Tuesday, March 5, 2019

International Dialogue

Breaking Barriers and Building Trust


The International Dialogue was organized by IofC India. It was open for all who wanted to experience the IofC and Asia Plateau’s vibes as it has been mentioned by so many IofC networks in particular. The program had the broad theme, Breaking Barriers and Building Trust. It was for 5 days and there were 44 countries represented. This was my first trip to India. Before going, I was sure that I would meet elders and seniors in Asia Plateau (AP) who have been living IofC in their lives. I was so excited and looked forward for the meeting and listening to the stories.

There are two parts that could be defined as the best part of all and covered all sessions throughout the Dialogue; Inner Listening and Listening to Others. I will echo, the quotes from some of the great leaders I met:
Shuresh Vazirani, the president of IofC International: “Lack of happiness is lack of trust, the need of society today is to build trust, and IofC is the most suitable space that can do so.”

Barry Hart, a member of IofC International Council: “IofC can be called pra-academic, a very practical work in academics.”
Dr. Rao – Director of AP: “To work with IofC, you need to believe in the power of people. Dream (something that) impossible! Remake the world just like Frank Buchman, why not have the world governed by man, governed by God.”

Dr. Rao shared about Frank Buchman (the founder of IofC) when he got the calling to start MRA, known as IofC. Once he listened, “You will be used to remake the world”. He was surprised with the voice and could not believe it. It took him 3 days to think and reflect more on that. The other voice was “You will not think of yourself any more, that’s a challenge”. Finally, he obeyed the voice, -- every person he met, he envisioned.

Going to the end of the Dialogue, it was about a Vision for Future. I was trembling and dare myself to stood up and share my vision with the audience. I spoke very emotionally as I could not bear the burning inside of me. My vision was I will continue working to bring healing for individuals and history, so that building trust can happen. I thank everyone who shared their stories and the highlights, and all who helped and organized this event.

Nur Hayati Syafii

India is a special place for me. The people, culture and the aroma; all of them are the support system which helped me to be healed and moved on.
The stories are not just about India, there is a place called Asia Plateau.  When Mahatma Gandhi visited Panchgani, he dreamt that there would be a place called “home” for many people.  Yes, Asia Plateau is a home for me. When last year I did not manage to be in India for the 50th Anniversary of AP because of visa problems, I got a little depression. I applied and paid for a visa 3 times and I always got rejected.  It was God’s destiny that He gave me the best time to come back after 5 years when I did my internship program there. I never gave up to make my dream happened.

This year I applied 6 times for the for e-visa and I always got rejected. I finally decided to go to the Embassy of India in Jakarta and I was successful in getting my visa for India. Thank God now the visa is free, also thanks to our president, Mr. Jokowi! I learnt that God will give us the best time and the best moment we will have in our life. He knows the best and He loves me!

I need time to reflect and share with people who can support me and give me a new insight on my life today. After joining the internship program 5 years ago in India, I had a lot of healing and thought all my problems solved. Yet, it did not happen; the more I continue my life, the problems are heavier and more complicated.  When I fixed my relationship with my parents and friends, I had a problem with my husband, son, my relatives, also with my colleagues. The challenges of life, and with this world, are never ending. I have a problem, each of us has our own problems, but it doesn't mean we will always have the problems.

For me, having a family or not, marriage or not, kids or no kids, life or death, problems will exist, life with IofC or not problems also will exist. I choose to continue my life bravely and to face my present and future with IofC.  I need IofC because I know IofC is the way for my life, we live from one problem to another, learning in IofC is a long journey until the end.

We can create IofC in our life everywhere and we need to meet our IofC friends to listen one to another and to make us stronger by supporting each other.  
Our earth is getting old, the people, nature, cultures, values also fade away but our passion never dies. We must recharge regularly; material things make our spirituality fade.  Meeting people and sharing stories recharges our spirit, energy and spirituality.

Some people I met were my best friends, some people are new friends but the energy is the same as we understand the values and how important inner listening is in our life.

IofC is my support system helping me to live happily and I want to share my happiness to the people in my country and I want to see people change and I want my life to be beneficial for others.  As a Moslem, the hadist said, the best person is someone who is beneficial for others.

There were 44 countries, around 20 languages, costumes, food, accents of English and also listening to many stories of life, a lot of stories of change just made me feel more grateful. I was also glad that I could bring my friend from Peace Generation and also she learnt about life in my workshop in the School of Reconciliation. We can share stories of life and also experiences of life.

I also attended the Sangam conference. It taught me how to have empathy as a global citizen.  Each of us has a challenge, whatever the situation and what we do is to see change in people and community. What we are doing in Indonesia is like outreach, engaging young people, collaborating with other NGOs.

I asked the participants to subscribe to my YouTube Channel as my way to do fundraising. Thank you to all the friends who subscribed to my channel and support me for my peace work in IofC. I will continue the work I started and I will finish when God stops me.

Nenden Vinna Mutiara Ulfa

The journey to Asia Plateau was very special to me. It was like my spiritual trip. On the first day I stood there, it was my 24th birthday. I felt it was a blessing that I could spend days in my young age meeting many inspiring people in the supportive atmosphere through this conference. My team and I in Peace Generation have been practicing inner listening in our daily routines, guided by Nenden and Hayati from IofC Indonesia. I became more excited to practice directly from its sources. It was really amazing to hear people sharing about how inner listening has an important role in their life, from the individual to organization level.

The five-day conference opened my mind about how people from all around the world share their concerns in this mutual problem, the inability to manage barriers that make our world suffer. In IofC, we learnt to understand ourselves and others through listening and serving people. The spirit of empathy is something that I seldom find in other places.

That barrier also exists even in the smallest unit, my family. My parents and I had different attitudes to several things and we argued with other. Through inner listening, I learnt how to perceive my parent’s argument as their love voice in different ways. What I have to do is listen, perceive, and share my own love voices.
After what I had in AP, as a child I want to create healthy relationships and to be full of love for my parents. As a social worker, I would like to care more for people who have not found yet their middle ground with others and who are still locked in by certain barriers, especially their faith and life choices.

Lindawati Sumpena

Breaking barriers and building trust, that is what we did in the International Dialogue that took place in Asia Plateau, India, 26-30 January 2019. This was my first time in AP, and also my first time joining the International Dialogue. I was so excited coming to this place, I knew it would be a very meaningful experience, and it was.

I met cool people who have a lot of experiences, making themselves useful for the world. Here people respect one another and have great initiatives that inspired me. They also have inspiring stories that made me feel more grateful in life. I felt so lucky to have this chance to join this amazing dialogue.

I enjoyed the quiet time sessions that made me realize many things. I knew that true knowledge and thoughts come, not when you build barriers, closing your mind, judging people with differences. It’ll come if you open the doors and windows, like a wind.

From now on, I want to share and spread what I got to my friends in my school. Also, I want more people to see the message of breaking barriers and building trust. I want to make entertaining positive content like posters, or short film on my social media account and that the message will be acceptable in any circle. Thank you everyone for the inspiration and amazing experiences.

Kafa Billahi Kafila