Riding the #PeaceRocks train

Riding the #PeaceRocks train
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on May 16, 2017

Alex Wilkins spreads PeaceRocks on the beach…

PeaceRocks are everywhere.

They dot the beaches, grocery store parking lots, and they are tucked into park shrubbery.

It’s a trend.  People locally and around the world are painting rocks with messages of peace and love and stashing them in public places so strangers can find them.

Zachari VanDyne, director of CasaShanti, recently hosted about 50 people for a rock painting gathering at the Fort Myers meditation center.

He explained the PeaceRocks movement is way to engage everyone in the practice of basic spiritual mindfulness.  As people search for the rocks, the signs of peace, they become more mindful and gentle with their footsteps.

As Zachari likes to say, peace is an internal experience not a demand forced upon others.

Will PeaceRocks bring about world peace? That’s a tricky question.

A random person who discovers a brightly painted stone will smile and think about peace for five minutes, and that is five minutes more than before.  Some things do take time.

And, frankly, it doesn’t matter if PeaceRocks change the world.  The Bhagavad Gita is clear on this point.  Life is about the action and not the fruit. Krishna told the warrior Arjuna:  “Self-possessed, resolute, act without any thought of results, open to success or failure.”

The act is right and wise when it is the loving thing to do. The wise person lets go of all results, good or bad.

Spreading PeaceRocks is about being a better stranger, and we are strangers far more often than we are friends and family. Your message of peace could come at just the right time for a stranger.

Perhaps the impact is greatest on the peacemakers.  Ana Morera, a Cape Coral resident and Lee County teacher, jumped on the PeaceRocks train with her family. Her older sister Minerva tipped her off to the PeaceRocks trend that’s all the rage in West Palm Beach.

Her family dropped the electronics for a day and made the PeaceRocks project their own. Ana’s husband Joel is a disabled veteran and her oldest son Joey lives with the double diagnosis of autism and epilepsy.   Together, they painted 37 rocks with messages to raise awareness and love for veterans and children with disabilities.

For Ana, the most powerful moment was with her youngest son in Joe Stonis Park. Five-year-old Jayden saw a little boy about to discover one of his PeaceRocks, but Ana called Jayden away and encouraged her peacemaking son’s anonymity.

She said her son wanted to see the other boy’s delight and perhaps claim ownership of it.

“But it was time for a moment of humility,” she said, and they let the train roll.

Resources:  Connect with other peacemakers on Facebook: Cape Coral Rocks and Collier County Rock Stars.  Don’t forget to snap pics and upload with the hashtag #PeaceRocks.

Spread the word.

 

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