|Fall/Winter 1997||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 28|
Table of Contents (TOC)
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
A SEASON FOR NONVIOLENCE
AN APPEAL FOR CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
SINK OR SWIM
A LAND MUCH WARMER THAN YOU THINK
NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE CHURCH
A HOSPITAL IN INDIA
A PRISON CHAPLAIN
MEMORIES OF CLAIRE TOWNSEND
REMEMBERING CLAIR TOUNSEND
ON FOOT AND ON FAITH
THE WISDOM TREE
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH T-SHIRTS
PEACE PILGRIM BOOKS REVIEWED
AN OLD QUAKER MEETING HOUSE
WORLD CONGRESS ON VIOLENCE
THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE!
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
At our spring weekend newsletter folding party nineteen of you came each day. We had great potlucks under our apricot tree loaded with more apricots than ever before in our fourteen years in Hemet. If one landed on your head it was yours. One volunteer, looking up at the apricots, noticed a mourning dove on a nest just above us. We had been loving the hauntingly beautiful mourning dove song, now we could watch mother and father taking turns sitting on the nest and occasionally flying away for food.
We continually receive letters and phone calls from those whose lives have been influenced by Peace Pilgrim's words. We wish we had room to share more of these quotes. Many especially like to read about what friends of Peace Pilgrim are doing to spread her message in their part of the world.
There is much violence in the newspapers and television. But there are many good causes that are not reported in the media. We are swamped with newsletters, books, brochures from around the world, full of conflict resolution movements. Many ask us to print articles about their good projects. We are able to print some of them -- we wish we could print more. Those whose articles are printed often tell us of the great responses they receive.
A SEASON FOR NONVIOLENCE
A Season for Nonviolence is a 64 day campaign of media, educational and community action events created by people who are choosing nonviolence as a way of life. This will be a commemoration of the 50th and 30th anniversaries of the assassinations of Mahatama Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. from January 30 to April 4, 1998. It will take place at the Agape International Center of Truth in Santa Monica, California and many other major cities in this country and Africa.
There are seven co-directors, including Gandhi's grandson, Arun and his wife, Sunanada, and Dr. Michael Beckwith, minister of the Agape church. Advisory sponsors include UNESCO, AFSC, Amnesty International, Free Tibet campaign, Dr. Robert Muller - chancellor of the UN university in Costa Rica, Friends of Peace Pilgrim, and the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy.
Our good friend, Jim Goodnow, who has a Peace Pilgrim table with her free books at the Agape Center, has alerted us to this campaign at the Agape International Center of Truth, 1849 Centinela Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404.
AN APPEAL FOR CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
From 23 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
In every single country throughout the world many children are silently suffering the effects and consequences of violence. This violence takes many forms -- physical, psychological, socio-economic, and environmental.
In order to reduce the suffering of children these Laureates are addressing an appeal to all Heads of State of all member countries of the General Assembly of the United Nations, for the UN General Assembly to declare:
*That the first decade of the new millennium, the years 2000-2010, be declared the "Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence."
*That the year 2000 be declared the "Year of Education for Nonviolence."
*That nonviolence be taught at every level in our societies, to make the children of the world aware of the practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in their daily lives.
Together, we can build a new culture of nonviolence for humankind which will give hope to all humanity and in particular, to the children of the world.
With deepest respect, The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Jody Williams, the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner, is coordinator of the
International Campaign to Ban Landmines!
COSTA RICA -- We are writing because we would like you to write to President Clinton asking him to sign the treaty in December for an international ban on land mines.
We are the third and fourth grade class at the Monteverde Friends (Quaker) School. We are proud that Costa Rica has banned land mines and does not have a military. However we feel very close to the threat of land mines because they are on our border with Nicaragua, planted during the Sandinista/Contra fighting in the '80s.
Land mines hurt and kill people in one-third of the world's developing countries. Many children cannot play outside, many farmers cannot farm, many people cannot work because of the fear of land mines. Men, women and children have lost legs or died because of land mines.
The United States is a major producer of these landmines.
Please write to President Bill Clinton, The White House, 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500.
SINK OR SWIM
Paul B. Edelman resigned from his position as Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in protest over President Clinton's signing of the welfare reform bill. The following are excerpts from a speech he made:
We have been failing for some time to fulfill our responsibilities toward poor children, and now we have taken a quantum leap backward. Our national grand jury has issued a blanket indictment. If you are on welfare it's your fault. If you are poor it's your fault. Straighten up. Sink or swim.
We have adopted as national policy a brand new idea -- time limits for the help we give. You are only allowed to be needy for five years out of your adult life, and then you are on your own. It doesn't matter if you play by all the rules. It doesn't matter if you constantly look for jobs, take training, do everything that is asked. When the time comes you are out.
We shouldn't be talking about the end of welfare. We should be talking about the end of poverty as we know it. Ending poverty means having a serious jobs strategy. It means enough jobs, and jobs that pay enough. It means health coverage and enough good child care. Ending poverty means having good schools. It means tackling race discrimination. It means safe neighborhoods and healthy communities. It means people taking responsibility for themselves and their children, but it also means the community taking responsibility to make sure parents can do their job and children have a real chance. Personal responsibility and community responsibility have to intersect if we are going to end poverty.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I was lucky to find the book in our public library. I was very touched when reading about Peace Pilgrim's life dedication to peace, both inner and outer. Strange things happened: upon first opening the PEACE PILGRIM book, I cried. After putting the book down so that I could go to sleep, in that state between wakefulness and sleep, I had a very faint vision of women being very gleeful over my reading the book and becoming aware of Peace Pilgrim's cause.
I feel there is so much grace transmitted through this book, and I have been inspired in my own life to better embrace peace. How one-pointed and unswerving was PEACE PILGRIM's devotion to this God Truth of Peace. Let us pray that our devotion will grow and grow.
ETHIOPIA -- But is it true that there was a woman, who lived in this weary world where we all are not satisfied with what we have and always dream for more -- governed by material wealth; a woman who had loosened the grip of this shackle and freed herself and tried to free us?
A LAND MUCH WARMER THAN YOU THINK
Excerpted from TOO MUCH
In Norway, families receive $1,620 for every child under 17 and full reimbursement for all medical costs above $187 per person. Single mothers are eligible for 42 weeks of paid maternity leave and special subsidies to stay home with their kids. Women who choose to make homemaking their career can even receive retirement pensions. The National Insurance Act of 1967 guaranteed all Norwegians complete income protection against old age, illness, disability, and unemployment.
What keeps Norwegians socially secure, most observers agree, is a national commitment to equality. "Norwegians, with their profoundly egalitarian persuasion, frown on wide disparity in income," notes Times reporter Youssef Ibrahim.
One example in the United States, corporate CEOs routinely pull in 200 times the incomes of their average workers. In Norway a typical business leader like Henning Holstad, the owner and president of a transport company, sports an after-tax annual income only double his workers' $38,500 average.
All Norwegians are essentially within income "hailing distance" of each other. As a result, all Norwegians, even the richest, have a vested interest in protecting the quality of their nation's social safety net.
"Here, if you have money or not money, it doesn't make difference," says Ansgar Gabbrielson, a leader of Norway's Conservative Party. "We all go to the same doctors, we all get the same services."
What's next for Norway?
Soon to be enacted is a "Lifelong Learning Program" that will entitle Norwegians to a paid year off every decade to improve their work skills.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, the new federal welfare law denies benefits to poor moms who enroll in college courses.
We have a goodly amount of individual democracy, we have a lot of political democracy, we are making progress on social democracy, where we fall the shortest is in economic democracy. -- Peace Pilgrim.
INDIA -- Every time I read and re-read Peace Pilgrim's message, there are new insights and truths to be found out. Thank you very much for all the work you put into the FRIENDS OF PEACE PILGRIM project.
I re-read your newsletter, it is as if I join hands with friends scattered over the globe...
Most of our students cannot read and understand English -- so I read to them from the books you send me and translate as we go.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE CHURCH
Taken from an article by John Stoner, first printed in the August 1980 SOJOURNERS magazine.
In the United States today discerning Christians are asking what they can do about the monstrous evils of the nuclear arms race and runaway military spending. They struggle with where to direct their efforts, conscious of their limitations. Time, money and energy must be concentrated. What should be the strategy of the Christian nuclear resistance witness? Are there signs of the times which may give us a clue?
It would be hard to think of a place where support for nuclear armaments is more entrenched, insidious, or determined than in the U.S. churches. Opposition to nuclear disarmament in the churches is entrenched in the God-and-country mentality which has characterized American Christianity for two centuries. It is insidiously wrapped in an aura of piety and Bible-believing religiosity. It is determined to prove that America's cause is God's cause and that America, like God, can be Number One.
Given this, it is time for the Christian anti-nuclear movement to move its focus from the military establishment to the religious establishment; to go to Wheaton, 475 Riverside Drive, and Notre Dame instead of Rocky Flats, Seattle, and the Pentagon; to go to the religious conventions instead of the arms bazaars; to strike at military recruiting in the churches instead of the schools.
The church should be the primary focus of the Christian anti-nuclear witness because it is accountable for the truth which it has received. Viewed in this light, the church's support of the nuclear deterrence doctrine is more reprehensible than that of any other segment of society. There is a scriptural principle which says, "To all whom much is given, of them will much be required." (Luke 13:48).
The church has been given enough truth in Scripture and through Spirit-led prophets today that its default in the matter of the nuclear threat is culpable in the extreme. The failure of the church to lead in the right direction on the nuclear issue and its commitment all too often to the opposite direction, requires repentance. The church must be told that it is not good enough to abhor the idea of nuclear war. Rather, the church is required to abhor the idea of nuclear deterrence, unless it can be morally right to threaten to do an immoral thing. The Christian nuclear resistance movement should be calling evangelists, bishops, pastors, deacons, and Sunday School teachers to repentance from believing in the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.
We have gotten ourselves so far out of harmony, so way off on the material side, that when we discover something like nuclear enery, we are capable of putting it into a bomb and using it to kill people! -- Peace Pilgrim
CARPENTERIA, CA -- Eight of us watched the video of Peace speaking before a college class. It was gratifying to see people's attitudes change from friendly tolerance to real enthusiasm. We watched only one of the two talks so far because, as one person put it, "I feel as if I've just watched the entire Bhagavad Gita in one hour." -- and that was quite enough to chew on for awhile. It's exciting to see how universal these truths are -- the same teaching that appear in the Gita and the New Testament are what she came to spontaneously, with no formal religious background, from her own spiritual experience. We'll get together this week for more. I feel Peace is off to a good start here!
A HOSPITAL IN INDIA -- Greetings of Peace and Joy! We feel happy to know that the terminally ill patients find joy and peace after reading the STEPS. Factory workers are improving in their work after reading her life. Hospital nurses and doctors find great help after reading the STEPS...I will be sending the STEPS to two drug addict centers where our Sisters are working...I am spreading her message to young working girls hostel also. I am trying and finding ways to give her message and the STEPS to the youth who are drunkards and living in violence. I am trusting in God that with your help, mine and my Sisters who work with me may bring about peace and happiness into many families, work places, hospitals, hostels and drug addict centers and colleges.
CROATIA -- The reason I am writing you now is a fine article by Gigi Orlowski: "Prison Inner Peace Program" (Newsletter 25, Spring/Summer 1996). There ex-prisoner Richard W. is talking about many prisoners -- Vietnam vets as war victims. They were not able to deal with their emotions, so they fill themselves up with alcohol, drugs and even commit a crime.
Now in Croatia, when the war is over, I wonder how many people are dealing with the same emotional problems? How many of them do not know how to overcome fear and hatred with love and forgiveness? There are institutions and professionals who help them...and groups of support, but how many of them do really find inner peace? God's peace, Peace Pilgrim is talking about.
INDIA -- I request you with a great pleasure that I am very much anxious to read your book by name PEACE PILGRIM. Since our teacher described about your published book which is becoming very much popular in India. So please send your book as early as possible.
A PRISON CHAPLAIN -- For the prisoners on Death Row I request five dozen STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklet that prisoners all over the country are using to find the peace we all need
by Dave Mueller
I remember the bright but chilly November morning I met Claire Townsend for the first time. We had both been invited to Sundance, Utah for a conference on world peace. A very wealthy Utah man had posed the question, "If money were no object, how would you save the world?" and assembled a diverse group of individuals, many from the top ranks of their respective fields, to answer this question. We were each asked to come with a fifteen minute presentation on our idea.
That morning I was walking down the path that followed a stream between conference rooms when I passed Claire. Throughout the conference I had wanted to meet her. She had worked as a high production executive at United Artists and 20th Century Fox. I had just come out of film school and was eager to make "connections". We said good morning. As I passed, she turned and asked out of the blue. "Have you ever heard of Peace Pilgrim?". Surprised by the sudden nature of the question and even more so because not only had I heard of Peace Pilgrim, I was so inspired after reading her book that I requested dozens of copies to pass out to all my friends. Claire continued, "I'm making a film on her and I'm looking for a director. Are you interested?" I answered immediately, "sure".
Six months later Claire, Gigi Orlowski and I went on the road to make a documentary film on Peace Pilgrim's life and message. We set out to retrace her steps and talk to people whose life had been touched or changed by her. None of us had actually met Peace Pilgrim. At the end of this journey it was our own lives that had been touched and changed as a result of meeting so many wonderful people and coming to know Peace Pilgrim through them.
Claire was always the first to point this out. She recognized from the outset that our own "filmmaking" journey would be as important as the film itself. During the planning stages I had drawn up a budget which I thought was appropriate for a film of this size. We spent the next six months seeking funds. When our departure date rolled around and we hadn't raised a dollar, it was Claire who asked, "What would Peace Pilgrim do?" The three of us looked at each other and said: "let's go".
Every project needs someone to hold it. Claire held the Peace Pilgrim documentary project. She saw the possibility; she initiated it and set it in motion. Even on the rocky parts of our journey it was Claire who kept the possibilities open, kept the three of us speaking and working from the heart and reminded us of the true nature of our undertaking. Her enthusiasm and drive were essential parts of our journey.
Claire brought a very special gift to this world. She was a seeker, not afraid to step out of the mainstream and stand up for principles and truths that she believed in. Her own quest for inner peace was authentic and heart felt. The documentary would not have happened without her.
IF WE COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND... Remembering Claire Townsend
by Gigi Orlowski
Of the hundreds of photographs we snapped during our 22,000 mile journey across America filming the Peace Pilgrim documentary, The Spirit of Peace, one in particular stands out as my favorite, taken by Peace Pilgrim's sister, Helene Young. It depicts Dave Mueller, (our cameraman, director, producer, driver, etc) making some adjustments on our video camera. About three feet away stands Claire Townsend waving a magic wand through the air.
The magic wand ritual was often performed by Claire before we started filming. [Her kind of vocal prayer] She would wave it at the camera and wish for it to see clearly, function properly, and pull through the interview without the batteries dying. She would twirl it in the air and wish for loud aerial distractions such as jets, helicopters, flocks of migrating geese, to steer off in another direction. She would whirl it all around our interviewees and wish them to remain safe from annoying distractions like extreme heat, strong winds, mosquitoes.
Fortunately, no one ever seemed to mind, (although secretly some of our subjects must have thought we were all a little nuts.) If nothing else, it usually helped to relax everyone and start the interview off with a chuckle. Yet, strangely enough, after witnessing her wand-waving ritual dozens of times, I admit that it actually seemed to work.
Claire did not always need a wand in her hand to perform feats of magic. She had an enormous capacity for fun and understood what it meant to be a good friend better than any person I've ever known. Generous with her time, love, and hugs, she always made herself available to listen to problems and secrets. In fact, it was almost impossible to keep a secret from Claire. People easily sensed she was void of judgement and a sanctuary with whom any subject could be safely discussed. I recall many discussions the three of us shared in the van with topics ranging widely.
On October 15, 1993, after three and a half months of living and filming on the road, the three of us were finally driving back to Los Angeles for a two-week break before we resumed our filming schedule. I recall she'd made a reference to getting a lump in her breast checked.
Of the hundreds of photographs we snapped during the filming of The Spirit of Peace, one stands out as the most haunting. It was taken in early November in eerily dark light of late morning. It depicts Claire sitting alone on her fence, shadowed in an unnatural orange light from a devastating fire that had been raging in Malibu. Dave and I were about to resume our filmmaking journey without her. A few days earlier, we'd learned the lump in Claire's breast was cancer.
We occasionally met with Claire for production meetings and she always assured us she would be fine. She constantly maintained her typical radiant glow, so we never doubted she would overcome the cancer.
By late fall of 1995, we learned that Clair's health was rapidly declining. And on December 19, 1995 Claire Townsend made what Peace Pilgrim referred to as the "glorious transition."
During her 43 years, Claire was a living reminder to everyone who knew her of one who did not always accept things as they appeared to be.
She perceived a world of myriad possibilities, in which each of us played an active role in affecting a positive outcome. "If you could wave a magic wand..." She told us again and again. She made us realize we were all capable of magically affecting the world around us.
I imagine Claire is still somehow waving her magic wand over this world and wishing us all meaningful lives, bucket loads of love and peaceful solutions to our conflicts.
But secretly, I must confess, some very selfish part of me would like to wave that wand and wish that Claire was still here with us.
JAPAN -- Hi! Friends. I am a Japanese who knows about Peace Pilgrim. Today I'd like to send my thankful feelings for you.
In 1993 I joined Japanese Peace Walk to Hiroshima and oh I sometimes wondered if this peace walk could bring real peace. The loudly approach to peace seemed a different way from me. One of walker had short essay titled STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE translated in Japanese. That touched to me, and I asked her for a copy.
In 1994, I joined peace walk called Walk for Justice organized by Native American people. After walk's over, I joined heartful gathering in New York State with Japanese now. At this memorial lanterns ceremony for Hiroshima and Nagasaki days, one man's handling booklets for people titled STEPS FOR INNER PEACE. I was very surprised. And then he presented me her a HER LIFE AND WORK IN HER OWN WORDS.
It was so crowdy that I couldn't say thanks to him. And also this book has remained in my bookstand because I thought it might be very difficult for me with my poor English.
This year I felt that I caught some signal from Peace Pilgrim on her book. I've started to read it after three years! Her life and works are wonderful and sometimes make me higher.
So I'd like to write to you and appreciate you all. Thank you for your works, passions, friendship and compassions to make world peace. May your mission be accomplished.
CALIFORNIA -- I am an eighteen year old girl who is facing a lot of years in prison -- like the rest of my life. I have no money and no family. I was wondering if you would help me find peace of mind and send me this book.
ON FOOT AND ON FAITH
One remarkable woman's walk for peace
by Maggie Spilner, published in WALKING FIT by the Rodale Press.
Maggie Spilner has done an excellent job in catching the essence of Peace Pilgrim in her article. Her choice of words beautifully describes Peace Pilgrim's character and accomplishments. Typical of Maggie's style:
As I watched tapes of her college lectures, I was struck by how much they seemed like mini-plays rather than speeches. In them, she waved her arms and raised her eyes to the heavens, her long slender fingers pointing and clasping to punctuate her message. It was clear; she was talking from her heart. There wasn't a trace of judgement or criticism in her words or her manner. And she was having a heck of a good time.
No question could throw her off course. No intellectualization dampened
her enthusiasm. She had found inner peace and she wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
Her message lives on in my heart...and now, I hope, in yours, too.
PORTUGAL -- A few years ago I came across the booklet, STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE, and from that moment onwards it seems to have taken a life of its own.
In fact, some people have claimed that it speaks to the essence of Christianity, of Buddhism, of Hinduism, etc. Isn't that interesting! We all travel separate paths but yearn for the same thing...Peace Pilgrim speaks in a language of unity and of universal love, a language that dissolves duality of mind and of confusion.
One is asked simple and direct questions which feed the soul. Peace Pilgrim's work continues.
THAILAND -- I am a volunteer teacher working in a Buddhist nunnery. I teach English to fifty young girls and women from impoverished backgrounds. I plan to stay here for at least a year and am trying to set up a self-access English learning center.
I think the Peace Pilgrim videos would be a wonderful addition to the resources we are developing here. Her message is cross-cultural and universal and I think it will touch the lives of the young people in a beautiful way...It would be good for them to see another aspect of America, besides the ones they are exposed to in the movies and advertising.
SWEDEN -- Throughout my travels in North America I've constantly been running into people talking about the adventures of "The Peace Pilgrim" -- sounds great! I've also tried to live more for the day without money and food and realized that it works -- things do come when needed!!
THE WISDOM TREE: A JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF GOD
A new book by Gary Guthrie, a volunteer at the Peace Pilgrim Center.
This book grew out of Gary's experience with the religions of the world as he taught in schools in China, Saudi Arabia and other places. Here are some items he has shared with us:
Based on experience with religions around the world, my book offers an alternative to conflicts. Since more people have been killed in religious wars than all other wars combined, I wanted to write a book that would bridge these many differences.
While working in the Middle East I would hear a plea, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" -- but then after this plea there would be silent preparations for the next violent confrontation.
Rather than dividing us, authentic religion can be a positive force which builds us up, brings us together and offers us peace. All religions merge at the most essential points, coming together like spokes at the hub of a wheel.
My book draws from the wisdom of Peace Pilgrim and Mahatma Gandhi, among others. These great teachings offer a wide perspective where the eternal truths can be gleaned into a unified whole.
Imagine you were invited to an international dinner with choices of Italian, Chinese, American and Arabian cuisines to sample. This is what this book is like. It is a comparative sampling of world religions in which the reader is given some of the best samples out of all the world religions and wisdom traditions.
This book also gives practical applications of these principles in everyday life. Gandhi once said that for peace to be real, each person has to find peace within; and that there is no authentic happiness without peace.
May there be peace in the Jerusalem of our individual souls and in all centers of the world!
Whoever would like a copy of this book can write to the author at the Peace Pilgrim Center between now and January 1998, and to Ocean Tree Books (Post Office Box 1295, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504) after Jan 1, 1998. The printing cost of this book is $4.90.
Among the numerous teachers who have requested and used Peace Pilgrim books and tapes, one reported that she was not allowed to use our Peace Pilgrim book in her class because the school officials said this would violate the doctrine of separation of church and state. We support the separation of church and state, but we are not a church. Peace Pilgrim didn't belong to a church or any other religious organization.
by Marianne Williamson
The following are words spoken by Nelson Mandela at his inaugural address as President of South Africa in 1994:
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others
KATHMANDU, NEPAL -- May I express my deep and heartfelt thanks to you for making the work of Peace Pilgrim available to people the whole world over! I was in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment, and how appropriate that a copy of the PEACE PILGRIM book was sitting in one of the mud and canvas structures that serve as restaurants in this poor part of the world. How inspiring it was to read of this beautiful woman's journey! I am a practicing Buddhist in the Tibetan tradition, and I find no point of contradiction between Peace Pilgrim's life and words and that of the Buddha. It warms my heart to know of this beautiful American bodhisattva. (Bodhisattva means a deeply spiritual being of great compassion).
INDIA -- This part of India is full of corruption and violence. We are trying our best to spread Peace Pilgrim's message. More and more people desire to hear her talks and read her books to follow the ideals of non-violence she lived. People ask for more STEPS to keep in their offices and homes. The video cassettes we rotate from family to family so that more and more people will receive her message of peace. Even it helped me to go deep into my spiritual life.
I pray sincerely that you may get many benefactors to meet all your expenses. Thanking you in anticipation and united with you in spreading the Peace Pilgrim's message which is truly the message of God.
VISTA, CA -- Rarely is the earth blessed with such a presence.
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME
One Easter years ago, Jill and Sy Miller heard a radio message of peace -- peace that would surely come when every person lived it. Jill was inspired to write the words to this now familiar song, and her husband wrote the music. A song leader took it to a camp where 180 youngsters sang it, and shared it when they returned to their homes, schools and churches. Many organizations began including it in their programs. It is now a very popular song all over the world. Many churches sing it at the end of their church services.
Personal peace did not come easily for Jill. Motherless at three, rejected by a stepmother by five, she became a ward of the Kansas City Juvenile Court at the age of nine.
After an unhappy adolescence she left Missouri for Hollywood, and as Jill Jackson, became a heroine on horseback in a movie. After her unhappy first marriage ended she reached total despair. It was then that she reached out and found inspiration. She dedicated herself to live each day fully, joyously, gloriously.
The Millers have made no money from "Let There Be Peace on Earth." It is their gift to the world. They always give permission to use it. Their interest is in people teaching peace, singing it, and beginning afresh each day to reach out to humankind in peace.
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH T-SHIRTS
Christine Owen, a good Friend of Peace Pilgrim who lives in the Redwood Monastery, wrote:
A peace t-shirt is now available from HOMEBOY SILKSCREEN. On the front is a full color picture of the earth with the words, "Let There be Peace On Earth," surrounding it. The back has the words, "And Let It Begin With Me." The Peace Pilgrim Steps booklet is being offered with each shirt that is sold. This t-shirt is also special because of the people who are making them. HOMEBOY SILKSCREEN, whose motto is "JOBS NOT JAILS", is a company employing members of opposing gangs in East Los Angeles. They are living the message of this shirt by creating peace in their own community.
T-shirts can be purchased directly from: HOMEBOY SILKSCREEN at 1320 South Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90021. Tel. (213) 623-7955.
A University of New Hampshire study, published by the American Medical Association in the August 1997 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that while spanking may seem to work in the short term, it tends to increase antisocial behavior later on.
Our friend and father of two told us that after Peace Pilgrim's visit he stopped spanking his children.
PEACE PILGRIM BOOKS REVIEWED
by J. Jayaraman in the magazine, The MOUNTAIN PATH, published in India:
After going the rounds of `gurus', if you are filled with the desire to meet in flesh an individual who was actually living the ideals all of us want so much to believe in, then read on. If you have sought proof of living truth and are no longer content with gurus who are `realized' only during `darshan' hours, then it is possible you have glimpsed the living truth of Ramana Maharshi, and are wondering if this century of ours had anymore to offer.
Jayaraman then gives the highlights of Peace Pilgrim's life and message as they appear in the book, PEACE PILGRIM, HER LIFE AND WORK IN HER OWN WORDS and the STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklet. He continues:
The more one gets to know of the few details of her life and habits, the more one sees Peace Pilgrim as a saint by virtue of her universal compassion, a sage by virtue of her insight into self and a rare `sannyasin' by the quality of her relinquishment and love of anonymity.
He also reviews the book, PEACE PILGRIM'S WISDOM: This book puts down observations, impressions and insights of Peace (compiled from the Peace Pilgrim book) into various sections on God, Peace, Prayer, Right attitude to life, bringing your life into harmony, etc. Under Purifications and Relinquishments, Peace's thoughts on Habits, Desires, Motives, Thoughts, Feelings on Separateness, and so on, are classified. Cheryl Canfield has done a lovely job presenting 365 gems. This is a daily guide to dip into time and time again, open at any page, savor even one nugget and feel Peace.
He concludes his reviews of the Peace Pilgrim books: "We humans sorely need Peace Pilgrim's message of harmony, which she practiced and proved for all of us."
For a copy of PEACE PILGRIM'S WISDOM write to Blue Dove Press, 10141 Maya Linda Road #105, San Diego, California 92126 or to Ocean Tree Books, Post Office Box 1295, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504.
TIMELESS VALUES: WRITINGS FROM THE SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS OF THE WORLD
This book has a chapter on Peace Pilgrim's STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. In the preface the editors write: "Peace Pilgrim, a contemporary American Saint who walked across the country for peace and shared with others the peace she found within herself, writes that the goal is to get to a point where our higher nature -- our God-centered nature -- takes over our lower self-centered nature completely."
There are fifteen chapters by saintly people, including Thich Nhat Hanh. The chapter following Peace Pilgrim is by Benjamin Franklin, THE PRACTICE OF VIRTUES. For a copy of this book write to Chinmaya Mission West, Post Office Box 129, Piercy, CA 95587. Tel. (800) 269-7323
AN OLD QUAKER MEETING HOUSE
Our good friend, John Amidon, who spreads Peace Pilgrim books in this country and her Spanish books in Latin America, visited Easton Friends Meeting House in Pennsylvania. In the cemetery is an historic marker which reads, "Friends' Log Meeting House surrounded by Burgoyne's Indian Allies in 1777, but finding Friends unarmed, stacked arms and attended Meeting peaceably."
We have a picture on our wall of Indians arriving at a Quaker Meeting house and seeing Friends quietly worshiping _ joined them. John writes that "this is the story of the white man and the red man transformed by the power of love, realizing their oneness, their brotherhood, sitting together in worship...Given the subsequent historical record -- the conquest and genocide of the American Indian and conduct of the European settlers -- it would appear the settlers in fact were the savages.
Shall we continue the genocide, the ethic cleansing of Latin America through our School of Americas? We must do everything we can until the school is closed down including letters and calls to our representatives, to editors, to the president. Joe Kennedy's House Resolution bill 611 has over 120 co-sponsors. The Senate bill is 980. We can put a stop to murder, rape and torture. We can stop the continuing genocide and ethnic cleansing of the American Indian.
WORLD CONGRESS ON VIOLENCE IN IRELAND
Marsha McGee, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology at Northeast Louisiana University, presented a paper on the life and message of Peace Pilgrim at the World Congress on Violence and Human Coexistence held in Dublin, Ireland, last August. The following are some of the highlights:
The world is suffering from wars and preparation for war, violence is widespread, millions are starving, environments and infrastructures are crumbling.
Even so, positive responses to violence are also widespread. There are Congresses on Violence, Peace Institutes, and innumerable training programs in conflict resolution. But they are missing a critical dimension when they ignore the psychological and spiritual level. It is only through individuals who are themselves at peace that lasting peace between individuals, groups, and nations can come.
Hearing about the lives of true peacemakers can inspire the rest of us to know that the inner change is possible.
The remaining parts of the paper tell the story of Peace Pilgrim. She is an example of one who found inner peace and devoted her life to helping others find inner peace and to inspiring them to work for world peace.
RACHEL L., AGE 9 -- Dear Astronaut, Please take the nuclear bombs to the moon on your next space flight and leave them there.
INDIA -- I am so happy to tell you that the Peace Pilgrim's book, STEPS and the tapes are liked and highly desired by many, many people. The requests for the STEPS are ever on the increase. Patients with cancer and other illnesses are asking for the STEPS. As they read they are becoming more and more peaceful and calm and strengthened and serene.
Doctors and many other people are asking for the STEPS. Hindus and Muslims ask for STEPS.
As for me, after reading STEPS and listening to her tapes, her words are constantly whispering in my heart and I enjoy such peace within me.
CHINA -- Back from the post office, I spare no time watching the video. What a marvelous thing to see Peace Pilgrim alive, talking her message. At the same time, deeply touched by your devotion to make it possible.
The ethical basis of Chinese society stems from the writings of philosopher Confucius (551-479 B.C.) rather than religious teachings. Yet to me, great saints and sages of all cultures tend to speak the same tongue and teach the same truth.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE!
We recently received 90,000 STEPS booklets. If you would like to include them in your greeting cards, please write us as soon as possible. Many quantities of the Peace Pilgrim books are also requested for presents, especially compacts and hardcovers.
If you want free Peace Pilgrim materials, including our newsletter, write to the address below. Please send your change of address promptly to save us time and money. Contributions make the free distribution possible. This publication is printed on recycled paper.
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544
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