Each year on September 21st, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world. The UN General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace and here at Meditation Mount, we participated in this planetary celebration by hosting a Peace Concert.
There were performances by Los Angeles raga collective Liberate Elemental Forces, classical guitarist Philip Graulty and inspirational words from poet Mandy Kahn. A Peace Pole was presented by Fumi Stewart (Executive Director at The World Peace Prayer Society and The Peace Pole Project) to mayor Betsy Stix on behalf of the city of Ojai. We were also heartened and moved by a gallery presentation of peace-inspired children’s art from 114 countries, courtesy of May Peace Prevail on Earth International, that was on display in the Auditorium.
The sunset concert took place at the View Point inside our International Garden of Peace which was consecrated to the Spirit of Peace in January 2009. The Spirit of Peace is an Avatar – a universal presence seeking to occupy each human heart. In order for this to occur, our hearts have to be open. We were reminded that the key to unlock the portal of the heart so we may welcome in this longed-for cosmic guest, is forged by daily acts of caring, compassion and kindness. Opening the human heart for a greater presence of Love and Peace to enter feels like our collective assignment in the coming months and years if we are to fashion a more just and joyful society together.
A central theme of the Peace Concert was inspired by the first line from the Prayer of St Francis: Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace.
So, the question this poses and invites us to answer is: What does it truly mean for you and I to become an instrument of Peace and a source of Loving Kindness?
What comes to your mind and heart in response while reading these words? As I reflect and engage the power of imagination, I visualize my heart as a musical instrument – a seven-stringed harp for the soul to play its tune in the key of Love. The strings of this instrument need to be finely-tuned and brought into resonance and this can only be accomplished through the constant practice of loving kindness.
Another visualization would be to imagine an Aeolian wind harp. This is a large harp, strategically placed out in nature where the winds blow strong and steady. As the wind passes over the strings, the seven notes of the tonal spectrum resonate and resound throughout the surrounding ethers.
In a similar manner, I see our many hearts as an array of aeolian wind-harps positioned around the Earth whose strings have been tuned by love so that when the strong and subtle breath of the Spirit of Peace passes over and through them, they resonate and sound forth a joyful anthem of Peace.
We are being invited by Life to play and sing in the new song-lines of a peaceful world together as choristers and musicians of Gaia. It is a concerted global effort to sing and bring Peace on Earth.
The theme of peace was also honored during the week with a ceremony dedicating a new Peace Pole at the Mount to replace the two destroyed by the Thomas Fire. This ritual was conducted by Fumi Stewart and involved blessing the flags of all nations of the world and calling in their unique national Spirit. In these times of divisiveness and separation, there is an urgent sensed need to acknowledge and work toward the healing and coming together of nations – recognizing the special gift the over-lighting soul of each nation brings to our common humanity.
This group blessing felt especially resonant to us as the inspiration and guiding light behind Meditation Mount and other centers of Creative Meditation around the planet, is the Italian Psychologist Dr Roberto Assagioli (the founder of Psychosynthesis) who held a vision of the eventual synthesis of nations as a prelude to the full flowering of the One Soul of Humanity.
Other celebrants participating in this hope-filled and joyful rite of blessing included Mandy Kahn, (peace poet and writer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles) who helped us ‘presence Peace’ and have it come alive in our hearts and Dot Maver (Founder of the National Peace Academy and co- founder of Global Silent Minute), who joined us online, and through the resonant bridge created when hearts are connected across-distance, sounded the deep note of peace that chimes and reverberates as the bell of the one human heart is rung.
Peace is a daily practice and not limited to one week each year at the end of September. So, may the Spirit of Peace continue to be spread abroad in our hearts, among our groups and throughout the world by all that we think, say and do.
May Peace Prevail on Earth.
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