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 2030 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 Life, My 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. Annes in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.