Yoga Teacher, Amateur Cyclist, and Clergy
In many ways, Jesus and Buddha were talking about the same experience of human transformation.
Suffering is the teacher of transformation for both of them. It is the only thing strong enough to grab our attention and defeat the ego. Suffering, for me, is whenever we are not in control. It is our opposition to the moment, our inner resistance that says, “I don’t want it to be this way.” The ego is always trying to control reality and therefore it is invariably suffering, because reality is never fully what we want.
Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain. Lady Julian of Norwich understood it so well, as if to say, “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” That is the way all mystics eventually see it. That is the way the Buddha saw it. There is only one suffering, and for Christians Jesus personified that surrender to that cosmic mystery—a “non-resistance” to reality until we learn its deepest lessons. The ultimate lesson is always resurrection.”