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Bringing need for peace to light

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Dubbed as the No. 1 “spiritual center” in the United States by Travel and Escape Magazine (2012), Taos will also be the peaceful center of the 19th annual “Global Peace Walk” until April 22, hosted by Turtle Compassion, a nonprofit organization based in Taos. 
Among many activities, newly elected Taos Mayor Dan Barrone is expected to read this year’s Global Peace Zone proclamation at noon on Earth Day, April 22.  
“Our goal is to bring light to the darkness of our society and stand together as one global family supporting each other to successfully manifest our highest potentials,” said Global Peace Walk coordinator, Wendy Mason-Sherwood. “Global peace is a prayer for future generations and it is our last resolve as human beings. If this message of peace spreads throughout the globe, then the earth will become peaceful.”
Initiated in 1990 by Japanese Buddhist Monk Reverend Yusen Yamato — a Zen Shiatzu massage practitioner and coordinator of “Summer of Love” and Woodstock 30th Anniversary — the continuing goal of the Global Peace Walk is to protect land and life and to bring back the spirit with which the Charter of the United Nations was formed in 1945. At that time, 47 percent of American citizen’s wanted to end war and voted for the creation of the UN’s whose purpose was, “to end the scourge of war for succeeding generations,” and “live together in peace.”
In 1995, Taos became the world’s first proclaimed “Global Peace Zone” city following a proclamation by then-Mayor Fred Peralta, which took place during the United Nation’s 50th anniversary Global Peace Walk between New York and San Francisco.
The Global Peace Walk began on April 8 with a prayer ceremony at the Rosario National Cemetery in Santa Fe. From there, participants will make the 90-mile, six-day pilgrimage to Taos via the high road.
Participants are encouraged to pray for the elements of earth, wind, fire, air and global community out of concern for our future and all living beings.
On Monday, there will be a Global Peace Benefit concert with an opening prayer by Reverend Yamato featuring music by internationally known performer Serephine and two musical artists based in Denver at the Taos Mesa Brewing Company. Doors open at 8 p.m. and entry to the concert is based on a sliding scale between $7 and $10.
Next week, following the walk, participants can take part in a fasting ceremony with four days of fasting in observation of the four elements — earth, wind, fire and water. On day five, April 18, a special feast to honor the fifth element — community — will take place.
From April 19–21, prayers with spiritual elders, holistic healing workshops, and talks on sustainability and environmental issues are all part of the second annual “Global Peace University,” giving participants tools of peace to share in their homes and communities.
Finally, at 11 a.m. April 22, a ceremony will take place at Kit Carson Park where a Cherry Blossom tree will be planted as a symbol of peace. An Earth Day Global Peace march will precede the tree planting starting at 9 a.m. at the Taos Visitors Center. Taos Mayor Barrone has been scheduled to read the Global Peace Zone proclamation at noon.  
Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of the first Global Peace Zone Proclamation and the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. Turtle Compassion is planning a Global Forum is for 2015 in Taos.
Turtle Compassion is a future generations’ prayer movement with endless possibilities. They are aiming to acquire over 100 acres of land to build a Global Peace Village surrounding a “Stupa”/Global Peace Monument. Everyone is invited to join in collaborative creation and planning of future generations’ projects to protect land and life.
The Global Peace Walk has received written support from the White House and collected more than 100 Global Peace Zone proclamations.
For more information, visit globalpeacenow.org or call 575-779-8764 or email turtlecompassion@yahoo.com.