"The five elements exist not for our consumption, but for the wellbeing of the planet, as they are the life forces. Respect them and they will serve you!"
The Consciousness of Oneness & Social Transformation – A Yogi Sufi Dialogue. Sept.13 & 14, 2011, Srinagar, Kashmir, India.
This was the fifth in the series of the ongoing Yogi-Sufi Dialogues to highlight the shared worldview of these two great spiritual traditions. The previous dialogues included participation of Yogis from India, Nepal and the US and Sufis from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Buddhists from the Tibetan tradition who embrace yogic practices have also participated.
These dialogues have explored the understanding of Ultimate Reality from the Yogi and Sufi perspectives, practices that enable spiritual awakening and how one could bring this awakening to the challenges of daily life.
In Srinagar, Kashmir, the main focus was to relate the consciousness of Oneness to fostering a more compassionate and sustainable world. The individual who is committed to Oneness does undergo personal transformation and this filters into daily life in many ways, changing one’s relationship with the outer world. It was felt essential to arrive at principles for the evolution of a more sustainable and equitable society, which is inclusive of the wisdom and compassion found at the root of all great spiritual traditions.
Open dialogues in schools and colleges are essential to empowering the youth in working towards the underlying unity. Cultural and religious education must become integral part of the syllabus so that the young can learn to respect others and have a value for the sanctity of life. Finally, for social transformation, we have to actively find ways to move away from separation born of religion, politics, gender and culture, and re-establish the bonds that have long existed between the ancient Yogi & Sufi lineages.
The Climate Change Conference, held from Sept. 6-11, 2011 at Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh, was hosted by PurnaVidya Trust, organized by Global Peace Initiative of Women and supported by Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association.
Following six days of intense dialogue on the inner dimensions of climate change, young leaders from throughout Asia called for a new vision of development. Youth from India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea explored the model of development dominating the world economy and advancing climate change. They concluded that governments and civil society need to forge a new paradigm that will redesign our system of economic development based on principles of spirituality, sustainability and universal human values.
The current model of development emerges from a western industrial paradigm and this has led to the ecological crisis we are now facing. It may not be possible to undo the many effects of globalization, but a parallel movement of re-localization to reinvigorate local communities can create a new model of development that takes care of local resources such as forests, rivers, and the soil.
The group pledged to carry the message to their many networks and send this call to the G20 meeting in Cannes, France in November this year, where government leaders will gather to address the global financial situation.
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