Monday, December 07, 2009

Parliament of the World Religions

from w
Yesterday I received an email from the Multicultural Commission to say that the exhibition venue of the conference would be free for locals to visit. The conference is huge with about 8000 delegates. It was too expensive for me to participate in the lectures and seminars - about $180 a day! Anyway I took the train up - in the rain - and skipped over puddles to find the Exhibition Centre in Southbank near the Yarra River. It was a wonderful exhibition with about ninety display booths with animated people wanting to share their spiritual journey, give hand-outs, ask us to try meditation, and so on. Smiling, joyful people, many were Melbournites but attached to some world spiritual path. Most of the associations I had never heard of, but I was happy to see the Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Buddhists, indigenous women from Lappland, and others. I did some sketches and took photos so here are some of the photos. The themes of the conference were about the ecology, peace-making, human rights - but all with a spiritual basis. It was especially good to talk one to one with visitors and to observe people mixing with others from neighbouring display booths. Crossing cultures respectfully is certainly the way to go.