Peace in the World





May the entire world shine with the light of peace



The final words of the Peace Mantra are 'And throughout the World, Peace'. The UK Peace Foundation believes that each one of us, both individually and collectively, can do something, however small, to help bring these words into reality.

For this to happen, we need to be committed to cultivate peace within ourselves, our communities and our national environment (please read the preceding pages Peace in my Heart, Peace in this Place, and Peace in our Land.

Do feel free to print out any section of this page. If you share the material with others, please acknowledge that it has come from this website: www.peacefoundation.org.uk

Please scroll down to find the following items:

        Introduction
        Part A: What can we do to help bring about peace in the world?
        1. Write letters to national leaders urging them to cultivate peace
            a) Choosing a language of peace
            b) Writing as soon as we can, before conflict escalates
            c) Deciding how often to write, and dealing with unsatisfactory answers
        2. Support organisations committed to peacebuilding
        3. Join others in finding and implementing a lasting solution to poverty
            a) 'Poverty is the worst form of violence'
            b) Searching for lasting solutions to world poverty
            c) How can we make a start?
            d) Focusing upon just one small area can make a huge difference
        4. Understand and appreciate other cultures
        5. The vital importance of Truth and Reconciliation

        Part B: Six Meditations
        Meditation 1: The Four Immeasurables
        Meditation 2: Peace in the World using the breath (in three stages)
        Meditation 3: Chanting Peace in the World as a mantra
        Meditation 4: Walking Peace in the World
        Meditation 5: Radiating the Inner Smile out into the World
        Meditation 6: Offering healing and peace to the World

bullet point  Introduction
As I have said elsewhere on the website, the UK Peace Foundation does not claim to have anywhere near all the answers concerning peace. We regard peace cultivation as an evolving process. We are always happy to hear and learn from the views and experiences of other people.

I believe it is absolutely essential to remember that the responsibility for bringing about peace in the world does not just lie with governments and political leaders, but with each one of us. We all have the ability and opportunity to be peacebuilders in our homes, workplaces and communities. If we shirk this responsibility, how can we expect national leaders to do any better?

                                                        

          Part A: What can we do to help bring about peace in the world?
bullet point  1. Write letters to national leaders urging them to cultivate peace
          a) Choosing a language of peace
I believe it is very important that we encourage national leaders and governments to strive for peaceful resolutions to conflicts. A good way of doing this is to write letters.

The way we write is crucial. Rather than bullying or hectoring, we need to remember that peace starts with each one of us, and therefore adopt a polite, respectful tone, making the content of the letter as constructive as possible. Thich Nhat Hanh writes the following in his book Being Peace:-

In the peace movement there is a lot of anger, frustration, and misunderstanding. The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love letter. We need to learn to write a letter to the Congress or to the president of the United States that they will want to read, not just throw away. The way you speak, the kind of understanding, the kind of language you use should not turn people off. The president is a person like any of us. Can the peace movement talk in loving speech, showing the way for peace?

Cultivating 'loving speech' does not mean that we water down our request for peace. It may help to use the principles of NonViolent Communication whenever we sit down to write these letters. As an example, I have duplicated below a letter I wrote on behalf of the foundation to USA President Obama, shortly after he gave a speech at the University of Cairo in 2009.

Dear President Obama

I'm writing this letter on behalf of many people attending the Penwith Peace Group Open Meeting held earlier today. We want to express our appreciation and gratitude for the attempts you and your administration are beginning to make to help bring about peace in the Middle East.

In particular, we would agree wholeheartedly with your statement that each side needs to make a 'sustained effort ... to respect one another and seek common ground'. We believe that this statement extends to each one of us, as we are all responsible for helping to bring about peace within ourselves, our communities, our nations and the world.

We sincerely hope that the words you have spoken at Cairo University are merely the beginning of an enduring and ever increasing commitment towards peace. We would also encourage you to translate these words into peaceful actions. This will then enable the 'cycle of suspicion and discord' between the United States and the Muslim world to be converted to a cycle of trust and concord.

With our grateful thanks for reading this letter.

The opening paragraph includes an expression of appreciation and gratitude; beginning in this way sets the tone for the rest of the letter, and helps to engage the reader. If there is nothing for which we can feel gratitude, then a polite form of address would be sufficient as a beginning.

The second paragraph mentions a point of agreement, which is heightened by the statement of the Foundation's fundamental belief about peace beginning with each one of us.

The third contains the main purpose of the letter, which is to encourage further commitment towards peace, and the translation of peaceful words into peaceful actions.

Finally, there is a further expression of gratitude.

                                                        

          b) Writing as soon as we can, before conflict escalates
The earlier we engage with governments the better, as it is much harder for opposing sides to engage in dialogue once armed conflict has begun. For this reason, the UK Peace Foundation wrote to the UK Foreign Secretary in March 2011, just after noises had been made in Westminster, the UK media, and beyond about military intervention in Iran. here is a copy of our letter:-

Dear Mr Hague

As you will of course be aware, the Istanbul talks held with Iran over that country's nuclear programme have recently broken up without agreement. The UK Peace Foundation is most concerned that various people from the West are openly talking about waging war against Iran in an attempt to force it to change its position, and/or to destroy its nuclear capability.

As its name suggests, the UK Peace Foundation is wholeheartedly devoted towards the establishment and maintenance of peace. We believe that peace can never be achieved through war or force. Any war is a tragedy for humankind, as it inevitably results in ordinary citizens losing their lives.

We therefore ask you as Foreign Secretary to continue (and intensify) your search for a peaceful solution, and to resist all calls to go to war.

With our grateful thanks for reading this letter.

                                                        

          c) Deciding how often to write, and dealing with unsatisfactory answers
It is difficult to gauge how often to write to any one lead or department. During the course of just a month or two we may find there are a succession of issues we need to raise, but if we write too frequently, we may be dismissed as a nuisance.

Hopefully we will receive an answer to each letter we write. We need to think carefully how we react to an answer which we find disappointing. It would be counterproductive to get emboiled in an argument. However, I think it entirely appropriate to write a second time, thanking the official for the reply, and politely highlighting the points which we believe have not been answered satisfactorily. It may also help to list the areas in which there seems to be agreement.

                                                        

bullet point  2. Support organisations committed to peacebuilding
There are many organisations engaged in cultivating peace in the world. They may be helping to prevent or resolve conflict between various factions within a particular country, or between one nation and another.

We can support the work of a peace organisation in a variety of ways. These include making a donation, helping with fundraising activities, or perhaps by offering our services as peacebuilders or mediators (we would need to undergo special training to do this).

Which organisation we support is obviously up to us. in making a choice, it may be useful to consider questions such as these:-
      Do the organisation's aims and objectives seem clear?
      Is it committed to establish peace in a non-violent way?
      How far does it encourage local people to find their own solutions?
      What proportion of its income does it spend 'on the ground'?
      What proportion of its income does it spend on salaries, advertising, bureaucracy?
      What is your gut feeling about the organisation?

It may of course not be possible to find definitive answers to all of these questions. Perhaps the most important thing is to rely upon one's instinct. i tend to favour small-sized charities which are run on a shoe-string by a handful of people who care passionately about what they do, who target as much of their charitable income as they possibly can towards the real places of need, and who avoid any kind of hard sell or emotional blackmail in their advertising.

A few peace organisations are listed on the Links page; more will be added when that page is expanded and developed over the coming months.

                                                         

bullet point  3. Join others in finding and implementing a lasting solution to poverty 
          a) 'Poverty is the worst form of violence'
Mahatma Gandhi once said 'Poverty is the worst form of violence'. Most people, myself included, who live in the 'developed' world can barely imagine what it must be like to go without adequate food, clean drinking water, healthcare and shelter day after day, year after year. I believe it simply won't do for us who 'have' to talk about peace, unless we are prepared on a regular basis to help those who 'have not'.

Many of us may be struggling very hard to make ends meet during this age of austerity. However, I believe we can all do something to help those who are destitute. There are a huge number of charities who are helping to lift people out of poverty. Even if we cannot afford to give any money, we can help in other ways, such as joining in fundraising events.

                                                        

          b) Searching for lasting solutions to world poverty
Charities are only part of the answer. I believe the human race is capable of finding a lasting solution to world poverty, if only we had the desire and willpower to search for it. To manage this all of us - not just national leaders, but the whole human race - will need to address some fundamental issues concerning the distribution of wealth and resources, population size, and sustainable living. This will inevitably mean that many of us, especially those of us who live in richer countries, will need to accept a fall in our standard of living, so as to help raise the whole world out of the poverty trap.

To many people, this task may seem Herculean, even 'pie in the sky'. Others may complain that it would take a very long time to achieve. This does not mean we should give up in despair. The more of us who join together in searching for solutions to root out poverty, the more likely we will be to effect change. The more we are able to persuade politicians to embrace this change, then the more our government's policy will shift, as will the policies of other nations, until the entire world will unite to eradicate poverty. This ripple effect is encapsulated within the Peace Mantra.

There are signs this change is already in progress. The UK Prime Minister has recently pledged to increase UK Overseas Aid to the UN target of 0.7% of annual income, and has encouraged other rich nations to do the same.

                                                          

          c) How can we make a start?
All the above may sound well and good, but what can we actually do to make a start? Here are just four suggestions:
    1) search for and link up with others who have similar aims in helping to eradicate
poverty
    2) contact strategic people like local and national politicians
    3) scrutinise the policies of various parties, and encourage them to go further if
necessary
    4) simplify our style of living, if we have not done so already

                                                        

          d) Focusing upon just one small area can make a huge difference
The ideas floated on these pages are only suggestions; you may well come up with different ones which appeal more to you. What I hope will happen is that each one of us will find just one thing to concentrate upon. Focusing our energy upon a single area, one which feels right to us, can help us create real, positive change.

Any action we take should 'come from the heart'. This is the most important thing, to concentrate upon softening, opening and awakening ourselves to the need of all living beings. This focus takes us back to the first line of the mantra: Peace in my Heart. We can only care about the world if we care about ourselves and our local and national environment. Conversely, we can only care about ourselves, our community and our nation if we care about the entire world. Each line of the mantra depends upon the others, practically, as well as in terms of meditation.

                                                        

bullet point  4. Understand and appreciate other cultures
In Peace in this Place we saw how 'embracing difference can help create social harmony'. We can extend this principle by learning to understand and appreciate other countries, cultures, customs, philosophies and religions.

Travel can help enormously in this respect. For those of us who are unable to travel physically, we can travel by 'virtual' means, by surfing the net, researching in a library, listening to various world radio stations, and perhaps best of all corresponding with people from other countries.

If we show genuine respect and a desire to understand, we will go a long way towards creating and developing some wonderful friendships. We all like our customs and traditions to be valued and appreciated; ideally this should be mutual.

Learning a foreign language can be an enormous help in breaking down barriers. Even if we can manage just a few basic expressions, our efforts will often be greatly appreciated. In recent years, I have found this true in countries such as Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Italy.

Establishing a dialogue with people, whether in their country or in the UK, or via email. can only work to the good. Another possibility is to accommodate guests from overseas, such as students who come to the UK to learn or improve their English.

                                                        

bullet point  5. The vital importance of Truth and Reconciliation
Imagine this scenario. Groups A and B erupt in conflict, perhaps because of a misunderstanding, or a dispute over territory, or a desire by one group to assert what it considers to be its superiority over the other. Group A wins a hard-fought war, and punishes Group B by committing further atrocities. In time B hits back, and takes full revenge. Resentment between the two sides continues to build, and they carry on fighting for many more years. To complicate matters, a new group C rises up, attacking and defeating both A and B, the survivors of which are forced into harsh and degrading servitude. And so the troubled and blood conflict continues, with all sides become ever more deeply entrenched, without any sign of a lasting settlement emerging.

This type of situation has occurred all too frequently over the years, and indeed is still happening in many parts of the world. To my mind, the best chance of a lasting long-term solution between conflicting sides is for them to agree to sit down, listen to each other's grievances, and together search for a new way forward. This would be more likely to succeed if the meetings were led by a council or body drawn up from a pool of neutral nations.

An essential part of the process would be for both sides to own up to past mistakes, and to accept full responsibility for them. This takes a great deal of courage, and a steely determination to place the truth above considerations of national or personal honour and prestige. Once all grievances have been aired and acknowledged the path will be clear for both sides to journey towards a lasting settlement.

Truth and reconciliation is not just a theory. It has been proved to work in practice, perhaps most notably in South Africa, where the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the early 1990's. I believe we can all take heart and learn a great deal from the way this commission operated, doing so much to heal the terrible wounds inflicted during the apartheid era.

I also believe passionately that rifts within families, workplaces and communities can be healed in a very similar way. Even if just one 'party' owned up to past mistakes, and apologised for them, the result can still be beneficial; that 'party' would be more likely to change tack and try to avoid repeating the mistakes in future. The longer they hold to a peaceful course, the more likely the other side would be to do the same.

                                                         

                                             Part B: Six Meditations
        Do feel free to print out these practices. If you use them in your group, please
        acknowledge they have come from this website:
www.peacefoundation.org.uk

When practising these meditations, keep in mind the link between the peace generated within each person (the Heart), radiating out into the community (the Place), and then into the whole of our Land, and then into the World.

bullet point Meditation 1: The Four Immeasurables
This is an ancient Buddhist practice. It can be done either by breathing according to your natural rhythm, or by inhaling, holding, and exhaling for the same number of heart-beats. Take anything from a few breaths to several minutes with each Immeasurable.

1. Imagine you are drawing from the invisible source of Unconditional Love (Meta) - which is everywhere, both inside and outside your being. This Love forms the basis of all Peacebuilding.

Imagine that your heart, your entire being is filling with this energy of Love, until it becomes so full that it overflows into the community, environment, world, and out into space, in six directions: in front of you, behind you, to the right, to the left, upwards and downwards.

2. Change your focus from Unconditional Love to Empathy and/or Compassion (Karuna), and repeat the process described in 1.

3. Change your focus to Joy (Mudita).

4. Become aware of the total peace of Unity. Imagine this is flowing in all six directions at once, and that it is present everywhere, in everything, all the time.

It is possible to use the six directions to radiate peace into the community and environment, as well as into the world.


bullet point  Meditation 2: 'Peace in the World' using the breath
This meditation is a continuation of Meditation 2 on the previous three pages.

Stage 1: Tuning into your heartbeat
(This is the same as shown on the previous three pages.)

Become aware of the pulse of your heartbeat.
Breathe in, counting four heartbeats.
Hold the breath, counting another four heartbeats.
Breathe out, counting four more heartbeats.
Repeat the cycle until you get used to the pattern.


Once you are used to the cycle, move on to the next stage if you wish:-

Stage 2: Energy breathing
(This is the same as shown on the previous three  pages.)

Continue the breathing pattern described above in Stage 1.
Imagine you are breathing in new, fresh energy.
Hold the breath.
Imagine you are breathing out old, stale energy.
Repeat the cycle as often as you wish.

Either bring to a close by watching the natural rhythm of your breath, or go on to Stage 3:-

Stage 3: Breathing 'Peace in the World', 'The World is at Peace'
To begin with, you may wish to focus upon:
     'Peace in my Heart' on the in-breath, hold the breath, and 'My Heart is at Peace' on the out-breath for a few cycles, then:
     'Peace in this Place' on the in-breath, hold the breath, and 'This Place is at Peace' on the out-breath for another few cycles, and then:
     'Peace in our Land' on the in-breath, hold the breath, and 'Our Land is at Peace' on the out-breath for a few more cycles, before moving onto:
 

Think the words 'Peace in the World' on the in-breath.
Hold the breath.
Think 'The World is at Peace' on the out-breath.


When focusing upon Peace in the World on the in-breath, be aware of the current of peace entering your lungs, your heart, the place where you are, the land in which you live, and the entire world.

Each time you breathe in, imagine that this peace energy reaches further and further into the world.

When holding the breath, imagine that the peace current goes even further, encompassing every country in every continent, until the whole planet is engulfed.

When focusing upon Our World is at Peace on the out-breath, imagine that the whole of the world is radiating, glowing, and shining with this ever-expanding energy of peace. (Some people like to send the energy out even further, encompassing the moon, sun and stars, until the entire universe is filled with peace.)

Bring the meditation to a close by watching the natural rhythm of your breath.

Allow plenty of silent rest at the end of the meditation.

                                                         


bullet point Meditation 3: Chanting 'Throughout the World, Peace' as a mantra
This can be a sitting or standing meditation. It is taken from the last two lines of the Peace Mantra to form a mantra in its own right.

The five syllables of this mantra can be chanted slowly on a single note, or using a very simple melody. The following is a suggestion which can be adapted to suit you. Make sure the beat-counts are steady, and of equal length.

Syllables:              Through-out the World, Peace
Note:                    D             E    F-E  D         C
Beats per syllable: 1             1    h h  2         2
Beat-counts:         7             1    2__ 3   4    5  6


Two things:-
    1) the first syllable 'through-' is marked as beat 7, because it leads towards the
syllable '-out', which has the main stress, and is therefore treated as beat 1.
    2) the third syllable 'the' is set to two notes, F and E, which are slurred together, and
last half a beat each (the h indicates a half-beat)

While chanting this short mantra, focus upon peace gradually spreading into all corners of the world.

The entire Peace Mantra can be sung as follows:-

Syllables:              Peace in my Heart,   Peace in this Place,
Note:                    C         B  D    C          C         E  D     C
Beats per syllable: 2        1  1     3          2        1  1     3
Beat-counts:         1   2   3  4     5  6  7  1   2   3  4     5 6 7



Syllables:              Peace in our Land, And through-out the World, Peace
Note:                    C         B  D    C       C     D             E    F-E  D         C
Beats per syllable: 2        1  1    2        h     h             1    h h   2         3
Beat-counts:         1  2    3  4    5  6    7________  1    2__ 3   4    5  6  7


Remember firstly to keep the beat-counts regular, even though they cannot be spaced regularly on the page, and secondly to stress gently the syllable which comes on beat-count 1.

If you wish to receive this mantra in standard music notation, please email me (Steve) at peacemantrafoundation@outlook.com

Allow plenty of time at the end of the meditation for silent contemplation. This allows the vibrations to go on working at a deep level.

bullet point Meditation 4: Walking 'Peace in the World'
This is very similar to Meditation 4 on the previous three pages. Although it can be done indoors, the best place to walk is outdoors.

Find a quiet spot where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

Begin to walk very slowly.

Breathe in as you walk three steps, breathe out as you walk another three, and continue in the same way.


Once you are used to this cycle, introduce the following words:-

As you breathe in, think the words 'Peace in the World'.
As you breathe out, think the words 'The World is at Peace'.


Repeat this cycle continuously until you wish to bring the walking meditation to a close.

There are many possible ways to adapt and vary this meditation. Sometimes, when breathing out, I prefer just to think 'Peace', and imagine this energy fills every part of the land to which I belong.

bullet point Meditation 5: Radiating the Inner Smile out into the World
This is an extension of Meditation 5 on the previous three pages.

Sitting or standing, quietly watch your breath.

Allow yourself to break into a gentle smile, or imagine you are smiling.

Smile with every aspect of your being: your physical body, ego, imagination, thoughts, feelings, the higher self.

Imagine that this sunny, golden smile is filling your room and community with light.

Imagine this light is reaching beyond the community into every corner of the land, until everyone and everything within it is embraced by the smile.

And now imagine this light is radiating beyond our land, crossing the seas, and filling each part of the world.

When you are ready, just return to watching your breath, while imagining the smile carries on glowing within you, within your community, within every part of the land, and throughout the world and galaxy.

bullet point Meditation 6: Offering healing and peace to the world
Peace-making and healing are inextricably linked. To help bring about peace within ourselves, our communities, our land and the world is to help create a healthy and harmonious whole.

The following is an adaptation of an invitation offered by the Sufi Healing Order UK. It can be adapted further to suit one's beliefs and practice; the all-important thing is to have a clear and compassionate intention.

The practice need only take a few minutes, and comes in three short stages.

1. To begin with, imagine your heart is being filled with compassion and loving-kindness, while understanding that everyone and everything are interconnected.

2. As you do this, you may find it helpful to say out loud a prayer, or form of words. You may wish to say the Peace Mantra, or the following Invocation composed by Hazrat Inayat Khan:-

Towards the One,
The Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty,
The Only Being,
United with all the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, *
The Spirit of Guidance

* 'Master' is a word which can unfortunately conjure up a male image. You may prefer to say 'Teacher' instead; some people say 'Mystery' .

3. Take just five breaths. Each time you breathe in, imagine you are filling your being with loving, healing energy from the source, and that it is flowing out towards the area of the world to which you are offering healing. As you do this, you may find it helpful to think 'O Healing Energy' or 'O Divine Healer' or 'O Holy Spirit' - whatever feels right for you. Some people prefer to think the Arabic equivalent 'Ya Shafee'.

Each time you breathe out, imagine this loving, healing energy is filling a place in the world which needs healing and peace. Imagine this place, and all those who live in it, are whole, at peace, and are transformed by this energy. As you do this, you may want to think 'O Healing Remedy' or 'The All-sufficient Energy that Heals', or the Arabic 'Ya Kafee'; or you may wish to choose your own words.

Many people throughout the world are offering healing in this way at 9 am and 9 pm every day. If you cannot make these times, choose any time which suits you; you will be joining in with someone, somewhere else in the world.

At present, our main focus is upon Syria, but do follow your own heart and intuition, choosing a place which feels right to you.

This practice can be used to offer distant healing to a specific person. However, before doing so it is ethical to ensure that the recipient has either asked for, or has consented to receive the offer of healing.

bullet point bullet point bullet point

Thank you for trying these meditations; I hope you find them helpful. If you wish to receive further guidance in finding a meditation teacher, or discuss anything on this website, please contact me (Steve) at peacemantrafoundation@outlook.com

If the above link does not automatically open your email client, please copy the email address
peacemantrafoundation@outlook.com and paste it into another window.

bullet point  The significance of the Foundation's logo
Our logo has been created by Pharic. It reflects the twin aspects of the Mantra: the journey within (spiral) and the radiating outwards (like flower petals or sun-rays):-

                                                        logo