Let me start out by saying that the notion of meditating or praying to change the world usually annoys me for a number of reasons. As an American surrounded by people who are of privilege by global standards, and living in a country whose foreign policies are at the root of so much suffering and violence, the idea of praying for peace seems pretty weak to say the least. That said, there are times when I feel absolutely powerless to stop the horrific events that are unfolding around the world and praying or meditating seems like the very best thing I can do. That's why I was happy to learn about #opmysticalactivism, another great collaboration with Unify which resonates with my broken-heart, yearning for peace, and my desire to express solidarity with all people who are suffering at the hands of oppressive violence.
Let's be clear, meditating for peace is NOT taking sides. It would be idiotic to pray for peace for the "good guys" and not the "bad guys". This is about people, ALL people. Demonizing others is one of the root causes of violence (so is selling weapons, funding oppositions, and meddling with the affairs of other nations). Unfortunately the American people haven't been very effective at stopping our government from selling weapons, de-stabilizing other countries' economies and meddling with the affairs of sovereign nations, so that might just be outside of our control. However, it is within our power to resist the hatred, the demonizing, and hold a strong place of peaceful intention for all who are suffering.
Global Coherence Initiative, Heartmath, Noosphere, Maharishi Effect, each have substantial scientific information to suggest that synchronized global meditations actually do have a positive effect towards reducing violence. Unify.org has been employing this understanding and has built a network of over 1,000 people in 800 cities that have included many thousands of people holding synchronized global meditations on numerous occasions since 2012.
Photo of Protests Shortly Before Violence Broke Out Courtesy of Wikipedia
***PLEASE USE IMAGE FOR FACEBOOK SHARES, ETC***
Concerning The Ukraine, Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University had this to say about the complex situation in the Ukraine during a Democracy Now interview:
Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country... Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it's two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West...
The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what's happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility...
Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November, "You must choose between Europe and Russia." That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember--wasn't reported here (in America)--at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, "Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let's make it a tripartite package to Ukraine." And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets...
In Venezuela it is also not easy to take sides. There are outside forces, corporate interests, political interests that want control of the countries' resources and people. There are interests that thrive on de-stabilizing regions, history has shown us this time and time again.
Here in America we have been lucky to see legitimately angry citizens take to the street during The Occupy Movement with a resolve to be non-violent regarding the banking swindle that led to our economic collapse. Yet we still have a president who is in a hurry to make back-room deals to fast-track TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). TPP sets the foundation for multinational corporations to override the will of the people in America and other nations using international trade laws. After TPP, corporations could sue America for refusing environmentally reckless projects like Keystone XL on the grounds that we are interfering with their "freedom" to do business. We see violently overthrown democracies around the world, yet we are quietly oblivious to our own democracy being signed away to multinational interests by our own president.
When I see the before and after photos of Kiev, my heart trembles to consider how fragile peace can become when government leaders ignore the needs and the will of the people. This suffering, violence, and destruction could happen in any one of our communities and it doesn't take much to feel solidarity with everyone caught in the cross-fire.
Meditation alone will not fix this, but it is a big part of what is needed right now. People everywhere raising their voices, AND raising their vibration. There are no sides to take in these conflicts. This about compassion for our fellow human beings. Martin Luther King said it best:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
#opmysticalactivism has a Facebook event page that reads:
In times of dire and hurtful circumstances we must overcome, we must look to our commonality more than our differences. The Ukraine is currently experiencing one of these careless acts and as part of our human family we must help. This is a callout for those who want to make a difference - to make a difference via prayers and meditations to shift the state of what is happening in the Ukraine into a state of authentic peace and balance.
What to do: Between Feb 20 and Feb 28 at 8:00am EET / 10:00pm PST turn inward or with a group of people to hold a space of peace for the Ukraine, Venezuela and the world for 15 minutes.
We live in amazing and volatile times, we are all participating in the unfolding of history whether we acknowledge it or not. What we do and don't do will effect the future for all of us as well as those who are not even born yet. Please share this with your networks.
Follow Jacob Devaney on Twitter: www.twitter.com/5cloudsdancing