Reflection on Christians Aware Conference 11 – 13 January 2013 by Ramona Kauth

At the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire:   Peace, Justice and Reconciliation

I was invited by Barbara Butler to participate in the conference as a seminar leader to talk about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet. This was to address how the Dalai Lama manages to relate to China over Tibet in the light of Buddhist principles of compassion and loving kindness. 

Among other visiting seminar leaders topics addressed were Burma, Egypt, Croatia and Serbia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The one I would have gone to if I weren’t in my own seminar would have been Geoff Weaver’s seminar about songs of liberation.

I arrived in time to hear Marigold Bentley of the Quaker Peace and Social Witness group talking about the way that Quakers approach issues of concern. I was struck by how like the Buddhist attitude it is: that one sits in silence holding the issue in one’s mind and waiting for a kind of realisation or discernment process to work its way through in order to make a decision about whether to act or not; and if to act, how to act.  This doesn’t always mean that a whole group or meeting will come to the same conclusion. Each person must come to their own decision regarding what, if any, action will be taken.

I also enjoyed meeting some of the participants of the conference over lunch.

I enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the conference. It was fairly large but very friendly. Christians Aware runs conferences, workshops and activities that foster social concern and build knowledge and awareness. There is a Summer School being held 15 – 20 July 2013 addressing “Grass Roots Food Security”, with particular focus on Sri-Lanka and Mongolia among others: to be held in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

 

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