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Meditation and Prayer: A Comparative Inquiry

Meditation and Prayer: A Comparative Inquiry BUDDHIST RESPONSES TO CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Rita M. Gross University of Wisconsin­Eau Claire A famous prayer that many would associate with the Christian tradition states: "God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." If I use that prayer, however, I say simply "Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Despite the fact that many assume that Buddhists do not send forth such verbal requests, I have no hesitation concerning this modified version of the "serenity prayer" because it has so many Buddhist analogues. In this paper, I will be concerned with three questions. The first is the correctness of the usual impression that prayer is utterly foreign to the nontheistic character of Buddhism. The second question, based upon a negative answer to the first, asks why a nontheistic religion engages in prayer, given that it seems to imply a recipient or listener. Finally, the most theoretical question and hypothetical question concerns what difference, if any, could be posited in the religious experience of praying http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Meditation and Prayer: A Comparative Inquiry

Buddhist-Christian Studies , Volume 22 (1) – Nov 8, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
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Abstract

BUDDHIST RESPONSES TO CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Rita M. Gross University of Wisconsin­Eau Claire A famous prayer that many would associate with the Christian tradition states: "God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." If I use that prayer, however, I say simply "Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Despite the fact that many assume that Buddhists do not send forth such verbal requests, I have no hesitation concerning this modified version of the "serenity prayer" because it has so many Buddhist analogues. In this paper, I will be concerned with three questions. The first is the correctness of the usual impression that prayer is utterly foreign to the nontheistic character of Buddhism. The second question, based upon a negative answer to the first, asks why a nontheistic religion engages in prayer, given that it seems to imply a recipient or listener. Finally, the most theoretical question and hypothetical question concerns what difference, if any, could be posited in the religious experience of praying

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 8, 2002

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