N E W S L E T T E R

June 2017

A successful 3rd Spirit of Humanity Forum!

A very successful gathering of the Spirit of Humanity Forum was held in Reykjavik 26-29 April with 175 participants from all continents. The format was simple. Plenaries in the mornings, and workshops and small groups for reflection in the afternoons. The plenaries each took the form of an ‘interview’ with a panel of three to four people sharing not only what they were doing, but also the spiritual transformation that inspired and sustains their work. Contributions were exceptional, in plenary, in workshops, in reflection groups and in one-to-one conversations during the breaks. The beginning and closing of the Forum were celebrated by Icelandic choirs, and children from Icelandic schools decorated the venue for us.

A big warm thank you
to 
everyone who participated, for the valuable sharing and listening with sincerity and heart-felt interestwhich made the 3rd Forum a very successful event!

Our welcome in Iceland

The Forum was warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Reykjavik, HE the President of Iceland, the Bishop of Iceland, the Foreign Minister and the President of the City Council of Reykjavik. Although we now hope to set up SoH regional events, the roots of the Forum are now secured in Iceland.

A Quest for Meaning

The highly acclaimed film, ‘A Quest for Meaning’ was screened as an ‘open event’ to which the people of Iceland were invited. The film directors, Marc de La Ménardière and Nathanaël Coste received a standing ovation from a very enthusiastic audience.  

Pictorial treasure of the 3rd Forum

We are honoured to present a beautiful gallery of photos from the Forum which Gurdev Singh Deogon, who participated in the forum, graciously shares with all of us: PHOTOGALLERY

Introduction speech at the City Hall

“As spiritual beings, how do we integrate spirituality in our decisions and actions in the world, for the world?”

Introductory speech by Scherto Gill at the Opening Reception at the City Hall of Reykjavík: LINK

What did we learn?

What did we learn in those three wonderful days at the Forum? For sure we all had our unique experiences and were inspired and nurtured in many different ways. This is what some of our participants experienced.

A longing for transformation

“The two and a half days felt like a continuous outflowing of stories about love, compassion and transformation. The intensity of this experience felt as a cry, an urgent need for transformation and for ways in which we might enable this transformation to come about. In the end, there was an euphoria that had arisen in the persistent shared experience of people's lives, of things they cared about, and wanted to share - to say “Look at this, isn’t this something wonderful that we should nurture. Please help me. Can we do this together?” 

The spirit connects us

“Just to watch what happens when spiritually minded people come together and meet. It was like old friends meeting again, in spite of seeing each other for the first time, and coming from so many different fields and walks of life. Everyone becomes happy finding so many like-minded souls from around the world. Even just this first impression was so empowering and uplifting.”

To move forward, we need to embrace our past

“We need to return to a world view that honours the complementary, the masculine and feminine, the solar and lunar. We have come to a point where what we are doing does not sustain us anymore. We need to get together to avoid the collapse of civilizations. The light will win! Face the state you are in, and hold the light. Combine love with purpose, there is a task bigger than each one of us, join in the task. To move forward, we need to first embrace all of what we have done, for good and for bad. We can’t leave something behind.”

News shared

Trans4m

“I hope I could bring across the Spirit of Humanity Forum, for the purpose of sharing it also with our Trans4m community. I have shared a bit also of the workshop that I ran as part of the Forum. I truly hope that the post makes a small contribution to ‘spread the message’ of SOH.” Alexander Scheiffer LINK

Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society Web TV

Dharma Master Hsin Tao, founder of the Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Foundation and the Museum of World Religions, was present at the 2nd Forum 2014. Maria Habito, International Program Director at the Museum of World Religions, participated both in the 2nd and the 3rd Forums. LINK

The leading questions

In each plenary, we put forward questions for reflection. Here is a very short summary of what we felt was an important part of what we learned from each of the themes discussed at the Forum.

Bridging Divides: Dialogue for Peace and Mutual Engagement
In what way might spiritual communities around the globe help shift human consciousness from fear and separation towards love and wholeness?
Learning: The importance of understanding each other and our communities. Understanding how the past is carried forward into the future. We are also ancestors for future generations to come.

Caring for Each Other: Fostering Compassion
How might our ‘duty of care’ and a growing collective consciousness change decision-making processes in ways that express more love and foster compassion for each other?
Learning: When you are in a minority or you have a different perspective from the majority, then you need courage not to be swept away by the impulse to ‘conform’ and be accepted. The courage to be different and to follow our conscience and inner feelings brings real transformation in our self, our communities and the world.

Caring for Our Planet: A new Way of Being
How might our ‘duty of care’ and a growing collective consciousness change decision-making processes in ways that express more love and foster compassion for the planet?
Learning: In caring for the Earth, against all the odds, we need courage, virtue and fearlessness.  We have to keep our vision large, farsighted and forward thinking.

Governance, Communities and Peace
In strengthening our spiritual foundation, how might we transform governance in different sectors of society?
Learning: Each one has a unique journey and the more that journey is lived with honesty and truth, the greater is the impact of our life on the world.

Spirituality in Leadership
How might leaders nurture themselves and inspire others to sustain a spiritual foundation for a caring society?
Learning: In spiritual leadership and nurture, it is the interaction with ordinary people and the impact we have on each other that matters the most. The smaller picture creates the larger picture. The spirit is primary and everything else is secondary!

What have we learned from participants' feedback for future Forums?

We have received a lot of engaged feedback from participants, reflecting a wave of joy. Here is a summary of what we are especially noting for the next Forum:

A spiritual atmosphere is the foundation for a successful Forum. It creates a light, welcoming, safe space which supports informality, openness and the joy of meeting.

Reflection/quiet time is key and we need to plan for more. Start and end each session with a few minutes to be silent and mindful. Include a longer meditative session when all are present. It could be in a plenary, as a pause, to go deeper into Q & A afterwards. Create a space for personal reflection available for participants to visit at any time.

The panels were very rich, but we need more time for dialogue with the audience and also for speakers among themselves. Less time to establish the credentials, more time to investigate how the panellists deepen their spirituality in their everyday life, moving from doing to being.

The integration of spirituality in the discussion was very valuable and is the purpose of the Forum.

Life stories touch our hearts not only our heads and make us feel personally responsible.  

Multiple workshops a good idea, but the possibility to attend more is desired. Develop the concept.

More interaction among participants. Many wanted more time in reflection groups, longer breaks, using ‘Open Space Technology’, having a dinner together and an outing together. The diversity and mix of all generations was great and we could mix even more, have youth in panels and youth doing workshops too. An ice-breaker at the beginning, connecting with the participants before starting to speak from the stage, is a good idea.

Role of SoH Forum:

to spiritually nurture, inspire and showcase

The meaning of Spirit, Humanity and Forum

Spirit = Encourage spiritual values such as empathy, humility, caring, non-violence, trust etc. 

Encourage spiritual practices and experiences, especially silence, reflection, introspection and mindfulness, which enhance self-awareness, personal integrity and responsibility. 

Encourage an understanding of spirituality beyond religious divides and dogma.

Humanity = Encourage a universal, inclusive, diverse outlook, encourage the awareness of being members of one human family and the value of being humane.

Forum = Provide a meeting space for listening, sharing, discussion with openness and humility.

The SoH Forum does not promote any
particular organisation,
project or ideology, but it wants to
SHOWCASE EXAMPLES OF PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION 
from any field or back ground which can inspire hope and courage in others for personal transformation too.

Practical application of spiritual values

The purpose of the Forum is to support the practical application of spiritual values or ‘core human values’ in  different fields and parts of the world. We hope that the SoH Forums can encourage, empower, inspire and nourish participants spiritually so that they can:

  1. Begin or deepen their own spiritual practice on a daily basis to sustain their experiences.
  2. Develop friendships and maybe collaboration with other participants, to support and inspire each other spiritually and maybe develop practical work together.

The SoH Forum wishes to support an emerging
COMMUNITY OF VALUES-BASED PRACTITIONERS
by sharing success stories of applying spiritual values or 'core human values' in decision-making
at all levels of society.

Stay connected!

A Facebook group has been set up specifically for the participants from all three SoH Forums. It is a closed group where we encourage you all to share your thoughts and experiences and inspire each other. WELCOME! LINK

Sharing the 3rd Forum on our SoH Forum’s Social Media Channels

We have a lot of wonderful video material which will gradually become available on our website and through our Social Media channels during the coming months.

Living from the Inside Out

Read our next article on the topic of "Living from the Inside Out" written by Alexandra Asseily: LINK

Spirit of Humanity Forum

Secretary
Lotta Arbman (Sweden)
lotta.arbman@sohforum.org 
+46 729 110 485