This past July, seven living flames from five continents were united to create the World Peace Flame. Each of the seven flames were lit by eminent peacemakers across the globe, and then brought together in the mountains of North Wales, where Dr. Mansukh Patel and the Life Foundation saw a 24-year project come to fruition. Dr. Patel is known as the Young Gandhi in the Netherlands and Belgium, where he is famous for his peace walks and heart-based spirituality. He has walked a peace flame and his Gandhian teachings and techniques for healing the heart, overcoming stress and restoring hope, into war-torn areas like Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Sudan and the borders of Chechnya. Recently returned from the World Peace Conference in The Hague, Dr. Patel and his teachings are now in Colorado Springs. This weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, in conjunction with the Life Foundation, he will conduct a two-day seminar at the St. Francis Health Center.
What's the concept behind the World Peace Flame? The flame serves as a catalyst for a worldwide shift, from thinking about problems to acting out solutions.
Where is the Peace Flame right now? Currently, on the QE2, on its way to America -- though it's not the actual flame. It was lit from the flame, which is housed in Snowdon Lodge, in the mountains of North Wales.
You've been all over the world. Why did you choose to come to Colorado Springs? The first reason is that we (the Life Foundation) have a couple people already based in the Springs. Secondly, from what I've gathered over the past few years, is that Colorado Springs is really growing at quite a pace. It's one of the fastest-growing cities that I know of, and I think it's going to play a crucial role in politics of the future. I just have this feeling about it. I think you are going to see an incredible shift of energy to this city.
Positive energy? Yes. So I thought if we start now, creating this project here -- because we, my colleagues I work with, always try to think five years ahead of our time -- but if we start placing the roots, the seeds now, in five years time if we you can get the seeds to blossom, let it catch fire, then when the energy or the establishment or the political power of whatever kind comes here, it will already be established.
The project, meaning the World Peace Flame? Yes. So far in the U.S., there is a flame in Washington, Denver, Pueblo and now Colorado Springs. The goal is, over the next three to four years, for every major city here to have a flame.
Why a flame? A flame gives light. Anything that gives light dispels darkness. Everything else in the world for peace negotiations has failed. Why not a flame?
Who are your heroes? Gandhi, of course. Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and St. Francis of Assisi.
What's your take on the year 2000? Personally, I feel that we need to be able to tap into the energy and flow of consciousness. There's such a strong hype surrounding the millennium. We can tap into that flow and use it toward a shift. A shift of consciousness, in creating unity, understanding -- hope in people's life. Energy is energy. It's a matter of us using our wisdom to tap this energy and use it toward something constructive.
What can be expected from the seminar this weekend? My father was a student of Gandhi. My parents trained me in Gandhian methodology for 35 years. So his methodology is what I study, and it's what I teach people. I teach practical hands-on methods. Take the worst situation -- personal crisis, family crisis, serious illness -- and here are techniques and methods applying to it. Essentially, body, heart and mind techniques.