Passionate Pluralist, Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness
When DurgaMata began training as a Public Speaker she was invited to give her first signature speech on the subject of "Why I am a Passionate Pluralist" to members of the Quaker meeting in Saffron Walden, where she grew up. But this is only one of many topics which she can speak on. Her main focus is to speak on "Reducing stress and increasing happiness and wellbeing."
DurgaMata has been practicing meditation for some 45 years as a student of Sri Chinmoy, so she can speak with a degree of authority on almost any aspect of religion and spirituality.
She says, “There is no such thing as a ‘Neutral Position.’ We all see the world through the ‘lens’ of our own culture, history and experience. When I am open and clear about my own perspective it empowers others to recognise, explore, better understand and express their own views. This gives them greater clarity and confidence. Then we can learn from each other. That way empathy and mutual understanding can grow.”
“I am a 'Passionate Pluralist.' I claim all religions as my own, so if I speak about an aspect of any religion I do so (informed by collaboration with practicing members of that community) from the perspective of belonging, of being an honorary member of that faith, with all the respect and integrity that such a position requires! I love the following poems which eloquently expresses my own philosophy.”
All religions are part of one God-Tree.
This God-Tree has many branches,
Flowers and fruits.
If you climb up a tree
And rest on a particular branch,
Will the tree be displeased?
Similarly, if you take a flower or fruit,
No matter from which branch,
The God-Tree will be pleased,
For each branch is part and parcel
Of the tree itself.
Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 78, Agni Press, 1983
God the Tree
When I aspire,
I love God the Tree.
When I serve,
I love the branches
Of the God-Tree.
Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 19, Agni Press, 1981