Monday, 27 August 2012

Interfaith book - 'A World of Prayer'


'The prayers offer praise and thanks and call us to deepen our inner
capacity for compassion through meditation and inner peace.  It is my hope
that these contributions will provide fresh insight into the heart of different
faiths, and that in some small way, help to break down religious stereotypes'
  - Rosalind Bradley

I came across a recent review about this beautiful hardcover book, A World of Prayer by Rosalind Bradley sometime ago.  I filed the details away in my 'must haves' memory bank.  It contains 100 prayers, sourced from a variety of the worlds religious, spiritual and faith traditions; Bahai's, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists. 

The prayers have been selected by spiritual leaders, activists and humanitarians from around the world, who have all resonated with a particular prayer which they have chosen to share with readers - people such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  Rabbi David Rosen, Rev. Marcus Braybrooke, Yusuf Islam, the Dalai Lama, Dr Huston Smith, Nelson Madela and many more.

What's wonderful about this treasure of a book is - apart from the rich wisdom that is found in all of the prayers - each person who is featured also gives a personal insight about their particular selection.

What immediately struck me when I read through some of the prayers and commentaries, is the shared commonality of the human condition - our quest to gain meaning, find purpose, acquire clarity, experience moments of transcendence through and with the Divine - be that God, Allah, Buddha nature, the Tao, Brahma...

Each 'authentic' expression of that is equally valid.  Through it similarities are recognised, difference is transcended, bias drops away. 

As Iman Feisal AbdulRauf - Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative writes, the book 'reveals some of the infinite variety in the words we use to speak of God, but it reveals to that in all religions, truth, beauty and love are different aspects of the same ideal'

A World of Prayer is an inspiring and insightful anthology, one I shall treasure and turn to often.  I end this post with a reflection chosen by Ros herself,

Your Light is in all forms,
 Your Love in all beings,
Allow us to recognise you
in all Your holy names and forms
- Hazrat Inayat Khan

Purchases for Australia  

You might also like 'Great Reads' in the Pages section.

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