An interesting conversation took place between Lloyd Geering and Ken McLeod over afternoon tea at our house yesterday. Around the table were two teachers who had coming up to 90 years’ experience of teaching between them.
A theologian trained in the Presbyterian tradition of Christianity who has for many years blazed his own trail, Lloyd Geering is principal lecturer for the St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society as well as being an active member of both the Sea of Faith and the Jesus Seminar.
Ken McLeod became a student of Tibetan Buddhism in 1970 and for the past 20 or so years has lived from both a corporate consulting business using what he learned while studying with his Tibetan masters, and from his the dharma teaching through an organisation he set up called ‘Unfettered Mind’.
Without a home to call his own, he finds himself in Aotearoa New Zealand at present, taking yet another step on a path outside of the established institutional frameworks of Buddhism.
What Geering and McLeod have in common is that for a while now each has been exploring their particular religious tradition from a more or less secular viewpoint, McLeod, perhaps, less so.
Having given up his rented Los Angeles apartment, Ken has gone travelling with no fixed end to his journey. He said that for the first time in a good many years he had no keys in his pocket. This struck me very much like a householder gone ‘forth from the home life into homelessness’, as the Majjhima Nikaya puts it.
Hat tip to John McKay for the loan of a digital recording device which, unfortunately, I didn’t operate correctly, so the hoped for audio recording didn’t eventuate. Take it from me we had an excellent discussion, in the main seeking points of congruence.
You would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.