Emmy Award-winning actress, Leigh Taylor-Young, and I will present "Gathering of the Spirit of Peace in All" at the Parliament of the World's Religions 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. The Parliament was first held in Chicago in 1893 and brings together the world's religious and spiritual communities, their leaders and their followers. Leigh and I will be attending and presenting at this gathering to explore peace within the context of interreligious understanding and cooperation.
On Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8:00 - 9:00 am, Leigh and I will share key messages from our many years of experience promoting peace around the planet. Based on the meditations CD, "Gathering of Peacemakers and Spirit of Peace," which we made jointly in 1989, our presentation will focus on how we as individuals can awaken to the peace that already exists within us, with the result then being peace in the world.
During our presentation, Leigh will conduct a live guided meditation entitled "Spirit of Peace." This meditation, adapted from the CD version, will provide anyone who chooses to participate with a beautiful inner journey for experiencing the peace within ourselves. The meditation will then serve as a catalyst for creating a healthy, balanced and peaceful planet.
In my meditation on the CD, "Gathering of Peacemakers", the focus is upon the innate spiritual calling to come to peace with others. In Leigh's meditation, the phrase "It is good" is repeated throughout, recalling those words from the Bible and gently asking us to consider a new beginning for our planet. The meditation I present on the CD, "Gathering of Peacemakers," starts with an inner baptism as a way to release ourselves from restrictions of the past. It also includes an uplifting adaptation of the famous peace prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. Listening to these meditations can produce a profound inner alignment with active peaceful awareness and a healthy vision for our planet.
As the CD insert notes, each of us has the power to create peace in our lives. As we align our personal strengths with peace, we create peaceful results in the world. So we encourage everyone to place ourselves in peace first, as the way to bring forward peace for our planet.
In an interview posted on her website, www.lty.com, Leigh reflects on how we are being called upon at this time to "sit down and find a way to move our differences into the spirit of one accord; to come to a place where we are committed to peace." Leigh continues, "My desire to reach out more to world peace comes from my own process of working for my own inner peace and a desire to touch other people with the concept that peace is possible. It's not something that's far away from us; it already exists within each one of us."
Leigh has served as Special Advisor in Arts and Media for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In addition to her keynote address for UNEP's 20th Anniversary, Leigh was the Goodwill Ambassador from the United Nations for ICEBRIDGE: First Arctic Environmental Forum 1995. Leigh is currently a spokesperson and representative for the Institute for Individual and World Peace (www.iiwp.org), a non-profit organization founded by John-Roger, D.S.S. and where I serve as Spiritual Director. IIWP is dedicated to studying, identifying and presenting the processes that lead to peace.
A fundamental teaching of IIWP is that peace is the cessation of againstness. If acceptance of someone different occurs, peace is being expressed. If sharing with others occurs, peace is being expressed. If moving past emotions and judgments to understanding and empathy occurs, peace is being expressed. If love and caring are experienced, peace is.
Through IIWP, we promote the awareness that as a group we can bring forward the consciousness of peace. First, we bring peace in ourselves. We make an effort to find the peace that's present inside, regardless of where we are and what the circumstances are. We can always be aware of that peace and do our best to express the peace that's present--to see it in any situation, to see it in others, to look for ways to allow peace to have dominion, and to let peace reign in what we're doing and experiencing together.
In 1999, I participated in the Parliament of World's Religions by assisting in the planting of a Peace Pole on Robbins Island, South Africa. I look forward to returning to the Parliament this year along with Leigh, as we gather together with peacemakers from around the world, promoting peace, love and harmony for our planet.
To learn more about the Parliament of the World's Religions 2009 and to register so you can join us, click here or visit http://www.parliamentofreligions.org
To purchase the "Gathering of Peacemakers and Spirit of Peace", either on CD or downloadable MP3, click here.
John Morton, D.S.S. is the author of two inspiring books, The Blessings Already Are and You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us. Learn more about John at www.TheBlessings.org. Contact John at johnmorton@TheBlessings.org.
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