- This week the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-home Peace Run came through my home town, Oxford. It was part of a 'short' British Peace run from Cardiff to Ipswich. The idea was to link the statue in Cardiff and the new statue inaugurated in Ipswich. Because it was the school holidays, we couldn't visit as many schools as usual. But, the Peace Run has a life of its own, and it always manages to touch many people who have the fortune to bump into it on the way. To give just one example which sticks in the mind. One lady just happened to be waiting at a bus stop, as the Peace Run came past, she was really touched to have this unexpected opportunity to hold the peace torch and share in something so significant. It is this kind of small but deeply meaningful moment, which makes the Peace Run such a wonderful occasion.
The Oxford mayor was enthusiastic and appreciative of the run and the Peace Run team. You could tell she really understood the aspirations and hopes behind the Peace Run. Despite her busy schedule she took time to find out about the background and stories of this enthusiastic and diverse team from across Europe. At the end of this short, but fruitful meeting, she shared how much it had lifted her up for the day.
At the weekend, the run arrived in Ipswich. Sanjaya the great, hosted a gathering of over 100 people, with typically gracious hospitality. On Sunday we visited a lovely park in Ipswich for the dedication of the Peace Dreamer statue of Sri Chinmoy. It was a perfect spot - in a secluded, meditative area of the park; Sri Chinmoy himself had visited and meditated on this spot back in 1987. Many local dignitaries came to be part of this special occasion and share the aspiration for a better and more peaceful world.
Speaking at the ceremony of dedication was Alan Janaka Spence. Just the previous day he had published an article in the Scotsman - an article inspired by the statue of Sri Chinmoy in the Prague floods. It sums up the power of these beacons of peace and hope.
I remember a week after joining Sri Chinmoy's path, the Peace Run came through Oxford. I remember all those years ago, being really taken by the energy and enthusiasm of the run. I'd never seen anything like it. I remember quite well running through Oxford with the torch. I knew from the first instance, this was a great thing to be part of. It's always great to have it back.