Seeds of Peace

Peacewalk in Los Angeles

At a Peace walk I attended in Los Angeles about five years ago

“Is is the responsibility of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to help develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths …”  

– The Dalai Lama

 Professor Suwanda HJ Sugunasir with the Dalai Lama on the University of Toronto Campus.

Professor Suwanda HJ Sugunasir with the Dalai Lama at the University of Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In 1893 the first formal gathering of representatives from eastern and western spiritual traditions met in Chicago at the World’s Congress of Religions.

One hundred years later the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions was formed when two monks from the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago suggested organizing a centennial celebration. Itsaim

to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

At the first modern CPWR in Chicago in 1993 the keynote speaker was the Dalai Lama.

  • In 1999 in Cape Town, South Africa  7,000 people from +80 countries heard Nelson Mandela speak.
  • 2004 in Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2014 will be held in Brussels, Belgium. For more information click here
File:Young Cool Dude Gets Involved (8397328115).jpg

Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

Last weekend I attended the second annual conference of the Southern California Committee for a Parliament of World Religions at All Saints Church in Pasadena: 

“Seeds of Peace: Meditation and the Engaged Life”

At the opening ceremony a conch shell was blown like a trumpet in all four directions – its got a hauntingly beautiful sound – and was followed by “Tata Appolinario Chile Pixtun”, a Guatemalan Mayan Elder who recited an indigenous blessing. Miranda Rondeau did the musical invocation.


In the first workshop we had to choose one of these meditations:

  • Isha Kriya Meditation
  • Labyrinth Walk
  • Vietnamese Cao Dai Meditation
  • Kabbalistic Jewish Meditation
  • Sat Nam Rasayan
  • Vedanta – Meditation to Increase your inner Peace
  • Vedanta – Guided Meditation on the self
  • Mindfulness Meditation – Vipassana Support International
  • Meditation on Cosmic Awareness – the Twelve Blessings
  • Color Science Meditation
  • Ignation Awareness Exsmen
  • Raja Yoga Meditation
  • Stillpoint – Christian/Buddhist Meditation
  • International Society for Krishna Consciousness
  • Lotus Sūtra Chanting
  • Shumei Philosophy and Spiritual Practice
  • Seven Pillars Journey of Wisdom
  • Zen Meditation
  • Meditation on Peace from a Mayan Perspective
  • meditation led by Darakshan Farber

Who knew there were so many ways to still the mind, I wish I could have taken them all.

During the lunch break we were entertained by the talented Taiko Drummers.


Marianne Williamson gave the Keynote speech:

We’re living a time of evolving consciousness with humanity ready to apply love as an agent of healing on every wound – personal as well as political.”

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson

She’s a brilliant speaker, who speaks from the heart with no notes.

After lunch there were social action workshops. I met Jodie Evans one of the co-founders of “Code Pink

“A woman initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.”


I loved the sound of this drum that looked like a “wok

The day ended with a concert of “heart healing Rumi poems set to transformational music”

This post is part of WordPress weekly challenge: Culture


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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52 Responses to Seeds of Peace

  1. I really like the idea that the concept and practice of peace can both run through and transcend all culture(s).

    • dearrosie says:

      You live half way round the world from me and you got the email of this post before I did 😀
      I think we can’t have peace unless we respect each other, and that includes respecting and not judging people of different faiths.

      • We must really be on the ball in China, haha.

        Interesting – I had just been watching a wonderful Christopher Hitchens debate on peace and religion.

        Personally, I separate morals, pursuit of peace, etc. from religious or spiritual practice. They don’t fundamentally have anything to do with one another, but can run in parallel if one chooses to be an enlightened being of reason and love. I absolutely respect the right to believe whatever one wishes – that freedom is crucial to human existence, to humanity, to peace – but I don’t respect faith or the state of ‘having faith’.

  2. If one comes from a multicultural background — or doesn’t — this has to make sense. God does not ignore any of his children. He knows our hearts. I find it very interesting that so many are meeting in events such as these.

    • dearrosie says:

      I must say i never thought I’d go to an event put on by the “Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions” but when I walked the Camino I learned to not be judgmental, so I went to the event with an open mind and I’m so glad I went. It was another important step in my spiritual education.

  3. jane tims says:

    Hi Rosie. I would have liked the labarinth walk and any of the meditations. What a great way to celebrate our commonalities and learn. Jane

  4. Mahalia says:

    wish i had been there with you!

    • dearrosie says:

      You would have loved it Mahalia. You can always come next year – I’m sure there’s going to be the 3rd annual event 😀
      it was so hard to choose just one of the meditations they all sounded so interesting.

  5. sybil says:

    Thanks for sharing this marvellous event !

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it Sybil. I usually get backlogged and don’t often get to post something the same week! Thanks to WordPress’s challenge this week.

  6. nrhatch says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for you and the other participants. I would have had a tough time choosing just one of those workshops . . . they all sound blissful.

    • dearrosie says:

      It was such a wonderful way to spend a few hours, and the added bonus was hearing Marianne Williamson.
      I should spend the next 19 weeks trying out those different meditations

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  8. What a wonderful event, Rosie! We attend All Saints, and I was somewhat aware of this event, but unfortunately hadn’t really looked into it! I’m so glad you attended! What a remarkable gathering. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      After hearing Rev Bacon speak -he gave us a short welcome speech – I can understand why the church is always so busy. If I didn’t work on Sundays I’d be interested to go to a service.

      I didn’t do the labyrinth meditation because I thought I could go back and walk it myself. Would you like to join me? I still remember the lovely labyrinth at your secret garden 😀

  9. dadirri7 says:

    oh i wish i had been there too … it is so inspiring to know such an event takes place … and to read all the offerings, all the faiths represented, my heart swells with joy at the potential … funnily i mentioned the world peace flame in my post today … we are in sync on peace 🙂

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  12. Nandini says:

    I m sure it would have been a wonderful experience for you. Thanks for sharing it with us. “Peace”

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Nandini,
      I’m delighted to see your new gravatar – now I know who I’m talking to 😀
      It was such an amazing day. I’m so happy to know you enjoyed sharing the experience with me.

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  17. bronxboy55 says:

    We tend to think about just a handful of world religions, but this post serves as a good reminder that the variety of spiritual practices is much richer.

    • dearrosie says:

      There are so many more spiritual practices than I could ever have imagined. It felt good to be shown some of them.
      Thanks for joining in the conversation Charles. Your comments are always worth waiting for 😀

  18. I love Marianne Williamson. She is such a dynamic speaker. What a great gathering you were lucky to be part of. Now if the rest of us can get on board…

    • dearrosie says:

      It sounds as if you’ve heard Marianne Williamson speaking. She is a dynamic speaker.
      Now that you know there are gatherings like this, I’m sure you’re going to hear of similar events in your part of the country.

  19. aFrankAngle says:

    Without peace, we humans are barbaric.

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  22. Robin says:

    How wonderful! I’d have had trouble choosing a workshop. I’d have wanted to try them all, too.

  23. The world needs a much needed inspiration for peace and forgiveness. Today, you shared a precious gift that will help mold our future. Thanks.

  24. Super special moments of inspiring inner peace. Marianne Williamson is a favorite read for me.

    • dearrosie says:

      They were special moments of inspiring inner peace. I love your word play. Thank you Isadora.

      Marianne Williamson is a gifted writer and a dynamic speaker. I hope you get a chance to hear her speaking one day.

  25. Amy says:

    That is a beautiful post, Rosie!

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  27. Madhu says:

    We still ‘talk’ of Vivekananda’s speech at the first congress, even if we have all forgotten what it really meant! Truly heartening that such an organisation continues to inspire. Thanks for another wonderful post Rosie.

    • dearrosie says:

      So pleased you joined in the conversation Madhu, because you are the only person who knows of Vivekananda, and his inspiring speech at the first congress in 1893. I was going to mention more about him and his speech but the post was getting too long.

  28. munchow says:

    It looks like you had a great experience during the second annual conference of the Southern California Committee for a Parliament of World Religions. The spiritual energy of such endeavors brings hope to human kind; that one day there might be peace on earth.

  29. dearrosie says:

    The first step to world peace is stop judging those who are different from us and accept everyone as they are i.e. love thy neighbor as thyself.

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