Standing for Peace During Turbulent Times

Our world is one consistently rocked by mass shootings, mental health challenges, violence, and war. In the midst of this turmoil, spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is raising a voice of peace and unity. On June 9, he brought his message to the San Jose Civic Center and San Jose Ballroom, offering his wisdom on combatting mental health issues and building resilient, happy, inclusive, and prosperous cities in post-pandemic times. 

Thousands participated in the evening of meditation and collective action, including California State Senator Dave Cortese, the mayors of Bay Area cities, local supervisors, and assembly members. “When just 1% of the world’s population meditates, it elevates the entire collective consciousness,” explains Gurudev. “When enough people take a stand for peace and join together to project that energy, it will happen.”

The “I Stand for Peace” movement is being carried worldwide

Having brought his message to the Bay Area, Gurudev is now on a mission to let the voice of peace be heard in every part of the world. On his website, he says, “Peace is the baseline for our existence. Our intention is the basis of all action, and if we put our attention and the collective intention towards standing for peace, then peace will prevail!”

Gurudev began the “I Stand for Peace” campaign in front of Geneva’s United Nations building. Enthusiastic crowds greeted him in Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. From Europe, he embarked on a tour to bring his message to more than 30 US cities, and soon he will travel to South America and Africa. 

For over 40 years, this internationally-renowned spiritual instructor, humanitarian, and meditation master has traveled to promote global peace. He has been asked to speak with the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and other leaders worldwide. He has become a symbol of non-violence by spreading peace in Sri Lanka, Iraq, Venezuela, Colombia, and other areas rife with conflict.
 

Thousands taking Gurudev’s “I Stand for Peace” pledge

People are joining Gurudev in his stand for peace in every part of the world. He asks them to show their commitment by pledging: “I’m in favor of peace. I believe there’s strength in peace and that peace can make a difference in the world.” Currently, over one million people have shown their support by taking this online pledge.

Just like in San Jose, thousands are demonstrating their dedication in person at rallies around the world. Upcoming “I Stand for Peace” gatherings can be found in the following cities: 

  • Raleigh, NC / July 7 
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil / July 15 -18 
  • Sao Pablo, Brazil / July 15 -18 
  • Santiago, Chile / July 22-26 
  • Ghana, Africa / August 16 
  • Nigeria, Africa / August 18 
  • Uganda, Africa / August 23 
  • Tanzania, Africa / August 25

At the rallies, Gurudev explains that peace between communities, nations, and people begins within. He reveals how meditation is the path to tranquility. “When we discover inner peace, we find our life is better, and communication improves,” he remarks. “When we can communicate better, conflicts around us decrease. Once you have found that inner peace, you can be the one to share it with your family, your friends, and your community. Peaceful people make peaceful nations.”

Gurudev truly believes this pledge will benefit every individual on the planet. “Let us join together and share the message of global peace,” he urges. “Conflicts and wars are harming our environment and our physical and mental health. We cannot achieve world peace without first finding peace individually. Inner peace comes before outer peace.”

The Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values 

In his effort to help people find their inner peace, Gurudev founded two non-profits: The Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values. These non-profits work tirelessly to help healthcare professionals manage stress, implement resilience skills programs for congressional members and staff, build mutual trust among inner-city communities and police departments, help veterans overcome PTSD, reduce inmate recidivism, and enable students to improve mental health and social connectedness.

The Art of Living Foundation points people around the world toward a more mindful and peaceful existence. To learn how to register for this summer’s rallies, take the “I Stand for Peace” pledge, or start down the path to inner peace through meditation, readers can visit the Art of Living Foundation’s website.


Opinions expressed by San Francisco Post contributors are their own.

Harry Wright

Harry completed his master’s degree in Information Science. He’s an avid supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights and access to information and free education for the marginalized sectors.

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