Alexander Michael Peck
Alexander Michael Peck was born to European parents (his mother was Swiss; his father, Ukrainian) who immigrated to Australia in 1950 and settled in the country town of Warragul in the state of Victoria.
After high school, Alexander studied at Geelong Teacher’s College (1968-1969) to become an elementary teacher. He then studied school librarianship at Melbourne Teacher’s College (1970).
Between 1972 and 1974, he studied toward a bachelor’s degree (with a theology emphasis) at Ambassador College in Bricket Wood, England – and completed his degree at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California (1975).
In 1976, Alexander married Eva Degen (from Melbourne, Australia) in Pasadena. Together they worked at the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God, also in Pasadena, California. Their work entailed writing, editing, documentation, and training.
Between 1977 and 2001, Alexander earned a Master’s Degree in Education (with an emphasis on instructional design) from California State University in Long Beach, California.
In 1993, Alexander and Eva left Pasadena, California to live in the Czech Republic for eight years, where they taught English to first-year university students at University of South Bohemia. During this time, the Pecks wrote Let’s Talk (1999) — an English conversation book for teens and young adults. Ten years later, a new version of their first book was created and entitled Let’s Talk Anew. Their publisher was Fraus Publishing which is presently the largest Czech textbook publisher (https://www.fraus.com/).
In 2001, the Pecks returned to Australia and began living on the bayside of Brisbane (Thornlands), in South-East Queensland, about three kilometres from Eva’s father who was now a widower.
After two more teaching positions overseas again involving the teaching of English to first-year university students (South Korea between 2001-2005 and Saudi Arabia between 2005-2007), Alexander and Eva returned to their home in Thornlands in 2007.
While in South Korea, in addition to his full-time teaching, Alexander pursued PhD studies in Christian education at Hoseo University, a private Christian university in Cheonan City. He completed all the required course work and successfully passed the qualifying examinations. However, due to a number of circumstances at the time, he was unable to complete his doctoral work which was on the topic of “The Spirituality of Jan Amos Comenius”. (Comenius was a Moravian philosopher, pedagogue and theologian and is considered the father of modern education.) In order not to create a wrong impression of competence and achievement on the part of Alexander, at that time this PhD program was not as rigorous or demanding as may be expected at that level.
Between 2007 and 2010, Alexander completed two Master’s degrees in Theology through distance education with the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, specializing in Christian spirituality.
In 2011, Alexander and Eva co-authored Pathway to Life — Through the Holy Scriptures. This book was written for readers who desire to become better acquainted with the Word of God. The basic teachings of the Bible are presented in a concise and systematic manner, whereby thirty-six topics are organized under twelve broad themes. The book strives to offer a balanced, non-denominational understanding of the Christian message. Numerous scriptural passages support the material presented. Both individuals and small groups can benefit from the information.
Also in 2011, Alexander and Eva co-authored Journey to the Divine Within — Through Silence, Stillness and Simplicity. This book shares, through the reflections of a variety of spiritual writers, how to enter the realm of one’s heart. One way that this occurs is through silence, stillness, and simplicity. When pondered, the reflections given in the book will lead readers to the silence and stillness of their own hearts on the path to encountering the Life, Light, and Love within. The book has something to offer to both beginners and seasoned pilgrims on their contemplative journey.
It was late in 2011 that Alexander first encountered Buddhism through the teaching of Father Laurence Freeman OSB, a Catholic priest and a Benedictine monk. Father Freeman is the Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation. In a series of talks, Father Freeman quoted from the Buddhist Dhammapada. It was the spirituality of the Dhammapada that caught the attention of Alexander – who then followed up further in discovering more about the Dhammapada and other Buddhist writings.
In 2012, Alexander wrote Insights into Karma — The Law of Cause and Effect. This book explores the timeless and profound law of cause and effect. It shows how our actions clearly determine how we experience life, either in happiness or suffering, both now and in the future. Through coming to better understand the nature of karma, one will be equipped to fashion one’s life anew to yield greater compassion, peace, and freedom from misery.
In 2017, Alexander and Eva co-authored Realities of Life — Reflections in Verse. The poems address the following themes: realities of life, wisdom for life, acceptance, end-of-life reflections, in memoriam, friendship, and family. The poems reflect a serious side of life. However, to balance the soberness of the poems, a section entitled “On a Lighter Note” is included.
Beginning in 2012, and through to the present, Alexander began sharing what he was discovering in his Buddhist studies through the creation of websites on a variety of Buddhist topics.
Over the years, he spent time studying the Hinayana, Mahayana, and the Vajrayana traditions. Presently, he is studying under Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche of the Tergar Learning Community (https://learning.tergar.org/).
Up until the present time (2021), Alexander has created fourteen Buddhist websites as follows:
Broad Theme: Four Noble Truths
- buddhist-spirituality.info [Truth of suffering: All beings in conditioned existence experience pain and suffering which needs to be understood.]
- buddhist-spirituality.com [Truth of origin: We must understand where suffering comes from, and abandon it.]
- buddhist-spirituality.org [Truth of cessation: If the origin of suffering is removed, the suffering ceases; this needs to be actualized.]
- buddhist-spirituality.net [Truth of the path: To remove the origin of suffering and terminate the suffering, we must find a path, which is to be relied on.]
Broad Theme: Buddhist Practice
- buddhist-world.com [This website presents an overview of Buddhism – a tradition that spans over 2,500 years.]
- buddhist-meditation.net [The intent of this website was to provide a comprehensive overview of Buddhist meditation – however, the website remains incomplete at present.]
- insights-into-karma.org [This website is about karma – the timeless and universal law of cause and effect.]
- brahmaviharas.net [This website presents the Four Immeasurables – loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity – which are sublime expressions of love.]
- lamrimpath.org [This website presents information on the Lamrim (Tibetan) – the stages of the Buddhist path to awakening or enlightenment.]
- ngondro-practices.org [This website presents an explanation of the foundation or preliminary practices in Tibetan Buddhism.]
Broad Theme: Death and Dying
- end-of-life-spirituality.org [This website deals with facing the end of life – our own, and that of others.]
- the-six-bardos.org [This website presents an overview of the six bardos (intermediate states), as taught in Tibetan Buddhism.]
- dying-and-death-reflections.com [This website, begun during the website author’s 70th birthday weekend, was intended as a gift to others who are also nearing closer to the end of their life.]
- end-of-life-journey.org [This website is dedicated to all who may one day unexpectedly receive sobering news about their state of health – as has happened in the life of the website author.]
- spirituality-for-life.org [This website presents a practical spirituality to enhance one’s life journey – it also respects the wisdom of other religious traditions.]
- prayer-of-the-heart.org [This website deals with prayer of the heart or meditation.]
- insightfromlife.wordpress.com [The insights imparted on the blogsite come from the reality of living life.]
- buddhistspiritualityblog.wordpress.com [This blogsite presents a timeless spirituality that works to bring peace, harmony, and happiness for all people.]
- end-of-life-reflections.blogspot.com [This blogsite was created during the author’s 70th birthday as a gift to others who are also nearing closer to the end of their life – it features reflections about growing older, and all faith traditions (and none) are honoured.]
Each website (or blogsite) was created as though writing a book. The intent has been that the information presented on a given theme remains timeless, and can be read and reflected upon at any time.
Visitors can then “close the book” and leave to visit another website. Many of the listed websites are not being actively updated at this time. Yet, all visitors will always find the timeless principles shared in a given website of value for their lives – regardless of when the website was created.
Alexander Peck trusts that these websites will inspire visitors for many years to come.
Written April 25, 2021