[Catalyst 9 - 2015] The Politics of Love & Justice Summit
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
One of the key leverage points of global transformation is how we engage one another in politics and social action.
The problems today are so complex — climate change, environmental devastation, economic disparity — and the world is so interdependent, that we must find new ways of working together. Adversarial approaches to conflict and polarized politics typically only fuel the problems and fail to generate the solutions needed in communities and countries around the world.
It is only through tapping into our highest wisdom and honoring our deepest level of interconnection that we can forge a future worth living.
Hosted by our friends Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat J. Zavis, The Politics of Love and Justice summit will showcase an emerging movement of “spiritual progressives” who are committed to bridging divides and infusing more Spirit into social change to help co-create new global standards based on loving kindness, ethical behavior and reverence for all.
In this edition of The Catalyst, Cat Zavis, the Executive Director of Spiritual Progressives, provides a compelling article about integrating spirituality and activism to change the world. We also have an inspiring piece from Matthew Albracht about Be the Movement!, an initiative of The Peace Alliance that encourages personal peace as a foundation for civic engagement.
As promised, we have a heartfelt thank you for all of the people who contributed to the Indigenous Summit. Please watch the video below with messages from our partners in Panama — Candido Mezua and Williams Barrigon Dogirama of COONAPIP — as well as Chief Phil Lane, Jr.
It is truly beautiful and moving to know that as a global family we can use modern technology to leverage our interconnectedness to support the advancement of profound social action guided by spiritual wisdom.
I also want to acknowledge and thank Alison Marks for being The Shift Network’s liaison for the Indigenous Summit and the inspiring video and report. (See Featured Article)
Our Shift Philanthropy is focused on a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. We are all heartbroken over the recent earthquake in Nepal and encourage all of us to support the relief efforts there. One of our Peace Ambassadors, Robin Gurung, a native of Bhutan who lived in Nepal for years as a refugee, is working with Sahayeta.org to provide much needed assistance in Nepal. (To support the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, click here.)
Also, we just received a message from one of our Shift Network community members, Kaline Alayna Kelly, who was in Tsum Valley leading a spiritual retreat when the earthquake hit. Kaline, her sons and spiritual community miraculously survived. They immediately began providing direct aid to the local villages. After 8 days of being “stranded” (cared for in Milarepa's cave) they are now assisting in relief efforts in this remote area of Nepal that is yet to receive international support — to learn more, click here. Kaline just sent us a video from Tsum Valley. (See Video)
Our partners at UPLIFT are inviting support for another beautiful relief effort called Tents To Nepal. (See Movement News)
Finally, our Featured Artist is David Sugalski, who goes by the moniker The Polish Ambassador. David is inspiring social action through his gifted music.
Here is a special and very moving video message of thanks from our partners in Panama — Candido Mezua and Williams Barrigon Dogirama of COONAPIP — as well as Chief Phil Lane, Jr. Please watch and know that your contribution made an important difference!
Also, here is a list of some of the 800+ people from 42 countries who contributed – click here.
Tsum Valley is in a remote part of Nepal that was hit hard by the earthquake. Shift Community members are directly involved in organizing relief assistance in this area that has yet to receive international assistance. Your contributions directly address the immediate challenges the Tsumba people are facing in these difficult times. To learn more and to make your donation, click here.
In early April, the Indigenous Summit of the Americas took place in Panama, concurrent with the Summit of the Americas, which many folks in the US heard about because of the historic handshake between the presidents of the United States and Cuba . . . [read more]
Our world is riddled with tragedies: the epidemic of killings by police in the U.S. of African Americans, boats capsizing with hundreds of people fleeing war-torn countries in search of security, safety and well-being, children dying from illnesses stemming from malnutrition at alarming rates, women and girls being raped as victims of wars, and the list goes on. As spiritual seekers we desperately yearn for a day when peace and nonviolence, love and care, kindness and generosity as well as a deep connection with the sacred in one another and with the creative force of the universe reign . . . [read more]
With so much obvious conflict and violence on the planet — which can impact our own hearts and minds, our families, our communities, and relations among and within nations — it's time for a more comprehensive peace movement that works towards more systematic and comprehensive strategies and tools for our collective transformation. It’s time for a new kind of peace movement that is focused on the deepest and most fundamental components of building peace. One that accounts for the psychological, spiritual and emotional elements of transforming how we deal with conflict and mitigate violence. One that is as attentive to being as peaceful in our activism and advocacy as that which we aspire to create in our society
. . . [read more]
I completely agree with the statement made by Chris Hedges toward the end of one of his articles, that love is the only thing that can overcome war. Happily, though, I don’t agree with his conclusion: “…and love can’t be organized.”
Of course, this is true on one level. Love as a spiritual force cannot be “organized,” nor, really, can the expression of that force as a powerful emotion in human consciousness. But on another of its many levels, namely the expression of that force in human action, of course it can be organized: what else is nonviolence? . . . [read more]
For those of us working to effect change in our communities, we know that for the big shifts to happen it is a matter of beginning at the individual level. As Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see.” Person to person, individual by individual, change-making is a slow process over time of shifting minds and hearts in new directions. Societies only change when enough individuals within them have changed. And so we are tasked with a daunting prospect. How to shift an unsustainable society, comprised of unsustainable organizations and systems, to becoming sustainable and life-affirming, not just now but for generations to come? It is an ever-evolving, adaptive challenge (complex — with no easy answers or quick fixes) . . . [read more]
The spirit that lies behind my work comes from a deep longing to harness our contemplative wisdom for a new age, helping those who long to cultivate their own gifts and graces to serve our human family in the greatest way possible, building community and mentorship and Life around that impulse. This is done while acknowledging the dark side of our human predicament; the neurosis in our personal and collective unconscious in need of contemplative healing, and the horrors of the collective dark side of humanity in need of the radical profundity and power of the prophetic spirit . . . [read more]
Tsum Valley Earthquake Relief: Shift Network community member, Kaline Alayna Kelly, was in Tsum Valley leading a spiritual retreat when the earthquake hit. Kaline, her sons and spiritual community miraculously survived and are now assisting in relief efforts in this remote area of Nepal that is yet to receive international support — to learn more, click here. Kaline just sent us a video from Tsum Valley. (See Video)
Our friends at UPLIFT are partnering with Tents to Nepal to get tents and supplies to where they are most urgently needed on the ground in the remote areas of Nepal. Tents To Nepal partners, Abari (a Nepalese design and construction company) are on the ground in Dwaha, a devastated village in Gorkha that previously received no aid, building shelters with bamboo and canvas tents. To support Tents to Nepal, click here.
The Community Resilience Challenge is like a New Year's Resolution for the planet. It is a community mobilization campaign seeking to inspire thousands of engaged citizens, leaders and groups — like you — to take action to grow food, conserve water, save energy, reduce waste and build community. During the month of May, participants in the Challenge can choose from over 40 suggested actions from installing a greywater system, to planting a fruit tree, to unplugging unused electronics — no matter where you are on your journey, to lighten your footprint, there’s something for you. Click through here to learn all about it!
Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice and Sustainability — This three session online discussion course is offered by Northwest Earth Institute. It begins June 3 and will help participants find pathways for powerful change in our everyday lives. You’ll learn about what it means to co-create peace and sustainability, as well as how to apply systems thinking skills in order to take action. We’ll meet weekly for three, interactive hour-long course sessions online and the course will run from June 3 to June 17. For more information and to register, click here.
New Film screenings of Awake: The Life of Yogananda are taking place in Theaters across the United States and Canada. To find a showing near you or to arrange for a screening, click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Summer of Peace, the recording is available for free.)
The Surrender Experiment takes the teachings of The Untethered Soul and applies them to real life circumstances. Michael Singer uses the extraordinary events of his own life to teach the process of deep inner surrender that leads to spiritual liberation.
Pre-order your copy and receive a free audio recording from Michael Singer. To learn more, click here.
The Alliance for Peacebuilding – 2015 Annual Conference – Peacebuilding and Democracy in a Turbulent World – May 13 to 15, 2015 – Washington, DC — The peacebuilding and governance/democracy communities recognize the need to work together. The conference will explore the links between these fields, and will help build bridges in both theory and practice to take on today’s most complex global crises. For more information - click here.
The Alliance for PeacebuildingUpdate: The US Department of State recently released the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a major policy document that shapes US strategies and programs in peace, security, and development. The current QDDR lists four strategic priorities: Preventing and Mitigating Conflict and Violent Extremism; Promoting Resilient, Open, Democratic Societies; Advancing Inclusive Economic Growth; and Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change. You can find the 2015 QDDR here. A Historic East-West Celebration – Fuji Declaration Launch Events — Tokyo • Copenhagen • Mt. Fuji • May 15–17, 2015 — The Fuji Declaration is an international alliance of individuals and organizations who are united by a commitment to live and collaborate toward the advancement of a more harmonious and flourishing world. The Fuji Declaration is an invitation to people from all nations and walks of life to join in a commonality of purpose beyond borders. To learn more, click here. To sign the Fuji Declaration: click here.
Building The New World Conference – Hosted by Radford University in Radford, Virginia May 28–31, 2015. BTNW is based on the “Wheel of Co-Creation” designed by Barbara Marx Hubbard. Barbara will open the conference and other evolutionary speakers include: Jerome Glenn, Grandmother Mona Polacca, Charles Eisenstein, Glen T. Martin Ph. D., Yuval Ron, Dot Maver, and Philip Hellmich. To learn more, click here.
Nibi Water Gathering– A Gathering of All Nations – June 4 and 5, 2015 – Ogimakamik Lodge of Leadership at Turtle Lodge – On the Shores of Lake Winnipeg - Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba, Canada. We are making an International Call to attend the Nibi Water Gathering at the Turtle lodge, on the Shores of Lake Winnipeg, one of our most endangered lakes, where the four rivers meet. For More Information, Please Click Here. Watch YouTube video on the Gathering Here.
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference — Santa Fe, New Mexico — August 6–9, 2015. Presentations, nonviolence workshop, and vigils at Los Alamos on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear age. Featured speakers include James Lawson, Erica Chenoweth, Roshi Joan Halifax, John Dear, Kathy Kelly, Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Kit Evans-Ford, Medea Benjamin, and Ken Butigan. To learn more, click here.
Praxis Peace Institute: Cuba — November 29 – December 6, 2015 — Praxis Peace Institute, in conjunction with Cuba Educational Travel has prepared a spectacular program for our travelers. Lecture and Discussions with Cuban economists, historians, and journalists at Havana University and the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy. Visit agricultural cooperatives, organicfarms, and meet locals in their homes, and much more. Details and to Register: click here.
World Peace Library – Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
1 Billion Acts of Peace — a global community of everyday people performing thoughtful actions that contribute to world peace. The Shift Network is delighted to join Peacejam Foundation, Google, Wells Fargo, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and many others have come together to create the "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign — an international global citizens' movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. To learn more, click here.
Contact your local political representatives (City Councilperson, Mayor, State and/or National Representatives), thank them for their efforts and encourage them to engage in civil dialogue with people of the other political parties.
• Enneagram Global Summit
• Summer of Peace
• Yoga Day Summit
• Stan Grof 7-week course
• HeartMath 7-week course
• Devaa Haley Mitchell 8-week course
• Sheva Carr 7-week course
• Enneagram 10-week course
• Tim Kelley 6-month intensive
• David Crow 9-month intensive
• Shakti Summit
• Global Compassion Summit
• Lisa Schrader 7-week course
• Robert Moss 7-week course
• Mirabai Starr 7-week course
• Oscar Miro-Quesada 8-month intensive
• Margaret Paul 9-month intensive
• Friends of Democracy Summit
• Global Shamanism Summit
• Christine Kloser 7-week course
• Mark Silver 7-week course
• Mark Matousek 9-month intensive
Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund — We are all heartbroken over the recent earthquake in Nepal. The Shift Network responded to a call from one of our Peace Ambassadors, Robin Gurung, a native of Bhutan who lived in Nepal for years in refugee camps. We are supporting the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund which is being coordinated by Sahayeta.org. We encourage you to support this effort too – click here.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives — the interfaith advocacy arm of Tikkun magazine — seeks to transform our materialist and corporate-dominated society into a caring society through consciousness raising, advocacy, and public awareness campaigns that promote a “New Bottom Line” based on generosity, peace, and social transformation. The NSP shifts mass consciousness by challenging status-quo ideas about what is possible. To learn more, click here.
David Sugalski, who goes by the moniker The Polish Ambassador, is a crowd favorite in the transformational music festival scene, and that's not just because of his groovy, dreamy, danceable music with a message. He considers himself as "a diplomat for a new paradigm rooted in creative joy, radical self-expression, and ecological principles." He embodies these values through carbon-neutral touring as well as his popular Permaculture Action Days, which have catalyzed community engagement around the country on this very important topic. He is highly prolific and all of his 30 albums can be downloaded for free – click here. My favorites are Ecozoic, the Superpowers EP, Wildlight — Hers Was a Thunder, and his most recent, Pushing Through the Pavement. Also, be sure to watch his video Permaculture Action Day – click here.