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Interspiritual Insights: Diluting the Teachings?

  • Broadcast in Spirituality
Bishop Craig

Bishop Craig


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We often hear traditionalists from every religious tradition accuse reformers of "diluting the teachings." Even Buddhists talk about the mindfulness movement as "diluting the teachings of the Buddha" because mindfulness is but one component of the Noble Eightfold Path while at the same time acknowledging that as Buddhism has moved from culture to culture throughout history is has adapted to its new environment. Indian Buddhism, for example, is very different from Tibetan Buddhism but nobody accuses Tidbetan Buddhism (today, anyway) of having diluted Buddhist teachings. Conservative Christians argue that those of us who teach a contemporary sexual ethic of "diluting the teachings" as well, despite the fact that Jesus himself taught a progressive sexual ethic for his day.

As Interspirituality grows as a movement we hear people from every side accuse us of "diluting the teachings," but what are they really saying and what is it they fear? In the case of Buddhism, it certainly doesn't have a corner on contemplative practice because every major religious tradition has a contemplative component. Why is a secular contemplative practice threatening? Can any tradition grow stagnant and survive over time?

We'll exaimine these issues and more today on Interspiritual Insights!