* Zazen and Adoration of the Eucharist

(by Fr. Franco Sottocornola from the Japan Mission Journal, Spring 1995)

Fr. Franco Sottocornola a Xaverian Missionary was bom in Bergamo, Italy on June 7, 1935. He received a Ph. D. at Saint Thomas University, Rome, in 1963, a S.TD. and Maitre en Liturgie in the Institut Catholique de Paris in 1972. He was professor of Philosophy from 1962 to 1967 and professor of Liturgy from 1970 to 1977 in the Istituto Saveriano, Parma, Italy. He came to Japan in 1978, was Regional Superior of the Xaverian Missionaries and stayed at the Buddhist tempie, Seimeizan, in Kumamoto from 1986 to 1987. He founded the Seimeizan Betsuin in 1987, where he is at present.

The two terms that make up the title of this article may seem to be not only very different and totally unrelated, but even mutually exclusive. But the daily practice of “zazen” and the daily practice of “adoration of the Eucha­rist” during the past eight years[1] has convinced me of the contrary: not only is there a very deep relation between these two forms of religious expe­rience, but their encounter could enrich both and blend them together to give birth to a new form of the ancient and certainly praiseworthy practice of “eucharistic adoration.” Of course, this new form of eucharistic adoration would be possible and meaningful, along with other forms in those cultural contexts where Zazen is known and practiced al so by Christians.[2]

But before we can bring together these two, apparently so different and even opposed forms of religious expe­rience, we should briefly describe each of them separately and hint at the meaning which their coming together could have for interreligious dialogue and for the inculturation of the liturgy in Japan.

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