All Beings Vs. Saving Myself

The first line of the 4 vows recited in Zen generally translates as follows :
However innumerable all beings are, I vow to save them all”

Here’s a quick note :

-Saving everyone, it’s going to take a while… I’d rather start by saving myself.
-It’s the same thing. It is by deeply adopting the inner disposition of one who wishes to save all beings, that one saves oneself, since the first Bodhisattva vow integrated in great sincerity includes all beings and that you clearly stand among ‘all beings’.
Because in this spirit, by approaching the world this way, discrimination no longer finds space to accomplish its perdition work in you.

Thus, skillfully, freed from these paths of suffering, you will be saved.

©FJ May 2022
Groupe de Pratique
Many thanks to all

6 commentaires

  1. Salvation
    Another concept with which I have some issues.
    If there is no damnation (which is not the same as saying there are no undesirable consequences) then there is no salvation.
    There is only progress, stagnation or reversal.
    One is not « saved ». One either goes forward or marinades in one’s own baser nature.
    Perhaps one should seek to « encourage » rather than to save. Ultimately, the only person who can shed present difficulties and progress is oneself.

    Aimé par 1 personne

  2. I would equate ‘salvation’ with the « no returning  » step along the Bodhisattva path to becoming a Buddha.
    What happens when the neck has extended far enough above the surface to allow eyes to lock with the horizon, and realize the ‘marinade’ they were steeping in.
    Don’t you believe one can ever be ‘saved’ from one’s old ways ?
    wouldn’t that be an expression of salvation ?

    There is always a possibility to unload the burden of words so as to retrieve their original strength.
    Salvation is so weighted with words of territorial claims it has lost is ability to open up on new horizons.
    Furthermore, words are adults : there always comes a moment when they have their own lives, no matter what stable they originate from.
    Linguistic resilience.

    Aimé par 1 personne

  3. Can one be saved from oneself?
    Only if one can save oneself.
    The language carries many connotations.
    I prefer other formulations, to confound those who wish to sell me their saving faith. They can keep it, alongside the damnation it implies and the horror it wreaks upon them.
    Therefore, I do not save myself from what I was, or what I am. I merely seek to progress to, or embrace, a better way.

    Aimé par 1 personne

    1. I can understand that.
      It is a spiritually healthy reflex.
      Still, we should not forget that, although it is truly unbearable to be confronted with such salvation-selling profiles as the ones you refer to,
      it is nonetheless worthy to underline that, conversely, there also are a whole bunch of slick salesreps out there trying to sell us precisely the opposite : « There is no possibility to ever get caught up in lands of suffering, love is the answer, love and kindness for all, you are in power to decide… »
      = to decide whatever choice we have left available,
      To decide when you are going to comply with our agenda.

      = spiritual nudging, after all.
      with its own direct damnation system, as it violently outs anyone lacking compliance to dripping surface benevolence.

      I’d say there are two pitfalls at the end of this axis : excesses of Fear (your comment) and
      sluggish love (my comment)
      I’m not even sure there is a middle way here somewhere along the sectarian axis. ( a weird thing to say for a speaker likened to a Buddhist)

      We need to jump right out
      Right out and never come back.

      Aimé par 1 personne

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