When Shiva Kata Tjuta and I were starting a spiritual organisation we were committed to it being built upon multi-faith principles. Because terms can mean various things, let me define what I mean by Multi-faith. To me it means having respect and valuing the contribution of all spiritual pathways. It means being open to learning from each other, even though we might have a preference, even a strong preference, for one particular path.
So many people are taught that theirs is the best, or indeed the only valid religion or spiritual tradition. By believing in the superiority of what they are doing, any group can feel justified in forcing others to join them, as has been the case through human history. If we are going to have peace on Earth, then we are going to need to cultivate greater understanding and spiritual freedom between traditions, and erase the current levels of bigotry. The belief that ours is the only way speaks to me of Egoic overlay, and displays a lack of knowledge and understanding of the beauty and grace, diversity and power that is contained in so many of the great faiths.
It is part of human nature to get trapped in our own thought forms, and to believe that what we have always done and thought is ‘normal’ and therefore right. This explains why such narrow mindedness can exist even on such a huge and expansive topic as attempting to understand the Divine and our relationship to Her.
Shanti Mission has incorporated the principles of Vedanta along with the principles of Western mysticism found in Kabala and Alchemy to create a fresh and modern spiritual style. It is quite unique, blending these influences with energy healing, devotional practices and community events. This is a path under the protection and direction of a Guru, and my role as Guru is to define then forge a pathway for self-realization, enlightened consciousness and spiritual development generally. All of this is grounded into practical projects, service ventures and community work. We have eight Pillars and a variety of spiritual teachings contained within the Path of Ease and Grace as well as the Higher Guidance series and our Mystery School.
There are times on the path when it is very good to search around and try out a number of different pathways, to see what really suits and resonates with our hearts. When we find ‘home’ then we need to commit and go deep with one tradition. We can still learn from others, but our commitment to depth will ensure we get results rather than flitting from one to the other and not really practicing any of them.
Multi-faith does not mean that we get so lost looking at all the paths that we forget which one is ours.
Finally, it is important to state that we are mystics. Mysticism is the essence that lies behind what come to be the forms of religions. In mysticism, all of the pathways merge in unity. Thus, it is not surprising in Shanti Mission to have Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i, Hari Krishna, Islamic and atheistic people in the same class.
May you have the utter joy of finding your own spiritual family. If Shanti Mission is your spiritual home, then welcome. And even if we are just a carriage on the train of your spiritual journey, we hope that you will derive real benefit from your studies here.