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Heartfulness hosted a global virtual summit on International Day of Peace

November 2020
Heartfulness hosted a global virtual summit on International Day of Peace

On September 22, 2020, Heartfulness Institute hosted a virtual summit on ‘#Connecting for Peace’ to commemorate International Day of Peace in association with United Nations Information Centre, Global Citizens India, Give India, Spirit of Humanity Forum, the Fetzer Institute, Sewa International and Gandhi Foundation.

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The event brought together global thought leaders such as Daaji, Javier Zanetti, Deepak Chopra, BK Sister Shivani, Sharon Salzberg, Mata Amritanandamayi, Bruce Lipton, Amandine Roche, Bob Boisture, Thomas d’Ansembourg, Marta Bassino, and Michela Moioli to discuss the need and role of peace in the world. The event was anchored by actor and director Shekhar Kapur.

[Right] Daaji, Guide, Heartfulness Institute, in conversation with Javier Zanetti, Argentina footballer and Vice President, Inter Milan FC.​

The discussion was followed by a synchronized guided meditation broadcast in over 100 countries in 24 different languages. The global session witnessed the advocacy of peace by people from different walks of life—children, students, sportsmen, educationalists, musicians, actors, journalists, and spiritual leaders. The highlight was children of different ages and ethnicities sharing their ideas and understanding of peace.

Welcoming the millions of participants from across the world, filmmaker and actor Shekar Kapur said, “Peace is something that we all yearn for, and we all have a different understanding of it: It’s peace within ourselves; it’s world peace; it’s the peace of the ecology; it’s the peace inside your heart.” Karen Bjork, a climate change activist, said, “It is because we lack space between our thoughts to actually reflect on the situation; we lack the peace to take the time to reflect and think about where we are heading and how we want to build a better world.” Thomas d’Ansembourg, a psychotherapist and certified trainer in nonviolent communication, explained discipline as a driving force of peace. “We can make peace if we work at it and if we discipline ourselves. It is the way of things,” he said. Mark Milton, Founder, Education 4 Peace organization, said, “Let’s ‘be’ the peace we want to live, with ourselves, with others, and also with the planet.”

Indian music composer Ricky Kej, pianist and composer Mike Herting, and flautist Shashank Subramanyam briefly spoke about the harmony that peace and collaboration create. Michel Mouyelo-Katoula, an award-winning economist and statistician, said, “Peace means simply love, well-being, harmony. Harmony in my heart, harmony in my entire physical body and beyond it”. Bob Boisture, President & CEO, The Fetzer Institute, suggested that people should focus on connection rather than separation in today’s world of disconnection. In conversation with Daaji, Guide of Heartfulness Institute, Argentina footballer and Vice President of Inter Milan FC , Javier Zanetti, expressed his appreciation of human values and dreams. He said, “I am convinced that human values are what make the difference. One person may be better at something than others, but it is people who make the difference, and the values that they succeed in transmitting.”

The session also witnessed famous sports persons like Phil Jackson, Nadia Nadim, Michela Moioli, and members of peace organizations recounting memories and their views. Mata Amritanandamayi popularly addressed as Amma, a global spiritual guide, expressed her wish to see peace spread to every corner of the Earth. “May Mother Nature forgive our mistakes and bless us with a time in which there are no natural disasters. May all of you become messengers of love and peace in this world.” BK Sister Shivani, Member, Spirit of Humanity Forum, shed light on the ultimate human desire—to be loved, to be happy, and to have peace. “Everyone wants the same, the same vibration because that is the original nature of every soul. And that is why we understand the drop and the ocean. Each one is an individual drop, but we are carrying the same quality as the ocean, and the ocean is the supreme power.” Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher, spoke of our actions in this interconnected universe. Amandine Roche, a UN human rights advocate, said, “When I met these Afghan refugees— so noble, so hospitable, so at peace, despite the conflict, despite the violence—they were just radiating peace,” she said, recalling her experiences of working with Afghan refugees which transformed her life. During the session, authors and guides shared their understanding of peace and consciousness. Deepak Chopra, pioneer in Integrative Medicine and Personal Transformation, spoke about the Yamas and Niyamas as the basis of the yogic tradition. He said, “You have actually to do nothing but be peaceful yourself and bring the presence of peace wherever you go. And if you do that, then people around you will feel peaceful, not by what you say, not by what you do even, but just by your presence.”

[Right] Daaji, Guide, Heartfulness Institute, in conversation with meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg.​

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Concluding the diverse session celebrating the International Day of Peace, Daaji shedding light on the meaning of peace said, “Commonly, we think of peace as only a lack of violence between individuals, whether at a physical, or mental, or emotional level. Yet, even when we are alone, we often find ourselves restless and lacking in peace. When you are not at peace, is it possible to appreciate anything at all? Your restlessness will prevent it.” Speaking on the peace dynamic, he said, “There is quantum entanglement. Those who are associated with us, on a mental, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level, get entangled because of this. If you are restless, people who are in resonance with you will feel restless; if you are at peace, they too will feel peace.” The global spiritual guide advised everyone to channel and embrace peace rather than feeling peace. The event ended with a Heartfulness meditation session for participants around the world.

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