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In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, the first World UNITY Week took place from June 20 to 27, 2020, in an effort to bring together people of all faiths from different countries and racial backgrounds. Assembling 126 global partners, the online event called for a unified effort to help start a new page for Earth, to build a brighter, more beautiful future for our home planet and all co-inhabitants. More than 200 keynote speakers addressed the pressing topics of our time, including “collective climate action,” “partnerships for peace,” “global governance,” “interfaith harmony,” “interracial justice,” “sustainable and regenerative development,” “the role of business and economics,” and “human rights.” The opening ceremony on June 20th, the mid-year solstice, began with indigenous prayers led by the Honorable Native American Chief Phil Lane Jr. Joining the opening prayer ceremony were indigenous chiefs, peace activists, NGOs, and leaders from Buddhist, Christian and other religions. Several spiritual musicians also presented their most heart-touching performances.
Our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai was also invited by Chief Phil to speak at the opening ceremony. “This unprecedented time gives us opportunity to reflect inwardly, since outwardly we have been limited. But our soul is forever free as long as we know how to turn inward and find our real self, our soul, which is a part of the Divine, then we will feel free no matter what circumstances, no matter if we are hindered by physical situation. This is a time for us to be quietly contemplating our true nature within. To ask ourselves, why misfortune happened and open our hearts to listen to Divine guidance. The Divine guidance told me that, ‘As we sow, so shall we reap.’ So let’s start now, from now to sow all benevolent deeds that we can, so that we will get benevolent outcomes in return for our future. The past we cannot change, but we could change our future, depends on our present actions, our future will be doomed or bright. And you know well, according to that wisdom, we cannot expect full happiness, full joy if we cause sorrow to others including our Earth co-tenants, the sweet animals and all other beings around us. They are the blessing sent from Heaven to help us in our sojourn on this planet. We should appreciate them, protect them and be grateful for their presence. I guess, many guests would have more wise words and compassionate messages to share. So my simple message is: Be Vegan, Make Peace. Thank you all for doing your part to save our world. All my love and God bless.”