Gregory Mayers, like Pat Hawk, is a Redemptorist priest who took up Zen practice and studied with Willigis Jäger. I asked him how, when he began practice, he reconciled zazen with the more traditional spiritual practices associated with the Catholic church.
“That’s a very good question. And it plagued me for a long time. And I never asked anybody about it. But here I was, sitting in zazen, counting my breath, and I was plagued with this question that came somewhere down the line, ‘How can it be that sitting here doing nothing is any kind of spiritual practice?’ And, ‘How can I, a good Catholic priest, sit here and just do nothing and call that a spiritual practice?’ It really did plague me. And I never got an answer to the question. And over the course of about a year, it just faded away. It just was a non-issue.”
[Greg Mayers – Catholicism and Zen: 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 131, 134, 135-46]