Metta Convention 2014 Sri Lanka | Reflections

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The Metta Convention – Healing of Hearts – commenced with an inauguration ceremony on the evening of 27th June at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo – with the presence of D.M. Jayaratne, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, the Founder and President of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, along with international guest speakers and over 1600 participants from 15 countries.

On 28th and 29th June, the convention was held at the Sarvodaya Institute of Higher Learning, Bandaragama, attended by over 500 participants. Inspiring speakers and humanitarians shared their experiences and philosophies around their life’s work, experiences and practices through loving kindness and compassion, promoting metta and global consciousness. Below are the themes of these international guest speakers:

  • The Science of Metta – by Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith & Dr. James Doty
  • Metta-Centred Social Engagement – by Dr. Kiran Bedi & Dr. Sunitha Krishnan
  • Conquering Desire: No Poverty No Affluence – by Dr. Vandana Shiva & Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne
  • Inner Healing and Outer Peace – by Bhante Wimala Thero, Mrs. Jesima Ismail & Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne
  • The Art of Healing – by Bhante Mahinda Thero

Here, we share a collation of reflections from participants who attended the Metta Convention:

‘The speakers were truly inspiring and life-touching! Thankful and grateful to Sarvodaya and Bhante for making the Metta Convention 2014 possible!’

-       Melisa Soo Ting Ting, Singapore –

‘I am impressed with the courage and ability of individuals to create change and transformation. It really resonates with me as I am dealing with it personally. I agree strongly on ‘care to dare’ – daring is not something heroic, it is something in our everyday life where we have to stand up to our values.‘

-       Nathaniel Katz, Israel –

‘The Metta Convention provides an excellent network amongst like-minded people.’

-       Rudy Wee, Malaysia –

‘A very good interfaith network/convention to promote loving kindness to other faiths, race, religions – and is not limited only to the Buddhist community. This is evident from the inauguration ceremony where various religious faiths (Catholic, Hindu, Islam, Buddhists) gave blessings. Sri Lanka is the perfect venue for this convention as the country has just gone through a civil war and the people in this country will need to heal the wounds – the theme Healing of Hearts is therefore very relevant.’

-       Ong B.F., Malaysia –

‘A wonderful convention that has brought together an excellent panel of speakers and luminaries who are inspiring and thought-provoking. The Metta Convention is very well organized and has united participants from different parts of the world in the circle of metta. May this plant the seed for the transformation of global consciousness towards love, kindness and compassion.’

-       Datuk Seri Dr. Victor Wee, Malaysia –

‘The talks by inspirational speakers at the Metta Convention are very informative, motivating and enlightening. It is amazing what Sarvodaya Movement has done for the community, under the able leadership of Dr. Ariyaratne. The social activities organised by Sarvodaya revolving around the concept of loving kindness is very relevant to the metta practice, promoted by Bhante Mahinda.’

-       Nalin Medagoda, Australia –

‘My initial purpose of joining the Metta Convention is to find my inner peace. One of the participants asked me if I have found my inner peace and how metta can help me. The wisdom of his phrase taught me that loving yourself more is the baby steps of metta. During this trip, I am really grateful to Singapore Buddhist Federation for giving me this opportunity to join this international convention that has exposed me to various speakers from all over the world. And, through their own life experiences, it inspires me to be contented with life and to share love with others. Last but not least, I am grateful thatBhante Mahinda has taught me metta meditation and I will continue to practice metta meditation.

-       Tang Hui Wen, Singapore –

‘A fantastic event with amazing individuals who have come to propagate their philosophy and experience of peace, love and compassion. The topics and experiences shared by them have inspired me in many ways and have opened my eyes to huge issues that require more support and advocation. For me, the take home message of this programme is; science without humanity is dangerous., and to solve that, seeds of metta should be planted in every individual, irrespective of caste, colour, race or religion. However, metta has to be accompanied with action to turn aspirations into results. Peace and blessings to the world!’

-       Tan Yee Wen, Malaysia –

‘ My heart is filled with loving kindness and my spirit with filled with the intent to bring metta to those who heal and care for the sick, so that they can bring compassionate care to all those in pain. My intent is to use metta to teach positive health so that human beings can live longer lives free of disease, and are filled with joy and thriving. Look for my book which will be coming out in about 2 months called ‘Positive Health by Hay House Publishing’.’

-       Marsha W. Snyder, MD, MAPP, America –

‘I was informed of the Metta Convention by a friend and I feel blessed to be a part of this circle and gathering. The convention has demonstrated to me the power of individual metta consciousness and its strength when manifested to a collective consciousness. The positive vibes, the compassion emanating from my fellow participants here demonstrate to me the silent, willful and compassionate power ofmetta. We need to continue this cycle and vibration so that we can transform the negative to a beautiful positive. I go away from here with that practice and promise to re-connect with fellow like-minded individuals.’

-       Nirmi Vitarana, Sri Lanka –

‘May we serve to be perfect. May we be perfect to serve.’

-       Kelvin and Regina, Singapore –

‘’One seed can give rise to a million seeds” – Dr. Vindana Shiva. Let us each go forth as a seed of metta; ‘sitting’ in metta bhavana for at least 15 minutes a day and practicing metta in our interactions with all beings and with mother earth.’

-       Rapti, Sri Lanka –

‘As a monk, my activities are pretty much restricted to teaching Dhamma and practice. But after hearing the various diverse perspectives and opinions of the speakers, I felt that the current aspect of my livelihood can also be beneficial to people of all walks of life and social problems. By continuing the practice of metta and promoting this practice to others, we can purify our body, speech and mind and thus make the world a better place. May the hearts of the world continue to heal.’

-       Phra C.K., Singapore –

‘Dr. Sunitha Kirshnan was posed a question where she was asked how she finds the inspiration to continue her work after repeated attacks on her life. She said “I take the attacks from the mafia as a sign that I am doing the right thing and I understand the reason for their attacks as they are losing a source of income, but society is what I don’t understand. Society is the real mafia where one day they give you awards and then the next day they look down on your daughter – not letting them acquire a job or education and ostracizing them.” Her reply was simple yet deep and struck a chord in me as it is the truth. Society needs to stop pushing away the responsibility of standing up for the shamed and ostracized and start taking a stand for the victims of sexual abuse for they are not at fault.’

-       Hillary K., Malaysia –

‘I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the 2014 Metta Convention. To have the opportunity to connect and share with like-minded people, those who live from the heart and who wish to bring about positive change, this has chipped large chunks off my heart wall and I feel my heart opening like a Sri Lankan lily.

From the moment I heard Dr. Sunitha Krishnan speak, tears rolled down my cheek. Her passion for rescuing children from prostitution and exposing the magnitude of the sex trafficking industry and her resounding message that to care is not enough – we need to act – had a resounding impact on me. Dr. Krishnan’s courage and compassion to confront violence, corruption and evil was truly inspiring. Too often I have convinced myself that there is little I can do that will make a difference. Yet Dr. Krishnan risks her life to rescue these children and challenges us to do something!

So I leave this beautiful island with a great peace and calmness of heart, where people live in harmony with nature, the abundance of fruit, vegetables, lush forests, beauty and shade.’

-       Amanda Jeffreys, Australia –

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