Zen & the Kingdom of Heaven

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9780861711871: Zen & the Kingdom of Heaven

"Let us guard the mind with all diligence from thoughts that obscure the soul's mirror; for in that mirror Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God the Father, is luminously reflected. And let us unceasingly seek the Kingdom of Heaven inside our mind. Indeed if we cleanse the eye of the mind, we will find all things hidden within us. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, indicating that Divinity dwells in our minds."
--Saint Philotheos of Sinai, circa ninth century.

In this provocative and very human work, Tom Chetwynd tells the story of how his skeptical first encounters with Zen Buddhism led him to discover the rich-but largely forgotten Christian tradition of pure contemplative prayer. Chetwynd explores the surprisingly Zen-like teachings of the Desert Fathers and other Christian meditation masters whose practice stems from the very first Christian communities--and perhaps Jesus Christ himself.

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Review:

A devout Catholic with three years of theological school under his belt, Tom Chetwynd never imagined himself a teacher of Zen meditation. Then in the early '70s at the ripe age of 36, a friend took him to a Zen meditation group. It was the most difficult and least rewarding thing he had ever done. Not long after, a Zen master from Japan visited, and he tried again. This time things clicked, and he soon found himself on a week-long meditation retreat. Here, the world opened up for him, and he's been meditating ever since. In this spare, humorous memoir, Chetwynd brilliantly recounts the experiences that led him into Zen, along with the doubts and difficulties he faced--while clinging steadfastly to his fascination with Christianity. After telling his own story, Chetwynd spends the second half of the book in a less brilliant, often forced attempt to mine the practice of Zen-like meditation in Christianity. He does well turning to the Desert Fathers, where his theory is at least plausible, but going back to Jesus, his search begins to border on the desperate. While Zen and the Kingdom of Heaven is wounded in its theoretical account, it is wonderful for its personal account. --Brian Bruya

About the Author:

Tom Chetwynd is the author of many books on dreams, myths, and symbols, including The Dictionary for Dreamers and The Age of Myth: The Bronze Age As the Cradle of the Unconscious. He lives in London, England.

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Book Description Wisdom Publications,U.S., United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Let us guard the mind with all diligence from thoughts that obscure the soul s mirror; for in that mirror Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God the Father, is luminously reflected. And let us unceasingly seek the Kingdom of Heaven inside our mind. Indeed if we cleanse the eye of the mind, we will find all things hidden within us. This is why our Lord Jesus Christ said that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, indicating that Divinity dwells in our minds. --Saint Philotheos of Sinai, circa ninth century. In this provocative and very human work, Tom Chetwynd tells the story of how his skeptical first encounters with Zen Buddhism led him to discover the rich-but largely forgotten Christian tradition of pure contemplative prayer. Chetwynd explores the surprisingly Zen-like teachings of the Desert Fathers and other Christian meditation masters whose practice stems from the very first Christian communities--and perhaps Jesus Christ himself. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780861711871

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