Stephen and Devaa are currently taking a summer vacation, visiting the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, so I’m delighted to serve as Acting CEO while they are away.
One thing I love about being part of The Shift Network is that our work is so wide in scope. While our main focus at this time is to bring you the best transformational content possible, that is simply one expression of our deeper mission to help catalyze true global shifts in consciousness and culture.
As a growing, central pillar in this mission, we have made a commitment to peace — deep inner peace, peace in families and relationships, peace in schools and businesses, peace in communities, peace between nations and peace with the environment. And as you may know, the Summer of Peace is our free annual event that is helping create a new narrative of peace, one that is grounded in science and best practices and that integrates spiritual wisdom alongside skills from education, business and many other sectors of society.
There are tough challenges that we must face — racial violence, human trafficking, violence over natural resources and more — and there are much more positive evolutions happening in the world around peace and peacebuilding than is displayed in the news.
Our intention is to help find solutions to our biggest challenges by highlighting and amplifying what each of us can do to embody peace and take inspired action.
One effort in this is our Everyday Peace Series, which was designed to provide insights and skills you can apply in “everyday” life, from stress management, compassionate communication, forgiveness and even better sleep (one of the biggest factors to how we show up everyday is if we sleep well). If you miss any of these sessions, all Summer of Peace recordings are available free, simply click here.
In this edition of The Catalyst, we have incredibly insightful articles about everyday peace from Bill Bauman, Richard Miller, Rita Marie Johnson and Ana Holub. We also are delighted to share a story about a Summer of Peace program developed independently by people in Kurdistan Region (autonomous region of Iraq) that aims “to act as a bridge between local Kurds and the mostly Arab arrivals.”
We also have a touching member profile from Nikola Clay in response to the recent killings in Charleston. There are a number of other Summer of Peace events taking place around the world — see Movement News for more.
Our Shift Philanthropy is focused on the International Day of Peace (September 21), an annual event where over 500 million people participated last year! We are delighted to support this global celebration and encourage you to start looking at ways in which you can participate this year (see Movement News).
Our first featured video is “A New Story of Us” from the Metta Center for Nonviolence. The second video is from UPLIFT with Bruce Lipton talking about how yoga changes your cellular biology. (The Shift Network and UPLIFT are making the 8+ hours of video from our Yoga Day Summit available free for personal mini-retreats at home.) We also are sharing audio recordings from the Global Compassion Summit, which offers a profound overview of the emerging (ancient) science of compassion.
Our Featured Artist is Annmarie Soul and our Partner Spotlight is the Integrative Restoration Institute, an organization that is helping thousands of people, including veterans suffering from PTSD, find peace in part through the science of yoga meditation.
In closing, I want to quote Steve Killelea, the founder of the Global Peace Index, a highly respected report that measures the most peaceful countries in the world and the financial impact of lack of peace — to see the reports, click here. Steve said it well in a previous Summer of Peace interview:
Sanskrit has 108 words for Love.
Islam has 99 names for God.
Japanese has 14 words for Beauty.
We’ve got one word for Peace.
We don’t have enough words to accurately
describe all the different types of peace.
I think it was Socrates who once said,
“If you don’t have a word to describe something,
then how can you think about it?”
The Shift Network is committed to helping create a new narrative of peace so we can all ‘think about it’ with more skill and in turn, embody it more deeply and live it more tangibly.
My heartfelt appreciation for your partnership in this great work of creating a more loving, sustainable, actualized global family.
What really makes us secure? Nonviolence.
Learn more about any of the resources mentioned in this video, including restorative justice, unarmed peacekeeping and nonviolence in general at mettacenter.org.
Bruce H. Lipton, PhD explains how Yoga can reprogram our cellular memory.
Immerse yourself in your own personal yoga retreat — 8+ hours of inspiring and instructional videos with the planet’s top yogis brought to you by The Shift Network and UPLIFT. Register free: yogadaysummit.com
Peace is something we all crave, from its personal "feel good" qualities to its global realization. In 1990 my beautiful life partner Donna and I founded World Peace Institute, a deeply spiritually based activist organization, in Washington, DC. Through its various involvements we attempted to introduce the experience of "oneness" — especially our interconnected oneness as a human family — into our world's complex peace making processes . . . [read more]
We all desire unchanging peace, well-being and freedom from suffering. Fortunately, we don’t need to go anywhere to realize peace and freedom, for it’s already innate within us, as our birthright, as a fundamental expression of our underlying essential nature, that’s awaiting our discovery in each and every moment. But how do we recognize this essential aspect of unchanging peace? How can we learn to embody peace amidst the challenging and ever-changing circumstances of our life? . . . [read more]
From an early age, I wanted to be an authentic peacemaker, to truly be able to walk my talk. However, as I grew up, I saw myself making choices that didn’t reflect peace and I couldn’t listen inside long enough to come up with better decisions. My culture and my parents had programmed me to be externally focused, to just “get things done.” The longer I lived, the more negative consequences I suffered from this way of being. I yearned to be completely connected inside and out so I could model the peace I believed was possible . . . [read more]
By the time we reach our teen years (and sometimes far earlier), most of us have had a taste of pain or sorrow. For some, it stems from an incident within the family. For others, the end of a friendship or an experience of bullying burns deeply into our hearts. As the years go by, we end up with layer upon layer of emotional burdens. They lie heavy within us. We wonder, what can be done? . . . [read more]
HALABJA, Halabja province — A new peace organization in Halabja is overcoming linguistic differences to promote tolerance and cultural exchange between local residents and the refugee communities that have flooded the area.
The NWE, or “New” in Kurdish, organization, which advocates for human rights and the environment, recently launched the Halabja Summer of Peace and Coexistence campaign to act as a bridge between local Kurds and the mostly Arab arrivals . . . [read more]
Growing up in Miami, my first experience of racism was in the early 70’s in middle school when they began bussing in students from an all black school nearby. Riots were an everyday event, which I did my best to avoid, only once getting hit in the head with a flying object thrown down the stairwell while changing classes. Years later, while driving in a less populated area, I saw for the first time a Ku Klux Klan member in full regalia standing on a corner holding a sign announcing their next rally. A haunting chill went down my spine that day. This lingered in me as an undercurrent of unrest I would not fully understand until much later . . . [read more]
Start Planning for the International Day of Peace — September 21, 2015. There are many initiatives offering ways that you and your family, school and/or business can participate in this global celebration of peace:
Find or create an event for the International Day of Peace – September 21 (click here)
Have your city become an International City of Peace (click here)
Snatam Kaur and Friends – West Coast Tour – August 2015 — Our friends at BrightStar Events are producing Snatam Kaur’s West Coast tour. Concert, chantfest, musical group meditation, a yoga class in melody... how best to describe a live performance by Snatam Kaur and her band? It’s all of these things and more. Crystalline and radiant, Snatam’s voice is redolent of the simple yet powerful truth of the heart. Vancouver, BC, Seattle, Portland, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Encinitas and Los Angeles. To learn more, click here.
New Film screenings of Awake: The Life of Yogananda are now being shown in Australia and United States! You also can bring Awake to your yoga studio or community. To find a showing near you or to arrange for a screening, click here.
(The filmmakers were interviewed in the Summer of Peace, the recording is available for free.)
Alliance for Peacebuilding Update: Peace Direct is launching its Tomorrow's Peacebuilders competition to support and highlight effective local peace building. Information on the competition can be found on their website – click here.
Summer of Peace – ARTE – July 18 to August 23, 2015 — European-based ARTE opens its antenna to peace movements and icons of the twentieth century with films that make us dream of a better world, concerts and documentaries. Be happy this summer. Peacefully yours. To learn more, click here. (You may need to translate the page in your web browser.)
Summer of Peace Family Fun Day – Philadelphia, PA – August 1, 2015. Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony H. Williams, in partnership with the Beautification Project, is sponsoring the Summer of Peace 2015 Family Fun Day! This FREE event takes place Saturday, August 1st from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM at the Christy Recreation Center. Event features basketball games & contest, moonbounces, arts & crafts, pool, free food, and DJ Rude Boi! To learn more, click here.
Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 70th Anniversary of the the atomic bomb – August 6 & 9. Join the World Peace Prayer Society for a FREE Global Webcast and Web Conference from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To learn more, click here.
Ring Bells for Peace & World without War for the 70th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bombing: individuals, homes, places of worship and community centers around the world are invited to ring bells to commemorate the Hiroshima bombing. Please post your event on the RiingBells4Peace Facebook Page or e-mail them.
Auckland, New Zealand – Thursday, August 6 at 11:15am NZST
Sydney, Australia – Thursday, August 6 at 9:15am AEST
Hiroshima – Thursday, August 6, at 8:15am JST (time of bombing in 1945)
Beijing, China – Thursday, August 6 at 7:15am CST
Hanoi, Vietnam – Thursday, August 6 at 6:15am ICT
New Delhi, India – Thursday, August 6 at 4:45am IST
Moscow, Russia – Thursday, August 6 at 2:15am MSK
Jerusalem, Israel – Thursday, August 6 at 2:15am IDT
Cape Town, South Africa – Thursday, August 6 at 1:15am SAST
Berlin, Germany – Thursday, August 6 at 1:15am CEST
London – Thursday, August 6 at 12:15am BST
Rio de Janeiro – Wednesday, August 5 at 8:15pm BRT
Ottowa, Canada – Wednesday, August 5 at 7:15pm EDT
New York, USA – Wednesday, August 5 at 7:15pm EDT
San Jose, Costa Rica – Wednesday, August 5 at 5:15pm CST
San Francisco, California, USA – Wednesday, August 5 at 4:15pm PDT
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA – Wednesday, August 5 at 1:15pm HAST
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference – Santa Fe, New Mexico – August 6–9, 2015. Presentations, nonviolence workshop, and vigils at Los Alamos on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear age. Featured speakers include James Lawson, Erica Chenoweth, Roshi Joan Halifax, John Dear, Kathy Kelly, Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Kit Evans-Ford, Medea Benjamin, and Ken Butigan. To learn more, click here.
Peace Week Milwaukee – Raising the Voice of Peace – August 16–23, 2015. Designated the week of August 16–23, 2015, Peace Week Milwaukee is an opportunity for artists, activists, non-profits, faith groups, local businesses and other diverse organizations and individuals in our community who work so hard year-round for community action and social justice to highlight their efforts while raising a united voice of Peace. To learn more, click here.
Twin Oaks Communities Conference – September 4–7, 2015 – Labor Day Weekend. If you want to live according to the values of cooperation, sustainability, and equality this conference is for you. The conference focuses on Intentional Communities, including models such as Ecovillages, Cohousing, and Housing Cooperatives, and the larger cooperative movement, including all kinds of cooperative and collective organizations. To learn more, click here.
The Parliament of the World's Religions – Salt Lake City this October 15–19. The world’s premier interfaith event is coming back to the United States bringing 10,000 people together from 80 nations and 50 faith traditions to commit to the challenges of war, violence and hate speech, climate change, and income inequity. Five nobel peace laureates led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, an Inaugural Women's Assembly for Global Advancement, religious scholars, faith leaders, and the heart of grassroots will round out 5 days of programming to mobilize the global interfaith movement. The Shift Network can take advantage of advance registration and reclaim the heart of our humanity in 2015 by clicking here.
Kia Miller and Tommy Rosen are so excited to announce the 2015 Recovery 2.0 Thanksgiving Retreat to Costa Rica from November 19-26, 2015. They will be back at Blue Spirit in Nosara for what is always a powerful and blissful Recovery 2.0 experience. The retreat always sells out. If this calls to you, apply today to secure your space.
Praxis Peace Institute: Cuba — November 29 – December 6, 2015 — Praxis Peace Institute, in conjunction with Cuba Educational Travel has prepared a spectacular program for our travelers. Lecture and Discussions with Cuban economists, historians, and journalists at Havana University and the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy. Visit agricultural cooperatives, organicfarms, and meet locals in their homes, and much more. Details and to Register: click here.
Be sure to use code "Mexico1" when you register to receive the Early Registration discount rate. To learn more, click here.
World Peace Library – Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
1 Billion Acts of Peace — a global community of everyday people performing thoughtful actions that contribute to world peace. The Shift Network is delighted to join Peacejam Foundation, Google, Wells Fargo, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and many others have come together to create the "One Billion Acts of Peace" Campaign — an international global citizens' movement designed to tackle the most important problems facing our planet. To learn more, click here.
Light of the Incas
Awakening Your Luminous Body For Healing and Guidance —
A Free Virtual Event Featuring Respected Peruvian Shamanic Healer and Transpersonal Psychologist
don Oscar Miro-Quesada.
Learn how the ancient Incas harnessed the evolutionary power of divine light that resides in all of us to access higher levels within your being for healing, guidance and divine embodiment.
July 25, 2015 at 10:00am Pacific
Tending Fire, Embodying Flow, Serving Lifeforce — A 7-Week Life Empowerment Program
With Prana Vinyasa Flow Pioneer Shiva Rea.
Apply ancient yogic principles and practices to harmonize the flow of energy in your body, minimize the effects of stress and cultivate more awakened presence, vital energy and passion for life.
New Live Training Starts Tuesday, July 28, 2015
• Global Shamanism Summit
• Mirabai Starr 7-week course
• Bill Bauman 7-week course
• Mark Silver 7-week course
• Mingtong Gu 7-week course
• Oscar Miro-Quesada 8-month intensive
• Margaret Paul 9-month intensive
• Mark Matousek 9-month intensive
• Subtle Activism Summit
• 11 Days of Global Unity
• Hakomi Global Summit
• Thomas Huebl 7-week course
• David Nicol 7-week course
• Alison Armstrong 8-week course
• Miranda Macpherson 8-week course
• Enneagram 5-month intensive
• Lisa Schrader 9-month intensive
• Enlightened Business Summit
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Sally Kempton 7-week course
• Hakomi 12-week course
• Tim Kelley 6-month intensive • Mirabai Starr 7-month intensive
International Day of Peace – September 21 (click here). The Shift Network is delighted to support the International Day of Peace in numerous ways. The Summer of Peace culminates on this global celebration and highlights many of the initiatives taking place on this day. We also joined a consortium of organizations to financially support the InternationalDayofPeace.org website that informs how we all can participate in this global peace event.
The Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI) provides programs and teacher trainings that show you how to live a contented life, free of conflict and fear, by opening your mind and body to its inherent ground of health and well-being. iRest Yoga Nidra, one of the principal programs offered by IRI, is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry. To learn more, click here.
Annmarie Soul is a devotional singer/songwriter and beloved yoga teacher whose greatest joy is to help people connect to their authentic power, inner wisdom and light. Her music reflects this beautifully by reminding us to follow our hearts' wisdom, have faith in our connection to the Divine, and to come home to ourselves — a recipe for true peace in every moment. Annmarie's latest album, Back to the Garden, features 7 original songs produced by Ben Leinbach, and is a simple but gorgeous combination of acoustic guitar, keys and her silky smooth vocals. Listen here and learn more about Annmarie: click here.