The Global Peace Initiative of Women, in Seoul

There’s a very interesting group meeting for three days this week in Seoul (Wednesday- Friday, Nov. 10-12), The Global Peace Initiative of Women  http://gpiw.org/

To be honest, most of the religious conferences I’ve been to have basically consisted of people waiting to speak. Few came to listen, few were interested in a dialogue or sharing of ideas and experiences. That’s what sets this conference apart. The organizers are very focused on creating a real dialogue. To this end, there are no prepared papers, and those with large egos haven’t been invited. Following brief opening remarks, the moderator sets the tone, and facilitates honest discussion among those who feel called to speak. It reminds me a lot of a Society of Friends Meeting. I’ve had a chance to talk with some of the organizers and have been very impressed with them as people, as practitioners, and with the spirit that they are approaching this with. If you want to hang out with some just plain good people, stop by if you have time. (And it isn’t just about women, there will also be many male participants.)

From their website:

The Global Peace Initiative of Women was founded to help awaken and mobilize spiritual energies in places of great need with the goal of aiding in healing and unifying the world community. GPIW facilitates this by seeking to gather together those of great insight, wisdom, compassion and dedication, many of whom are working quietly for the upliftment of the world. A major focus of GPIW’s work is to aid in building a global network of contemplative leaders who through their inner work can help transform the causes and conditions that lead to suffering at both the individual and collective level.

 Re-Envisioning Prosperity:
A Spiritual Forum during the G20 Summit

 Organized by The Global Peace Initiative of Women
in collaboration with Women of Wisdom, South Korea

November 10-13, 2010

While political leaders come together to discuss ways to stimulate the global economy, a parallel discussion will be taking place among spiritual leaders on a new economic paradigm that takes into consideration the need for greater and greater consideration for the health and wellbeing of the global ecosystems on which we depend for life. Can we have true prosperity without these?  What new framework is emerging that can guide us to a more inclusive, balanced, and life-sustaining understanding of prosperity?

 Wednesday, November 10th

8:00am     Depart for De-Militarized Zone (South / North border area) Cheorwon Peace observatory of the DMZ (1½ hours from Seoul)

 Global Prayers for Peace between South and North Korea

 Moderated by: Dr. Mary-Faeth Chenery, The Global Peace Initiative of Women Country Coordinator, Australia

 Welcome by:

Dr. Insook Kim, Founder, Women of Wisdom, South Korea

Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women, USA

 Religious leaders offer individual prayers or chants of 1-3 minutes each 

 2:00pm-4:00pm     Opening Session:

Re-Envisioning Prosperity for Greater Balance Between Our Material and Spiritual Aspirations 

There is a common misperception that material wealth brings greater happiness.   While there is a base line of human needs that must be satisfied, there is another base line, not much discussed, above which additional material accumulation does not contribute to happiness.  It is the work of all religions to help people turn inward for a sense of wellbeing and “happiness.”  Should this not be worked into the common understanding of “prosperity?”  How do our spiritual traditions define “prosperity” and how can this apply to our current time?

 Setting the Context: Prof. Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand

 Moderated by: Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative
of Women, USA

 Opening Remarks by:

  • Sraddhalu Ranade, Spiritual Teacher/Scientist, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, India
  • Bishop Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter, Former Bishop, Northelbien Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany
  • Dr. Doudou Diene, Former Director of the Interreligious Dialogue, UNESCO, Senegal/France
  • Rabbi Warren Stone, Temple Emanuel, USA

 Followed by Open Discussion of the Topic

 Thursday, November 11th 

Dongguk University, Main Temple Hall
9:30am–10:00am      Opening Prayer Ceremony (The Three Refuges)                                                                    
Moderated by:
 Prof. Kim, Aeju, Dongguk University, South Korea
 

                                     Prayer and Welcome

  • Greeting by:  Ven. Hae-Chong Sunim, Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Korea
  • Opening Remarks by: Ven. Wol-Ju Sunim, Chogye Order, Founder of Goodhand Organization, Korea
  • Prayer by: Ven. Bup-Ta Sunim, Director, Jeong-Gak Won Temple, Korea

 10:00 – 12:00pm     Emergence of New Global Norms

The American Dream has become the Global Dream – endless possibilities for every individual to achieve uncapped material success.  This dream is fast disappearing and spiritual communities in the US are beginning to talk about the new American Dream – not yet defined.  Some years ago the United Nations set a poverty line, which marks those living in extreme poverty and whose poverty the world had a responsibility to address.  Some religious communities are now working to establish a ‘greed line’ to demarcate a level of wealth amassment considered too extreme in a world of limited resources.  The new economic reality will certainly call for changes in the way we relate to both extreme poverty and extreme wealth.  These barometers, rather than being moral judgments, could emerge from a sense of urgency to re-balance our material and spiritual natures.  If our happiness depends on fulfilling our spiritual urges then this re-balancing becomes essential for the wellbeing of every individual.

 Moderated by: Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women, USA

Bishop Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter, Former Bishop, Northelbien Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany

 Speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand
  • Sraddhalu Ranade, Spiritual Teacher/Scientist, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, India
  • Ven. Hyon Gak Sunim, Zen Monk, USA/Germany
  • Rev. Dr. Chung Sook Ja, Theologian & Founder, “Women Church,” Korea
  • Zarko Andricivec, Chan Buddhist Master, Dharmaloka Center, Croatia 

 Closing Remarks:

  • Most Ven. Kakuhan Enami, Chairman, Japan Buddhist Conference for the World Federation and Chief Priest of Bishamon-do Temple and High Priest of Tendai Denomination, Japan

 2:00-4:00pm    Post-Prosperity: Challenges, Possibilities and a New Understanding
of Prosperity

 Young people today do not feel a sense of hope about their future, with regard to the economic opportunities. This is perhaps because of the comparison with the previous generation, which came of age during a time of unparalleled economic growth. But many young people are also coming to understand that making money is not the goal of life.  Money can enable one to fulfill one’s goal and thus is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The focus should perhaps be on finding purpose. This can be the defining goal in the post-“prosperity” era, and indeed this changed focus will help evolve a new understanding of prosperity.

 Moderated by:Prof. Dr. Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary, USA

Nithya Shanti, Spiritual Teacher, India

 Opening Remarks by:

  • Dr. Christoph Quarch, Spiritual Philosopher, Lumen Naturale, Germany
  • Dr. Hwang Sookyung, Instructor, Dongguk University and Women of Wisdom, South Korea
  • Ven. Chang Kuan, Managing Director, Bhikshu Sangha of Dharma Drum Mountain and Vice Dean, Dharma Drum Sangha University, Taiwan
  • Ven. Myeong-Beop, Instructor, Unmun Seminary for Buddhist Nuns and Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Prof. Ejaz Akram, Sufi Scholar, Pakistan
  • Mr. Katsuji Iwahashi, Representative, Association of Shinto Shrines, Japan
  • Mr. Hiroshi Matsumoto, Trustee, International House of Japan, Japan

 Closing Remarks:  Ms. Hanne Strong, Founder Earth Restoration Corps, Canada

 The discussion will be followed by questions and answers.

 3:30pm      Closing Prayer Ceremony (The Four Great Vows)
                                   
Moderated by:  Prof. Kim, Aeju, Dongguk University, South Korea

 5:00pm      Tribute to “War & Peace” International Fashion Biennale

Friday, November 12th

 Hanmaum Seon Center of Korean Zen Master Daehaeng Kun Sunim

  Located at 101-60, Seoksu-dong, Anyang-si, Gyunggi-do / Tel: 031-470-3175 

 9:30am – 10:00am     
Opening Prayer Ceremony in Main Temple Hall – 4th Floor

 Welcome Remarks & Brief Introduction of the Hanmaum Seon Center by:

Venerable Hye Won Chuji Sunim, Abbess, Hanmaum Seon Center

 10:00am-12:00pm      
Morning Session: Spiritual Perspectives on the Current Economic Situation

 Each of the world’s economies seeks growth, and consumption is regarded as the path toward greater economic growth. There is much concern among economists about the decline in consumption, and yet from the spiritual perspective this would be regarded as a positive development. Is there another model emerging of a more “considered” or “conscious” growth? Is endless economic growth possible given the already heavy utilization of the Earth’s resources? What are the positive fruits of limited growth?

 Introduction of Theme by:  Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women, USA

 Session moderated by: Bishop Bärbel Wartenberg-Potter, Former Bishop, Northelbien Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany, Germany

Prof. Ejaz Akram, Sufi Scholar, Pakistan

  Opening Remarks by:

  • Ven. Dr. Hye Seon Sunim, Hanmaum Seon Center
  • Prof. Dr. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand
  • Prof. Dr. Samuel Lee, Director of ECO-ASIA, Former Director, UNESCO, South Korea 
  • Zarko Andricivec, Chan Buddhist Master, Dharmaloka Center, Croatia
  • Rabbi Warren Stone, Temple Emanuel, USA
  • Ven. Chang Kuan, Managing Director, Bhikshu Sangha of Dharma Drum Mountain and Vice Dean, Dharma Drum Sangha University, Taiwan

 2:00pm-4:00pm      
Open Discussion – Continuation of morning session

                                     Moderated by Dr. Doudou Diene, Senegal/France

                                     Opening Remarks:  

  • Prof. Dr. Hyun Kyung, Union Theological Seminary, South Korea/USA
  • Sraddhalu Ranade, Spiritual Teacher/Scientist, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, India
  • Sister Ruth Liddle, Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University, UK
  • Ven. Hyon Gak Sunim, Zen Monk, USA/Germany
  • Ven. Chonggo Sunim, Hanmaum Seon Center, Hanmaum International Culture Institute

 Concluding Remarks: Dr. Mary-Faeth Chenery, GPIW Country Coordinator, Australia

 Closing and Next Steps: Dena Merriam, Founder and Convener, The Global Peace Initiative of Women, USA

                                  

Acknowledgements Inner Trip Reiyukai International (ITRI), Japan

 Women of Wisdom, South Korea

 The Ministry of Culture and Health of the Government of South Korea

The Province of Kwangwon do

Chogye Order of Buddhism, South Korea

Hanmaum Seon Center, South Korea

 GPIW gratefully acknowledges the foundations, organizations and many individuals whose financial contributions, energy and efforts make our work possible

 Simultaneous translation for the Dongguk University Forum
kindly provided by Jhin, Jean Wookee and Hong, Yeon Ju

 Translation and assistance for the program at Hanmaum Seon Center
kindly provided by Lim, Hyangiel, Park, Hyejin, and Suh, Seonhee 

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