Running for peace: Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run comes to Arcata

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The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a global relay for peace, came to Arcata. Among the runners was Eureka Mayor Kim Bergel.

“Every other year I believe it is, they come and we run for peace,” Bergel said. “I’ll be running a little bit this year. I have to listen to my doctor, but I’m excited and it is such a blessing to be here.”

A team of runners left from New York in April and several runners have left and joined the run in various cities along the way. Papaha Gosline, one of the runners joined in San Francisco and will finish in Portland.

“It’s a full-time job but it’s really fun to work with a team,” Gosline said.

The run is meant to spread a message of peace, starting with each individual.

“Sri Chinmoy started the run in 1987 with the idea that if each one of us can feel peace inside of us and offer that to the world, then real and lasting peace will happen on Earth,” Gosline said. “We feel that the torch is a symbol of passing that aspiration, that inspiration for peace from person to person, town to town, country to country.”

Harita Davies, co-director of the American Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, spoke to Redwood News about the meaning behind the run.

“We run but then, symbolically, we also run relay style. So we pass the torch from one person to the next and that way we can cover a great distance but each person runs a few steps at a time,” Davies said. “It’s like peace in the world. We don’t have to do something really huge to make a difference but if we all do our little bits, our little parts all add up together.”

Davies said that she feels privileged to be able to share a unifying message.

“I feel like the world really needs unification at this point,” Davies said. “If we can find something like peace and love and happiness and things that we all want, we all have in common, then automatically those are the things we really care about and the things that we disagree on become much less significant.”

The run heads up to Washington state and Canada next and ends in New York in mid-august. This is the first time the full 10 thousand mile route will be run since 2018.