For the last two years, the Aetherius Society has opened its pilgrimages to all faiths. About 100 people joined last Saturday’s trek up the tallest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains.
The mountain was supposed to impart energy to its pilgrims, but as he neared the top, Ashraf Carrim wasn’t feeling it.
Slumped on a boulder not far from the peak of Mt. Baldy, the Muslim imam from Torrance laughed when asked how he was faring on his hike. “Badly,” he replied. A few feet away, the Rev. Jeffrey Utter of the United Church of Christ was girding himself for the…
When I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best — and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today.
Though intolerance may be as old as religion itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence. In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants. Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those who adhere to a different faith.… Read more »
They have space for prayer rugs and windows facing east – but no pews or religious symbols. They are called meditation rooms, sanctuaries where families can pray for patients, and doctors can pause for spiritual refreshing.
At least three area hospitals have plans to open meditation rooms – or expand and revise what were once known as chapels – for nondenominational observance. Reasons range from the changing needs of hospital staff, with more Muslims seeking a place to follow daily rituals, to the evolving view of medicine that the body and soul can heal together.
“When people are facing the ultimate spiritual and existential crisis such as illness, they need a quiet place to go,” … Read more »