Interreligious Dialogue


About this section:
Through His Holiness the Dalai Lama's and Venerable Thubten Chodron's articles, we are invited to approach interreligious contact and dialogue with an open mind, respect and willingness to learn. We benefit others and are benefited in return. We become more open-minded and our abilities to investigate and examine our beliefs and ourselves sharpen. While philosophically there are differences between religions and recognizing those, we can still appreciate their similarities. We are freed from the need to agree on religious beliefs in order to have meaningful and mutually beneficial dialogues.

Ven. Chodron participated in an interfaith retreat at the Christine Center, a Catholic retreat center, in Willard, Wisconsin in July 2009. Here are the four presenters, from left to right, Ven. Chodron, Charles Pfeifer, Brother Joseph, Jean Feraca

From left to right, Nancy Nesbitt, a member of Dharma Friendship Foundation; Ven. Chodron; Jamal Rahman, a Muslim Sufi minister and religious teacher at the Seattle Interfaith Church.

Ven Chodron teaching at the Interfaith Church in Seattle

Ven. Chodron teaching at the Interfaith Church in Seattle

"Meaningful questions arise and exist within each of us. Religions suggest answers to these questions, but real spiritual practice occurs in the heart of each person. In our spiritual search we see a variety of religions and paths. What can these various traditions offer each other? What do their practitioners have in common? How are they different? Sharing examples of interreligious contact increases understanding of other religions and encourages harmony among the followers of various faiths. It could lead to a deepening of the practice of your own faith; or if you have none, it may reactivate your interest in spiritual issues. It may stimulate you to meet and talk with people whose beliefs differ from yours, thus opening windows to new understandings with new friends. In addition, it gives a glimpse into the monastic life of both Christians and Buddhists, so that people will understand its joys and challenges, as well as what the monastic life offers to those who live it and to society as a whole."

Ven. Chodron




Christianity and Buddhism

Judaism and Buddhism

  • The Origin of "The Jew in the Lotus"
  • What I learned about Judaism from the Dalai Lama by Rodger Kamenetz
  • Reflections of a Jewish Buddhist by Peter Aronson
  • In the Land of Identities
  • Interview with Ven. Chodron (RealAudio format)
  • Buddhism and Judaism (pdf)

Islam and Buddhism

Hinduism and Buddhism


**"Spiritual Sisters: A Benedictine and a Buddhist Nun in Dialogue" is a talk given by Sister Donald Corcoran and Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron in September 1991, at the chapel of Anabel Taylor Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. It was cosponsored by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University and the St. Francis Spiritual Renewal Center. Ven. Chodron went to the Transfiguration Monastery, Sister Donald's community in Windsor earlier that day. The two sisters prayed together and then spent many hours in discussion ranging from philosophy to the practical aspects of living in community. The audience at Cornell was diverse -- Asians and Americans, Buddhists, Christians and agnostics. Many of them commented afterwards that the example of two women from different spiritual traditions discussing their own and the other's religious traditions with respect and interest was very inspiring. It demonstrated that meaningful dialogue which enhances each person's understanding of his or her own spiritual tradition could occur. The audio tape of their talk at Cornell is available from Snow Lion Publications



monastic conf 08 (Click on image to enlarge)

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