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united nations meditation room
United Nations Meditation Room, New York

The Shaft of Light

 United Nations Meditation Room, New York

The thought of more light governs all the inchoate yearnings of the human spirit.

It was this realisation that prompted Dag Hammarskjold’s brilliantly conceived epitome of such yearnings in the symbol he set before the people of all nations in the Meditation Room in the United Nations in New York.

“… there are simple things which speak to us all with the same language. We have sought such things and we believe that we have found them in the shaft of light striking the shining surface of solid rock.

So in the middle of the room we see a symbol of how, daily, the light of the skies gives life to the earth on which we stand, a symbol to many of us of how the light of the spirit gives life to matter.” 

there is nothing to distract our attention or to break in on the stillness within ourselves

“… the shaft of light strikes the stone in a room of utter simplicity. There are no other symbols, there is nothing to distract our attention or to break in on the stillness within ourselves….”

“We want to bring back the stillness which we have lost in our streets and in our conference rooms, and to bring it back in a setting in which no noise would impinge upon our imagination. In that setting we want to bring back our thoughts to elementary facts, the facts we are always facing, life struck by light while resting on the ground.”

~ Dag Hammarskjold

One of Dag Hammarskjold’s closest friends wrote the following about this room: 

the attitude that has to precede human understanding of any quality — a sense of humility and of quietude

“There was nothing in that room chosen to represent a religion, yet it seemed to have the power to convey to people of all religions or of none the attitude that has to precede human understanding of any quality — a sense of humility and of quietude. For many of us, the rock and the light express something of the range within which the human spirit could unfold into infinity or be locked into solidness like stone.”

For more about this special room you may like to visit: http://www.aquaac.org/un/medroom.html

For more about the energy of Light you may like to visit: http://www.lucistrust.org/en/service_activities/triangles/literature__1/the_energy_of_light

About Judy

Hi, I'm one of a group of authors and editors for the Sydney Goodwill website.

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