Friday, July 19, 2013

No Instant Liberation

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is offering indulgences for “virtual” participants of the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro — but there's a hitch.
The Vatican's social media guru, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, warned Friday that merely checking the pope's Twitter feed won't result in an indulgence, the ancient church tradition related to forgiving sins that roughly amounts to a “get out of Purgatory free” card.
Rather, Celli told The Associated Press, a Catholic seeking an indulgence for participating in Rio — either physically or virtually— must truly be contrite and have a moment of deepening faith.
I rarely agree with the Vatican, but this time the archbishop's got it right.

Knowledge isn't transformative. It takes experience -- that "moment of deepening faith," what a Buddhist might call a moment of realization. It's that experience, that lightning flash of insight or understanding, that brings lasting change.

“When we are touching spirituality, the problem resides not in what I do but what is in my heart,” Celli said.

In Buddhism, it's said that karma comes from our intention, not our actions. If we inadvertently kill an insect, here's no karmic seed, unlike if we do it deliberately.

It's said that studying the dharma, the Buddha's teachings, without putting them into practice is like reading a recipe but not preparing it. Reading the recipe doesn't alleviate hunger – if anything, it may intensify it. To satisfy hunger, you have to follow the recipe and make a meal.

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