Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions
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2009 Parliament


The 2009 Parliament offers the opportunity to deepen your own faith and get to know others. Each morning, a wide range of services - Eastern, Western, traditional, creative, theistic, atheistic and more, will be offered. Don't miss the opportunity to observe the Parliament's vast array of spiritual offerings while celebrating your own.

Religious traditions will include:
  • Afro-Atlantic
  • Baha’i
  • Buddhist
  • Christian
  • Confucian
  • Hindu
  • Humanist
  • Indigenous
  • Jain
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • New Religious Movements
  • Pagan/Wiccan
  • Shinto
  • Sikh
  • Taoist
  • Unitarian Universalist
  • Zoroastrian

A sampling of confirmed observances includes:

Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian

The Radiant Path: Meditation Practice and Philosophy in the Kriya Yoga Tradition

Superconscious meditation is a proven method of cultivating inner peace and stillness. This workshop will present the practice of superconscious meditation and spiritually conscious living based on the Kriya Yoga teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Through tellenhis method, the practitioner is led into the heart of reality; directly perceiving this unchanging essence within oneself leads to insight into the interconnectedness of all people and all things.

Dharma Master Hsin Tao

Silent Meditation - Ch`an" led by Dharma Master Hsin Tao

Ch`an meditation leads to an awareness of the silence that lies at the heart of all things. Dharma Master Hsin Tao, a Buddhist monk for 36 years, will lead participants in a guided meditation based on breathing and calming the mind as a method of entering into this unifying silence with every breath. This silent meditation reveals an internal space of peace and compassion that leads to the healing of self and others.

Rabbi Or Rose

Contemplative Shacharit (Jewish Morning) Service

Rabbi Or Rose, an associate dean of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in Boston, MA, will use the traditional rubrics of the Jewish Morning service to explore several key prayers through song, chant, and silent meditation. Rabbi Rose, an authority on Jewish spirituality, interfaith cooperation, and social justice, will lead this contemplative practice aimed at furthering personal and communal transformation.

Sri Swami Mayatitananda
(Mother Maya)

Observance with Mother Maya

An observance will be led by Sri Swami Mayatitananda, affectionately called Mother Maya. She is a renowned spiritual leader, healer, and world-class educator. An authority in Vedanta and Ayurveda, her loving presence and extraordinary work in healing devastating disease and despair has touched and transformed the lives of thousands. In 1981, Mother Maya founded the first school for Ayurveda Holistic Health education in the US—the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina—a non-governmental organization which continues to flourish today.

Fr. Laurence Freeman

Christian Meditation

Meditation is a universal tradition found in all of the great religions. Christian meditation is grounded in the experience of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of Egypt who, in ancient times, fled a corrupt empire to discover the Divine within the silent heart. Fr. Laurence Freeman, a world-renowned expert on Benedictine Spirituality, will lead participants in a guided meditation to form a basis for interreligious dialog and foster peace in our world.

Kirit C. Daftary

How a Jain Starts the Day: The Rituals

The rituals of Jainism are intended to create harmony among all of the Earth’s creatures: plants, animals, and fellow human beings. This session will present the morning spiritual practice of the two major sects of Jainism. Through a live demonstration, including music, a slide presentation, and Q&A, this session will bring to light how practitioners of Jainism greet each day.

Dharma Master Chung Tai

Invoking Inner Tranquility: Buddhist Chanting and Meditation

The graceful and subtle melody in Buddhist chanting resonates with our pure mind and permeates space with harmony and compassion. Using hand-bell, gong, and the wooden instrument muyu, Dharma Masters from Chung Tai Chan Monastery of Taiwan will lead the assembly with a Chan style Buddhist morning service. It begins with chanting, followed by guided Chan (Chinese Zen) meditation, and concludes with a dedication and blessing: May all sentient beings attain wisdom and be liberated from suffering.


The sessions will include the following

More will be included as they become finalized.  The richness of these offerings is unparalleled.

  • Religious Observance on Yoruba Religion - Wande Abimbola
  • Sunrise Ceremony - Oren Lyons
  • Silent Meditation Ch'an  - Dharma Master Hsin Tao
  • A Bahai Observance from an Aboriginal Australian perspective - Philip Obah
  • Baha'i Morning Devotional Gathering
  • Observance with six Chung Tai Dharma Masters
  • Seon (Zen) Meditation Practice - Jinwol Lee
  • Guided Metta (Loving-Kindness) Meditation - Bhante Sujato
  • Middle Way Meditation - Phrapalad Sudhammo Bhikkhu
  • Respect for the Earth: an observance led by the World Congress of Faiths - Marcus Braybrooke
  • Worship and Justice - Danielle Strickland
  • Christian Meditation - Fr. Laurence Freeman
  • Religious Observances from Melbourne Christian communities
  • The Radiant Path - Ellen Grace O’brien
  • The Breath of Life - William Skudlarek
  • Awakening Meditation - Ken Mellor
  • The Path of a Multifaith Chaplaincy - Parliament Labyrinth as Spiritual Observance - Di Williams (Scotland University Chaplains)
  • Global Meditation: Experiencing a Powerful Key To Healing, Transformation and Empowerment - Audrey Kitagawa, Ph.D and James J. Hurtak, Ph.D and Ashok Gangadean, Ph.D
  • A String and a Prayer: Creating Universal Peace Beads - Eleanor Wiley
  • Seeking Heaven on Earth: Our Common Quest - John Robinson
  • Sanctuaries for Healing the Earth: Sharing Collective Wisdom and Ceremony - Leslie Meehan, David Nicol
  • Celtic Mysticism: An Introduction to its Arts and Traditions - Michelle MacEwan, Cath Connell
  • Preksha Meditation - Vinay Pragya and Samani Akshay Prajna
  • Jain Worship and Spiritual Practices - Kirit C. Daftary
  • Contemplative Shacharit (Jewish Morning) Service - Rabbi Or Rose
  • Muslim observances including Nasheed - Highlighting ways Muslims remember the Prophet through song, Du'a -  Supplication, Dhikr (remembrance of God through repetition of the names of God, supplications and aphorisms), Whirling Dervishes, Salaat (Obligatory Prayers), and Qur'an Recitation.
  • The Power of Spiritual Experience - Charles Hogg       
  • Meditation: the Ultimate Transformative Experience - Andrew Vidich
  • Gathering of Peacemakers - John Morton,Leigh Taylor-Young 
  • Approaches to Spiritual Healing: The Cornerstone of the New Thought Movement - Blaine Mays
  • A Shinto Observance - Rev. Kurozumi       
  • Sri Sri Yoga: A celebration of the diversity in yoga - Ruth Armstrong
  • Taking Just a Minute: Meditation on the Move - Christine Westbury
  • Yoga for Healing and Building a New Future with Affirmations and Meditations - Deepti Diwakar
  • Hindu Meditation: Spirituality in Everyday Life - Prabha Duneja
  • Yoga as a Spiritual Practise - Sevadevi Glover
  • Self-Enquiry Meditation - Gopal Puri
  • Self-inquiry: The Yoga of Thought and Feeling - Isobel Crombie and Ma Devi       
  • Sunrise Yoga - Gita Azar       
  • Zoroastrian Daily Morning Prayers and Worship - Rohinton Rivetna
  • Sacred Healing Music from the Sikh Tradition
  • Sikh Sacred Classical Music
  • Sikh Morning Devotional Session
  • Sikh Sunrise Morning Observance
  • The Way of Balance - Eugene Imai

Observances with Saints from India will include the following renowned spiritual leaders:

  • HH Sri Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj
  • HH Swami Sandeep Chaitanya
  • HH Dadi Janki
  • HH Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji
  • HH Yogini Sri Chandra Kali Prasada Mataji
  • HH Sri Karunamayi Vijayeswari Devi
  • HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • HH Dada J. P. Vaswani
  • HH Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
  • HH Sri Swami Mayatitananda Saraswati (Mother Maya)
  • HH Sri Chinna Jayeer Swamiji
  • HH Amrender Muniji


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