Interfaith and Hope in the Time of Covid 19

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Date & Time

Wed, May 13 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

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Interfaith and Hope in the Time of COVID 19

May 13th, 7 pm
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Again, we are preparing for this month’s Solidarity and Compassion Project. For the second time our theme will be “Interfaith and Interdependence in the Time of Covid-19.” This time Rabbi Cohen from B’nai B’rith, Vedanta Temple’s Pravrajika Vrajaprana, Ven. Thepo Tulku Rinpoche and Rev. Dr. David Moore will join is. Alexis Slutzky, Michael Kearney and I will host the evening in collaboration with CLUE and in conjunction with the Montecito Journal. There will be meditation and music.

A few days ago, Michael and I talked with Dr Tsetan and his wife Tsepal, who are great friends of ours from Dharamsala/ India. Dr. Tsetan is the Dalai Lama’s personal doctor. We discussed the COVID crisis and asked the question what might allow some people to get through this time of the pandemic with a strong spirit. Dr. Tsetan even wondered, if strength of spirit may be aiding to us in staying physically and emotionally healthy. I was taken by Dr Tsetan’s question, and it seems that most of us know what is meant, even though Strength of Spirit is not an evidence-based quantity.

When Michael and I thought of Strength of Spirit we thought of someone who has a sense of meaning, a sense of connectedness and belonging, a sense of lightness of heart, a sense of yearning and agency to help others and a deep trust in life.

The questions we want to bring to our panelists are the following: What does strength of spirit mean to you from our background?

Is there a particular practice from within your tradition that supports building that sense of a Strong Spirit? It has been a couple of months that we are under quarantine. The division in our country is not lessening. So far, there is no clear way out. Now we need endurance to keep our spirit strong. We want to ask our panelists also the following question: Can you tell us a story from your tradition about a person, who can give us faith or hope?

Panelists will be:

Rabbi Steve Cohen is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation B’nai B’rith after having been the Executive director of Hillel Foundation of UC Santa Barbara. He is interested in a diversity of views and social action.
Pravrajika Vrajaprana is a writer on Vedanta and a nun at the Vedanta Society of Southern California’s Sarada Convent. She is also a well-known speaker and scholar on Hinduism. Having been born in California, she became an Associate Professor of Literature and was involved with anti-Vietnam war activism. Vrajaprana was a co-speaker with the 14th Dalai Lama at the Interfaith Conference in San Francisco (2006).

The Rev. Dr. David N. Moore, Jr. is an ecumenical teacher and author. He earned his Master’s degree from St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada, and holds a Doctorate in Theology from the University of South Africa.
David and Diane have been married for 40 years and have 5 adult children. His new book is titled, Making America Great Again: Fairy Tale? Horror Story? A Challenge to the Christian Community.

Ven. Thepo Rinpoche is a Tibetan Lama, who was recognized as the 8th Thepo Tulku and trained in the Ganden Shartse Monestary, TIBET.
From 1975 to 1980, he worked at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, and served as a special cultural advisor for the Smithsonian Institution. In 1983, he moved to Northern California, and has worked as Human Right activist for the Tibetan cause. He currently lives in Santa Barbara and is co-founder of the Santa Barbara Tibet Summit.


Radhule Weininger, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, and teacher of Buddhist meditation and Buddhist psychology. She is mentored by Jack Kornfield in her teaching and by Joanna Macy in her interest in Engaged Buddhism. Her book “Heartwork: The Path of Self- Compassion”, with a foreword by Jack Kornfield published by Shambala Publications.

Michael Kearney, MD, is a physician with over 35 years’ experience in palliative care. He works at Cottage Hospital and at Serenity House in Santa Barbara. His latest book entitled “The Nest in The Stream: Lessons From Nature on Being with Pain,” offers an ecological model of self-care and resilience that awakens the desire to act for the welfare of all beings.

Alexis Slutzky, MFT is a mentor, educator, guide and facilitator whose work supports cultural restoration through listening and mindfulness practices, nature connection, grief tending, dream work and community ritual. Alexis holds a Master’s Degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute in depth psychology, is Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University and offers programs, retreats and one-on-one mentoring. She is currently based in Santa Barbara, CA. Learn more


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