Contemplation, Practice, and the Crossroads of Spirit: Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado, March 4-6, 2005

Article excerpt

In a world so often painfully divided by religion, the process of interfaith dialogue offers an inspiring and potentially fruitful path for engaging both the shared ideals and differing languages of religious traditions. In this gathering, renowned contemplatives from the Christian and Buddhist traditions joined to share the views, practices, and insights of their particular faiths, uncovering common ground while teasing out what makes each tradition unique. In a process of shared practice and discussion, the very practice of dialogue emerged as a path of contemplative awareness. Through talks, practice intensives, shared ritual, and intimate and group dialogue, themes such as meditation and prayer, theism and nontheism, and the role of contemplation in our modern, busy lives were explored. The practice of interfaith dialogue as a ground for understanding spirituality in America today was a fruitful topic, examining the role that such dialogue has on personal and communal practice, regardless of faith tradition. Such dialogue requires meeting the other; in doing so, we meet the edge of our own view and a ground of dialogue emerges with the possibility for greater understanding, expanded awareness, and healing. …