New York, NY 10025
Altar for Peace
“On New Year’s Eve in 1986, in the City of the United Nations George Nakashima placed his first great ecumenical Peace Altar at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The beautiful black walnut altar was blessed that auspicious night by representatives of the religions of the earth before diplomats of many nations. In the ensuing years prayers for peace in all tongues and traditions and by all peoples have been offered there. Mountains of flowers were lovingly placed upon it at the interfaith Memorial Service for George Nakashima in 1990. The second Sacred Peace Table will symbolize the peace that must come to every continent on our sacred planet 'the next step in fulfilling the dream of George Nakashima.”
George Nakashima’s Vision
“A while back there appeared a great bole of a tree, a Walnut. It was about five feet in diameter (1.5M) at the small end, about seven (2.1M) at the flare, and twelve (3.6M) long, with extraordinary characteristics. In a small but firm voice the bole asked to be realized; two adjoining slabs opened to make an extraordinary table, roughly twelve feet (3.6M) long by the same dimension wide, weighing almost 1 ton. Gradually a few people became interested in the project and suggested we make six Altars one for each Continent. It will be a symbol, a token of man’s aspirations for a creative and beautiful peace, free of political overtones; an expression of love for his fellow man. We have become so basically disoriented with our blind faith in science and technology without spirituality, it brought us to our pit of madness.
A symbol is needed 'something tangible, like the toe of St. Peter’s statue in the Vatican. This symbol might be the object of a transcontinental or trans-world Peace March. At the end of this pilgrimage, a celebration: A rose or lotus placed on it; songs sung, each in his own tongue; Zen chants so strong; possibly the Day of Existence, a chant to music'spheric in line, spiritual and sad composed by my ‘brother’ Ivan Wyschnegradsky; Sadhu friends from South India congregating; and monks and others from all over the world who are interested in a higher and deeper consciousness. There is little chance that peace can be achieved politically. There is, at best, a balance of terror; a balance of egos; a balance of demands. Enthusiastic contagion would be useful, as peace the world over is uppermost in our consciousness. It must be a joyous peace, not a fear or absence of war. It is a question of surrender. A surrender to the Divine Consciousness to end in a most beautiful aura of love.”
October 1, 1984
Once the first Altar for Peace was placed by George Nakashima at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York, we looked to the broader George Nakashima vision for a world encircled by magnificent symbols of peace. We set our path to be most inclusive of all the peoples of the world' and the Altar for Peace became the Sacred Peace Tables, consecrated by clergy and aspiring to peace among peoples joining the American, European and South Asian continents. We look to the continent of Africa next.
Phone: (212) 316-7540
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