Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ojai Offering Day Of Peace

Weekend events include vigil, tent of reconcilation

By Nao Braverman
While stories in the news are rife with war casualties, violence and conflict between nations, religious, ethnic and political groups, Ojai organizations are offering a weekend of “living peace.”
Beginning on the International Day of Peace, established as Sept. 21 by a United Nations resolution in 1981, and lasting through Sunday, Sept. 23, local organizations will offer a weekend of peace-related activities and practices.
Starting with a peace vigil Friday evening and closing with a Bedouin-style reconciliation tent, where attendants can reconcile with family members, spouses or anyone they wish to ask forgiveness, the weekend event will host a movie screening, play, concerts and classes, all surrounding themes of peace.
“The emphasis is on how each of us as individuals can be an instrument of peace,” said Laura Whitney, president of The Ojai Foundation.
The impetus for the event was a conversation she had with Judy Gabriel, the director of Meditation Mount. Their idea was to create a Peace Day celebration, coordinated by Ojai’s many retreats, which encourages people to find the peace within themselves, to create a ripple effect, and begin healing on a universal level, said Whitney.
Initiated by The Retreats of Ojai, other organizations including the Ojai Interfaith Alliance, The Ojai Peace Coalition and The Gift of Peace Troupe joined in. On Saturday, Ojai retreats will have an open house tour offering various programs according to the specialties of each retreat. The Ojai Foundation will offer a “listening circle” under a 500-year-old oak tree and a tour of their environmentally sustainable campus. Meditation Mount will take participants on a walking meditation tour through its International Garden of Peace, serve tea, and open its meditation room for practice throughout the day. The Krishnamurti Retreat will open its library and screen a video of Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti speaking on “The Nature of Love.”
Other activities include a midnight wine tasting benefit offered by Casa Barranca, sunrise meditation, and chanting.
The event is by design non-political, non-partisan, and non-commercial, said Whitney. There is no charge for any of the weekend activities. A local performance of a “Gift of Peace” will be shown on Saturday at Libbey Bowl. The highly acclaimed monologue series was inspired by the campaign for a U.S Department of Peace, introduced by presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Coincidentally Kucinich will be speaking at the Ojai Retreat the afternoon of Sunday. The opening vigil for the event begins at 6 p.m. on Friday. More information is posted on the event web site at livingpeaceinojai.com.

1 comment:

evan austin said...

Happy International Peace Day, friends and neighbors! i look forward to seeing you in the Park!