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AVI MEETING in Italy
7 to 14 October 2006
Latest letters and reports from the Meeting
Dear Aurovilians (inside and outside of Auroville),
Recently I attended the Auroville International meeting in the city of Formia, Italy, and I feel that sharing with you my thoughts during and after this meeting is the best way to show my gratitude to all those who gave me a chance to participate.
First of all, the vibration that I felt throughout the one-week meeting made me realise how much our community Auro-ville has an umbilical connection with the rest of the world. And I also deeply felt how much everyone who is concerned about global issues and problems looks to Auroville for a solution. Those people of Formia came to the Olympic Training Hall expecting to find Aurovilians there with a bag full of ‘ideal experiences and solutions’ to solve global problems (and I don’t think I exaggerate).
Auroville, which is not even a dot on the world map, got enlarged in front of my eyes to the size of India, Europe, Austra-lia and the U.S. It became an immense symbol of hope. And when IAC members -- Doudou Dienne and Marc Luyckx --mentioned Auroville’s existence and aims during their talks on global issues, the same figure broadened its wings like a mother chicken that can hold all its chicks under her wings. How much I realised that the world is looking at us.
My God, I was shocked when I then looked at myself and my way of living in Auroville. What does this Mother Kali expect us to create on earth!
Yes, of course, Auroville is not a ready made place with plenty of infrastructure facilities and life can be tough at times, but at the same time we need to look into our behaviour with what we have gotten already from Her!
I reflected on myself regarding the following points:
How did I enter into Auroville? (What were my motivations, aspirations?)
What do I do, and how do I do it? (What is my contribution to the world through my community Auroville?)
How am I going to be governed? (Is our community going to be governed by ourselves? or by any outside agency like a government?)
How do I live? (Number of hours that I work and my involvement in the work. Do I live in an eco-friendly green house? Am I using a non-polluting vehicle?)
What type of actual infrastructure and social services does Auroville supply me with? (Are all our services competent enough to provide everything I need, in quality and quantity, in order to participate in the BIG work?)
How am I going to understand the rest of the world? (Through the National Pavilions that will supposedly radiate the gen-ius of different parts of the world?
What will my kids learn in Auroville? (Are they going to be trained in creating new and innovative opportunities?)
One thing I am clear about is: I am confused. (I have to re-orient myself.)
One thing I am not clear about is: What is my role in this task?
One thing I assume is: MahaKali must have a plan.
With thanks, Shankar.
Blossoming of Ideas at Auroville International meeting
It's my first AVI meeting. I arrive at 10 am during their "cappuccino time", and although I know very few of them, I feel immediately back in my family. They speak my language, talk about our stories in an open space without confrontations, and respect all the opinions. But not only that. Something is building up, almost naturally.
Well what I was expecting from these people? I don't know but, how is it possible to be so involved with Auroville without living there? Yes I was also curious to see all that.
And thanks to Kathy and her sacred stick we experienced what she calls collective intelligence, the space that helps us to talk from our heart and there I feel all the answers to my questions. Their commitment, involvement, actions are like ours, somebody says "you give your hand and Auroville take all yourself" and is so true that we laugh and cry, listening to the heart speaking from each of us and wave after wave we feel the emotion of being together, soul, spirit, body, psy-chic, but as usual the words cannot give you the intensity of the feeling.
The great hospitality of the place gives us the freedom to focus on our work, and while we relish the excellent food we go deeper into some face-to-face discussion, coming to know each other better and better. Marco and Mimmo, like elves, constantly working behind the scenes, looking that everything should move smoothly, from morning to evenings.
Beautiful morning, in front of the sandy bay of Formia, we practice yoga exercises while the sun comes to golden the promontory of Gaeta. Astonished fisherman looking at us taking a sea bath, sparkling, sharp and energetic; beautiful eve-nings listening to Savitri poetry, or live music or simply digging up our life experiences with some friend.
It's amazing to see how prolific are our walks. Following the official or unofficial visits there is a continuous blossoming of ideas and new possible projects. With the arrival of Marc Luyckx the atmosphere becomes even more fizzy and a couple of times I feel the need to stay alone to cool down the mind.
The big day of the meeting with the Formia people and students, gives us a new wave of emotions and contacts. It's so nice to listen Doudou Diene, Sauro, Marc, Shankar and the Major of Formia, but I have to say that what really moves me is the live radio contact with Auroville and immediately after, the speech of the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Em-bassy in Italy, Ms. Shamma Jain, which touches me deeply, so proud, simple and intense it is. She gives the right dimen-sion and prospect to the mood of those present on the scene and in the hall.
How powerful, vast, deep is the idea, the message of Auroville, which is touching so many people, opening so many doors...now we... I have to try to transform all that in facts, actions...well, lets see.
I am writing this on a plane leaving Rome after the AVI meeting thathas just finished in Formia. Julian wrote a few reports throughout theweek which you can read (and see some pictures) on the Aurovillewebsite to get a taste of how this meeting unfolded. On Saturday we had a special day of interaction with the Mayor and residents of the municipality of Formia who invited us for this meeting. Also present were 2 of our International Advisory Council members Dr Marc Luykx Ghisi and Mr Doudou Diene.
They spoke about the emerging global picture which includes the necessity of learning how to genuinely embrace cultural and religious diversity and some of the indicators that society is undergoing in an as yet somewhat intangible, but nevertheless radical and irreversible change in consciousness and value orientation.
Julian Lines and Shankar from Auroville were also part of the panel and we all felt proud to hear them both sharing their experiences and stories which authentically conveyed the ways that Auroville is an experiment attempting to live these spiritual values in spite of cultural and worldview diversity.
In the sharing round which concluded the AVI meeting, everyone
expressed their deep appreciation for the unique experience and the hospitality of our local hosts. There were many references to the value of having Shankar present - he began his relationship to
Auroville as someone who threw stones at the vellakaras and now is a kind of ambassador for the spirit and ideals of Auroville which he has integrated as his own. Having the chance to interact with IAC members, especially Marc Luyckx who had a bit more time with us, gave the AVI members a chance to discuss in more depth how to strengthen the international dimension of Auroville's work in the world and the presence of other Aurovilians (Marco, Shankar, Shraddhavan) was mutually enhancing as it brought a wider Auroville presence and therefore perspective to the discussions while giving these Aurovilians a fuller insight and consequently appreciation for the ways that our international family carry the spirit and further the work of Auroville around the world. For seasoned as well as newer members to the AVI family, it was for all, a very satisfying meeting.
A full report will be available soon.