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News from North (East) and Central Asia
In South Korea, I just finished a 10-day speaking tour of nine cities with Dada Cittarainjanananda, who translated this book and my previous Prout book into Korean. We spoke in Seoul, Wanju, Seosan, Hongseong, Daejeon, Busan, Masan, Gwangju and Iksan. The trip was sponsored and organized by the publisher, Hansalim, the largest grass-roots co-op in Korea with half a million members.
The theme of each of our six public lectures was “The Crisis of Global Capitalism and Economic Depressions” by Dada Cittarainjanananda for one hour, followed by “Prout and Economic Democracy” for a second hour; we always ended with a five-minute demonstration of meditation. One participant in Daejeon wrote, “Because of you, I expect a happy world in the future. I will work to make it happen.”
We led workshops in four different cities for between 25 to 35 of Hansalim’s cooperative leaders that lasted three hours each: “The Biopsychology of Cooperation and Cooperatives.” After sharing some of the latest scientific research on the nature of cooperation, we taught a few cooperative games to the participants, including the very moving Namaskar Game (see photo). We led a brainstorming listing “Capitalist Values” and “Cooperative Values”, followed by small group discussions how capitalist values personally affect them and their families. Finally we did another brainstorming listing the challenges that South Korean co-ops face, followed by small group discussions and reports about how co-ops should overcome those challenges.
In Gwangju we spoke at Choonam University on May 18, the anniversary of the 1980 Democracy Uprising. We met surviving leaders of the uprising, gave an hour-long interview with Jeonnamilbo newspaper, and attended the commemoration ceremony in the national cemetery.
In Iksan we met with leaders of Won Buddhism who had read our book; they asked us to be keynote speakers in a big symposium they are organizing in April 2015 to mark the 100-year anniversary of their organization. In Seoul we gave an interview to the Han Gye Re national newspaper.
Jeonnamilbo newspaper in Gwangju, South Korea at the national cemetery, on the anniversary of the 1980 Democracy Uprising. At the university I said, “I would like to say why I am here today. When I was planning this tour of South Korea with the publisher and my translator, I asked to speak here in Gwangju on May 18. Because I was very inspired by the courage and solidarity of the people of this city during the uprising. Yesterday and today I was honoured to meet and become friends with several of the surviving leaders, including Park Nam Seon, Na Il Song, Oh Gi Sul, Lee Heung Chul, Park S. Young, and others. My book is a humble attempt to continue forward the spirit of May 18.
The DMS in Siberia was a resounding success!
The Mongolian summer retreat was a great success.
The Ananda Marga women’s and children’s center in Meinong continues to grow and thrive:
Due to our regular service activities over the past three years at the Elderly Care Center at Zao Ru, Taipei, Ananda Marga was invited to its 10th anniversary celebrations. Dada Kaladharananda attended the ceremony and had the opportunity to meet Taiwan’s Vice President, Wu Den Yih, who appreciated Ananda Marga’s efforts.
Youth Yoga and Meditation Camp
More social service images and videos:
As in the previous three years, in 2013 we had our annual 15-day Taiwan Kiirtan Parikrama, a great opportunity for devotees from all over the island to drift in bliss and sing the name of Divine in unison. We visited most units of Taiwan with a blissful 3-hour Akhanda Kiirtan and sensed a wonderful family feeling everywhere.
We were unable to visit Yilan, Hualien and Taitung this time due to road problems, so instead we organized 2 days of social service in the south, which brought the perfect blending of inner inspiration through kiirtan and giving happiness to all through serving those in need.
The first social service took place in the Home of Love nursing home in Kaohsiung. Local margiis joined the Kiirtan Tour Team to bring the Divine’s love and care to the elderly, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone.
See photos from Home of Love nursing home here.
We have visited nursing homes many times, so our second social service was much more unusual, yet very special and touching. We visited a dog shelter on the outskirts of Meinong. A single lady, Gao Mama, looks after more than 600 dogs by herself. Her daughters and their husbands are able to help from time to time and volunteers come sometimes. We helped to clean up a lot of things, cleared some areas for better use, and generally gave love to every dog that crossed our path while being there.
See photos from dog shelter here.
The Kiirtan Parikrama ended at the Ananda Suruci Master Unit, where lots of devotees gathered to sing Baba Nam Kevalam.
Some kiirtan from the 2011 DMS:
Previous Taiwan news is in the Rasa Vanii newsletter: