Kamnik, Slovenia: report by Lorraine Watts
At 12 noon on the 18th of May, my husband John and I were joined by five others from our nearest town in Kamnik. Two of the participants were ages 3 and 4, so we asked them and their parents to make some colourful cards with positive words and a larger card with the prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth in the Slovenian language. They had brought some pebbles and shells from the seaside, and we made a Native American style medicine wheel with all these objects. I placed some beautiful crystals in the wheel, and the children had also brought a very beautiful bouquet of wild flowers from the meadow, which we placed at the centre.
I showed them the talking stick that came to me when I was exploring a river in Wales (Great Britain) in 2009. I explained that when someone holds the talking stick, everyone must listen and not interrupt the speaker until they have finished. Then, using the talking stick, I explained about the SOPP and how we were going to use the medicine wheel as a centrepiece for our celebration, along with prayers, poems, and songs from other spiritual traditions. I talked about how the medicine wheel was developed by the Native Americans to help bring about healing—healing for oneself, for others, and for the planet. The circle represents the oneness of everything in a holy state, and the four directions represent powers, or forces, whose energy can be harnessed.
To start the medicine wheel we sang, danced, and played instruments to a song called “I Want to Know What the Medicine Wheel Has to Say to Me.” We celebrated the earth element (east) by expressing gratitude to nature and then spending some quiet moments to thank our ancestors and contemplate any new projects we have in our life, focusing on the success and completion of these. We all sang along to the Hawaiian song “E Malama.” To celebrate the fire element (south), I read the poem “One Drop of Joy.” We contemplated the importance of love and passion in our lives, and where we needed strength. We then sang “I am one with the infinite sun.”
Next, we all faced the west, representing the water element, and did a visualisation of being in a river of flowing water, allowing the water to cleanse us. We did a tai chi exercise, using our hands and visualising sweeping across the surface of the water at the waist, dipping our fingertips into the river. I also demonstrated a balancing technique for the third chakra using the hands. We read the Buddhist prayer: May everyone be happy; May everyone be free from misery; May no one ever be separated from their happiness; May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment. Then, we sang the song “Sing Deep Peace to the Flowing River.” We turned to the north, connected to the air element, and the children chose positive words to recite in a special prayer. We spent time contemplating our lives and asking for wisdom and abundance where it was needed.
We finished the first part of the SOPP with some music and dance, had lunch, and spent some time out in the garden since the rain had stopped. After that, we completed the day with prayers for each country on earth using plastic flags. We prayed for peace in each country, and also added the names of people to whom we wanted to send healing energy. It was a splendid day, which everyone enjoyed greatly, and the children each got a small gift for their efforts in creating beautiful pictures and decorating stones collected from the local river.