We are meditating on an important and hopeful sign of our times—that of Deep Ecumenism, the sharing of wisdom of all the world’s spiritual traditions (instead of competition and religious one-up-man-ship).
Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that for him,
…there is no conflict at all between the Buddha and the Christ in me. They are real brothers, they are real sisters within me…. A Christian is a continuation of Jesus Christ. He is Jesus Christ, and she is Jesus Christ. That is how I see things, this is how I see people. A Buddhist is a child of the Buddha, he is, and she is, a continuation of the Buddha. She is the Buddha, he is the Buddha.
Nor does Meister Eckhart see a conflict, since “the nature assumed by God is given to every person to become the son of God” and other Christs.
The “I am” statements of the Cosmic Christ, as we saw in yesterday’s DM including Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 25–“do it to the least and you do it to me”–is another way of talking about how we are all other Christs, other Buddhas, etc.
Meister Eckhart has a striking passage where he tells us that relation is the essence of everything that exists.
This parallels the teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh on “interbeing,” where he asks the question: “Is there anything that has a separate self? No, a tree that stands in the front yard does not have a separate self.”
Why? Because without sunshine, soil, rain, and so on, the tree does not exist.
All things are interdependent—Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, today’s science, and Thich Nhat Hanh all say that.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, p. 56;
Also Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 338-353.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: The Buddha and Jesus as brothers. Iconographer unknown.
Queries for Contemplation
What does it mean to you to be called another Christ or another Buddha, etc? And to deepen your awareness of interdependence and interbeing? How does that translate to transforming society?
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time
While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward
Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.” — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.