Interfaith, Contemplative Christianity and dialogue with the Secular World
Religion is becoming more, not less important in the world today. It is urgent that the deep changes taking place in religious consciousness across all faiths and in their relationships are connected to the contemplative power residing at the heart of all the great wisdom traditions.
Meditation opens us to the common ground of humanity – and the essential goodness of human nature. The differences between traditions and cultures are as important and enlightening as their similarities. Meditation establishes a spiritual friendship between the members and practitioners of all faiths and ensures that the differences do not become divisions or false justifications for intolerance or violence.
Meditatio initiates and participates in many interfaith endeavours at the local and global level. Meditators are encouraged to build bridges with neighbouring faith communities.
The Good Heart Seminar of 1994 in which the Dalai Lama commented on the Gospels and dialogued with both Christian and Buddhist participants was a ground-breaking model of contemplative interfaith dialogue. It also produced a major book. The Way of Peace initiative led by the Dalai Lama and Laurence Freeman grew from the Good Heart Seminar and has continued to highlight the different forms of dialogue that a contemplative consciousness can enjoy: pilgrimage to each other’s sacred sites, meditative practice together, shared action for peace and justice and religious scholarship.
Meditatio also supports the connection and friendship with different contemplative Christian groups. In August 2017 a group of 20 young Christian contemplatives from different forms of life – practitioners, teachers, scholars – spent four days in prayer, discussion and celebration at Snowmass Monastery, Colorado. They came from four leading contemplative networks working today to strengthen the contemplative dimension at the centre of Christian life: Contemplative Outreach, The World Community for Christian Meditation, the Centre for Action and Contemplation and the Shalem Institute.
Dialogue with the Secular World
Videos from the Meditatio Seminar: Spirituality in a Secular Society in Prague, 2016: