Hey all! I am curious about Zen Catholicism. If anyone has any insight please share here or via PM. Thanks!
I found this in a discussion about the book Zen Catholicism.
This book is the attempt of a Benedictine monk to hold the light of Zen Buddhism up to his own religion. His purpose is not to criticize Catholicism or Zen, but to reveal certain primal elements of Christianity to the contemporary Catholic—particularly for those thousands of Westerners who are drawn to the religions of the East.
One of the questions I would ask anyone looking at this are the following questions.
What is your understanding of Zen?
What is your understanding of Catholicism?
Did you know that Jesus was an Asian Jew and that Christianity is an Eastern Religion?
If Christianity is an Eastern Religion then those Western minds drawn to religions of the East ought to look at the wealth of thought and writings in the Church of the East to include all Catholicism in particular the Orthodox in consideration that no one would consider the Orthodox to be of a Western mindset.
The Four Noble Truths are that (1) life is suffering, (2) the cause of suffering is desire, (3) to be free from suffering we must detach from desire, and (4) the “eight-fold path” is the way to alleviate desire. The eight-fold path includes having right views, intentions, speech, actions, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. The final goal of Buddhism is not merely to eradicate desire, but to be free of suffering.
St. Paul does not discount suffering and as Catholics we understand the role of redemptive suffering. The cause is debatable. Freedom from suffering is to ignore it as part of life and accept it as part of redemption. Right views or Morality cause good intentions that create the actions that include all of the above. To be free of suffering in this life you accept it as part of life and dwell on the good of life as it is given to you. You follow Christ who suffered. What will seperate you from the love of God?..and thus is named all manner of suffering…
I don’t think I need Zen…
I think it is an excellent and useful idea to remind people that Catholicism is an Eastern religion, especially some of the less understood rites, as that is a sadly neglects and ignored fact.
As for “Zen” Catholicism, I can see that someone who is thoughtful can usefully compare and mine ideas within their won tradition and also benefit from holding very different ideas close together to find more about each one. This could yield a deepening of their experience. I think that Thomas Merton is another who did something along those lines, and am sure that many others have done such with many other religions and philosophies.
I agree. While many of the so called Eastern Religion ask you to empty your mind and then contemplate nothing to rid yourself of things that cause conflict like fear…this is just the beginning. Empty your mind so that it can be filled with the will of God…that is Veritatis Splendor. This will eliminate all your fears.