Priests and Priests: Walking the Buddhist and Christian Path
NOTE FROM JUNDO: THESE POSTS WERE SPLIT FROM ANOTHER THREAD
"Gustav Ericsson is a very nice chap, and also an ordained Christian priest in the Church of Sweden."
I find it interesting that a Christian Priest would receive dharma transmission. I've heard of this before, and it may have been discussed elsewhere in the forum, but I wasn't able to find anything.
It brings up many questions that are difficult for me to formulate. I suppose in the spirit of non-duality it makes perfect sense. Or non-sense. But in the practical world of distinctions how can one be a master of two seemingly opposed religious viewpoints? One that seeks to end suffering by ending delusion, and one that seeks to end suffering by inculcating delusion.
I realize the second half of that last sentence might seem offensive to some, but it wasn't meant to be.
Does the fact that one can be a Christian priest (with all the dogma that entails) relegate Soto Zen Buddhism to little more than a system of techniques rather than a religion? Do the precepts simply become a subordinate adjunctive philosophy? Can one vow with one breath to save all sentient beings, and with another breath promise everlasting life only to those who take refuge in a specific god or trinity of gods?
Has Nishijima Roshi ever written anything on this topic?
Out of pure curiosity (and I'm sure there's no way to know this anymore than I can know how someone else experiences Hot or Cold), but I wonder if holding Christian beliefs (or any other religious beliefs) while sitting zazen inhibit or give a very different flavor to a satori-type experience than a Buddhist might have.
Another question also comes to mind on the topic of dharma transmission. Do you, Jundo, feel a sense of responsibility for passing along Nishijima's tradition as it was passed to you, and do you worry that others might be altering the tradition, and in effect changing the message? Put another another way, do you expect your future dharma heirs to pass along the tradition that you received from Nishijima Roshi as you received it?