I could hear the seagulls’ calls and smell the salty air of the Sea of Marmara from the small café by the grand Blue Mosque of Istanbul. An old man pushed a cart loaded with freshly baked round bread covered with sesame seeds. I felt at home. It was a beautiful warm day in early June 2011, and I was getting ready to start a Peace Mission tour of Turkey.
What if we have gotten Heaven all wrong? Many Christians, Muslims, and some Buddhists imagine a heavenly place as an eternal reward for the faithful. While this ‘place’ is often described as a garden of serenity and tranquility, we often see many faithful arguing about who can and cannot have access to this place in ways that are in no way serene and tranquil. Not only do we argue about the place, we also argue about who can get in, and who is locked out. What if we have it all wrong?
When I read They Marched Into Sunlight, David Maraniss’ powerful book on the Vietnam War, I immediately responded to the timelessness and universality of the themes and events he documented. I was deeply moved by the integrity, honor and commitment of both those who fought the war, and those who fought against it. I embarked upon the creation of this dance, Into Sunlight, hoping that the universal language of the body would reflect and offer the same sense of healing that David’s words evoked in me. ~ Robin Becker, Artistic Director
On a misty Sunday afternoon, Central Park became a temple of Peace for the many hundreds who joined or observed the NY Silent Peacewalk in support of peace in the Middle East. There were intermittent soft showers, the smell of autumn leaves, lovers holding hands, homeless people on park benches, and beside them a stream of nearby traffic and taxis. In the midst of it all we walked as peacewalkers carrying a palpable, reverent, dignified and joyful silence.
Today we are going to continue our Remarkable Minds series with a spiritual ecologist, an earth pilgrim, a vegetarian who led a civil disobedience movement in efforts to restore humanity’s sense of community. He is Satish Kumar and he is one of the few individuals who fully embraces the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, to promote a spirituality opposed to war and ecological destruction.
On Monday, October 12, 2009, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, Rabbi Yaakov Kellman, Rabbi David Ingber, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan and Deborah Rabia Povich met at the Abode of the Message in New Lebanon, New York for a full day of private dialogue on Judaism’s contribution to the world today, with a public dialogue offered that evening. We have chosen to post the raw transcript from the public dialogue, for you.