Atop a magnanimous hill, the workshop was blessed with wonderful bright sunny weather which created a very picturesque site indeed. We, the facilitators from various faith traditions began the day by welcoming everyone with a gesture of welcome from each of our faith traditions. Each participant was also given a bindi (dot on the forehead in between the eyebrows) for them to begin with a Hindu tradition, in experiencing the diversity of cultures around them. The dynamic ice breaker got the participants and facilitators acquainted with one another, sharing their experiences, hopes and dreams alike.
Of course, it was not just all fun and games. The representatives from each faith tradition presented on the fundamental teachings so as to enlighten the participants by sharing the basic tenets of their respective faith, its uniqueness, and its contribution to the world. Among the faiths represented were Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i and Wicca. There was also a mini-exhibit/faith corner displaying symbols, pictures, and additional information where the delegates journeyed to and it was helpful in understanding and appreciating the different religions. Next, the Peacemakers’ Circle shared their lecture on the Visions of Peace Among Religions, centering on the similarities of each religion and how we could build an authentic world in accord with one another.
These talks were followed by a time of discussion where the groups then came up with a slogan which summarized their learnings and realizations of the day. By combining their wits and grit, they presented in a very creative manner the task at hand.
The day closed with a concluding ritual wherein each one wrote their personal prayer for peace and after the prayers were led from the different faith traditions, placed them together so as to signify weaving a peaceful world. We then all prayed to God, the Source of Peace so as to forge relations of peace in the world today.
Many new friendships across faith traditions, cultures, and also countries were forged. Precious and essential lessons were also learnt. Our fervent hope is that like these priceless memories of interaction and genuine love, we too will soar to greater heights and spread the culture of peace in the world, the peace that was meant to be.