By Jenny Funston
My name is Jenny Funston and I live in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. I first learnt about Peace Poles after reading a book in 1997 by Masami Saionji, who leads the Peace Pole movement. Imagine my delight when I visited Japan in 1998 and saw my very first Peace Pole outside a temple in Osaka!
I really like the idea of silent sentinels for peace popping up all over the globe, most untagged, but very much visible. They come in all sizes and designs, although an obelisk style pole is most usual.
I was a bit awed when seeing 192 Peace Poles lined up on both sides of a pathway at Fuji Sanctuary and feeling their powerful, loving energy radiating in a pulsating sensation all about me…I kid you not, that’s exactly my second Peace Pole experience. I knew then that they were peace ‘lighthouses’ and that I too would become involved in creating more to ‘live’ in Australia.
Since then, many have been ‘planted’ in various parts of Australia and New Zealand. Two adorn the outdoor space of the Christ College of Trans-Himalayan Wisdom at Akaroa, NZ overlooking a bay shaped like a dove.
A recent planting was on Women’s International Day of Peace within a beautiful space by the Barwon River created for women, also honouring the local indigenous women’s traditions.
On a property in Tasmania, the Peace Poles multiply. Some have been made using pre-printed plaques on local timber, one is a conventional black/white, others are hand carved, some have crystals embedded and the creativity constantly evolves.
This is one of the things I love about Peace Poles is that their manifestation is not static; they all hold the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in whatever languages are chosen, but they can be made of whatever materials people wish and decorated to suit each individual occasion. To this add the infinite creativity of Peace Pole dedication ceremonies, where moving, heart-warming sentiments are expressed in the placing of the Peace Pole in its special place of honour.
All poles are planted with love in the hearts of those with the intention to flow this message of peace out into the world, to all people in a myriad of situations. It’s simple and it’s inclusive. Both children and adults really enjoy being part of these ceremonies and often are the ones to decorate a Peace Pole prior to planting; it’s a great project for school involvement.
I find that planting a Peace Pole brings community together; I feel that most people are yearning for peace in their own lives and in the world and see the planting of the ‘silent sentinel’ for peace as a positive, pro-active means to assist this process.
In my home there are Peace Poles of many sizes all over the house; most are desktop ones from 6” to 2’, and full size ones lying on the floor waiting their time for ‘birth’ outdoors.
Families too enjoy having the opportunity to ‘plant’ together in their own yards. On this one, one side was printed with May Peace Prevail and Earth the other sides decorated by the four children. (See photo)
Jenny Funston is a lover of life with an inquisitive mind that yearns to explore the deeper meanings of her own existence. With an education background, she now works with a spiritual group originating in Japan, spreading the universal peace message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth.” Within Australia/Oceania she works with individuals and groups to encourage personal growth and development of the inner self; to recognise our connection to “the Divine,” the indwelling spirit. Planting Peace Poles is one of her joyous avenues of lighting a flame for peace.
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This article appears in:
2014 Catalyst, Issue 13: Peace Poles - International Day of Peace