20 / 04 / 21
Introducing the Peace Mantra, which can be used by people of all faiths and none, by Steve Gardiner.
It all started in the far west of Cornwall, back in the summer of 2007. Seven of us, who had been meditating together for a number of years, decided to create a mantra. Each of us found a quiet corner in which to ponder. When we came back into the circle twenty minutes later, we discovered that everyone had the same idea; we all wanted the mantra to be centred upon peace. By the end of the evening, everyone had contributed something to the construction of what we now call the Peace Mantra, which is simply:
Peace in my Heart
Peace in this Place
Peace in our Land
And throughout the World
I invite you to stop for a few moments, and to recite the words of the mantra, without rushing them, imagining that peace is transforming your inner self, the community in which you love or work, the wider environment and nation, and the entire world. Once you’ve got the feel of the mantra, try repeating each line three, five, eleven times. I find the more we repeat the mantra with a clear focus and intention, the more powerfully it can resonate within and without.
Straight away, the Peace Mantra began to form the basis of our group meditations. Each of us also used it in our daily quite times. After a nine-month gestation period, we decided we wished to offer – freely – the Peace Mantra to everyone in the world who wished to receive it. We decided to do this by constructing a website, by producing special Peace Mantra postcards, and by holding regular peace forums in Penzance.
After a while, we opened a page on Facebook, which has kindled a lot of interest. Both the website and the Facebook page contain a good number of suggestions not just for meditating upon the mantra, but for small practical steps each one of us can take to help build and maintain peace. Although meditation is important, we believe it counts for nothing unless we base our thoughts, words and actions upon peace. This can be immensely challenging! But no matter how often we fall short, the key is to dust ourselves down, and re-focus.
During our journey we have formed what is now called The Peace Mantra Foundation to help get the ball rolling. We are completely non-commercial – how can peace ever be for sale? – and have no political or spiritual bias. (But we engage with politicians and spiritual leaders when necessary.) Above all, we are not on a mission to gain recruits or supporters. All we care about is furthering the cause of peace.
The seven of us who co-created the Peace Mantra consist of four women and three men. Between us, our paths embrace the following traditions: Druidry, Buddhism, Zen, Roman Catholicism, Celtic Christianity, Anglicanism, Sufism, and non-faith-specific spirituality. Right from its birth, therefore, the Peace Mantra has been essentially multi-faith. I think this is very important, as it reflects our aim to reach out gently to people of all faiths and none.
The Peace Mantra’s structure is very simple, making it easy to remember. It begins with the individual (my Heart) and spreads every further outwards, embracing the community (this Place), the environment and nation (our Land), and the entire planet (the World). This mirrors our belief that peace needs to start with each one of us. This ‘inside-out’ approach to peace has been espoused by many spiritual leaders down the ages; the Dalai Lama and Mahatma Gandhi being two well-known examples.
However, we recognise that you will have your own take on peace, and that you may already have found another approach, method or mantra which suits you well. We rejoice if that is so; there are an infinite number of paths which lead to the top of the mountain!
Finally, I would like to encourage you to make the Peace Mantra your own. You may wish to add it to other meditations you do. You may wish just to concentrate upon one or two lines; this can be helpful if you are focusing upon, say, the environment, or your own inner growth.
You may well wish to adapt it, by substituting another word for ‘Peace’. For example, you may wish to focus upon Love instead, or Healing, or Light, or Joy. You may wish to focus upon Allah, Christ, Mary, Parvati, Saraswati, Buddha – the possibilities are endless. Anything goes!
About the author: Steve Gardiner is a professional musician and improviser, having studied at the Universities of Oxford and Sussex. For nearly forty years he has been translating music into braille. He is an ordained member of the Sufi group Inayatiyya Healing UK, and a prominent participant in the group’s Prayers for World Healing rituals, which take place every two months. He is a founder-member of The Peace Mantra Foundation, and an experienced facilitator in meditation and sound healing.