Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fr. Robert Kennedy, S.J., Roshi, Is A Jesuit Priest and Zen Teacher In The White Plum Lineage, Buddism

The Morning Star Zendo (Fr. Robert Kennedy, S.J.) vision
Kennedy's vision is for the Morning Star Zendo to foster continuously an environment for interfaith dialogue—to be a place where people of all religious varieties meet and respect one another's traditions and points of view. The spirit at the zendo reflects and builds upon Kennedy's deep respect for and knowledge of Buddhism. It carries out the principles laid out in the Jesuit statement on mission and interreligious dialogue, which demands that Jesuits be not only familiar with the thought of men and women of other religious traditions, but be immersed with them in theological exchange and in a dialogue of life, action, and religious experience.


Link to Star Zendo (here)

Can you be a good Christian and a good Buddist at the same time? Can you be the person of Christ and the person of Budda at the same time?


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the answer depends on what you mean by "good Christian," "good Buddhist," "good," "Christian," and/or "Buddhist."

One aspect of Buddhism or, rather, one teaching of the Buddha, is not to adhere to any dogma. That obviously goes straight against Catholic Church teaching or dogma that she is the only way to God, that she is the only correct or true pronouncer of God's word. In this sense, then the answer is no.

hoof said...

Perfecting one religious tradition is hard enough - doing two at one time can be just plain difficult.

Its not an easy path but I think there is much one can learn from buddhism.

Subtley and a close ear for what is actually being said in each tradition is in my mind essential to developing such a benefit.

As a catholic the dogmas of the church are like walls of my house. I live inside them - I care for them and they in turn shelter and support me. But most of the time I am too busy enjoying the life I share with my family to worry about my exterior brickwork.

Perhaps this captures a little more of what the buddhists really mean - certainly tibetan buddhism has its intellectual heavyweights ! If teaching was so unimportant there would be no teaching against an overeliance on teaching - because that itself would be a form of teaching.

A more fundamental idea in Buddhism might be that every thought is as true as unntrue - so any comments about what a buddhist should do and not do - must be seen in this context. Dogma can support - Dogma can destroy. It is as simple as that. Using Dogma wisely I think is an expression of christian maturity. Certainly the idea of mutually supporting opposites is essentially in my mind Catholic in every sense of the word.

Hope this is of some relevance to someone.

monkglenn said...

One can do anything one has the capacity to do. In the values judgment of what is good and bad about Catholicism or Buddhism--well, there are issues on both sides.

However, it is entirely consistent with Catholicism to practice Zen. Father Kennedy is clear when he teaches that he is a Christian Zen practitioner, and includes the Mass as part of many weekend Zen Retreats, and I recall how he preached a homily about Peter and his tired fishermen being told to go out and cast deeply once more...and they brought in a catch that burst the nets.

Zen will burst the fisherman's net with it's wealth of gifts.

Zen's Gifts To Christians can be compared only to a treasure of the greatest spiritual value.

However, in truth, to ask can one be a good Catholic and a Good Zen Buddhist is to ask a question that has no existence, for you cannot ask about Zen, you either practice Zen or you don't know anything about it. Maybe that is a "quip" but it is fundamentally true.

Zen is not known through intellection or words.

In my own unremarkable case, Zen has preserved my Christianity against the onslaughts of modern materialism and commercialism, saved me from dying spiritually and therefore being alive spiritually I am able to embrace Christ, but I would say that each person's path to Christ, the eternal return, differs.

I think of the image of a solitary person in meditative prayer to Christ perhaps through the intersession of the Blessed Virgin Mary IN A POUSTINIA as much like a Catholic in a zendo!

Go beg for your meals, now, yee humble people who live in poverty like Saint Francis proposed, for you it will be easy to let go of the world and all that is in it...but wait...to be a good Zennist you must also not reject, neither cling nor repell. Detach is more like aloof to forms, not absorbed by them. Be unattached to anything that diminishes your union with Christ.

Zen, I've described to some as, BEING WHOLLY AND TOTALLY AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE WILL OF GOD IN MY LIFE.

monkglenn said...

One can do anything one has the capacity to do. In the values judgment of what is good and bad about Catholicism or Buddhism--well, there are issues on both sides.

However, it is entirely consistent with Catholicism to practice Zen.

Zen's Gifts To Christians can be compared only to a treasure of the greatest spiritual value.

However, in truth, to ask can one be a good Catholic and a Good Zen Buddhist is to ask a question that has no existence, for you cannot ask about Zen, you either practice Zen or you don't know anything about it. Maybe that is a "quip" but it is fundamentally true.

Zen is not known through intellection or words.

In my own unremarkable case, Zen has preserved my Christianity against the onslaughts of modern materialism and commercialism, saved me from dying spiritually and therefore being alive spiritually I am able to embrace Christ, but I would say that each person's path to Christ, the eternal return, differs.

I think of the image of a solitary person in meditative prayer to Christ perhaps through the intersession of the Blessed Virgin Mary IN A POUSTINIA as much like a Catholic in a zendo!

Go beg for your meals, now, yee humble people who live in poverty like Saint Francis proposed, for you it will be easy to let go of the world and all that is in it...but wait...to be a good Zennist you must also not reject, neither cling nor repel. Detach is more like aloof to forms, not absorbed by them. Be unattached to anything that diminishes your union with Christ.

Zen, I've described to some as, BEING WHOLLY AND TOTALLY AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE WILL OF GOD IN MY LIFE.