The Avalon Alliance engages in positive interfaith dialogue to affirm universal human rights and foster mutual understanding through Avalon Unity™. We have also developed our own cross-cultural explorations, Avalon Mystery School, which will offer both experiential and online learning for people of all ages. Avalon’s Love in Action Initiative aims to get our diverse members working together on community improvement causes and compassionate outreach. This Initiative is our world peace and social justice counterpart to the Avalon Stewardship Brigade for volunteer environmental restoration activities.
For millennia human societies have been in conflict over differing interpretations of sacred texts and moral living. At times this conflict has resulted in wars, conversion efforts and inhumane treatment of those who did not follow the same religious practices or political beliefs. There have also been other underlying motives, such as the lust for power, cultural domination and the exploitation of valuable resources from foreign lands. Women, nature, indigenous people and ethnic minorities often suffered the most during these campaigns. In view of these historical abuses, the natural response of many individuals has been to reject religion altogether.
Avalon seeks to help heal the perceptual rift between science, spirituality and human potential. We offer a new synthesis as a bridge that validates both empirical and intuitive ways of knowing. We support authentic varieties of spiritual experience, while gently easing the fear that is at the root of prejudice and fundamentalism. We provide a safe non-sectarian environment to explore world religions and mystical teachings, whether eastern or western, ancient or new age. We also welcome modern agnostics with a scientific or poetic bent who marvel at the beauty of nature and the star lit cosmos.
On our evolutionary path towards unity, we aspire to discover common wisdom and shared purpose. At the same time, we appreciate the rich dimensions of diversity and the special gifts that every scientific discovery and spiritual tradition brings.
Throughout the ages there has been a timeless stream of conscious wisdom called the “Mystery School” that has flowed through all world cultures and spiritual traditions. In the golden eras of human history, this higher knowledge has surfaced and expressed itself in great scientific, literary and artistic achievements. In the darker periods of political or religious oppression, this knowledge has gone underground, kept in secret societies, monasteries and other safe hiding places.
Avalon will offer our community membership in 2020 an exciting, four-part introduction to our ancient and contemporary Mystery School. This introductory course will be taught live by Avalon faculty in Kelowna, BC. While participants can expect to engage in questioning and lively discussion, everyone’s beliefs will be respected. Our future Mystery School offerings will be a combination of experiential workshops and accessible online classes when the World of Avalon interactive platform is launched.
Module 1: Western Philosophies
In the first module, we explore the sacred texts and interrelated teachings of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions. We trace the pathways of ancient Egyptian, Essene, Delphic, Pythagorean, Hermetic, Gnostic Sophia, Kabbalistic, Templar and Alchemical traditions that led to the mystical orders and scientific discoveries of the Renaissance. The wisdom of the West is also reflected in sublime Islamic Sufi poetry, as well as the deep prayer and contemplative writings of Christian monastics and Jewish scholars. The Baha’i faith represents the most recent synchretic religion emphasizing the Oneness of humanity, founded by the Persian prophet Baha’u’llah.
Module 2: Eastern Mysticism
We introduce Eastern mysteries in the second module, such as the ancient Vedas, Tibetan realm of Shambhala, Mayan calendar, I Ching Book of Changes and Taoist philosophy. We delve into understanding the practices of yoga, meditation, mantra and qigong as four great pathways of awakening to the higher Self. A variety of wisdom teachings from the great gurus and masters of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and other Eastern traditions will be shared.
Module 3: Indigenous Wisdom
The third module honors the Earth-based spiritual traditions and ritual life of Indigenous peoples and our ancestors. These practices bring kinship with all life, and awareness of the sacred natural cycles, elements and directions. The study of animal totems helps us understand how spirit is manifesting within our lives, while drumming-assisted shamanic journeys explore multidimensional reality. The Mayan calendar, Aboriginal dreamtime cosmology, prophetic Chiefs and stories of Indigenous elders will also be explored.
Module 4: New Thought Movement
The fourth module covers the initial influence of the British romantic poets and Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society, to early 20th century mystics and philosophers, to the human potential counter-culture of the 1960’s and beyond. Then came the “theories of everything” blending new science, psychology and spirituality, like Gregg Braden’s Divine Matrix and Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory.
Cross-cultural metaphors of the cosmic mystery and human archetypes are discussed through the works of anthropologist Joseph Campbell and psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The ecological crisis spurred further investigations into accelerating planetary changes and the living consciousness of Earth Mother Gaia or Pachamama.
We will discover the microcosm of sacred anatomy and macrocosm of the universe, both of which exhibit subtle energy patterns and multilayered worlds of intelligence. For fun, we will also explore mainstream expressions of magic and mythology like the Harry Potter book series.
Thoughtful people through the ages have asked, “how can we create peace on Earth if we don’t know each other?” Many spiritual prophets and sages in unity consciousness have advised us to “love thy neighbour as thyself”.
Avalon Interfaith Tours is designed for our community members to learn about other cultures and faith groups, and participate in making their region a better place for everyone. We organize educational, experiential tours to different places of worship within the area. Our intent is to help build friendships with people of other faiths and remove cultural barriers through respectful learning and sharing. We support local assemblies and scholarly events for interfaith dialogue, as well as peaceful activism for universal human rights and military disarmament around the world.
Spiritual leaders within our Peace and Fellowship Guild will be engaged in organizing and guiding these interfaith tours. Avalon welcomes invitations from regional churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, spiritual assemblies and indigenous groups to engage with our cross-cultural learning program. Tour participation is on a donation basis, with funds divided between Avalon faculty and operational costs and making an offering of thanks to our hosts. Guild members will also be employed in Avalon Journeys, to lead educational travel and volunteer service to sacred heritage sites internationally.
In the busy cities of the modern world, people often live together as strangers; cell phones and social media cannot replace the heart-nourishing interactions of real relationships. Avalon encourages our community membership to step outside of the usual comfort zones. Whether helping a new immigrant learn language or baking some fresh bread for the homeless person on the corner, there are infinite ways of expanding our hearts in service and increasing our compassion by “walking in the shoes of another”. As the Sufi poet Rumi revealed, “say whom I am, say I am You”.
Avalon’s Love in Action Initiative encourages our community membership to demonstrate the spiritual virtues of generosity and kindness by becoming part of our volunteer task force to confront the realities of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, racism, LGBT discrimination, social isolation, animal abuse and other issues. Our guild leaders and membership engaged in Unity fellowship find creative, practical ways to work together to build a better society and help heal suffering in their own region. Avalon Journeys will also provide members with travel volunteering opportunities in Avalon SHIFT Global Outreach projects.
Avalon’s Peace and Fellowship Guild will be comprised of unity-oriented priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, monks, indigenous elders and other spiritual leaders, as well as community agency representatives, human rights advocates, new science pioneers, intercultural and global studies scholars. The Avalon Alliance creates special fellowship events and interfaith tours for guild members to facilitate programs together, thereby actively promoting human rights, environmental stewardship, multiculturalism and religious understanding in community. Avalon Journeys creates opportunities for guild members to teach and work on an international level.
Local spiritual leaders will encourage their own congregations to actively eliminate racism and discrimination, volunteer in compassionate outreach and join with other cultural groups in helping organize the tours and events. Avalon intends to collaborate with interfaith community and international peace and justice organizations towards its World Centre/ ARC for Humanity vision. We will also bring in some well-known inspirational speakers; as author Gregg Braden says, it is time to bridge “science, spirituality and the real world”.