Web Page of Robert E. Kennedy, S.J. Roshi




Table of Contents:


Schedule of Sesshins - 2002


Schedule of Regularly Held Sittings


Biography - Fr. Robert E. Kennedy, S.J.


Morning Star Zendo




Other Zendos and links


Editing This Web Page






Schedule of Sesshins - 2002


Zen Retreat April 5-7, 2002 Interfaith Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., Roshi Author of Zen Gifts to Christians and Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit St. Ignatius Retreat House 251 Searingtown Road, Manhasset, New York (LIE exit #36) Silent Meditation with talks and instruction by the teachers Friday 6:30 p.m. (dinner) to Sunday noon (lunch) The fee is $165; a $50 deposit is required six weeks in advance. For information and reservations please call 212-831-5710 or email roconnell8@aol.com. Send checks (made out to St. Ignatius Retreat House) to R. O’Connell, 322 E. 94th St., New York, NY 10128. “After the retreat…I had experienced Asian wisdom combined with Christian illumination. I had found God in a new way. I was a new man with deeper insights, and most important, a better Christian” Rev. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Georgetown Law School “Robert Kennedy’s integration of Zen Buddhist practice and Christian life and prayer is in accord with the highest traditions of the Society of Jesus” Rev. Kenneth Gavin, S.J. New York Provincial of the Society of Jesus (Other Zen retreats at St. Ignatius: June 14-20; August 9-15; October 11-14. For full Schedule: see http:// kennedyzen.tripod.com.)

April 5 -7, 2002 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

April 18-20, 2002 Jesuit Spirituality Ctr, Grand Coteau, LA (337-662-5252)

May 24-27, 2002 St. Benedict's Monastery, Snowmass, CO. (Br. Jeff Briggs)

June 14-20, 2002 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

July 19-21, 2002 Cenacle, Lantana, FL. P>

August 9-15, 2002 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

September 2002 Mexico

late September 2002 Tulsa

October 11-14,2002 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

Nov. 9-11,2002 Penna.Zen/yoga Retreat (Paul Kahn)

Dec. 2002 Stella Maris, Elberon, NJ (212 831 5710)

Jan 31-Feb 2, 2003 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

May,2003 Stella Maris, Elberon, NJ (Deb Baretz 973 728 2968P>

June 13-19, 2003 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

August 8-14,2003 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

October 10-13,2003 St. Ignatius Retreat House, Manhasset, NY (212 831 5710)

December 13-15,2003 Stella Maris, Elberon, NJ (212 831 5710)




The following sittings are regularly held

(Fr. Kennedy attends as his schedule allows)


Sundays 9:00 a.m. Clear Mountain Zendo, Montclair (NJ) Cooperative School (Carl Bachmann 973-267-2657))


Mondays 7:00 p.m. Stella Maris, Elberon, NJ (Marty Sullivan 732-530-4534)



Mondays 7:45 p.m. 113 Cottage Pl., Ridgewood, NJ (Bernie & Marcia Spitz 201-652-0313 with St. Anne's, Fairlawn (Rich McGarry 201-797-4202)


Tuesdays 6:25 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, Morristown, NJ (R.Cicetti 973-984-6343; D. Baretz 973-728-2968)


Tuesdays 5:30 p.m. Magnolia Zendo,1610 St.Mary St. Jackson, MS (Martin Davis 601-948-0260)


Wednesdays 7:30 p.m. St. Ignatius, Manhasset, NY (516-621-8300)


Wednesdays 7:30 p.m. Tabor House, St Anthony's, Oceanside, NY (Madeline Larsen 516-678-6614)


Thursdays 7:15 p.m. St. Barts Church, White Plains, NY (Russ Michel 914 656 0783)

Thursdays 7:30 p.m. St. Mary's Chapel, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY (K. Deignan 914-633-2233)


3rd Saturdays all day(sesshin) Morning Star Zendo, 50 Glenwood, Jersey City (201-985-1515)


Individual days of sitting are scheduled in addition to those days listed above; please call the leaders for details.



Biography - Fr. Robert E. Kennedy, S.J.


Fr. Robert E. Kennedy, S.J. is Chair of the Theology Department at St. Peter's College, Jersey City, New Jersey where he teaches Theology and Japanese. He is also a practicing psychotherapist in New York City and the author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit. He is active in inter-faith work, teaching zen to persons of all faiths.

He studied zen in Japan with the Japanese master Yamada Roshi. Later he continued his study under Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles and Bernard Tetsugen Glassman Roshi in New York; in 1991 was made Sensei (teacher), in the White Plum lineage, enabling him to formally teach zen and create successors to the teaching. In 1997 he received inka, the compete seal of approval from his teacher, and was given the title Roshi or Master. He holds doctorates in Theology from the University of Ottawa and from St. Paul University in Ottawa, a Masters in Theology from Sophia University in Tokyo, a Doctor of Ministry in Psychology and Clinical Studies from Andover-Newton in Boston. He is a graduate of the Blanton-Peale Institute of Religion and Health in New York. He is also the US Representative to UN NGO, The Institute for the Creation of Spiritual Consciousness in Politics and the Economy (ISPW). He is the author of "Zen Gifts to Christians" and "Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit" (Continuum).His schedule can be found at http://kennedyzen.tripod.com



Morning Star Zendo


Morning Star Zendo space at the Jesuit Residence, 50 Glenwood Avenue, Jersey City is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There are formal weekday sittings 6:00-7:00 a.m.,and Saturdays 9:00-10:30 a.m. Every third Saturday there will be day-long sittings. Tax deductible donations to the Morning Star Zendo Fund, 50 Glenwood Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306 are welcome. In addition to providing support for daily operating expenses, these funds support ent, scholarships,and honorariums.A yearly accounting is made to the sangha. Directions: via PATH: to Journal Square, walk 1/2 mile south on Kennedy Blvd. to St. Peter's College, take left on Glenwood Avenue; via Turnpike: take exit 15 E towards Jersey City, continue on Communipaw to Kennedy Blvd (Walgreens, Fleet); take left 1/2 mile to St. Peter's College, walk right on Glenwood which is one way the wrong way at this point; via Lincoln Tunnel: follow main egress and watch for Kennedy Blvd. exit. Continue on Kennedy Boulevard south through Journal Square to St. Peter's College and Glenwood Avenue. #50 is to the left on Glenwood.


If you know someone who would like to be on the master mailing list, or if you would like general information, call 20l-985-1515, or email roconnell8@aol.com. To reduce our mailing costs, please take the time to call us if you do not want to be on the list. If you would like information on the Baltimore schedule of Sr. Janet Richardson, Roshi or the video "A Day with Robert Kennedy, Sensei", call 410-377-2559. "Zen Spirit. Christian Spirit" is available through your local bookstores; "Zen Gifts to Christians" is available now.





THE LAST WORD Commonweal January 11, 2002

A ZEN RETREAT Robert F. Drinan, S..J. A former congressman who teaches at Georgetown University Law Center

The dates for the retreat with a Zen Buddhist orientation were convenient. I participated and ended up with new insights and aspirations. The routine was rigorous. We began at 6:15 a.m. and ended with mass at 9:15 p.m.- all in total silence. The retreat leader, Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., had spent some ten years in Japan. He is a professor of Japanese and theology at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, and has written two books on Zen addressed to Christians (Zen Spirit Christian Spirit, Continuum, 1996, and Zen Gifts to the Christians, Continuum, 2000). He spoke regularly during the week long gathering at Jesuit retreat house on Long Island. More importantly, he regularly led the seventy-two retreatants, mostly laymen and women, in prayer. Some may feel that the catholic retreat integrated with Zen Buddhism looks "trendy " and is open to question. But the week made clear to me as never before the incomprehensibility of God, the pervasiveness of self- deception, and the desperate need of detachment from all living things. In 1989, in the seven-thousand-word letter to the bishops, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith raised some questions about Buddhism, but stated that the church accepts everything that is "true and Holy" in other religions. Similarly the document from John Paul II titled Dominus Jesus (August 6, 2000) affirms that "interreligious dialogue, which is part of the church evangelizing mission, requires an attitude of understanding and a relationship of mutual knowledge and reciprocal enrichment" I found the "reciprocal enrichment" of this retreat particularly satisfying. The history of Buddhism goes back more than twenty-five hundred years, expressed in many variations in India, China, Japan, and elsewhere. Hundreds of millions of God's children have sought some explanation of life in Buddhism. There are surely ways to God to be found by Christians in Buddhism-the way of life for one-third to one-half of the human race. In assessing Buddhism is reminded of Saint Bonaventure who was called a pantheist because he perceived God and mankind to be similar. The wonders of the universe inherent in Buddha are also suggested in the Jewish writer Spinoza, who was described as "intoxicated" with god. A modern Catholic writer had suggested that Christianity may be in the process of interpreting Buddhism just as Catholics in the Middle Ages combined Philosophy of Aristotle wit that Aquinas. At the retreat with Robert Kennedy, each day there were thirteen sitting or meditations of twenty-five minutes followed by eight minutes of walking -all in unbroken silence. As an amateur, I am not able to assess the efficacy of this practice. But I know that the habitual reflection on the indwelling of the Holy Sprit brought about remarkable results. It gave me some ideas of the way to attain self-awareness, self-realization, and enlightenment. I first experienced this spell of Buddhism in 1969 when I arrived in Vietnam with a human-rights team. It was Buddha's birthday and at least one million people, all dressed in white, filled the streets and park of Saigon. The scene was unforgettable. At the same time, Buddhism paled in comparison when August 15, we celebrated the feast of the Assumption. Christianity is a religion based on God becoming man whose mother was assumed into heaven. Unlike the nebulous concepts of Buddhism, Christianity is a religion filled with a man who was human and divine with mother born without sin. The Buddhist prayers are powerful. At least once a day the retreatants chanted together various prayers, one of which is: All the evil karma ever created by me of old On account of my beginningless greed, hatred, and ignorance Born of my conduct, speech, and though I repent of it now. There are many things in Zen Buddhism in which are baffling, contradictory, and almost incomprehensible. At the same time, thinking and praying in the Buddhist tradition is encouraged and even mandated by Vatican II and by the thrust of Catholic teachings since that time. The value and the precious nature of the Zen Buddhist tradition were evident in the last lunch of the retreat where the gathering present father Robert Kennedy a gift on the occasion of his fiftieth anniversary as a Jesuit. It was a moving scene where a devout gathering, mostly Catholics, thanked a priest who had the faith, vision, and courage to lead them into a union with God that they had never before experienced. In Kennedy's "Zen Gifts to Christians, he cites the conclusions of the 34th General Congregation of the society of Jesus, held in 1995: "To be religious today is to be interreligious in a sense that positive relationships with believers of other faiths is a requirement in a world of religion pluralism" (emphasis mine). After the retreat, I arrived at LaGuardia Airport feeling reluctant to enter a world where the spiritual and transcendent seem so foreign. I had found God in a new way. I was a new man with better deeper insights, and most important, a better Christian.

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Dalai Lama. The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings Jesus. Wisdom. 1996


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Habito, Ruben. Healing Breath: Zen Spirituality for a Wounded Earth. Orbis. 1993


Hand, S.J., Thomas and Chwen, Jiuan A. Lee. A Taste of Water: Christianity through Taoist Buddhist Eyes. Paulist, 1990


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McGuinness, Sr. Elaine. Light Sitting in Light. Harper Collins. 1997


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Panikkar, Fr. Raimundo. The Silence of God: The Answer to the Buddla. Orbis, 1989


Waldenfels, Hans. Absolute Nothingness: Foundations of the Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. Paulist. 1980


Aitken, Robert. Taking the Path of Zen. North Point. 1982


Beck, Charlotte Joko. Everyday Zen


Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro. Mysticism. Christian and Buddhist. Harper and Row 1957


Suzuki, S. Zen Mind, Beginners Mind



Other Zendos and links


Links: P>


















Editing This Web Page


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