SEEKING COMMON GROUND
by Rachel Ellison
Impact Design Hub
Last year, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported that more than 13 million people fled religious conflicts. And, as Rachel Ellison reminds us, we are bombarded on almost a daily basis with heartbreaking stories about spiritual strife all over the globe. It is important to remember, though, that there are people in the world, of all faiths, committed to promoting tolerance, dialogue, and hope. One of those places is in Berlin, Germany, where an initiative called House of One is taking root. The initiative will bring together a rabbi, priest, and imam under one roof, where their congregations are also invited to share a single building. Everyone who enters the House of One must do so through the same door, and though members of each faith may utilize their own spaces for worship, the building's domed, central meeting hall invites worshipers of all three faiths to convene and learn from each other.
Where do you seek grounding when overwhelmed by the strife and intolerance that seem to dominate the headlines? Are there other creative approaches you see to building bridges amongst seemingly disparate groups?
SACRED IN THE DAILY
Sacred Space: Finding Meaning in Daily Life
by Peter Cashorali, LMFT
The definition of "sacred space" can differ from person to person. For some, it may be a tangible space such as a cathedral, mosque, Stonehenge, or the pyramids. For others, it is more ephemeral or a feeling to which we once had access but no longer do. Sacred space, as Peter Cahorali writes in this meditation, can also mean what we set space aside for and what we do while within it. He writes: "Sacred space can mean leaving room in our lives for something to be sacred—if not now, then someday. Perhaps as simply as by acknowledging we don’t know all the answers. Or that our answers might not be the ultimate answer, might merely be rest stops along the way." What images does the term sacred space bring to mind for you? Is creating such space part of your daily, weekly, or monthly routine? Where do you seek the sacred during times of distress?
From Icons To Experience:
Iconography Beckons The Viewer Into An Enlightened World
by Olivia Shuler
The Emory Wheel
Currently on display until November at Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum is an exhibit entitled: "Doorway to an Enlightened World: The Tibetan Shrine." Instead of being separated and labelled individually, as exhibits traditionally are, this one is integrated into one "cohesive, stunningly experiential display." The reason for this, says Emory associate professor of religion Sara McClintock, is that, with a shrine like this, such a presentation "helps us to understand not only the icons themselves, but the practices that would be undertaken in the presence of such a shrine. We’ve designed [this exhibit] so that there’s a sense of entering a sacred space.” Click here to read more about the exhibit and, if you are unable to make it to Atlanta, Georgia in person, to experience some of the wonder from afar.
How Buddhist Nuns Restored This War Correspondent’s Faith In Humanity
by Antonia Blumberg
The Huffington Post
In her book In Search of Buddha’s Daughters: A Modern Journey Down Ancient Roads, released in the United States this past month, writer Christine Toomey depicts the lives of Buddhist nuns around the globe, from San Francisco to Dharamshala. Along the way, she dispels some of the misconceptions people have about these spiritual women. As she tells The Huffington Post: “One very common misperception is that women who choose to become Buddhist nuns are somehow running away from life, whereas I found the opposite to be true...Most of those who choose this path make it their business to deal on a daily business with some of the most profound and intractable problems of human existence.” Read more of Toomey's interview and discoveries here.