World Peace Day

It makes all the difference
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published by News Press on October 1, 2013.  Posted with permission.

World peace. Isn’t it the dream of every Miss America finalist?

And it’s 100% possible.

But. There are terrorists, thieves, crooked politicians, murderers and nasty people. Guns. Drugs. Danger. But.


Yogis begins 108 sun salutations in Miami with Yoga Gangsters


Aja Reeser


You could Howard Beale it. Throw open the window and scream at the world for misbehaving, for not being the world you expect, the world that makes you comfortable and happy. March in the streets, pass laws, and demand that people change their ways. Kill the terrorists, execute the murderers, vote out the bums and Clockwork Orange convert everyone to your way of thinking.

There. Then, you’ll have world peace.

That’s 100% impossible.

There’s a different way, and that thief in the night crept in on the weekend of September 21 and 22.

September 21 was World Peace Day, and around the world thousands upon thousands (if not millions) were meditating.

That’s it.

“So, what difference will that make?”

I knew someone would ask that.

In the words of Zachari VanDyne, organizer of Peace Day in Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park, world peace is not about demanding peace from others but experiencing peace.

“There is something powerful in thought. We were creating peace within ourselves. One person’s choices and mindset can affect the world we live in,” VanDyne said.

On September 22 in Miami, over 350 yogis cranked out 108 sun salutations for Global Mala Day, a moving meditation experience. Since 2009, Yoga Gangsters, an organization dedicated to providing free yoga to kids living in poverty, has sponsored this event on the plant-laden roof of a Miami Beach parking deck.

During the final eight salutations, Yoga Gangster founder Terri Cooper said (and I’m paraphrasing because I was blissed out at the time), “Allow this feeling of peace to spill out over Miami, to Bonita Springs and into the world.”

“And, did world peace happen?” someone could ask. For me it did. I can’t speak for anyone else.

When millions meditate, think about peace in Jaycee Park or bang out 108 sun salutations on a Miami parking deck, the peace energy does spill over, but in ways that are immeasurable and impossible to quantify.

World peace is creating peace within the self to be witnessed by others who then in turn create their own peace experiences.

But. There are terrorists, thieves, crooked politicians, murderers and nasty people. Guns. Drugs. Danger. But.

The objections remind me of Philippe Petit, the French tightrope walker who, in 1974, anchored a cable between the World Trade Center towers and danced for 45 minutes. The police arrested him and asked “Why?” The question perplexed Petit. “There is no why,” Petit responded. An act magnificent and mysterious shouldn’t be probed for practicality.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” It’s the energy in the act itself that contains multitudes. If I am misunderstood or contradict myself Whitmanesque style, so be it. The best advice I ever got was “plan to fail.” I’ll fall with style.

It doesn’t matter if meditating for world peace “makes a difference.” It’s the right thing to do, magnificent and mysterious. And that makes all the difference.





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