From The Crusader
'When I was a junior in college, I left southern Minnesota and studied for a semester in Thailand.
The study of Buddhism there changed the course of my life forever. I had been raised as a Christian, but had not reflected much about what that meant to me. My encounter with Buddhism opened expansive, life-giving questions. What did it mean to be selfless? Is that possible? What did it mean to live in community? What is freedom? What is prayer? I found there was much to admire and learn from in Buddhism. I couldn't have named it then, but I had begun to gain what is called "appreciative knowledge".
In fact, what I discovered was that Buddhism helped me return to the Christian faith of my family and cultural background with fresh eyes. After I returned, I found, to my great surprise, that the faith tradition under my own feet was deep and life-giving soil if I would give my roots some time to grow. Thus began my journey of return to Christian faith and eventually my ordination as a Lutheran pastor.
Our spiritual lives can be greatly enriched by encounters with other traditions. As we see human lives and admire teachings in traditions and cultures other than our own, we develop appreciative knowledge, and our lives are forever enriched. For the gift the Buddhist tradition has been to me, I can only say: Thanks be to God.'