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Songs of a Common Heart

Last post 05-26-2007, 11:52 AM by balder. 5 replies.
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  •  05-18-2007, 10:52 PM 22982

    Songs of a Common Heart

    At the Snowmass Interreligious Conference in 1984, a group of Protestants, Catholics, Russian Orthodox Christians, Zen Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Native Americans got together to discuss their conceptions of the divine and to determine if there were any points that they agreed upon. This is what they came up with:


    1. We all bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality to which we give various names: Brahman, Allah, Absolute, God, Great Spirit.

    2. Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.

    3. Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actuality.

    4. Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality. In this sense faith precedes every belief system.

    5. The potential for human wholeness -- or in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transformation, blessedness, nirvana -- is present in every human person.

    6. Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.

    7. As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

    8. Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life, yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one's own efforts, but the ripe fruit of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality. 


    In a subsequent meeting in 1986, they came up with the following “practical” agreements:


    I.  Examples of disciplined practice common to us all:


                1.  Practice of compassion

                2.  Service to others

                3.  Practicing moral precepts and virtues

                4.  Training in meditation techniques and regularity of practice

                5.  Attention to diet and exercise

                6.  Fasting and abstinence

                7.  The use of music and chanting and sacred symbols

                8.  Practice in awareness (recollection, mindfulness) and living in the present                         


                9.  Pilgrimage

              10.  Study of scriptural texts and scriptures


                And in some traditions:


                11.  Relationship with a qualified teacher

                12.  Repetition of sacred words (mantras, japa)

                13.  Periods of silence and solitude

                14.  Movement and dance

                15.  Formative community


    II.  It is essential to extend the formal practice of awareness into all the aspects of our life


    III. Humility, gratitude, and a sense of humor are indispensable in the spiritual life.


    IV. Prayer is communion with Ultimate Reality, whether It is regarded as personal,   

          impersonal, or beyond them both.

    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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  •  05-19-2007, 12:59 PM 22999 in reply to 22982

    Re: Songs of a Common Heart

    Dear Balder:  This is excellent information to have.   One of the things that always seems to help for me in conversations with others, esp.  those like my oldest son who is begiinning to find his Law Practice is not glamourous any more, is to give the research done on how keeping the body strong is an important part of being able to  "manifest".  I do not use that word but will tell the story of the question ask to KW about Aurobindo being a leader like a Pope for the Catholics.  Answer:  his body was emaciated.  Today we all know this makes sense and people can connect somehow also about the wonder of the body.   I usually can work in the saying by the Budhists "OH Our Precious Bodies".   We like hearing that.   And my son does lift weights and "gets that".   He is a stubborn Catholic and loved growing up in the church.   We haven't even gotten to the part that Integral can be worked into all that.

    Nor has he had time to read FR. Keatings books.  So I start where I can. This info that you sent is  another "quick" read to send to someone like my son and some of his friends.  Their time is so "used up" up reading small print and stressing out their days with details etc.   So this is short and concise, can hardly be argued with unless given carelessly.  I wish the date were a little different and I may be tempted to leave that out.  It is still relevant.  It has a permanant place in my files.

    I still intend to try and get a day or two talking to the students at the Community College here by next fall. So thanks for sharing this with us.   Pattye

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  •  05-19-2007, 1:16 PM 23002 in reply to 22999

    Re: Songs of a Common Heart

    PS   Love the Title   PTG
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  •  05-25-2007, 9:46 AM 23294 in reply to 23002

    Re: Songs of a Common Heart

    Deaer Bruce:  Just wrote a note and think I pushed the wrong button.  You have a message from me in your in-box.   If I did not push the wrong button there. Just goes to prove that I need to be getting some things done ..   My mind is way ahead of my typing.   Later Pattye
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  •  05-25-2007, 10:53 AM 23299 in reply to 22982

    • edison is not online. Last active: 02-01-2008, 3:51 AM edison
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-03-2006
    • Washington DC metro area
    • Posts 69
    • Points 1,195

    Re: Songs of a Common Heart

    First reaction:

    This is soooo gorgeous, so resonantly true, and so reassuring in a fundamentally deep way.

    Second reaction:

    Oh my!  This is over two decades old! Why-oh-why don't people get it?

    Third reaction:

    70% of the population at amber or below...sigh...

    Last reaction:

    To change the world, the most efficient activity is to change myself (by following the perscription(s) in the post!)



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  •  05-26-2007, 11:52 AM 23348 in reply to 23299

    Re: Songs of a Common Heart

    Hi, Brian,

    It is inspiring, isn't it, that people from so many backgrounds can come together and find a common vision.  But also frustrating that this still is so rare.  I think this sort of movement is slowly growing, though, among leaders in different traditions (perhaps as they reach Green or Teal altitudes), and one can only hope that these developments continue in a healthy way, and begin to trickle down different lineage streams.

    If you're interested, I blogged recently on interfaith dialogue:

    Steps Toward Integral Deep Dialogue

    Best wishes,


    May the boundless knowledge that time presents and space allows illuminate the native perspectives of your original face.

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