Jonathan Foust

October 8, 2009

What Christians Can Learn From Buddhists About Suffering

Filed under: Cool Things, Dharma — jonathanfoust @ 10:46 am

I did a two and a half year Community Dharma Leadership Training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Califorina a number of years ago and one of the best things that happened to me was making a friend of Gordon Peerman.

blessed relief full cover

As an Episcopal priest he has served  for many years within the framework on the church and as a psychotherapist, consultant, deep practitioner and teacher who encourages mindfulness practices, he is a true ‘dharma bum.’  He writes with clarity, selflessness and wonderful humor.

He has a very-well received book out called Blessed Relief:  What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists About Suffering.  I had the opportunity to read this in one of it’s first drafts and feel this book is a contribution that over the years will just keep on giving.

You can read more about it here.



  1. So, dear English major, when will we see a Jonathan Foust book?

    Comment by Janna Chan — October 8, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    • A good friend cursed me when he said, “Do you think the world needs another book on meditation?” Since then I’ve been hobbled. I do, however, have a few ideas ….

      Comment by jonathanfoust — October 8, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  2. Thanks Jonathan…never heard of author or book but sounds like something I will be reading soon. Cool he uses the acronym RAIN.

    Comment by Sherry — October 8, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    • Hey, Sherry! Gordon is a wonderful writer. His book is much in the style of Tara’s – great stories and practical real-life examples. I hope you are well!

      Comment by jonathanfoust — October 8, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

  3. How about a Vipassana romance?

    Comment by Janna Chan — October 8, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

    • Now there’s a hot idea! It would be fascinating to record the 3-D projections that occur in any given meditation retreat. Or … a catalog of one’s VRR’s over the course of a lifetime …

      Comment by jonathanfoust — October 9, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  4. Or a Nora Roberts thing! Apparently there are also Vipassana Vendettas. That would be a great new mafia genre.

    As for what the world needs…I like the line from the movie version of Girl With a Pearl Earring. Vermeer feels badly about trading his artwork with a local merchant because he thinks his art doesn’t contribute anything to the world, whereas his friend has a real job. The friend says something along the lines of, “the world doesn’t know what it needs, we give it what we have.”

    Only the ego would think otherwise, no?

    Comment by Janna Chan — October 9, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    • Contrasting narratives … one meditation retreat, multiple relational hallucinations playing against each other. Interesting.

      Comment by jonathanfoust — October 9, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Hmm…sounds like the world could use some books about the meditation experience.

    Comment by Janna — October 11, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

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