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Meditating on the Buddha in the Midst of Buddhist Terror

Meditating on the Buddha in the Midst of Buddhist Terror

by Richard Reoch

The Buddha was no stranger to genocide. His own people, the Sakyas, were the victims of mass slaughter. One of the final acts of his life, recounted in the opening verses of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, was to refuse a request to give his blessing to an act of genocide.

The Remarkable Interfaith Significance of Alexander the Great

The Remarkable Interfaith Significance of Alexander the Great

by Henry Karlson

Interfaith dialogue is a constant element of any religious faith. Such dialogue, however, tends not to be on the level of the dogmatic teachings of the different faiths but on practical matters, such as questions concerning the morality or immorality of particular actions or on the way communities as a whole understand shared historical experiences.

The Christmas Narrative Revisited

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth with joyful carols, special liturgies, festive meals and gifts…Yet, what are the origins of Christmas and how did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday? Contrary to popular belief, celebrations of Jesus’ nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts, and no hint is offered about a specific date or time of the year related to his birth. In fact, a careful analysis of scripture indicates that December 25 is an unlikely date for Jesus’ birth. Instead of being derived from any event in the Christian narrative, Christmas likely has pagan roots that trace back to the third-century Roman festival of the rebirth of the “Invincible Sun,” celebrated around the Winter Solstice when the increased darkening ends and the lengthening of the daylight hours begins.

Meditation for Kids

The oldest child in the room happened to be my son. He was seven years old at the time. The youngest child was only 4 years old. All the kids, along with a few teachers, were sitting on green meditation cushions arranged in a circle with their eyes closed. Actually, eyes were closed intermittently since there was a fair bit of peeking. “Place a hand on your belly,” she said, “and see if you can feel your breath. When you take a breath in, your belly should move out. When you let your breath go, your belly should move in.”

Religious Violence in Burma

The Fire This Time:

Wedded to Dialogue

Building Interfaith Bridges with Your Spouse

Asian Religions in the United States

How Religious Diversity Became a Reality in America

Coming to Terms with Essential Terms

Parsing Vedanta, Yoga, and Dharma

“How Do Hinduism and Buddhism Influence Me as a Rabbi?”

Finding Common Ground

Dharma in the Christian West

Christianity and Nonduality

On Behalf of ‘the Many’

In this freewheeling book, Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord attempt a truly daunting task: to tell the story — one that reaches back fourteen billion years — of what they call “the planet’s emerging unity consciousness,”1 or, in terms of their mentor Wayne Teasdale, the emerging Interspiritual Age. The authors define interspirituality as “the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions,” “a more universal experience of the world’s religions, emphasizing shared experiences of heart and unity consciousness.” Fundamentally, however, interspirituality turns out to be monistic: “the entire religious experience of our species,” they write, “has been a single experience.”

Pan-Asian Participation in the 1893 Parliament

Some Jain friends at the 1993 Parliament of World Religions gave me a booklet with the title We Were There As Well. Too easily the starring role of Swami Vivekananda has obscured the significant contribution that other Asian participants made a hundred years earlier at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions, participants who deserve to be remembered.

What Do Women Bring to the Interfaith Table?

This month TIO invited five remarkable women, interfaith leaders representing different faiths, to answer the question, “What do Women Bring to the Interfaith Table?” Three of their responses tell us stories – the other two approach the issue more on its own terms. But the result is a rounded, insightful discussion helping explain why women are more engaged as interfaith leaders than ever before.

Reclaiming Ashoka - An Iron Age Interfaith Exemplar

Approximately 2280 years ago, Emperor Ashoka, third regent of India’s Maurya Dynasty, ascended the throne. This Iron Age family ruled India’ first empire, stretching from eastern Iran to Burma, including most of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Scholars dispute the details but agree that Ashoka ruled for about four decades in the middle of the third century BCE.

A Conversation with John Cobb

TIO: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Professor Cobb. I’m particularly interested in talking about one of your recent books.

John Cobb:Which one?

TIO: The Dialogue Comes of Age: Christian Encounters with Other Traditions.

Cobb: I thought you might be referring to it.

TIO: One of the things that struck me was how it focused on dialogue between religious communities as a collective. Could you tell me more about that?