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The Lotus & The Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity

What happens when a Tibetan Buddhist lama and a Christian clergyman sit down to talk? And not just any lama and clergyman, but a renegade Catholic priest silenced by the Church for his progressive and inclusive beliefs and an American-born secular Jew who once embraced Tibetan Buddhism as a student, and now is embraced as a teacher.

These conversations between Lama Tsomo and Matthew Fox over the past years explore the essential principles shared by their traditions―and the differences that distinguish them. The Lotus & The Rose includes three public dialogues between Matthew and Lama Tsomo during weekend workshops at Stanford University, The Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, and The Jung Center in Houston. Also included is a more personal conversation with no audience except each other. And, finally, individual interviews with both of them, revealing more about their own lives and worldview. Also available to the reader are video excerpts from the presentations, conversations, and interviews.

Buddhists, Christians, followers of other spiritual traditions―and perhaps no spiritual tradition at all―will be intrigued by the range of ideas, and impressed and enlightened by the knowledge and experience that Matthew and Lama Tsomo bring to their exchanges. In this perilously contentious world, all viewers will be heartened by the admiration, respect, humor, and warmth that flows between these two friends who celebrate their common ground and delight in their differences.


This book is a rare and shining example of religious tolerance, theological inquiry and
spiritual education—such an important offering in these times of religious and secular
polarization. What a breath of fresh air
!” —Isa Gucciardi, Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, author of Coming to Peace

Anyone drawn to both Tibetan Buddhism and Christian spirituality owes themselves
some serious time with The Lotus & The Rose. Their talk ranges from banter to
philosophic discourses, [and] is full of engaging stories and often awash in laughter.
Rather than being otherworldly and cut off from daily life, these two spiritual explorers
are socially conscious and fully engaged….It covers a bookshelf of issues and history like
an extraordinary class that opens a host of doors to a subject you hadn’t realized was so
important to you.
” —Paul Chaffee, Editor of The Interfaith Observer

In these far ranging, wise, juicy, naked conversations, Matthew Fox and Lama Tsomo explore the many profound inter-connections between Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Christianity. No book I know exemplifies so richly the joy and truth that are born when two authentic mystics of different but inter-linked revelations come together in friendship, mutual reverence, and radical openness to mystery.” —Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism

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