no instant illumination

When the Dalai Lama, the incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, first came to New York, there was an interesting event. At his first reception, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral where there were Roman Catholic clergy, Eastern patriarchs, Jewish rabbis, and, I suppose, even psychiatrists-what he said was, “All of your ways are valid ways to expansion of consciousness and illumination.” Of course, Cardinal Cook had to get up and say, “No, we’re different. Our religion is not to be confused with these other ways.’

I was also at the next event, a Buddhist event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. About fifteen-hundred people from various Buddhist communities or societies in New York gathered in the big nave of that cathedral and had a real Tibetan ceremony, with monks chanting and all. The Dahli Lama gave a brief talk in Tibetan and a young man instantly translated his intricate theological Tibetan into English. What a fantastic performance!

What the Dalai Lama said was, “Now you are on the Buddhist way. Keep up your meditation, as there is no instant illumination. The mind moves slowly into this. Do not become attached to your method. When, in the course of your meditation, your consciousness will have expanded and been transformed, you will then recognize that all the ways are valid ways.”

The rational mind stresses opposites.

Compassion and love go beyond pairs of opposites.

Joseph Campbell, from Reflections on the Art of Living

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