THE ROAD TO PEACE
Peace Within the Self – A Beginning for World Peace
‘When there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person,
when there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house,
when there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation,
when there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the World’.
The Road to Peace can be as long or as short as we want to make it. With just one thought, we can make a mountain into a molehill or, with a few more thoughts, we can make a molehill into a mountain. It’s all in our hands!
Last week, over 300 delegates gathered in the Kingdom of Bahrain for the third Self Development Conference entitled ‘The Road to Peace’. The patron of the conference was His Excellency Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister. It was organized by the Bahrain Meditation Centre for Self Development.
There were many gems of knowledge shared during the conference. As well as talks, workshops and discussions, there were tears and laughter, songs and sharings. People spoke about how their heads were filled and their hearts were touched, and how they would put new ideas into practice and change their lives following the two and a half days of conference.
Of course we all know that peace is not just the absence of war. For example Canada and Switzerland are countries that rarely engage in conflict yet they would not be defined as totally peaceful countries – there are homeless people, unemployment, and many other social problems. Rather, peace is a state of mind in which we are free and yet fully engaged with our purpose.
Peace is both a journey and a destination. Peace is a state of being where the mind is calm and tranquil. It is a condition of inner stillness and strength that gives us the ability to remain stable even in the most difficult circumstances.
The state of imbalance within the individual is reflected in the world around us. The deterioration of human values has resulted in human beings becoming strangers to their inner peace, and to the important values of compassion and respect, equality and truth.
It is now time to reconnect with these intrinsic values, and to find a better way to live. Only when the human mind finds alignment and arrives at peace within itself, can the process of peace begin in the world.
Dr Ebrahim Al Dossary (PhD), President of Bahrain Meditation Centre and the inspiration behind the conference, stated that, “We stand at a crossroad in the history of humanity… it is no longer possible to be a bystander or spectator of the drama of life. It is time for mankind to decide its fate. Each one of us contributes to the greater whole, and each one of us has the capability to make a difference in the course of history. It is not only ancient wisdom, but also modern science that is telling us that human consciousness plays an important part in the evolution of the world. Perhaps it plays the most important part, because we cannot change the world without changing our thinking”.
During the opening ceremony, His Excellency Sheikh Khalid wrote, signed and hung a peace message onto the olive tree – it simply said the word ‘PEACE’. He then moved over to the painting that was being painted by Michelle Pfeiffer, an artist from Canada, and added, in blue paint, a drop of water, the symbol of life, demonstrating that some things can be very simple and easy to communicate.
Sister Jayanti, Keynote Speaker, Author and Broadcaster, spoke about the need to create a timetable of peace throughout the day. It is when we dedicate time, even small pockets of it, to returning to that stillness within, then we can maintain our inner peace.
Mike George, international Management Tutor and Trainer, Speaker, and Author of several books mentioned that there are currently over 600 conflicts taking place in the world and only about 11 countries that are free from conflict. He went onto say that young people are addicted to video games such as ‘War Craft’, which not only desensitizes them to conflict, it becomes a means to practice conflict! Some even go on to join in with conflicts around the world simply because they then want to experience it first-hand!
Dr Sarah Eagger, Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer, talked about a scientific study which revealed a ‘holiday’ effect. People’s chromosomes were altered when they felt relaxed and at ease. However when these same people practiced meditaion the effect on the chromosomes was much greater. A second study was to do with rats. When a rat pressed a button it was ’rewarded’ by a shot of dopamine – the happy hormone. The rats got so addicted to this hit of happiness, that they would press the button to the exclusion of everything else, including eating, and so they eventually died. Dr Sarah mentioned that we also get a similar hit of dopamine each time we hear a ping on our phone, meaning we are addicts! This explains why some of us cannot resist checking our phones every two minutes.
Neville Hodgkinson, Health and Science Journalist and Author also talked from a medical perspective, explaining a phenomenon whereby some people who had been pronounced medically dead returned to ‘life’ after some minutes or even hours. They could recall what they had been observing during this time. He was making the point that we are beings of consciousness, much more than just our human bodies.
As well as the many fascinating lectures and workshops, there were also times for peace, meditation and self-reflection throughout the two and a half days.
The radiant, glowing faces at the end of the ‘Road to Peace’, confirmed that the event had been a big success, with many vowing to go out and spread this peace into the world.
It’s time… to walk the road less traveled… the Road to Peace.
© It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK