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Zen for Christians A Beginner's Guide

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-06-13
  • Publisher: DOVER

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"Whereas other Christianity-meets-Buddhism books stress ideology and the intellect, this one emphasizes daily acts of practice." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In this illuminating and insightful guide, Kim Boykin offers Christians a way to incorporate Zen practices into their lives without compromising their beliefs and faith.
Zen for Christians assumes curiosity but no real knowledge as it walks readers through specific concepts of Zen philosophy — including suffering, attachment, and enlightenment — and explains each in a simple but lively way. Sections between chapters gently demonstrate Zen meditation practices, explaining the basics in a clear, engaging manner. Placing Buddhist and Christian teachings side by side helps readers not only understand Zen but also shows their compatibility. Drawing on Dr. Boykin's own personal search through Buddhism and Christianity as well as her background in theological studies, this thought-provoking work illustrates how Zen practice can be particularly useful for Christians who want to enrich their faith by incorporating contemplative practices.

"An excellent introduction to Zen — clear and to the point, practical, respectful, and even humorous at times." — Yoga Journal

"Makes Zen practice more approachable and less esoteric … a straightforward guide for those who want to try Zen for themselves." — Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Bulletin

"A trustworthy and delightful guide. Kim Boykin will demystify and deepen your understanding of both the traditions she practices. A gem!" — James W. Fowler, author, Stages of Faith

"Kim Boykin writes in the skilled language of simplicity. While addressing those new to Zen, she offers practical wisdom, challenge, and encouragement to all practitioners." — Rose Mary Dougherty, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, Maryland

"The great religions of the world have much to learn from each other. Kim Boykin's book is a skillful step in that direction. The heart of the matter of Zen is presented in a direct and informative way that is based on her firsthand experience of Zen training. This should prove to be a helpful guidebook for any Christian who wishes to explore Zen practice." — John Daido Loori, roshi, abbot, Zen Mountain Monastery

"This lovely, wise, and practical introduction to Zen keeps its promise of companionship as the kind of spiritual cookbook you can bring right into the kitchen. Recipe-reading like this, in fact, inspires you to get into the kitchen, encourages you to keep at it, and invites you to share your efforts in communion with others." — Steven Tipton, coauthor, Habits of the Heart

"An excellent resource on Zen practice, written from a pragmatic, personal, and yet sophisticated point of view. What a fine contribution to Buddhist-Christian understanding!" — Judith Simmer-Brown, coauthor, Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Comment on the Rule

"This is a good-humored, intelligent, nonguilt-inducing book written by a person who shows us clearly what it would be like to reap the benefits of what she preaches." — Roberta Bondi, author, Memories of God and Houses: A Family Memoir of Grace

Author Biography

Kim Boykin has a Ph.D. in theology from Emory University. She teaches at Marymount College and  is the author of Zen for Christians.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Gerald G. May

An Invitation to Zen Practice

Practice: Zazen: Counting the Breath

1.   How I Became a Christian Zen Practitioner

Practice: Walking Meditation

2.   The Buddhist Way of Liberation from Suffering

Practice: Noticing Thoughts

3.   Zen Teachings and Christian Teachings

Practice: Zazen: Following the Breath

4.   Enlightenment: Already and Not Yet

Practice: Practicing with Everything

5.   Making Zen Practice Part of Your Life

Practice: Zazen: Shikantaza, or “Just Sitting”

One More Thought: If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Badly

Recommended Resources



The Author


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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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