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4 years ago  ::  Mar 09, 2011 - 9:33AM #1
hottle
Posts: 1
I was raised Roman Catholic but stopped practicing in my early 20s.  Since that time, I explored many other religions, churches and their congregations:  protestant, born again and more.  Several years ago I found Buddhism... I've practiced and studied various forms of Buddhism, but I am most attracted and comfortable with Zen.  To be clear: Buddhism is not a religion, per se.  There is no deity..no God issue in Buddhism, because the Buddha did not speak of God or Gods.  Buddhism is a way of life..a philosophy...it is true that many Buddhists are agnostics or atheists.  However, many are Jewish, Catholic, etc. etc. 

Some months ago I decided it was time to face whatever it was that led me to leave the Catholic church and to return to attending regular services.  I feel at home with Catholicism because there are my roots. I currently attend mass once a week and buddhism service once a week, plus I meditate/pray nearly every day.

But there are questions in my mind about Catholic beliefs and "rules" that haunt me.  Buddhism is about questioning.  The "beginners mind" is considered so important.   Buddhism is about not attaching to one truth.  I recently read an interview with our Bishop who pointed out the importance of not being so married to ones views and strong beliefs that we're unwilling to consider the ideas of others.  He said that there is never only one truth because as humans we cannot possibly know everything.  But I sometimes feel that I'm being untrue to my Catholic side by questioning things.

Are there other Catholics in this community that have studied/practiced Buddhism or Zen?  And is it healthy to be a questioning Catholic?
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 10, 2011 - 6:13AM #2
Mysty101
Posts: 2,019

Hi Hottle,


Welcome to this forum. 


I really think it would be best for you to speak to an authentic spiritual director to discuss your situation.  I don't know enough about Buddhism to know if there are any conflicts between it and Catholicism.  I did understand it to be a religion.


There is a big difference between questioning things because you are trying to understand, and rejecting doctrine.  A spiritual director can help you sort out your questions and help you be more comfortable with your beliefs.


If you can be more specific, we might be able to give better answers.


God bless you in your journey.


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2011 - 5:37PM #3
Aussiesoul
Posts: 311

I find myself in total agreement with your Bishop. I have long realised that all truth is not possesed by only one religion. One of the major differences between Christianity and Buddism is that Christianity has seen itself as the exclusive path to God. Religion in the East operates very differently. There people often do not belong to one faith but absorbe the beliefs of several. They do not relate to the idea that there is only one path to truth. I see no problem with your combining Catholic faith with Buddism. There are many similarities between the two, particularly the importance of love and compassion and a belief in the emptiness of materialism.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2011 - 10:31PM #4
ted08721
Posts: 3,757

Hi Hottle, the answers to your question will vary depending upon who replies to them.


Most of the Catholic forums here at Beliefnet and other websites have mostly more conservative Catholic posters hanging out, Catholic Discussion forum at beliefnet where I usually hang out in is more progressive and the answers may differ.
But to answer your question I would say it is VERY healthy to be a questioning Catholic, one just has to look at how the hierarchy handled the Sex Abuse and Cover Up.

As far as the other part of your question just last night I was at my local parish for a interfaith meditation where we had two meditations, the first was led by a Buddhist Nun and the second one was led by a female Episcopal Priest.
You are not alone as a questioning Catholic; it is our right to question the hierarchy.
You may find this website of great interest  www.americancatholiccouncil.org/

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2011 - 3:56PM #5
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,136

Hottle,


Ted is right - all are called to question, and on Beliefnet, most of the questioners participate on the Discuss Catholicism board because of certain Bnet rules that limit the nature and extent of the discussions on this board.


  One good book on questioning  -


"Called to Question" by Joan Chittister, OSB (she is a Benedictine sister).


You might also be interested in a book called


"Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue" by Peter Phan, SJ (he is a Jesuit priest at Georgetown.  One of his books is being "investigated" by Rome.  Rome does a lot of that!).


Finally, since you are a practioner of Buddhism, two books by another Jesuit priest, Robert Kennedy, SJ should also be of interest. He is a Roshi.


From his Web site


"Robert Kennedy, S.J., Roshi, is a Jesuit priest and Zen teacher in the White Plum lineage. He studied with Yamada Roshi in Kamakura, Japan, with Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles, and with Glassman Roshi in New York.  Glassman Roshi installed Kennedy as sensei in  1991 and conferred Inka (his final seal of approval) in 1997, making him a roshi  (master).

Kennedy Roshi is the author of Zen Gifts to Christians and Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit."


One more author who very nicely integrates East and West into his books on religion and spirituality is the late Anthony DeMello, SJ.  He was also a Jesuit priest, from India.  He wrote many books that can be found on Amazon or other book Web sites.


 


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2011 - 6:59AM #6
Mysty101
Posts: 2,019

Hi again,


Most forms of prayer are compatible with Catholicism, as long as the only worship is to God.


Many Catholics do meditate and contemplate in a more eastern prayer form.  This is certainly good prayer.  It can be used in adition to Catholic prayer, but does not fulfill a Catholic obligation to attend Mass and receive the sacraments regularly.


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2011 - 7:59PM #7
Philbilly
Posts: 4

I have studied and practiced both Zen Philosophy and I am a Catholic.  Buddhism is more a philosophy then a religion.  At least the way that most Western practitioners follow it.  There is no restriction in Buddhism that would stop you from practicing both.  Cristianity can be a little different in that as long as you follow Christian rules (for lack of a better word)  then there is no reason that you can't also reap the benefits of Buddhist teachings.  Buddhim allows you to tailor your beliefs to suit your understanding and yor life.  This means that you are called to learn the teachings and apply what makes sense to you. 


You can meditate and try to experience the present and practice non-violence and burn incense and dicuuss noble truths and follow the 8 fold path and none of this conflicts with Christian morality in fact Buddhism and Christianity are really similar in how they ask their people to behave just the practices are differerent.   


I agree with speaking with both Buddhist as well as Christian teachers.  Speak to several (preferably those who have knowledge of both sides)  Don't worry too much about what the community says especially because sometimes people fear what they don't know and might be quick to comdemn it.  Seek the wisdom of those who know not those who guess.


I believe that the two are compatible but that's for you to decide for yourself.


Good Luck on your journey!


I am Catholic myself but fully believe in Zen Philosophy.  It works for me.


-Phil

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2011 - 6:29AM #8
Mysty101
Posts: 2,019

Hi again,


Just one other thought.  If reincarnation is part of Buddhism, this is inconsistant with Catholic teaching.


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 9:55AM #9
nnn123
Posts: 1,536

"Christian Zen" is a book written by three Catholic monks on the similarities between Christianity and Zen Buddhism.


The Trappist monk Thomas Merton also wrote about Eastern religion and its connections and similarities to Christianity.


 


Re reincarnation and Christianity.  Reincarnation was a common belief in the first few centuries of Christianity, which means that the Apostles themselves most likely believed in reincarnation.


I think that we should rely on prayer, daily Bible reading and our acts of Christian behavior and not assume that every modern author holds the same level of truth as the teachings of the Bible itself. 


Most institutions, including religious ones, suffer from the corruptions of men.


We know what Christ wants for us and from us, when the Holy Spirit fills us with love and compassion.  Then we know.  Approaching Christianity like an academic subject places the mind before the heart and soul.  And the mind is inferior to both.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 12:51PM #10
Mysty101
Posts: 2,019

Hi again,


re: your post---Re reincarnation and Christianity.  Reincarnation was a common belief in the first few centuries of Christianity, which means that the Apostles themselves most likely believed in reincarnation.


Reincarnation is not consistant with Catholic teaching.  The local guidelines do not permit posts against Catholic teaching, so please do not discuss reincarnation here. 


Thanks,


Mysty 101 - Community Host


 

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