The Future of Religion & InterSpirituality Dialogues, held in monasteries and spiritual communities around the country, are modeled on and continue the lineage of the Snowmass InterSpiritual Dialogues (2005-2015), themselves the successor to the groundbreaking Snowmass Interreligious Dialogues (1984-2005) convened by Father Thomas Keating, the founder of the Center Prayer movement, who has given his blessing to this new incarnation of dialogue-retreats.
In the spirit of Snowmass, our intention is to create a collegial, relaxed and contemplative retreat environment for an intimate group of ten to twelve spiritual teachers, thinkers, and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, allowing for the most creative and satisfying dialogue possible. The daily routine involves meals together, short periods of silent meditation, dialogue sessions, and relaxed social time for spontaneous conversation. As it is also conceived as a retreat for ‘spiritual professionals’ of one sort another, who are often continually involved in more intensive conferences and teaching, we try to leave plenty of time for relaxation and retreat time.
Participants are chosen not only for their expertise, but also for their reputation as teachers and thinkers who have the capacity to collaborate creatively with others. Two observer-participants are likewise given the opportunity to experience the dialogue with seasoned teachers, informing their own work in the world and, at the same time, providing the dialogue with fresh perspectives. In addition to religious, gender, and ethnic diversity, we aim for inter-generational participation as well. Each five-day retreat offers a blend of shared contemplative practice and dialogue. All dialogue sessions are recorded and transcribed.
In 2018, we are pleased to be partnering with Osage: Forest of Peace in Sand Springs, Oklahoma (June 20–24), who will host our next FRIS dialogue-retreat seeking the wisdom of our elders on "Spiritual Formation," as well as Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, who will host "The New Monastery," exploring ways in which we can re-envision monasteries in today's world.