September 2013: LIVING NON-VIOLENCE
a Free Public Offering:
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Sunday, September 8, 1:15pm—6:00pm
Now Available on the Internet:
*** NEW: Talks from our March 24, 2013 panel discussion on Unity in Diversity: To Cure a Culture of Violence. This was a special discussion on cultural violence and responses to it, in the light of the Vedantic philosophy as brought to the West by SWAMI VIVEKANANDA (1863 - 1902). The event was held in commemoration of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birthday, and AHIMSA's 20th anniversary. The event was held at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and Institute for World Religions, March 24, 2013
Contributors and links to talks:
Panel Moderator Swami Vedananda, Vedanta Retreat, Olema, California
Religious, Ethnic and Racial Diversity - Sources of Hatred, Bigotry and Violence
by Swami Tattwamayananda, Assistant Minister, Vedanta Society of San Francisco
Synopsis: All forms of discrimination, fanaticism, and violence are rooted in the idea of the “others.” Spirituality is not ideology. It is ideology that creates division in society. Spirituality is about the Unity of the whole creation and, therefore, acts as a bridge between religions and people of different ethnic backgrounds.
Capitalism and Social Justice
by Tapan Parikh, Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley
Synopsis: Experience in the United States and China shows that uncontrolled capitalism leads to societies in which a few are super rich and a large number are poor and unable to meet daily basics needs such as food, housing, healthcare, and education. To promote social justice, nations must make huge investments in enterprises based on technologies that serve the poor.
Gender Discrimination and Its Impact on Society
by Preeti Shekar, Exec. Director, Narika
Synopsis: What is the status of women in Hinduism and how did Swami Vivekananda consider the status and role of women in Indian society? Most world religions are patriarchal and controlling of women but women have also been able to negotiate agency and advocate for themselves using religious frameworks.
Raj Yoga for Inner Peace - A Necessary Condition for Building Peaceful Communities
by Bidyut K. Bose, Executive Director, Niroga Institute
Synopsis: It is not possible to have peaceful communities until everyone in the community has a way to achieve peace within. Even as we explore the causes of violence in the external environment, we must also learn to control the mind. To achieve this, the method taught by Raja Yoga will be briefly described.
Service as a Gift - Transforming a Materialistic and Violent Culture
by Somik Raha, Coordinator, ServiceSpace
Synopsis: Throughout their lives, Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi experimented with certain core values. What insights might we unlock in experimenting to test our core values? Drawing on personal experiences from ServiceSpace, this talk will celebrate experiments with core values.
Finding Unity in Diversity to Cure a Culture of Violence
Entire talk including Q&A:
Religious, Ethnic and Racial Diversity - Sources of Hatred, Bigotry and Violence, Swami Tattwamayananda
Capitalism and Social Justice, Tapan Parikh
Gender Discrimination and Its Impact on Society, Preeti Shekar
Raj Yoga for Inner Peace - A Necessary Condition for Building Peaceful Communities, Bidyut K. Bose
Service as a Gift - Transforming a Materialistic and Violent Culture, Somik Raha
*** Ruth Richards, M.D., Ph.D. Saybrook University and Harvard Medical School, Advisory Board, AHIMSA
AGE OF EMPATHY?: NEW VIEWS OF HEALTH, HUMAN NATURE, and RELATIONAL CREATIVITY
Original Presentation was May 17, 2011
Go to http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Ruth-Richards/
This talk highlights empathy as an essential yet often unsung human quality— one that is immediate, creative, connecting, and powerful—while exploring its greater potential for who we are as humans, and its vital role in our future growth, health, and progress, as individuals and as cultures.
Ruth Richards, M.D., Ph.D. is the author of numerous articles and chapters on creativity, with recent work focused on creativity as process, bringing us richly into the present moment and beyond ego, with access to intuition and deeper ways of knowing; this carries numerous benefits for our health and wellbeing and, for some people, can become part of a spiritual path. Dr. Richards’ varied interests also include chaos theory and issues of beauty, awareness, and the fractal forms of nature. She has edited two books including the visionary 2007 Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature: Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Perspectives. She is Professor in the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies at Saybrook University in San Francisco, in the Consciousness and Spirituality concentration area, where she teaches courses including Eastern Psychologies, Psychology of Consciousness, and Dimensions of Creativity. Dr. Richards is also Research Affiliate at McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, and Lecturer, Dept. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, where she has collaborated in work on creativity and mental health issues. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and 2009 winner of the Arnheim Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Psychology and the Arts (from Div. 10). She was on the Executive Advisory Board for the Encyclopedia of Creativity and is on the editorial board of three journals. At Saybrook, with Dr. Steven Pritzker, Dr. Richards helped establish a premier M.A. in psychology with focus on creativity, the first of its kind in the country, with a Ph.D. program soon to follow. Dr. Richards is also on the Advisory Board of the interfaith organization AHIMSA. She has maintained a spiritual practice for many years with teachers in the Zen Buddhist and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
*** Mitch Hall: Roots of Empathy and Nonviolence in Childhood
Original Presentation was December 7, 2010
Go to http://CultureOfEmpathy.com for Video of Mitch Hall's talk and to http://breathepeacefully.com/ for updated slides on Slideshow page
“If we are to reach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children...” (M.K. Gandhi, 11/19/31)
Mitch Hall is a wellness counselor for underprivileged children and youth, a peace and children’s rights activist, a published author, and a certified yoga teacher. You can read his writings on his website, http://web.me.com/breathepeacefully.
= = = = = = ALSO
Now available: Conference Talks from our 2008 Conference on the Human Capacity for Peace. Go to "Audio Talks" on web page "Voices of Ahimsa"
From the 2008 Conference Program: AHIMSA, The Institute for World Religions, and the International House UC Berkeley, a special day of talks and practices
Meeting Each Other with Compassion and Respect: In Individual and Global Settings
Hosted by the Pacific School of Religion of the Graduate Theological Union
Saturday April 5th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM at the Badè Museum ,Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709
For directions http://Bade.psr.edu/bade/info.html : Parking is free in the PSR lot on Saturdays
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
May my tongue be innocent of malice and my lips free from lies. When confronted by enemies may my soul stay calm, truly humble to all.
Today we live in heightening awareness of the power of language to empower violence in all its forms and at all scales. We see the blatant ability of language to divide people and exasperate global tensions. And we also see its balancing power – the ways in which language and action can mitigate violence and nurture peace.
In this conference we consider this dynamic, and are privileged to have contributors whose backgrounds offer a great breadth of experiences representing many dimensions of this dynamic – from the scale of the individual to that of global settings, and from issues of social mores to spiritual teachings.
Many questions come naturally, and expand from the individual to social and global issues. We start with the individual. How is daily language rooted in metaphors of war? What are the changes in inner and outer attention which we need in affecting change in us? What voice do I hear in myself? How do I greet threat? When is an enemy not an enemy? In what is rooted transformation and healing? How do nonviolence and peace compare and differ? What is a nonviolent community? What is a peaceful community?
The pertinence of these questions will be addressed as the morning and afternoon unfold. The day will include both talks and shared experiences and practices. We welcome you to a day on the power of nonviolent language and action.
Morning 9:30 – 12:30 am GIVING VOICE TO NON-VIOLENCE
Chair: Liliane C. Koziol, Program Director, I-House, UC Berkeley
Sharon Ellison, THE ART OF POWERFUL NONDEFENSIVE COMMUNICATION: Taking the War out of Our Words.
Sharon Ellison will share with us her studies on the rooting of violence in language, defensiveness and habitual modes of communication, and will introduce us to ways of transforming habits of thought through attention and practice.
Herb Behrstock, SPEAKING PEACE: Finding Understanding, Attaining the Common Good – Global Perspectives
Herb Behrstock will draw on more than thirty years working as a United Nations senior officer and Resident Representative in several developing countries.
Huston Smith THE SPIRITUAL AS NOT DIFFERENT FROM THE PRACTICAL
In the context of the world’s wisdom traditions, Huston Smith will reflect on the qualities of nonviolence and the shift of attention met in spiritual transformation as it informs outer action.
Sr. Elizabeth Padilla, THE POWER OF MUSIC
Sr. Elizabeth Padilla will perform and speak about the quality of music which directly reaches the heart and spirit.
Afternoon 1:30 – 4:30 pm MAKING IT REAL: GREETING THREAT IN OUR LIVES
Roundtable moderated by: Ruth Richards, Professor of Psychology, SaybrookUniversity
Each contributor brings an unique area of experience to this discussion.
Sharon Ellison on non-defensive communication (continue from morning)
Mitch Hall on education, family and social nonviolence
Emmy Irobi on international conflict resolution
Michelle Moore on the Global Oneness Project
Ken Preston-Pile, Pace e Bene, on nonviolent social action