“Is is the responsibility of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to help develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths …”
– The Dalai Lama
In 1893 the first formal gathering of representatives from eastern and western spiritual traditions met in Chicago at the World’s Congress of Religions.
One hundred years later the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions was formed when two monks from the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago suggested organizing a centennial celebration. Itsaim
to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.
At the first modern CPWR in Chicago in 1993 the keynote speaker was the Dalai Lama.
- In 1999 in Cape Town, South Africa 7,000 people from +80 countries heard Nelson Mandela speak.
- 2004 in Barcelona, Spain.
- 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.
- 2014 will be held in Brussels, Belgium. For more information click here
Last weekend I attended the second annual conference of the Southern California Committee for a Parliament of World Religions at All Saints Church in Pasadena:
“Seeds of Peace: Meditation and the Engaged Life”
At the opening ceremony a conch shell was blown like a trumpet in all four directions – its got a hauntingly beautiful sound – and was followed by “Tata Appolinario Chile Pixtun”, a Guatemalan Mayan Elder who recited an indigenous blessing. Miranda Rondeau did the musical invocation.
In the first workshop we had to choose one of these meditations:
- Isha Kriya Meditation
- Labyrinth Walk
- Vietnamese Cao Dai Meditation
- Kabbalistic Jewish Meditation
- Sat Nam Rasayan
- Vedanta – Meditation to Increase your inner Peace
- Vedanta – Guided Meditation on the self
- Mindfulness Meditation – Vipassana Support International
- Meditation on Cosmic Awareness – the Twelve Blessings
- Color Science Meditation
- Ignation Awareness Exsmen
- Raja Yoga Meditation
- Stillpoint – Christian/Buddhist Meditation
- International Society for Krishna Consciousness
- Lotus Sūtra Chanting
- Shumei Philosophy and Spiritual Practice
- Seven Pillars Journey of Wisdom
- Zen Meditation
- Meditation on Peace from a Mayan Perspective
- meditation led by Darakshan Farber
Who knew there were so many ways to still the mind, I wish I could have taken them all.
During the lunch break we were entertained by the talented Taiko Drummers.
Marianne Williamson gave the Keynote speech:
“We’re living a time of evolving consciousness with humanity ready to apply love as an agent of healing on every wound – personal as well as political.”
She’s a brilliant speaker, who speaks from the heart with no notes.
After lunch there were social action workshops. I met Jodie Evans one of the co-founders of “Code Pink”
“A woman initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.”
The day ended with a concert of “heart healing Rumi poems set to transformational music”
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