JO: In New Harmony the Woodland Indians lived here I think until 800 A.D., the Germans came in 1814 and created a complete German village in ten years. Then they sold it to Robert Owen and built their third village in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Before that they had Old Harmonie in Butler County outside of Pittsburgh, but they were all celibates, and they had energy. Very Buddhist in a way.

REV. KUSALA: And Christian in a way, too.

BC: When you started out, you talked about three path factors for mental purification. The first one was right effort.

REV. KUSALA: The second one is right mindfulness and the third is right concentration. The mindfulness is vipassana or insight, and concentration is tranquility or samatha.

BC: Right mindfulness and then the third?

REV. KUSALA: Right concentration.

BC: Got it.

JS: The divine eye and the divine what?

___The divine eye and the divine what?___

REV. KUSALA: After the first monk abused his extrasensory perception to make money, through fortune telling and things of that sort, the Buddha made a rule that monks and nuns were not allowed to talk at all about their spiritual attainments. For a monk or nun, the rule of not lying applies to lying about their spiritual attainment.

So, if somebody says, "Can you read minds," a monk and nun will stay silent or say, "No."

JS: Interesting!

REV. KUSALA: That kind of thing is supposed to be used for the benefit of all human beings to help end suffering and not to prop yourself up as a mystic or soothsayer.

KP: Magic man.

REV. KUSALA: Yes. So, can you see the two distinct paths in Buddhist meditation? One really helps the other.

Sometimes people who only do insight meditation, seem a bit dry to me. They are just sort of analytical about everything. If they would only do a little bit of samatha, tranquility meditation I think to myself, maybe get a couple of ounces of bliss and rapture to mix in with that dryness.

Sometimes people who only do samatha or tranquility meditation are sort of mushy and smoozey to me, a bit of insight might temper that. The final goal of Buddhism is Nirvana a balanced blend of wisdom and compassion. There is a technique for great compassion, and a technique for great wisdom.

___The Benedictines would call that balance.___

MGC: The Benedictines would call that balance.

REV. KUSALA: Balance, yes. The middle way.

SR. MEG: The insight people would be Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Barre, Massachusetts. That's the insight. Jack Kornfield, he would be out of that school. And the other, who would you represent here?

REV. KUSALA: Well, I would say most of the Zen schools. Maybe some of the Hindu traditions as well.

SR. MEG: Rinzai and Soto?


SR. MEG: So, Norman Fischer.

I'll translate this into John Main and Thomas Keating after a while.

REV. KUSALA: For the record, and I would like to be clear about this, no one I've listened too and no book I have read, has really explained the subtle distinctions the way I do between Mahayana, Theravada, samatha, vipassana, enlightenment, and nirvana.

When I speak about the different distinctions it allows me to think more completely about the Buddhist path and Buddhist meditation. A personal approach if you will, and not a scholarly one.

SR. MEG: Well, let me ask, what if you had a Hindu practitioner here? Where would you put them in this catechesis?

REV. KUSALA: A Hindu practitioner, I would put him in the samatha group. The Buddha learned tranquility meditation from yogis. Insight meditation was something he rediscovered later through his own effort.

SR. MEG: I notice you use the words, "Not-Self," rather than "No-Self." Do you want to talk about that?

REV. KUSALA: Yes, a lot of the early translators of Buddhist texts used the No-Self explanation, and it seems to me in 2003 No-Self is a misnomer; that we need a self on the path. Even when we're enlightened, a kind of self is needed to live in the world.

The Not-Self idea applies to what I think is a more realistic explanation of what occurs; a new kind of self is possible. But until you start to meditate, you are the ego/self, and it is very much the master. I first ran across the term Not-Self in an article by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

As practice deepens Self becomes more of a tool than a master. That's why I now use the phrase Not-Self, rather than No-Self.

MGC: I don't quite see why you call it Not-Self.

REV. KUSALA: Okay. No-Self would be a denial of ego. Not-Self is saying that I am not the ego; my ultimate reality is one of interconnectedness and interdependence. Not separate, not self, but interconnected.

___I call it my lesser self and my greater self.___

MGC: I call it my lesser self and my greater self. Is that okay?

REV. KUSALA: That's fine. I like that.

SR. MEG: That's a very key point. Are you all on board on this self thought, because in Christianity there is a lot being said now about moving to the not self. If you notice the portrait on the page of Cassian was, "No thoughts of self," so it's not chatter back to the self.

SR. MEG: But you were talking to Milo back there, and you were talking to yourself. There is a self. You hold the self, correct?

REV. KUSALA: I have a self, and it is giving this presentation. Self exists. I like to think the birth or creation stories we find in myth and culture are more about the beginning of the ego, than the beginning of the world. Self is a big deal, without self/ego our plight as human beings would be much worse. But, Self is a poor master, it is subject to greed, hatred, and delusion. The books of Ken Wilber were very helpful in understanding Not-Self vs No-Self.

JO: Self can be a tool.

KP: Like a choice.

REV. KUSALA: Being a Not-Self gives us a new choice, that's right. That's exactly right.

SR. MEG: The Dalai Lama in a room like this, said, "The difference between the Buddhist and the Christian is we do it through effort, you do it through God."

Our effort is God's grace, responding to the impulse of the Holy Spirit. For the Dalai Lama, I understood him to say that the Buddhist way is self effort, our own effort.

Again, thank you very much. I hope I'm as clear on the Christian take of the same story, but it is different. And I'll tell you the problem with this, if you have Christians take that, as you would have a problem if you took the one I'm going to run up the flagpole.

As Christians, we believe before anything existed, there was God. God existed in Christ, Jesus existed, you know. God wasn't just undifferentiated God, but there was Christ Jesus. And then through Christ Jesus, you and I existed before time through Christ, meaning that's in John's gospel.

So, there is this whole idea that all of us somehow through God through Christ, we came into time. And Jesus, then being human like us in all things but sin, through the Trinity we are brought into this God experience, the God event, the God essence. Not the essence but the existence. God's essence is God. We are not God. That's how we get the idea of creator God. We participate. We are deified, but we are always somehow differentiated. We don't totally become annihilated like fauna in the Muslim tradition, or like the merging in the Hindu tradition or the total Nirvana in the Buddhist tradition.

Through the doctrine of the Trinity we completely keep our distinctions of Father, Son, Holy Spirit, what those words protect, the threeness in the oneness, and then Jesus who was human and God, and we who are human but God through Jesus.

So, those distinctions have to stay total, and because they are just the way it's been revealed to us. And these distinctions carry itself all the way through. So, you can't leave those distinctions and say, well, that's great. That's just a doctrine. They hold true all the way through here.

Now, in dialogue with Ken Wilber, who happens to be a very close friend of Thomas Keating -- and Thomas and I worked together ten years, so I feel like I had a big dose of Ken Wilber -- Ken Wilber ascribes to, and it makes a lot of sense, that in total perennial philosophy that all things are taken up into higher. The matter, what happens to matter?

REV. KUSALA: Does it matter!


SR. MEG: As Christians, we would say matter is Jesus. Jesus became matter with us, so all human matter is as matter deified. So matter is in its, not in its essence but in its existence is holy. It's sort of like we become holy diving into our human being through Christ Jesus. And we're graced humans, really.

So, the incarnation is not to transcend through higher states of consciousness into Nirvana, but somehow embodying it.

___Do we have carnal body?___

Now, do we die? Yes. Do we have carnal body? Yes.

I don't know how this works, but something about matter is much more defined than it is in your tradition.

MGC: Kind of like Chardi, isn't it?

SR. MEG: Yes.

JO: George MacLeod, matter matters.

SR. MEG: But we are pointing out, then, why to critically meditate in that tradition and go up the stiles of that philosophy is pretty serious, depending on which school you are meditating in.

Whereas, if you stay in the Christian tradition, this whole human -- and that's why, for instance, Adrian Montcalm, he would have in the center of his formation field in anthropology, Christ is our center. Christ and all is taken up in Christ.

So, to your distinction between Nirvana and enlightenment, we would say we just enter into as humans through Christ. And then whatever is the experience is the experience, but it's Christ that is our desire. And, so, we don't desire anything beyond Christ, really, because as Christ is taken up through the Holy Spirit and the Father, that's kind of like their job; not our job. We just totally surrender.

And so our effort is just to be in the presence, and so our meditation practice is more like that.

REV. KUSALA: Is it to be in the presence?

SR. MEG: Yes.

REV. KUSALA: Our job is to be in the present!

SR. MEG: You are to be in the present. Now, how we get to the presence is to be in the present moment, because all we have is right now.

REV. KUSALA: I'm just curious now, do you have a self, and does it go anywhere when you have spiritual attainment?

SR. MEG: Okay. This is the big difference between Thomas Keating and myself. I think we have self, big time. Thomas would say there is a no self, but I think it goes too much in your direction.

I think the self, even back to the apophatic or kataphatic tradition, the self is, because of Christ Jesus being human, we have that whole experience of being human. And we cannot negate the human experience which has, and I think it's that healthy thing you were talking about, it has the sense of ego. But what we do is we surrender it, and then couple it with our love, which is Christ.

So our chatter then, instead of back to our self, self-centeredness, we make Christ our center, the mystery our center. So that any self that we have, if you are apophatic, you just throw that self, but it's still duality.

And there is another problem when people think they are in a nondual unitive consciousness too soon, I say, "Well, who's got that experience?" They say, "I do." And I say, "Well, who's telling me about it?" It can't be nondual. You may access the experience of -- how would you say that?

REV. KUSALA: A nondual experience?

SR. MEG: Yes.

REV. KUSALA: In my understanding of Buddhism, I would call that an enlightenment experience.

SR. MEG: You would access enlightenment, but then where do you live?

REV. KUSALA: You live in samsara, the world of constant change, birth, death, and suffering, samsara.

SR. MEG: What suffers in samsara?

REV. KUSALA: The self sufferers, it wants things to be different than they are. This body of ours can't suffer, it can only feel pain. Our body is always stuck in the present moment experience of samsara, subject to sickness, disease and death, but our mind isn't. It has the potential of transformation. Enlightenment.

SR. MEG: Are we losing anybody here?

___Christ suffered, and Christianity as a whole essentially grew out of that.___

CEE: What keeps going through my mind is Buddhism seems to try to solve the problem of suffering and pain. Christ suffered, and Christianity as a whole essentially grew out of that.

Some people are going to St. Francis Chapel, and there are symbols of creation there, but his great attainment was to get the stigmata and to find so deeply the reality and meaning and substance of life in the suffering of Christ that he was able to take it onto himself and share in it.

And Pope John XXIII, when he was dying, refused chemicals that would alleviate his pain, and he offered his suffering as a prayer for the healing and the bringing together of the church. So, I think suffering is not to be welcomed, but in the center of suffering you can find God. And the word, you said one of the basic things is compassion. Well, that means calmness, too. With compassion is suffering, suffering with another person. It's a positive attitude toward suffering.

SR. MEG: Again, we had this conference at Gethsemani on suffering just recently, and the book is over there about it, and we came to three stages of suffering, and then you are already beyond that. But the first is when you see it, we must alleviate it. First of all, we must prevent it wherever we can.

Then, if we can't prevent it, the second stage is alleviate it, stop the suffering any way we can. Third, if we can't prevent it and stop it, we must transform it. And this is the transformation of suffering through the Bodhisattva idea, or we say through Christ Jesus lifting up all suffering, and even in the mystical sense taking on, transmuting suffering, taking on another person's suffering for the sake of the world.

So, we were really, by the end of that we were really quite compatible. The difference is the way in which you envision the human body and because we have a human God mediator.

Yours is unmediated.

SR. MEG: Their self effort mediates their enlightenment. And we have Christ Jesus who mediates our enlightenment, and that's a big difference.

REV. KUSALA: So, if we could take suffering out of Christianity, would you still call it Christianity?

SR. MEG: What do you think, Dr. E?

CEE: No.

SR. MEG: I don't think so. This is such a stumbling block to the Buddhists. (Indicating the crucifix.)

REV. KUSALA: Yes, it's tough. There is a lot of suffering there, a lot of suffering.

RJH: When you talk about mind and body, and body is the lotus of suffering -- the mind can be free -- do you see that as an eternal thing? Is it destructible or indestructible, the mind?

REV. KUSALA: The mind is the thing that seems to go from rebirth to rebirth. That's what transmigrates in some later forms of Buddhism. In the early schools of Buddhism, it's karmic energy. Karmic energy is created by mind, mouth, and body. Or you could say intention, speech, and action.

You can get rid of the suffering by transforming your consciousness in nirvana. You can get rid of pain temporarily by one pointedness, going into deep states of tranquility.

Buddhism teaches us we have a choice in the cycle of birth and death. If we achieve Nirvana, the goal of Buddhism, we are not reborn again.

RJH: But in whatever form, that mind will be here in 32,000 years when the next Buddha comes?

REV. KUSALA: I would say our karmic energy will be here if the goal of nirvana is not achieved.

RJH: I think that is a difference for us, because while we muddle this up a little bit because we talk about eternal life, and we talk about ourselves having eternal life, but in and of ourselves we have no eternal life. We -- body, mind and soul -- are completely destructible.

REV. KUSALA: The soul is as well?

___It only exists in eternity as it is related in love to God___

RJH: All of it, yes, it's destructible. And it only exists in eternity as it is related in love to God; so, there has to be a self here to relate in love to God there.

SR. MEG: Do you mean soul or spirit, Bunker? Are you using soul as the enlightened soul, your individuality?

RJH: I sort of think of our soul -- the problem is we have the language messed up with Neoplatonism.

SR. MEG: Yes, I know.

RJH: What I think of a soul as, it is a body/mind unity, a spirit/body unity.

SR. MEG: Do you have your individuality? Is that destructible?

RJH: Yes, it is destructible. But when it's in relationship to God, it is continued, but only because of the relationship.

SR. MEG: Can you ever get out of the relationship?

RJH: I think you can.

SR. MEG: That is not mainstream, is it?

RJH: Well, the problem is we're not sure where the mainstream -- the stream got pretty muddy along the way. It's kind of like the Mississippi; there are some things that floated in there.

I do think that one of the distinctions between, or the things that we've dealt with is the heresy of agnosticism. Agnostics are talking about us being divine, having divine spirits trapped in a body. And the way out of that is out of it. But I think Christianity sees the body as good. More than that, the whole creation as very good. Not a bad thing.

SR. MEG: So, why would we be annihilated, our individuality?

RJH: Because if we lose that relationship with God, which is the only thing that is eternal.

SR. MEG: Okay. You don't believe in universal salvation.

RJH: You can have universal salvation or not, but it depends on the relationship with God. And if there is universal salvation it's because God's love is so powerful that God could even love Adolph Hitler.

CEE: The word, sin, describes a break between the person and God.

RJH: The word, sin, describes the barriers between God and ourself and between you and me, yes, because there is another triangle. I mean, it's love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind. That's insufficient because it's love your neighbor as well.

SR. MEG: Well, we are getting off into this free choice, and is it just a one-time consent that God's mercy -- but that's a big point if you think you are going to be annihilated at the end. I don't know, and I'd say that I wouldn't come down on that side. I think that existence is our prerogative from all eternity, and if there is any meaning for hell, your existence is alienated with God, but you are never annihilated.

RJH: What I hear him saying is an agnostic model, and I think that's different from our model because our Nirvana, as it were, is a relationship.

SR. MEG: To our body.

RJH: Yes. It's not -- no, our relationship to God.

SR. MEG: Right.

RJH: It's not a disappearance into.

REV. KUSALA: Okay. So it's always duality.

RJH: Yes.

SR. MEG: That's why Trinity matters. Trinity because of these distinctions helps. They are there for our understanding of the way it is, it seems to us. Now, have we lost everybody here on this one?

MGC: Could we just pick up on one of the points? People were asking about sin. I've always had trouble with the word, sin. I always think separation is a nicer word than sin. And I also kind of like Matthew Fox's approach of original blessing rather than original sin for the Christian.

Do you want to speak to that at all, original blessing, see how it ties in?

SR. MEG: The idea of sin and karma. Karma is tied to reincarnation.

REV. KUSALA: Rebirth in Buddhism.

___There is a difference between rebirth and reincarnation___

There is a difference between rebirth and reincarnation the transmigration of a soul. In Buddhism rebirth does not require a soul. Reincarnation does. So, in the concept of reincarnation, it is unchanging original essence.

The idea of an unchanging quality going from lifetime to lifetime until it finally merges with a great soul is more Hindu than Buddhist. The Buddha felt that it worked a little differently, he only saw process, not event. The karmic energy created in this lifetime transmigrates to the next lifetime.

I think of it in this way: There is this unborn, undying energy that can't be created, can't be destroyed, but it can be transformed. And so we're all like human transformers. We have this energy, and we think, say, and do. That has the effect of transforming the energy. The Buddha gave this transformation a moral value by using skillful/unskillful, connected to more suffering/less suffering.

So, we're taking energy, sometimes we're taking unskillful energy, and turning it into skillful. And sometime the other way around. We are taking this energy, we are transforming it every time we think, say, or do something. That transformed energy, continues year after year, lifetime after lifetime.

A story about all this: I go to the airport. I have my satchel filled with all the merit or demerit that I've acquired in this lifetime. I put it on the conveyor belt. It goes behind the wall. I show the person at the desk my ticket, and he says it's invalid. I can't get on the plane, but my satchel already is.

The plane takes off and lands, and now somebody comes and gets my satchel. And they take it home, and they open it up, and they say, wow, look at these great shoes. I'm going to have a good life. Or, they open it up and say, hey, there is nothing in here. This life is going to acquire a lot of effort.

So, it's that energy, that merit or demerit that seems to go into the next lifetime until you achieve Nirvana. And then the plane doesn't take off again because a person who achieves Nirvana does not create any more karma. Karma ceases to be created, and you can't be reborn without karma.

MP: I was going to ask you what Buddhism teaches about children and suffering and especially, you know, children that are being hurt through no -- they haven't done anything.

SR. MEG: They are innocent.

REV. KUSALA: I have to be really careful when I hear those stories, because it would be easy for me to say, well, that's just their karma, cause and consequence. That doesn't have a whole lot of compassion or wisdom behind it.

In early Buddhist tradition, there is something called the five niyamas. The five niyamas explain why stuff happens. They are; physical inorganic order, order of germs and seeds, karma, order of natural phenomena, order of mind or psychic law. As you can see Karma is only one of the niyamas, but it is the only one we have any control over.

So, a child may be born in the wrong country -- that would be environment -- may have genes that didn't allow them to reach their full potential, may have karmic residue from many past lives of unskillful activity, and they are born and they die.

Now, it was a quick life, but that's not the end according to Buddhism. Their next rebirth will occur pretty soon. And in that quick life on this earth a lot of the consequences of past actions, intention and speech were purified. But we cry when that happens. It's a sad event. Does that make sense?

MP: Yes.

SR. MEG: Transmigration. You did rebirth, reincarnation. What about transmigration?

REV. KUSALA: The thing that transmigrates in Buddhism would be karmic energy. The soul would transmigrate in Hinduism.

SR. MEG: So, you don't have a soul that's going to transmigrate to your next lifetime?


SR. MEG: That was a reformation of Hinduism.

REV. KUSALA: Yes. The Buddha felt there was a problem with the concept of soul.

Again, it's an ethical problem. I think this is understated in Buddhism; that the Buddha was a very ethical fellow, and his rules of conduct were there because of the problem of suffering. It's really hard to live together and not suffer.

If there is an unchanging quality that's reincarnated time and time again, and transmigrates from one lifetime to the next, he would call that eternalism. Because of eternalism, personal responsibility may be rejected in any one lifetime.

It might go something like this, so what if I kill a few thousand people in this lifetime; I have many more lifetimes to make up for it.

He also say a problem with nihilism. He said if you were nihilistic, and that if you felt this life was your only life and when you die you would simply feed the trees and grass, what did it matter what you did in this life. If you were a sinner or saint, the same end would be yours, fertilizer.

He saw a problem with nihilism. He saw a problem with eternalism. And that's where he came up with the middle path of the transmigration of karmic energy, which seems to allow for personal responsibility in each lifetime.

___It sounds like we are getting into dogma___

SR. MEG: It sounds like we are getting into dogma, but these are important distinctions for the way in which we view ourselves, and the way in which we pray, and the way in which we take -- this is what I call discernment. We are discerning our meditation practice, and you have to know what you are doing when you do it, and you have to have a mind's view of who you are, how you are related to in our case Christ Jesus and the Trinity, and then what you are doing when you do it. This is all not just theoretical.

MML: There was a little dance you were doing several questions back that I think I followed really well -- I think I did. And when you ended, I thought you were using the word, God, which is just to me a word, and you were using the word, mind, and to me they were at that moment the same. Could that be?


MML: No.

REV. KUSALA: God is not mind in Buddhism. I'm sorry.

SR. MEG: Well, now, explain what you mean by God.

REV. KUSALA: I don't know what God is, but that word carries with it an awful lot of baggage. There is a lot of energy that's connected with that word, and if you apply that word to anything in Buddhism, you're wrong.

MML: The word God.

REV. KUSALA: Yes, God.

MML: It's just a word. Okay?

SR. MEG: What is the reality the word, God?

MML: When you both were doing this dance, you were going along in it, you did it in nice steps. And you both stopped. And you stopped at "mind," which seemed to be no effort, no suffering. You used "mind" within the process in different ways, but when you ended you were in the mind.

SR. MEG: Yes, the word “God” is more than ultimate mystery.

MML: Sr. Meg seemed teach the Trinity as the major Christina teaching about God.

SR. MEG: Yes, we must keep Trinity as the root belief: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But more than Trinity there is the two natures of Jesus the Christ. We know that Jesus was the name of the earthly man and that the title Christ means anointed one. We must hold Jesus and Christ together like we hold the Trinity three persons together. What is at risk if we separate Jesus from Christ is that we miss the human body being divinized by God and lifting all us up in His image and likeness. The body is sacred in Christian teachings. Through Jesus all humans are now living mystically in the Trinity. This is very deep, but it all fits together. Language doesn’t capture this wonderful teaching.

REV. KUSALA: My job here, if I have one, is to simply explain to you how I see my tradition, and that may shine light on your tradition. But the real, real fear that I have every time I enter into a religious dialogue is that someone will make their tradition my tradition, and my tradition their tradition.

MML: May I speak to that?

REV. KUSALA: Please, just one more thing first. Interreligious dialogue allows us to grow in many, many ways. When we question our own tradition because of something someone else said about theirs, it allows us to have that much more energy and urgency to go back to our texts, to go to our spiritual leaders and say: What does this mean to us?

We have come to a point of us and them. I'm them, and you are us. I feel comfortable with that because we are still connected. I appreciate your courage in letting the us and them come together. Most cool.

One of my fears is glossing over the differences, and only seeing the similarities, that maybe God and mind are the same thing. Certain issues need to be resolved through practice, counsel, insight and prayer. We need to stay different, but honor the connections.

Sorry I just needed to say that... Now, please, Merri.

MML: I can understand why you responded to me that way but that was not where I was going.

REV. KUSALA: I know, but it was a opportunity for clarity.

MML: I'm glad you said that, and I share your viewpoint, and I think the beauty of dialogue is to strengthen what you feel. However, I don't think any one faith has it.

REV. KUSALA: Really, what do you mean?

MML: I think for me, though I'm a rooted, committed Christian and have always been and never really considered anything else, I want to know the mystery as fully as I can for some reason.

Many people don't care to know, but I do. And I think that what they are pointing to is what I'm interested in, and right then you were both pointing to something, and I wanted to see if in your minds, because you were using the word, God, and you were using the word, mind, you were pointing to the same thing. So to me, in the end when we are all with God, I call God, it will be the same thing.

REV. KUSALA: But that leaves me out.

MML: Well, I think I will.

REV. KUSALA: I'll be in Buddhist heaven.

MML: I think I will.

CEE: My friend, you may be in for a surprise.

KP: But Merri is going to have a passkey to all the heavens, so she'll be able to visit me whenever she wants.

Kusala, you made a distinction
___ between interreligious dialogue and interfaith dialogue___

MGC: Kusala, you made a distinction between interreligious dialogue and interfaith dialogue, and I would like to know what that distinction is.

REV. KUSALA: For me, when I think of inter- faith, I think perhaps protestants getting together with protestants and Catholics getting together and dialoguing. And when I think of interreligious, I think of the Hindus and Jews and Muslims getting together.

MGC: We would call it in the first place ecumenical, so that's what confused me.

SR. MEG: Interfaith tends to be, once you've kind of separated out religion, religion being the institutional manmade part of it, and the faith being your own experience of we would say God, and you would have your own experience of your path. So, I think there are three: Interfaith, interreligious, and interecumenical.

KP: Interdenominational maybe.

SR. MEG: Would be more ecumenical.

MGC: So interfaith is not just looking at an institution as such.

SR. MEG: Right. There, you would have a family of practitioners, believers, and you don't even factor out the institutional part. Religion, sociologists would say it's the manmade part of the revelation.

And more on that dialogue, we are interreligious, though, because we are under the Vatican, which is still the manmade part, but then we do interfaith dialogue in the family of the religious.

Now, we have a whole lot of questions. What I'd like to do is find out what all the questions are, find out how much more endurance we have, and then we can decide what to do.

Bunker, your question?

RJH: Mine is just sort of a statement about we know what the beginning of all our paths are. The question is: What's the road to the end. I want to posit three.

SR. MEG: Okay, he has a statement to make. Milo?

MGC: I just wanted to know when you were going to talk about the Christian meditation.

SR. MEG: I need to know when we are going to do that, too. Mary, what was yours?

MML: I just have a comment.

SR. MEG: Another comment. Don't lose it. There was somebody over here that had something else.

BC: You asked Kusala that question, how do you maintain the present. When you say how you maintain your presence for meditation, I want to know kind of what the comparable experience is.

MP: Would the two of you be willing to lead us in a Christian meditation and a Buddhist meditation and give us experience in those meditation practices?

REV. KUSALA: If I were to lead you in a meditation, what I would like to lead you in would be a loving kindness meditation rather than a strict Buddhist meditation, though that is a Buddhist meditation. To sit silently is a joy, but to sit in loving kindness is a miracle.

SR. MEG: Well, we have a rich thing now. I have about nine after twelve. Do we want to handle at least the threads, and then pick up the other themes at another time? How long do you want to go?

What's your pleasure here?

MGC: This evening, what are we going to have?

SR. MEG: We could do our meditation practice this evening, our training and meditation. I could do a teaching on meditation, and he could lead us loving kindness. Do that this evening?

KP: That would be great.

LH: I would like to suggest that because this is desert day, that we end now, and that we then pick up the other threads. You just said, "My mind is getting tired," and I think that these are very cerebral kinds of -- not that they are unimportant but they are cerebral kinds of comments, and I think it might be good to take a break, come back and talk about these things this evening, because we do have time, and we want to introduce some leisure into the day.

SR. MEG: Okay, thank you.



_Day 3_

Sister Meg  |  Rev. Kusala  |  Q & A