Christianity is a spiritual path

“Buddhists aren’t the only ones who talk about consciousness. Tibetan monasteries were Christian before they were Buddhist.” Metropolitan Jonah, March 2010.

Lenten Retreat with His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah given at Saint Matthew Orthodox Church in Columbia, MD on March 13, 2010.

Listen here:

Part 1

Part 2


  1. Permit me to express my skepticism regarding the comment that Tibetan monasteries were Christian before they were Buddhist. I would welcome the feedback of AOI readers on this question as I have difficult verifying this claim. We have some seminary professors who read this blog. Perhaps they would like to chime in with supporting facts.

  2. I have not yet listened to the lectures; I plan to; however, none of my research confirms any connection between Tibet and Christianity. I am interested to hear the context of the quote.

  3. cynthia curran :

    Well Budhistism was founded around 600 B.C. and was about 600 years before christianity. Maybe, he is talking about christians influencing Budhistism later on, St Thmomas went to India and the Nestorians had monasteries eastward. Granted, I know they were off on their theology and stated that Mary was not the Theotokos.

  4. According to Wikipedia, Buddhism came to Tibet in the mid 7th century A.D.

    Source: Tibetan Buddhism

    • George Michalopulos :

      Greg, if this is the case (post 7th century AD) then it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that there was a Christian influence. I would recommend Philip Jenkin’s new book about the growth of Christianity in the East and Far East. Although it was mostly Nestorian, Christianity penetrated into China very early. At one time, the Patriarch of Babylon pastored a Church that was larger than Rome’s and Constantinople’s.

  5. Influences of Greek culture on Budhism (greater than you’d suppose):

    In fact, I’ve heard that the orange robes of he Buddhist monks were copied from Greek togas, which makes sense to me.

    There is a book by Martin Palmer that tells the story of Nestorian Christianism in China: The Jesus Sutras. Some excerpts from the ancient texts:

    The Sutra of the World-Honored One says, “Pay no attention to outsiders but worship the One Sacred Spirit. The One will become visible to you, and then you should worship only the One.” (1:3-4)

    The sutra says, “Knock and the door will open: but if you don’t receive what you requested, or the door is not opened, it is because what you asked for isn’t right for you. No matter how hard you ask, you won’t be given what is bad for you.” (2:23-26)

    The sutra says, “If you ask your father for food, you will get food. But if you asked for a stone you would be wasting your time and would never be given it because it is not right.” (2: 27)

    The World Honored One’s Teachings on Charity, Part Three (Chinese Title) 641 C.E.

    “Those who know the True Way (zhen dao) of the One Sacred Spirit and have read the Good Book, but do not follow this or the One Sacred Spirit’s commands, will dwell with evil spirits and ghosts in the Earth Prisons, and serve the evil ghosts forever.” (8:32)

    “Don’t follow the evil dao, but go the way of the King’s entrance and find heaven. Few have achieved this. Others travel the broad dao and have a great time, but it leads to the Earth Prisons.” (2:40-41)

    “He showed the holy transformation beyond all previous reckoning. While his five attributes passed away (transformed) he did not die.” (4:14)

    “Through his [Jesus’] wonders all can escape becoming ghosts.” (4:22)

    “If you do not worship him, you will end up worshipping evil spirits. You will be impure and unclean, and you will be dragged into the darkness of the Earth Prisons From there you cannot return to the Good Place but must dwell with the Great Evil Ghost.” (7:9-11)

    “The evil follow the evil spirits and dwell with them in the Earth Prisons, hell-dwellers, and ghosts. When the time comes for all life to end, evil spirits will seize people and judgment will come.” (8:22)

    “The Evil Ghost Spirit makes people create false deities….” (7:30)

    “(the followers of the false way) are as bad as those who worship the sun, moon, stars or even the fire gods.”

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