Where we are coming from, and
Basic Questions and Answers

Where we are coming from

Christianity can receive great gifts from its dialogues with Eastern religions, and give them, as well. But this does not automatically answer the fundamental question of whether Eastern forms of enlightenment are identical with Christian contemplation. This is an issue we think should come to the forefront of the East-West contemplative dialogue, and Christianity should bring to bear on it its rich metaphysical and mystical traditions.

What is the East-West contemplative dialogue?

It is an aspect of the larger meeting of Christianity with Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. It concentrates on the dialogue between the Christian mystical tradition and Eastern forms of meditation and enlightenment.

Why have such a dialogue?

Each spiritual tradition has great riches that the others could benefit from. Christians, for example, could learn a great deal from Hinduism about the role of the body in meditation.

What are the obstacles that stand in the way of this dialogue?

On the one hand, lack of knowledge and fear, and on the other, an undisciplined enthusiasm for what is different that gives rise to the untested assumption that everyone is saying the same thing in different words.