Inter-Religious Dialogue

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Pope Francis on Interreligious dialogue: Foster respect and friendship

Pope Francis met with participants from the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who are exploring the theme, “Members of different religious traditions in civil society”. 
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The Dalai Lama website publishes story on the Day of Dialogue

* The text below is from the Office of HH the Dalai Lama

Dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Fr Laurence Freeman OSB about Teacher and Disciple in Sarnath, Varanasi

January 13th 2013

Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India, 12 January 2013 - Today was dedicated to a conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his longstanding spiritual friend Fr Laurence Freeman, Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation. The theme was seeing Jesus and the Buddha as teachers and the role of the disciple. The venue was the Atisha Hall of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath.

The conversation began during a private meeting between His Holiness and Fr Laurence and some of his friends and benefactors. One of them asked about truth and His Holiness replied,

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Laurence Freeman: "The Dalai Lama has been an inspiration to me"

On June 18th Laurence Freeman OSB met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Manchester UK. They spoke about the dialogue they will share during the next WCCM Pilgrimage to India in January 2013. They also discussed plans for a new series of Way of Peace events which they will co-lead. See HERE some photos of the meeting and HERE a video message of the Dalai Lama to the World Community with a spacial word of encouragement to younger meditators.


You seem to have a very warm friendship with the Dalai Lama and he speaks of you warmly as his friend  and spiritual brother. How did this friendship develop? When was your first meeting?

Laurence Freeman: I first met the Dalai Lama in Montreal in 1980, when John Main invited him to visit our new community there after an interfaith service in the Cathedral. I was an early professed monk at that time. The Dalai Lama visited us for midday prayer and meditation followed by lunch.  Fr. John had a very positive conversation with him and as he was leaving presented him with a copy of the Rule of St Benedict.  The Dalai Lama I think was very impressed and interested by the idea of Christians meditating and teaching meditation from their own tradition. In his book Towards the True Kinship of Faiths he describes this meeting and how moved he was by it. He and Fr. John certainly met at a deep personal level.

Some year later, after Fr. John died, I invited his Holiness to lead the John Main Seminar. He accepted in respect of this friendship. Then he asked “What would you like to me speak about?  I was slightly taken aback and thought quickly and then said “Would you be willing to comment on the Gospel from your Buddhist tradition?” The Dalai Lama pondered a bit then smiled and replied: “I don’t know a lot about the Gospels but yes, let’s try it." It was a sign both of his commitment to deep dialogue - seeing from the other's point of view and letting go of attachment to one's own - but also of his personal courage and self-confidence.

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A Day of Dialogue

with Tibetan Buddhist, Dr Alan Wallace and
Bendictine monk, Fr Laurence Freeman

Thursday 21 June 2012—10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Westminster Cathedral hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London

Are Salvation and Enlightenment the same? If so, at what level do - or can - different traditions achieve sameness? From their common ground of friendship formed over many years, Alan and Laurence will lead an exploration of these important issues. Vital as these questions are to good dialogue and mutual understanding, both agree it is in the practice of meditation that the real answers are experienced. The day will therefore include both their talks and discussions, questions from the participants and times of meditation.

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Common Ground An Interfaith Dialogue Singapore 7-8 Jan 2012

A Meditatio Seminar on The Contemplative Dimension of Faith

led by Laurence Freeman OSB 

With contributions from

  • Venerable Chuan Guan
  • Habib Syed Hassan Al-Attas
  • Mother Mangalam
  • Master Huang Xin Cheng
  • Master Chung Kwang Tong (Wei Yi)

This Meditatio Seminar, held in Singapore in January 2012, focussed on the contemplative practice of religion and how the shared experience of silence in meditation can enhance inter-religious dialogue.

A gallery and the brochure of the Seminar are available.

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Robert Kennedy talk about Zen at Meditatio

Robert Kennedy is one of three Jesuits in the world who answer to the tittles “Father” and “Roshi” or venerable Zen teacher. He is not only a Jesuit priest and Zen master, but also a psychotherapist and professor of theology at St Peter’s College in New Jersey. He is a representative of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics at the United Nations. He is the author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians.

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The Good Heart

The year one of the world's most beloved spiritual teachers, the Dalai Lama, first prayed in Jerusalem and Lourdes as an interfaith pilgrim, 1994 was also the year when he led an historic discussion, "The Good Heart", for the tenth annual John Main Seminar in London.

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Inter-Religious Dialogue

Meditation is a universal wisdom found at the heart of all religious traditions. So it naturally leads into the common ground we all share and meet in.

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