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January 19, 2010

Meditate for a Peaceful Election


12 days Islandwide, 18-29 January 2010

PURPOSE: A non partisan effort by the people of Sri Lanka to ensure a peaceful presidential election 2010, and to ensure your life, your livelihood, and your vote is respected.

WHY: Leaders from the religious, civil and business communities have jointly proposed to ‘MEDITATE FOR A PEACEFUL ELECTION’ over this 12 day period. Peace is the birthright of the Sri Lankan people. By participating in a meditation practice with the intention of peaceful conduct during the ongoing presidential election period, we take personal responsibility for its outcome.

HOW: By harnessing the spiritual energy of individuals throughout the country we cultivate a peaceful mindset and we collectively create a peaceful society. Daily meditation times are suggested and techniques widely used in all the diverse spiritual traditions of the major religions. These suggestions can be simply followed by all Sri Lankans concerned about a peaceful election.

WHEN: 12 days. Regular daily meditations and a series of mass public events will be organized around the country with the support and participation of all communities. On Sunday 24th January, from 3-5pm, large scale mass meditation and prayer events will be held in all districts.

WHERE: In your home, your workplace, your school, your place of spiritual worship, anywhere and everywhere you enjoy being. The suggested daily meditations are between 6-7am, 12-1pm and 7-8pm. Specific types of meditation, prayer, chants, visualization and songs, will be outlined by the various groups promoting the initiative, and will cater to the diverse spiritual backgrounds of all the people of Sri Lanka.

YOUR role: By focusing your effort, energies and thoughts, on the single objective of ensuring a peaceful election, YOU take part in a powerful collective effort that unites all peoples of Sri Lanka. You influence the outcome.

Peace is a central virtue common to all spiritual faiths. ‘Let us spread compassion to all’.

We must make sure to take the election process forward with peaceful thoughts, peaceful strategies and peaceful action. In this regard the following meditation will help to guide us on to a path of non-violence as an individual, as a group and as a collective.

Common Guidelines:

• Do not think or speak of political parties, colours, symbols or persons
• Do not think or speak of socio-economic situations in the country
• Meditations to be lead by persons not engaged in party politics
• Thoughts, strategies and actions to be compassionate
• Once the meditation is completed go back to your day’s work or head back home without hanging back in groups.


• Dress in clean cloths and sit in a comfortable posture with a straight back.
• Place your right hand on top of your left.
• Hold your neck straight while keeping the head slightly bowed.

First Instance:

• Consciously forget all thoughts of the past.
• Erase future ambitions and needs from your mind.
• Spend 2 minutes in silence with attention on your body.
• Reflect on the good virtues and compassion of the teachers and/or leaders of the faith you hold.

Second Instance:

During this moment bring your attention to the top of your head, hair, forehead, neck, eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips and think that your body is light in weight, healthy and well. Take and release three deep breaths.

Third Instance:

At this moment focus your still mind fully on to your body. Evoking waves of compassion in your heart, starting from yourself spread compassion as follows.
May I …
– be free of hatred
– be free of anger
– be free of jealousy
– be free of sadness and discomfort
– Live in peace and happiness.

Along with me, may all in my household/workplace …

– be free of hatred
– be free of anger
– be free of jealousy
– be free of sadness and discomfort
– Live in peace and happiness.

May all beings in my village, in my town, in my province, in my country and in this world

– be free of hatred
– be free of anger
– be free of jealousy
– be free of sadness and discomfort
– Live in peace and happiness.

Spread waves of compassion to all being in this universe.
Because of this thought and energy of compassion feel purified blood flowing through your body. Pay attention to the environment around you.
Reflect on your neighbors, friends and relatives living in peace and respecting others opinions.
Think that it be the same with people engaged in the election process.
Visualize a poverty free society.
Wish for a country with good governance, lead by leaders with long-term thinking, full of peace, happiness and prosperity.
Release a deep breath and conscious that you are ending the meditation, open your eyes.

Evoke merits on your parents and gods. With your wishes and determination held strong end the meditation.

Couple of simple spiritual reflections to practice daily on your own at your home/ work place or while traveling.

1. Bring your full attention on to your body.
Take in and release three deep breaths.
Visualize a peaceful polling station.
Visualize voters casting their votes and returning peacefully.

2. Place your hands touching your stomach.
Watch the stomach rise and fall with each breath.
Visualize your village, town and the country.
Visualize a community engaged in their activities in peace, happiness and freedom.

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement for the People in Need.