I have for some time cherished a vision of people of diverse backgrounds, life experiences, expertise, world views and spiritual/religious traditions coming together to sit together in full-hearted sharing and deeply respectful listening that honors the validity of each point of view. I have just had that experience, and was grateful to witness the “something greater than the sum of the parts” that occurs when people join in the spirit of true collaboration to address world conditions.
The Awakened World 2012 Conference took place between October 13 and 21 in Rome and Florence, Italy. Convened by the Association for Global New Thought, the International Interreligious Peace Council and the Interreligious Engagement Project, the conference called together 200 religious and spiritual leaders, secular experts and grassroots activists from the great faith traditions. We all gathered in acknowledgment that global culture has entered a period of progressive values-shift and that religion and spirituality are evolving at a dramatic pace.
The conference design was a clear departure from a “talking heads” format of platform presentations. Instead, it embraced group-wide participation in small group working sessions. The four domains of inquiry were: Reconciling with the Other, Transforming Society, Embracing the Earth Family, and Re-discovering the Sacred. Each working group explored three dimensions of the 21st Century evolution of religion and spirituality:
– Signs – compelling indicators that ours is a time of real change in religion and society
– Shadows – obstacles to this evolutionary advance
– Solutions – new initiatives, projects and action plans to support our progress
A Charter for Engaged Spirituality in the 21st Century will result from this process, and I will post it here when it is completed. The intention is for this document to provide the framework for an ongoing global process of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and engagement.
My personal take away: engage in at least one global project, and make at least one lifestyle change that will benefit the planet. I look forward to doing this.
Let me how you feel, about any of this.