“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” — Mother Theresa (1910-1997)
The definition of the word “protest” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval; especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval”.
The culture surrounding protest brings to light various aspects of the human spectrum of expressions of discontent. Rallies, marches, sit-ins and other public displays of political and social unrest open a public forum for people to throw bricks through windows or participate in flash mob dances for peace. Often times it takes both the peaceful protestors and the violent window breakers, to bring to life the full story of those affected by an issue in which they are protesting. For instance the dichotomy between the civil rights activists like the Black Panthers vs. those who followed the peaceful protests of Martin Luther J. King. It was between the two that the message was heard and changes were made.
Whether in peace or in violence the word protest indicates a negative response to an issue. Through the act of protesting, a negative response is created, while trying to perpetuate a positive outcome. In the past few years science has begun to reveal, through the lens of quantum physics, the relationship between our thoughts and the reality that we live.
A handful of experiments have used the act of meditation to explore the ability collective thoughts have to change the local environment. Studies conducted in Wales and Lebanon in the 1980s saw crime rates drop after large group meditations were conducted. These studies open new venues for positive activism, shifting the belief that protest is the only way to create positive change.
David Nicol, the author of Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation, has been activating the role of mindful techniques to instigate social, environmental, and political change. In an interview with Uplift Nicol describes this kind of activism as the “use of spiritual or consciousness based practices for collective transformation.” Meditation, often times, is thought of as a practice for personal, inner growth. Nicol believes that through subtle activism large groups of meditators sitting together with a specific intention can go beyond their inner journey to impact the world outside of themselves.
This weekend the non-profit organization Unify will be hosting a global meditation for peace, creating an atmosphere for practicing subtle activism. September 19-21 Unify, alongside other organizations, will be offering an opportunity for a collective group to shift their thoughts towards Peace. On Saturday September 19th there will be a Global Synchronized Inner-Peace Meditation at 12:00 midnight GMT/5:00pm PST.
Synchronized meditations offer participants the chance to challenge their personal power. Empowering the belief that changing our thoughts in a positive direction, rather than protesting, can create a ripple of peaceful revolution.