Published on June 15th 2020 by Janet Hoult
Interview with Pam Evans of Peace Mala about the Black Lives Matter Demonstrations, the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic and her new booklet ‘How the Wisdom of the Ages is Reflected in Many World Faiths’
I talked with Pam recently about world events and the launch of her new book. She says:
In the two videos, which I believe you are attaching to this article, I speak from the heart about racism and prejudice and how Peace Mala can help the world to move forward.
The vision and concept of the Peace Mala bracelet and project was a powerful response to the racial and religious bullying that erupted in the aftermath of 9/11.
In the USA and across Europe we are currently witnessing protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr delivered his famous speech, “I have a dream” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We are now in the 21st Century and sadly racism lives on. We can ask ourselves why this is and the answer is very simple. Racism, like all forms of prejudice, is based on ignorance. The only way forward from this dire mindset is with education. Peace Mala works with school across the UK and we now have our first school in the USA – Sunrise Academy.
I am passionate about human rights and dignity. When creating the Peace Mala symbolic peace bracelet I made sure that every form of prejudice is tackled head-on in the message of the first knot made on the bracelet. This is the message:
FIRST KNOT: You are unique and special! Each one of us is important no matter what our race, colour, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, age, size, social class or caste.
As regards the COVID 19 pandemic – these are very strange times indeed. The world has been put into ‘The Great Pause’. The universe is speaking to us. Will we listen?
I believe it is very important that we all do our very best to keep positive and visualise a better, brighter, more just, and compassionate future for our world. This is the vision of the Peace Mala project and as its founder, I must keep to it. We all need to raise the vibrational energy of this planet. Positive thoughts have positive outcomes. Indiscriminate loving-kindness and compassion towards all sentient beings, including humankind, is the key.
About a month ago I felt overwhelmed with grief and kept breaking down in tears … especially when watching the news. With more and more COVID-19 deaths being announced; especially of front line workers without proper PPE, the situation was driving me to a point of despair. I guess I was also picking up on all the world-wide grief. I’d been doing lots of prayer work focusing on the current world situation which is grim. Focusing on the suffering of the world has an impact, and I am very sensitive to energies.
Then, I remembered Medicine Buddha, Buddha Chenrezi and Green Tara! All are so powerful when used in tantric transformative visualisations and mantra chanting. Fortunately, I’ve received authentic empowerments in all three from very high ranking Tibetan Buddhist rinpoches. Ever since I’ve been doing some tantric practices with all three. All three mantras are very powerful, empowering and uplifting. Interestingly, the Dalai Lama has recently recommended everyone to chant the mantras of Chenrezi, Medicine Buddha and Green Tara during these challenging times. I must have picked up on something there!
None of us know how long it will take for the world to recover from the COVID 19 pandemic or when we will come fully out of lock-down. One thing is for sure – the world will never be the same after his.
How the Wisdom of the Ages is Reflected in Many World Faiths by Pam Evans MBE of Peace Mala looks at how the term ‘God’, reincarnation and rebirth, and life beyond death are viewed in the major faiths and also Theosophy. It is based on a series of interesting and easy to understand lectures which she has given to the Theosophical Society’s summer school.
With some attractive illustrations, it gives a thoughtful introductory summary of each faith’s ideas and beliefs.
30 pages, £5.74 incl. p & p. in the UK
Available from Peace Mala at www.peacemala.org.uk
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01792 774225.
I asked Pam: Who do you see as being the main readership of this book? Given the involvement of Peace Mala with several schools, do you see it as being mainly youngsters?
Already, the book is circulating with several people from different faith traditions as well as others who are interested in spirituality and want to know more about world religions. Advertising the book on social media has attracted interest. We have set up a Zoom discussion group for those who have already purchased the book. It is proving a fascinating experience for all who have join.
I also hope that schools and teachers will pick up on the book. It will be especially useful for teenagers and those studying Religious Studies at A Level. It should stimulate a lot of discussion, debate and deep thinking. I also trust it will encourage further research on the part of readers.
17th-20th June 2020 was going to be a major Peace Mala celebration, taking place at St. David’s in West Wales. Are you hoping to hold it next year, and what plans do you have for it?
St Davids Cathedral have informed us that our three-day festival will now have to wait until 2023. Fortunately, I plan events far ahead and next year we will be holding a Peace Mala Concert for World Peace on Saturday 19th June 2021 at The Great Hall of The Bay Campus Swansea University. This will start at 7 pm and will involve Peace Mala school pupils, South Wales Police Youth Volunteers, professional musicians and a Native Canadian who will perform the amazing hoop dance.
I am delighted that internationally renowned harpist Catrin Finch will be with us. Catrin is one of the most accomplished harpists of her generation, and has been delighting audiences with her performances across the UK and worldwide since the age of five.
In 2000 she had the honour of reviving the ancient tradition of Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, a position she held until 2004. This tradition was last held during Queen Victoria’s reign in 1873. Since then Catrin has performed extensively throughout the USA, South America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Europe, both as a soloist, and appearing with many of the world’s top orchestras.
We will also be forming choir of 100 young voices who will sing the Peace Mala anthem ‘One Light’ with Steve Balsamo (Swansea based singer song writer who played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar in the West End production). They will be accompanied on grand piano by London based Welsh professional musician Lee Michael Walton who composed the anthem especially for Peace Mala.
In addition to the concert for world peace, a wonderful community cohesion art project will be starting once lock-down lifts. This will involve the making of a very large Peace Mala mandala which will merge the Peace Mala logo and our symbolic dove of peace. Celtic knot work will also be placed into the mandala. The project will be led by Katie Kneath who is a Gower based mixed media artist. The mandala will be made by pupils from Hafod School Swansea, along with adults from the diverse cultural communities of Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot, as well as South Wales Police Youth Volunteers.
What other events and publications would you like to see for Peace Mala in the near future?
In 2022 it will be Peace Mala’s 20th year since its launch at the UNA Wales Temple of Peace in Cardiff with Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams.
I am already in the process of discussing ideas with the Anglican Church in Wales and Archbishop John. It is possible that we may return to Brecon Cathedral for a very special interfaith ceremony of blessing and thanksgiving. I have informed Dr Rowan Williams of our tentative plans and he hopes to be able to join us.
Both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Pope Francis have recently spoken about the importance of the world faiths coming together to work for peace and greater understanding. Peace Mala has been contributing to this dialogue and bringing it into positive action right from the beginning.
Whilst we have been in lock-down I have been revising the Guide to the Peace Mala. Lots of new and exciting things are developing with our educational resources. I’ve already put together special worksheets on our symbolic doves of peace for children currently having to be ‘schooled at home’ or in smalls groups at school hubs. These have been sent out and have been well received.
As for the future … Peace Mala will continue to grow and offer its unique style of creative and compassionate education which engages the minds and hearts of young people. We trust that more schools, youth groups and adult community groups will engage with us.
No doubt I will continue to write. The creative ideas seem to keep flowing and this year I have already published another two books for children. Both books have elements of magic and spirituality. Proceeds for all my books go to Peace Mala.
Racism and Prejudice – what Peace Mala has to say https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/racism-prejudice-what-peace-mala-has-say-pam-evans-mbe/?fbclid=IwAR0hfnDexFOCW9z6GQhY8jLHXwLmOErTNJA4t4sjilO5XRW6IFbFdvk-NwQ
“Education is the only way that we can bring light into the darkness and turn things around. Attitudes, including prejudice, racism and all forms of ignorance are learned. We are not born that way. This is why education is vital, and Peace Mala has much to offer.”