Hold The Rope, Carry Your Cross

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Hold The Rope, Carry Your Cross: Christianity and the Ten Bull Pictures of Zen

At their best, spirituality, philosophy, and religion can help us to understand what it is to be human. Zen Buddhism and Christianity do this and do it in surprisingly similar ways. This book uses a re-imagining of Zen’s Ten Bull (or Ox-Herding) Pictures, seeing them with a Christian eye. In this, commonalities between Zen and Christianity are drawn out. These include the primacy of now, the challenge of the ego and awareness, emptiness and silence, compassion, as well as the importance of a practice like meditation.

Traditionally, within Zen, verse has been used to accompany the pictures. Here, new verse shapes a Christian approach. As well as this, an introduction and glossary provide explanation and context.

Zen challenges Christianity to its simple depths – a depth named in the introduction as a contemplative heart. At this heart, Christianity moves with Zen. Like Zen, the heart of Christianity is not a place or destination; it is a way of life forgetting itself. For the Christian, this way is love.

Additional information

Weight .1 g
Dimensions 15 × .5 × 23 cm

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