Greetings from Florence, Italy.

Much has happened since my last entry.  As I said before, a number of the foremost thinkers and leaders in religion & spirituality and the world peace and planetary sustainability movements are here and I am honored to represent our communities and to share some of my thoughts before them.

I have been very active in all of the meetings here at Awakened World and have had the honor of being a speaker at two plenaries and several other significant presentations.  In my last plenary I proposed that the emerging discussion among these groups and others working in peace and sustainability promoting the concept that "we as humans are all family" is not enough. I shared that what we really need is a new narrative which includes not only us, but all sentient and non-sentient beings and the earth and the universe around us.  I also proposed that that narrative needed to promote the concept that diversity itself and the planet we live on is sacred too.  Otherwise, we'll just join together as one big human family and still destroy our environment and the other life that shares our home. And even worse, without changing our current story, we would still unintentionally promote to future generations that it would be okay to decimate other planets.

The short abbreviated version of the new narrative I proposed went something like this:

No matter what religion or spirituality we follow, or even if we utilize science and logic to consider how our presence came to be, we all still find agreement that there was a beginning.  If that single premise is true, then we (meaning not only us, but including all of the others I've mentioned) all have a common ancestor ... Creation itself, and as a result, we are all family ... with each and every one of us and every aspect of that, carrying a piece of that sacred event.

I pointed out that if we begin first by seeing the sacred in the other and in the planet we call home, many of the challenges we now face will diminish substantially.

Following my plenary, many of the other leaders shared that they will carry that narrative back into their own communities.

I am hopeful that by being here with your support, we have made a difference. 

I am very much trying to break into new ground here where we aren't just trying to make the larger world more aware of who we are and what we believe, or participating in an interfaith project here and there, but rather to demonstrate that we as a community are on the front edge of many of the ideas that can actually lead to a new and better world for all. 

As a result of my participation here at Awakened World, I have now been invited to be a part of an even larger circle of friends and allies, where I feel my input can truly have significant impact on major world problems and events.