As you continue to develop your own spiritual practice, do you wonder if you should explore prayers or spiritual practices from other traditions?
But then decide against it because you aren’t a part of that religion?
I personally have found exploring other traditions to be enriching in my life. If something speaks to you – a verse, a prayer, a sacred text – then I’d encourage you to go further with it. There’s beauty and value in all of the wisdom traditions.
Matthew Fox in his book, One River, Many Wells, speaks of no religion being the mother of the ocean, rather the ocean is mother of all things. Even though it may be hard for us to picture, our religions are recent in time, in comparison to the time that human beings have existed.
Our current times seem to be calling for a “deep ecumenism” which teaches us that every religious tradition is a path to the Divine. It makes sense that we can best be of service to humanity when we respect other religious paths, but also when we explore and collaborate with our shared work of healing the world.
One of my favorites practices from Hinduism is chanting mantras. One I use regularly whenever I’m facing a challenge of some kind in my life is OM GAM GANESHAYA NAMAHA (ohm gung gah-nay-shah-yah nah-mah-hah).
Ganesha is the name of the Hindu deity and represents the power that is present in everything, as the power behind all power.
This mantra, translated, says, “Lord, God of hosts, I invoke you.”Or “Ganesha, through whose power everything is possible, no obstacle can stand in Your way.”This has been a great comfort and a support to me whenever I’ve faced obstacles in my life.
- Come to know yourself more deeply, as you see your own reflection within another spiritual path.
- Begin to understand how those from other traditions know and experience the Divine.
- Expand and deepen your own practice, as one path doesn’t hold all that we may need in life.
- Cultivate peace and unity in the world through empathy and connection.
Thich Nhat Hanh says it beautifully with these words. “When you touch someone who authentically represents a tradition, you not only touch his or her tradition, you also touch your own. Through the practice of deep looking and deep listening, we become free, able to see the beauty and values in our own and others’ tradition.”
You can listen to an audio of the Ganesha mantra here LINKin my Free Healing Library where you will find many resources available to support you in your spiritual practice.