“What can I learn from a spiritual tradition different from my own? Over the years I have had an open border policy when it comes to faith. I have never felt nervous about the need to guard my frontiers of belief. I have been deeply informed, matured and blessed by such diversity. I have learned more about myself by learning more about others.” Bishop Steven Charleston Daily Facebook.
What richness we can gain from other traditions. An Episcopal priest and well-known author, Lauren Winner, introduces us in her book, Mudhouse Sabbath, An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline, to many Jewish practices that she grew up with that could enrich other traditions. Jewish spiritual practices around the death of a loved one honor the one who died but also compassionately honor the grieving left behind in time honored rituals through that first hard year after a death, the initial seven days of mourning when friends bring food and sit with you, the next 30 days when you sit initially in a different place in the synagogue, the prayers you say twice a day with a community of at least ten people for the next year. You cannot say the prayers alone in your house. Every year at the anniversary of the death of a loved one you light a candle and say the prayers in the synagogue.
We have had the privilege of celebrating Passover with Jewish friends.
We have learned from Muslim friends about the honoring of a fast at Ramadan.
The Eastern Orthodox tradition has given us the gift of icons as a spiritual practice.
Other Eastern religions have taught us about yoga and contemplative prayer.
The Catholic monastic tradition has given us the gift of chanting and developing a rule of life.
Exploring other traditions can only enlarge our image of God and our God language. They help us take God out of the tidy box our traditions have a tendency to cloister our God in.