November 22, 2009

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown Offers a Contemplative Approach to Religious Pluralism

This from Alisa Roadcup at the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions: As part of a series of articles in preparation for the upcoming Parliament in Melbourne, the Council is currently featuring a piece by elephant journal friend Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D. The article, entitled “Commitment and Openness: A Contemplative Approach to Pluralism”, can be found online here. Give it a read–you’ll be glad you did. Here’s one pearl from Judith that stood out to me:

Frankly, engaging with pluralism is necessary for our very path, for spiritual development for ourselves and for the world. The contemplative path cannot be insular. We must be open to all the varieties of the world, to be touched by what we encounter, and to be transformed. When we draw a rigid boundary around ourselves, our contemplative development is over. When we encounter the “other,” that which we have ignored, excluded, or just not known, we have the capacity to question our conventional minds, to expand our horizons, and to go deep. The “other” is our greatest teacher, our guru. The contemplative, I would submit, needs pluralism in order to remain authentic.

For more goodies and other things Parliament-related, keep a close eye on http://www.parliamentofreligions.org.

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