North America URI member offers participatory trip to India

This July, one of United Religions Initiative’s Global Council members, Jaya Reinhalter, and her associate Jessica Martin will be leading a dynamic trip across the Indian sub-continent designed to help participants feel a part of the greater reality and not just a viewer from the outside.

“Journey India, as the trip is called, is an annual three-week journey developed out of our mutual desire to facilitate the transformational learning that takes place when we step out of our comfort zones and deeply engage in unfamiliar cultures or terrains that posses opportunities to both challenge and heal us,” said Jaya.

Through Journey India, Jaya and Jessica seek to organize journeys of intent, connection to inner self, reflection, relationship, dialogue and discovery. This year, they have curated a trip that will include a variety of powerful stops including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mountain villages and sacred destinations, but the real treasure will be in the way they participate in the diverse communities they visit.

Jaya and Jessica lead a similar Journey India trip in 2016.

Along with exploring the rich cultural and historical diversity of India through history walks and food explorations, one of the main foci is to engage with a number of URI Cooperation Circles across India. Cooperation Circles in North India, such as the Love Care Foundation, Mahila Chetna Kendra, Kasturba Ballika Vidyalaya, the Deaf and Blind School of Patiala and other community activists will open a space for the Journey India group to explore peacebuilding, interfaith dialogue and mutual understanding. The exchanges and discussions will seek to cut through the divisions of culture, nationality, religion, age, profession, caste, class and other stereotypes that often divide us. The group will also visit a number of women-led organizations and cooperatives to curate meaningful exchanges for participants and hosts.

Jaya and Jessica will facilitate these interactions using pedagogies that encourage heart-based connection, storytelling, solidarity, and accountability. They are also excited to be working with URI’s North India Regional Coordinator, Subhi Dhupar, who will facilitate visits and exchanges in North India. If you are interested to learn more, or may want to join the adventure, email Jaya at Jreinhalter@uri.org or Journeyindia2017@gmail.com.

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