|Reporting from the Midwest..... |
from the newly established branch of SOM in Fayetteville, Arkansas
Nine people read the peace Covenant by the Peace Ball, a ball-shaped sculpture with a fountain next to the city square with "May Peace Prevail on Earth" engraved in many languages. SOM students and the public participated.
Students gave people Universal Peace Covenants during the morning. It was during AutumnFest, a fair at the city square. Students, young in the lessons who elected to stay home while the rest of us hosted Dedication Day at the Peace Dome, were in charge of everything that day. Logan Wood, who is 16 years old, was responsible for setting everything up that morning. He told me he feels more like a part of the school and the world now that he's seen it from the inside-out.
- SOM Director Jonathan Deurbeck
In Palatine, Illinois
COMMUNITY CENTERED VOICE
Here is an account from myself (Kerry) and Tamara Kist of our Saturday October 11th Peace Dome Celebration, 11am 2pm.
The day began for us at 9:30 before the 11 am kick off for the event. Connie, a student at the Palatine School came to vacuum and clean up. Kerry arrived with fresh flowers and Tamara came early with her family to set up the crafts table.
We had colorful drawings submitted by several grade school age students of the Heartlight School in Palatine. They were displayed on the piano along with an official Certificate of Celebration from the City of Palatine.
On the front porch we had a posterboard entitled ‘One Voice’ and fingerpaints. Every person who came made a hand print indicating their purpose to participate in the One Voice initiative for Peace, and signed their name. Kerry also brought stickers for anyone who wanted to decorate their hand print, and copies of the Pledge for Peace were available for people to sign.
In the kitchen we had a craft area where we cut the peace ribbons (in yellow, blue or bright green) for people to wear. Also, there were supplies to make a peace lantern and candles to put inside them for people to take home. There was also pizza for the day donated by Tony's Pizza that Kerry cooked in the oven. People seemed to enjoy that as well.
Fifteen of us, including 3 children, gathered in the living room area to sing a few songs in preparation for reading the Covenant. We began with Amazing Grace, went on to Imagine and then we all learned the Russian folksong "Dancing Circles" as a round so we could sing it after the reading of the covenant. Tamara led the singing and her husband Isaac accompanied on the guitar. When Tamara had to be out of the room to care for her 2 year old, she reports the singing sounded great.
Kerry read The Prayer for Enlightenment at 12:30, and then talked about the One Voice initiative taking place at that moment all over the world. She shared the story of the Peacemaker Legend from the web page and read the Iroquois Confederation of Peace prayer. Before we read the Covenant itself at 1 pm Kerry led a brief meditation to become centered and connected. Tamara’s father filmed the events of the day for us on our video camera. After reading the Universal Peace Covenant, Kerry shared a story about peace coming from within in the midst of outer world chaos, and then we passed a book of quotes around that Tamara had collected, all from Nobel Peace Prize winners.
In the kitchen were many assorted drums and percussion instruments, where we gathered after reading the covenant to hold a drum circle. Everyone sat in a chair with something to play and the drumming was lively. Kerry and Tamara added some chanting which seemed to add power to the circle.
It was a wonderful completion to the event and Tamara and I feel so grateful to be able to participate in the creation of an event that brought so many people together who had not known each other previously. One of the attendees had heard about the event from a friend who had passed on an e-mail. He shared with us that he was a part of the Peace (anti-war) Movement, and was alarmed by the anger that was a part of that. He said he felt honored to be a part of this peaceful day. That was an example of how sending out e-mails into the world can lead to us touching the unknown.
from Tulsa, Oklahoma
On October 11th here in Tulsa the Universal Peace Covenant was read at Market on the River at 41st and Riverside. Vernis a student in the Monday night class that John Miller teaches lead this group reading. He was joined by about twenty other souls that day. From this, he received a feeling of peace and serenity. Kat, a classmate, was unable to make it down to the Market, still read the Covenant and had a remarkable experience with connectedness.
The students of the Wednesday class I teach also read the Covenant and they all experienced a feeling of peace and joy. All of the students here, who were unable to attend Dome Dedication, had the opportunity to share in our experience and are excited about next year’s Dome event. I'm still waiting to hear from the Unity Church we worked with. I look forward to seeing you all in a couple weeks.
I send you all my Circle of Love,
Simone Sheehan, SOM Director
from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nicholas and I attended United Life Church today in Oklahoma City to meet Reverend Pat Powers who read the Universal Peace Covenant on October 11 at 1:00 CST. While there we met another woman named Barbara who also read the Peace Covenant at that time at another location and who had e-mailed information about One Voice to all of her e-mail contacts! Laws of Cause and Effect, Relativity, and Infinity at work!
I also spoke with Rustin, the owner of the Bookstore One: An Ecclectic Experience in Norman, read the Covenant at that time. He said it was a nice, peaceful experience. He was impressed when I shared with him that he had joined with others from all seven continents in reading the Peace Covenant. I told him specifically about the South Pole Station and McMurdo Station.
On the more individual, personal level, Kristina Diamond, a student from Nicholas' Monday night class, read the Peace Covenant in the backyard with her mom and felt very connected and enjoyed the experience very much. Eric Wilson, one of my students in the Tuesday night class read the covenant with his three year old son.
from Dallas, TX
In Dallas we had several people reading the Peace Covenant:
Brittany Glenn a student read it at work and she said she felt very hot, her hands got sweaty, and felt very light, peaceful and joyful.
Lisa Thruston another student read the Covenant in her neighborhood and she said it was overcast when she read it and 30 minutes later the sun came out! Her neighbor Gary read the Covenant as well at the opposite end of their apartment complex. Two other friends read it in the parking lot of Home Depot and two more friends of Lisa's -- Deana and Celina -- read it in their car. Also Lisa's parents read it in their house.
Lisa Bold's coworker Rick read it with his wife and child and felt very connected.
A friend of the school and local peace activist Michael read the Covenant and said he experienced a deep feeling of self-worth.
I will send stories this week!
from Bolingbrook, Illinois
One of our students had an awesome experience during her meditation before reading the Peace Covenant and then while she was reading it. I asked her to write down her experience and then I will forward it to you.
Five people gathered at a coffeehouse in Naperville to read the Universal Peace Covenant and then stayed to talk about peace and what that meant for them and our world. They all enjoyed the experience and the discussion.
The week after the Peace Dome Dedication we all shared our experiences with the students who were unable to attend. Each of us chose a rock from those used at the dedication to see which phrase from the Peace Covenant would be drawn to us. And then we shared with each other how the phrase related to our present experiences and thoughts. This created an enjoyable discussion for all.
See you student weekend!
from Columbia, Missouri
Dear Dr. Barbara,
My student Anthony was our light in Columbia on Dedication Day. He talked to radio stations prior to dedication day to see if he could read the Peace Covenant on the air. That didn't pan out so at 1pm on 10/11 he faced east and read the Peace Covenant loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear. He said he felt very connected as he read it.
I talked to my mom (Brenda Heyne) last night about One voice. She said on the 11th at 1pm she read the Peace Covenant at the funural home in Tulsa, OK. She was there seeing my grandpa who died two days before the Dome Dedication. She said reading the Universal Peace Covenant on that day was very appropriate because my grandpa withdrew from the physical very peacefully. So peacefully in fact that the hospice nurses and other nurses who were there emphasized how peaceful he was when he died. My mom said when she saw him in the funeral home the peacefulness was very apparent on his face. She also said that Saturday felt very peaceful to her.
Sending you my love,
from Webster Groves, Missouri
On October 11, 2003 I read the Universal Peace Covenant. I was at home alone at the time. I had sort of forgotten about my plan to read the Covenant at 1:00. I happened to look at my watch at exactly 1:00 pm and realized it was time to read the Covenant. I did. It felt very powerful reading it. I could feel I was not alone.
Reading this Covenant was very exciting because I have been interested in world peace since high school. I was in a group called United World Federation. I think this would be wonderful and may have prevented what the world is going through now. We must get all the political leaders to believe in this peace idea.
from Bolingbrook, Illinois
My experience on October 11th
By Rosanna Harpest (student at Bolingbrook SOM)
In preparation for the reading of the Universal Peace Covenant I did all of my mental/spiritual exercises in the morning and finished with a meditation. I knew as I went into my meditation that my focus would be peace, and I wanted to connect with the School of Metaphysics campus.
During the beginning preparation as I observed my breathing, I began to feel extremely detached from the physical and experienced my Self transporting over land in a blur of speed. Once at the campus I saw people all around, but the biggest most amazing sight was that of the dome. Out of the top was a brilliant pillar of light that was bright white, steady and strong, shooting to the depths of space.
As I formed my prayer for peace to fill me to overflowing and radiate from me, I immediately upon release of the prayer experienced great tingling in my body which then focused at the top of my head. Suddenly I had the same smaller pillar of light shooting up from me as well. Simultaneously, I saw the light from the school spread across the globe and envelope it. I also saw the pillar of light from my physical body as actually me.
I was way above the earth enveloped in the light surrounding the earth, and as I peered around, thousands of other smaller pillars from people around the globe were also coming from the tops of their heads to join it. My sense immediately was that these were also people of peace who were connected as they were going about living their lives, and I found myself rejoicing with them at this vibrant energy that joined us all together.
Those who were connected were spread out among thousands of others who did not connect and there were empty darker areas visible around the earth. Yet the light still grew in intensity and I found myself in outer space looking back at the earth and seeing it glow, covered in a blanket of light that had as its source the dome. It was as if that provided the major plug for us all to connect to and unite us. There was such amazing peace and quiet and yet unbelievable energy. It seemed to all happen in an instant and I was surprised to find how much time had gone by.
from Indianapolis, Indiana
Here are some notes on the expansion that occurred in our city from the One Voice on October 11. Wild Oats Market lended their community room to us, where some of our students and people in the community read the Universal Peace Covenant.
Adam Neidleinger read the Peace Covenant at our school and said he experienced a wave of peace that he was so thankful to be a part of. We had, in some form, 100% participation of students on Oct. 11 and 12, many of them came to the dedication at the Peace Dome along with their kids and partners. There was definitely connectedness experienced with us there. I've noticed an expansion of their light that continues to grow since our return to Indianapolis.
We also shared the Peace Covenant with numerous individuals in our community through PSA's and word of mouth. A man from a door company (who only gave us an estimate for replacing a door here at the School) took the Covenant to work and made copies for his coworkers and read it. Pretty neat stuff we thought!
I'm sure you received an email from Ken Lewis about the article he wrote to the Indpls Star about the Peace Dome dedication. It was in the Star on October 11, if you did not receive I'll get it for you.
Thank you for the gift of being a part of the sextet, it was a desire fulfilled, I appreciated the friendships it deepened.
Thank you also for thinking BIG!
I love you,
Ivy, Indianapolis SOM director
from Urbana, Illinois
Julia Collins reporting
The days leading up to the dedication were very busy. I contacted members of a group that I belonged to, and every newspaper and television station I could think of. The day grew closer as I imagined our school and the college campus filled with people coming to unite in one voice of peace with others around the world.
As I entered the school, I felt energy pulsating throughout the building. Excitement and love for this special day filled my being. I played the tape of Satyagraha, Holding On To Truth and and eace Is Real while I waited for those who would join me. The music brought a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere throughout the building echoing the words that Peace is Real. While the music played, and before friends joined me, I prepared a table filled with fresh fruit, juice, applesauce and nuts, and lit candles.
Two of our students, two friends of students, my daughter and my granddaughter joined for this exciting moment of One Voice. We started by centering ourselves and offering a prayer for peace. We thanked our Creator for the blessing of this joyous day. Using the Peace Dome Meditation tape, we prepared ourselves for the uniting of One Voice. The dedication time drew near as we finished our meditation for peace. I played the music Peace Is Real very low in the background just before 1:00 arrived, and then in unison, we recited the Peace Covenant together. I felt an overwhelming joy inside as we continued our reading. How wonderful to know that people all over the world were reading this covenant too! I know in my heart that ONE VOICE was heard from here on earth.
We closed with a Circle of Love, a peaceful feeling, newfound friends, and then enjoyed the bounty of our snacks and friendship. An hour and a half past as the two friends of students continued to ask questions about the school and our studies. This was a good day!