From Tibet To Mount Athos To Elder Paisius

This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism and other Eastern non-Christian spiritual traditions.  I wanted to mention the book here because I have not seen much mention of it and the book is fairly new.  The story is narrated of a young man named George who was baptized Orthodox as a baby but then was kidnapped by his grandfather and taken to be raised in a Buddhist monastery.  His grandfather encountered Buddhism only as an old man and marveled at the amazing powers that the monks exhibited.  He grieved that he was too old to become a Buddhist monk himself and cultivate these powers, so he kidnapped his 2 year old grandson so that he could at least be raised in such a monastery and taught all of the secrets of their powers.  By the time the boy became a teenager, he was among the most highly accomplished monks in the monastery and had cultivated incredible powers.  He was even counted among the elite monastics under the Dalai Lama.  Eventually, however, he begins to wonder about where he came from and who his parents were.  He tracked down his parents, encountered Orthodoxy for the first time since he was a baby, and through an encounter with an Orthodox priest he began to wonder whether there was a greater power in Orthodoxy than what he had learned.  He eventually goes to Mt. Athos and meets Elder Paisios.

The story of George is told by a man who came to know George while he was staying on Mt. Athos.  One story from the life of George that is narrated in the book is found  also in the Life of Elder Paisios written by Hieromonk Isaac, where George attempts to show off his powers to Elder Paisios.  This story relates how George's powers were futile against the power of the sign of the cross, and how the demons beat and harmed him when he was defeated by Elder Paisios.

George goes into great detail in the book about how the Tibetan monks worship Satan and have all of their powers from the demons, how the demons help them accomplish marvelous things, how Tibetan Buddhist monasticism imitates the Orthodox monastic typicon very well externally but in the service of the Evil One, etc.  George's desire to repent and embrace Orthodoxy, and how the demons to whom he was closely connected created so many hardships for him when he wished to leave their clutches, is also related.  George also provides a very helpful description of the various demons and how they attempt to ensnare us.

This book is very important, as sadly even some among the Orthodox are ignorant of the demonic powers behind many non-Orthodox spiritual traditions and may be tempted to think that somehow Tibetan Buddhism is "close to" Orthodoxy, or that there is at least something to learn from it.  Such people are not influenced in their thinking by the Scriptures or the Fathers but by the philosophies of this world and "political correctness".  The book is short, concise, but very illuminating and helpful for those who wish to take seriously the spiritual struggle against the invisible enemy.