Next year, the Catholic Order of Discalced Carmelites and the International Center for Teresian and Sanjuanist Studies (Centro Internacional Teresiano-Sanjuanista, CITeS) of Ávila, Spain, in cooperation with the Center for Buddhist Studies (CBS) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Fundación Dharma-Gaia, will host the “Third World Meeting of Teresian Mysticism and Interreligious Dialogue. Tibetan Buddhism and Carmelite spirituality: on love and compassion.” The conference will be held in the city of Ávila, from July 25 to 28, 2024. Participation in the event will be in person and online.
This will be the third collaboration between CITeS and CBS. The first event created as part of this collaboration was entitled “1st World Meeting of Teresian Mysticism and Interreligious Dialogue. Theravada Buddhism and Teresian mysticism: meditation and contemplation, paths to peace. It took place in Avila from July 27 to 30, 2017.
Noting the success of the first event, CITeS and CBS organized a second forum, aimed at bringing together the Discalced Carmelites and the Chan/Zen Buddhist school to discuss the cultivation of love and compassion for a more caring society, July 22 to 26. , 2020. However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was delayed and then canceled.
As stated in the event announcement:
Carmelite mysticism and Buddhist mysticism have developed over the centuries as two distinct ways of experiencing spirituality. The overall theme of this meeting is to explore the role of visionary revelation in the quest for wisdom. Visualizing, contemplating, and encountering divinity are essential practices in the Carmelite tradition and in Tibetan Buddhism. These practices help to promote spiritual growth and deepen the practitioner’s relationship with “the sacred.” In addition to traditional elements, various cultural, philosophical, and theological contexts come into play, in addition to the shared elements in any engagement with spirituality. Both soteriological traditions emphasize the importance of morality, prayer, and contemplation as means of achieving union with the “ultimate.” The Carmelite mystic seeks union with God through a process of knowing oneself and the person of Jesus Christ, which involves an exercise of loving attention and availability to the divine presence. Buddhist mystics seek to achieve enlightenment through the realization of holistic compassion and the perfection of wisdom. Each mystical tradition places a high priority on discipline, contemplative and ritual practices. Furthermore, both traditions emphasize the importance of purification to transcend the limitations of the ego, as well as the value of suffering to develop the spiritual self and the view of the phenomenal world as a manifestation of the divine. As a prerequisite for reaching the higher realms of spiritual understanding, both emphasize the cultivation of virtues such as humility, compassion, and devotion, as well as non-attachment.
Our intention is to facilitate authentic and fruitful dialogue and working together as a means of sharing paths of wisdom for a compassionate and harmonious world, without denying or attempting to reduce the differences between the two religious traditions. We aim to promote this in a spirit of equality, mutual respect and curiosity.
(University of Mistica – CITeS)
The full conference program and registration form are available at the following link: https://mistica.es/3rd-world-encounter-teresian-mysticism-and-interreligious-dialogue
A ceremony will also take place in honor of the winner of the 4th International Prize of the World Meeting on Teresian Mysticism and Interreligious Dialogue. For more information on the price, visit the following link: https://www.mistica.es/noticias/iv-international-award-teresa-of-avila-and-the-interreligious-dialogue
3rd World Meeting of Teresian Mysticism and Interreligious Dialogue (Universidad de la Mistica – CITeS)
International Center for Teresian and Sanjuanist Studies
The Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong
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