Buddhist meditation … seeks not to explain but to pay attention, to be mindful … to develop a certain kind of consciousness that is above and beyond deception …

Thomas Merton

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In attending to your faith, do you cultivate a “consciousness that is above and beyond deception?”  Or does your faith fall on you like rainwater on pavement? What is your experience of faith?  Is it a lived experience?

By the looks of the fading presence of Christianity in the West, there is less lived experience and more rainwater falling on pavement.

Merton talks of the “certainty” that is known to Buddhists and he does not mean the “certainty” of doctrine or dogma but rather of experience and life – material and supernatural.  He is speaking of a certainty that is both metaphysical and existential, applied to and alive in daily life experience.

For the Buddhist, Merton reminds us, a “refined consciousness” produces insight that is routinely applied to lived experience.  Their faith gives sight and wisdom that governs their life, not as rules, but their life experience.

Experience.  It is critical to sustaining faith.

Does your faith engage your life experience?  Does it shape your experience of being human?

I suppose one might ask a Christian this: Does your life reflect the experience of Christ?  Is your life lived with Christ, in concert with Christ?  Do you see as Christ? Understand as Christ?  Act as Christ?  Has your consciousness been altered? Does it raise about deception?  Does the rainwater penetrate your existence?

Do you stop at the water’s edge?  Is Christianity but a moral code?  Or a lived experience?

If a Christian lives the experience of Christ, then it seems unlikely that Christianity might ever fade or dissipate.  For if it is lived, it lasts in you so long as you live.

” … consciousness that is above and beyond deception … “

Shalom.

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