If you have ever struggled with the dilemma of reconciling Buddhist philosophy with Christian theology, you will find yourself quickly absorbed in this rich and informative conversation with Father Francis Tiso, scholar, poet, artist, musician, botanist, alchemist, exorcist, mystic and gourmet cook – a Renaissance man in the truest sense of the term. Responding to the question of how a Catholic priest becomes so involved with Buddhism, Fr. Tiso launches into the story of his calling and the extraordinary unfolding of his lifework. We hear about his travels to Asia to meet Tibetan Buddhist masters, the Tibetan Buddhist phenomenon of the rainbow body and its connection to the resurrection of Christ, and his thoughts on metaphors and symbols. “We have to be aware that culturally we have a lot invested in the term ‘symbol or metaphor’ as a limit feature of phenomenon. When traditional cultures talk about symbols and metaphors they are talking about greater reality. Not only greater in the sense of having more meaning, but representing the way things really are in their depths.” (hosted by Michael Toms)
Father Francis Tiso holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary where his specialization was Buddhist studies. He was Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops from 2004 to 2009, where he served as liaison to the Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Sikhs, and Traditional religions as well as the Reformed confessions.
Father Francis Tiso is the author of:
- Liberation in One Lifetime: Biographies and Teachings of Milarepa (North Atlantic Books 2014)
- Rainbow Body and Resurrection: Spiritual Attainment, the Dissolution of the Material Body, and the Case of Khenpo A Chö (North Atlantic Books 2016)
To learn more about the work of Father Francis Tiso go to www.francistiso.com.
Topics Explored in This Dialogue
- Is the resurrection of Christ real
- Why the practice of discernment is integral to the success of spiritual practice
- How the four dimensions of Buddha nature correspond with the Christian trinity
- Why writing a spiritual autobiography is important to spiritual growth