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Liturgical Press

Taking Jesus Seriously

Buddhist Meditation for Christians

John Cowan

Taking Jesus Seriously
Taking Jesus Seriously

ISBN: 9780814627587, 2758

Details: 208 pgs, 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
Publication Date: 01/01/2004
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In Taking Jesus Seriously, the words of Jesus become clearer when matched with the practices and insights of Buddhist meditation. This book presents a Christian way to implement the words of Jesus by looking inside to see what stands between the reader and God's kingdom. Cowan connects everyday examples and Jesus’ words to the method of Buddhist vipassana or insight meditation by offering instruction, perception, and guidance. With practice, readers can begin to notice what is actual, leave anxiety to the Father, accept pain, and see the world as a child would. This book is designed to be read over twelve weeks while practicing 20—30 minutes of daily meditations. Each chapter includes questions and answers.

Chapters in Prelude are "The Reign of God, Escaping Delusion," “The Practice: Observing Delusion and Reality,” “Replacing Delusions with Material Reality,” and “Escaping the Delusion that We Are Our Feelings and Thoughts.” Chapters in First Interlude: What Am I Doing Here? are “The Delusion that Happiness Results from Fulfilling Desires,” “Distinguishing the Reality of Pain from the Delusion of Suffering,” “The Delusion of Permanence,” and “The Delusion of Person.” Chapters in Second Interlude: The Delusion of Two are “Empty of Delusion,” and “‘Now’ as Reality, ‘Past’ and ‘Future’ as Delusion.” The chapter in Third Interlude: Intention, is “Evolution and the Reign of God.” Also includes Postlude on the Christian LifeMy Book Shelf, and an index.

John Cowan has been a student of Zen for over forty years. Currently, he is an Episcopal priest and an interim rector at St. Anne’s in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.


In this world of attractions and delusions, we are blessed when someone finds a way to help us to see ourselves clearly, to learn to be content with who we are, and to be open to new perceptions. Here is the Jesus who encountered life in all its fullness and welcomes us in. John Cowan, with his years of experience in both Eastern and Western forms of meditation, offers a guide for the traveler and a bridge between traditions.
Rt. Rev. James Jelinek, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Thank you for Taking Jesus Seriously. Its practical teaching on meditation is superb. It reminded me of a lot that I had forgotten, and helped me understand some things I'd never understood, and taught me a good deal I never knew.
The Reverend Paul Bayes, National Mission & Evangelism Adviser, Archbishops' Council, England

Cowan's work contributes a perspective of radical Christianity to the growing number of books dealing with the interaction of Buddhism and Christianity. . . . This book could help some Christians get beyond preconceptions about Buddhism and Jesus.
Publishers Weekly