A local peace sanctuary (Allanton) recently held a Living in Balance day to share ideas about living a more balanced and healthy life. As the day of the event was very close to the summer solstice it had a special feeling to it.
The were plenty of interesting workshops to chose from (over 20), from aikido to yoga, via clowning, sacred singing and sketching. The day featured three workshop sessions and I chose one on ‘language for change’, the Japanese tea ceremony, and a mindfulness workshop. All three were interesting and thought provoking and I learnt something in each one. In fact, I blogged about hearing the quote from Jon Kabat Zinn in my last post. Taking part in the tea ceremony was a real privilege and not the sort of thing you usually get to experience here! The attention to detail and the process was a type of mindfulness in practice. The ceremony was led by Yashio Mochizuki, the International Programme Director of the Goi Peace Foundation, Japan and his family.
I also enjoyed taking the time between sessions and in the breaks to explore the beautiful grounds of Allanton. They have a old walled garden with fruit and vegetables and plenty of space for biodiversity and for wildlife. It was very peaceful to sit and contemplate life in the gardens, along with a walk around the woodland paths at the end of the day with a fellow yoga teacher and friends, and time to explore the peace pole henge.The poles represent all the countries of the world and have the affirmation ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ on each side in English, and also in the language of the country (in the script of the country), and ‘May peace be in [name of coutnry]’ in English and the country’s language and script. These poles are made here in Allanton and shipped around the world!
The Allanton Peace Sanctuary, just a few miles north of Dumfries in Scotland, is the European home of May Peace Prevail On Earth International. The Society was founded in 1955 by the Japanese teacher, philosopher and poet Masahisa Goi and there are international headquarters in Tokyo, New York, San Francisco and Munich as well as Allanton. The affirmation ‘May Peace Prevail On Earth’ seeks to bring together different cultures, faith traditions and political ideals, and for all the work of the society to transcend differences to bring peace on earth.
If this simple message chimes with you, you could use the affirmation as a mantra for meditation.
You can watch a short video of the day on their website (scroll down to the bottom of that page).
PS Spoiler alert: myself and a fellow yoga teacher are going to be hosting a vegan yoga retreat at Allanton in 2020! More info coming later.