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Religious leaders work together to offer meditation sessions

Sunday - 10/21/2012, 7:40am  ET

WASHINGTON - Start talking about a gathering that includes an imam, rabbi, pastor, and Buddhist monk and folks might be waiting for a punch line.

But a group called the Interfaith Meditation Initiative includes religious leaders who are working together to offer meditation sessions to try and help people relax.

"In one program there might be a Jewish meditation and a Hindu meditation, and in another program there might be a Buddhist meditation and a Muslim meditation," says Andrew Stern, founder of the Interfaith Meditation Initiative.

Stern says in addition to relaxation, the meditations can enhance empathy and compassion for other faiths and cultures. They also can help people connect with a higher power, including "Christ, Allah, Adonai, Truth, Love, Mother Nature or Universal Spirit," Stern says.

The first of five area meditation programs is 7:30 p.m., Monday in Arlington at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church on 19th Street.

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow Kristi King and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)