In honor of Sept. 21 being the International Day of Peace, I’d like to encourage us all to begin to take some time to learn how to grow it in our lives. Just like we would grow a garden of flowers, herbs, and food, we can learn to grow peace and its cousins joy, connection, respect and kindness in our lives.
The first obstacle in growing a peace garden in our hearts and minds is that some people don’t believe that it’s possible. I used to have a bumper sticker that said, “Visualize World Peace.” I gave someone a ride, and as she got out of the car, she saw the bumper sticker and said, “Well, that will never happen.”
Incredulous, I asked her why.
“There will always be wars! That’s the nature of man,” she said. “There have been wars since the beginning of history, and they will continue till we kill ourselves off.”
I suggested that she just begin visualizing peace for herself and her family, and she said that she could do that. I never saw her again.
It may be true that war has become a worldly habit, but things can change, to quote Dr. Serge Kahili King, a teacher of Hawaiiana who used to live on Kauai, and is now on the Big Island. He has written several books including the “Urban Shaman,” but his organization, “The Aloha Fellowship” also distributed little booklets freely called “The Dynamind Technique,” copyright by Serge King 2003.
To understand The Dynamind Technique, we’d have to know the “Aloha Philosophy” taught to him by his hanai Hawaiian Aunty. In 1973, Serge began the Aloha Project “to join the people of the world together in a spirit of aloha to bring about physical, emotional, mental, environmental, social, and spiritual harmony based on the wisdom found in Hawaiian philosophy and culture.”
There are seven principles in the Aloha Philosophy:
1. The world is what you think it is.
2. There are no limits.
3. Energy flows where attention goes.
4. Now is the only moment of power
5. To love is to be happy with …
6. All power comes from within.
7. Effectiveness is the measure of truth.
While all of these principles could use an explanation, probably the most mind boggling would be No. 6. It is also the one most related to change. How can all power come from within? And if I have a problem how do I tap this? This creator-given power flows in all of life, but people have to use their own minds to harness it, and to make the changes they want.
Christians might be able to relate to it by remembering how Jesus told his followers that if they had the faith of a mustard seed that they could move mountains. Faith is the key to harnessing it.
Understanding this, we can go back to “The Dynamind Technique” (DMT), which claims that “all healing comes from within. It helps prepare the mind and the body so that healing may happen more easily … DMT is based on a theory that all physical, emotional and mental problems are related to excessive tension in the body … tension accumulates in layers, with focal points that produce specific symptoms. Healing takes place when tension layers are relaxed.”
Sounds like a state of peace to me.
I’ve also observed people of all ages and how when they get tired or stressed, they begin to get pains or aches, or get crabby or sad. Their thinking becomes cloudier and their patience decreases. If you feel that going on in your body and mind, take a break if you can. I recently found out that when people get dehydrated, they feel weaker and don’t think as well. So get a drink of water, and sit a few minutes if you can, and do the DMT below, or just clear your mind. A few deep breaths help a lot.
Normally, we have times when we get tense, but then we have time to relax, which is when healing occurs. But if we get into a state of constant tension, then the healing response can’t work as well, and disease, confusion, negative thinking, or anger and fear can flourish.
So the steps of the DMT are:
1. Choose a physical, emotional or mental problem to work on.
2. Bring both hands together with your fingertips touching.
3. Make the following statement aloud, or silently: ‘I have a problem and that can change; I want that problem to go away.’
4. With two or three fingers tap these points seven times each: the center of your chest; the outer area between the thumb and index finger of both hands; the bone at the base of our neck.
5. Inhale with your attention focused on the top of your head; exhale with your attention on your toes.
6. Symptoms may change in intensity, location, or type. Repeat the above steps for continued benefit.
Another great way to renew your faith that peace is possible is to hang out with people who believe it. Go to functions that promote peace. Become a mediator. Kauai Economic Opportunity’s Mediation program is planning on having a training to train mediators. The class is free if you do some mediations for the court or community. Call KEO at 245-4077 and speak with Jessie Basquez at extension 237. The mediators not only believe that peace is possible, they help facilitate understandings that bring peace to their disputants.
Peace is so important that every year the United Nations promotes the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. There are two events this year. On Sunday, the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai is hosting a peace event from 3 to 7 p.m. at the main pavilion at Lydgate Park. The United Nations theme is “Partnerships for Peace-Dignity for all.” There will be music, keiki and adult activities, speakers, food, prayers and fun for all. Free!
On Monday, Sept. 21, there will be an event at Storybook Theater from 5 to 8 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in an international potluck dinner, hear from guest speakers, participate in a candlelight walk from the Spark M. Matsunaga International Children’s Garden for Peace to the Hanapape Soto Zen Temple’s World Kannon Peace Statue.
The following Saturday, Sept. 26, Christ Memorial Episcopal Church, 2509 Kolo Road, Kilauea will host “Peace-Building on Kauai” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm. Citing the recent conflicts at Hanalei Pier, the desecration of the statue of Jesus, the anti-Semitism vandalism this year, and the past desecration of the statue of Kwan Yin in Hanapepe, and other forms of violence and disrespect directed toward religious and cultural groups on this island, there is the hope that interfaith peace-building, reconciliation, prayers and collaboration can make a difference.
The schedule is as follows: 10:30 a.m., pupus; 11 a.m., opening prayer and interfaith dialogue; 12:30 p.m., closing prayer;
Reserve your attendance by calling Jeffrey Pears, 634-9992.
So perhaps this and next weekend we can all practice sowing a few peace seeds all over Kauai. Peace to all, and just give peace a chance. It really feels better than pain and stress.
Hale Opio Kauai convened a support group of adults in our Kauai community to “step into the corner” for our teens, to answer questions and give support to youth and their families on a wide variety of issues. Please email your questions or concerns facing our youth and families today to Annaleah Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Hale Opio Kauai, go to www.haleopiokauai.org.