Rabbi Ted Falcon, Ph.D.
Interfaith at UIL Chair
Rabbi Ted Falcon has been a student and teacher of Jewish meditation and Kabbalah for over forty years. With gentleness and humor, he offers unique insight into spirituality while deeply affirming the integrity of each individual being. As part of the Interfaith Amigos, Rabbi Ted explores the frontiers of interfaith spirituality.
Nayaswamis Hriman & Padma McGilloway
Interfaith at UIL Clergy
Nayaswamis Hriman & Padma McGilloway are the spiritual directors for Ananda Sangha in Washington State. Appointed to these roles in 1993 by Swami Kriyananda (founder of Ananda’s worldwide work), Hriman and Padma have guided the spiritual activities of the Blue Lotus Temple in Bothell, WA, the Institute of Living Yoga, the Ananda residential community in Lynnwood, the East West Bookshop, and the Ananda Farm on Camano Island for over twenty-seven years.
Hriman and Padma give approximately one-half of the Sunday Services at Ananda in Bothell as well as specialized classes such as Meditation Teacher Training, Spiritual Counseling, the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, the Second Coming commentaries on the Bible by Paramhansa Yogananda, Raja Yoga and training in Kriya Yoga. We have had many opportunities to share with various groups of like-minded seekers including other Unity churches and at Ananda centers throughout the United States.
The work of Ananda is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, the author of the spiritual classic, “Autobiography of a Yogi.” Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda, was personally trained and commissioned by Yogananda to share the Kriya Yoga teachings and techniques and was especially inspired by Yogananda to found a worldwide network of intentional communities as examples of a new way of life based on simple living, high ideals and cooperation.
Prior to accepting Swami Kriyananda’s invitation in 1993 to move to Seattle to guide the work there, the McGilloways were residents of Ananda Village in California since the 1970’s where they raised their two children.
DINNER WITH OTHERS
It started in a coffee shop in Everett, Washington. Unity in Lynnwood’s then Board Chair Nadine Pierre, Associate Minister Rev. Nina Clark, and Spiritual Director Dr. Richard Loren Held met to give rise to an idea. Central to that idea was the human tendency to fear the other (in any of its countless forms) resulting in a clumsiness at best, or an outright inability at worst, to have meaningful conversation.
And in that clumsiness or inability, the fear goes unchallenged and the chasm among members of a single human family widens.
We invited Rabbi Ted Falcon into the conversation. The author of Judaism for Dummies and a founder of The Interfaith Amigos, Rabbi Ted has worked in the Interfaith world for decades.
And with a healthy nod to the work of The Amigos: It seems that humanity is taking sides, building teams, gathering arms and growing apart - that humanity is creating “others” with unprecedented vigor and animosity.
In our belief that this effective dehumanization of each “other,” whether that otherness is born of race, religion, orientation, gender, politic, age or otherwise, is counter to the very evolution of us as a planetary family, we invite you to join us for Dinner with Others.*
Share a story. Shake a hand. Laugh. Eat. Connect.
*All guests will be asked to check positionality with the attendant at the door. All convincing and converting, all self-righteousness and self-importance, all aggressiveness and argumentativeness can be picked up upon exit, if-desired. Otherwise, leave them. We’ll be happy to dispose of them for you.
The idea was presented by Rabbi Ted Falcon. He suggested that members of the powerful majority – whether that majority status is born of ethnicity, religion, identity, age, class or otherwise – have a very real responsibility to members of the minority.
In a world so marked by resistance and struggle, he suggested that this very real responsibility calls members of the majority to step up and to say, “I’m with them,” in any moment of disregard, diminishment, domination (or worse) imposed upon the minority.
Yes, this means that this very real responsibility calls today’s Christian to don the kippah or the hijab, to step up next to the Jew and the Muslim, and to say, “I’m with them.” This very real responsibility calls today’s straight to don the rainbow or the triangle, to step up next to the gay, the bi and the trans, and to say, “I’m with them.” This very real responsibility calls today’s white to don any of the countless symbols affirming the value of every life, to step up next to the tan, the brown, the black, and to say, “I’m with them.”
We envision a world in which so many members of the powerful majority step up next to their brothers and sisters in every moment of vulnerability, that all discordant sounds of separation are completely swallowed by the ever-rising refrain of, “I’m with them, I’m with them, I’m with them.”
We invite you to join our chorus; join the I'm with Them! Facebook group and/or order your I’m with Them! bracelet here today.