From Dr. Hema Pokharna
March 3, 2009
“For Press Release”
Jain Society is preparing for PEACE in Chicago
While Australia prepares for the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Melbourne from December 3 to 9, here in Chicago, the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago (JSMC), in partnership with the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago (CPWR) is preparing for a pre-Parliament interfaith event. The theme of the event is Prepare for Peace: Fostering Interfaith Collaboration for Alternatives to Violence. It will take place at the temple of the Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago, 435 N. Route 59, Bartlett, IL, 60103 (phone: 630-837-1077) on March 29, 2009, from 1 to 6 p.m. The event, which includes dinner, will be free and interactive. All are welcome to attend.
Jainism is a religion and a way of life. Mahatma Gandhi said he was most influenced by his mother and her Jain principles. For thousands of years, Jains have been practicing vegetarianism, yoga, meditation, and environmentalism. The three core practices of Jainism are nonviolence in thoughts, words, and deeds towards all living beings; non-absolutism, or respecting views of others; and non-possessiveness, or the balancing of needs and desires, while staying detached from worldly possessions. Jains hope to share these simple principles and spread them, not as religious tenets, but as timely tools to help us all gracefully ride this wave of violence, depression, and recession.
Dipak Jain, dean of the prestigious Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, will be a featured speaker. Dipak is the guiding force behind this event. He will address issues of the economics of nonviolence and the need for alternatives to violence, if we as a human race are to continue to exist.
Rev. Robert V. Thompson, minister of Lake Street Church in Evanston, IL, and author of A Voluptuous God: A Christian Heretic Speaks— as well as a former chair of the board of the CPWR— will speak on the urgency for and possibility of world peace through alternatives to violence.
Dr. Hema Pokharna, member of JSMC and a trustee on the board of CPWR and Play for Peace has organized this event and has been the inspiration behind this Prepare for Peace Program. Please call program organizer, Dr. Hema Pokharna, at 773-368-1656, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. Please join and be a part of presentations, breakout dialogues, and panel discussions. Enjoy an interfaith cultural program, and celebrate with dances, dramas, skits, rituals, or ceremonies from different spiritualities and faith traditions, with a focus on nonviolence and peace. Listen to a concert of sacred music including songs, chants, music, dance, and drumming to celebrate peace and related themes from the various traditions. Additionally, the hosts will offer a delicious vegetarian dinner and an enlightening tour of the temple.
JSMC will be a pioneer in initiating this Prepare for Peace movement. It has appealed to 70 Jain centers around North America to host this event locally, bringing together people of different faiths to learn from one another and engage in the process of fostering global peace and social justice. With this, we will create a ripple effect that can change the world for the better using nonviolence— the key principle by which Jains live daily. The Jain community plans to have a significant presence at the 2009 World Parliament of Religions in Melbourne in December. It will be an opportunity to inspire many who care about life and living and to empower one another, sharing the wisdom of different religions on alternatives to violence.