Welcoming Flowers is a pointed critique of the Buddhism chapter of Pope John Paul II’s 1994 best seller, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, written by the highly respected Buddhist teacher Thinley Norbu. In responding to the false charges of Buddhists’ indifference to the world and rejection of reality, Norbu clarifies the Buddhist doctrines of detachment and enlightenment. In addition, he covers the topics of good and evil, human nature, karma, cosmology, and dualistic mind, bringing them into conversation with the Christian perspective as presented by the Pope. Norbu’s approach is not to shoot back arrows in attack of Catholicism but to spread “welcoming flowers”—that is, to present the exalted teachings of the Buddha in all their loveliness. In this sense, the book serves as a helpful introduction to the Buddhist worldview.
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