Mandar Apte is an award winning intrapreneur and filmmaker.  For nearly two decades, he has taught leadership programs using meditation practices for the International Association for Human Values and the Art of Living Foundation.  In 2019, he also started the Cities4Peace initiative.

Mandar begins our conversation by talking about following the example of Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the fight against social injustice in the world.  He says: “We need to fight against social injustice, but that doesn’t mean we cannot have peace within. The two complement one another.”

Mandar makes the important point that activists must learn self-care to fight the good fight.  One powerful ancient practice is meditation.  He says that people on all sides need to learn how to manage their emotions: “Once you manage inner peace… what remains is the happy and peaceful you.” And he adds: “Unless you heal your own trauma, you cannot go and help other people.”

Mandar talks about the inspiring Cities4Peace initiative in LA. He explains how it has brought together former gang members, victims of violence and police officers from LAPD in one room and went through a boot camp in non-violence.  He says it seeks to actively promote peace instead of waiting for an act of violence.  Mandar recognizes that the one common denominator is trauma: “All sides have trauma… the one thing that brought everyone together is ‘I have trauma and I want to heal myself.’”

Imagine bringing these powerful healing tools like meditation into the community: “We need to bring these tools to leaders, so they can make decisions with compassion.”

These tools and practices have the potential to truly change the world: Imagine a police officer, in the heat of the moment, if he’s able to calm down his emotions, so much can be changed.”

Mandar adds that the beauty of meditation practice is that it helps to increase self-compassion: “Meditation practice will definitely help with self-compassion.  Unless you are compassionate with yourself, you cannot be compassionate with someone else. “

You can learn more about Mandar and his work here:

You learn more about Cities4Peace here: