Sunday, November 18, 2012

Buddhist Meditation Interfaith Service- Malindi Van Sant

On November 11th, I attended a meditation service at St. Paul Methodist Church here in Denver. After having some herbal teas, we were lead in meditation by a student from the local ILIFF School of theology. It was a very relaxing experience. Afterwards, there was a discussion about the concept of interfaith. My idea of ‘interfaith’ is best expressed through the metaphor, “There are many paths up the same mountain”. (I first read this metaphor in the Hinduism chapter of a book we are reading in religion class- “The world’s religions” by Huston Smith). The student leading the discussion expressed his disproval of that idea by explaining that it can potentially lead to us projecting our views onto others. He explained that in his own view of interfaith, we aren’t necessarily all moving towards the same goal. One woman in the group thanked the student for sharing this obscure idea of interfaith with the group, because she felt the same way. She explained that she felt her own deep Christian faith allows her to better understand other faiths and see all people as members of her own community. This experience has certainly broadened my understanding of the word ‘interfaith’. I am fascinated by the idea of interfaith communities. I am interested in potentially starting an interfaith group back on campus—somewhere that people from different faith traditions can learn about one another in a safe environment. 

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