A Wholistic Approach To World Peace

“Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.  It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”.

Mohandas K. Gandhi: October 2, 1869 to January 30, 1948

 

The Wholistic Peace Institute was born out of two projects in the late 1990’s. The first was the involvement of the Executive Director and most of the religious leaders on our Advisory Board in the planning for a “Garden of Forgiveness” in Beirut, Lebanon.  A downtown Garden of Peace and one which we have modeled the Portland Garden of Peace on; which would be created in the rubble of a civil war that had left Beirut, numb to emotion and barely surviving with the label of a post-holocaust city.

The second project was the involvement of the Institute in the planning for the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Portland in 2001.  In the first visit of the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate, we also organized the first World Peace Conference, held at Portland State University and co-moderated by former US Senator Mark O. Hatfield.  This conference brought 5 other Nobel Peace Laureates to Portland: former President of Poland, Lech Walesa; Betty Williams from Northern Ireland; Adolfo Perez Esquivel, from Argentina; Dr. Robert K. Musil, Executive Director of Physcians for Social Responsibility (PSR won the Nobel); and Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty (Amnesty won the Nobel).  The Institute was also involved in the Dalai Lama’s Youth Summit, where members of the Institute worked closely with former first lady, Mrs. Sharon Kitzhaber to bring 10,000 students to the Coliseum where this man of peace gave a talk on non-violence and how to resolve school conflict peacefully.

The Institute at this point has worked with 9 Nobel Peace Prizewinners and all of them are fervent advocates for non-violence as the means to settle Global conflict.  Without the Dalai Lama’s unwavering stand for non-violence as the means for the Tibetans to return to China, there would have been most likely a political movement formed that could have wreaked havoc, as do the terrorists in the Middle East.  The Dalai Lama and the other Nobel Peace Laureates are the “foundation stones” for a new world political order that will help to create new world political movements that will use only non-violence as the means to settle conflict.

When Mohandas Gandhi said the words: “nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind”, he was serious and he proved his point by his behavior and his political movement overcame the British Raj.  Nonviolence has a weapon, is stronger than the United States nuclear arsenal because it can take the human finger off the trigger of the weapon.  Without the human motivation to rain down nuclear horror on an adversary and the adversary’s children and children’s children (radioactive decay can kill for thousands of years); the United States nuclear arsenal is a dead arsenal; as is every other nuclear arsenal.  I hope you will join the Institute in supporting our world peace initiatives by coming to them and supporting us with your membership to the World Peace Journal.

 

A VISION FOR WORLD PEACE

We have a vision for world peace: that it is achievable; that an approach is available that can work; and that you can assist in this vision no matter what country your in, what religion you practice or what circumstances you live in.  Our vision is that we will all live in a state of inner peace and from that place of inner peace we will be able to reach out to others in peace and to develop, nurture and maintain peaceful relationships.  From these peaceful relationships we will then be able to bring ourselves into balance with the earth and that in the process we will remember how to nurture others, the earth, and ourselves.  In order to achieve this vision we have synthesized basic principles which you can practice daily for achieving world peace.  We have formulated them in a “Charter For A More Peaceful World”.  It recognizes that by first beginning with developing a place of peace within our own hearts, can we be effective in helping to assist other:

  • To Give Warmth Of Heart Towards Everyone

  • To Work For Basic Human Rights For Every Person On Earth And To Reaffirm The United Nations (December 10, 1948) Declaration Of Human Rights Guaranteeing Human Rights

  • To Practice Daily Prayer And Meditation On World Peace

  • To Nurture Daily Ourselves, Others, And The Earth

 

The Institute’s work is focused on both promoting a wholistic view of the world.  One which sets as it’s goal, peace-making processes and plans that recognize the inter-dependence of all life and one that the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Dalai Lama calls a “human approach to world peace”.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls us to action to first form a human relationship with our adversary and then in a second step to talk about and reach agreement on the issues separating us.  But to first form the human relationship and to remember our humanity and his or her humanity before we go any further.  He also calls on all of us to take a more wholistic view of reality, understanding that we are all inter-connected and what affects one will affect all.

The Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo, Norway has been recognizing the world’s leading peacemakers for over one hundred years with the Nobel Peace Prize.  The men and women who win this prize are our generations Mahatma Gandhi’s.  They are religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and Archbishop Tutu.  They are political leaders such as former President’s Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Jimmy Carter, Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez and Kim Dae Jung.  They are humanitarian and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF.  They are also committed human beings who have showed extreme courage in the face of imminent danger.

These Nobel Peace Laureates have a special knowledge, a special skill and a special wisdom.  By holding world peace conferences in our most dangerous conflict areas and bringing six or more together and asking them to propose a peace plan.  We tap into their knowledge and offer to the world a “Nobel Peace Initiative” which could prevent great violence from taking control, much as they did once in their own countries and for which the won the Nobel Peace Prize.  These conferences are needed because new ways of looking at peace-making and world peace must be defined now, in this age of weapons of great destructiveness.  The coming of an awareness of world peace and that world peace as a goal is achievable is needed today.  With a fresh look and new approaches it maybe that a world peace movement could prove very inspirational, especially with our college students our future leaders.

 

The Institute’s Approach To World Peace

Nobel Peace Laureate Conferences

 

The Institute’s World Peace Initiative On The Korean Peninsula

  • Phase One: 2006 Summer Peace Institute & The Visit Of Former President & 2000 Nobel Peace Prizewinner Kim Dae Jung To Portland, Oregon

  • The 2006 Summer Peace Institute will be held at Lewis & Clark College (Tentative Dates Are Friday, June 1st to Monday, June 4th) & Will Consist Of:

    9am to 4pm, Friday, June 1st: Lewis & Clark College

    9 to 11am & 2-5pm & 6pm dinner & address by Kim Dae Jung, Saturday, June 2nd: Hilton Hotel

    “The Sunshine Policy: An Approach For Reconciling The Korean Peninsula”

    10:30 am, Sunday, June 3rd: Lewis & Clark College, Address By Kim Dae Jung

    “The Role Of Students & Faith In Bringing World Peace”

    2-5pm, Class at Lewis & Clark

    6 pm, Sunday, June 3rd: Lewis & Clark College, Address By Kim Dae Jung

    “The 2007 World Peace Conference: Opportunities & Advances”

    9 am to 4pm, Monday, June 4th, Lewis & Clark College

    Final details are still being worked out.

    Students are urged to sign up as soon as possible; sign up will begin November 1st

    Lewis & Clark will offer one college credit for the Summer Peace Institute

 

  • Phase Two: 2007 World Peace Conference In Korea Involving Multiple Nobel Peace Laureates With Former President & Nobel Kim Dae Jung Hosting The Conference

  • A World Peace Conference: The Wholistic Peace Institute’s Program to Bring Peace to the Korean Peninsula Relying On The Wisdom Of The World’s Nobel Peace Laureates

  • Purpose of the Program: To bring the world’s foremost experts on world peace, the Nobel Peace Laureates together to suggest a plan for bringing full peace to the Korean Peninsula.  To suggest a World Peace Plan for Korea which will be able to achieve peace for both the children of South Korea and the children of North Korea?

  • Constituencies for Peace in Korea:

  • The South Korean Government

  • The North Korean Government

  • The North Korean People & Human Rights Issues

  • The South Korean People & Political Issues

  • The Regional Neighbors: China, Japan

  • The Superpowers: The United States. Russia

  • The Children of the Korean Peninsula

 

The Institute’s Process for Achieving Peace:

  • Prepare a “A Wholistic Approach To Achieving Peace On The Korean Peninsula” to frame the issues for discussion by the Nobel Peace Laureates

  • Begin the dialogue in Portland, Oregon by inviting former President Kim Dae Jung to Portland to teach at the 2006 Summer Nobel Peace Laureate Institute

  • Invite the Ambassadors between Korean and the Untied States to Portland to join the dialogue

  • Prepare a Wholistic Peace Study

  • Hold in Korea in 2007 a World Peace Conference with 12 or more Nobel Peace Laureates who will dialogue in a three day conference on “new approaches to reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula”

  • Based on the World Peace Conference prepare a book, a video documentary of remarks and an “Nobel Action Plan for Peace For The Korean Peninsula” for the situation that exists there today.

  • Implement a “Korean Wholistic Peace Institute” to carry out the Nobel Action Plan For Peace For The Korean Peninsula.  This Institute would be a separate non-profit Institute implemented in South Korea in a University after the Nobel Action Plan has been written.  The Korean Institute would work under the auspices of the Wholistic Peace Institute based in Portland, Oregon, USA.  Why in a Korean University, because?

    • “World peace will be found in new solutions and new ideas and the Universities of the world are the best places to formulate these solutions and not street demonstrations”. Former President Lech Walesa, 1983 Nobel Peace Prizewinner at an Institute sponsored World Peace Conference.

  • Background: Our intent is to bring world peace by focusing on the world’s most dangerous conflict areas, with studies, peace action plans prepared by multiple Nobel Peace Laureates, and with the initiation of Institute’s in Universities in the areas of conflict to implement the ideas of the Nobel Peace Laureates.  At the same time we have underway in Oregon a major initiative with our partner, the Oregon Department of Education on training our state’s students in the skills of: resolving conflicts in school peacefully, developing them as civic and peace leaders for our society, and inspiring them by exposing them to Nobel Peace Laureates as models to emulate, as opposed to sports and action stars created in Hollywood.

  • Project Information: The Institute takes a Wholistic Approach to world peace and organizes each study and conference around specific principles.  Today there is no viable way to deal with hate, anger, revenge and so the world has begun to see the spawning of world terrorism, most likely a result of utter hopelessness.  By emphasizing the human qualities of a peace plan, i.e. there must be a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual component, if we are to transform and truly be effective, the Institute offers a new practical approach to conflict and peace making.  Our first Conference in Portland involved 6 Nobel Peace Laureates and former US Senator Mark Hatfield moderating the theme, “How can we bring compassion into the diplomatic peace-seeking process?”  Having the Nobel Peace Laureates carry this message adds credibility.  We have a four step process for our Nobel World Peace Program:

  • We research the issues and produce a “Wholistic Approach To Peace” for the conflict.

  • We organize a conference on the conflict using, at least 8 Nobel Peace Laureates.

  • We produce a “Nobel Peace Action Plan” & a book and video tape material of the solution.

  • We establish in the country where the conflict exists, in one of the top Universities a “Wholistic Institute for Peace” to implement the Nobel Peace Action Plan.

 

The US Congressional 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act:

  • Develop & maintain an on-going relationship with the Pacific Northwest Congressional Delegation on progress made in implementing the Act.

  • Explore in an academic setting how the Act and the Sunshine Policy can be integrated to produce new approaches

  • Hold periodic forums and conference in Portland and Seattle with Congressional staff, elected leaders and Nobel Peace Laureates on the Act.

 

Why A Summer Peace Institute?

The Wholistic Peace Institute believes that world peace is possible, in our life times.  We believe that there are experts in how to achieve world peace.  These are the Nobel Peace Laureates, men and women of courage, creativity, and persistence who have through their skill, brought peace to a situation which could have killed thousands or millions of people.  Their peace agreements have held and they have been recognized with the most prestigious peace prize in the world, a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded once a year by the Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo, Norway.  We feel that the world’s Nobel Peace Laureates are the key to achieving world peace.  We have held one Nobel World Peace Conference here in Portland, Oregon in May, 2001.  The theme of that Conference was focused on “How Can Compassion Be Introduced into the Diplomatic Peace Seeking Process and Is World Peace Achievable”?  Former US Senator Mark O. Hatfield kindly moderated this conference of 6 Nobel Peace Laureates and the knowledge we gained has been published in our book: How to Achieve World Peace.

By holding a Summer Peace Institute and bringing each year a different Nobel Peace Laureate to teach the Oregon & Washington Peace Community about world peace; we can initiate a link between our local and individual efforts and efforts of world and huge magnitude.  Make no mistakes the Nobel Peace Laureates are the “architects of a world peace movement” and we have much to learn from them.

The Institute’s World Peace Initiative In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Institute has just begun planning for a World Peace Conference in Jerusalem to explore “new approaches to healing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” with 12 Nobel Peace Laureates in attendance.  Fr. Claude Pomerleau of the University of Portland and Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, of Portland State University are in Israel now to begin the planning for this conference.  More will be written on this work in the Fall issue of the World Peace Journal.

 

The Institute’s World Peace Initiative On Human Rights In South America

The Institute has also had underway for one year, just planning for a regional World Peace Conference in Guanajuato, Mexico at the University of Guanajuato and in sponsorship with Governor Romero Hicks of the state of Guanajuato.  This regional world peace conference would bring 3 Nobel Peace Laureates together  to explore “new approaches to ensuring human rights in Central and South America”.  One planning trip to Mexico has occurred for this. More will be written in subsequent Journal issues.

Our Local Peace Initiatives: How We Can Bring Peace To Our Schools, Cities, and Communities

 

Our Work With Schools

 

“The proper way to reduce violence in the world that could lead to war is not through more police but through education.  In the educational system, right from the beginning we must educate the minds of the students”. The Dalai Lama, 1989 Nobel Peace Prizewinner at an Institute sponsored Student Peace Summit.

Five years ago, the Institute working with the former First Lady of Oregon, helped bring 8,000 high school students together so the 1989 Nobel Peace Prizewinner could speak to them of non-violence in Oregon and Washington Schools.  Since then we have sponsored 2 Student Peace Summits, bringing other Nobel Peace Prizewinners; developed and printed a “student peace curriculum” on how to make our state schools a more peaceful place, emphasizing conflict resolution skills and produced a award winning video, “A Message of Peace” and mailed these to all middle and high schools in Oregon.  We have initiated a partnership with the Oregon Department of Education to initiate a state wide “student peace education & National Student Peace Society” initiative in Oregon School System-teaching tomorrow’s citizens how to bring peace to their schools today, so they may have the skills to bring peace to the world tomorrow.  

Our Partnership With The Oregon Department Of Education

The Wholistic Peace Institute (located at PSU) has developed a “peace curriculum focused on Nobel Peace Laureates” for middle and high schools in Oregon.

The recent shooting in Minnesota makes it imperative that school systems across the country continue to research and find ways to create ways to make schools safer and students feel safer in schools.  This program speaks to that need.

Proposed Pilot Study For Five Oregon High Schools To Realize The Goals:

  • To make Oregon schools safer

  • To make students feel safer in Oregon schools

  • To learn about Nobel Peace Laureates who-role models for conflict resolution

  • To teach students new skills & approaches for resolving conflict in schools

 

Proposed Pilot Study Of Five Oregon Schools

The Institute recently had meetings with Mr. Ed Dennis and other ODE officials on the feasibility of implementing a pilot program in five Oregon schools.  This “peace curriculum” would seek to reduce violence in schools and to make Oregon’s schools safer, especially for the cultural and otherwise vulnerable minorities.

The ODE indicated that if the pilot program would be a research effort using standard statistical evaluation methods and it demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach, they would consider a statewide initiative of some type.  This research proposal outlines how this might occur and offers the “research model” for discussion.

April to August, 2005: Pre Study Research

  • Identify the five pilot schools

  • Identify the teachers who will be involved and meet with them to discuss  

  • Review and refine the survey instrument

 

 

September to June, 2005: Implement the Pilot Study

  • Assume one hour a week would be available for three months, during the school year for:

  • A treatment group of 40 students who would be exposed to the “peace curriculum” which is based on Nobel Peace Laureates and other positive community improvement methods.

  • A control group of 40 students who would not be exposed to the treatment

  • Both the treatment and control group would be tested with a Likert Scale, prior to the treatment and right after the treatment in each school; in early September and before Christmas break in December

  • At the end of Phase One of the Pilot Study, for an Association of “High School Principals,” or a “Consortium of Teachers and Administrators, “ which would represent a Supervisory and General Program Implementation Committee for the remainder of the work.  This would be at minimum representatives from the Institute, the five pilot schools, the ODE, and others.  The group would function to insure continued high standards and school curricular compatibility between regular courses and the specialized Peace and Safe Schools classes.  This group would be helpful in the long term and short term.

  • Statistically analyze the results and draw conclusions

  • Offer an evaluation of the treatment and suggest modifications

  • Publish the results

  • Work with Education officials as a resource and assist them to implement a state wide program, which might have the following components:

  • To offer (mandate) a two to six week curriculum on Nobel Peace Laureates, which would teach new skills on how to resolve conflict in schools.

  • To create new programs which would teach greater respect for all types of minorities, reducing any potential for harassment, bullying and other social ostracizing motives.

  • To teach students how to make their schools safer.

  • New curriculum

  • Student Peace Society: To be modeled after the National Honor Society

  • The holding of a Jr. Nobel Peace Prize Event Statistically analyze the results and draw conclusions

  • Offer an evaluation of the treatment and suggest modifications

Publish the result

  • Work with Education officials to be a resource and assist them to implement a state wide program, which might have the following components:

  • To offer a two to six week curriculum on Nobel Peace Laureates, which would teach new skills on how to resolve conflict in schools?  

  • To create in the Oregon school system, new programs which would teach greater respect for all types of minorities & reducing any potential for harassment & bullying 

  • To teach students how to make their schools safer.

  • New curriculum-Fall, 2006

  • Student Peace Society: To be modeled after the National Honor Society

  • The holding of a Jr. Nobel Peace Prize Event

 

In applying the curriculum, the application will have the following characteristics:

  • Five hours of video of the Nobel Peace Laureates discussing conflict resolution with student and class reactions to the characteristics and skills demonstrated by these positive, world class role models. 

  • Five hours of teaching by the assigned teacher on school safety and a plan to make the school safer    (What about teaching the peacemaking skills?)

  • Five hours of discussion on how to make the school safer and students to feel safer in the schools

  • One written essay on a “School Peace Plan” by each student; class event where the class selects their most outstanding peacemaker and start an on-going Student Peace Society in their school that would be modeled after the National Honor Society.

 

Why Develop A World Peace Garden

 

To bring people together into a contemplative space for healing purposes.  The space would assist them in healing their mind and body and soothing their soul.  It would be a contemplative experience, dedicated to educating about the value of peace and would be a signature element in the urban landscape.  It would also be a space where international world peace leaders can come to communicate their views to the Pacific Northwest.

Would Have Four Main Components

  • Peace To Be Defined By Children, Students, The Young: Oregon Schools Would Take The Lead On The Process

  • Peace To Be Defined By Nobel Peace Laureates: The Wholistic Peace Institute Would Take The Lead On The Process

  • Peace To Be Defined By Religious Leaders & The Churches: Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Would Take The Lead On The Process

  • Peace To Be Defined By Neighborhoods & Communities: Neighborhood Organizations Would Take The Lead On The Process

 

Purpose

To create in the urban landscape a contemplative and tranquil space to honor the world’s peacemakers, the Nobel Peace Laureates.  The Garden of Peace would:

  • Calm the mind & restore the soul

  • Offer inspiration by educating on world peacemakers

  • Become a gathering place for peace activities

  • Could have an indoor component that would be a place to offer classes

  • Be open to all and be used by all

  • Inspire Garden’s in other parts of the state, country and world

  • Be visited by world peacemaker’s and perhaps be dedicated by a return visit of the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate, the Dalai Lama

  • Have a part dedicated to Oregon’s only Nobel Peace Laureates, Linus Pauling

 

Current Status

At our August World Peace Lunch Mayor Potter offered to work with the Institute and the Portland Development Commission to find a parcel of PDC land that could be donated to the Institute to develop this World Peace Garden.  The Institute would then fundraise and seek an endowment to build and maintain the Garden. This process is underway.

Our Work With Using Music & The Arts To Promote Inter-Faith Peacemaking

 

At 7pm, November 14, 2005: A “Tapestry of Peace: Interfaith Peacemaking Through Music, Arts, & Poetry” will be presented by WPI and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon at the Newmark Theatre, to honor and to raise up “peace-making” by artists and musicians.  Aaron Meyer and Bill Lamb will headline this event and performing with them will be other musicians such as the Aurora Chorus, Cappella Romana, a vocal choir, a children’s choir, and Marilyn Keller.  There will be poetry readings during the changing of the different performers.  This is a follow up event to last year’s “Dialogue & Concert for World Peace” which we held at the Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Inner Peace Initiatives: The Importance of Prayer & Meditation To Bringing About Our Inner Transformation So That We Can Bring About Transformation In The World

 

THE WOVOKA FATHER DANCE & PEACE CENTER

Schurz, Nevada-Walker River Paiute Tribe

How This Project Began

One day in the fall of 2000, a friend of mine, Tom Purkey and I were coming back from a desert sojourn in Saline Valley, California.  Tom asked me if I wanted to visit Wovoka’s gravesite.  Wovoka, the Paiute prophet who lived from 1856 until 1932 on the Walker River Paiute Tribal Reservation, brought a ceremony which became known as the Father Dance to most western United States Tribes.  When I stood by Wovoka’s gravesite, meditating I heard a still small Voice say to me, “help the Tribe develop a memorial to Wovoka, he was a true saint and performed many miracles to help his people”.

 

I felt somewhat energized by my experience and so we drove to the Tribal offices, where I walked in and literally talked to the first person I met.  It turned out to be Ms. Vernadine McLain, Vice-Chairman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe.  When I related my experience at the gravesite, she did not miss a beat, but said, “We have wanted to develop something for Wovoka for years but don’t know how to begin the project”. I let her know I had developed such projects before and felt that with Wovoka’s incredible holiness that creating a museum or memorial around him was practical and could also be very healing for Native American youth.

 

When I returned home I immediately called Dr. Michael Harner, Director of the Foundation For Shamanic Studies and told him of my experience for it was with Michael that I first learned of the Father Dance Ceremony (the historians always called it the Ghost Dance Ceremony).  He left a message that said that he too felt moved by Wovoka and had wanted to try and assist with such a project for some time, to this holy man.   

 

I first did the Father Dance Ceremony with Michael Harner in 1987 at Joy Lake, Nevada and for me it was a profound healing experience.  Later after further work with Michael at Esalen and the Ceremony, I began to lead the Father Dance Ceremony, perhaps two dozen times in the early nineties.  Once I had over 100 people attend and the energetic healing experience in the room was very present.  The Father Dance Ceremony, my experience of it at least is that it brings a collective healing to the group that participates in it.  I can think of now greater ceremony that the average person can share in with little or no experience.

After some months of correspondence with Vernadine, Tom and I headed back to Saline Valley for our annual sojourn in the desert.  Saline Valley has played a key role in my spiritual development since 1988, when I began to hear a “still small Voice” within.  I went there after spending two weeks with Michael Harner at Esalen and had a life changing experience in that desert.  When we came back through Schurz, Nevada we met this time with Raymond Hoferer, who became our lead person in coordinating with the Tribe on the project.

 

Raymond was given the title, Father Dance Emissary and given the responsibility of reviving the Father Dance Ceremony and also to coordinate the development of a living memorial to Wovoka.  He has reached out to many tribes across the West and discussed the return of the Ceremony with them.  His feedback has been positive and all the Tribes he has talked to have encouraged the Walker River Tribe to revive the Father Dance Ceremony and to bring it back.

 

Raymond has also reached out to the Wounded Knee Survivors Association.  One of the tragedies of the late 1800’s was the Massacre of Wounded Knee, which occurred on December 29, 1890 near Wounded Knee Creek at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  A shot rang out and the Army (many of which were remnants of the 7th Cavalry) let loose a barrage of gunfire which killed 300 Native American men, women and children.

 

This tragedy effectively killed the Father Dance movement and also heralded an era of repression for all Native peoples.  At this point the US government made it illegal for the Native peoples to practice their religious ceremonies, speak Native languages, and participate in cultural events.  Perhaps most tragic they removed Native children from their parents and placed them in Indian schools so that they would be brought up in a white cultural environment.  The Father Dance Ceremony has been out of sight for the last 113 years.   

What We Know Of Wovoka and His Miracles

 

What we know today of Wovoka and how the Father Dance Ceremony came to him is from many sources. One of them is from James Mooney who wrote The Ghost Dance Religion and Wounded Knee.  While cutting wood, Wovoka fell unconscious for two days and when he awoke, claimed that God “took him to Heaven” where he saw a beautiful land filled with game.  He also said he talked to Jesus Christ in his revelatory experience and that he was given a Dance to bring back to the people that would unite them in friendship and brotherly love.

 

In Wovoka’s own words he described his experience as, “When the Sun died, I went up to Heaven and saw God and all the people who had died a long time ago.  God told me to come back and tell my people they must be good and love one another, and not fight, or steal or lie.  He gave me this dance to give to my people”.

 

Wovoka called this dance the “Father Dance” or the Dance given by God. He also called it the “Friendship Dance” or sometimes the “Dance of Unity” for it was to unite the Indian peoples.  They key aspect of his experience was that when he returned from his revelation, he returned with the ability to do miracles. Mooney documented many miracles where Wovoka was able to change the weather at will, to make objects appear, to help the sick and dying, and many more.

It was his miracles that allowed the Dance to spread across the western United States, in less than a year.  The Dance was normally done for five days in a row.  It was common for the white settlers around Schurz, Nevada and especially the Mormon farmers to also participate in the Dance during this time.

We have had the pleasure to work with many of Wovoka’s living relatives, including Inez Jim and Evelyn Cook, his granddaughters.  They have recounted many personal family stories but the one that stands out in my mind are the times, they often went rabbit hunting with Wovoka. He would run out of bullets and would simply put sand down the barrel of his gun and miraculously, bullets would come out.  Such was the miracles of this holy Paiute prophet.

Where We Are Now With Developing the Wovoka Peace Center

 

The Tribe has a large vision for the Wovoka Peace Center.  It would be first a national museum, developed to the standards set by the Smithsonian Museum, so that all the artifacts of Wovoka that is now stored in other museums could be brought home to Nevada.  It would also in later phases be developed as a Native American teaching institution that would teach on indigenous language, culture, religion and philosophy.  It would also have over time a conference and mediation center where tribal and tribal and non-tribal controversies could be settled in an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation.  A world peace center would eventually be developed that would be devoted to the preservation of indigenous culture all over the planet.  Finally the Center would be the nucleus of the revival of the Father Dance Ceremony and would serve as a religious center for Native American spirituality.

 

In October, 2003 the Tribe held a national conference on Wovoka and invited all 400 Indian Tribes west of the Mississippi River to participate.  Also Raymond has met twice with Michael Harner and been involved in the Father Dance Ceremony with Michael’s circles.  Subsequent discussions with Tribal officials have indicated that the Father Dance Ceremony may be offered out, for the first time in 113 years, this coming September, 2004 when the Tribe holds its annual Pine Nut Ceremony.  Most likely the second national conference on Wovoka will also take place then.

 

We have also reached out to the Nevada Congressional Delegation and asked them to help earmark funds for the development of a $5 million museum building which would form the first phase of the overall project.  The Tribe felt that it was important to name it a Peace Center for a variety of reasons: because this was the Spirit which Wovoka offered the Dance out and to ensure that history does not repeat itself.  The Dance Ceremony can heal, has healed and will heal as it occurs again.  The Ceremony is needed today in our fractured and broken world where wholeness is often forgotten about.

 

A Way Of Offering Out This Dance Of Peace To The World

It is possible to contain this Father Dance, as Wovoka called it in a performance that can be done on the concert halls of the world. With a troupe of 100 drummers, a full symphony orchestra and with a troupe of actors and actress, the Dance of Peace could be brought to a large audience.  Discussions are underway now in Portland to see if this can be first accomplished here.

 

Gaden Shartse Monastic College is situated amid lush green hills and jungle in the remote countryside of southern India. It was founded in 1969 as an effort to reestablish one of the great monastic traditions of Tibet. A small group of elder monks and fifteen young boys, all of whom had managed to escape the destruction in Tibet, settled on land given to them by the Indian government in Mundgod, Karnataka. Today, the college is at the forefront of the revival of Tibetan Monastic education with more than 1600 resident students, teachers, scholars, and spiritual practitioners. Due to the success of the academic program and the quality of the teachers at the monastery.  Shartse has established a reputation as being the leader in the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. More than 70% of the members are between the ages of 10 and 25 and 80% of these were born in Tibet. To this day, young monks arrive at the Monastery weekly from Tibet seeking shelter and education.  Indepth education in all aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice is the focal point of the academic program at Shartse. The duration of the monastic program is 24 years. The students interact with their teachers on a daily basis. Accommodation, food, and instruction are all free, provided by the monastic administration.  Shartse offers complete basic courses in Tibetan History, Literature, Poetry, Grammar, English, and Mathematics, which are studied as prerequisites for the more advanced courses of Elementary Dialectics & Buddhist Logic, the Six Perfections, the Prajnaparamita (the study of Wisdom/ the Heart Sutra), Madhyamika (Middle Way) Philosophy, Vinaya (Ethics), and Abidharma (Epistomology).

 

Tour Objectives are to raise funds for:

  • The completion of the new debate courtyard. The new debate courtyard is nearing completion.  The interior is approximately two and a half acres and can accommodate 6000 monks. This covered courtyard will at last provide the muchneeded protection from the Indian sun and monsoon rains. It is to be completed and inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Fall of 2004. In December, it will host a major debating tournament with 10,000 monks from the three great monastic seats of Gaden, Drepung, and Sera. The construction of the debate courtyard has been a three year project, and its funding is the primary purpose of the tour.

  • Teachers’ Salaries

  • The Purchase of Textbooks for the Monks

  • The day to day expenses of running the monastery.

  • Improvement of soil for farm sustainability. The 84 acres of farmland leased by the Monastery currently produces nonirrigated rice. This rice, not suitable for human consumption, is sold very cheaply and is used as cattle feed. The land could be much better put to use with more viable crops, such as fruit trees and animal fodder. This, however, will require the installation of bore wells, tanks, drip systems, fencing, barns, cows (for the production of fertilizer) and permanent care takers. A pilot project for 10 acres will require $70,000, but will lead to greater selfsufficiency for the Monastery in the longterm.

 

These are the primary goals of the 20042005 tour. Your advice and constructive suggestions are welcomed. The Monastery has a number of guestrooms and visitor’s are always welcome providing one has the necessary papers required by the Indian government.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour and also to your future visits with us at Gaden Shartse.

 

Chun! Lobsang Jinpa Rinpoche

Rinpoche was born to a family of Tsering Bhakdo and Drolma on the 7th of July in 1936 with two other twin brothers simultaneously. This auspicious sign of giving birth to three sons at one time was thought to be a sign of an evil or propitious omen between good and bad neighbors. His parents encountered various sufferings. But before long, Reting Rinpoche, the King of Tibet, made a pilgrimage to Lhamo Latso, the “Oracle Lake,” in central Tibet. There he had a vision of the triplets, and, upon his return, summoned all three of them to his oratory. After three days of deep spiritual investigation, the three brothers were all recognized as important reincarnations. Each was given the title of ‘Tulku,’ meaning reincarnated High Lama. Tulku Lobsang Tsultrim was the reincarnation of Pukhang Tritul; Tulku Lobsang Sherab was the reincarnation of Nyagre Khentrul; and Tulku Lobsang Jinpa was the reincarnation of Lama Tripa of Zingche Monastery. Thereafter, the three brothers put on their monastic robes and took the vows of the ordained.

Having been recognized as a highly important reincarnated Lama at such a young age, Rinpoche began his studies at the Great Gaden Monastery at the age of seven. Under the guidance of some of the foremost masters, he studied all five major Buddhist Sutra texts for almost a decade. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, he followed in the footsteps of His Holiness Dalai Lama. Rinpoche fled with His Eminence Zong Rinpoche to asylum in India.

Rinpoche, along with 300 other Geshes and Tulkus, under the guidance of H. H. Dalai Lama, spent years in Dalhousie in Northern India continuing to train in Buddhist studies and helping to restore the lost sacred scriptures. There he studied Tibetan literature, English, and Hindi. At the request of the Tibetan Exile Education and Religion Ministry Office, Rinpoche then spent three years in a special teacher training course.

Rinpoche was then asked to run the school at Phuntsok Ling, a newly established Rehabilitation Tibetan settlement in the state of Orissa. Here he taught prayer recitation, ritual, and all aspects of Buddhist thought. He counseled both his students and townspeople on the art of keeping one’s mind in a state of peace and used his spiritual powers for healing both physical and mental ailments. By the age of 35, Rinpoche practiced and studied so vigorously that he earned himself the highest Geshe degree (equivalent to a PhD in Buddhist Studies). 

Since his retirement, Rinpoche has been tirelessly and constantly engaged in various spiritual activities. In spite of having deep spiritual knowledge, Rinpoche has been keeping a low profile and continues to dedicate most of his time to austere spiritual practice. He is fully devoted to guiding and training young monks and masters on spiritual and ritual performance at Gaden Shartse Monastery.

 

SAND MANDALAS

Mandala means literally “that which extracts the essence.” There are many different types of mandalas used by Tibetan Buddhists. They can be created in either two or three dimensions. The ones on the monks’ tour will be twodimensional sand mandalas. These are without doubt the most creative, laborintensive, and concentrationintensive of all mandalas created. The ones provided on the tour will require between 75 and 200 hours of work, completed by several monks at a time.

Each sand mandala represents the architectural layout of the entire palace of a specific deity. The Menla mandala, for example, represents the dwelling of the Medicine Buddha, who embodies the perfection of the physical and mental health of all beings. There are muftilayered symbolic images throughout the ‘palace,’ where iconography, placement, and color all have significance. Additionally, to the learned Tibetan Buddhist monk, the mandala represents his vision of the entire universe.

 

The Wholistic Peace Institute Will Bring The Monks Back, Winter, 2006

An Institute member Ms. Joan Emerson organized a sand Mandala for world peace, for the Wholistic Peace Institute, while the monks were here.  The monks will be back in the winter and the Wholistic Peace Institute is organizing another set of talks, meditations, healing empowerments, and of course sand Mandalas.  For those interested in helping, please email us at garyspanovich@wholisticpeaceinstitute.com. We are also working with them to eventually establish a center in Portland.