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Posts Tagged ‘interfaith’

Religious experts came together for “Healing the Divide: Interfaith Dialogue” on Nov. 16, 2016 at Lynn University. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and atheist beliefs were discussed during an open question and answer forum guided by Dr. Mark Luttio, associate professor of religion at Lynn University.

“In a world increasingly marked by division, it benefits us to promote unity and understanding,” said Luttio. “Lynn is committed to promoting an environment where religious differences are not simply tolerated but celebrated.”

Over 150 guests gathered in the university’s Snyder Sanctuary, a space designed for people of all faiths and belief systems to visit for contemplative thought, spiritual exploration, meditation, music and celebration. Speakers included:

  • Rabbi Barry Silver (Reform Judaism)
  • Rabbi Mark Winer (Reform Judaism)
  • Warren Witter (Evangelical Christian)
  • Shaikh Shafayat Mohammed (Muslim imam)
  • Renwick Bell (Mainline Protestant)
  • Ken Loukinen (President of Florida Atheists)
  • Martin Devereaux (Roman Catholic)
  • Harika Rao (Hinduism)
  • Kathleen Shokai Bishop (Zen Buddhist)

Silver expressed that all religions have unique theories. For example, Judaism has developed over time and revolves around the idea that there are no particular privileges to being Jewish, only specific responsibilities.

Dr. Kathleen Shokai Bishop brought light to Buddhist principles of inclusivity, peace, love and compassion—qualities that all speakers agreed are important in serving others regardless of their beliefs.

“What students experienced here was true dialogue,” added Luttio. “What I wanted them to take from this event was sense of hope in making a change in the world since we have the ability to hold valuable conversations as we leave our differences behind.”

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Once a year I’m invited to the Center for Spiritual Living’s Christmas Eve Interfaith Service in Boca Raton, Florida, and I lead a meditation on peace for them. We have a beautiful reading attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha entitled “Metta (Loving-Kindness) Sutra.” I have copied it below for you to use, meditate upon, and share with others that want to live a more peaceful and compassionate life.

Metta (Loving-Kindness) Sutra

May all beings be happy.
May they be joyous and live in safety.
All living beings, whether weak or
Strong, in high or middle, or low
Realms of existence, small or great,
Visible or invisible,
Near or far, born or to be born,
May all beings be happy.
Let none deceive another nor despise
Any being in any state; let none
By anger or hatred wish harm to another.
Even as a mother at the risk of her life
Watches over and protects her only child,
So with a boundless mind should
One cherish all living things,
Suffusing love over the entire
World, above, below, and all around
Without limit
So let each cultivate an
Infinite good will toward the whole
World.

This is my mantra for living. Each day I am given many opportunities to use it and many challenges are presented in which I must decide which world I want to live in. For me I want to live in a world “without limits” on love! I hope you’ll join me.

Namaste, Shokai

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