Some believe they must suffer in order to find salvation. As they see it, so shall it be. Some believe salvation will come naturally, blissfully, without effort. As they see it, so shall it be. Some believe that salvation must come through intense introspection, intellectual hardship, deep understanding. As they see it, so shall it be. Some believe they must devote themselves to God, surrender totally and without any part left out, in order to find salvation. As they see it, so shall it be. When they finally laugh, they will see it has all been, only because they saw it as such, and the seeing itself created what was believed to be the obstacle. What was always there was that which was able to show whatever it is you chose to project. It is that ‘thing’ which can accommodate any and all projections that is of utmost importance. That is you. That is Christ. That is God. That is Spirit. It is One.
Sermon, January 21, 2020
We are like a person sweltering on a hot summer day, standing at the edge of a pool, wanting, simultaneously, to get relief from the heat, but not to get wet. We come to Christ, to the Absolute Truth which ends all of our imagined suffering, through His Grace and yet we bring ourselves, resisting actual freedom. His Grace brought you, His Grace will take you, and His Grace will finish you. You have come for something you can’t even imagine, because of something you can’t really imagine, and now it is time to stop imagining all together, to fall backward into the pool of Grace, letting go of even the idea of the person, you believe, was carried by such Grace.
The only barrier to awakening, to salvation, is “you”. If you are here, reading this sermon, then you are ‘seeking’. In fact, we are all constantly seeking, along different paths, perhaps calling the thing sought by different names. The only constant in seeking is the ‘you’, the idea of the seeker and the idea of what is sought.
What is it that makes us think we can recognize salvation when we find it? What is that initial, instant moment out of which comes the desire to know God? Did we choose that moment and what came out of it? Why do we assume that we are able to choose the right path and then know when we get the right result?
Allow me, for a few moments out of your day, to have your attention. Allow me to show you your boundless faith, the purity of your true self, your ever present awakened and saved self, that thing which, ultimately, cannot be named, yet you seek, because you are here looking.
With what mind do you seek truth and happiness? With whose judgment do you decipher what is a true path, what is a false path, who is a prophet and who is a false prophet? With what words, ideas, thoughts, learning can you form a basis for choosing what is right and what is wrong if you believe that the same you in in need is also the you who will choose a path? Which person are you, ignorant or wise? Who are you?
One can be active in the world, and quiet within, just like the waves on the surface of the water and the silence below
I will be taking a sabbatical leave to take care of some spiritual and practical matters. On the practical side, I'll be exploring ways to create more stable funding for the Mission and possibly find grants etc. In order to keep this vision going, some practical financial matters need some extra attention. From the spiritual side, quiet grace never hurts!
I will still be present to answer any emails etc but the main break will come in terms of writing full sermons regularly. I don't anticipate a very long break, however, I will update as needed. In lieu of the full length sermons, I will try to post regular 'shorts', almost Zen Koan style. I also encourage reading past sermons as we can often find new things a second time.
Thank you to everyone for their continued support. I pray I find a continuing source of financial stability for the Mission so that it may continue, and expand, its service.
20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
God isn't whispering, you're screaming
God isn't hiding, but you've left to go looking
Be quiet, be still
Imagine a bubble arising from the ocean. Now imagine a small bubble forming within the larger bubble, both floating above the water.
The small bubble begins to examine its world. It becomes a master of the nature of the larger bubble, knowing all there is to know.
The small bubble bursts, becoming one with the large bubble, realizing all knowledge was no knowledge, a mere creation within himself.
The large bubble bursts, merging back to the ocean. No knowledge, no realization, no other, just ocean.
All knowledge is false. All unknowing is Truth.
A person has told you they have one week to live. They have asked you to read parts of the Bible to them. What parts do you choose to read?
Read the Bible this way for yourself. What you focus on, and what happens, may surprise you.
Your individual identity is like the breath. It arises and falls, and you will not be able to grasp anything.
Your thoughts, like breath, rise and fall. One we call breathing, another we call 'I".
Neither can be identified except as something we create as a stable thing.
They fall through the hands like grasping at water
Seek that within which breath arises
Seek that within which thought arises
This is Truth
This is the real You
Look at the picture, above, of the cloud breathing more cloud
You identify the image, the fleeting image
Do you see the blue sky?
We try to attach to the fleeting image, missing the sky that makes it possible
First we see the image
Then we see the sky
It is done