A better way to heal Jerusalem

Lynne McTaggart

On November 9, we witnessed a historic first when many Arabs and Israeli Jews sent love and forgiveness to each other during our Middle Eastern Peace Intention Experiment. But now many are wondering whether all that good will is about to be blown up after US President Donald Trump’s announcement to make Jerusalem the de facto capital of Israel by moving the embassy there.  Violence is already erupting in Jerusalem as the Palestinians react with a sense of betrayal and fury.

I’m not going to be focusing on what’s the right or fair or politic thing to do here.  In fact, I’m not going to focus on politics, and here’s why.
I’m not sure that a political solution is the fastest way to peace.
As we demonstrated with our Peace Intention Experiment, the fastest and most effective way forward may not be through government or even economic initiatives. It is through what we carried out on November 9, which was, essentially, a giant exercise in multicultural prayer.
Mohandas Gandhi, who believed that all religions “were as dear as one’s close relatives,” advocated the power of different faiths praying together.
‘Religion,’ he wrote, ‘does not mean sectarianism. It means a belief in ordered a moral government of the universe. . . .This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. . . . It harmonizes them and gives them reality.’
A two-year national study published in 2014 by researchers at the American Sociological Association discovered that community groups across America that embrace multi-faith members, such as Christians, Jews, and Muslims, find praying together a “bridging cultural practice.”
“We aren’t talking about superficial team-building exercises,” remarked University of Connecticut professor of sociology Ruth Braunstein, who studied the phenomenon. “These are practices that are central to groups’ cultures and emerge over time as participants reflect on the qualities that unite everyone in the group and develop shared rituals that are meaningful to everyone.”
Gathering steam
On May 3, 2015, NewGround, an interfaith organization that focuses on strengthening the bonds between Muslims and Jews, organized an event they called Two Faiths One Prayer, to gather Muslims and Jews in common prayer.
They started with some 20 people of the two faiths praying together on a Los Angeles beach, gathering up more and more of the faithful from both religions throughout the day as they traveled together on public transportation and moved to five other locations.
The group was a hundred strong by the time they’d reached a rooftop in downtown LA for their evening dinner, with Muslims reciting their nighttime Isha, and Jews reciting liturgical poetry, or piyyutim, at Los Angeles City Hall.
“It was kind of like an aha moment,” said participant Maryam Saleemi. “We’re praying to the same God, why aren’t we doing this all the time together?”
Our November 9 experiment was even more than a ‘bridging practice.’  The reason why it brought the different sides together so effectively was something far more fundamental: the rebound power of collective praying, its ability to heal the personal wounds of the healers themselves, its potent reminder of our common humanity.
While I continue to intend for peace, compassion, love and fairness in Jerusalem, I invite you to meet me in a space beyond politics, beyond Donald Trump’s actions, to the place where we were on November 9 – the space that binds us all together.
May all of us continue to pray together without ceasing.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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8 comments on “A better way to heal Jerusalem”

  1. There is a lot of anger that my arab people are currently feeling with a strong sense of betrayal and bitterness. Anyone who dares speak of love or peace is frowned upon. This is because of stupid politics that are not love-centered! I grew up afraid of the jews , i was taught that if given a chance they will occupy my land and kill my people, i saw this on the news so i can relate and understand the anger. But on November 9th i saw something else, the real people, those who were not involved in politics and had no blood staining their hands, moreover those Who were in many cases victims of similar horrors by the Nazis. This is when i woke up & felt my heart open to love, it is like i saw ‘me’ in every one of them, they had my dreams of peace, finding love and living happily. I want to work with them, enemy is not the other, it never was, enemy is politics, discrimination and racism. I pray to the god of all to shine peace and mercy upon us all. Thank you Lynne & dr Salah for all the goodness you shine upon this part of earth.

  2. I have always felt that religions were designed for two things: for the inducement of power over the minds and hearts of people through a ritual practice that is addictive and habituating. And to attract non believers in the creative source to a belief system that grants them some form of absolution for their misdeeds or ignorance. That said, once one believes faithfully and authentically in the love of creation, one can no longer fail to love all that is in creation, therefore, no further need for allegiance to a belief system other than your own.

  3. Governments dependent on religious foundations are empires expanding into failure. Jerusalem is a place on earth. It has never, does not now, and never will belong to any religion, nationality or empire. All this temporal nonsense that feeds us political weakness instead of distributing authentic collective political empowerment is bogus at best. Just because something has prevailed for a long time doesn't mean it is ever right. So much of what is pervasive has often been proved wrong. That is why, for example, we all collectively have participated ignorantly for many years in destroying our habitat in the name of religion, finance, and fear of having neither.

  4. love this so very much, as I love you Lynne. I was with everyone on November 9th, in heart, mind, body, soul, and light. And love "NewGround" in what they are accomplishing together. Yes indeed, I agree. How lovely.

  5. i do agree that it's about time for all the representatives of all religions respect one another and stop fighting and thinking that they are better, more superior or more godly than the other. No religion is perfect because all religions have been made by humans and since all humans are not perfect; where does the assumed perfection comes from?. It's about time that humans and their religions mind their own business and respect the rights of the another. One human is not better than the other because of their religion, instead it's about how the human lives, behaves, thinks, talks and loves one another.

  6. At the end of it all, Lynn, I agree that the whole of humanity, want peace.....no matter where we are, love and understanding! Granting each other a right for respect. It all starts with each one ourselves, knowing you are there for me, and I for you, to overcome this "my, for gain"

  7. Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
    Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If only you had known on this day what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side.…
    They will level you to the ground—you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”…

  8. Is there a way, we can make this global on media? I know the news make us aware of what is happening in the world without putting blame or labels or comparisons on others. But, sometimes, I feel like the hate, conflicts, and other groups like ISIS are a call for help in the only way they know how or an absolution of guilt through their faith and beliefs passed throughout generations and different books- Koran, Bible, and teaching of Buddha. So, who really knows what happened but our ancestors living or passed away. Is there still a way to show we all want the same thing but it different ways that are understood to each of us without violence or media coverage of the challenges in the world. For me, personally, it helps if we can all reach a compromise, collaboration, or peace through similar or shared goals . Is this still possible once getting to know the culture of each of the countries or too far out there?
    As always, thank you for the marvelous intention book and webinars. Let’s keep changing the world together one step at a time. I look forward to the day that they air challenges as well as solutions since both are necessary for life to be both appreciative and grateful of it. My intention is to find both peace in myself and the world when I’m not in all the key places at this moment.
    God Bless or universal love. I’ll just say both as to hopefully not offend anyone.

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