THE BLOG
06/18/2014 12:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Honoring Sacred Sites, World Peace and Prayer Day

June 19, 20, 21, 22 2014 -- World Peace and Prayer Days will take place in The Hudson Valley, New York in conjunction with a globally synchronized meditation with communities around the planet.

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All nations around the world honor sacred sites as places holding unique geographical, spiritual, historical and often mythological significance. These places of worship -- intended to unite people in peace, can all too easily become a source of power struggle, greed, and environmental abuse. It is by no coincidence that places where the Earth vibrates with magnified energy, are also places commonly sought for exploitation of natural resources. The importance of protecting sacred sites and educating people about the value of restoring them to balance reaches beyond the realm of spiritual ideals and directly into the ways that their destruction or restoration impacts local human, plant and animal communities.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse will be visiting some of the sacred sites of the area on Sunday the 23rd, performing ceremony to cleanse the lands. The Sacred Fire is the heart of World Peace and Prayer Day. It will be lit on June 19th, upon the arrival of the Sage Boy riders and their horses, the Buddhist walkers and the Peace Pole carried from the World Peace Prayer Society in Wassaic, NY to be placed in the park by Chief Arvol Looking Horse. The celebration in New York will also include earth and animal awareness activities, talking circles, storytelling, and shared feasts. All activities and events are offered at no cost to all. Please bring food to cook and share!

Rebecca Tobias has been building connections between The United Religions InitiativeUnify (who hosts globally synchronized meditations), The United Nations, and Indigenous Communities.

United Religions Initiative is an international, grassroots, interfaith bridge-building organization modeled after the United Nations. It aims to create social change by promoting "enduring, daily interfaith cooperation," ending "religiously motivated violence," and promoting "cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

The result is a beautiful unfolding collaboration on the local and international level between organizations and individuals with a common purpose. Unify is hosting another globally synchronized meditation in support of the local events happening in New York so that you can participate wherever you are on June 21. You can search the hashtag #reclaimthesacred to see pictures of sacred sites around the world.

The Sacred Fire is honored over four days, with a special ceremonial emphasis -- following traditional Lakota Sioux ways, on Summer Solstice, Saturday June 21. As the sacred fire burns there will be a time when everyone is invited to offer tobacco and prayers to the fire.

This prayerful Summer Solstice Day will be followed by the sharing of wisdom keepers and speakers, joining us from far and wide. The notable list of speakers includes, Tom Goldtooth, Betsy Stang, Chief Phil Lane Jr, Rebecca Tobias, Shri Natha Devi Premananda, Polly Higgins, Faith Spotted Eagle, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and many others. Please visit World Peace and Prayer Day online to learn more!