September 21, 2009

International Day of Peace

September 21st is called the International Day of Peace as proclaimed by the United Nations. For the last seven years, the religious community of Buddhist, Baha'i, Catholic, Muslim and Hindu have celebrated this as a day of hope for the future of both Mongolia but also the world where everyone will have peace, acceptance and tranquility.

In past years, the day started at the Dolma Ling Community Center with a prayer breakfast, but because of traffic-choking road construction, it was decided to start in the center of town at Shedrup Ling, our FPMT center near Parliament and Sukhbaatar Square. It is in the square that tonight there will be the traditional ringing of the peace bell by representatives from most of the religions in Mongolia.

Our Peace Meditation was opened by kind and inspiring words of Mr.Tsedendamba, Advisor of Religious Affairs for former president Enkhbayar. Also attending was Louise Lambert, United Nations representaive and chairperson of this years Peace Day festivities in Ulaanbaatar. Before Ani Gyalmo led the meditation, Ani Samtan led the nuns from Dolma Ling Nunnery with some dedication chants.

Mr.Tsedendamba opening International Peace of Peace

Ani Samton leading the dedication chant

Ani Gyalmo leading the Peace Meditation

After the meditation, we handed out flyers on how to make 'origami doves', the symbol of peace, to all the guest who had come. (Click here for the origami instructions) Then everyone headed down to the VIP room in the Stupa Cafe for some cookies and refreshments. Even with the recent snow and cold weather, today was looking like a wonderful bright sunny day - perfect to celebrate peace.

Louise Lambert from the UN enjoying the conversation

One of our honored guests was Dr Barry Kerzin (Ven. Tenzin Choerab) who is one of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's personal physicians, but also a monk who has participated in extensive research on the benefits of meditation. He has been in Mongolia for the last three weeks at the request of His Holiness and has had an almost non-stop schedule of speaking engagements talking mostly to university students but also to government officials and scientists.

Dr Barry Kerzin (Ven. Tenzin Choerab)

For more information about Dr. Barry, these links might be helpful: