The first Peace Pole I came across was planted on the rim of a redwood forest in the mountains of Santa Cruz.
I was fascinated by the beauty of it and curious of its origin.
A decade later, I have the privilege of speaking today at The Blue Lotus Temple to present a Peace Pole to the community and dedicate our Temple to non-violence and peace.
Spoiler alert of any of you who are attending, following is my speech;
Peace Pole dedication | Blue Lotus Temple | October 20, 2014
“A Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth.
Each Peace Pole bears the message May Peace Prevail on Earth in different languages on each of its four sides. There are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in nearly every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace.
The Peace Pole project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi in 1955 and first introduced to the United States in 1986. Peace poles are now the most recognized international peace symbol with more than 200,000 peace poles standing in 180 countries.
The planting of the peace pole at the Blue Lotus Temple will show that, along with the people of all faiths and cultures, the Sangha of the Blue Lotus care about peace in the world and we want our Peace Pole to serve as a reminder that cooperation and non-violence are the only path to peace and understanding. The Peace Pole’s message is clear, May Peace Prevail on Earth and as we dedicate this building and land to non-violence and peace, we invite all of you to make a vow to practice non-violence in every aspect of your own life.
Violence is much bigger than bombs and guns… it starts at home, deep inside ourselves as we learn to be our own best friends, to feed our neighbors, to be mindful and practice compassion in the words we choose and the food we eat and the actions we take.
The precepts we have just taken today are the perfect set of principles to practice non-violence with and to create a more peaceful world. By vowing to practice these principles in all our affairs, peace begins and ends with each one of us.
The planting of this peace pole is intended to highlight and remind us that world peace is only obtainable thru the cultivation of inner peace. Our peace pole will symbolize our mission to add more love to the world and to link us with the people around the world who are striving for a better place by creating a network of peace.
Every continent in the world now has a peace pole. They have been presented to international organizations, world leaders, governments and to peace-lovers of all faiths including The Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, President Jimmy Carter, Deepak Chopra, and John Denver. There are peace poles on the Allenby Bridge Between Israel and Jordan; at the peace park where 84 peace poles commemorate the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; at the war Museum in Viet Nam, At Robben Island in South Africa where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, at the Pyramids in El Giza in Egypt; at the site of the baptism of Jesus, and at schools, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples in the United States, around the entire world and now in Woodstock, Illinois at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple.
Please join us out front so we can join together and make a vow to peace and non-violence and to re-commit to fulfilling our sacred mission of adding more love to the world.”