The author of the poem “The Human Route” asks the following question of the reader:

There is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.
What is the one pure and clear thing?

In the Gospel of Mark we witness the following exchange between Jesus and his followers:

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ They answered, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, others one of the prophets. ’ ‘And you,’ he asked, ‘who do you say I am?’ (Mark 8:27-29a)

At the core of each of these vibrant world religions we find the foundation of question and wonder. One of the gifts of Zen practice is its insistence that we return to each moment and enter into a deep sense of awe about the world. Christians around the world continue to discuss who exactly Jesus was – by his own invitation to enter into a similar space of question.

Yet human nature inevitably sneaks in. Instead of trusting this wonder, we close our minds and cling to answers given by previous generations. OneClearThing aims to read Christian texts with a Zen lens and Zen texts with a Christian lens as a way of breaking through this tendency toward rigid interpretation. Additionally, OneClearThing will  attempt to capture a sense of wonder and doubt through image and movie, as captured by the author.

OneClearThing will read weekly selections from the Revised Common Lectionary and either the kong-an collection The Whole World Is A Single Flower or the Tao Te Ching. OneClearThing will make a sustained effort to address racism, violence against women and the climate crisis as its top social priorities. Through meditation, reflection, image and prayer we will reflect on these traditions in the hope of finding ways to respond to the question at the heart of Christianity and Buddhism: how can we help this world?