Sunday, 29 December 2013

Skih Youth Australia 16th Annual Summer Camp - 7 to 12 January 2014

Anxiety and the response of the Faith Traditions

To begin at the beginning,
I subscribe to a beautiful site called Brain Pickings
I am one of 1.2 million visitors a month 
who take in the wonderful stuff provided by
the marvellous Maria Popova.
The above picture comes from Brain Pickings.
and it has drawn some interest and some interesting conversation.
This is why I have decided to post it here.
However, I have also looked for comments from
Sacred Books of the Faith Traditions
to insert in this post.
If you find this post helpful or otherwise,
if you wish to comment, please do so.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

An interesting thought - welcoming the New Year at the Nan Tien Temple

Have you ever visited the Nan Tien temple near Wollongong? 
 It is a beautiful and astounding place.
The material below has come with permission 
Situated at Berkeley, a suburb of Wollongong in the state of New South Wales, it is one of the branch temples of Fo Guang Shan, founded in 1965 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, which has over 200 branches worldwide. “Nan Tien” in Chinese, literally means “Paradise of the South”. This is the biggest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.
 Since the opening of the temple in October 1995, it has become a new venue for local and international tourists and also acts as an important cultural centre bridging different cultures.

Fo Guang Buddhism is rooted in the Mahayana tradition which emphasises that Buddhahood is within everyone’s potential reach. Fo Guang followers strive to bring Buddhism into daily life and aptly term their faith “Humanistic Buddhism”.

Commonweal, the magazine edited by Catholic lay people
on the interaction of faith with 
contemporary politics and culture
has just published

This is a collection of essays on
Terrence Malick's 2011 movie

"The Tree of Life:"
It features an interview with 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Quakers in Africa mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela

·        On the passing of Nelson Mandela, Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends’ issued the following statement:

We mourn the passing of our former President and leader, Nelson Mandela. Although Madiba was of a great age, his death marks the end of an era. The people of South Africa and the region are filled with love and sadness. We also express our condolences to his family and friends, in their grief. The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) of Central and Southern Africa wish to express our deep sadness at Madiba’s passing. At the same time, our deep admiration, respect and gratitude for Mandela’s life and the legacy that he has left not only South Africa but also Africa and the world.

“Freedom is in your hands” is a line from a well-known freedom song sung during the dark days of apartheid. Millions of South Africans stood up to the violence and brutality of the apartheid state and to the degradation of official racism. Nelson Mandela was our leader, and it did seem that freedom was in his hands. Mandela’s human and spiritual qualities lit the path to genuine liberation. He was steadfast in his refusal to accept a lesser status for black people, steadfast in his refusal to hate white people, steadfast in his determination to bring about freedom and equality – liberating all of us, black and white. He was a man of rare magnanimity – of ‘’great spirit’’, responding with forgiveness and reconciliation to provocation and suffering.

Nelson Mandela led with strength, grace, humour, and humility. He eschewed the riches that some take from high office. After stepping down as President, he focused his energies on developing and supporting the most vulnerable, the children of our nation.

This is a difficult time for South Africans. We will have to face our future without the calm, guiding presence of Mandela. We may feel uncertain, anxious, and even fearful. Mandela would not want this for us. He would want us to reach out to each other, to stand together to meet the challenges of our future.

We recommit ourselves to the central challenge of our time – to continue Mandela’s struggle for equality and freedom. The Religious Society of Friends has long recognised that social justice is the basis for peace among people. We view the massive inequalities in wealth, not only in South Africa but also Africa and the world, as a dangerous threat to peace and stability. Genuine freedom includes the freedom to develop our full potential as human beings. Extreme poverty does not allow this and so the wealth gap must be tackled to allow for genuine social development.

We honour Mandela’s vision of a country at peace with itself and recommit ourselves to realising this in our life time. 

Hamba Kahle Nelson Mandela, our Madiba!

6 December 2013

Friday, 6 December 2013

Vale Nelson Mandela - hero of the battle against Apartheid and Racism - gone from our midst 6 December 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, ‘Madiba,’ has now passed into the Light. He was here now he is everywhere. He reminded us that although we have the machinery of war, it is only by our nonviolent choices that we can create the machinery of peace. With tireless passion, immense heart, an extraordinary mind and unfathomable self-sacrifice, he forgot himself into immortality and showed us how to establish the beloved ultimate economic world community.

Words from Dr. Lawrence Carter, Dean of Martin Luther King International Chapel, Morehouse College, Parliament of the World's Religions Trustee

News of the hour:

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Free kitchen in India run at the Sikhs' holiest shrine produces 200,000 flat breads and 1.5 tonnes of lentil soup daily.

Beside The Creek editorial comment: Reckon the Sikhs could feed the world no trouble at all. 

A story from Aljazeera:

Two hundred thousand rotis (Indian flat bread), 1.5 tonnes of dal (lentil soup) and free food served to 100,000 people everyday are what makes the free kitchen run at the Golden Temple in the western Indian city of Amritsar stand apart.

By all measures, the kitchen (called langar in Punjabi ) is one of the largest free kitchens to be run anywhere in the world. The concept of langars was initiated centuries ago by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion.

Sunday, November 17, was his 545th birth anniversary.

At the Langar, no one goes hungry - and everybody gets a hot meal regardless of caste, creed and religion. All Sikh Gurudwaras (places of worship) have langars, but the one at Golden Temple - Sikhs' holiest shrine - has little parallel.

“Anyone can eat for free here and on an average we serve food to 100,000 people. On weekends and special occasions double the numbers of people visit the langar. The langar never stops and on an average 7,000 kg of wheat flour, 1,200 kg of rice, 1,300 kg of lentils, 500 kg of ghee (clarified butter) is used in preparing the meal every day,” says Harpreet Singh, manager of this huge kitchen.

“The free kitchen uses firewood, LPG gas and electronic bread makers for the cooking and we use around 100 LPG cylinders and 5,000 kilograms of firewood every day,” he adds.

The kitchen is run by 450 staff, helped by hundreds of other volunteers.

Sanjay Arora, 46, from New Delhi, comes to volunteer at the langar two days a month. “This is seva (service) for me. I feel happy after doing this service. This is not just free food because here you forget all the differences that separate humans from each other,” he says.

Volunteers also wash the 300,000 plates, spoons and bowls used in feeding the people. The food is vegetarian and the expenses are managed through donations from all over the world. The yearly budget of the langar runs into hundreds of millions.
For more, please go here
where there are some magnificent photographs.