Dances of Universal Peace

A crowd of people in a circle, meditative music, simple dance movements, and mantras from a wide variety of world faiths all meld together… Attending a Dance of Universal Peace is an unforgettable experience. In hundreds of dances across the globe, people around the world gather in spiritual centers, churches, schools, therapy groups, and even prisons to participate in this event. There is usually no audience; everyone, regardless of skill, is encouraged to join.

By blending sacred phrases, scripture, poetry, and the beauty of nature, participants are able to strengthen their connections to each other, the earth, and their own spirits. In other words, the dances bring them closer to universal peace, step by step.

Samuel L. Lewis, known by many as Murshid S.A.M. (the title being Arabic for “guide”), was an American Sufi who introduced the Dances of Universal Peace on June 24, 1968 in an attempt to unify people — to lower the arbitrary veils that separate us. This year, nearly 150 events were held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dances.

Each year, the scope of the movement grows to include new areas and people. How have the dances evolved in recent years? How has the current political climate affected this movement? Let’s dive into the issue:

Finding Peace Amidst Geopolitical War Games

Lewis’s home country has changed a lot since his death in ‘71. Trump’s administration, increased racial tensions, the Me Too movement — the face of the politics in the U.S. has changed drastically in the past several years. Due to a wide variety of factors, from food and water scarcity to America’s national security policy, the country has been politically fractured.

In spite of these divisions, people have sought ways to call for unity and harmony. Dances permit communities to demonstrate their tolerance and acceptance of diversity in the face of an intolerant administration. In a manner, these events are a form of passive protest. Rather than responding to discrimination with violent action, participating in these dances signals that peace is always an option.

Of course, political unrest isn’t unique to the U.S. In recent years, the Dances of Universal Peace movement has gained traction around the globe. In areas like Russia, Turkey, and many Latin American countries, political unrest has spurred people to find an outlet. Dances of Universal Peace work as a valuable collective healing practice in these troubled times. The Dances allow people to find common ground and connect with each other on a deep level, regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

When Murshid began guiding students in dance, he started with only a few students. As the movement he started has expanded, it has grown to encompass thousands. The global expansion of this movement is a product of the fact that many people have become discontent with the arbitrary lines between nations. Globalization in the business world and technology have also facilitated this mindset, as they have opened new lines of communication and exposed us to new cultures.

How These Dances Create Peace and Love

Recent years have shed light on why these events have worked so effectively. In our individual journeys, we must commit to self-love, and attending a Dance of Universal Peace is a great step in that direction. There are many reasons why they improve our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Dancing and music are powerful tools for improving our holistic health. As Murshid S.A.M. once said, “(Dance) takes us beyond ourselves, bringing an initial taste of the state of non-being, which is really a balm for the soul.”   However, as recent research has proven, it can also heal the mind and body.

The physiological changes that occur within us when we engage in these activities can improve our mood and overall well-being. Listening to music and dancing can increase the amount of dopamine in our brains, a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy and rewarded.

Dance and music also affect our bodies in many therapeutic ways. In fact, it may even be helpful for treating disease. According to an article on Medical News Today, “Dance and music therapy is being investigated for its potential use in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s and autism.

Finally, these events allow us to create and strengthen social bonds. In recent years, specialists have found that socializing improves our holistic health, even reducing our likelihood of developing dementia. There’s no question that the life-long bonds that these dances create have led to healthier, more social lifestyles.

Given these insights, it’s no wonder that Samuel Lewis’s movement has grown into the worldwide phenomenon it is today. As this movement continues to expand, it will doubtlessly open dialogues, forge new social connections, and improve our well-being. In addition to helping us find inner-peace, it will continue to inch society closer to worldwide peace.

Are you interested in attending a Dance? Let us know in the comments below.


This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

Honra tu verdad y siéntete feliz

Los seres humanos llegamos al mundo con total pureza y con la verdad más sincera de quiénes somos. Llegamos como un vaso completamente vacío que a medida que nos hacemos mayores, vamos llenando con mensajes que escuchamos de nuestro alrededor.

Estos mensajes con los que llenamos el vaso, terminan siendo nuestra personalidad. Por este motivo, podemos afirmar que dicha personalidad no somos nosotros en estado puro, sino que es el resultado de una mezcla de situaciones de nuestro entorno. A la vez, nos damos cuenta que nuestra personalidad no es algo con lo que nacemos, sino que es algo que creamos para amoldarnos a lo que nos rodea.

A veces ese carácter que creamos y ponemos dentro del vaso, no se parece en nada a nuestra verdadera esencia. Cuando esto pasa, nos sentimos vacíos e infelices sin saber muy bien por qué. A mi esto también me pasó, y te lo cuento en el siguiente link.

En estos casos, debemos verter del vaso lo que nos molesta y llenarlo con lo que realmente nos hace sentir realizados.

A continuación, comento unos consejos que ayudan a conectar de nuevo con nuestro YO más auténtico, el YO de verdad:

-Hacer lo que se dice y decir lo que se hace

Muchos son los que ya han escuchado antes esta frase, pero realmente decirla no permite sentirse mejor, es integrarla en nuestras células y actuar de esta manera lo que marca el cambio. Las personas que se han tomado esta frase en serio, han experimentado verdaderos milagros en sus vidas.

-Seguir nuestros valores

Muchas personas hablan de valores, pero pocos saben qué son realmente los valores y lo más importante: cuáles son los suyos. Nuestros valores son nuestras prioridades, aquello que para nosotros es tan importante.

Hay que decir que no todas las personas tenemos los mismos valores y esto está bien, porque lo importante es que cada uno de nosotros actuemos según los nuestros.

Por ejemplo, una persona que considera el valor de la libertad como muy relevante, le puede costar trabajar en una oficina donde le dicen lo que tiene que hacer y qué horario seguir en todo momento. Le dolerá seguir en este trabajo porque no tendrá la libertad que tanto aprecia. De todas maneras, este trabajo sigue siendo ideal y perfecto para otra persona.

-Decir siempre la verdad sin miedo

Esconder la verdad, significa no honrarla. No debemos tener miedo a no ser queridos, aceptados o gustados por otros, al fin y al cabo, no tenemos que gustar a todo el mundo. Pero si nos aceptamos, nos queremos y nos respectamos a nosotros mismos, ya tendremos el apoyo de la persona que más necesitamos.

-No decir sí cuando se quiere decir no

Muchas veces respondemos que sí para complacer a otra persona, pero realmente después nos arrepentimos y no nos sentimos a gusto. Decir que no apetece o que no se quiere, no significa hacer daño a nadie, siempre tenemos la opción de decir no con compasión y palabras amables.

-Responder en vez de reaccionar

La diferencia entre responder y reaccionar se encuentra únicamente en 3 segundos. Contar hasta 3 antes de dar una respuesta, permite dejar el tiempo suficiente para escuchar y contestar lo que realmente somos.

-Eliminar “tengo que” del vocabulario

La verdad es que no tenemos que hacer absolutamente nada, nosotros hemos elegido hacer lo que vamos a hacer. Así que podemos cambiar perfectamente el “tengo que” por el “yo elijo”. Cuando decimos “no puedo venir porque tengo que trabajar”, en realidad, esta es sencillamente la opción que hemos preferido.

Una persona auténtica es aquella que siempre honra su verdad y sabe que tiene elección de tener y hacer todo lo que le plazca en cada momento. Una persona auténtica se responsabiliza de su vida y crea su propia historia. Una persona auténtica abraza sin miedo el papel del jugador, el áarbitro y el juez en su vida porque está convencida de qué ella mejor que nadie puede afrontar todos estos papeles.

Una persona auténtica únicamente escucha su verdad, porque es la única que le permite sentirse libre y feliz.

Hay más información sobre el camino hacia nuestra verdad aquí.

How I started my Journey to Inner peace

Light of peace.

How does it feel to ask for something and then, somehow, in some way,  it’s given to you?  How does it feel when you just need it and then you have it? How does it feel when your inner voice is heard by the universe that conspires to make you accomplished? What if what you asked for wasn’t a lot of money or fame but only peace and stillness of the mind in the middle of a life full of stress, wars, anxiety and selfishness? This is the story of my journey to inner peace at Heya Fellowship.

“I want to rest! I need a rest.”

I remember myself in the staff room in the hospital I do my training in. I was tired, out of breath, thinking about how I have to see the patients, then go to the university for my master degree exams before meeting my professor for my PhD. Afterwards, I would go home to find the house shores waiting for me and in the middle of all this not forget to call my family to make sure everybody is doing alright. Later I would meet my friends because I have a social life too. While thinking, I felt exhausted and I closed my eyes and said a prayer: “I want to rest! I need a rest. “

An opportunity to rest and learn

The same evening while on social media I came across a  link of the “Heya Fellowship “by Peace Revolution. The name gave me the curiosity to learn more about it over the internet. A self development program; meditating everyday while listening to the calm voice of the peaceful inspiring meditation professor through accessible videos on the platform; having a coach to share my daily unique experience of meditation, was new to me. And here it began, a new experience of life, a new vision, like diving into the unknown but the safe secure unknown that was getting clearer day after day.

After getting engaged with the program, I was honored to participate in the Heya Fellowship, the peace retreat for women from The MENA region.  Despite all the challenges that I faced in the process of travelling; there was a force that made everything possible for me to get to Georgia. It was like a power from above was helping arrange everything. Because I believe that things get attracted to you in the same way you are attracted to them. And if you want something so much, you will absolutely have it.

Meeting strange beautiful women I knew before

I arrived in Georgia and once there, met beautiful strong women, the other participants. I was so familiar to them as if I knew them a long time ago. It didn’t take so long for us to connect, laugh and share ideas together. We shared about our stories,  our experiences in life, where we came from, and our inner peace journey.

The first day was wonderful getting to know better the MENA women. Then the adventure just began. They took our cell phones as expected. Yes; its bliss to take a break from being always contactable and accessible on social media. When you come to Heya, you are here to rest, to know yourself better, to leave the past behind, and get into your journey to inner peace. Whenever you miss someone, you would see this person in your mind, your heart, your dreams, in the zone that no one can have access to except you. This is a zone you have neglected a good time of your life. The zone which is your inner self, inside and always there when everything is gone.

Each day at the retreat center

With no electronic devices, we woke up every day at 5 am to meditate in the sweet fresh breeze of the green garden of the scout center we were staying in. At this time, while listening to the birds singing gratefully to the beginning of a new day, I could feel the air and the light, it felt like swimming. During the meditation, you just have no weight, you are like a feather, like a butterfly. Then came the yoga class, stretching the muscles of the body, all of them, even the tiny little ones always forgotten in the crowded days of life. They are all breathing, happy to be there with you and to be felt. Then we would have breakfast in the dining room, full of energy, full of love, full of power to share. We would face each other, smiling as we shared delicious food that we brought each one from our country. Each day, every day, one amazing lady would presents to us the sweets she brought, its name and how it can be made.

Afterwards each day brought with it energizing activities, women circles and other meditation sessions full of calmness, relief, belief in peace, life, love, and every good value of this life offered. The women were like angels. Every time one of them would say unforgettable words to empower, encourage, and make us stronger. With each word, we became more confident, filled with the love of life and new way of seeing life afresh.

The little girl grew up

I was a little girl before joining the Peace Revolution meditation retreat. During the retreat, I grew up. The two unstoppable invincible women Aseel and Nesreen made the retreat magical and successful. They taught me how to be active, well organized, and ambitious. The greatness of what they were doing and how they were conscious of it did a lot inside of me. Further, every woman, especially Jehan with her spirit and her lectures and also late night stories just lifted me up like Helium.

LP Pasura our teaching monk made the retreat insightful. He was like a godfather to us, full of wisdom, experiences of life, intelligence and eloquence. His ability to let us express all what was inside of us brought the best of everyone of us. He gave us lectures, guided us through meditation sessions, answered our questionings, our fears and anxieties. This gave us the relief that we could shout loud and scream all what was inside of us and turn it into a light of peace, goodness and share.

Guidelines to nurture inner peace at the retreat

In those five days, we were followed eight acts of self discipline:

  • Do not kill or hurt any creature even the tiniest one
  • Do not steal or use what is not your belonging
  • Do not use intoxicants, alcohol or drugs
  • Do not involve in romantic or sexual relationships
  • Do not speak too loud or too much
  • Do not use electronic devices like phone cells
  • Do not eat heavy meals after 12:30 pm
  • Do not use make up or dress extravagantly

Those acts helped us be more of who we are, basic like babies, a pure reminder of how we can be in everyday life.

The five days of self discovery, inner peace, heart centered talks, being free from material things that owe us, passed so fast like a beautiful dream. With each passing day, the little girl who used to do everything without feeling it just because it has to be done, has started to feel every single breath and every movement she makes. She is finding peace inside of her and beginning and feeling engaged to spread it to everybody else.

My final lesson to you, dear peaceful soul reading my inner peace journey

  • Truly be who you are even if you are different in an acceptable way. You are just special. You are magical. You are invincible and you are not chocolate you can not satisfy everyone and you are not supposed to be trying to do so.
  • Do everything in your life mindfully, do not let life pass you by, feel every little thing you are doing.
  • Be grateful everyday because every day is a new chance for you to be who you want to be, to make the world a better place.
  • Find peace within yourself and spread it to the whole world.
  • Believe in yourself, in the good inside of every human being, have faith in humanity, it can be saved, it can be better.
  • It’s a magical life every day, every moment, feel it and live it fully.

How Human Rights Contribute to Peace

people holding heart together

After a long day at work, many of us have the privilege to go home, take a hot shower, cook dinner, and sleep in a warm bed. For those of us who live a life of relative comfort and have our basic needs met, it can be hard to imagine what life would be like if we weren’t so lucky. What would the day look like without these basic things?

We might sleep outside on the street, hungry or even sick. Things as simple as consistent access to food and shelter are not a given for many people around the world. Without access to basic human rights, feeling at peace is unlikely to happen.

Peaceful people make up a peaceful society, and peaceful societies make up a peaceful world. Since scarcity often leads to conflict, societies that support their citizens by providing them with healthcare, education, food, and shelter, are generally more peaceful and prosperous than those who don’t.

What Is Peace?

Understanding what peace means is essential if we want to understand why it is so important — especially if peace is something we take for granted in our day-to-day lives.

At an International Day of Peace celebration organized by Peace Revolution Cameroon, participants from various countries weighed in with different definitions of peace. The word was defined in many ways, including “the respect for life and fellow human beings” and “freedom from disturbance.”

Peace might mean different things to different people around the globe, but it’s clear that without peaceful individuals, we cannot have a peaceful world.

Most Peaceful Countries

According to 2017 data released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the United States ranks 114th out of 163 in a list of the world’s most peaceful countries.

“Data highlighted a declining level of trust in the U.S. government, as well as growing social problems such as income inequality, heightened racial tensions and rising homicide rates in several major American cities,” writes Megan Trimble in “The 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World” to explain why the US ranked so low.

Which country tops the list? According to Trimble’s U.S. News article, it’s Iceland — a place where discrimination is illegal and citizens have access to universal healthcare. Iceland is widely regarded as a leader in human rights. The United States, on the other hand, demonstrates that it values capitalism over the well-being of its citizens. The success of Iceland and the problems in the U.S. clearly show that human rights are deeply linked to peace.

Challenges

There are many barriers to peace in today’s world. The unrest in the United States is a great example of what happens when a country doesn’t protect the basic human rights of its citizens. In the fight for peace, protest signs are as common a sight these days as birds in the sky.

Social workers have defined 12 major challenges that need to be overcome to create a better world. These challenges include making sure that everyone has access to healthcare, helping homeless individuals find dependable and affordable housing and food, and ensuring that all people have equal opportunities to pursue education. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges:

1) Access to Healthcare

In some countries (including the United States), healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Money, location, mobility, and availability can all be barriers to receiving medical care. As the need for chronic care increases, the elderly are especially vulnerable to lack of care.

Discrimination also impacts access to healthcare. Low-income communities often have limited access to healthcare facilities. Given the racial makeup of such areas, this is often a form of discrimination in and of itself. Healthcare providers could discriminate on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, economic class, religion, individuals with pre-existing conditions, and more. In areas where there is a dearth of medical professionals, this lack of choice poses a serious problem for minorities.

2) Access to Food and Shelter

It’s hard to achieve peace of any kind when you are hungry, tired, and don’t know where you’ll sleep at night. Food deserts and lack of affordable and accessible housing options are huge barriers to health and peace worldwide.

3) Access to Education

Education is one of the best ways to improve your personal options for success. But because of money, discrimination, and availability, not everyone has access to education. Oftentimes, lack of education means lack of job opportunities. In turn, that can lead to additional struggles like financial stress and trouble affording food and housing.

Solutions

Healthy bodies and minds are a part of the foundation of peace. Without them, people cannot thrive. So what do we do? To have a peaceful society, we must turn these challenges into solutions.

Positive change can take place in the very sectors that are often barriers, including classrooms, medical buildings, law offices, and social communities. Getting involved in any of these areas is a great way to help create a healthier and a more peaceful world.


This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

Can 100 Challenges Help Overcome Fear?

How many times in life we don’t do something because of the fear to step out of our comfort zone? Here’s a story about two friends, Vincent Dai and Mikaeel Adnan, from Sydney, Australia, who decided to begin a journey of 100 challenges trying things they’ve never done before to boost self-empowerment and overcome the fear.

Bungee Jumping, Say Yes to Everything for a Day, going to a retirement home and playing bingo with the elderly and cooking dinner for them; these are just some of the challenges on the list of 100. As Vincent explains, the theme for a challenge is either something new, something challenging or something they fear. For instance, jumping out of a plane at a free will was definitely something Vincent would never do, but now the challenge has been done.

Vincent adds that by actively seeking discomfort and trying new things, this exposes us to many new experiences that we probably wouldn’t even dare to try if we didn’t have a real think about it.

“This may seem crazy to some of you but honestly this is the key. By constantly exposing ourselves to fears and confronting them head on whether it’d be jumping out of a plane or merely going berserk on a dancefloor has allowed us to stop being in our head and start being out of our head which feels empowering,” says Vincent.

Moreover, this involves developing the confidence and strength to set realistic goals and fulfil our potential. “Everyone has strengths and weaknesses within them and a range of skills that are used in everyday situations, but all too often people remain unaware of, or undervalue their true abilities.”

Follow the journey of  Vincent Dai and Mikaeel Adnan on their Youtube channel.

How about YOU trying something that you’ve never done before?

Share your challenge with us!

Being A Woman: No One Told Us What Empowerment Is About

Being truly herself is the most empowering, enriching and loving experience that a woman can have (we can add “a man” here too). And at the same time, it is something that we need to learn. It may sound strange to think about “learning to be yourself” because one is supposed to be oneself all the time, right? But because we are not fully aware of this, let´s step back and start from the beginning.

Should I learn to be myself? I believe, yes since we don´t live alone in this world. We live in a community with other human beings, we have a dependent existence (we need from others things that we cannot do or get by ourselves alone), and we relate to each other in layers that are, many times, profound and meaningful. We also share this existence with nature, living beings that are non-human and play a fundamental role in this world. Considering these basics, it´s not difficult to accept that the main reason of caution and carefulness on “being myself” is that what I do affect others, what I do has consequences, and can change lives (mine and others’ lives).

In this path of “being yourself” we often face many obstacles and challenges. Our beliefs are tested, our core exposed, we experience vulnerability, ignorance, certainty, doubt, love, fear, criticism, hate etc. On a sociopolitical level, we may be mad at a world that imposes on limits and prohibitions (especially for women); we fight to gain more freedom, we raise signs and share content on social media, we participate in protests and develop initiatives to gain more rights, more space, for women. And while we fight in the outer world, there is another battle that we need to fight in order to gain freedom. The inner battle: the fight for being yourself.

I believe that this freedom, I dare to say “true freedom”, has to be earned, not given. We earn the right to be fully ourselves when we learn to live without hurting others. That´s the condition of our freedom, the responsibility that freedom carries. If “being myself” implies that you hurt others with your short-tempered nature, your reactivity or ego, then you haven´t earned the freedom to be yourself and you are living creating chaos in your life (extreme case of this is ending up in a jail due to untamed violence). And if this is like that, then empowerment has a tight bond with freedom, and it´s an inner job too.

Violence and care are two faces of the same coin. Whenever there is violence, not only peace is needed, but firstly care. We apply care to zones in ourselves that are wild, even chaotic. Care is also a loving form of paying attention, of giving. We do this towards ourselves and we observe how we are, the things that we do without judgement, lovingly, and we educate ourselves by taming those areas that need more work than others (it all comes down to work on our reactivity here…). We learn to pay attention to ourselves by practicing mindfulness, by watching our thoughts and emotions passing by without engaging with them, noticing and recording the experiences we have during meditation in an environment of acceptance, knowing that there is nothing wrong, just things that need to be noticed and later on, changed or tamed, if necessary. This exercise brings self-development in many, many ways.

Women Empowerment and freedom go hand in hand. There is no way in which I can feel empowered if I don´t know that there are options available for me to respond to the world; if I don´t know that by educating myself and bringing out my own wisdom and intuition, I can do better in the same stressful circumstance; if I ignore that I am capable of doing for myself the things that I do for the ones I love (in other words, that I can love myself the same way I love others); if I never realize that by knowing and being responsible for myself, I am being truly free, truly me.

It´s the fire in my eyes, and the flash of my teeth, the swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet. I am a woman phenomenally.” Maya Angelou

Let the flower bloom!

Image: https://www.pinterest.cl/pin/492581277974846531/

Careers and Other Opportunities That Can Enrich Your Community

community members

Any efforts you make to improve your community or respond to a recurring social problem can create a positive change in your life and the lives of those around you. There are some roles people can take on that are particularly well poised to enrich their communities. Even if you aren’t in one of these positions, interacting with the people who are and sharing in their cause will be essential to their success.

Teachers and Students

Without a doubt, educators are one of the most valuable resources in any community. However, even from an early age, the education many students receive is designed with a heavy emphasis on preparing them for a career. Because of this, teaching students to be well-rounded, socially conscious members of a community is often neglected within learning outcomes.

Beyond preparing students for higher education and the working world, teachers have the potential to inspire social change in the classroom. By introducing democratic concepts within the classroom, teachers can illustrate the connection between changes in their community, people’s choices, and their agency as individuals to affect the world around them.

In practice, this could take the form of a discussion or writing prompt about current issues and the many stakeholders that need to work together to find a solution. It could also be as simple as offering students a chance to choose their own research focus when writing a report. This small amount of autonomy can prepare students to explore subjects they are passionate about. Giving students the tools for self-driven learning will enable them to more actively participate in issues they care about beyond school.

Outside activities such as class volunteer projects or service learning allow students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations in order to benefit their community. Community outreach can put children and older students on a path to a greater sense of social awareness, connectedness, and responsibility. If students have some input in supporting a cause that is important to them and can provide reasons why, they will be more invested in their efforts.

Nurses and Other Healthcare Professionals

Due to the aging populations in many countries, the demand for healthcare professionals is on the rise. The increasing shortage of doctors has a particularly strong impact on rural areas and other underserved populations where distance from healthcare facilities or economic circumstances prevent people from getting the care they need. However, family nurse practitioners can be especially effective at providing access to healthcare within underserved communities. By monitoring these areas, nurse practitioners can provide communities in need with healthcare comparable to what a doctor could provide.

Nurses and other medical professionals are also in a unique position to assess local healthcare needs and advocate on behalf of communities. Legislative activism may seem outside of traditional expectations for healthcare professionals. However, because they have a first-person account of the needs of people in their localities, any pleas doctors and nurses make to change policies or begin initiatives come with an authority and evidence not available to the general public. By establishing a rapport with local policy makers as well as educating the public about the issues their community faces as a whole, they can inspire real change.

Law Enforcement Agents

Police and other law enforcement agents are tasked with protecting the public from crime and other incidents, making their communities a safer place to live. Some feel this is exactly what is happening. However, police are also people, and people make mistakes in judgement and at times even act carelessly or maliciously. In many areas, this has led to a lack of trust between law enforcement and communities. That’s why it is more important than ever to focus on initiatives that build positive relationships between communities and local law enforcement.

There are a few major ways law enforcement agencies can connect with and enrich their communities. Presentations in schools and community centers can offer an opportunity for dialogue between police and the public, allowing people to better understand law enforcement processes and helping police to understand the public’s concerns. Creating scholarships for at-risk students can also be a way to build trust while lessening the educational gap in some communities.

The responsibility for maintaining positive relationships doesn’t lie solely on law enforcement. People in the community have to be willing to learn and work together with police. Neighborhood watch programs are an effective way to prevent crime, and they allow people to interact directly with police in a productive way that can build trust over time.

Social Entrepreneurs

On both a local and global scale, there is a growing trend of individuals and businesses participating in different forms of social entrepreneurship. That is, they are creating products and services that not only make a sustainable profit, but solve a particular community problem. One well-known example is TOMS Shoes, a company that began with the mission to match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. This business model has expanded to provide necessary eye care, access to clean water, and safer birthing practices to people around the world.

To be successful as a social entrepreneur, you should begin by identifying a problem within or beyond your community. In order to design a sustainable business model, the problem you consider solving should be fundamentally stable. As with TOMS Shoes, the problem of children going without shoes is, unfortunately, a circumstance that will likely continue to affect people for generations, and the demand for assistance will remain stable enough to support a business.

Identifying a solution along with a business opportunity and setting a plan to achieve your goals takes an open mind and a lot of creativity. In the end, designing a business that contributes to positive social change may not be the most effective way for the majority of people to support their community. However, just being aware that these businesses exist could inform your decision to support a particular cause or organization already in place.

You don’t have to participate actively in any of these roles in order to benefit your community. By understanding the ways these people can create positive change, you have a better chance of encouraging and supporting their efforts. You can also find your own ways to enrich the community by seeking volunteer opportunities and applying your own particular skill sets to the problems you see.

When you see a need in your community or beyond, ask yourself, “What do I have to offer?” There’s a good chance you are just the right person to help.

Why global peacebuilders should join the LATAM Peace Summit 2016

peacebuilders

Do you know someone that is doing a heroic act of kindness and cultivating peace in the world throughout their project?

Have you ever wanted to recognize the great work that person is doing in the community, but you haven’t known how?

Well, the wait is over. The LATAM Peace Summit 2016 in Mexico is a great stage to shout out to the world all the amazing and inspiring stories that need to be known.

It takes courage to stand up and create ripples of positivity in a place where people may feel discouraged and tired of their actual situation.

Young peace activists bring light and hope by using creativity and leadership as the best tools to touch people through their own actions.

Their generosity and empowerment go beyond borders, creating strong networks with people worldwide that are leading similar paths. They only know that they can go further by working with a team who is on the same page.

Jack Kerouac said once: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!””. This is what a peacebuilder truly is.

So, one of the great ways to show these peacebuilders our support and respect is by inviting them to join the LATAM Peace Summit 2016  in order to let the world know of their awesome work, don’t you think so?

Go and share this special event with that peacebuilder you have in mind right now!

Empower Your Mind in the SEE Peace Summit

Did anyone tell you that you cannot sing? Cannot paint? Cannot start a business or lead a project? Wasn’t it sometimes your own critical voice saying that you lack certain skills and competences, that your idea is insane, and that you will definitely fail? Though each of us has felt discouraged in life, it is important to hear that other voice in you saying: you can! SEE Peace Summit organized in Tirana, Albania from December 15 to 18 will offer a platform for the European youth to become empowered, encouraged and motivated to venture for the dearest dreams.

Empowerment is one of the three thematic areas that will be tackled during the summit, and it will include three forms of empowerment: self-empowerment, youth empowerment, and women’s empowerment. Participants will have an opportunity to listen to inspiring speakers and hear the stories of how they had found strength and courage to achieve their dreams, as well as overcame the obstacles. Moreover, meditation will be introduced as a tool that empowers people to attain their peace of mind and find their inner strength. As our Teaching Monks say, it happens with the awareness of the power that one possesses inside, with letting go and living without expectations. Then, it leads to recognizing one’s environment, oneself, and one’s inner power.

The summit will offer a unique conference and retreat format which will include a variety of activities: yoga, workshops about health and benefits from professional trainers and Thai Buddhist Monks, meditation sessions, as well as a Meditation Clinic with an opportunity to have a one-to-one or a group conversation with a Thai Buddhist Monk.

The SEE Peace Summit is organized by the World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI), an international organization that promotes the culture of peace in the world through a practice of meditation and mindfulness. The summit aims to bring together young people from all over Europe, offering them a space to exchange experiences and create ideas for improving themselves and their communities back home.

Apply for the SEE Peace Summit here.

 

Begin Your Journey of Change in Tirana, Albania

Imagine waking up with yoga, participating in workshops about health and benefits, listening to motivational talks from inspiring speakers, conversing with Thai Buddhist monks and refreshing your mind in relaxing meditation sessions. Are you excited? Join these and other activities in the SEE Peace Summit in Tirana, Albania taking place from December 15 to 18 at the Hotel Continental, and begin your journey of a change. Continue reading “Begin Your Journey of Change in Tirana, Albania”