Solidarity and Compassion Project – September 2017

The Solidarity and Compassion Project

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 7 PM
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State Street, Santa Barbara

Forgiveness and Hope in a Time of Polarization

On September 12th at 7 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara, we will host our next Solidarity and Compassion evening. Following the wishes of many, we will continue the subject of “Forgiveness in Times of Polarization.”

We began to talk about how forgiveness does not mean condoning or whitewashing wrongdoing, but instead finding a way forward in a time of crisis: now in a way that is peaceful and engaged. Our last evening took place in the emotional aftermath of Charlottesville, now we are feeling with 800 000 young people and their families, who are affected by DAKA and the surge of natural disasters, which, most everyone agrees, are effected by man-made climate change. How can we find a peaceful way forward with compassion and forgiveness and find active, engaged hope in the midst of it all?

We received many wonderful questions, which we want to address with panelists and the community. Our panelists for this evening will be Reverend Scott Claassen, Vrajaprana, Professor Terrence Keel and Denise Williams. Moderating the evening will be Michael Kearney and Radhule Weininger.

We will begin with meditation and bring grace to this evening with song and harp music by Juliet Rhode- Brown and Anahita Holden.

Donations collected during this evening will go to Delek Hospital, the Tibetan Refugee Hospital in Dharamsala India, contributing to hospital beds and blood pressure machines.

Cookies donated by Fresco Cafe

Denise Elaine Williams, Ph.D. is the director of Conflict Resolution Works. She has dedicated her work and studies to restorative justice and conflict resolution since 1984. The title of her dissertation was “Never Again Will Our Differences Convert Us Into Enemies.” Denise has taught conflict resolution and peace building in the United States, the former Soviet Union, and Chile, and through distance learning in rural communities throughout California and around the world.

The Rev. Scott Claassen is the Episcopal chaplain to UCSB and vicar of St. Michael’s University Church. In 2011, Scott spent one year bicycling around the U.S. in order to engage Christian communities in dialogue about climate change while refraining from riding in cars or planes as part of a Carbon Sabbath. He was ordained to the Episcopal diaconate in a laundromat in Venice Beach in conjunction with the Laundry Love ministry. Prior to ministry, Scott was a musician who shared the stage with artists ranging from Willie Nelson to Nellie. His wife Maribeth and 2 toddler boys are the greatest blessings of his life. When not with them, Scott is usually surfing, playing music, or dreaming about new ways to partner with God in making a love-spreading difference in the world.

Pravrajika Vrajaprana is a writer on Vedanta, the history, and growth of the Vedanta Societies and a nun at the Vedanta Society of Southern California’s Sarada Convent. She is also a well-known speaker and scholar on Hinduism. Having been born in California, she became an Associate Professor of Literature and was involved with anti-Vietnam war activism. Vrajaprana was a co-speaker with the 14th Dalai Lama at the Interfaith Conference in San Francisco (2006).

Terence Keel is an author, professor, entrepreneur, and Buddhist interested in transformative pedagogy and social justice. Keel believes that changes in social life must first involve new thought and practice. He is a trained historian and scholar of religion who earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Keel has written widely about the history of racism and its connections to science, religion, politics, and modern life. Keel’s first book Divine Variations, published by Stanford University Press, documents the intellectual legacy shared between modern scientific racism and religion in Europe and America. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he serves as Vice Chair of the department of History. He is also a senior advisor to the Goldin Institute; a Chicago based non-profit organization that is a global advocate for grassroots leadership, conflict resolution, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.

Radhule Weininger, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, and teacher of Buddhist meditation and Buddhist psychology is the founder and guiding teacher of the One Dharma Sangha, as well as the resident teacher of mindfulness practice at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center in Santa Barbara, California. She mentored in her teaching by Jack Kornfield. Her book “Heartwork: The Path of Self-compassion”, with a forward by Jack Kornfield, published by Shambala Publications.

Michael Kearney, MD, a Palliative Care Physician with over 30 years experience and works with Palliative Care Consultants of Santa Barbara. He has been interested in combining medical treatment with approaches that enhance the innate healing of body and mind, such as Buddhist meditation and Native Spirituality. Michael Kearney’s forthcoming book “The Nest in the Stream: Lessons from Nature on Being with Pain” will be published by Paralax Press in spring 2018.

We will be out of the country in October – we will not be having our monthly “Solidarity and Compassion Project” but there will be wonderful teachers guiding the meditations in Isla Vista, at the Museum of Natural History and at La Casa de Maria.