In another exchange, Fr. Thomas Keating, one of the founders of the Centering Prayer movement, whose purpose is to renew the Christian mystical tradition, asked: "..when one has shed this ego-centeredness with its aggression and selfish self-seeking, is there not still an identity left, which may actually be very good?"
The Tibetan monk Trungpa Rinpoche responded: "Well, I think now we have reached the key point. Egolessness means that there is no ego –at all."
Fr. Keating: "That’s what I thought it meant…"
Trungpa Rinpoche: "Union with God cannot take place when there is any form of ego. Any whatsoever. In order to be one with God, one has to become formless. Then you will see God."
Fr. Keating: "This is the point I was trying to make for Christians by quoting the agonizing words of Christ on the cross. He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34) It seems that his sense of personal relationship with God, as God’s son, had disappeared. Many interpreters say that this was only a temporary experience. But I am inclined to think, in light of the Buddhist description of no-self, that he was passing into a stage beyond the personal self, however holy and beautiful that self had been. That final stage would then also have to be defined as the primary Christian experience. Christ has called us Christians not just so that so that we will accept him as savior, but so that we will follow the same process that brought him to his final stage of consciousness." 126
CHRISTIANITY IN THE CRUCIBLE OF EAST-WEST DIALOGUE: A Critical Look at Catholic Participation By James Arraj Originally published by Inner Growth Books, LLC, 2001 ISBN: 0-914073-03-6 (paperback edition) and GOD, ZEN AND THE INTUITION OF BEING By James Arraj Originally published by Inner Growth Books, LLC, 1988 ISBN: 0-914073-20-6 (paperback edition) Copyright James Arraj.Loc 825, kindle)