Growing in Love and Wisdom Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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InGrowing in Love and Wisdom, Susan Stabile draws on a unique dual perspective to explore the value of interreligious dialogue, the essential spiritual dynamics that operate across faith traditions, and the many fruitful ways Buddhist meditation practices can deepen Christian prayer. Raised as a Catholic, Stabile devoted 20 years of her life to practicing Buddhism and was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun before returning to Catholicism in 2001. She begins the book by examining the values and principles shared by the two faith traditions, focusing on the importance of prayer--particularly contemplative prayer--to both Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism. Both traditions seek to effect a fundamental transformation in the lives of believers, and both stress the need for experiences that have deep emotional resonance, that go beyond the level of concepts to touch the heart. Stabile illuminates the similarities between Tibetan Buddhist meditations and Christian forms of prayer such as Ignatian Contemplation and Lectio Divina; she explores as well such guided Buddhist practices as Metta and Tonglen, which cultivate compassion and find echoes in Jesus' teachings about loving one's enemies and transcending self-cherishing. The heart of the book offers 15 Tibetan Buddhist practices adapted to a contemplative Christian perspective. Stabile provides clear instructions on how to do these meditations as well as helpful commentary on each, explaining its purpose and the relation between the original and her adaptation. Throughout, she highlights the many remarkably close parallels in the teachings of Jesus and Buddha. Arguing that engagement between religions offers mutual enrichment and greater understanding of both traditions,Growing in Love and Wisdomshows how Buddhist meditation can be fruitfully joined to Christian prayer.

Author Biography

Susan J. Stabile is the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she also serves as a fellow of both the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership and the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy. Trained as a spiritual director and in retreat ministry, she offers individual spiritual direction and conducts retreats and other spiritual formation programs at the law school, in parishes and in other venues. She is the author of the blog Creo en Dios.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
How We Think About Other Faith Traditions
The Value of Interreligious Dialoguep. 13
Core Truths That Operate Across Faith Traditionsp. 23
Adapting Prayer Practices from Another Faith Tradition
The Importance of Prayer and Affective Experiencep. 55
Why Look to Tibetan Buddhism?p. 69
Analytical Meditations and Commentary
Introductionp. 77
Friend, Enemy, Strangerp. 85
Sending and Taking (Tong-len)p. 97
The Kindness of Othersp. 107
Exchanging Self and Othersp. 116
The Four Immeasurablesp. 124
Inexhaustible Lovep. 133
Giving the Four Elementsp. 140
Appreciating the Gifts of Our Birthp. 147
Impermanencep. 154
Deathp. 160
Overcoming Anger and Developing Patiencep. 169
Eight Worldly Concernsp. 181
Taking Refugep. 188
Seeing Ourselves as Christp. 196
Meditating on the "I"p. 204
Other Meditations and Practices
Meditations to Develop Concentration and Mindfulnessp. 213
Other Practicesp. 227
Conclusionp. 239
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Glossary of Buddhist Termsp. 243
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 247
Copyright Permission Acknowledgmentsp. 249
Notesp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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