What if you were told that a whole new world, one that could nurture all of humanity in profoundly exciting ways ... was within our grasp? If you think that is flighty clap trap, you have not heard of World Healing Day. Read on.
Each year on the "last Saturday of April" mass Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and Meditation exhibitions and teach-ins unfold at 10 am local time worldwide. This global health and healing event's motto is "One World ... One Breath," and the events are a family of healing events under the umbrella of World Healing Day (WorldHealingDay.org). World Healing Day involves a sisterhood of mind-body practices, and includes: WorldTaiChiDay.org, WorldYogaDay.org, WorldQigongDay.org, WorldReikiDay.org, WorldSufiDanceDay.org, etc. all held at 10 am worldwide on that same day.
The goal of this extraordinary event is multidimensional. Its most obvious goal is to educate the planet Earth's people of mind-body and spiritual practices that can profoundly improve physical, mental, and emotional health, according to mounting research, which the event's founders have collected for nearly 20 years and share with the world via this event. Organizers are trained in media work, to maximize the impact of the mass exhibitions and teach-ins that unfold in parks and public squares all over the world, from Tehran, Iran to Jerusalem, Israel, from New York City to Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Capetown, South Africa, and in 80 different nations.
Global media coverage has touched millions with World Healing Day's message, from Egyptian national television, to BBC TV, Associated Press Television, etc. World Healing Day was initially created by Tai Chi and Qigong enthusiasts worldwide, who saw the world in need of effective mind-body practices in this ever changing time of stress.
The event's motto became "One World ... One Breath" because "Qigong," the Chinese energy healing system not unlike Yoga, literally translated means "Breathing Exercise," or Life Energy Exercise." This vision captured the attention of people worldwide, including, famed composer, New Zealand musician and composer, Graeme Revell, who was inspired to contribute use of his song "The Breath" from his profoundly moving Spirit of Rumi album (see above video) to this global healing effort. (Graeme Revell's credited soundtracks include such blockbuster films as: The Saint, Blow, Eon Flux, the Matrix films, The Chronicles of Riddick, Dune, to name just a few, and gamers will know his music from Call of Duty 2.
The other is the powerful vision of human connection, as people in over 80 nations come together for the purpose of personal and global health and healing. This is quite a departure from what people normally see on television, which is division and violence. World Healing Day founders remind people of a little known truth, that the world is less violent today than at any time in human history, despite what you see in the headlines (See Professor Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, article: The World is Not Falling Apart).
It is stressful for humanity to hold such an erroneous view of the world, so World Healing Day organizers, World Tai Chi Day, World Qigong Day, World Yoga Day organizers work hard to gain media attention of their global wave of goodwill, because it is medicine for the millions who see people coming together across racial, ethnic, religious, and geo-political borders for a common vision of health and healing. It gives humanity a dose of reality, because the news rarely offers blazing headlines reading "99% of Humans Treated One Another with Kindness and Goodwill," even though this happens daily. So part of World Healing Day's medicine is to provide the world media a good "dose of reality," by not only organizing the global event, but also helping local organizers learn how to effectively work with local, regional, and national media. And WHD founders do global media work in conjunction with local organizers as well.
Egyptian national television covers World Healing Day in Cairo, Egypt
International media covers Jerusalem, Israel's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day event
Although World Tai Chi Day, World Qigong Day, and World Yoga Day enthusiasts and organizers focus on the practical applications and health science in most of their media releases, there may be an even more profound impact from bringing mind-body practitioners together around the world to form a global wave of meditative practices, the event's founders like to point out.
The Global Consciousness Project is a fascinating research project that shows that when human consciousness focuses en masse, it actually has a physical impact in the world. See below video.
Initially the Global Consciousness Project, which uses Random Event Generators (computers) worldwide to detect human consciousness events that affect their computers, detected such effects at times of catastrophy: 9/11 attacks, Princess Diana's death, etc.
World Healing Day organizers became aware of this effect years after they had already been organizing World Healing Day events for some years, and the Global Consciousness Project effect captured their imagination. What if human consciousness could come together, en masse, not just during times of great global stress, but could the world be affected by humanity coming together en masse for a positive vision, such as World Healing Day's annual global events in countries worldwide?
Other research reported on the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy website, shows how when a critical mass of meditators were brought into Washington D.C. during the highest crime rate summertime ... they dramatically reduced violent crime rates called HRA rates (Homicides, Rapes and Assaults). World Healing Day founders were invited to present a Tai Chi and Qigong Meditation program at Folsom Maximum Security Penitentiary in California years ago. They found that there was a Tai Chi Chih (meditative practices drawing on Tai Chi elements) group that had been in practice for about 2 years. WHD founders were informed by the group leader that prison statistics showed that during that time, not only had behavior rates improved for the Tai Chi Chih group, but had improved for the entire prison.
World Healing Day organizers pondered, if a small group of meditators could impact a larger prison behavior, and a small group of meditators could positively affect an entire city's crime rates ... what impact could an annual focus of human consciousness on "personal and global health and healing" have as it unfolded year after year after year.
Now, this may be a stretch too far for some to take, but World Healing Day organizers point to other hard science research that indicates profound possibilities as World Healing Day events continue to grow worldwide, and that is that mind-body practices can have a profoundly positive neuro-plasticity effect. Neuro-plasticity is the fairly recent discovery that the human nervous system can change physically, and research shows that mind-body techniques can produce such changes.
Tai Chi, for example has been shown to increase brain size, while other meditation research shows that meditation can increase the empathy part of the brain, while shrinking the stress/fear part of the brain. This could not only dramatically reduce the majority of illness, which again is shown to be caused by stress, but, it could also affect the future of our planet.
WHD founders suggest that "self-fulfilling prophecy" is a powerful reality affecting the future of our planet. The new wave in education science shows that "efficacy" is the #1 most important factor in whether students will be successful in achieving their educational goals. What is self-efficacy? It is the student "believing" that they can achieve it. Educators who can help instill an efficacy in students find greater results in their teaching. Interestingly, research shows that people who meditate are more likely to actualize a life they envision, over the average person who does not meditate.
Mind-body practices, by lessening human fear and expanding compassion in the human brain, may have a profound impact on the future of society. The way our brain works, according to the aforementioned research, is like a self-fulfilling prophet. In other words, or in the words of singer Bonnie Raitt, "The world you see is the one you make."
Our world is faced with huge challenges as we race toward 8 billion people on our small planet. Massive changes are required as Baby Boomers have seen the population of the planet nearly quadruple in their lifetimes. It took all of human history to get to 2 billion population just after World War II, and then in our lifetimes we may well see 8 billion. Imagine, no generation in history has seen the mind jarring change we are seeing, and as one high tech guru in Silicon Valley recently said, "Today is as slow as it is going to get."
What holds our evolution as a society back from making the rapid changes we need to make is not our technological capability, as it is our mind's ability to let go of old self-definitions so that we can move forward into ever evolving newness as demands change and our knowledge grows. If humans lack the self-efficacy to believe change is possible, change does not happen, even if we know intellectually as a society how to make such needed changes.
For example, in Paris this week the climate talks reaped "some" results, but scientists say, not nearly enough, and not nearly fast enough. Many would have us believe that this is as good as we can do.
Stanford University Engineering Department has been working on this problem of converting to a green energy economy, and made some interesting findings. They found that the U.S. could be 100% green renewable energy based by 2050 (much more, and more quickly than was discussed in Paris). And their research found that it would increase jobs and boost the economy to make such a conversion.
So, why aren't we doing it (Paris climate activists ask, as well)? Our minds have trouble unlocking from old patterns. What can we do? Neurological research has shown that meditation reduces the mind's instinctual reflex to "reject new information immediately." People who begin meditating, research shows, are better able to entertain "new ideas" without that initial reflex to reject them. It doesn't mean they accept all new ideas, just that they are able to digest new information with more of an open mind.
This "green energy shift" potential that is only awaiting a world of human minds capable of letting go of the old, in order to open to the new, is just one tiny example of how spreading mind-body practices, could help alter the world profoundly. Many other new changes could occur.
By spreading meditative practices worldwide, and literally growing the "empathy" parts of the brain, and shrinking the "stress/fear" parts of the brain could eventually add to the already dropping violent crime rates in much of the world. At the same time, teaching these practices on a massive scale could save the world trillions in future health costs, given the research showing that mind-body techniques can cheaply and effectively address 60 to 90% of health challenges sending people to doctors. What could the world do with trillions of extra dollars? Ending global starvation would only cost about $50 billion per year, according to estimates.
World Healing Day organizers, and initially World Tai Chi Day and World Qigong Day organizers who pioneered this process, have worked with governments worldwide to expand awareness of mind-body practices and their benefits. Over 22 US governors have officially proclaimed World Tai Chi Day events, and recently the National Congress of Brazil officially recognized these efforts by Brazilian WHD organizers, Jose Milton Olivera and Master Woo, in particular. Years ago, WHD founders were part of a national panel of experts commissioned by the National Council on Aging to create a "Tai Chi Efficacy Guide" to help senior care professionals start effective Tai Chi programs for their clients nationwide, and the National YMCA was part of that brain-trust, which is one of the reasons so many YMCA's now offer Tai Chi programs. The Senates of New York, California, Puerto Rico, and government agencies and ministries from the United Kingdom, to Italy, to Hong Kong have helped World Tai Chi Day organizers hold their events, and WHD founders were aided in their health education and cultural connection efforts by the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong after meeting with them 3 years ago.
World Tai Chi Day organizers recognized by Brazil's National Council of Deputies (Congress).
WHD organizers have worked with major medical institutions worldwide. But, WHD's ultimate goal is to see mind-body practices as part of standard public education worldwide. Research is showing that mind-body techniques can increase IQ, creativity, reduce ADHD symptoms, and a host of other benefits that could profoundly improve the education process. Meditation studies have shown that students who meditate out perform those who do not.
So, if we know that, why aren't mind-body practices already being taught in schools worldwide? Because the human mind's limited in its ability to open to new information. Meditation helps with that. World Healing Day's goal is to saturate the planet with cheap effective tools to reduce illness, improve education, and ultimately to reduce violence and crime and even war. The Dalai Lama said that if we taught our children all how to meditate in school, in a few short years there would be no violence in the world, and scientific research on human neurology supports his claim.
We are on the cusp of a global evolution of unimaginably positive consequences. We need only open our minds to it. World Healing Day events (www.WorldHealingDay.org and WorldTaiChiDay.org) are free and open to the public. The entire planet is invited to play Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, as part of a worldwide wave sweeping through 100s of cities in over 80 nations on the last Saturday of April each year, Saturday, April 30th, 2016, 10 am local time worldwide. You can visit the organizing sites and join an existing event, or find tools to organize and publicize your own World Healing Day event.
One World ... One Breath
Cameroon, Africa's World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2015