Atheist and Zen

What does an Atheist and a Zen have in common?  They are both have a column in Common Ground magazine.
David Suzuki
David Suzuki writes an article about Science Matters.  He is an atheist. He denies the existence of God but his work, in my opinion, is about godly matters such as the Nature of Things.  His mind is fascinating and captivating.  He was born in Vancouver, Canada.  I have attended his lectures.  David wrote the book The Sacred Balance. 
Eckhart TolleEckhart Tolle writes an article about Finding Zen.  He is the author of the Power of Now and his latest book, A New Earth.   A spiritual teacher, born in Germany and took residence in Vancouver.  I have never seen him nor read any of his books. 
Common Ground has articles about Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sahaja Yoga, and Inter-Faith, to name a few.  However, I still have yet to see an article about Catholicism. 
Reading this magazine expands my curiosity about other belief systems.  The more I understand the more I become in tune with my own personal faith as a Catholic.  Catholic means “universal”. 
Excerpt from Suzuki: Science of Breathing:
“Your next breath will contain more than 400,000 of the argon atoms that Gandhi breathed in his long life. Argon atoms are here from the conversations at the Last Supper, from the arguments of diplomats at Yalta, and from the recitations of the classic poets. We have argon from the sighs and pledges of ancient lovers, from the battle cries at Waterloo, even from last year’s argonic output by the writer of these lines, who personally has had already more than 300 million breathing experiences.” excerpt from New Earth:
People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look at the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn’t have or as deficient because of something that has not happened but should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that is always already here, that lies beyond what is happening or not happening, beyond form.” 
QUOTE – Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard: Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backward. 
Keeping this quote in mind, I don’t believe in the Power of Now.  However, I know what awareness, mindfulness and what is.  At least with the Science of Breathing, I learned about science as well as part of my faith, knowing that I am breathing in the argon of those people at the Last Supper.


18 thoughts on “Atheist and Zen

    • David Suzuki is one of my heroes and he just have the knack to get people going. That’s how I manage to inspire others. Thank you, David.

  1. Interesting views all around. I will never condemn nor cause hurt to someone who doesn’t believe what I do. I am a Christian and follow the path Christ taught the Apostles and commanded us to follow. Much of what has been done in the name of christianity through centuries comes out of pagan beliefs. I can’t follow paganism. I must remember Christ is my example.
    His Word is truth. And He cannot lie.
    Enjoyed this post

  2. Actually speaking about religion today with a friend who is a Catholic, all my family are, I was raised as one. As I got to an age where I could choose, I walked away, but have walked back. So the path, for me is being walked again.
    Not to (PLEASE) cause arguments or disrespect anyone, One of the most famous Scotsmen of all time, Billy Connolly, a proud Catholic from very humble roots in Glasgow did an interview with his wife below. And what he had to say sent SHOCKWAVES through the Catholic people in Scotland. The minority here, Scotland is a racist country, well it is in the West. The Catholic/Prodestant issue I have bloged on here: PLEASE give this a read to understand the hatred we live in. Well the West of Scotland, 60 mile or so from me. It is not bad in the East, not at all.
    It is really bad in the West of Scotland and Northern Ireland, people die, still, today in 2013 over the issue. I am no expert, but I do live in it and it is VILE.

    Here is what Billy had to say, and he is a very honest man. Later when asked about this comment he said “Why should I lie? to appease the local priest?”
    I have no real thoughts on the video apart from I respect peoples opinions. But it did cause issues here back home.

    Shaun x

      • Willem Dafoe (Lincoln) is about to play the part of “Brother Wilfred”
        This is going to cause a LOT of problems in the West of my Country. I hope they tell both sides of the story. This film is 100% happening. It was 1887, the story in the film will be that era. It is about the Soccer Team I Support, Glasgow Celtic, a deeply catholic rooted club, created to feed the Irish who were being killed, raped and left homeless that came to Scotland for refuge. It will be an amazing movie..

        Shaun x

  3. I like what Joseph Campbell says about all religions, that it is the mystical that can never be known intellectually that runs through all religions; That God factor that created it all, without naming a God or belief. I like that because it’s unifying. Then if we can have our beliefs and agree to disagree in a place of loving tolerance…that’d be great.

    Have a great weekend, happy mother’s day and thanks for this post. Paulette

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