Jim: Greetings, and welcome to another episode of Fishing Without Bait. I’m Jim Ellermeyer, where we offer people an opportunity to live life without expectations. The Fishing Without Bait is a metaphor for going through life without setting definitive expectations and setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. And, today, as always, I’m joined by my cohost – my friend and producer, Mr. Mike.
Mike: How are you doing today, Jim?
Jim: I’m doing just fine. Mike, I was thinking that quite often when people talk about mediation, and when they talk about mindfulness – what images come to your mind?
Mike: I’m thinking meditating in an Indian-style pose, and the Buddha, and monks maybe.
Jim: Absolutely. Many people come to mind. So who’s a representation of mindfulness, I guess, in the world today would be the Dalai Lama. Quite often, we think of the crimson, and with the saffron robes, with bald-headed men on their knees going “mmm” all day surrounded by thousands of candles, right?
Jim: So, how often do we do a great disservice to other philosophies? And other faiths? And, when we talk about one person who has perhaps again shaped the world history, and shaped world destiny, perhaps like no other. And, that would be the Bible’s Jesus. Tell me, Mike, have you ever thought of the Bible’s Jesus and a mindfulness perspective?
Mike: I think about turn the other cheek in responses, but that never really dawned on me to be a mindful kind of thought.
Jim: Sure. Let’s take an examination. Let’s look at how the Bible’s Jesus started his ministry. The Bible’s Jesus started his ministry after a 40-day fast in the desert, where he meditated and he prayed. And, what’s prayer but meditation and seeking a higherness, seeking either a light within or asking the light to come within you? During that time in the desert he was tempted by the devil. When really, we can also look at that in another way where the devil was the ego. When the devil would ask him you can turn stones to bread if you’re hungry, you can create all the kingdoms in the world, you can be anything you want to. So, what the Christ was doing during that desert could possibly have been dealing with a deflation of ego. Okay, when he was ready to go out into the world and preach the news. So, who did he gather about him? Did he gather rich people? Did he gather the famous? The influential?
Mike: No. The disciples were very common people, I believe.
Jim: Absolutely. So, what he did, he probably gathered 12 of the most hard-headed, obstinate people – perhaps on the face of the earth.
Mike: Which already – because about every instances about one of them or all of them doubting him. So, that’s exactly right.
Jim: They were always doubting him. They were always worrying. So, what happens is when people begin to worship their own thoughts and their own desires, do we not? When we often say, when we speak of the Spirt, or God, or the Creator, when we speak of it’s God’s will then we presume that we know God’s will, don’t we? We presume that we speak for God. Does anyone speak for God, Mike?
Jim: Does anyone speak for the Creator?
Jim: Absolutely not. So, what some of Jesus’ sayings were? He was always saying be still and know that I am. Know that I am the door. Know that I am the way. Know that I am the truth. And, what Jesus – I believe that Jesus was talking about, was finding the door and the way and the truth to your inner self through the sense of peace and happiness that comes in your world. So, let’s take a look in the Bible where – in Luke 10:39, when Jesus was visiting two sisters – Martha and Mary. While Martha was scuttling about trying to get everything prepared, all the food, and Mary was sitting at the feet listening. And, Martha came out and asked Jesus to scold Mary and tell her to hey, help out – get with the program, here. Help your sister. And, Jesus said why don’t you sit down and listen? He encouraged her to avoid envy – to avoid anxiety. What was he always telling Peter? Why are you worrying? You talk about time travelers, these apostles were the greatest time travelers ever. These guys were always in the future. They lived their lives in fear. After Jesus’ crucifixion, what did these guys, what did these fellas do? They ran and they hid. They lived in fear – until they became awakened. In the Christian philosophy it was they were filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Buddhist philosophy they would have been awakened. They would have been enlightened, would they not? Then they had no fear. I would like everyone out there to read the New Testament again and look at it through an eye of mindfulness. Look at it through the eye of Jesus. He’s constantly talking about worrying. And, when he says that the Father, the Creator takes care of the ravens and the sparrows, why would you assume that you’re not going to be taken care of? Peter, oh my goodness – this guy would have been in front of a psychiatrist for years, been on anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety pills. Jesus was constantly admonishing him what are you so worried about? Have you ever heard the sermon on the mount? And, what I’m going to do, I’m going to ask everyone out there to reread that. And, one of the things that Jesus said was that the eye is the lamp of the body, and if your eye is healthy your body will be filled with light. However, if your eye is unhealthy your mind and your body will be full of darkness. In the ancient world, the eyes were viewed as lamps, okay, that let light in. What we’re talking about is seeing our inner self, being present and aware. And, quite often when we worship our own thoughts and we worship our own desires – do we ever get our own desires, Mike? No. Do we ever actually fulfill our egos? Absolutely not. So, what we do is we live a life of darkness. And, this is awakening. Awaken. Jesus was truly awakened. He was awake. He was right here, and he was right now. So, mysticism is really nothing more than seeking a direct experience of the divine. It’s all about mindfulness. So, quite often – and the apostle, Paul, when he writes in his letters; one of the things that he said was that faith in God regarding the future is expressed as love in the present. So, Jesus was always talking about the present moment. Always talking about not time-traveling. The future is expressed by love in the present, which correlates to our previous talk about giving yourself loving kindness, is it not? What did Jesus do? He called people to spiritual awakening, did he not? He called people to be awakened. He also said that this is the appointed time. The business is at hand. Let yourself be charged from within. These are the words of Jesus. So, what is the most important thing to do at all times? Is to seek the happiness. What is one of the most important gifts that a parent can give their children? A parent’s own happiness. If parents are happy, what generally is that modeling behavior for the children?
Mike: To be happy as well.
Jim: Right. So, when we talk about Buddhism, and we talk about compassion, we talk about great compassion, we talk about loving kindness – what did Jesus spend his whole ministry doing? What did he do?
Mike: Talked about love.
Jim: He talked about love. What else did he do? He healed people. He made the blind see, the lame walk. He rose people from the dead. He fed the starving people, did he not? And, he preached what he called the good news. What is good news? What would be good news for you, Mike?
Mike: That I will be taken care of. That my ailments will be solved.
Jim: Absolutely. So, did Jesus kill anybody?
Jim: Absolutely not. Did he mean to harm anybody?
Jim: Did Jesus gossip?
Jim: Right. So, who did he surround himself with? With the poor. The marginalized. The outcasts. The Bible’s Jesus speaks 184 times in the New Testament about an individual’s responsibility to the poor, to the marginalized, to the sick, to the imprisoned. 184 times. Do you think he meant it?
Mike: I’d say so.
Jim: When the Buddha talks about the highest form of enlightenment being the compassionate hearing, do you think Jesus was a compassionate being?
Jim: Absolutely. So, my thoughts out there for everyone is to please don’t put your blinders on – we’ve talked about the expert’s mind before, have we not? So, when we talk about the expert’s mind we talk about a horse race with blinders on it. We talk about a person walking through with blinders. So, if you walk through your life with just the blinders on of Buddhism, perhaps that’ll do you wonderful. My thought and my hope is that everyone out there can have a beginner’s mind and see the beauty in Buddhism, see the beauty in Christianity, see the beauty in the Jesus’ talk, see the beauty in his message, see the love and the compassion that he spread for everybody. And, in the future, Mike, what we’re going to do is we’re going to continue this series, and we’re going to see how all these faiths are interwoven. We’re going to be exploring Judaism. We’re going to be exploring Hinduism. We’re going to be exploring Islam. All these things are together, and Mike, we’re not all that different. We truly aren’t. So, until next time, I remain with you – your friend, Jim.
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