Join Loretta Brown as she interviews Dena Merriam, founder of an interfaith organization, the Global Peace Initiative of Women. The program will air Thursday, April 26th from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is called The Original Loretta Brown Show.
Loretta and Dena will be discussing Dena’s new book, “My Journey Through Time: A spiritual memoir of life, death, and rebirth.” Her book sheds light on the workings of karma, the law of cause and effect so that you can better understand the underlying conditions that have created your present circumstances and relationships. Find out more about Dena here.
Dena began working in the interfaith movement in the late 1990s when she served as Vice Chair of the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders held at the United Nation in New York. She subsequently convened a meeting of women religious and spiritual leaders at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and from that gathering founded the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in 2002, an organization chaired by a multi-faith group of women spiritual leaders. The mission of this organization is to enable women to facilitate healing and reconciliation in areas of conflict and post-conflict and to bring spiritual resources to help address critical global problems. Since its founding, GPIW has organized dialogues in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Kashmir, India. For several years after its founding, GPIW also developed, in partnership with the United Nations, a global leadership program for young community leaders. GPIW’s work in the area of peacebuilding has expanded to include fostering new models of development, inclusive and sustainable, mobilizing faith communities to address the climate crisis, and to changing attitudes toward the environment, regaining the sense of awe, respect and reverence for earth and her life systems.
In the early years of her work in the interfaith world, Dena found that women and the Eastern religious traditions were very much under-represented at international inter-religious gatherings. She came to believe that the voices of these constituents are essential for greater world balance and for creating a new dynamic that will enable us to successfully address many of the global challenges we now face. Her work at GPIW has been devoted to creating a global platform for women religious and spiritual leaders, and to engaging the Hindu and Buddhist leadership more actively on the world stage. GPIW has sought to rectify the imbalances it has found in the interfaith world by seeking to ensure gender balance at its gatherings, giving equal voice to men and women spiritual leaders, and ensuring East-West balance, enabling participation from the Eastern religious traditions equal to that of the Abrahamic traditions.
In 2008, she became one of the founding members of the Contemplative Alliance, an initiative to bring together contemplative practitioners from across traditions to demonstrate how the mainstreaming of contemplative practice is changing the American religious landscape and can ultimately contribute to the positive transformation of American society.
For over 35 years, Dena has been a student of the Hindu Master Paramahansa Yogananda and a practitioner of Kriya Yoga meditation. She is also a long time student of the great texts of the Vedic tradition. Ms. Merriam received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University and has served on the boards of the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, The Interfaith Center of New York and Seven Pillars. She continues to serve on the boards of The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, the Manitou Foundation, is an advisor to the board of Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, and is on the advisory council of The Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan. In 2014 Dena was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize by the Niwano Peace Foundation in Japan.
Loretta Brown, for her part, is owner of Reiki Oasis, has been practicing and teaching Reiki Energy Medicine, sound healing, intuitive Guidance, past life regression, meditation and psychic development since 1995. Born as a sensitive, Loretta always felt at home among the concepts of angels, spirits, fairies, energies, vibration, sound, music, devas, goddesses and God. However, it took years for her to understand not everyone had these gifts, and to figure out how to use them to help others navigate their lives in a more positive way. Now, she is dedicated to helping everyone discover their own gifts, resonate from the very center of their Being and live the joy-filled life they were meant to live. Loretta has traveled the world extensively, teaching and performing internationally, has studied with great spiritual teachers, and has spent years chanting, searching for truths, visiting sacred sites and learning the great mysteries. Her joy is sharing as a Teacher, Channel and Healer so you can renew, refresh, and re-member who you really are and why you are on the planet at this time. Loretta also offers Crystal Bowl Healing Concerts, Loretta offers in person one-on-one sessions, as well as workshops, skype and phone sessions. Find out more about her here.