A DREAM FULFILLED – A VISION REALIZED
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly declaration “International Day of Peace.” The purpose of the International Day of Peace was and still remains, to strengthen the ideals of peace around the world.
In 2001, September 21st was set as the annual day of commemoration – not only as a time to discuss how to promote and maintain peace among all peoples but most remarkably, as an annual 24-hour period of global ceasefire and non-violence for groups in active combat.
The International Day of Peace reminds us of our commonalities. Regardless of where we come from or what languages we speak, we are more alike than we are different. Honoring those commonalities makes peace possible. Life is better in a world where peace exists. We draw on the wisdom and experience of the peacemakers and peacekeepers to learn how we can individually and collectively be catalysts for peace – how we can manifest a world that works for everyone, everywhere. Nations and communities around the world struggle with poverty and disease, severely limited access to education and healthcare, particularly in areas where violence is common.
There is something here much bigger than our day-to-day routines. We have the opportunity to transform the world so that our loved ones can live in sustainable peace. To achieve this we are called to step outside our comfort zones. Until we are willing to soften our own perspectives so we can catch a glimpse of someone else’s experience, peace will remain beyond our reach.
Peace is possible. The impact of each small act is immense. Imagine: If we were all simply kind and respectful of one another, how different life would be. We can all contribute to the worldwide culture of peace through generosity of spirit, prayer, advocacy, education and ensuring access to clean water and health resources. Every small effort makes a difference.
Throughout history, dating back to the Peace of God (989 AD) and Truce of God (1027 AD) arose from the desire to curb violence by limiting the days and times nobility could practice violence. Most societies have lived in peace most of the time. Today, we are much less likely to die in war than our parents or grandparents. Since the establishment of the United Nations and the creation of the Charter of the United Nations, governments are obligated not to use force against others unless they are acting in self-defense or have been authorized by the UN Security Council to proceed.
For many years, Rev. Dr. Nancy Anderson spoke of her dream – a vision that had been revealed to her – of a collective peace meditation in which countless individuals would gather in consciousness, wherever they were geographically, to realize peace through their meditation practice. She connected deeply with the United Nations International Day of Peace, however, she believed in daily practice. As she said, “We learn through the Practice of Collective Meditation to more deeply embody or BE PEACE and then that Peace is automatically amplified and resonates through humanity.”
When Rev. Beth Linguri joined the Global Services Committee in 2015, she shared that she, too, had a vision of people all around the globe meditating collectively to reveal peace on the planet. Together, Dr. Nancy and Rev. Beth submitted a proposal to CSL Leadership to recognize Collective Meditation for Peace Initiative as an integral element of the organization. Blossoming from their combined efforts, the Collective Meditation for Peace Initiative was formed as the Heart of Peace Initiative, a subcommittee of Global Services. Rev. Beth was the coordinator until 2020. The Initiative’s commitment is three-fold:
· Creating opportunities to gather in meditation
· Supporting Centers for Spiritual Living around the world in forming Collective Meditation groups
· Collaborating with other organizations to ensure that opportunities to meditate on the emergence of world peace are easily accessible to all.
Centers for Spiritual Living selected United Nations International Day of Peace in 2016, to conduct a ceremony at the Home Office in Golden, Colorado, to dedicate a Peace Pole and to formally recognize the Collective Meditation for Peace Initiative as an integral and essential element of our organization. The Heart of Peace Initiative coordinates weekly online Collective Peace Meditations and numerous events throughout the year.
At the 2016 event, Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon reminded everyone that every day must be dedicated to peace – that the consciousness of humanity must be uplifted to abiding in and as peace moment by moment. As he said, the Peace Pole is a material replica of the intention that has brought it into form, just as the actions we take demonstrate Spirit’s call to do our part to manifest a world that works for everyone. World peace is a product of what is in the hearts of individuals. To achieve world peace, we must begin with the individual. In order for us to experience and express peace, we must first reveal that peace from within us – to remove all obstacles to the free flow of peace and love.
Religious Science has always been a powerful presence for peace, a core attribute of our philosophy of Oneness. As Dr. Ernest Holmes explained in Spiritual Awareness, “When we become conscious of our existence as an idea in the Mind of God, we shall find that we are walking in pathways of peace; that something within us acts like a magnet to attract that which belongs to itself. This something is Love, the supreme impulsion of the universe.”
Today more than any other time in history, peace relies on the commitment to not only achieve equality, but to secure equity for all persons – to fulfill our vision of a world that works for everyone, everywhere.
Submitted by Rev. Trish Hall, Heart of Peace Initiative, Global Services Committee, Centers for Spiritual Living