Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

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

Fall/Winter, 1995       "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"          Number 24

Online Edition

Table of Contents: 
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
From FELLOWSHIP in PRAYER magazine by Elise Harvey
MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL and what has inspired me to live this way

 Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,

Early morning walks and full moon walks, walks alone in receptive silence, beauty of sunlight on the mountains, a solution to a problem -- walks with volunteers, walks with friends from Canada, England, Sweden, San Jacinto, a bare foot walk in our dry sandy riverbed with a Catholic Sister....

This summer we had the remarkable experience of two volunteers from England who did not know each other before they arrived. Poornima Reddy, a 19 year old Indian/English girl, stayed five weeks. When she was 14 she received PEACE PILGRIM from a US friend visiting India. Loving the book, she seems to embody its highest principles. She wants to live to serve, plans on working in India or Africa after college, or wherever she is most needed. She wanted to learn every detail about our work.

The second English volunteer, Pamela Bancroft, came to be here while we went back east. She came from St. Lucia in the Caribbean where she taught school. She was most helpful putting your names and requests in the computer and writing some of the notes. Thank you Pamela, Barbara, Marty and Amirah for taking care of the Center.


This peace conference originated in John Amidon's brain a year ago -- to renew our commitment to peace on the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. He helped organize a four day conference at the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, VA -- a time of reflection on Peace Pilgrim's concern, as expressed in the leaflet she gave out all the years of her pilgrimage, that "we walk a knife edge between complete chaos and a golden age of peace."

We showed videos of Peace Pilgrim, and Gigi told about her experience of helping to produce the documentary she then showed. There were many questions from the warm, responsive group who took three boxes of hard cover books for libraries, hundreds of STEPS and some videos and audios. We were hugged by many loving souls and were delighted to hug Lila Selover, Mother of Cliff, the artist whose beautiful painting of Peace Pilgrim was printed on the front cover of VENTURE INWARD magazine, Jan.`89. I had asked Cliff for a print, and to our amazement he sent us the original, which is on our wall next to PEACE PILGRIM in eight languages and STEPS in 23.


After the conference John Amidon took us near Boston to see the inspiring statue of Gandhi on the grounds of the ABBEY. On low walls around the statue are name plates of well-known pacifists and their quotes. Peace Pilgrim is there with her quote.

On to our daughter and husband's home in New Hampshire for a family reunion, a granddaughter's wedding, and a celebration around a campfire of our 50th wedding anniversary. I danced with our son and daughter and did some high-kick dancing with a granddaughter. A highlight was swimming in Long Pond with our 3-year-old GREAT granddaughter who really swims! -- Ann


Requests for nearly 2000 have been filled. We hear from those who saw it on public access cable TV. Cable stations are required to air programs sponsored by local citizens. We suggest you ask your local TV channel to air the documentary. Two people from Ghana wrote they had seen PEACE PILGRIM on CNN and wanted a book! Has anyone seen it on CNN in this country?

You who have seen the documentary may remember what the former prisoner Michael Todd said about the Prison Inner Peace Program: "No inmate so far who has completed the program has to date re-offended." For their newsletter: THE PEACEMAKER, Sprit-E, 7049 E. Tanque Verde Rd. Suite 319, Tucson, AZ 85715. See our next newsletter for an interview of Michael Todd and Richard Wirta, the original founder of the Inner Peace Program.

ENGLAND -- I was feeling particularly low, so I visited my local library. I didn't even know what I had gone in for. As I sat at a table reading a newspaper, I seemed to be compelled to look among the books on the religious set of shelves. Low and behold this book stared me in the face! I've not been able to put it down and feel that I don't want to be apart from it. Love jumps out at me from every page! I have had it renewed by the library three times and feel I cannot bear to part with it.

MASSACHUSETTS -- The spiritual message relayed in STEPS was a source of great inspiration, enlightenment and wisdom, and what I really appreciate is that Peace Pilgrim's essence is so closely aligned with the Bible.


I was introduced to Peace Pilgrim in 1986 at Ken Keyes College, Coos Bay, Oregon. I immediately felt connected to her vision of world and inner peace, to her commitment, energy, and to the special way she expressed who she was.

Years later, I was reminded of Peace Pilgrim again at the Peace Abbey, a retreat center outside Boston. It is devoted to the way each religious tradition expresses its desire for peace. Attached to the Abbey is The Life Experience School, a day school for those with developmental disabilities. I was drawn to a display case in the main room. Behind the glass were shoes and a tunic Peace Pilgrim wore during her long journey back and forth across the country. Once again I felt connected.

I was "called" to the Abbey, much like Peace was called to her mission. I had set to music the peace prayers from each of the world's twelve major religions; they formed the very heart of the Peace Abbey's mission. Each song, from the Buddhist Peace Prayer to the Christian, expressed the same longing for peace. The music was a gift, almost as if each song wrote itself. Having accepted the music, I had also accepted something more. I didn't quite know what, but I knew it would change my life forever.

Then one day, as I was preparing for the first public performance of the Peace Concert, Lewis Randa, the director of the Peace Abbey, decided on my "official" title. I was to be the Abbey's "Peace Troubadour." What Peace Pilgrim did with her walking, I would do with my singing. From then on I abandoned everything I knew before -- my possessions, my home, everything I had, and began traveling with this simple message of peace. The music would be my message. The prayers would be my words.

Since then I have traveled throughout the US and Europe, performing The Peace Concert. Last summer a new element revealed itself. I was invited to perform in Croatia and Bosnia. For nearly two months I performed in refugee camps, peace gatherings, churches and on TV. I was able to witness the effects of war, not just on a country, but on individuals and families. I knew this message and music needed to be shared in other areas of the world experiencing violence and war. The songs themselves would show people the way to peace. What a tribute to Peace Pilgrim, the first person to inspire this desire in me.

This winter and spring I will be returning to Croatia and Bosnia, and will tour through Northern Ireland. I try to live a simple lifestyle, but with the cost of travel this ministry requires special support. If you would like to help support this peace pilgrimage you can do so by ordering a C.D. of the Peace Concert for $15. For information on performing the Peace Concert in your area, write to The Peace Concert, Two North Main Street, Sherborn, MA 01770. All money goes to bring this peace message to those living with the threat of violence and war. It is my small contribution, just as walking was Peace Pilgrim's. Each of us needs to contribute however we can. This is what she taught me.


The goal of this Michigan peace group is "to raise public awareness of the importance and benefits of local and global efforts toward peaceful living." Frank Knoffke, a member of Oceana Peace Education Network (OPEN) is on the advisory board of "Friends of Peace Pilgrim" (see NL 21).

In September OPEN held a meeting in Oceana to celebrate the UN's 50th anniversary and to honor local peacekeepers. Adding an international flavor, Ambassador John McDonald, who worked for 16 years with the UN on economic and social affairs, spoke about how the UN is at work each day in everyday situations, "The UN is a powerful force in your life, for good and for peace." McDonald was a diplomat with a variety of assignments from more than one US president. He is co-founder of the Iowa Peace Institute and is on the advisory board of the Friends of Peace Pilgrim. Currently he is chairman and co-founder of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in Washington, D.C., which focuses on ethnic conflicts.


With the approval of the US Department of Treasury, the institute co-sponsored the first conflict resolution training in Cuba in April 1995. A nine-person training team from US met 25 Cubans and ten observers from five different ministries. Most Cubans were in their thirties.

During the weeks training they heard talks on conflict, good negotiating, the multi-track approach, and durable settlement agreements. The Cubans and Americans discussed their views on the Cuban-American conflict.

The American efforts were well received by the Foreign Minister and his colleagues. They are currently reviewing our joint plans for three or four more projects, if funding for them can be obtained. -- Adapted from an article by Ambassador John W. McDonald, a participant. The article was published by the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, 1819 H Street, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006, in the PEACE BUILDER, Volume 3, Number 1, Summer,`95


At an electoral debate in Johannesburg, South Africa, in April 1994 Nelson Mandela held forth for over an hour against the policies of South African President Frederik de Klerk and his party. Then he stunned his opponent by offering him his hand. "I am proud to hold your hand," he said, "Let us work together to end division and suspicion."

BRAZIL -- I saw your STEPS booklet in the Quaker Meeting in Sao Paulo. I like the plain logic and undogmatic language of Peace Pilgrim. I think it must be helpful for people who have difficulty in understanding the ecclesiastical jargon.



While Lois was attending a workshop in San Francisco, Bill hitchhiked down to our center. His last ride was in an 18-wheel truck. The driver became so interested in Peace Pilgrim that he went 50 miles out of his way to get our book and deliver Bill. We were all asleep at 1:00 a.m., but our next door neighbor was still up, saw the truck, entered our garage where he had helped stack books and gave the driver a book. Bill helped us for three weeks and Lois came to help for awhile. What a delight to have them here!


While on their US tour they stopped by. The following is a sermon by Menno at the Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship, Winnipeg, 1970:


After telling some of his many experiences with hitchhikers Menno relates: Time does not permit me to tell all the opportunities I had to build many friendships, but I must now tell about one more, the last but not the least. This one takes the prize, the Peace Prize.

It happened July 1969. I was on my way to St. Thomas, ND with a toxicologist from Agriculture Canada Research Station sitting with me in the front seat and Mr. Joe Guccione, Agricultural Superintendent from Manitoba in the back. We were pulling out of Winnipeg heading south, when we saw a silver-haired lady waving vigorously for us to stop. Our car was well trained by now, so it veered off to the shoulder and came to a quick stop. I looked around to Joe in the back seat, "Joe it looks like you're getting company." As she stepped in we read the large block letters on the front of her tunic, PEACE PILGRIM, and on the back, 25,000 MILES ON FOOT FOR WORLD PEACE.

We quickly gathered that this was not going to be an ordinary experience. We were positively impressed by our new passenger. Her manner and speech assured us of an interesting and exciting time. She seemed to be in control of things. She seemed to have purpose for what she was doing. If she was a fool, it would be the kind that Paul the Apostle was, "a fool for Christ's sake." She was obviously one of a kind, one who would prompt a hundred questions from us, giving her all the opportunities to share her message. I decided she was a wonderful Christian, well versed in the Bible, and well informed on world events at the same time, with a most enlightened and liberating world view. And she had a most pleasing, cheerful and unoffending personality. You can be sure there wasn't a dull moment all the way to St. Thomas, North Dakota.

So while traveling for nearly two hours this way, we learned much about this woman's dedication to her unique calling, about her thinking and activities. One could think of her as a modern Elijah or a John the Baptist, a "Voice crying in the wilderness."...We felt privileged to host such a distinguished person. Many people who would like to do something significant for peace, are provided an example and a role model at the same time.

I had occasionally discussed, even argued, the problem of war with my associates with little progress, but I felt they could hardly be unmoved or quite the same after this encounter with Peace Pilgrim. And I, naturally, was very happy for this support from someone we all had to respect, for her life and words were most challenging and convincing. Her manner of communicating her message, the means, was so acceptable, so much in harmony with the ends she was working towards. God was doing a great work through her. She emphasized inner peace, world citizenship, a Christ-like simple life style. She rejected violence as a means to gain desired ends. In answer to our question of Old Testament wars, she quoted the words of Jesus, "It was said of old, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you."

Peace Pilgrim visited Winnipeg the first time in 1957. In July of 1969 she addressed the Peace Rally at the Memorial Park. She spoke in two churches and at the University of Winnipeg. When I picked her up she was on her way back to Grand Forks, where she had further engagements.

Menno and Aggie Klassen attended our Friends Meeting for Worship in Hemet. Afterwards they showed a video of PASTORS FOR PEACE caravan to Cuba in which Menno participated. In a letter to the Free Press Menno wrote: "The heads of the Catholic and Protestant churches in Cuba, as well as church and human rights groups throughout the world, are strongly protesting the blockade of Cuba." (see NL 21) Here is an excerpt from another one of several articles the Klassens sent us:

SOLAR OVENS: Joe Froese, designer of a portable solar oven, 2 feet by 20 inches, that takes just 20 minutes to heat, spent a month in Cuba. His proposal to build solar ovens for the poor was recognized by the Director of the Federation of Cuban women, Vilma Estin Castro, sister-in-law of Fidel Castro. At her request he is filling an order for 50 solar ovens to be assembled by Cuban women. Froese's trip was sponsored by Menno and Aggie Klassen who work with the Pastor's Peace Caravan and the Cuba Solidarity Committee in Winnipeg. -- Mennonite Reporter, 6/13/94

WEST VIRGINIA -- I first met Peace Pilgrim in 1960 and saw her several times in the years that followed. My son, who was three in 1960, has been profoundly influenced by his contacts with her. He is, today, a professor of physics at a large university and works to spread her message and promote peace in many ways.

HONDURAS -- The Spanish edition is such a great breakthrough for us in pastoral ministry. We desire to help spread this message of interior peace and its relationship to peace in families, communities and among nations.


I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.


Bo and Sita Lozoff have been working with prisoners for 20 years, sending their book WE'RE ALL DOING TIME, free to prisoners. They now include a STEPS booklet with each book. On their recent west coast tour of prisons they delighted us with a visit. The following article by Bo is special for prisoners, but its wisdom is applicable to all of us. It is from their Human Kindness Foundation Newsletter, Spring 1995.

Is there truth in your goals?

Sita and I have visited a lot of treatment programs lately, in and out of prisons. We've spoken to a lot of people who have been through [prison] doors not just one, but two, three, four, five times -- good people with decent hearts and a lot of sincerity, but who seem to keep finding themselves caught in addiction.

They ask why? Why can't I lead a good life? Why do I keep screwing everything up? I asked many of them what their treatment goals were, and received the same answer I've heard for over twenty years. "I just want to stay clean and sober, get a decent job, get back with my family, have a nice little place to live, a decent set of wheels...I'm a good person; I deserve it, don't I?"

These goals sound right, don't they? Are they enough to create a happy life? "Me and my family." The fascinating thing is, if you investigate the anatomy of recovery failures, you find two types, one are people who go back to using drugs (or other crime) during the first year. They seem to crumble because they fail to achieve one or more of those standard goals. Their spouse kicks them out, or they can't find a decent job, etc, and they give up pretty quickly.

But here's the fascinating part. The people who crumble between the second and third years, seem to fail because they reach the goals. Everyone has been there for them, gone out on a limb for them, they're loved and fed and employed...and that old constant craving begins again, and they keep it as a deep secret, until they are filled with shame and guilt, thinking "I must be a really horrible, ungrateful person to be craving drugs again after everyone has helped me so much, I must be rotten to the core." From there it's a pretty quick slide to "I may as well go ahead and get it over with, I'll never be any good, and they all may as well find out."

The real tragedy is, they're not horrible people, they simply didn't understand that their "me and my family" goals were simply not big enough goals. They got what they wanted and something inside was still empty and craving, because "me and mine" is not enough to make a whole, happy human being. Not wickedness, but simple ignorance, was responsible for their failure.


If you're getting out soon, what has been your attitude about life on the streets: Has it been about showing up in your neighborhood and saying, "Sorry I've been gone; how can I help out?" or has it been more like "First I want to...and then I want... and boy, I've missed...and there better be some good programs for me...and my family had better help me..."?

Please try to understand that your family and friends have probably been struggling just as much as you have; life is pretty hard everywhere. If you want the soul-power of truth to be with you, then show up and start helping out. Hit the ground running. Make it clear that their lives will be easier now because you're home, not harder. Apologize for being away while they needed you.

Plug into the problems in your community share your experiences and ideas. We need you out here. Kids in your neighborhood especially need to meet some truly good people who are not lily-white goody-goody, but are real like you. Neither lie about your past, nor carry on about it. Let them meet a real adult who has been humbled by his or her pain, and is transforming it into compassion, peace, and simple happiness. Give your life away to your community and see what you get back.


Remember Communion as well as Community. Dedicating yourself entirely to outward activity, no matter how much you seem to be helping others, will chew you up if you don't take time for inner silence. It's like trying to breathe out all the time without breathing in. How long can that last? Breathe in, too, so that you're helping others from a deeper place.


If you really know that all religions boil down to Communion and Community, you could meet the Pope or Dalai Lama, an Imam, Minister, Rabbi, Shaman, and they would welcome you as an old friend and agree that you understand the heart of their religion: An inner journey beyond all words, an outward path of devoting ourselves to others. Countless different methods all leading in those two directions. We know the road, let's travel it together. For more information write to The Human Kindness Foundation, Route 1, box 201-N, Durham, NC 27705.

RIVERSIDE, CA -- I am going through a hard part of my life but thanks to your book you have not only made my time easier here [jail], but you have changed my whole attitude about life. Peace has brought a lot of inner peace into my soul. May God pour tons of blessings on all of you.

VERMONT -- Recently I sent a copy of PEACE PILGRIM to a friend with the warning, "Dangerous Material: This will change your life." She was thrilled with it and said that it had indeed changed her life. A PRISONER IN TEXAS

It is both physically and psychologically brutal in here, and getting worse. We now have a governor who is of the "lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key" mind set. Those people believe that prisons should be on the level of WW II concentration camps, that no one would want to come back. Believe me that no one wants to come back.

Peace Pilgrim is right on target when she says "you don't overcome evil with evil." Those politicians, with their harsh punishment philosophies, are breeding more evil that will some day be turned loose on society. This will be a more toxic human being than ever before...Most of these men say they will "hold court" in the streets rather than come back here to this madness. Prison needs to be a place of soul transformation from hate to love -- it's anything but that.

A friend of mine here let me read his copy of STEPS and the book PEACE PILGRIM. I was profoundly touched by both. One good thing to come out of it [his imprisonment] is that it started me looking inside myself, and I wasn't too happy with what I found. Consequently, I began my spiritual journey...I began reading spiritual books and asking myself relevant questions. I have a tentative agreement to be brutally honest...Over time I began to grow spiritually. Sometimes it seemed like my progress was two steps forward and three back, but amazingly I did seem to be moving closer to that intangible "something" that is enlightenment -- inner peace -- soul growth -- truth -- love -- beauty and "oneness" with God in All his creation.

Peace Pilgrim was one of those truly love-filled, enlightened beings that followed in the footsteps of another great Pilgrim named Jesus. I am touched, even awed, by her remarkable story. The things she talks about on her journey strike that chord of truth that is located in my own soul. It's as if God spoke through her.

CORRECTION FACILITY, LANSING, KS -- After passing out the information you sent I was pleased and grateful to witness an even greater change in this facility. Too many changes are apparent to just discount as having no connection to your efforts.

We were having difficulties...things that were creating too much gossip and disgruntled inmates. People were talking of great violence. This greatly upset many. Your message helped. I helped too because of those teachings of mind and body tuned in to the messages, so to speak. Well, to say it in short, all the violence has ceased to be. It's great!!!

There's more...I've witnessed changes in peoples lives spiritually because of your booklets. Even though I say to these people to read them and return them, I eventually end up not getting them back. I'm not complaining; I'm grateful to not see riots here.

VENEZUELA -- I have shared PASOS (Spanish STEPS) with 35 barrio people in the health care course I give.

MICHIGAN -- Last Feb, `95, I was incarcerated in our local jail. I picked up STEPS and found it to be of great help to me. I requested twelve more and handed them out to the other inmates. I could not believe how many people talked to me about what was written by the Peace Pilgrim. One gentleman, with tears in his eyes, stated he could not wait to get out so he could start turning his family's life around and to make amends. (his son was a crack dealer.) Since that time he was released; he goes to church with his wife and his son is in Rehab. Peace Pilgrim reached out and touched these people in ways no one else has.


Rev. Richard Gilbert, the Unitarian minister of the First Unitarian Church in Rochester, New York, after a decade of trying to reform the criminal justice system relates, "I kept seeing that economic disadvantage was the most frequent cause of crime. I realized I was spending all my time trying to reform the criminal justice system when what I ought to be doing was looking at reforming our economic system."

As part of this approach he advocates a maximum wage, perhaps 10 times the minimum wage, to tie together the well-being of rich and poor.

He states, "A maximum wage reflects traditions that are central to the world's great religions. History's spiritual leaders have always warned that disproportionate wealth and poverty were inherently unjust." -- taken from the magazine, "Too Much."


Dan Menkin, founder of the Guild of (financially) Accessible Practitioners, is including a copy of our STEPS booklet in each packet of Guild material that goes to new members. Also there is a page in their new "Financial Issues and Answers" book that describes Peace Pilgrim.

The guild welcomes all healing arts professionals who wish to explore possibilities for being more financially accessible to their clients. Their purpose, as stated in their brochure, is "To nurture this growing link between our deepest principles and our client work...The Guild is a broad-based network which welcomes all practitioners of the healing arts who either have been, or wish to explore the possibility of making a substantial part of their professional services available to those who need them, independent of the client's ability to pay."

For those who wish to become members and to explore further the possibility of a better approach to the client-healer relationship, write to The Guild, Attn: Dan Menkin, 3 Harvard St., Arlington, MA 02174-6017,(617) 641-4469.

KENTUCKY -- I am incarcerated at this point of my life. I am amazed by the knowledge STEPS has enlightened me with. Since reading it I look at my situation as an advantage to get my life going in the right direction.


All of a sudden we are experiencing great interest in Peace Pilgrim among the Chinese. We are receiving a lot of phone calls and letters from Chinese people in this country who want books. Some are college students going back to China but most are living here. We are also receiving some requests from mainland China and Taiwan.

We met a Chinese Senior Geophysicist on a bus recently. She asked searching questions about the Peace Pilgrim book I gave her to take back to China.


Dr. Chiu-Nan-Lai, an American Chinese, called one day to ask for many STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. She had received a copy from a friend who found it in a waste basket when he was looking for inner peace! Since then she has requested many books, STEPS, tapes and several of her friends are requesting also.

Dr. Lai holds a doctorate in chemistry from M.I.T. and did cancer research at the University of Texas Tumor Institute for 10 years. She lectures frequently around the world on cancer prevention and treatment. She sent her book THE PURSUIT OF LIFE (Health of Body, Mind and Spirit) and everyone who visits falls in love with it, so she sent us 10 more. It combines ancient Chinese wisdom with western medical research. She is arranging to have STEPS printed in both Chinese and English in one booklet. For copies of her book write: Lapis Lazuli Light, PO Box 1795, Soquel, CA 95073.


In her latest book, Susan Smith Jones leaves little out of its cornucopia of useful, inspirational and well-researched nutritional information. If this isn't enough to tantalize us, we are offered many other inspirational suggestions to enhance our mental and spiritual chances of survival -- all served up in Susan's usual enthusiastic approach.

Susan covers the gamut from super foods to just plain "Eat Your Greens" and tells us why, in crisp, clear, and concise language we can all understand.

There are chapters on massage, music, slant boards and meditations. Susan's references seem impeccable. The product suggestions come from sources with proven tract records of reliability.

We are thankful that Susan always has quotes from Peace Pilgrim and our address in her books. This time she says that Peace Pilgrim is one of the five most influential people in her life. From her books we receive many requests for our books. Thank you Susan!

We recommend this fascinating fitness salad that can deliver us from physical, mental and spiritual bankruptcy. For a copy call (800) 545-7475 -- Bog


From FELLOWSHIP in PRAYER magazine by Elise Harvey

When I was 18 I met Peace Pilgrim...I wanted to go with her walking and talking about peace, but she said, "No, you have to do your own thing!" When her book was published, I began giving away copies and gathering groups to talk about her - now for the past ten years, in different places around the country. I guess I've become a pilgrim for peace myself.

One of my favorite ways of making peace is to fold origami PEACE CRANES made of paper (see NL 8) often using old magazines. A legend in Japan says folding 1000 cranes gives you your wish if it is good for all.

Another way I make peace is by teaching people how to make compost. I believe that composting honors the Earth, feeds the Earth. Also I make peace by singing while playing the autoharp...for grieving children who have lost someone in the family and sometimes we fold peace cranes.

I am secretary of the Peace Education Center in East Lansing, MI, that is becoming a Nonviolent Conflict Resolution Center. I taught a class on Peace Pilgrim, and we teach ways of resolving conflicts without violence.

I'm sure Peace Pilgrim is chuckling about this and I can almost hear her saying, "Well, Elise, you did discover what your 'own thing' is."

A woman called who was being trained to go to Bosnia by a Conflict Resolution group where she met Elise. She spoke about how inspiring it was to work with Elise Harvey, Conflict Resolution Consultant, 735 E Michigan ave., 2nd Floor, Lansing, Mi 48912.


Fourteen hatebusters went on the annual two-day-150 mile bike ride, a Multiple Sclerosis fund raiser. Their theme: Red, Yellow, Black, Brown, White/ All are precious in our sight/ Christian, Buddhist, Jew/ Hindu and Muslim, TOO. Ed Chasteen, Hate Buster founder, and one of the 2,400 bike riders, has Multiple Sclerosis. If you would like to help, or invite Hatebusters to visit your community, write to: 1702 Magnolia, Liberty, MO 64068 (see NL 21)

VENEZUELA -- I have just read STEPS and found it so helpful that I would like to share it with people who are not at peace, or rather who are struggling with the search for peace. I would be most grateful for some in English and Spanish. I work here in a poor barrio.

LIMA, PERU -- I am most grateful to you for sending me this fine material to help all of us in our search for a world where justice and peace reign. Peace Pilgrim was a witness of all that is needed to change this world. I ask God for loving blessings for you. It is a noble cause and it helps us to grow to our full potential.

MY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL and what has inspired me to live this way

was invited to speak and show her paintings. We let her practice her speech on us and show her paintings. We were astonished and enthralled by both and asked for a copy of her speech. It's hard to take excerpts from such a talk and it's impossible to tell how deeply moved we were by her beautiful nature paintings. One is a large, peaceful white birch grove that makes you feel you are right in the middle of it.

In 1977 I began camping year round in the beauty of nature. Natural wild places were disappearing. I wanted to live as a celebration of the wilderness still left. I decided to dedicate my life to living outdoors year round, painting my surroundings. I asked the Great Spirit for help and soon began supporting myself selling my paintings. This is how it has been for me ever since. (18 years)...I spend as much time as possible backpacking in the wilderness...I've hiked a couple thousand miles through wilderness areas of the southwest. I usually do oil paintings when I'm car camping and watercolors when backpacking: desert in winter and high mountains in summer. I have a base-camp in New Mexico where I pitch my tipi between trips. I have seen other women car camping, but I've seen only one backpacking, a female wilderness guard. I'd like to talk about being a solo woman backpacker: what are the challenges, what has inspired me, and how any woman who wants to can do as I have. The most-often asked question is how do I deal with "fear of being alone."

On being a solo woman backpacker

I'm very sensitive and careful about where I choose to go. I usually go to places I've been before, that feel benevolent. I try to stay invisible, camping in out-of-the-way places, off trails, and I don't build fires. If I meet a man who asks if I'm alone, I say "no." I feel I am never alone; there is always spiritual help. Which brings me to what solo backpacking is for me: It's like a prayer, a pilgrimage: I feel in a state of surrender to the Great Spirit, as I enter the wilderness, "Here I am, in your hands." We rarely have the experience of true silence or real darkness or complete solitude. I feel these three elements are powerful healing forces. When I step on the trail my attitude is one of thanksgiving for the freedom to live this way. It's also a prayer of love and joy.

I've been inspired by Peace Pilgrim...She had attained inner peace before her pilgrimage...Of this she said, "There is a feeling of always being surrounded by all of the good things like love and peace and joy. It seems like a protective surrounding and there is an unshakeableness within, which takes you through any situation you may need to face."...I find inspiration and courage by remembering her words, such as: "Perfect love casteth out all fear...No one walks so safely as one who walks humbly and harmlessly with great love and great faith. For such a person gets through to the good in others (and there is good in everyone) and therefore cannot be harmed."

Once, she was picked up for vagrancy and asked confusing questions about non-violence and pacifism, such as: "If you had to choose between killing and being killed which would you choose?" She answered, "I would choose to be killed rather than kill. In my frame of reference I am not the body. I am just wearing the body. I am that which activates the body -- that's the reality. If I am killed, it destroys merely the clay garment, the body. But if I kill, it injures the reality, the soul!" Another time she was asked, "Don't you carry a weapon with you?" and she answered, "Yes, I suppose I do: my weapon is love. Love and faith." So, this is the bottom line for me as a solo woman backpacker and a good part of the inspiration for my attitude of fearlessness, although I must admit I am still working on it. Whenever I do feel fear, it helps me to first of all admit it and even express and release it, and then to ask for help. One thing I've learned in all my solo backpacking is there is always help when I ask for it, both with specifics and with the general attitude of feeling myself filled with love in order to overcome anxiety. So I would say it is safe for a woman with the right attitude to walk into the wilderness alone, and furthermore, being alone adds a spiritual dimension beyond compare.

Excerpts from her desert journal

It's just after sunset, surrounded by vast silence stretching for miles in every direction...It is exhilarating to be on the trail at last, alone, with nothing between me and mother nature except my own thoughts...The blessed, healing silence of nature fills me with such bliss. At times my internal dialogue slips away and I experience the space through the veil where all the magic lies. Just listening.

Saw two deer, haven't seen another human in almost three days.. moon's shining down directly overhead. I was thinking while finishing up supper chores: how incredibly wonderful to be here, so blessed to be doing this. There is nothing I'd rather be doing. Nothing could come close, for me, to the goodness of being here and doing this.

CATHOLIC CONVENT, NIGERIA -- Peace Pilgrim books and STEPS are doing miracles in my life and in the life of those I have given it to. It is the best Gospel message for the confused world today.

CATHOLIC SISTER, HOLLAND -- You are contributing a lot for the world to know how to work for peace by becoming peace-incarnate in whatever place we find ourselves. I am a religious sister and am interested in deepening that spirituality of spreading peace. Since lots of those who visit us have "lack of peace," I am requesting PEACE PILGRIM & STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. Perhaps you wonder how I know about Peace Pilgrim. It was from one who asked us to pray that she'll have inner peace. Now she spreads this new found peace through the booklet she read -- STEPS. A great change really is observable in her ways, and for that we thank the Lord, and for inspiring you to spread the works and words of Peace Pilgrim. Keep it up. We'll pray for you.



I wonder what assurance there is for the continuance of Peace Pilgrim's life work and her message. To me she is a kind of Grandma Moses to the peace movement, a folk artist and a pioneer -- in a culture that has no tradition of wandering pilgrims or sadhus.

Her unique creative life and her message deserve to be kept alive and remembered in our history. I am wondering if interest in her has grown or dwindled. And wonder if you have any way or any one to ensure that her booklet and book will continue to be available on request down the long road into the future?

OUR ANSWER: In the 12 years we have been doing this we have filled requests for over 400,000 free books and over a million STEPS are in print. Peace Pilgrim's words are in over 100 countries. So YES, interest has grown, is growing. You bring up a subject that is on some other minds also, about the future.

We are hoping a healthy individual or a couple with an independent income will join us and become so interested in continuing this inspiring work that they will want to spend the rest of their lives along with us, helping to spread Peace Pilgrim's message.

DIRECTIONS FOR LOCAL VISITORS Approximate driving times are 1 to 2 hours.

FROM SAN DIEGO -- north on 15 hwy, north hwy 79 (Winchester Rd), east on hwy 74 (Florida ave.), north on Ramona Expressway, east on Cedar Avenue for 1 mile

ORANGE COUNTY -- east fwy 91, east on Van Buren Street, south on fwy 215, east on Ramona Expressway, east on Cedar Avenue.

LOS ANGELES -- east fwy 60, east Gilman Springs Rd, south Sanderson, east Ramona Expwy, east Cedar

OR east on 10 fwy, south on 79 hwy, east on Ramona Expressway, east on Cedar Avenue.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS carried an article about Peace Pilgrim last January, which brought several hundred requests for books. One recent day we received calls from reporters in Montana, California and Florida, because the article was on Scripps News Service, nine months later! Since then we received numerous calls and letters from around the country from those read this latest article.


has published a book, CELEBRATING PEACE by Kelly Guinan. One of the purposes of this club is to empower children in their desire and skill development for acts of peacemaking. A page is devoted to Peace Pilgrim in the section "People of Peace...Visions of Peace". This unit explores an encounter with people in the active pursuit of peace. For a copy call 800-767-8181


Dear Friends of Peace: I am in the midst of a wonderful period of prayer and fasting at an idyllic spot near Charlotte, North Carolina. For the past month I have taken no food, only water. My special prayer is for world disarmament -- please join me in my prayer! This restful period is such a contrast to the pilgrimage and the busy round of speaking engagements during the first few months of this year. But it is only an interlude. I shall walk again. The pilgrimage was only a tiny part of my work for world peace, and only a launching of the peace petitions. I meant it when I said at the beginning that I would remain a wanderer on the face of the earth until mankind has learned the way to peace. For all the signed petitions and all the donations toward spreading the peace massage and all the kind words my sincerest thanks. I am enclosing a little folder, and will be glad to supply you with as many of them as you can use.

CHILE -- I am a Chilean priest and I found PEACE PILGRIM in our Trappist Monastery. I was so, so touched by her life full of love, faith, joy and wisdom.

FLORIDA -- I am a disabled Vietnam vet. I was ready to give up on life when I read your newsletter and books. Peace Pilgrim helped me get in touch with myself and God. Now I feel that there is hope for myself and mankind. Her book is helping me cope with the anger within me about that senseless war. I feel very very bad about all the people I killed over there. Through the things she said I've learned that I can forgive myself and God forgives me. I cannot live in the past and change the past. But I can influence the future for the good of mankind.


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