Despite the teacher’s constant downplaying of Christianity in a way that makes it clear he does not believe in the Christian beliefs (and perhaps is even trying to hide a desire to mock it), I feel that the more I learn, the more I see parallels between Buddhist teachings and Jesus’ teachings.
I do think that America (and likely Europe before) have “Westernized” the Christian faith, much in the way they have “westernized” modern medicine. Modern medicine often starts from natural remedies — aspirin was discovered based on willow bark; red yeast rice lead to the creation of statins. Yet, if we revert back to the origin, and start to bring more natural cures and treatments into medical practice (yoga, meditation, herbs, acupuncture, etc) this has been scoffed at as voodoo, quackery, and hippie stuff. Yet science is, time and again, finding out that there is something to these practices that can be backed not only by increasing anecdotal evidence, but also by scientific literature. Likewise, I believe that the Christian faith may have “quacky” or “mystic” origins that modern day teachings have lost track of, and would now scoff at, or find offensive. Perhaps we should have a warmer embrace of some of the Buddhist views – and that perhaps Jesus himself was sharing the same teachings – but to say that aloud is to invite attacks from some church communities that I am tainting His word, that I am being blinded by “the enemy,” that I am opening myself to witchcraft by practicing yoga, etc. But it is a statement I have made many times – that I believe we have put God in a Westernized box, so we can try to understand Him (even though the Bible tells us He is beyond understanding.) That was have taken someone who is huge, miraculous, and abstract and tried to restrain Him to 66 books in the Bible (with some additions for Mormon and Catholic branches of Christian faith.)
When I dig deeper into the Bible, and the original meanings of Hebrew words, I learn there is so much more exciting “mystical-seeming” stuff that is right there! Besides the oft-taught miracles of healing and turning water to wine, there’s the raising people from the dead, 40-days of fasting and meditating before Jesus sort of “came into his own”, Words as Power (God spoke things into existence; Vedic chants are words that they believe can cause things to happen; and in studying physics and anatomy/physiology, there are vibrational forces within spoken words – I wonder if there may be, of had been, some power there that has been lost.) And perhaps I can make notes about that some time, but it is a long, long list of things to share — and I want to continue through this lecture first 🙂