WORLD PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS
THE WORLD PARLIAMENT of Religions is being held this year from 15-19th October in Salt Lake City, USA. Thousands of people of all religions gather together to share ideas in a spirit of good will, to focus upon the contribution that the faithful can make to help heal and solve the world’s problems. Learning about each other’s beliefs and meeting people from various faiths in a wonderful environment helps dispel fears and prejudices.
This Parliament has been held every four years since it was inaugurated in 1893. The most recent gathering was held in Melbourne in 2011. Some of the themes for this parliament are: Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity: Working Together for a World of Compassion, Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, Wars, terrorism, and hate speech, Care for creation and climate change, The widening wealth gap and wasteful consumption.
Shakti Durga from Shanti Mission in Cooranbong will be speaking at the Parliament, presenting a joint paper with American Christian mystic Mother Clare Watts. Their topic is Food for the Soul – The Power of Sacraments and Pujas to Change Us and Our World. They will be sharing how, in personally or collectively challenging times, sacred practices have helped them and could help others to find their way and hold peace.
The collaborative way that these two women leaders will offer their gifts to the public will in and of itself demonstrate how two seemingly widely diverse religions and their spiritual practitioners can hold a friendship and grow in love, peaceful co-existence and respect. “While we teach from outwardly very different traditions, inwardly we are offering one great truth and one powerful message of hope. By honouring individual differences and dealing with our own internal landscape when we are challenged by each other, by experiencing the spiritual practices we each follow, we grow in understanding and find the Divine in a new way.”
Mother Clare and Shakti Durga bring their unique contributions from Mystical Christianity and Narayani Hinduism together in a spirit of deep inquiry, reverence and light heartedness. They demonstrate mutual respect for each other’s path and learn from each other’s experience. Woven through the presentation is the blazing power of pure love, and how it can eventually melt fear.
Local spiritual leader Sri Shakti Durga founded Shanti Mission, a school for the soul in Cooranbong. It now operates around Australia and in North America. Former lawyer turned bhakti yogi, Shakti Durga brings a unique blend of Eastern and Western mysticism with experiential and uplifting presentations.