By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
This time of year gives me incredible joy and hope for humanity!
The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is on September 21 — a day "devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace" around the world. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981, the International Day of Peace was celebrated by over 500 million last year!
The International Day of Peace is an incredible global phenomenon! Never before in human history have so many people come together to acknowledge our shared humanity and desire for peace.
This year's theme — "Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All" — is exemplified by the numerous ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace — BeThePeace (synchronized global meditations), PeaceDayTV (global broadcast), EarthDance (global peace party), Playing for Change (global music for change), Compassion Games (survival of the kindest), Peace Poles (global symbols of peace) and many more! (See Movement News).
Many of these celebrations are starting on Saturday, Sept. 19th to take advantage of the “Peace Weekend.” We encourage you, your family and friends to participate in a way that is meaningful for you.
The Summer of Peace, our free gift to the world, is designed to culminate on the International Day of Peace. Right now we are in the midst of the 11 Days of Global Unity Summit which includes interviews with Deepak Chopra, Eve Ensler, Patch Adams and many other inspiring people – click here to register free.
In this edition of The Catalyst, we have powerful articles from Ambassador Chowdhury, Dot Maver and Sister Jenna (Summer of Peace Wisdom Council Members), along with Carrie Steele (1 Billion Acts of Peace), Catherine Douglas (BeThePeace), and T.J. David and Sylvia Villalobos (International World Peace Rose Gardens).
Our member profile is from Anandra George (Rishikesh, India) and our Shift Philanthropy is Pathways to Peace, founded by our dear friend Avon Mattison who was intimately involved in the creation of the International Day of Peace. Our Featured Artist is Jarah Tree from Australia.
For those in the San Francisco Bay area, I encourage you to attend the Search for Common Ground event on October 4, 2015 in San Rafael. Shamil Idriss, the President of SFCG, will be speaking about their groundbreaking work in transforming conflict around the world. (See Movement News)
On a heartfelt note, I want to acknowledge the recent passing of Wayne Dyer. Wayne was one of the early leaders in self-development and spiritual growth and we all are grateful for his contributions to the world. There will be a free livestream tribute to Wayne on September 18, 7:00–9:30 pm ET – click here.
Alright, let’s all celebrate the International Day of Peace, starting with the BeThePeace synchronized global meditation on September 19 – click here.
In this video, Dr. Goodall encourages individuals around the globe to participate in the United Nations International Day of Peace which is celebrated on September 21 each year. This year, an especially auspicious one with the UN's celebration its 70th anniversary, will have the theme of, "Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All."
On Playing For Change Day, communities will gather as musicians and music lovers from all over the world to perform on stages, street corners, schools, yoga studios, and cafes all with the goal of bringing music into the lives of young people. Create your own PFC Day event or find one near you – click here.
The Summer of Peace is our commitment to peace in the world.
This season-long free event provides tangible skills you can apply in your daily life. Here are four recent sessions we are gifting you today:
The International Day of Peace (IDP) is a special day of inspiration. It has been proclaimed by the United Nations for observance on 21 September as “a global day of ceasefire and non-violence” by “all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.” The Day has been celebrated since 1982 . . . [read more]
The National Peace Academy (NPA) is part of a rich peace history in the United States of America and as we honor the International Day of Peace 2015 and the theme: Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All, it seems fitting to share good news regarding an exciting development for the National Peace Academy and George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution . . . [read more]
It has been a few months since the beginning of my journey with "Belief," a new TV series to be aired by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on October 18–24. Spearheaded by an incredible group from Values Partnerships, the series has given us a forum for conversations around healing, love, forgiveness, God, and life . . . [read more]
At the PeaceJam Foundation, it is our core belief that each one of us has the power to make a huge difference, to positively impact the people around us, and to create sustainable living practices so our planet thrives for generations to come. In fact, the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign aims to inspire millions of ordinary citizens to come together and create a movement to achieve One Billion Acts of Peace by the year 2019 . . . [read more]
Sunshine dances on my shoulders as I sit on the cool plaza cement with my eyes closed. I take a smooth slow breath. The busy sounds of downtown San Francisco bustling with life catch my attention for a moment before I begin to focus on an unwavering sense of love and hope I feel arising. The presence is palpable. I open my eyes to see hundreds of people sitting around me in silent prayer and meditation . . . [read more]
Roses have a universal appeal that speak to the heart and dazzle the senses. They have been delighting people for millennia with their beauty and importance in cultural traditions, but now are associated with peace through the unique work of International World Peace Rose Gardens (IWPRG). Based in Sacramento, California, we created this nonprofit in 1988 for the sole purpose of enhancing peace through the creation of World Peace Rose Gardens in diverse communities around the world . . . [read more]
I fell in love with music at 10 years old, astonished when my first breath through a silver flute made a most beautiful tone. But it was when I first came to India at 19 that my heart-strings were truly plucked alive by the sounds of mantra. In fact, I recently visited the ashram where my intense yearning to chant inspired a lifetime of learning sacred sound, which I differentiate from the ordinary as “sound which is alive with listening” . . . [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)
Awake: The Life of Yogananda — DVDs available in September with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch and Japanese. Plus there are new film showings in Australia and United States! You also can bring Awake to your yoga studio or community. To learn more click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Yoga Day Summit, the recording is available for free.)
New Book: Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation David Thomas Nicol introduces the concept of “subtle activism” to describe the use of consciousness-based practices like meditation and prayer to support collective transformation, such as global meditation directed toward peaceful resolution of a conflict. Subtle activism represents a bridge between the consciousness movement and the movements for peace, environmental sustainability, and social justice. It is not a substitute for physical action but rather a potentially crucial component of a more integrated approach to social change. To learn more and order a copy, click here.
St. Petersburg (Florida) Celebrates Second Annual "Interfaith Week" – September 13–20, 2015. For the second year in a row, the City of St. Petersburg will officially recognize Interfaith Week — a chance to see how the rest of your community practices religion and spirituality in a casual, open, educational setting. To learn more, click here. Tribute to Wayne Dyer – September 18, 2015. 7:00–9:30pm ET — FREE Livestream — On this evening dedicated to Wayne, Reid Tracy, Hay House CEO, and several other Hay House authors will remember Wayne and his legacy. Wayne was a pioneer in bringing the principles of self-discovery and personal growth alive for the masses. He will forever live on in our minds and hearts. To learn more, click here.
3rd Annual Peace in the Park – San Francisco – Free Event, Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at Golden Gate Park, SF — Join over 5,000 people in a rejuvenating day of peaceful activities for all ages and backgrounds — alcohol-free and vegetarian refreshments. To learn more, click here.
"We Do Not Die: Expanding Consciousness through Near-Death and other Mystical Experiences" at the Findhorn Foundation Autumn Conference, from 26-29 September 2015, plus 3-days of half-day post-conference workshops (30 September – 2 October, 2015). Our vision is for the conference to be interactive and collaborative, offering new perspectives from which to view our: purpose on a soul level, reason for our life’s direction and relationships; and, self-worth and the worth of our existence. Speakers include: Dr. Eben Alexander, Anita Moorjani, PMH Atwater and Mellen-Thomas Benedict. To learn more, click here.
Search for Common Ground: invites you to a conversation with Shamil Idriss, President — Sunday, October 4, 2015, San Rafael, CA. At this intimate gathering, Shamil will talk about our newest program, “Battle for Humanity,” an online platform to counter ISIS-like recruitment; our work with former terrorist prisoners in Indonesia and Morocco; potential work on race relations in the US; and the behind-the-scenes essential role Search played in the nuclear agreement with Iran. You will get a sense of the “new” Search, reaching even more people with more ways to find common ground. For more information and to RSVP, contact Susie Dillon by clicking here or by calling 202-777-2231.
Emerging Women invites you to join us for our free live stream of Emerging Women Live, October 8–11 in San Francisco, California – click here. Invest in yourself by joining Dr. Jane Goodall, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent and other inspiring women! Learn from the female founders of innovative companies like Stitch Fix and New Belgium Brewery. Join a global community of emerging women and explore what it means to lead from a place of personal power. As a special bonus, the live stream will be available to you on-demand for 30 days after the event! Find out more on the Emerging Women Live 2015 Live Stream Page – 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.
The Peace Alliance – Be the Movement National Conference – Washington, DC – October 16–20, 2015! The conference will focus on the Five Peacebuilding Cornerstones of Be the Movement: Empowering Community Peacebuilding, Teaching Peace in Schools, Humanizing Justice Systems, Cultivating Personal Peace, and Fostering International Peace. Come together with like-minded allies from around the nation as we dialogue with, and learn from, some of the world’s most inspiring leaders and experts for a kind of peacebuilding think tank. Speakers include: Sylvia Boorstein, Congressman Bobby Scott, Phil Donahue, Rep. Pete Lee and Lynn Lee, Jeffrey Weisberg, Michael Skolnik, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf and many more. To learn more, click here.
Friends Committee on National Legislation – Building A Pathway to Peace: Annual Meeting, Quaker Public Policy Institute & Lobby Day – November 12–15, 2015 – Washington, DC. This November, we'll be asking Congress to prevent violence before it starts. The US too often waits until war or atrocities begin, and then it only provides military solutions. But it doesn't have to be that way. We believe that by paying attention to warning signs, the international community can respond before deadly conflict erupts. Participants will learn how to lobby from FCNL's expert staff; hear from congressional staff and other speakers; connect with people from your state; practice lobbying skills; meet with your representative and senators and hear presentations on peacebuilding. To learn more, click 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.
Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World – December 2–6, 2015 – Tao Wellness Center, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico —
HeartMath and Global Coherence Initiative Special Event: Come join us for a transformative experience in Collective Coherence: Co-Creating a New World, our fourth annual Mexico event. We will practice tools for Collective Coherence and learn how this accelerates our personal unfoldment into higher potentials. Energetic connectivity will be explored and why it is effective for co-creating a new world. Be sure to use code "Mexico1" when you register to receive the Early Registration discount rate. To learn more, click here.
Maadhiam World Peace Festival – December 23–30 – Middle East Cruise — Take time off to participate in The Maadhiam World Peace Festival aboard a cruise — the Costa Fortuna. The Festival will bring together like minded people from many diverse backgrounds, talents and domains of expertise who are committed to promoting world peace. The Festival will explore many innovative ways to communicate about peace through yoga, literature, music, dance and art. Travel on an awesome mind transforming and life changing journey. And of course, do experience the warmth and hospitality of the Middle East as the cruise stops in ports in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. To learn more, click here. (Note: Shift Network’s Philip Hellmich will be a guest speaker on the cruise.)
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.
• Co-creating Heaven on Earth Summit
• Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit
• Michael Stone 7-week course
• Robert Moss 12-week course
• George Kao 12-week course
• Martin Rutte 12-week course
Pathways to Peace (PTP) — The Shift Network is delighted to be a supporter of Pathways to Peace, an International Peacebuilding, Educational and Consulting organization dedicated to making Peace a practical reality through both local and global projects. PTP is an official Peace Messenger of the United Nations and has Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and works with the U.N. Centre for Human Rights, U.N. Centre for Human Settlements, UNESCO, UNICEF and other agencies. To learn more about Pathways to Peace, click here.
International Day of Peace — Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
Jarah Tree is a medicine musician who creates profoundly healing, conscious, heartfelt music that draws from a multitude of cultural influences. A brush with death inspired him to release his latest album, which is, in his words, "a tribute to the Mighty River flowing in all forms through all life... A constant celebration of the rivers returning to the ocean, returning to the source, the cycles of life, death and rebirth. " I've probably listened to the song "Breathe" about 100 times since downloading this album. Other favorites include "Tayata Om" and "Waza Moya," but the whole album is simply exquisite. To hear his music, click here.