Embrace Foundation

CURRENT UPDATE

TRAVEL AS AN INTERFAITH ACT



Embrace Foundation Retreat Center
Embrace
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Embrace Foundation is a non-profit,  
educational foundation set up to  
create better understanding  
between people of different  
religions, cultures, traditions and  
world philosophies.

Embrace Foundation works to bring  
leaders and scholars of world-wide  
religions, cultures and philosophies  
together by sponsoring forums,  
seminars, lectures and developing  
an international exchange program.  
Embrace Foundation is particularly  
concerned with reaching the world  
public through the media.
Purpose
Donations
Embrace Foundation is an all  
volunteer organization. All  
donations go directly to programs.

Embrace Foundation does not and  
has never given permission to any  
outside organization to solicit or  
receive contributions on our behalf.

All donations should be made to  
Embrace Foundation only via  
Paypal or by mail. All donations are  
tax deductible. A receipt will be  
emailed to you. Please click on the  
Pay Pal link below to Donate.
Travel As An Interfaith Act
Embrace encourages all who can  
do so, to learn about other  
traditions and cultures by traveling  
as “Grassroots Diplomats.” We  
hope that people every where  
become life long students of our  
world-wide humanity.

“ In every man there is something  
wherein I may learn of him, and in  
that I am his pupil.”
                                  R.W.Emerson
Embrace Humanity

Great Visions - TV
Guests are: Swami Satchidananda &
the Rt. Reverend Dean Parks Morton
Embrace Archives
Limited Editions Gallery
EmbraceFoundationGallery.org
Umrah - Jordan
Embrace Sacred Places
EmbraceSacredPlaces.org
Monastery of Bahira - Syria
Embrace Foundation Universal
Monk Reading - Ethiopia
EmbraceFoundationUniversal.org
Thank you for making a donation.
Embrace Foundation Archives.Org
Virginia (Embrace), Dr.Anwar Barkat (World Council of Churches, UN) & Imam I.H. Kauser
Embrace Foundation Archives. Org
Embrace Archives
Great Visions TV
Embrace Foundation Archives. Org
Anne-Stuart & Ajata (Hosts), with Rabbi Gelberman & Dr.Jayaraman
Anne-Stuart & Ajata (Hosts), with Rabbi Carlebach & Imam Kauser
Embrace Foundation Archives. Org
NEW!: See CURRENT for Kashmir, Ladakh & Siddha Tamil Nadu in July & August   -  Embrace Palestinian Human Rights - See: BULLETIN & Embrace Rabbis & Rebs - See:  FOCUS   -   NEW! Palestinian Christians Urge World Council of Churches to Recognize the Holy Land Government as Apartheid - See: Human Rights   -   NEW! See: Traveling in Singapore 2017 in CELEBRATE HUMANITY  -  See: Traveling in Viet Nam and Traveling in Hong Kong 2017 in CELEBRATE HUMANITY   -   NEW! Traveling in Bali & Traveling in Java in CELEBRATE HUMANITY   -   NEW! Embrace Founders Trip to Indonesia (Bali & Java), Viet Nam, Hong Kong in CURRENT   -   Pentagon's Long Range Plans for Targeting Non-Western Civilians: Possibilities - Pentagon & Non-Western Nations     SEE - the New “State-Of-The-Art” Embrace Sacred Places.Org Website more than 5,000 photos  SEE: The NEW Updated and Expanded EMBRACE FOUNDATION ARCHIVES.ORG  -  The Nature of “Reality” 3 Articles on Quantum Discoveries: POSSIBILITES  - SEE Surviving Propaganda: MEDIA - Articles   SEE Who is Creating Terrorists? - Diplomacy Articles - See Syria before the Bombing  and Destruction of many of the Sights Embrace Foundation has Documented - Christian, Islamic and other antiquities - See "Traveling - Grassroots Diplomacy” in CELBRATE HUMANITY
Indonesia: Bali & Java, Viet Nam, Hong Kong & Singapore (again!)
December 2016 through Mid-March 2017
Pura Beji - Northern Bali, Indonesia
The Embrace Founders traveled from Singapore to Bali, (Indonesia) then by land and ferry to Java,  
(Indonesia) on to Viet Nam, traveling from Ho Chi Min City up to Hanoi and then on to Hong Kong,  
(including Kowloon and Cheung Chau Islands) and from Hong Kong back to Singapore.  Thousands  
of photographs of sacred places and people were taken. After editing they will be categorized by  
tradition and country and entered into EMBRACE SACRED PLACES.ORG website and registry.  
Other photos will be found in CELEBRATE HUMANITY where we give the latest travel information  
regarding the countries the Founders have traveled in along with photos.
As always, the agenda for the trip was:

To meet with religious leaders, spiritual leaders and scholars throughout the  
areas we travel.

To encourage grassroots interest in organizing intercultural and interfaith events  
in their respective communities.

To photograph as a record, places considered sacred by the people living in  
these countries.

To photograph precious anthropological/ archaeological sites that are  
vulnerable to war and ecological damage.

Due to the misinformation, disinformation, fictional and distorted broadcast and print news  dominating the U.S., British and much of European markets, Embrace websites seek to give our readers a more accurate portrayal of grassroots people around the world and a more truthful account of what is happening in Non-Western nations than they normally have access to.
A NOTE ABOUT HOPE

Embrace endeavors to present information that in general is informative and upbeat as much as  
possible. There are times that we have been unable to put aside human rights issues when they  
deal with discrimination or mistreatment based on religion, ethnicity, race, clan, tribe and so forth.  
Embrace also at times of truthful observation must deal with issues of the degradation of earth’s  
environment.

However, we have almost always seen new positive opportunities developing (sometimes  
slowly and very often in the various fields of science) which we include in our stories. Embrace is  
always learning about individuals, organizations, agencies and even governments taking the  
initiative to address tough issues. So we, try to address difficult reports with observations,  
information and contacts of people and organizations or government programs that instill in us Hope.
    Cafe Expresses the Energy & Outlook of Viet Nam 
Philosophy of the Majority of Vietnamese - Cafe in Da Lat
BALI, INDONESIA

Bali’s Charming Young Women Waiting to Enter A Special Religious Festival

Balinese are known as Hindus, but their traditional beliefs, like those of the Javanese Muslims  
permeate both religions thoroughly. On the other hand, traditional beliefs permeate most of Indian  
Hinduism that is not strictly text based (Vedic philosophy) and all religions in general. (Christians,  
think Easter Egg and Christmas Tree; Arab Muslims have many traditional beliefs as well, the  
talisman to deflect the evil eye and Jinns for another)
Balinese Puras are the resting place and home  
for ancestral spirits, nature deities; of the family,  
community and the island, as well as, the  
traditional Indian Gods, Shiva, Ganesha and  
Krishna.

The Balinese people highly value good manners.   
They are relaxed and smile frequently and if they  
aren’t smiling and they catch you smiling at them,  
you will be granted the most heart-warming  
response in the world.
Balinese Father & Son on their Way to Religious Ritual
Balinese padmasana in Monkey Park, Ubud
For More Information about Traveling in Bali, Indonesia
See: CELEBRATE HUMANITY - Traveling in Bali 2017
JAVA, INDONESIA

Uji and Sidik, both Muslims lead inter-
cultural, inter-religious tours in  
Yogyakarta, central Java. They are well  
informed, well educated and helped the  
Embrace Founders to better  
understand the complex breadth and  
depth of Javanese society.  

The conversation stretched on for  
hours and the time spent with Uji and  
Sidik answered many questions for the  
Founders about Javanese culture,  
spirituality, even the small band of  
young demonstrators with Arabic Flags  
the Founders encountered on Marlboro  
Street in Yogyakarta  (few Javanese  
know Arabic) and the possible future  
direction of Java.  (See: Celebrate  
Humanity - Java)
While walking back from a visit to the Sunan Ampel Mosque in Surabaya, Java, (a visit the Founders will remember fondly as they joined in the zikr ith the community) they passed the Kong Co Kong Tik Cun Ong Temple where they heard some unusual voices but didn’t see anyone when they peered in.  Some one called out “Come in!” “Come in!” but we still didn’t see anyone in the dark of the temple. Then before us we saw some little figures moving on a small decorated stage.
It was a rehearsal of a puppet show.  The wonderful puppeteers invited us back stage to meet the  
puppets and the musicians.  It really was magical.  They were so kindhearted and so much wanted  
us to understand what they were doing - so in sign language and a few English phrases they  
explained their story.
Sunan Ample Mosque (Tomb)
Kong Co Kong Tik Cun Ong Temple Puppet Theater- Surabaya, Java
Puppet Show Musicians
For More Information about Traveling in Java, Indonesia
See: CELEBRATE HUMANITY - Traveling in Java 2017
Kong Co Kong Tik Cun Ong Temple -Puppeteer,
Surabaya-Java
The “Spirit” of Humanity is indomitable, never doubt that. . .

Viet Nam

. . . And it seems among others, that the Vietnamese exist in part to prove this point.  What they as a people have accomplished since the war that broke so many hearts in both Viet Nam and the United States is amazing. From the commercial development perspective and as a people who were very much divided, they have banded together in a common goal that has been amazingly successful and is truly admirable.
Books by Thich Nhat Hahn & Others
Ho Chi Min City's beautiful tree lined Book Ally Lined with bookstores, coffee shops
The famous Buddhist Teacher and Peace Activist Thich Nhat Hahn, who lives in France now, is again popular in Viet Nam. (See Photo Above)

Ajata and Virginia spent time at Chua Puoc Hue Monastery, Pagoda -Temple in Bao Loc where our young friend Thich Quang Thien, a monk told us that Thich Nhat Hahn had lived at his monastery for seven years.
Thien giving Ajata some Books on Buddhism
Le Trong Tin, a novice at Chuc Thanh Monastery & Virginia Viet Nam
Chua Long Tho Buddhist Nunnery  Welcoming Mother Abbess in front of Bodhidharma
Le Trong Tin kindly invited the Founders into his monastic cell (room) for tea.  He is active with a Vietnamese Buddhist blog and had us promise to send him photos.  The central Buddha statue in the Chuc Thanh Temple is over 300 years old. Buddhists monks from around the world come to visit this sacred temple
There is a large and vibrant  
Vietnamese Catholic community living  
in Viet Nam. 
Taking the road from Ho Chi Min City  
to Bao Lac there are dozens of  
churches sprinkled  every few blocks.   
Its hard to imagine they can all get  
filled in this rural area.  For  
Vietnamese Catholics, St. Joseph  
with Jesus (Isa) is a favorite devotion.   
Houses with balcony’s facing the  
road, hold large almost human sized  
statues of St. Joseph and the child  
Jesus, Jesus as an adult, Mother  
Mary and so on.  A little further down,  
you’ll see a house with a large  
Buddha and so it goes.
The Beautiful Nha tho Nui Nha Trang- Christ the King Cathedral
For More Information about Traveling in Viet Nam
See: CELEBRATE HUMANITY - Traveling in Viet Nam 2017
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR AMERICANS:
Our Fellow Russian Travelers (in Viet Nam & else where)

Many Russian families love the beach city and resort area of Nha Trang, Viet Nam.  For years Ajata and Virginia have traveled along side of Russian tourists in India, the Sinai, Bali, Java, Viet Nam and Thailand, just to name a few of the places.

Unknown to most Americans and many Westerners, is the fact that there is a very large Russian middle class who travel all over and are very interested in other cultures. They often travel as families, sometimes as couples and much fewer as singles traveling backpacker style. (The backpackers you find in places like Rishikish and McLeod Ganj, India)

When the American Military and the American media and some members of the American Congress hyperventilate about the “evil” Russians we wonder who they are talking about.
The Russians we meet: are fathers whose little daughters climb all over them like a jungle gym thinking that the dad who could get them to such a wonderful beach and out of the snow is the greatest dad in the world.  Or the young wistful, fairy-like woman who looked like she had been raised on the Vladimir Megre philosophy sitting next to us at breakfast with her boyfriend. She was near tears eating a plateful of green spinach while her boyfriend drank a beer.  It did not take a genius to recognize that she was a vegan (who else would eat a plate of spinach at breakfast?)  And her boyfriend  was frustrated he couldn’t find any food for her to eat (Hence, the beer at breakfast.)  Virginia asked her if she was a vegan and she nodded and we told them about an Indian restaurant down the street serving vegetarian/ vegan fare.
A particularly puzzling aspect regarding Russian tourists is the large number of them. While, the Russian grassroots people are constantly being punished with sanctions, especially since the Russian government gave sanctuary to Snowdon, the Embrace Founders see comparatively few United States middle class tourists any where in the world, while the Russian middle class is nearly every where.  In addition, they come from a country with a relatively small population and an exchange rate not comparable to that of the dollar or euro. The Russian people must be doing much better economically than most American, European and Holy Land propaganda units give them credit for.
The Russian grassroots people are just like grassroots people everywhere.
They are not enemies of anyone. 
The the war profiteers, the war politicians, the war media are the enemies of all Humanity.

HONG KONG
Most old traditional Chinese temples in Hong Kong have been destroyed by rampant development.  There are really only a handful left on the island of Hong Kong, with some extraordinary (Buddhist and Traditional) edifices recently built in Kowloon and of course the recent Buddhist one on Lantau island.
Pak Tai Temple - Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island
It should be mentioned here that many traditional Chinese Temples are physically encoded records of history. The statues of “Gods” who were human heroes are people who historically helped their communities. In some cases they saved lives through knowing herbal medicine, in other cases they rescued their people from invading armies.  In short, many of the statues that can be seen in traditional Chinese temples are the method by which ancient Chinese recorded their history for those who could not read or write so that future generations could know about them.  (Does it sound like medieval churches - or how about Egyptian temples?)

Anyone who has attempted to unravel ancient Chinese history knows that it is a near impossible task.  Try reading
“China’s Imperial Past” by Charles O. Hucker from the Stanford University Press.
Alex Tang is the overseer of one old temple dedicated to the God of the Milky Way and the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  Alex took part of his education in Britain, but he wants young Chinese, and those new to Hong Kong to learn about their history and traditions which are embodied in the symbols found in traditional temples   (See: Celebrate Humanity - Hong Kong 2017)
The Embrace Founders visited the Khalsa Diwan Hong Kong (just so happened!) at lunch time. The time of day that the Sikh community around the world give out Langar - (free meals.)  No matter how discouraged we may get about the state of the world,  seeing Sikhs with full hearts preparing and serving meals to strangers, lifts our spirits. Yes, of course, Ajata and Virginia were too happy to join in the delicious meal, which was, (and even in India) is often better than a number of Indian restaurants.
Sikh Pothi Sahib (custodian) of the Granth Sahib (Holy Book) - in the Gurudwara - (Gurdwara)
Volunteers Making Langar - Food Offering for Anyone that is Hungry
Jaspewt, a Sweet Volunteer Standing below a Picture of her Guru
Hong Kong’s religious institutions seem to be lined along one street starting with the Khalsa Diwan and moving past a medical clinic run by the Eastern Orthodox Church, then to a huge currently being renovated Methodist high rise, on to an enormous Anglican high rise with a medical facility to assist the disabled. And across from the Anglican institution is the Pak Tai Temple. 
For More Information about Traveling in Hong Kong
See: CELEBRATE HUMANITY - Traveling in Hong Kong 2017

SINGAPORE

When the Founders arrived  in Singapore, they were greeted by this sign put out by the always enterprising proprietors on Waterloo Street:
For updates on Traveling in Singapore
See: CELEBRATE HUMANITY -Traveling in Singapore 2017