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Explicitly spiritual activism

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Community resources | 0 comments

Many books and organizations are working to catalyze spiritually-inspired social change. Each works in its own unique way, but many initiatives have important commonalities with the unique synthesis you see in this book. Here are a few:

  • The Work That Reconnects Network (workthatreconnects.org). Eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy has shown how to connect with our grief over the state of the world. It is also an elegant process for connecting with gratitude and transformational insight, and this combination empowers effective activism. The network trains facilitators and offers support, guidance, and inspiration to people working for the Great Turning worldwide.
  • Engaged Buddhism is beautifully expressed in the work of Zen Peacemakers(zenpeacemakers.org) founded by Roshi Bernie Glassman. For 35 years it has served the poor in the Bronx and Yonkers, especially through Greyston Bakery (greyston.org). More recently, it has also helped mobilize a worldwide movement of humanitarian, peace-building, social and civic action based on its three tenets (Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Taking Action), and it includes projects focusing on Auschwitz/Birkenau. The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (inebnetwork.org), headquartered in Thailand; the national US organization The Buddhist Peace Fellowship(buddhistpeacefellowship.org); and Green Sangha (greensangha.org) in the SF Bay Area, are also conscious communities of practitioners passionate about the living, breathing intersections between Buddhadharma, social justice, and environmental action. All these (and many more) engaged Buddhist initiatives bring individuals together to meditate, educate, support one another, and to advocate for compassion, peace, justice, and the living planet.
  • Sister Giant (sistergiant.com), founded by Marianne Williamson, combines a sacred, authentic, deeply humane “politics of love” with practical activism and endorsements in US political races to help achieve that vision. It is “dedicated to forging a deeper conversation about what is happening in America today—and what we can do to change it.”
  • The Network of Spiritual Progressives (spiritualprogressives.org) was cofounded by Rabbi Michael Lerner to “help transform the world from one based on power and control to one based on love and justice.”
  • The Jean Houston Foundation (jeanhoustonfoundation.org) extends Jean Houston’s life work in 110 countries, training leaders and trainers in Social Artistry, a new model for leadership that applies at all levels, across cultures and continents, in developed and least developed countries. It inspires and empowers people to deepen their individual capacities to create a world that works for everyone.
  • The Institute for Sacred Activism (andrewharvey.net/sacred-activism/) was founded by Andrew Harvey, who defines sacred activism as “the fusion of the deepest spiritual knowledge and passion with clear, wise, radical action in all the arenas of the world, inner and outer.” The institute trains activists, educates the public, and advocates for activism as a spiritual obligation in this time.
  • The Center for Transformative Change (transformativechange.org) was founded by author and activist Rev. angel Kyodo williams. From its center in Oakland, CA, it provides meditation and yoga classes, spiritual guidance, and community for activists and marginalized communities, and raises awareness of social justice and racial issues among activists worldwide.
  • Humanity Healing (humanityhealing.org) desires “to seek out and identify specific projects worldwide and to implement definable and sustainable solutions.” Its initiatives are designed “to restore hope in the lives of children and communities that have lost it.” Its participants commit to general guidelines involving practice, service, integrity, respecting others, direct communication, nonviolence, and cooperation.
  • I am a member of a group of over 100 Evolutionary Leaders (evolutionaryleaders.net) organized by Deepak Chopra and served by the Source of Synergy Foundation(sourceofsynergyfoundation.org). It is a network of dynamic dedicated evolutionary activists and educators who come together annually to catalyze and contribute to the evolution of one another and everyone whose lives they touch, and to magnify their ability to be of benefit. Each member champions worthy creative initiatives that express this new republic of the heart. They are not all listed here, but they can be found via the website.
  • The Association for Global New Thought (agnt.org) provides its member churches (Unity and Religious Science) resources and trainings in “spiritually guided activism,” including community leadership, as central elements of inspired Christian living.
  • YES! magazine (yesmagazine.org) investigates the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, they outline a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world.
  • Utne Reader (utne.com) presents “the best of the alternative press,” with emphasis on politics, culture, economy, and the environment. It speaks in many voices, presenting empowering, provocative, and sometimes debated viewpoints. It also holds an annual Independent Press Awards competition for the best alternative magazines.
  • Orion Magazine (orionmagazine.org) publishes articles on nature, culture, environment, and sense of place, and administers annual Orion Book Awards for “books that deepen the reader’s connection to the natural world.”
  • The Sun magazine (thesunmagazine.org) includes content (essays, memoirs, personal stories, fiction, and interviews) that, in the words of its founder Sy Safransky, “honors the mystery at the heart of existence.” Reader-supported since 1990, its articles are steeped in the context of both local and global issues.
  • The Club of Budapest (clubofbudapest.org), founded by Ervin Laszlo, works in over fifteen countries to facilitate a worldwide movement in service of the future of human evolution by catalyzing evolution consciousness through diverse coordinated autonomous projects.
  • Humanity’s Team (humanitysteam.org) communicates and demonstrates the oneness of all people and all life through online and in-person gatherings. Its conscious business initiative promotes awareness of unity among business leaders.
  • Greenheart International (greenheart.org) provides student exchange programs, travel opportunities, camps, and conferences for young people and adults that enhance intercultural understanding and develop tomorrow’s leaders.
  • The Global Purpose Movement (globalpurposemovement.com) brings together individuals and organizations to express their unique purpose and to synergize for the overarching purpose of social transformation and sustainable flourishing.
  • The True Purpose Institute (truepurposeinstitute.com) was founded by Tim Kelley to give messengers, change agents, and mission-driven organizations the training and support they need to create the impact they are meant to have in the world.
  • Purpose Guides Institute (purposeguides.org) was founded by Jonathan Gustin to train coaches and therapists to guide individuals in knowing and realizing their purpose, unitizing all cutting-edge, purpose-guiding modalities, supported by a top level faculty.
  • The Pocket Project (pocketproject.org) was founded by Austrian mystic Thomas Hübl in order to train people to heal the vicious cycle of recurring collective and intergenerational trauma, and ultimately to catalyze collective wisdom about integrating and reducing its impacts upon global culture.
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) is the oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in the U.S. Since 1915, FOR has carried on programs and educational projects concerned with domestic and international peace and justice, nonviolent alternatives to conflict, and the rights of conscience. An interfaith, tax-exempt organization, FOR promotes active nonviolence and has members from many religious, spiritual, and ethnic traditions. FOR is a U.S. based branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) with affiliates in over 50 countries. https://www.forusa.org/what-we-do.php
  • American Friends Service Committee: Founded in 1917, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, AFSC nurtures the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems. Key areas of work includes ending discrimination, building peace, defending immigrant rights, ending mass incarceration, and building economic justice. https://www.afsc.org/
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