Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Growing in Love & Wisdom (October 26)

It has been one of those weeks when not everything has gone according to plan. I had to go on a trip south for a couple of days of meetings with my work. Near the end of my journey to my hotel another driver decided that her red light was optional, with the end result that my car ended up needing about $5,600.00 of repairs. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the insurance company has arranged for another set of wheels for me to use in the meantime. However, it means that I have to make another long trip next week to get my car back.

When I got back and checked my e-mails last night I was happy to find that I had been approved for a galley of Growing in Love & Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation. I think it may well be a book that I need to read just now, so I’m looking forward to doing so very soon. I have decided that it will also make a good choice this week for my Friday meme combo. The following description comes from Oxford University Press, the publishers of this book, which was just published in the last few weeks:

Although raised Roman Catholic, Susan Stabile was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun and devoted 20 years of her life to practicing Buddhism before returning to Catholicism in 2001. In Growing in Love and Wisdom, she draws on this unique dual perspective to explore the value of interreligious dialogue, the spiritual dynamics that operate across faith traditions, and how Buddhist meditation practices can deepen Christian prayer. She begins by examining the values and principles shared by the two faiths and shows that both traditions seek to effect a fundamental transformation in the lives of believers. Both stress the need for experiences with deep emotional resonance that goes beyond the level of concepts to touch the heart. The center of the book offers 15 Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practices, adapted for Christian use. Stabile provides clear instructions on how to do these meditations and helpful commentary on each, explaining its purpose and the relation between the Buddhist original and her Christian adaptation of it. Throughout, she highlights the many remarkably close parallels between the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. The meditations offered in this unusual book will be extremely useful to thoughtful Christians, to those responsible for giving spiritual direction, and also to Buddhist sympathizers who will be intrigued and pleased to see familiar contemplations handled so skillfully by a former Buddhist practitioner who has gratefully learned so much from her former religion and now introduces the riches of that tradition to her fellow Christians.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning(s) of Growing in Love & Wisdom:

From the introduction:

Some Christians may find it strange, and possibly even heretical, to adapt Buddhist prayer forms and techniques for Christian prayer. I don’t.

From the beginning of Part 1:

People who know that I spent many years as a Buddhist before returning to Christianity often ask whether I consider myself a “Buddhist Christian” or a “Christian Buddhist.” The question is understandable. Many people give themselves one or the other of those labels, just as many others self-identify as “Jewish Buddhist” or “Hindu Christian” or even as “Christian Hindu Buddhist.”

I think I’m going to both enjoy and be challenged by this book. I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Growing in Love & Wisdom:

Why is prayer so important? Why is prayer essential if we are to grow spiritually?

A couple of good questions to reflect upon. That’s it for this week and I hope to have a review of this book up soon, once I’ve got it read, of course!


5 thoughts on “Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Growing in Love & Wisdom (October 26)

  1. i think it’s pretty amazing to meld different schools of thought. religion is a very touch subject and i expect this one probably gets not just a few feather ruffled. but really, when one gets down to the basic principles of a religion, they’re not too different!

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