|Spring/Summer, 1996||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 25|
Table of Contents (TOC)
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
RUSSIAN PEACE PILGRIM CENTER
PEACE PILGRIM RETREATS WITH CHERYL
PEACE PILGRIM'S WISDOM
TREASURY OF SPIRITUAL WISDOM
CAN GANDHI'S VISION BECOME REALITY?
BRIAN KRUSCHURTZ & LUANNE HARLEY
ANNE & WILL DUNBAR
A YOUNG PEOPLE'S PEACE PILGRIM PLAY
PRISON INNER PEACE PROGRAM
THE YOUNGER GENERATION
COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP
BERKSHIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NY
GUILD OF (financially) ACCESSIBLE PRACTITIONERS
PEACEMAN AIMS FOR TOP UN JOB
RIO de JANEIRO
WOMEN WHO DARE
MORNING STAR NATURE REFUGE
ANOTHER WANDER WOMAN FOR PEACE
THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
Our Peace Pilgrim Center is across the river from the Soboba Indian Community. We are very happy when we have time to walk two miles to their small Catholic Church for a weekly Peace Prayer meeting (our river seldom has water in it). Our prayers are silent, then spoken and we read prayers from many different religions. We met the director of the church, Mike Madrigal, and Sister Mariana Torrano at an Interfaith Meeting where we spoke and showed our video. They have visited our Center several times and helped fold and label the last newsletter we sent to you. We are delighted to have good Indian friends and to share Peace Pilgrim with them.
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
A group of Pastors had assembled to discuss some difficult matters such as how to obey the mandate, "Pray without ceasing." One of them was elected to write an essay to be read at the next monthly meeting.
A small servant girl who heard this said, "Why are they going to wait an entire month to explain what the text means if it's one of the easiest and best in the Bible?"
A pastor asked, "Can you pray all the time when you have so many things to do all day long?"
"Yes, yes Sir, the more things I have to do, the more I can pray," answered the girl.
"Tell us how you can do this," said the pastor.
Said the girl: "When I open my eyes in the morning, I pray, `Lord, open the eyes of my understanding.' While I'm dressing, I pray to be dressed with the cloak of justice. While I'm washing up, I pray to be washed through regeneration. When I work I pray to have the strength to get out of difficulties during the day. When I light the fire I pray that the work of God be revived in my soul. When I sweep the house, I pray that my heart be cleaned of all its impurities. When I prepare and eat breakfast, I pray to be nourished with the pure spiritual food and milk of the word. While I'm taking care of the children, I look at God as my Father and I pray, through the spirit of adoption, that I may be His child. And thus throughout the day every thing I do gives me a thought for a prayer" -- published in PRAY WITHOUT CEASING (translated from Spanish).
A PRISONER -- I was inspired by STEPS. I was amazed at how exciting one's life can be -- if you seek the Peace within yourself. (He asked for the book)
With sadness we report Claire's transition to a freer life. She finally succumbed to breast cancer last December.
She was one of the three member documentary crew that interviewed those who knew Peace Pilgrim or were deeply moved by her words.
When you insert our documentary video into your player you might silently give thanks to Claire for helping to make this video that has inspired thousands. It continues to be shown on public access television across this nation.
About thirty of her friends and relatives from several states attended a memorial service in Claire's home in Ojai, California -- a quiet meditative three hours with each person speaking as inwardly moved. Each sharing was framed in silence. We all spoke with fond memories of her, telling about our contacts, how we had worked together, our joint accomplishments, disagreements and resolving of disagreements. The common theme was our love for her and admiration for her accomplishments. We all miss her. More about Claire in next newsletter.
INDIA -- Thank you for having shared with the world the story of this wonderful woman and her thoughts. They stand out like a shining light through the darkness of today's horrors world-wide.
Annabella Krol, 11 years, was given a school assignment: Do you know anyone who could be thought of as a modern saint? Write their story and share it with your class. Her answer: "I think Peace Pilgrim is a modern saint...;" then she wrote about Peace's pilgrimage and message. Annabella's mother gave a hardcover book to the school library and to London, England Friends Meeting.
RUSSIAN PEACE PILGRIM CENTER
Sergei & Dinara Badayev, write that they receive 5-7 requests a week for Russian Peace Pilgrim books. Anyone going to Moscow may pick up books. Phone: 095/567-7867
Last Sept. Arthur Burton, a Bulgarian Hemet peace activist, visited their Center and gave a talk in their school about his experience in the WALK ACROSS EUROPE for a NUCLEAR-FREE WORLD (Brussels-Moscow) The children were very impressed. Arthur sent us a picture of the Badayev family surrounded by Peace Pilgrim books.
PEACE PILGRIM RETREATS WITH CHERYL
Cheryl, one of the compilers of the Peace Pilgrim Book, accompanied Peace to Alaska and Hawaii on her two "inspirational and educational" retreats. Cheryl is radiantly well and alive after a terminal cancer diagnosis in 1989, and has been leading retreats on Healing and Steps Toward Inner Peace ever since.
She will be leading three-day retreats this year in the beautiful surroundings of her home in Northern California. She recently moved to a "cabin in the woods" in Howarth Park, bordering the six-thousand-acre Annadel State Park. With Lake Ralphine in her front yard and Spring Lake just a fifteen-minute walk away, it is truly spectacular.
The three-day retreats will include discussions based on the study guide, PEACE PILGRIM'S WISDOM, exercises, meditations, and walks amidst the beauties of nature. One three-day retreat a month in July through October will be offered. A group campsite will be available and other lodging nearby. In Peace Pilgrim fashion, simple, nourishing vegetarian meals will be provided.
Each retreat is sponsored and organized by Cheryl Canfield, 630 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95405
PEACE PILGRIM'S WISDOM
A Very Simple Guide -- a 215 page book, compiled by Cheryl Canfield for her work as a therapist. Peace's words are arranged under subject headings -- to be used as a guide for study and self-reflection.
For a copy write to Ocean Tree Books, PO Box 1295, Santa Fe, NM 87504 or to Blue Dove Press, 10141 Maya Linda Road, #105, San Diego, CA 92126.
We were thrilled recently to receive 75 beautiful Chinese STEPS booklets with the picture of Peace Pilgrim walking down the road on the front cover. Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai (see NL 24) & Jennifer Chein translated the booklet and 40,000 were printed in Taiwan. The first 20,000 were printed during the recent crisis with China and they went very fast. They were given to participants in demonstrations in Taiwan and were enthusiastically received; many wanted more. Hospitals are requesting them because they help patients go to sleep peacefully.
Chinese STEPS are given free to any who ask. Dr. Lai writes in her book, THE PURSUIT OF LIFE, p. 164, "It is a practice in China that spiritual books are printed through donations and distributed free of charge."
Contributions make the free distribution of these booklets possible. For information about Chinese STEPS or about Dr. Lai's book, THE PURSUIT OF LIFE (Health of body, mind & Spirit) write to Lapis Lazuli Light, POB 1795, Soquel, CA 95073. If your request is written in Chinese please write to Lapis Lazuli Light, 1F, #5, Alley 346, Sec 2, Patek Rd, Taipei, Taiwan.
One of our long-time devoted supporters, gave us enough money to put a hardcover Peace Pilgrim book in every public library in this country. We sent them to 10,000 Main libraries but still have many hardcovers in storage. If you know of any school or church library that does not have a Peace Pilgrim book, please request hardcover copies from us to give to these libraries.
Gail compiled a book on Spiritual Evolution, an anthology of essays and lectures selected from "Messages From The East." The lectures of Swami Paramananda are given prominence, for to Gail, "His words were so simple, so profound, so beautiful and inspiring..." This book is a valuable source for the study of Eastern thought. Peace Pilgrim is quoted on the jacket. For a copy write to Blue Dove Press. (see address above)
TREASURY OF SPIRITUAL WISDOM
Compiled by Andy Zubko, one of the five compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book. This collection of 10,000 powerful quotations for transforming your life is designed to help you apply the wisdom of the ages in a practical way to the dilemmas of your life. The reader can choose from 140 categories the ones needed for a few words of guidance or comfort. Over 100 quotations are Peace Pilgrim's words. For a copy write to Blue Dove Press. (see address above)
WORLD WITHOUT VIOLENCE -- CAN GANDHI'S VISION BECOME REALITY?
Edited by Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Gandhi.
For Gandhi's 125th anniversary Arun invited 125 persons to share their thoughts about Gandhi's nonviolence and how to remodel our societies to make them peaceful and harmonious. Some outstanding authors responded. Their thoughts on what is necessary for a nonviolent society are stimulating. Their replies have been published in this book -- a chapter by each author. We feel honored that included is a chapter we wrote about Gandhi and Peace Pilgrim, entitled, THE PILGRIMS of PEACE, for a copy of these thought-provoking articles write to Dr. Arun Gandhi, M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, 650 East Parkway South Memphis, TN 38104. (901) 725-0815
CHINA -- A year ago a friend of mine from outside China gave me a Peace Pilgrim book. Step by step I've been reading into the deeper and profound meaning of the book. The more I read, the more Bright and Hopeful I get from it, by it and thru it. Finally, you'll naturally discover that you're nestling inside God's arm. Enjoy the warmth of this life, be a true friend of Peace Pilgrim. Thank God, God is blessing you, as well as me, myself, of course.
RENO, NV -- Thank you for sharing such a treasure with the world at a time when it is most needed.
OCEA HARTWELL -- from British Colombia, spent a week with us. She washed our dishes, organized our second-class mail and sang some delightful songs she had composed. She slept in a motor home that was recently donated by Gary Guthrie, a good Friend of Peace Pilgrim.
BRIAN KRUSCHURTZ & LUANNE HARLEY -- a Brethren couple, spent a week helping in many ways. They labeled all our Peace Pilgrim albums, told about their fascinating life of working with the Brethren Service Committee and about their unique and full-of-fun wedding.
ANNE & WILL DUNBAR, musicians -- stopped by on their way north and washed all our windows. Anne told us JULIA'S STORY: Anne was in her recording studio in Santa Rosa one day when a friend told her about Julia, a 17 year old mother of two toddlers who had been living under a bridge for about a year. Julia had a full time job at McDonalds, with the little girls in day care while she worked. Rent & utilities cost a lot in California and food stamps aren't available without an address. The shelters she tried admitted only men or women without children.
Anne put Julia's story to music. A song was written and recorded in a few hours. The tape was given to a local radio station and soon four stations were playing Julia's song. Within a few weeks $5,000 in unsolicited donations had been collected. An apartment was found; Julia received a raise and a promotion.
Here is the chorus of the song that touched so many people: Julia! She's only 17/Julia! Alone with her dreams/Somehow it just doesn't seem right/that Julia sleeps 'neath a bridge tonight. For this and other songs of love & peace: Anne Dunbar, 81 Como Ave., Buffalo, NY 14220.
I wish we had space to tell about all the wonderful visitors and volunteers who come.
Peace Pilgrim has inspired me to keep writing, as I think about her when times seem difficult. She is a role-model that we in this time and country need as we struggle to change our minds and become peaceful.
I strive to entertain, as well as educate by working my messages into highly imaginative and exciting stories that will capture a child's attention in this very fast-paced media world. Her new book is TALES FROM THE DRAGON'S CAVE...PEACEMAKING STORIES FOR EVERYONE.
In this book of stories, exploring concepts for conflict resolution, I offer children an alternative to the old, violent messages that pervade their lives. It is my personal way to promote peace. -- Arlene Williams, a writer of stories for children. PO Box 1329, Sparks, NV.
DEBRA LYNN -- our new volunteer -- About three months ago Debra came to us from Virginia Beach, VA where we met last summer at the Hiroshima Memorial Conference. She has been a long time friend and supporter of Friends of Peace Pilgrim. She is devoted to learning all about the business of filling Peace Pilgrim book requests from around the world. She says she is here indefinitely. We are delighted with her dedication to this great cause.
A YOUNG PEOPLE'S PEACE PILGRIM PLAY
The Sai Baba organization of Northern California recently sent us a video tape of a play based on Peace Pilgrim's pilgrimage. The play was written by a member of the group and performed by high schoolers at their annual retreat in La Honda, California.
The play is adapted from the Peace Pilgrim book and video with scenes of her walking through town, being in jail with "the girls," being interviewed by a group of psychology students, and in court for being a vagrant. The script is very sensitively done with many questions the other actors ask Peace Pilgrim. It's inspiring to hear young Peace Pilgrim answer their questions with Peace's words, so distinctly and forthrightly, with such conviction.
The music and words for two songs that are part of the play were written by Ladd and Louisa Bogdonoff. It is truly delightful to hear so many young people and adults singing with such enthusiasm these very catchy, yet very meaningful songs. Here is one verse and the chorus:
My message was given from above
Let service be the reason why you live
You'll find peace within you when you give
Peace is God given
It's the same within worldwide
If we all look a little deeper
You'll find peace is waiting inside
The playwright, the directors, the stage managers, all actors and helpers are to be commended for their efforts in producing this remarkable play. For copies of the script and the songs, write to Peace Pilgrim Center.
We receive many thanks for the large number of responses people receive who have articles in our newsletters. Sorry we haven't room to print every thing sent to us for publication or to review every book we receive. In our editing we try to leave in the essentials -- we work long and hard on that. Please forgive us if we leave out something important or if we have to hold your letter until next time. Thanks for the many words of appreciation for our newsletters. -- Ann, John and Amirah
PRISON INNER PEACE PROGRAM
by Gigi Orlowski
I visited Richard Wirta (RW) and Michael Todd (MT) in Tucson, Arizona. They created this Peace Program while incarcerated at Arizona State Prison. (See NLs 18 & 20).
I first met Richard while the documentary was in production. Dave Mueller and I were able to enter Echo Unit to interview Richard & several other inmates in the Inner Peace Program. We were not allowed to take our video camera so those powerful interviews could not be included in the documentary. We never forgot the important work and exceptional results of the Prison Inner Peace Program.
After serving an 18-year prison sentence, Richard was released on parole just months prior to my visit. Michael was already out. During the three days I spent with Richard & his remarkable wife, Laura, I conducted more in-depth interviews with them and Michael on every topic from crime prevention to prison reform.
Q: How did the Prison Inner Peace Program get started?
RW: It started with a dream. Some would call it a vision, but I just call it a dream. As a Vietnam vet I had a couple of real terrible experiences and most of my life since has been dealing with that. This dream incorporated my experiences in Vietnam and in prison. It was a real gentle type of dream. When I woke up I came to a new realization of life itself. I said to my boss I want to start a peace group. He looked at me and said it'd never work.
Q: How did the Prison Inner Peace Program work?.
RW: Initially, the Inner Peace Program was in two segments. The first segment has to do with the Greek statement "know thyself." What's the difference between feelings and spiritual truth or knowledge? That took 8 weeks. The second 8 weeks I got into the particulars. The first half hour was meditation. The 3rd phase was all meditation. In fact, Mike Todd taught that.
Q: How many inmates stayed through all phases of the program?
RW: Usually they'd stay & that's phenomenal in the prison environment. We held on to them for whatever reason. There's different reasons we come to prison. Most prisoners & people in general are spiritually starved, having feelings of emptiness, shallowness, shame. So you'll fill yourself up with alcohol, drugs, whatever addiction fills that emptiness. That's the reason this works so well in prison. Once they heard me speak & I could get pretty animated, jumping up on the table. But they could see that I was serious in what I was talking about, very serious. Afterwards the whole place was just filled with murmurs of spirituality. The next week new guys would come.
Q: Tell us about how you came to be in prison.
RW: I don't know why I committed my crime. I was in for a second degree murder charge, & I never knew why. I noticed the high number of Vietnam vets. I realized something caused us to commit our crimes. There were a lot of Vietnam vets crying out for help but nobody would help them. So I started a veterans group. Almost all the Vietnam vets believed they would not be in prison if they had not been in the military. We'd been trained to defend ourselves, to commit violent acts, but not how to fit back into civilian society.
Q: How do you feel about the military now?
RW: I would never allow my son to go in the military. I would rather give him money to leave the country.
MT: The army trained me well, except they did not teach me how to deal with emotions that came with what I was doing. My experience returning to this country was traumatic. There was no debriefing. I'm hesitant to say that my incarceration was a direct result of Vietnam. I think that it was one of a number of key factors involved, but not the only one.
Q: Do you think there is any validity to the Military?
MT: It depends on how it's used. The military is designed for one purpose and one purpose only, it's to destroy. If it's used properly, it can be used to defend & protect much like a police department in a major city. If it's abused or misused, just like in our police department, there's going to be chaos. The idea of the military is immature from a spiritual standpoint. I think it's Einstein who said nationalism or patriotism is the infantilism of the world. That's how I see the idea of having a military. It's an archaic concept. But because it hasn't been agreed upon by the nations to let go of that concept, because of the fear-base that all governments operate by, it's maintained. Mankind hasn't evolved enough either, because most people are fear-based like their governments are.
RW: I honestly don't believe in killing any more. To me there's no difference between what our society calls killing [in war] or how our society defines murder. Why go to a country thousands of miles away & start killing people? I know what happened to me emotionally, psychologically, & physically when I came back from overseas. And I'd never want anyone to come back the same way I did. It's terrible.
Q: How can adults help kids from being negatively influenced by the violent role models portrayed in movies like John Wayne, Rambo, the Terminator, etc?
RW: I have a grandson. And every time he comes over, the first thing he wants to do is watch a video with exactly the characters you just mentioned. It's difficult talking to a nine-year old kid today, just as it may have been difficult to talk to me about John Wayne, Gene Autry, or the cowboys killing the Indians. I've told my grandson a bunch of times that it's only a movie. And not to take it to heart. I explain that these people go home at night to their wives and families, or whatever. It's only a movie. He understands me, at least I hope he does. I don't try to prevent him from seeing these things. I believe that children have to learn to make their own decisions.
I don't believe in physically punishing a child. If my grandson does something wrong, I'll ask him, "do you know why you're not supposed to do that?" What I want him to do is to come up with his own reason why he shouldn't do something. I'm not giving him the reason. He has to reach that himself. Then every time he does that naughty thing again, it's his reason why he shouldn't do it, not my reason. I believe that goes along with teaching children how to make choices, how to make their own decisions. What I found out is that it works.
MT: I think that's why many individuals ended up being incarcerated. They had no internalized reason for the way they behaved. They really weren't carrying their own personal beliefs but their parents beliefs. There's a certain mythology in this country that if parents had just smacked their kids around a little bit, they wouldn't have ended up in prison. That is nonsense. What I found in conversations was that the majority of people that I was incarcerated with, that's exactly what happened to them. They were smacked around all the time they were growing up. And all of their justification for doing their crime was external. But they wouldn't have their own internalized reason for not doing it.
Q: What do you consider to be the strengths of the prison system?
MT: I think the greatest strength prisons offer to the inmate and hence to society is an environment that's structured. Going into prison, most individuals, their thinking, their emotions are out of control. An individual goes from operating by whim, doing things on the spur of the moment, to a highly structured situation where there are few decisions to be made. There a person can focus on what's most important.
Every society has an obligation to protect itself. It will not protect itself, by taking individuals who are weak, misguided, viewed as criminal, and brutalizing them in a system that is designed to do just that.
What these people need is what they didn't learn before their incarceration. And for society to lose that opportunity, while they have those people, in this isolated, structured environment -- to not provide the kind of help that those people need, to learn, to develop, and to heal themselves -- then that is a society that is not being responsible to itself for its own protection. Prison can be an opportunity to greatly benefit society.
RW: There are strengths in the prison system once you graduate to lower custody levels, not in maximum security. There you don't have time to change because you're so busy looking over your shoulder. It's a matter of survival. The more you graduate down to your lesser custody units, the greater the strengths in the prison system. Here in Arizona, the lesser the security, the more responsibility is put on you as an inmate. The opportunities I had for conducting my Inner Peace Programs in the minimum security Echo Unit allowed me to grow.
Q: If you could change anything about the prison system, what reforms would you put into effect?
RW: One thing I'd like to see changed, is for the prison system to be broken down into two prison systems. One system for those prisoners who want to change, and the other for those who just want to lay back and not change. We're all in prison for breaking one of society's laws. Everyone in prison, supposedly, has something to change. A person has to want to change. You have to give him that opportunity to change. If you have all these ruffians in prison trying to recruit guys into their gangs, for protection and other reasons, they're going to go with the gangs. And they're not going to change. Prison is the place to change if a person really wants to.
I'd also place love-based programs like the Prison Inner Peace Program in every unit. I wouldn't make them mandatory, because that's going to turn off people right away. They'd be strictly voluntary. What we found in our unit is the prison grapevine is quicker than a telephone. Participants flocked over to the program.
I firmly believe that criminality, irrationality, evilness, whatever you want to call it, is the opposite of love. And the majority of people in prison today really don't know anything about love, because they never learned it or they were never taught it. This type of program teaches the individual responsibility, which to me is being able to love him or herself and to love other people.
MT: I also think programming and peer groups are vital. There's an old adage, "you can't con a con." Peer groups are great for that reason. They can fool the experts, but they can't fool each other. I think there should be different levels of groups, starting with highly confrontational groups to break through denial.
The idea of sending someone to prison so they can be further punished sends the wrong message. They'll come out more angry. And since most inmates are going to be released, the question then is how angry do you want these ex-offenders to be when they come back out to your neighborhood. They can be healed, or they can be damaged more. We need to get away from "rehabilitation" and work toward "habilitating" people. We don't need to put them back to their former state, which is what rehabilitation will do. We need to help them go to a higher level.
My experience with many inmates, regardless of the crime -- there is a healing that's necessary. Some need psychological help to get them balanced enough to move on to spiritual balance. So there would be psychological programs for them with the goal of helping them onto the spiritual level. The healing process is not complete until they at least get into a basic level of a course in spirituality. And from that point on, they will probably continue on their own. People know what they want. I believe at a subconscious level, that people are drawn to love.
I agree with Richard that a program based on spirituality cannot be forced. That would be the one program that would be strictly voluntary. People can't be forced to love. It's natural. It is unnatural for people to fear and hate, but they learned it. To develop spiritually, a person has to want to first. Awareness is a key to spirituality that has to be there first. You cannot force awareness on another person.
Q: What steps could we all take to prevent crime?
RW: Parents have to be educated. A kid can be a young criminal. That's where the individual first learns anger, being defiant. Our disorders come to us when we're three years old. Parents need to learn to treat their children different. It all begins in childhood. Teachers can help also. They can teach children they have choices, love or fear.
Our society has gotten so far away from spirituality. That's why there's so much alcohol and drug abuse. The only thing that can stop it is spirituality.
MT: Teachers need to be taught to teach these things to children. And it's just as important for the parents to be taught. Theoretically, I believe that with a program like the Inner Peace Program, put into place in the educational system on a national basis, by trained and qualified personnel (and we're not talking about big expenses or structural changes, but a simple supplemental program to the existing educational structure) with such a program, in one generation this society could be turned around.
Note: Richard & Michael are continuing support services through their non-profit organization SPRIT-E. They send out a quarterly newsletter, THE PEACEMAKER. For further information or to receive newsletter contact: Richard & Laura Wirta, PO Box 595, Vail, AZ 85641-9998
THE YOUNGER GENERATION
Throughout history the "wise" men of the then current generation have always made disparaging remarks about "the younger generation," accusing them of having all the "bad" attributes the wise men never had and bemoaning the state of the world because of the shortcomings of the younger generation.
During the course of the past few months I have been fortunate to have been invited to speak to over twenty different groups of young people, totaling over two thousand persons, representing over seventy-five nationalities...I have been enormously impressed with those representatives of today's younger generation with whom I have met -- impressed with their knowledge, their inquiring minds, their stimulating and intelligent questions, their ability to listen, their eagerness to learn and absorb new ideas, and their unanimous desire to expand their intellectual horizons!...I respect and trust their collective judgment. They recognize that they will be living most of their lives in the next century and seem to be eager to assume their responsibility for the next millennium.
I am optimistic about the future! -- taken from an article by Ambassador John W. McDonald in the Winter 1995-96 issue of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy.
LAS VEGAS -- The precepts in STEPS have the ability to literally change this world.
PEACE PILGRIM spoke to a Quaker Meeting in Wisconsin, June, 1981, two weeks before her transition. Mary Kane, who heard her speak, interviewed her for THE NORTHWESTERN News: "...Peace Pilgrim is an idealist, but her message is so astonishingly practical-sounding that it seems sufficient for anyone to use as one's sole guideline for living...Sitting next to this spartan and pristine woman clad in a tunic, shirt, slacks and tennis shoes (all blue for peace), one feels compelled to apologize for one's own appearance, bogged down by makeup and jewelry. -- That is the quiet wonder of her presence. She answers sweetly, `That's fine, dear, if that's what you need at this point in your life...We all have different needs,' she says with no note of condescension."
COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP -- If you want to start a Group or just be in touch with friends of Peace Pilgrim in your area, we will list your name, address and/or phone. (See Book p.123, STEPS p.31) Following are friends who asked to be listed: Laura McQuinn, 4828 Fox Chapel Road, Fairfax, VA 22030, 703/385-3165 ** Beverly Rich, 43 Water St, Natick, MA 01760 ** Karen Krainski, 6072 O'Possum Run Rd., Bellville, OH 44813, 419/938-7112 ** Tom & Bonny Goselin, 825 Esplanade,Lakeport, CA 95453.
BERKSHIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NY -- Thank you for advertising the NEVER AGAIN CAMPAIGN. [Never again Pearl Harbor! Never again Hiroshima or Nagasaki! Never again War! see NL 23]. We had more responses from your article than from any other publicity. We heard from people all over this country, but the biggest surprise was from Sri Lanka asking for a volunteer!...My feeling is that people who are Friends of Peace Pilgrim are really caring, active, giving people!! Please keep spreading the word about her and her message. -- Don & Marion Lathrop, 10 Dean Hill Rd, Canaan, NY 12029.
While in Japan Don and Marion recruited seven volunteers to live with families in U.S. and speak to groups, giving a glimpse of what a nuclear holocaust would be like, what it is like to have an atom bomb dropped on you and the absolute necessity to end war or war will end us. Don requested 48 Peace Pilgrim books for his Alternative to Violence class.
GUILD OF (financially) ACCESSIBLE PRACTITIONERS
What a wonderful response I've received from your Newsletter article. It is rare for mention in a periodical to generate such a stream of letters.
We encourage people to inquire as to the real nature of healing, as opposed to the application of some technique to effect a short-term cure. Our Guild exists to provide useful resources for this quest. -- Don Menkin, 3 Harvard St., Arlington, MA 02174 (617) 641-4469.
This English newspaper was sent to us because of a short article about PEACE PILGRIM. We have heard from people in several countries who read it and wrote for the book. However, the most exciting news is the lead article about Robert Muller, a long time Friend of Peace Pilgrim. Here are excerpts from that important article that we saw nowhere else:
PEACEMAN AIMS FOR TOP UN JOB
"I have a plan for total demilitarization of the planet," says Dr. Robert Muller, candidate for next Secretary General of the United Nations when this office becomes vacant [maybe next fall]. He is the Chancellor of the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica and for almost forty years was a UN Assistant Secretary General.
"We have demilitarized in Costa Rica, we have done it in Panama, we've done it in Haiti and I want to demilitarize the entire Central America," Dr. Muller told a conference in Scotland."
Robert Muller has devoted his entire adult life to world peace, working behind the scenes at the U.N. as trusted collaborator to three Secretary Generals. He was called the prophet of hope in the U.N. & is the recipient of the 1993 Albert Schweitzer International Prize For The Humanities.
Faye and Evarts Loomis of Hemet arranged for Robert Muller to speak at our local Junior College. His talk was profoundly inspiring, giving hope for a tattered world. After the speech we were honored that he and several friends visited our Peace Pilgrim Center. He kept insisting that the U.N. University needs a large poster of Peace Pilgrim (they have one of Gandhi, etc and need one of a woman). He left us several of his important, timely books and took many of our books and tapes.
In December he had written a short note from the U.N. University, Costa Rica, "Please do not discontinue Friends of Peace Pilgrim [newsletter]. The staff here likes it, and we keep it in our library for the students. I love the quotation of my compatriot, Albert Schweitzer, in your fall/winter issue. I fully agree with him."
In October 1985 Dr. Muller gave the welcoming address at the U.N. to a group that gave a Peace Pilgrim prize to Samantha Smith's mother. (see NL 8)
Members of the Security Counsel of the U.N. select the Secretary General, so we urge you to write to Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Ambassador in New York, -- asking the U.S. to support the candidacy of Robert Muller to the post of Secretary General when a vacancy occurs.
RIO de JANEIRO -- We were very happy to learn something about love in practice nowadays. Peace Pilgrim is an example to all of us who want to put love in our lives day-by-day.
WOMEN WHO DARE
We were delighted to receive several copies of the beautiful large 1996 calendar, called, WOMEN WHO DARE. For each month there is a picture and an article about an outstanding woman. Not only is Peace Pilgrim selected for January, but a larger picture of her walking down the road is on the front cover -- the same picture that is on the front of our book. Thanks to Susan Sharp at the Library of Congress for putting together this calendar.
Many bookstores carried the calendar, including Borders and Barnes & Noble. We are sorry we didn't know about it in time to put an article in our fall newsletter. Stores may still have some left that you could buy at a discount.
MORNING STAR NATURE REFUGE
Peace Pilgrim's book may have saved my life. In 1993 my daddy took his life after dealing with all the physical and mental pain he could stand from a serious illness
...I was opening the main trail in my nature refuge when my daddy died. He was my biggest supporter...For the months following his death, I took out my grief and frustrations on the refuge trails with a bush ax or chain saw. There were times I was slicing my way through the woods while crying so hard I could not see what I struck at...I truly do not believe I could have survived without the refuge to take my mind off his absence.
The refuge is now open to the public, free...As a professional writer and naturalist, my life is full, but even the refuge did not keep me from my grieving to the point I often could not write.
Then a miracle happened. A friend sent me a copy of Peace Pilgrim's book. With that book fully digested, I have gone on now with my life in a way I never could have before. Her words have encouraged me, and her great wisdom has reinforced me. I had always believed as Peace since just a young girl, but I was browbeat by so much "religious" habit full of emptiness that I felt abandoned by all that was Christian. Peace gave me back the true meaning of spirituality, and I have built upon that heavily these past months until I feel I can now make my way through the maze with a fresh outlook and a determination to make this world a better place.
My visitor center and museum is open and named after my daddy. I receive 3,000 visitors each year. I am back on my feet, thanks to Peace Pilgrim.
I will never be without several of her books, which will be on hand in my truck and library in order to hand out to others who need her encouragement and wisdom to renew their own personal peace and spirituality. I am deeply indebted to the Friends of Peace Pilgrim for keeping her message alive. It is changing the world. It certainly changed mine. -- Gail Roberson, MorningStar Nature Refuge, 1967 Meadowbranch Rd. Williamston, NC 27892.
ANOTHER WANDER WOMAN FOR PEACE
I have just touched down onto the mainland after an incredible exploratory journey within and without, following in Peace Pilgrim's footsteps amid the tropical splendor of the Hawaiian Islands.
Since the healing and prophetic words of Peace Pilgrim entered my awareness a few years ago, my life has taken a radical change for the better. She has become my mentor and teacher, guiding me with the example of her life. I have always been a wanderer, a walkaholic, but without higher purpose. Peace changed all that! Now each morning is like an unopened gift -- a beckoning opportunity to live and work on my own inner climate -- reflecting the new found peace and joy outward to all I encounter. Living 'to give' instead of 'to get' has released a tremendous burden I was not even aware I was carrying.
Simplifying my life has been a pleasure and ongoing challenge. I live out of my Chevy Van (the ol' Bear Bus, I call it) and home is where I park it. The last two months I've experimented with simplifying my life even further and reducing my possessions to fit in my backpack. While toting the bare basics and a fist full of Steps booklets, the true meaning of one of Peace's pearls of wisdom hit home -- "Every Ounce Counts."
In Hawaii I mainly walked around Big Island, Kauai and Molokai, sometimes staying in hostels (great places to meet kindred spirits internationally) but mostly camping "Talking Story" with locals who took me in for a night or a week.
Peace said, "you attract what you fear" -- so I feared nothing and looked for the good in those I encountered, and that is what I found "and then some"! Peace said, "if you want to make friends you must be friendly." A smile & a receptive heart have blessed me with an extended Hawaiian family, whom I will forever cherish, and an open invitation to return to the Land of Aloha
I am finding that the Freedom I seek & savor comes from "letting go" and allowing the Higher Force (God) guide my life -- Ah-h-h another burden falls away! When I'm walking in the beauties of nature, I feel Peace's gentle wisdom lifting, inspiring, encouraging me to reach for my Highest Light on life's journey -- ever learning, sharing, walking my Talk for Peace. At 53 I feel I am just touching the tip of the iceberg of living, with many miles to go before I am ready to "make the glorious transition to a freer life. "Yes, anywhere is home, everywhere Bear Country. Hope to see you out There!-- Cheyenne Bear
TEXAS -- I witnessed two miracles by letting two others read STEPS. It has turned one daughter around and I'm praying for the other one to have peace also. My Aunt was going blind; she is totally deaf, so I sent STEPS to her to read. She's been unable to read her Bible but she called me after she received STEPS. She had prayed so hard (we all have prayed for her eyes) and asked the Lord to please give her enough sight to read [STEPS] and He did and she can see better and she read all 32 pages.
THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS
The school is operated by the U.S. army in Fort Benning, Georgia, to train Latin American armies and strengthen democracies. But its graduates are often the leaders of repression in Latin America. One example among many is the execution in El Salvador of Archbishop Romero by graduates of the School of the Americas while he was saying Mass.
NEWSWEEK calls it School for Dictators. Father Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, director of the School of America's WATCH, says "At a time when we want to build democracy in Latin America, the School of the Americas is an obstacle." He has spent more than two years in prison for leading protests to close it down.
Two Friends of Peace Pilgrim have written to us about the recent demonstration to close the School. Judith Kelly fasted for 10 days in support of the effort. John Amidon walked four days with a peace group to Ft. Benning.
These friends are asking us to write to our Congress- person to vote for HR 2652 to close the School. For information: John Amidon, 25 Melrose Ave, Albany, NY 12203, (518) 482-1562.
TEXAS -- I read the little tract, Steps Toward Inner Peace, and I was very deeply touched. I am in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. I am looking for a change in my life. I think Peace Pilgrim could be the key to that change. I got in a fist fight that got out of control and I killed a man because of it. I am sorry. I've been kinda violent. I am looking to change and I would like to receive the book, Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Work in Her Own Words. I would be very grateful for this precious gift. May God bless you and thank you. "lookin for the Lite."
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544
page created by Bruce Nichols