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MWR Presents Two Forums to Broaden Horizon of Feminine Energy

Joining forces to celebrate the International Women's Day (IWD), the Museum of World Religions (MWR) and the Red Room Art Association presented a Salon-style panel discussion and dialogue to feature career women with outstanding performance in their respective fields and broadcast their views on how to cultivate feminine energy, sharing their soft skills on a global scale and career innovations to afford the audience with a gratifying experience. The two panels were themed on 'Changing Climates - Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow' and the MWR served as the event venue.

Women and girls represent almost half of the world's population. They multitask as individuals at home as well as at work. At difficult times of extreme climates further complicated by war, the female population ought to be more outspoken and proactive in safeguarding the Earth's ecology. The spirit of the Salon-style forums was captured in the paraphrase of 'Mutual Support for A Brave New World' and the event's opening was the performance of the sacred 'Devi Pooja' by way of a unique ritual of the Indian culture to bestow blessings upon all women of the world.

MWR Director Ma Yu-Chuan pointed out that since the launch of the Museum in 2001, the pendulum swings between the digits of 911 and those of 119 as if to remind people of an on-going self-examination about embracing love and peace for the basis to exemplify MWR's core value of respect, tolerance, and altruistic compassion so as to stay the course of the Museum's paradigm of humanitarianism that expands to loving all sentient beings for the underlying notion of a diversified symbiosis and an interdependent co-existence. In a comparable fashion, MWR founder Dharma Master Hsin Tao recently advocated the idea that 'Spirituality is ecology and ecology is spirituality'. Responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Master further urged that 'wars must be stopped for ecology' to advance the notion to stop seeking for peace amidst conflicts, but to acquire it by virtue of sharing.

Director Ma further cited the example of her recent experience in addressing a Red Cross occasion, where the host institution's chief executive asked her how she'd propose to substantiate the Museum's claim of humanitarianism, since the Museum is basically an art- and culture-centric establishment. She replied that whenever a war breaks out, the Red Cross is in most cases the first to arrive to aid the casualties. The MWR aspires towards preventing wars from happening by promoting dialogues for better understanding and solving problems by cease-fire. That is practically the default value of the MWR. Furthermore, in matching the inauguration of the Exhibition Hall of Spiritual Ecology, the Love & Peace special exhibition series with merchandising will inject funding support to assist the Sustainability Exhibit series by attracting people's attention to the MWR as a platform to care about issues relating to climate change and sustainability.

Both panels were popular and proceeded in English and Mandarin Chinese, with Ming Chuan University Adjunct Instructor Camila Saenz moderating the event with simultaneous translation to serve an audience of about a hundred people on-site. The first panel, Soft Skills for Today's World, featured 3 panelists including the Founder of the Moon Den An-Ny Lee, Dr. Malabika Das of the General Education Division of the Common Education Center of the National Taiwan University, and Dr. Christie Chang, the Co-Chairperson of the International Buddhist Confederation .

All three panelists shared their remarkable insight on topics ranging from feminine self-awareness, over the integration of body, mind, and spirit, to religion. They offered experience in the best practice of growing soft skills while achieving gender equality without forcing the issue. Their animated discussion in-depth was well-received by the audience.

The second panel, Changing Narratives in the Workplace, featured four panelists: Dr. Sana Hashmi, Visiting Fellow at Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, Ms. Lu Mu-Lan, Founding Chairperson of Taichung City's Education & Development Foundation for Food & Agriculture, Ms. Anita Chen, Deputy Secretary-General of GO SMART, and Syeda Zehra, a Pakistani doctoral candidate of NTU Chemistry. They shared unique ideas about topics on public policies, sustainable agriculture, smart city development and PE bottles recycling.

Chairperson Lu Mu-Lan shared her experience in promoting circular agriculture by reaching out proactively to like-minded organizations in seeking support for consensus-building. Syeda Zehra, on the other hand, made comments from her Islam background and suggested that it is of great importance to be self-confident, strong, cool-headed and composed in the male-dominant workplace. She advised to never compromise nor to ever allow any takeover by anyone even under an embarrassing environment, let alone to ever hide behind excuses such as 'I cannot because I am a woman'.

It was the first-ever IWD celebration presented by and at the Museum, which went well and the feedback was strong and positive. It was an international occasion with participants from countries including the USA, India and Pakistan, with different religious backgrounds and professional discipline. The occasion provided an interface for dialogue and exchanges to take place for better understanding. It is best described by a quote from Dharma Master Hsin Tao: 'The world is beautiful for diversity, and it is harmonious via interconnections'.