Harmonize Hearts in the Spirit of Peace

This Week in Peace chronicles the exciting adventures of San Jose’s own Dancer of Peace, Khalilah Ramirez. Written under divine inspiration, the column contains true stories of peace encounters in your neighborhood. In this edition, Khalilah gives us some tips on how to spread peace and describes the experience of the Sunrise Ceremony.

Aztec Dancers and NODAPL sign at Sunrise Ceremony
                   5th Annual Sunrise Ceremony at the School of Arts & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza 

Greetings to all who are reading! We have arrived safely to the holiday season, still in tact despite the national climate of uncertainty. Now more than ever, it is paramount to be mindful of our blessings, our communities and how we treat each other. How can we be more courteous, caring or considerate to ourselves, our neighbors and those less fortunate? Let's amuse ourselves by exploring 5 simple ideas to harmonize hearts within our local realms and beyond:

1) Smile. This simple gesture, offered in the spirit of peace can uplift someone when we least expect it. 2) Wish others well. The good that we wish for others becomes the good that we experience ourselves. 3) Give. Giving does not need to be a financial burden. The smallest contribution (a meal, a blanket, $8 to your local food bank) sends a message to the universe that we are givers. That generosity swiftly circulates back to us. 4) Share your hopes. Our world is awash with predictions, gossip, speculation and fear. When speaking with others, especially those in turmoil, let's remember to share our hope and ideas for a better world. The vibration of our surroundings is quickly elevated when we are determined to stay positive in our speech and actions. 5) Laughter. Circumstances, even the most daunting ones, only describe the "circum" that is to say, what is going on around us. Laughter is a spring of life that bubbles forth from within. It is healing to our cells and to our situations. We have the capacity to take life slightly less seriously. Laughter is a boon to our health and wealth!

This Week in Peace is a hub for all people, not only to read the latest peace report, but to devise ways to unite, create peace and thrive. One of the most enjoyable ways to thrive is by connecting with others. For the 5th consecutive year, the School of Art & Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza hosted its Sunrise Ceremony. It is sacred ceremony dedicated to being representative of all people. It is free of charge, open to all who desire to experience community in a unique way. Native elders are present to drum, sing and share their accumulated wisdom. There is a large fire burning in the center of a glorious altar, lovingly constructed by experienced hands. It's true that the discussions can be tough to listen to. Speakers tell the truth dwells in their hearts and histories. Without excessively dwelling on the negative, these stories need to be acknowledged in order for forgiveness to take place. Forgiveness, it is said, is infinitely more beneficial for the person giving it. The forgiver becomes free from the poisonous bonds of resentment. All of these things are integral aspects of the Sunrise Ceremony and of peace. The ceremony begins at sunrise and continues late into the morning. Citizens bring food and drink offerings to share. If you haven't been there, consider attending in the years to come.

Last but not least, the Peace Report: The outcome of the recent presidential election has been surprisingly positive in terms of discussing peace! In a short time, the number of people who are curious about the Dance of Peace and other practices that unite us has doubled. Comments from our citizens have been increasingly proactive, curious and frequent. "I saw your signs about peace. I just had to come find out more," stated a lady who joined the Dance of Peace at Race & The Alameda. "I'm excited that you're creating a safe space for people to demonstrate in peace," was another comment. "You have experience with peace. What do you think will happen to us?" Personally, I know nothing of the future except that we create it. We weave our life experience daily through our thoughts, words and actions. Let's create something that we can be proud to show our children!

Anxious to find ways to participate in peace? San Jose Peace and Justice Center hosts donation based classes every Friday 10am-11am. These classes feature the Dance of Peace, encouraging words, healing breathing exercises, as well as an excellent atmosphere for growth. No prior experience or special equipment is needed. After attending the class for three weeks, a lady asked, "Do you think it's effective to only dance one hour a week? That's not very much, is it?" Great question. It absolutely is effective! Practicing the skill of wielding peace can be compared to mining a natural resource. It is golden and abundant. Spending an hour doing this work each week may seem insignificant, yet when it is done consistently, over time, we will accumulate much more than we would have had we invested no effort into the process. This logic can be applied to every effort to better ourselves and the world around us. Never give up on what matters to you! Thanks and see you out there!

Join the weekly Dance of Peace class at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center in the heart of downtown every Friday from 10-11am.
 

Check Out More of This Week in Peace Column:
It's Up to Us

Welcome Life and Be Amazed - The Dance of Peace in the South

Self-Renewal Contributes to Our Collective Peace

This article is part of the categories: Arts & Culture  / Community  / San Jose//South Bay 
This article is part of the tags: Dance of Peace  / Khalilah Ramirez  / Peace  / Peace Dancer  / San Jose Peace and Justice Center  / Sunrise Ceremony 

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