Humans share more in common than we usually realize but religious ideologies, cultural and national identities often cause us to be at odds with each other. In September 2012, I received a call from my friend Adil Kassam asking if I would write an article for an event called Be The Peace on The International Day of Peace. After a long streak of writing about environmental injustice and social activism on Huffington Post, I was excited for the opportunity to bring attention to something hopeful about humanity and for the planet. Just a slight switch in perspective from that which divides us to that which unites us globally was the inspiration to get me thinking of and visualizing a global culture that works in harmony with the larger community of life that surrounds us.
Be The Peace is a collaboration between many different organizations both scientific and spiritual calling for a globally synchronized meditation and prayer for peace. It was born from the growing international Medmob Network. Medmob was started by Patrick Kronfli, Joshua Adair, and Ben Heath when they got the idea to host a meditation flashmob at The Texas State Capitol called Om The Dome in January of 2011. The idea quickly spread to over 300 cities around the world.
After the success of Be The Peace in Sept 2012, a small group of friends decided to set another globally synchronized meditation for the famed Dec 2012 date. So many people had decided that 12-21-2012 was the prophesied "end of the world" that it seemed like a good time to assert a positive vision for the future of our planet. The name that emerged was Unify, and a loose-knit but dedicated group of volunteers formed to organize this event and have continued to do so on equinoxes and solstices ever since.
Without any corporate sponsors or paid advertising, the Unify Facebook Page is about to reach 100,000 fans with a weekly reach of over 4 million people. A few angel donors have helped with basic expenses over the years, and often team members take from their own pocket to make Unify happen. It seems that the notion of focusing on solutions, strengthening the connections within our global community and working towards a shared future of peace and harmony with our environment is building momentum. My experience working with this team of exceptional individuals has been challenging at times, but always healing and deeply meaningful.
March 22, 2014, in support of World Water Day The Unify Campaign called #lovewater was the most successful global event to date. A powerful video was produced with Ta'Kaiya Blaney reminding us that no matter what country, religion, or culture we come from, we all drink the same water. You can see an inspiring page with photos from water ceremonies around the world here.
...in the end it does not matter who you are, your race, religion, or your wealth... for we all drink from the same world wide well. There is beauty in every drop of water and when water flows TOGETHER... it is POWERFUL... WE ARE WATER, and together we create change." -Ta'Kaiya Blaney, 12-year-old Sliammon First Nation from B.C., Canada.
Both pieces of original artwork above courtesy of Jessica Perlstein
This June 21, initiated by Lakota Chief, Arvol Lookinhorse, the theme is Honoring Sacred Sites. On June 21 wherever you are, you are invited to wake up for sunrise in a local place that is sacred to you or create a sacred space in your home. Take a picture of the place and post it with the hashtag #reclaimthesacred, then join the whole world in meditation, prayer, ceremony starting at 12 PDT (West Coast time) in your local timezone. See info graphic below for your region.
This coming September 21 is International Day of Peace again where we will focus our collective intention on the fundamental human right to live without the oppression of war and violence.
With a growing network of dedicated individuals, and some help from talented artists like Amanda Sage, Ashely Foreman, Jessica Perlstein and others, Unify has developed into a global collaboration to create a better world. Read a recent article by author, Mark Healey titled Why Do We Unify, or learn about the potential of human thought to change our physical reality in a piece I wrote called The Collective Field.
Though we have many differences, our commonalities are much bigger. We all share the same planet and its finite resources, the air, water and more. We are all ruled by the seasons. The equinoxes and solstices tell us when to plant seeds and when to harvest. Our internal cycles are tied to the heavens. Despite our differences, we are one people learning how to understand ourselves through the lens of a global, unified culture. We can still keep the things that make us distinct and diverse, but we can no longer ignore what connects us.
How will you participate? What is your piece to add to this epic unfolding?
Perhaps you will get your own vision while deep in meditation, or alone in a sacred place in nature. Perhaps you already know your part and you are helping others to find theirs? Whatever it may be, challenge yourself to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us and consider what the future might look like if humanity was unified with peace and respect for all of life...
Article originally appeared on Culture Collective