Many of us imagine a world in which there would be peace, not just the absence of war, but true peace — peace that is as personal as quietude and self-acceptance and as global as the whole human race living together in harmony and mutual respect. On May 19, on St. Anthony and Main, the Inner Peace Festival will honor this dream through a gathering of diverse religious, cultural and artistic expressions.

The Center of Light, a non-denominational Christian Mystical Center in Uptown, is sponsoring the event. Its mission includes the perpetuation of inner peace through meditation and healing. The regional director of the center of Light, Lucille Michaels, states this as her vision of the Inner Peace Festival: “A place where the energy of healing, mutual love and open hearts can draw diverse people together in an experience of peace and compassion.”

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19 across from Wilde Roast Cafe overlooking the river on Main Street SE between Merriam Street and Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis.

The Inner Peace Festival will have a focus on healing, music and art. Michaels believes “art and music have a way of by-passing rigid boundaries and identifications and allowing people to relax and open their hearts to richer and deeper understanding of ourselves and others.” The Inner Peace Festival also will include information booths and opportunities for peace workers, spiritual groups and community organizations of various kinds to share their work and vision.

The day-long event is designed to be a highly engaging event in which people are invited to participate with each activity rather than being casual observers. Free yoga classes will take place all day, as well as interactive art projects, cultural experiences and the opportunity to join in sacred dance and music. A variety of healing experiences will be offered, including blessings, energy healing and meditation.

“The energy of the festival will not be one of commerce, but of community,” Michaels says. “There will be very little sold and all activities will be offered without cost.”

She hopes that this will allow all people, regardless of financial status, to engage freely and she hopes those who can give will donate generously to allow the Inner Peace Festival to support itself. Michaels acknowledges that the event is “a leap of faith” but one that is worth the effort to foster a sense of sharing and generosity, rather than one of consumerism.

The Inner Peace Festival will feature spoken word, several Kirtan (sacred chant) bands, Dances of Universal Peace (Sufi interfaith Zikr), a Christian hip-hop singer, yoga classes, henna art, drum circles, blessings, energy healing and collaborative art. Many other activities for adults and children will foster a sense of forgiveness, peace and connection to others.

For more information, visit Minneapolis.innerpeacefestival.com or www.facebook.com/MinneapolisInnerPeaceFestival. Center of Light is a non-denominational Christian organization with the mission of bringing world peace through developing each person’s inner experience of peace. In addition to events like the Inner Peace Festival, the Center of Light also offers free classes with topics on meditation, prayer and connecting with God. Visit Minneapolis.CentersOfLight.org.

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