The 10,000 people in attendance were only a tiny percentage of the world’s population – but they are the cultural workers of their communities.
Here are some highlights that amazed and inspired me
From the Women’s Plenary
Maya Tiwari – Peace is a feminine principle; and,
There are millions of names for Divine Mother Earth.
Grandmother Mary Lyons –
- I always speak as “we,” in honor of my sisters in front of me to the right of me and to my left of me. We are all equal.
- Put your hand on your heart, feel your heartbeat. That is your battery, the spirit your Creator put in your blanket.
- Income inequality is a moral issue, a religious issue and a test of our belief.
- Wealth should serve humanity and not rule it.
- Girls reading books are a threat to men with weapons.
Rami Nashashibi –
Asked for a commitment that we each go home and organize 50 one-to-one “relational conversations” between congregational members and formerly incarcerated individuals to share our stories, lessen the sense of “other” and understand the impact of mass incarceration.
Smiles on the faces, the light in people’s eyes as they passed each other in the hallways, in solidarity with the Parliament’s vision – “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity.”
A “modest Love Fest” of folks desiring to enter into dialogue, share their thinking, laugh and learn together with the hope of creating a better future.
The generosity of Langar, the traditional Sikh offering of a meal where all eat as equals and no one goes hungry– was a highlight. We were invited to their “open kitchen” – a large ballroom, where we sat on rows on the carpeted floor, and fed a delicious vegetarian meal, served by smiling folks.
And, it was beautiful – the saris, the colorful clothing, the robes, the headpieces, the indigenous dress of many attendees – representing the beauty and diversity of the world’s traditional cultures.
There is so much harm that is done in our world that springs from fear, ignorance, greed, and so much more. The difficult issues that were discussed in the plenary sessions and in the workshops was all done in a spirit of inquiry and harmony.
The Parliament was a dip in what we might call “heaven on earth” where we witnessed people of faith opening their hearts, stretching their minds, and considering how they might go forth and become strong leaders for equality, tolerance, love and peace.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Learn more: at The Parliament of the Worlds Religions, and listen to the plenary sessions
- Google great women: Dr. Vandana Shiva, Mother Maya Tiwai, Valerie Kaur, Rabbi Lynne Gottlieb
- Learn More about Income Inequality: with Michael Bernard Beckwith, Kathy Kelly, Jim Wallis, Rami Nashashibi
- Organize 50 One-to-One relational conversations.
- If you do –write me! I hope to do the same!
- PRAY! bringing your attention and heart to the issues that are most meaningful for you.