No island or castle can hide us from the reality of suffering, including sickness and death. That was true for Gautama Buddha over 2,500 years ago and it is true today. When we pay attention, we realize that our own lack of awareness, isolation, separation, oppression, greed, denial of change and clinging to things and […]
Earlier this month, while many people around the world were celebrating the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the man whose immeasurable compassion has touched the world, a few were planting bombs by the holy Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India. The tree has grown from the seed of the sacred one, under which […]
“If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.” This phrase may sound shocking, considering the Buddha’s teachings of the Noble Eightfold Path that talks about “right” (in harmony with the teachings) action and speech, including “speak only words that do not harm.” To kill is indeed a strong word that invokes violence and perhaps […]
Boston. Baghdad. New York. Kabul. Tel Aviv. Gaza… Syria… Burma… Rwanda… Tibet… the sorrow of violent tragedies that I have learned in my generation seems to have crossed all the borders. The reality is that there are no borders, even if we try to build the walls and fences that separate us. Hurt, like love, […]
I remember reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel several years ago and how my heart would resonate with each experience of the sacred by the story’s brave protagonist, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, through his adventurous openness to spirituality beyond the borders of one religion. This story that became the Oscar-winning movie is more than […]
Managing Director’s Note: beginning in the Spring of 2013, all Contributing Scholars will answer the following question as their first post: Why are you committed to building relationships with those from different religious or ethical traditions? Humanism was not exactly the word that I grew up with in the former USSR, yet it was the […]
Enver Rahmanov was born in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and studied in Kiev, Ukraine before moving to the United States to work at the United Nations in New York. Currently, he is a student in Interreligious Studies at the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California) and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. Enver is grateful to be a part of the Sojourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center. He believes that the wisdom of peace and compassion is truly universal and it has no borders but only different languages and interpretations. He is inspired by the Dalai Lama’s ethics beyond religion and his call for education of the heart by bringing the indispensability of inner values of love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness into education. Enver promotes interfaith dialogue by building personal heart to heart connections across religious borders and through his facilitation of Beyond Words: An Interfaith Ritual for Peace.