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these are just a few of the peace cards create in Uganda. More than 30 schools from around the country were involved in the 2010 Peace Exchange. While in Uganda I worked with more than 3,000 students. Here is just a small taste of what the students created. these are some of my favorites.
Peace is not a global phenomenon. Peace is deeply personal and intimate experience that happens within each of us. Peace is a practice that beings with the individual me and you out there walking around. But when you find peace, the me and you disappear, and only we are here. The trick is: you must do it….no one else can create peace for you. When you choose to do such a thing, life becomes the ever-evolving experience of now. This moment. This breath. This magical experience of what is. In this place, found both through making visual art; painting, drawing, playing music or dance, or doing yoga, meditating, walking through nature, or a variety of other ways, you are expressing yourself and your connection to the divine spirit running through us. In this place, where you and I disappear, there is ease and acceptance with that which is : life; a joyous, calm, and harmonious place for peaceful co-existence.
The practice of peace is simply the act of being present. But how do you get present? Two ways include; through cultivating breath awareness and making art. As you breathe mindfully, following the flow of inhale ~ expansion, exhale ~ contraction, your consciousness is effortlessly drawn inward. Here is where we begin to discover who we are, how we think, what it’s like to truly feel, and then share those self-held truths with others through an artistic form. In this process of looking, feeling, discovering, expressing, and sharing that expression….everyone learns. We learn about ourselves as we allow others to see more of who we are and how we are as peaceful and loving spirits in this human form. This act of revealing ourself is a unifying, inspiring and kind gesture: an act of peace.Imagine you were asked the question: who are you? But rather than communicating your answer with words, you have to express it with art ~ visually, musically, with dance or movement, in picture, or song…what ever form you choose. What would you do? what if I asked you : what is peace? how would you express your answer to this under the same invitation? Let’s begin by sharing this moment of breath. Exhale all the rest and be present. In peace.