Love for All, Hatred for None

Earlier this month Suzanne Schecter coordinated a small  group of us from the Ottawa Shambhala Centre to attend the annual peace conference organized by Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association of Ottawa. The theme of  the conference was the role of religion in the 21st century.   It was held at The Glebe Community Centre  and it was wonderful to meet so many Muslim women in their graceful hijabs and chadors.  So often the only Muslims we see in the media are groups of smen. Our own Bozica Costigliola was the first speaker. She presented a succinct outline of Shambhalian practice and the goals of our Centre. Our very name “Shambhala” means place of peace. Other speakers included women of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian United Church as well as a Muslim police officer.

We learned a lot about Islam, for example, that there are 73 Muslim sects around the world. It is a religion of peace and submission to God. Our hostesses of the Ahmad Mahadi sect, are led by their fifth Messiah.  Other sects are still waiting for the Messiah to come.

This annual peace conference is a grass root initiative  to facilitate peaceful coexistence of all people in our communities. As speaker after speaker expanded on peace it became clear that it all boils down to peace within each individual and radiates outwards.  Women, as the bearer and rearer of the next generation, play a vital role in the creation of a climate of peace around the world. 

The conference was a good opportunity for our Shambhala Centre to network and reach out to other religious groups in the Ottawa community.