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Burr Ridge Zoroastrians construct sculpture for Dalai Lama’s visit

By Sandy Illian Bosch
from The DoingsClaredonHills

Preparations are under way for the Dalai Lama’s July visit to Chicago, and a Burr Ridge organization is part of the plans.

The Zoroastrian Center of Chicago, located at 8615 Meadowbrook Lane in Burr Ridge, is one of 12 places of worship chosen to prepare sculptures to be used during the Dalai Lama’s public talk July 17 at the UIC Pavilion.

The Theosophical Society in America and Jim Lasko of Redmoon Theater have chosen 12 Chicago area religious organizations to design and create an icon of another faith.

The Zoroastrians were busy Sunday creating a cross, not only to represent the Christian faith, but also the parallels between the two religions.

“It signifies our togetherness,” Rohinton Rivetna, spiritual leader of the Zoroastrian Center and Hinsdale resident said. “We want to understand each other.”

Each organization is assigned an artist to help with their sculpture’s design. Jillian Gryzlak of Chicago is helping the Zoroastrians decorate the Christian cross with flowers, splintered wood, wooden ovals painted in varying fleshtones and light.

“I didn’t make any of these decisions,” said Gryzlak. She said the design is a collaboration of ideas that came from talks she initiated with members of the Burr Ridge temple.

Gryzlak said she began work on the cross by meeting with members of the Zoroastrian community.

“We defined belief,” she said, and used those definitions to design the sculpture.

“This was really developed in our time together,” Rivetna said.

Stacked wooden ovals are painted in varying colors of brown, tan and cream — colors representing the many cultures that have used the cross as a symbol of their faith throughout history…

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The Future of Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrian ceremony.  Credit: NYTimesfrom the New York Times

Laurie Goodstein reports on Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion on the verge of extinction.  In this video article, Goodstein reports on her interviews with practicing Zoroastrians and the future of the faith.

Click here to watch the video

Being a Zoroastrian in today’s world

This video is part of the series of interviews  conducted by Patheos during the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, Melbourne, featuring people of many different religious and spiritual traditions.

In this interview, Parliament participant Rohinton Rivetna discusses his own understanding of his tradition and his experience at the Parliament.

March 11th, 2010 at 11:40 am