Editorial - by Piotr Rajski
Roche Miette Expedition 2005.
Unfinished Business - by Randy Iwanciwski
Water, water everywhere - by Gail Lichtman
Time's Elastic Waste Band - by John Savlove
108 Spiritual Purification Techniques - by Leonard Orr
Interfaith Conferences - by Yehuda Stolov
One God Notes
What is Roche Miette Association
Call for Papers
Welcome again! After a 3 year break we have finally organized another Roche Miette Expedition, this time attended by 23 persons. Allan Huggett, an experienced mountaineer, came from British Columbia to commemorate his brother David. David's soul also attended with us in the form of the kite flown by Allan. The weather was not cooperating however and all the participants were soaked in rain. This was a form of purification as explained in the article "Water, water everywhere..." sent to me by Yehuda Stolov from the Interfaith Encounter Association based in Israel. Especially the explanation derived from Koran seems suitable to the situation:
"Water as a vital factor to all life came up as a central motif. Water comes directly from God. In Koran there is also scientific knowledge about the formation of rain. The rain comes to earth clean, from the sky, and the cleanness of the water coming from the sky is what makes them pure and gives them the ability to purify the human."
So we have all got purified by the rain and warm waters of Miette Hot Springs. We also received a lesson in humility. Human attitude toward mountains is often arrogant. Once we set our minds we want to put our foot on the top. Unfortunately, it not always works like this. God can use weather, altitude, sickness to curb our overblown egos. Arrogance is often fatal in the mountains and the best reaction is often to humbly retreat and wait for another chance. I am glad this was the decision made by Randy and associates. This left some of the participants with the sense of "unfinished business." Randy Iwanciwski elaborates on this subject. There will be another chance next year. We hope to see you all again!
The motif of discrepancy between our wants and achievements, rejection by the circumstances, seems to be present also in the short submission by John Savlove, a poet and song writer. Please, visit his home page if you desire interaction with his creative and rebellious spirit.
In this issue I also give you "Gaia Hypothesis," a look at our Living Planet. Although someone would say that this idea involves the error of personification (attributing human qualities to inanimate objects), it seems to be congruent with certain sense of sacredness of the nature we often experience in the mountains. It is followed by the remaining portion of 108 Purification Techniques by Leonard Orr, the Founder of Rebirthing-Breathwork Movement. I also share with you information about interfaith conferences submitted by Dr. Yehuda Stolov. Announcements and our regular columns conclude this issue.
Roche Miette Expedition 2005.
The brave souls of the 2005 Roche Miette Expedition (from left to right): Allan Huggett, Dimitri Mighali, Alexander, Tatiana, Natasha Lastivnyak, Anjelika Sotnikowa, Dasha Kulchitska, Andrey Yelnikov, Lana Yelnikova, Svitlana Lastivnyak, Andrzej Weber, Jacek Wojno, Piotr Dzieciolowski, Gabryel Budzinski. Kneeling in front: Randy Iwanciwski, Vadim Lastivnyak, Igor Melnik. Missing (taking photo): Stan Chell. In the background: Her Majesty Roche Miette Mountain in the cover of clouds.
Missing the members of the Sulphur Skyline group: Jerzy Chlopicki, Danuta Rajska, Malgosia Mariet, Marian Czarnecki and Piotr Rajski.
by Randy Iwanciwski
This year’s expedition was an inspiration for me. Simply put with much planning, forethought and logistics of this hike, there is always something to be learned about what God has in store for all of us.
We started the day with an early 4:00 A.M. wake up call, and set out a little after 5:00 A.M. to the trailhead. Starting out for the mountain a little after 6 A. M. that morning. The mountain was veiled in a mysterious bank of clouds. There was no rain as we started up the trail with much energy and strong legs.
I am always concerned with a large group for safety sake, our group this year numbered sixteen persons. With this in mind I called upon a co-worker, Stan Chell, who is trained in Alpine rescue and an avid hiker, Stan had nothing planned so he accepted the invitation. (I knew that God would supply assistance because in the back of my mind I was praying for a safe hike.) Then I received a telephone call from a person I was not expecting. Allen Hugget (David’s brother, see RM newsletter #12) called and asked if he could join us this year in honor of his brother. I said most certainly, as this trip is open to all. I did enquire about Allen’s hiking experience and he humbly informed me he had climbed Mt. Logan, (highest point in Canada) and Mt. Robson, (highest point in Canadian Rockies). Also he is a member of the British Columbia mountain rescue team.
With this support I know now that God had supplied me with the best people as far as the safety issue. Still was there a concern that I would need the services of these trained men?
As we journeyed up some took steps with struggle, some took steps aggressively, and some took steps at a steady pace. I believe we all reach an inner sense of oneness with our Creator on this hike. I myself can feel a rhythm that sets my own personal pace, this must be experienced and it is hard to describe with words alone. Views became grander as every step up brought us higher. Our anticipation grew as the goal of the summit neared. The mountain was still veiled in cloud, the weather was closing in and I felt we were running out of time. We pushed on, enjoying the scenery, each other’s company, having conversation with the new friends we had met.
This hike is so much more that a trek to the backcountry. For I find it allows me to meet others with different backgrounds, different languages, different personalities, yet we are all the same. The intensity of the climb brings out emotions; stories, honesty and I believe the best in people. At break times all this is shared and I always feel that all who take part in the hike enjoyed this aspect as much as the scenery they see and the feat they have accomplished.
The further we traveled the more I questioned, “Will we make it to the top?” We ascended into the clouds, nearer to Heaven, closer to God, all images yes, but to walk into the clouds in an awesome experience. The mist was building into rain but the temperature was warm so we continued. With the first ridge accomplished, all on the hike were steadily ascending, donning rain gear, gloves and hoods. By the second ridge we were in thick cloud surrounded in mystery yet still held in God’s arms. At the third ridge the rain was quite heavy and it became difficult to see the edge. I had to make up my mind about how much further would we go?
Cresting the last ridge leading to the Saddle area, the wind came up suddenly! The rain became heavier. We were approximately 400 meters from the Saddle. I assessed the situation, exposure, cold, fatigue, stressed muscles, emotional high, all ingredients for hypothermia. It was time to tell this team that we were turning back.
God gave me these words, “If all is revealed to us at once, we could not handle it. Only a little at a time is revealed. We must spend a lifetime building experiences so that when we are ready God will reveal all His glory to us.”
The mountain was not letting out any secrets that day. God’s creation of beauty will have to be seen another time. I agreed with Vadim when he said to me, “There is some unfinished business here.” God has some unfinished business in all of us and when we are ready and complete we may move to join our Creator. I pray that I still have some time left to enjoy the journey!
Then something happened that revealed why we were not to make the summit that day. Allen, climbing in David’s honor, took the rain, the wind and feeling of defeat, all those thing that were holding us back and turned it into JOY! He slowly unwrapped the ribbons of a tail on a small kite, which instantly took flight. As it climbed into the storm, the child in me laughed, there could not have been a better thing to do on a rainy, windy day at the top of a mountain! I believe David’s spirit did join us that day through Allen’s action, a gentle, quiet humble reminder of our humanness. Now David sores with God free and glorious. THANK-YOU David and Allen!
We began descent and after the first ridge and we were sheltered from the wind, the temperature rose and the hikers felt comfort. I knew the correct decision was made. Further down out of all the ridges and into the trees I knew all would be well. The rain did continue and the soaking I felt was a cleansing of some sort, purification perhaps. All made it safely to the vehicles at the trailhead. The plan was to go to Miette Hot Springs to warm our chilled bodies. That is what we did which was most enjoyable!
Thanks to all who endured this Expedition, an expedition I will not soon forget.
All participants for the trip graciously thanked me and I hope they will be back next year, as Vadim said we have some unfinished business…
Glory to God in the Highest!
Randy Iwanciwski, Technical Director, Roche Miette Association.
'Water, water everywhere...'
GAIL LICHTMAN, THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 21, 2005
A student group promoting interfaith dialogue through the lens of the environment certainly did appeal to the Divine Spirit when it chose water as its first topic for discussion.
Begun last semester at the Hebrew University, the group is a joint effort of the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA), a Jerusalem-based group dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East through interfaith dialogue, and Green Course, an independent, voluntary student organization promoting environmental and social issues.
Professor Aaron Wolf, a geography professor currently on sabbatical from Oregon State University and an expert on water cooperation, opened the evening. "We have been told that the wars of the 21st century will be fought over water," he said. "I have found that even in conflicts where there is no cooperation about anything else, there is cooperation over water. And institutions set up for water cooperation continue even in the midst of outright hostilities."
It seems that water cooperation, like water itself, finds a way to flow despite all barriers. On the Indian subcontinent, water cooperation between India and Pakistan came well before the current thaw in relations. And while Azerbaijan and Armenia are still not negotiating, they are cooperating over water.
In this region, water cooperation survived the collapse of the Oslo Accords. In December 2002, at the height of the violence, Nabil Sharif, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, attended a conference at the Technion and stated that Palestinians and Israelis were "making substantial efforts in order that this cooperation will not be harmed."
Wolf reveals that his work on water cooperation led him to an interest in spirituality, which, he believes, is the key to transforming conflict into cooperation.
The IEA also views spirituality as the key and that religion can and should be the source of the solution, rather than the cause of the problem in the Middle East.
"The IEA's general approach is that grassroots citizens, irrespective of their political views, hold both the ability and the responsibility to shape the society in which they live, in order to build peace and coexistence," stated Dr. Yehuda Stolov, IEA director. "We also see interactive, interfaith encounter as the most powerful tool for this."
The IEA establishes and maintains ongoing groups among people who otherwise would not interact. To attract as many people as possible, the IEA encourages the creation of many "affinity groups," including women's groups, groups for young adults and the student environmental group.
The student group has already met three times, attracting about a dozen Jewish, Muslim and Christian participants per session.
"The environment is vital to all cultures and is therefore a good common meeting ground," notes Noa Milkowsky, an art-history student and one of the group's founders. "We want to bring people together to discuss and learn something both about the environment and how it is treated in the religious sources."
Following Wolf's observations concerning water cooperation, the group turned its attention to water in religious sources.
Rasha Abu Arshed, a student of education and sociology, talked about water in the Koran, where the word water appears 59 times. Abu Arshed distributed mimeographed sheets citing the relevant passages in Arabic, which she did not translate into Hebrew, claiming that translating the Koran into Hebrew "is forbidden."
"The Koran says that everything comes from water," Abu Arshed said. "Without water there can be no life."
A discussion of the religious understandings of water revealed that in all three religions water is a form of purification and a sign of holiness.
"When Muslims pray," stated Salah Aladin, a student of accounting and economics, "we are in direct contact with God and therefore have to wash our hands, head and feet."
The Jewish students noted the parallel to ritual hand washing, while the Christian students mentioned baptism as a form of spiritual cleansing. The Muslim students also brought up the need to wash as a way of undergoing purification after sexual relations, and this was compared with the use of the ritual bath in Judaism.
Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water to satisfy her spiritual thirst, a Christian student observed. A Jewish student explained that the Torah is read every three days because, like water, the People of Israel cannot go without it more than three days.
The students also noted that water can be a destructive force. Referring both to the Flood and even the recent tsunami, they realized that water has the power of death as well as life.
This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1114049939361&p=1077423454793
Time’s Elastic Waste Band
sings of old souls and unnecessary disciplines.
By John Savlove
Remember what a popular lad you were?
Remember how you already knew that musical vibrations were just as potent a god-force as the myths of Jesus? The universe in reality, that is…you sensed the sway of dimensions, as most children do, while their parents parrot prayers to a god in their own image because they’re too lazy to imagine anything else…but because you were precocious, you could compare the difference in language, and rationalize their folly for them!
Remember your poem “Rejection”?
It was 8th grade. The poems you wrote for your sister had such a witty rhythm. So playful and knowing. But “Rejection” was an unrhyming diatribe that located a political disdain you’d been in touch with about as soon as you could write a word-balloon above a doodle’s open mouth.
You are SO the same. You with your ancient clever soul, you with your rejection of all the people’s proud ignorance and unintentional hypocrisies leavened by your genuinely dear compassion. You of the many phases of romance, some flush, some fallow, all of them determined to BOND BEAUTIFULLY with LADY LOVE. You with your life-long determination to redetermine the predetermined. Excepting of course the mines whose terms you like. You are SO the same. “We’re captive on the carousel of time”. Why fight it? Succumb, Johnny, to the inability of art and tantra to ever meet on the commercial front, as you dream, in your dream of dreams, of a hero waving the banner of Everlasting Life, and that hero is you, leading a million freshly reborn souls into a breathing culture miles above the sexual cul de sacs of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, the perverted Church, the corrupt Congress, Parliament, Astrodome, privatized waterways….There you are, tossing your coin into the fountain, alone, in your dreams as well as your reality. The celebration of your cells keeps you young, taut, fit. Your mind and your body are incessantly aware of how one they are! You are SO hungry for appreciation!
"The Gaia hypothesis does not conflict with any of the major schools of religious thought: Christ, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Moses, Zarathustra, Mohammed and Baha'u'llah may have been among the first blossoming flowers of Gaia".
Myth to 21st Century science . . Today there is a growing hypothesis circling the globe:
"Our Planet - Mother Earth - is a Living Being and all life forms are her offspring."
Therefore we humans could be said to be "Her" children, with the inherent ability to become super-conscious adults. This is the Gaia Hypothesis (pronounced Gay-a) named after the Greek word for the 'Earth Mother' - Gaea. In 1979 James Lovelock, a British Scientist who worked for the NASA (USA) space program, reminded us of the idea that Planet Earth, like the Sun, is a conscious living being. For just as our human body is composed of billions of cells working together as a single living being, so are the billions of life forms on Earth working together as a living super organism.
Looking at our Living Planet:
We can visualize the Equatorial rainforests functioning as the planet's lungs, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide in concert with the oceans. Observe the atmosphere functioning as a global respiratory system. Imagine that our rivers and streams are like a circulatory system for the planetary body, bringing clean water and flushing the system. Feel invisible currents of universal force that run longitudinally, latitudinally and diagonally around
our planet. These unseen but sensed Ley lines are like acupuncture meridians that carry this life force within the human body. Notice that the whole planet "breathes" by contracting and expanding with the moon's gravitational pull. Witness the seasonal cycles mirroring bodily changes, from the contraction of autumn to the inevitable rebirth of spring.
When we gaze upon the global ecosystem as a whole, we find that everything works in ordered splendour and unison, overlapping from the smallest of algae, bacteria and plankton to the migration of birds, caribou and whales. Everything is intelligently self-regulating and acting coherently and wisely.. except human kind.
Here we are.. Homo Sapiens, forgetful progeny, mostly composed of 70% water and 30% earth, much like the surface of our mother, Gaia, Planet Earth. As we approach the 21st century through the media of electronic communications and space photographs, we are coming to the realization that all of humanity born on this blue and white, jewel-like planet are, like seed and spore, a product of Mother Earth. Since our bodies are composed of the minerals and elements of the Earth, shouldn't we be known as Gaia's children?
For if our umbilical cord could be traced back from our mother's mother all the way back into the past, we would see that we have all come from Mother Earth.
"And the Lord God formed us of the dust of the ground and breathed into our nostrils the breath of life and we became a living soul." Genesis 2:7
Thus we are all the family of humanity, being global and planetary beings. Yet will we remember to utilize our mind, the full 100% of our brain and inner potential? Can we feel the pulse of the Earth beneath our feet? Feel a deeper reality? And comprehend this magnificence?
Today we witness widespread disaster and tragedy. Wise, compassionate, visionary leadership is an essential necessity. Humanity has become fragmented and separated, brother and sister pitted against each other. We need no prophetic visions to tell us where such conflict is leading us.
On Mother Earth, humans can be compared to the bacteria in and on our own bodies, basically benevolent, but when harmony and balance do not exist, the bacteria can cause illness that in some cases leads to the termination of the host. This is particularly noticeable in the relationship of
humanity to our planet. The question is asked, will we come to the self-realization of who we really are?
We stand naked in time and space, illuminated only by the light of our own self-knowledge. Can we plug into and attune to an even greater
universal knowledge? Can we Humans come to a deeper understanding of the source from which we spring?
When working together for the benefit of the ecosystem as a whole, we blend in, to co-create and become dynamically one at the heart and mind of Gaia and beyond - by intelligently and intuitively aligning with her and her virtuous fecundity. Opening into the new century, our greatest challenge
is to understand, appreciate and feel our intimate relationship with Our Planet, Her peoples, Her Flora and Fauna and to strive to resolve all conflicts,
especially those of greed, war, hunger, disease and suffering. We must set about to renew and re-energize our water, clean up our air supply, afforest our barren marginal land and deserts with greenery and colour, and eliminate all toxic and harmful residues.
For we big brained creatures are a vital part of the created and future evolutionary growth of Our Planet, Gaia. The study of ourselves as a conscious assembly of Gaia's elements reveals our inner relationship to the whole of creation, where we may open up and reconnect with our Cosmic inheritance. As physical Beings of Conscious Essence, We can embark on a Magnificent Quest, Co-existing with Mother Earth... Potentially Seeding our Solar System - going Galactic and Beyond with Intelligence and Life...
Working in harmony with Nature, our growth and transformation can evolve us beyond Gaia, into the cosmic whole and possibly home. This is the most wonderful challenge to befall us!
For we, each one of us, are an assemblage of the Big Bang and over time we've emerged from Mother Earth wearing bodies and are now making the connection with where we have come from. We are the Universe finally discovering itself. For the first time in Ages.
The Gaia hypothesis does not conflict with any of the major schools of religious thought: Christ, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Moses, Zarathustra, Mohammed and Baha'u'llah may have been among the first blossoming flowers of Gaia. In reflecting on the work of Plato and Pythagoras, we find their themes "know thyself (microcosm) and you will know the Universe (macrocosm)" particularly relevant in the understanding of this hypothesis.
Gaia as the Ancient Greeks Saw Her
Books by Lovelock:
Gaia A New Look at Planet Earth
(Oxford University Press)
The Ages of Gaia (Oxford University Press)
The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine (Allen and
The Gaia Atlas of Planet Management
Edited by Norman Myers (Pan Books)
If you are practical, intelligent, have a good heart
and wish to assist positive change, this superb book
is for you. Solutions for a planetary society of
Earthdance 432- page book by Elisabet Sahtouris. ISBN: 0-595-13067-4 available at
Gaia: A Way of Knowing
Edited by William Irwin Thompson
Stonehenge, Glastonbury, The Great Pyramids of Egypt
and many Cathedrals of Europe are situated along these
Universal Lines of Invisible Force.
In Truth, Simplicity and Love,
by Young Kelley and Young Toni
Visit us at http://www.anextstep.org/html/NL_Archive.html where you can now read all our newsletters from our archives... Buy Toni's book: Dancing With Death Through Senility Into Eternality ... http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0%2D595%2D24442%2D4 Also amazon, barnesandnoble, borders.
108 SPIRITUAL PURIFICATION TECHNIQUES
By Leonard Orr
From The Conscious Connection, the Newsletter of Rebirth International
73. Sit in the presence of fire. This cleans and balances the energy body. Dhunis (enclosed personal fire pits, usually outside), fireplaces, wood burning
stoves with the doors open, candle burning are good methods of practicing fire purification.
74. Learn how to breathe--Liberate your breath.
75. Perceive your own ridiculousness. Become aware of how ridiculous you are in the eyes of God. Learn to laugh at yourself.
76. Listen to and or play gongs.
77. Listen to and or play bells.
78. Meditate in the forest.
79. Clean your carpets--they should be cleaned on a regular basis.
80. Go on a 40 day fast. This is done without food or water. This will take you beyond the rational mind.
81. Eat a live food diet. Eat raw foods with life energy in them.
82. Drink freshly made juices.
83. Go on an intestinal cleansing program.
84. Be ecologically responsible.
85. Consume organic foods.
86. Replenish the soil.
87. Develop safe alternate means of fuel and implement them.
88. Enjoy a loving relationship with an animal.
89. Soak in the bathtub.
90. Become aware of how your energy is mirrored and reflected back to you via water when you are soaking in the tub.
91. Meditate on cultural trends, trends of civilization and human history.
92. Meditate on the labor system and how it works.
93. Give birth.
94. Raise children.
95. Complete your roles in life.
96. Spend time with your child.
97. Tithe--Give away 10% of your income to a place that nourishes you spiritually.
98. Practice generosity.
99. Practice Balance.
100. Participate in social life.
101. Go on a vision quest.
102. Learn to surpass your limitations with conscious awareness.
103. Liberate yourself from your own conditioning, whether it comes from other people or is self imposed.
104. Learn from your failures.
105. Take responsibility for yourself.
106. Create a spiritual family.
107. Communion--Commune with your loved ones, God, nature.
108. Practice--Be persistent in your practice of these techniques. Become tenacious.
Leonard Orr can be reached at P.O. Box 1026, Staunton, VA. 24402, USA, 540-885-0551, email@example.com, www.Rebirthingbreathwork.com
by Yehuda Stolov
As you probably know, the Interfaith Encounter Association (IEA) has many on-going connections to the international interfaith scene (you can see in www.interfaith-encounter.org/activities.htm our current affiliations). In the last few months we were involved in several events and we thought it would be interesting for you if we briefly share them with you:
May 2005: Project “Towards the creation of a spiritual forum for world peace at the United Nations”
The project is aimed towards the creation of a spiritual forum for world peace at the United Nations, which would help to mobilize the immense spiritual, human and organizational resources of the religious communities, spiritual traditions, organizations and movements, interfaith organizations and value-based secular groups, in partnership with the United Nations and other constituencies of the civil society, in the pursuit of a more peaceful and equitable world.
The project was endorsed by the Interfaith Encounter Association and its Executive Director, Dr. Yehuda Stolov serves on the project's Partnership Committee that met in Switzerland in May for the second time.
"Critical Moment in Interreligious Dialogue" – World Council of Churches conference, 7-9 June, Geneva, Switzerland
The conference, convened by the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, 7-9 June 2005, outlined specific strategies which aim to shift the emphasis of interreligious relations from dialogue to common action, including new education and training programmes and exchanges which foster a culture of dialogue. Symbolic actions which promote healing of historical memory, new structures and networks, and action plans at the national and regional levels were upheld as practical ways to follow up.Participants expressed caution about understandings of dialogue that diminish particular identities and traditions, and that generate suspicion and hostility to dialogue within religious communities.
The IEA was represented in the conference by its Executive Director, Dr. Yehuda Stolov who also facilitated one of the plenary sessions. The conference provided many opportunities for meeting with colleagues from the Middle East and around the globe. Especially moving were the meetings with our colleagues from Egypt, Iran and Kuwait.
For more on the conference and for photos, see the conference's site at: www.oikoumene.org/interreligious.html
ALLMEP conference, 29-30 June 2005, Washington D.C., USA
A remarkable and exciting event occurred on Capitol Hill as a new effort to support Arab-Jewish co-existence was born. More than 250 religious, political, business and student leaders from every political and religious background came together to launch the Alliance for Middle East Peace. ALLMEP (ALLiance for Middle East Peace - www.allmep.org ) is a coalition of 27 non-governmental organizations, including the Interfaith Encounter Association, that build bridges every day between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Through ALLMEP, these NGOs have joined together to engage all of us in supporting Middle East co-existence programs.
While we may all differ on political peace efforts, which focus on where to draw borders and how to ensure security, people-to-people co-existence efforts focus on something we can all enthusiastically support: building relationships between human beings. Every day, these programs bring ordinary Palestinians and Israelis together to learn, work, play and talk.
These activities engage individuals first, but their impact quickly ripples outward. Each participant of interfaith study groups, each young athlete in a joint soccer league, each patient in a cooperative medical program becomes a grass-roots diplomat, quietly spreading the message to family, friends and community that civil relations are possible and rewarding. These organizations need volunteers, supporters, advocates, program participants and, yes, financial support. Most work miracles with modest budgets but are forced to turn away Arabs and Jews who are looking for a way to reach out across conflict lines. Through ALLMEP, they are working to raise awareness about their little-known but much-needed work.
The IEA was wonderfully represented in this founding conference by the Director of its New York branch, Dr. Shams Prinzivalli.
Annual meeting of the Global Council and staff of the United Religions Initiative (URI),29 June-1 July, Seoul, South Korea
Seventy members of 2005 and 2008 Global Councils of URI ( www.uri.org ), Global Staff and special guests have been privileged to share here a week of spirit-filled work, profound solidarity with a nation yearning for peaceful reunification, gratitude and celebration. We journeyed to Korea from 23 countries, as members of over 20 religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. During this week we made the transition from URI’s first Global Council to our second; Trustees and staff in eight regions engaged in successful teambuilding and planning for URI’s future development; we made a peace pilgrimage in solidarity with our Korean hosts to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides Korea and much more.
As you know, the IEA is a Multiple Cooperation Circle of the URI – with its seven CCs. IEA was represented in the meeting by its Chair Mr. Shlomo Alon, who together with his colleagues Mrs. Atefeh Sadeghi from Iran and Ms. Hanan Shahatit from Jordan, serves as the Middle East and North Africa Region Global Trustees in the 2008 Global Council; and by its Executive Director Dr. Yehuda Stolov, who together with his colleague Dr. Mohamed Mosaad from Egypt serve as the Regional Coordinators of the MENA region and served on the 2005 Global Council. Also present was IEA's women's co-coordinator Ms. Elana Rozenman who serves as one of the Multiregional Region Global Trustees.
"Recognising our Neighbours – Religious Tolerance in Shared Societies" – Europe and Middle East conference of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF – www.iarf.net ), 21-24 July 2005, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
This conference aimed to work together on the challenge to develop a tolerant and non-discriminatory society. It was designed as pan-European and broader in order to help compare and develop strategies for harmony and cooperation within multi-religious and shared societies. The Middle East dimension present an opportunity for wider exposure to a multi-faith environment under stress. It is also hoped that IARF Chapters and member groups, as well as others interested in our field of work, will be inspired to develop meaningful programmes in their own areas.
The IEA, which is a Member Group of IARF, was represented with a relatively large delegation that included its Chair and co-coordinator of our Arabic Interfaith Encounter Mr. Shlomo Alon, the co-coordinator of our Eilat Interfaith Encounter Ms. Mazal Katzir, the two coordinators of IEA's Students' Enviromental Group Ms. Rasha Abu Arshid and Ms. Noa Milikowsky, the co-coordinator of our Jerusalem Youth Interfaith Encounter Mr. Dotan Arad and the the co-coordinator of our Tel Aviv Youth Interfaith Encounter Mr. Shabi Elashvili. Shabi's and Dotan's colleagues to the coordinating teams were also invited but unfortunately were not able to join.
One example of IEA sharing was the story of Dotan, who comes from a very right-wing social context. He described how he first came to IEA, how he suffered criticism and ridicule, how his mother was wounded and his good friend was murdered in terrorist-attacks and how these events weakened him in his work, as he was feeling that he looses his ability to get his family and friends to listen to his ideas. On the other hand there were also successes. For example: when he was asked to find a rabbinical figure for a study day the IEA organized for school principles, he approach many rabbis and finally managed to convince Rabbi Bigman of the Maale Hagilboa Yeshiva to come. He was deeply impressed by the talk of his colleague in the panel Sheikh Kiwan, the Imam of Majd el Krum, and a strong connection was instantly formed between them. Today there is a permanent program for interfaith dialogue in the Yeshiva and who knows if it is not a result of this study day. The Talmud tells the story of Honi Hame'agel who saw an old man planting a Carob tree, that gives fruits after seventy years. He asked him: do you expect to live to eat the fruits of this tree?! The old man replied: when I was born I found carob trees in the world – as my grand-parents planted for me I plant for my grandchildren. I don't know if we will see full harmonic peace in the Middle East in our time but the work of IEA is the real and essential planting of the seeds for the future generations.
The Interfaith Encounter Association, P.O.Box 3814, Jerusalem 91037, Israel, Phone: +972-2-6510520, Fax: +972-2-6510557
August 1, 2005
The United Religions Initiative-Middle East and North Africa Region, URI-MENA, is inviting participants to its upcoming Annual Regional Conference, to be held in Amman from 26: 29 of September.
The United Religions Initiative is a global interfaith dialogue network, which is committed to daily enduring interfaith cooperation. The history of URI-MENA goes back almost ten years ago, during which Middle Eastern and North African religious activists, from Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Druze backgrounds, have conducted many interfaith activities to promote mutual understanding and peace in the region, to deepen and share their religious and spiritual experience and to communicate their everyday life, and a global human agenda, through their shared interfaith experience.
This year the theme of the conference will be “Charity”, a concept that invites the meeting of the spiritual, the social and the economic and questions the notion of ownership rights. How, in different histories, different regions and different religious backgrounds, charity has been socially and economically institutionalized and regulated? Charity has long been criticized as it masks the question of mal-distribution, confuses the “class consciousness”, or sometimes introduces specific agendas and builds specific institutions that further empower those who have over those who have not. How religious participants, through their diverse religious and social backgrounds, encounter such criticism? Theologians have also extended this rich concept of charity to non material dimensions. How can we give, or rather share, education, love, spirituality and other Godly gifts, which are unnecessarily material? These and other questions and points will be covered in the conference through our usual formats: a short, really short, introductory speech, followed by extensive elaboration conducted in multiple small and intimate groups. Besides the theme related sessions a cultural and a social programs will be organized to enjoy beautiful places in Jordan, and more importantly, to enhance and strengthen personal relationships between participants.
The deadline of applications is August 20 – please send your application, which is copied below as well as attached to this message, to one of the regional coordinators. The selection process will guarantee that the participants are within the capacity of URI-MENA to organize, and that they are balanced, in terms of religious background, nationality, gender and age. An announcement of acceptance will be sent to those whose participation is approved on September 1 together with a detailed schedule. The fees of the conference is 200 US$, which covers the registration fees, the accommodation in a three stars hotel, the internal transportation and the participation in the social and cultural activities. Partial and full scholarships are available, but are not so many. The priority will be given to MENA citizens, URI CC activists and new initiators - on need basis. A few scholarships will also be given to assure the aforementioned participants balance.
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. Alan Huggett > 970 Burden Street, Prince George, BC V2M 2H9
. Christel Hus > 12156 - 93 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5G 1E8
June 09, 2005
Dear Friend of David Huggett: suffering from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma for more than two years our dear family member and friend David Huggett passed away on March 23, 2005. His loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him. David had many different qualities and talents; but he saw himself foremost as a poet, writer and visual artist. In fact, he devoted his life to these endeavors without significant financial rewards. As a result he left numerous manuscripts and paintings behind.
To commemorate his artwork we have arranged an exhibition at the Nina Haggarty Centre for the Arts in Edmonton in September 2005. Sufficient funding has been secured for this exhibition. We will send you an invitation for the opening reception at a later date.
To make David's literary work known to a wider audience we would like to publish some of his poems, short stories & essays. This can be done at reasonable cost through a self-publishing company. In order to pay for this publishing effort, we have established a David Huggett Memorial Fund. A recent garage sale of items from David's estate raised about $250, a good beginning. We hope to raise about $5000 between now and fall 2005.
We wish to ask for your financial contribution for this worthy project. Please send your donation to the 'David Huggett Memorial Fund' and mail to 12156 - 93 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 1E8. In return you will receive one free copy of the printed book. Additional copies can be purchased at a reasonable price. We look forward to hearing from you.
With gratitude & best wishes,
Alan Huggett & Christel Hus
One God Notes
"One God Notes" consist of quotations from spiritual writings of many religious traditions. The purpose is to inspire, to open hearts, so people perceive God's Presence in and around them. In this way I hope to create a sense of human and religious unity.
To see the previous "One God Notes" visit http://www.onegodsite.net/archives.html. To learn more about the philosophy behind these notes, please, visit http://www.onegodsite.net/ If you would like to go further and add "One God Notes" to your web site, please, copy and paste the button below and use it to create a link to http://www.onegodsite.net/onegodnotes.html
In Truth, Simplicity and Love, Pritam.
What is Roche Miette Association?
Roche Miette Association is an informal group of people who try to achieve the ideals of human unity as expressed in the Roche Miette Rule. One of the characteristics of this group of enthusiasts is love of Nature and willingness to love God through His Creation. In particular, we are drawn by the beauty of Roche Miette Mountain, near Hinton, Alberta, and organize once a year a non-denominational hike/pilgrimage to this mountain. People of all religious backgrounds are invited to participate with us in this auspicious event.
If these ideals appeal to you, you may want to support them through a financial donation. Please, send checks for "Roche Miette Association" to:
Roche Miette Association
576, Lessard Drive
Edmonton, AB, T6M 1B2
Call for Papers
Would you like to contribute to the Roche Miette Newsletter? Please, send your text in Microsoft Word or HTML format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Of special interests are stories, reflections on the following subjects:
Human and religious unity.
Harmony between different religions, cooperation between religious groups.
Examples of interfaith dialogue, tolerance, forgiveness.
Love of Nature (especially mountains).
Meditation, Contemplative Prayer.
Religious life, especially Practice of the Presence of God, pilgrimage.
Mysticism, especially in the context of the mountains.
Poetry, art, music, photographs related to the mountains.
Manuscripts to be considered should be original articles (not published
elsewhere). Some previously published materials may
also be considered if submitted with the info and consent of the publisher. Some promotional materials, such excerpts from books, can also be considered if related to the above topics. Announcements of interest for wider audiences are also occasionally accepted.
The Roche Miette Newsletter has a circulation of approximately 400 recipients. Copies of the newsletter are sent to National Library of Canada for research purposes. To see the previous issues you can visit http://rochemiette.ca/newsletter.html
Presently there is no remuneration for the submitted materials.
The deadline for the next issue is: October 31, 2005.
Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and acquaintances. They may subscribe to the newsletter at: http://rochemiette.ca/newslettersubscriptionemail.html