Friday, October 26, 2007

Finding My Religion, Southern Style

I have always thought, Religion, Buddhist, Tibetan Monk whenever I heard the words Dalai Lama. Those two words actually mean “Ocean of Wisdom”. But I have always thought the Dalai Lama was all about Religion, I never new of his political position in the world. I grew up as a Catholic and was never exposed to other Religions of the world, well there were the Southern Baptist and all I really knew about them was that they were not supposed to dance, drink or gamble.

Sunday, Stacey and I went to hear the Dalai Lama speak, here in Atlanta. It was billed as the “First Emory Summit on Religion, Conflict, and Peace-building”. Yea, that’s what I said, “what”? In a nutshell it brought together five of the most knowledgeable people in the world on different Religions. Jews, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims and Buddhist were each represented by some of the leading thinkers of their faith.

I didn’t know what to expect and someone made the comment that they did not think it would that big of a deal, they were there because someone in their family had invited them. Well I wonder if that person was as impressed with the event as I was.

The panel was made up of Rabbi David Rosen, he was a very good speaker, rather long winded but I liked what he had to say. Dr. An-na’im represented Muslims, of course, His Holiness the Dalai Lama represented Buddhist and Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi represented Hindus. Sister Joan Chittister spoke for Catholics. This lady was awesome. She is a well known activist for women in the church and in society.

H H Dalai Lama didn’t speak the most, as I thought would be the case. He started the conversation out with some thoughts on our mission in life. Then each of the other speakers was to give comments on this subject form their faiths perspective. What they all agreed on was this, no one faith is the only way to God. They also all agreed wars must not be fought in the name of religion and we must all, always show reasonable compassion to everyone. It’s that simple, now get on with it!

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