Vedanta Society of Southern California Retreat: Establishing the Beloved Community
This April is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death. In addition to being very influenced by Gandhi, Rev. King was also very influenced by Josiah Royce, a Harvard theologian who met Swami Vivekananda, and who spoke of “The Beloved Community.”
The Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders, to commemorate King’s life and message, and to help heal the current fissures that seem to have developed in our society, is planning to have a series of programs on this subject. As participating members of the Council, we are planning an interfaith retreat at our temple in Hollywood, emphasizing Gandhi’s teaching that we should become the change we want to see.
Please register by Tuesday April 23 by email to email@example.com or by calling the Vedanta Society 323-465-7114. There is no charge for the retreat or lunch, but registration is ESSENTIAL so that we know how many people to count for food. It would be helpful if you would let us know if you are vegan.
Morning Program: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Swami Mahayoganada: Welcome and Introduction
Each of the panel members will then discuss:
1. How does your faith tradition envisage the concept of the beloved community?
2. What are your major spiritual practices that support this concept?
3. What does your faith tradition see as the major obstacles to accomplishing this concept? 4. What are your major spiritual practices to overcome these obstacles?
Swami Atmarupananda – Hindu
Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo – Buddhist
Cantor Jay I. Frailich – Jewish
Pastor John Cager – African Methodist Episcopal
Imam Yama Niazi – Islam
Father Alexi Smith – Catholic
Refreshments and Meditation 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm A simple vegetarian & vegan lunch will be provided.
If you have very limited dietary restrictions, you may prefer to bring a bag lunch.
Afternoon Program 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Each panelistswill teach us a method of a spiritual practice from their own tradition which we can adapt to our own spiritual practice.
Bracha: A Jewish technique of prayer to unite the heart and mind with God hroughout our daily activities.
Lectio Divina: A traditional Catholic method of scriptural study.
Buddhist Loving Kindness Meditation
Muraqaba: The Sufi practice of watchful reflection.
The Singing of Christian Hymns
Japam: A Hindu method of cultivating the practice of unceasing prayer by repeating the Name of God.
Break and refreshments 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Small discussion groups 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Each group will discuss:
1. What is your concept of the beloved community?
2. What spiritual practices have you found helpful to accomplish this? 3. What obstacles have you encountered?
4. How have you tried to overcome them, and was it successful?
Sharing of group discussions 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Arati (our vesper service) and evening meditation 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm