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Today the word “interfaith” has enormous influence in the world. We are asked to move from a parochial way of viewing the world and ourselves in it to widely consider a more global view. We can no longer in the interest of planet survival take a solipsistic view of the world in which we think of ourselves as the sole purveyors of religious or spiritual belief, or the dominant religion to which all persons must adhere. One need only look to the violence in the name of holding to one’s spiritual or religious belief as the only truth to see the danger of holding such views. As we gaze out at the enormous global problems of starvation, violence and ignorance proliferating in the world, we must have a philosophy of interfaith that acts as an umbrella under which all religions and spiritual beliefs may gather. Seeking the diversity of cultures, mores, religions and beliefs can only enrich us with an interfaith view.
What is interfaith? Interfaith allows members of all religions and spiritual teachings to reach out across barriers to understand and communicate with each other. Interfaith affirms and supports the true goodness of each person as we set about to heal the planet. While there is not an effort to homogenize religious differences, one is asked to honor and respect religious differences, recognizing that we are each individual and unique. As such, with interfaith, we have the freedom to choose whatever fits us in our desire to lead spiritual or religious lives. What is most important during these times is that we begin an interfaith dialogue that supports the common ground on which we meet and that we recognize not only our differences, but affirm our sameness in attempting to do good in this life. Interfaith dialogue is very important at this juncture. When there is dialogue, then there is a desire to promote acceptance of difference and in that acceptance, one achieves the pinnacle of interfaith philosophy.
In the Jew in the Lotus, one is treated to an extraordinary experience of a Jewish man as he encounters Buddhism at Dharmasala for a Jewish/Tibetan Buddhist interfaith dialogue. This interfaith get together was inspired by not only Jews who had become Buddhists but the Dalai Lama’s perception of Jews as experts in exile and preservation of faith and practice.Some of those attending aa the group were surprised by the similarities between these two beliefs, both in how they coped spiritually and how they resonated in service to mankind. These interfaith discussions shed an important light on the similarities rather than differences in all religious and spiritual belief. When seen through the door of “sameness,” one can only see the vista that interfaith dialogue provides to the world. Kameneth approaches these weighty matters with skill, personality, and a wonderful sense of humor.
Kashi Ashram is noted for its promotion of interfaith dialogue. In all of its projects including “feeding the hungry,” and its affordable living facility By the River, it promotes and welcomes interfaith discussion and philosophy. In fact, it is a contributing member of the Parliament of World Religions whose mission is to sustain the interfaith view. This beautiful sterling silver Interfaith Necklace with sterling silver chain was designed by artists at Kashi and depicts the symbols of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism and Taoism. Not only an interfaith statement you are making when wearing this necklace, but you might consider this an interfaith amulet that will bring the world peace and interfaith dialogue.
When one thinks of interfaith, one thinks of the similarities of messages and exhortations to do good in all religions. In the book Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tzu one sees the similarity in the message of service and doing good to others that reaches across all religions and transcends religious differences. As one contemplates the teachings of Christ, juxtaposed with those of Buddha, Krishna and Lao Tzu, one witnesses the true parallels and similarities in their most integral teachings. This book is a wonderful seminal book for those interested in conducting an interfaith discussion with others in an effort to point out humanity’s similarities rather than their differences, thus promoting interfaith cooperation and cohesion rather than divisiveness and disharmony.
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We see prayer flags typically displayed in Tibet, Nepal, and India. The prayer flags are carried by the wind and are a blessing to all. As the prayer flags flutter gracefully in the wind, they are a reminder to all of us to pray for peace and the welfare of all beings and to be mindful of compassion, kindness and joy. In feng shui, the prayer flags because of their connection to the wind can uplift a depressed area and balance it. Chinese healers have long felt that prayer flags can strengthen one’s chi if placed correctly. When you hang prayer flags, you are in effect asking that your wishes for peace and prosperity resound through the world and that anybody looking at them remember their inner calm. The best tradition for prayer flags is when they are worn, they are actually burned so that they may give off the last expression of prayer. They are returned to the elements as it were, restored to the earth for a final resting place.
In Sacred Symbols of the World, we see the desire within these prayer flags for world peace. On the face of these nine prayer flags are the sacred symbols of the world represented by Hinduism, Native Wisdom, Sikhism, Judaism, Unity of All, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Taoism. These prayer flags represent to us a call for unity and cooperation by all religions and nations of the world sorely needed in these times. When these prayer flags are displayed, we are literally shouting to the rooftops for peace and prosperity for all the religions and nations of the world.
Mystic Animal Prayer Flags are most unique in that they are hand crafted by renunciates living at the Dolman Ling Nunnery in Dharmasala, India. Instead of religious symbols or representations of virtues, these prayer flags reflect the snow lion, dragon, tiger, and sea monster and wind horse. All of these animals are known to be fierce and protective, and their symbolism reflects protection for not only Tibetans but for the world en masse.
The wind horse particularly as represented in these prayer flags is the “life force” as represented in the Shambhala teachings of warriorship. Our wind horse is something to be connected with through meditation practice and then we ride it through life with joy and delight.
The snow lion as an emblem on prayer flags of Tibet represents healing and fearlessness and has long been a mythological celestial symbol on the Tibetan flag, postage stamps, etc. And of course, in western culture we are very familiar with the fierce quality of both the dragon and tiger; the sea monster speaks for itself as to its terrifying and protective quality.
Lastly, for those students of the mystical chakra tradition, Ma’s India carries seven Chakra Prayer Flags carrying the prayer for chakra renewal and healing. The chakra prayer flags, as they flutter in the wind, represent the prayer for enlightenment and restoration of consciousness not only for us as individuals but for humanity also. They are hand batiked in Bali.
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Bodhi Seed Bracelets This special Bodhi Seed Bracelet has 9 Bodhi seeds and one turquoise stone. The Bodhi Seed enhances spirituality and meditation. The turquoise bead is to help you in counting during meditation and is said to provide strength and protection. While meditating with your beads, creativity and intuition are stimulated and communication is enhanced. This simple design of beads and turquoise stones will remind you to stay simple in your practice. The bracelet is tied off at the ends with delicate macramé knots and can be used in meditation or carried with you throughout your day. The seeds are 12mm beads. The turquoise stone is set off by silver rings on each side. It comes in a light brown or dark brown seed styles.
Bodhi Seed Mala
This beautiful, hand-made traditional Tibetan Bodhi Seed Mala has 108 Bodhi beads and three turquoise stones. The seeds come from the Bodhi Wisdom Tree, where the Buddha was meditating when he attained enlightenment. Counting off the beads during your meditation, or during your day, will help still your mind and bring you peace. It is attractive enough to wear around your neck as a piece of jewelry. You’ll notice the quality craftsmanship in each detail, especially the delicate macramé knots that tie off the mala.
Jesus in the Lotus by Russill Paul
Reading Jesus in the Lotus by Russill Paul is the story of how, after a motorcycle accident and a subsequent crisis of faith, Russill Paul became a student of renegade monk Bede Griffiths, one of the first to synthesize two of Earth’s greatest religious traditions. This book condenses Paul’s spiritual journey into 12 steps that blend the wisdom and spiritual teachings of Christianity and yoga. By demonstrating that these two seemingly irreconcilable religions can unite in a holistic daily spiritual practice, he offers an alternative to religious intolerance and strife, as well as hope for personal liberation. It’s a mind opening experience that will enhance your life.
Rudraksha Pendant and Earrings
The Rudraksha Bead Pendant and Rudraksha Bead Earrings come from the holy Rudraksha tree in India. The ancient story is that Shiva looked down on the earth and saw how inhumanly man was treating each other, and so he cried. Where his tears fell, Rudraksha trees grew. It is said, if you wear the Rudraksha bead you do not have to cry because Shiva will cry for you. The Rudraksha Bead Pendant is wrapped in sterling silver finishing off with an “OM” symbol. Wear it on a silver chain or a simple cord. The Rudraksha Bead Earrings are capped on the top and bottom of the beads with a sterling silver design. Either pendant or earrings will allow you keep this powerful bead close to your heart. 5 mukhi (sections) bead. Approximately 15mm.
Art of the Pendulum Kit
The Art of the Pendulum Kit contains twelve beautiful cards with provocative images that address different topics, such as timing, abundance, guidance, and relationships; an instruction booklet; and a shiny pendulum. Move from questions to answers with just a swing of the pendulum, an ancient device used for divining information and inner wisdom. Everyone feels indecisive sometimes. Yet deep in our subconscious lays a vast body of knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. Use this kit to access it. Simply choose a card applicable to your dilemma, hold the pendulum above the card, and concentrate on your question. The pendulum will reveal your answer by the direction it moves.
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