|Summertime, 1988||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 4|
|Table of Contents:|
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Steps around the world
The China Letter
Soviet and American Peace Walk
Letter from Leningrad
|Working with Groups
Peace Pilgrim Pictures
Excerpts from Lady on the Road
Quotes from Letters
Gandhigram Rural Institute
Do You Have Any Pictures?
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
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"Nature speaks a very strong language-luring us all towards God." Peace Pilgrim
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,
THIS SUMMER WE HAVE ENJOYED picking apricots from a nearby organic orchard, and eating them for breakfast as we picked. We dried hundreds of them in the sun. It is such a simple natural process; we wish everyone could have unprocessed food, and sun-dried, unsulphured fruit to munch on in the winter.
Its summertime, but not slow time for our mail. Thank you for the wonderfully heartening responses to our newsletters. We enjoy sharing news of the creative activities of concerned people throughout the world who write to us. One wrote, after receiving our newsletter, "What a refreshing way to start my day, to read of all the persons who are actively involved in carrying Peaces message around the world. I do believe that peace will always be the business of ordinary citizens working in small ways."
The other day Jeff called an office supply company in Los Angeles. When he told the woman taking our order that we are "Friends of Peace Pilgrim," she said she had saved a Peace Pilgrim quote from a box of Celestial Seasons Herb Tea. It was the only time she ever heard of Peace Pilgrim. She was happy to hear about our Center and delighted when Jeff offered her a book.
Bill was invited to talk about Peace Pilgrim to a group of film industry people in Santa Monica. He showed them a Peace Pilgrim video and answered questions late into the night.
Bill has collected short saying of Peace Pilgrim and printed them by computer on address labels. They are organized into sets of 12, which cost us three cents per set to produce. If you are interested, please ask for Peace Pilgrim Sayings.
Several of you have written that you are glad we have help in our work, and we want to assure you that the work Bill and Jeff do in helping to spread Peace Pilgrims message is immeasurable. They also do other wonderful things, like mowing the grass and working in the garden.
Visitors are welcome at the Peace Pilgrim Center. A call or postcard is helpful. There are always things to do for skilled and unskilled workers. Bring a sleeping bag, if you have one, for an overnight visit. We have places to sleep, inside and out.
As I write this I (Ann) see about a dozen tiny baby quail following quickly and closely behind their parents. Ann, John, Jeff, & Bill
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STEPS around the world
"The joy and beauty the STEPS booklet brings is beyond all earthly measurement " (from a letter)
To 80 countries
We were delighted the other day to get a phone call from Philadelphia for 3000 STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklets to be sent to the Wider Quaker Fellowship member in 80 countries. They also wanted a box of 240 PASOS (Spanish STEPS).
We have already sent Peace Pilgrim books and/or STEPS to 71 countries. It was great to have Bob and Gladys Gray visit us from the Wider Quaker Fellowship office in Philadelphia to discuss a cover letter to go with STEPS.
A Peace Pilgrim friend wrote recently, "I am a member of the Tallahassee Friends Meeting (Quakers). Peace Pilgrims message is very much in step with what Quakers try to do and many of our members are familiar with her and her message.
"In our Yearly Meeting, which covers the Southeast, we have a Worship Group in Managua. All of the meetings in the Yearly Meeting try to support this worship group and their projects. We ship large containers from St. Petersburg to Managua in which we send food and clothing, medical instruments, toys, tools and Spanish language books. We feel that Peace Pilgrims message is a very important one for people to hear in that war-torn nation. We in Tallahassee would like to see that that message is heard."
We were deeply thankful to be asked to send a box of 240 PASOS for the Tallahassee Friends Nicaragua project. The Pro-Nica Shipping Alliance and the American Friends Service Committee are in charge of sending them. The Friends Meeting also requested a box of PEACE PILGRIM books.
We just received a letter from Casa de los Amigos (Friends Center) in Mexico City, where refugees from El Salvador go for help. Since November we have sent two boxes of 240 PASOS, and recently they requested another box. A Friend from the Casa, who works with the Iglesia de los Amigos in Ciudad Satelite, wants 1000 PASOS for prisons and Alcoholics Anonymous groups.
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The China Letter
In our last newsletter we printed a letter from a professor teaching English in China, who requested Peace Pilgrim books and tapes. After receiving the books, he
"We are out of the rainy season, we hope. Magical, magnificent, mystical China was also quite muddy for a while!!!
"I, too, was thrilled to hear from you. Thanks for your loving support and kind prayers. Your letter was an uplift for us all here (a letter from Jeff)
"You should know that the Chinese custom of gift giving is an important one. Giving a message of peace is a wonderful gift. I couldnt think of a better one. My students, some of whom graduate, will enjoy the book. Many of my colleagues and friends will be quite moved to receive such a book. Maybe we can even send one to Deng Xiao Ping! I look forward to the audiocassettes. My students will enjoy these.
"The Chinese are a peace-loving people Ive traveled into small villages where the poverty is shocking and Ive left, learning how wonderful people are. The little the people have, they share. As a foreign friend, they cant do enough for you. Somehow, I hope they dont adopt too much Westernization. A simple agrarian life is a blessed one the people, who know little of Christian ethics, put them into practice and seem to live the way Christians should
" The message of love, light, joy and peace is stronger than any nuclear power! You would be amazed to discover how powerful people actually are. Recently the Beijing government put the nation on daylight-savings time. The people dont like it they refuse to do it. Even in the work place and I n some government offices, there is a refusal to follow orders from Beijing. Everyone says, its not our custom!
"Can you imagine people refusing weapons, violence and insisting on peace and non-violent means to solve problems? I think the world grows ready for this. The people of the world are tired of war and terrorism in all its forms. People are beginning to know the truth. The propaganda machines of China, the USSR and the USA cannot go up against the blossoming of Divine Consciousness in every soul. I get consolation in knowing every soul on earth, every living thing is ultimately seeking reunion and union with God all of us are a reflection of GodPeace Pilgrim certainly taught us that and lived it. How fortunate to be touched by her Love, light, joy and peace, Lee"
And in a more recent letter her wrote, "We will translate the book into Chinese!"
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SOVIET AND AMERICAN PEACE WALK
Many people all over the world are realizing that we must learn to live together or die together. There is not other way. The Soviet-American Peace Walk that took place last summer in Russia is happening again this summer in both countries. The participants began their walk in June from Washington D.C. with 125 Americans and 220 Soviet citizens. The Soviets include a member of the INF Treaty team, a Lutheran pastor, and a member of the Supreme Soviet. We hear that many day walkers are joining the peace walk for short periods of time.
The Walk in Russia will begin in Moscow on August 19 and end on September 15. A mother, whose son and daughter were on the Great Peach March a couple of years ago and the Russian March last summer, wrote to us for STEPS for them to take along. She wrote; "The spirit of Peace is flowing across the world; love and joy will be in the hearts of all people. I feel like Peace Pilgrim is walking hand and hand with my children for all the children." We have sent two boxes of Peace Pilgrim books and hundreds of STEPS for this years walk, and will be sending many more for the walk in Russia. If any of you are interested in helping, or walking in Russia, contact: INTERNATIONAL PEACE WALK, PO Box 53412, Washington, D.C. 20009. (202) 232-7055.
Pilgrim for Peace T-shirt
A PILGRIM FOR PEACE T-SHIRT is now available! These are quality cotton Hanes shirts, white letters on blue. They are &8.50 each, including postage and handling. Indicate whether you want medium or large size, and allow six weeks for delivery. Order from Jackie Burch, Peace Pilgrim T-shirts, 2203 Greenbriar Drive, Henderson, KY 42420
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LETTER FROM LENINGRAD
Perhaps you remember about Jolene on the Russian march last year who asked us to send a book to Ninel, the teacher of English, whose home is on Tolstoy Avenue in Leningrad.
After reading PEACE PILGRIM, she asked for four more books and wrote, "Ive received your parcel with 4 books and 5 STEPS. Im immensely grateful to you for them. Now I can give these books to my colleagues, the teachers of English. I hope the ideas of this wonderful woman will be after their hearts and theyll become her friends as I did. If my colleagues like these books and want to have them as their handbooks and tell everybody about Peace Pilgrim, Ill ask you to send some more, to say nothing about tapes; but I dont feel at ease, because I dont know how to compensate your efforts.
"I dream to take part in the Peace walk, but it doesnt depend on me. Thank you very very much!
In peace and love, Ninel"
We sent her a stack of STEPS and more books, and wrote that giving out Peace Pilgrim books, STEPS and tapes in Russia was compensation enough for all of us friends of Peace Pilgrim!
Paul Bockhorst, and Emmy Award-winning documentary producer, has discussed with us his interest in making a documentary of people whose lives have been touched and influenced by Peace Pilgrim. Paul is now looking for resources to begin his research. If you are one of those people who knew and were inspired by Peace Pilgrim, and if you would be interested in being interviewed or if you want to help, contact Paul at 267 West Lynwood, Monrovia, CA 91016. (818) 303-1465.
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We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of 20,000 copies of the new "compact edition" of the PEACE PILGRIM book. This second edition is not a replacement of the first, which we will continue to distribute.
The compact edition will look much like the original, but its type will be reduced 10%, its margins will be narrower, and its length will be only 190 pages. None of Peace Pilgrims words will be abridged. It will weigh about half as much and cost much less to ship. The printing and shipping cost will be about 50 cents each in quantity or about $25 per printers box.
The primary reason for the compact edition is to be able to provide more boxes of books to groups. The first edition is too expensive to give out as freely as we would like. Most of the books we ship are in boxes, and many of these go to groups. We have reached many people through groups and would like to be able to do this on an even larger scale.
Usually the compact edition will be sent to those requesting boxes as they come from the print. The first edition will be sent to those who request small numbers of books, but we will be glad to send you larger quantities of the first edition if you prefer.
WORKING WITH GROUPS
Many Peace Pilgrim friends have found good ways to introduce her book to large numbers of receptive people. They have contacted peace organizations and groups interested in inner peace, giving them Peace Pilgrim literature, speaking at their meetings, showing videos, and asking them to tell their members about Peace Pilgrim. We hope many friends will encourage groups to take boxes of the new compact edition.
Making a Peace Pilgrim presentation can be a deeply satisfying experience. Showing the video alone is enough to start a spirited discussion. After seeing the video, many people want STEPS, books, audio and videotapes.
Bill has developed a special kit of materials with detailed suggestions for working with groups. The Network Kit will be sent without obligation to anyone who requests it.
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PEACE PILGRIM PICTURES
We have three different pictures that Peace Pilgrim chose to be sent out when writers wanted a picture for an article. There are about 100 of each and they are available to any who would like them as long as our supply lasts.
Excerpts from LADY ON THE ROAD
(An interview of Peace Pilgrim by Virginia Mill, 1965, Published in COASTLINES)
Virginia.; Youve done a lot of thinking, probably youve done quite a bit of studying in your life.
Peace Pilgrim: Actually, my way has not been the outer way, (through studying) it has been the inner way One of my projects was the simplification of life. When I undertook to bring my life down to need level, it was because I felt I could not accept more than I required, while others in the world had less than enough; and I thought it would be difficult, bit it wasnt.
VM: You might meet with resentment of this attitude among people who havent any sympathy for it, and those who dont identify with it, who have more than they can use.
Peace: Oh, but you see, Im not trying to push it on anybody else. This is a matter of inner motivation. I understand that. There was a time in my life when you couldnt talk to me about those things.
VM: How did you come to discover this? You seem to understand a great deal about psychology.
Peace: I have lived through the steps toward inner peace. I dont know it because I read it in a book. I know it because Ive live it Once of the ways that I discovered that I could be of service was to work with the psychologically disturbed ones, helping them to find a bit more harmony in their lives. I have done a good deal of this.
Now when I look upon a five-year-old child I know that child is not physically mature, and certainly not mentally mature, but I do not look upon that child with any feeling of superiority. I know that the child will grow, and that when the child grows, it may make a more significant contribution to the world than I can make, and so I dont look upon them at all with a feeling of superiority.
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QUOTES from Letters
From one who found the PEACE PILGRIM book when she was recovering from a nervous breakdown: "It was so simple, and I credit it as one of the most important contributions to restoring me to sanity, and opening my own spiritual journey. God does change lives, and as Peace put it, trying to live what we believe is the most challenging and wonderful life there is.: This woman requested a box of books and has been giving them out "to people who come to the mental health clinic where I work and to residents of our transitional living center where people live, who are recovering from severe mental illness. Many people have shared with me that passage have come to mind that help them control anger or calm them.
Roger Walsh, Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, Medical School, Irvine, wrote after reading the book, "A deeply moving account of a contemporary saint: a woman who experienced enlightenment and then single-mindedly dedicated her life to sharing the peace she found with the world." He requested 4 boxes of books, 13 videos, and PAL-formatted videos for friends in England, Switzerland and Australia.
GANDHIGRAM RURAL INSTITUTE
A Bridge between the Science Lab and the Village Mud-Hut
In January, 1946 Mahatma Gandhi was on a tour of South India, when a huge crowd of rustic men and women stopped the Gandhi train to have a darshan (a meeting) with him. That very spot is now Gandhigram, founded on Oct. 7, 1947, when the nation was in ecstasy on becoming free. The Chancellor of Gandhigram is now the Vice-President of India.
On the way to visit our son and family in Washington State, we had the privilege of meeting the Vice-Chancellor of Gandhigram, Devendra Kumar, and his wife Prabha at the Los Angeles airport and driving them north to Fresno.
Devendra has requested many Peace Pilgrim books and is closely associated with the INDIAN FRIENDS OF PEACE PILGRIM, that printed 10,000 STEPS in Tamil. He wanted to meet us when he came west to talk about a student exchange program with the Chancellor of California State University in Fresno.
We were thrilled to hear about Gandhigrams emphasis on appropriate technology for the villages, where most of the people in India live.
John and Ann
A Recent Letter from Dr. Arunchalam in India:
"We are steadily making progress in popularizing the message of Peace Pilgrim in this part of the country. Recently I have been on tour in North India. I spent three days with Bengali-speaking friends. I spoke to them about Peace Pilgrim and the good work you are doing, with Hemet as headquarters. They will publish STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE in Bengali. It may be necessary to assist them with some money for initial expenses. We from here shall do that.
"We will be happy to know how you are progressing with the work. I hope you got the reprint and the Tamil Translation, which we posted to you some months back. (He sent us 50 Tamil STEPS and a magazine in Tamil with Peace Pilgrims picture on the front! If anyone reads Tamil and wants a copy, let us know. We have heard it is one of the oldest living languages!)
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By Arun Gandhi, a research scholar at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi.
"Hate," my grandfather (Mahatma) Mohandas Gandhi told me, "will only make you miserable. It is a word you must try to omit from your vocabulary." This was in 1946. When I was 12, and had just fought with a close friend over a soccer match. My grandfather pulled me to his side, put his arms around me, and in a very soft, tender voice, said: "Dont get into the habit of blaming others for everything. Always first take a good look at yourself and your contribution before blaming others." It was much later that I understood the importance of this message
If I was able to overcome my hate for the whites and blacks in South Africa, both of whom made me the butt of racial violence when I had barely entered my teens, it was because my grandfather and parents taught me to forgive. "They must have some reason for behaving as they do," I was told. "Your attempt should be to try and find out what it is, and help remedy it."
In India, I witnessed hate and violence on the basis of caste. With friends, I helped form an organization that brought about an amazing change in one village through economic development and social understanding.
When the "untouchables" of the village wanted to avenge wrongs done to them, our chairman convinced them to forget and forgive. "Look to the future," he said. "Hate will only consume your energies and get you nowhere " Today, more than 60 villages have adopted self-help as their economic program, and benevolence as their social creed.
Encouraged by this experiment and a renewed faith in the goodness of man, I decided to come to the United States and do research to compare discrimination here with that in India and South Africa .
Racial attitudes in America are hard. Legally, much has been achieved, but in human relations America still has a long was to go .
The attitudes are the same in India and South Africa and everywhere else where man has not yet come to terms with his own species. There is not a country in the world, however advanced, where human relations are exemplary.
Is it not ironical that we risk our lives for God and religion, and yet flout with impunity the fundamental tenet of Gods message to love they neighbor . Are we going to let ourselves, and our world, be consumed by senseless hatred and anger, or do we have the will and desire to retreat from such negative attitudes? .
If people understand each other a little better, it will be a step toward peace for mankind and a partial realization of Mahatma Gandhis dream of a fraternal society .
Do You Have Any Pictures of Peace Pilgrim?
Recently the publisher of our book in Germany asked for a color photograph of Peace Pilgrim, and we were unable to locate a suitable picture. Some of you have already sent pictures, for which we are thankful; now we are looking for a greater variety to help us full requests. We will appreciate receiving any photographs or negatives that you may have of Peace Pilgrim, whether color, or black and white, regardless of the quality. Please let us know if we may keep the originals in our archives. If you want them back, we will have new negatives made and return the originals to you.
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Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544