Teachings from Disciple Thomas Bridge Eastern and Western Religious Traditions

Teachings from Disciple Thomas Bridge Eastern and Western Religious Traditions

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The Eastern Path to Heaven: A Guide to Happiness from the Teachings of Jesus in Tibet contains quotes by Jesus taken directly from the ancient Greek scriptures and brief historical summaries showing how the teachings of Jesus entered India with Thomas, traveling along the routes pioneered by Alexander the Great, and then reached Tibet. The gospel of Thomas was found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. These sketches utilize information from Syrian, Coptic, Greek, Tibetan, and Sanskrit manuscripts translated by authors Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally.

Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally have, for the last ten years, explored together the ancient cities, rare manuscripts, and oral traditions of India and Tibet which bear witness to teachings of Thomas-the disciple that Jesus sent to the East. The Eastern Path to Heaven presents the great ideas that came to those lands through Thomas, and describes how we can use authentic Christian teachings of the East to achieve six goals of life: physical health; financial security; love; happiness; freedom from aging and death; and fulfillment in the service of others.

Geshe Michael Roach, who grew up in an Episcopal family, had plans of becoming an Episcopal priest when he went to Tibet: “I studied in the monastery for 20 years and I came to learn that Jesus’ teachings affected Buddhism greatly. I think that is why so many Westerners are attracted to the Dalai Lama. A lot of his teaching is coming from Thomas.”

Believing fervently that the spiritual life of Christians can be deepened by incorporating Buddhist meditation practice into their daily lives, Geshe Michael and Lama Christie work to spread this awareness through their program, Star in the East.

Star in the East Director Mercedes Bahleda explains: “The core teachings of Christ are a perfect path to all of the realizations that are described in the Eastern tradition. We are teaching Christian meditation that has been heavily informed from Scripture.”

Last spring The Very Reverend Dr. Brian Baker of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento, California, met at an ecumenical event with Geshe Michael and Lama Christie at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City to hold a discussion on heaven and how both Christians and Buddhists can get there.

“Their teachings have inspired me to be more intentional about my own spiritual practice and be more focused in my own spiritual life,” he said. “As an Episcopal priest, my spiritual life has become deeper because of my association with Geshe Michael and Lama Christie.”

Baker is on the board of Star in the East, an ecumenical organization created to teach Christians how to incorporate spiritual practice into their daily lives. To learn more about Star in the East, visit www.starintheeast.org.

Geshe Michael Roach is the first American to earn the degree of geshe, or spiritual master, after 20 years of study in a Tibetan monastery under Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. Before that, he received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and worked in New York City as a director of a large diamond firm for many years. He has been teaching Buddhism since 1981 and is a translator of Sanskrit, Tibetan and Russian works and the author of bestseller, The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life.

Lama Christie McNally is a professor of religious philosophy at Diamond Mountain University. She is a graduate of New York University, and has studied both in Tibetan monasteries and with masters of yoga in both India and in the West. She is a translator of classical Sanskrit and Tibetan, and one of the founders of Tibetan Heart Yoga.

The Eastern Path to Heaven: A Guide to Happiness from the Teachings of Jesus in Tibet

978-1-59627-097-8 * $16.00 * 5.5 x 8.5 * 160 Pages * Paperback * Seabury Books * Available now

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