Why I Am a Catholic that Takes Refuge in the Sanga


“All you have to do is take care of your posture and breathing with a kind, considerate, and thoughtful spirit.”
Dainin Katagiri, Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

Religion and spirituality are both old and new to me every day. I recently posted a picture of my Sōtō Zen Buddhism lay ordination but provided little information about the reason or the journey to incorporated the practices into my life as a Catholic. The lay ordination would be similar to confirmation without the requirement to believe in any specific teaching or a deity, as Buddhism has no deity. As a Catholic, there is nothing in the practice that conflicts with my faith. The vows one takes are simple.

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 9.51.41 PMI have been interested in Zen Buddhism since my first courses in religious studies too many years ago. It wasn’t until I fully embraced Catholicism that I again remembered why I found Zen Buddhism intriguing. Zen means meditation. When I sit and meditate, I clear the clutter from my mind. Zazen isn’t about learning new ideas or beliefs, but about becoming free. It is in those moments of freedom from desires that I am most open and can hear clearly.

I hope to sit twice a day this year and say more about the journey. Along the way, I hope to find Catholics and others that practice and take refuge in the community.

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