Rhythms of Spiritual Praxis as Discipleship from Karma to Atonement among Believers from a Tibetan Buddhist Background

Anyone who has spent significant time attempting to share the truths of the gospel among Tibetan Buddhist peoples can attest to it being a difficult process. It is said that in 1892 Hudson Taylor said, “To make converts in Tibet is similar to going into a cave and trying to rob a lioness of her cubs.” Even after over 100 years this statement still largely describes the situation well.

This thesis specifically looks at the causes of apostasy and the potential role of rhythmic Christian spiritual practices for deeper and transformational discipleship.

The research includes a thorough review of literature in relation to spiritual formation through practices and Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. The research also includes firsthand interviews with believers from a Tibetan Buddhist background. Observations from the literature and the interviews suggest:

  1. Rhythms of spiritual praxis have the power to transform beliefs at the tacit level.
  2. Certain spiritual disciplines are especially effective in this specific area of discipleship.
  3. Certain church traditions such as the Eucharist, repetitive prayers, etc. have great potential for tacit level transformation and Christian formation specifically in relation to the atonement.
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Image courtesy of Gaylan Yeung.
Jessica McFalls

Jessica McFalls

Jessica “Mama J” McFalls has served in full-time ministry since 2004. She has served with several ministries in multiple countries in Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. She has been with All Nations since 2011 when she did her Church Planting eXperience (CPx) training at the Cape Town hub in …View Full Bio