Before moving on to Mission #2, reflect on yesterday's mission. What was it like to sit with the reality that our personal ancestral lineages reach to so many people who have lived before us? Did you feel more connected to yourself, to life, and to others? I still have not done the connecting to earth and the sky. I do not why I feel so sckeptical. My roots are Inca and this should be easy, but I guess there are learned behaviors and sckepticism that I need to overcome.
How might you continue to carry this awareness in your everyday life, and how might it impact your interactions with others? I need to learn how to take the first step with mind, body, and spirit. I guess it will take time. I will try the activity with my toddler grandchild. Maybe the connection to the moment and the fact that I will not be part of this elder years might bring this activity a new perspective.
“Why is interfaith dialogue so difficult? [It is] the confusion between the particular and the universal. Every authentic spiritual path is an avenue to a shared universal. But that universal is far greater than any particular path.” -Rabbi Ted Falcon, The Interfaith Amigos
Our second mission, Agents, is to listen compassionately to someone from a different tradition, perspective, or culture than our own.
We introduce the concept of Compassionate Listening with The Interfaith Amigos!
Few things can stir up our emotions like listening to someone say something that goes against what we believe to be true. Agents, this is a sign! There is profound treasure buried where these feelings exist… If we can rise to the challenge! I think it is difficult to listen to others because it is a thread to the balance provided by our upbringing, to the power created by the known ways. It is hard because of the fear it creates that our own beliefs might not be strong enough since all is a creation of humans before us, just as imperfect and fearful as us, just as vulnerable as us.
It is easy to have compassion for someone who thinks and lives like we do. It is much more difficult to see past the differences that seem to divide us from the “other”, to look past judgement, and find the will to care and try to understand regardless of these different views. It can be difficult to accomplish, but where these feelings lay, untold growth awaits!
Today, seek out and listen to someone that holds a different perspective than you do. It could be a friend, a family member, or even an acquaintance you’d like to learn more about. Listen with an open mind and heart, without judgement, with a genuine interest to understand their perspective or tradition. The hard part here is without judgement!
Agents, remember... As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify its power! Your report inspires others, amplifying the power of your compassion and generosity!
If you want more guidance on how to be a more compassionate communicator, The Interfaith Amigos have put together 5 interfaith dialogue stages:
Reaching beyond distrust, suspicion and fear by sharing our stories together.
Gaining an appreciative understanding of the core teachings of another's traditions.
Understanding how some of the verses and practices in our traditions are consistent with core teachings and other verses and practices are inconsistent with those core teachings.
Being willing to enter into more difficult conversations, such as Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
Celebrating and experiencing spiritual practices from other traditions.
Each day during World Interfaith Harmony Week the Compassion Torch will be passed to a new Champion of Compassion. On Day 2 of the Giving Games, we are deeply thankful to pass the Compassion Torch from Sande Hart and the Charter for Compassion: Women and Girls Sector to the one and only Interfaith Amigos! The Interfaith Amigos, of course, are the inspiration behind Mission #2. They began working together after 9/11, and have been healing the divide between faiths ever since. Don't miss out on their remarkable story!