The world’s Wisdom traditions form the bedrock of humanity’s deepest values, hopes and visions of what is possible. What’s more, no single tradition can hope to express or lay claim to the totality of Truth that is abundantly available to all.

Gospel Meets Dharma represents a sacred encounter between Christianity and Buddhism, two traditions that have shaped and formed countless millions of minds and souls over the millennia. In this “interspiritual dialogue”, the unique fruits of each path come into clear relief, while also giving rise to a Beauty that transcends and includes them both.




Sample of the Course

In this introductory video, Thomas describes the deeper intention of the course: to root more deeply in what we love and take to be true, even as we become more open and vulnerable to new truths on the path.





Course Curriculum

  Part I: The Big Picture
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  Part II: Building Blocks: Core Teachings
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  Part III: The Human Dilemma
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  Part IV: Praxis
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  Part V: The Path of the Human Being
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  Part VI: Metalineage
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  Meditations (Audio Only)
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About Thomas

Thomas is an author, public speaker, and mindfulness teacher. He is the founder of Lower Lights School of Wisdom where he teaches developmental psychology and meditative practice, which he has studied for more than 20 years.

Notable teachers he has studied under include Shinzen Young, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Musho Roshi, Dr. Terri O'Fallon and John Kesler, Founder of Integral Polarity Practice. He is creator of the podcast, Mindfulness+ and has been featured on NPR, Religion News Service, Tricycle Magazine, and the 10% Happier Podcast.

In the course you will learn:



Part 1: The Big Picture
The Wisdom traditions help form the foundations of our spiritual imagination. They reveal perspectives that have a profound impact on what we take this life to be. If we understand the interplay of Gospel and Dharma more fully, we can take creative perspectives that lead to more freedom and joy. In this first session, we’ll explore:
• The value of integrating our early spiritual life into adulthood
• The creative act of perspective-taking
• A novel approach to faith
• Metalineage: what reality lies beyond all traditions

Part 2: Building Blocks: Essential Teachings from Buddhism and Christianity
In this session we dive right into the foundational teachings that make Buddhism and Christianity so unique. In many cases, concepts, beliefs and views that would seem to be very different, even opposing, turn out to shed light on one another in ways that can create tectonic shifts in our spiritual life. Part 2 explores:
• Deeper patterns from which Buddhism and Christianity seem to arise
• Meditation’s surprising relationship to Metanoia, or, repentance
• The Trinitarian Nature of the Cosmos
• The nature of the Self

Part 3: The Human Dilemma: Sin and Suffering
Buddhism and Christianity, like all Wisdom traditions, have a particular take on the challenge of our human condition—our “dilemma”. How we assess this “dilemma” will determine our response to life. It is one of the most consequential beliefs we ever form. Part 3 explores:
• The worldviews that flow from the perspectives of sin and suffering; their relative strengths and weaknesses.
• Absolute and Relative: two indispensable truths on the path
• The role of compassion

Part 4: Praxis: Spiritual Practices to Transform the Human Being
Having appraised the human condition, the Gospel and Dharma naturally have a prescription for what to do about sin; how to emancipate ourselves, and all beings, from suffering. The good news? We do not have to limit ourselves to the transformative practices of a single tradition. We can expand our imaginations and design our own spiritual lives. Part 4 explores:
• The relationship between prayer and meditation
• How Buddhism and Christianity work with sacred text
• Codes of conduct to support transformation
• The path of service
• Giving rise to a new world order

Part 5: Fruits of the Path
If we give ourselves sincerely to a path of transformation, to a tradition such as Buddhism or Christianity, there is ample evidence that we will become entirely new beings. And yet, Gospel and Dharma help us train different spiritual capacities that forge us into different kinds of spiritual beings. The question arises, what are the unique fruits that these distinct spiritual paths help us cultivate? Part 5 explores:
• Salvation and Awakening. Same and different
• The nondual nature of Reality
• Our enlightened Body
• The path of virtue
• Collective awakening

Part 6: Metalineage
There is a deep paradox on this path: the more we become ourselves, the more open we are to the truth of all other selves. The practice of metalineage honors the profound values enshrined in the human traditions, but never at the expense of the fundamental unity we share as expressions of Spirit (Gospel) and Mind (Dharma). Part 6 explores:
• The significant contributions of Buddhism and Christianity to humanity
• Potential pitfalls, even weaknesses in these noble traditions
• The path ahead—letting the traditions you love speak through you

“Thomas McConkie is a unique practitioner with a unique calling. Thoroughly steeped for over two decades in the Buddhadharma, he has a depth of experience that shines through his teachings. But in addition to that, he has done what few meditators do: he has taken his practice right back to the heart of his Christian upbringing. The results have been remarkable: a new wave of contemplatives with a sensibility and desire to realize the territory that no single tradition can claim for its own.”





SHINZEN YOUNG


Financial Support

Lower Lights is a public charity whose aim is to offer high-quality support on the path of transformation. We never want to create financial barriers for anyone looking to access the content we publish. If you would like to apply for financial support, please email [email protected] telling us more about your situation, including why you would like to take the course, and we'll be in touch quickly.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to Lower Lights to help us fund more scholarships, you can donate here. Thank you for your support!



FAQs

How do I access the private podcast?

Once you enroll in the course, you will receive an email that will give you access to the private podcast.

How can I listen to the podcast from the first episode, instead of the last?

The best way to do this is to listen to the podcast on a podcast listening platform like apple podcasts, etc. Those platforms should give you the option of switching the episode orders from "oldest to newest"

What if I don't see a welcome email?

It may have gone to your spam, junk folder or may be in the promotions tab if you are using gmail. To avoid missing any emails in the future, add us to your contacts and/or mark the email as "not spam." If you still can't track one down, please email us and we will contact you.

How do I contact customer service?

You can reach us at [email protected]


A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors


A special thanks to Pleasant Pictures Music Club for generously donating the music used in the course.