Thich Nhat Hanh on Christian/Buddhist relations

My friend Martha just alerted me to this wonderful article by Thich Nhat Hanh. It looks like it's quite a few years old, since in it he talks about wanting to write Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, which was published in 2000. But its message remains important for us today: Going Back to Our Religious Roots In this article, the good Vietnamese monk tells the story of counseling a young Buddhist woman who had fallen in love with a Catholic man, and was distraught because his family was … [Read more...]

More on the Fortress and the Beacon

Sometimes I'm a slow learner. My "fortress and beacon" analogy (see yesterday's post) emerged out an email correspondence I'm having with a Catholic laywoman who is feeling called to the contemplative life, but also feels the tension with mainstream Catholics who are afraid of, or hostile to, contemplative and centering prayer, because of their alleged new age or eastern mystical characteristics (as I've said repeatedly on this blog, I think such fears/hostility are groundless and based on … [Read more...]

Transcend for purity, and in hospitality include

Peter writes, in response to yesterday's post: I repeat here my appreciation of your purity-vs-hospitality perspective, and your inclusiveness of those who have not “yet” agreed with you and maybe never will. You are right that this is difficult and painful. But I want to add one more word of support: in taking a stance like this, you are strongly and consistently favoring oneness, non-dualism, in a pragmatic application. Way to go! I highly commend this. Thanks, Peter, for the insight. Yes, I se … [Read more...]

Purity and Hospitality

Today I thought about "Purity Rings." They're popular among young people nowadays. They are worn as part of a vow to abstain from certain sexual activities such as pre-marital or extra-marital intercourse. In and of themselves, I suppose they can be meaningful to those who wear them, as a sign of holding and maintaining important boundaries in a culture that all too often has no clue what "boundaries" are.But what bothers me is not so much that we pay so much attention to purity, but rather … [Read more...]