Seeds of Peace Vol.34 No.2 May.-August. 2561 (2018)
Hello INEB Friends,
This issue marks the 50th year since the Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF) was founded by Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa and “has served as one of the bastions of knowledge and critical and alternative thinking in Thai society.” As Surasee Kosolnawin, our dear friend and SNF Chairman, writes, “SNF has continuously carried out numerous activities and projects even in periods of political turmoil.” It has promoted activities that are often widely accessible, deeply humane, and avant garde. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness serve as it north star.”
We recognize that SNF’s contributions to building a vibrant civil society throughout Siam are reaching second and third generations of people at all levels beginning at the grassroots. Its constancy and commitment has been passed from generation to generation. Seeds of Peace provides information about many activities that take place through SNF’s organizations and projects. We celebrate with SNF as we continue “to swim against the mainstream and join hands in solidarity with others in the struggle for social justice.”
Gene Sharp, one of the leaders of nonviolence passed away in January. His unwavering contribution to nonviolent approaches to end violent conflict have been used in many countries around the world and transferred from generation to generation. Sharp wrote From Dictatorship to Democracy as a guide to nonviolent struggle after visiting Burma in the early 1990s and has inspired many social activists, thinkers and others throughout the region. His book, which has been translated into 34 languages, continues to provide the blueprint for inspiring nonviolent action.
INEB’s strategic 10 year roadmap has eleven specific areas of engagement which are in various stages of development and implementation. This issue includes the INEB Institute’s School of English for Engaged Social Service (SENS) and Awakening Leadership Training (ALT).
The School of English for Engaged Social Service (SENS) has completed its third year. Some of its 14 students described their personal growth experiences in the article. SENS continues to incorporate new lessons learned into the entire curriculum to provide the best possible learning experience for the participants and faculty. The demand to develop and adapt the course also expands its use and application in more contexts and countries throughout the region.
The Awakening Leadership Training (ALT) Program is also in its third year, and will take place over six months beginning in September 2018 and ending in March 2019. This year’s theme, Towards a New Paradigm of Holistic Sustainability, is based on empowering and deepening ecovillage design education. The learning will weave inner transformation and societal understanding with techniques for community building and effective mindful leadership. It provides space for dialogue, reflection and contemplation on the deep questions facing humanity and our planet. Participants are welcome to enroll for individual courses or the entire program.
Father Michael Lapsley, an Anglican priest from South Africa, spoke in Yangon on Redeeming the Past. He described his healing journey surviving the explosion of a letter bomb and how it contributed to a movement of redemption and restorative justice reaching far beyond individual circumstances. The Institute for Healing of Memories in South Africa was established with Father Lapsley’s support and provides a space for people from South Africa to tell their stories in workshops as they work through their trauma.
Our good friend Jane Rasbash quotes Father Lapsley, “Our lives are like rivers, a traumatic event happens and the river goes to a whirlpool. Healing commences when the river flows.” The article talks about how healing has taken place in various countries using different approaches, and that leadership with moral vision is needed at all levels. Father Lapsley also was the guest speaker for the 24th Annual Spirit in Education Movement public lecture at Thammasat University on February 3.
Please read the country reports and articles that provide insightful perspectives into unfolding situations throughout the Southeast Asia region and beyond.
We are looking forward to new experiences and learning as the roadmap evolves. Next issue we will share progress in the Asian Network of Buddhists for Child Protection and Empowering the Bhikkhuni Sangha, as well as others.