In September 2012, I received a call from 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. It inspired me to consider activism from a spiritual lens by focusing on commonalities between people rather than wedge issues that keep us at polarized. 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. I pondered a global culture that works in harmony with the larger community of life that surrounds us.
Be The Peace was a collaboration between many different organizations calling for a globally synchronized meditation and prayer on September 21, the International Day of Peace. The idea for this event 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 flash-mob at The Texas State Capitol called Om The Dome in January of 2011. The movement 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 on December 21. This auspicious date is said to be aligned with the end date of the Mayan Calendar. It had become sensationalized as a prophesied “end of the world”. This seemed like the perfect time to host a global event to assert a positive vision for the future of our planet. A dedicated group of volunteers formed to organize the first UNIFY Global Meditation and the movement has continued ever since while growing each year.
Without any corporate sponsors or paid advertising the Unify Facebook Page has grown to over 2 million fans, reaching people across the planet. 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. The idea of focusing on solutions and strengthening the connections within our global community while working towards a shared future of peace and harmony with our environment continues to build momentum. My experience working with this team of exceptional individuals has been challenging at times but always healing and deeply meaningful.
…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.
March 22, 2014, in support of World Water Day The Unify #LoveWater Campaign began the process of connecting these synchronized events with environmental or social causes. 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.
Both pieces of original artwork above courtesy of Jessica Perlstein
Initiated by Lakota Chief, Arvol Lookinhorse, the June 21 theme became Honoring Sacred Sites. On June Solstice 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.
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…