February 2, 2014
On Wednesday morning January 29th, we started another adventure as myself and the first two of my three person support team departed for India. I will be co-facilitating the Mahayaga in Kerala which is a huge multi-million person spiritually based event, directed toward bringing peace and harmony to all on our planet, and I will also be giving several key speeches and meeting with other peace workers and political and spiritual leaders.
My peace team includes my assistant, Katrina Vaillancourt, a specialist in Nonviolent Communication, Dr. Harriett Nettles, a well established colleague in conflict resolution, and Simon Fentress, a professional videographer who will document our journey and also serve as my personal security associate. The organizers in Kerala have also provided a full time police team, including clearing designated roads of public traffic for our travel to and from the event. Needless to say, I feel well cared for in this regard.
Katrina, Simon, & I left San Francisco Airport on the first leg of our journey early on January 29th, to meet Harriett in London. We then stayed overnight there, having a delightful meal at the famed Sherlock Homes Pub and doing a quick tour of London which was graciously conducted by a close and dear friend of mine, Annie Sweet.
The following morning, the four of us started the second leg of our journey, traveling first from London England to Mumbai India, and then from Mumbai to Kochi in Southern India in the state of Kerala. All in all our journey so far has taken us 46 hours with only snippets of sleep.
We are now staying in Kochi for three days to make the difficult but critical transition from travel partners carrying all of our day to day regular life baggage, into a deeply connected focused spiritual team dedicated to contributing to world peace and to finding a common ground toward sustaining our planet.
My job is to participate in ritual, lend spiritual support to the greater process, craft worthy speeches, and to make important international connections. I will also be meeting with key partners to address equality for women, protecting our animal brothers and sisters and the environment, ending child marriage, and shifting the status of widows in this part of the world. And my wonderful team’s job is to make sure I get whatever support I need and have the resources necessary to make that happen.
I am working on my first speech as I write, and started this morning with a powerful peace ritual at 4:00 AM. Later, around 5:30 AM, I joined in communion with the Muslim Morning Prayers echoing through the city, as the Mullahs sang from their high towers, preparing the followers of the Prophet for their day.
Kochi is a deeply religiously diverse city, with mosques, synagogues, Hindu temples, churches, other sacred practices seemingly finding common ground in the sacred … A good start for my work in creating a new narrative that includes everyone and everything existing together in peace.
I will write updates as I am able, and post photos and video when possible.
Peace & Blessings,
Rev. Patrick McCollum