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Scholar friends challenged my Zen ways.

It wasn’t until I went to Japan to become an English teacher and got obsessed with Japanese did I go to a Buddhist temple

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So I’m down at U.T.C. taking all of this stuff like Anthropology and Comparative Religion and hanging out with cool rock and roll friends. Not going to church at all. I became real eclectic you know. I met people who were into Eastern Religion. So this guy walks up and he’s involved in this and handing out tracts. I went over one morning I think it was on a Sunday. I heard him chant so I don’t think I ever went back. That was the first time I had ever seen some people like gather and chant. There was a Buddha alter and stuff like that with incense. It wasn’t until I went to Japan to become an English teacher and got obsessed with Japanese did I go to a Buddhist temple. There was a Zen temple on Saturday evening. They would do some chanting. I would come and we would sit. We would chant a Sutra. I this kind of residual Christian world view pretty much the whole time. I would always try to make these transitions and connections and stuff. But sometimes even read books and do a bit of Buddhist meditation. So when I went to Cambridge. You know Cambridge is, there’s a lot of Buddhist groups. You can Google Buddhist, Cambridge UK, there’s a lot of them. So I went to one Zen group one time. It was pretty cool. You know I had done it before. But anyway, so I’m surrounded by all of these really bright people from all over the world. Online (Facebook) I have all of these friends that I have known for several years who are orthodox Christians. They just seemed to be more and more. I had one friend who was orthodox. All these friends I am always interacting with online who are orthodox made me think; “Hmmm, I should go check out, it has been years since I have been to an orthodox church, let me go over there.” Christ coming through the church into my soul was just too big. The thick embodied, sacramental, incarnate church and just neat people too. It was just all there. It’s really beyond rationality. I can’t say that another person would go through this same trajectory and wind up being orthodox, having to rediscover Christ in the church as I did, but that’s how it happened. God being a person the ultimate truth of all reality. Being a person where you have this relationship. That’s just deeper than Buddhism. Buddha had this enlightenment experience so people who practice Buddhism do meditation to try and tap into that. But it’s just deeper it’s a more transformative thing. I remember hearing at Cambridge, a lecture by a guy who used to be a Buddhist and is now an evangelical. He talked about how the ultimate reality is in a person and how much deeper that is. I heard him say it and it just resonated with me. I thought yeah, that’s exactly it. Since the 1960’s this wave of Asian kind of consciousness has come into our culture right. A lot of people out there (I have got friends who say this) they say Buddhism and Asian culture, Taoism is just more open and cool. Christianity is too judgmental and I just can’t do it anymore. I have several friends who would say just exactly that. So we need people who can speak to them. We need people who know how to hold onto the Christian faith. Who knows where the depth of it is and who knows what makes it alive and why it’s real. So when you have this encounter with Christ and take him into your person and the church is working on you. The Spirit is working on you through the church, through confession, through prayer. It just starts to have a kind of holistic synergistic effect.

Todd - Scholar friends challenged my Zen ways.

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