Although raised Roman Catholic, Susan Stabile was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun and devoted 20 years of her life to practicing Buddhism before returning to Catholicism in 2001. In Growing in Love and Wisdom, she draws on this unique dual perspective to explore the value of interreligious dialogue, the spiritual dynamics that operate across faith traditions, and how Buddhist meditation practices can deepen Christian prayer. She begins by examining the values and principles shared by the two faiths and shows that both traditions seek to effect a fundamental transformation in the lives of believers. Both stress the need for experiences with deep emotional resonance that goes beyond the level of concepts to touch the heart.
The center of the book offers 15 Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practices, adapted for Christian use. Stabile provides clear instructions on how to do these meditations and helpful commentary on each, explaining its purpose and the relation between the Buddhist original and her Christian adaptation of it. Throughout, she highlights the many remarkably close parallels between the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. The meditations offered in this unusual book will be extremely useful to thoughtful Christians, to those responsible for giving spiritual direction, and also to Buddhist sympathizers who will be intrigued and pleased to see familiar contemplations handled so skillfully by a former Buddhist practitioner who has gratefully learned so much from her former religion and now introduces the riches of that tradition to her fellow Christians.