3.9   Interfaith dialogue – A golden conversation

Materials required

  • Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster. To view or order poster, click here.
  • 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.
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    1. The Golden Rule
      In a slow and reflective fashion, read the 13 versions of the Golden Rule. Take as much time as you need with these writings.
    2. A golden image
      Spend time gazing upon the Golden Rule Poster as an image. Allow it to speak to you. Study the visual elements of the poster – its overall design, its various shapes, lines, colours. Consider how these various elements relate to one another.
    3. Interfaith cooperation
      Reflect on the symbolic meaning of the poster image, particularly from the perspective of the growing levels of interfaith cooperation around the world. As a result of broad-based immigration patterns, more and more regions of the world are becoming environments of multi-culture and multi-faith; our shrinking global village is becoming a multi-religious society in which we are witnessing the emergence of a global interfaith consciousness. Research demonstrates that the religions of the world are now cooperating on every conceivable issue.Keep in mind also that an expression of the Golden Rule can be found in virtually all of the world’s religions. Indeed, the Golden Rule is considered to be a key point of agreement – and thus a key focus of dialogue – among the world’s many faiths. To you, does the poster convey a message of global interfaith cooperation? Explain.
    4. A global community
      On the poster, note that:

      • the globe – the earth – our world – resides at the very centre.
      • the words, “The Golden Rule”, are superimposed on the globe.
      • lines (or rays) flow out from the globe to the outer edges of the poster and beyond (or, from another perspective, the lines flow from the outer edges inwards toward the globe).
      • on the globe at the centre, the lines of longitude and latitude connect the various continents to one another in one single global human community.
      • there are no lines dividing the various continents into nations.
      • the poster can be conceived as a wheel with numerous spokes going out from the central hub, which is the globe.
      • the symbols of the various religions are gathered in a circle of circles – the circle is the most universal of religious symbols and represents unity and interconnectedness – in the circle, “everything is connected and everything is one.”
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  1. Making connections
    As you continue to gaze upon the poster image, what connections can you make between the Golden Rule, the design of the poster and the growing international phenomenon of interfaith dialogue? Does the poster inspire or challenge you to become more committed to interfaith dialogue? Jot down your thoughts.
  2. Record your thoughts
    Spend some time gathering any insights or reflections that came to you during this exercise. Jot down your thoughts in a journal or on paper. To deepen your reflection, consider one or more of the following questions:

    • What was it like for me to do this reflection?
    • At what points during this meditation was I moved? Inspired? Challenged?
    • What questions or issues have been raised for me?
    • What new insights have I gained?
    • What did I learn about myself?
    • As a result of this meditation, what aspect 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?
    • What did I learn about the world we live in?
    • What did I learn about the possibilities for interfaith dialogue in my community and around the world?
  3. 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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