Temple of Understanding celebrating our 60th Anniversary in 2020
FORUM2020 & the Global Interfaith Prayer Service for the Earth are proudly being held on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Temple of Understanding.
World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists, and youth environmental activists come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis with strategies for inspired collective action.
Over forty international speakers will be offering their wisdom and perspectives through keynote addresses, diverse panels, inspiring prayers and sacred music.
*Due to the global pandemic, our event will be held online this year.
Join us online for a morning of prayers, affirmations and contemplations offered by Indigenous and world religious leaders and sacred music by renown international artists.
Are proudly presented by the Temple of Understanding
in collaboration with Marble Collegiate Church, New York City
Chief Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. At the age of 12, he was given the responsibility of becoming the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest ever. He is widely recognized as a chief and the spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.
He is the author of White Buffalo Teachings and a guest columnist for Indian Country Today. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is the founder of Big Foot Riders which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee.
Cheif Looking Horse's prayers have opened numerous sessions of the United Nations and his many awards include the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding, a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultation Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
Film interviews with Arol Looking Horse on spirituality, tribal history, and advice for American Indian youth are a featured part of the documentary film and DVD on the Crow Shoshone Sun Dance entitled Native Spirit: The Sun Dance Way. An illustrated book, Native Spirit: The Sun Dance Way, by Thomas Yellowtail (recorded and edited by Michael Fitzgerald), also features his counsel.
Eda Zavala Lopez is a Peruvian shaman-curandera, sociologist and environmental activist . She is a direct descendant of Wari and Ashaninka People from the Amazon.
In December 2014 she was awarded by the Ministry of Environment in Peru for her profound commitment to Indigenous People from the Amazon Jungle to protect their sacred territories and pristine forests. Eda is also a Cultural Ambassador on behalf of Impact A Village that funds her projects in Peru. Eda is a healer that connects with the spirits of the plants and she is an activist that works to preserve Indigenous knowledge and empower Indigenous People. In the last 10 years Eda has participated in several venues around the US and participated in 2010, 2017 and 2018 at the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues. She also collaborated on Stephan Martin’s book “Cosmic Visions: Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality” (2010)
Oren Lyons is a Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan and serves as a Member Chief of the Onondaga Council of Chiefs and the Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Haudenosaunee Peoples. Oren holds the title of Professor Emeritus at SUNY Buffalo, has a Doctor of Law Degree from his Alma Mater, Syracuse University and Lyons Hall at SU is named in his honor. Chief Lyons is an All-American Lacrosse Hall of Famer and Honorary Chairman of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team. He is an accomplished artist, environmentalist, and author. Oren is also a founder and Principal Partner in One Bowl Productions, a purpose driven film and Television Production Company, located in Los Angeles California. Oren is a leading voice at the UN Permanent Forum on Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples, serves on the Executive Committee of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival, acts as Chairman of the Board for both the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and Plantagon, a world leader in GreenHouse Innovation. Recipient of several prestigious awards including; The United Nations NGO World Peace Prize, the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, The Rosa Parks and George Arent Award for environmental and social activism and recently receiving Sweden’s prestigious Friends of the Children Award with his colleague the late Nelson Mandela. Recipient of Green Cross International Environmental Icon Award 2019.
Grandmother Mona Polacca is a Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa elder. She is the Chair of the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. The elders of this Council come from the Amazon rainforest, the Alaskan Tundra, the great forests of the American North West, the vast plains of North America, the highlands of Central America, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the mountain ranges of Tibet and Nepal, the mountains of Oaxaca in Mexico the desert of the American South West, and from the rain forest of Central Africa.
Mona is representative of the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, a coalition of Indigenous leaders and organizations and others who wish to protect water for future generations. This is a vision from the elders and has the support of 60 organizations globally at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
She is the President/CEO of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program founded in 1986 by Western practitioners and Native American healers to blend the science of psychoneuroimmunology (mind/body/spirit medicine) with indigenous wisdom and practices.
Mona also serves as a member of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders due to her international justice work.
Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocat, is the founder of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (India) and President of Navdanya International. Trained as a Physicist at the University of Punjab, she completed her Ph.D. on the ‘Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory’ from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. In 1982 she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE), an independent research institute that addresses the most significant problems of ecology of our times, and two years later, Navdanya (‘nine seeds’) the movement in defense of biodiversity and small farmers. In 2011 she founded Navdanya International in Italy and is Chairman of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, co-founded with the then President of the Region of Tuscany. Recipient of many awards, including in 1993 the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, and named among the top five “Most Important People in Asia” by AsiaWeek in 2001. Shes is a prolific writer and author of numerous books and serves on the board of the International Forum on Globalization, and member of the executive committee of the World Future Council.
HH 4th Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, (Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche) is the head of the Trungram lineage and one of the highest tulkus of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He has received extensive transmissions of the Nyingma lineages, and teaches in the spirit of the nonsectarian Rime movement. He is also the first incarnate lama to earn a Ph.D. in the West, having completed a doctoral program in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Harvard University. Widely recognized for his ability to modernize ancient Buddhist teachings for today's challenges, he is dedicated to the value of education in bringing wisdom to life. To realize this vision, he has founded organizations throughout Asia and the United States.
Born into a Nepalese Sherpa family, Trungram Gyalwa was recognized by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa, as the 4th Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, the reincarnation of the 3rd Trungram Gyalwa.
Amazon Watch, Divine Shakti Foundation, Earth Guardians, The Faith and Belief Forum, Gandhi Development Trust, Global Interfaith Wash Alliance, Global Muslim Climate Network, GreenFaith, Green Hope Foundation, GreenFaith, Hazon, Impact A Village, Interfaith Power & Light, International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, International Forum on Globalization, International Organization for a Participatory Society, Maisiti Yukayeke Taino, Moms Clean Air Force, Parliament of World’s Religions, Rainforest Action Network, Religions for Peace International, Sioux Nation, The Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council, Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, Turtle Island Project, UN Environment Programme, United Religions Initiative, United Trungram Buddhist Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, World Council of Spiritual & Religious Leaders, Wooden Fish Foundation, World Congress of Faiths, World Future Council, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, Youth Vs Apocalypse, Zero Hour.
SAVE THE DATE FORUM2021
Forum2021 is planned to take place at Marble Collegiate Church on October 15 & 16, 2021 in New York City.
Our Forum2020 speakers will be with us in person next year in New York, we hope you will be too!
The Marble Choir
Marble Community Gospel Choir
Rev. John H. Vaughn
10:05 – 10:10AM EST
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle for the Great Sioux Nation.
10.10 – 10.20pm
Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan,
Member Chief of the Onondaga Council of Chiefs and the Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Haudenosaunee Peoples.
10:20 – 10:50AM EST
Coordinator, Forum on Religion & Ecology, Yale University.
Founder, Green Muslims of New Jersey, Founding Board Member of the Global Muslim Climate Network.
Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley.
President, Interfaith Power & Light
UN Environment Programme
10:50 – 11:00AM EST
Wari, Peru; Anthropologist, Sociologist, Shaman, Environmental Activist; Program Leader, Impact a Village & Rainforest Action Network.
11:00 – 11.10AM EST
Founder, Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (India) and President of Navdanya International.
World-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate.
11:10 – 11:40AM EST
Secretary General, Religions for Peace.
Program Director, Associate Professor, College of Saint Elizabeth.
Diné & Tsétsêhéstâhese Nations; Environmental Anthropology, Stanford University; Co-founder, Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council.
Chair, Parliament of the World Religions.
Shomrei Adamah, Keepers of the Earth, National Jewish Environmental Organization
Former Regional Administrator EPA Southeast Region under President Obama; National Field Director, Moms Clean Air Force.
11:40 – 11:50AM EST
HH 4th Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, (Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche) is the head of the Trungram lineage and one of the highest tulkus of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
11:50 – 12:00PM EST
Hopi, Havasupai, Tewa Nations; Member, World Council of Spiritual & Religious Leaders; President, Turtle Island Project; Member, The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.
12:00 – 12:30PM EST
Co-founder & Youth Organizer,
Youth Vs Apocalypse
Cofounder, Zero Hour
Youth Ambassador World Future Council, Founder & President Green Hope Foundation
Youth Director, Earth Guardians
Founder, Hazon, Jewish Lab for Sustainability.
12.30 - 12.40PM EST
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle for the Great Sioux Nation.
12.40 - 12.45PM EST
Conclusion of Events by Presenters:
Dr. Michael Bos,
Director, Marble Collegiate Church &
Alison Van Dyk,
Executive Director, Temple of Understanding.
Join us online for an afternoon of prayers, affirmations and contemplations offered by Indigenous and world religious leaders
and sacred music by renown international artists.
Join us for the
Universal Prayer for the Earth
that has been creatively written by all of our speakers and prayer contributors this year.
Rev. Dr. Michael Bos
Imam Saffet Catovic
Rev. Fletcher Harper
Rev. Victor Kazanjian
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Eda Zavala Lopez
Chief Oren Lyons
Grandmother Mona Polacca
Rabbi David Rosen
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
Dr. Jyotsna Singh
Rev. John H. Vaughn
Venerable Dr. Yifa
Samir Chatterjee & Steve Gorn
Marble Collegiate Church Choir
Marble Collegiate Gospel Choir
Yungchen Lhamo (photo to left)
Over forty international speakers will be offering their wisdom and perspectives through keynote addresses, diverse panels, inspiring prayers and sacred music at FORUM2020 online