Metta Convention 2014

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Theme: Healing of Hearts
Country: Colombo – Sri Lanka
Date: 27th & 29th June 2014

In this second decade of the new millennium, hundreds and thousands of people across the globe are silently connecting with their inner selves as they seek inner peace and ask themselves, ‘Who am I? What am I to my family, society and the world I live in?’ They are also connecting with like-minded compassionate people participating in this great turning point in history and celebrating life on earth in a way that humanity has never experienced before. With spiritually renewed energies, these compassionate beings are translating loving-kindness into action by addressing the root causes of suffering in the world at individual, family and community level, and helping people to find inner and outer peace. Their compassionate thoughts and actions go beyond the human sphere to also embrace the animal and plant world as suffering is a phenomenon common to all life on earth.

The Metta Convention is aimed at generating a collective spiritual consciousness strongly grounded in Metta. This will contribute to a critical transformation in human thought patterns as well as social, economic and political strategies and structures, leading to a new social order that respects and protects all life on Earth.

‘Metta Round the World’, founded in 2012 by Venerable Mahinda, Spiritual Director of the Aloka Foundation, creates a unique spiritual space for people from all walks of life to build reservoirs of Metta that flow across man-made ethnic, religious, gender, linguistic, and social barriers, inspiring individuals, families and communities into compassionate action to address the root causes of suffering that lead to poverty, hunger, disease, violence, corruption, etc.

The first Metta Convention on the theme of ‘Meeting of Hearts’ was held in Singapore in 2013 with the participation of almost 200 people.

The second Metta Convention will be held in Sri Lanka from June 27 to 29, 2014. The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka will join hands with Metta Round the World to take ‘Meeting of Hearts’ to the next level: ‘Healing of Hearts’. It’s inauguration ceremony will be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall with 1600 local and international participants. The Keynote Speech on the theme ‘Radiating Metta – Love and Respect for All Life’ will be delivered by a world renowned personality. The Convention will continue on June 28 and 29 at the beautiful lakeside retreat of the Bandaragama Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning with 200 international and 300 local participants.

Metta Convention Highlights Poems of Healing ‘Good poetry begins with the lightest touch a breeze arriving from nowhere a whispered healing arrival a word in your ear a settling into things then like a hand in the dark it arrests the whole body stealing you for revelation’ Internationally acclaimed poet David Whyte will conduct two poetry sessions to promote Metta through the medium of poetry on the following themes as a pre-Metta Convention event. ~ Solace and Loving-kindness : The Art of Asking the Beautiful Question ~ Making the Invitation : The Foundations of Conversational Leadership

The Science of Metta Every composite dhamma or phenomenon is subject to transformation from moment to moment. All forms of life are subject to suffering – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The science of Metta investigates the true nature and root cause of the suffering. Two internationally renowned scientists researching into the mind-body connection will facilitate the session.

Metta-centred Social Engagement Rapid economic development has not only adversely affected our living environment and life support systems. It has also, brought about an egoistic state of mind. Taking a compassionate approach is a vital part of addressing the underlying causes of worldwide social issues. In order to ensure long term, positive solutions to issues such as the exploitation of humans and animals, corruption, and drug addiction, we need to apply loving-kindness in action. Social reformists Dr Kiran Bedi and Dr Sunitha Krishnan will facilitate this session and share their own personal journeys.

Conquering Desire – ‘No Poverty No Affluence’ The Buddha traced all forms of human suffering to craving. So did all other religious leaders who taught us to reduce greed and ill will. If we do not conquer the craving within us, it leads to collective craving and ill will, producing not only poverty and powerlessness amongst the majority of people, but also to violence and war. Can we aim at a society with ‘no poverty no affluence’? Dr Vandana Shiva and another world renowned personality fighting against poverty and hunger will facilitate the session.

Inner Healing – Outer Peace Spiritual awakening is the foundation of inner healing. Religious teachings are our guidance to spirituality. How best can we bring different faith communities together to synthesise inner healing processes with conflicts in the outer world, in order to promote and ensure peace in our world? Dr A T Ariyaratne and Mrs Jesima Izmail will be the keynote speakers.

The Art of Healing This Metta Convention touches all aspects of human life, the environment and the thought processes that we are continuously engaged in. The art of healing therefore, has to be a total approach where our spiritual, moral, cultural, social, economic and political visions and practices come together to contribute to a holistic healing process of human society. Venerable Mahinda will guide us through the session on the art of healing.

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