Over millennia, ancient cultures honed the recipe for helping humans transform from one stage of life into another. They enacted potent, even dangerous, rites of passage for their youths to become full adults through the facing of death, a descent into the trials of darkness, and the rebirth into a new phase of life. Initiates who endured the trial were celebrated for their successful completion of the journey.
Humanity is now passing through just such a rite of passage this week, with an unprecedented global unification stirring just beneath the gaze of the mass media's cameras, which remained trained on the grief to follow in the wake of Newtown, as is appropriate.
By facing the heartbreaking losses in Connecticut, we have the opportunity to open to a new possibility: to stretch our hearts as wide as the world. We can begin to stop thinking only about our children or our family (or our culture or even our nation), and feel ourselves as one global family. In weeping together, we can open the door to the experience of a new kind of global unity, one joined in our commitment to create a world where tragedies like Newtown become a thing of the past.
This descent into darkness has the potential to lead us into a planetary rebirth, partially because of the timing with what is beginning today: a great unification of the planet that has been years in the making. From Cairo to Mt. Fuji, Lake Titicaca to Los Angeles, Jerusalem to New York, there are literally thousands of circles and communities and events gathering millions for prayer, silence, song, meditation, ritual, and affirmations.
The occasion is the turning of the longest calendar cycle we know: the 5125 year calendar of the Mayan people. While Hollywood has cashed in on apocalyptic fears through movies like 2012 and we've seen a rise in end-times anxiety, as chronicled in a recent New York Times article, there is a far more positive movement that offers the antidote.
Over the last year, the Birth 2012 movement has arisen to honor and celebrate this time as the literal birth moment of a new era, with a particular focus on Dec. 22nd as Day One, a day in which we can create an experience of great love, harmony, and celebration of our shared humanity. I've been honored to help architect this movement in partnership with Barbara Marx Hubbard, a former Vice Presidential candidate and bestselling author, who is so passionate about this movement that she's traveled the world for 16 months at the age of 82 to advance the idea.
Just as we mark the beginning of a new year with resolutions for creating something better, so does this global movement of millions see this historic turning point as an opportunity to set our intentions together to create a world that works for all. And so thousands of communities have embarked on co-creating this vision for a planetary Birth Day.
In the build up to this Birth Day there are hundreds of separate initiatives that have converged into One Big Unification through the efforts of grassroots initiatives such as Unify (backed by stars like Ashton Kutcher), and campaigns such as the Three Days of Love pledge, which has the backing of cultural icons such as Deepak Chopra and Russell Simmons, as well as the art of Shepard Fairey.
The movement spans the spectrum from avant garde artists such as Android Jones to revered religious leaders such as Dadi Janki, a 97-year-old who leads one million Brahma Kumaris worldwide. Dadi Janki will deliver a planetary address via Birth 2012 TV to more than 10 million people in India alone.
Rabbis and imams, priests and gurus worldwide are joining to offer their wisdom in this moment and call for their religious adherents to mark the transition with as much love as is possible.
The end result is that December 21 will have more unified global spiritual practices happening than perhaps any day in history, which has sparked scientists to study it to see if there are measurable effects. The Jerusalem branch of the Unify movement will help focus the world at 1:11 pm in Israel, which is serving as a primary focal point in parallel with sacred rituals in thousands of communities around the world, from Mexico and Guatemala (the Mayan homelands) to Australia. The movement will build during the early hours to a noon Pacific/3 pm Eastern global Unify moment in which millions will be called into silence and prayer, with the intention for global healing, reconciliation, and peace.
The initial moments of global silence will then lead into 33 hours of live programming from more than 50 major event sites and hundreds of smaller sites while going through "waves of unity" every two hours that use practices from song to drumming to qigong to a peace prayer to One Billion Oms to lift the consciousness of the world, building toward the Birth Moment at noon Pacific on Saturday the 22nd.
The goal is for each wave to build on the last, increasing the connection and flow of love between peoples worldwide. The larger vision is to enact a planetary rebirthing ritual of unprecedented size and scope, made possible by the technology advances of the last few years that enable so many sites to livestream their events and activities. The waves will culminate with a star-studded event in Los Angeles, where top spiritual teachers, musicians, and social change leaders will gather in a four-hour ceremony. This will representing the crowning, if you will, of the planetary child that we have labored so long to give birth to.
So we enter today in a space of sobriety after Newtown, facing our losses and grieving the damage that has been wrought, not only in the last week but in the entire last era. For 5125 years, humanity has been torn asunder by violence. Today, we enter into the mystery of silence and prayer, joining our hearts and souls and aspirations together. We initiate a global birthing ritual to mark the new dawn. Will we literally birth a new era of peace and prosperity in the years to come? I know we can. We need only muster the will and commitment, which the global ritual can empower. In the days and years ahead, we can then join together in co-creating the solutions we need.
It begins today. With you. And with me. And millions more just like us. Join us in making this transitional moment one that is suffused with light and love, reverence and revelry, offering a healing balm for the aching heart of the world and the opportunity to learn to live in a truly sacred way. May it be so.
Watch an inspiring introductory video here.