My recent trip to Scotland included a stay at Allanton Peace Sanctuary: Allanton is a beautiful retreat centre with spacious grounds in a rural location near Dumfries, easily reached from Central Scotland, Northern England and elsewhere.
Allanton Sanctuary is the European Sanctuary of the World Peace Prayer Society. The Society was founded in 1955 by the Japanese teacher, philosopher and poet, Masahisa Goi (1916 – 1980) who dedicated his life to peace and humanity. It is a meeting place bringing together people of all faiths and cultures: see more at www.worldpeace-uk.org.
I was impressed by the way that Allanton’s approach can include people of all faiths and none, and weave together elements of Japanese and European cultures. An example of this is the flag ceremony: offering a simple prayer for peace in each country of the world, using actual flags or small cards.
I was also impressed by their initiative to teach about peace in schools. They ask children consider where does peace begin: if we can find peace in ourselves, and in our relations with family and friends, we have made a valuable start.