Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An International Peace Garden

This beautiful International Garden of Peace is located on the top of Meditation Mount at the east end of Ojai Valley in California.  Five separate buildings, including a meditation center, were built here in 1971 to promote a more peaceful world through the power of creative meditation.
The garden is a place to unwind and to ponder about life.  Every inch of the way has been thoughtfully planned out.  From the portal built from an old Douglas Fir to the boulders engraved with spiritual principles. There are many benches situated throughout.  Their intent is clear.   Stop.  Rest.  Meditate on the significance of each word.  A Peace Pole marks the beginning and even this piece of art makes you stop and reflect on its meaning.  May Peace Prevail on Earth.  A beautiful sentiment but so ignored.

The Peace Pole Project itself began way back in 1955 with the formation of The World Peace Prayer Society.  It was started by Masahisa Goi in Japan.  He dedicated his life to getting this message to the world in the hope that horrific bombings like Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never happen again.
  As I continue to walk the loop, admiring the breathtaking views and gorgeous plants, I think about a movement beginning in Santa Barbara called A Year Without War.  It is the goal of this group, started at our local community college, to spread the word so that in 2020 all nations will agree to a cease-fire for one entire year.  It is a monumental task but today's internet and social media are powerful tools.  Such an exciting idea, but is it possible?  One year.  That's all they're asking.  One Year.  I so want to believe it's possible!

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