Om-In for Peace in Eugene
It was a year ago that his Holiness the Dalai Lama graced Oregon with his divine presence. During his visit, the Dalai Lama proclaimed that May shall be the official "Peace Month". Governor John Kitzhaber, in agreement with His Holiness, drew up an official document complete with a gold seal of approval that declared May of 2001 as "Peace Month".
Citizens of Eugene, namely Alan Stein, owner of Star Gate, and friends, requested that Governor Kitzhaber once again, declare May of this year, as Peace Month. A document stamped with a gold seal was drawn up and sent to Mr. Stein per his request for May as Peace Month.
The document reads:
"Whereas a month of Peace was proclaimed for May, 2001 in conjunction with the official state visit of the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyasto of Tibet, one of the world's leading advocates of peace and nonviolence to solve conflicts; and whereas there is a great need for peace in the world: starting with peace in ourselves, our homes, community, city and state. Now, therefore, I John A. Kitzhaber, Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim May 2002 to be a month of Peace."
Signed: John A. Kitzhaber
April 25, 2002
Let me pause and say that it is absolutely imperative that this Peace Proclamation flow beyond the borders of our state, indeed beyond the narrow borders of our country, and out into the whole of the universe.
Alan Stein, local Buddhists, and "peaceful BE-ings", organized an Om-In for Peace, an attempt to bring local Eugenians together to help bring about inner and world peace. One reason for this event was to put out a call to the community for a statewide referendum that would make May an officially recognized month of Peace, every year. If successful, Oregon would be the first state in the Union with this status. If we were successful, we could then offer this Peace Month idea to every other state!
A good friend of mine Solala Towler, local Taoist and editor of the magazine "The Empty Vessel" opened the event by delighting us with an exquisite piece of flute music. Towler then led the audience in a mediation done in concert with his collection of singing bowls that he magickally brings to life by amplifying them through speakers.
And then a collective OM (a sacred seed syllable from which all things originate) by the approximately 200 participants in attendance. My second OM chant with a group, the energy that it raises is power-full and exhilarating. The darkened, candle glowing room, still resonating with the song of Solola's bowls, held a primordial energy which spiraled and grew as our collective mantra intensified. The guttural sound emanating from my heart took me by surprise, so deep and primal. Or wait, was that coming from me? No matter, we're all one people, one voice, a beseeching voice that sounded like wailing souls from the bowels of Eugene.
Since I left before the event ended I do not know what the procedure is to help make May an official day of Peace. You could contact Alan at Star Gate in Eugene at (541) 342-8348. You could also get in touch with Governor Kitzhaber, congratulating him for his integrity and encouraging him to make May a permanent, official month of Peace.