The World’s Cultural and Spiritual Heritage
The basic questions of how we are to live lives of integrity have been central to our experience of being human for millennia. Each society throughout history has struggled to develop practices and attitudes that support individual well being and social harmony. There are as many answers to this central quest for purpose and meaning as there are cultural groupings on the planet.
Cultural practices and traditions serve many purposes. Often these traditions not only help define a community, they help create a community. They also have healing qualities in that they help us make connections within ourselves, to feel a sense of belonging and to strengthen a sense of identity and purpose. Exploring our own cultural heritage and practices can make an important contribution to recovery and well being. But so can learning about the traditions and practices of other cultures. We can borrow from other traditions if we find meaning, comfort and connection in them. Curiosity and self exploration are important components of living well and being healthy.
As it turns out there are many answers to the question of how we are to live together. We need an open mind, a willingness to develop by our own standards and a sturdy moral compass to find our way forward.
Below is a list of resources that can be a starting place for you to explore the world’s rich traditions. It is by no means an exhaustive list and will not reflect examples of spirituality that may exist in your local community. As with all information, proceed with a discerning mind.
A Very Partial List of Philosophical, Spiritual and Contemplative Traditions
Christian Centering Prayer:
Contemplative Mind in Society:
Tree of contemplative practices illustration:
Jewish contemplation practices:
Parliament of the World’s Religions:
Humanist Association of Canada:
The Islamic Bulletin:
Six Nations Teachings (Aboriginal):