The Avalòkita Foundation
Established in October 2008, the Avalòkita Foundation is a participation Foundation created by Italian members of the Order of Interbeing.
The aims of the Foundation are expressed in Articles 3 and 4 of the Statute:
“The Foundation pursues exclusively ethical research and social, civil and cultural interests. In particular, its main interest is the study and experimentation of the vision of man and society expressed by the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh through his teachings, with the intention of testifying in society the concrete possibility of living in harmony with the following aspirations:
> To live deeply every moment of daily life, aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily here and now;
> To touch the vital and beneficial elements that exist within and around ourselves, nourishing wholesome emotions within us, such as joy, peace, love and understanding thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing of our consciousness;
> To take care of our unwholesome emotions (such as anger, anxiety, fear and despair), recognizing the causes that lie deep within the our consciousness and finding ways to transform suffering into compassion, peace and joy;
> To listen deeply, speak with clarity, love and understanding, be open to other’s opinions and express ourselves truthfully and constructively;
> Not to force by any means our ideas and opinions onto others, not even our own children, thus respecting their right to be different and to choose what to believe and how to decide;
> To cultivate nonviolence, understanding and compassion in all relationships of daily life, and thus promote education to peace, harmony, mediation and reconciliation in families, communities, nations and the world;
> To live simply, practicing conscious consumption, care for the environment, respect and compassion for animals, plants, minerals as well, i.e. for all beings and elements that make up the entire cosmos.
In order to pursue these interests, the Foundation promotes the establishment of a lay centre for study, research and spiritual practice, inspired in particular by the experience of the Intersein Zentrum (Hohenau – Germany), guided by Dharma teachers Helga and Karl Riedl. In the Center, open to people from all walks of life and religious beliefs, a lay community will live permanently and will base its daily life on the aspirations mentioned above, making them its own individual and community lifestyle, to experience them in depth and witness the concrete possibility of living on these foundations as individuals and as society.
To this end, the following activities may be organized in the Center, for example:
> Meetings, seminars and retreats open to all those who wish to experience this way of life based on understanding and love for themselves, for others and for the environment, as a means of personal transformation and as a support element in family and professional life.;
> Study and research activities aimed at focusing on spiritual practice as an instrument of individual and social transformation;
> Training and continuing education aimed at promoting a culture of responsibility in education, health and social solidarity, communication, sustainable development and ecology;
> Activities and meetings that contribute to building and spreading a culture of peace, with reference, for example, to areas such as human rights, humanitarian aid, inter-religious dialogue and conflict resolution;
> Study and research activities that promote the design and experimentation of innovative technological supports aimed at supporting spiritual practice;
> Publication of the results of studies and experimentations of innovative methodologies developed during the various activities of the Centre itself.
Life at the Center and every activity that takes place there will be based in and supported by the practice of awareness, as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as in the study and practice of his other teachings and of meditation. The term “awareness” is to be understood essentially as the ability to recognize and accept what exists or happens in the present moment, in ourselves and around us. The practice of awareness is a universal instrument of beneficial personal transformation, from which various currents of modern Western psychology have drawn inspiration. It generates inner calm, improves the capacity for discernment and allows for the best possible action in every sphere of the individual’s life: affective, cognitive, social, work, etc..
The Foundation may not carry out activities other than those directly connected and ancillary to the institutional ones; by way of example, in order to achieve the set purposes, the Foundation may only carry out activities directly connected and ancillary to them:
> Extend its activities in social areas (schools, disabled people, prisons, drug addicts, hospitals, ASL, DSM, social services, etc.), as a means of preventing distress and as a support in helping relationships and in the various therapeutic interventions;
> To promote funding or receive funding for ethical and spiritual research activities promoted and managed directly or by other bodies, institutions, associations or other foundations as well as the private sector;
> To promote, finance and coordinate studies and research directly or indirectly related to the aims of the Foundation;
> To disseminate and publish articles, books, documents;
> To organize meetings, events, conferences, seminars, courses for the promotion of ethical and spiritual research and also finance events organized by other entities;
> To raise funds necessary to support institutional activities through the organization of all types of events, including through the use of radio, television and telematic tools;
> To collaborate and promote cultural exchanges with Italian and foreign bodies, associations and foundations that pursue similar aims, as well as with the private sector;
> To stipulate any appropriate deed or contract, also for the financing of the deliberate operations, including, without the exclusion of others, the assumption of short or long term loans, the purchase of real estate, property or surface rights, the stipulation of agreements of any kind, including those that can be transcribed in public registers, with public or private bodies, which are considered appropriate and useful for the achievement of the Foundation’s purposes;
> To administer and manage the assets of which it is the owner, lessor, co-owner or otherwise owned;
> To enter into agreements for the management of part of the activities;
> To carry out any activity that is instrumental, ancillary or connected to the pursuit of institutional purposes.