Several years ago, I worked as the event and activity coordinator for the campus ministry office of a small university. Several students who wanted to experience different faith traditions approached me and the director of the diversity center. The director and I began working with these students to create a program called “Taste of Faith.” Every other week, between 20 and 30 students (and a few staff chaperones) would pile into vans visit centers of faith. Additionally (because we made prior arrangements with each community), we had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of each community for a time of further education.
From the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, I learned the beauty of ancient traditions and felt a connection to billions of people who have participated in the same rituals for nearly 2,000 years. From Islam, I learned the value of devoting time throughout the day to honor that which is sacred. From Bahá'í, I learned about the interconnectedness of all people and the idea that all people have something to contribute to the betterment of all. And from Buddhism, I learned about the need to reconnect with self and take time to recharge.
Through these experiences, I have been able to take away the best of each tradition (even those I did not list) as I see it and as I experience it. There are ways to apply aspects of any tradition to every person, whether or not that person subscribes to a tradition.