The 18th annual, Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion, combined an interest in contemplative practice within an interfaith forum to explore the nature of sacred silence. The goal of this exploration was to provide an opportunity for spiritual growth for the largest possible assembly of people.
Programming was carefully selected to reflect the 2013 Festival’s dedication to the historic 1968 meeting of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton (a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky). This remarkable meeting took place in India at the home in exile of His Holiness, bringing together the leading representatives of Eastern and Western contemplative spirituality. As a result, a new unity was created, wherein each tradition was greatly benefitted by the other.
The Festival featured renowned experts on meditation and compassion, drawn from the faith traditions of the world and recent scientific research on compassion. The 2013 Festival of Faiths was privileged to collaborate with the Drepung Gomang Institute, the City of Louisville and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in preparing a program of events leading up to the arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.