Ajahn Chah, the Name of Jesus, and Enlightenment for Ordinary People

Our first new addition this week is a video clip with the Thai Forest Buddhist master Ajahn Chah, recorded while on a visit to England during the 1970s.

The ultimate truth is like the flavour of an apple: you can’t see it with the eye, or hear it with the ear. The only way to experience it is to put the teaching into practice.

“A Sermon on the Glorious Name of Jesus Christ” by Saint Bernadine of Siena.

“ask and you shall receive that your joy may be complete”. “Ask”, He says, “and receive”—that is, through the power of My Name… this Name, not visualized, not appended to a request—just the Name alone, and He adds: “that your joy might be complete”… Now eternal glory is called a joy for three reasons. First, every desire of the soul is filled to excess… Second, it consists in the vision, fruition and possession, in its entirety, of the consummation of goodness, which is the Triune God… Third, this joy is so great, and of such a nature, that it cannot be lost, whence John says to his disciples: “and no one will take away your joy from you”.

• In a lecture entitled “Enlightenment for Ordinary People”, Daiei Kaneko (1881-1976) introduces several basic aspects of the Jodo Shinshu tradition:

…there are many types of power. For example, it is not too difficult to subdue or subjugate bandits in the mountains; but it is hard to subdue the bandits in our mind. The power and force needed to subjugate these different kinds of bandits are not the same. The nuclear power that might destroy the entire human race doesn’t seem to be able to destroy human anger.

• Upcoming events: a practical & philosophical workshop on Sacred Gardens with Emma Clark: three-day event in Wells, Somerset, from 9th to 11th May (click here for details). And an evening on the Islam-Buddhism Common Ground project, initiated by the Dalai Lama and Prince Ghazi of Jordan (click here for details): film screening followed by a question and answer session with Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi.