Arms Down! Peace Out!

IMPORTANT! The date of the event changed to 22 and 23 September.

coordinator: Mr Spencer Delisle (The Art of Living Foundation)

where: Paris, France

when: 22&23.09.2010

Objective:

Implement our goal of  reducing each European countries military budget by 10% so that this money can be directed towards achieving the MDG’s.

Event Outline:

Introduction:

We live in a world of opposites. Health and Sickness, Knowledge and Ignorance, Happiness and Sadness, Pleasure and Pain, Peace and Conflict. One might say that each exist and are the basis for the other. How can you know what peace is unless you have experienced conflict in your life? But this is not to say that you need to live a life in conflict to experience peace, those experiences of conflict that life brings us are enough to allow us to experience the value of that peace.

Background:

Disappointingly there are many conflict-ridden areas of the world that have very few opportunities to experience a lasting peace. In these conflicts, armament plays a key role in robbing communities of their families, friends, environment, and their peace of mind. For many years disarmament has been addressed with successful campaigns, however these campaigns often attract the same people, and do not reach out effectively to new people. The campaigns are often very heavy handed, and often leave the participants traumatized themselves with the shocking reality. The result is that people are less likely to get involved in the campaign.

A New Way Forward:

The YES!+ Youth Group of the Art of Living Foundation has teamed up with Religions for Peace to show that we believe there is a better way forward through harnessing the power of Youth. We asked ourselves, how can we raise awareness around Disarmament and Peace Building in a different way? In a way that uplifts people, gives them the tools they need to achieve, and inspires them to action. We start with Peace. Instead of hoping and working for peace, we start with a celebration of that peace that we have as our experience. A Celebration of Peace and Disarmament!

“Arms Down “Celebrate, Educate, Meditate, Action!”

Celebrate:

On September 22, 2010, it is the youth that will show a new way forward: “Arms Down Celebrate, Educate, Meditate, Action!” From 2 pm to 7 pm, L’Esplanade Tocadéro will be alive with the sights and sound of the dynamism of our vision for peace and disarmament. The event will include song, dance, theatre, and performance from a variety of artistic, cultural and religious traditions, all in celebration of peace and disarmament.

Educate:

Disarmament Village:

During the celebration there will be a “Peace and Disarmament Village” where participants can learn more about our partner organizations, get inspired, and find out what action they can take to make a difference.

Peace and Disarmament Conference:

A Peace and Disarmament Conference will be held on September 23, 2010. The theme of the conference is “Celebrate, Educate, Meditate, Action!” The conference was inspired by the UN charter which states that since “…wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” and it is in the cultivation of the mind, that our conference is based. The best decisions come from a calm, clear mind. When the mind is free of stress, anxiety, and tension, automatically creativity, ingenuity, and a high degree of energy and dynamism in action dawns.

The conference is thus composed of three interconnected sessions:

1) Information, Communication, and Technology for Informed Decisions.

The first session of the conference will feature an expert on peace and disarmament to educate the youth leaders on the state of affairs of peace and disarmament and provide them with information and tools they can use to take action.

2) Peace Starts from within.

The second session of the conference will feature an expert on the mind. The youth leaders will be taught simple to use, powerful breathing and meditation techniques to get rid of stress and anxiety, increase concentration and energy, so that they may release their creative and dynamic potential.

3) Inspired Action!

The third session of the conference will be focused on Action. Now that the youth leaders are fueled with informational tools, and a clear focused mind, it is time to put that dynamism into action. The youth leaders will get into groups and create a project that they are inspired to put into action. Each group will present a report of their project, and their action plan to make it happen.

The goals of “Arms Down! Celebrate, Educate, Meditate, Action!”:

Attract youth that would not normally be interested in peace and disarmament, to celebrate, get involved, get together, and take action for a peaceful disarmed world.

• Inspire and train youth leaders so that they can take action on peace and disarmament projects, of which they design and implement.

• Educate the youth leaders in information communication technology so that they may facilitate teamwork, mind share, and communication with in their networks.

• Create a “culture of peace” as an expression of inner peace. Use the power of the breath and meditation to manage stress, increase energy and inculcate an enthusiasm in the youth leaders to take responsibility for their community, society, and the world.

• Improve the observation, perception, and expression of youth leaders so that they may realize their projects and make a difference in peace building and disarmament.