[Catalyst #13] Peace Poles - International Day of Peace
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
Today is Independence Day in the United States and my prayer today is that we,
as a country, can empower the next wave of evolution into true Interdependence,
which is the foundation for peace in the world.
We are midstream on the Summer of Peace now, our annual
philanthropic program that focuses on creating a culture of peace. What I love
most about the Summer of Peace is the inspiring stories
of peace efforts around the world and the beautiful ways the entire Shift
Network community can take actions in our own lives.
We regularly receive amazing emails from Shift Network members who are either
repairing relationships in their lives, creating International Cities of Peace,
organizing meditations, playing in the Compassion Games and lots of other
I invite you to submit an article for The Catalyst about your
commitment to peace and how that is taking shape. Please send your
400-800 word article to us by July 27 — email@example.com, along with a photo and brief
The Summer of Peace is our
commitment to you and the larger global community to accelerate the shift to a
peaceful world. With this in mind, we are making ALL summit interviews
available for free, including the downloads for later listening (register by clicking here). In this
Catalyst, we highlight recent sessions focused on inner peace, peace
in relationships and peace in parenting.
This edition of The Catalyst is dedicated to one of my favorite peace
symbols: Peace Poles! There are now over 200,000 Peace Poles around the world.
Peace Poles have "May Peace Prevail on Earth" written on them, often
with several languages on one Peace Pole. Peace Poles are like global
acupuncture needles — they ground our peace intentions in locations
around the world. Each time I see one (as I recently did in Ashland, Oregon), I
envision this global network of beacons for peace arrayed around the world.
This year, we are partnering with the World Peace Prayer Society (founders of the Peace
Pole Project), BeThePeace and others to call for synchronized
meditations/celebrations around Peace Poles on the International Day of Peace
(September 21). Through our joint prayers and meditations we can activate a
global grid of powerful peace intention.
In this Catalyst we feature a beautiful, heart-warming story from Fumi
Johns Stewart on how Peace Poles were inspired in Japan following World War
Two. Fumi herself is from American-Japanese heritage. We also have inspiring
Peace Pole stories from Hideo Nakazawa in Japan, Caroline Uchima in Scotland,
Jacek Kowzlowski in Poland, Jenny Funston in Australia and New Zealand, and,
Marta Rojas Berndt in Chile.
I encourage you to join the Peace Pole/BeThePeace initiative by participating
in or organizing a meditation near a Peace Pole – click here. You can purchase or make a Peace Pole
in advance for your home, school, church or business – click here. Or, you can find Peace Poles near you
The Peace Pole Project Song
Children from different faiths and schools gather to sing and record an
original song about world peace and Peace Poles. This song is dedicated to the
non-profit, non-denominational U.N. based World Peace Prayer Society. To learn
more, click here.
Featured Summer of Peace Recordings –
FREE The Summer of
Peace is our commitment to peace in the world. The free summit provides
tangible skills you can apply in your daily life. Here are three recent
I often felt conflicted as a child. My
father's country, the United States, had fought a war with my mother's country,
Japan, which ended with the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in 1945. I just could not fathom the reason why such an atrocity
could happen especially between the two nations of my ancestors that flowed in
my bloodstream. My wish was to serve one day as an ambassador of peace to
bridge and bring healing to the two cultures of my
heritage . . . [read more]
It was in the summer of 1968 when I first
encountered the Japanese peace prayer and message, "May Peace Prevail on
Earth" written in beautiful Japanese Calligraphy. I saw on a small
vertical paper sticker which was placed on the wall of a natural food store in
Shibuya, Tokyo . . . [read more]
I lived in Japan for almost 20 years, and I first saw a Peace Pole at my local
shrine. (Every area in Japan has its local Shinto shrine, with an ancient tree
presiding as the sacred guardian of the Shrine and neighbourhood) I was
surprised because the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" was in
English as well as Japanese. I felt a little ripple of hope and pleasure that
someone had made the effort to plant this symbol in such an unobtrusive and
gentle way. After that I started to see Peace Poles everywhere — in
Buddhist temples, on street corners, in public parks and even at the top of a
mountain I climbed. I eventually discovered that groups of volunteers from the
World Peace Prayer Society (WPPS) were responsible for planting these Peace
Poles. I loved that the message was silently rippling out in harmony wherever
it happened to be . . . [read more]
I was born two decades after World War II in
Poland which was under Soviet Union control at the time. As a child, I
remember wanting to be free and independent. I dreamt of traveling, of finding
new friends, and discovering the world. But there were many restrictions and
special regulations during that time in Poland. I could not travel freely and
it was difficult for me to get a passport. Even our phone calls were
controlled . . . [read more]
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 . . . [read more]
Live Retreat at Omega
Institute — A Contemplative Journey with the
Mystics — July 13, 2014 – July 18, 2014 — Through
contemplative readings, silent meditation, writing exercises, and group
sharing, we learn to listen deeply, and to cultivate stillness, humility, and
fearlessness. To learn more, click here.
Discover the Gift
– this is a truly powerful film, training and community that helps people
move from adversity to authentic expression in the world. Discover the Gift is
created by transformational leader Shajen Joy Aziz and her brother
writer/director Demian Lichtenstein – click here.
The EFT Universe Peak Performance
Symposium – Register for free recordings of recent
interviews with Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Lipton, John Gray and Dawson Church.
The Latest Scientific Research is In. Turns Out What We Thought About Success
Up Until Now... Is Wrong. To listen, click here.
The Eugene City of Peace organization has many resources for communities
working toward a culture of peace: click here.
JOIN the Compassion Games and make your community
safer, kinder, more just and a better place to live. By participating, players
are called upon to perform acts of service and kindness in our neighborhoods,
on the job, in service-providing agencies, and wherever their daily journey
takes them. The acts of service are organized projects or simple acts of
kindness to aid a neighbor in need or just for the pure joy of it! The 2014
Games will run from September 11 through September 21, 2014 and involves people
around the world. You can join now by clicking here!
and The Peace Pole Project for synchronized meditations around Peace Poles on
the International Day of Peace (September 21, 2014)
Peace Pole Project – where to order your Peace Pole, how to make one,
youth project, translations, etc. – click here.
BeThePeace - Find or create a meditation – click here.
Approach to Fight Malaria – join the United Nations, United
Methodists, and the Bill and Melinda (Devaa) Gates Foundation in preventing
malaria. You can help purchase mosquito nets – the goal is to raise $2
million. To join the effort, click here.
Price released a new series of e-books under the theme of 'One Truth, Many Paths.'
Her work is important because of her insights about the common ground of all
religions. Her books are crucial now that we have so much inter-religious
conflict. She also uses tools from integral theory in her work." (Quote by
Byron Belitsos, former editor of The Catalyst.) To learn more about
Isabella's writings, click here.
JOIN a global oneness campaign for
youth and families that invites youth to proclaim their connectedness through
dancing and singing in flashmobs. To learn more, click here.
The 2014 Global Peace
Index has just been released along with new groundbreaking
research that identifies the countries most at risk of instability and
violence. This year the Global Peace Index report focuses on identifying
countries most at risk of instability and conflict; it explores the
institutions that underpin peaceful societies, and look at the link between
conflict risk, resilience and peacebuilding institutions. To learn more, click here.
Celebrate Life Festival (CLF),
one of Europe's largest spiritual events with more than 1,000 attendees live
and online, invites you to join the Mystical Summer School – Renaissance
of Spirit from July 24 to August 3, 2014. In the eleventh year of the CLF,
people from all over the world will study the mystical principles and in a
dynamic mix of exploration and celebration, exercises and encounters, develop a
culture that places awakening in the center of everyday life. To learn more, click here.
The Economics of Sustainability –
Emerging Models for a Healthy Planet – October 6-9, 2014 – Fort
Mason, SF, CA – The Economics of Sustainability conference is looking 50
years into the future. Our challenge is to bring forth a transformation of
cultural and economic relationships so that environmental sustainability,
social justice, and economic democracy become our way of life. To learn more,
• Future of Yoga mini-summit
• Laura Cornell 8-week course
• Sally Kempton 7-week course
• Barbara Marx Hubbard 12-week course
• Bill Bauman 6-month intensive
• Margaret Paul 9-month intensive
• Miranda Macpherson 4-month course
• Lisa Schrader 9-month intensive
• Enneagram 9-month intensive
• Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Enlightened Business Summit
• James O'Dea 6-week course
• Andrew Harvey 7-week course
• Anodea Judith 7-week course
The World Peace Prayer Society'sPeace Pole Project – When you plant
a Peace Pole in your community, you are linking with people all over the world
who have planted Peace Poles in the same spirit of peace. To learn more,
A musician after my own heart, Sarah Anali creates songs to inspire others to
pursue their unique paths and trust their inner guidance. Initially writing
about her personal story and struggles, she went on journey of deep healing and
began to focus on themes that are more all-encompassing. She shares about her
new songs, "How do we stay connected with a higher power while remaining
engaged in this world? How do we live as Spirit without denying our humanness?
How do we live fearlessly from the heart, while acknowledging our imperfections
and fears? These are open questions in my life and my music. I may never get
answers, but I will never stop asking." Her debut album, The Gift of
Grace, is aptly titled. Each song is a much needed dose of spiritual
medicine, with every wise word knocking on the door of your psyche until you
finally let it in. Click here to experience her healing