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Mindfully Plural

The term "Mindfulness" is from Buddhism, and the modern MIndfulness movement in America is deeply influenced by Buddhist priciples and practices (see Jeff Wilson's 2014 book Mindful America). That said, people from diverse religious and nonreligious backgrounds practice Mindfulness, and almost every major religion includes mindful or contemplative practices.

The Ripple 2017 theme "Mindfully Plural" recognizes that diverse traditions (religious and nonreligious) practice various forms of mindfulness or contemplation. The theme also recognizes that Mindfulness provides an excellent context for bringing people together from diverse religious, spiritual, and secular backgrounds.

What is Mindfulness?

The following video from 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper provides an excellent introduction to Mindfulness, including interviews with Jon Kabat-Zinn and a brief introduction to the science behind Mindfulness.

What is Pluralism?

Pluralism is more than diversity alone and more than just tolerance. Pluralism is the:

  • energetic engagement with diversity
  • active seeking of understanding
  • encounter of commitments (including shared values and real differences)
  • based on dialogue and conversation

This definition is taken from Diana Eck and the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. You can read the full definition here.

This approach to religious diversity — focused on relationship-building, mutual understanding, and positive social change — inspires and informs the format and philosophy of the Ripple Conference.