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A Zen Master's Guide to the Bible

In the fall of 1999, my family and I were traveling on board a commercial airliner out of Memphis, Tennessee, when the cabin filled with smoke and the plane suddenly dropped right out of the sky. In popular cinema, the flight crew are all over such moments — stowing trays, returning seats to upright positions, making announcements designed to get your attention but not cause undue alarm. In real life, they’re nowhere to be found. It’s easy to follow a manual when the plane seems to be winning its battle against gravity. When it loses, suddenly the term “safety belt” is exposed for the lie it always was. At that moment, you feel it all at once — I suspect everyone feels it. That’s when you start to pray.As it turned out, that was also when my six-year-old daughter, Sophie, reached across the aisle to hold my hand. “Daddy, are we going to die?” she asked. I’d forgotten that young children pray to their parents in such moments. Not knowing what to say, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and asked the same question myself, listening to see if anyone would reply. And, indeed, I did hear a voice. Speaking …

This entry is tagged with:
SpiritualityReligionZenBuddhismThe Bible

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