A Contemporary Buddhist Teaching of Spiritual Practice

John Makransky, Boston College Dept. of Theology Association of Practical Theology Meeting at AAR 2007
Panel: “Pedagogies in Practical Theology: Inter-religious Perspectives on Teaching Spiritual Practices.”

Abstract: This essay discusses Buddhist meditations of love, compassion and wisdom that have been adapted from Tibetan tradition so as to make them newly accessible to Westerners. The meditations are adapted both to inform contemporary Buddhist practice and to enable people of other faiths to explore Buddhist modes of awareness for light on their own lives. The fundamental perspective that informs these meditations, from Tibetan Nyingma tradition, is that all people possesses tremendous innate capacities of love, compassion and wisdom that are severely restricted by long conditioned habits of self-centered thought and feeling. Meditation practices are intended both to interrupt self-centered modes of conditioned thought and to evoke the underlying human capacity to be more fully present to others in spontaneous loving communion.

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A Contemporary Buddhist Teaching of Spiritual Practice