Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
43480 Cedar Ave, Hemet, CA 92544  (909) 927-7678


Springtime, 1992 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 15

Online Edition

Table of Contents:   (TOC)
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim 
From Russia with Love 
Soviet Coup's Failure 
"Jesus Said" by Thich Nhat Hanh 
Dallas Mediation Project 
A Bulgarian Visitor 
Peace Pilgrim Center Report 
New Center 
Peace Pilgrim in Spanish 
Our Winter Volunteer 
Bike Aid 
Our Friend in Kenya 
Arabic Steps 
Hebrew Steps 
Earthsave 
Writing to Congress 
Alternatives to Violence 
Community Peace Fellowships 
Laurel Springs School 
Recent Books 

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


(Back to TOC)   Back to Table of Contents

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim, 

THIRTY THOUSAND STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklets are being printed in Moscow!

One day in January we answered the phone and to our surprise, Sergei Badayev, a Moscow Peace Pilgrim friend we have been in touch with for two years, was on the other end. He called to tell us he had taken our Russian STEPS booklet to a weekly newspaper, “ARGUMENTS AND FACTS”, with 17 million circulation. The paper had printed an ad that a free STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklet would be sent to anyone who wrote to Sergei’s address. Within a few weeks they received over 21,000 requests for the booklets.

We gave careful consideration about how to respond and what options we had. We talked with Russian friends such as Tatiana Paviova, a Moscow Quaker and others involved with Russian projects. Sergei and we finally decided to print 30,000 Russian STEPS booklets in Moscow. The printing cost is very low and we save shipping costs.

Sergei and his wife Dinara have rented a Peace Pilgrim post office box in Moscow and this address instead of ours is being printed on the booklet as the place where more STEPS may be obtained. Later this year we plan to print the Russian Peace Pilgrim book in Moscow also. A dozen volunteers have offered to help the Badayev’s with the mailing. They have told us of their interest and willingness to set up a Russian Friends of Peace Pilgrim like organization, adopted to the particular conditions of that country.

Meeting the challenge of timely communications between here and Moscow has involved numerous FAXes and intercontinental phone calls.

Here is the Badayev’s story: Three years ago they received an English STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklet from the Wider Quaker Fellowship, and have been requesting our books and STEPS booklets ever since. They were especially delighted to finally receive STEPS translated into Russian and our book in Russian manuscript form. They gave Russian STEPS to about thirty Moscow libraries and to all of their friends.

The Badayevs have three children. Sergei is a researcher at the Institute of Chemical Physics in the field of plant genetics. Dinara is an educator in a state-independent school based on non-formal education. Sergei wrote:

“My wife and I read ‘STEPS’ three years ago. We were at the beginning of our spiritual path and were much impressed with the Peace Pilgrim message...Owing to your regular packages, we supplied all our friends with Russian STEPS. We feel that the Peace Pilgrim message is very influential because it contains no theology, but clear and comprehensive descriptions of the spiritual path from the point of view of the individual experience. Many people in the former Soviet Union have been poisoned with atheism; they have psychological restraints against theological concepts...Now they are energetically searching for some spiritual basis for their lives. That is why people so desperately need such a message as "STEPS."

We give thanks to the many people who have helped with this project, including:

* Robert Travis, a resident of Moscow who works with the organization Santi. He has agreed to be our representative and liaison with the Russians.

* Janet Riley, a friend who recently took our camera-ready copy to Moscow when she went to set up the printing of Russian language Quaker books.

* A friend of Peace Pilgrim who gave a contribution for this Russian project.

* Jeff Blom who has devotedly engineered the Russian translations and re-typeset Russian STEPS to fit standard Russian envelopes..

****

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE — A year ago I got acquainted with Peace Pilgrim. From the first minute I read this book I felt related to her and close to my soul. This book helps me not only cope with my problems but also in my work. I work in an institute (like a college) where I give lectures in psychology and conduct practical courses with students. My students are future teachers of elementary schools. My main goal is for them to learn to listen to the small person and help him to develop and to teach the child to love the world around him. And with this Peace Pilgrim helps me. I often counsel teachers, parents and students. In this also I’m helped by Peace Pilgrim’s thoughts.

I am talking about her with friends and acquaintances. I notice her thoughts make the biggest impression on children. When I asked my daughter if there is peace in her soul, she answered me, “I’m sorry but I cannot answer you now. I don’t know what that is.” And at the present we are trying to understand this with her. Although she is only seven years old, I see how much Peace Pilgrim gives her.
— Ludmilla Luchko, Vidnoe, Moscow District, Russia

****

THE SOVIET COUP’S FAILURE AN EVOLUTION IN CONSCIOUSNESS    (Back to TOC)

Time Magazine reported: “The event is one of the turning points of world history. By act of will and absence of fear, the Russian people accomplished a kind of miracle, the reversal of a thousand years of autocracy. They turned last week’s reactionary coup into a transforming rite of passage, an epochal event.”

David Hartsough took 75 Russian STEPS and five manuscripts of the Russian Peace Pilgrim book with him when he went to Moscow last August. David is a nonviolence trainer who had discussions with many Russians about the coup and wrote in THE GROUND ZERO paper (16159 Clear Creek Rd.N.W., Poulsbo, WA 98370):

I believe that the tens of thousands of courageous Russians who risked their lives standing up for their beliefs in democracy, freedom and human dignity defeated the coup. They did so by nonviolently resisting and non-cooperating with illegitimate authority.

Thousands of people all over Moscow gathered their courage and went out into the streets, surrounded the tanks and greeted the soldiers in the tanks with cakes, cigarettes and roses and entered into dialogue with them. People knocked on the tanks and said to the soldiers, “Why are you here? Who gave you orders to bring these tanks into Moscow? Why are you going to shoot; who are you going to shoot?”

Mothers and girls gave the soldiers food and flowers and asked them not to kill their mothers, sisters and brothers. One friend distributed a lot of roses to the soldiers and gave them a hug, saying, “Don’t shoot; be kind to the people.” Faced with this kind of interaction with the people they had been ordered to attack, the soldiers became very dispirited.

A friend, Valya, who had a young daughter, and her mother, felt it was crucial to be at the barricades to nonviolently resist the military attack against the Parliament building. They believed that whoever was at the barricades at the time of the attack would be killed. But they knew that this was a critical moment in history and, they had found something they were willing to die for. Valya and her mother took turns at the Parliament building so if one was killed, the other would be left to bring up their young daughter/granddaughter.

Between 10,000 and 40,000 people like Valya and her mother surrounded the Parliament building for three days and nights, August 19-21, much of this time in driving rain. They linked arms, forming a nonviolent human barricade between the Parliament building and the thousands of Soviet tanks and tens of thousands of soldiers who had been ordered to Moscow. The people called themselves the “Living Ring, the Defenders of the White House of Russia.”

The women kept encouraging everyone to “Keep nonviolent. Don’t hurt the soldiers. They are our sons and
brothers. We are asking the soldiers to change their minds and not to wage war with us.”

The head of the KGB ordered one of the most trusted KGB elite tank subdivisions to attack. When the KGB troops heard that they would have to kill thousands of civilians, they refused orders to carry out the attack.

There were courageous people in the media who refused to obey censorship orders. Employees of eleven banned newspapers united to publish a “general newspaper” printed on photocopiers, laser printers, and mimeograph machines. Large quantities of the newspaper and copies of the Russian president’s orders and appeals were posted at metros, bus stops, and street corners. This created gathering places where people exchanged opinions about the coup. Multitudes of people refused to obey the curfew. It felt like most of Moscow was on the streets. This mass disobedience was a tremendous psychological blow to the coup leaders.

The coup leaders had at their disposal over four million soldiers, hundreds of thousands of tanks, sophisticated military aircraft and nuclear weapons. The world’s second most powerful military power was overcome by a people armed with their courage and convictions, people who were no longer willing to cooperate with illegitimate “authority” or be scared into submission by threats of imprisonment.

The Living Ring has invited Americans knowledgeable about civilian-based defense to come help train their 10,000 members in order that they can even better defend their society against any future coup attempts by the old guard.

Under the sponsorship of Nonviolence International, David Hartsough and others have gone several times to what was the Soviet Union, listening to people’s stories and helping to prepare for future nonviolent civilian-based defense. You may write to him at: 721 Shruder St., San Francisco, CA 94117.

****

Jesus said, “Love your enemy bless them that curse you.”. ..the person that we call our enemy is suffering...As soon we see that someone is suffering, we have the capacity of accepting him and having compassion for him. This is what Jesus called “loving your enemy.” Love, here, does not mean attachment. It means to encompass the other person with compassion. That is possible when we know that the other person is suffering and needs our compassion, not our anger. When we are able to love our enemy, he is no longer our enemy. The idea of “enemy” vanishes and is replaced by the someone who is suffering a great deal and needs our compassion.
— Thich Nhat Hanh, from “The Mindfulness Bell”

****

GORBACHEV

He now writes a monthly column that is distributed across Europe and to the NY Times Syndicate. In it he criticized President Bush for saying that the United States won the cold war: “My reply to this would be that the long years we spent plunged in the Cold War made losers of us all. And in our own time the world’s rejection of confrontation and hostility has made us all winners.”

****

The Dallas Mediation Project Continues    (Back to TOC)

In newsletter No. 11 we reported on the mediation project in Dallas that was started by Steve Brutsche. Here is a letter from a friend of his, Gus J. Zgouridas:

Dear John, Ann and all Friends of Peace Pilgrim:

My mediation mentor, good friend, and fellow pilgrim on the path of resolving legal disputes in the peace tent of mediation, Steve Brutsche, has passed on to his higher rewards. It was in Dallas, Texas, while attending Steve’s mediation training that I was introduced to the “Steps” booklet during a restless, sleepless night in a lonely hotel room. How very fortunate for me! After thirty-six years of law practice, I now limit my practice solely to mediation and alternative dispute resolution, the peace-making process of the law. Mediation is an informal settlement conference facilitated by the mediator who is an impartial and neutral third party with no ax to grind, whose only role is to help people in conflict make practical, informed decisions and help reach their own peaceful resolution.

In the past year, since I wrote you about having read Brutsche’s article in the newsletter, nearly all of the twenty-five civil district state courts in Harris County (Houston) refer their cases to attorney-mediators, and all of the federal district courts for the Southern District of Texas have implemented a plan to use alternative dispute resolution. How does mediation work? It works very well!

Since March of 1991, I have participated as mediator in over ninety disputes involving complex tort and commercial tort litigation. About eighty-five percent of those cases were peacefully resolved. How sweet and rewarding it is, after all of those years as a combatant in the legal conflicts arena, to see a peace process at work, be involved in the dynamics of it, and know with all of my heart and soul that we are both teachers and students on the cutting edge of a peace process in a legal system which traditionally thrives on conflict, a growth industry in desperate need of peaceful management. In mediation we are teaching ourselves, as mediators with those in conflict, by our words, actions and thoughts, that the mediation environment is safe, private, privileged and confidential. The parties as teachers, and the mediators as students, see the parties create through their thoughts peaceful resolutions to conflict.

Mediation is: respectful, flexible, creative, economically attractive, focused on our future, educational, problem solving, positively empowered, win-win for all — no home runs, but no strike outs. No party to the controversy literally dies at the courthouse; and above all, it is peaceful.

My assistant has ordered 110 “Steps” booklets to be placed in my conference rooms for the parties and their lawyers. Please also send twelve of the hardbound new editions of “Peace Pilgrim” for my conference rooms and law library, for those who may want the book. As a Brutsche student, I have become a Peace Pilgrim disciple and use her teachings in my mediations so that harm does not enure to anyone.

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo. And, simply put, mediation is an idea whose time has come!        Peace and good will to all, Gus

****

ANOTHER MEDIATOR
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim:

I continue to read the Peace Pilgrim materials you sent me. I find new insights and guidance every time. I have found these materials to be of inestimable value in my work of resolving disputes here in Dallas. By distributing materials you help more people than you can imagine. Keep up the good work. — Ross Hostetter

****

A Bulgarian Visitor    (Back to TOC)

One late afternoon, Arthur Burton (his English name), a Bulgarian, came to our door. We knew right away he was someone very different because of the very distinct, exact, deliberate way he spoke flawless English. He came to spend the night and he stayed a month.

He came from Orange County, where he lived for 11 years. He had escaped from Bulgaria when one had to escape to get out of the country. He escaped riding very precariously between two freight train cars and landed in Turkey, a Moslem country, where for the first time he went into a bookstore and found a Bible.

We have never talked so intimately with anyone who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. We know he is not typical. From early childhood he has never smoked or drunk alcohol, even though those around him did. He had no religious training. Reading Tolstoy he became a vegetarian and a pacifist. He is another example, like Peace Pilgrim, of someone who listens to the spirit within to guide his actions. It is inspiring to know that in all countries there are deeply spiritual persons who are God-centered, even if brought up as atheists.

One of the reasons we wanted him to stay longer is because he is fluent in Russian and was very helpful in translating the rather voluminous Russian language requests we have been receiving lately. Also he alerted us to some changes that needed to be made in the Russian language manuscript edition of the Peace Pilgrim book. We hope to have the book in print in a few months.

This year on the 500th anniversary of Columbus sailing to the western hemisphere there are two groups from Europe who are marching from the east coast to the Nevada Test Site to protest the testing of nuclear weapons on Indian land. Arthur decided to help on one of the pilgrimages. John and I took him to the Nevada Test Site on Veterans Day to meet and join with the group walking from the northeast, starting in January. We were happy to be there, to take part in a quiet, peaceful and very moving ceremony in front of the test-site gate when many veterans told of their experiences with nuclear testing and the devastating things it has done to them and others.

****

PEACE PILGRIM CENTER REPORT    (Back to TOC)

Last year, 1991, was a particularly successful one for Friends of Peace Pilgrim. We printed 60,000 Peace Pilgrim books and 100,000 STEPS, about a thousand video cassettes and several thousand audios, all of which are distributed without charge as are all of our materials. Without asking, we’ve received enough donations to pay for all of these materials, the great majority given in small amounts.

We currently have four full-time volunteer staff members, as well as several part-time volunteers. This year we will be printing the Spanish and Russian editions of the Peace Pilgrim book, the culmination of a great amount of time and effort. We are determined that the translations be accurate and true to the spirit of Peace Pilgrim’s informal yet precise way of expressing herself. Both editions involved a great amount of volunteer work from dedicated and highly competent people, for whom we are deeply thankful.

We are excited about the new Russian edition of 30,000 STEPS that are being printed in Moscow this month (March) as well as the Russian edition of our Peace Pilgrim book which will be printed there later this year. We plan to continue to offer both Russian editions from here also.

We believe we have an historic opportunity to make the message of Peace Pilgrim available to countries where Russian is used. We will gratefully accept help in the production of the Russian and Spanish editions. If you would like more information about either of these projects, let us know. — Jeff

****

Friends Of Peace Pilgrim Third Annual Wilderness Retreat    (Back to TOC)

Friends of Peace Pilgrim is offering again three 7-day wilderness retreats this summer during the first three weeks in July. We will be canoeing for a week down the Green River in Utah through beautiful canyons and into the Colorado River. Cheryl Canfield, one of the five compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book who spent much time with Peace Pilgrim, will lead daily discussions, meditations and other programs on all three retreats. Meals will be vegetarian. We will meet in Moab, Utah. The cost is $260 and everything except transportation to and from Moab is covered. For more information, write to Jeff at the Peace Pilgrim Center. At this time, however, all places are filled and we can only put new people on the waiting list.

****

NEW CENTER    (Back to TOC)

We appreciate the responses to our last newsletter about our need for a larger Peace Pilgrim Center. We have outgrown this small two-bedroom house; we are short of storage, office space and rooms for volunteers. We would also like to offer Peace Pilgrim retreats at our Center.

We received an offer of land, a few earmarked donations and a lot of suggestions. We are carefully considering our options. The charm of this organization has been how much it has been able to do with so little, made possible because
we don’t pay rent or salaries, and our expenses are mostly simply printing and postage. We do not wish to use the day-to-day donations for construction or land payments. We have faith that if we are to move, land and the resources to build will be given, earmarked for this purpose. If they are not, we will work with what we have, with which an enormous amount has already been done. — Jeff

****

PEACE PILGRIM IN SPANISH    (Back to TOC)

Mayte Kline is the editor of the Spanish translation of the Peace Pilgrim book She is a native of Mexico City, with a master’s degree in psychology. She was in charge of the training department for both executives and workers, for Ford of Mexico (over 4000 people). While visiting us some time ago, she gave a valuable goals-setting workshop for the Friends of Peace Pilgrim staff She married an American and now lives in Pennsylvania. She writes:

What a wonderful moment in my life when I first watched the video INTRODUCING PEACE PILGRIM. I will never forget the peaceful feelings I experienced that beautiful spring evening — everything looked so harmonious! After reflecting for a few moments I knew that my job was to make available her profound message to all the people whose first language is Spanish.

My spiritual growing process sped up three years before I started the translation of the book in 1989. I moved to the United States and realized that I needed to find a way of contributing to my fellow human beings.

The process really started a long time before in Mexico, where I was born and lived for 33 years. During my childhood, I learned through my religious education and my mother’s teachings to follow the laws of God: Always do good, say the truth and live to give love to all the people around you. Then as a teenager I wondered why we act as we do. I couldn’t find the answers by myself, so I decided to become a psychologist to develop a better understanding of human behavior.

Later on, while working in the business environment, I developed a broader comprehension of some of the most common situations that we all confront in our lives — such as how to approach a problem to find the real cause and solve it, how to make decisions, how to listen in a better way, how to resolve conflicts, and how to develop a team spirit.

When I heard Peace talking about the same values I grew up with, having such a deep understanding of the problems we have faced through the ages and sharing the way to attain inner peace, I deeply identified with her and her living philosophy.

She voiced, in the most simple way, all the truths that our world is so hungry for, all the truths that can change the earth for the better, all the truths that may make a difference in any human heart willing to listen and put them into practice.
May her life and work prevail within us until we all have found the way to peace.

****

JOLENE DE LISA found PEACE PILGRIM when she was on the GREAT PEACE MARCH across this country in 1986 and began giving out the books and STEPS booklets. The next year she went to Russia with the USA-USSR pilgrimage from St. Petersburg to Moscow, taking several boxes of Peace Pilgrim books and STEPS.

She was visiting us recently after her only son was killed in a helicopter accident. Here are excerpts from a letter she wanted us to share with you:

I want to thank the Peace Pilgrim Center for what they did for me after Kirk left this planet....Cheryl, Jeff, John and Ann made life a little less painful for a few days.

When I crept out in the wee hours of the morning and watched the sun come up, out on the lookout behind the Center, I saw the ducks swimming in the pond and the rabbits scurrying about the yard. I felt the “Peace” of this wonderful place. Quietly from behind a few trees, I watched many volunteers come and help fold and stack more than 10,000 newsletters to go to 50 states and some foreign countries. Occasionally I could get out of my own pain and help a little. Peace Pilgrim has been a great inspiration to me.

****

Our Winter Volunteer    (Back to TOC)

JOHN BOGNER, comes to prune our trees, cook our meals and delight us with his stories. And since I have been cooking for about 45 years, I am delighted for him to take over the kitchen. And now he and a local friend, John Cope, are preparing a spring vegetable garden. He writes:

For the last three winters I have been a volunteer at the Peace Pilgrim Center, first becoming aware of Peace Pilgrim’s message while walking across the country with the Great Peace March for Global Disarmament. I was deeply moved by her message of seeking peace within and her emphasis on simplicity and service that is very close to my own philosophy. I had been living between two lives: one pulling me to continue in the material world and the other to “rise above the surface froth” and adhere to a nobler calling. Since hearing Peace’s message, and after my experience on the Great Peace March, I have dedicated my life to peace (inner and outer) and to LIVING SIMPLY THAT OTHERS MAY SIMPLY LIVE. When one makes such a declaration, things often begin to happen. Interesting people and situations started coming to me that were completely new and different in my life.

Each year I have been given an interesting assignment. Four former Great Peace Marchers “shanghaied” me to help with the US/Soviet peace walk (the first of its kind in history and I was on it).

****

BIKE AID    (Back to TOC)

After two years of solo bicycling, 10,000 miles from Canada to Mexico and touring the Western states, I joined BIKE AID and found two of the bikers, Brad and Dustin, had been volunteers here at our Peace Pilgrim Center. I spent the rest of the summer cycling across the country to Washington, DC with BIKE AID.

BIKE AID is an annual transcontinental trek and fund raiser sponsored by the Overseas Development Network (ODN), a national student-based organization addressing global problems of poverty and injustice.

Next summer six groups of twenty cyclists each will set off from six locations — from Austin, Texas, Montreal and four from the West Coast and will spend two months to get to Washington, DC. They are from all age groups and walks of life and from a number of foreign countries. We will be hosted along our route by community activists in homeless shelters, co-ops, environmental action groups, churches and schools. In the evenings we give presentations about our project and we are educated about the communities that we pass through. The press is notified in advance. We hand out pamphlets and talk to people along the way.

We average 70 miles daily and are divided into work groups of four, each day having different responsibilities. On some of our “off days” we might do service at a soup kitchen or community building project. In the evenings when there is no planned event, we might have a group discussion based on the material from our educational packets. BIKE AID has raised over $750,000 in support of domestic and international grassroots projects. Partner projects in Bolivia, Ghana, Zimbabwe and El Salvador and other countries have been recipients of aid.

Beginning with a core group of concerned students at Harvard and Stanford, ODN has grown into a network of over 65 projects in North, Central and South America.

In Washington DC at the end we have several days of seminars on community outreach, press conferences and some fun. The hardest part is breaking up, but Bike Aid alumni tend to stay in touch. The newsletter, Global Links, keeps everyone abreast of latest developments with ODN and the riders. — John Bogner

If you are interested in participating in Bike Aid and riding your bike across the United States this summer on one of the six bike routes with about 20 other bicyclists, contact them for more information at Bike-Aid, 333 Valencia St., #330, San Francisco, CA 94103. Phone (415)431-4204

****

INDIA — The message of Peace Pilgrim has a uniquely authentic ring about it; it goes straight to the heart. There is no doubt about its inspirational power and influence. Peace Pilgrim has been not only a pilgrim but a true messenger of the Life Divine. It is said when the dark is the thickest the Dawn is the nearest. Peace Pilgrim was indeed a gentle, soothing spiritual tornado. Hers is a universal message of perennial spiritual truths, clothed in today’s simple, easily understandable language. It is original in the sense that it has been given after testing, verifying and demonstrating its efficacy in her own life. Therein lies the difference: it is not the scholar’s erudition that speaks through her but the Saint’s Imprisoned Splendour, released in its full effulgence, scattering its warm, soothing rays for nearly three decades. Yours is a God-ordained work. You are blessed to be the mediums of this divine service.

****

OUR FRIEND IN KENYA    (Back to TOC)

In our #12 newsletter we quoted Ruth Williams, a teacher in Kenya Friends Bible school, who wrote about how her students love to read PEACE PILGRIM Here are excerpts from her January, 1992 letter:

Your books came a few days ago. All students will have one to carry home with them at the end of the term. There are several out-of-school friends who were eagerly awaiting their copies. I believe it will be the strongest persuasion for a religion of peace than anything else I have for them. And the Lord knows they have been needing it a long time. Thank you many times.

Ephraim Dembete came in while I was unpacking them and said he had written you for 22 books for his class. I let him have 26 since four more students have come in since the class started — with the understanding that he give them back to me as soon as his come. I want to have one ready to give out as soon as anyone shows interest. I thank the Lord every day for sending Peace Pilgrim to be a good example of what she believed in and for you who are good enough friends to have gotten the copy worked out so that her message can move on to others.

I trust Africans to be leaders for peace in the future. Peace Pilgrim is by far the most popular reading matter I have given them yet. I am especially happy about that because it is the most convincing of anything else we have read to bring converts to the truly spiritual religion of love and forgiveness Jesus taught. Thank you for your spiritual help in this school. I am glad you are limiting your work to Peace Pilgrim. You can’t do any better.

****

ARABIC STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE    (Back to TOC)

MOROCCO — Nokate Hamid: Dear Brothers, Thank you for making peace shine all over the world. The work you do excites my admiration. I heard about you in Denmark from a man who is in touch with you. He showed me that material possessions have never brought happiness, that happiness lies in being good and doing good. I yielded to curiosity and asked him where he got all these ideas. So he gave me the booklet which I read straight away. I was greatly fascinated by what it contains.

I realized I have to do something for peace...! thought deeply about that, then realized that I have to begin with myself. I tried to get rid of the bad habits which have grown within me, and believe me it wasn’t as easy as you may think.

The second step, was to hand on the message to my friends, relatives and classmates. It was a difficult task too, even more difficult than the first one, for I had to translate the booklet into Arabic for people who don’t speak English, and in some way try to clarify the message for people who were inclined not to believe the message.

Now, my dear friends, I know that what I did is not enough to make peace spread throughout the world. I want you to help me and show me the way. I know the path is too long, there is still war, hatred and poverty...We must
unify our powers to end all these discriminations...and devote much effort to relieve the sufferings of earth’s starving millions of people.

If we go together...hand in hand...looking for friends...to build an innocent world...where there’s no hatred, no war, no evil.... We will meet men...and ask them...why they hate each other...and we will show them...the good way to follow.

****

HEBREW STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE    (Back to TOC)

ISRAEL — Moshe Boas Berg: I’m glad to send you the first STEPS booklet in HEBREW. A friend translated it and I had 500 printed. For another 1000 I will have to pay the printer about $565. I wonder if it is worthwhile to print it in the US, maybe a lot cheaper. I would appreciate it if you could check it out for me. May God bless you and your work. We were surprised and delighted to find out about the Hebrew and Arabic translations within the same week!

****

EARTHSAVE    (Back to TOC)

is an organization devoted to the cause of eliminating environmental ills in this country. In their newsletter they compare their approach to Peace Pilgrim's positive approach. They write:

EarthSave takes the position that we are not “fighting” anyone or anything. Our message is simply that “we believe humans have a choice in the way they treat the Earth and other life, and making informed and compassionate choices will rapidly have a significant beneficial impact on the environment, animals, and human problems.” Our goal is to convey this message to the public and offer the hope that together we can help the world to heal.

EarthSave is relatively unique among environmental and health educational organizations in adopting this holistic, non-confrontational position...Yet we are clearly getting results from our approach: The mail we receive and our membership support increases daily...People are grateful for a gentle, positive way to take effective action in their world.

Then they quote Peace Pilgrim:

In my work I have chosen the positive approach. I never think of myself as protesting against something, but rather as witnessing for harmonious living. Those who witness for, present solutions. Those who witness against, usually do not — they dwell on what is wrong, resorting to judgment and criticism....When an evil is attacked, the evil mobilizes, although it may have been weak and unorganized before, and therefore that attack gives it validity and strength. When there is no attack, but instead good influences are brought to bear upon the situation, not only does the evil tend to fade away, but the evildoer tends to be transformed. The positive approach inspires; the negative approach makes angry...

****

PEACE PILGRIM ON WRITING TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS    (Back to TOC)

In answer to numerous inquiries, I would like to say that I do believe in writing letters to Congressmen, and below is a letter which I recently wrote. [Here are some excerpts from her letter]:

....We now face the problem of eliminating physical violence in this immature world where psychological violence still exists. If we who conquered the atom by applying scientific principles cannot create a peaceful world situation by applying psychological principles we will all perish together.

Congressmen in this crisis period have a great responsibility, for they cannot avoid making momentous decisions. They can make choices that surviving remnants will condemn them for or choices that flourishing future generations will extol them for. May they prove equal to the new age!

The new age demands higher values. Those who spoke of peace were once called idealists, but in this nuclear age the idealists have become the only realists. We have always thought of ourselves as having high ideals. Let us apply some of them in this crisis situation and lead mankind away from annihilation toward a golden age of peace.

Yes, let us prepare for peace! With the instinct of self-preservation pushing strongly in that direction, it may break out at any time and find us totally unprepared.

****

The American Friends Service Committee    (Back to TOC)

and the British Quakers were given the Nobel Peace Prize after WWII for helping people on both sides of the war. The AFSC has helped the victims of every major war since. Peace Pilgrim worked as an AFSC volunteer part of the time during her fifteen-year preparation period. From a recent AFSC leaflet:

'The people of Iraq have suffered enough from the rule of Saddam Hussein and the bombs of the Gulf war. In the name of life, non-military sanctions against Iraq should be lifted immediately.”

You may want to write to the President and your Congressperson. Your tax-deductible contribution will help people in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East who have suffered the most from the Gulf War: AFSC, 980 N. Fair Oaks, Pasadena, CA 91103

****

SHELLY KOFFLER composed a very moving song that graphically expresses how so many of us felt during the Gulf war. The song is about her mother and grandmother who are crying while her father and brother watch the war news. When asked why they are crying, since they don’t have a child over there, they answer that they can’t help their feelings; they feel the pain.

This song and a Peace Pilgrim song is on a tape composed and sung by Shelley. For a tape write to her at 32 Oriole Dr. Woodstock, NY 12498

****

ALTERNATIVES TO VIOLENCE WORKSHOPS    (Back to TOC)

In our last spring Newsletter (#12), we had an article about workshops for people in prisons. We received a letter from a friend of Peace Pilgrim in Peekskill, NY, thanking us for the article: “I have participated in AVP workshops in NY State prisons over the past 10 years and never fail to be amazed by the effect, as we say, of transforming power
— a firm, inner resolution to act non-violently in a potentially violent situation. Now we are seeing the seeds of earlier AVP workshops bear fruit as former inmates, now on the outside, return to prison to help lead AVP workshops. Your work in distributing Peace Pilgrim to libraries all over the country is a wonderful dream project come true. May I suggest another dream project — to distribute PEACE PILGRIM to every prison in the country. This little mustard seed planted in prison soil could grow into a great tree of life.” (She asked for 100 STEPS to distribute to friends in prison.)

In 1988 we sent our PEACE PILGRIM books to all federal and California prison libraries and chaplains. One chaplain in a nearby prison requested many boxes of books and invited us to speak and show a video once a month.

 

LITHUANIA — Thank you for the books and booklets I received on Christmas Eve!...! feel I became a small part of this great movement toward peace and love and awareness. It is so good and inspiring to feel the rays of wonderful spiritual energy flying from California to Lithuania through Peace Pilgrim’s words. I believe you will start to receive more letters from our country since now. — Jurate Daskeviciene, Kaunas, Lithuania

FROM AN EAST INDIAN IN MARYLAND — Thanks and gratitude for sending us the newsletter. You have been connecting millions of people around the globe as “pilgrims for peace.” This work is necessary for our moral and spiritual growth.

I would like to know if STEPS has been translated into Hindi. Peace pilgrim’s message must reach to all people in their respective languages. (It has been translated into Hindi by friends of Lalitha Krishnan, and Dr. Arunachalam is getting it published).

****

COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIPS    (Back to TOC)

are suggested by Peace Pilgrim in her STEPS booklet (p.31) as being of vital importance for every town. If you want to start a fellowship with other friends of Peace Pilgrim in your area, we will list your name, phone and/or address. Here are new people who have asked to be on this list:

•Gerald D. Shaw, 1952 N. 36th St, Milwaukee, WI 53208-1927 
• Pansy Miller, P0 Box 50, Deer Harbor, WA 98243 
• Tom Durst, N6734 Sutherlin St, Spokane, WA 99208, 509-327-2238 
• Judith Rae Swanson, 5420 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 
• Richard Siebels, 636 Warren Aye, Malvern, PA 19355, 215-644-6814 
• Vincent Luciani, 218 W Revere Aye, Northfield, NJ 08225.

 

LAUREL SPRINGS SCHOOL    (Back to TOC)
(Formerly Oak Meadow School)

in our last newsletter we printed an article about the Oak Meadow Environmental Project of high school students in Ojai, California. The following is from a letter by Marilyn Moley, the Director, to the many Peace Pilgrim friends who wrote to them. P0 Box 1440, Ojai, CA 93024

Dear Peace Pilgrim Friends,

Thank you for the wonderful letters we have received asking about the Oak Meadow Environmental Project. It has been very important for us to read about the work of Peace Pilgrim and apply it to our school. I am more excited than ever by the desire of our high school students to spread their message of concern and peace.

Laurel Springs School is a private school, founded by a group of educators who dedicated their lives to the belief that every child is a living treasure and has the ability to demonstrate genius. Every child needs the opportunity and the environment in which to learn. What matters is that there are people who say, “I know who you are. I love you, I admire you. I believe in you.”

People often ask why our students have done such incredible work and displayed an interest in subject matter often ignored by others their age. Why have they been so interested in devoting endless hours to helping other children, without material reward. Why are they so interested in issues of peace, harmony and global cooperation.

Most of the children who attend our high school were educated at home for the first 12 years of their lives ...Laurel Springs offers homestudy programs for grades K-8 and an on-campus high school program...Homeschooling is an old American tradition, but it is only in the past 18 years that it has received renewed interest. Homeschooling provides a wonderful environment to learn in — children learn because they love to rather than because they have to.

A research project involving Laurel Springs teenagers indicated that they were more interested in developing independence than worrying about what their peers thought about them — more able to focus on helping the world. They were free to explore philosophical questions about the meaning of their existence.

Working with the children and families at Laurel Springs has been one of the most profound gifts that I have discovered in creating peaceful children. I do hope that this information will be of use to you in our quest to nurture inner and outer peace.

****

RUSSIA (excerpts from letter) — STEPS overturned my understanding of the world in general. I understand that it is not enough to be a fighter for peace. It is necessary to protect peace in your own soul. To be socially conscious is my task, the task of a young generation. (We have sent him 10 RUSSIAN STEPS, a book and an audio cassette.)

****

Recent Books    (Back to TOC)

CHOOSE TO LIVE PEACEFULLY is another beautiful book by Susan Smith Jones. She quotes Peace Pilgrim several times in her chapter called SIMPLIFY and lists the Peace Pilgrim book in her RESOURCE DIRECTORY with our address. To obtain her book which we highly recommend you may order by phone: 1-800-841-2665

BUILDING INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE, a plea for the creation of HOUSES OF DL4LOGUE AND FRIENDSHIP, is a timely booklet by Guy De Mallac. Guy’s concern is the lack of communication and understanding between groups such as Israelis and the Palestinians, Protestants and Catholics of Ireland, Moslems and Hindus in India, indigenous ethnic groups with mainstream cultures all over the planet. He gives some encouraging examples of intercultural communities. For a free copy (donation appreciated) write to: CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE, P0 Box 1958, San Jacinto, CA 92581.

GANDHI THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES, an Ocean Tree Peacewatch book by Narayan Desai, one of the top figures in the Gandhian movement. Narayan spent his first twenty years in Gandhi’s ashrams — the experience on which these memoirs are based. This small book is full of delightful stories from a little boy who grew up with Bapu (Gandhi). Address — Ocean Tree, POB 1295, Santa Fe, NM 87504

TRUE SUCCESS, written by Jim Wells, a psychiatrist, is a book about living and loving in an unbalanced world. He writes that Peace Pilgrim’s life and words are a constant inspiration to him. In a letter to us he wrote, “Since receiving your materials I have really enjoyed sharing them with my family, friends, and many of my patients. Seeing with my son Peace Pilgrim on video has been especially rewarding. Her message rings true in a simple, clear way that allows us to remember it in those difficult situations when we need most to put it into practice.” (At the end of his book he suggests writing to us for a copy of STEPS.) For a copy of this hook write to: Center for Creative Balance, P0 Box 16562, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

*****
(Back to TOC)

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544

Send Mail

page created by Bruce Nichols
revised 9/15/00