|Posted: April 07 2005,11:48
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen
progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of
action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?
events such as (in New York) September 11th 2001 and (in Iraq) the
outbreak of the war caused a stir all over the world and made people
aware of how precious personal peace and world peace actually are.
events in the Dutch society (such as three recent assassinations, The
politician Pim Fortuyn, a school principal in The Hague and of the
famous artist Theo van Gogh) gave both authorities and individuals the
feeling of wanting to make some profound contribution to the
advancement of social cohesion in society.
The consequences of
the Tsunami in the Netherlands also aroused deep emotional feelings and
a flood of material aid got under way. Several personal initiatives
were also developed.
Terrorism, war, disasters and great
social upheaval not only make people more aware of the value of their
personal life but also of the importance of the relationship with one
another. Communicating with one another and learning to understand and
appreciate each other is seen as a basic condition for harmony amongst
Besides a verbal exchange people also feel the need to
have a moment of silence together, to be able to accommodate the events
in their own lives in a reflective way or to process their feelings. At
such moments there is a great clarity of the importance of prayer or
meditation as a means of generating positive healing energy for the
fellow human being in need.
In the past years the BKSA has
regularly opened their centres for special meditations for (world)
peace and has also created extra programs on relevant topics. In a
relatively short time many people have made grateful use of these
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
ACTIONS: What actions have been
undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
BKSA programs during 2001-2005
* Breath of Spirit; about inner silence
Mike George (author and trainer) May 25th, 2001
* From Explosive anger to calm serenity and deep inner peace; about recognizing and dealing with anger
Mike George May 17th, 2002
* The value of the now; on the possibility of creating your own life.
Hennie de Pous-de Jonge (Foundation Moral Rearmament) and Marie-Lisette Derks (co-ordinator BKSA The Hague)
September 9th 2001
Spirituality in the practice at the Bar; meeting for jurists at the
Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law,
the oldest institute for the conclusion of international treaties.
November 24th 2004
In the light of compassion; on processing violent offences and dealing
with aggression and violence on the basis of understanding and insight
in processes of change.
Ted Boeree (train conductor, author and
co-founder Crash Barrier) and Jacqueline Berg, (author and co-ordinator
BKSA Netherlands) December 8th, 2002
* The Power of Silence; on the importance of silence in the media and silence as an instrument for conflict interventions.
Erik Post (journalist) and Jacqueline Berg (former journalist)
December 30th, 2004
* On Principle; the power of principles in practice
Lia Verhaar (Foundation Fight against Acoustic Pollution),
Jan Kloppenburg (Foundation Knock it off) and Roos Nabben (co-ordinator BKSA Rotterdam)
March 23rd, 2003
Grasping Peace; on the power of acceptance and living together in a
city, country, world, where internal dispute and differences change
into relationship and similarity.
Ozeyir Kabaktepe (vice-president
Milli Görüs), Anneke de Goede (Communication & Development en
member of Platform The Dialogue Rotterdam), Roos Nabben
May 11th, 2003
Peace workshop (Developed by the BKWSU on the occasion of the project
Manifesto 2000, in which participants can discover, visualise, design
and learn to live peace.
September 9th, 2001 and September 15th, 2002
* Peace in the Kingdom; children's workshop, 7-12 years
May 17th, 2003
* Meditation for World Peace (in connection with the war in Iraq) March, April and May 2003
* 24 hours Consciously non-violent (meditation in the context of the International Day of Peace)
September 21st, 2003
* Special Christmas meditation for world peace
Together in Peace (special meditation prompted by the assassination of
Theo van Gogh), initiated by 'Amsterdam with Heart and Soul. November
* New Year's Eve meditation for world peace
December 31st, 2004
The number of participants per program varied from 25 to 100 people.
Amsterdam with Heart and Soul
the committee 'Amsterdam with heart and soul', founded in 2002, people
from mosques, churches, temples, synagogues and many other 'places of
inspiration' have joined forces to work together on a better mutual
understanding and trust. They believed that cultural differences are
not a limitation but a challenge to true human communication.
The BKSA is part of the Initiative group of 'Amsterdam with heart and soul', which supports the management and project bureau.
committee offers a platform for dialogue and meeting for all people of
Amsterdam who desire to build bridges between different cultures and
religions. By working on interaction between people with different
ideological backgrounds the participants like to contribute to the
quality of life and cohesion in the multi-cultural city.
now 'Amsterdam with heart and soul' has twice organised Open Days, on
which every one could receive explanation on the different religions
and movements. The BKSA also participated and provided meditations for
visitors of her Academy during the Open Days.
Platform - The Dialogue
Rotterdam, since the start of 2002 BKSA participates in an initiative
of the Rotterdam municipality: the Platform 'The Dialogue'. This
platform has been founded after September 11th, 2001 when different
organisations felt the need to join their forces. In this way they
wanted to come to a widely carried city debate between Rotterdam
citizens of all sorts and conditions. The Day of the Dialogue was the
first initiative of the Platform 'the Dialogue'. The formula of the Day
of the Dialogue was simple and effective. On October 12th, 2002
different people came together and - over a meal - shared experiences
in small circles.
The contribution of the BKSA was primarily in
formulating the conversation formula that was followed during the meal.
Ideas were handed by the BKWSU that had been developed for the
Manifesto 2000 project in which the BKWSU amongst others worked
together with the Unesco to sign as many Manifesto's as possible. In
the context of that project the Peace workshop was also developed by
the BKWSU, in which participants were asked a number of personal direct
questions in the atmosphere of AI (AI = Appreciative Inquiry). In AI
the starting point of a conversation or meeting was appreciation
instead of emphasising your point. The conversation formula for the Day
of the Dialogue was inspired on this.
The subject of conversation in 2002 was 'Meet the other and show yourself'.
In 2003 and 2004 there was a Day of the Dialogue too, in which the BKSA participated.
2003 the Dialogue in Rotterdam was on Values and in 2004 on Virtues.
Following Rotterdam the city of Amsterdam in 2004 also quickly
introduced a Day of the Dialogue after the assassination of Theo van
Gogh, a renowned artist in the Netherlands. Within a very short time
120 tables for participants were managed to be organised in Amsterdam.
Platform in Rotterdam consists of a great number of participating
organisations from the social, political, economical, cultural and
spiritual sides of the city. They have regular meetings in which two
members of the BKSA take part since 2002.
The BKSA Rotterdam and
Amsterdam also took part by organising meals on 'the Day of the
Dialogue' at the addresses of the Academy. In 2005 that will also be
Day of the Opening of the Dutch Parliament
five years now The Council of Ideology and Religions in The Hague has
been organizing an inter-religious celebration on the occasion of the
day of the opening of the Dutch parliament. The theme in 2004 was
'Stranger and fellow man'. The BKSA has been intensively involved in
both the preparation and the performance of this celebration. Six
representatives of religions and ideologies, one of which the BKSA, had
been invited to take part in the program in The Great Church in The
Hague. The BKSA gave a short introduction followed by a guided
meditation. The content was in relationship with 'Knowing yourself and
God brings light in the dark and restores love in our lives through
which we can reach out to others. The world will change when we are
capable of sharing this Godly light and this unlimited love. When I
know myself I can truly meet the other. My vision will not be disturbed
by our differences but I will recognize that same essence in others.'
After the celebration 25 representatives of ideologies and religions
were offered a meal at the BKSA in The Hague.
and Soul; Interfaith Celebration Museumsquare Amsterdam May 2003;
contribution Brahma Kumaris about 'The Significance of Silence'.
Celebration to mark the occasion of the opening of the parliamentary
year in The Great Church in The Hague; contribution by the Brahma
Kumaris with speech and guided meditation on the theme 'Stranger and
ADVICE: What advice would you like to
give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a
culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and
networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the
global movement for a culture of peace?
Moon - project bureau from Amsterdam that helps organising the Day of
the dialogue in Amsterdam and also the project 'Amsterdam with Heart
Platform The Dialogue in Rotterdam
Council of Ideology and Religions in The Hague (HRLR)
The Rotterdam Council of Ideology and Religions (Roravolere)
Platform Religion and Ideology Province of Groningen
Platform for Religions and Ideology in Zwolle
Inter-religious Council (IB)
Shapers of Education; organise conferences on Heart and Soul in Learning, for educational people who want to work from values
World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP)
United Religions Initiative (URI)
The Hague Conference on International Private Law
PLANS: What new engagements are
planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?
More emphasis on non-violence, in awareness, behaviour and relationships.
Postal address of organization
Amsterdam: (main centre in the Netherlands)
Haarlemmerdijk 137, 1013 KG
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
Education for a culture of peace
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
Understanding, tolerance, solidarity
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
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