Is there value in Buddhist meditation for people of other faiths?
What is the value in Buddhist meditation for people of other religions, such as Christianity? Can it be combined with Christian spiritual practices?
As Buddhism isn't a faith, the meditation practices can be followed by people of any faith. However, as regular practice will limprove awareness, especially awarenessof the futility of blind faith, it is probable with time the adherents will find themselves moving away from blind faith religions, that is probably all religions.
I agree with everything except your last phrase. Many people have blind faiths. But there are adherents of every religion who are not blind, and, speaking from my own experience, 30 years of Zen practice is as likely to deepen faith as to lessen it.
I think it depends more on the person than it does the religion. Buddhist meditation/chanting is a way for the individual to find strength in themselves and sort of wash away the troubles of the day. A similar benefit can be obtained from those who say prayers on a regular basis. They're both rituals, repeated frequently, whose purpose is to aid the individual through their lives. So, if a person isn't inclined to pray every day, then it is doubtful meditation or chanting would benefit them. If that isn't the way they practice religion, then switching to a different one probably won't make them suddenly start doing it. If someone is experiencing a crisis of faith, however, then researching other religions is never a bad thing.
Absolutely, people of many faiths have been practicing Buddhist meditation for many years. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh encourages this. He asks people who practice mindfulness meditation with him to remain in, and serve, their own synagogues or churches or mosques, and to support their community and its leaders.
Catholics showed a strong interest in Zen early on. Father Johnston, a Catholic Priest in Japan, was a Zen meditation practitioner who wrote books about Zen. Thomas Merton, a very famous Catholic priest and friend of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, adapted Zen meditation for Christians under the name Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is now practiced not only by Catholics, but by Episcopalians and other Protestants, as well. There is even a Catholic Jesuit Priest who is also a Zen Master: Robert Kennedy in New Jersey. Yamada Roshi said to Robert Kennedy during his Zen training: "I am not trying to make you a Buddhist, but to empty you in imitation of your Lord Jesus Christ."
So many people of Jewish background - including practicing Jews - practice Buddhist meditation that they get called Bu-Jews. They are active in Zen, Tibetan, and Therevadan traditions.
Mindfulness meditation and Zen meditation - the two basic forms of meditation in Buddhism, are skills and practices independent of religious beliefs. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says that, from the Buddhist side, there is no barrier to anyone practicing, no matter what beliefs we may hold or religion we may belong to.
Of course, if you practice Buddhist meditation, you don't have to be religious at all. Or you can even be a Buddhist!
Yes. It should be no problem as I myself believes in both Buddhism and Christianity. I have attended Sunday Church as well as going to Buddhist Temple including Tibetan Community Temple.
I always love to explore different religions and understanding more about each others. Basically, it is the teaching of goodness in everyone. Sharing love with each other and offering help.
An excellent book about this is by Thomas Merton: 'Zen and the Birds of Appetite'. While Zen and Buddhism are not exactly the same, they have great overlap and are aiming at the same thing. Zen is not a religious belief, but a way of approaching the world. I would encourage your to look into 'contemplation' as a Christian approach.
In my personal experiences, and several persons I know who sit meditation on a regular basis , meditation is about calming/stilling/now..it is not a religious issue, but a psychological insight into how we think and why. Meditation is all much the same at the heart of the matter...whether one holds a Rosary of the Catholic Church
or a mala from the Vajrayana tradition of buddhism...it is a tool to focus this crazy monkey Mind we have at the helm...When we control Mind and it's attendant desires we control the direction our spiritual nature takes in life...
Certainly yes. Meditation is a prayer in itself but it doesn't involve any religion. Whatever religion you belong to doesn't really matter when it comes to meditation which is a beautiful practice used to control and relax your mind.
Buddhist meditation, Zen in particular is an excellent form of meditation. I wish more and more people took to practicing Buddhist meditation or any other form of meditation so as to create peace and happiness within one's self.
Having experienced many forms of meditation from various belief systems, I think of Buddhist meditation to be like a controlled dream. It involves a lot of visualization. Even though I am not Buddhist, I find it useful for relaxation and a temporary distraction, or escape, during times of great overwhelming stress. As a Christian I keep aware and am careful exactly what I do for visualization and what I use for tools of guidance.
Maybe sometime in the future say about 50 or a 100 years in the future we may see more progress of certain Religious Practices and Worship, combined. Its not certain at this time at the present to say correctly which further development will be available to the "Believer" in Jesus Christ in the future. I enjoy the philosophy , that gives peace and harmony, and tranquility to my mind and emotions. But, not be criticized by others for feeling the way I do, I don't do the worship to Buddah, though I would if Christianity as we know ever became 'lost'.
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