Bob Filner attends tree-planting ceremony, calls for sense of justice and peace
By Anthony King | SDUN Editor
Mayor Bob Filner planted a tree for peace Saturday, June 29, at a small ceremony held in the Sri Chinmoy Peace Garden, located at the intersection of Adams Avenue and Arizona Street in Normal Heights.
The peace tree, a symbol of the teachings of the philosopher Sri Chinmoy, was donated by local businesses Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga and Jyoti Bihanga Vegetarian Restaurant, as well as the World Harmony Run, which Chinmoy founded.
“As we progress as a city and we talk about tourism, and we talk about the Navy and we talk about high tech,” Filner said at the ceremony, a press release stated, “what about our souls? What about who we are as human beings? What about how we relate to each other?”
Uptown residents built the garden in the name of Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual philosopher who promoted the tenants of peace, selflessness and meditation. It sits on private property, with full support of the owner. A dedication ceremony was held in January once the garden was complete.
“Hopefully we can spread this sense of justice and peace to all our city and state, and then, of course, our nation,” Filner said.
Sujantra McKeever, founder of Pilgrimage Yoga, welcomed Filner and attendees.
“Only the peace dreamers, peace lovers and peace servers can transform the world,” McKeever said, reciting an aphorism, or principle, of Chinmoy. “Each one of us can, in our own unique way, be a part of creating a world of peace.”
Mahiyan Savage, owner of Jyoti Bihanga, said the importance in having the peace garden was to provide inspiration. McKeever moved to Normal Heights to help Savage at his restaurant in 1985, and then traveled the world offering free meditation workshops as a part of the Sri Chinmoy Centre. Pilgrimage Yoga was founded in 1999.
“Sri Chinmoy himself was a man who dedicated his life to inspiring people,” Savage said in the release. “The statue and the park are an inspiration.”
Chinmoy was an author, poet, musician and athlete, who dedicated his life to “fostering the growth of peace inside the hearts of human beings from all nationalities and faiths,” the release said. He died in October of 2007.
“The presence of this peace tree will allow individuals visiting the peace garden to reflect on bringing peace into the world,” Savage said. “It reminds us that peace must start with each of us and then branch off to others.”