The I-Peace Project
All suffering related to what we think love is
arises from our projections and attachments to an object of attraction.
This is actually the opposite of love,
for love is a state of being in which we transcend the awareness of separate objects
and recognize our oneness with all that is;
a state devoid of projection and attachment
for there is nothing outside of us to project on or attach to.
I have traveled far to ask,
“What is Love?”
A Buddhist Monk once showed me that
Love is a compassionate heart;
A Christian Saint once showed me that
Love is a forgiving heart;
A Muslim Sheik once showed me that
Love is a devoted heart;
A Taoist Sage once showed me that
Love is a heart that accepts all things as they are;
A Jewish Prophet once showed me that
Love is a heart that sees the one within the many;
A Native American Shaman once showed me that
Love is a heart that feels the interconnectedness of all things;
A Hindu Holy Man once showed me that
Love is, when all that is not love ceases to be.
I have traveled far to ask,
“What is Love?”
And I have seen the many faces of Love,
and I have felt the many ways of Love,
and I have touched the heart of Love itself
and learned that
Love truly is all these things.
*Image by: Daniel B. Holeman
My heart has wept many times over the last few years over the seemingly endless and violent conflicts between some of the worlds religious traditions and cultures. Like so many others, I have yearned to find a way to help bring about peace between the faiths. From this place of deep yearning, I began developing an interfaith daily practice to see if I could personally find and affirm an energetic harmony between the traditions. To my amazement the practices of the different faiths that I was exploring merged into one long beautiful sacred dance of movement, meditation, contemplation, chanting, and visualization. As part of this sacred dance I was guided to look up the words for peace in different languages and was further moved to develop an Interspiritual Peace Mantra which I now perform several times a day.
This Interspiritual Peace Mantra that emerged from my practice is a compilation of eight words for PEACE from eight different languages used to represent the eight major streams of world religions: Primal Traditions, Paganism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. The words are arranged in the chronological/historical order of the emergence of each of these faiths. The purpose and intent of this mantra is to nurture and amplify personal and collective peace.
The eight words of the Interspiritual Peace Mantra are:
Sipala Sith Shanti Shalom T’ai Sidi Pax Salaam.
Sipala is the Hopi word for peace and represents the Primal Traditions (Shamanic , Aboriginal, etc).
Sith is the Gaelic word for peace and represents the Pagan Traditions (Goddess, Druid, Celtic, Wicca , Greek, etc.).
Shanti is the Hindi word for peace and represents the Hindu and Sikh traditions.
Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and represents the Judaic and Kabbalistic traditions.
T’ai is a Chinese word for peace and represents the Taoist and Confucian traditions.
Sidi is the Tibetan word for peace and represents the Buddhist tradition.
Pax is the Latin word for peace and represents Christianity .
Salaam is the Aramaic word for peace and represents Islam and Sufism.
As part of this practice, I also developed the above Interspiritual Peace Mandala with the words of the Interspiritual Peace Mantra and symbols from each tradition set within a mandala pattern created by a dear friend of mine, artist Maja Apolonia Rode.
The Interspiritual Peace Mantra and Mandala can be found at the Interspiritul Peace Project web page.
The rebirth of the life-generating and life-sustaining sun
at the darkest moment of the seasons;
The oil of an ancient temple lamp burning beyond its limit;
A shining star in a dark sky illuminating the way;
The light of mercy revealed through prayer and devotion;
The guiding light of seven principles arising from the heart of
the Dark Continent.
This is the season of The Festivals of Light…
The Winter Solstice,
In the darkness of this Winter
during these terror filled and challenging times;
May we all find the light in darkness,
faith amidst struggle,
rebirth following change and loss,
and virtue and devotion in the face of great challenge.
Published in: Beben, M. T. (2002). New Wine: More Eucharistic Liturgies for 21st Century Small Faith Communities. Boulder, CO: Woven Word Press.