Past Highlights

December 12 Global Awakin Call: Rev. Charles Gibbs
Interfaith Peace Building: I’d Like to Help

Charle’s bio on the Awakin site begins like this:

The Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs is an Episcopal priest who, from 1996 until his retirement in 2013, served as the founding executive director of the United Religions Initiative – serving from URI’s gestation to its position as an international network which consists presently of more than 750 cooperation circles (each comprising members of at least 3 faiths or traditions) in 92 countries. As executive director, he worked with thousands of colleagues around the world to guide URI’s growth from a vision to becoming the world’s largest grassroots interfaith network.

During his tenure, URI engaged in a global chartering process, which involved thousands of people, and included the planning and production of five global summits and eight regional conferences. The URI signed its global Charter in June 2000 and now has a global office in San Francisco and regional coordinators on six continents. Their work includes peacebuilding, interfaith education, environmental awareness, human rights advocacy and building social cohesion; and across the globe touches over 2.5 million people each year. The URI is a Non-Governmental Organization with consultative status at the United Nations and was honored by the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations in 2011 for its innovative peacebuilding work.

Complete bio at Awakin Call with Charles Gibbs.

The conversation was moderated by Aryae.

We invite you to check out the audio recording at December 12 Awakin Call.


November 15: 4th Interfaith Wisdom Circle


Opening to spiritual wisdom — a global video conference circle of people who seek to share the sacred and serve the world.

Guest Spiritual Leader:

Swami Vedananda is a senior monk of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, which was founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1900. Belonging to an order of monks of an unbroken, ancient lineage dating back to the pre-BC Vedic period, Swami Vedananda holds a Ph.D. in physics, a compassion quotient that overflows from his heart, and a sense of humor that will fill you with lightness and joy.

More about Swami Vedananda at his Global Awakin Call.


Somik Raha is a “servant leader” with the ServiceSpace community, and a product development leader at SmartOrg, a values-based decision-making software company. He has a Ph.D. in Decision Analysis from Stanford University, where he hosts a weekly Sunday class with Swami Vedananda.

More about Somik at his Global Awakin Call.

We invite you to check out the video recordings at November 15 Interfaith Wisdom Circle.



November 8 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Len & Libby Traubman

Reflecting on the Parliament of the World’s Religions:
Reaching Outward

Len & Libby Traubman are Co-Founders of the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue Group which they started in their living room in San Mateo California in 1992. Today the one-to-one, face-to-face method of conflict resolution modeled by this dialogue group is increasingly looked to globally by educators, researchers, journalists, activists, trainers, and strategists including the U.S. Department of State, which distributes the dialogue group’s instructive films in Africa. You can see more about their activities through the years at Building a Global Community.

They continue to support dialogue and peacemaking in conflict areas around the world. They recently attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they brought together peacemakers from several countries and religious backgrounds. The photos they took, which served as the basis of our discussion, are at

The Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue at the
2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions

We invite you to check out the video recordings at November 8 OWL Global Wisdom Circle.



October 18: 3rd Interfaith Wisdom Circle

Opening to the Universal Wisdom
in Each Others’ Faith Traditions

A global video-conference circle of people who practice different faiths and aspire to “deep ecumenism.”

Guest Spiritual Leader:
Sister Elizabeth Padilla has been a spiritual educator since 1985, as a nun with Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Organization. With her past experience in theater, music, and more than a dozen years in Interfaith work, she is fulfilling her life’s dream by reaching the heart and spirit though songs and service.  She is currently most active with Anubhuti Retreat Center.

Power of Silence

by Shiv Baba through Prajapita Brahma

We invite you to check out the video recordings at October 18 Interfaith Wisdom Circle.



October 11 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Kay Sandberg

Report from Chennai

Founder & Executive Director, Global Force for Healing

OWL Global Citizen Kay Sandberg, Founder & Executive Director of Global Force for Healing, was one of the organizers of the International Development Design Summit, in Chennai India from July 7 – August 1 with associates from around the world. The official title was IDDS Aarogyam. Their mission:

Bring together community representatives, health workers, midwives, students, business leaders, engineers, and designers from across the globe to work together to develop locally-accessible solutions with the potential to strengthen the healthcare system and empower participants in the process.

Through Global Force for Healing Kay brought together healthy birthing activists from several countries to attend. She was also editor of the Summit Blog, where you can read about the activities of the Summit.

We invite you to check out the video recordings at October 11 OWL Global Wisdom Circle.


September 26 Global Awakin Call: Aryae Coopersmith
Raising the Sparks: Retrieving the Hidden Light Around Us

Founder: One World Lights
Author: Holy Beggars: A Journey from Haight Street to Jerusalem

Rabbi Issac Luria, the great Kabbalist who lived in Tzfat in the mountains of northern Israel in the 1500s, spoke about the scattering of God’s light at the creation of the universe to all corners. So what is our job? Rabbi Luria said. What is the job of a human being? It is to find these scattered sparks in all corners of the world, to lift them up, and carry them home.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the great mystic who lived in the Ukraine in the 1800s, in turn said: if you’ve ever experienced a time or place of great darkness, why are you there? It’€™s because that’€™s where the greatest light is hidden. You’re not there by accident. You were sent. Because of all people in the world, you’™re the one chosen to find and retrieve those holy sparks, the ones that are hidden there. You’€™re the only one who can do it. That’s why you’€™re there.

Discussion theme: where in your life have you had the experience of discovering, in the midst of great darkness, the brightest, purest light? What did you do then? How has that affected your life?

Audio recording and transcript are at the Awakin web site.


September 20: 2nd Interfaith Wisdom Circle
Opening to the Universal Wisdom in Each Others’ Faith Traditions

A global video-conference circle of people who practice different faiths and aspire to ”deep ecumenism.”

Our September 20th guest, Dr. Nahid Angha, is the co-founder of IAS (International Association of Sufism) and founder of the international Sufi Women Organization (SWO). The daughter of Moulana Shah Maghsoud, Dr. Angha was the first woman appointed to teach in her father’s school, and later the first woman ever to sit in the inner circle council with Muslim leaders from around the world to lead meditation at the annual Sufi Symposium. In 2000, she earned UNESCO’s “Messenger of Peace” award for her work as a humanitarian leader. An internationally published author, she is one of the major Muslim scholars of the present time with over fourteen published works.

We invite you to check out the video recordings at September 20 Interfaith Wisdom Circle.


August 29 Global Awakin Call: David Bollier
The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. He’s been on this trail for about fifteen years, working with a variety of international and domestic partners. In 2010, he co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally.

His work on the commons takes many forms — as an author and blogger; frequent international speaker; conference and workshop organizer; contributor to book anthologies; designer of courses on the commons; and advisor and strategist. More at About David Bollier.

David’s book The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State, which he co-edited with Silke Helfrich and published with support from the Heinrich Böll Foundation, is a collection of essays from around the world by activists engaged in building various kinds of commons. In their own words:

This growing movement consists of activists fighting international land grabs and the privatization of water; commoners collectively managing forests, fisheries and farmlands; Internet users generating software and Web content that can be shared and improved; and urban dwellers reclaiming public spaces. The Wealth of the Commons brings together the most vibrant strands of this burgeoning international work into a single volume, revealing the significant potential of the commons as a new force in politics, economics and culture…

Our goal in assembling the essays in The Wealth of the Commons has been to showcase the great diversity of voices, types of resources and geographic circumstances related to the commons – and the great political relevance of the commons for our time. The book also seeks to show the range of enclosures of the commons now underway, theoretical approaches to understanding the commons, and specific projects that use commons principles to generate, protect and share resources.

Aryae believes that this book, David’s work in general, and the global commons movement of which they’re a part, give us a powerful context for understanding and actualizing the role of the OWL community.

Consistent with their philosophy, their book is available to browse online at no charge at The Wealth of the Commons. It’s available to purchase at Amazon.

Audio recording and transcript are at the Awakin web site.



August 23 Interfaith Wisdom Circle: Rev. Canon Charles Gibbs
Opening to the Universal Wisdom in Each Others’ Faith Traditions

Initiating Conveners:

Reverend Canon Charles Giibbs
Founding Executive Director, URI (United Religions Initiative)
Nipun Mehta
Founder, ServiceSpace
Aryae Coopersmith
Founder, One World Lights

A monthly global video-conference circle of people from different cultures who practice different faiths and aspire to “deep ecumenism,” with each circle anchored by a spiritual leader from a different faith tradition. Each month we invite our guest to read a brief passage from sacred text from his/her tradition, together with opening comments about how he/she understands this passage. Then we open the circle for reflections from all participants.

Our first guest is also a co-creator, Reverend Canon Charles Gibbs in Maryland. He is an Episcopal priest who is an Honorary Canon at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and Founding Executive Director of URI, whose mission is to promote “enduring interfaith cooperation … to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.” For this circle, Charles read from the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

We invite you to check out the video recordings at August 23 Interfaith Wisdom Circle.


August 9 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Prasad Kaipa
Living & Working at the Interface of Business & Spirituality

CEO, Kaipa Group
Author, Academic, Executive Coach,
Business & Technology Strategist

In Prasad’s words:

“Sage on the Stage”
“Guide on the Side”
“Monk in the Cave”
“Father, Husband, Friend”

Prasad is CEO of the Kaipa Group in California and a frequent speaker in conferences and retreats and co-author of critically acclaimed book From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom published by Jossey Bass in 2013. He works with companies and senior executives in the areas of innovation, leadership development and coaching. He has been a visiting professor at Indian School of Business (ISB) since 2003 and was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change (CLIC) and raised multi-million dollar funding to initiate two research cells–SBI Cell for Public Leadership and Biocon Cell for Innovation Management in CLIC. He was a Smith Richardson Visiting Fellow at Center for Creative Leadership between 2010-2011 and was an advisor to Business FAC of Fetzer Institute (2011-2013). Prasad taught executive education programs organized by INSEAD, LBS, USC, Dartmouth and IIM Bangalore in addition to ISB.

Prasad grew up in a Brahmin family in India and was raised to prepare for a spiritual life in the Brahmin priesthood. Today, with a Ph.D. in Physics and a lifetime of success in the world of global business and technology, he is still anchored in his spiritual inheritance. You can see this in the Kaipa Group logo:

More about Prasad at Prasad Kaipa, Ph.D..

“Six Ways to Be a Wise Leader,” adapted from Prasad’s book Smart to Wise, at Daily Good.

We invite you to check out the recordings and comments at OWL August 9 Global Wisdom Circle.


July 25 Global Awakin Call: Carter Phipps
Evolutionaries: Bridging Individually Creative With Cooperatively Social

Author, Journalist
Co-Founder: Institute for Cultural Evolution

Carter Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement which combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. For the past decade, as executive editor of EnlightenNext magazine, he has been at the forefront of contemporary cultural discourse, and his writings have played a key role in making important new thinking accessible to a wider audience. Phipps is an unapologetic generalist and his areas of interest and expertise range from business and politics to philosophy and mysticism to science and technology. He is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a non-profit social policy institute, whose mission is to bring new insights on the evolution of culture to the arena of politics and social policy.

Audio recording of the dialogue at July 25 Global Awakin Call.


June 13 Global Awakin Call: Deidre Combs
Conflict as a Call to Sing Our Proudest Souls’ Anthems

Author, College Instructor, Consultant, Peacemaker
Columbia University, Montana State University, U.S. State Department

Deidre is also a Global Citizen in the OWL community and was first speaker at the January 13 OWL Global Wisdom Circle, where you can see a video of her opening remarks.

Over the past 20 years she has been facilitating dialogue and providing cross-cultural conflict resolution training after writing three books on that topic. She provides leadership training and coaching for State Department sponsored international activists, teachers, and government and university student leaders.

More about Deidre at her OWL Profile.

Audio recording of the dialogue at June 13 Global Awakin Call.


June 9 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Sulha Peace Project
Israelis and Palestinians Saying “Yes” to Peace

First Speaker:

Yoav Peck, Co-Director of the Sulha Peace Project.

Yoav is an American-born Israeli psychologist who moved to Israel in 1973 and joined the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) reserves. In 1979 he joined the Israeli peace movement, protesting the establishment of settlements in the occupied West Bank. In 1982 he participated in the first Lebanon War and then demonstrated against the war he was fighting. Today he is Co-Director of the Sulha Peace Project.

More about Yoav at his OWL Profile.

Video recording to be posted.


May 12 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Kay Sandberg
From Spiritual Vision to Global Healing

Founder & Executive Director, Global Force for Healing

The vision for the Global Force for Healing came as a transmission from the spirit of Mother Teresa while Kay was at the House of John of God, a spiritual healing center in rural Brazil, in 2001. Though not raised as a Catholic or identifying with any religion, she deeply resonated with the energy and purpose of the center.

One day while meditating, she felt a presence come very close to her right ear. The voice announced itself as the essence or consciousness of Mother Teresa. Kay says, “To this day I can feel that presence, which anchors my commitment to nurture and sustain our organization, to fulfill my soul’s calling, and hopefully, to inspire others.”

Mother Teresa’s message: “You will found the Global … [Force] for Healing. You don’t have to know how to do this or to emulate my lifestyle. Just study and learn from my teachings and you will be guided in what to do.”

Today, the Global Force for Healing, through its Healthy Compassionate Birthing Project, connects grassroots projects involving hundreds of volunteers around the world — in countries including Cameroon, Ecuador, Haiti, Indonesia/Bali, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Uganda — to address maternal & infant mortality, share solutions — and save lives — in underserved areas where there is no doctor.

More about Kay at her OWL Profile.

Videos of the dialogue at May 12 OWL Global Wisdom Circle.

February 10 Global Wisdom Circle: Offuh James Offuh
From Muderous Conflict To Peaceful Dialogue in Cote d’Ivoire

President & Founder, United for Peace Against Conflict International UFPACI)

As humans our highest purpose is to discover, live, and communicate what is needed to achieve a world that functions for the benefit of all life.

Our home is a water planet called Earth, cradled in a universe of beauty, mystery, and unfolding drama.

We now know that everything from the largest galaxy to the smallest particle is part of one unified, whole, interconnected system.

Each of us, individually, is important and unique. However at this moment in history, we are being called to set aside any narrow self-interests and to act with integrity, consciousness, and a spirit of goodwill.

Recognizing our common destiny, we envision a world in which love becomes the prevailing human function, cooperating together with all cultures, races, nations and religions for the benefit of all life.

More about Offuh at his OWL Profile.

Videos of the dialogue at Feb. 10 OWL Global Wisdom Circle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *