We have entered the epoch of comppasion and cooperation

"International Interfaith Network United Religions Initiative (URI), through its Global Indigenous Initiative (GII), recently hosted Hidden Seeds of Natural Healing & Curing, a gathering of 33 Indigenous representatives from six continents, including two youth leaders ages 13 and 14. The participants meet for three days, July 1-3, near Napa Valley in Northern California”

Let me, as a participant of this Event, share my personal impressions and thoughts on this great Interfaith Gathering and it’s possible impact for our future Interfaith activity and cooperation. The Gathering and the events of those days have given a special push to my world perception and has widened horizons of both – my consciousness and, I hope, my social activity. We all came from different countries with different traditions and even different  mentality; every participant has his/her own story and own perception of what was the most important during those 3 days. From my perspective the  key points of the Gathering were the following:

ONENESS IN DIVERSITY

For centuries people used to speak about Oneness of   human beings and of all God’s creation, but  can we recollect  one year in history without wars and without destroying  our Mother-Earth? Today we, people, have come to the crucial point, when the question is like “to be or not to be”? With us or without us the Planet system will manage to survive, it is much better if with us, of course. At the Gathering of Indigenous people we have been sharing our thoughts and ideas on the very important questions, such as: Who are we? What do we want to do? What will we look like? What is necessary to move forward? Working together… No accident…

The answers to these questions were diverse, and still they reflect our mutual striving to realize oneself as an active part of the process of great changes happening on the Planet. We got a chance to feel  the unity of us all as One big   family, where each one is different and special. Within the program of the Gathering most of the participants spoke about sacred ceremonies of the Indigenous people which are still held in their communities and they even had a chance to show  those sacred ceremonies. It was amazing to witness the similarities in the ways of performing them by indigenous people from the countries, situated far away geographically. At special Ceremonies we were dressed in national costumes, proudly representing our own lands.  During those few days we have learnt so much about each other and what is more important-about the ancient wisdom of our people and countries.

 LINK OF GENERATIONS

Oak acorn as a symbol of the Gathering symbolized eternal life and a  link between generations. Life will never stop on our beloved planet, if there are Trees giving acorns (seeds), from which new life emerges.  Each participant got a small locket in the shape of an acorn as a token  from the representatives of the young generation –Ta’Kaiya Blaney and Phil Taiga Lane. In a very solemn ceremony,  representatives  of the  elder generation passed the scrolls with their ideas and insights of the present and future situations on the earth and of the work in mutual cooperation - to the representatives of the young generation. Nowadays it has become popular to scold the youth  for anything and everything, but in reality  we see that this new generation is much more adaptable to the new times, they are intelligent , gifted and many of them have come to the world being spiritually  ready for  the changes in the  world. The important thing for all of us is to keep the link between generations alive, this will help  the youth  while  following  the new ways and technological achievements to remember their spiritual indigenous roots. Tree without roots dies, and  a tree species without leaving seeds would disappear as well.

SYNCHRONICITY IN COMPASSION ISSUE

Synchronicity is in the air these days!!! Have you noticed this???

I have felt and noticed this very vividly during  the days of the  Gathering and at some meetings with the people we have had before and after the Gathering. The message I felt was: URGENT  NEED OF COMPASSION in human society towards themselves and towards the surrounding world. Just one month before the Gathering I got a  book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama “Beyond Religion. Ethics for a whole world”, published in 2011. On the first page it is written: “In Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way. Transcending the mere  “ religion wars”, he outlines a system of ethics for our shared world, one that gives full respect to religion”.  I assume that this book can be helpful to all those who deal with Interfaith activity.  For the decades again and again His Holiness  Dalai Lama is appealing to the humanity with a message of Compassion, this  Appeal is heard from other great spiritual leaders. Compassion can not  be trained, you either have it or not; only by widening consciousness in daily life by doing good things for the sake of others, spreading thoughts of good we are able to reach the state of compassion.

Together with my friend –another participant of the Gathering from Russia we spent a few days at the home of my long term friend, Suzanne Keehn from Palo Alto, Ca, who is  a President of the International  Creative Health Network (CHN). Quite recently they launched  an International  Project “ Living Love Letters  to the Earth”, inviting  people to share their ideas, stories and activities, expressing their love and compassion towards our home-the Planet Earth. I like the idea of the Project, which will help the people to activate their creative gifts, will make them  think about the Earth with love,  compassion  and awareness of the fact that the Earth is living too. The Gathering participants  liked the idea of the Loving Letters Project, and I hope that most of them  will join it together with their communities, it can be of a special interest to the children.

Having spent  a few days in the Selicon valley, Ca. before the Gathering I came to know about another great International Project taking place today-it is Compassion Project started by the famous neuro-surgeon James Doty in cooperation with Dalai Lama. I am so happy to learn about the Center for Compassion, Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, and James Doty is a president of the Center. Reading their website I came to know about advanced experiences,  where fundamental science is combined with such ideas as “subtle planes, subtle state etc”. Isn’t it a good sign of the changes, happening  in the world!? My spiritual Teacher, Saint Baba Virsa Singh- a founder of Interfaith Community “Gobind Sadan”  in India used to say: ” When scientists and spiritual leaders will sit together around the table to talk, then the scientists will be surprised to realize that the scientific theories they have been working on for centuries had been described long ago in the sacred books of religions”.

The theme of the Planet’s sufferings, brought by human activity and the way out of this devastating situation were the main topics, discussed at the Gathering of Indigenous people. The participants call the world to turn to the wisdom and eternal values of our ancestors. Rather pessimistic predictions about the future of humanity are heard here and there these days, but I believe that our future could be too tragic if we, as humans were alone on the planet; we should never forget about the Hierarchy of Light who are always with us, ready to help. We only should support them in their efforts to save the Planet and to bring happy and prosperous life to ourselves and to the future generation.

WE ARE ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF THE PLANET EARTH

In Wikipedia we read: “Indigenous people are people defined in international or national legislation as having a set of specific rights based on their historical ties to a particular territory, and their cultural or historical distinctiveness from other populations that are often politically dominant. The concept of indigenous people defines these groups as particularly vulnerable to exploitation, marginalization and oppression by nation states that may still be formed from the colonizing populations, or by politically dominant ethnic groups…”

I would say that this is an old, too narrow paradigm of thinking about Indigenous people of today, although it was true for the past. Today we are in the time of the great Shift in everything and the attitude to the Indigenous people should be changed too, for their wisdom is of a great value. That’s what the Gathering was about.

At the Gathering of Indigenous people the suggestion was uttered to consider all the people of the Planet as Indigenous people. It makes us contemplate on the idea that each one of us-human beings belonging to one Planet has actually genes of  indigenous ancestors , who  lived long ago in some certain area with certain spiritual ways and  traditions. We all have our indigenous roots, doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what country and culture you belong to, what language you speak today. The time has come for us to awaken “memory of ancestors”.

It is high time for the humanity to change from being just homo sapiens to being homo spiritualis, to become Holo sapiens(with whole knowing), the term suggested by Leslie Meehan. At the Gathering  we  realized that only together in cooperation, friendship and love we are able to face all the challenges of reality today and to bring positive changes. Wisdom of ancestors, shared during the ceremonies, talks and other activities showed us the importance  of concentrating our efforts on educational work among the youth and adults in our countries and  communities. We should always remember that we, as Holo sapiens are really powerful and we are more powerful when we are united as a big family.

 BANNERS OF PEACE

For me as a follower of the ideas of the great World (Russian by birth) writer, painter, philosopher and peace-maker Nikolai Roerich,- the significance of the Banner of Peace and the so called Roerich’s Pact of Peace has been dear and important for more that the last twenty years. It turned out that 33 Banners of Peace were bought from UN to be passed to the Gathering participants, and  it was a surprise for me when on the closing ceremony I was asked to pass them to the people, who would  bring them to their countries. It was a great honor and I was happy to give some information of the history on the Banner of Peace to the audience.

Nikolai Roerich initiated the movement for the defense of cultural objects during the war time and in the non-war  period as well. One of his great achievements was the Roerich Pact,  signed on April 15, 1935 by the representatives of USA and Latin America in the Oval Office of the White House(Washington, DC). For the last 27 years the idea of Banner of Peace has been widely spread by the International Committee for ”Banner of Peace”, led by the famous Mexican actress Alicia Fernandez Rodriguez.

And again the amazing Synchronicity of the events took place: at 3pm on July 3, 2014 Alicia Rodriguez passed Big Banner of Peace to the Administration of Altai Region(Siberia, Russia) and to 35 representatives of Cultural Institutions from all over Russia. It was a very significant event, because for the first time the Banner of Peace was passed on the official level. A few hours later but still on July 3, 2014 at 9am(time difference is 11hours) Banners of Peace were given to the 33 participants of the Gathering of the Indigenous people from all over the world.  May this symbol become sacred during these difficult times for all of us and for the years to come!

  “JOY IS A SPECIAL WISDOM

These words are believed to be said by Jesus. Looks like it is not that easy to be joyful when the world is so unstable, but being aware of the processes on  the Planet today and being armed with the wisdom of Ancestors  the participants found time not only for serious talks and solemn ceremonies, but for joy of dancing and singing as well. Actually every representative of different countries was glad to sing or dance in their own national ways. Everyone felt happy, relaxed and all together we had a lot of  fun.

 THE CONFERENCE CAME TO END, OUR  UNITY GOT A NEW POWERFUL TURN

We will remember July 3, 2014 not as the last day of the Gathering but, I hope, as the day of a new start and turn in our activity for the benefit of humanity.  We exchanged contact information with each other, and each one has defined those issues of possible future cooperation, which are of mutual  interest .

The Gathering came to an end, the bus was ready to start for San Francisco and we came together for the Last Circle in Nature. On behalf of all our dear Audri  Scott Williams –the leading organizer, expressed our gratitude to this sacred  Land where we spent unforgettable 3 days and  to the Spirits of the place. We are thankful for the hospitality,  for all the knowledge and lessons we had got during those wonderful  days.

Ermolina Galina-Coordinator of “Euro-Asia” CC, URI,  Ambassador of  the Council of the Parliament of the World Religions