Stories for Compassion Relay

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: King Abdullah II of Jordan

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.

The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides a platform—one week in a year—when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are. The thousands of events organized by these groups often go unnoticed not only by the general public, but also by other groups themselves. This week will allow for these groups to become aware of each other and strengthen the movement by building ties and avoiding duplicating each other’s efforts.

Learn more about World Interfaith Harmony Week 2017 at the website.

Visit on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: The Fetzer Institute

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we are deeply interdependent and interconnected. What would it be like to live that way—as if our borders (personal and otherwise) extended beyond our body, neighborhood, state, or nation, spilling into each other as a river into the sea? How might we move beyond our self-imposed borders to build and deepen authentic, sustainable connections?

We offer these ideas and invite you to join us in this practice of unity:

  • – Be friendly and get to know people
  • – Consider how you are part of a wider web
  • – Nurture connection through music
  • – Put books of literary fiction on your reading list

Tell/show us how you cultivate unity.

Tag your photos/responses with #compassiongames.

Additional Resources:

With gratitude from the Fetzer Institute!

“Our work is about helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.

Our goal is to help catalyze and support a broad-scale, spiritually grounded transformation from an ego-centered way of being grounded in separation and fear to an all-centered way of being grounded in oneness and love.

Our vision is a critical mass of people around the world embracing love as the guiding principle and animating force for living in sacred relationship with self, others, and the natural world.”

Visit fetzer.org for more information. Follow Fetzer Institute on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: Standing Rock 7th Generation Runners

The Global Compassion Torch is in the hands of Champions of Hope and Earth Protectors. We welcome the Arrival of Ms. Bobbi Jean Three Legs, Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chris Walton and other youth runners from the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, and local 7th Generation Runners as they run across the Golden Gate Bridge in the 7th Generation Inaugural Wopida Run and Ceremony today. This is available from the live stream on Compassion Games FB Page.

The Inaugural 7th Generation Global Wopida Ceremony and Run:

Sharing the Spirit of Standing Rock, Protecting and Restoring Mother Earth and Building a Global Fire of Compassion.

A coalition of partners is hosting the Inaugural Global Wopida Run, led by Great Sioux Nation Youth Runners, across the Golden Gate Bridge carrying the Global Compassion Torch of solidarity, hope, and the spirit of Standing Rock to the Great Meadow at Fort Mason on Sunday, February 5th at 12:00 PM.

The 7th Generation Prophecy promised that this generation of Indigenous young people, guided by their Elders, would rise up and inspire other young people of the Human Family to join them in unprecedented, unified, prayerful action to Protect and Restore Mother Earth.

The Dakota people have a special ceremony, Wopida. Wopida is a sacred sharing of gratitude, a connecting with all beings through thanksgiving for all the countless gifts and blessings from the Creator in our lives. Often this includes sharing food and giving gifts of thanksgiving to those who have sacrificed for the upliftment of the People.

The purpose of the Global Wopida Inaugural Run is to be grateful for whatever Life bestows on us, knowing that every test and challenge comes into our lives for our spiritual growth and development to protect and restore Mother Earth.

This spiritual understanding of Wopida requires each of us to live with honor, compassion, love, respect and harmony with all life. The coalition is hosting the 7th Generation Runners in San Francisco during World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Ms. Bobbi Jean Three Legs, Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chris Walton and other youth runners from the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, will be joined by local 7th Generation Runners from the Four Directions.

The Runners will share their enthusiasm, vision, and words to co-create a just, sustainable and harmonious world by building a global fire of compassionate action to unite the Human Family. We will pass the Global Compassion Torch as part of the Wopida Ceremony taking place on the Great Meadow.

Origins of the Wopida Run

The inspiration for the Inaugural 7th Generation Run began in August of 2016 when the Standing Rock Youth Runners, led by the Ms. Three Legs, ran 2,000 miles to Washington DC and brought national and international attention to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters. Their run broadened the impact of those protecting the waters of the Missouri River against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and raised a global cry: “Mni Wiconi – Water is Life.”

Traditionally, Indigenous Peoples across the Americas ran on foot to carry important messages. The Inaugural Global Wopida Run shares the news that at this time of great global change, the promised time has come for the 7th Generation to arise and inspire all generations to heal and resolve “Standing Rocks” everywhere on Mother Earth. Guided by their elders, the Runners carry the message that we are one Human Family, interrelated with all Life, and share a common destiny. The Hurt of One is the Hurt of All, the Honor of One is the Honor of All.

The coalition of partners include (alphabetical): Compassion Games International, Women & Girls Sector of Charter For CompassionCultural Conservancy, E2K, Fetzer Institute, Four Worlds International, Four Worlds Europe, Pachamama Alliance, Seat of the Soul Institute, Seeding Sovereignty, The Shift Network, Unify, United Religions Initiative, and We The World.

The Goals of the Inaugural 7th Generation Global Wopida Run:

  • * To share the Spirit of Standing Rock and intent of the Global Wopida.
  • * To share the enthusiasm, the prophecy, vision, and words of the 7th Generation to ignite unprecedented, unified, prayerful, and enduring compassionate action to Protect and Restore Mother Earth.
  • * To unite the members of the human family to co-create a just, sustainable and harmonious world.
  • * To ignite a global fire of gratitude, love, and thanksgiving everywhere all at once.

Read this NY Times Featured Magazine article from this week: https://nyti.ms/2jQvPtH

Watch these documentaries about Standing Rock and the Runners on Vice

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: The Ali Center

We just completed an incredible Global Coopetition with Muhammad Ali Center in January called MLK & ALI Games Five Days of Courageous Service.  We are incredibly moved by all the light that is shed on the legacy of the Greatest Muhammad Ali and the constant catalyst this Center is in moving many into action. Mr. Ali’s life and way of being in the world was about love, compassion, and interfaith. We would like to pass the torch of compassion today to the Ali Center. Thank you for lifting the world into courage and sharing the wisdom of Muhammad Ali.

The Ali Center stands tall as a multicultural center with an award-winning museum, the Muhammad Ali Center captures the inspiration derived from the story of Muhammad Ali’s incredible life.  A visit to the Center is not just an experience, but a journey into the heart of a champion. The Ali Center’s two-and-a-half levels of award-winning exhibits and galleries invite visitors to explore Muhammad Ali’s legendary life, as well as to reflect upon one’s own individual values, inner strength, character, and what makes you the greatest person you can be.

Take a breathtaking journey through the Ali Center’s interactive and multimedia exhibits and discover the six core principles that Muhammad Ali embraced throughout his life: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality. Learn how they gave him the wherewithal to be the best athlete he could be, the strength and courage to stand up for what he believed, and the inspiration to reach people around the world and dedicate himself to helping others.

See Generation Ali Youth leaders share Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles in this amazing video.

Check out the calendar of the endless inspiring events planned for 2017. 

Follow the Ali Center through Social Media as well below.

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: Festival of Faiths

Today we shine a light on the powerful interfaith center in Louisville, Kentucky and the home of the Annual Festival of Faiths. We proudly pass the Global Compassion Torch on this third day of World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition. A nationally acclaimed annual interfaith event of music, poetry, film, art and dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual leaders, thinkers, and practitioners. The festival programming honors the union between thinking globally and acting locally.

The mission of the Festival of Faiths is to promote interfaith understanding, cooperation, and action through exploring how different participating faith traditions address a common issue, topic, or theme. The Festival is organized and supported by the Center for Interfaith Relations.

Recently Mayor Greg Fischer announced that His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama will return to Louisville in April 2017. And to spotlight the significance of the visit, the 22nd annual Festival of Faiths will move to April 19-24 and culminate with talks by the Dalai Lama. The Mayor, joined by 2017 Festival chairman Owsley Brown III, made the announcement during a recent press conference at the George Garvin Brown Garden, 415 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. The title of the 2017 Festival is “Compassion: Shining like the Sun.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama will deliver talks on universal human values and nonviolence at the Yum! Center on Sunday, April 23, and at a large youth event on Monday, April 24. The visit is being planned by several local organizations involved in the city’s compassion initiatives, including the Mayor’s office, the Center for Interfaith Relations, Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion, and the newly formed International Center for Compassionate Cities.

Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Fischer has helped champion a city-wide campaign for compassion, including his Give a Day week of service, Compassionate Louisville and the Compassionate Schools Project. He has been a longtime supporter of Louisville’s signature interfaith event, the Festival of Faiths, and worked with the Festival’s Chairman Owsley Brown III, as well as Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Donna Hargens, to launch the Compassionate Schools Project in 2015. The Festival of Faiths is a nationally acclaimed interfaith event of music, poetry, film, art and dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual leaders, thinkers and practitioners. It is designed as a platform for holding conversations on meaning in a time of multiple crises of meaning; and respecting the essential union between thinking globally and acting locally. Theologian Richard Rohr calls the Festival “the Sundance of the Sacred,” and the Huffington Post included it among America’s top 7 spiritual travel destinations.

Share your appreciation and gratitude for The Festival of Faiths on the Global Compassion Report Map with thousands of agents of compassion and hundreds of teams playing World Interfaith Harmony Week, striving together to make peace with #AllFaithsOneLove. Join the action and learn more about this event and how you can participate with these champions of compassion at www.FestivalofFaiths.org .

Watch a featured video from Festival of Faiths Called, Exploration of Sacred Pathways to Non Violence.

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Champion of Compassion Spotlight: The Interfaith Amigos

Interfaith Amigos: Sharing the Wisdom of the Ages

Imam Jamal Rahman, Pastor Don Mackenzie and Rabbi Ted Falcon — the Interfaith Amigos — started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences all over the U.S., as well as Canada, Israel-Palestine, and Japan.

The Interfaith Amigos present a crucial message in their unique humorous style, helping participants appreciate the promise and the problems of the interfaith experience. Since 9/11 we have had the good fortune to work closely with Rabbi Ted Falcon, Imam Jamal Rahman, and Don Mackenzie who have come to be known as the “Interfaith Amigos”.  They have helped many recognize the pitfalls, while learning and understanding how to engage with people who walk on different faiths and carry different beliefs. Finding the unity in diversity that comes from appreciating different nationalities and cultures is a critical skill of our time.  Through their books, presentations, and workshops the Interfaith Amigos are a cultural treasure offering wisdom and guidance in learning how to bridge this divide.

We are honored to pass the Compassion Torch to the Interfaith Amigos for their leadership and partnership in creating a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

Inspiration for Mission #2:

The Interfaith Amigos started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the US, Canada, Israel-Palestine and Japan. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2009), brought the Interfaith Amigos international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News, the BBC and various NPR programs. Karen Armstrong calls their “exuberant and courageous” second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2011), “an inspiration and example for all of us in these sadly polarized times.”

 

Additional Resources:

Champion of Compassion Spotlight: Sande Hart with The Women and Girls Sector of the Charter for Compassion

We are thrilled to begin the World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition today with the Global Compassion Torch in Sande Hart’s hands representing The Charter For Compassion Women And Girls Sector. Sande Hart holds the spirit of interfaith, love, compassion and action around the world. He life has many profound stories in inclusive community. Here is one inspiring story from Sande Hart that shaped her life into being a significant leader of compassion, interfaith, and build community to empower women and girls around the world.

Here is today’s Champion of Interfaith Compassion, Sande Hart with the Torch.

“On the morning of 911 I was shaken to a new understanding of the world. Within minutes of watching the news that morning I heard “Gather Women”. I had no idea what that meant. I did not know where I was suppose to find “the” women, and I had no idea who was whispering in my ear. Although I had no particular realization of my own spirituality, I still said, “yes”.

Months later my rabbi invited me into a living room dialogues and I found them.

I remember being quite intimidated to ask them for our own conversation of only women. I had no education in women’s studies or experience in community gathering, I was just following orders to gather women. When I first opened my mouth and asked, I was met with more immediate and enthusiastic “yeses!”.  

I immediately knew this organization could not be led by one woman but in shared leadership. I started with 2 new friends called her SARAH, the mother of all nations and the acronym Spiritual And Religious Alliance for Hope worked!  

12 women were invited to our first meeting. I opened my front door, the women stepped in, and the I got out of the way. SARAH showed up on her own terms and in perfect time. Since then, we have a beautifully diverse Advisory Council,  have hosted more than 165 sacred circle gatherings, produced countless community events, panel discussions, we have been featured in Harvard University’s Pluralism Project and University of California Irvine’s Ford Foundation Reports, co-sponsored more programs in collaboration with partner organizations than we can count, mobilized thousands of people out to hundreds of service projects, launched the Compassion Games in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, birthed the Compassionate California initiative before handing it off after it outgrew our arms, and traveled the world representing and presenting SARAH. With more than 650 SARAH Sisters globally, we are arguably the largest women’s interfaith organization in the world. But in my opinion, it’s the small sacred home meetings that have the most impact in our world. This video is a brief introduction of all the compassion and goodness SARAH women bless the world with. AMAZING!!


Learn more about S.A.R.A.H on the website here: www.sarah4hope.org

On January 21st at The Million Womens March in Los Angeles, we hosted a Red Tent. We knew the energy would be high and people would be pounding the pavement, but we also knew there would be so much internal processing and we wanted to provide the same sacred space in the midst of it all as we do in our monthly  meetings in the warmth of one another’s homes.

Inspired by the ancient story of the red tent, we bought miles of red fabric, laid down a carpet, comfy pillows, some electric candles and (of course) chocolate!  We are now also hosting red tents in the LA and OC area and on Monday, Jan 6th will host our first virtual Red Tent; an on-line sacred circle to provide a safe space for our Muslim Sisters to come and be surrounded in love,  compassion and support.”

Sande Hart started the Women & Girls Sector with The Charter For Compassion in 2016 and has started a wild fire and sacred container for women & girls around the world. You can stay informed with this powerful interfaith global community on Facebook, Twitter, and Website too.

The most recent event Champion of Interfaith Compassion, Sande Hart Co Hosted An Urgent Call from the Spirit of the Feminine, with Grandmother Flordemayo. You can learn more about these inspiring calls that are offered every 20 days. Here is a video of the call from last week.

Stay informed on the latest events coming from Sande Hart on the Women & Girls Sector Facebook Page. Thank you Sande Hart for lighting the world with love, joy, and inclusion in Interfaith. Lets celebrate Sande and share this article with the world today. Share your reflections on this World Interfaith Harmony Week Compassion Relay on The Compassion Report Map. 

Learn about the Charter for Compassion World Interfaith Harmony Week Call today with tomorrow’s champion of compassion, The Interfaith Amigos. See the other inspiring calls offered this week & Sign up for the call here. 

 

 

 

Giving Games Champion Spotlight: Agape Spiritual Center

Compassion Games is thrilled to include the AGAPE International Spiritual Center as a participant in the Global Giving Games Compassion Relay.  The Compassion Games are in total alignment with the Center’s Vision to “take a stand for love, for peace, for being a beneficial presence on the planet.”  

In recognition of the Center’s commitment to support that “every person be inspired to cultivate a heart of love as wide as the world,” we acknowledge and recognize the AGAPE International Spiritual Center as a “Global Champion of Compassion.”

En route to Standing Rock in North Dakota, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. visited the the AGAPE Center where he passed the Compassion Torch to esteemed members of their community. Among them were the incredible Reverend Michael Beckwith, musical icon Stevie Wonder, and thousands of youth. Each member stated their commitment to holding the light of compassion. The event can be viewed in the video below.

To Michael Beckwith, Stevie Wonder, and all members of the AGAPE International Spiritual Center, we offer our deeply heartfelt thanks. Your commitment to the being a beneficial presence on Mother Earth uplifts us all. You are truly all Champions of Compassion.

Learn more about the AGAPE International Spiritual Center here!

Final Champion Spotlight: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and All Champions

For Day 12, the final day of the Giving Games, we are profoundly humbled to pass the Compassion Torch from Gary Zukav, Linda Francis, and Seat of the Soul Institute to the honorable Oceti Sakowin, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The last 11 days have been a remarkable journey, made up of one act of compassion and generosity to the next from players and teams around the world, as well as from one Champion of Compassion, accepting the light of the Compassion Torch, to the next.

Youth, Interfaith communities, and Indigenous Peoples have come to stand firmly together, to unify and say NO to the Dakota Access Pipeline, but even more so to say a resounding YES to a future that is sane and healthy, that has clean water to drink for all people. As this takes place, we can each begin to feel what the Standing Rock Sioux call “Wopida” (from the Dakota people) or “Wopila” (from the Lakota people) in our hearts and prayers.

And so it is time for us to come together, to Build a Global Fire of the human spirit, and unite in a Global Wopida Ceremony together!

Wopida is a word with profound, infinite, eternal meaning and transforming spiritual energy. The purpose of the December 10th Global Wopida Ceremony is to be thankful and grateful for whatever Life bestows on us, knowing that every test and challenge comes into our lives for our spiritual growth and upliftment.

Join the Global Wopida Celebration

When: Today, December 10th, 2pm PST
Where: 

It is from the loving guidance of Indigenous leaders such as Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Faith Spotted Eagle, Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., and youth Indigenous leader Bobbie Jean Three Legs that the events at Standing Rock have resulted in a global movement, and have received global support. It is from the actions of water protectors arriving from around the world, comprised of over 300 Indigenous Nations, youth activists, interfaith communities, and even two thousand veterans, that resulted in recent decision by the Army Corp of Engineers to deny easement to Energy Transfer Partners to build an oil pipeline under a lake on Oceti Sakowin land without their consent.

Indigenous youth activist Bonnie Jean Three Legs is credited for sacrificing much in order to organize the water protectors at Standing Rock. We would like to honor her as well. Watch this clip of Bobbie Jean Three Legs speaking on behalf of the vision of her people, and all people.

We also want to honor the youth, and the organizations that represent them: Play for Peace, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and the Earth Guardians, the International Institute for Child Rights Development, the BlueYouth Project, the American Indian Society for Engineering and Science (AISES), the Peace and Dignity Runs, Nemo Patel and Empty Hands Music, the Centre for Global Education, and Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.

We want to honor the Interfaith leaders at the Agape Spiritual Institute, the United Religions Initiative, and Monica Willard who is the UN Ambassador for URI at the United Nations.

And of course, we want to honor the 92nd St Y and #GivingTuesday., the Seat of the Soul Institute, Compassionate Louisville, and Unify for making the Giving Games possible.

It is due to all of you that the fire of compassion is burning brightly in these challenging, seemingly darkened days. Thank you for your determined, relentless efforts to bring a vision of a safer, kinder, more just world we know is possible into reality.

Giving Games Champion Spotlight: Gary Zukav and Seat of the Soul Institute

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Gary Zukav and his wife Linda Francis, who run the Seat of the Soul Institute and embody a power-sharing model of leadership that the Institute promotes.

For Day 11 of the Giving Games, we are absolutely delighted to pass the Compassion Torch from the Center for Global Education to none other than Gary Zukav, his wife Linda Francis, and their Seat of the Soul Institute!

Gary Zukav is an extraordinary human being, to say the least. He is the author of four consecutive New York Times National Bestsellers, and has appeared on Oprah over 35 times, more than any other guest in the show’s history. Oprah has admitted that she keeps a copy of Gary’s book Seat of the Soul by her bedside table. In the Seat of the Soul Institute, Gary and Linda have supported innumerable people around the world in “creating meaning and purpose, creativity and health, joy and love” in what they call “authentic power, the alignment of the personality with the soul.”

Though, with all of this said, you would not know any of these facts upon meeting Gary, for his humility and warmth emanates a precious kind of humanity that strips us all to our barest, most equal and sacred core. That of one Universal Human, as he says, to another.

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (Chairperson of Compassion Games) and Gary have been adopted brothers to one another for decades, and have been allies to one another all the while. As tomorrow is the last day of the Giving Games, culminating in a Global Oceti Sakowin Wopida Ceremony, we would like to share with you a story Gary had written about his relationship to Brother Phil, the teachings Brother Phil shared with him, and the powerful importance of what just took place at Standing Rock in North Dakota. The story is titled “Warriors of the Heart.”

My adopted Lakota brother, Phil Lane, Jr., told me a story at a gathering of young Native Americans I have never forgotten, and I feel certain that I never will. A rancher on the plains often saw a sweat lodge near his range. A sweat lodge is a low dome-shaped tent made of bent young trees. In the old days they were covered with buffalo skins. Now they are covered with tarps that are covered with old blankets. The lodge cannot be entered except through a small door that makes people crawl to enter. It is difficult not to be humble while crawling into a sacred space to pray.

It is hot in the lodge. Water is thrown onto red-hot rocks from a fire outside, and the steam makes the lodge feel like a sauna. Between each round of prayer, people go outside to lie on the ground or walk and breath the fresh air. Then they go back into the lodge to pray some more.

During one of the times between rounds, the rancher rode up to the people on the ground and asked, in a rough voice because he was frightened, “What are you doin’ in there?” The short conversation between him and the Lodge Master went like this: “We are prayin’. What are you prayin’ for? We are prayin’ for you.” I knew the story was true because that is what the people in my sweat lodges did, also. They prayed for everyone, not only themselves.

Phil Lane, Jr., is a hereditary Chief, and he received much criticism and anger from other Native Americans of many different tribes for his gatherings that included white people. “How can you do such a thing!” they demanded. “How can you give white people our sacred rituals? They have taken everything from us. They have taken our land. They have taken our homes. And now you want to give them the only thing we have left – our culture!”

Phil patiently explained again and again, “Now is the time of the coming of the prophecies. The Great Spring has arrived. Now is coming the Day That Will Not Be Followed By Night. We must share our wisdom with our Brothers and Sisters.” The elders agreed with Phil, and they taught him and supported him.

This was almost thirty years ago. Now we are blessed to hear these healthy, grounded, life-affirming teachings of a shared Humanity, of one family of Life, and of our Responsibilities to it and to one another from many voices, young as well as elder. You can hear these voices at Standing Rock. They are sharing with us what Native American elders taught them and their ancestors for thousands of years. They are showing us what we need to do to heal the damage that we have caused, and how to soften a self-created climate disruption that now threatens all life.

Native wisdom around the world can teach us more about how to relate to Mother Earth than even the most heart-felt scientists. We have ignored this wisdom, disdained it, and killed those who carry it for five hundred years.

Now is a good time to listen, and to pray with our Native American sons and daughters and brothers and sisters – for water protectors and police, for people we agree with and people we don’t, for the one family of Life that we are and all our relatives in it.

Gary and Linda not only embody not only power-sharing leadership, they embody the spirit of compassion. Thank you for your countless years of service to the human family.

Learn more about the Seat of the Soul Institute here!

Seat of the Soul Institute