Friday, December 4, 2009

Seeking and Finding the Sikhs and Others

The Parliament of the World's Religions is the place to meet people you don't usually see. These youth from the Sikh religion in India were friendly to me and let me take a picture with them. Their faith involves worship with long and melodious chanting. One of them held my hand as we were having our picture taken, which was a wonderful experience. There are many Sikhs here with their distinctive turbans and flowing attire. It was the Sikh community that generously provided free meals to all of the Parliament attendees in 2004 in honor of their 400th anniversary.


These two young adult women, Dolna and Carmen, have a radio show for young people in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are interviewing people to find out why they are attending the Parliament and what they hope to accomplish here. We met them in a little café near our hotel while we were having breakfast. It turns out that my wife, Diane, has heard a segment of theirs on NPR! Another intriguing coincidence. Meeting people that we feel some kind of connection with is starting to feel like the norm.

Several of us attended a workshop yesterday that presented the idea that dialogue is a healing treatment for depression. The presenters defined depression as a kind of isolation, a loneliness, that needs communion with others to be overcome. I wonder if that corresponds with our experience—that community, relationship, listening, and dialogue lift our spirits. I think this experience is part of the reason we gather in communities together. Because it feels good!

This last community you see is a dinner gathering of Unitarian Universalists from England, Australia, and the United States. Friday night was a night when different religious groups gathered with their own communities. We UUs went to a fabulous buffet-style restaurant where all the food is prepared by cooking school students. It was a delightful blend of culinary consciousness and friendship.

This morning Diane and I heard a singing group of two women called Ruby. They filled an hour with moving songs that were all Rumi poems set to music. They worked with a Sufi scholar to create the translations and then set them to music. Exquisite!

We are doing well despite jet lag and various computer hassles. This afternoon I am going to a workshop on how Islam gets used to lure young people into violence. There is much more to do and learn than any of us can take in. Wish you were here!

5 comments:

  1. Michael: I'm enjoying your reports from the parliament. The photo with the Sikhs was great. Do they always dress in yellow? Significance of this color? Guess I need to learn about them! Think I'll go from you blog to Google and see what I can learn.

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  2. Great post! I was especially thrilled to find a reference to UU-Sikh interaction, given my own religious commitments. As for the dress, the saffron color is commonly associated with traditional Sikh aesthetics, although as far as I know the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Text) often associates the color with itinerant Hindu ascetics. As such: "Some wander around in saffron robes, but without the True Guru, no one finds the Lord." Blessings.

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  3. "Several of us attended a workshop yesterday that presented the idea that dialogue is a healing treatment for depression. The presenters defined depression as a kind of isolation, a loneliness, that needs communion with others to be overcome."

    good stuff! i feel pretty hopeful when i hear that a world wide, cross cultural conference is 'getting' this!

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  4. The idea about depression rings so true. And the photo and comments re: the Sikh youth...the women from Santa Fe...Rumi poems set to music...we wish we were there too... appreciate v.m. attending via this blog..tx! pat & ernie g.

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  5. Hi

    I read this post two times.

    I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

    Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

    Source: Financial controller KPIs

    Best regards
    Henry

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