The Snowmass Interreligious Conference

The Points of Agreement

 

1.    The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.


2.    Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.

 

3.    Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.

 

4.    Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality.  Faith in this sense precedes every belief system.

 

5.    The potential for human wholeness – or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness – is present in every human being.

 

6.    Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices, but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.

 

7.    As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.

 

8.    Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.

Additional Points of Agreement

1.    Some examples of disciplined practice, common to us all:

 

    a.    Practice of compassion

 

    b.    Service to others

 

    c.    Practicing moral precepts and virtues

 

    d.    Training in meditation techniques and regularity of practice

 

    e.    Attention to diet and exercise

 

    f.    Fasting and abstinence

 

    g.    The use of music, chanting, and sacred symbols

 

    h.    Practice in awareness (recollectin, mindfulness) and living in the present moment.

 

    i.    Pilgrimage

 

    j.    Study of scriptural texts and scriptures

 

And in some traditions:

 

    k.    Relationship with a qualified teacher

 

    l.    Repetition of sacred words

 

    m.    Observing periods of silence and solitude

 

    n.    Movement and dance

 

    o.    Formative community

 

2.    It is essential to extend formal practice of awareness into all aspects of our life.

 

3.    Humility, gratitude, and a sense of humor are indispensable in the spiritual life.

 

4.    Prayer is communion with Ultimate Reality, whether it is regarded as personal, impersonal, or beyond them both.