Season for Interfaith-Intercultural Celebration

9-Week Self Study Program

Week EIGHT: Healing, Prayer & Meditation

Interview Dialogues
Discussion Questions
Preparation & Background
Related Global Manifesto
Further Reading/ Links

INTERVIEWS

Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith on Healing from the Perspective of New Thought
Founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, he is President of Association for Global New Thought, originator of the Life Visioning Process, and international co-chair of the Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence campaigns. His media appearances include: the Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Tavis Smiley, The Secret, and national sconvention for social and political leaders. Hi numerous awards include The Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award from Morehouse College, the Humanitarian Award of the National Council for Community and Justice, The Howard Thurman Stained Glass Window Award.

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Chungliang Al Huang on Prayer from the Perspective of Confucianism and Taoism
An internationally respected Tai Ji master and authority of East-West cultural synthesis, he is the author of numerous books on Tai Ji, and Taoism as it relates to business, performance and daily life, including the best-selling classic, Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji. He is a research fellow at the Academia Sinica, a member of the World Academy of Art and Science, and recipient of the Republic of China's Gold Medal of Education.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What are the practical and spiritual principles involved in healing (of oneself and of others)?

2. Why is healing such an essential part of the New Thought tradition? Might a deeper understanding of New Thought help one to discover the role of healing in her or his own tradition?

 

 

PREPARATION & BACKGROUND

New Thought

New Thought is a spiritually motivated way of life that embraces the ancient wisdom traditions of east and west. It embodies the belief that consciousness is elementally creative, reciprocates thought, and thereby shapes (but does not determine) what becomes manifest in our experience. New Thought principles reflect a universal conviction that the community of all life is sacred; its practices of meditation and prayer enhance a worldview promoting reverence for, and service to humanity and planet earth. New Thought is committed to global healing through personal transformation, community-building, interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary understanding, and compassionate activism.

Excellence: There is an inherent perfection and sacred worth in the universe, all of creation, and every individual. The community of all life is interconnected and interdependent. Consciousness is infinitely creative; we create our experience through our thoughts and feelings. Human consciousness is ever evolving into higher states of awareness.
Story: Cocreation with the Divine
Ritual Pattern: Applying science of mind to everyday life
Ethical Norm: Consciousness creates according to divine purpose

 

Confucianism

For almost two millennia, Confucianism has provided the essential moral and religious structure of Chinese society. Its origins lie in the collection of sayings known as the Analects, attributed to the master Confucius, and in commentaries based on his thought. Originally, Confucianism was a system of hierarchical and ethical precepts for the management of society, based on the practice of jen—sympathy or "human-heartedness"—as shown in one's relations with others and demonstrated through adherence to li, a combination of etiquette and ritual. A person who wishes to be properly treated when in a subordinate role must, according to the Confucian Golden Rule, treat his own inferiors with propriety. In time, Confucianism provided a structure for the legal, educational, and bureaucratic traditions of China. Its precepts came to be regarded as the essential criteria for Chinese social life, ethics, and etiquette as well.

Excellence: The deepest insight into the role of the person as a member of a larger whole. Harmony, balance, family and people. Philosophy, science, education, law, society, and ethics. Ritual reinforcement of the social contract.
Story: The Ruler Sage
Ritual Pattern: Li (ritual propriety)
Ethical Norm: Law

 

Taoism

Taoism is the sister to Confucianism in the family of Chinese philosophical and religious systems. The teaching derives from the Tao-te-ching, a book traditionally ascribed to Lao-tse. It sets forth an ideal human condition of freedom from desire, spontaneity, and of effortless simplicity, achieved by following the Tao, “the path,” or the “flow,” the spontaneous, creative, effortless way of natural events in the universe. When Indian Buddhism came to China, its encounter with Taoism’s contemplative relationship to nature gave rise to the tradition later known (in Japan) as “Zen.” Taoist reflection profoundly influenced the Chinese artistic tradition. Taoism also provided the essential ground for the development of the body-mind systems later known as the martial arts. The tradition of Chinese healing and pharmacology also owes its origin to Taoist observational skills. Attention to the natural and dynamic course of events is the animating practice of the Taoist way.

Excellence: An extraordinarily evocative treatment of the human relationship with Nature, with the flow of the ultimate principle, the Tao. Art as the highest expression. Contemplation as the essential skill. Present‑centeredness as the most basic virtue.
Story: Lao-tzu’s Departure from China
Ritual Pattern: Contemplation and Art
Ethical Norm: Wu wei (non-action [no agenda])



Links & Media:

LINK: Quotes from the World's Religions on Healing
LINK: Quotes from the World's Religions on Prayer
LINK: Video Meditation on Healing

LINK: Video Meditation on Prayer

 

RELATED GLOBAL MANIFESTO

A Call to Our Guiding Institutions: (Parliament of the World's Religions, 1999: interreligious outreach to the world's key institutions regarding the critical issues facing the twenty-first century)
CLICK HERE TO READ

 

FURTHER READING

Living Tao Foundation

Agape International Spiritual Center