Taking Jesus Seriously: Buddhist Meditation for Christians

Overview

In Taking Jesus Seriously, the words of Jesus become clearer when matched with the practices and insights of Buddhist meditation. This book presents a Christian way to implement the words of Jesus by looking inside to see what stands between the reader and God's kingdom. Cowan connects everyday examples and Jesus' words to the method of Buddhist vipassana or insight meditation by offering instruction, perception, and guidance. With practice, readers can begin to notice what is actual, leave anxiety to the Father,...

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Overview

In Taking Jesus Seriously, the words of Jesus become clearer when matched with the practices and insights of Buddhist meditation. This book presents a Christian way to implement the words of Jesus by looking inside to see what stands between the reader and God's kingdom. Cowan connects everyday examples and Jesus' words to the method of Buddhist vipassana or insight meditation by offering instruction, perception, and guidance. With practice, readers can begin to notice what is actual, leave anxiety to the Father, accept pain, and see the world as a child would. This book is designed to be read over twelve weeks while practicing 20 - 30 minutes of daily meditations. Each chapter includes questions and answers.

Chapters in Prelude are The Reign of God, Escaping Delusion," *The Practice: Observing Delusion and Reality, - *Replacing Delusions with Material Reality, - and *Escaping the Delusion that We Are Our Feelings and Thoughts. - Chapters in First Interlude: What Am I Doing Here? are *The Delusion that Happiness Results from Fulfilling Desires, - *Distinguishing the Reality of Pain from the Delusion of Suffering, - *The Delusion of Permanence, - and *The Delusion of Person. - Chapters in Second Interlude: The Delusion of Two are *Empty of Delusion, - and *'Now'as Reality, 'Past' and 'Future' as Delusion. - The chapter in Third Interlude: Intention, is *Evolution and the Reign of God. - Also includes Postlude on the Christian Life, My Book Shelf, and an index.

John Cowan has been a student of Zen for over forty years. Currently, he is an Episcopal priest and an interim rector at St. Anne's in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Thank you for Taking Jesus Seriously. Its practical teaching on meditation is superb. It reminded me of a lot that I had forgotten, and helped me understand some things I'd never understood, and taught me a good deal I never knew.
The Reverend Paul Bayes, National Mission & Evangelism Adviser, Archbishops' Council, England

In this world of attractions and delusions, we are blessed when someone finds a way to help us to see ourselves clearly, to learn to be content with who we are, and to be open to new perceptions. Here is the Jesus who encountered life in all its fullness and welcomes us in. John Cowan, with his years of experience in both Eastern and Western forms of meditation, offers a guide for the traveler and a bridge between traditions.
Rt. Rev. James Jelinek, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Cowan's work contributes a perspective of radical Christianity to the growing number of books dealing with the interaction of Buddhism and Christianity. . . . This book could help some Christians get beyond preconceptions about Buddhism and Jesus.
Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Cowan's work contributes a perspective of radical Christianity to the growing number of books dealing with the interaction of Buddhism and Christianity. His is the Christ of the Jesus Seminars, stripped down to revolutionary, life-changing sayings and stories, and his Christianity is correspondingly light on traditional doctrines, since some historical doctrines flow from gospel sayings deemed inauthentic in this view. He offers a similarly slimmed-down version of Buddhism that makes concessions to Western meditators who need a goal to motivate them to sit on a meditation cushion to attain liberation from goal-seeking. He thereby softens some of the paradoxical power of Buddhism's noble insight about desire as a cause of suffering, even while nodding to it. Yet his understanding of essential Christianity is bracing enough in its insistence on Jesus' challenge not to do business as usual but to drop everything and follow him. Question-and-answer sections at the end of each chapter strive sincerely to give plain-language help. Given the book's Christian emphasis, the author should have made some effort to examine contemplative prayer for Christians seeking the direct path to God. ("It may be my limitations," he writes in begging off fuller discussion of it.) The author's conversational diction is free of mystical fog, though some may find its familiarity annoying at times ("Life is going to be hard, Sweet Pea"). This book could help some Christians get beyond preconceptions about Buddhism and Jesus. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814627587
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author


John Cowan has been a student of Zen for over forty years. Currently, he is an Episcopal priest and an interim rector at St. Anne's in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

Prelude v
1 The Reign of God, Escaping Delusion 1
2 The Practice: Observing Delusion and Reality 14
3 Replacing Delusions with Material Reality 26
4 Escaping the Delusion that We Are Our Feelings and Thoughts 40
Interlude 1 What Am I Doing Here? 55
5 The Delusion that Happiness Results from Fulfilling Desires 58
6 Distinguishing the Reality of Pain from the Delusion of Suffering 75
7 The Delusion of Permanence 89
8 The Delusion of Person 105
Interlude 2 The Delusion of Two 123
9 Empty of Delusion 127
10 "Now" as Reality, "Past" and "Future" as Delusion 145
Interlude 3 Intention 159
11 Evolution and the Reign of God 164
Postlude on the Christian Life 177
My Bookshelf 185
Index 189
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