Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes Monday, Wednesday & Friday
line decor
   Originally published 1-15-10
line decor


Book of Matthew, Confucius, The Samyutta Nikaya,
Pema Chödrön, Book of Luke, Rabindranath Tagore

Dear Readers,

A girlfriend and I discussed yesterday whether or not we would be reunited with
our pets in heaven. I commented that a heaven without them wouldn't be much
of a heaven to me. I got thinking later on that in the Eastern religious traditions,
enlightenment-nirvana-heaven includes the surrender of all desires, so if I did
reach it, I'd no longer have the longing to see them again. Hmm. Apparently
I'm in no Imminent danger of experiencing nirvana!

True, various religions describe this "ultimate" state of existence with distinctly
different voices, but that's hardly remarkable, given ancient cultural traditions.
What is remarkable are the common threads weaving through the disparate
belief systems. So how is the kingdom of heaven described? Read on.

- Lisa

Custom Search enables you to search this site by subject, author or phrase. Scroll down to view your results.

fiesole, italy hillside views
Photo by Stephen Bowman                   All rights reserved

(Jesus) proposed another parable to them. "The kingdom of heaven
is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the
largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of
the sky come and dwell in the branches."

Matthew 13:31-32
New American Bible


He spoke to them another parable.
"The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three
measures of wheat flour until the
whole batch was leavened."

Matthew 13:31-32
New American Bible


Heaven means to be at one with God.

Confucius (551-479 BC)
Chinese social philosopher


"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field
which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes
and sells all that he has and buys that field."

Matthew 13:44
New American Bible

maui sunset
Lahaina, Maui         Photo by Chuck Bowman                 All rights reserved

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad
they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age.

Matthew 13:45
New American Bible



The meditator cultivates at-one-ness, which ends
in the destruction of greed, anger and delusion...
at-one-ness has the deathless as its
one-ness flows into nirvana, slides to
nirvana, tends to nirvana.

The Samyutta Nikaya
A Buddhist scripture


Enlightenment is not the end of anything.
Enlightenment, being completely awake,
is just the beginning of fully entering
into we know not what.

Pema Chödrön (1936? -    )
Buddhist nun and prolific author


And when (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God
should come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God cometh
not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!,
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Luke 17:20-21
The Holy Bible
King James Version

The Last Word:

Nirvana is not the blowing out of the candle. It is the
extinguishing of the flame because day has come.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
Bengali poet, novelist, musician





























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

I don't believe in the afterlife, although
I am bringing a change of underwear.

Woody Allen
American film director, writer and actor


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
a multi-faith Web site.
This site offers inspiring
messages exploring various
topics each Monday,
Wednesday and Friday.
The Religion Network
holds that inspiration is
found in all faiths; and
furthermore, that finding
commonalities in the
world's religions builds
bridges of understanding.

Religion as an institution
s a precious gift,
blessing us and
uplifting communities.
However you worship,
may this site enhance
your journey. To read
my personal story, click: