Living Buddha, living christ?

My bf is not a Catholic…Right now he’s not really anything, but his family is Buddhist. He found this book somewhere called “Living Buddha, living Christ” (he’s quite a gullible guy too), and now hes starting to think that he can be Catholic and Buddhist at the same time?! I don’t know if anyone else has heard of this book, I havn’t read hardly anything in it, but the whole idea of it sounds absurd to me. In the book the man writes that the concepts (for lack of a better word??) of Catholosism and Buddism are a lot alike, and that he is a practicing Catholic, who receives communion and everything, but is also a “zen monk”. I was wondering if anyone else has seen this, or even if you havn’t, what your thoughts would be on it?

Here’s the address to the book on amazon:
amazon.com/Living-Buddha-Christ-Thich-Nhat/dp/1573225681

Pope John Paul the Great addressed this in the book “Crossing the Treshold of Hope.” It’s fresh in my mind cause I just read it today. I suggest picking it up, if not only just for that chapter.

I know I won’t be able to state this nearly as eloquently as he did but I’ll try to summerize.

He basically says that Buddism and Christianity are similar but very different. The buddist views the world as evil, and bad (which we know is not the case after reading the first chapter of scripture). The buddist must withdrawl from the world to achieve complete knowledge of ones self or to be “enlightened.”

Christians on the other hand often recognize that they also need to withdrawl from the world, but not because it’s bad, but because it is temporal. By dying to the world we can unite ourselves ever closer to a loving and merciful Father.

Please grab the book if you could cause i most certainly didn’t do JPII justice. He writes 4 or 5 pages of Holy Spirit filled goodness, on the exact topic you’re questioning.

God Bless.

Mm, as I have always understood it (and I have studied quite a few of the texts and histories of both movements), the ‘temporality = bad’ part of both Buddhism and Christianity are really not so different at all. Both have gone through various fashions, factions and even schisms over the millennia about the world and its ways. I do not see any conflict necessarily between the two systems at all, depending on how they are practiced.

I will say that both Christianity and Buddhism, at their best, are sources of great inspiration for the potential of humankind, to me.

I attended a Unity Church for a bit where the motto was “The mind of the Buddha meets the heart of Christ.” Unfortunately, the “theology” was as tepid as it could be while still claiming to be a religion. I don’t see how a Catholic can consider oneself a Buddhist because there is no God for Buddhists. In addition, the main goal of their practice (which is the foundation of their belief system) is to detach from all desire. Catholics strive to attach themselves to God and yearn to be with Him in His kingdom some day. We also view suffering as redemptive whereas the Buddhist considers it unnecessary and something from which one can free themselves with enough practice. Catholicism is not lacking in any way and Buddhism offers nothing that we can’t get from our own faith.

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