A personal contemplation of the necessity and potential significance of encountering the cultural other. Private, yet conducted in an open space. This is the place of departure, but also a place of return to meditate on the intercultural experience. Here is an example from the complex cultural environment of Northern Africa.
The place and time chosen, the items used and the rituals followed may differ from one culture to another, according to the societal and spiritual meaning of meditation.
Question: Which are, in your own cultural and spiritual environment, the habits of meditation? How do you prepare for the encounter with the other? Please illustrate the starting point with a photo.
2 thoughts on “Intercultural encounters: the starting point”
All that we can see is through the window of our respective house, which is going to be enriching and, at the same time, limited and limiting. It is neither possible nor desirable to get out of our house, in order to have a view of other’s perspective, which of course, has become imperative in our cross-cultural human situation. But remaining in our own house, we can keep our windows, doors and EARS open to the description made by the neighbour and compare our notes!
The invitation is to become HEARERS, and not merely visionaries! The Indian philosophical tradition has stressed ‘sruti’ (that which is heard!).
“I keep all the doors and windows of my tradition open, to let the fresh air in. But I refuse to be blown off my feet.” Gandhi.
In Chinese, the word “sage” means “the one who listens”. Seeing this little divan, I think of how much the “listening-dialogue” relationship deeply touches the meaning of intercultural dialogues.