FECCA conference – about

I’m feeling a little like a fish out of water. Not an unusual feeling for me, frankly. But here at a multiculturalism conference, you don’t belong unless you’re an outsider. It’s about the Other: those of a different language, origin, color, religion, gender, body shape….

I’m here mainly as the Buddhist rep for the Australian Partnership of Religious Organizations (APRO). The APRO session is tomorrow, and till then I’ll try to catch up with what’s interesting.

Much is a little boring, to be honest. Not being someone who works in govt. or other service providers for multiculturalism, the specifics of programs and stats don’t mean much to me.

But it’s about compassion: understanding the Other, appreciating their lives and struggles. There’s always something to remind you to extend your mind, to notice a corner of your mind that is closed off, and invite it to open…

It’s easy as a monk to stay in a closed context; to be always the center, to have your words accepted without question, to always be right, to forget the struggles and confusions that beset so many people’s lives. So that’s what I’m looking for: to understand better.

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