Peace Gatherings

Suggestions for creating a peace ceremony in your neighborhood

Wherever you are on the planet and whether you are gathering two people or two hundred, here are The Humanity Initiative’s suggestions for a format that will flow easily. We of course urge you to follow your own instincts and insights, using whatever content and inspirations resonate most with you and your neighbors.

These gatherings can be held anywhere, indoors or outside, preferably in a clear and quiet space. If it feels appropriate, the space could be cleared beforehand, either by ringing a bell, stating your intention, offering a short prayer, or smudging sage or palo santo smoke, depending on your preference.  It’s ideal to sit in a circle, where everyone is equal and can see each other.

Begin perhaps with lighting a candle for peace, or holding a moment of silence. After everyone briefly says who they are and why they came, the host shares an inspiring quote, thought, or excerpt from a book; or she presents a song, anything that serves to focus minds on the topic. Maybe take some deep breaths together in silence to get into the heart’s space and to contemplate the topic more deeply. Visualize peace for all beings or perhaps repeat the Sanskrit mantra “shanti” (peace) or “shalom” or “paz” together.

We suggest your ceremony lasts an hour, but again, adjust accordingly. The right pace and timing often become clear as a meeting progresses. Below are dozens of suggestions for quotes, music, films, videos, and books that you may resonate with.

Also, as people universally connect over a cup of tea, THI (working with Harney & Sons) has created a custom blend of rooibus, white cinnamon and hibiscus for our peace gatherings. Called Ahimsa — meaning no one has the right to harm a sentient being. It is available here

Another idea is the Native American tradition of having a ‘talking stick’ to pass around in gatherings. It is a decorated piece of wood (or could be crystal or stone or whatever feels right). Whoever is holding the talking stick is the only person allowed to speak, while others listen attentively. It can be passed around clockwise or to whomever wishes to speak next. This keeps some order and a sense of ceremony throughout.

We recommend that the person facilitating the ceremony read Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. It discusses tools to hold space effectively, as well as handling any conflicting conversations that may arise.

At any time the host can offer something practical that people can do to keep momentum going: continue practicing meditations or set up a peace walk, anything that will send ripples across the community and ultimately the world. Towards the end of the hour, using the talking stick, everyone offers their deepest hopes, prayers, and possible solutions.

We hope your peace gatherings will be a balm for all the souls present and a joy to facilitate. They will add to the vibration of peace in the world, as we come together and remember, amidst the chaos of the world, all that unites us.

Please send us your thoughts and ideas as we all help create a contagious and enduring peace: We also will soon offer the opportunity to help expand this peaceful revolution by signing a peace petition and becoming a member of The Humanity Initiative.


Suggestions for quotations

“Seeking and finding peace within, were it done by everyone, could end all wars, eliminate conflict and bring everlasting peace.”               

~ Neale Donald Walsh

“If we don’t end war. War will end us.” 

~ H G Wells

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr

“We must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can, we must continue to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others, we must continue to think of peace and to know that peace is possible. What we dwell upon we help bring into manifestation.” 

~ Peace Pilgrim

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“World Peace must develop from inner peace.”

~ HH The Dalai Lama

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

~ Jimi Hendrix

“Let us globalize compassion.”

~ Kailash Satyarthi.

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered, or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.”

~ Amit Ray

“It is not enough to win a war. It is more important to organise the peace.”

~ Aristotle

“I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willingly to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”

~ Albert Einstein

“War does not determine who is right. Only who is left.”

~ Bertrand Russell

“Peace is not an absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence and justice.”

~ Spinoza

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

~ Mother Teresa

“The only way human beings can win a war, is to prevent it.”

~ George C Marshall

“Either war is obsolete, or we are. Mankind must end war or war will end mankind”

~ John F Kennedy

“The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic.”

~ James Hinton

“I will never go to a war protest. Invite me to a peace rally and I’ll come.”

~ Mother Teresa

“Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never- in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

~ Winston Churchill

“If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn’t be anything for us to do.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

“Peace is more precious than diamonds, silver or gold.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr

“Wars not make one great.” 

~ Yoda

Suggestions for music

Heavenly Prayer of Light – Dr Joseph Michael Levy

Pleiadian Peace Prayer – Shekina Rose

The Power of Here Now – Alexia Chellun

Imagine – John Lennon (or Eva Cassidy version)

Miserere Mei – Allegri

Gabriel’s Oboe, from ‘The Mission.’ – Ennio Morricone

No 1 in G Major – Yo Yo Ma

Satie: 3 Gymnopedies – Erik Satie, Reinbert de Leeuw

I Giorni – Ludovico Einaudi 

Adagio in G – Albinoni

Answer Me – Keith Jarrett

With You – Marcus Stockhausen

Silentium – Christopher Galovan

Very thought of you – Wanton Marcellus

Devi Prayer – Craig Pruess & Amanda

Gayatri Mantra – Deva Premal 

Ave Maria – Ashana

Gregorian Chant – Angelus. Monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame

Crystal bowls – 

Solfeggio Frequencies – 

Suggestions for videos / films / meditations

Martin Luther King Jr — Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Leymah Gbowee — Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

Excerpt from John F Kennedy’s speech at American University, 1963

Wangari Maathai at 80: tree planter, Nobel laureate, revolutionary

Wangari Maathai — Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Suheir Hammad – Poems of war, peace, women and power.

Scilla Ellsworthy – Fighting with non-violence.

Kailash Satyarthi – How to make peace.

Abiy Ahmed Ali – Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

Joan Halifax – Compassion and the true meaning of empathy.

Bono – My three wishes for Africa

Jacqueline Wigglesworth – Meditation for peace.

Suggestions for books

Little Book of Inner Peace – The Dalai Lama

Peace is Every Step & Being Peace – Thich Naht Hanh

Her Life and Work in Her Own Words – Peace Pilgrim

World Peace. The Voice of a Mountain Bird – Amit Ray

In My Own Words – Mother Teresa

Autobiography – Gandhi

The Art of Peace – Morihei Ueshiba

The Story of Ferdinand – Munro Leaf 

I Am Peace. A Book of Mindfulness – Susan Verde

Nonviolent Communication – Marshall B Rosenberg

Peace is the Way – Deepak Chopra

The Anatomy of Peace – Arbinger Institute

The Way of Peace – James Allen

The Tao of Inner Peace – Diane Dreher

Cultivating Peace. Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador – James O’Dea

Beyond War – Douglas P Fry

Metaphysical Poetry – Penguin Classics

Little Book of Peace – Cherry Menlove

Planting Peace. The Story of Wangari Maathai – Gwendolyn Hooks, Margaux Carpenter

Peace Begins with Me – Jill Bennett (children’s book.)

The Miracle of Mindfulness – Tich Naht Hanh