Transformation ~ Choosing the Path of the Soul
As we sit in meditation during this Season for Nonviolence, let us envision a grid of Unconditional Love encircling our Globe, supporting all those individuals and organizations working to make nonviolence our planet’s operating principle.
They came singly or with parents and guardians, traveling for hours, sometimes all night by bus or by train ~ hundreds of teens and young adults, full of excitement and trepidation, with dreams held high, all converging in Moratuwa for a highly anticipated day of celebration. And joining them from all over the world from all walks of life, were volunteers, generous with time and talent, and sponsors, generous with donations, all coming to participate in a day of motivational lectures and entertainment and solidarity.
The day was January 19, 2003 – Students’ Day in Sri Lanka, and the event was a celebration to encourage, motivate and remind the underprivileged students of Sri Lanka, struggling with the day-to-day challenges of poverty, that they are not forgotten, that someone cares. And the gathering was infused with the vibrant essence of the aphorism:
‘It is better by far to light one solitary candle than to curse the darkness’.
- Guiding principle of Association for Lighting a Candle (AFLAC)
That day, where the tangible promise of a better life mingled with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the students, represented part of the vision of two people determined to make a difference in the world, inspired to act as a bridge, ‘the link between one man's generosity and another man's humanitarian need’.
Dineli Jayawardena and Captain Elmo Jayawardena believe that ‘everyone has the capacity to light a candle, be it large or small, which will shed some light on someone else's darkness’, and in 1995 they put their beliefs into action when Capt. Jayawardena, a Sri Lankan airline pilot, founded the humanitarian organization AFLAC International to address the need they saw in their country; they are assisting people to transform their lives by alleviating poverty all over Sri Lanka.
Their guiding principle, the aphorism above, is a truism that needs no explanation. It originates from an old Chinese proverb and its essence of meaning has captured the imagination of many the world over.
For this aphorism in some transcendent way, resonates strongly within each of us in our essential Center of Self, that place of Soul from which comes our instinctive, unhesitating impulse to risk our lives to save a stranger in peril, that place from which comes our desire to give of ourselves in helping fellow beings make an easy transition in hospice or in teaching underprivileged children, that place of wisdom that all storytellers harness as they lift spirits to the sublime, inspire in others a passion for life and ignite healing emotions with their tales of humor, love, validation of human experience and compassion.
As we choose this path of Soul, and act more and more from that place of great beauty and great power within, we transform ourselves and our surroundings and allow a peaceful and harmonious coexistence with others.
If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
- Chinese Proverb
So let us transform ourselves and the world by lighting inner candles of beauty everywhere we go, and keep them burning within ourselves by which others may be inspired to enkindle their own inner flames until the world is ablaze with our Lights of compassion, truth and love!
Transforming yourself transforms the world
by inspiring reciprocal attitudes of harmlessness and nonviolence.
As we join our hearts together, know that powerful beacons of Light and Love will shine forth into the world, will join those from others of like intent, and be directed to those in greatest need on our beloved planet.
As we each prepare for the moment, let the mood be one of unconditional love…
…and May the Force be with us!
Please light your candles (optional) and commence with the following peace poem:
Dear God, Great Spirit,
We hold a space of love and support for our relations all over the globe, right now
engaging the path of soul and experiencing the magic of transformation,
the magic and the mystery of life, and the connectedness
of human beings to each other and to the earth.
We hold a sacred vision of people slipping free from their cocoons of soul-clouding,
And transforming their limited lives into soul-directed, limitless lives
of beauty and grace.
We support with open hearts the evolution of our earth and its peoples,
As the transformation to a Path of Soul softly spreads and expands
to include all life in this magical space of Being.
We hold a sacred vision of each person
Seeing clearly by the Light
Of their beauty within.
After this introductory vision/meditation/prayer, please express your own vision of peace. (As always, please feel free to modify the peace poem, or to use your own.)
~ Celebrating Great Souls Becoming ~
Please close your peace session with the extinguishing of the candle.
This Peace Circle was inspired by Vinita, a volunteer with AFLAC, and by the unwavering commitment of the Jayawardena's to positively impact the lives of those less fortunate in Sri Lanka, giving the bright and shining spirits of those young Sri Lankan children, a chance for expression. It is the 5th in the series of SNV2004 Peace Circles.
More about AFLAC:
AFLAC (Association for Lighting a Candle) has established 15 libraries in rural village schools, they offer financial assistance to rural health clinics, they repair and renovate houses of the poor, they distribute monthly rations to destitute families and address the issues of clothing for children in orphanages and the destitute in a novel way. AFLAC also maintains the children's ward in Sri Lanka's only cancer hospital in Maharagama, and sponsor entertainment for the mostly destitute children there, and their parents, reminding them that they are loved, that someone remembers their pain and suffering and cares enough to extend a hand of kindness. Now, they have taken on a larger project - they have adopted a village called Indigaswewa, with 22 families, and are currently building houses as just one part of their overall vision for the villagers. http://www.aflacinternational.com
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle
or the mirror that reflects it.”
- Edith Wharton
February 24, 2004