2.11   A meditation on interfaith dialogue

Materials required: a listing of the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. To access this listing, click here. To avoid printing all five available languages, select only the language you need.

Steps:

    1. Prepare yourself
      Prepare yourself for meditation by any means that you find to be effective. You may want to consider Appendix 4: Tips for preparing for meditation and reflection.
    2. The Golden Rule
      In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with these writings.
faith_poster_islam
  1. Interfaith dialogue“It seems to me that the world’s religions are like siblings separated at birth. We’ve grown up in different neighbourhoods, different households, with different songs, stories, traditions and customs. But now we’ve been reunited, and, having found each other after so many years apart, we look into each other’s faces and can see the family resemblance. We’re back together again, and it’s very good.”Spend some time reflecting on these words of Richard Watts, an interfaith activist and Presbyterian minister living in the United States. This eloquent statement captures the sentiments of many people involved in the international interfaith movement. Our shrinking global village is becoming a multi-religious society. Today we are witnessing levels of conversation and cooperation among the world faiths that are strikingly new to history. In fact, the world’s religions are now cooperating on every conceivable issue.Take as much time as you need to reflect on these words of Richard Watts.
  2. Interacting wisdom statements
    You have had some time to reflect on Richard Watts’ statement and the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. How do these two interact for you? To aid your reflection consider one or more of the following questions:

    1. Do these words of Richard Watts give added meaning to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? If so, how do they add meaning? Conversely, do the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule give added meaning to Watts’ words? Explain.
    2. Which of the 13 statements of the Golden Rule relate most directly to Richard Watts’ statement? Explain.
    3. Are there ways in which Watts’ words do not relate to the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule? Explain.
  3. In your own words
    In your own words, re-write this statement by Richard Watts, incorporating any new insights that you have garnered from your reflection thus far.
  4. Going deeper
    Read the written reflections you have made throughout this meditation. To deepen your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:

    • What was it like for me to do this meditation exercise?
    • At what points during this period of reflection was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
    • What questions or issues have been raised for me?
    • What new insights have I gained in this process?
    • What was it like for me to do this meditation exercise?
    • What did I learn about myself?
    • As a result of this meditation, what aspects of my life might I consider changing?
    • As a result of this meditation, I feel moved to…..
    • What did I learn about the Golden Rule? About the world we live in? About interfaith dialogue?
  5. Record your thoughts
    In your journal, record any thoughts, reflections or insights garnered in Step #6 and in the entire process.
  6. A group experience
    For instructions on how to adapt this meditation for a group experience, see Appendix 3: Application to a group experience.

 

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