Preface

Allow me to introduce myself by use of the following family tree:

    ANTHONY TRAFFORD  =  FUENGSIN SARAYUTPITAG 
 ENGLISH, CHRISTIAN   |  (THAI, BUDDHIST
  (ROMAN CATHOLIC))   |   (THERAVADA))
                      |
                 PAUL TRAFFORD

From birth I've been brought up as a Roman Catholic, yet I have assimilated concurrently both knowledge and the approach of Buddhism. During the past few years, especially whilst at university, I have contemplated a great deal through my increasing desire to know 'spiritual truth.' From time to time I've jotted down my findings; the culmination of all this is now in the reader's hands (or on the reader's PC)!

The main purpose of this volume is to share my experiences which, I hope, will stimulate deeper spiritual enquiry - in whatever form is personally most conducive. I shall try to demonstrate how I have developed a spiritual life from my own particular background. I hope, in the process, to show how light may be cast from one faith to another. The work is addressed in the first instance to Christians - hence the frequent use of the word 'God', but I hope that doesn't deter followers of the Buddha.

On occasions I have been doubtful, for several reasons, as to whether I should produce this book. For instance, I'm aware that I'm sometimes far from 'practising what I preach'; also, I am unable to demonstrate formal qualifications in any of the world's religions, yet I make forthright statements. For instance, the content is in places very critical where I feel radical change is imperative. I don't hold back since I'm sure I have something worthwhile to relate and it needs to be said without delay.

Some of the descriptions may appear bizarre, but this is only because I wish to avoid the overuse of hackneyed phrases whose original meaning has almost been lost; in fact there is probably nothing much new in the individual parts; its the overall composition which I guess is far more original.

If I were to attempt to be as strict as possible with linguistics then the potential readership would be severely limited, so I've attempted to make the prose generally free in style - I wish that as many as possible may benefit from it. However, the initial paragraphs of some chapters are quite technical to provide a fairly well defined collection point so that I don't lose you later on! As long as you find and retain a sense of spiritual direction, the details will not be particularly important - I believe that they will sort themselves out later on.

... Now that I have a few years to reflect on this work, I have realised that I am just finding the bearings that are enabling me to find the start. And with it, the title, 'In sight of the beginning' has popped into my head. In my first draft, entitled 'A Stepping Stone', I hoped that in due course I would devote more time to meditation and prayer, "wherein lies a key to the most profound knowledge; to 'eternal life.'" This is still my wish.

Before proceeding, I ask that you find as quiet and peaceful surroundings as possible. Thank you.


Acknowledgements | Chapter 1 | Contents Page

- Paul Trafford 1996,97 Paul's home page