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Meditations on an Island

Interview with Anand Krishna, Founder of the Bali Meditators Conference November 14-16, 2009.

Bali News: Bali, meditation, Anand Krishna, Ubud
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As reported on, Bali will host the First Annual International Bali Meditators Festival in downtown Ubud November 14-16, 2009. [See: Think on These Things]

The creation of Indonesian author, educator and spiritual leader Anand Krishna, the Bali conference will seeks to explore and expand the role meditation plays in the world's great faiths and religions.

The Interview: Anand Krishna

Recently we caught up with Anand Krishna in order to ask him more about the planned conference. Briefly, why are your organizing the First Annual International Bali Meditators Festival?

Anand Krishna: I must say that I have been inspired by Janet's DeNeefe's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. I was impressed not only by her phenomenal success, but by the fact that her efforts help in the realization of our common dream "One Earth, One Sky, One Humankind." This is about bringing people together, people belonging to different walks of life, different backgrounds, different-different-different....

Secondly, this is our response to combating the "spiritual, and holier- than-thou ego." I envision this as a celebration of differences among us. I would like to see this event as a bouquet of different flowers, each adding to the beauty of the bouquet. What role should meditation play in our daily lives?

Anand Krishna: Interestingly, in my mother tongue, Sindhi, meditation is not only a verb, but an adverb. And, it is more often used as such - an adverb rather than a verb.

So, it would be: "Sit meditatively," or even, "eat meditatively," than merely "meditate."

Meditation, or "dhyaana" in sanskrit also means "being attentive," It is how you live, how you behave, - the very nature of your actions, thoughts, and words.

"Sitting in meditation," for however long, means nothing if we do not practice meditation in our daily lives. Therefore, meditation cannot be separated from any aspect of life, be it political, social, economic, religious, or whatever. There's an inclination to believe someone attending such a conference might be "pushed" in the direction of a specific denomination of religious belief. Is that a misconception?

Anand Krishna: To be very honest with you, I would say "yes". I would be lying, if I said "no." It depends though, on how we define the "universal outlook towards life". If such is considered an "ism" and referred to as "universalism," and universalism is considered a denomination, then the answer to your question is "yes."

But, if you do not consider universalism a movement or an "ism," then the answer to your question is "no."”

But, once again, to be very honest with you, whether it is a denomination or not, an "ism" or not" - it if can make us a better person, more loving and caring - then why does it matter?

Meditation can make us value and appreciate the truths found in all religions, all belief systems, and even in the "faith" of the so-called atheists. How can meditation change the world?

Anand Krishna: Meditation does not change the world. Meditation is not even really bothered about the world. I remember reading somewhere, "What makes God laugh the most is when He/She/It hears us making plans about the world."

Meditation, in my opinion, is about changing oneself. If I change, you change, he and she changes, we all change - then the world changes.

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