VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1 SPRING 2021

2 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 7 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 1 St. Teresa of Ávila & Rōshi Jiyu– Kennett: A Comparative Study Received January 6, 2021 Revised January 23, 2021 Accepted January 25, 2021 Key words Christianity, Zen Buddhism, spirituality, subtle energies, St. Teresa of Ávila, Jiyu-Kennett Slavomír Gálik In the study, the author compares two prominent spiritual leaders – St. Teresa of Ávila and R ōshi Jiyu-Kennett. St. Teresa of Ávila represents Roman Catholic tradition, more precisely Carmelite spirituality; Jiyu-Kennett represents Zen Buddhism. The comparison utilizes two approaches: The first one is a hermeneutical approach (language, semiotics), where the author compares various spiritual contexts. The second approach is based on comparing developed subtle energies . The author states that the second methodological approach is more objective, as it uses a more verifiable existence of energies. In the conclusion, the author states that in both of these representatives the subtle energies were exceptionally strong – and thus served as a means for a higher spiritual (mystical) experience. Thanks to developing subtle energies, they were able to experience spiritual states that are known in Christian tradition as purification of sins (Lat. purificatio ), illumination (Lat. illuminatio ), and unification with God (Lat. unio ) in Christian tradition and purification of negative karma , intensification of inner light, and awakening in Buddhism. Both St. Teresa of Ávila and Jiyu-Kennett experienced freeing the mind from the body, which in many traditions is known as mystical death , or death and rebirth . The author sees subtle energies as an important methodological frame for comparative studies in the case of various forms of spirituality and spiritual abilities in human.

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