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The Invisible is Also to Be Trusted
by Susanna GENDALL (New Zealand)

Revised layout leads to wider eyes . . . and we have a Hawaiian activist, Jim Albertini, amongst some guilt for American past and its hefty contributions to globalisation, saying: "The rose needs no speech, she spreads her perfume". He speaks of repentance of the past, which comes through a little shakily. "Those who do not look back at their origins cannot find their destination" (Bishop Labayen). There is a sense that the invisible is also to be trusted.

The tension between words and action is illuminated -- the ability to blend words and action proves more difficult in the doing. Lovely interaction by Rajaram, who sings a 'raga', "a string of musical variants that is within one note." It is believed that the raga exists in everyone. Provides relief from any potential inclinations towards duality, etc.

The spirit and the body are one

Nalin Swaris and his Buddhist perspective is beautifully non-Buddhist. He speaks of needing to find a way to "use language without subscribing to some of its assumptions" (the globalisation issue of yesterday is articulated). He speaks of one's general implicit belief that concepts are more important than the body, and this projects itself upon the earth as we see it. It is only when the spirit and body are one and not seen as separate entities that there can be any room for true and legitimate action for the world/life/oneself.

Masculine/feminine issues arise without clichés - the feminine body and masculine spirit. It is only through each that the other can exist. The Buddha: "when dying, a woman reminds him that it is only when his senses are satisfied that his spirit can operate."

Caution against words

Caution against such words as 'spirituality', particularly in its potential to be translated as 'mental ecstasy'. The existence of everything only in relation to everything else: "we are being breathed!". In seeing the body (earth, mother, etc.) as inferior we are inferiorising the spirit. "We are holy not because we are in some other realm but because we are full of holes".

A sense that awareness is not a matter of extensive defining processes, but is like "a mother, who even in her deep sleep is mindful of her child".

Some way of overcoming the uneasiness about the starting and ending points of such concepts as religion, spirituality, and ecology.

Where the secrets lie

Afternoon is gentle, small group sessions offer room for quieter voices. Symbolic ceremony where the village people join us to blend water and earth, but it is in the giggles of these children where the secrets lie.. We are reminded of where we are , these villagers know better, traditional songs light up faces.

Slide session. The crucial impact of humanity upon nature, the lives that are endangered through individualistic convictions. Overall, a progressive day, new energy.............

- From Fireflies Ashram, near Bangalore, India, Asia, June 22, 2001
- Asian Continental Meeting

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