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

Via Reverend Danny Fisher
on Nov 21, 2009
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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.

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About Reverend Danny Fisher

Rev. Danny Fisher, M.Div., D.B.S. (Cand.), is a professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, CA. He was ordained as a lay Buddhist minister by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California in 2008. In addition, he is certified as a mindfulness meditation instructor by Naropa University in association with Shambhala International. A member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, he serves on the advisory council for the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program. In addition to his work for elephant journal, he is a blogger for Shambhala Sun. He has also written for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Religion Dispatches, The Journal of Buddhist Ethics, The Journal of Religion & Film, Eastern Horizon, New York Spirit, Alternet's Wiretap Magazine, and other publications. His award-winning website is


One Response to “Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown Offers a Contemplative Approach to Religious Pluralism”

  1. […] it had a big name to live up to. And live up to its name it did. Our esteemed teacher, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, began the weekend by pointing out the contrast between our normal, conventional view of confidence […]