November 13, 2016
Speaker: Paul McCartin "Genetic Engineering and Patents on Life"
Father Paul serves now as the coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Ecology for the Catholic Society of St. Columban in Japan. Born and raised in Australia he was ordained in 1978 and came as a missionary in 1979.
These are an important topics to understand more fully and possibly to take action for our planet's future.
Please invite a friend to come.
We plan a music centered meeting for December 11th that will include our Italian friend (classically trained in Opera as well as popular singing) Emiliano Blasi.
Our September meeting with Nahid Nikzad drew a large audience.
I think we all learned a lot starting with basic information such as that her area in the north of Iran not only has the Caspian Sea but has green rice paddies, mountains and the Fujisan of Iran--Mt. Damavand which you see on the screen behind some of us in the photo i attach here).
We learned much about women (and the present legal system which is indeed repressive since the Revolution which had started with such high hopes for democracy and rights in 1979). We also gained insights into the high standards of education still for Iranian women and how many actually lead their lives in the private as well as public spheres in recent years. A brief discussion about activists and even American counter-productive policies. We ended with a love song (in a positive take on the richness and optimism of Persian culture and people).
Please look for Nahid`s upcoming performances of Persian music.
Contact her for details including sept 16, 7pm cafe near Sasazuka station.
(3) At our Sunday, October 9 meeting:
Michael Berman (PhD candidate in the Dept. of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo).
He spoke about empathetic listening: "Training interfaith chaplains and volunteers for continuing work and service by religious groups in (still hurting) Tohoku."
It was an interesting discussion about practical aspects (and theoretical basis) for "Compassion."
Michael spoke on empathetic listening--"Sharing Suffering--training for interfaith volunteers and chaplains in contemporary Japan. He gave us a brilliant discussion of a group of religious volunteers who organized support for Tohoku victims, who shared training but also faced a difficult problem. Most of the volunteers were Buddhist priests, who have day jobs to keep their temples going. However, because of concerns of separation of church and state, the group was not allowed into many care facilities if they wore their religious costumes or framed their counseling in religious language. They had to agree to approach the counseling as "ordinary people." And the majority of them found that the strain of trying to counsel and console outside of their traditional roles was very wearing, and many needed help themselves within two years.
As always, we had a lively discussion about the implications of this. Thank you Michael.
Blog site apologies. Because of illness and some other confusions, this blog did not give advance of the last two speakers, both of who were excellent. Gomen nasai. I recorded both, and if I can deal with some technical issues may be able to get the recordings up on a private youtube site for members who missed it. I especially would like to get up the recording of our singing Persian music taught and led by Nahid in September.
Chuck, gofer at large