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Speakers announced for the Meditatio Seminar
An impressive lineup speakers will explore how the environmental crisis can serve as an opportunity to awaken us to a more sustainable and meaningful life. Talks by world class speakers such as Father Laurence Freeman will be interwoven with meditation and contemplative practices at this weekend event to be hosted in Sydney by the Australian Christian Meditation Community.
Keynote speaker, Laurence Freeman (OSB)
In April 2016, the Seminar, Meditation and the Environment will be held to raise awareness of the spiritual dimension of the environmental challenges we face. It will focus particularly on the relationship between ecology, economy and the human contemplative dimension.
In a world of growing disconnection, where the human person is increasingly identified merely as a ‘consumer’, and in an era of grave ecological crisis, it is urgent to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our role within the planetary context. How do we bring to the crisis a new consciousness in which the human and the environment can flourish sustainably?
Speaking to this question will be:
LAURENCE FREEMAN (OSB)
Keynote speaker, Fr Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk and the spiritual guide and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation and travels widely as an international speaker and retreat leader. Through The World Community for Christian Meditation, an ecumenical contemplative community, Fr Laurence continues the work of teaching Christian Meditation and restoring the contemplative as the essential and central dimension of Christian spirituality.
He is the author of many books and articles including Light Within, Selfless Self, Web of Silence, Common Ground, A Short Span of Days, and Beauty's Field: Seeing the World. He writes a quarterly spiritual letter for the World Community and publishes Daily Wisdom, a popular daily email of one of his photographs with a short text .He is also the editor of John Main’s works.
Fr Laurence has conducted dialogues and peace initiatives such as the historic “Way of Peace” with the Dalai Lama, and is active in inter-religious dialogue with leaders of other faiths. He encourages the teaching of Christian meditation to children and students, and the recovery of the contemplative wisdom in the Church and in society at large. He is the Director of Meditatio, the outreach of the community to the wider world and secular institutions. For recent Meditatio events see www.wccmmeditatio.org
BISHOP GEORGE BROWNING
While Anglican Bishop in Canberra from 1993 – 2008, in partnership with the then Governor General Sir William Deane and Doctor Lowitcha O'Donohue he founded the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra, an ecumenical centre for reconciliation and hope across the boundaries that have traditionally divided. The Centre’s theme is Wisdom working for the Common Good. With a lifelong commitment to social justice as a core descriptor of Christian faith, this phase of his retirement is spent pursuing justice for Palestinians and arguing that the environmental crisis is essentially a 21st century crisis of the human vocation. In retirement George has completed a PhD: Sabbath and the Common Good: Prospects for a new humanity. This thesis will provide the background for his contribution to the Meditatio Seminar.
Rev. LINDA CHAPMAN
Linda established Open Sanctuary on the NSW South Coast at Tilba Tilba. Open Sanctuary, a place of contemplative ecumenical gathering and creation spirituality, offers a space for intentional and inclusive friendship.
Linda is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of Moruya, an Oblate of the World Christian Meditation Community and a Spiritual Director following her time at the Mary McKillop Centre, Sydney.
Linda has given expression to her passion for nature through her involvement in the Diocesan Commission for the Environment, teaching eco-theology and as a committed campaigner and speaker. She nurtures the Christian contemplative way, leads retreats and dialogues with other faith traditions
Prof. DAVID TACEY
David Tacey is Emeritus Professor of Humanities at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and Research Professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra. He is an interdisciplinary scholar and public intellectual who has written extensively on spirituality, religion, mental health and eco-psychology. He is the author of fourteen books, including Edge of the Sacred; Re-Enchantment and The Spirituality Revolution.
David grew up in central Australia alongside Aboriginal cultures, and has a life-long interest in indigenous issues. David speaks regularly to religious conferences and seminars and his books have been widely published internationally and some have been translated into Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Dr. SUSAN MURPHY
Susan Murphy is a former academic,writer, screenwriter, film maker, radio documentary features producer and widely published scholar in the fields of film and social ecology. She is a Zen Roshi, the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia with a special interest in the way Zen and the indigenous Australian sense of 'care for country' come together. Author of “ Minding the Earth Mending the World:The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse”, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency which offers a profoundly hopeful second chance to engage with what it means to deeply mind the earth once more.
Assoc. Professor MARK DIESENDORF
Mark Diesendorf is an Australian academic and environmentalist, known for his work in sustainable development and renewable energy. He was Founding Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS 1996-2001 and is currently Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at UNSW. He teaches, researches and consults in the interdisciplinary fields of sustainable energy, energy policy, sustainable urban transport, theory of sustainability, ecological economics, and practical processes by which government, business and other organisations can achieve ecologically sustainable and socially just development.
Author of many research papers, articles, and books. his most recent book is 'Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change' proposing ecologically sustainable and socially just futures for Australia and the world, creating visions of those futures and developing feasible strategies for the transition process.
National Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, the ecological agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. With over fourteen years experience as an environmental educator and advocate Jacqui has taught Science and Earth and Environmental Science at schools in Melbourne, Sydney and in the Kimberley and lectured Environmental Science at Notre Dame University in the following areas: Global Principles of Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management and Australian Ecology. In recent years, she was Coordinator of the Northern Australia Environment Alliance in Broome where she worked with 10 environment groups to advocate for the protection of Northern Australia and to promote best-practice environmental management of Cape York Peninsula, the Gulf region, the Top End and the Kimberley.
In 2006, Jacqui undertook training with Al Gore to become a ‘Climate Change Leader’. Catholic Earthcare Australia is mandated, through the activities of research, education, advocacy and outreach to give leadership in responding to Pope Francis's call for an "ecological conversion" of the world's Catholics. Jacqui is also Chairperson of the ecumenical National Council of Churches Australia Eco Mission Project.
Activist, writer and speaker, Donna Mulhearn, was a human shield during the war in Iraq and later returned as an aid worker and human rights activist. She is a journalist, former political adviser and Masters graduate of the University of Sydney Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. Her book, Ordinary Courage, is a memoir about her experience as a human shield, and she is currently completing a book about the 2004 attacks on Fallujah.
Donna is currently a speaker on non-violence, activism and contemplation. She describes herself as a ‘pilgrim and storyteller’ and practices a spirituality of action and contemplation which includes the practices of Christian Meditation, challenging militarism and living simply and is currently establishing an environmental retreat centre in the Blue Mountains.
The event will consist of a combination of keynote addresses, panels and workshops interwoven with meditation and contemplative practices.
Friday evening: The Human Vocation: Keepers of the Space
Saturday: A New Consciousness
Sunday: Towards a Sustainable Future: Meditation and Action (Sunday's participants will have a choice of workshops for deeper exploration of issues covered by the seminar).
All sessions $180
Early bird $165 (paid by 20/2/16)
Friday night $50
Registrations are open via trybooking: www.trybooking.com/171621
For more information visit www.christianmeditationaustralia.org