I recently attended the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto and resonated with the themes highlighting each day: Indigenous Peoples’ Program, Women’s Dignity, Climate Action, Justice. I heard women, elders, youth, poets offering their experience, their pleas for action, their conviction that each of us can make a difference.
I was particularly struck by the words of Christiana Fegures, who, against all odds, helped negotiate the Paris Agreement. She listed our current temptations as blaming, creating contradictions between what we want and what the Earth needs, feeling frustrated/angry. She encouraged us to expand our arc of love and to stand in solidarity and active expectation that everyone will make the right decision. We need to work together, she said, in radical collaboration, nourishing the arc of compassion no matter what the barriers and applying resolute steadfastness for the good of future generations.
As a small community, we at the Ashram can make decisions and act on them. For years we have been elevating women to leadership, honouring our Indigenous teachers, taking environmental actions and creating sacred space. There is much more to do, and we are motivated. Our essential purpose, though, is working on ourselves and giving others tools to do the same. It was confirming to hear from diverse traditions that this work on ourselves is the basis for change in the world.
My offering at the Parliament was teaching the Divine Mother prayer dance to a room filled with those eager to make their speech and actions alive with awareness, their lives an act of worship. Not easy, but a wonderful direction. One drop in a sea of Light.