Peace Mala - An inspirational idea from Wales
Peace Mala is a multi award winning project for peace that I began in 2001, in response to the racial and religious bullying of pupils in my school that came out of the 9/11 aftermath.
A Peace Mala is a symbolic double rainbow bracelet that promotes friendship, respect and peace between people of all cultures, lifestyles, faiths, beliefs and none. It is a vision for the future. Wearing the Peace Mala is a promise to help create a better world.
When creating the design for the Peace Mala bracelet I was aware that the rainbow is an important symbolic link between heaven and earth in many cultures. Rainbows are rare and magical and double rainbows even more so. I also realised that the rainbow design would appeal especially to children and young people. Interestingly, when Peace Mala was launched in the UNA Wales Temple of Peace in Cardiff on Wednesday 27th November 2002, a double rainbow appeared in the sky after the ceremonies had finished. Those of us who were present felt it was an auspicious sign.
The Peace Mala bracelet comprises of fourteen coloured beads with a central white or frosted white bead strung between symbolic knots. The central white bead represents the wearer. The final single bead is used as a toggle to bring the bracelet around the wearer's wrist. This represents unity, harmony and peace.
Peace Mala focuses on the Golden Rule. Its intention is to educate and remind everyone that this rule is recognised by many scholars, teachers and philosophers. It is also universal to all compassionate faiths. Simply stated, it is:
"Treat others as you would wish them to treat you."
This is the central message of the Peace Mala bracelet. Its intention is to cut through all forms of prejudice, to confront bullying, to support human rights and to celebrate what makes us different from each other. Fourteen spiritual traditions, along with their individual versions of the Golden Rule, are represented on the bracelet.
Peace Mala reminds us that we all belong and that communities filled with colour and difference make life more interesting and exciting.
The word 'mala' is Sanskrit and means 'garland of flowers'. In the East a mala is a string of beads used in meditation or prayer as each bead or 'flower' focuses on a prayer or mantra. Our mala is different. It's purpose is not for devotional use though it may be used in that way if the wearer so wishes. The rainbow beads on this mala of peace focus on the Golden Rule. They also represent the human family in all its glorious diversity and Divine potential.
Peace Mala is a non-political, non-religious charitable organisation. We do not support any political party, movement or belief system over any other. Our aim is to contribute to education for global citizenship by inviting all people to treat each other with respect regardless of race, colour, religion, gender, sexuality, size, age or ability. Our compassionate wish is for people, animals and the environment to be at peace.
Peace Mala Accreditation for Schools, Youth Groups and Community Groups is awarded when seven areas of action have been completed successfully as outlined in the teacher, youth or community leader self assessment form available on our website. These seven areas fit into the heart-centre of a school, youth group or community group's values system and are in line with the objectives and vision of Peace Mala.
Peace Mala is totally inclusive in its approach. With Peace Mala Accreditation everyone is encouraged to engage in exciting activities which remind us that we are all inter-connected and need each other.
As a teacher of World Faiths, I've known about the Golden Rule for many years. In the aftermath of the events of 9/11, when some pupils in my school were being bullied because of their race or religion, I remembered the Golden Rule of all faiths. This inspired me to create the Peace Mala - a symbolic bracelet which would help young people understand the fundamental rule that all compassionate faiths share. I hoped that it would educate my pupils in a fun way and help stop the bullying. To my great joy it did! It spread through the school like wildfire.
When I told members of the different faiths about my idea, they responded very positively and later helped us to launch the Peace Mala project at the WCIA/UNA Wales Temple of Peace in Cardiff, using the Golden Rule as a message of peace for our communities and our world.
With my prayers for a more compassionate world,
Peace Mala ®
Registered Charity No 1118053
Endorsed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
"Creative Education that Empowers and Embraces All
Uniting the World in Peace"
Directors of Peace Mala: Pam Evans, Norma Glass MBE, Martin Green, Pam El-Hosaini