Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Other Traditions and the Thawing of the Heart

A long ago mentor told me once that every pastor should come to know another tradition. In some small way I have dabbled in Buddhism and perhaps even more in poetry.  Both have enriched me greatly, poetry the most. Recently I came across someone new to me, R.H. Blyth, an Englishman, who after WWII was tutor to the Japanese Emperor, Akihito. Blyth is regarded as the best interpreter of Japanese poetry. Here are some snippets.
"Everyone recognizes that making mistakes is the one thing that teaches us"…. p. 19  Buddhist sermons on Christian texts.  
Whew. Right away I was hooked, for at this stage in my life, I love people who are simple, direct and speak few words and are filled with gentleness. And of course, I know a great deal about mistakes.
Then he quotes from Thoreau, again a favorite of mine,
"My life has been the poem I would have writ, but I could not both live and utter it."
Finally one of Blyth's poems is especially fitting for the end of the theological year or for any ending...
we that change
hate change
and we that pass
love what abides

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