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Compassion and Meditation: The Spiritual Dynamic between Buddhism and Christianity Paperback – 25 June 2009
• Compares Zen meditation with the Greek Orthodox practice of Hesychasm (prayer of the heart)
• Shows how Buddha and Jesus represent the distinct yet complementary values of meditation and compassion
In Asian spiritual traditions the mountain traditionally symbolizes meditation while the ocean signifies compassion. Jean-Yves Leloup uses this metaphor to compare Buddhist and Christian approaches to meditation and compassion to reveal the similarities and divergences of these profound practices. Emphasizing their complementary nature, Leloup describes how Jesus and Buddha are necessary to one another and how together they form a complete system: Jesus as awakening through love, and Buddha as awakening through meditation. Where Buddha represents the forests, Jesus represents the trees. Buddha is brother to the universe, whereas Jesus is brother to humanity.
Nevertheless, these two religious traditions have a profound common ground. Compassion is central to Buddhism, and meditation practices have been central to many Christian traditions. Both view murder, theft, and the destructive use of sexuality as great barriers to realizing our essential being, and both agree on the need to rise above them. Here, however, Leloup suggests that both faiths could benefit from the precepts of the other. The complementary aspects of Christianity and Buddhism offer the possibility for a truly profound ecumenical religion whose interfaith relations are based on deep understanding of the true meaning and practice of meditation and compassion and not merely shared goodwill.
". . . worth consideration for an interfaith readership . . . " ― Library Journal, Oct 2009
"If one wishes to make sense of the world, French Orthodox priest Jean Yves Leloup believes the tools are to be found in the Christian and Buddhist camps equally." ― ForeWord Reviews, Sept 2009
" . . . [Leloup's] perspective on Buddhism is unique. . . . meditation practitioners interested in comparative religions may gain something from Leloup's perspective." ― Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline, Sept 2009
"New age and spiritual libraries on both sides need this." ― The Midwest Book Review, Nov 2009
" . . . worthwhile challenge for anyone wishing to learn more about meditative practices and comparative religion." ― William J. Kanallery, MultiCultural Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, Spring 2010
"This book was a refreshing read. Too often when a book discusses two religious systems it tries to put one above the other, or tries too hard to erase any differences. Leloup takes the middle path and discusses two faiths without making one out to be superior, and without making them into one practice. Christianity and Buddhism are both revered, and kept distinct, complimenting each other like Mind and Heart; Compassion and Meditation." ― Spiral Nature, September 2010
“Every great prophet or guru brings with him or her a central message, and Buddha and Jesus are no exceptions. Buddha brought the wave of compassion and Jesus, in my humble opinion, brought the healing energy of love. Unfortunately, in the process of ego personalities’ organizing of these messages for mass consumption, the messages are lost and often end up polarized with other systems. In no other time in history has it been so imperative to bring the world’s traditions into balance. This book dives into the commonality of both systems by revitalizing the original messages of compassion and meditation.” ― Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide, October 2012
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : Inner Traditions; Original edition (25 June 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594772770
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594772771
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.27 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 516,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The writing in this book is far more post-Vatican II Catholic rather than Orthodox. Much of the rest of the book is basic Buddhism -- almost generic spirituality -- but that doesn't mean it's all bad, far from it. Every time I started wondering if this author had truly encountered Christ, I found some evidence that he has -- mixed in with everything else. And he does give Christ the last word!