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Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation Hardcover – November 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"A gentle gift to the work of interreligious existence in the 21st century... Stabile faithfully and reasonably steers a course between with this lucid, welcome offering. Growing in Love and Wisdom embodies for us the insights of Nostra Aetate in action -- rejecting nothing that is true and holy, and regarding with sincere reverence those practices of Buddhist meditation that reflect the Truth which enlightens all humanity... This rich resource can be of profitable use in an undergraduate classroom considering interreligious matters, or in a broad introduction to spirituality. Highly recommended for personal, parish or academic use." --Catholic Books Review

"In the growing crowd of books on Buddhist-Christian dialogue, this one is different. It's a 'hands-on' book. Susan Stabile's intent is to help Christians learn from what Buddhists do, rather than from what they believe. In practical, step-by-step instructions on how Christians can use Tibetan techniques of meditation, she opens new possibilities of clarifying and deepening Christian experience. This is a book for those who what to practice before they preach, or are preached to."--Paul F. Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture, Union Theological Seminary, New York

"Stabile's very readable book lucidly presents similarities in values between Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism. Her clearly-explained prayer suggestions for Christians, which make up most of the book, are adapted from Buddhist practice and are mainly discursive in nature. They offer a rich variety of ways in which their Christian spiritual life can be enriched by Eastern teachings."--Mary Jo Meadow, author of Christian Insight Meditation: Following in the Footsteps of John of the Cross

"A new standard for the possibilities in authentic, deeply rooted inter-religious dialogue... the book is beautifully written, in a simple yet clear style, making its deft navigation of interaith ideas ring with clarity." --Carl McColman,

About the Author

Susan J. Stabile is the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she also serves as a fellow of both the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership and the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy. Trained as a spiritual director and in retreat ministry, she offers individual spiritual direction and conducts retreats and other spiritual formation programs at the law school, in parishes and in other venues. She is the author of the blog Creo en Dios.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199862621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199862627
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.9 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a spiritual director and retreat director, a writer, a law professor, a wife and a mother. I am a Catholic who spent twenty years of her adult life practicing Buddhism, as a result of which I have a great interest in interspirituality. My first non-legal book, "Growing in Love and Wisdom" has just been published by Oxford University Press. It adapts Tibetan Buddhist analytical meditations for Christian pray-ers. (See the video on the right sidebar.) My current writing project is a book about conversion, that talks about my conversion from Catholicism to Buddhism and back to Catholicism. I have completed the manuscript for that book and am now in the process of seeking a publisher for it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George W. Colombo on February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Susan Stabile's book is extraordinary and would represent a valuable addition to the library of any Christian--particularly any Catholic--who is interested in deepening his or her spiritual experience. But be forewarned: This is not about a feel-good, new-age approach to Christianity. Growing in Love & Wisdom is a serious, thoughtful, well researched, and beautifully written exploration of the places where Buddhism and Christianity intersect coupled with very specific advice for applying Buddhist meditation principles and techniques to Christian prayer.

Ms. Stabile might be uniquely qualified to explore these subjects. She grew up as Catholic girl on Long Island whose spiritual quest led her to an extended investigation of Buddhism (specifically, Tibetan Buddhism) that eventually led to her becoming a Buddhist nun. Then after twenty years as a Buddhist, she found herself gravitating back towards the Catholic Church. (Her day job, by the way, is as a law professor!) But Ms. Stabile did not renounce Buddhism when she did so. Instead, she used it as a tool to enhance and explore her Christian spirituality. As she demonstrates so clearly in her book, the combination of the two can be quite remarkable. (Catholic pilgrims will recognize in her work distinct echoes of Thomas Merton, someone whose spiritual explorations followed a somewhat similar path.)

There are enormous areas of overlap between Christianity and Buddhism and Ms. Stabile outlines them clearly and convincingly. There are also places where the two faith traditions diverge, something she acknowledges readily. The book's greatest value, however, is in adapting Buddhist meditation techniques that have been developed over thousands of years to traditional Christian prayer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tahlia Newland on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Growing in Love and Wisdom is a well thought out book on authentic Buddhist meditations adapted for Christian practitioners. It begins with chapters on the value of inter religious dialogue, core truths that operate across faith traditions and how using practices from other traditions can help our spiritual practice. After spending time as a Buddhist in the Tibetan tradition, the author returned to her Catholic roots and adapted her Buddhist practices to a Christian context. This book is simply to share what she has found helpful for her own spiritual practice, and I think it will be extremely helpful to any Christian practitioner wanting to deepen their compassion practice.

Though she acknowledges the shared truths, Ms Stabile does not try to minimise or ignore the differences between the Buddhist and Christian traditions, nor does she have any bias towards either of them, rather she takes an intelligent approach of simply using the practices of one traditions to enrich those of another.

It was clear very early on that Ms Stabile knows her stuff. She has an excellent grasp not only of the Buddhist practices, but also of the philosophy behind them, and she interprets them with very appropriate language for a Christian practitioner. The practices she lays out here are primarily analytical meditations, or contemplations, designed to help you to become more loving and compassionate, understand the nature of life and death and generally to grow closer to God.

Contemplations on equanimity, boundless love, compassion, and joy; exchanging self and others , tonglen and he eight worldly concerns are just some of the practices explained here. I think this is an excellent book of its kind.
I received this book free via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Bishop on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book is like having a really good coach talk you through a maneuver, if that coach were a well-educated, highly articulate, deeply spiritual writer and teacher.

Before Stabile, I had never meditated in my life. I tended to rush around doing things until I dropped. Stabile's beautiful book made me stop, breathe and reflect. She walks readers through each meditation step-by-step, urging them to be still and aware, focusing on one particular topic she suggests, paying attention to things that are difficult or challenging. She advocates sitting with God a while, talking out what's on our minds and hearts. In a world that can bombard us with communications, overload us with busy tasks, Stabile's calm, clear voice is a welcome guide to a place of peace.

I hear that voice now, when I feel myself getting tied into knots over something challenging. One of my favorite hymns contains this plea to God, that when "love itself cannot unwind its tangled skein of care, our inward life repair." Stabile's book helps do exactly that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie Balamut on May 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A friend recommended this book as a good comfort during some difficult times. I'm glad I decided to check it out. Not only did I enjoy her wisdom about the ins and outs of a Catholic and Buddhist spiritual journey, I loved the wonderful way she carefully directed the Tibetan Buddhist way to meditate. As a person with an anxious prayer life, I loved the step-by-step way she had me enter into peaceful prayer using Buddhist techniques. For those of you who may think that this is another spiritual journal by a confused and fractured seeker, who latches on to the next "new" thing, you will be disappointed as you won't find that here. The author has a clear integrity about her own journey and her direction never became a self-absorbed narrative. The first part of the book set up how Buddhist meditation could help anybody develop and enrich their own prayer life, no matter what the spiritual background. The last part were self-directed exercises into opening one's self up to using Buddhist practices to enter into and find oneself immersed in prayer. I really appreciated what this book taught me and I look forward to learning more from Ms. Stabile. You can recognize that she is probably a very fine spiritual director and her clients are lucky indeed.
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