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. When we are in touch with this source of contemplative unity dialogue will be more productive of friendship and trust.

Merely conceptual or merely activist dialogue runs the risk of remaining superficial, easily undermined and unsustainable.

The Community has been involved in inter-religious dialogue since its beginning. An early and still influential milestone in this work was the Good Heart Seminar, the 1994 John Main Seminar led by the Dalai Lama.

During these days of meditation and dialogue he commented on the gospels from the Buddhist perspective. The Good Heart as a book translated in many languages continues to inspire this form of dialogue.

Arguably the best book on interreligious dialogue published to date. One does not say such things lightly, but in a very real sense this is a holy book." — Huston Smith

The Seminar led to a further dialogue project jointly led by the Dalai Lama and Fr Laurence called The Way of Peace. Over a number of years it took the form of pilgrimage to each other’s sacred sites, times of retreat together and dialogue in places of social or political conflict especially in Northern Ireland.

At the beginning of 2013, Fr. Laurence Freeman and the Dalai Lama met again, in Sarnath, India, for a day of Dialogue. They discussed Jesus and the Buddha and what discipleship means in an increasingly secular world. Watch the talks below:


The Community’s inter-religious dialogue continues today with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Jews and other faiths – all with the conviction that such dialogue, empowered by the contemplative dimension of faith generates action and witness that promote the peace and justice on which a future world order needs to be built.