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Synthesis Dialogues

The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) convened the third Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, at the Focolare International Center at Castelgandolfo, in the Roman Hills, situated in the property which is the Summer Residence of the Pope.

The Synthesis Dialogues were inaugurated in Dharamsala, India, in September 1999, at the Norbulingka Institute. Synthesis II was held June 27-July 2, 2001, at the Mariopolis Retreat Center of the Focolare community near Trent, in northeastern Italy.

Project Director is Dr. Barbara Fields, Executive Director of AGNT; co-director in 1999 and 2001 was the late Bro. Wayne Teasdale, Benedictine and monastic in the Sannyasa tradition, a close personal friend of His Holiness who formulated with the Dalai Lama the Universal Declaration on Nonviolence.

The 2004 meeting included approximately 30 participants. We invited recognized leaders from among each of the world’s religious traditions, and representatives of nations most immanently involved in questions of governance, religious violence, and sustainable human rights.

Facilitation by the convening organization, the Association for Global New Thought, aimed at establishing spiritual ethics and radically evolved personal, national and traditional relationships of faith as the ground of our strategic collaborations in the future. The plan was to meet and work for a couple of days as a group, after which we were joined by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Performance arts and music deepened and enriched the conversation of this gathering. Intentional time and space was afforded for meditation and reflection.

All participants were significant leaders in their own right who sense that important breakthroughs are possible only by encountering the creative imagination of their counterparts in other fields. And it probably fair to say that everyone shared an interest in the question of consciousness, itself, in the sense that transformation within the individual precedes any hoped-for impact upon the larger community.

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