FDCW’s Executive Director Victoria Coleman looks back at the Big Love Festival

Dear Friends,

Wow! What a week it’s been! My heart feels filled with gratitude and surprise. I had no idea that the presentations would reach so many people. I felt inspired joining each session and hearing presenters speak from their experience and their hearts. Being brave. Being generous. Throughout the Festival, each presenter approached Universal Education (or UE as we often call it) from their own perspective but key themes emerged:

Universal Education is about ACTION not just WORDS….. This came through loud and clear from our Honorary President, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. UE should provide many different ways to help people. Our patron His Holiness the Dalai Lama told us that “Basic human values are the most important factor in helping us face the many challenges from climate change to the gap between rich and poor”.

BLF banner with speakers v2.jpg

We need to understand how our mind works…… Tenzin Ösel Hita spoke at length about this including how he responds when watching world news, how we can better understand how our mind moves and engages with the world. For Ven Carla Pearse we go through most of our life on autopilot and becoming more mindful means we can become proactive rather than reactive, we can be gentle but not passive. Ceci Buzon explored emotional meta-cognition, how our perceptions can trick us and what is our reality. Ven Robina Courtin said the way the world exists is the complete opposite of how we think it does. The potential of the mind is LIMITLESS. Lama Yeshe made you feel it was possible. Lama’s Big Love was hugely inspiring as his student Professor Jan Willis shared.

We can learn from the connection between body and mind….. when that goes out of balance we need to listen. Our intuition can get rusty. Hilary McMichael shared ways for unblocking when we have become stuck – physically, mentally, emotionally. If we don’t feel love for ourself, there is simply no basis for loving anyone else. You can become your own therapist, become your own healer.

Everything is interconnected…. Pam Cayton said that we are all teachers because everything we do and say affects others, we need to embody compassion if we want our children to be compassionate, we need to model it for them. Pilar Maldonaldo and Ceci Buzon shared how the more awareness a child can develop then the more space they can have with their thoughts, feelings and emotions. And the importance of an emotional vocabulary for children, if they can name it then that’s the first step in reducing the power of the emotion, its intensity.

Sharing universal values can break down the barriers between us…… Alison Murdoch, Jane Lewis, Paul Weilgus, Lorena Adame, Anna Colao and Denise Flora spoke of sharing universal values with abused teenagers, the elderly and with families, to address racial bias and in environmental activism. Paul Wielgus and Ros Boughtflower addressed climate change using universal education strategies for creative and very practical solutions while at the same time focusing on what we feel grateful for.

Importance of Community…for Craig Mackie UE is a container for people to share with one another – that’s the real process – the sharing. Connecting with their inner wisdom and connecting with others. UE provides building blocks to allow transformation uncovering layers and layers of conditioning, relationships, suffering. When he leads UE sessions he grounds, connects, lets go and then gathers and reflects the group’s wisdom. Wendy Ridley and Marian O’Dwyer presented a “taster” of the various tools and courses that FDCW has created to share universal values in a practical and transformative way.

I feel there is no way we can transform ourselves and our world unless we do it together. We all need the support, love and inspiration from a community. FDCW is here for you.

FDCW is a charity. We rely on donations. Please consider making a donation today so that we can continue spreading the tools for developing compassion and wisdom. If you enjoyed the Festival, please consider paying it forward. Thank you so much to all those who have kindly made a donation.

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who made the Big Love Festival possible – participants, presenters, moderators, translators, funders and especially our Honorary President, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and our Patron, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

And most important of all – thank YOU for creating this Festival.

With big love


Related Articles