Is peacefulness and grace our true nature?Together with a friend, I recently visited the impressive aquarium in Copenhagen, The Blue Planet. It is a spectacular creation, breathtaking. What touched us most was the calm in which all the animals seemed to live together. Like watching a graceful dance choreographed by an invisible hand, the fish was swimming around, diving and rising, playing, resting and moving again in slow movements and naturally respecting boundaries. All kinds of creatures living together in different tanks were moving about without tension. We found sharks, rays, mackerels, and other small fish engaged together in this delicate slow dance in peace. Like an original order, a way of living together which is at the core of our being. It is time for us to return to a dance of peaceful co-existence. The Blue Planet

Lotta ArbmanSecretary
Spirit of Humanity Forum

A gift that strengthens you on the inside

Invitation to a workshop

The Heartful Leader

Leading and working from the heart = wellbeing + compassion + integration

Designed to help leaders and change-makers access and integrate the infinite resources of their hearts. Simple techniques will show us how to reduce stress, improve overall health and wellbeing, clear the mind's clutter, and let go of negative and unhealthy habits which hold us back. These heart-based resources promote clarity of mind and the ability to be present in each moment, enabling better decision making and increasing self-compassion and compassion for others. The workshop is an invaluable contribution from Dr Hester O'Connor & Judith Nelson, who will facilitate.

Enjoy a profound, experiential workshop with time for reflection and interaction

ONLINE via Zoom

Tuesday 14 December at 16.00-17.30 GMT

Free of charge as per the ethos of the Spirit of Humanity Forum



Launch of Global Humanity for Peace Institute

We are delighted to share the following news:

The Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, the University of Wales Trinity St David, and UNESCO (Social and Human Sciences Section) jointly launched an international think-tank, Global Humanity for Peace Institute, on 18th November, at the occasion of the University's Founders' Day 200 years ago. The Institute will benefit from all the research facilities and educational resources offered by the University, but will also have its own autonomy.
Dr Scherto Gill, a Board Member of Spirit of Humanity Forum, will serve as the Institute's inaugural Chair and Director, and she will be facilitating the Institute's ongoing activities.
Briefly, Global Humanity for Peace Institute will focus on the following:

  • Instilling an ethic of love in worldwide communities and institutions to advance social justice and global solidarity;
  • Fostering collective healing (including healing the wounds from past atrocities and the wounds of our planet), enriching community regeneration, and advancing social justice and global solidarity, and providing professional development opportunities to facilitators of collective healing and community regeneration;
  • Empowering youth leadership, and nurturing youth transformative competences;
  • Harmonising holistic human well-being with our planet's flourishing, and supporting the development of governance processes that are values-based, dialogic and well-being sensitive;
  • Encouraging educational transformation and inspiring a culture of care in educational institutions;
  • Creating spaces for deep encounter, deep silence, deep listening, and deep dialogue for engendering greater harmony amongst all that is.

Spirit of Humanity Forum looks forward to our continued collaboration with the GHFP, and the new Institute.

Press Release HERE

The importance of our non-physical needs

The Peace Literacy Institute has arrived at very interesting conclusions about our basic human needs, conclusions very different from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

“Our research in Peace Literacy shows that people have many non-physical needs that are as important, if not more important, than their physical needs, especially when navigating struggle, uncertainty, and crisis. We’ve put together this series to discuss what these non-physical needs are, how people can meet them (and help others meet them) in healthy ways, how people during a crisis can become more vulnerable to tangles of trauma such as mistrust, rage, alienation, and helplessness, and how we can deal with trauma constructively rather than destructively. Each entry in this series [linked below] will focus on one of humanity’s non-physical needs, along with practical ideas to help us create stronger relationships and communities.”

Higher purpose will increase your courage, motivation, and resilience – your fuel

Read MorePaul K. Chappell founder and executive director of The Peace Literacy Institute is a man who has gone though stark life experiences and come out on the other side as a powerful peace advocate. Paul is a very clear communicator, watch his description of our Non-Physical Human Needs and Why our world need peace literacy

“Higher purpose by itself will not give you the many strategies and skills that you need to overcome adversity (we have a lot of ideas in our Peace Literacy curriculum to give you these strategies and skills). But having a higher purpose will increase your courage, motivation, and resilience – your fuel – so that you can use these strategies and skills to the best of your ability during a crisis, and create stronger relationships and communities as you navigate through the storms of life.” Paul K. Chappell

The Peace Literacy Institute offers
A Leadership Series
to Navigate Struggle, Uncertainty, and Crisis

A Winter Workshop Online
Healing Trauma, Navigating Technology, Protecting Humanity’s Future
Starting 12 December

The love story that shocked the world
and conquered prejudice

'A United Kingdom' is a film which unveils a remarkable story. It is a great surprise that these events in history are not more known to us. From BBC News: When an African prince and a white middle-class clerk from Lloyd's underwriters married in 1948, it provoked shock in Britain and Africa. Seretse Khama met Ruth Williams while he was a student at Oxford University. After his studies, he was supposed to go home to the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and marry someone from his own tribe, but his romance with Williams changed everything. His family disapproved, and Khama was forced to renounce his claim to the throne. The British government came under pressure to show its disapproval, and Khama was exiled from his homeland. In 1966 Bechuanaland achieved independence as the Republic of Botswana. Sereste Khama was democratically elected the country's first president, and as such, he promoted his ideal of a multiracial democracy. Ruth became a prominent humanitarian. Devoting her life to the fight against aids, helping disadvantaged women and children, and the struggle against racism. Khama was reelected to successive terms and served as president of Botswana until his death. Their eldest son, Ian Khama, became president of Botswana in 2008.

Nelson Mandela described their legacy as
‘A shining beacon of light and inspiration’.

VIDEO BBC News Witness spoke to Ruth Williams's sister about the love that conquered prejudice.
A film worth watching ‘A United Kingdom’

Imagine prisons as centers of healing and rehabilitation.

Transform prisons and communities through compassionate action.

A courageous leader with a powerful mission rooted in her own inner work

Fritzi Hortsman
is the Founder and Executive Director of the Compassion Prison Project an organisation dedicated to bringing compassion, childhood trauma awareness and creative inspiration to all men and women living behind bars. Compassion Prison Project began as the brainchild of award-winning producer Fritzi Horstman, whose own childhood trauma helped shape its conception. Over the course of several months in 2019-2020, Fritzi and a dedicated team of facilitators and volunteers partnered with incarcerated men at a Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), a maximum-security prison in Central California. Together, they created powerful tools to address and heal from childhood trauma.

Trauma Talks
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, she has developed a COVID curriculum called Trauma Talks, which includes a workbook and a video series. As part of the series, she talks about her own trauma and offers strategies for developing resilience. In addition to her workshop curriculum, Horstman also hosts a podcast, where she interviews prison officials, thought leaders, and trauma experts.  Watch HERE

Healing herself
As for the impact of understanding adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in her own life, she says: “I started to realise I needed to look at my behaviour and at my own thoughts. I was completely numb. I was disassociated.” As a mother herself, she became hyper-vigilant, describing herself as ”a mother on edge.” Her work with prisoners has helped her achieve clearer direction. “Now I’m more available to my family and to my project,” she says, which includes more than a dozen team members and more than 100 compassion ambassadors who support the organisation’s efforts. “I’ve got a whole prison system to fix,” she says.

Fritzi Horstman and Compassion Prison Project are in production with their new trauma-aware 12-part video series designed for men and women living in prison. The series is accompanied by a workbook. The program is being piloted in various prisons in the United States and countries around the world.

PACEs Connection - article

Honour Yard - a glimpse of transformative work at a high security prison in California

Discover the 'Cultivate the Soul Podcast'

Listen to great stories by leaders who discuss how they are bringing inner work to outer action and the impact this creates, by our friends at Synergos.  

A musician who is passionate about kindness

Originally from Montréal, Canada, Autumn Studios’ founder, Mark Fenster, began with a dream common to many songwriters - to inspire a better world with his songs. His own songwriting focuses on world peace, harmony, loving tolerance, and the ultimate discovery of our own unique beauty & universal connection. Specialising in Music that promotes a positive message, the creative team of Autumn Studios includes World Musicians of Multi-Cultural Instruments, and some of the finest talents found in our industry. Our recordings can be heard on radio, television, film, Jessie Award Winning theatre scores, live concerts and steaming everywhere. Mark ‍was ‍recently ‍honoured ‍with ‍a ‍Lifetime ‍Achievement ‍Award ‍in ‍the ‍areas ‍of ‍Music ‍& ‍Peace ‍by ‍the ‍Visioneers ‍International ‍Network‍ where he was also introduced to the Spirit of Humanity Forum.

In response to our inquiry for his reflections on the our theme 'Towards a Loving World' we received the two songs below with his explanations. Thank you Mark!

The story of “Colours"
This song begins at the end of the world, caused by humans at war due to intolerance of our differences The story outlines the mystery of our love of all colours of nature, except in human nature, and it shows how with just a little hint of possible, and a new perspective, we can all begin to walk together and truly celebrate nature’s rainbows, including and perhaps especially the human rainbow :)As we accept our differences as natural, perfect designs by Nature, we move from fear to interest and intrigue. Joy replaces fear. We live and grow so beautifully so much as the team of different parts we are, perfectly designed by Nature, human rainbows.
Listen HERE

The story of "Peace Blessing
Originally called “The Priestly Blessing”, this ancient prayer was offered by the high priests in ancient times to give people peace, and is still today offered by priests, imams, ministers and rabbis alike to their congregants, as well as by parents to their children at bedtime. The essence of this blessing is an offering of Peace & Love and is as much a joy to receive as it is to share. The music and universal translations create a beautiful space to share these meaningful words and wishes, for any and all people of all cultures and religions to join in. The refrain offers an opening for everyone to sing along with any words that mean “Peace”, and in any language or melody they may wish. Somehow, as with Universal Love of Spirit, there’s space for us all! My wish is that this somehow may be sung and shared as a bridge to reunite us all in the very peace and love we all have inside, as we were likely meant to be.
Listen HERE

Choose courageous kindness over fear and hatred
Mark Fenster talks from his life experience
Watch HERE

Supporting the innate clarity of our children

Notice something you can do. Without someone asking you.  It may please you just as much.  As the others' hearts you touch. This is the only text in this book, followed by a variety of beautifully illustrated scenarios, perfect for an early conversation with our children to explore the meaning of kindness. Children are often clearer than adults about these life-sustaining principles, so opening the dialogue with our young ones from the very beginning is a great way to nourish and support that clarity. Read MORE

Trauma is the big topic these days. Here is another big event

Free & Online: 3-9 December

Read More

Heartfulness launches a meditation app


HeartsApp by Heartfulness facilitates guided practices of Heartfulness tools; relaxation, rejuvenation, and meditation with the yogic transmission. It enables you to find your inner self and connects with your heart. 


Spiritual Practice offered by the Fetzer Institute


Pay attention to how you share space with others. Do you spread your stuff around? Do you place your things on the empty chairs beside you? Do you move them when someone else enters the space? Do you diminish your own needs by squeezing or twisting yourself to make room for others as if you don’t have the right to be comfortable?


The GHFP sponsors several significant projects under the theme of


Healing has been one of the major concepts in global peace and well-being, aimed at relieving the suffering of trans-generationally transmitted traumas, and addressing the deeper roots of violence, towards justice, equity and holistic and positive peace.

The causes of violence are often located in recent, but also older and even ancient, historical grievances and traumas. When drawing on perceived injustices, these psychological roots can become sources of violence, especially in acute times of crisis, fear and threat. These driving forces usually remain un-examined. By unfolding and deconstructing them, people can begin to see how systemic dehumanisation has been so deeply seated that it can become in part the narrative some communities have chosen to live by.

Through the pathways of encounter, dialogue, listening, re-storying, compassion, forgiveness and other similar processes, individuals, groups and communities can embark on collective healing journeys. Healing, reconciliation and social justice go hand-in-hand in the processes of transforming conflict and building holistic peace.

"Reconciliation cannot be aimed solely towards ending current conflict. It must also aim to include unburdening of the past, liberation from the pains and angers that made conflict seem inevitable in the first place." — Prof Garrett Thomson, CEO


Developed by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, University of Iceland

A course in Intercultural Competency

Increased immigration has led to greater interpersonal cross cultural encounters and heightened cultural concerns. Because of this all school levels are facing complex challenges in adjusting their services to an increasingly diverse student population. It is therefore of great importance that employees at all school levels are culturally competent and can adapt their services when working with people with diverse backgrounds. The e-course, Intercultural Competency in Education is sponsored by Nordplus Horizontal and is specifically aimed at teaching intercultural competency to educators.

  • The importance of self-awareness and curiosity as a way towards intercultural awareness
  • Awareness of the impact of negative generalisations
  • How to deal with contradictions when identities are constructed
  • How to become aware of your own influence on students’ identities, and to develop strategies to deal with identities in a fairer and more coherent way
  • The importance of promoting understanding through respect for intercultural dialogue and the value of different languages

Learn MORE

Special event in Jerusalem: Festival of Lights

Christians, Muslims and Jews together

Join Elija Interfaith Institute for a special gathering of Praying Together in Jerusalem:

Christians, Muslims and Jews will gather at
the Fuchsberg Center, Rechov Agron 8, Jerusalem
for shared learning, prayers, candle-lighting and celebrations.

Teachers will include Rabbi Joel Levy, Reverend Richard Sewell, and Mohammed Said Abraham As'ad, with music by Hanna Yaffe.

Thursday 2 December at 5 pm Jerusalem time

10 am EST
3 pm UK time
4 pm Central European time
5 pm Israel time
8:30 pm India time

Please note that it begins one hour earlier than in summer.
Save your spot by signing up here.
You are welcome to join in person or on Zoom.

Spiritual practice

What makes my heart expand?

A simple but powerful reflection exercise

We live in a world where our heads are often given predominance over our hearts, but our hearts holds the key to our courage and generosity. So, let's open the door to our hearts.

Take a pause with paper and pen, and maybe a cup of hot tea, to reflect on the following questions. An exercise of self-care which can bare fruit in many fields. You may be surprised. An opportunity to connect with and strengthen your authentic self.

  • What are my thoughts and feelings at the moment?
  • What in my life are the things that make my heart grow, expand, and feel happier? (thoughts, words, activities, relationships and connections)
  • What in my life are the things that make my heart shrink?

Can I make a simple daily plan for myself to include the things that make my heart grow?

A recipe from our director Jóhanna Vilhjálmsdóttir

Jóhanna's Peppercookies

(Icelandic: Piparkökur)

250 gr wholemeal Spelt
250 gr fine Spelt
250 gr sugar (Jóhanna uses Rapadura sugar, but you can use any sugar you like)
180 gr butter or vegan margarine
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cloves
3 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
8 tsp cinnamon
1 dl maple syrup
1 dl milk of choice (oat, almond etc.)

Put the butter/margarine and syrup together in a saucepan and melt over low heat. When the mixture is completely melted, add all the spices and stir. Remove from the heat and combine other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use the hook (if you use a machine) or wooden spoon and pour in the syrupy spice mixture together with the milk. Stir well until the dough is smooth. Put it in a closed bowl and in fridge overnight. Remember to take the dough out well in advance before making the cookies. Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin rather thinly as the cookies rise. Take out cookies with baking tins, or you can use a glass.

Bake at 195 ° C approx. 5-7 min.
Cool on a rack and decorate with icing if desired.

"In Iceland this is a very dark and cold time of the year, so we are very much drawn to lighting candles, eating warm soups and the spicy 'pepper-cookies' of the season." Jóhanna says. This is the recipe which she has been using for many years, (even the photo is her own) and she hopes that you will enjoy it as much as her family does.

Gjörðu svo vel! = Enjoy!

Reflections from our friends

On the our current theme:
Towards a Loving World
leadership and governance for well-being

A loving world depends on the understanding that diversity is a fact and inclusion is an act. It is important to promote multiple identities where respect, understanding and acceptance is paramount
- Amjad Mohamed-Saleem

Leading towards well-being elicits an image of mindfulness and compassion for humanity and the world itself. Long-term orientation with sustainable strategy is necessary to love the world: it is beyond country, race, ethnicity, and gender expression, beyond language and dialect, beyond self. At the same time, as we live in a complex world, convergence and governance are necessary. Not all leaders seek world healing or well-being for folks outside their country's borders or even the district's invisible boundary lines. The Spirit of Humanity Forum makes a conversation and vision like this possible.
- Lori Halverson-Wente

Within our consciousness is an awareness that a world of mutual care and compassion will lead us into extraordinary ways of being and living together. Efforts that challenge each of us to explore the potential of living lovingly together provide immense hope to our life on this planet.
- Christopher Bullock

Can we start moving towards a loving world by practicing_inhabiting our bodies?
How are we in our bodies? How are we feeling (in) our bodies?
How do we stand? How do we move_relate? How fast_slow? How do we gaze at each other?
How do we lead our sensing attention?
Are decisions emerging from disembodied power?
Can decisions emerge from fully embodied shared attention?
Are we present in being? Are we welcoming being_with?
- Catarina Trota

Shouldn't we install a universal, UN-like 'body' of leadership, defining universal leadership principles and practices of 'high standards'? Leaders can be praised for their high ethical qualitative leadership or judged for the lack of it by an international board.
- Olivier Onghena-‘t Hooft

Leaders need to have no interest in taking advantage of institutions' management, be it economic, intellectual, political, moral, or other.
- César R. Sevilla

Leadership needs to focus on resonance for the whole organisation.
- Pernille Storm Faxe

We, intelligent humans, have a lot to learn from animals and vegetation. Coexistence is the main theme in these parallel kingdoms where central command and all the rest being followers seldom exist. The balanced ecosystem cycle exists there at best. We humans have to dissolve classifications and coexist. It means easy adaptability, no biases, and finally, collective leadership. Governance cannot only be following laws and authority. It can work better through joint ownership, collective drive for decisions, with well-being and love as the primary fuel for growth.
- Anurag Jain

In a circle, no one is the leader. And if no one is the leader, we must learn to guide, assist and help each other, like in the shamanic wisdom and practice.
- Anja Mays

I believe that the world we live in right now is in need of love towards the world around us and more specifically towards each other. Away form the ego-models of 'exchange' and/or 'extract-use-dispose'. The theme of the workshop 'the Heartful Leader' sounds like one that might help us / me to find direction in that search of how to care unconditionally for one-another and our world.
- Joep C. de Jong

Personal empowerment is critical. How be liberated from fear-driven social and economic decisions?
- Enrique Miles

For me, leadership for a loving world is a top-down and bottom-up process at once with love on both sides. This progressive process is to be owned by all of us simultaneously at the same level.Love unites. Love is our essence. Love manifests everywhere if we want to. Love as the top value could be a starting point: How does love manifest at work, between people, between nations?All the animals are in the human being and manifests, said CG Jung.This process would require a deep change of paradigm.But let's try!
- Jean Debrosse

Love is a prerequisite for our global well-being and dynamic governance for an effective Leadership style that serves humanity!
- Markos Perrakis

As I change within, my vision of the world changes. Be the loving change you wish to see in our world family.
- Masana De Souza

A loving world and well-being for everyone are what most human beings want. We need to find a way to ignite love inside and let it guide our actions and interactions. Letting go of all fears, doubts and other false barriers. We need to spread the hope, the faith that it is possible, even easy and fun to live our lives in such a unique and meaningful way.
- Encarna Cuevas

La civilización del amor enseña cuida protege y sana las relaciones humanas y construye vínculos poderosos redes de instituciones y personas.Autónomas que trabajan para cubrir las necesidades más profundas de los seres humanos.The civilisation of love teaches care, protects and heals human relationships and builds strong links between institutions and people.It works independently to meet the deepest needs of human beings.
- Marta Paillet

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace (Jimi Hendrix)
- Marc Vossen

We need to shift from I to We, not just in our minds but in our hearts. We need to listen to our soul notes, the soul notes of others and learn how to harmonise with each other and co-create the magnificent world we can build together. Our lived experience of interconnection is the pathway I see for our world. We need social flourishing, practices that go beyond the intellect, practices that include the heart and soul to co-create well being for all. Each of us, all of us, have the power to generate empathy and connection. For me, it is about Finding Us in Music, the most effective pathway to ensure the well-being we all deserve.
- Barbara Nussbaum

'Love HIM who Loves All, Love All whom HE Loves' is my favourite quote
- Sakthidasan MS

Coexistence and conviviality (against conflict and violence) are the main traits of the new society most citizens want. This is the crucial challenge of the years to come.
- Leonel Narvaez

Friday's for Silence

Building a subtle network, connecting beyond words

Welcome to join our weekly practice

Every Friday 15 minutes
11 am Icelandic time = GMT



Spirit of Humanity Forum

Secretary: Lotta Arbman (Sweden)
lotta.arbman (at)
+46 729 110 485