Special report from Beijing by Amy Gage
"Without showing sanctity to our nature, there will be no sustainable development."
Swami Veda Bharati
Swami Rama's legacy lived in Beijing, China, April 13-15, 2005, during the International Dialogue: Diving into Harmony, organized by various international institutions. The sponsors of the conference were the Chinese International Culture Exchange Center, Encounter of Worldviews Foundation, Chinese Society for Future Studies, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, China-Europe Foundation of Dialogue, and the Exchange for Sustainable Development. The Conference was inspired by and received support from The Honor Power Foundation which has been established by a remarkable man of vision and spiritual inspiration, Master Chuang for whom Swami Veda Bharati has developed a close personal affection. Sixty dedicated volunteers of the HP Foundation served the guests and the Conference day and night. Their organizational acumen, accompanied with utmost humility, was a lesson to all. The interpreters at the Conference all were Foundation members.
Swami Veda was received among the dignitaries as a contributor, and Swami Rama's disiciples and Swami Veda's friends, Wolfgang Bischoff and Atem Ramsundersingh served as leading figures among the Conference Advisors. The Himalayan Meditation tradition was well represented.
As the conference took the form of dialogue with no lecturers, Swamiji was also a dialogue participant. The central theme and core of his presentations was:
Only the calmest mind will find its inward way into the space of integration and harmony. It will become a clear mirror, de-conditioned and de-habituated enough for truth that is love to emerge from any inter-contemplative communication.
Eighty "Captains of Influence"--40% from Asia, 40% from Europe, 20% from the Americas--were invited to attend the event. They included government officials, CEOs of multinational companies, and directors of state-owned enterprises, with non or inter governmental organizations like the World Bank and United Nations. Also attending were scholars and representatives of diverse world views and charitable organizations. The leaders participated in small group sessions using creative and constructive methods to foster the exchange of ideas.
Four primary areas of dialogue included:
1. Identifying core values and worldviews in the practice of sustainable development;
2. Determining blocks and breakthroughs in the practice of sustainable development;
3. Analyzing partnerships between business and government to optimize chances for success;
4. And, specifically for China, seeing the issues of its socio-economic sustainable development.
The relationship between nature and development in practical terms was addressed, including the vital roles of natural resources, water management, and environmental protection. The Conference also considered how to achieve effective educational programs in the practice of sustainable development.
One core concept revolved around a global vision of education for sustainable development. Everyone should benefit from quality education to learn the values, behavior, and lifestyles required for a sustainable future and positive socio-cultural transformation. Since the Conference organizers believe that the developed industrialized countries have not provided a model appropriate or desirable to reach sustainable goals, the Conference looked to the new growing countries to develop and model viable alternative approaches to sustainable development. It is felt that leaders can become empowered to fulfill the visions of development and evaluation through creatively working with others. Providing leadership for these potentials represents a very real challenge.
At the end of the conference a small spiritual miracle occurred. The general policy adopted in organizing the conference was to avoid overtly 'spiritual' tones or references to Masters and Yogis. The true inspiration behind the conference, as stated above, was Master (as he is known among his worthy team) Chuang, although he makes no claims to being a Master in the sense of the word used in the Meditation circles. He stayed behind the scenes throughout the conference. In the last session he did come but sat way in the back row very unobtrusively.
One of the conference participants was Phil Lane, a Dakota chief from Calgary area. He was asked to lead the closing of the ceremony. He had never met Swami Rama, although he said he may have had heard his name somewhere.
Phil Lane was inspired from within, with no suggestion on anyone's part: He led all the delegates in chanting OM NAMAH SHIVAYA. Then he followed the Chinese tradition of offering thanks to the ancestors. He said: we offer thanks to Swami Rama and all the ancestors. All of the disciples present were surprised and delighted.
Phil Lane said that during the last session Swami Rama visited him--or that his name popped up in his mind. He approached Wolfgang and asked: Who is Swami Rama? and was told that he is the Guru of Wolfgang, Atem, Swami Veda and several others.
And that guided him to let the closing ceremony take this form.
The Conference led off a three-week invitational visit to China for Swami Veda and a group of 11 pilgrims, members and friends of Swami Rama's Ashrams and the Meditation Center. Comments about this inspiring trip will follow as the writer continues to explore the essence of the powerful experiences, friendships, and shared delights of travel with Maha-Mandaleshwara Shri Swami Veda Bharati.
Please visit this web page for Swami Veda's comments to the conference delegates, CONTEMPLATION AND COMMUNICATION.
© PROMETHEUS 96/2005