#26 Beyond Culture Wars: Envisioning Civil Dialogue for the Future of ISKCON
Looking at ISKCON, in the post 50 year period, how will we define our culture and the tenor of our conversation with each other and the world? In the culture outside of ISKCON, we see a climate of clashing, divisiveness and the holding of entrenched positions on every issue that leads to dissension and schisms at every turn. We revere Srila Prabhupada’s realized, un-stereotyped, application of the deepest wisdom for every time, place and circumstance. How can we sustain the future of ISKCON by honoring both his written word as well as his personal dealings as the most extraordinary Person Bhagavat? The purpose of this workshop is to transform our interaction and dialogue both within and outside of ISKCON so it can be based on principles of cooperation and honoring the “other”. This workshop will employ interactive exercises to create transformed conversations among us. The foundation of ISKCON’s future will be sustained by conversations based on madhyama and uttama principles of humility and appreciation of all living beings as beloved parts and parcels of Lord Sri Krsna. (BG 4.35)
Rukmini Devi Dasi joined ISKCON in San Francisco and was initiated by Srila Prabhupada in Montreal in 1968. She has served as pujari in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. In 1972, along with a group of artists, she was sent to Mayapur by Srila Prabhupada to learn the art of “putul”, clay doll-making, to create theistic exhibitions which were later established in Los Angeles and Detroit. For twenty-five years, Rukmini and her husband, Anuttama Das owned a business in the Washington, DC metro area called, As Kindred Spirits. This business supported ISKCON Communications and other outreach programs both within and outside of ISKCON. She is currently involved in interfaith dialogue, and leads workshops and retreats teaching Bhakti Yoga. She is the founder of the Urban Devi collective (urbandevi.com). She is a board member of the Bhakti Center in New York City and on the board of directors of Bhaktivedanta College at Radhadesh in Belgium. She is the mother of the kirtaniya, Gaura Vani, and lives with her husband, Anuttama Das in the Washington, DC area.