Blogs from the May 2018 UK Tour
The Abrahamic Reunion UK recently received its verification as a Charitable Trust. AR UK’s directors, Amanda and Michael Vakil Kenton, organized a series of peacebuilding programs running from May 7th-25th, to address tensions in the UK. Rev. Dr. Anna Less (International Executive Director) and Sheikh Ghassan Manasra (International Director and Ambassador) are joining them on this tour.
Personal Transformation Seminar
May 13, 2018
Today the Abrahamic Reunion spent an amazing time at the Centre for Counseling and Psychotherapy Education: a large charitable organization where over 100 counselors and psychotherapists provide counseling and psychotherapy here in London. The CCPE also serves as the home for the London Sufi Center.
During the day, Abrahamic Reunion International Director, Ghassan Manasra presented a seminar with Nigel Hamilton*, and Rabbi Danny Newman**.
The topic of the seminar was “Personal Transformation from a Muslim and a Jewish Perspective.”
In the seminar Rabbi Danny Newman, who is a Rabbi at the Finchley Reform Synagogue, which has over 2,000 members, led our group in a Jewish Mindfulness Meditation practice taught by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira (1189 – 1943).
Every person in the room succeeded in following the simple three-step process of quieting the mind, concentrating on a sacred phrase, and then using personal prayer to enter a deeply meditative state. All of us who thought these techniques were unique to Buddhist meditative practice were astonished to realize that Eastern European Jewish mystics were doing these practices in the early part of the 20th century. It was a real home-coming experience for everyone in the room.
Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, who besides being the International Director of the Abrahamic Reunion, is also the lineage holder of the Qadiri Sufi Order in the Holy Land, spoke about the effect of color on the body, mind, and spirit, the symbology of color, and the role color can play in restoring harmony and well being.
Nigel, who is the founder of CCPE and the London Sufi Centre expanded on these teachings to demonstrated how dream analysis and the role of color in dreams can be used for conflict resolution.
The seminar’s participants came from all over the world, but were primarily from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian backgrounds. Each one brought an open mind and a willingness to experience the esoteric teachings offered by these three wonderful teachers.
When the seminar was over, many participants, who earlier in the day had shared that they had experienced disillusionment and disappointment because their childhood religions had imposed on them a sense of exclusivity, or superiority, eagerly sought out the teachers, who had openly demonstrated a willingness to be open to the other.
The seminar was a real demonstration of how the Abrahamic Reunion could bring together teachers from different traditions to share and experience one another’s sacred and esoteric teachings, and how that experience can generate trust, love, joy and healing among the participants.
As Rabbi Danny and I said good-bye he said to me, “I don’t know how you came up with the concept of doing this, but it is so important, and so needed in the world.”
Thank you, wishing you Peace, Salaam, and Shalom.