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In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants compare and contrast the seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism with the Eightfold Path of Buddhism.
Referring to the poster and newsprint, briefly review both the seven Principles and the Eightfold Path with the youth. Say, in these words or your own:
Both these documents are guideposts for living. The Principles appear within a document that defines the parameters of the Unitarian Universalist Association; in other words, they are part of an organizational document. The Eightfold Path was recorded specifically as a teaching tool. However, both are presented and used as guidelines for living well and growing as an individual and in community. With that in mind, take a moment to look over the two lists.
Lead the group to discuss the two religions, using these questions:
For the sake of your guest, keep this conversation within 10 minutes or less. Use newsprint for a "parking lot," a place to record any topics that emerge that the group would like to discuss but which are not pertinent to the immediate discussion.
Inform the group that a guest will enter shortly, someone who is both Unitarian Universalist and a student of Buddhism. Tell the group, in these words or your own:
Did you know that quite a few UUs identify themselves as Buddhist? Some of them belong to the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship, a community of UU Buddhists from all over the world. Our guest has been invited to talk specifically about the intersection of Unitarian Universalism and Buddhism. What other questions would you like to ask our guest?
Ask a youth to write down suggested questions from the group. If the group needs prompting, suggest they might like to know if the guest's Buddhist beliefs encourage them toward social action, or if the guest attends a Buddhist temple in addition to the UU congregation.
Invite the guest in and make them comfortable. Let the guest and participants talk. If the youth run out of questions, refer them back to their list or suggest they share some of their earlier observations about the similarities and differences between the Eightfold Path and the UU Principles. If you have the youth's permission, show the artwork created earlier.
Thank the guest for spending time and sharing stories with you.
Conclude the activity with the observation that constant reflection and examination of what best furthers our spiritual work—what we have been doing with this exercise—is part of both Buddhism and Unitarian Universalism, one strong parallel between the two faiths.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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