KarmaTube: Interfaith Amigos

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KarmaTube: Interfaith Amigos.

On the occasion of the Jewish New Year and the Hindu Ganesha Chautri and Hope for all of us humans to evolve in such a way that we can truly embrace one another as ONE…please do view this video, share it and discuss with others, thanks. OM

[do click the link below the artwork to view the video]

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103 responses »

  1. As a person who often reads the description first in order to get a basic sense of understanding about the article, I was interested to discover that the Interfaith Amigos use humor and compassion to discuss such a serious topic. I find it difficult to understand topics concerning religion and inter-faith collaboration, because I have never embraced any higher spirit, and so it is not easy for me to relate to, but instead I rely on humor to assist me in clarifying. Theatre relies very heavily on comedy and human interaction to make light of serious situations, and perhaps I am used to the means in which this occurs so I understand it better than a more straight, vocal explanation. Humor allows the audience to establish a connection with the performers or the lecturers, especially for children and young adults, because it helps make the subject more interesting. With that being said, I found it easier to pay attention to the discussion at hand, and I feel like I understand the bridge between common points of faith immensely better now.
    Beginning with Rabbi Ted Falcon, I was expecting a different set of rules that we were told to follow, but to act justly, love kindness, and to walk with integrity are ideals that we become aware of from birth. Following after, Pastor Don Mackenzie and Imam Jamal Rahman both speak of unconditional love, and repelling evil with something that is better to change the role of an enemy into a friend. All three faiths are seen as so different, where Imams are leaders of a faith that appears as violent, or Rabbis are viewed as the leaders of the money-hungry, but in the end, we are all searching for only one thing: happiness. However, as all three leaders suggest, we are stuck in a pattern that prevents us from moving forward, and in some circumstances, we end up taking a few steps backward.
    We place such intense emphasis on labels, like Muslim, and words similar to these become second-nature with a violent connotation, and we can’t seem to shake the effect it has over us. However, as Imam Rahman calls both the Pastor and the Rabbi “two of the best Muslims [he knows],” and people react with a laugh, he continues on to clarify the true meaning behind the word. While “Muslim” may hold a negative connotation, it simply means to surrender one’s attachment to the ego, and as we learned from the yama Aparigraha, that only once we release our ego will we reach immortality. Once they changed the view that is associated with “Muslim,” they were able to divert the conversation to inter-faith dialogue, that which assists in breaching the barrier between the particular and the universal. There is no right way to pursue a relationship with a higher power because spirituality is the connection that all beings can form with other human beings through compassion and oneness.
    We as humans are afraid of the truth and the unknown, and often times, we divert our pain through humor as to move away from that which truly scares us. One cannot have humor without pain, and vice versa, because both are completely interconnected, just as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are. While religions are different in many ways, they all desire to follow the same path and establish the same connection with God, and using different religions to further your own is the ideal passage of life. Like Paster Mackenzie states, the cross, while currently a sign of Christian faith, has the power to symbolize the overflowing love that Jesus came to teach to all, not just to those in one part of the world. The making of humanity, whether it be by Allah or God, was purposeful, so everyone can learn from one another, and the world would be a more accepting place.
    Along the same lines of human acceptance, I have discovered that, upon beginning the Isha Kriya, I have formed a strong sense of belonging within myself and my soul. Last week, I had begun completing the Isha Kriya twice a day because I had not had a break to breathe necessarily what with classes and rehearsal from 8:30 in the morning to 11:00 at night. After noticing a very laudable difference in my levels of fatigue and irritability, I began to believe that the Isha Kriya has had more of an effect on me than I originally thought. With that being said, I completely the Isha Kriya 8 times, and I have noticed a severe difference in how I handle different stresses of everyday life. Whenever I do begin to feel some sense of stress, I often take note that it could be because I did not allow myself enough time to complete the practice, and I try and make up for it when I complete the Isha Kriya the next time. I am beginning to believe that, even once the class is over, I will continue to participate in the Isha Kriya, and I will hopefully be able to assist others in changing their lives, as well.

  2. This was one of my favorite homework assignments because interfaith has always been something that held deep importance to me. Due to personal experiences as someone from a Middle Eastern area that once had peace between religions before I was born, I’ve always been deeply saddened by the current warring areas due to religious beliefs. These three men are people I would definitely like to hear more from, especially since they mentioned equality between race, gender and sexualities.

    I was so happy to hear about the part of the Quran that states that if Allah wanted to He could have made all of humanity one community but decided instead to create diversity so that we could see how well we could connect with others. It’s beautiful because if we all shared this belief no madder what religion, we wouldn’t kill each other over perceived slights. He is right in saying that sometimes the institution of religion makes this belief difficult to hold. Not only because (if you belong to a major religion) you are constantly being told that your religion is the one divine truth and anyone who doesn’t correspond with your belief set is to be damned, but because institution benefits from this belief.

    Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend why each of us belonging to a major religion believes that we were born with this great divine privilege of being that specific religion and others simply weren’t born good enough. It is such an egotistical thought that it’s almost difficult to understand why some would even want to believe such a thing. Especially since there are so many similarities between the religions and most of the hateful parts of our religious literature were written by those who were working in special self-interest.

  3. The video is very eyeopening to see how there is relation between all religions and faiths. Our world is so quick to divide others based on their religion and there has even been wars fought over it.Even today people are discriminated against because of their faith. I always thought it was confusing how there are so many different versions of Catholics and Christians when they all believed in the same God. This video goes to show that there are common points to all faiths. Fighting on religion does more to divide us as each religion believes their are right and “only” their way is right. Religion should be a way for us to bond and be together, not apart.

  4. This video featured the group “Interfaith Amigos” who are a group of three men who are of different religious views discuss the ways in which they are able to be friendly and understanding of each other despite their differing religious views. They say that the root of all of their religions is love and that they find common ground in knowing that they all want the same thing: to be rid of all evils in the world and to feel and give love. The three share a story about a man who does not like cheese sandwiches, but he is the one who is making his own sandwiches. The meaning of this story is that if there is something in your own life that you dislike you should find a way to go about changing it. The three feel that through interfaith collaboration there can be serious progress made on moral issues in our world today. They say that there is not one specific way to be correct about religion, that there is not one group of “chosen” people. They say that through spirituality one can achieve enlightenment but it does not matter in what way you worship.

  5. In addition to my previous post here, this week I have done the Isha Kriya 5 times. I have noticed it becoming easier with time and now I am beginning to not think about doing the Isha Kriya and it has become more of a routine for me.

  6. This TED Talk begins, quite appropriately, with a nod the an age old joke set-up: A priest, a rabbi and an imam walk into a bar…From there, differently punchlines are filled in. The three men sit on satge, and just the sight of them evokes laughter, for everyone has heard some iteration of this joke. What is interesting, however, is that they play into this laughter. They understand the comedy of the situation they have presented their audience. How can a TED Talk be conducted by three people who study and preach the word three most dominant and contentious religions in the world? The answer, is that they are attempted to represent a kind of interfaith dialogue because so much of the world wars and strife have come from our inability to understand eachother’s faith.

    The priest begins by saying that it is a mistake, and a grave one, to believe that any one religion is ultimate. Coming from a man who preaches the words of the New Testament, and given that so many who believe in God and Jesus believe it exclusively, it is refreshing to hear spoken words of camaraderie. Spirituality is and should be inclusive. Yet to truly engage with people from other religions, it is important to address that which is taboo in each, including the fact that so many religions practice–however inadvertently– exclusivity. The imam makes the point that God chose to create diversity so that one might get to know someone different.

    I find this TED Talk to be very refreshing to watch. As a person who has never followed any major religion, I have often found myself looking for something greater than myself. I strive to find meaning and connections in my everyday life, for I truly find the world to be beautiful and magnificent place. However, I have been raised in a time of religious strife that goes beyond the Islamaphobia that has run rampant post 9/11. People have been losing faith in the world, and those who d cling to their religions do so in a manner that excludes all other ways of thinking. It is unhealthy, and I have always been turned off to the idea of converting to one religion or another. However, this talk was a pleasant reminder that,, even some of the leaders of the world, are working towards tarting a dialogue that will produce love and not hate. across religions.

  7. To start off, I enjoyed the humor of the Interfaith Amigos. It eases you into their presentation which touches upon the widespread topic of the connection between the faiths. The top three contenders being Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Those three faiths in particular have been at each others necks for centuries. In other words, seeing these three men, each one representing one of those three religions, stand together and do so using humor here and there, it’s refreshing. Not only is it refreshing, but it’s well needed. Especially if you take a look at what is happening between Israel and Palestine; there is so much hatred and violence being transferred within the holy land. The same thing goes for the Crusades. Endless war and mistreatment toward the other religion. It’s unnecessary but what is necessary are those who are from all faiths standing together.
    Each of them shared their faiths with one another; they rejoiced in their beliefs and their very spiritual being. Religious union is absolutely needed in this world and if it were unanimously feasible, there would most likely be widespread peace. At the beginning of the TED Talk, each of the Interfaith Amigos read from their spiritual scriptures. Each of the sections that the 3 chose to read from their separate scriptures all had the same theme: to live life through unconditional love. This is skipped over by so many because the majority is “stuck in [their] patterns of behavior”. At this point, what has been normalized in their lives is engrained. It’s hard to undo. But the gap must be bridged. Compromises must be made in order for peace to be at large.
    Falcon, Mackenzie and Rahman have dedicated their lives to bringing those of all faiths together. Being religious does NOT mean being against progression; these 3 men are an example of this. Effective collaboration between the faiths would result in more action being taken in the light of the issues that face our world. We need to work together because no ONE person or separated group can progress without the help of others. We need each other. The differences between everyone and each religion does not have to be sacrificed in lieu of working together. Instead, they shine even brighter and with friends by their sides. The inconsistencies must be acknowledged as well and discussed in order to move on as a whole. The inconsistencies are the things, in each faith and opinion, that require progression as times are constantly changing. And change should be welcome.

    This week I practiced the Isha Kriya 5 times. I’ve been doing it before I go to bed in hopes of getting a more peaceful sleep.

  8. What a wonderful video- enlightening, and present in a time of need. The interfaith amigos are admirable. In an age where differences can let us decide weather or not we interact with someone, I find this ted x event inspiring. I myself was not raised in a religious or spiritual household, and am not familiar with having a feeling of preciousness towards that aspect of life. I do however, hold many of my beliefs closely, and understand that in order to function properly in society and optimize my experience, I must accept those who have opposing views.

    It is hard to consider opposing views when you are not able to comprehend the other opinion. The interfaith amigos found similarities among their faiths, which produced conversation and bonding. In turn, they were able to apparently broaden their knowledge on faith.

    This past week’s been very difficult as we have had to digest the fact that a very hateful person will be running our country. Particularly difficult has been understanding how people could appoint him into such a position. Watching this video helped me in understanding a possible approach to people with opposing views. I have to approach them with humility, understanding, and hope, disregarding how frightened or discouraged I may be.

    • Please continue to listen to your heart, find supportive resources like this video to insulate and protect your thoughts during this challenging time. We all will get through this together if we daily fortify ourselves and speak our truths collectively, Namaste

  9. This was such a striking video. It sends the message that love transcends any one doctrine, and belongs to the inhabitants of the earth. Love is not meant to be given out like an allowance, but more to be felt on a constant basis, for it is ours to feel. The gentlemen discussed the theme of stuckness: how being too caught up in an ideology causes you to cause harm to others, sometimes inadvertently.
    Stuckness can create airs of in-groups and out-groups, hate, violence, shame, etc. As simple as that term is, stuckness, it can cause a world of trouble. It can further the notion of separation, and keeping others oppressed or at bay. I appreciate the level of simplicity this group dedicated to this topic. It is so easy to understand why they have decided to team up, without pushing their ideas on the viewing audience. They simply make an observation, and aim to educate.
    I grew up in a traditionally Christian household, without much room for anything else. My grandmother was an observer of some Jewish customs, but the Bible was her law. I saw that like many of the members of our church, had a dislike of Catholicism. They described them as “half-truths,” and didn’t agree with the place the Pope held. I never took on these beliefs, and it’s very interesting to see how those age old memories have a place in this journal entry. There is so much separation. There is so much distrust. It is a little disheartening to know that many of us may never get to mending of ideologies as in the video. We may continue to see the degree of separation go higher and higher.

  10. Religious leaders like the ones in this video give me hope for a future where we find peace in the shared meaning, rather than specific nit-picky differences.
    I was raised Jewish, I believe we were fairly secular, although we did celebrate the major holidays, go to temple on the high holidays. I am the first and only female to be Bat Mitzvahed, in our family which is easily 80% female, and I’m possibly the least religious of us all. I was constantly bullied in school by kids who were taught by their parents that I am going to hell and they need to try and save me. So I, the only Jew, became best friends with the only Muslim. We taught each other about our religions and traditions and found that She and I fundamentally believed the same things. She had a very small girl scout troop run by her grandmother, and I joined. Then My mom took over as troop leader along with a few other moms, and our troop grew.
    We were a very diverse group with girls who’s families came from many different cultures all over the world. Out Troop leaders/parents made sure that we all learned about each other’s heritage and beliefs, which led to very successful community service projects and participation. Most notably, we built a great float for a Holiday parade. We made the front page of a local newspaper for our float, which was the only float in the entire parade that featured holidays other than Christmas. We had sections devoted to different seasonal holidays representing each girl’s family heritage and everyone was encouraged to dress as they would for their own family traditions. As diverse as we were, we all wanted peace and friendship and acceptance and understanding.
    A group of girls ages 5-15 understood each other, and had a comprehensive grasp of what the Interfaith Amigos speak about in their TED talk.
    I spent 7 years in girl scouts. I’m older now and my experiences have shaped me. I no longer believe in the existence of a higher being, although I value my Jewish ethnicity. I still believe that everyone is born good, and that everyone is capable of respect and understanding what a group of adult religious leaders from different faiths, and a group of 15 little girls could so easily take to heart.

    • So wonderful your experiences from a small girl having the courage to make friends with someone outside your faith, and that your Mother and other parents continued to support your multicultural friendships! I loved reading about the Float your group created…..young people like yourself are the hopes for a brighter future for yours and future generations, thank you!

  11. This video mainly focuses on how patterns of behavior can be detrimental to people coming together in different cultures and religions. In relation to the ego, and how it can determine how people operate, due to what they want. When you begin to segregate other groups because of their beliefs, you find yourself in an ignorant world. Most religions have the same basic principles of kindness, unconditional love, and compassion, they just go about it in different ways with different customs. So why the barriers? Why the judgement and segregation? All we need to do is communicate, connect with them and understand them. When you make snap judgments due to ignorance, nothing is solved. We need to stop and think, be aware of the ego, what we and others want, and how to get there, without hurting someone in the process. Granted, it is not easy to grasp someone else’s view if you are taught to go against it, but that is why, you need to pause you thoughts, your ego, and understand. Be mindful, be kind, be considerate, and we can have a different world.

    -Sophia

    Mondays 6:30-9:50

  12. Interfaith Amigos

    These three religion: Judaism, Catholicism, and Hinduism share wisdom of their spiritual traditional.
    They mentioned how they stuck on behavior patterns which prevents people believe religion coexist.
    The priest mentions about true interfaith that involves moral issues in the communities. There is confusion between the particular and universal. There are many global conflicts that deals with violence, homophobia, racism, sexism, equality, justice and greed. Spiritual interconnections are with all being. Sharing the teachings of traditional, oneness, compassion, and love will truly engage communities.

    As a catholic, the cross is a symbol of unconditional love real that Jesus came to teach.
    Sometimes I find it hard to get along with my neighbors and people surrounding me in the church community. Even after church mass, people are just cruel and insolent. It does not even seem they listened or followed. Most of them that I accounted are judgmental; therefore it is a challenge to connect with them heart to heart. With interfaith it is about fullness of a human being. “It’s all one, I am as I am.”

    Note: The painting used in your blog is very lovely. Mr. Randy has a way to express dynamic connection with cultural, color, and history.The different medium used in the painting are experimental. His body of work can be read in different sections.

  13. Watching “Karmatube: Interfaith Amigos” made me ponder how stuck we are in our own patterns. People, myself included fear of all things different than what we know which results in our need to create our own self stability. The speakers discussed having true interface dialogue as a way to open a conversation up about religious believes and the morals that come into play. This concept is a crucial and progressive way to talk about global politics. If more collaborations such as the one between these men happened, less wars and social disturbances may occur. The men talked about how all spiritual path is essentially is apart of a larger path and we should not to blame another but rather open up a dialogue. Also that spirituality is inclusive, we must share with each others the issues with own religious practices. Openness to other cultures, religions and moral codes is something I have felt is a large issue with the presidential race. People refuse to talk to others about politics based on who they are voting for. If this country promotes its freedom of speak, we should use it with openness instead of hatred. They also bring up how laughter is a tool to diminish our egos, comedy is always equilipse hope. One man discussed a passage in the Quran promotes connect from heart to heart, I found this to be crucial to the audience’s understanding of his culture by presenting something that diminishes stereotypes they may have. The group also talks about how religious institutes are the core reasoning of complicating things, which I believe was brave but intelligent to present.The overall inspiration i found from this TED Talk was by collaborating with people of different cultures and religions then you we can share and work towards achieving common goals.

  14. This was one of my favorite assignments this semester for our yoga class. I really enjoyed this video and how they chose to use humor and love to tackle such serious topics regarding religion. Their main goal is inspiring, which is choosing to actively listen and talk to those with different opinions, cultures and religions in order to work towards common goals more effectively and from a better place.

    One key element of this idea was the concept of Universals vs. Particulars. When a religion decides that its particulars outweigh the universals, that’s when complications and strife divide people. The universals are the most important aspects that can join us together to fix the problems of this world through systems of love, hope, and encouragement. Not fear, or hate. We must openly talk about the differences that lie between cultures, and work towards resolving the issues that deeply plague society because they exclude certain groups and people. The touchy subjects of homophobia, gender equality and violence that we so often avoid or become angry about are things that we could just communicate and work on if we came together. Religious institutes can interfere with these goals and often set us on the wrong track.

    “Its all one and I am, as I am.”- I loved their “theme song.” We are all connected, we are all the same, please accept me for who I am because it is simply who I am. We must come together.

    The main universal goals are meant to inspire love, faith, forgiveness and hope. Together we can come together to work on those goals and break free of the false religious institution and rather find community and connection with one another in spite of adversity and embrace diversity.

  15. Through all the readings, listenings and videos I have encountered this semester for my yoga journals, this is definitely one of the most humorous ones and it made me chuckle here and there. I found it quite fascinating how the three men in this video teach. Instead of being stern and old fashioned they are playful and comical to display the difference in understanding and the typical focuses of all faiths. Even though they are getting laughter and a pleasant response from the people, the three individuals also spoke about oneness, unconditional love, and compassion. This reminds me of an activity I participated in in an acting class a few years ago. In this lesson my teachers were acting as if they were a celebrities. Although the point of the activity was to make fun of celebrities and overexaggerate their trypical traits, they were trying to enforce to us the concept of the true meaning of ourselves and to look deeper behind the exterior of certrain people. The video made me conclude that it is important to be open to experiencing and interacting with people that come from different backrounds and have different values and beliefs by looking beyond an unfamiliar force and creating unity for progress in our journey for self awarness and conciousness.

  16. This video highlights one of the biggest problems in our world today. Each religion is so isolated, yet their similarities are incomparable. Even though they are saying different things, they are saying the same thing…only in a different way. It’s a communication problem.
    The three men in the video admit the difficulty of communicating, but the rewards of attempting communication between people that “shouldn’t” communicate according to society. After 9/11, they tell a story about how the tragedy affected their appreciation for “interfaith dialogue.”

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