By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
The past three months have been truly blessed and filled with loving connection. My beloved wife, Devaa Haley Mitchell, gave birth to our first child, Sienna Rose, in March, and we’ve been able to spend the time since then deep in family mode, including the final stretch in Hawaii.
There are few words to express the awe-inspiring miracle of giving birth to a child. In fact, it’s brought home that all of us are a miracle story of creation, evolving from two tiny cells to a fully formed human being. Our hearts have opened to new levels of love as we’re mesmerized by the preciousness of our beautiful daughter. She’s lighting up our life and creating new friendships and an extended sense of family.
Of course, there have been times when we’ve been stretched by lack of sleep and humbled by the steep learning curve of tending to an infant — feeding, changing diapers, comforting… responding to her every cry.
But with all of these experiences, we feel ever more connected with every parent who loves his or her child. We feel a deeper connection with all of humanity and a greater appreciation for the preciousness of life.
Sienna Rose’s blessing of our lives has strengthened our commitment to help create a safe and harmonious world for all children, all people, all life.
Sienna Rose links us more deeply to future generations and inspires us to redouble our efforts to have The Shift Network be a beacon of hope and inspiration in the world. Simply put, we cannot fail to give the next generation a viable world.
Stephen Dinan, Devaa Haley Mitchell and baby Sienna Rose
enjoy a visit with the legendary Ram Dass
With this renewed commitment, we are delighted to announce the launch of the sixth annual Summer of Peace. This year, the Summer of Peace will build upon a solid foundation of five years of programs by offering a range of activities, including live events. We are delighted to announce three new online summits: the Yoga Day Summit (which took place June 21-22); Inspiring Positive Social Change: Cutting Edge Insights from Spirituality, Neuroscience and Peacebuilding (July 11 to Sept. 5); and 11 Days of Global Unity Summit (Sept. 11-21). (We will be making announcements in the coming weeks about the upcoming Inspiring Positive Social Change and 11 Days of Global Unity Summit.)
First, I have to say, the Yoga Day Summit was a spectacular journey into the ancient roots and deep wisdom of yoga and the role yoga is playing in transforming lives in the modern world, promoting peace one person, one breath at a time. We featured over 20 hours of stunning video interviews, many filmed in the birthplace of yoga: the Himalayas along the banks of the holy Ganges River. It was an exceptional transmission of spiritual wisdom and energy.
The Summer of Peace is also bringing additional attention to the World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilders alike, the World Peace Library contains more than 425 audio and video interviews, curated largely from previous Summer of Peace summits, with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. The Shift Network’s virtual World Peace Library is the largest collection of its kind!
The World Peace Library and all of the Summer of Peace events highlight that there’s a new narrative of peace quietly and powerfully emerging around the world — one rooted in ancient wisdom and accelerated by modern science and technology. The World Peace Library offers one of the first bird's-eye-view map of this new narrative.
The Summer of Peace also highlights the activities and live events of our partners, including Summer of Peace Westerly — a series of live peace celebrations taking place in Westerly, Rhode Island.
As part of the Summer of Peace, we also are taking the lead in creating California Campaign 2020 — a statewide collaboration of community organizations and movement-makers committed to building caring communities at the grassroots level in collaboration with city and county governments.
California Campaign 2020 is our commitment to offering a positive response to political polarization in the United States and the world. Our intention is that these efforts will highlight and spark similar initiatives elsewhere around the globe.
As part of California Campaign 2020, we will celebrate InterDependence Day on July 4 — a California-inspired upgrade to the U.S. Independence Day. We are gathering to celebrate our community of diversity, inclusion, innovation and civic participation. For those in the area, please join us live in Sacramento, California. To find out more, click here.
And stay tuned, as we’ll shortly be releasing details about a Sacramento conference called California Vision 2020, which will be held September 22-24.
Our Featured Artists are Emily Lewis & Naia Graham, whose record, Sweet Medicine, is rooted in folk, world and sacred chant traditions.
We would love to hear your answer to the question, “How have you found deep inner peace, and how have you tried to share that peace with the world at large?” To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
Our Shift Philanthropy section features Alliance for Peacebuilding, a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries.
May your life be filled with an abundance of blessings and may you enjoy your own personal summer of peace. Remember, as Cambodian Buddhist monk Maha Ghosananda so eloquently noted...
When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world.
We know you’ll enjoy this music from the universe composed in Norway under the Northern Lights. There are nine pieces in this symphony, each one composed in a specific frequency that resonates with one of the nine Soultypes. When New Equations Music is composed, the entire symphony is played in one take, with no rehearsal or sheet music — and is never played again. This is possible because beings from the universe are supporting and helping this process to happen. When you listen to this symphony, it opens you up to the creative light of the universe. To purchase the symphony and to learn more, click here.
The ancient wisdom of the sages unites with modern medicine in this conversation with osteopath and renowned yoga teacher, Brian Siddharth Ingle. Brian, who studied with the great spiritual master Papaji, describes how health emerges from stillness... guided by a universal intelligence and the movement of love. To watch the video interview, conducted by Philip Hellmich, Shift’s Director of Peace, click here. To read Philip’s blog post, “8 Ancient Yogic Secrets to Immediately Improve Your Life & The World,” which includes this video and seven others, click here.
As your soul awakens, it begins to permeate your psyche with wholeness, your heart with love’s subtle harmony and your mind with visionary insight and a vibrant moral conscience. You are on your way to becoming a new creation. But the world will still manufacture its own meanness, crudity and calculated self-interest to try to subvert your progress, so that it can bind you to the false security of the status quo.
To read more excerpts from this brand new book of prayer and contemplation, click here.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations the first of each month — click here to register for free. On June 1, we featured Anandra George, a pioneer in the global yoga community who created the world’s first registered yoga teacher training based entirely on the transformational power of sound. (The free recording is available here.)
My friend Sandra de Castro Buffington, Founding Director of the Global Media Center for Social Impact, and I recently traveled to Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of yoga in the foothills of the Himalayas along the banks of the Holy Ganges River, to talk with some of the world’s leading yoga teachers.
We asked each of these beloved yogis how the ancient science of yoga can provide insights to modern personal and collective challenges. Here are the highlights from these sacred sessions:
When in December of 2016 the cover page of Time Magazine labeled this country the "divided states of America,” it felt true. A harrowing 2016 U.S. presidential election, left a gash in American communities decades in the making.
While activism quickly captured the energy generated by the election results, peacebuilders as well felt compelled to act. Uniquely equipped, a number of changemakers from around the United States came together at George Mason University’s Point of View for a two day gathering. Practitioners reflected on their role in helping to bridge the U.S. policy divide and make that quantum leap to restore civility in our political discourse.
Philip Hellmich, from the Shift Network, reminded us that many, all over the world, were already contributing to this vision. He encouraged us to align ourselves with the natural intelligence of this grassroots movement so we could "be the change we wanted to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi).
There’s no time like the present, and nothing like our present time that urges us to pray for the healing of our world. So much suffering, so many forces beyond our control, sometimes prayer is our only way to send our intention out to the powers that be. At least it’s one form that is always available.
Below are seven stages to effective prayer that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, within any spiritual framework. They can be seen as a template for harvesting collective consciousness toward our co-creation of a positive future. Action is still required, but action that takes place without proper alignment requires tiresome effort. Action introduced into a prepared matrix becomes joyful and effortless.
I’ve rarely been so moved by a political speech. If you haven’t heard it, don’t miss it.
I refer to the speech on May 19 by Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans. He was speaking about the reasons for his city’s removal of monuments to Confederate generals. (You can read the text, but to get the full emotional impact I recommend watching the video.) You will understand why New York Times columnist Frank Bruni called the speech a masterpiece and noted that Landrieu has been mentioned in a list of potential 2020 presidential candidates.
I met my wife, Darbie, in college in September and we were married by May. Two years later, in mid-June, we learned we were expecting twins at the end of October. We were a little shocked but had no time to process it. Right after seeing the sonogram, Darbie headed off to work and I drove to campus to take the LSAT.
We couldn’t wait to welcome our new babies. Turns out we didn’t have to. A month later, Darbie went into labor at twenty-four weeks. The doctor told me on the phone, “Get to the hospital right now!” I did the classic “hop in the car, pedal to the metal, run through red lights” routine. Darbie delivered the twins via emergency C-section on July 17, 2004.
You get a crash course in neonatal medicine when you have premature babies. Corbin got the worst of it. Within a few days of his birth, doctors noticed a brain hemorrhage beginning to form.
Siska Tovey: Soultyping — The Physical Expression of the Soul
Spiritual teachers and researchers Siska Tovey and Alan Sheets founded New Equations and discovered Soultyping and the nine Soultypes 24 years ago. Every person in the world is born as one of these Soultypes, and each Soultype brings something unique and beautiful to the world. Each Soultype correlates to one of nine movement centers on the body. Siska and Alan have discovered that the soul is visible in your physical body, your movements, hand gestures, facial expressions, eyes, and how you relate to others. To discover more about Soultypes, click here. To discover your Soultype, click here.
The global meditation will be followed by a celebration of InterDependence Day in Sacramento’s Southside Park from 10:00am to 2:00pm. The gathering will celebrate the community of diversity, inclusion, innovation and civic participation. The event will include inspiring words from civic leaders and movement makers in forward-thinking policy, equity and equality, cultural diversity and social justice, as well as hands-on activities such as sand mandala-making, a labyrinth walk, children's art and cultural dancing. For more information, click here.
IONS 17th International Conference: “The Science of What Connects Us” Is science purely rational? How does it relate to spirituality? What role does intuition play in the scientific process? Questions like these will be addressed at the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference,“The Science of What Connects Us,” held on July 20-23 in Oakland. Speakers include IONS Chief Scientist Dean Radin, famed author and parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake, journalist and author Lynne McTaggart and NASA Astronaut Yvonne Cagle. Watch a two-minute video preview by clicking here.
Three alumni of the 2016 Shift Leadership Academy co-founded a virtual community called the Expanding Consciousness Collective, bringing people together to support one another in taking conscious action in the world. The Collective's purpose is to inspire, educate, motivate, facilitate, co-create and invite people of all ages, genders, and cultures who care about their families, their communities, their nation, and our world, and who want to contribute to a harmonious, sustainable planet.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
The Shift Network is proud to be a member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the institutional home for the peacebuilding community — a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries. We strongly encourage anyone interested in peacebuilding to consider becoming a member and/or making a donation. For more information, click here. To donate, click here.
Pathways To Peace (PTP) is an International Peacebuilding, Educational and Consulting organization dedicated to making Peace a practical reality through both local and global projects. Incorporated in 1983, 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. For more information, click here. To donate, click here.
The National Peace Academy is a home for peace professionals and community organizers looking to hone their practice and for budding community leaders and changemakers who are seeking knowledge and skills to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities and nurture positive change in themselves, their family, neighborhood, workplace and the world.
Peacebuilding vocations, just like careers in science, business or technology, are built upon foundations of knowledge and skills that are pursued through lifelong learning. While numerous universities are now offerings degree programs in peace related fields, opportunities to gain skills and knowledge in peacebuilding remain relatively inaccessible and expensive. The NPA, through partnerships with expert and experienced peacebuilders, is working hard to make learning for peace and change accessible, available and affordable to all. For more information, click here.
Through the combination of events, educational forums and publications, the Unity-and-Diversity World Council seeks to bring together all ethnicities, cultures and religions into a unity-and-diversity type of community both locally and around the world, providing a loving and truthful social change.
Its objectives are:
(1) To realize our connection to the Source of All Life and to all life forms. (2) To facilitate personal and social transformation and cooperative activities for global peace and justice. (3) To create an international vehicle for economic cooperation.
This divine duo has come together to share their soulful, sacred songs and harmonies with the intention of healing the planet and empowering all beings. Their music is rooted in folk, world and sacred chant traditions, weaving together indigenous and modern sounds in a way that is beautiful, uplifting and inspiring. They create, in part, so that we can feel equally free to express ourselves through our voices and connect with greater possibilities for our lives. You can listen to their debut album, Sweet Medicine, here.