|Spring/Summer, 1998||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 29|
Table of Contents (TOC)
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PEACEBUILDERS: A WAY OF LIFE
WORKING FOR THE RIGHT THING
A LETTER TO PRISON CHAPLAINS
SOME CHAPLAINS WE HAVE HEARD FROM
LETTER FROM A PRISONER
A PRISON INNER PEACE PROGRAM
VICTIM OFFENDER SERVICES
"WHAT WE NEED IS THOUSANDS LIKE YOU"
45th ANNIVERSARY PEACE PILGRIMAGE
ANOTHER PILGRIM FOR PEACE
A TRUE "SERVANT-LEADER"
A CURE FOR ULCERS?
NEW PEACE PILGRIM DOCUMENTARY
PEACE PILGRIM ON RADIO & TELEVISION
A MODERN DAY SAINT
CHILDREN, PARENTS AND PEACE
|PEACE PILGRIM'S MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
400 CHILDREN MARCH FOR PEACE
GRANDMA FOR PEACE
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE
THE SUFFIELD MANIFESTATION:
FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION
SELF AND SOUL
A WITNESS TO AN EXECUTION
A LETTER FROM NELSON MANDELA
THE GREAT EXPERIMENT
PRAIRIE PEACE PARK
WE ARE NOW ON E-MAIL!
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
Looking at our office and living room this morning with many bags and
boxes of books, I am reminded on this Palm Sunday that everyday is like Christmas time
around here. There are letters and phone calls to be answered, books and tapes to be
packaged and mailed as free gifts to friends around the world. John is well-known at the
Post Office as one who mails books to many countries. Thanks to all of you who send
contributions to make this free distribution possible.
PEACEBUILDERS: A WAY OF LIFE
Excerpts from a letter and literature from Aurora Soriano, PeaceBuilders director:
Last year, I received a call from a woman who had read recent newspaper articles about the PeaceBuilders Program--an approach to reducing youth violence for elementary school children.
Her name was Irene [a retired teacher who had cancer]. She said, "I want to meet you some day. I know you are working for peace and I thought you'd like to know about Peace Pilgrim."
She was the first to introduce me to this woman who dedicated her life to Peace. Soon, I received a set of books that described her life. And I was filled with admiration and awe for this woman called, "Peace Pilgrim." Since then, I have been very grateful to Irene for letting me know about Peace Pilgrim. Irene passed away a few weeks ago. The last conversation we had was about Peace Pilgrim and how much she would have liked PeaceBuilders.
I know that Peace Pilgrim would see PeaceBuilders as a tool for our society to reach world peace. PeaceBuilders would be the means to accomplish our "maturity" as a people to create a world in which war does not exist. Part of our developing this maturity is through our children. PeaceBuilders is for children during their formative years, requires parent participation, is implemented school-wide and encompasses an entire community.
As PeaceBuilders Director, I have witnessed the positive transformation of children, parents, teachers, and community. PeaceBuilders teaches children to Praise People, Give Up Put Downs, Seek Wise People, Notice Hurts and Right Wrongs. It is implemented through the hearts of our teachers and is modeled by all school staff. The message is loud and clear from parents who have witnessed the results at home. There are hundreds of stories where children are teaching parents to build peace, helping their siblings at home, and modeling positive actions at school. The impact on the schools has been:
50% Decrease in Referrals within a six month period
Up to 100% Decrease in Student Suspensions
Playground Fights Reduced
Up to 100% Reduction in School Vandalism
In essence, entire school and community climates have changed with a positive outcome and focus.
I was fortunate to discover Inland Agency, a private 501(c) (3) community-based non-profit organization that is home to PeaceBuilders in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and whose Executive Director is Linda Dunn. Linda has worked and marched with people of all backgrounds for justice and peace. Through her leadership Inland Agency's PeaceBuilders Program has become the largest site in the nation, with over 56,000 children in 87 schools and sites. True leaders inspire other leaders; she is my inspiration and model.
With the predictions of juvenile crime soaring by the year 2005, the increase in child abuse and homicides, our society has a lot of work to do in the area of crime prevention. It is our duty to advocate for the prevention of violence in our homes, schools and communities.
Historically, PeaceBuilders in the two-county area has been supported by the community through business, civic and community organizations. Since 1993, Inland Agency has been the catalyst in securing funds for PeaceBuilders in the schools. There is no major federal or private grant.
For further information write to Inland Agency, 6235 River Crest Dr. Suite P, Riverside, CA 92507. (909) 697-6581.
WORKING FOR THE RIGHT THING
When you lose yourself in a cause larger than yourself you find spiritual growth. There is no doubt about that. I always said if we're going to have some kind of a vigil in connection with the war let it be FOR PEACE. Let it be on the positive side. Not against something but for something. You have much more power when you are working for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing. And of course if the right thing is established, the wrong thing will fade away of its own accord because all things that are not in harmony contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. Eventually they will be destroyed. It's really only a matter of how soon. That's up to us.--Peace Pilgrim
A LETTER TO PRISON CHAPLAINS & OTHER CONCERNED SOCIAL WORKERS
We are delighted to hear from prison chaplains who request PEACE PILGRIM books and STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklets. We are especially happy to send books and tapes to chaplains and other social workers who have a deep concern for prisoners. They are able to get books to prisoners when our attempts sometimes fail. Peace Pilgrim touched the lives of the women she met in jail; now her books inspire the lives of prisoners today. We thank all who help spread Peace Pilgrim books, STEPS and tapes.
We have sent thousands of Peace Pilgrim books to prisoners during the last 15 years. The response has been tremendous. Yesterday we mailed fifty books and more STEPS to prisoners. Many write that their lives have been changed by her message, and they love sharing her books and STEPS with other prisoners. Their response makes us eager to send as many books as possible to prisoners.
During the last few years many new restrictions have been imposed on books received by prisoners. This "Get tough on prisoners policy" makes it difficult. How sad that the message of Peace Pilgrim which improves prisoner's lives, helps to make them nonviolent, and gives them hope, is being denied by prison officials. Sending boxes of books to chaplains is the surest way to get books to them.
Unfortunately, there is plenty of money to build more and more prisons but not enough for such things as Peace Pilgrim materials. We're sure chaplains would be happy to financially support this ministry but few are able to do so. Occasionally some chaplains or social workers have been able to send donations for books.
We are a very small operation in our little two bedroom home. One bedroom is our office and the other is also an office with our bed in it. Our dining table in the kitchen is also our work and packaging table. Our living room is full of books, video tapes and now another computer. Our garage is full of thousands of Peace Pilgrim books, STEPS, Spanish books, video and audio tapes, All of them are already paid for by people who want Peace Pilgrim's message spread. They send contributions (mostly small) that make the free distribution possible.
All of us who work here are volunteers. We pay no rent because this is our home, no royalty because we and three friends compiled the book ourselves. We are able to send our books and tapes free, and print more when needed, because of the generosity of those of you who send gifts. There is no group or church backing us.
We want to continue the distribution of Peace Pilgrim's message to employees and inmates of prisons as long as we are able. We would like to see this field of service grow. And while our volunteers do not expect to be paid, our printers and mail carriers do. The current costs are 25 cents for each booklet and $2 for each book. Are you aware of individuals or organizations who have the financial resources and might be inspired to help cover these costs?
Also, we wonder if an important prison official could recommend Peace Pilgrim books and tapes. Her message contains universal truths underlying all religions. They could also say that Peace Pilgrim's message is helping prisoners to become more non-violent. There is plenty of evidence that this is the case. Such an endorsement would help keep prison officials on the lower level from treating the Peace Pilgrim books carelessly or actually refusing the book, as one prisoner just told us. We join our hands with yours in loving service for prisoners. Peace be with you
SOME CHAPLAINS WE HAVE HEARD FROM
A CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN AT THE SING SING PRISON requested 2000 STEPS: "My chapel clerk was very impressed by the STEPS booklet and asked me to look at it. I think it is a message that is badly needed around here. Prisons are breeding grounds for violence. It is a way of life here. Many have never known any other way of life. It is our role in prison ministry to help people find a better way to live, which involves helping them to find constructive, non-violent solutions to their problems. We have periodic `peace weeks' to help them see how violence hurts us all. I think your booklet would be an excellent handout for our next "peace week". Would you consider donating 2000 to distribute to our men?" [We sent 2000 STEPS.]
Another CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN WRITES FROM A NEW CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON that is expecting 7000 men by summer: "One of the men gave me STEPS, which is wonderful. I would very much appreciate any copies of this booklet, in both English and Spanish to give to inmates. Thank you very much for your help, and may God continue to bless your ministry." [We sent many books and STEPS in English and Spanish.]
THE PRESIDENT OF PENN PRISON CHAPLAIN'S ASSOCIATION writes: "Please allow me a great favor. For the prisoners on Death Row, I request five dozen STEPS booklets that prisoners all over the country are using to find the peace we all need. Any other literature you have that you can supply to me for the prisoners, do send them. I have heard so many good things about your program."
A SUPERVISORY CHAPLAIN OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, writes: "We are a Federal Correctional Institution with inmate population of 1500. We have a strong percentage active in Religious Services who reach out to those who are not active. In continuing our out-reach we are requesting free STEPS. Due to the large population, 500 copies would be ideal and greatly appreciated by all." [We sent 500 STEPS.] Later: "In continuing our out-reach, we request any free materials, books, pamphlets, audio and video tapes, catalog." [We sent audio and video tapes.]
CHICAGO, IL--The work you're doing is of immeasurable importance. Keep it up!
Hi, it's me again, the one who asked about the ice cream. Yeah, I've read the book, and even though she's not here in body, she's still here in spirit. She has helped me so much words cannot express the way I feel. It's too bad she died in that car crash. I would have loved to meet her. She gave me insight into myself and meditation. She opened new doors for me. I've become so calm, where I would have killed anyone who spoke to me, and I have before. But that's in the past. I know now what will happen when we die and I'm not afraid to die anymore, I look forward to it. It's funny. I used to sit up at night and worry about going to hell for my crimes against mankind. I didn't give a snootfull about anyone's life and I took more lives than I can remember. I hated everyone and everything.
I don't know why I sent away for this book. I got the book you sent and I was bored. You can't do much in an empty cell. I read her book just for the heck of it. I thought it was kind of a cool book and I tried her meditation that she spoke about. I did it for like a month straight. Nothing happened so I said, "Forget this," and stopped. Well, about a week after that, while staring at my wall (that's fun) I heard a voice saying, "You don't meditate with your head, but with your heart." So what the hey, I didn't have nothing better to do, so I shut my eyes and concentrated on the center of my chest. That's when it happened. I saw the Peace Pilgrim herself. I'm not joking! She was there in front of me sitting in her wooden chair. She reached out and put her hand to my heart and BAM! ALL the walls that I have built up over the years came down! Well, I began crying bitterly. I could not stop. She said, "Now you can begin your own walk to Peace." So I went to the Prison Library and began to read anything on meditation, and boy! I started to meditate. All of this is true.
I learned about karma. I've begun to see the world in another way, not as a battleground, but as a living breathing thing, a life. I got this cat named Anny. She's sort of the prison mascot, but she hangs around in my cell. I don't know if she just hangs around because of me or all the food I bring her from my tray. Anyway she helps me meditate by looking into her eyes and clearing my mind.
The guys here are surprised how much I've changed. Three weeks ago Jimmy, a new guy, was carrying a tray full of food and not looking out what he was doing. Well he ended up spilling the whole thing on me. The whole dining hall got quiet and the guy turned white as a sheet. The guy was a lot shorter than me; and everybody thought I was going to kill him for that. Back a few months ago I would have and thought nothing about it. I took him by the shoulder and took him over to the serving line and got him another tray of food. I looked around and everybody was staring at me. I smiled and said, "Well, the man has to eat." Jimmy became my first friend and my new roomy....
I even started teaching a class on meditation, and it seems that everyone comes to me with their problems and photos of their kids. That's strange, now my wall is full of the little nippers. The chaplain is always asking what happened to me and saying that my eyes look so different, whatever that means...Even though I can't walk out in the world, I can walk in prison and maybe turn some of these meat-heads around. And I can't do it on my own and I'm fresh out of ideas. So I was wondering if you had any. The problems range from killings, to rapings, to stealing. Well, you know prison inmates. We do have our problems and weird hang-ups...And as for Peace Pilgrim? She is still around walking into many lives who need her. She lives in me and many other poor slobs like me. She is a remarkable woman, and I am glad to know her. Well folks, I almost ran out of space and time. We got plenty of time...got a whole eternity. So write back so I can add you to my collection of friends. May whoever you pray to keep and watch over you all. Your friend, Pork Chop. Michael Plush
A PRISON INNER PEACE PROGRAM
A Pennsylvania prisoner coordinator of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE PROGRAM, wrote: How can we ever thank God for Peace Pilgrim? She is so calm and beautiful in her teachings. I have shared these with many, many prisoners and now we have a group that has formed. Actually two groups with 20 in each group.
We are going to make a sincere effort to make this beautiful teaching of Peace Pilgrim available and to change lives. [Asks for 40 STEPS and 40 newsletters.]
If you could donate some soft cover books we would be overjoyed! Oh would we. If you have ideas give us a hint or two. We are sincere about this program. If we can show the administration this works, then maybe we can raise funds to expand it. Send what you can to plant the seed and lets watch it grow.
Recently the coordinator wrote: The success of our first distribution of the Peace Pilgrim book was outstanding. If you can imagine death-row inmates devouring the message. WOW! I gave my book to another inmate who begged me for it. I couldn't say no. Your program is working here--GREAT!!. [Sent 12 books, 60 STEPS and 60 newsletters.]
VICTIM OFFENDER SERVICES I am involved in a ministry in Americus, Georgia that reaches out to hurting individuals in our criminal justice system, as well as addicts and alcoholics in the free world. I have distributed several STEPS with remarkable results in the lives of prisoners especially. My supply of STEPS is now depleted. Could you send me 50 more? [sent] I have also heard from an inmate in the Georgia prison system regarding the impact a series of audio tapes had in helping him avoid physical violence. Thanks for keeping the spirit of Peace Pilgrim alive among us. [sent him all four audios].
BONITA, CA - Peace Pilgrim is a forerunner of what all humankind is evolving into. I have great hope.
"WHAT WE NEED IS THOUSANDS LIKE YOU"
This is what a policeman told Peace Pilgrim on the first day of her pilgrimage in 1953. We think he would be pleased to know that many thousands have made pilgrimages for peace before and since that time. Through the years we hear from many who are on pilgrimages or going on one, alone or with a group. Thousands of STEPS booklets, some books and some tapes have been given out by these pilgrims on foot and some in cars. Armed with sincerity and truth, these peace pilgrims all want to create peace in our world.
Here at the Peace Pilgrim Center we like to cultivate awareness of the many forms that a peace pilgrimage can take. If we listen to our still, small voice within, each will be called to their own unique path. Prisoners, for example, can take many steps toward peace within their confined environment. We also heard from cloistered contemplative nuns who read PEACE PILGRIM at meal time and wrote that they all want to be peace pilgrims!
When individuals feel inspired to make a pilgrimage on foot and on faith they sometimes ask us for advice. Here is what we tell them, "Peace Pilgrim did not try to inspire people to walk a pilgrimage (p.9, Peace Pilgrim Book) and only began her pilgrimage after she had found inner peace." Then we invite them to seek inner guidance and to look at their lives in the light of her STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. Each journey is unique. What follows is a look at how two people's journeys are unfolding today.
by Cheyenne Bear, The Wander Woman
I was volunteering at the Peace Pilgrim Center, a way station for Peace workers and walkers. Always someone interesting passing through these peaceful portals, which is actually the home of Ann and John Rush.
The newest Pilgrim, Earl Standberry III, salvaged and transformed by Peace Pilgrim's message, seemed bigger than life as he stood in the front door radiating goodwill from every inch of his six-foot-three frame.
Earl, a 32-year-old former marine, an Afro-American, who fought and killed in the Gulf War, is dedicating his life to the peaceful resolution of conflict, and harmony between races. He embraced the monumental task ahead with enthusiasm, and took the name Peacemaker.
His pilgrimage began at the Pasadena Rose Parade, in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Peace Pilgrim's pilgrimage, New Year's Day, 1953. He wore a tunic like Peace Pilgrim's. On the front it said "Peace Pilgrim's 45TH ANNIVERSARY WALK FOR PEACE" and on the back, "WALKING COAST TO COAST FOR PEACE."
I got caught up in the excitement of this historic moment and followed Peacemaker down the crowd lined boulevard handing out STEPS booklets. He talked with the curious about his Pilgrimage on FOOT and on FAITH, and his plan to walk to the United Nations in New York City.
I bid Peacemaker farewell and blessings as he walked out of Pasadena, following Peace Pilgrim's footsteps on her first years pilgrimage.
Earl is still in awe about how God's grace has transformed his life and given it purpose through the example and message of "a little old white woman named Peace Pilgrim, in tennis shoes from Pasadena!"
His public reception has been warm and friendly as he gives out STEPS to interested people. Strangers invite him for dinner or to spend the night. When they want to give him money he tells them to send it to the Peace Pilgrim Center. He only accepts a small amount for his next meal.
A friend of Peace Pilgrim, Grace Butler, set him up with a web site, http://www.skyabove.com/peace. When he communicates he always says, "God is so great, I am not finding the bad people I was told were out here."
God answers prayers in mysterious ways, and Earl's path was soon to take a disastrous turn. He was in a bad freight train accident in Benson, Arizona, where his leg was almost severed. He was doubling back to Tucson to recover a package of Peace Pilgrim literature to be distributed on his journey and decided to speed his way by hopping a train.
Peacemaker was soon to find his new field of service in the Tucson Medical Center where miracles and angels gravitated to him in the emergency room where his leg was saved by a skillful surgeon and his life force restored.
When I visited him, Earl was buoyantly and joyously inspiring others. His smile and good cheer emanated from his wheelchair as he wheeled up and down the halls spreading Peace Pilgrim's message of love and hope, giving the STEPS booklet to those who showed interest. Hospital workers and staff who had read Earl's story in the local newspaper or had seen him interviewed on TV, were flocking to his room for inspiration. Being around him is testimony that love and faith in God works miracles.
Peacemaker is spiritually evolving daily, preparing joyfully for his life's work in surrender and grateful acceptance. Revelations abound around him. The Peace Pilgrim Center received this e-mail note: "I'm a Chaplain here at Tucson Medical Center, and had the honor of meeting Earl this day, April 7. God bless all of you, keep you in peace."
Soon I'll be setting forth on my own pilgrimage walking on a wing and a prayer for peace, with Peace Pilgrim and Earl as examples of a life given as a prayer for peace. Walking our talk and living our truth, this is the way of love. As Peace Pilgrim said, "There's no doubt that peace will prevail on earth, its just how long it takes is up to us!"
We at the Peace Pilgrim Center received a phone call from a woman who was a patient with Earl. They became acquainted in their wheelchairs, she recovering from a stroke. She spoke so highly and warmly of Earl. She could hardly stop praising him. She had asked how much she owed him for the books he gave her. He wouldn't take any and told her to call the Peace Pilgrim Center.
ANOTHER PILGRIM FOR PEACE
Cheyenne Bear is walking to Canada from Ojai, California, leaving her beloved Bear Bus behind. She wrote:
I set forth following the migration of the whales and birds as Spring moves toward the Canadian border.
The main inspiration for this journey comes from Peace Pilgrim. I have simplified my life and reduced my possessions down to what I can fit in a pack on my back.
Peace Pilgrim has helped me with letting go of fear and allowing the Higher Force (God) to guide my life. Each of our paths toward the LIGHT is unique but universal Truth and Love are the same for all of us.
The free spirit of Johnny Appleseed has also influenced my "modus operandi." But instead of appleseed I'll be sowing seeds of peace along the way in the form of goodwill and sunflower seeds as I head ever northward.
I'll be walking as a way to promote friendship and harmony with people who grace my path and as a means of breaking down barriers of fear and alienation that separate us--embracing the Oneness of All Creation.
My walk is also an experiment in releasing my oil and gas guzzling van for a gentler form of transportation. Just another step in being part of the solution instead of the problem in the escalating devastation of our natural resources and environment.
For years I have been challenging myself to see only the good in people. Here is an example. Once while traveling in Doyle, California, I passed the gate of a ranch decorated with nooses, threats and epithets of hatred and bigotry. "One More Step and You're My Dog's Dinner," warned one sign. "If You're from New York, Turn Around Now," another threatened.
I couldn't believe this was someone's reality. I knew I had to confront him. I stepped on his property and immediately heard the growling, howling and barking of five German shepherds. The roar of a truck with a full gun rack caught my attention, as did the scruffy man who stepped out and yelled at me. I took his hand, looked him in the eyes and said, "I'm one of your favorite people - I'm a New Yorker!" I watched the hard edges of his face soften and the skin around his eyes crinkle as he smiled at me. And when he introduced himself as Wild Bill and invited me in, I ignored the warning voices inside my head and accepted. Once inside I was cussed at by his parrot. We spent the afternoon talking of his life and looking at his family photo albums. When I left he cried, "You're the first woman I've talked to in eight years." Five years later we still correspond.
Although this walk to Canada will be a solo venture, I feel nourished and empowered by the loving support of my dear sisters and brothers. With God as my constant source of guidance and supply, I shall not want.
As Peace Pilgrim said, "There is no doubt peace will prevail on earth, it's just how long it takes is up to us."
A TRUE "SERVANT-LEADER"
The U.S. Representative from California's 9th Congressional District, Ronald V. Dellums, retired in February after 27 years in office.
Ron worked tirelessly in Congress on a progressive public policy agenda centered on human security. In the spirit of Peace Pilgrim he challenged the militarization of U.S foreign policy. The only recent Member of Congress who publicly declared himself to be an advocate of nonviolence, Ron never sold out, even when be became Chair of the House Armed Services Committee. At a hearing he chaired during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, another member of the committee demanded U.S. military intervention to save lives. Ron replied to this effect: "My friend, all through the 70s and 80s, my top foreign policy concern was to free South Africa from the brutal violence of apartheid and Southern Africa of the `apartheid wars of attrition.'
Through all that violence neither you nor any of our colleagues called for U.S. military intervention to stop the killing - killing which I believed to be genocidal. Only now, with genocide in Europe, you call for military action. I never called for military action against the apartheid regime in South Africa because I believe in the power of nonviolence to overcome evil. The promises of military action too often fail for us to have much confidence in them."
Upon retiring, Ron issued a final statement urging us to practice restraint in the Iraq weapons inspection crisis: "Let us learn the lessons of the new era and prevent war again. Let diplomacy, flexibility, and imagination triumph over anger and indignation. Let us choose life over death."
"Anyone can love peace, but Jesus doesn't say, `Blessed are the peace lover.' He says peace makers. He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby on the sidelines of life." --Jim Wallis
A CURE FOR ULCERS?
by Ad Warmerdam
I would like to thank you for the book "Peace Pilgrim" you sent me. I have been studying for my Doctorate Degree, but have experienced strong opposition from one person in my Doctoral Committee. I have been avoiding contact with her as much as possible, but in doing so, I have contributed to the misunderstanding between us. The stress that the situation created caused me to have a stomach ulcer. Yesterday night I realized I may be able to remedy this situation by restoring my communication with her and seeing her again as the brilliant person I once requested to be on my Doctoral Committee. I have written her a letter that I hope will start restoring our relationship. My stomach pain has ceased. The Peace Pilgrim book helped me make the decision. I thank you again.
NEW PEACE PILGRIM DOCUMENTARY
We were delighted last fall when Khashyar Darvich, an award winning film-maker, called to say he was interested in making a broadcast-quality Documentary. He had found the PEACE PILGRIM book a couple of years before and read it many times. Then he found the Peace Pilgrim Center on the internet and called about coming to see us during a trip to California he was planning. He had seen the documentary which increased his interest.
He was so filled with the love of Peace Pilgrim's message, which he felt was truly God inspired. He wants only and always to do God's will and feels called to make her message widely available to the world.
David Mueller and Gigi Orlowski, two of the SPIRIT OF PEACE documentary crew, were planning to work on a second draft in the near future, when he called.
He visited us in December of 1997, and we were all blessed with his gentleness and loving kindness. On a second visit in early April we let the Hemet News know about him. They sent out a reporter who has become so interested she drove all the way to Redwood City to attend a documentary staff meeting.
David and Khashyar are now co-directors of the new documentary. They have spent some time with Gigi who works in San Diego with Jeff Blom, a former full-time volunteer at the Peace Pilgrim Center. David and Khashyar visited us again just the other day and selected material from our files that were important for the film. They will be back in a few weeks with a few interns to film our Center and interview those who are here.
We feel very fortunate that Khashyar is now producing this broadcast-quality documentary about Peace Pilgrim's message. He brings proven talent, enthusiasm and deep inspiration to a project that will take Peace Pilgrim's message to a much wider audience.
We are thankful also for the first draft of the documentary, THE SPIRIT OF PEACE. The response has been enthusiastic (over 2000 requested in two years). We have heard from many who have seen it on public access TV. Since it has not been on PBS or other networks we have long planned to edit it for a much wider audience.
We are grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from many friends. We felt a special blessing after announcing the need for work and living space in the Palo Alto area so Khashyar could work near his partner, David Mueller. The next day we received a call from Kathy Miller, a Peace Pilgrim friend who lives in nearby Redwood City --her elderly parents had just moved out and she had space available. Her home now provides both living and office space as well as meeting space for the staff.
Khashyar Darvich, David Mueller and a team of over twenty interns are already at work. We feel blessed by their faith and determination and welcome them to the circle of Friends of Peace Pilgrim.
Kathy called to tell us how delighted she is to be involved with this inspiring project.
Although the minimum budget has been met, additional funds would enable editing it for non-English speaking audiences as well as for those who are hearing impaired.
Peace Pilgrim never wanted to attract attention to herself. She always emphasized her message. It is our hope that this documentary will convey her message powerfully and inspire those who see it to take their own steps toward inner peace.
To the many dear friends of Peace Pilgrim:
My name is Khashyar Darvich, a PBS documentary producer-director. I am honored to be engaged in the joyful task of bringing Peace Pilgrim's message to others by producing a broadcast-quality documentary. Through the powerful medium of television, both the Friends of Peace Pilgrim and I want to offer Peace Pilgrim's transforming message to the many people who are seeking peace and spiritual truth in their lives.
I have known about Peace Pilgrim since 1993 and continue to draw inspiration from her life and message. I am particularly happy to be using my gifts for such an important and life-affirming project. My last documentary film, "Black Hawk Waltz: Tales of a Rocky Mountain Town," was broadcast on PBS and on the History Channel, and won five awards including a 1997 International Telly Award, and a 1997 International CINDY. Now, with a Peace Pilgrim-based faith that this film needs to be made, we officially began pre-production on March 1, 1998, and expect to be finished by the end of January 1999, just in time for the next millennium.
Through the wonderfully generous and inspired donations of many people we have received enough for our basic budget. I thank all of you who are providing both material and spiritual resources to expand the message of peace.
I also sincerely appreciate and wish to thank Gigi Orlowski, Claire Townsend and David Mueller whose devotion and commitment and skills crafted the 1995 "Spirit of Peace" documentary. This current project is certainly indebted to each of them as well as all who participated in the over 120 hours of interviews which were produced for it.
I have joined hands with filmmaker David Mueller, who is serving as co-director on this project. My good friend, Dennis Aig, a two-time Emmy winning PBS and national TV producer, is currently producing a documentary for Robert Redford's new feature film, "The Horse Whisperer." Dennis is offering his assistance as a Consulting Producer. And a wonderful staff of interns (most of whom are volunteers) are also contributing their skills and gifts.
Two people deserve special mention and I think you already know who they are --Ann and John Rush. From the very first meeting I had with them they have given joyfully and without reservation to help this film materialize. Indeed, without their commitment to making Peace Pilgrim's message available free of charge to all who ask, most of us would never have heard of this remarkable woman. Their happiness and accomplishments are proof of the power of Peace Pilgrim's message.
Filmmaking for me is my spiritual practice and gives me a wonderful way to work for the Great Spirit in service to mankind. I delight in the flow of abundance that comes through me and which I witness in others as we practice Peace Pilgrim's message by letting go of self will and allowing God's will to manifest. I experience the truth of her words daily, "As you concentrate on the giving, you discover that just as you cannot receive without giving, so neither can you give without receiving." It gives me joy to participate in the endless flow of energy linking her message of universal truth to others.
While I may be the producer and co-director of the Peace Pilgrim documentary, it is really God and Peace Pilgrim's spirit that are leading the way. This project has been abundantly blessed from the very beginning, and that abundant peace and love and inner and outer transformation is my reward for producing this film. I have chosen not to accept any monetary profit from it. It is my sincere hope that this film will contribute positively to the dawn of a golden age of peace which Peace Pilgrim spoke so passionately about.
I welcome your participation in this project and will gladly receive your ideas about content, photographs, music, and especially home movies or film/video footage of Peace Pilgrim. If you feel inspired to volunteer in some way please write to me. Your positive thoughts and prayers are also making this film manifest, and I feel uplifted by them. Additional funds will give us purchasing power to enhance quality and to make it available in other languages (including formatting for the hearing impaired).
You may learn more about the Peace Pilgrim documentary by viewing the Wakan Films website at: www.wakan.com. Wakan Films is my film company, and "Wakan" means "having qualities of the Great Spirit," or "doing something in the spirit of the Great Spirit."
You may reach me at PeacePilgrim@wakan.com or Khashyar Darvich, Wakan Films, 538 Santa Clara Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061.
At your request, we will also include you on our e-mail list to receive periodic updates on the various stages of production.
I am grateful to share this special documentary with you and to be part of the stirring and awakening of peace which is now happening throughout the world.
ONTARIO, CANADA - STEPS is a booklet that electrified my mind and does miracles all over the world.
PEACE PILGRIM TALKS ABOUT BEING ON RADIO & TELEVISION
These conversations were recorded in the Rush backyard in Whittier, California:
Barbara Reynolds: This is something I would like to ask: what you're talking about is a kind of spiritual chain reaction where your light is encouraging others. You yourself say that by your uniform, etc, you are making yourself available to those who are already concerned, who are serious. Now what about all those, the great majority of people who are not serious, who are not drawn to this truth and who are caught up in the belief that the material way of life is the way of happiness?
Peace Pilgrim: I am indeed trying to inspire others to walk the spiritual path; this has happened. The ones who will go the farthest are those who are already interested in peace or are curious about the world. Others I also contact - sometimes when I speak to a church group. After all, I'm giving a sermon and they're there. Or, when I speak to a high school group or a college group, the same thing. So I do contact some of them.
I contact most people through the news media. I'm on a radio station or a television station that they're listening to. I have done every national radio and television network several times. That contacts millions of people, many of whom have never thought about these things before - and they like me! Every once in a while one of them writes: "Why, I never thought about that before. I happened to turn on the radio and heard you talking. It was just fascinating, and I thought, `Is this something I could do'? And it gave an address, so I wrote to you." So I do contact also the unconvinced.
A MODERN DAY SAINT
by Anslem Kodithuwakku of Sri Lanka
Like the so many who have had the unique opportunity of meeting Peace Pilgrim, listening to lively inspiring talks, seeing her and being inspired, I too have had the opportunity quite by chance of getting myself acquainted in a very strange manner...I had come by, whilst sorting some old documents at a friends place, a small booklet entitled "Peace Pilgrim" distributed by the Muthunkrishna Mission. It was a photo copy from the original--describing Peace Pilgrim as a modern day saint. I read this little booklet over and over again. I passed it on to a friend visiting us from the United States...Then again, in a very strange manner, while browsing amongst books heaped by the wayside in the city, I spotted the book "Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Works." Needless to say I took it immediately, read it cover to cover and now I find myself writing for more.
NEW JERSEY --I've shared STEPS with many and each loved its beauty, simplicity and enduring principles. I work with children in learning the skills of peacemaking, so it is with much joy and gratitude to know of your work.
Peace Pilgrim visited our small community in Kansas in 1958 and gave an inspiring talk. Later one of our members said he stopped spanking his children after her visit.
We were very happy for that good news. We deeply believe in nonviolence towards our children as well as in all relationships, seeking a love that refuses to be provoked.
Through the years we have collected good articles on the subject as we ran across them. We have hoped to publish these articles in a small booklet some day.
The SEASON FOR NONVIOLENCE, sponsored by the Agape Church in Santa Monica in memory of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, will have materials in the PRIORITY FOR PEACE project, focusing on Birth to Three years - later this year, possibly mid-July.
HAPPY WORLD Educational Referral Services has prepared a convenient Personal Peace Power Checklist for parents and teachers who wish to use nonviolent methods to develop happy children. This list comes from many sources, including the PEACE PILGRIM book, Educational Kinesiology (brain and body coordination) and the Talent Education Method of Shin'ichi Suzuki, who worked for peace for over fifty years, developing the "Mother Tongue" method which enables very young children and others to play musical instruments. For more information call (310) 815-0222 for Education Committee.
PEACE PILGRIM'S MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
We often hear the desire expressed for Peace Pilgrim's message for children. "Wouldn't it be great if there were a comic-style book for young children, or a children's book with colored illustrations?" Several have offered to write a children's PEACE PILGRIM book but so far nothing has been published. Mayte Kline has written a beautiful book for children that needs colorful illustrations, but has not found a publisher.
As we write this, Gary Guthrie, our man back in Saudi Arabia, is working on a children's book. Grace and Dana are reading to children from the PEACE PILGRIM book and asking for their comments in preparation for a comic-style book. Gail Northe suggests asking children to write their own version of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE - with emphasis on the four preparations and the four relinquishments and illustrated by them. If you would like to help with any of these projects, please contact us at the Center. If you have any ideas or comments your children make about inner peace or world peace or Peace Pilgrim that would be helpful, let us know. (I know children do come out, unexpectedly, with the most amazing comments. I used to keep a pen and pad ready to jot them down.)
400 CHILDREN MARCH FOR PEACE
Karen Erikson, 150 Rochdale Street, Auburn, MA 01501.
On April 16 almost 400 students from the Brookfield Elementary School marched in a peace parade to the town common. They carried sticks decorated with origami peace cranes. They drummed and chanted, "All we are saying, is give peace a chance." It was an awesome sight. At the common we all gathered around the newly planted Peace Pole. Two students told the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, songs were sung and two members of the Nipmuc Tribal Council drummed and sang. All were invited to write peace intentions and drop them into a large pot where they were lit on fire to carry out wishes around the world.
GRANDMA FOR PEACE HAS REASON TO SMILE
from an article by Diana Griego Erwin in the Sacramento Bee, December 19, 1996
Barbara Wiedner of Elk Grove may have been arrested more than any grandma alive, but it wasn't a walk in the park. As an advocate of nuclear disarmament and peace since founding GRANDMOTHERS FOR PEACE in 1982, Wiedner, 68, has been threatened, strip-searched, screamed at, flipped off and hauled away in handcuffs so many times she's lost count.
It was all worth it.
Her blue eyes shine and a broad smile covers her face these days - thanks to the military commander who once stood on the opposite side of the fence at Sacramento's Mather Air Force Base.
Retired Air Force General Lee Butler, who commanded the nation's nuclear forces until two years ago, recently made national news headlines by announcing he now advocates the COMPLETE ELIMINATION of NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!! "Nuclear weapons are inherently dangerous, hugely expensive and militarily inefficient," Butler told the National Press Club on December 4th.
Wiedner was flabbergasted, then overjoyed, on hearing of Butler's "conversion."
"This is major," the mother of 10 and grandmother of 17 said. "I could just hug him."
Sixty former military commanders from nations around the world, including Russia, have joined Butler's call to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
"They used to say, `Oh, Grandma, you're so off-base,' but everything I've been proposing all these years has come true," Wiedner said.
"God bless the generals," Wiedner said. "They have joined us on the other side of the gate."
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE
There has been so much in the news about biological and chemical warfare that I want to share my experience at a warfare plant in Canada 34 years ago. John and I (Ann) were house parents in the Argenta Quaker School in British Columbia when our Doukhobor friends (descendants of immigrants from Russia) became concerned about these weapons being developed at a plant in Alberta. They decided to demonstrate for peace, and seven Argenta Quaker High school students and I joined them. I will quote from an article I wrote for the Doukhobor magazine, ISKRA, in 1964:
THE SUFFIELD MANIFESTATION:
Is the U.S.-Canadian chemical and biological warfare plant at Suffield, Alberta a Pandora's Box? This plant is being stockpiled, according to MACLEAN'S MAGAZINE, with such things as eight ounces of one substance that could wipe out all humanity... Experiments on monkeys require high fences buried deep, so animals cannot escape.
A group of Doukhobors in Western Canada decided to publicly demonstrate their concern by holding a vigil in front of the plant, calling it "A Manifestation for Peace." They wanted their inner peace, their desire for peace to be made manifest to the public. This was not to be only a protest against death and destruction, but an affirmation of life as well. This they accomplished magnificently with beauty, dignity and order.
This Manifestation was in part a celebration of the anniversary of stacking their military arms and burning them in Russia in 1895, a symbol of their decision to learn war no more. The resulting persecution by the Czar led Tolstoy and the Quakers to help them move to Canada around 1900. The sale of Tolstoy's beautiful book, RESURRECTION helped them move.
Nearly seventy years later sixty or more cars were filled with Doukhobors and a few from other peace groups. After driving 300 miles we parked for the night on the grounds of a Doukhobor Praying House. Friendly faces came to greet us and invite us to spend the night on their farms.
The next morning after wonderful Doukhobor hospitality, including breakfast, we began our fast for the day. We were then on our way, 80 cars driving nearly 200 miles...an incredibly impressive line curving far ahead, over hill and prairie to the Suffield Experimental Station.
When we arrived at 10am it was raining, but this did not stop us. I heard a man say in a gleeful voice, "I guess the Lord is testing us," followed by ringing laughter. The pattern of the day was singing, a speech, a half hour of quiet meditation. This was repeated until 8pm when we took up our chairs and walked away into the setting sun.
One of the highlights of the day was the repeated singing in Russian of their indescribably beautiful songs which wrap you in a web of mystical experience that you would rather never come out of. The songs in English: "Awaken...In this 20th Century day and night in the factories where armaments are prepared. All will go for self-extermination."
As I stood in the rain I thought, "would some natural disaster ever release Pandora's box?" Enough brethren of hate, of vengeance. Let us go forth towards light and love.
The townspeople had come in a steady stream. We gave them booklets in English with words to the songs, and facts about the warfare plant. I have been in no other vigil that gave so much to the public--a beautiful sight, these honest faces absorbed in their songs and deeply felt messages of the speakers and in the clear words of their signs--PEACE RESEARCH INSTEAD OF WAR RESEARCH. Then the sun came, dried us out and warmed us. We were thankful for the day and joyful in our spirits to have witnessed to the truth.
Now, many years later we have been delighted to send Russian Peace Pilgrim books to Doukhobor friends. And imagine our delight when Matthew Popoff requested about 200 books in Spanish, English and Russian to take to Cuba to last summer's historic Doukhobor Youth Choir's trip to the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students.
Matthew Popoff writes a fascinating report of their choir's experience in Cuba. He was asked to give a farewell speech, "Not only has my host family treated me as kin, but I see all the people of San Jose are as one family - you are a living example of the tenet--`love your neighbor as yourself.' Your sincere love for each other is overwhelmingly apparent--you treat each other with the dignity all human beings deserve. This has warmed my heart beyond all measure. I look at your community and feel a renewed sense of hope for the future of our planet, for here in Cuba, and in San Jose specifically, is an example for all of humanity to follow, to create lasting peace, justice and equality on our planet."
The Doukhobor choir visited the Russian children in a hospital where they were being treated for radiation sickness caused by the break-down of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Russia. They were "impressed to find out that since the program's inception 14,000 Chernobyl children had been successfully treated, free of charge."
He gave Peace Pilgrim books and STEPS as going away presents and to many friends he met in Cuba.
The fellowship is an international, pacifist organization that includes people of all faiths. We have belonged to it for over fifty years. Peace Pilgrim spoke to FOR groups and there have been articles about her in FOR magazines. In the last issue was this: The FOR calls for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, just as we support the elimination of such weapons in Israel, Iran, the U.S., Russia and all other countries which stockpile such weapons. It seems highly hypocritical for the U.S. and Britain to lead an effort to punish Iraq for failing to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction while each of these countries possesses much larger stockpiles of such weapons.
HOLISTIC PSYCHIATRY Peace Pilgrim is part of my daily life and I pray to her spirit everyday. In my wellness contract for living, I have placed the practice of unconditional love #1 and non-judgementalness #2. The first thing I say to myself when I wake up in the morning is "Just do good." The rewards of my personal spiritual program have been immense. I use Peace Pilgrim and her books and story regularly in my practice of holistic psychiatry, wellness, and peak performance. Her guiding spirit has been exceedingly helpful to many. I love the newsletter, especially about the good work in prisons.
THE INSTITUTE FOR MULTI-TRACK DIPLOMACY
IMTD is an independent, nongovernmental, nonprofit organization which was founded in 1992 by Ambassador John McDonald and Dr. Louise Diamond. IMTD publishes a quarterly newsletter, the PeaceBuilder, and an Annual Report which are available to the public.
In our newsletter Number 24 we published an article about the conflict resolution training in Cuba, sponsored by the ITMD. The following is taken from one of their leaflets that describes their peacebulding policies and procedures. For information write to: 1819 H Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006-3603.
THE MISSION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR Multi-Track Diplomacy is to provide a systems approach to peacebuilding and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict.
"Multi-Tack Diplomacy" refers to nine areas or "tracks," that together comprise the system of international peacemaking. The nine tracks include: government; nongovernment/professional conflict resolution; business; private citizen/nongovernmental organizations (NGO); research, training, and education; activism; religion; the funding community; and communication/the media. While many peacemaking and peace-building efforts focus on governments (Tract One), we believe that the entire system will benefit from coordination and cooperation between and among all the tracks. We bring this systemic analysis and approach to our initiatives in areas of deep-rooted conflict around the world.
Our work in these ethnic conflicts focuses on "conflict transformation." In cases of deep-rooted social conflict, like Cyprus, Israel and Palestine, or Liberia, the entire social system has embodied the conflict, and the population has absorbed these conflict patterns at a very deep level. This means that critical negotiations and legal peace accords are only one piece of the solution. To create lasting peace --to transform the conflict --it will take a concerted effort, engaging many different parts of the system simultaneously, over a period of time to establish new patterns in a process of true transformation. At IMTD, our work is to facilitate this transformation from conflict-habituated systems to peace systems.
We view IMTD's role in these initiatives as that of a catalyst. We bring our tools of training, consulting, and convening to situations where our activities will spark peacebuilding or conflict transformation processes because only indigenous efforts actually propel these processes. We fully engage and activate the local populations wisdom and resources in all of our initiatives.
An example of their many projects throughout the world is the workshop held in Tanzania in 1996, co-sponsored by both American and Tanzanian organizations. The members of the four-person U.S. training team talked about international issues and the role of IMTD, mediation and intergroup skills, interpersonal skills and family conflicts.
John McDonald, who is on the Peace Pilgrim advisory board, is the chairman of the Institute For Multi-Track Diplomacy and one of the members of the training team, reports:
The organizers selected twenty-three outstanding Tanzanians to attend the training session...They picked a most diverse and talented group of men and women from all of the tracks in our multi-track system. There were representatives from the religious community...from the Executive Branch...from the Judicial Branch...from the Legislative Branch...as well as businessmen, representatives from the print media and TV, a peace activist, several university professors, faculty from the Center for Foreign Relations, a trade union leader, and a member of a non-government organization.
It is fair to say that this was a great learning experience for everyone, participants and trainers alike, and everybody enjoyed themselves during the week together.
It was exciting to be a part of this unique experience, the first in Tanzania's history. We were delighted at the enthusiasm generated by the desire of the Tanzanians to establish their own non-governmental organization in conflict resolution. At the time I offered to help in the creation of such an NGO and so was pleased to be able to meet, on June 20, here in D.C. with Dr. Saffari, the workshop's co-host from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to begin to move the process along another step.
SELF AND SOUL
A Woman's Guide to Enhancing Self-Esteem Through Spirituality. Adele Wilcox, author and United Methodist minister devotes one third of a chapter to Peace Pilgrim, as a modern mystic who understood her inner calling.
Published by Rodale Press book, Rev. Wilcox distributes STEPS and PEACE PILGRIM books at her workshops.
PORTLAND, OR --I'm down to my last copy. I've use it for counseling at AA/NA/Criminal Thinking classes and personal spiritual counseling. I need a copy for Roselynn and Jimmy Carter who I met last month and promised to send a book to. I only have one left.
Jane Davis of Atlanta, Georgia is a reporter sent to report on an execution. She has requested many books and STEPS for prisoners and wrote:
In December, 1993 I was a witness at an electric chair execution in Georgia. I did not know violence until that moment. I did not viscerally know the depths to which human beings can sink until my eyes were locked with the eyes of a terrified young man as he was led into the execution chamber when a leather flap was placed over his eyes moments before 2000+ volts of electricity would fry him. What I witnessed was evil.
From that moment on my life was changed forever. I began a walk into the prisons and death rows around the country. I began seeking answers. Human answers. Actually I was seeking validation of what I know. I wanted to confirm and find the loving spot that I know exists in all of us. I have walked among prisoners for years. And among Corporate America and among gang kids. And inside my own self.
On May 4, 1997 I packed up my car and headed West. I was following something from deep inside my soul that was calling me to the road. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going.
The next five months, traveling across country, camping out or in motels was a challenge. After witnessing and living with the memory of seeing someone killed in front of me, after living among citizens who are supporting the death penalty, I was propelled out into the world seeking kindness. Seeking answers. Why are we so violent in our solutions?
I journeyed to death rows across the country to visit prisoners through what has become known as HOPE-HOWSE, a spiritual action group. I did grass roots work through discussions on a daily basis no matter where I was.
HOPE-HOWSE stands for HELP OTHER PEOPLE EVOLVE THROUGH HONEST OPEN WILLING SELF EVALUATION. I work with gang kids, serial killers, rapists, thieves, and CEO's. I have traveled into my own darkness and help others go into theirs.
The answers lie within each and every one of us if we can take the risks and go there. Go on a road trip...inside yourself. You will find a varied terrain. Once you've done that you will find the familiar landscapes in each and every individual you meet, no matter what their action. Then we will find peace and love because we will individually become one with ourselves and will bring that energy to the world.
AUSTRALIA--Father Douglas Conlan--I am continuing to present retreats and workshops that explore the spiritual journey through Christian contemplative, Buddhist and Hindu practices, as well as the insights of Peace Pilgrim.
Barbara Werner --we were astonished that we have not had an article about her in any newsletter. She and her doggie, Lacey, have been coming to help once a week for nine years. They are so much a part of us that we forgot to mention them...like the air we breathe.
She checks over the packages to see if the addresses are right and the number of books packaged are the number and kind requested. She writes a little note on the offering sheet or puts in a printed note along with the newsletter. We deeply appreciate her work and her presence.
She is the only one we have met who saw Peace Pilgrim walking in front of the Rose Parade on her maiden voyage in 1953. She was living in Pasadena with her parents.
Christine Owen--is now a full-time volunteer. It is such a joy to share with her the privilege of distributing Peace Pilgrim's message. She is here to help us, but she is so full of ideas she makes more work for all of us. Her special assignment right now is helping with the new documentary.
Grace Butler--We have also been blessed with the presence of "Amazing Grace" who transcribed video tapes for us and corresponds with prisoners. An inspired poet, she composes poems for anyone who asks on her website, skyabove.com/grace. Here is a sample:
Amazing Grace frequently amazes us since she found PEACE PILGRIM for 25 cents in a thrift store. She brings us lettuce from her garden, oranges and grapefruit from abandoned trees in her Mobile Home Park. She takes pictures and has made a collage of all of us.
Marty Bruhn--Gives the beautifying touch to our lawn, repairs our cars, our visitor's cars, does a variety of household repairs and a bit of gardening.
Amirah Yates--Marty's wife, and our resident computer geek, gives the final, organizing, beautifying touch to our newsletters. She is currently in college to learn more about the internet and our new computer software here at the Peace Center.
Georges Lahoud--Installed two beautiful stainless steel kitchen sinks and counters. And he brings the yummiest Lebanese dishes to our potlucks.
GERMANY--I'm traveling through India. It is really amazing. One day while sitting in a cafe I noticed that beautiful book of PEACE PILGRIM. I got lost in the book. The next day I went there for breakfast and read the book a little bit. Unfortunately on the fourth day the book disappeared but I'm very lucky because I wrote down your address on the first day. So friends, is it possible to send me that book? I would like to finish it.
A LETTER FROM NELSON MANDELA
"The United States, as the leader of the world, should set an example by reaching out to its enemies and saying, "Let's sit down and talk peace."
People in some non-democratic countries are sometimes looked after better than in so-called democratic countries. We have democratic countries, but where poverty of the masses of the people is rife. Democracy without solving poverty, hungry, illiteracy is an empty shell."
After his release and upon becoming the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela named to his cabinet one of the guards of the prison where he was held captive. He forgave for a higher purpose. He forgave for the reconciliation and helping of South Africa.
SWEDISH STUDENT--I have just read STEPS. This book is wonderful--a piece of eternal wisdom.
CREATING THROUGH THOUGHT THE GREAT EXPERIMENT
Many friends of Peace Pilgrim joined hands and hearts with people all over the world in "The Great Experiment" on April 23rd. Here at the Peace Pilgrim Center we caravaned to St. Joseph's Church at the nearby Soboba Indian Reservation where we sang songs of peace, meditated and prayed for peace.
The Great Experiment, a worldwide synchronized prayer for peace, is based on the premise that we create through thought, that our thoughts do make a difference and that when many people focus on the same thought at the same time it's power is increased exponentially.
Here at the Center we are also participating in a daily prayer for peace. Each day at noon we ring the chimes and affirm, "May Peace prevail on earth."
More information about worldwide prayer events can be found on the Internet at www.createpeace.com.
If you want free Peace Pilgrim materials, write to the address below. Please send your change of address promptly to save us time and money. Contributions make the free distribution possible. To be on our mailing list, all you have to do is ask. By requesting a subscription, this lets us know we are sending newsletters to those who want them.
PRAIRIE PEACE PARK
If you are traveling near Lincoln, Nebraska be sure to stop by the Prairie Peace Park, on I-80, off exit 388.
The Park opened in 1994. There are a number of indoor and outdoor peace displays on its 27 acres to encourage visitors to create news ways to overcome violence, resolve conflicts and heal the planet. This is designed for children and adults; many offer interactive learning opportunities.
Some features are:
THE SAMANTHA SMITH SHOW--slides based on the story of a 10-year-old girl from Maine who helped inspire peace between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. She wrote, "Nothing could be more important than not having a war if a war would kill everything." (see NL #8).
SADAKO SCULPTURE DISPLAY--16 sculptures designed by children inspired by the story of a Japanese girl's desire to live after the Atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima.
PEACE MURAL--A large ceramic tile mural created in Flagstaff, Arizona by over 40 international artists.
TWO LABYRINTHS--one like the great labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France and another, Earth Maze like an ancient one found on the Island of Crete.
There are many more exhibits. The Peace Park also hosts both children and adult groups and sponsors a children's "Peace Camp." It has a travelling educational display for peace programs in schools in the Mid-West.
Bruce Nichols visited the park on his way here from Connecticut. He prepared a display for the main building --a very large poster of Peace Pilgrim walking down the road. We plan on keeping Peace Pilgrim books and booklets at her feet for visitors to the Prairie Peace Park to take. Do stop in to visit if you are in this part of the country.
WE ARE NOW ON E-MAIL!
You can now also send e-mail directly to Friends of Peace Pilgrim in Hemet.
Bruce Nichols got us on e-mail and is staying around to teach us how to use it. Fortunately Christine is learning all about it. Everyone talks about how easy and wonderful it is, but I feel as I guess I did when computers came upon us - our grandson was patiently trying to teach me, when one day he turned to me and said, "Grandma you need to have the right attitude!"
Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first two days we received e-mail from Slovenia, India and Singapore! The e-mail letter from Slovenia was in answer to our e-mail letter, which was an answer to a FAXed letter from Slovenia! Get it? Franc Burgar wants to translate and publish the PEACE PILGRIM book and wrote or rather FAXED: "The Slovenian language is spoken by some 1.8 million people in one of the countries of former Yugoslavia, now torn apart by war. From the first moment I saw this wonderful book I have had the wish to translate it. For a start I will print 1000 copies. I am a teacher of English and German and working as a translator for the last 20 years. He asked for pictures and STEPS."
The same day we received the Slovenian fax we received an e-mail letter from Sanjay Mashruwala and friends in India who want to republish STEPS in Gujarati (Gandhi's language) because it is out of print: They write: "It will be exactly the same except there will be more information about Peace Pilgrim and a brief introduction and background of the translator, Meera Bhatt and her activities". We are sending pictures, the PEACE PILGRIM book and STEPS
We have also had book and newsletter requests from Brazil, Singapore, Canada and nine states--all in the first week.
The first search we did on the Internet gave us all the information we needed to send Peace Pilgrim books to all who were imprisoned for their prayerful action at the School of the Americas (the US-tax-funded "School of Assassins").
by Bruce Nichols
If you are on the internet and haven't taken the opportunity to visit one of our websites, please fire up your browser and have a look.
The Friends of Peace Pilgrim site created and maintained by Greg Konar of San Diego can be found at www.peace pilgrim.org. Here you will find current information about Friends of Peace Pilgrim, a complete list of booklets, books, tapes and other offerings, the current newsletter as well as a number of past editions, an online version of STEPS and much more.
At www.peacepilgrim.com you will find the Peace Pilgrim Homepage. Created and maintained by Bruce Nichols of Shelton, CT., this site features general information about Peace Pilgrim and her message, including photos, audio clips, the entire text of "Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words", another online version of STEPS, a Quote of the Month feature, and the most complete set of links to other Peace Pilgrim references on the web.
Comments from letters: Your internet site is marvelous! I am still exploring it. Thank you for your dedication and your wonderful work towards peace!
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544
page created by Bruce Nichols