Ch'an/Zen Catholic Dialogue Spreads 'Welcome Table' at Retreat


WASHINGTON—The ongoing Ch’an/Zen Catholic Dialogue explored the dialogue of religious experience and the dialogue of life at a retreat meeting. Rev. Heng Sure of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and the Institute for World Religions, Berkeley, California, and Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City co-chaired the January 28-31 meeting.

Sister of Charity Mary Ann Donovan of the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, led an experience of Lectio Divina based on the vine and the braches image of John 15:1-17. Rev. Victoria Austin of the San Francisco Zen Center gave an “encouragement talk,” one typically delivered to Zen retreatants. She referred to the Gospel passage and said that “we don’t prune the vine because it is dead, but because it has the capacity to be fruitful. We don’t purify the mind to get rid of dirt, but to return to the mind’s original purity, which is the source of our conscience and is the true life within us.”

Rev. Jan Chosen Bays of Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon, observed that “vows make our life energy more focused, keeping us from losing purpose and meaning. Vows prune away unnecessary things. When we ask for help with the challenge of being faithful to our vows, we call up and encounter unexpected sources of support and ‘grace’.”

In Christ Jesus


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