Catholic Priest & Buddhist Monk? Thats Right!

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Nick the Pilot, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, Nick.

    The article says Hunt, a priest and monk, has been installed as a 'teacher' of Zen, but then again, it talks of his being 'enrobed', so I'm not quite sure what this entails? Is this an 'ordination'? How can a man live by two opposing sets of vows?

    "How does [Eastern practice] fit in with Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross or Teresa of Avila? What is the difference in their formulation of prayer?"
    Everything, I would have thought ...

    But Hunt predicts Buddhism will change Catholicism just as Greco-Roman philosophy influenced Christianity centuries ago.
    That's putting the cart before the horse ... as can be demonstrated, Christian Revelation influenced Greco-Roman philosophy ... trace the development of Platonism and it becomes evident the former has had a profound influence upon the latter ... not the other way round.

    Because "Catholicism means universal" it has to "be open to the Buddhist experience of God as it was to the Greco-Roman experience," he said.
    I would rather a Buddhist comment on that. I think Hunt is assuming a little too much on their behalf, but I might be wrong.

    Although taken for granted today, the early church's encounter with Platonic and Aristotelian thought brought adjustments in Christian understanding, Hunt said.
    Well he's a bit loose with the detail there. The Greek philosophical lexicon enabled the expression of Christian understanding in a Greek mileau. The Jews did the same (The Book of Wisdom, Sirach, and the work of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria). But neither Jew, nor Christian, nor for that matter Moslem (who made some profound contributions to Hellenic thought) every modified their faith, to suit their philosophy.

    Thomas Aquninas learnt Aristotelian philosophy from a Moslem, but the Moslem remained Moslem, and Aquinas Catholic ...

    During that time, the role of the bishops was to evaluate these influences in the context of Christian experience.
    Quite ... philosophy in the context of Revelation, not the other way round, else God is subject to the limitations of human reason.

    Hunt said the church is now going through a similar assessment with regard to Asian traditions.
    Really? In Africa ... S America Or perhaps only in his backyard, in America?

    I think this is just another sad example of the Cultural Relativism of the West as we enter a new millenia ... I am all for ecumenical dialogue, but it has to come from a firm philosophical foundation ... and this 'foundation' is, from the data I have to hand, questionable ...

    Thomas
     
  3. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    interesting... my friends call me the Catholic Buddhist because while I happen to find buddhist doctrine suits me better, psychologically, I cannot give up on jesus and the holy spirit... and what do I find, but another buddhist-catholic...hurrah! I am not alone after all!

    yes, I am told by catholicism that I cannot serve two gods, and God will be upset if I do, but buddha is not god, and nor did he ever profess to be.... and, while I am thinking about this, jesus never professed to be a god either, and this is a title bestowed upon him by others...so... if we take the two Gods thing out of the equation, then...

    there is no buddhist experience of God... there is no God for Buddha... on the subject of god he did say "... that there is an unchanging, undying within the universe.." but he then reputedly "turned away from teaching doctrine" and the subject was closed...

    religion is different from belief... I can choose to be delighted by the doctrines of both jesus and buddha, and I can believe they both existed, and believe they both taught some of that which has been attributed to them... I find no conflict in this... the only time conflict arises is when I am told by others that this is not acceptable...

    good luck to him!
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Francis –

    Yes, I agree ... I practice Zen sesshin, as an outward form, but I'm obviously a monotheist, so a Zen sensei would not be at all happy with 'where I'm coming from' ...

    ... I remember reading the biography of a Buddhist student who converted to Catholicism and became a priest. He returned to Japan, and went to visit his old Buddhist tutor, who's knowledge of Christianity was all but non-existant. He recited the Beatitudes, at which the old man cried, "Yes! That's it! That's what I've been trying to teach all my life!"

    But I doubt he's be as impressed with The Lord's Prayer?

    My main position is that each system is complete and self contained ... Buddha had no need of Christ, and Christ had no need of Buddha ... to suggest that one could 'benefit' from the other suggests a measure of ignorance, rather than enlightenment.

    Thomas
     
  5. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    well, thomas... maybe it's not the sensei's place to tell u he isn't happy with what makes u happy... maybe he should keep his gob shut, and just let things be... should his opinion matter to u? should mine? should u listen instead to ur neighbour at number 24?

    I dont think its ignorance to suggest one could benefit from the other... for one to benefit from the other doesn't mean that we need to mix them up until we have a curious hybrid, but that by learning a little about both at the same time we might be able to enjoy faith for what it is, rather than what we are told it is, and isnt...
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hang on Francis!

    ... maybe it's not the sensei's place to tell u he isn't happy with what makes u happy... maybe he should keep his gob shut, and just let things be... should his opinion matter to u? should mine? should u listen instead to ur neighbour at number 24?

    I would assume some discernment here ... does this not mean one is obliged either to believe everybody, or nobody? I would assume there is a reason why the sensei is a sensei, and why you are there ...

    I dont think its ignorance to suggest one could benefit from the other... for one to benefit from the other doesn't mean that we need to mix them up until we have a curious hybrid, but that by learning a little about both at the same time we might be able to enjoy faith for what it is, rather than what we are told it is, and isnt...
    But to 'benefit' and to 'learn' assumes we don't already know the answer ... if we do, there is nothing to learn, if we don't, then the argument suggests we are entitled to refute the answer if we don't like it.

    Sounds like 'tell me what I want to hear, not what I need to know.'

    As for faith, like virtue (Cicero) or Peace (Gandhi), it is its own reward.

    I am not saying one is ignorant to combine teachings, I'm saying one is ignorant of those elements which make such a process unnecessary in the first place. As Dorothy discovered in The Wizard of Oz.

    You can have faith, in Christianity, in Buddhism, in aanything. But you can't live them totally, equally, without contradiction. You can certainly live one, and have the deepest admiration and respect for others ... but Merton did not cease to be a Trappist ...

    One can see many things, but one has to stand somewhere ... or sit on the fence?

    Thomas
     
  7. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    lol, sorry thomas.. didnt mean to offend u...

    maybe the reason the sensei is there is because someone has given him a robe, and u are there because he wears a robe and u have been told he's better than u... and, incidentally, I agree with u, that teachings shouldn't be combined, as, yes, ur right- each system is adequate enough in its entirety to not need the other, yet my position is that the two systems need not be set in opposition to each other...

    ur too clever to argue with, thomas...lol... so just agree, and things will be sweet... lol
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    maybe the reason the sensei is there is because someone has given him a robe, and u are there because he wears a robe and u have been told he's better than u...
    Now there's a lot in that!

    yet my position is that the two systems need not be set in opposition to each other...
    And I agree with that too! I have been present at Buddhist 'rites' (after a meditation weekend, but can't recall the name) ... and notably in my martial arts days, I would rei towards the kami-za without fear of contradicting my beliefs or engaging in 'pagan ritual' - in my book it's being respectful in someone else's house.

    In fact, when I feel moved, I dress up in all the gear to sit in meditation, and I always sit straighter!

    ur too clever to argue with, thomas...lol... so just agree, and things will be sweet... lol
    I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend ... I do worry that when I get to the Pearly Gates, St Peter will have my name on a list with 'BRL' next to it ... and a frown on his face ... 'a smartarse, eh?'

    Mea culpa,

    Thomas
    (The Barrack Room Lawyer)
     
  9. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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  10. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,

    it would seem that whomever is claiming to be a Catholic Priest and a Buddhist monk has misunderstood fundamental aspects of both tradtions!

    from the Buddhist point, that's not all that much of a worry.. from the Christian point, i understand such things are quite a bit more dire.

    heck.. Christians have no need to borrow Zen meditation techniques or anything like this as there is a long and established history of meditation within the Christian paradigm.. one that, in my view, many more Christians should take advantage of.

    for the interested reader:
    The World Community for Christian Meditation

    metta,

    ~v
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Vajradhara –

    I have often thought that perhaps a useful benefit of such an inter-denominational dialogue is the methods of management of psychologies. Not so much what we do, as how we do it.

    Thomas
     
  12. earl

    earl ?

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    Now given what I've said here lately may come as a surprise to some but I agree that one cannot be a Catholic "priest" and a Buddhist "monk" simultanteously due to the business about being a "priest" or a "monk" That is when one is a cleric one is a representative of the whole package that is that religion- all of its tenets. So the Catholic priest discusses "God" stuff, salvation, etc. from within their worldview while the Buddhist monk speaks only of enlightenment while disputing concepts such as self or "God" as having any ultimate meaning. But the issue of which meditation forms to use is a different one to me. Yes there are indeed a number of good Christian contemplative or meditative forms. So, why would a Chrisitian want to use ostensibly Buddhist ones? Well, for instance, there is no Chrisitian equivalent of Buddhist mindfulness meditation. Does it matter where that form originated to be of use? Mindfulness is mindfulness. Heck you could turn your mindfulness to watching your mind prattle on regarding things such as " I'm a Christian...maybe I shouldn't be doing this...maybe it's all right to do this...what does it mean to be a Christian, a Buddhist?...oh, to hell with it, I'll just watch my breath":D earl
     
  13. earl

    earl ?

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    Now for the other side of the coin. Here's a piece by a very committed contemporary Christian mystic speaking of discovering himself in the state of mind zennies usually describe of non-duality and how he reconciles it as complementary to his faith/Christian practice-he entitles it "Christian enlightenment." It's a state of mind without "brand name" as I've put it before here-one Meister Eckhart has also described. The Father Hawk he mentions is both a Catholic priest and a zen roshi:

    Christian Enlightenment

    have a good one, earl
     
  14. ChuanKung

    ChuanKung New Member

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    Hi All,

    I just want to say that from the Buddhist point of view there is nothing standing in the way of being a Buddhist and a Catholic. So one can become a buddhist while being a Catholic, no problem. Regarding those who say this person who claims he is both is misunderstanding something, no one can know better than he who is now a Catholic priest and Zen monk and those who thus ordained him.

    I was very pleased to find this information. I am a Zen priest wanting to become a Catholic, and I thought the Catholic church would have a problem with this, but if one can be a Catholic priest and a Buddhist priest, then one can be a Buddhist priest and a Catholic.

    Bravo Kevin Hunt! :)
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    ChuanKung,

    There is a big difference between being a Catholic and being a Catholic priest. Since you are only talking about becoming a member, I think it is quite possible the Catholic would welcome you as a member.

    But this brings up some fascinating questions. Does your form of Zen teach the idea of heaven? If so, what does your form of Zen say is the way to heaven?
     
  16. brijesh

    brijesh New Member

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    Dear brothers and sisters, Namaste,

    I think buddha and criest belongs to the same family. They devised two methods to complete the same jurney. Buddha choose east and crist west as their work land. East and west has their own flavour of thought process, so they speek the language which was appropriate to the work land. At any time/instance you can show only one side even the existancialy coin has both sides all the time.

    I think if you achieve buddhahood then anyone can see chriest in you. Similarly if you gains christhood, anyone can see buddha in you.

    Cristianity and buddhism as a orthodox you can not have both. Both is against crist and buddha. So it not the limitation in the path, it is limitation in travellar whether he can follow the two path or not.

    conclusion is:

    1> You can always follow buddha and crist
    2> You can not follow both Path at the same time.
    3> You can never follow cristianity and Buddhism both.

    ::Royal monk:: Personal tour guide india.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  17. brijesh

    brijesh New Member

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    Due to globlisation, all world has came on a single plateform. So people choose the path which is more appropriate to him/her.

    The whole world is mixing with eachother and chances to achive buddhahood/chriesthood is increasing. I call it beauty of impurity.

    ::Royal monk:: Personal tour guide in india
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I firmly believe original Buddhism and original Christianity were almost identical. I have no problem following both Buddha and Jesus in terms of what both of them originally taught.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Paramahansa Yogananda writes some great stuff about his work with Christianity, Thay I believe wrote the book Buddha and Christ reunited as brothers....

    I can see a Buddhist monk being installed and not being required to relinquish his status as Catholic Priest, I cannot see the Catholics sitting quietly with this, nor it occurring the other way round.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Paramahansa Yogananda writes some great stuff about his work with Christianity, Thay I believe wrote the book Buddha and Christ reunited as brothers....

    I can see a Buddhist monk being installed and not being required to relinquish his status as Catholic Priest, I cannot see the Catholics sitting quietly with this, nor it occurring the other way round.
     

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