Sister Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP, Zen teacher and lifelong practitioner of contemplative prayer, has published a new book, Beyond All Galaxies: Poetry and Reflections for the Journey (Kenmare Press, 2023).
The book takes the reader on a journey from hikes in the mountains to oceans, streams, lakes, and rivers to the stars in the skies, through the known and unknown and beyond in this collection of poems and reflections. Beyond All Galaxies will be appreciated by anyone who enjoys poetry, those new to Zen practice or contemplative prayer, and those who, like Sister Kathleen, are longtime practitioners. These poems and reflections invite the reader to stay present, pay attention, go deeper, and experience the universe in awe and wonder.
Sister Kathleen serves on the Congregation Leadership Team for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. She is a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and was Vice President of Pax Christi International. Sister Kathleen serves on the PeaceHealth System Board of Directors. Over the years she has served in many ministries: Education, Social Services, Boards of Directors for Healthcare, community leadership, wilderness retreats in the Canadian Okanagan mountains and as a spiritual director. She holds advanced degrees in history and social work and is a Zen teacher.
When asked the questions: “A Zen teacher? How does this fit with being Catholic and a member of a religious congregation?” She responded, “When I decided to take up Zen, I had also decided that, if I were to do that, I would want three conditions: I would find a teacher who understands Catholicism, who understands religious life, and who knows authentic Zen practice. I was fortunate to find in Joan Rieck a teacher who understands all three. I studied with her for 30 years."
In 2007, Kathleen was given authorization to teach Zen by Yamada Ryôun Roshi, the Abbot of Sanbo Zen Zendo in Kamakura, Japan. In the words of the Abbot’s father Koun Yamada Roshi, “One does not have to be Buddhist to practice Zen. The practice of Zen makes you better what you are.” Kathleen has found this to be so.
Believing in the omnipresence of the Mystery, named by many names, her spirituality is deeply grounded in and shaped by the beauty and oneness of all Creation, the Infinite Mystery hidden in plain sight.
Beyond All Galaxies is published by Kenmare Press, a publishing imprint of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. It is available in paperback and ebook.