This past October 2015, my husband and I led a pilgrimage for The Expanding Light to Israel, with 33 pilgrims. We followed the footsteps of Jesus from his birth to his crucifixion, including, of course, the old city of Jerusalem. While we were there, tensions in the country increased, and there were a number of violent incidents between Arabs and Jews. We had an excellent tour company whom we trusted with our safety. Nevertheless, we were a little concerned.
On the tour was one of Ananda’s longtime members and ministers, Nitai, who suggested that instead of focusing on fear and worry that we dynamically focus on peace. First, feel peace inside ourselves, he explained, and then become a channel of peace and radiate it outwardly. We all agreed to do so.
In our hotel in Jerusalem, we had been given a quiet conference room for our daily meditations. The morning before we went into the old city of Jerusalem, we ended our morning meditation with Nitai guiding us in half an hour of healing prayers and readings about peace. We all felt uplifted and comforted.
After breakfast, we gathered together and reminded each other to be channels of peace. We walked together to the old city, united as one ray of peace. It was empowering to walk with conscious awareness of being a channel of peace. I felt great strength and blessings throughout that day.
We had an inspiring visit in the old city of Jerusalem and were able to pray and meditate in the sacred places.
This experience showed me that tuning in to God’s peace and radiating it outwardly is one of the most powerful tools to change the consciousness of the world around us. That day, we contributed rays of peace to the city of Jerusalem.
Here is one of the peace prayers that was read during our morning meditations:
Saint Francis’ Prayer of Peace
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek,
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.