Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

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


Harvestime, 1992 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 17

Online Edition

Table of Contents:   (TOC)
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim 
The Problem with Peace Movements 
Community Peace Fellowships 
Letter from John Amidon 
The Peace School 
Your Money or Your Life 
Peace Pilgrim's Guiding Principles 
Peace Pilgrim Award 
Letter from Germany 
A Comma or not a Comma 
Peace Pilgrim Center Robbery 
Safe Passage in City Streets 
Letter From a High School Teacher 
Variety in California 
Volunteers at the Center 
A Piece of Good News 
Win-Win Solutions
Peacetrees Project 
Hurricane Survivors 
My Sister's Place 
Nuclear Testing Moratorium 
Columbus Quincentenial 
More About the Spiritual Athlete 

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


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Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim, 

IN SEPTEMBER we visited our daughter, her husband and their two children in Quaker City, New Hampshire — a ‘city’ without a store or service station, only an 1820 Quaker Meeting House and small houses among the hills and forests. On Sunday we went to Friends Meeting with a few friends and relatives and sat in receptive silence until someone felt moved to speak, as the Quakers did 170 years ago.

New England was unusually warm this fall. The garden was still green with an abundance of garden produce and especially appreciated fresh corn on the cob. The fall colors were beginning their glory. In nearly every room are lovely straw flowers our granddaughter raises and hangs from the ceiling to dry. Throughout the house are beautiful rugs and pillows woven by our daughter and grandchildren.

Legacy of The Peace Movement Celebration

At the end of our two week visit, our family drove to the Kennedy Library in Boston to attend the celebration marking the 20th anniversary of The Life Experience School in Sherborn, Massachusetts. When we arrived I went to the women’s room to fix my hair and there was another woman fixing hers. We smiled, and she looked vaguely familiar like someone I knew in California. She said “No, I am Rosa Parks!” I threw my arms around her in absolute delight. Some of you may not know who she is. Just ask any old timer — most will know.

After hugging Rosa Parks I went to our table, and to my joy and delight the man sitting next to me was Father Dan Berrigan! What an introduction to that amazing evening. We have kept track of him since he was in and out of prison in his opposition to the killing in Vietnam. He loves Peace Pilgrim and spoke with warm appreciation for our newsletter. When the program started, he gave the invocation.

The Courage of Conscience Awards

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the awards to 16 individuals before an audience of 500. The school’s internationally acclaimed peace center, the Peace Abbey, gave the beautiful white dove statue awards created by a Russian artist. Previous award recipients include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Thich Nhat Hanh, Father Ernesto Cardenal.

This night’s award recipients represented a diverse collection of peace and civil rights activists from the’60’s,
like Dr. Benjamin Spock, and Rosa Parks, to more contemporary activists like Brian Willson, Lisa and Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels, and war-tax resisters Betsy Corner and Randy Kehler. Posthumous awards were presented to friends or relatives of several activists. We had been asked to receive Peace Pilgrim’s award.

When it came our time to receive the award a staff member of the Life Experience School read a short introduction about Peace Pilgrim. Then followed a short film of Peace Pilgrim walking — a segment from our PM Magazine video tape. John and I then spoke briefly of our experience of sending Peace Pilgrim materials out to the world.

My old friend Dave Dellinger was also a recipient of the award. He and I and forty other Peacemakers had fasted for a week in 1950 in Washington, DC, to protest the development of the H-bomb. (this evening he was on his 26th day of fasting with the Fast for Peace and Justice in the Americas.) In the forties he operated a printing press in New Jersey, where he printed Scott Nearing’s newsletter WORLD EVENTS, edited by Peace Pilgrim before she became a pilgrim.

hen Rosa Parks received her award the entire audience gave her a standing ovation. We just didn’t know when to stop clapping.

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, received an award for his grandfather (see an article by him in this newsletter). Our grandson was delighted to get his autograph.

The awards program was filmed by PBS Television and has been sent to Los Angeles for editing. It may be shown on Public Television, so check your TV guide.

The Life Experience School

is a charitable, non-profit, educational institution for multi-handicapped and terminally ill children and young adults, housed in the former library building of Sherborn. Founded in 1972 by Lewis Randa following his discharge from the military as a conscientious objector, the school has pioneered peacemaking as a form of therapy and a way of life for young people with disabilities.

Bronze statues of Mother Teresa, Samantha Smith, Oscar Romero, Gandhi and other peacemakers, and colorful flags of all the nations surround the long meeting table in the school.

We visited the Life Experience school that begins and ends the day with students and staff gathered in silence to experience and share inner peace. We were privileged to share the gentle hand washing ceremony and recitation of the names of peacemakers inscribed on the sides of the long table around which we sat. After the delicious student prepared lunch, we joined in their daily reading of prayers for peace from 12 religions.

The Peace Abbey

Following a visit by Mother Teresa to the school, the large house next door was purchased and dedicated on Mother’s day, 1990 to be the Peace Abbey. The Abbey serves as the international headquarters for the distribution of interfaith prayers for peace, a guest and retreat house for the peace movement, headquarters for the National registry for Conscientious Objection, and a training center in nonviolence and conflict resolution.

The Peace Abbey is under the care of the Franciscan Quaker Fellowship. It is ecumenical, interreligious, with sacred objects from around the world. As you enter the front door the first thing you see is a Peace Pilgrim tunic and a stack of her books. Upstairs is a St. Francis room, a Gandhi room, a Quaker room for overnight guests and a meditation room.

Lois Mirsky, a UNICEF executive, says so well how we felt, “I was touched both emotionally and intellectually by my visit to The Life Experience School and The Peace Abbey. The sense of peace and well-being was very palpable. You have fashioned an oasis for everyone who enters. I am amazed at how the students feel such a part of the world.”

If you need a place to stay overnight or want an inspirational experience, we highly recommend the Peace Abbey and the Life Experience School, 2 North Main St., Sherborn, MA 01770, Tel (508)650-3659. — Ann

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The Problem With Peace Movements

by Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson who received the Courage of Conscience award for his grandfather (see above). His address, 139 Oakdale, Memphis, TN 38122.

....Civilization to Gandhi meant peaceful coexistence. Instead, the more our civilization progresses, the more
violent human society appears to become. The question humanity faces is the stark reality of nonviolence or nonexistence. Our capacity to kill has become frighteningly sophisticated, and the sharper our weapons become, the shorter our tolerance.

If the peace movement wants to gain momentum and support, it must remember its struggle is not against people but policies; that the work for peace is a continuous exercise and not just when war becomes imminent. ..that in
peaceful struggle there is no room for anger, hate, taunting or any action that would evoke disgust; that the only weapons in the armory of a pacifist are love and suffering.

Gandhi once wrote to my father, Mailal, his second son entrusted with leading the nonviolent struggle in South Africa: "To understand nonviolence one must first understand violence and its two distinct aspects — physical and passive. Passive violence in the form of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, hate, anger and all the subtle ways it manifests itself gives rise to physical violence. To rid society of this physical violence, we must act now to eliminate passive violence.”

It may seem strange to many pacifists, but appearance and dress play just as important a role in a nonviolent struggle as proper strategy. Gandhi changed to a skimpy loin cloth because he wanted to be at one with the poorest, whom he was leading in the struggle for independence and social change. If he had attempted to lead the impoverished masses of India in Western clothes or even in fashionable Indian clothes, he would not have been acceptable to the people. The masses need a leader they can identify with, making dress and appearance as important as sincerity and honesty.

Martin Luther King faced the same dilemma when he returned from India after studying Gandhi’s techniques. He wanted to adopt a dress as simple as Gandhi’s but quickly realized he would become an outcast in his society instead of a leader. Gandhi used to say dress and discipline are as important in a peace army as they are in a regular army. Millions are spent on the dress and appearance of soldiers in an army for good reason. They must appear pleasing to the eye and command respect, an objective the peace army cannot ignore.

...During the 20th century the world consumed more than 300 million lives in recorded wars....Can we effectively counter this violence with more violence?

Gandhi had the optimism to believe we can achieve the goal where love and law are one. He wrote: “The world of tomorrow will be, must be, a society based on nonviolence. It may seem a distant goal, an impractical Utopia. But it is not in the least unobtainable. An individual can adopt the way of life of the future — the nonviolent way — without having to wait for others to do so. And if an individual can do it, -cannot whole groups of individuals? Human beings
often hesitate to make a beginning because they feel the objective cannot be achieved. This attitude of mind is precisely our greatest obstacle to progress.”

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COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIPS

are of vital importance for every town in this crisis period. (p.31 in STEPS) If you want to start one with friends of Peace Pilgrim in your area, we will list your name, phone number and/or address. Here are new people for this list:
Edward Thomson, 7156 Harp String, Columbia, MD 21045
• Jean Mascaro, 1617 Madison Aye, Scranton, PA 18509
• Charlie McGarry, tel: 401-848-0612, Farewell St. #104, Newport, RI 02840
• Jean Waldron, 130 Sunridge Aye, Camillus, NY 13031 
• Gala Gastineau, tel: 714-338-6325, POB 6951, Crestline, CA 92325

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Letter From John Amidon, Albany, New York

John has visited us several times and helped us in our work.

“At the last flea market I worked, people seemed very interested in the Peace Pilgrim book. That was really good. And of course there was one who asked me if I thought I would get to heaven with this stuff. I’ve finally got a good answer. M I have to do is make some copies of the poem below and be ready.”

I dreamt death came the other night
And heaven’s gates swung wide.
With kindly grace an angel came
And ushered me inside.
And there to my astonishment
Stood folks I’d met on earth.
Some I had judged as quite unfit
Or of but little worth.
Indignant words rose to my lips
But never were set free,
For every face showed stunned surprise.
No one expected me.

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THE PEACE SCHOOL

Each year the Westerville, Ohio Area Ministerial Association sponsors the Peace School, which concentrates on peace and is nondenominational. This year the theme was “Planting the Seeds, Harvesting the Peace.” Students entering gra4es one through eight were invited to enroll for the week-long morning classes.

According to the Rev. Charles Cooley, coordinator of this year’s school, “Today’s children need to know they can contribute to a more peaceful world. We teach them techniques for resolving conflict without resorting to fists and hurtful language.”

The students interact in a family-like setting with two adult teachers and a youth helper. They learn the importance of cooperation and consideration of others.

In preparation for the school, teachers this year attended an all-day training program conducted by Madeleine Triche and Jo Dee Davis, co-authors of A Guide for Teaching Peacemaking, which is used by teachers throughout this country.

The students participate in noncompetitive games, art projects and other events based on the Bible. Parents are impressed with what their children learn. They receive a flier on steps to solve a conflict, and parents say their children refer to it when they start to fight with brothers or sisters.

For more information write to Pauline Bierley, 61 Massey Drive, Westerville, Ohio 43081. She has been requesting Peace Pilgrim books for many years and asked for 25 compact books for the teachers of this peace school.

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GANDHI — “Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions.”

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YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE
Transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence 

by Joe Dominguez and Vickie Robin

Vickie and Joe belong to the New Road Map Foundation, P0 Box 75981, Seattle, WA 98115, a community of financially independent but not wealthy people who devote their time and money to helping worthy causes. They visited us several years ago. Marcia Meyer, one of their members, spent a couple of weeks helping us in our office. They have sent us several large and greatly appreciated contributions.

More than 150 years ago Thoreau wrote, “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone,” and managed to live on only six weeks of gainful work a year. Forty years ago Scott Nearing (considered by many the father of the ecology movement) wrote in “Living the Good Life,” how to live sanely and simply in a troubled world. He and his wife Helen became subsistence farmers, which allowed them to spend only half time making a living. (Peace Pilgrim, before her pilgrimage, helped Scott publish his newsletter, WORLD EVENTS.)

In a similar tradition Joe and Vicki outline in this book “their nine-step program for transforming the way we think about, earn, and spend money. It shows readers a painless way to get out of debt, develop savings, reorder their material priorities, and achieve financial intelligence, integrity, and independence.”

Most people are not receiving fulfillment in their jobs. They look for satisfaction in buying things they don’t need. A way to break the cycle of unpleasant work and seeking satisfaction in unnecessary things is to live frugally and to get as high paying job as possible that does not interfere with one’s integrity. The authors recommend that the resulting savings be put into U.S. Treasury Bonds. When the income from savings provide enough money to live on, one can stop working for money and devote one’s life to worthwhile causes.

When the authors listed the basic criteria for investing capital, I wish they had considered the desirability of’ investing in companies that produce useful and environmentally sound products.

Although the authors give evidence that inflation has not adversely affected their program, those who have experienced the inflation following the 1930’s might question the financial security of investing in bonds.

Regardless of these concerns, this book is educational and challenging. It is encouraging to know that this investment program is helping many to become better servers by achieving financial independence. — Reviewed by John Rush

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“Every person born into this world has a job to do in the divine plan.” — Peace Pilgrim

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PEACE PILGRIM’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Peace Pilgrim’s message: “This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.”

Peace Pilgrim’s lifestyle vow: “I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter, fasting until given food.”

Peace Pilgrim’s vow of simplicity: “I shall not accept more than I need while others in the world have less than they need.”

Peace Pilgrim’s magic formula: “Have as your objective the resolving of the conflict — not the gaining of advantage.”

Peace Pilgrim’s personal prayer: “Make mc an instrument through which only truth can speak.”

Peace Pilgrim’s pilgrimage prayer: “That this war-weary world of ours will somehow find the way to peace before a holocaust descends.”

Peace Pilgrim’s mission: “To help promote peace by helping others to find inner peace.”

Peace Pilgrim’s little saying: “If you want to make friends, you must be friendly; if you want to make peace, you must be peaceful.”

Peace Pilgrim’s slogan: “Every ounce counts.” Also: “First things first.”

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PEACE PILGRIM AWARD
From the MIAMI HERALD, June 11, 1992:

A sixth grader at New River Middle School who reaches out to help her fellow students get along peaceably was named Peace Pilgrim at the Fort Lauderdale school’s awards assembly June 4.

The “Peace Pilgrim” award is in remembrance of a woman who walked 25,000 miles visiting churches and universities, spreading the message of peace and harmony.

Teresa Bergen, New River’s “Peace Pilgrim,” said, she tries to encourage friendship and harmony within her school. She became active in New River’s conflict mediation program in an effort to smooth relations between family members, friends and other students when conflicts arose regarding race and prejudice.

“We gave her the award because of the way she feels about people, friendship and living in peace,” said Bobby Poplar, peer counseling and conflict mediation coordinator at the school.

Bobby Popler (1688 N. W 58th Ave., Lauderhil4 FL 33313) wrote to us June 15, “Thank you very much for all the wonderful information and the video that you sent to me several months ago. My students and I were truly inspired by the work and devotion of Peace Pilgrim. We have a conflict mediation program that is working extremely well and has reduced the school’s suspension rate and incidents of violence by 89%.”

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LETTER FROM GERMANY

With great appreciation I regularly read your letter with the newest information about Friends of Peace Pilgrim and the world community of peace-loving people.

I'm a Christian pastor in Germany, and I believe in the power of global friendship and love because I believe in God, the source of all peace and love.

It’s always very encouraging to read how many people share in the same dream of peace on earth and social justice.

Therefore I want to tell all those unknown friends of mine, through this letter, that they have nothing to fear from a reunited Germany, even though you might be disturbed by the news about violence and riots against foreigners in our country. Believe me, the majority of Germans learned from our terrible history. For centuries we tried the way of war and violence — it never worked. We got punished a lot for our sins and all the terror we brought to the nations of the world, especially during two world wars. We came to realize the hard way that it doesn’t work that way. And we worked hard for a new way, to become a peace-loving nation. For the last 47 years we tried peace and social justice and realized it worked for us as well as for our neighbors. We won’t let anybody jeopardize that by any acts of terrorism.

Most people here are very much on the alert that those things never happen again. We have become very sensitive to acts of racism and do condemn them as criminal.

Politicians, churches, synagogues and all secular humanitarian groups, including actors and singers, established an alliance against the minority of violators, who are dangerous, of course. But they can’t intimidate our democracy.

Education is the bottom line! We do everything to teach people — now with even more empathy - tolerance, nonviolence and the absolutely need for peace, in schools, at church, on TV and everywhere.

I am going to teach the confirmation class of mine the principles of Peace Pilgrim, because there is such power and hope in it. I will keep you posted on the outcome of that endeavor. — Uwe J. Steinmann

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A COMMA OR NOT A COMMA?

Should a comma be here, or perhaps a semicolon? Similar questions I consider when editing our newsletter. I had never edited anything before helping to edit our Peace Pilgrim book and then our newsletters. I just do the best I can, consulting several books on grammar. But the rules are hard to remember and are not exact. How short is a short introductory phrase? Each time, after we have finished editing and proof reading our current newsletter, we send a copy to our friend Bill Lovelady, a retired school teacher. He always returns it, marked with numerous corrections, and I wonder how I could have missed so many errors. How fortunate we are to have a professional English teacher to help us.

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A PEACE PILGRIM CENTER ROBBERY!

It was 10:30 one warm evening in June after Jeff left for the Wilderness Retreat. Ann and I were alone. I was taking a bath while Ann was asleep with the bedroom door open. Being warm, our front and back doors were wide open. When I was leaving the bathroom I was accosted by three hooded men. One pointed a gun at my head and told me not to move. Then he told me to lie down on the floor. I sat down and he continued to point his gun at me while the other two men ransacked the house for valuables.

The gunman asked me where our jewels and gun were. I said we didn’t have any. I tried to make a one-to-one human contact with him and offered to give him a Peace Pilgrim book, which he refused. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak English very well, so I wasn’t successful in reaching him. I can truthfully say that I didn’t feel fear. I don’t know why; I could have been killed with the press of his finger.— John

Ann's experience:

Finally I woke up, sat up in bed and was astonished to see John sitting in the hail talking with someone who had a strange camouflage on his head. My first thought was that our friends next door were playing some kind of a joke on us. The gunman said to me, “Lie down.” I said “No.” A little later he said, “Lie down here in the hall” I said, "No." Then they all just left. We discovered later that they took with them our wallet, purse and Peace Pilgrim equipment
— the TV, VCR, tape recorder and two office scales.

We called the police, who came immediately, took finger prints, pictures and gave advice about not leaving doors open. As they left one turned to us and said, “Most people are hysterical when robbed and you are unusually calm.”
We were both astonished that we felt no fear. It just took us by such surprise. After they left I felt so sorry for those young men doing such a thing. We wish we could have been successful in making a contact, like those told about in the book, SAFE PASSAGE ON CITY STREETS (see our review below). We were delighted to remember that I had Peace Pilgrim books and Steps and hopefully Spanish Steps (Pasos) in my purse. Who knows what those books might do!

Was this a test to see if we really believe Peace Pilgrim’s message that we send around the world? Did her spirit of fearlessness become a part of us and without thinking we just knew that all would be OK whatever happened? I cannot recall any thoughts at all while it was happening; all I recall is astonishment.

A couple of friends of Peace Pilgrim have graciously given us gifts enough to cover our losses. Thank you again.

*****

Religious attitudes overcome fear. If you have a loving attitude toward your fellow human beings, you will not fear them: ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’ An obedient attitude toward God will bring you into the constant awareness of God’s presence, and then fear is gone. — Peace Pilgrim

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SAFE PASSAGE IN CITY STREETS
by Dorothy T Samuel

This is a book that a friend of ours, Liberty Goodwin, published in 1991. Earlier she had published VICTORIES WITHOUT VIOLENCE, which some of you have requested. SAFE PASSAGE &c a remarkable book full of true stories about how people have creatively handled violence. If you want either one or both of these books, please write to Liberty Literary Works; P0 Box 2370, Richmond, IN 47375. We are thankful she is republishing these nonviolent out-of-print-books.

“Those who are too afraid to walk the city streets or who walk them, but in fear, are prisoners of fear. Nothing can wholly free us from danger, but we can program ourselves for freedom instead of fear. By meeting threat with inner confidence, we break down the will of the violent and at times even restore attackers to decency. We can be far less vulnerable to universal dangers and free from the prison of fear by following principles by which human beings gain control of their world and their own consciousness:

“Show real sympathy and concern for the misery of the attacker -- trust others and seek their trust -- believe in people and expect the best -- be fearless, confident, honest -- don’t practice self defense -- live simply -- build a feeling of community in your neighborhood.”— Reviewed by Anna Light

From our friend, the publisher, at the end of this excellent, highly recommended book: “No treatment of the problem of walking safely and fearlessly on city streets or lonely byways could be complete without mention of the woman who called herself Peace Pilgrim. She is surely the champion of ‘Safe Passage.”

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Letter From a High School English Teacher 
Joe Calarco, 97 Forest Place, Fredonia, NY 14063

I had my students participate in a Peace essay contest to promote awareness and discussion among students, sponsored by a local group.

After a day of frustrating discussion — “War is part of man’s nature.” “What good is an essay?” “What difference will it make?” — the mood was pessimistic and apathetic. I needed something positive to motivate the students.

The next day I brought in my personal copy of PEACE PILGRIM. I explained who she was and what she was. I read parts of her book to them. If this one single lady could promote peace, so could they. IT WORKED! Not only were they interested to learn more about this amazing woman, but I am already thinking of next year. It would be great to have two or three books and some copies of STEPS for the students to sign out and read. I’m excited at the thought of a video tape to show them.

*****

Gloria Goldenbert, Bensalem, PA — “As a Guidance Counselor in an elementary school, I find PEACE PILGRIM most helpful for maintaining inner peace as well as a reference guide for parents of the children. When I loan my only copy to a parent, I miss having it for myself.”

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VARIETY IN CALIFORNIA
This article by Peace Pilgrim was printed in her Peace Pilgrim’s Progress newsletter No. 8

It is a joy to walk through California in the winter — through the warm sunshine of an irrigated desert, atop a cliff overlooking the blue Pacific or along a beach, through orchards and vineyards and nut groves and cultivated fields, over scenic mountain passes. California’s mountains are majestic and lofty and often snow capped, so if you wish you can ski in the morning and come down to the ocean for a swim in the afternoon. In Southern California trees seem sparse, although palm trees line the city streets, eucalyptus trees line the desert highways, there are live oaks on the hills, cottonwoods in the arroyos and graceful pepper trees near the houses.

Northern California with its massive redwoods seems to be a land of trees. Just about anything can be grown in California, from citrus fruit and tropical dates to apples and vegetables that are usually grown in the north. California is a land where seasons are not very pronounced — for instance, in San Diego, sometimes called the City of Eternal Spring, it is always warm in the daytime and cold enough for a coat or a blanket at night. In this seasonless land flowers often disregard the proper blooming time. It is not uncommon to see chrysanthemums, poinsettias and jonquils blooming happily with geraniums, petunias and other summer flowers. In some sections no house is complete without a garden, and there are flowers everywhere. About April the desert comes to life and blooms with a profusion and a beauty that defies description.

New California

When you realize that California’s chain of missions was started nearly two hundred years ago, the state does not seem very new, but actually most of the growth is new and most of the people are new Californians. The pioneer spirit still survives sufficiently to make new things welcome, so many interesting new things have established themselves in the Golden State. Some seem quite worthwhile — others seem transient. Since it is in the process of rapid new growth, California faces some new problems. Most acute among them is the smog problem, which is centered in the Los Angeles area. At times I encountered smog so thick I could not see across the Street and so irritating to my eyes
that tears ran down my cheeks. Probably all industry in this area will need to be muzzled with smoke consumers or moved, all home heaters that send smoke into the air will need to be changed, and even cars will need to be equipped with devices to eliminate fumes. California’s southern seacoast is worth reclaiming — it can be an earthly paradise.

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Volunteers at the Center
It is a delight to have four women working with us regularly now:

Betty McCarthy, a friend who lives a couple of miles away, comes three mornings a week to work in the office.
She puts your names, addresses and requests in the computer from the letters that come every day.

Anna Light, a visitor from Pennsylvania, living at nearby friend’s house comes every Wednesday and other times when she is free. She packages the books that have been requested and helps answer the mail.

Cecile Williamson is here for a few months helping in many ways: watering trees while we were gone, working in the garden, trimming the pyracantha hedge, cleaning and organizing the shop and fixing many little things that would go unfixed.

Barbara Werner is still faithfully answering the ever growing mail from developing countries in Africa. Almost everyday we receive letters from Nigeria, and Ghana. Below is a sample of the many letters.

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Letter From Ogu, Nigeria
(We have been receiving about 15 to 20 letters a week from Ghana and Nigeria requesting Peace Pilgrim books and STEPS)

I am a man of 27 from Ogu, an urban town in the southern part of Nigeria. I never had peace within. I could hardly forget in my life one beautiful Sunday morning when a light worker in my area, Mr. Noble Asembo, slipped into my pocket a white small pamphlet tagged, STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. After going through this very small book I felt a cooling inside my always troubling heart I also felt refreshed within. My mind has always troubled me, but now God has redeemed me by directing these people to me.

They have nice tips to attain the much needed inner peace. “Oh God let peace reign,” I murmured to myself aloud.

So, please I wish you not to relent in your service by spreading peace around the globe. Keep on spreading until the whole world attains peace.— Wilson Chesime Tamuno

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A Piece of Good News

That’s what needed, don’t you see. That! Nothing else matters half so much. To reassure one another. To answer each other. Perhaps only you can listen to me and not laugh. Everyone has, inside himself...what shall I call it? A piece of good news. Everyone is...a very great, very important character! Yes, that’s what We have to tell them up there. Every man must be persuaded — even if he’s in rags — that he’s immensely, immensely important! Everyone must respect him; and make him respect himself too. They must listen to him attentively. Don’t stand on top of him, don’t stand in his light. But look at him with deference. Give him great, great hopes, he needs them, especially if he’s young, spoil him, Yes, make him grow proud! — Ungobetti

*****

All people look beautiful to me; they look like shining lights to me. I always have the feeling of being thankful for these beautiful people who walk the earth with me. — Peace Pilgrim

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WIN-WIN SOLUTIONS

"I am a probation officer...Now I am acting as a mediator in Family Court. I try to find win-win solutions for people who are referred by the Court to settle their custody and parenting issues.

“I sit down with the parents and help them to come to an agreement over whom the children live with and how often the children will be with each parent. Sometimes it seems as though there is so much anger and hate that an agreement on what day it is would be impossible, but most of the time, with enough persistence, we can find some shred of agreement and begin building a parenting contract that will work.

“The words of Peace Pilgrim have served me well as I struggle to see past the negativity these people generate and really view their humanity under all that pain. Peace Pilgrim’s work will go on forever.” — Bonnie Parker, P0 Box 648, Ocean Gate, NJ 08740

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PEACETREES PROJECT

Bonnie Parker was also co-coordinator of the “Peacetrees Project” in Camden, New Jersey, that was under the auspices of the Bainbridge Island, Washington-based Earthstewards Network, with most participants paying their own way or obtaining sponsors. A group of about 70 youths from Camden and countries around the world led by 18 adults — planted about 225 donated trees in front of homes in an eight-block blighted area of Camden. The object was to create beauty and make people feel good about where they live. Many residents began to take care of the trees after they were planted and people kept asking them to plant trees in front of their homes.

The group included six from Russia, five from Costa Rica, four from India, four from Canada, ten from Scotland, two from Ireland, one from England. several from Camden and others from around the United States. They stayed in dormitories at Rutgers University’s Camden campus, spent time in workshops, where they learned more about themselves and each other and how to cope with their problems. One leader said that it never fails to amaze him that, given the chance, the youths work out their differences. Bonnie said Peacetrees gives its participants a “very compacted learning experience, hearing different languages and seeing other ways of dressing. They learn that when you work toward a common goal, a lot of differences drop away.”

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Wilderness Retreat

This Summer Friends of Peace Pilgrim is offering a 7 day wilderness retreat in Utah, exploring Lake Powell and its side canyons in a 50 foot motorized house boat, from July 23 to July 29. The retreat will be lead by Cheryl Canfield, one of the compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book. Richard Polese, another Peace Pilgrim book compiler, will be assisting. The cost is $375 and includes vegetarian meals. For more information, write Richard Polese, C/O Ocean Tree Books, P. 0. Box 1295, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

 

HURRICANE SURVIVORS FLORIDA

We are just getting over the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in the south Florida area. It went through very badly, just 40 miles from where we live — very devastating. The evening of the hurricane, just as we lost electricity, I started reading Steps Toward inner Peace. Words cannot describe how wonderful it was. It makes one feel very strong. Reading this by candle light, while the winds just howled, I will never forget the impact.
— Barbara Finder, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

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HAWAII

Hurricane Iniki greeted us this week (9-18). tearing off roofs and tearing holes into the fabric of people's existence as they have known it.

I held Peace Pilgrim’s booklet in my hand as I crouched over my children, waiting to see if we would live or die. As the hurricane approached and I heard the snapping of power lines all around me, I closed my eyes, opened Peace Pilgrim’s booklet, then read where my finger rested:

“In our spiritual development we are often required to pull up roots many times and to close many chapters in our lives until we are no longer attached to any material thing and can love all people without any attachment to them.”

Our home is still in one piece, and so are we. A hurricane has a way of helping one to return to need level. Keeping my milk supply up in my body and rinsing Jasmine’s diapers is about NEED.

To almost lose our lives is to regain a sense of priorities. Yes, even our bodies began to resemble our wardrobe, more so than our very being they once represented. I caught a glimpse of my own enlightenment. I hereby dedicate my life to reaching up to my light, and shining it forth. My only true possession is my SOUL.—   Hygeia Halfmoon — P0 Box 755, Hanapepe, Hi 96716. Hygeia is the one who makes baby slings. See newsletter 14. She now lives in Hawaii.

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“MY SISTER’S PLACE”

is a shelter for battered woman and children, a resource for the community and you (Peace Pilgrim Center) are one of our greatest resources for the women during their stay with us. Through your publications and self-help materials, women have learned about themselves to their own benefit and that of their children.

We would like to expand our services to further enable assaulted women and children to create a new life for themselves, violence-free. It would be of great benefit to us, should you choose to donate a selection of your books, to be used by residents and ex-residents. Your gift to us would be invaluable. Words can affect what experience has defined. The affirmations found in your literature are well said, with a healing potential. — Anne Ritchie, Alliston, Ontario, Canada (We sent a box of 44 compact books and 110 STEPS).

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U.S. Nuclear Weapons Testing Moratorium
on 500th Anniversary year of Columbus’s Landing

The good news this year is that the U.S. Congress and Senate passed and President Bush signed a moratorium that stops all American nuclear weapons tests for the next nine months. As a result of this, President Yeltsin extended Russia’s nuclear test ban through July, 1993, and the moratorium could run all of next year if the U.S. follows suit. President-elect Bill Clinton has expressed his determination to sign a treaty banning all nuclear weapons tests. A Russian expert on arms control said mounting public pressure from Russians and Americans could soon gain enough momentum to bring about talks on a worldwide test ban.

There was so much pressure from the people of Kazakhstan, a Russian nuclear test area, that Gorbachev told Dr. Lown, Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, “If you could exert as much pressure on President Bush as the Kazakh people are exerting on me, the nuclear arms race would come to an end.” Nuclear testing in Kazakhstan has now ended.

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Columbus Quincentenial
Focus for Ban of All Nuclear Weapons Tests

As people across the country prepared to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americas many became thoughtful about the price indigenous people have paid and are paying for this conquest. It has brought increased public awareness that the Nevada Nuclear Test Site occupies land belonging to the Western Shoshone Indian Nation and other countries with nuclear weapons carry out their tests on land belonging to their indigenous peoples.

Our mail brings us almost everyday brochures, leaflets, newsletters, etc full of news of mounting public pressure to end nuclear weapons testing and to outlaw nuclear weapons. We have many friends in these projects who have given out hundreds of Steps booklets and books in their walks and gatherings. Here are a few examples of projects that culminated on Columbus day, October 12:

Two European Walks Across America met at the Nevada Test Site (our Bulgarian friend Arthur Burton was on the northern walk) ++ The Quincentenial Pilgrimage For Peace and Life from Panama to Washington, DC (our friend John Amidon was on the beginning and end) ++ An Indian Relay Run from Canada to Mexico City (our volunteer, Cecile ran a short way) ++ A Fast for Justice and Peace in the Americas (Our friend Dave Dellinger was a participant) ++ The Spiritual Walk from San Francisco to Washington DC ++ An Indigenous People's Forum and Global Anti-Nuclear Conference in Las Vegas followed by a three day walk to the test site. Spiritual Elders of the Shoshone Nation led an All Nations Healing Ceremony.

Another friend, Jennifer St. John, called from New Hampshire to tell about her very moving experience of walking to the test site from Las Vegas. She met a woman from Kazakhstan who has for many years been nursing the sick and caused by nuclear testing radiation. She is in a group that is working to build a world wide movement to end all nuclear tests. She requested our Russian book and STEPS. 

On the anniversary of Columbus’ landing two thousand Americans, Europeans, Russians and Indians met at the nuclear test site to demand an end to testing. While on their way the nine month nuclear testing moratorium was signed. They celebrated this victory and rededicated themselves to continue to work for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

There is a growing momentum for such a treaty. Yeltsin receives such requests from lawmakers, ordinary Russians, citizens from other countries. He calls for an international treaty fully banning all nuclear testing. A substantial majority of Americans support banning all nuclear weapons testing if the Russians also agree to this, which they repeatedly have said they would.

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Large Print STEPS

Many have requested a larger print edition of Peace Pilgrim’s STEPS booklet. Now it has become a reality. This attractively designed 64 page book is especially appropriate for a gift. The type is 12 point and the spine is flat.

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MORE ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL ATHLETE

In our newsletter No. 16 we reviewed the book, “The Spiritual Athlete,” by Ray Berry, composed of essays about 22 spiritually mature people. He writes, “Several people have made it a point to tell me that they like PEACE PILGRIM the best — Imagine Peace Pilgrim right up there with the rest of the established Saints & Sages!” If you want a copy of this book, which we highly recommend, write to Ray Berry, 9895 Shoreline Highway, Olema, CA 94950.

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