you come to a place of “original blessing” and “original purity,” of your Christ nature and your Buddha nature when you meditate?  What follows from that?

The Lotus & The Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity

How can we move away from “us vs. them” thinking as our surroundings feel more divided and polarized than ever? Co-authors Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo discuss how Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Christianity answer this question from unique points of view, with many commonalities and practical tools to break down the barriers between us.
The Lotus and the Rose is an extraordinary example of what can happen when spiritual leaders from different traditions open up and speak from the heart.” — Paul Chaffee, The Interfaith Observer.

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1 thought on “On Meditating and Arriving at our Buddha (or Christ) Nature”

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    Thank you again for reminding us of the power and the necessity of contemplative practices that remind us of who we really are.

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