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IFF ACT - Interfaith 2003 ~ 2008 ~ Australian Capital Territory

Text from Lakeside Summit 2008

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Reflections on:  HEALING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT (Z ~ A)

 

 

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Sukyo Mahikari: A Poem on Wonder

 

I turned my eyes from one unified sky to the earth

In solitude I am staring at a flower

In solitude I am staring at a bird

I see a pulsating life truly cherished

I see the beauty that can never be imitated

the beauty of fragrance unintentional, and, moreover,

without flaunting, working diligently, and playing

as if having some purpose, then again having none

Nature, true beauty, and the laws are moving, no,

they are living and allowed to live

There it is

I see God's great love motionless and yet pulsating limitlessly...

wondrous...

I see God's wisdom motionless and endlessly active...

wondrous...

Unchanging, eternal, and repeatedly refreshing vibration of the taste of endless love and force...

wondrous...

In grass, trees, birds, animals, insects, fish,

one and all...

human eyes deeply

ought to be able to see the world of wondrous wisdom

but they are unable... wondrous

 

A poem by Kotama Okada - The first Master of the Teachings of Sukyo Mahikari

Presented by: Sukyo Mahikari Youth Group Members

Karlis Tebecis and Sarah Firth

 

Sikh:

 

Guru Nanak the First Guru of Sikhs defined that the world that God has created is real and a meaningful place where only his creative and attributive will works.

 

Yogi Harbhajan Singh a great Sikh scholar said, "Self-healing is the genuine process of relationship between the physical and the infinite power of the soul.  It is from a state of compassion, of compassionate meditation, that the healing activity of God flows within the being."

He further stated that "You have to project your purity and piety to uplift and raise people's consciousness.  Reach out.  Give them the spirit.  Show them there's a better thing than maya (material). It's time for you to serve people - humanity.  Our main job is to be together and inspire each other to reach for the golden light.  Let us be one in the oneness of each other; love and reach out, make life happy.  I hope you will live this day with these words deep in your heart."  Our main job is to be together and inspire each other to reach for the golden light.  Let us be one in the oneness of each other; love and reach out, make life happy." Yogi Bhajan 

The Siri Singh Sahib (Yogi Bhajan) says, "If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all." To see God in all is to see God in yourself as well. He also says, "I shall see God in all, I shall serve God in all," that means serve the self, too. This relationship to Self directly corresponds to your ability to give on every level. You have to give to yourself, in order to be given to. It's pointless to want love in your life, if you are unwilling to love yourself the way you are wishing/dreaming/imagining someone else should love you. If you give of your time to others, but not to yourself, you end up depleted and possibly resentful on some level

Source: http://www.dasvandh.org/prosperityarticles.htm                       Contributed by: Inderpal Singh Basrai

Sathya Sai:

 

“The many is the one, that is the real nature of society. All for one, One for all. This has become a slogan rather than a fact. If it is realized in fact, you will find that it is the design of nature that it should be so and that it is a sign advanced culture too……….Do not try and avoid contact with others or with external nature. Develop a wider, a universal outlook. Look upon external nature as the vestment of God, the expression of the will of God, the manifestation of his Glory, His power, His might, His Majesty. See these in every blade of grass, in every floral petal, every slice of fruit. Learn lessons from the rivers, the mountains the stars and the sky. Through this worshipful attitude to man and beast, plant and stone you must remove the veils of Thamas (Dullness) Rajas (activity) and Sathwa (peacefulness) and achieve equanimity – the stage where judgment itself is given up. Then you become aware of your own Self, behind and beyond the three veils.

…/…

The Universe around you is a pleasant garden full of charming patches of many-hued flowers filled with fragrance and nectarine elixir---each flower-bed being a Religion, which attracts the loyalty of millions of seekers. The garden too is God; God dances in that garden at His own handiwork, gladdening the flowers with the magic melody of the flute. Be full of joy and love; share that joy and love with all.”

 

From: "Voice of the Avatar" part 2 Discourses from Bhagavan Shri Sathya Sai Baba. it is taken form the chapter on "Society" para 11 p116. Para 57 p134. and the last paragraph is from a discourse given in Hyderabad April 1973.

Presented by: Mark Durr

 

Muslim: Healing our Relationship with the Environment

 

Allah is the absolute Creator to Whom belongs everything.  “To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, for Allah encompasses everything” [4:126] Prophet Muhammad believed not only animals, but also land, forests and watercourses should have rights. To hold otherwise is transgression.

Mankind are responsible for God’s earthly creations in the form of God’s trust. To get close to God we need to protect all His creations including the environment. Taking care of our environment is actually a good deed that is required of us by God.

Environment problems arise from exploitation by a minority’s irrational behaviour towards the environment. It causes disruption of ecosystems through the pollution of soil, water and air, the destruction of lands, the felling of trees and the extinction of many a living creature. The Qur’an warns against this plundering of the earth: “Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order (7:56).

Allah created everything in specific quantities. “Surely We have created everything to a measure” (54:49). So the equilibrium should not be disturbed. Source of sustenance for us is for a temporary period. “On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time." (2:36). The Prophet said “This world is beautiful and green and Allah has made you His representatives on it”. A representative of the environment makes men His trustee, not its owner.The peaceful co-existence of man and his environment can be achieved by preserving natural resources not by wasting and squandering. Wasting and squandering are as Allah says “Surely the squanderers are the devil’s brethren.”(17:27)

In Islam, man is ‘a master in the universe’ not ‘the master in the universe’.

Presented by: Dean SahuKhan

 

Jewish  prayer:

God of all generations, may the rest and quiet of this hour of worship refresh our inner life, and bring us tranquillity.
May we find contentment and peace, our desire for possessions abated, our hope for advantage subdued. But let us not be content O God, when others go hungry, or be serene
while some lack their daily bread. Teach us to give thanks for what
we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Then shall our lives
be called good, and our names be remembered for blessing.                                                           …/…

 Master of the Universe,

grant me the ability to be alone;

may it be my custom to go outdoors

each day among the trees and grasses –

among the growing things , and there may I be alone,

and enter into prayer to talk with the one to whom I belong.

 

May I express there everything in my heart,

and may the birds and animals,

and the foliage of the field – all the grasses,

trees and plants – awake to my coming.

 

To send the powers of life into the words of my prayer

so that my prayer and my speech are made whole

through the life of all living things,

which are made one by their transcendent source.

 

May I then pour out the words of my heaert

before your presence like water, O Lord,

and lift up my hands to you in worshipo,

on my behalf, and that of my children.

 

Reb Nachman of Bratislav

Presented by Bill Arnold

Hindu: Healing our relationship with the Land.

 

Time for everything. - A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted. A time to throw away stones, And a time to gather stones together.  It is now time that we works for healing our relationship with the land we live in. It is this beautiful theme allowing us to remind our connection with the land where we came from and where we will perish.

 

The creator is wonderful and powerful amongst all the forces of nature and learned persons.  He is the manifestor of air, water and fire. He pervades the Sun, Earth and atmosphere. He is the creator and sustainer of all that move and that don not move.  His creation is the essence of air, water, fire, earth, and space and it is this subject of the healing our relationship with the land we live in.

 

The healing we seek is offering we make to the creator and it is Dharma to heal the hurt caused by our ignorance, greed and selfishness motives.  We have gone too far in interfering with the land that we depend on it. The land should be respected at all times and honor with humility, care and compassion.  We must be frugal and efficient in the way we manage our resources from our land.  We must lead our lives in very sustainable manner, guided by the best knowledge to ensure that our actions do not cause some irreparable consequences to the land we live.

 

In this healing process, I offer this universal Hindu prayer:

"Asatho maa sadgamaya; thamaso maa jyothirgamaya; mrityor maa amritham gamaya,"

Meaning that O lord, lead us to seek the truth from the untruth – let our efforts be towards seeking truth to live as an open and transparent society.

O lord take us from darkness to light – let us seek the divine guidance to remove our selfishness so that we can work with humility, care, compassion and social conscience.

O lord lead me from death to the Eternal Life – let us search for the divinity in everything we do - work,  use of the land we live in and the people we associate so that we may receive a lasting peace and happiness.  May God Bless you all.

Presented by: Thamo Sritharan

 

Christian: Bible readings –

 

Psalm 19 v. 1:

The heavens are telling the glory of God;

And the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Luke 12. 22-31

[Jesus] said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?

And can you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider the lilies, how t hey grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you , even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith!

And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.

For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Presented by: Alma Armstrong

 

Buddhist  reading:

 

To live in harmony with nature is a crucial Buddhist practice. Buddhist reality is profoundly ecological, it powerfully expresses human identification with nature.

 

Buddhism promotes a detached, non-violent way of life which is harmonious with the environment. Buddhism maintains that our development as individuals is closely affected by the environment in which we live.

 

Because Buddhism encourages loving-kindness and compassion towards the suffering of all creatures, it has a strong ethical foundation for supporting a healthy environment and green lifestyles.

 

Buddha once said:

“A tree is unique. It has unlimited tolerance, patience, and generosity. It provides a congenial atmosphere for many living organisms to survive. It also keeps on providing shade (as long as it stands) even to the man who attempts to destroy the tree with his axe.”

 

By living simply one can be in harmony with other creatures and learn to appreciate the interconnectedness of all lives. The simplicity of life involves developing openness to our environment and relating to the world with awareness and responsive perception. It also enables us to enjoy without possessing, and mutually benefit each other without manipulation.

 

Presented by: Willie Senanayake

 

Brahma Kumaris:           Healing our relationship with the environment

 

The spiritual law of karma teaches us that whatever I put out is going to come back to me.   So, if I give sorrow to anybody, at some point, I will experience sorrow in return.  As well as our personal world, what happens in the world at large is also the direct result of our collective actions.  The human race has abused nature over the centuries through actions based on greed, arrogance etc.  Every person living on this planet is ultimately having to face the consequences of dramatic environmental changes which have been induced by human interaction in the delicate ecological balance of nature.

 

But by changing our consciousness and treating nature with respect, by being aware of the consequences of our collective actions, we can live in harmony and co-operation with the environment and build the best possible future.

 

One way we, as Brahma Kumaris, do this is to follow a vegetarian diet.  We do not eat any food that has been derived from the killing of a living being.  While this diet regime is consistent with applying the law of karma at a personal level, it also acknowledges that the rearing of animals for human consumption is a wasteful, costly and damaging use of natural resources, particularly land and water.

Presented by: Robyn Horton

 

Bahá’í  Prayer

 

Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator.

Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment.

Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.

It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.

Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the Creator.

Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe."

(Baha'u'llah: Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p142)

Presented by: Shiva Sabihi

 

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IFF ACT is supported by members of Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian Denominations, Muslim, Sikh, Baha'i, Sathya Sai, Brahma Kumaris, & Sukyo Mahikari communities.