What is MiddlePathInitiative?
MiddlePathInitiative creates a unique cross-cultural and cross-traditional learning experience. It is meant to be interactive and challenging.
What is MiddlePathInitiative about?
MiddlePathInitiative is about Jesus in the Buddhist world. How do Buddhists view Jesus? How do Non-Buddhists understand Jesus’ message, and how does that relates to Buddhists?
We are about to explore different perceptions, understandings, and unfamiliar worldviews. Confusing terminology becomes meaningful, and our awareness of other people’s views will play an integrated role in this process. You will frequently encounter the notion that the meaning of certain concepts is not always what you expect them to be. How will this play out when spiritual meaning is communicated across cultures and faiths?
Why is MiddlePathInitiative a membership site?
Most other blogs are read-only websites where some brave people dare to leave a rare comment for the whole world to read. Such blogs are marginally more interactive than reading a book, and it does not foster learning very much and certainly does not enhance dialoguing. On the contrary, MiddlePathInitiative aims to be a safe environment for learning, dialoguing, and building trust among different cultural communities. The goal is to provide a platform where such trust can flourish.
The difficulty to overcome was that various communities have unique ways of communicating. And this communication mostly happens among themselves because there is already some common understanding. Bringing these communities together can create fascinating dynamics that help our faith grow.
How does this membership site work?
You will see content uniquely suited to your cultural and traditional identity by choosing between four identities or communities: Buddhist, Cross-Cultural, Partner, and General. Of course, this implies that each community will encounter different blog posts. But all members can join and create Groups and invite others to join, regardless of which community you have chosen to identify with. And it is here in the groups where cross-cultural and cross-traditional exchange occurs.
In the Forum, everyone can ask questions and have others answer you. So often, valuable questions and answers get buried in social media exchanges over time. The forum is a place to prevent that from happening. If you encounter questions in your groups that could possibly be of general interest, feel free to post those in the forum.
Under Resources, you can recommend books, provide links to papers, videos, or documents. You can also make files available for download. The goal is to create a whole library full of valuable resources over the years.
Go ahead and join any of the four communities you can identify with the most and dive into a fascinating cross-cultural experience.
Buddhist is anyone whose cultural identity is Buddhist or who is more familiar with Buddhist traditions than any other faith tradition.
Cross-Cultural is anyone who has been transformed by living among people of another culture and faith and who speaks at least one other language beside one’s mother tongue.
Partner is a friend who is already somewhat familiar with Jesus in the Buddhist world. If you think you would identify better as Buddhist or Cross-Cultural, choose one of those instead.
General would be everyone who does not identify with any of the above.
I ask you to sign up with your real first and last name in order to promote integrity, honest dialogue, trust and openness. There are only a few exceptions, all of them personally known to me. Only members of MiddlePathInitiative will be able to see your name. Be brave.
Where does the name MiddlePathInitiative come from?
The name comes from the Middle Path that Buddha taught. The way that lies in the middle between asceticism and indulgence and whose goal is enlightenment.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Buddha and Jesus lived about 500 years apart, in cultures with deep spiritual traditions, stirring questions in their respective way. Both were initially shunned by the majority of their culture yet revolutionized their spiritual surroundings for millennia to come. Their claims are astounding. And often too deep to fathom. Their language, their concepts, and their conclusions seem dissimilar, even contradicting. And this might be a reason why many Buddhists do not care much about Jesus, and why likewise Christians might only show superficial interest in Buddha. Their radical messages and their lives are too often buried under layers of religious doctrines, rituals, and spiritual traditions. And yet, their messages were transforming lives.
Can we re-explore the transformative meaning of those messages and experience our lives being changed?
Initiate the Middle Path of truth in your life.