In one of those sometimes delicious ironies, on a morning when I’m posting posts on Facebook encouraging people to come to the church I serve tomorrow, and maybe even to bring a friend or two, to then read a blog posting from a friend expressing relief that he doesn’t belong to a spiritual tradition that proselytizes. That tradition is our shared Zen Buddhism.
Actually, my Unitarian Universalism is like my Zen Buddhism here in the West, decidedly not inclined to share our “good news.”
As a UU minister for more than twenty years I’ve long since learned that someone can work side by side with someone for a lifetime and, if they belong to two different congregations, neither might know both are UU. The same can be said of Zen.
I think the reasoning behind this is that both traditions are universalist, in the “new universalist” sense of believing all traditions mark out ways to the deep healing of heart and world – if engaged with open heart and mind. I in fact agree with that proposition.And, here’s a truth: some traditions are a little clearer on the matter than others. In my opinion Zen Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism are, from somewhat different angles and with different shortcomings, both of them in that a little clearer camp.
So, to borrow a line from the sacred texts of the west, why should we hide our light under a bushel? This might be just the light someone has been seeking all their lives. And we hold the key to the door…
We don’t have to stand on street corners yelling at passersby, we don’t have to be obnoxious, or hectoring.
But, when appropriate, a mention of our spiritual tradition seems appropriate.
When we know someone we think might profit from it, an invitation to a Sunday service, or a Zen sitting, maybe when there’s going to be a talk seems only respectful.
Sometimes we should hold our council.
Sometimes you just have to speak.
It can change the world.
Or, at least, one life.
And that isn’t far off…