Unable to Find Ultimate Truth in Zen Buddhism, I Turned to Jesus - Living Strong Television Network
Unable to Find Ultimate Truth in Zen Buddhism, I Turned to Jesus

I thought I needed to try harder at meditation. What I really needed was the Holy Spirit to enlighten me.

I‘ve always wanted to be spiritual, but I have trouble believing things,” I said, smiling nervously at the robe-clad Zen Buddhism teacher. We were sitting together in a small room for a one-on-one conversation about my Zen meditation practice.

He chuckled. “So, I guess Zen is perfect for you.”

The year was 2011, and I was 36 years old. I had been practicing Zen Buddhism for three years and had traveled to Kentucky to attend my first meditation retreat, a weekend event held at a Zen center near Lexington. The retreat schedule was tough. We sat in meditation from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., broken up by short periods of walking meditation, meals, and chores. Everything was to be done in silence.

Zen was the latest chapter in my lifelong spiritual quest. That quest had begun during my teenage years, when I realized that my Hindu ancestry—passed down by Indian immigrant parents—need not dictate my own faith. As I became aware of alternative belief systems, I realized that I was an agnostic: I honestly didn’t know what to believe. So I dropped the Hindu label and committed to discovering for myself the ultimate truth.

Growing up in Houston, I learned the basics of Christianity through friends and neighbors. I also spent part of my childhood in the United Kingdom, where Christian prayer, hymns, and sermons were part of regular school activities. My Hindu parents always spoke respectfully about Christian beliefs. They would go (and encourage me to go) to church with friends when invited.

But it wasn’t until I got to college that I came to know Jesus through my evangelical Christian friends. I observed how their faith gave them peace and strength during difficult times. And every time I heard about …

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