9-11 After Thoughts
At the First Unitarian Church on St. Claire Ave. I was amongst a group of panelists. There were reps from Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Unitarianism, while I represented Hinduism. The coordinator for this event which endorsed peace over terrorism was J.W. Windland in the memory of the 9-11 attack of ten years ago. The thrust of our two sessions of five minute talks was spirituality presiding over the absolutist stance. At least ‘in spirit’, the mood was to challenge absolutism as the killer of peace.
It was interesting for me to hear the various groups speak of their history of struggle and how each strived for their own peace while also admitting to the barriers that their own traditions have to contend with to break the barriers they encounter.
The speakers were good. I felt humbled being in their midst. At my turn to respond the unique obligation on how to break barriers, I suggested as our guru, Srila Prabhupada did, to organize a sharing of the names of God. I expressed that one of my summer highlights of this year was attending an interfaith group session where we participated in each others songs, hymns, incantations, mantras, what have you. The event was highly successful. In my attempt to echo the message of the Vedas I tried to emphasize the point that our true identity is as one of the soul. I am not Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, etc. “I am a spirit.”
From the symposium of peace, I ventured to the Vegetarian Food Fair where multiple meals of prasadam (food of peace) was being sold by Krishna devotees in amongst other promoters of violence-free food. From there I walked a good one in the Yorkvill district. I met Larry who was strumming on his guitar singing a Beatles tune, “I am the Walrus.” As I walked by before making his acquaintance, I heard him sing those lyrics and in my mind I though, “No, you are not a walrus, but a spirit, a spark of life and servant of the Supreme.”