Zen Peacemaker Affiliate
Baltic Center for Contemplative Living
Baltic Center for Contemplative Living
Learning to practice mindfulness and compassion, and developing interfaith dialogue.
Tell us a bit about how your group was concieved
In 2005, together with a group of like-minded people, Lutheran pastor Pavel "Brother Pavels" Levushkan founded the St. Francis Ecumenical Society (SFES) - a brotherhood of christians of various faiths (Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants) and people of different religious traditions, following the path of radical ecumenism. The brotherhood is the heir to the movement "Ecumena", founded during the communist dictatorship by the Latvian artist and poet Sandr Riga. The brotherhood exists to this day and has branches in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Belarus. In 2016, based on the ideas of the brotherhood, the Baltic Center for Contemplative Life was founded to teach meditation and deepen inter-religious dialogue
How many members do you serve? 10
Tell us about one exciting project, program, or other offering you are currently working on.
Every year on August 17, we hold a compassion meditation in the Salaspils concentration camp near Riga. In the spring Marth 25 we carry out walking meditation with compassion in old Riga on the anniversary of the deportations of the Latvian people. School of Contemplative Life is held four times a year online and twice a year offline. Also, representatives of the center conduct seminars, retreats and schools in Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?
Not-knowing helps us to be unbiased and look at the situation in a new way. Bearing Witness makes the heart open and compassionate. Taking Action allows you to commit spontaneous unmotivated acts of kindness. These three principles allow us to touch on the difficult events of the history of Latvia, as well as build a bridge between Latvians and Russians - two divided communities in one state.
What is the most meaningful challenge your organization Faces?
Dialogue and reconciliation between peoples in the post-Soviet space. This is the problem of relations between Latvians and Russians in Latvia, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, other conflicts and problems that divide people and societies. The second question is inter-religious dialogue and the dissemination of the ideas of tolerance and acceptance in the space of the former USSR.
For more information: baznica@gmail.com
Baltic Center for Contemplative Living -
Latvia, Riga