Edward W. Bastian is a Buddhist scholar, president of the Spiritual Paths Foundation, and co-author of the award-winning book Living Fully Dying Well. Brother Wayne Teasdale coined the term "InterSpirituality" and explored its many meanings and multiple dimensions in several of his books. Despite differences, the world's religions share a mystical unity that binds them together and enables them to put aside the separating and isolating label of "the other." Recognizing this truth, InterSpirituality opens doors not only for dialogue but also for the high adventure of sharing spiritual practices and working together to create a better and more humane world. Bastian explains:
"InterSpirituality encourages contemplatives from different traditions to sit and meditate together, to enter into a deep dialogue of souond and silence, and to articulate the shared practices and experiences that are the foundations of their respective spiritual traditions. This is done not only in an attempt to understand, but to learn deeply from one another, and to create a core of spiritual intimacy based upon shared experience."
The foundations of InterSpirituality, according to the author, are prayer, contemplation, and meditation: three tools which enable us to go deeper within, to connect us with our Source, and to serve others. Bastian has come up with a seven-part process for people from different religions who want to create engaged contemplative communities. The second part of the book is devoted to a step-by-step explanation of the principles behind them and practices to reinforce them. They are:
• Step One - Motivation: "May I Be Healthy and Happy"
• Step Two - Gratitude: "May I Be Grateful for Life's Many Gifts"
• Step Three - Transformation: "May I Be Transformed into My Highest Ideal"
• Step Four - Compassion: "May I Be Loving and Compassionate"
• Step Five - Mindfulness: "May I Be Focused and Mindful Through Breathing"
• Step Six - Meditation: "May I Become Wise through Meditation"
• Step Seven - Dedication: "May I Serve All Beings with Compassion, Peace, and Wisdom"
In order to enhance our appreciation for the breadth and depth of Interspiritual Meditation, Bastian has called upon the following spiritual teachers and leaders to share their meaningful resources.
• "Finding Intimacy with God" by Father Thomas Keating
• "The Breath Within the Breath" by Yogi Nataraja Kallin
• "The Elemental Purification Breaths" by Pir Zia Inayat Khan
• "Breathing the Divine Name" by Rabbi Jeff Roth
• "The Breath of Tao" by Kenneth Cohen
• "Cultivating Tranquil Focus and Transcendental Insight" by Edward Bastian
We were pleased to see within the Seven Step Process the spiritual practices we include in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy: Gratitude, Transformation, and Compassion. We also see them as touchstones for InterSpirituality and more collaborative work among the world's religions. We also would like to share with you a very meaningful and timely "Our Family Prayer" which appears in the book:
For our different ways of thinking, moving and speaking;
For common hardships and common hopes;
For this family gathered here;
For living together and eating together;
For all our good times, and not so good times;
For growing up and growing older;
For wisdom deepened by experience;
For rest and leisure;
For the privilege of work;
For time made precious by its passing;
For all that has been,
And all that will be;
For all these blessings, we give thanks"
— Our Family Prayer
To learn more about Interspiritual Meditation certificate courses and seminars visit read about it here.