Global Peace on the Move IV
Peace Revolution Fellowship for Youth - February 2011
Article by: Rieya Frances Piscano
Eat, Pray, Live. These are the 3 most fitting words that can describe Peace Revolution’s Youth Fellowship in February 2011. Happening last February 18 until March 4, 2011, 9 Peace Rebels from different countries come together for self-rediscovery and to channel their inner peace.
It was the regal lights of the Maja Pujha Festival that served as a memorable welcome for the participants – a beautiful signal that a journey was about to begin. The 11-hour bus ride to the retreat site, despite being long, did more than enough to ease everyone’s reservation.
The long wait was worth it as the chilly breeze and scenic mountains of Chang Rai provided the perfect setting for the 2-week retreat. Although it was very different from the usual busy streets of Bangkok and our respective hometowns, there was comfort in its strangeness. The kind of familiarity only nature can give.
United in diversity, participants slowly opened themselves to one another while discovering Thai culture through language, religion, and FOOD. True enough that the way to anyone’s heart is through his/her stomach. P. Wan’s gastronomical dishes not only satisfied our hunger but also served as an icebreaker to the many conversations and friendships that followed suit.
Meditation was an integral component of the retreat. Like prayer, it is bittersweet. The serenity allowed us to reconnect with our inner peace and achieve a level of stillness and satisfaction. The feeling of blending in with nature and being one with life made the silence less awkward and strange. Teachings and words of wisdom from the Monks also shed light to our many questions and doubts.
The retreat, more importantly, was an opportunity to come alive again. With all the stress, problems, doubts left behind, we find purpose to soldier on. The Roads of Chang Rai, although long and compelling, witnessed endless exchanges of stories, fears, and laughter.
Being able to see beauty from the simplest of things is a gift each was blessed to rediscover within themselves again. Participants came expecting to deepen their understanding of inner peace and to say that they left with their expectations met is an understatement – they took with them more than that.