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Intention for World Peace in 2009
Kite Fest, July 2007. Photo by author.

Kite Fest, July 2007

By Susmita Barua

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship has decided to participate in the first global World March for Peace and Non-violence from October 2, 2009 to January 2, 2010. The March was initiated by “World Without Wars,” an international organization launched by the Humanist Movement that has been working for 15 years in the fields of pacifism and non-violence.

It has received endorsements from 100 countries and many spiritual leaders including His Holiness Dalai Lama. As a community networker I would love to see peace advocates from all centers in our mandala join this global grassroots effort. Please add your comments below if you would like to get involved in generating community supported walk for peace and non-violence.

The Lexington, Kentucky Shambhala Center's outreach table

Lexington Shambhala Center's Outreach Table

Inner Peace / Outer Peace

The first time I read Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Sacred Path of a Warrior, it spoke to me deeply and I knew that I had walked this path before. I was so inspired by the vision of enlightened society and the engaged Buddhist path that I started organizing outreach right away for Lexington Shambhala in local Kitefest, Martin Luther King Peace March and Peace Fair. The pictures included with this article are from event.

My upbringing as a Buddhist amid a sea of poverty and suffering in Calcutta did not prepare me to handle the stress of watching senseless violence of modern day warfare from the comfort of my living room. There was a growing sense within me that for the world to be in peace I must regain my inner peace, sanity and joy. My spiritual journey began in all earnest with an intention to regain inner peace. 

The author at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship table

Susmita Barua at the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Table


Action for Peace

In my peace action work, I did local organizing and strategy building for grassroots efforts on the part of national organizations like Moveon.Org, Peace-Action.Org, UnitedforPeace.Org, Soaw.Org and many others. I attended initial peace rallies before the start of Iraq-war in order to actively hold the energy of peace in such places by being peace.

After the Iraq war began, a diverse crowd gathered downtown regularly for peace rallies or vigils organized by Central KY Peace and Justice. As a new American citizen, I felt empowered and humbled to be able to voice my dissent and non-cooperation with militarism. Among the crowd there were homeless, veterans, very old and very young, gay and lesbian groups, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, poets, artists, musicians, university professors, farmers, homemakers, children, disabled people in wheelchairs, and people from multiple faiths including Islam.

Friends from the Lexington Shambhala Meditation Center

Friends from the Lexington Shambhala Center

Fearless Peace

In response to the Iraq War, I wrote a blog in January 2007 “Green Alert for Fearless Peace” to inform and energize people to come out of their closet and take an active stand for peace. This was my second engagement in social action through the web, the first in 2001 when I created a website to connect socially aware and engaged citizens worldwide, which included an enlightened vision for the planet. My sense is our world will only know peace through a deep love of peace.

In between my activism, social networking and knowledge sharing, I also developed a process to apply mindfulness to all areas of my life to create optimum living for myself and my clients. In one of my deliberate living workshop, I was thrilled when a group of Christian women started asking me about the Buddhist path, local Buddhist groups and centers.

And the band played on...

And the band played on...

Social Suffering

I started contemplating on the root of “social duhkha” and how it can be addressed peacefully. My current intention is to develop an alternative economic model through “right understanding” of the economy. Already things are happening since I publicly started sharing this intention three years ago. My aspiration is to connect with a few Shambhalians interested in this issue.

This year’s Peace and Global Citizenship Fair in my hometown has a wonderful theme: Peace is a song that everyone can play. My mentor and peace buddy Dr. Rebecca Glasscock gave me a challenge to come up with an activity for the “Economy of Peace” presentation. I am also working to promote awareness of engaged Buddhism as a community ambassador for the newly launched virtual chapter of Buddhist Peace Fellowship open to all interested in engaged Buddhism.

All photos by author. More are viewable by clicking here.

Susmita Barua came from India to the United States in 1985. Professionally she is trained as a geographer and urban-regional planner with M.Sc. and M.A. degrees. Her passion to understand the Nature of Reality and Self from a Universal Perspective led her to discover her own unique path in life. She is a Holistic Practitioner, Sacred Cyber Activist, Speaker and Visionary engaged in raising human consciousness both globally and locally. She is committed to empower the individual and transform the planet through her enlightened writings, transformational workshops and creative ideas in diverse fields.

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8 responses to “ Intention for World Peace in 2009 ”
  1. I was very happy to read your posting. I’m one of the organizers of the World March in the USA and it’s wonderful to see how many peopole from different places, groups, cultures and faiths are coming together to call out for peace and a world without violence. The main objectives of the march to raise our consciousness about the violence, all forms of violence, and to abolish nuclear weapons. Your input and efforts are most welcome!

  2. Your page on generating Peace around us and in the world is wonderful. If anyone in Northern California wants to help organize activities for the World March For Peace and Non Violence please contact me. One of the few stops for the March in the USA is Red Bluff, CA, so we have an opportunity to make a big impact here. Contact me via redbluffpark.org. Peace, Mary

  3. Susmita Barua
    Aug 27, 2009
    Reply

    Thanks Nicole for connecting and passing it to Caroline Acuna of BPF who called me this morning to let me know about this. I’m very happy that this 90 day Peace march is connecting so many people all over the world. How is the response in USA so far? Wonder whether UFPJ.org is taking part? I wrote them some time ago. I have to get back with local peace and justice group and yet to know how to connect with different members and centers within the Shambhala mandala.

    I am very thankful for the encouragement of Marc H.M. and active help of Holly and the editorial team at Shambhalatimes who really cared enough to put this out in the world. Very much appreciate the work of Shambhala database team in connecting the mandala and members. Will be in touch with you and others.

  4. Rev.Bibhuti Barua
    Sep 5, 2009
    Reply

    I would like to convey to you my warmest greeting and congratulations on this most auspicious accasion the would Buddhist Fellowship. I am Rev. Bibhuti Barua. as a Theravada Buddhist monk.

    With Blessings of Triple Gem.
    Rev.Bibhuti.

  5. Dear Mita,

    What a nice article! And the sweet pictures from the peace fair. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

    Teresa Tope and I are planning an event to commemorate International Day of Peace. It’ll be at our Leestown Campus on September 21 from 11:00 until 2:30. Do you want to come and promote the world peace march? Do you know of a band that plays international music that might be willing to perform at this event? George Ella Lyon will start it off with poetry and a couple of songs.

    Peace and love,
    Rebecca

  6. I’m very pleased to read more about the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. This action is very coherent and in line with the tenets of the Doctrine of Nonviolence found among peoples of all faiths and cultural backgrounds and it is very inspiring to see the diversity of initiatives being launched.

  7. Thanks for creating this article and I hope it gets lots of awareness.

  8. I revisited my first experimental youtube using still shots as I just finished a great weekend of Drala!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c08ATSeAxU

    Looking forward to participate in Imaginingpeace.com in Chicago!


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