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St Francis Xavier Meets a Zen Master

St Francis Xavier Meets a Zen Master

James Ishmael Ford

It was on at the present time, the twelfth of March, in 1622 that the Roman church declared Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier saints. They had been two of the seven males who took the founding vows creating the Jesuit order in 1534.

Xavier spent some years making an attempt to evangelize India, and likewise hung out in Japan. I consider he’s the primary European to jot down a reasonably correct report of Zen in a European language.

Father Xavier seems to have truly cultivated a real friendship with Abbot Ninshitsu of Fukushoji in Kagoshima. They spent many hours collectively and talked of many issues. Heinrich Dumoulin offers a pleasant accounting of Xavier’s inquiry into Zen’s meditation and the abbot’s response.

In a stroll by the temple grounds the 2 pals got here throughout monks seated in meditation. Deeply impressed by the modesty, the focus, and the repose they displayed, Xavier requested the abbot, “What are these monks doing?” The abbot laughed and stated, “Some are calculating the contributions obtained from their followers throughout the previous months. Others are interested by how they may get higher clothes and private care. Still others are pondering of trip and pastimes. In brief, nobody is pondering of something necessary.

I actually, actually like Ninshitsu Roshi.

I don’t consider the great father fairly bought the purpose.

But he did hear.

For a bit deeper digging into this, I like to recommend a posting by my pal Ken Ireland.

One factor we do know is how within the years that adopted these first conferences, many Jesuits would proceed to search out Zen very fascinating.

For occasion, as certainly one of many doable examples, Robert Kennedy, SJ:


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