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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NoveMBer 2009 77 told by and about the great masters may at first seem fanciful or hard to believe; however, it is well worth suspending disbelief, neither view- ing the stories symbolically nor dissecting them. Like Zen koans, these stories themselves are practice, and the practitioner must enter whole-heartedly into the essence of the teachings, which the stories convey. The anecdotes then have the power to provide tremendous wisdom, humor, and love. I cannot recommend A Heart Afire strongly enough. As years go by, it will be considered a classic. Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian is a courageous, deeply personal book. Having heard the call to serve God at the age of thirteen, author Paul Knitter studied in seminary. Now, risking being thought of as a heretic, he looks deeply at the Catholic dogma that has slowly lost its hold on him. And, without giving up Catholicism or his identity as a theologian, he brings a mystical dimension to his Catholic practice so that it regains meaning and relevance. In the book, he makes an attempt to illuminate and re-vitalize the Catholic teachings based on his experience with Buddhism. every page is informed by a heartfelt need to find the truth of who he is, what he truly believes, and what his religion actu- ally means. In an effort to do this, he has studied with—and quotes—Buddhist teachers; attended retreats; and is conver- sant with Tibetan Buddhism, Vipassana meditation, and the general Buddhist view of life. Buddhist practices, particularly meditation, have given Knitter the ability to introduce what he beautifully calls “the sacrament of silence” into his prayers. each chapter explores a central Catholic doctrine, reinter- preting and redefining it based upon his Buddhist experiences and understanding. In each chapter he “passes over,” as he says, to view the situation through a Buddhist lens. He then takes what he discovers and “passes back” to Catholicism, rein- terpreting the ideas and beliefs that gave him difficulty so that In Hasidic practice, the spiritual and physical worlds are not separate; each informs and elevates the other. God is reached through song, dance, celebration, prayer, love, and, most important, a pure and sincere heart. told by and about the great masters may at first seem fanciful or hard to believe; however, it is well worth suspending disbelief, neither view- ing the stories symbolically nor dissecting them. Praise for MUTTS: “One of the best comic strips of all time.” — C harles Schulz, Peanuts creator Praise for ECKHART TOLLE: “He is a prophet for our time.” — O, The Oprah Magazine But to be aware of little, quiet things, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be present. www.newworldlibrary.com