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The Peace Dome Diary
.... making history, recording history .... the Peace Dome's story day by day ....
written by Dr. Barbara Condron and friends
|Friday, August 2, 2003 |
Early in the day fitting news arrives. In a few hours 65 people are expected to arrive on campus for what we're calling a meeting of the guides. An opened letter comes in the mail from the Royal Hashemite Court in Amman, Jordan. It is a letter from Imad N. Fakhoury, Chief of Staff to His Majesty King Abdullah II acknowledging receipt of our invitation to proclaim 6 pm UT October 11, 2003 as a Moment of Peace in Jordan and advising us of their intention to contact their ambassador and then us.
I am reminded of the first Universal Hour of Peace proclamations in 1995. King Abduallah's father was alive then and it was he who was one of the first leaders of countries to respond to the call for peace. This gives me good news to share with our students when they arrive.
Around 50 people gather at 5:30 to share a common meal in the Great Room at the College of Metaphysics. Most of them have been here last month during Family Weekend or two months ago during the most recent School of Metaphysics student weekend. They have been thinking about the Peace Dome for a while and an increasingly sense of what is about to happen grows in me. I find myself describing it to them in ways familiar to a student of mind.
"This weekend the Dome Dedication will move from the fourth level of mind into the fifth level of mind." I realize this makes sense to some and is Greek to others and I acknowledge this, encouraging them to be attentive and observant so they will remember each part of their experience.
The movement of energy throughout the next 40 hours reflects the energies of the inner mind. Ideas are still moldable, quick, insightful, adjustments are made along the way until like pieces of a puzzle they begin to find a place in the whole scheme. At some point it occurs to all of us on new levels what the Peace Dome dedication is about.
|Saturday, August 3, 2003 |
The day begins rainy. Unusual for August, and very cool which is a blessing this time of year. As we meeting in the first floor of the Dome I realize our numbers have exceed what we expected. There are over 80 people sitting in four concentric rings around the outline of the Peace Mandala created by Jay McCormick of Chicago.
We begin talking about what is happening. There is movement in all areas of what is planned. Native stones and circles of fabric are beginning to arrive for the Healing Wall and tapestries. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has sent a blessing for the Peace Dome. Support letters from Grant a Wish in Chicago, Hawk Publishing in Oklahoma City, and Karmically Speaking in Dallas have been brought in this weekend. We have heard from Rep. Dennis Kucinich's, a Democratic candidate for President of the U.S., office that our invitation to him is being considered. People are making commitments for the gifting ceremony. Two sophomores will dance, a former Miss Missouri will sing, an interfaith minister will offer a blessing, and countless others are offering to join us at 1 in reading the Universal Peace Covenant where they are. The vision is growing in all of us and we realize the sacred duty before us.
I hear myself say, "The Peace Dome is as close to perfection as you can get in the physical plane." I believe and know the truth of that statement. "It gives to everyone and offers a place for everyone to give." Some will be able to join us on October 11th, they wouldn't dream of being anywhere else. Some will join us in spirit from their homeplace by reading the Universal Peace Covenant with us. Even those who might ridicule us, who sometimes let their imaginations go wild about who we are and what we do, can be asked to send us a prayer. They will pray for us. The comment elicits laughter and eyes start opening to the truth of the Peace Dome.
About 10:30 the sun comes out and we begin our dress rehearsal. All of us walk down the lane to the gate where our greeters will meet our guests on October 11th. From there we proceed to the gazebo by the pond where SOM President Dr. Pam Blosser will welcome visitors and introduce them to the School of Metaphysics, the people who have envisioned and built the Peace Dome.
Next we move to the Bodhi Grove where the Prayer for Enlighenment of every country on the planet will be prayed continuously throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. A 12 foot by 15 foot hole created only the day before is the future site of a reflecting pool where the prayers will be given. Next stop is the Peace Dome. Here is where the most changes occur in our visualization. Keeping motion becomes the ideal and we imagine ways for it to happen how each person who comes this day will lay one of the mosaic tiles into the floor of the Dome to form the Peace Mandala. Then they will climb the ramp where Jacqui will receive their shoes so they can enter the upper chamber of the Peace Dome. Walking the labyrinth and hearing the sound of your own voice in the Dome is an amazing experience. After descending the north stairs, Paul Madar and Karen Mosby will tell people the history of the Healing Wall. The adjustments we make are good ones. They will enable the energy to remain fluid.
A quick break with peanut butter sandwiches at 2 gives us time to talk and watch a short video on a great fun! raiser produced by the Dallas branch of SOM. I smile. Texans have supported the Dome from the very beginning with love, time, attention, and money. Texans think big, and the Peace Dome is a big concept.
The afternoon finds us moving to the patio where information is exchanged and gifts purchased, then the snack area where water, juices, energy bars, nut crackers, and fruit will be sold. From here it is a five minute walk through the woods to the Octagon field, so named for the imagined building that will in time grace this area giving much needed living quarters and classroom space to the campus.
Here the Gifting ceremonies will take place. The view is breathtaking. You can see the north side of the Dome from here. An area has been chosen where people will be filmed reading part of the Universal Peace Covenant. The film will become part of the memorabilia from this special day. A stage area will be created between two trees, and there is a special area where the kids can learn to experience peace with their five senses and their sixth one too!
The movement is good, and the rest of the afternoon groups gather to discuss what is needed for their areas - canopies, tables, and the like. Some find a quiet place in the woods for meditation and other mental disciplines practiced in accord with the lessons they are studying.
At 7 we begin congregating at the campsite on the edge of the East woods for an old fashioned bonfire and wiener roast. I watch as people who just weeks ago had never met each other, talk like old friends and dream like lovers about the futue. Living metaphysics causes magic in the best sense of the word. This is peace. This is the reality. I have watched it over and over and over for 28 years now and it is always the same "living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully."
Close to dark I draw everyone's attention to a single point by asking us to talk about what we have learned in the last 24 hours. What has been illuminated that we didn't see before? One by one people speak their thoughts. Jesse talks about vision and sharing it with people back in Oklahoma City. Over the next hour and a half two dozen people talk. At one point Matthew says it simply, "I love you guys."
|Sunday, August 4, 2003 |
During PeaceMakers, our regular Sunday morning spiritual gathering in the Peace Dome, we explored the rlelationship between friendship and peace by creating a Friendship Wheel. Sixty plus people each had their own way of expressing the same ideal. Caring, love, living truth, helping another fulfill their desires. Tad's idea is recognizing what already exists and I think of pearls in oyster shells and trees in acorns. The one thought that continues to resound in me is Dr. Laurel Clark's: "Friendship is soul resonance."
All the thoughts created this morning will go into the chapter on "The Activity of Peace" in the Eleven Lessons in PeaceMaking book that tells the story of this year and how all of us are preparing for the dedication of the Peace Dome and the transformations in us that have resulted.
Later at dinner, Erika, a college grad student, asks, "Did you know Dr. Barbara that today is Friendship Day?"
I smile at the way Universal Law makes itself known in our lives. Then shake my head saying, "We certainly manifested it, didn't we?"
|Monday, August 5, 2003 |
Today the first proclamation arrives. I am thrilled! I experience the significance of where it is from in every part of my being. The mayor of the city of Independence, here in our homestate of Missouri, is the first city official to proclaim a Moment of Peace in his city.
I tell eight-year-old Hezekiah about it and he wants to know what's so special about Independence. I share a vision I had as we were finalizing the wording of the Universal Peace Covenant six years ago. The image of the Declaration of Independence with all the signatures of the men present came to mind and then faded as the Universal Peace Covenant with similar signatures came forward. The symbology is multilayered. Of late I have realized how the founding of this great experiment in a democratic republic known as the United States, the melting pot of the world, enabled the kind of free and responsive thought reflected in the Peace Covenant. It made it possible for people to even conceive and live such thoughts. I am privileged to live in a country that gives me the freedom to be a citizen of the world.
|Tuesday, August 6, 2003 |
Paul Blosser calls after meeting Rep. Dennis Kucinich at a student's coffee shop in Chicago. Rep. Kucinich is the man who is supporting the creation of a Department of Peace in the U.S. government and who is himself running for the office of President. He is the first congressperson we contacted a few weeks ago.
After his talk Paul introduces himself and tells Dennis about the Peace Dome. Dennis refers Paul to his national secretary whose eyes light up when she hears about the Peace Dome. "Here's my card," she says, placing it in Paul's hand.
"I feel good about it," Paul tells me on the phone. "There's a good chance Dennis will be able to be with us on Dedication Day."
Paul is very happy and so am I. I suggest he and Anne (of Grant a Wish, Inc.) visit Harpo studios and talk with Oprah's people about a support letter.
Today the second proclamation arrives, this one from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
|Wednesday, August 7, 2003 |
On Monday, Dr. Laurel Clark and I met to envision the means by which we will let others know about the October 11th dedication. One of the ideas I mention is contacting the Peace Bell. I remember it from several years ago when the director of the Louisville branch of our School learned about the Bell's inaugural ringing in 2000. Laurel had not heard of the Bell but eagerly agreed to check into it. She didn't wait until she went to Louisville and were we very glad.....
The World Peace Bell....Laurel's story
"I run upstairs, feeling high from the phone call I have just completed. I am eager to share the good news with Dr. Dan and Dr. Barbara. I've been talking with Brian Plunkett, who is the man responsible for determining when the World Peace Bell will ring. He has said, "Yes! We will definitely ring the World Peace Bell at 2 pm Eastern Time on October 11th." He is even imagining how to make the ringing a community event, inviting dignitaries like the mayor and other community leaders.
"The World Peace Bell is the largest standing free bell in the world and was created to ring out for peace. It is in Newport, Kentucky, about five minutes from Cincinnati. Dr. Barbara first heard about it from Robert Bagley who was a teacher in Louisville, KY. She had envisioned the bell ringing during the synchronized "Moment of Peace" when people around the world are reading the Universal Peace Covenant.
"I searched the internet to find the bell, and after a number of related connections found a phone number for Newport, KY, which gave a number for the bell, which then referred me to Mr. Plunkett. He had only taken over the operation of the bell a week before I called, and was eager to find ways for it to be used as originally intended. I was honored to be able to connect the School of Metaphysics with the World Peace Bell, as this is a way for the bell to fulfill its mission to ring out for peace!
"Brian is also going to send a piece of the original casting of the bell which is being sent over here from France to be placed in the Healing Wall."
A Synchronicity story....Bettine
I have been contacting people to invite them to join us for the gifting ceremonies on the Dome Dedication day. Several people have made promises to attend. Last week I was running some errands in Lebanon, Missouri, a town about 20 miles from Windyville where the College of Metaphysics campus is located. I went to pick up a part for a lawnmower. The shopkeeper motioned me to a chair to sit while she looked for a lawnmower part. As I waited, I flipped through a local paper called Rural Missouri. In it was an article about a woman named Bettine Clemen who moved in 1999 to Seymour, Missouri, a rural area only an hour from our College of Metaphysics campus.
Bettine is a musician who plays flute in concerts all over the world. She is originally from Bavaria and has played with the Munich Bach Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and an orchestra in Brazil. She is now a solo artist, traveling six months out of the year playing music in concert halls and cruise ships in places like Argentina, South Africa, Singapore, and Australia.
The amazing connection is this: I know her! I met Bettine in 1996 in Los Angeles, California when the SOM participated in a World Festival sponsored by an organization called the Unity-and-Diversity Council. Paul Blosser and I were representing the school and we spoke with her. She gave us one of her CDs and we gave her one of our books. When I saw the article I knew I wanted to invite her to play her beautiful flute music for our gifting ceremonies. I called her to let her know about the peace dome and today she called back. She remembered the School of Metaphysics and was delighted to hear about our peace efforts. In the last seven years, Bettine has herself been invested in promoting global unity. She made a film in Petra, Jordan called Children of the Planet and has met a number of people involved in peace endeavors. One of these is a filmmaker who films peace documentaries that air on PBS. Another is the Indian ambassador who founded the Gandhi Foundation.
Bettine is flying to New York and Nova Scotia on October 11th and will participate with us by reading the Universal Peace Covenant wherever she is during the Moment of Peace. She is going to forward the information about the peace dome to her friends who are involved in global projects and she offered to donate her time and talent to do a benefit concert for the peace dome. Bettine also lived in a geodesic dome in Minnesota for ten years! She said, isn't it wonderful living in a dome? --Dr. Laurel Clark
|Thursday, August 8, 2003 |
Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. called to express their support for our efforts and the Peace Dome. Bernard let me know about the trouble at their embassy in Iraq and that this was consuming their attention. I told him I did not know and understood their priorities. I also told him how King Abdullah's father had been one of the first national leaders to respond back in 1995 when we began the Universal Hour of Peace observance. It told us a great deal about Jordan and its people as did the response now by letter and by his call. I expressed our gratitude to him and asked if we could again contact him in a few weeks as the time of the dedication draws near. He said yes, and asked for a copy of what King Hussein had sent us. We are honored to give it.
The call comes right in the middle of brunch, and as I return the phone to its receiver I realize how quiet the room is. Something the Dalai Lama teaches over and over comes to mind that we are all the same human beings who try to avoid suffering. Speaking with Bernard brings this home in a poignant way. What impresses me the most about him however is his grasp that, as Mother Theresa describes it, we are "contemplatives in the heart of the world". A part of me, the little girl part, is amazed that I just had a conversation with an important person from Jordan. It is that childlike wonder than opens the door to the simple truth that communication is the healing tool of peace. As the Universal Peace Covenant says, "(Peace) is not made in documents but in the minds and hearts of men and women. Peace is built through communication. The open exchange of ideas is necessary for discovery, for well-being, for growth, for progress whether within one person or among many." Bernard and I spoke person to person today and peace entered our worlds.
Just minutes later Shannon Keener, our SOM director in Oklahoma City called, and as I picked up the phone I said in the impish way I enjoy sometimes, "Guess who I just talked to?!" This led into a conversation about her experience the previous weeked when all the guide/hosts met. Shannon said, "Sunday, when we were all talking about what we have experienced and the solidity of our plans to welcome people and give them the experience of what the Peace Dome represents....it just hit me, decades from now this will be in the history books. We'll be reading about this!"
This is a thought Erika expressed early on that someday our souls will look back and remember we were there when it was brought into the world.
I think of it in the way Native Americans weighed their choices. Each decision made by the Iroquois elders held the next seven generations in mind. The expansive vision of this thought is powerful, encouraging me to be more thoughtful every moment of every day.
|Friday, August 9, 2003 |
Matthew comes upstairs to tell me someone from Mary Jane Campbell's office is on the phone. I search my memory for anyone I know Mary Jane and only images of shoes come to mind. "I don't know any Mary Jane," I say aloud, wondering who it might be. When I pick up the phone I learn the lady is from MAYOR Jane Campbell's office, and I almost laugh, both at myself and at Matthew. The lady is inquiring on behalf of the mayor of Cleveland concerning our request for a Proclamation for a Moment of Peace. I am happy to tell her she can find information on our website and that the mayors of Independence and Baton Rouge have responded just this week. This is the year of the Open Mind and these little tests are welcome as we prepare for the dedication of the Peace Dome.
|Saturday, August 10, 2003 |
Today a large envelope comes in the mail. I look at the return address. It is from the Mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi. Inside is a beautiful Moment of Peace Proclamation. I think about the people who are being moved to respond to our call for peace. I have learned to appreciate the movement of thought in our universe and I think of the cities and states sited in proclamations for the Universal Hour of Peace that we have been receiving since 1995.
Each year the responses vary. New Jersey has probably been one of the most consistent ones, some states we have yet to hear from. Is it a function of the person? Or the rule of order? Or the platform of the person in charge? It makes me remember our ideal and purpose for this activity.
I say a prayer of thanksgiving because with the postal and e-mail, phone calls and visits, each day is like Christmas morning here where the world's first Peace Dome is being built. And the gifts of Peace we are receiving is in alignment with the true spirit of the Christ.
|Sunday, August 11, 2003 |
This morning begins with an email from Kell. This is actually Laurel's story, but she has left for a few days to participate in a Peace Ceremony in St. Louis, so I will tell it as best I can.......
continued on next week's journal
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