Distress has seized me

Charter for Compassion
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And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord, ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’  So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us (God). (Quran 21: 83-84)

We are wounded and we bear the sorrow of our brothers and sisters in New Zealand. A new wave of terror has passed through yet another country, ending the lives of 49 Muslims who gathered in prayer. We stand in disbelief that still another terrorist act has traumatized us into a state of confusion and hopelessness. We must not let this happen. The massacre that occurred in New Zealand is not an isolated incident, it was not perpetrated by a small group of white-supremacists or white nationalists. It represents a reality in which Muslims live throughout the world. Each of us, must work in our own way, to stop the hatred that is so well planted and grown throughout the globe. We need to continue to use our minds and voices to stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors, whether they live in our community, or in camps in Bangladesh. The Charter created a Islamophobia Handbook a few years ago.  The first section, "Speaking Out and Taking Action," may be very helpful to all of us as we navigate through these difficult times.

To our Muslim family in New Zealand and globally please know that our hearts are open to accept the sorrow you feel in this time of grief.


The New Story Festival. March 29-31, Austin, TX, USA. New Story Festival is a bold experiment for a better world, embodying imagination, spirituality, social action, and playful connection - defined above all by the practice of love.

Believing that “the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better,” the New Story Festival seeks to lead us into a better story – one that encourages growth and liberation, healing and harmony; a story where the downtrodden are uplifted and everyone is included. We will gather artists, activists, teachers, practitioners for spiritual/emotional health & wholeness, along with numerous other social innovators to share their creativity, practices, and stories at a three-day (Friday afternoon to Sunday evening), outdoor festival on the campus of Huston-Tillotson University, right in the heart of historic east Austin and just blocks from downtown. There will be music, art and stories, speakers and workshops, conversations both formal and spontaneous, helping us step into a better story – one with the potential to transform both Austin and the world. Learn more and register.

Education Today, Society Tomorrow: International Conference for Educators on Collaborating for Compassion. May 7-11, Panchgani, Maharashtra, India. Compassion lies at the heart of all world traditions. The teaching of compassion and related skills (like empathy, kindness, gratitude and service) can assist students in becoming more aware of their own emotions and more sensitive to those of others. This increases positive energy and loving actions in the service of the well being of all. The purpose of this Conference is to initiate a culture of Compassion and Collaboration in our schools and colleges so that we can together take positive action towards reclaiming Peace and Prosperity in our nation and the world. Learn more about the conference and registration.

Co-Human Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Divides. Begins March 18. Back by popular demand! Last year (2018) this course (then called Working Together Towards Harmony) attracted nearly three hundred participants from over twenty-five countries. New materials have been added to the course to make it even better. We are proud to offer it again in partnership with Harmony Interfaith Initiative. Learn more and register.

How to Become a Compassionate Citizen. This online course goes to the heart of what it means to live in a modern city and contribute to the greater good. It has been designed to support people in integrating compassion into all aspects of their lives as city dwellers—and to see what can get in the way. Each of us has the possibility to work with our habits and conditioning to find ways of becoming a truly compassionate citizen. This course will take you through the steps we need to take to learn how to realize our own potential and be of benefit in our city. The methods introduced are backed up by scientific research and are a sustainable way of working with compassion. Learn more.

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