Zaltho Foundation | Seeds of Peace

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Founded in 1994 by Claude AnShin Thomas, the Zaltho Foundation, headquartered in Belmont, Massachusetts (with a meditation center in Mary Esther, Florida) is a spiritually-based foundation committed to ending violence by encouraging and establishing socially engaged projects in communities, organizations, and families, with an emphasis on the most important ingredient, the individual. When Claude AnShin Thomas took vows in 1995, he renounced any official position with the foundation. Today he is a spiritual advisor to the membership.

Nonviolence can be a word with large implications. Zaltho Foundation’s perspective on nonviolence is broad, including easing from people’s lives general negativity, ignorance, greed, and conflict. These are things that we all experience in our daily lives to some degree. This is where the roots of violent action rest.

One of the things Zaltho focuses on is supporting Claude AnShin Thomas’s efforts to “promote awareness and healing through the spiritual practice of Zen Meditation and Mindfulness practice in the form of Ecumenical Dialogue, Public Talks, Residential Retreats, Street Retreats, Pilgrimage, Concentration-Camp Retreats, and his continued work with War Veterans and victims (past and present) world wide.” Thomas’s full-fledged intention through this work is to end all suffering and war in this lifetime.

Zaltho, in cooperation with Claude AnShin Thomas, is working with people and organizations all over the world, predominantely in Europe, South America and the United States to bring an end to the repetitive cycles of violence and suffering. The foundation organizes visits and events in prisons, schools, and hospitals and places of current and past conflicts. It consults with governments at many different levels about the consequences of war and violence. It engages with secular and religious communities about the culture of violence and how these cultures of violence can be transformed.

The Magnolia Zen Center in Mary Esther, Florida supports people who sincerely want to learn how to live their lives from a spiritually centered place, who are committed to awaken from their own suffering, and who wish to support others. Here they have a chance to study and practice on, what the Zaltho Web site calls, “a metaphorical meditation cushion.” In other words, they have a chance to practice whether or not they in sitting in meditation.

The Magnolia Zen Center brings the work of the Zaltho Foundation full circle, providing support for those who want to study the art of meditation as well as empowering them to support change in their lives directly. Self-empowerment through the meditation also allows those who fully engage to be a very real support in the lives of others.

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