I offer the following, general descriptions of the terms “InterSpirituality” and “InterSpiritual” that I wrote in “InterSpiritual Meditation.” Please regard these as one of many possible perspectives as we explore a possible consensus around a mutually shared definition for the terms “interspirituality” and “interspiritual.” You’ll notice that I am fond of capitalizing the “I” and “S” to make the term stand out as a distinctive category.
“InterSpirituality is a term that we apply to the processes and experiences shared by the world’s contemplative traditions that are nested within the world’s major religions. It connotes a more nuanced approached than conventional inter-faith or inter-religious dialogues offer that are based on ‘tolerance,’ rapprochement,’ and ‘respect.’ InterSpirituality goes far deeper, indeed, to the very heart of the spiritual experiences that give rise to the major religions. It holds the promise of a genuine sharing of our respective spiritual experiences, and a conscious joining a the deeper levels of our being. InterSpirituality represents the next phase of understanding between people of diverse spiritual traditions.
The term “InterSpiritual” pertains to the contemplative, meditative, and mystical experiences that are the foundation for spiritual practice.
It leads us into the very heart of the spiritual experiences that were the creative force for the major religions. It holds the promise of a genuine sharing of our respective spiritual experiences, and a conscious joining at the deepest levels of our being. InterSpirituality represents the next phase of understanding between people of different spiritual traditions.
I will be very interested to hear how others define and describe these terms.
To walk an interspiritual path is to travel through the wilderness with open hands and a courageous spirit. It is to navigate with the heart and a book of prayers from every faith tradition that ever uttered a sacred phrase in any language. To travel an interspiritual path is to drop to our knees in the presence of Love wherever we encounter it, and to disarm our hearts the minute we have the impulse to otherize a faith we do not understand. To take an interspiritual journey is to circle ever inward, to a place of holy silence and vibrant stillness, and then to surge back outward with the contemplative fruits we have gathered to feed a hungry world. An interspiritual life invites us to take our rightful place at the table of the Divine in many Holy Houses, and asks that we kneel at the altars of multiple traditions drink from the goblet we are offered, and allow it to transform us. An interspiritual path is about saying YES to the sacred in every form and no form, about moving beyond intellectual orientation to active engagement with various religions, about seeking and finding the Love that unifies all paths and affirms our essential interconnectedness.