"If God is infinite, then we cannot limit God to one religion. Nor can we limit God to the God of Abraham, as the Buddhists and Hindus do not perceive divinity in this way. In the Hebrew Bible, God speaks through Amos, saying, ' People of Israel, I think as much of the Ethiopians as I do of you.' In many passages of Torah, God reminds the Jews to be kind to strangers, for they were once strangers in a strange land.
"In Zen Buddhism, when you bring your hands together palm to palm, it is called gassho. The gesture symbolizes the merging of opposites, the collapse of dualities, the harmony and reconciliation of diverse viewpoints. We so often mistake this as a 'religious' gesture of 'piety,' not for those who regard themselves as 'spiritual, not religious.' But it is precisely the kind of gesture we need to make to one another especially to our enemies.
"Our wisdom traditions teach us, above all, to be humble. 'No one knows its interpretation except God,' the Qur'an says of itself (Sura 3:7). Rabbi Marc H. Tannenbaum, one of the pioneers of interfaith dialogue in America, adds, ' No one religious, racial, or ethnic group has a monopoly on prejudice or a perfect record of understanding and identifying with the plight of his brothers. All of us need that open-hearted and open-minded process of self-critical examination.'
"We can be grateful to live in an age in which we can taste the honey of all wisdom traditions. We can be grateful to live in a country in which we can openly and peacefully express our love and admiration for each of the Cosmic Prophets whether Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad or Lao Tzu; openly and peacefully explore commonalities between them; and openly and peacefully meditate with our brothers and sisters of other faiths. As Ken Wilber writes, ' We live in an extraordinary time: all of the world's cultures, past and present, are to some degree available to us, either in historical records or as living entities. In the history of planet earth, this has never happened before.'
"Each of us has a garden inside our hearts. We can cultivate this garden, deciding, selecting, filtering, pollinating and cross-pollinating. There is nothing more beautiful than a bee buzzing peacefully in God's garden, transforming the ordinary pollen of thought and feeling into a new ambrosia for the human soul."