The World Peace Scale

ScalesThanks to the UN designated International Day of Peace in September, and grassroots organizing from over 1400 gatherings around the world, we just celebrated a wonderful World Peace Day.  Here in St. Augustine we gathered on the campus of Flagler College to sing, meditate, dance, pray, eat, drink and be merrily peaceful together.  As we were putting the event together, trying to rally support for such a lofty concept as World Peace, it helped me to clarify that World Peace is not a black-and-white all-or-nothing issue.  World Peace is a scale.

World Peace often seems like an unattainable and unrealistic dream and this belief often stops people from giving the values of Peace serious consideration.  Most people just blow it off with a shrug and a “it will never happen.”  Most people, if asked, would say World Peace is illogical and impossible.  And while I believe that World Peace is not only possible, but inevitable – I also believe that the  point to World Peace does not lie in some far off Utopian future where we all hold hands and pet tigers all day long.  The point of World Peace lies right here in our every day world right now.

So, how does a big concept like World Peace actually interconnect with not just our International relations or what is going on in the Middle East, but with what is going on in our local community, our schools, our corporations and our families? Well, World Peace is on a scale – there is a constant fluctuation of a sum total of more peace or less peace in the world in every moment. This is how a far-off dream such as World Peace becomes a part of the daily choices we each make in our personal lives.  How much Peace there exists in the world at this moment changes with every peace meditation, with every incident of domestic abuse, with every act of forgiveness, with every outburst of anger, with every evening prayer circle, with every racist or homophobic punching, with every gentle act of kindness.

being kindWorld Peace is a part of our daily interactions with others and the world around us, whether we think of it or not.  How much violence or suffering we have in the world versus how much peace and happiness is entirely dependent on our every day actions.  Am I being kind to the homeless man I pass on the street?  Am I punching people in bars or vandalizing property in my neighborhood?  Am I smiling at the waitress or the cashier and giving them respect as a human being?  Am I helping the family down the street who had a fire and are in need of clothes and food?  Am I voting for people and policies that are compassionate and creating more kindness or peace in the world?  Am I voting with my purchasing power to support companies that only care about profit at the expense of child labor or environmental disasters or am I voting for companies who care about our collective future?

free-range-chickenIf we spend the extra 50 cents and buy cage-free eggs, we are contributing to a world of less suffering where chickens can run around and peck at things instead of being cooped up in a tiny cage unable to turn around for her entire life in order to save us 50 cents on eggs.  All the collective vibrations of senseless suffering and pain add up on the side of the scale that is violence in this world – and humans are not alone here, all life matters.  So, by the simple every day act of eating vegetarian or just by buying organic chicken or grass-fed beef, we are adding vibrations of happiness and green hills to the side of the scale that is World Peace.

So, you see, World Peace is not some far off distant impossible dream.  It’s like those high school motivational posters would tee4c6490ccbcc3e4a45dc5b71638df921ll you – shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.  So, strive for World Peace every day and even if you’re not around for when all violence ceases, all people live in freedom, unity and justice and we all hug tigers – you’ll be part of creating a kinder more peaceful society right now.

World Peace is a very doable scale that is changing in every moment.  The choices we make every day contribute to how much peace we have in the world as a whole.  The amount of Peace that exists right now is totally up to me!  It’s up to each one of us – we all contribute one way or another just by being alive.  And 574666_031614a92398e7feb827a37d490b5bc5_largethat takes World Peace from being a big unattainable concept to being a very practical part of every day life.

 


frontThe Unity & Peace Day of Peace in St Augustine was meant to give people the awareness of their daily impact on this scale of Peace and to show all the options for Inner and Outer Peace that are available to all every day to contribute more peace and compassion to our world.

Buy an Inner Peace Equals World Peace T-shirt to help support Unity & Peace to keep spreading Peace Awareness throughout the year.


Below is the article about our Peace Day that was featured on the front page of the St Augustine Record on Monday, Sept 21st.  A BIG thank you to Jenna Carpenter for coming out to cover the peace news – thereby adding more peace to the scale!  Also including some pictures from the event.  Enjoy!

St. Augustine celebrates International Day of Peace
By Jenna Carpenter

DSC05778Whether you’re trying to attain inner peace or working toward gaining it for the world, finding peace can be a struggle that can lead you on multiple paths.

“Peace is not a state, it is a process,” said Timothy Johnson, a religion professor at Flagler College. “There’s not a point where everything will be at peace; there is only the constant struggle to bring peace.”

12006488_10153681430570844_8420447728587516285_oThe key to ending that struggle, Johnson said, is to open up conversations with others about their culture and belief system.

Johnson, along with other local scholars and activists, spoke Sunday on the subject of peace, and the many facets through which it is found.

The panel was part of a peace day festival hosted by Unity & Peace St. Augustine to celebrate the International Day of Peace, which is today.

Peace Day 2015 U&P Officers

Unity & Peace

“World peace often seems like an unattainable dream, and this belief stops people from giving the values of peace serious consideration,” said Shanti Shivaya, president of Unity & Peace. “So we are hoping to help people make the connection between peace and the choices we make every day; how we behave in our communities, corporations and families, to help us all create a culture of peace for our society.”

The festival has been going on in St. Johns County for about eight years, but Sunday was the first time it was brought to Flagler College, she said. It boasted 18 community groups and five student clubs that provided people with ways to finding peace.

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Yoga with Now & Zen Yoga

Some, like the St. Augustine Avatar Group, dealt with finding inner peace through mind quieting, meditation and prayer. And others, like Compassionate St. Augustine, focused on finding world peace by spreading word of local outreach programs.

“It’s not just about meditation, it’s also about taking actions to make the world a better place,” Shivaya said.

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Devotional Chants from Chinmaya Mission

But the two are intertwined, and world peace can only be accomplished through finding inner peace, she said.

“The state of the world is the state of each individual in the world combined,” she said. “So anyone who connects with themselves and finds inner peace, their actions create a society that is more peaceful.”

Peace Day 2015 Unity & PeaceThe journey to inner peace starts with people coming to terms with conflict, said Angelenia Semegon, a psychology professor at Flagler College.

Semegon, another speaker on Sunday’s peace panel, said society doesn’t know how to handle conflict, which hinders world peace.

“We basically just avoid it instead of trying to find a way to resolve conflict and be comfortable with it, she said.”

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Dances of Universal Peace

A way to resolve conflict, she said, is to respect one another. “We have to learn to express our feelings with honesty and vulnerability instead of blame. And we have to be able to hear others when they express their needs and fears” she said.

“Finding peace from within is to communicate in a nonviolent way.”

Sunday’s festival ended with participants forming a human peace sign and singing “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Peace Day 2015 Imagine 3

 

 

World Peace is Logical

2013-12-17 17.15.58I am currently auditing a college class in the Religion and Philosophy department.  After 20 years of being on an experiential spiritual path I wanted to experience the study of Religion and though there has been no chanting, praying or ecstatic unions with the Divine, we have had some great discussions.  On Tuesday three students gave a presentation about Jainism in which they spoke of the Jain belief that world peace will come from people individually finding inner peace. After their summary of the book they read on Jainism they presented some discussion questions for the class – one of which was “Do you think World Peace is possible?”

Sadly, but maybe expectedly, several students gave the answer that though World Peace is a nice idea it is not realistic and that because of “human nature” they don’t think it could ever be achieved. Finally, I raised my hand and said “Not only do I think World Peace is possible, I think it’s inevitable.” I heard one student in the back yell “Right on!”

Of course as more and more people find inner peace there will be world peace.  The idea that the world can change based on individual people changing is so obvious it’s hard for me to understand how anyone can think it’s not realistic. To me, it’s a “duh.” It is simply logical. It’s not even airy fairy or far out in the least– it’s just common sense. 

OF COURSE as individual consciousness changes the collective consciousness changes! Collective human consciousness, or “human nature,” is not some separate thing of its own, some detached creature or monster that will always be prone to war and violence and greed. I know we talk about it that way – just like we talk about “the economy” as if it’s a living thing in and of itself with headlines like “Stock Market Panics” or “Wall Street In Pain.” But the economy is made up of individual people. We created it, so we can re-create it and change it in any way we want to. And the same is true for our collective consciousness and the world we live in.

Collective human consciousness is by definition simply the sum total of all of our individual consciousness – it is literally made up of each person’s thoughts and emotions and as each person changes, the collective changes. That isn’t some difficult or far off theory or wishful thinking – it is simply what IS.

So of course as each person evolves and grows and becomes more loving, compassionate, understanding and peaceful, the collective will change also.

Here is a video of the movie director David Lynch and physicist Dr. John Hegelin talking about how people think of Peace as a nice little lady idea, but that there is electromagnetic and quantum physics science behind the creation of Peace from the Unified Field.

In addition to the energetic effects of the collective consciousness, there is the societal effect.  When these changes in individual consciousness happen, it affects everyone in that person’s circle of influence. That person will treat their co-workers differently, share their new perspective with their parents, speak differently to their uncles at Thanksgiving. They will raise their children to love their neighbor, to not hate the Other, to respect life and practice compassion. The more and more this is being taught in our schools and to our children, the more and more this will just become a part of normal life – as much a part of any culture as speaking a language or wearing clothes.

220px-ShivabalayogiFurthermore, just ONE individual consciousness can have a much greater impact than just their one share of the human vote. Look at Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Theresa. You can even look at Oprah Winfrey or Angelina Jolie! And these are just our well known historical and societal celebrities. There are also the spiritual celebrities or consciousness heavy weights!  My friend Suresh was telling me over dinner how one day he was driving with a friend through Bangalore, India and all of a sudden he felt an immense pulse of Peace come over him.  He didn’t know why so he asked his friend what the building was they had just driven by and found out it was Shivayabalayogi‘s ashram and the Swami was holding satsang.  And the day I spent at the M.A. Center in San Ramon, CA when Ammachi was there I was completely uplifted into a consciousness of absolute peace beyond time and space!  I was aware of the sound and the beat of the music but I was witnessing it from the state of timelessness and the eternity of Stillness and Peace that is behind all things.  Ammachi’s being radiates such tremendous love and compassion that it is palpable – it was like I could physically feel a difference in my cells just from being in her presence. She adds much more peace to the collective consciousness than one little jerk can add negativity.

So, for many reasons, it doesn’t have to be 100% of people to change. It’s not like if 75% of people become peaceful there would still be the 25% who remain assholes and run around being violent and warring and carrying on. That is the beauty of collective consciousness – the collective can carry us, it can create a field of peace and calmness that forms our collective reality.

And for those who don’t believe in the power of ashram drive-by’s, there is peer-reviewed scientific studies that show that a small number of people focusing on Peace can have an effect on the greater whole. There are clips of this research on the Meditation and World Peace page, but in essence – for group meditation or prayer to have a scientifically measurable effect of peace on a society, it only takes the square root of 1% of a population. For a city of one million that is only about 100 people coming together in group meditation, creating a state of inner peace inside themselves to decrease the amount of violence for everyone in the whole city. And studies show that it only takes 1% of a population to have a personal practice of meditation or some form of centering prayer to stop the rise of violent crime rates in that society – so even our own individual changes in our personal lives create a scientifically measurable increase in peace for our society as a whole.

meditation_image_550_wThen you look at mainstream culture. Meditation is becoming more and more popular. It has proven health benefits and is being taught in all kinds of yoga classes, stress reduction seminars and success workshops around the world. If only 1% of the population meditating can stop the trend of rising violent crime – imagine what will happen when meditation is as common as exercising or brushing your teeth!   When 10% of the population meditates crime rates will decline by large percentages. When 20% meditates there will be greater coherence and peace in the society as a whole. When 40% of the population finds inner peace conflict will cease, peaceful solutions will be the only acceptable reality. Imagine what will happen when 51% of the population finds inner peace!

These are just percentages that I am imagining. As far as I know there isn’t any scientific evidence that shows what exactly will happen as each percentage point of inner peace is reached. And I don’t think that it even needs to reach 51% to have a tipping point. But my point is – World Peace is absolutely possible and achievable. As much as we can look at the news, at what is happening in Israel and Gaza or Syria and Iraq or Sri Lanka and many other places in the world – there is so much change and evolution of consciousness all around us that we just ignore or take for granted. It was only 140 years ago that we had slaves in this country! It was only 140 years ago when one human being could own another human being! As Louis C.K. puts it in the clip on the Video Inspiration page: “That is just two 70 year old ladies living and dying back to back – that is how recently you could buy a guy.” How foreign and distant and unthinkable does that seem to us now? How much has the collective consciousness changed in just 140 years?

Nehru & GandhiHow can it be considered so “unrealistic” that in another 140 years the act of war or the act of one human being murdering another human being will be just as unthinkable?  When in fact the act of one human being murdering another human being is unthinkable to MOST people already! And for some strange reason, those same people who wouldn’t even punch someone in the face think when nations murder human beings it’s just an inevitable part of “human nature.”  As Nehru points out – that is just silly:

“If two men fight in the streets the policeman separates them and everybody thinks how silly they are. But how much sillier and more foolish it is for great countries to fight each other and kill thousands and millions. It is just like two savages fighting in the jungles. And if the savages are called barbarous, how much more barbarous are the countries that behave in that way?”  ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

So here is my If and Then:  If human nature or the collective consciousness is simply made up of each individual’s consciousness and those individuals are changing and becoming more compassionate and peaceful, then the logical conclusion is a world that is more compassionate and peaceful.  So, that is why I say World Peace is possible.  World Peace is inevitable.  World Peace is logical.


Find your own way of increasing your impact of Peace! 

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World Peace is the Bee’s Knees!

peace-dove-web_1Tonight is the eve of the most anticipated Peace Weekend in my 42 year history, well, for me personally at least.  Tomorrow morning I’m waking up early to go set up a World Peace Meditation tent at Peace in the Park in Hastings and I was so excited last night that I couldn’t fall asleep until 2am.  Sunday is the International Day of Peace which feels like Christmas to me – and it is, isn’t it?  Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.  At 3pm we are gathering in front of the Lightner Museum in historic St Augustine to meditate for World Peace simultaneously with over over 100,000 people around the globe.  It is all I can think about.  I feel like a teenage girl in the 60’s going to a Beatles concert.  Peace is what makes my heart go pitter patter.

15 years ago when I had followed my spiritual path out to California and I felt I had outgrown my birth name, I chose the name Shanti.  It means Peace.

9 months ago when I was leaving California and looking for my next home on earth I drove here to St Augustine one evening thinking I would tune in to see if it felt right.  I checked in at my hotel and woke up the next morning with an open mind and lo and behold, across the street is the local Farmer’s Market.  I walk over and walk straight up to a booth and the first person in St. Augustine that I talk to is a very nice lady, and though I didn’t know it at the time, she happens to have a local non-profit called Unity & Peace.

Many more wondrous things happened on that first day in St Augustine, which I won’t go into now, but when I was driving out of town on my way back to my sister’s house I started day dreaming about starting an Inner Peace Outer Peace website and putting together a Peace in the Park day.  My heart was soaring as I dreamed up ways that I could share my passion for Inner Peace and my deep belief that it is what will truly bring us Outer Peace.

A couple of months later when I have moved in to my little miracle house I go to my first meeting of Compassionate St Augustine and come to find out – there is already a Peace in the Park day in the works.  And when I have lunch with one of the organizers to find out more we discover that she is the nice lady from the Farmer’s Market who was the very first person I spoke to in town.  And Unity & Peace needs someone to redo their website.  Wow.

Did I start day dreaming about making a peace website and putting together a Peace in the Park because I met this nice lady and I picked up the thoughts subconsciously from her without speaking?  Or did I already have the seeds of those dreams in my heart and that is what led me directly to her table at the Farmer’s Market?

I don’t know.  It’s too much to think about.  But this is how Peace is following me around.  Or maybe I am following where Peace leads me.  I’m not sure which.  Maybe both.  But when I hear that there is more scientific evidence that Peace Meditation lessens was and violence than there is that aspirin lessens headache pain – I get excited.  So excited that I can hardly sleep.  I want to make some Peace already.

So, as I continue on my path to embody my name, I invite you all to join me from wherever you are – and I say:  World Peace is the Bee’s Knees.  Om Shanti.  I Am Peace.

 

Global Meditatiounify_primary_logo_highres-300x300n & Prayer for Peace

International Day of Peace ~  Sunday, Sept. 21st 3:00pm

In front of Lightner Museum / City Hall

Join Unity & Peace in St. Augustine!  Or to join from anywhere in the world – go to Unify.org to sign up!

 

578184_116881885111161_958111558_nNew Page: MEDITATION & WORLD PEACE

I have always known intuitively in my heart that our prayers matters, that the quality of the energy we put out into the world makes a difference and that World Peace is about a shift in consciousness.  And when I read and hear about the scientific research that is proving this again and again I get very excited.  Let’s go!  Wow!  If group meditation can literally save lives – which is shown in several studies published in peer-reviewed publications – then let’s do something.  And if the energy, thoughts and emotions I am “feeding the field” each day with my own mind and heart impacts life all around me, I can do something about that, too.

In the videos below it’s explained that there have been so many studies done on how Group Meditation or Feeling Prayer creates Peace that it’s a scientific fact.  There is more scientific evidence that Group meditation lessens war, terrorism and violent crime than there is that Aspirin lessens headache pain.  They have even been able to mathematically calculate the number of people needed to start having a measurable impact of Peace on the surrounding area – it is the square root of 1% of the population.  For a city of 1 million people, that is about 100 people meditating for peace to create a measurable decline in violent crime.  And of course, the more the merrier.  As they found in the Washington D.C. study, as the meditators increased in number, the violence decreased even more.

When you apply this math to World Peace, with a population of 6 billion people, the square root of 1% is only about 8,000 people.  Think about that.  It only takes 8,000 you’s and me’s to start to have an impact of Peace on a world scale.  That is exciting.  That is inspiring.  That is hopeful.  That is Peace on Earth.  That is real science.