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Unity in Diversity
By Susanna Gendall

The morning begins with a reassessment of the vision in terms of creating a plural, just and responsible world in relation to eco-social spirituality.

The group recognizes the need to overcome cliches and to not underestimate the value of experience and the stories that have brought people to their recognition of the need for a shift in paradigms, "stories never become cliches". There is a fundamental recognition of many visions, which make up the whole, and of the importance of respecting these, irrespective of religion or spiritual status. We realize that we need to recognize and appreciate that people commit themselves in different ways to contributing to the vision, and this is the plurality we are seeking.

The strategies were then discussed. It was recognized that in terms of achieving this vision, there needs to be some sort of methodology that finds the balance between concepts related to the earth and to spirituality and the concrete actions in our daily lives. The strategies that were mentioned were to maintain a sense of consciousness and mindfulness of oneself and the environment in which we live, to find an individual medium of simple living and appreciation of the earth, and to embrace in our lives the concept of unity through diversity. There was also an emphasis on maintaining communication with the group and in sharing our personal experiences.

Our purpose and vision

The afternoon was concluded with perspectives from the other continents and their experiences of the Asian meeting. Their perceptions were varied but united in their appreciation of a different structure to the workshop and the contribution of the environment in working through the dynamics of such an issue as eco-spirituality. Great importance was again placed upon the need for unification of physical involvement and conceptual ideals.

The meeting ends with a song: "we shall overcome". There seems to be a joint awareness of the dynamics we have worked through and a stronger constituency to our purpose and vision .

- From Fireflies Ashram, near Bangalore, India, Asia, June 24, 2001
- Asian Continental Meeting


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