Sometimes, a simple conversation can change your life.
The Human Libraries Project returns to the Surrey Library this year. Rather than check out a book, you can go to the library and meet your storyteller face to face. Each human ‘book’ offers insight to their spiritual beliefs. By sharing their insights and experiences with you, they promote dialogue, reduce prejudice and encourage understanding.
I had the pleasure of attending this event last year. I was literally swept away by the passion that each ‘book’ had to offer about their beliefs. It offered me a glimpse into an unknown world that I always wondered about, but never took the time to research. What I loved most about it, was how quickly I was able to grasp each individual’s concept of their belief, as well as see how clearly moved they were by their beliefs. I felt so comfortable I was able to ask the questions that I felt afraid to ask in any other context.
I left wanting more.
The Surrey Libraries (Central Branch) has a fabulous line up. You’ll want to sign up. You’ll want to show up.
Date: May 30th
Line up of ‘books’ and topic:
Priscilla is of Chinese heritage, from Hong Kong. She is an Educational Advisor and a Buddhist Nun. She is a Pure Land Buddhist; Pure Land Buddhism is one of China and Japan’s most widely-practiced forms of Buddhism. Priscilla is passionate about her faith as it gives her a clear direction in her life and she loves to share this with anyone who is interested in Pure Land Buddhism. Her other interests are sports, music, and personal growth.
First Nations Spirituality: Troy
Troy is First Nations, from Gitxsan Nation, BC. He is a Surrey RCMP police office, a fully certified chef, a skateboarder, and he is also interested in vintage cars, music and the arts. Troy will talk about First Nations spirituality as a “way of life ingrained in a culture that has been around far longer than any other.”
Acharya is a scholar, poet, writer, and peace activist. He has been recognized globally by government, literary, and faith organizations for his dedication to interfaith dialogue and was appointed Ambassador of Peace by the Parliament of World Religions. Acharya looks forward to sharing the principles of Hinduism and how it has contributed to his wide-ranging experiences.
Interfaith Couple: Carl & Seema
Carl is a Sicangu Lakota Indigenous man, born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, USA. Carl’s people do not have a religion but rather a spiritual way of life. They believe that the Sacred Pipe is at the heart of the Lakota spiritual path. As a ceremonialist, Carl regularly returns to S. Dakota for his traditional work.
Seema is a Sikh woman, born in Delhi, India, and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She is an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The principle of social justice, inherent in Sikhism, is extremely important to Seema.
Both Carl and Seema believe that understanding, sharing, respecting, and celebrating diverse spiritual paths are key factors in shaping the next chapter of the human experience.
Jeff has lived and worked or studied in Canada, USA, UK, Nepal, and Japan. He is passionate about the time-tested wisdom of Judaism and of all faiths that focus on peace, inclusiveness, and compassion. Jeff believes that in order to move beyond fear, communicating with the aim of understanding is essential.
Secular Humanist: Kathy
Kathy recently retired after working for 30 years in the financial industry while her husband was a stay-at-home dad. She has been a foster mother and currently volunteers at a women’s shelter. Kathy realized in her teens that she did not believe in God and came to Secular Humanism about 15 years ago. She finds this belief system, which tries to follow principles based on universal human experience, consistent with her world views.
Marina is a second-generation Canadian whose grandparents were of seven ethnicities. She is a lawyer, a half-marathoner and a member of Surrey/Langley Skeptics in the Pub. Although a Jehovah’s Witness until age 14, Marina is now an Agnostic Atheist. Marina values communication in which anything can be asked and everyone brings goodwill to discussions without judgment or offens