Eight leaders advocating religious freedom and human rights rang the Bell to pray for the world, infusing the Earth with positive energy
The Bell of World Peace and Love Rings for All
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the world is in turmoil and faces potential conflict or war, Tai Ji Men has recently organized ceremonies of ringing the "Bell of World Peace and Love," inviting influential leaders to ring the Bell to awaken the conscience of global citizens and spread positive energy to help stabilize the Earth. Since late June, the Bell has been rung by eight visionary leaders who have been advocating human rights and religious freedom. Ringing the Bell during these trying times was very significant.
“May peace and love prevail for the world and for Tai Ji Men–peace with conscience and justice,” stated Prof. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and the managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions, when ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love in Los Angeles on August 8.
As one of the world's leading scholars of new religious movements, Prof. Introvigne shared how powerful, humbling, and emotional the experience was for him and explained how the Bell represents a microcosm of the vast universe. “When you attune yourself, you vibrate with the bell, you let the energy of the bell carry you. You are really attuned with the universe," he stated, adding, "Conscience is the center of the bell because it is the center of the universe.” He also shared the impact of the experience on him: “From today, from ringing the bell, I believe for me personally starts a new commitment to fight for peace, love, and justice.”
On July 27, Kenneth Jacobsen, practice professor of law at Temple University in Philadelphia, rang the Bell in Washington, D.C. He stated, “I believe that these kinds of ceremonies are so critically important. And for me personally, I will never forget this.” Prof. Jacobsen made a wish for “peace, love, tolerance, understanding and compassion in this world,” adding, “I am deeply grateful, but incredibly humbled to have had the privilege and honor of ringing this bell to see the dignitaries that have come before me and hold that hammer, that mallet, and hit this bell is a very moving experience for me, which equally moving though, is the symbol of what this bell means.” He also shared his feelings about Tai Ji Men: “I've never met an organization anywhere, corporate, philanthropic, anywhere where the people are so warm, and compassionate, and friendly and sincere and earnest.”
During the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit held in Washington, D.C. on June 28-30, six leaders who advocate religious freedom rang the Bell and made wishes for peace. IRF Summit Co-Chair Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, rang the Bell and prayed for “peace that surpasses understanding for everyone!” Amb. Brownback once stated that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right, without which humanity cannot flourish, emphasizing, “We believe governments’ role is to protect that innate right of a person to select their own course of future for their soul.” After ringing the Bell, he stated, “I’m delighted that you’re talking about peace and love in face of potential conflict and war. We ought to all pursue the peace and love, and that’s when we’re going to have a much better world is when we solve our conflicts through discussion and justice, and not through violence. So I’m just delighted that you continue to push this."
The other IRF Summit Co-Chair, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, who is the president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, also rang the Bell and stated, “I pray daily for peace but also for justice because without justice and freedom - especially freedom of religion and belief, there cannot be any peace.” She also noted that ringing the bell has been such a special experience that she will remember it her whole life, adding, “I must say I felt something very powerful and I’m very grateful for that. I really actually wish that through the miracle of technology, billions of people could’ve been watching us. Because there’s a special spirit here, and I know that derives from your teachings and from your practices, but it also derives from the encompassing love that you have for all of us–the encompassing prayer and wish you have for all of us. And I think your influence will continue to be a force for good in the world.”
Nadine Maenza, president of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), rang the Bell and wished for “religious freedom for all.” She stated, “It's wonderful to stand with you as you stand for religious freedom because it's really religious freedom for everybody or for nobody.” She highlighted the importance of solidarity and mutual assistance in the promotion of religious liberty: “What we do is we all stand together and stand with each other."
David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, rang the Bell and prayed that “people everywhere would know the peace and care of God and His people.” Everyone is entitled to enjoy the freedom to worship as they choose and the freedom to express their conscience, he said.
Bishop Gregory Mansour of Saint Maron of Brooklyn rang the bell and stated, “The beauty of the Tao, the Way will make us better people, closer to the eternal Tao.” Bishop Mansour talked about conscience, which Tai Ji Men has been promoting around the world: "So your emphasis on conscience, we Catholics believe that it is in our conscience that guides us, and that's the little flame of God's presence in our life. So the conscience is like the Tao." "The conscience and the way is a beautiful combination of bringing our two faiths together,” he asserted.
Bishop Dr. Sunday Onuoha, founder and president of Vision of Africa, rang the Bell and prayed for “peace in our world.” He also prayed for those who are in pain, those who are suffering, children without fathers and mothers, those who have been through pain, deprivation, or war, those mothers who want to go to the hospital but there are no hospitals, and those who want to drink water but can't because there isn't clean water. Conscience tells us to do the right thing, he emphasized.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, the leader of Tai Ji Men, presented to each of the eight bell ringers a Compass Clock of Conscience and The History of International Day of Conscience. The clock serves as a symbol of time, direction, and purpose. It guides people toward the right path of life and reminds them to seize every moment to apply conscience and do good deeds. The History of International Day of Conscience documents the crucial cooperation between Dr. Hong and the Permanent Missions of various countries to the UN that made it possible for the UN to designate April 5 as the International Day of Conscience.
Since the year 2000, Tai Ji Men has held bell ringing ceremonies around the world, promoting love, peace, and conscience. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced it to halt its global travels. This June, its world tours resumed after a hiatus of more than two years. Over a period of two months and eight days, 26 leaders from various walks of life have rung the bell. To date, 425 leaders from 128 countries have rung the bell, including 49 heads of state and government, seven Nobel Peace Prize laureates, UN ambassadors, and other visionary leaders, injecting hope and positivity into the planet to foster global sustainability.
Tai Ji Men has traveled to 101 countries to promote conscience and other positive values. In addition to organizing bell ringing ceremonies and other activities to connect the conscience of leaders in all fields, it has been inviting global citizens to sign multiple declarations on peace and conscience. To date, the Declarations for Human Rights of World Citizens and Peace have been endorsed by over 3.7 million people in 198 nations, and a CD with two million signatures was submitted to the UN in 2004; the Declaration for the Movement of An Era of Conscience and the Declaration of International Day of Conscience have been endorsed by people in 200 nations.
Tai Ji Men urges everyone to endorse these declarations and put into practice the spirit of love, peace, conscience, and human rights expressed in the declarations, as Dr. Hong emphasized, "With conscience comes a peaceful world; with happiness come joyful families!”
Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy: Tai Ji Men is an ancient menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation. It has carried forward the wisdom of Taoist philosophy, one of the highest philosophies of humankind. It is an international nonprofit cultural organization. Its contemporary zhang-men-ren (grandmaster), Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze established the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy in 1966, and since then it has grown to 15 academies worldwide.
Dr. Hong teaches his dizi (similar to disciples) methods to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and tens of thousands of families have benefited from his teaching. At Tai Ji Men, martial arts and wisdom have been passed down from the shifu (master) to his dizi. Through this time-honored tradition, the shifu and dizi promote the Tai Ji Men culture and martial arts around the world while embodying what is true, good, and beautiful as well as spreading the ideas of conscience, love, and peace. Over the past half-century, the shifu and dizi have self-funded trips to over 300 cities in 101 nations to conduct more than 3,000 cultural performances and exchanges and have been recognized as “International Ambassadors of Peace and Goodwill.”
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