Religious Gurus – Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ Sat, 21 May 2022 22:55:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sektinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sekt-info-icon-150x150.png Religious Gurus – Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ 32 32 How Egypt can become a hub for spiritual and religious tourism https://sektinfo.org/how-egypt-can-become-a-hub-for-spiritual-and-religious-tourism/ Sat, 21 May 2022 18:25:05 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/how-egypt-can-become-a-hub-for-spiritual-and-religious-tourism/


How Egypt can become a hub for spiritual and religious tourism

Mosaic of the Holy Mother in the dome of the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Zeitun, Cairo, Egypt. Image by Ike Gomez via Flickr.

The spiritual soul of Egypt flows like an underground river. Beyond the bustle of its cities and crowded streets, there is a powerful life force that keeps different communities together in difficult times.

While religious tourism is often associated with places like India, according to the Global Spirituality Index, there is also potential for Egypt to become a key destination for spiritual travelers. More than just a center of major religious civilizations, such as the Coptic civilization and the Islamic civilization, Egypt also has a long history of ancient spiritual practices and beliefs that are unique to its geographical landscape and natural environment.

For example, the study and exploration of the relationship between heaven and earth has always been rooted in the culture of the ancient Egyptians. Egyptologist Regine Schulz Noted that the ancient Egyptians once believed that the gods traveled across the skies of heaven in boats, reflecting the ancient Egyptians’ reliance on the Nile and their deep connection to it.

The sun also dominates the landscape and environment of Egypt, which is why it was also considered an important spiritual symbol that reflected the journey of life from birth to death. Desert spirituality in ancient Nubia and Upper Egypt is also said to have influenced spiritual practices in the desert by Christian monks as well as modern wellness gurus.

Although not much is known about the influence of the ancient spiritual practices of Egypt on our world today, glimpses of the many historical texts and religious sites can reveal an inexhaustible sea of ​​spiritual knowledge that are waiting to be discovered.

As Egypt has always been a hub for various religious sites and activities, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany Noted in an interview he feels optimistic about the potential for religious tourism in Egypt this year. Among other projects, Egypt is ready to announce the completion of the revival of the Holy Family route in Egypt. In 2021, three restoration projects of the route that would have been taken by the Holy Family through Egypt have been completed in Samanoud, Gharbeya, Sakha, Kafr El-Sheikh and Tal Basta, Sharqeya. A number of restoration projects have also been carried out at Christian monuments and Jewish synagogues, such as the Ben Ezra Synagogue.

Religious and spiritual journey around the world

religious trip kept growing over the years, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the most famous destination being India, which has allowed thousands of tourists to experience various expressions of spirituality and faith. Religious tourism has the potential to create employment opportunities for local communities, while promoting religious tolerance. This, however, is subject to the condition that the local traditions and cultural heritage of these destinations are respected.

In times of upheaval, spiritual journeys can offer moments of peace, calm and reflection. Spiritual tourism covers many different activities and has no strict definition; this may include spiritual festivals, events, visits to sacred sites, wellness and spa tourism, and meditation.

A number of research at UNWTO report also pointed out that religious and spiritual tourism cannot take place without the contribution of local communities, as cultural values ​​and natural landscapes are generally attached to local communities who protect, preserve and promote these values ​​and landscapes. Religious and spiritual tourism has also enabled communities to change their awareness of ecosystems and the environment, as well as shift work structures from agriculture to tourism.

Harnessing modern spirituality as well as ancient pilgrimage sites, Egyptian Streets has compiled a list of key locations that offer insight into Egypt’s growing potential to become a premier spiritual and religious travel destination.

Desert spirituality in Siwa and Sinai

Cleopatra’s Bath is one of Siwa’s most popular mineral springs

Desert spirituality has gained wide popularity among modern spiritual and wellness movements, which involve meditation and yoga in the desert. For any yogi or meditation lover, the desert landscapes of Egypt can easily be ranked among the most spiritual places in the world and have a the story to be a famous place of meditation for the ancient monks.

The fascinating salt lakes of the Siwa Oasis in northwest Egypt are believed to provide profound healing and relaxing benefits to many travellers. There are also pristine sand dunes near the oasis which can be a great place for silent meditation and yoga retreats.

In the Sinai Peninsula in eastern Egypt, there are several breathtaking mountain views for spiritual travelers, from Saint Catherine, Jebel Al Ahmar and Um Hadabat. The Red Sea Mountain Trail was classroom as one of the 52 Best Places in the World to Visit in 2022 by The New York Times.

The Great Transfiguration Project at Sainte-Catherine

Credit: Sinai Trail

Located in South Sinai, St. Catherine’s celestial beauty is unmatched and is famous for being the site of St. Catherine’s Monastery and the pristine Mount Sinai, which dominates its landscape.

Egypt has announced plans to explore the Great Transfiguration at St. Catherine project this year, which focuses on the development of St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The project aims to establish a spiritual sanctuary in the mountains surrounding the Holy Valley and will connect the city to the extended coastal area between the cities of El-Tor, Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab.

The monastery library, which contains the the largest collection of ancient religious manuscripts in the world, is also being restored. This is happening alongside restoration work on the churches inside the monastery, such as the Churches of St. John and St. Stephen. The project also aims to improve the city’s urban environment by creating cycle and pedestrian routes, as well as supporting planting plans for plants such as olive trees.

Village of Deir Al-Maymoun

Deir al-Maymun is one of the few almost entirely Christian villages in the country. It is said that the village was founded by Saint Anthony the Great, who isolated himself after the death of his parents, gave away all his wealth and began to walk east until he reached a small cave higher on the Galala Qeblia mountain near the Deir al -Village Maymun in Beni Suef.

In search of spiritual renewal, far from the hectic life of crowded cities, he decides to adopt a pharaonic temple as a place of isolation. This temple later became the Saint Anthony Monastery.

The village of Deir al-Maymun is surrounded by lush palm trees and spectacular mountain views, offering tourists the opportunity not only to delve deeply into the spiritual energies of the place, but also to interact with the community and understand their religious and cultural values.

Renovation of Jewish Synagogues

Egyptians gather inside the Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue as they wait to break their fast in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt is also currently carrying out a renovation project for the Ben Ezra Synagogue, considered to be the oldest synagogue in Egypt. The temple is known to contain a collection of historical documents known as the Cairo Geniza, which describe the history and transactions of Cairo’s Jewish community from the 11th century to the 19th century.

In 2020, Egypt also reopened the Eliahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria after its restoration. This synagogue is included on the World Monuments Fund 2018 list of monuments in danger, described on the site as “a symbol of the historical plurality of Egypt, when various national and religious communities lived and worked together in a spirit of conviviality and religious freedom”.

Badia Masabani: the force behind modern belly dancing in Egypt


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]]> Karnataka government denies removing chapters on Narayana Guru, Vivekananda from textbooks https://sektinfo.org/karnataka-government-denies-removing-chapters-on-narayana-guru-vivekananda-from-textbooks/ Thu, 19 May 2022 16:05:45 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/karnataka-government-denies-removing-chapters-on-narayana-guru-vivekananda-from-textbooks/

Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh said on Thursday that no chapters on social and religious reformers Narayana Guru, Basavanna and Swami Vivekananda had been removed from textbooks.

The statement came amid allegations that references to Narayana Guru and Periyar, which were present in the chapter of the previous version of a social science textbook, have been removed.

Speaking to India Today, Minister Nagesh said: “This is totally wrong. The book has not been read or seen. Guru, Basavanna and Vivekananda.

According to reports, in the PDF of New Social Science Textbook Part 1 published by Karnataka Textbook Society on its websitethe chapters dealing with social and religious reform movements have been kept concise.

However, the said textbooks are still in the printing stage and have not yet reached the students.

“A party that has governed for 65 years [Congress] should not make such false claims. The manual is still being printed, without reading the chapters, they are making allegations,” he said.

WATCH | Congress criticizes BJP for removing chapter on Narayana Guru from Karnataka’s Class X manual

“They don’t want peace in society. Congress was behind the hijab controversy and now the same group is involved,” the BJP leader said, blaming Congress.

Earlier, Congress leader JR Lobo criticized the BJP for removing a chapter on Narayana Guru from a Class 10 textbook.

Lobo said, “The BJP tries to play politics with small issues and whenever a big issue comes up they ignore it and it’s a dirty trick on their part and we stand against it. We urge government to add Narayana Gurus chapter again. Otherwise a huge protest/campaign will be organized across the state.”

On May 18, the Karnataka government released a clarification saying it had not removed a chapter relating to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh from school textbooks after facing similar allegations.

A few organizations, including All-India Democratic Students Organization (AIDSO) and All-India Save Education Committee (AISEC), had claimed that the Karnataka government omitted a lesson on Bhagat Singh and included a speech by RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in a revised Kannada textbook for class 10 students.

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Shiv Sena protests alcohol ban at J&K – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism https://sektinfo.org/shiv-sena-protests-alcohol-ban-at-jk-jammu-kashmir-latest-news-tourism/ Tue, 17 May 2022 21:38:40 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/shiv-sena-protests-alcohol-ban-at-jk-jammu-kashmir-latest-news-tourism/
Shiv Sena activists protesting the alcohol ban at J&K.

Excelsior Correspondent
UDHAMPUR, May 17: Seeking a complete ban on the sale of alcohol in Jammu and Kashmir, the Shiv Sena Udhampur unit today staged a strong protest and called on the government to focus more on creating opportunities employment opportunities for unemployed young people rather than the promotion of alcohol.
In this context, Shiv Sena leaders also conducted a door-to-door campaign in Udhampur asking the public to be part of this movement.
Led by Udhampur District Chairman Sanjeev Sharma, the Shiv Sainiks demonstrated holding placards with slogans urging the Lieutenant Governor to implement the ban on J&K.
Speaking to reporters, Sanjeev said the land of temples will not be allowed to become the land of liquor.
Alleging that liquor stores have been opened here and there, he said alcohol is not only becoming a means of destroying generations, but besides ruining people’s economy, it harms also to the religious beliefs of most UTAH residents.
Sanjeev said the campaign started by Shiv Sena to make the holy land of Pir temples, gurus, sages and prophets alcohol-free is getting a lot of public support and he is confident that the government will be compelled to implement the liquor ban in Jammu and Kashmir.
Several leaders and workers including Ashwani Prabhakar, General Secretary of Udhampur-Doda, General Secretary Anil Vijay, Vice President Rajesh Khajuria, Youth President Rishap Khajuria, Sanjay Pandita, Vishal Verma, Imtiyaz Hussain, Ajay, Rajinder Singh and Ramesh were present in the demonstration.

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Congress divides Punjab on religious grounds: AAP https://sektinfo.org/congress-divides-punjab-on-religious-grounds-aap/ Sun, 15 May 2022 14:45:00 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/congress-divides-punjab-on-religious-grounds-aap/

Congress divides Punjab on religious grounds: AAP

Chandigarh, May 15 (UNI) The Aam Aadmi party attacked Congress on Sunday following the resignation of former PPCC chairman Sunil Jakhar from the big old party. Speaking to the media with AAP Punjab Chief Spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang at the party headquarters here on Sunday, MP (AAP) Dinesh Chadha said Jakhar’s departure revealed the party’s religion of the Congress and caste-based politics. He was forced to resign from Congress for opposing the Punjab mindset. Chadha accused the Congress of always playing caste and religion politics and dividing the people for their selfish goals. They have always tried to gain power through such polarization of voters. In Punjab too, the Congress played the caste-religion card to divide Punjab before the elections and did not make Sunil Jakhar the chief minister. Despite the support of MPs, he was not appointed CM just because he is Hindu. Sumil Jakhar had to bear the brunt of the same vile Congressional politics, he said. MP AAP said that after winning the elections in 2017, the Congress government did nothing for the development of Punjab for four and a half years. Like Badals, Congress leaders have supported corrupt and mafia businesses in Punjab and made a lot of money. When the public learned the truth about the Congress government, the big old party, in order to mislead the people, played the caste card and made a drama of changing the chief minister. He said that Punjab was the land of gurus and martyrs. The seeds of politics and hatred based on caste and religion will never grow on the soil of Punjab. The people have always taught a lesson, not just to Congress, but to all political parties with divisive policies based on religion. He called on the people of Punjab to be wary of the religious agendas of the Congress-BJP and other parties, so that the atmosphere of peace and brotherhood will always be maintained in Punjab. UNI DB RJ

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When Pasoori dancer Sheema Kermani used the sari and dance to challenge the Zia regime in Pakistan https://sektinfo.org/when-pasoori-dancer-sheema-kermani-used-the-sari-and-dance-to-challenge-the-zia-regime-in-pakistan/ Sat, 14 May 2022 07:55:45 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/when-pasoori-dancer-sheema-kermani-used-the-sari-and-dance-to-challenge-the-zia-regime-in-pakistan/ In Pasoori (i.e. conflict), Coke Studio’s recent Technicolor music video that links India and Pakistan over its Punjabi lyrics and heart-pounding beat, features a dancer, in a large black bindi and a temple border mustard saree. She moves back and forth, pivoting gracefully in an old Karachi haveli, to a melodious jugalbandi between Pakistani Ali Sethi and Shae Gill, in the latter’s debut album. Sethi’s lyrics, inspired by the lines Agg laavan teriyaan majbooriyaan naked (set your worries on fire), which he found written on a truck, is layered with interludes on baglama (a long-necked lute used in Ottoman classical music) and electronic drums and octopads. Sethi and Zulfiqar “Xulfi” Jabbar Khan’s composition, which crossed all borders, has become a worldwide reference and has accumulated more than 11 million views on YouTube in the four months since its release.

The song, which is about estranged lovers and the forces that separate them, could well be a metaphor for the two countries. Sethi had composed it a few years ago, after he was barred from India to collaborate on a project in Mumbai. He knew that music, like all good music, would find its own way. Appearing in the video, Pakistani classical dancer Sheema Kermani has become a symbol of harmony, tolerance and freedom of expression, representing the subcontinent’s composite culture that has paved the way for cultural collaborations despite political differences.

But Pasoori is just a short stop in Kermani’s accomplished artistic life. She is also a social activist, a theater person and leads Tehrik-e-Niswan, a cultural action group that works for women’s movements. “I thought it (Pasoori) would bring some meaning to classical dance and its roots in the younger generation of Pakistan, which I hope she could be drawn to. In Pakistan, parents or families do very little to encourage their children to get closer to the classical arts,” says Kermani, 70, who initially feared being part of a song whose language (Punjabi) was foreign to him, and also because five decades of his human rights work have focused on capitalist societies.

Born into a progressive “military family” in Rawalpindi and raised in Karachi, dancing for Kermani began in the 1960s when the fledgling nation was about to find its feet. She was eight years old when she started learning Western classical music. But Kermani’s mother, originally from Hyderabad in India, who had learned Bharatanatyam, wanted her daughter to discover the vitality of dance. At home, Kermani danced to records by Noor Jehan. At the age of 13, Kermani enrolled in a Karachi-based dance school run by Guru Ghanshyam and his wife Nilima, who had been students of Uday Shankar in Almora.

Execution of dhamal at Sindh’s Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in 2017 following a bomb attack. (Photo credit: Sheema Kermani)

The prospects of a film had brought Ghanshyam to present-day Pakistan in 1952, the film was not made but he stayed back and taught dance. He established the center in 1954 when Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a patron of the arts who would become Prime Minister of Pakistan, attended a performance of Ghanshyam in Karachi. Ghanshyam was Suhrawardy’s neighbor in Calcutta in the 1940s and that’s how the two knew each other. Kermani came to his and his wife’s home in 1964 and learned for two decades, until the early 1980s. General Zia’s military regime deemed the dance un-Islamic and banned it in 1977. The first television program to be banned on PTV was Payal (1978), Kathak dancer Nahid Siddiqui’s show explaining the art form. Later, Siddiqui lived in exile in England, where she taught dance until she returned to Lahore several years later and established an academy.

Before the Ghanshyams left Karachi for Calcutta, Kermani traveled to India in 1983 and enrolled in the dance program at Delhi’s Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. India’s capital felt familiar yet distinctive, Kermani began studying Bharatanatyam under Leela Samson, Kathak with Ram Mohan Maharaj and Odissi with Aloka Panicker and Mayadhar Raut. “Dancing was like freedom for my body, physically and emotionally,” says Kermani.

Pasoori, Pasoori dancer Sheema Kermani, who is Sheema Kermani, Pakistani classical dancer Sheema Kermani, social activist Sheema Kermani, India Pakistan culture, harmony, music, dance, eye 2022, Sunday eye, Indian Express news Sheema Kermani in the 80s, performing the classic Odissi. (Photo credit: Sheema Kermani)

Kermani kept coming back in the 80s; once with a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. “I came to immerse myself in the arts. I had a wonderful time in Delhi. I shared a room with a Bangladeshi girl who was there for classical singing. So sometimes I went to Pt Amarnath classes with her. I knew I wasn’t here forever, so I wanted to absorb whatever I could. I ran to every class I could and attended as many performances as I could in the evenings. It turned out to be the happiest moment of my life,” she says.

In India, wherever she went, she encountered a slight curiosity. Since dancing is banned in Pakistan, Kermani gurus in Delhi would joke if she went back to dancing in her bathroom. “I never encountered resentment from anyone. They taught me with great affection and I always felt this dynamic cultural liveliness,” Kermani says, adding that she now encounters assaults when she talks to people in India.
Her socio-political awakening occurred in the late 1960s, when she was studying fine art at Croydon College in London, and found herself in the midst of a social movement (Summer of Love), resurgence of the movement left-wing politics, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the seminal book Sexual Politics (1970) by feminist Kate Millett. Upon his return in 1979, Kermani founded Tehrik-e-Niswan to organize seminars on domestic violence and Aurat Steps.

Pasoori, Pasoori dancer Sheema Kermani, who is Sheema Kermani, Pakistani classical dancer Sheema Kermani, social activist Sheema Kermani, India Pakistan culture, harmony, music, dance, eye 2022, Sunday eye, Indian Express news In Coke Studio’s Pasoori music video. (Photo credit: Sheema Kermani)

But dancing was not easy. As the only dancer living in Pakistan during the Zia years and having frequented India, she was hated by the government and the men of her country. “When a woman stands up on stage with confidence, is ready to perform and demands respect from the viewer, the message she gives is that this woman is in control of herself, her life and now they can’t control her; that the power transfer is what men find difficult,” she says Kermani, who loved a good challenge. “I wanted to play and do it in a smart way so I wouldn’t get caught or arrested,” she laughs.

Students were always scarce. Kermani, a Pakistani Muslim woman, wore the forbidden sari and a bindi, out of political defiance and for aesthetics. For years, she went from one government office to another to obtain no objection certificates. If she said “dance show”, she wouldn’t understand. The “cultural program” worked. She did not advertise her institution as a dance academy, but said she taught movement classes and eventually used it for protest theater.

“I sometimes performed without the ghungroos (considered haram) because that’s what they had a big objection to,” says Kermani, who improvised to get people dancing. “If I had been a purist, I wouldn’t have been able to do everything. As I took it as a challenge and not as an oppression, I was able to fight it,” she says.

His performance as a Sufi dhamal at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan Sharif, just days after the 2017 suicide bombing that killed 88 people, garnered a lot of attention. “I didn’t want this attack to change anything, so I went dancing there,” she said. The “fundamentalism” of the subcontinent has harmed its cultural environment. “Religious minorities did not feel as discriminated against as today. And there is no other dialogue more impactful than cultural dialogue,” says Kermani, who believes the only way forward is to integrate culture into politics. “The politics of our two countries must mean what it should mean: justice, freedom, equality. And those things can only happen when there’s a conscious cultural shift in people’s minds,” she says.

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This sex-loving Bay Area town is still going strong https://sektinfo.org/this-sex-loving-bay-area-town-is-still-going-strong/ Thu, 12 May 2022 10:01:56 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/this-sex-loving-bay-area-town-is-still-going-strong/

It was also the time when high-level evangelists were pushing for the expansion of human consciousness. Former Harvard Professor Timothy Leary urged young people to take psychedelic drugs and “turn on, listen and give up”. Meanwhile, former self-taught car salesman Werner Erhard promoted an intense seminar program called ESTdesigned to bring about personal transformation.

In 1967, at the intersection of the communes, the human potential movement and the rise of these charismatic gurus, appeared the founder of Morehouse: Victor Baranco.

“Victor Baranco was one of the teachers who came up with a philosophy that helped people realize themselves or reach their human potential,” said Laurie Rivlin-Heller, who knew Baranco in the 1970s when she lived in the Morehouse residences in Oakland and Parc Rohnert. Later, she wrote her master’s thesis on the groupwhich was originally called the Human Capabilities Institute.

Baranco was a former appliance salesman now selling a new philosophy, where the goal, basically, was to remove the self-created barriers between you and what you want. And he was good at pulling people into his orbit.

“You would attend a class that he was teaching,” Rivlin-Heller said. “And he would be able to see you in a way that most people aren’t able to. Not only did he listen, but he watched and he could assess based on your question and maybe a few questions. tracking wherever you came from. It was a unique gift.

Baranco’s group made money selling yards and renovating run-down houses they had purchased. The Morehouse concept was so successful that at one point it had dozens of affiliates across the country, and Rolling Stone reported whom the people of Berkeley called the founder “Colonel Sanders of the communal scene”.

This 1971 article was far from glowing, depicting Baranco driving in a chauffeured limo surrounded by obsequious worshipers who paid money to hear him deliver homemade homilies. Baranco was also quoted as acknowledging that he had been a “scam artist” who made “a lot of money in a sleazy way. Not necessarily illegal, but shady”, including selling fake diamond rings and watches. The article later appeared in a book called ‘Mindfuckers’ alongside a chapter on Charles Manson – not a good look for a township leader.

Rivlin-Heller said the article missed the point of Baranco’s philosophy.

“He put it all out there,” she said. “The introductory course at Morehouse is called the ‘Mark Group’, where you are the mark. So there was no denying that he had organized a commotion, but you were willing, entering the commotion and participating in it. .The ones I know, [they] had a good experience there…and if they didn’t feel they were getting value, they would leave.

Another former Morehouse adherent, Rebekah Beneteau, said she took many classes at the Lafayette property in the 1990s and also lived with her then-husband Marco in a Yonkers, New York , Morehouse. She described her time there as “a truly life-changing experience”.

“I call them the silver lining people,” Beneteau said, “because their philosophy and their approach to life was to always see everything as if it were a gift and their own creation. And how could they? “use? How could they see it as already perfect, including the potential for change?”

One of the main components of the Morehouse philosophy, according to the two Beneateaus, is that a community works best when its women are happy.

Rebekah Beneteau said while the Morehouses clearly had a money-making component, she never felt like they were taking advantage of her.

“I’ve actually been affiliated with a lot more organizations that are a lot more pushy and suck your money,” she said.

So what is sex?

Lafayette Morehouse describes his philosophy as “responsible hedonism”.

“Hedonism is an ethical viewpoint that has the pursuit of pleasure as its highest goal,” the group writes on its website. “People often think that living pleasantly means you don’t care about anyone else. Our experience has proven that if you want to have a pleasant life, you have to make sure that others around you also live pleasantly.”

Much of Morehouse’s hedonistic doctrine seems to involve having better sex. The group currently has nine courses advertised on its website.

Current courses related to sensuality offered by Lafayette Morehouse. (Lafayette Morehouse)

The focus on sex is reflective of the culture at the time Morehouse was founded, Rivlin-Heller said. Baranco, then in his thirties, saw a way for people his age and older to participate in the sexual revolution that was happening around them.

“All these different gurus had different hooks,” Rivlin-Heller said. “Ram Dass was into meditation and chanting and Buddhism. Esalen had a humanistic psychology. So the sexual revolution, I guess you would say, was the hook for Victor Baranco.”

A notorious Morehouse event was a public demonstration in 1976, of what the group claimed was a woman having a three-hour orgasm. (No, I couldn’t find any videos.) And Baranco took advantage of California’s loose post-secondary education standards to turn the township of Lafayette into “More University,” which offered doctorates in the humanities and sensuality, and conducted what the organization said was sexual research. In 1992, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that courses cost up to $16,800. A 1994 profile of the University of the conservative magazine Heterodoxy describes a not very rigorous academic programto say the least, as well as some alleged disturbing sexual incidents, although no arrests or charges were ever made.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Baranco unsuccessfully sued The Chronicle and The Contra Costa Times for libel. Court ruling not safe reading for work: According to court, More University’s advanced sensuality course included research on “engorgement, lubrication, seminal secretion.” He said one of the aims of the course was to “make friends with another crotch”. The university was forced to close in 1997.

Rebekah Beneteau, at least, thinks Morehouse did legitimate sexual research.

“There are many people now who teach [the one-hour orgasm] whether or not they attribute it to them,” she said. “They have a technique that allowed me to get much more into my body instead of always being in my head.”

For a whole hour?

“Not yet, but I’ve reached 27 minutes,” she said.



A Facebook Live video of Lafayette Morehouse discussing their approach to community life and COVID-19.

Fear of what is different

From the 1970s through the early 1990s, Lafayette Morehouse engaged in an ongoing battle with the county and neighbors over zoning issues and code violations, including allowing homeless people to live on the property in tents.

Tim Miller, the historian of intentional communities, said it is not uncommon for commons to be unpopular among local residents.

“It’s a very typical thing that’s happened throughout history,” he said. “There seems to be an instinctive fear in a lot of people of anything new or different.”

Miller said the remaining ’60s communes are “often pretty quiet. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves, even though they get along with their neighbors and stuff. [But] the big problem they have over and over again are zoning laws [that] often prohibit living together.”

Survive the decades

Baranco died in Hawaii in 2002, and since then Lafayette Morehouse has been virtually free of controversy. The great wave of communes of the 1960s eventually dissipated, leaving only a small fraction of the surviving groups.

“A friend of mine, who still lives in one of the 60s communes, said that when their community had a big out-migration in the 80s, he thought some of them just decided they were Republicans, after all,” Meunier said.

It’s hard to say why Morehouse outlasted her peers, but Rebekah Beneteau said Morehouse figured out how to make group life work. During the coronavirus pandemic, the group hosted a webcast where they described the difficulty of living in a close community with so many people during a pandemic. But true to their “silver lining” philosophy, they were looking for ways the experience could actually improve their lives.

Not a bad goal, really.

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SC asks the center to make a decision https://sektinfo.org/sc-asks-the-center-to-make-a-decision/ Tue, 10 May 2022 13:32:56 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/sc-asks-the-center-to-make-a-decision/

The Centre’s shifting positions on who can grant minority status angered the highest court

Center changing goalposts over ‘minority status’ leaves supreme court furious

Supreme Court Tuesday dissatisfaction expressed on the Center taking different positions on the issue of identification of minorities, including Hindus, at the state level and directed it to hold consultations with states on the matter within three months. Changing its earlier position, the Center told the Supreme Court on Monday that the power to notify minorities rests with the Union government and that any decision in this regard would be made after discussion with States and other stakeholders.



The Center had said in March that it was up to states and union territories (UTs) to take a call on whether to grant minority status to Hindus and other communities where they are less numerous. The bench of judges SK Kaul and MM Sundresh said in a case like this that an affidavit is filed that the Center and the State both have powers. “Later you say the Center has powers. In a country like ours, which has so much diversification, we understand, but someone should have been more careful. Before these affidavits are filed, everything is in the public domain, which has its own consequences. Therefore, you must be More careful in what you say,” observed the bench expressing displeasure.

The bench said: “A new affidavit has been filed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs which seems to contradict what was said in the previous affidavit. Something we don’t appreciate. It is now requested that it be found that the question to be decided has deep ramifications Across the country.

“The position has already been taken in the first affidavit. But according to the new affidavit, the power is vested in the central government of identify minorities…This being the position, it is necessary that the exercise be taken by the Center as proposed. List on August 30,” the bench said while looking for a status report three days before the hearing.

“What I cannot understand is that the Union of India is unable to decide What to do. All this thought should have been given before. It creates uncertainty and it’s all in the public domain before we put our eyes on it. This creates another problemthe judges said during the hearing when the Center asked for more time.

The Supreme Court had previously granted four weeks to the Center to respond to a plea, which requested direction for the development of state-level minority identification guidelines, asserting that Hindus are in the minority in 10 states. In an affidavit filed in response to a plea filed by counsel Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaythe Ministry of Minority Affairs said the central government had notified six communities as minority communities under section 2C of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs previously told the Supreme Court that state governments can declare any religious or linguistic community, including Hindus, a minority within the said State. The ministry had also argued that issues relating to the ability of followers of Hinduism, Judaism and Bahaism to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice in those states and issues relating to their identification in as a minority within the state could be considered for the exam. At the state level.

Upadhyay had challenged the validity of Article 2(f) of the National Commission for Minority Education Act, 2004, alleging that it gives unbridled power to the Center and called it “grossly arbitrary, irrational and offensive”. Section 2(f) of the Act empowers the Center to identify and notify minority communities in India.

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The Sikh community of Shediac celebrates the religious holiday with a celebratory parade https://sektinfo.org/the-sikh-community-of-shediac-celebrates-the-religious-holiday-with-a-celebratory-parade/ Sun, 08 May 2022 21:37:53 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/the-sikh-community-of-shediac-celebrates-the-religious-holiday-with-a-celebratory-parade/

The Sikh community of Shediac gathered on Sunday to celebrate the religious festival of Vaisakhi.

Vaisakhi marks the establishment of Sikhism in 1699 and the start of the harvest season.

Prabhjot Singh took part in what he says is the first nagar kirtan in New Brunswick.

The tradition involves a procession of people singing hymns. In this case, they went to the site that will house their future temple.

“It’s a very religious holiday in the Sikh community.” he said as he served free artisan food in the group’s temporary temple.

Prabhjot Singh participated in a nagar kirtan in Shediac. It was held to mark the religious festival of Vaisakhi. (Serge Clavet/Radio Canada)

“Anyone from any religion, caste or anywhere in Canada can come here, sit here, eat here… We help each other because that we’re building a community here,” Singh said.

The principle follows that of is going – or selfless service – a concept embodied by the founding gurus of Sikhism.

The province’s Sikh community hoped to set up a nagar kirtan since last year, but COVID-19 restrictions have prevented it.

The province’s Sikh community had been hoping to don a nagar kirtan since last year but was unable due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Serge Clavet/Radio Canada)

That’s why it was a relief for Navdeep Singh to make the motorcade.

“I am very grateful and excited because everyone in our community wanted [to have a] Sikh temple here where we can worship,” Singh said.

He said it is good for members of the community to come together for a celebration like this, as they share the experience of being immigrants who miss their home.

A procession of people and cars heads towards the site which will eventually house a Sikh temple. A chariot containing the holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, was also part of the procession. (Serge Clavet/Radio Canada)

“A lot of people are moving… The community is growing and there is a need for a Sikh temple.”

Navneet Kaur moved here from Toronto and said the event is a way to remember her culture and bring a sense of community to the area.

“Have the nagar kirtan held in [the Atlantic provinces] is truly a proud moment for me, and I feel like everyone will join in and respect our culture and know more about it.”

Several hundred people from across the Maritimes attended the event.

Vaisakhi marks the establishment of Sikhism in 1699 and the start of the harvest season. (Serge Clavet/Radio Canada)

]]> Breathe at These Hudson Valley Retreat Centers https://sektinfo.org/breathe-at-these-hudson-valley-retreat-centers/ Sat, 07 May 2022 00:32:37 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/breathe-at-these-hudson-valley-retreat-centers/

Adobe Stock / Marcin

Immerse yourself in serene areas of the Hudson Valley as you meditate, learn different techniques, and practice mindfulness.

By Robert Rubsam and Greta Stuckey

Meditation has been part of religious practice for thousands of years, advocated from Athens to Osaka by many philosophers, gurus and teachers. It can also be a useful tool for those looking to calm their mind amid stressful work, relationships, or anxiety. These centers offer meditation for all levels, from absolute beginner to master.

American Institute of Meditation

Averill Park, 518.674.8714

Dedicated to the “science of yoga,” AMI was founded by Leonard and Jenness Cortez Perlmutter in 1996. It offers a specially designed non-denominational form of meditation, which is taught through a variety of special online courses. Currently, yoga, meditation and science labs are taking place on Zoom for public safety. The institute also offers a unique roundtable for physicians each fall. Last fall, the roundtable took place on Zoom as the doctors discussed meditation, burnout and mindfulness in their lives.

Blue Cliff Monastery

pine bush

This Vietnamese monastery was founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh is a Buddhist monk, peace activist and author of books whose The miracle of mindfulness and Peace is at every step. Blue Cliff is nestled in the woods of the southern Catskill region and is home to a thriving community of monks, nuns, and lay practitioners who enjoy meditation practices. Mindfulness days are donation-based for visitors, and the monastery holds about one retreat a month to learn how to cultivate mindfulness.

Chuang Yen Monastery

Carmel, 845.225.1819

Run by the Buddhist Association of the United States, Chuang Yen offers meditation in many traditions. The monastery offers online classes on Zoom, so people can participate in weekly group meditations and weekly reflection sessions. In April, he brought back his online Saturday morning program on meditation and sutta study.

Dharma Drum

Pinewood, 845.744.8114

Located below Shawangunk Ridge, Dharma Drum was founded by Chan master Sheng Yen and is dedicated to the practice of Chan Buddhism. Classes range from free workshops to in-depth retreats focusing on various aspects of Chan practice, including an online Dharma lecture focused on self-compassion. Some of the workshops are online only, while the retreats usually take place in person.

Dharmakaya Wellness Center

Pinewood, 845.640.4593

The Wellness Center is affiliated with the Dharmakaya Institute, founded by Incarnate Lama and PhD of Harvard Trungnam Gyalwa Rinpoche, currently Head of the Trungnam Tibetan Lineage. Rinpoche is a Rime master, having received teachings from the great masters of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dharmakaya Wellness Center aims to fuse Tibetan knowledge with Western understanding, resulting in an accessible practice. Weekend retreats for beginners and initiates take place throughout the summer. Weekly programs such as meditation and self-care workshops are held online and in person.

Garrison Institute

Garrison, 845.424.4800

This non-denominational contemplation center is housed in a renovated Capuchin monastery. Her retreats focus on a variety of topics such as mindfulness, Buddhism, and LGBTQ refuge and care. It also offers weekly programsincluding online guided meditation circles.

Kadampa Meditation Center

Glen Spey, 845.856.9000

The 82 acres of Kadampa include the modern Temple of World Peace dedicated to meditation. Tibetan meditation is offered by a variety of teachers, and a number of personal and group retreats are also available for those looking to deepen their practice. The center offers a variety of events ranging from workshops to overcome anxiety to a guided meditation on world peace.

Kagyu Thubten Choling

Wappinger Falls

The Hudson Valley is home to a number of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, all of which hold their own meditation sessions. KTC organizes daily practices of chanting, Buddhist meditation and Dharma discussions on Zoom. Special events include conferences from dedicated practitioners, as well as prayer sessions scheduled according to the Tibetan religious calendar. Additionally, the space also offers a three-year retreat, aimed at serious students who wish to train in the basic teachings and practices of the Kagyu lineage.

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra

Woodstock, 845.679.5906

This beautiful temple in the mountains overlooking Woodstock is a popular tourist destination, but once the crowds die down and the chanting begins, you might as well be in Dharamsala or Ulaanbaatar. The place offers a number of Tibetan Buddhism courses and has a well-stocked bookstore, as well as a number of electronic books listed on its website.

Linwood Spiritual Center

Rhinebeck, 845.876.4178

Linwood is run by the Ursuline Sisters and so offers a number of unique retreats in their beautiful riverside convent, including guided Ignatian practice retreats, twelve-step programs and a number of all-female programs.

Mahayana Buddhist Temple

Cairo South, 212.925.8787 ext. 110 or 103

South Cairo is home to the oldest Chinese Buddhist temple in the eastern United States. It organizes services, culture, programs, meditations, retreats and Dharma teaching lessons. In its cultural programs, the temple offers calligraphy classes, weekly museum visits and research on Buddhist art. Additionally, the temple plans to hold memorial services for loved ones through memorial plaques and a lotus columbarium.

Menla

Phoenicia, 845.688.6897

Menla has the distinction of being the cultural center of the Dalai Lama in North America and is associated with the House of Tibet. Located next to a creek in the Catskill Mountains, this resort offers yoga, meditation, Tibetan healing therapies, massages, body exercises, and a number of events. It’s a bit more luxurious than the average temple or meditation center, with an associated spa. This is the perfect place for those looking to both deepen their practice and perhaps get an exfoliation. Menla also offers a number of online sessions and events, some of which take place weekly.

Omega Institute

Rhinebeck, 877.944.2002

The Omega Institute’s sprawling campus in rural Rhinebeck is dedicated to all things ethical: vegan meals, sustainable practices, as well as meditation, tai chi and yoga workshops, all with the aim of liberating your spirit and your warmth. In addition to workshops, Omega also organizes retreats, conferences and professional training, both in person and online.

Won Dharma Meditation Center

Claverack, 518.851.2851

Won is, by Buddhist standards, fairly recent – ​​its founder attained enlightenment in 1916. Its tenets focus on the use, rather than atonement, of the mind. Free weekly meditation classes and retreats, such as “Returning to Our Original Mind,” focus on more mindful practices. Examples of events include a Day of Enlightenment celebration, a gentle qigong workshop, and a tai chi retreat.

Zen mountain monastery

Mont Tremper, 845.688.2228

This Western Zen monastery has been thriving since 1980 and is associated with the Zen Center of New York. It offers guided zazen meditation, as well as retreats lasting from a weekend to a month. It also offers a variety of exclusive programs such as zazen and liturgy, sangha practice groups and one-on-one meetings with teachers.


Related: Find Serenity Inside Poughkeepsie’s Secret Himalayan Salt Cave

]]> As Row Kicks Off In TN Over ‘Pattina Pravesam’ Ban, A Look At The Ritual And The Controversy About It https://sektinfo.org/as-row-kicks-off-in-tn-over-pattina-pravesam-ban-a-look-at-the-ritual-and-the-controversy-about-it/ Thu, 05 May 2022 03:54:00 +0000 https://sektinfo.org/as-row-kicks-off-in-tn-over-pattina-pravesam-ban-a-look-at-the-ritual-and-the-controversy-about-it/

A divisional revenue officer’s decision to ban the age-old practice of carrying a pooch’s head in a palanquin during a ritualistic procession has sparked outrage in Tamil Nadu.

The ‘Pattina Pravesam’ rite at Dharmapuram Adheenam in Mayiladuthurai district sparked outrage among rationalists, forcing the RDO to ban the ritual, alleging human rights abuses and public order issues.

The Tamil Nadu BJP claimed political ulterior motives behind the DMK regime banning the religious event, and the 293rd Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal stood up in defense of the ritual, saying it was willing to give his life to ensure the ceremony took place,” according to reports. Back to the controversy and its different aspects:

What is Pattina Pravesam?

Pattina Pravesam, which literally means “entering a city”, is a centuries-old ritual in which willing devotees carry a deity or pontiff atop an ornate palanquin. According to some, the original purpose was to honor the pontiff who arrived in the city, said a report by times now.

The pontiff must be carried in a silver palanquin in the Dharmapuram Adheenam Mutt rite. Following the death of his predecessor, Srilasri Shanmuga Desiga Gnanasambanda paramacharya Swamigal, the current pontiff, Srilasri Masilamani Gnanasambanda paramacharya Swamigal, took over as Dharmapuram Adheenam on December 13, 2019. He was carried on a palanquin to mark his assumption of charge as Pontiff. On December 24, 2019, a similar “Pattina Pravesam” was held at Dharmapuram Adheenam in Vaitheeswaran Kovil, near Sirkazhi.

Dharmapuram Adheenam one of the oldest Shaivate pooches

Meanwhile, Aadheenam is a Tamil word for both a Shaivite pooch and his head. The plural form of the word is Aadheenams.

The event, originally scheduled to be held on May 22, was later banned by the government. Dharmapuram Aadheenam is in the Mayiladuthurai district of the Cauvery delta region and it is one of the oldest Shaivite pooches in Tamil Nadu.

What did the last ban say?

The banning order was issued on April 27 by Mayiladuthurai RDO J Balaji, but he did not impose any restrictions on the ceremony without the seer being carried in a palanquin, a report said. India Time. The ban follows a recent visit to Dharmapuram Adheenam by RN Ravi, the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Following concerns from the Dravidar Kazhagam and other fraternal organizations, the order was issued. The Deputy Superintendent of Police provided the district administration with a summary of warnings from organizations that allowing pattana pravesam would lead to public order issues. The deliberations of the Collector’s weekly law and order review meeting were also taken into account when issuing the restraining order, according to a report by the hindu.

In its restraining order, the RDO cited Article 23 of the Indian Constitution. “Trafficking in human beings and begging [compulsory labour] and other similar forms of forced labor are prohibited and any breach of this provision shall be an offense punishable according to law,” he said.

The Dravida Kazhagam and other organizations reportedly challenged the conduct of Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam Gurumahasannidhanam, a Saivite Mutt based in the town of Tiruvaduthurai in Kuthalam Taluk district, during the month of February, while warning the district authorities against permission for the event.

How did the religious representatives react?

Vaishnayante Guru Mannargudi Sri Sendalangara Jeeyar reacted strongly to the ban, sending a ‘warning’ to ‘Dharmdrohis’ and ‘Deshdrohis’. “Pattina Pravesam is a religious ritual. No one has the right to stop this. It is made by the followers of the pooch. I as Mannargudi Jeeyar admonish these ‘Dharmdrohi’ and ‘Deshdrohi’ for their anti-Hindu works. If they interfere with Hindu beliefs and temples, none of the ministers of this government will be able to walk the road,” he said.

Sri La Sri Harihara Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Swamigal said the ritual was “voluntarily where students carry their guru on their shoulders” and called on Chief Minister MK Stalin to step in and allow it. He compared the ritual to the swearing-in ceremony when taking the oath. of CM. “In this case, this custom should also be prohibited.”

He urged K Veeramani, the head of the Dravidar Kazhagam, not to oppose such religious rites. According to reports, mutt staff say that the custom, which has been followed for hundreds of years, does not have people carrying the palanquin of any particular community and they considered this service to the Lord.

Political opposition to the ban

BJP State Unit Leader K Annamalai said that even under previous DMK regimes, led by late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, the “Pattina Pravesam” event of the pooch Dharmapuram Aadheenam had took place periodically. “Has Karunanidhi banned such events?” he asked. that,” he told reporters here at a press conference.

“This government disrespects gurus and intimidates pooches. The government should abandon this dangerous game,” Annamalai alleged. The authorities’ invocation of Article 23 of the Constitution on forced labor (to ban the event) is not at all applicable to this religious event, he said.

An opinion expressed by a pontiff of a Sri Vaishnavite pooch decrying the government ban showed that Hindu spiritual leaders were hurt by the Tamil Nadu government’s decision, he said while answering a question.

“My call is for Chief Minister MK Stalin to preside over the event and it is his duty. He is the chief minister for people of all faiths. Let him demonstrate that he is secular and respects all religions,” the BJP leader said.

Asked about the political motives behind the ban, Annamalai recalled Governor RN Ravi’s recent visit to Cabot and his convoy being “attacked” and later the DMK alliance parties to the power in this region “speaking ill” of the pontiff.

It was only following such a sequence of events that the ‘Pattina Pravesam’ event (carrying the guru on a palanquin in a procession) was banned by the government, he said. “Everyone knows that there is a political reason in this case. The people question is why the government should intervene in an age-old custom and ban it.”

With contributions from agencies

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