For the first time, Peace Revolution went to organize meditation sessions in Central America. Peace Architect Gabriela Velarde visited Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua and offered meditation workshops.
21-23 September 2014
“Will meditation solve our problems? Will it give me a job and food for me and my family?” asked Louis Nicolas during an open meditation session at Plaza Boyer.
“Meditation won`t make money appear magically in your pocket or food on your table, but it will bring you inner peace, tranquility, and unconditional happiness.” “Do you want to learn how and why it is important?”, responded Gaby Velarde, a Peace Revolution representative that visited Haiti this September.
Haiti is considered the poorest country in the America continent and also one of the poorest in the world, with 80% of its population living below the poverty line, an earthquake that devastated the country in 2010, and 60% of the deforestation.
Peace Revolution visited Haiti last month to set up different workshops in NGOs and plaza Boyer, one of the main plazas at city center. “We don´t conceive development as only a material or economical aspect. We agree with Amartya Sen, who defines development as freedom.” “We believe that one of the most important freedoms that a human being can have is freedom of mind.”
International volunteers from NGO America Solidaria (Solidarity America) assisted one of the Peace Revolution workshops where they learn how meditation can be implemented in their projects to give an extra value to their work. A value that goes beyond material aspects. A value that carries an inner power that will allow Haitians to make better decisions and deal with their economical and social situation smarter.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Luisa, from Dominican Republic, founded Filarmonia, an NGO that promotes a culture of peace and social development through music.She is convinced that by developing creativity and art in kids, she is giving them a tool to grow far from the violence that seems to surround their communities.
After meeting the Peace Revolution project last month, she is now convinced that meditation will support the creativity and art skills in the kids she works with. Meditation will now be introduced in the schools where Filarmonia is currently promoting music as a tool for peace.
San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic
“Imagine that you have a glass of water, clear and transparent, and you are seeing your life through this.” You will see your life clear and transparent as well, right?,but imagine that the glass of water is not clear, it is muddy because of so many worries and thoughts.” “How are you going to see your life then?”
Youth from San Juan de la Maguana learned how meditation can help them to see their lives better, in a more positive way, without barriers and confussion. “And the most important thing is that you will see yourself better and clearer, you will see who you really are.”
San Juan de la Maguana is one of the first cities that were founded in Dominican Republic. Life is not easy in this region. There are problems regarding job oportunities and education access.
Peace Revolution visited Mujeres de la Micro (Women of the Micro), a group of women that are being empowered or developing their own enterprise of natural and organic peanut butter and related products.
In the book Dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery by DeForest B. Soaries Jr., the conection between meditation and social enterprises is made. This author states that overexpenditure and desired buying comes from a misunderstanding of who we truly are and what we need in our life. Meditation helps you to understand the difference between needs and wants. Now, Mujeres de la Micro knows an important tool to have a mind that distinguishes what they really need and how capable they are.
The Martin Luther King Institute of the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI),is the only institute in Nicaragua that reached to state that all their students, regardless their speciality –from mathematics to humanities- needs to learn about peacebuilding. It is required that each student passes the course of Peace Studies in order to graduate. In 2009, they succesfully proposed to the United Nations to establish the year of Reconciliation.
Peace Revolution established a meditation workshop in UPOLI. Students, teachers, and university staffs learn how meditation can help a person have more concentration, less stress, and be more focused. It is a very useful tool for students who wish to succeed in their academic work.
We also talked about theories of peace. While most peace theories that come from Western authors states that peace is possible only when you have your basic needs cover, Wolfgang Dietrich, author of Many Peaces, states that we should talk about peaces instead of peace, because different cultures have different conceptions of peace. “There is an energetic conception of peace, where peace is a harmonious relation with yourself and meditation is a precise method to reach inner harmony, to reach inner peace.”