01 Mar 2008 |
Posted by Lama Surya Das | 0 Comment.
My late friend Brother Wayne Teasdale, who died a couple of years ago from cancer, wrote:
“We are at the dawn of a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world. This birth into a new awareness, into a new set of historical circumstances, appears in a number of shifts in our understanding:
The emergence of ecological awareness and sensitivity to the natural organic world, with an acknowledgment of the basic fragility of the earth.
A growing sense of the rights of other species.
A recognition of the interdependence of all domains of life and reality.
The ideal of abandoning a militant nationalism as a result of this tangible sense of our essential interdependence.
A deep, evolving experience of community between and among the religions through their individual members.
The growing receptivity to the inner treasures of the worlds religions.
An openness to the cosmos, with the realization that the relationship between humans and the earth is part of a larger community of the universe.
Each of these shifts represents dramatic change; taken together, they will define the thought and culture of the third millennium. All of these awarenesses are interrelated, and each is indispensable to clearly grasping the greater shift taking place, a shift that will sink roots deep into our lives and culture. Taken together, they are preparing the way for a universal civilization: a civilization with a heart. (Brother Wayne Teasdale, “Mystic Heart”)
“We have a universal responsibility to speak out when we see injustice, oppression, and the abuse of human rights, the rights of the earth, and other species. Personally, I find the silence on the crises in Tibet and Darfur disturbing and morally indefensible; it indicates a lack of courage and moral strength that hides behind considerations of prudence and discretion.”
There are few souls as gentle as Brother Wayne Teasdale, “lay monk” and pioneer of the interfaith movement, who also speak as stridently and compellingly as he does about the necessity for all spiritual leaders to actively respond to the crises facing the world. But for Teasdale, the result of any true and deep mystical experience must be an active and engaged response to the cries of a suffering humanity and an embattled earth.
His interfaith work and group called Interspiritual Dialogue continues today.