This week, Pasquerilla Spiritual Center is hosting a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Tashi Kyil Monastery. They are visiting Penn State’s Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development as part of a tour through the United States, sharing their religious traditions and Dharma (teachings of the Buddha). Through the week they’ll be creating a sand mandala, explaining and demonstrating other aspects of their religious practices, and participating in conversations about their beliefs and their lives.
I feel fortunate to have been exposed to people of different faiths through most of my life. I’ve had friends from a variety of traditions and religions since I was a child. When I studied world religions in seminary, I discovered an even wider array of beliefs and practices. Sometimes, differences can be unsettling, but they don’t need to be. In the variety of religious belief we can find a richness and diversity that is a blessing to the world. Someone else’s beliefs do not need to undermine our own beliefs. They may help us see our own beliefs better.
Stop by and see the monks work on the mandala as it progresses through the week, or take part in one of the other programs (schedule posted below). Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet and talk with these monks. Come and hear about their beliefs and the way their religious perspective shapes their lives. When we learn from and about another person of faith, it helps us look at our own beliefs more deeply, and can help us see how our faith and religious perspective shapes our lives. Honest and frank encounters with people who have faiths different from ours can help us grow in own faith.