• book

From the Publisher

A profound reflection on how complementary themes in Buddhism and Christianity could serve as the basis for a truly ecumenical faith

• 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.

Published: Inner Traditions on
ISBN: 9781620551103
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Compassion and Meditation by Jean-Yves Leloup
Available for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

NPR
5 min read
Religion & Spirituality

Buddhism, Science And The Western World

When discussions about science and religion turn into debates about science versus religion, Buddhism mostly gets a pass. Thanks to the work of the Dalai Lama and others, Buddhism can seem far friendlier to modern, scientifically minded sensibilities than the Abrahamic religions. This alignment with science is strengthened by the widespread adoption of mindfulness techniques — often derived from Buddhist and other contemplative practices — in domains like medicine and psychology. So with its supposed empirical emphasis on internal investigation, one might wonder if Buddhism is really a religio
Nautilus
4 min read
Religion & Spirituality

The Ancient, Peaceful Art of Self-Generated Hallucination

After five years of practicing meditation, subject number 99003 began to see the lights. “My eyes were closed,” he reported, “[and] there would be what appeared to be a moon-shaped object in my consciousness directly above me, about the same size as the moon if you lay down on the ground and look into the night sky. It was white. When I let go I was totally enveloped inside this light… I was seeing colors and lights and all kinds of things going on… Blue, purple, red. They were globes; they were kind of like Christmas-tree lights hanging out in space, except they were round.” Subject 99003 des
Entrepreneur
1 min read
Religion & Spirituality

This Founder's Meditation Startup Draws Cult Demand: How She Did It

“I opened Unplug for selfish reasons,” says Suze Yalof Schwartz of her modern meditation studio in Los Angeles. In 2012, she was stressed -- a mother of three shuttling for work between New York City and L.A. She was curious about meditation, but classes required weeks of commitment. What she really wanted was “a quick fix of calm” -- so she built it. Now in its third year, Unplug has amassed a cult following, and Schwartz “has a folder of a thousand people who want to franchise it.” Here’s how she did it: Schwartz took Deepak Chopra’s class, visited Buddhist temples and enrolled in a Vedic me