Zen Gifts to Christians

by Robert Kennedy  (Author)

Robert Kennedy is one of three Jesuits in the world who answer to both the titles “Father” and “Roshi,” or venerable Zen teacher. In 1991, after ten years of practicing Zen meditation, he was installed as a Zen teacher at the recommendation of his teacher, Glassman Roshi, and of Glassman Roshi’s teacher, Maezumi Roshi. Today, he directs a dozen groups of people from many religious persuasions–even atheists and agnostics–who sit weekly in Zen meditation throughout the greater New York metropolitan area. This book is specifically addressed to the Christian practitioners of Zen meditation or those who are curious about it. It is structured around ten well-known ox-herding pictures that have been a consistent source of inspiration to Zen students for centuries.

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Zen Gifts to Christians


Each picture represents a specific Zen insight to life, and these insights, says Kennedy, are not only fully compatible with Christianity but can help Christians achieve the spiritual goals enshrined in a Christian classic. For example, “The Cloud of Unknowing:” to be silent and attentive, to be wholly present to life, to be able to separate one’s true self from one’s false self, the self-seeking part of the personality that so often brings on pain.


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