Intersection of Zen and Christianity.

I am in Dr. Kim Boykin’s class on Zen for Christians and it has been breathtakingly impactful. We have been able to practice different Zen Buddhist zazen and engaging in counting the breath and finding the breath.

I grew up in such a conservative circle that anything outside of Christianity was not only unknown, it was scary. I was taught to fear anyone who did not believe in the specific denomination in which I was raised. Being in this class and reading the wonderful writings within Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha, Living Christ and discussing interfaith spirituality, as well as being in Dr. Boykin’s class, I picture my old self in these spaces and what I would have said. I think I would have been afraid… but afraid of what? Zen Buddhism is about accepting life as it is and the fullness of being. I am saddened that I may have missed out on such a beautiful ideal because of my own fear.

Seeking out the intersections of various religions has been a wonderful journey I’ve been on at Candler. I am grateful to engage with religious traditions and people within them because not many have this opportunity. However, in learning more about other religions and admiring their practices/purposes, I have already been considering what we will discuss in class about how we avoid appropriating these practices and traditions. There is a fine line in admiration and appropriation and I desire to learn more about respectfully admiring in multifaith environments.

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