Bangalore August 28: Maitreya organized three day seminar on “Awakening to Eco justice and Eco spirituality: a pressing call for us today” for a group of Professionals, social workers and Sisters.
The program was animated by three knowledgeable scholars, Dr. Orla Hazra, Srs. Liza Pires and Lancia Rodrigues. The team started the reflections with the issues related to Genetically modified food. Sr. Lancia who is also the leader of the Presentation Sisters, Goa, felt strongly on the outdated humano-centric cosmology that thinks only in terms of profits and benefits. She pleaded for a Cosmology that would respect the creation and experiment with it keeping the whole of future in mind.
Sr. Lancia Rodrigues, who returned to India after a fruitful stint in Ireland and other European countries, enabled participants to become aware of their world view by reflecting old and new cosmology and experiencing the universe story to widen their world perceptive. Understanding God beyond the “I and thou“ relationship to see God as involved in the social and cosmic dimensions of life. The practical implications of international efforts were also addressed briefly by introducing Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen, the statements of the Bolivian President. Participants were made to reflect on how Earth Charter speaks of development, “It’s about being more, not having more’. The wisdom of the tribal way of life was often drawn for reflection.
Sr. Liza Pires sensitized the group to listen and understand the cry of the poor and earth and embrace spirituality that will empower to live the new perspective in Eco-justice.
Dr. Orla Hazra presented Earth Charter as a resource for the group to further enhance their work and align with the international community. The four values and fundamental principles within the Charter are fueled by the vision of humanity as “part of a vast evolving universe”. The functions of bio-religions were defined as earth jurisdiction – the origin, differentiation and role of Rights through the lens of the entire Earth System, Gaia.
Along with the group discussions, the resource persons organized a meditative cosmic walk. Action plans formed the last segment of the workshop.
Mr. Eugene Saldanha said, “I accept the nature and my responsibility to conserve it. I used to have a conflict between my belief based the Bible and the insights of Science . The seminar helped me to resolve the conflicts.”
Mr. Raphael told the group, “I’ve gained good knowledge about the new Cosmology and its sensitiveness”. Xavier LBJ said, “Maitreya’s welcoming was wonderful, gained knowledge on a relevant topic and I have to protect the nature”. John Paul SM opined, “I enjoyed the seminar with all the nature-friendly facilities at Maitreya.
It was also suggested that Maitreya with the active presence of a team of volunteers and part time workers reach out to the entire metropolis acting as a piece of leaven.