Do you have 10 minutes today for peace?

Peace symbol for CPS

 

Collective Prayer Sundays:  asking you to join us in creating waves of peace around the world.  Every Sunday commit at least 10 minutes to chant or pray for peace in your time zone between 7 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.  Come back here to make comments or head to the Facebook page.

For the latest challenge, to chant for your enemies, see this post.

Today at noon (Aug. 18) is the time to pray with James Twyman and the 50,000 he’s gathered to pray for peace in Egypt.

The more I look around for what’s going on with peace the more groups I find who are setting times to pray or serving peace in other ways.  We’re not what’s in the news but we’re here and we’re strong and we can transform the world!

Music and peace: monthly peace challenge

Om

Om

Kozo over at Everydaygurus has again set out several challenges for the Monthly Peace Challenge, which this time is centered around Music and Peace.  One challenge was to write a song about peace, which I did a long time ago.  However, I haven’t figured out where my song file is and all I remember is the first line of the chorus:  “Come and dream a world with me…”.  So I’ll have to keep hunting and wow you with my song-writing prowess some other time.

Another challenge was to make a top 10 list of songs or artists that bring peace to our world.  I’m not sure that I can hit an even 10 but it’s been interesting to ponder.  A couple of other bloggers who are apparently in my age range wrote of songs from the Vietnam-era peace movement like the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, protest songs, the Youngbloods’ Get Together, Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance, etc.   I think there were lots of powerful songs in that time that contributed greatly to the peace movement.

But all these years later when I think of peace I don’t really think of it the same way.  When I hear those songs, even though I love them, some part of me remembers the marching and the signs and the police with billy clubs and the ANGER.  I loved those days and I have great nostalgia for them so I love hearing the music that reminds me but it doesn’t really bring me to peace.

I also have a spirit playlist on my various music devices and apps — you’ll note on the Spotify version that a chunk of the songs aren’t available.  That’s a list that uplifts my spirits — often because of actually spiritual words but sometimes just because I like the beat or the melody.  But I don’t know that I’d say that list brings me peace.  Sometimes.  Just because feeling uplifted can also  open that heart space where peace dwells…

When I want to be calm and centered and feel peace through music I now turn to very different pieces of music.  Some of my current favorites (in no particular order):

1.  Deva Primal, Moola Mantra

2.  Paul Winter, Common Ground

3.  Peter Kater and Carlos Nakai, Migration (whole album)

4.  Riley Lee, Satori (whole album)

5.  Any Dvorak string quartets

6.  Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Healing Mind System

7.  Paul Winter, Icarus

8.  Krishna Das, Breath of the Heart

9.  Mike Rowland, Fairy Ring (whole album)

10.  Tulku, Trancendence (whole album)

11.  Jean Pierre Rampal with Bach’s Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord

I have a pretty long list of things like this because it’s what I use for yoga classes but those are probably my favorites.

In a different vein, some of the most amazing moments I’ve had with music and peace have been at the end of every Unity church service I’ve ever attended, holding hands with those around me and singing “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.  The group energy of a big bunch of people singing that together is mighty powerful.

Music has been central to me most of my life.  Lots and lots of music lessons.  Untold hours of listening.  Had a band.  Sang in choirs.  I think there are so many levels on which music can aid in bringing peace.  And I think what sort of music brings what sort of peace is different for different people.

Check out some of the other posts for the challenge to see that in action:

Rarasaur

Donetta’s World

One Starving Activist

Many Little Drops

Laurie’s Notes

Breathing Space

Letter to Divine Creator – monthly peace challenge

Snapped with my Nokia while walking in the park

Sighted over Corte Madera

Posted for Kozo’s Monthly Peace Challenge over at Everyday Gurus.  Among a number of challenges is one to write a letter to God (however you name her) about peace.

Divine Creator, Mother, Father, Son as One:

I’m so grateful for the many gifts you’ve given me in this life.  Not only the prosperity and freedom and education, but also for the emotional struggles and the long-running health issues.  Working through these things has made me stronger, given me greater insight, caused me to be diligent at spiritual practices and has trained me to be a teacher.  Not just a teacher but a teacher who can understand many issues and many forms of resistance and trauma in others so that I can hold a space with compassion.

I long to do what you would have me do and to be who you want me to be.  I feel pulled to be an agent of peace.  I long to be a hollow bone through which divine love and compassion flow to everyone I meet.  I intend to be peace.  I know that each of us being peace within is the first step to peace on earth.

I am willing to let go of anything I still carry that stands in the way of holding the space of peace, compassion and love and you have my permission to remove anything in me that is not consistent with peace.  I AM you and that means that your love and compassion are mine as well and I can choose to remove all that doesn’t resonate with the Divine I AM.

Let my books and my movement classes and my teaching bring greater love and peace to my students.  If you have a different task for me than those, I will do as you ask.

BTW–instead of making me guess, once in a while could you just write a message in the steam in the bathroom mirror or in the snow on my patio?  A message in English that isn’t cryptic, but clear, in terms I understand…  I’m just sayin’

Thank you God

Thank you God

Thank you God

And so it is.

Love, Leigh

Take a look at some other entries in the challenge for Bloggers for Peace:

Dear Dianna

Laurie’s Notes

July Post for Peace

Hey Nick!

Prayer Sunday Open for Comment

First, in case you missed the post about it, this is the same blog as Notes from the Bluegrass but now with a new title and a new look.

As predicted, I didn’t manage the morning Global Peace meditation and, after a lot of not-enough-sleep-days, I didn’t get to the noon peace meditation called for by Ringo until the Central Time Zone’s noon.  But I did chant and toward the end I felt surrounded by a bigger wave of energy than I usually generate from chanting alone.  It felt like I’d expanded out to meet the others who were praying.

Don’t forget there’s now a Facebook page where you can comment on your experiences with the praying, chanting, meditating, etc.  There’s a “like” button for it to the right and I’d so appreciate it if you’d all click on it (when I get enough it will turn on some features for the page that I can’t use now).  I think you need to be logged into FB first.  Hide the page from your wall after that if you don’t want to see the posts…

Building Community to Pray for Peace

Challenge:  You’ll see reference to two other global peace prayer happenings this Sunday in the post below.  My challenge is for you to do one or both of the others as well as the 10 minutes of chanting/praying for Collective Prayer Sundays.  As a major night owl I’m rarely moving by 9 a.m. so I’ll admit it’s unlikely that I’ll be joining that one and thus unlikely that I’ll meet the full challenge.  Comment here on your experience of doing more than one prayer for peace or on any similarities or differences between the experiences.

In last Sunday’s post I described a worry I noticed while chanting that this effort to create a worldwide prayer for peace has failed.  Since I’m still on a learning curve about getting the word out, realistically I know that it’s way too early to know whether it’s going to be successful or not.  But the comment drew a really great response from Karen Wan of Writing Your Destiny and Enchanting Adventures and with her permission I’m copying it here:

“Leigh,
I don’t think you’ve failed with your Sunday peace effort, but I do wonder if having a free teleconference that you lead that people could join would help increase the feeling of community.

It’s probably just me, but I can’t say that I find myself feeling connected to anyone else during the prayers, and unfortunately the Sunday night prayer feels like just another task to add to my to do list, so to be honest, I simply do my normal meditations that I was already doing that include a focus on peace and prosperity for all people.

Yet, I want to support you and I applaud you for taking action to do something to promote world and personal peace. I’ll keep trying to get more in the spirit of your intentions.

Karen”

She’s right, so far there’s not much sense of community around this.  I’ve been working away at developing ways to create community for this prayer project.  I finally figured out the Facebook page and, as you can see, there’s a link on the right side of the blog.  I’m putting a comment each day on the FB page and you’re welcome to start your own threads, so that’s a place where you can engage in conversation about your experience of the prayers.  I put up a post on this blog each Sunday to open the comments for discussion as well.  So even if you don’t have someone to chant or pray with, you can join a discussion about the experience on the blog or on FB.

I’m also working on creating an audio file as a podcast or some other form on line in which I will be saying the chant for 10 minutes so that anyone who wants to can chant with me.  I’m considering the suggestion to do a teleconference but I see it as having the same issue I’ve had about simultaneous prayers in general:  whatever times suits me for the conference will be the middle of the night some place in the world and breakfast time someplace else, etc.  My thought was that a permanent link to a recording of the chant gives everyone a way to chant along with me at whatever time suits.  Thoughts and suggestions about this are welcome.

Some other suggestions:

1.  Karen and I are going to both meditate/chant at 9:30 CDT (her time)/10:30 EDT (my time) this Sunday.  If any of you want to feel as if you’re connecting in, chant at the same time we are and see if that makes a difference.  Get on one of the pages after you chant to find others who want to discuss.

2.  There’s a global meditation project over on Architects of a New Dawn that has a teleconferenced meditation every week beginning this Sunday:  World Healing and Harmony Prayer and Meditation .  It’s base seems to be in Australia so the time doesn’t suit me, but if it works for you (9 a.m. EDT), you can join a group by participating.  It won’t be in the time frame of my project but, hey, it’s praying for peace on Sunday — how could I complain?

3.  I encourage you to find like-minded people in your area and either get together in person to chant or agree upon a time that you will all chant/pray/meditate and then do a conference call or an online chat afterwards to connect.

4.  Think about creating posts about your experience of this chanting and tie them in to Bloggers4Peace — that way you can link into both this community and the growing B4Peace group.

Also note, this Sunday Ringo Starr has asked the world to stop and pray for peace at noon this Sunday in your time zone.

While I understand the sense of wanting community and I encourage doing this with community, I also really believe that since each of us is part of the All That Is, that every individual prayer has an impact on all of us and that even if we’re all chanting separately, if we can get the numbers to be big enough, the prayers will start having an impact.  I don’t think it’s fast.  I think we might have to keep praying weekly for a long time to shift the world.  But I do think we can do it.  See my previous post on the collective effects of raising vibrations for more info.

I’m also happy to get other suggestions.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m not that much of a techie nor very into social media other than blogging.  I’ve been researching all this for my upcoming ebook and it finally occurred to me to try to use some of what I’m learning for this project but I’m a neophyte so advice from those more experienced is welcome!

Chanting Mindfully for Peace

Meditation in Rocca di Cerrare by Dedda 71. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pagan_meditation2.jpg

Peaceful Meditation

This week’s challenge was to practice mindfulness while chanting or praying — to keep your focus only on the words of the chant or prayer or vision and to notice what intruded.

I didn’t manage to do a separate chant ahead of time so I combined tonight’s practice with the mindfulness practice.  I actually always try to stay mindful when I chant so I really just added trying to simultaneously stay mindful and yet notice what crossed my mind.  I wasn’t very mindful tonight.

I was interested to see that the thoughts that arose related to launching this prayer effort.  I’ve been really excited because being a part of moving toward peace has been very important to me for a long time.  Yet I don’t have the feeling so far that very many others are excited, so at first my thoughts jumped to feeling that this has failed (even though I know that it takes time to launch something like this and I have a lot of work still to do about getting the word out).

I pulled my thoughts back to the chant and then they wandered to the point, six or seven years back, when a dear friend–with excellent skills at using right listening to guide her friends deeper into their own hearts–led me to create a workshop I called Journey to Peace along with realizing that I seriously want to be assisting the world toward peace.  I haven’t taught the workshop in a while and I thought I should dust it off and bring it out again.

I don’t feel there’s a deep analysis to do about these thoughts as they swirled around the launching of this project and why I started; doesn’t seem too surprising given what and why I was chanting.  Sometimes I do note deeper issues like some part of me that wants to distract me from the possibility of being peaceful, at ease and happy…. but not tonight.

The last few minutes I managed to successfully use my trick of watching the words float across my inner visual “screen” to stay focused only on the chant.  That, of course, was when I finally dropped into a deeper and more peaceful space.

Tell me about your experience with the challenge.  Or just how it feels to participate in meditating.

 

Collective Prayer Sundays Challenge and Reminder

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:M%C3%A9ditation.jpg

Méditation sur une plage de Mo’orea by Nicolas Tacchi

Since I’ve been late the first two weeks with my reminders about Collective Prayer Sundays as to some parts of the world, I thought I’d do it early this week and combine it with another challenge.  So the reminder part:  every Sunday you’re asked to find a minimum of 10 minutes somewhere between 7 and 11:59 p.m. in your time zone to pray, meditate, chant, affirm, etc. for peace.  Suggested chant:  May the Earth (or the world) be filled with lovingkindness, may she be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.

Just asking you to commit 10 minutes a week.  If you can gather some people and give a little more time, fabulous.  But every part of the Oneness contributes to the state of the world, so whether you chant alone or with others you’re still offering peace to All That Is.

For the challenge this week I want you to consider chanting as a practice that can bring mindfulness, or ability to be present in the moment.  I suggest that you take on this challenge as a separate 10 (+) minutes of chanting and that you chant for yourself (see last week’s challenge) but if you’re pressed for time do it as part of the regular Sunday practice.  As you chant do your best to keep your mind clear.  I’ve found over the years that it’s perfectly possible for my mouth to repeat a chant over and over while my mind wanders hither and yon over subjects that have nothing to do with the chanting.

One trick I use to hold focus is to try to see the words as if they’re being written across my inner vision at the same time that I chant them.  Sometimes I just catch myself thinking and pull my mind back to the chant.  However you do it, try to note what your mind is up to.  If you keep thinking about other things while you’re chanting, make some notes at the end of your practice.  Pay attention to where your mind wandered — did it just ramble off to grocery lists or did it throw up thoughts that resisted the words of the chant?  Did it jump to problems and issues instead of staying with peace?  Any ideas about why those particular thoughts came up at the same time as those words of the chant?  Did the thoughts affect how you felt while chanting?  Did you note any difference between how it felt when you kept your mind clear versus how it felt when your mind wandered?

If you want a conversation about your experience, post comments here or on the Sundays page.  Or if you have a lot to say write a post on your blog and tag it with CollPraySun so everyone can find it by searching that tag.  As always, tag it also with B4Peace to participate also with Bloggers for Peace.  I’ve put up a page for this on Facebook but so far I haven’t had the energy to try to figure out how to make a like for that page show up on here (translates to:  I’m not fond of techie stuff so I’m just not doing it yet).

See also:

Finding the Way to Peace

Mindfulness:  The Key Factor

Mindfulness:  How Do You Get It?

Praying for me or thee

By Presearch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What a day for prayers for peace.  I participated in the Global Meditation Project’s prayer for peace at noon EDT and then chanted again for peace for Collective Prayer Sundays–lovely.  I tried an experiment based on my challenge to those of you who are participating in CPS:  yesterday I chanted (the lovingkindness chant) for myself, at noon today I chanted for Earth, and late this evening when I participated in CPS I first chanted 10 minutes for myself and then 10 minutes for Earth.

The challenge grew out of my experience over some years with the lovingkindness chant.  As previously mentioned, traditionally the chanting is done in a series, first chanting for yourself, then loved ones, then people you don’t like, then enemies (with my students I divide that into people you know and don’t like and people you don’t know but don’t like [such as president, dictator, actor, etc.], then the world, then all sentient beings.  For the first years that I chanted, I spent very little time on chanting for myself out of some sense that a “good” person should chant for others and not so selfish as to chant for self.

Five or six years ago I had a sort of epiphany that led me to chant only for myself most of the time.  So many things changed for me with that one small shift.  First of all, I soon realized that chanting for myself expanded my heart so much that it really changed the quality of chanting for others for the better.  For a long time when I chanted for myself I’d become choked up or openly start sobbing.  I realized I’d just about never been that kind or caring toward myself and it tapped into a deep well of emotions about my worthiness and need for love.

The more I expanded and felt my heart glow and vibrate from the chanting the more I understood that oneness means there’s really no difference between chanting for myself and chanting for others.  So my basic experience in the chanting I did the last two days was that there was very little difference for me in how it felt to chant only for myself (20 minutes) or only for Earth (15 minutes) but when I chanted first for myself (10 minutes) and then for the Earth (10 minutes) I felt much more expanded and full when I came to the second part, where I chanted for Earth — and I would say I was much more expanded by the end of 20 minutes total than I was last Sunday when I chanted 30 minutes just for Earth.

Like I said, there’s no right or wrong to this.  All of that is just my experience.  I’m very interested to hear whether anyone tried the challenge and, if so, how it felt to you.  As always, please tag with CollPraySun — and mentioning the page:  https://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com/collective-prayer-sunday/ so that people can get the skinny on this effort to spread prayers for peace around the world will be much appreciated!

Collective Prayer Sunday Challenge and News

© Copyright ANDY RAMMY and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I’ve been so excited about Collective Prayer Sundays that I keep thinking about it and getting ideas.  So I’ve decided that periodically — possibly but not likely weekly — I want to float a challenge to try something extra (besides the commitment to a minimum 10 min. chant or prayer for peace every Sunday between 7 and 11:59 pm in your time zone).  I also want to give you a heads up about another world wide meditation effort, Global Meditation Movement.   The first meditation is Sunday June 23 at noon EDT.

Theirs is one of the many that have tried to organize one time when the whole world will meditate.  I love the idea but in the past I’ve also found that given different time zones around the world and people with differing habits and life styles even within a time zone, it’s not all that practical to expect world-wide participation and that’s why I set up Collective Prayer Sunday to have a time range in every time zone.  We won’t have the power of as many people at once but we can create a wave that circles the world all day!

So, for the first challenge.  If you’ve been participating, you know that I have suggested this form of the lovingkindness chant as a practice to use for the Sunday meditation:  May the Earth be filled with lovingkindness, may she be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.  If you’re doing this chant or willing to try it for one week, try this challenge.

Traditionally in the lovingkindness chant you chant first for yourself and then through a whole series of suggested levels (others will show up in future challenges) before you get to the world and then all sentient beings.  This week my challenge is to find an extra 10 minutes (or more!) to chant before Sunday and this time chant for yourself:

May I be filled with lovingkindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy.

Make some notes about what you noticed in your body, whether any feelings arose, or anything else you noticed.  On Sunday when you chant for the Earth, note whether there is any difference or not in how it feels to chant for the Earth versus chanting for yourself. There’s no right or wrong answer, just things to look at.  If you have a lot to say, write a post about it and make sure you tag it with CollPraySun (and don’t forget B4Peace) or if you’d rather have a conversation, post comments here.

I also want to point everyone to a post on Laughter: Carbonated Grace.  Eileen has written a lovely prayer for use on Collective Prayer Sunday — if you don’t like the lovingkindness chant, you might like her prayer.  Don’t forget to check out posts in the Bloggers for Peace Network by checking the tag B4Peace.

First Prayer Sunday: Let’s Make Peace!

User THD3 on Wikimedia:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:THD3

Collective Prayer Sunday!

I’m not great at figuring out times around the world but I know it’s way into Sunday already in many places (are some on Monday now???) and we just entered Sunday in my time zone so I just want to remind everyone this is the first Sunday for us to join in praying for peace.  If you can, please find a minimum of 10 minutes somewhere between 7 and 11:59 p.m. in your time zone to pray, meditate, chant, cast, etc. for peace.  I’ve suggested the lovingkindness chant:

May the Earth be filled with lovingkindness

May she be well

May she be peaceful and at ease

May she be happy

But say your own prayer, do a meditation, repeat another chant, send Reiki — whatever feels to you like the way you want to pray for peace.  Just 10 minutes.  If you can spend more time or form a group to chant or pray together for more than 10 minutes on some regular basis on Sunday evenings, that would be wonderful!  We can make a difference!  Spread the word.  Tell me in the comments on the Collective Prayer Sundays page that you’re taking part.  Make comments on this post if you want to tell about your experience of praying for peace.

Collective Prayer Sundays page is up

cloud for bluegrass blogContinuing with my Collective Prayer Sundays idea, I’ve created a page for it.  I’ve also created an e-mail address just for this:  collpraysun at gmail dot com

There’s also a tag, CollPraySun, to use if you want to blog about the experience of participating in prayers for peace so everyone can read it.  Please also tag with B4Peace (Kozo’s Bloggers for Peace) as posts about praying for peace will fit right in with Bloggers for Peace!

Collective Prayer Sunday–let’s pray for peace together-ish

I know, I know, I posted a Part 1 the other day and this isn’t part 2.  It’s coming.  But that post, which posited that praying or chanting or holding a vision together has an impact on the world, got me thinking about whether we could start something here in the blogging world along those lines.  I’m open to ideas or thoughts about a better way to do it than what I’m about to propose so feel free to speak up and I’ll let you know if there’s a change.  Everyone who wants to participate:  it would be great for you to leave a comment that states your intent just so we all have a sense of the collective that will be sending those waves out every Sunday.

First of all, since I think that collective prayer (I’m defining that to include affirmations, chants, envisioning, healing etc.) has power and I don’t think everyone has to be in the same place or time, I’d like to start a Collective Prayer Sunday group.  And, since it’s hard to pick one time that suits everyone (even in the same time zone, let alone around the world), I thought I’d set a span of hours once a week for people to pray for a minimum of 10 minutes and invite everyone to join in alone or pull together a local group somewhere in those hours in whatever time zone you live in.  I see it as sort of like floating waves of prayers for peace that just keep moving out around the world.

My suggested time:  between 7 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. in whatever time zone you’re in on Sunday evenings.    Again, a minimum of 10 minutes.  If you have a group that wants half an hour or an hour or more — fabulous!  I’ll suggest the lovingkindness chant:  May the earth be filled with lovingkindness, may she  be well, may she be peaceful and at ease, may she be happy.  But if you have a chant or an affirmation or a vision of peace that you or your group would like to do instead, I think the important thing is the intention of peace and health for the world.

I’ll pledge to put up a post each Sunday — even if it just says “Sunday prayer post, discuss please” so that anyone who wants to can leave comments about the experience that week.  I’m also creating a tag “CollPraySun” (collective prayer sunday) so if you want to write a post about how praying for peace impacts you or your group’s experience or…, there’ll be a tag where we can all look for it.

Let me know what you think!