Sacred Web Conference 2006
The theme of the Conference was introduced by HRH The Prince of Wales in a 16-minute long, specially-videotaped address for the Conference. The video and text of the address are found here: Prince Charles’ speech and Prince Charles’ video
- Sacred Web Conference 2014
The second Sacred Web Conference (the first was held in Edmonton in 2006 at the University of Alberta) took place on the weekend of April 26th and 27th, 2014 at Vancouver, British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University downtown campus. The theme of the conference was “Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times”, and one full day was dedicated to a symposium on “The Centrality of the Sacred in the Teachings of Seyyed Hossein Nasr”, in part to mark the renowned Muslim philosopher’s 80th birthday in 2013.
On each day, the conference began with a sampling of sacred music (on Day One by the acclaimed cellist, Joseph Elworthy, who performed a Bach prelude, a Catalonian folk song made famous by Pablo Casals, and John Williams’ theme from the movie Schindler’s List; and on Day Two by the gifted Iranian Tar player, Ali Razmi, who performed Sufi improvisations for ‘sema’, in honor of Dr. Nasr), setting the tone for the audience to open their hearts and listen with their inner senses.
The conference was introduced by HRH the Prince of Wales who, in a specially videotaped message recorded earlier at St. James’ Palace, spoke of the Sacred as the essential dimension of truth and therefore of understanding, and of the “crisis of perception” in the modern world:
We have lost our way because we can no longer see clearly. And so we have forgotten. A world of parts has replaced a world of wholeness. A world of separation has replaced a world of connectedness and entanglement. The secular has pushed aside the Sacred.
“Rediscovering the Sacred in our Lives and in our Times”
“How then, might the Sacred be rediscovered? The work of my School of Traditional Arts—and, indeed, my Foundation for Building Community—suggests that it can be rediscovered by practice; which is to say that it is discovered not by talking about it, but by putting it into action. Over recent years, the Outreach Programme of the School has taken the study of these universal and timeless principles into different countries and different groups—sometimes schoolchildren and their teachers and parents, and sometimes students learning their own traditional arts and crafts—and the results are always the same, initial scepticism is set aside and with enthusiasm and delight the work proceeds as those taking part rediscover something that perhaps, somewhere deep inside, they always knew, that there is a relationship between the outer and the inner; that in the end these patterns and orders are familiar and provide a limitless source of creative inspiration through what I can only call “the grammar of Harmony”.