“InterSpiritual Meditation: A Seven-Step Process from the World’s Spiritual Traditions” is a universal seven-step process drawn from the worlds spiritual traditions. It was developed by Ed Bastian in close contemplative collaboration with great teachers of meditation from Christian, Jewish, Sufi (Muslim), Hindu, Taoist, Native American, and Buddhist traditions.
It is designed to help each individual to develop a practice of contemplation and meditation for health, happiness, gratitude, transformation, love, compassion, tranquility, focus, wisdom, and service in the world. Its seven-step process enables people of diverse spiritual practices to create engaged contemplative communities based on empathy, understanding, shared contemplative intentions, and compassionate service for the common good. It helps us to:
1. create a personal meditation for health, happiness, gratitude, transformation, compassion, mindfulness, wisdom, and service.
2. create supportive contemplative communities of people with diverse beliefs and traditions.
3. partner with people from diverse traditions, beliefs, and insights to lead positive change in the world.
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Over the millennia the world’s spiritual traditions have created and handed down to us a marvelous diversity of meditative practices. These are our global spiritual heritage. Practiced in concert with each other, these meditations provide us with internal renewable resources for global peace, equality, and prosperity. Together, buoyed by the diversity of these practices, we are of one heart and capable of solving the challenges of our times.
Today, countless numbers of people are attempting to develop and sustain a meditation practice. Our individual practices reflect the gamut of the world’s spiritual heritage. Often, we don’t have a local community to support our chosen practice and we must proceed alone. Yet to maintain our practice, it is helpful to be in a supportive contemplative community that can help nourish, support, and strengthen us – – a community that also reflects the vibrant spiritual diversity of our times. InterSpiritual Meditation can help us to build communities of people with diverse practices.
Amidst the world’s variety of religious and scientific beliefs, contemplatives often share a common intention: to be engaged in the world based on an inner foundation of equanimity, wisdom, and compassion. From the inside-out, and strengthened by our diversity, we can become the peaceful and positive change that we would like to see in the world. This is the calling of our times and the purpose of this course.
Ed Bastian, Ph.D. is President of the Spiritual Paths Institute. His Doctorate is in Buddhist Studies and Western Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bastian studied for nearly a decade with Buddhist Monks in monasteries in the U.S., India and the Himalayas. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied Indian philosophy at Banares Hindu University and translated Buddhist scriptures from Tibetan and Sanskrit sources. At the Smithsonian Institution, Bastian served as Director of programs on BioDiversity and Intellectual History, where he taught courses and moderated conferences on Buddhism, world religion, and Tibetan human rights. He has lectured, presented scholarly papers and his films in the U.S., England, Japan and India. Bastian is the Executive Producer of television programs on Asian religion for the BBC, PBS, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author of the award winning “Living Fully Dying Well,” and “InterSpiritual Meditation,” and “Creating Your Spiritual Path.” (Click here for more information on Ed Bastian.)
The interfaith world is long on talk and short on practice. While we are eager to learn
each other s spiritual practices, what we need is a practice that transcends our respective
traditions and engages us in a more inclusive pursuit of awakening. Ed Bastian s
InterSpiritual Meditation offers us just that.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Open Secrets: The Letters of Reb Yerachmiel ben Yisrael
Whatever path you are on, InterSpiritual Meditation takes you inside some of the great
traditions and illuminates some of the common elements among these contemplative
disciplines. This book will enrich and deepen your perspective on the spiritual process.
Sheikh Kabir Helminski, author of A Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation
While Buddhists may have problems with the concept of God and Christians may have
problems with the concept that it s okay to pray for one s personal happiness, all concepts
disappear when one enters the deeper waters of meditation and that s just what this
book helps us to do, in an open-hearted and truly universal way. If ever there was a
practice to help us all get spiritually unstuck, this is it.
Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, author of Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening
InterSpiritual Meditation is being taught by Ed Bastian both online and in-person in Santa Barbara and other centers throughout the country. If you are interested in participating in a program or class, or if you wish to help organize a presentation or class in your locality, please contact us at the email below.
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The Seven Steps
Each of the following seven steps open profound opportunities for deepening our meditation and applying it in daily life. Gradually they nurture the garden of our consciousness, plant seeds for profound transformation, and then ripen into a satisfying and sustainable contemplative experience. This book and our related educational programs help each individual to develop their own life-long personal meditative practice that is grounded in the contemplative wisdom of many spiritual traditions.
1. Motivation: “May I be Healthy and Happy”
2. Appreciation: “May I be Grateful for Life’s Many Gifts”
3. Transformation: “May I be Transformed into My Highest Ideals”
4. Intention: “May I be Loving and Compassionate”
5. Attention: “May I become Mindful Through My Breathing”
6. Meditation: “May I become Wise Through My Meditation”
7. Dedication: “May I be in Loving Service to All Beings”