On Sunday, a group of Valley women held a meditation circle at Desert Yoga Shala to honor and raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.
“Really just to bring people here to have a place to release and you know, have a shared purpose,” said event organizer Angelina Padron.
People gathered around in a circle to meditate and pray for the people experiencing violence every day.
“We believe that this war is based on fear, so we’re just trying to match it right now with love,” Padron added.
Moon cards and peace offerings took part in Sunday’s ceremony. “We grab roses and people want to keep them in their homes or release them back into earth – it’s our peace signal.”
One by one, participants shared stories and thoughts. “If you’re not connected to that country, you don’t have a friend or family or anyone, you may think okay it’s another war, gas prices went up. But to us, it’s people’s lives,” said one of the event’s organizer’s Oksana DerDerian.
Everyone who participated coming from different backgrounds and walks of life.
“There’s a girl from Ukraine, there’s a girl from Russia, there’s a girl from Belarus, there’s a girl from America,” DerDerian added, “And it just shows that people care.”
One of the participants, Anna Horton, who was born and raised in Ukraine described her thoughts when Russia’s invasion began. “It was a shock. It was because no one didn’t expect it. It was absolutely shock.”
She said Sunday’s ceremony made her feel connected to her home country.
“Your family is there, you are here and you cannot do anything for helping, for supporting, for protection. Just everything you can do is pray. That’s why we are here today, to pray for world, for Ukraine and for people.”
The event was to raise funds to help supply resources for people in Ukraine. Organizers of the event said they plan to make this meditation circle a weekly event.