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Seeking with a Pure Heart: Adventures in Buddhist-Christian Encounter

Online Program
Dates: May 12, 2023 - May 14, 2023

Instructor(s): Robert A. Jonas, Mark Unno

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Course Description:

In this freely-offered, dana-based program, over three afternoon sessions, Dr. Robert Jonas and Dr. Mark Unno will offer an experiential learning opportunity in Buddhist-Christian Encounter. With nearly three-quarters of a century of combined experience in Buddhist-Christian dialogue and practice, Jonas and Unno will provide: 

1) An overview of the history of Buddhist-Christian Dialogue; 

2) Accounts of first-hand experiences with key figures in Buddhist-Christian dialogue and their contributions; 

3) Guided Contemplative Practices that reflect multiple religious belonging and influences; 

4) Demonstrations through expert live performance of Zen flute (Shakuhachi) by Jonas and Buddhist Chanting (Shin Buddhism) by Unno; 

5) Participants will be encouraged to engage in active contributions through sharing their own experiences in Buddhist-Christian encounters as well as questions and comments they would like to offer. 

Jonas comes from a rich background in Carmelite Christianity and Zen Buddhist practice and flute mastery, and Unno, the current President of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, is steeped in the Shin tradition of chanting and will bring to life colorful accounts of his own encounters.

Robert and Mark are generously offering all dana from this program in support of BCBS.

Online Schedule:
This program is hosted on Zoom and closed captions are available. You can check the time of the group sessions in your timezone here: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com. The schedule of Zoom meetings for this program (shown in US Eastern Time) is as follows:

Friday, May 12

2:00-5:00 pm ET

Saturday, May 13

2:00-5:00 pm ET

Sunday, May 14

2:00-5:00 pm ET

Please note that sessions will not be recorded.

Cancellation Policy:
There are no cancellation fees for donation-based programs.

As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Robert A. Jonas, Ed.D. (Harvard University), M.T.S. (Weston Jesuit School of Theology) was trained as a psychotherapist and is now a retreat leader, environmental activist, author, and musician. Dr. Jonas is the director of The Empty Bell, a resource for contemplative Christians and for Buddhist-Christian dialogue. A Christian in the Carmelite tradition, he also received spiritual formation with Buddhist teachers from the Vipassana, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Dr. Jonas is a student of Sui-Zen, the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi). He is the author of the recently published, My Dear Far-Nearness: The Holy Trinity as Spiritual Practice (Orbis), The Essential Henri Nouwen (Shambhala), as well as Henri Nouwen (Orbis) and Rebecca (Crossroad).

  • Mark Unno, PhD, is Professor of Buddhism and Dept Head of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon. The recipient of the Thomas F. Herman Distinguished Teaching Award, he is the author of Shingon Refractions (2004) as well as many articles on Shin and Zen Buddhism and comparative religion. He is also an ordained Shin Buddhist priest. Please visit Mark's website here.