Chowning, Daniel OCD. A Retreat experience given by Daniel Chowning, Kevin Culligan and Mary Jo Meadow, in Christian-Buddhist Meditation, boxed set of twelve audio cassettes. In popular culture, all you need for "real" prayer is sincerity. In the great traditions of contemplative prayer such an opinion elicits polite smiles. This retreat is given by two priests rooted in the Carmelite mystical tradition and one Catholic sister who is also vowed to the practice of Theravadan Buddhist nuns. They think more than "just" sincerity for prayer. They think you need
discipline, techniques, structure, and the awareness that you are trying something both difficult and richly rewarding. They think you need teachers - as they did. They think you need concentrated, subtle,
persistent effort - as they do. They think you need the support of structure - as they do. They think you need a tradition. A tradition refines and enriches the practices that overcome personal quirks, neuroses and problems. So this retreat doesn't have contemporary psychology or culture analysis or even politically correct terminology.
What is does have is the information you need to begin (or continue) the arduous, subtle, personal inner discipline required for the transformation prayer brings about. This is the Buddhist tradition of vipassana and the Carmelite tradition of emptying at its rigorous fullness. The prayer experience uses words we all know and hate: greed, laziness, pain and aversion, and the lectures have challenging titles like "Purification to see God," "Becoming empty to see God," "Becoming nothing to see God."