Practicing Our (No)Selves
Ritual is central to every religious tradition known to us. Buddhist traditions are no exception.Even in the most streamlined of Zen traditions, meditation occurs in a context of ritual practice – sutra chanting, tea ceremonies, bowing to ancestors, bell ringing, and the like. Meditation and teaching are themselves done in highly ritualized ways. Why do spiritual communities engage in ritual practice? If one is Buddhist, why not just sit? What purposes does ritual practice serve in the pursuit of an awakened life?
The Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D. speaks at the Zen Center on FEb. 23, 2020. He is Professor of Theology and Liturgy at the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. With a 25-year practice in the Dōgen Zen tradition, Dr. Farwell teaches and writes on Christian sacramental and liturgical theology, Christian-Buddhist comparative theology, and theologies of religious plurality