Ruben L.F. Habito
A former Jesuit priest, Ruben L.F. Habito is professor of world religions and spirituality at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and resident teacher at Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas. A dharma heir of Yamada Koun, he is also the author of Healing Breath and other works in Japanese and English.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Living Zen, Loving God
The release of Ruben Habito’s new book, Living Zen, Loving God has coincided with a rave review from Publishers Weekly magazine:
“Habito may not seem himself as a revolutionary, but his humble life calling—to illuminate the commonalities between Zen Buddhism and Christianity—seems a profound gift. Habito excels in illuminating the connective spiritual tissue between the two religions, while explaining the principles of Buddhism. This is an excellent book for readers who want to deepen their understanding of Christianity, as well as Buddhism.”—Publishers Weekly
Exactly right. This wonderful book, in its friendly, informative tone, carefully explains Buddhist ideas—from key concepts like Emptiness and The Truth of Suffering to an in-depth and enlightening examination of the Heart Sutra—all in terms that will help modern Christian practitioners to deepen their faith, and Buddhists, to revitalize and broaden their perception and understanding.
This is a book with immense value to anyone interested in interreligious dialogue and studies, and as such, has already won accolades from Habito’s contemporaries. (See below.)
Habito, a practicing Catholic and former Jesuit priest—as well as an acknowledged Zen master and professor in the School of Theology at Southern Methodist University—makes a clear case that Zen practice can deepen a Christian’s connection to God, further clarify the Gospel teachings of Jesus, and enable one to live a more joyous, compassionate, and socially engaged life. Habito demonstrates that the practice of Zen meditation and even some elements of the Buddhist worldview can enable one to love God more constantly and commit to the service of the Realm of Heaven and the human community more wholeheartedly.
Ruben L.F. Habito is the author of numerous publications, in both Japanese and English, on Zen and Christianity and is a prominent figure in the Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. A native of the philipines, Habito served as a Jesuit priest in Japan under the guidance of the great spiritual pioneer Father Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle and studied Zen with renowned teacher Koun Yamada. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Healing our wounded Earth is not unrelated to healing our own personal wounds. The pains of the Earth and those of the individuals making up our Earth community cannot be separated. Thus the healing of our individual lives can become the basis of the healing of Earth. This book sheds light on Zen as a spiritual path that leads to healing—in the personal, social, and ecological dimensions of our being. If you are seeking a form of spiritual practice that addresses all three of these dimensions or simply seeking to deepen your understanding of the Zen path, it is written for you. If instead of fragmentation, disorientation, and vacuity, you seek wholeness, groundedness, and integrity in your life, it is written for you. Perhaps you, too, have come to realize that our global community is in a sad state of affairs, that we need to radically change how we live and relate to one another and to the Earth. You may already be engaged in some form of social or ecological action addressing these issues-and you may feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. If you’ve been tempted to pessimism or have thrown up your hands in despair when your best efforts don’t seem to make a dent, this book is for you, Healing Breath offers a way to integrate a spiritual path with active, socio-ecological engagement as the ground.
This book also addresses another set of questions: can a Christian genuinely practice Zen? How is Zen practice compatible with a Christian faith commitment? To fully engage in a Zen practice, what kind of belief system is presupposed or required? How can spiritual practice in an Eastern tradition inform Christian life and understanding?
In the process of describing the Zen way of life, Healing Breath will consider various Christian expressions, symbols, and practices—not as an apologetic for that belief system, but to show how they, too, point to the transformative and healing perspectives and experiences provided by Zen.