An open space for global conversation
A Civil Society Dialogue Organized by the Contemplative Alliance
Wednesday, June 6, Andaz Hotel on Wall Street, NYC
The twin challenges of creating economic and ecological balance have brought America, and the rest of the world, to a critical junction. Many people now question the long-held national assumption that unlimited growth, growing economic disparity and unchecked usage of earth’s natural resources can continue indefinitely into the future. We are being increasingly called to question and re-envision the very framework of our economic institutions and beliefs. While this process can appear threatening and create insecurity, it also presents a great opportunity to evolve structures and institutions that better meet the needs of our time and of the future.
In America the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath have created an enormous rift of distrust between financial institutions and the government on the one hand, and the American people. The concept that one percent of the population is benefiting and increasing its wealth while the middle and working classes are rapidly losing ground is completely out of step with our spiritual evolution as a nation. The spiritual and ethical base of this country is strong. What has gone awry? A re-visioning of our national aspirations, of our understanding of prosperity and of community, is very much in need.
Over the last few decades, our society has moved from aspiring to fulfill essential needs and a few luxuries, to the assumption that all and every desire should be fulfilled, and new ones created on a daily basis. This has led to a level of consumption and greed that is simply not sustainable, and not desirable, for it does not lead to the kind of peace and happiness for which we all strive. Many people acknowledge this but cannot see an alternative future. In the quest for material fulfillment, we have lost much that is of great value. We have lost the sense of community and of values, and the understanding of what gives purpose and meaning to life. The resources on which we depend – rivers, forests and other natural ecosystems – have been greatly depleted and polluted, to such an extent that the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren is now greatly threatened. We have come to this junction for learning, an awakening to the call to rebalance our financial, ecological, social and spiritual needs. There is urgency to this call. We are being prodded to progress to a more balanced society, where values and an ethical framework can guide the development of new structures, new ways of being in community as a nation. The Contemplative Alliance is responding to this call by seeding dialogues around the country with spiritual and business leaders and other members of civil society. Collectively we are re-envisioning prosperity, creating the vision for an economy of greater wellbeing, for each of us as individuals and for our society as a whole.
The Contemplative Alliance was formed in 2008 in response to the need for a new multi-faith spiritual voice for the nation, one based on a vision of the unity of faiths, the sacredness of the natural world and the need to tap inner spiritual resources to achieve a more inclusive and balanced form of prosperity.
We invite you to join this national dialogue.
For more information contact:
Global Peace Initiative of Women
212 715 1628