Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

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

Winter, 1998 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 30

Online Edition

Table of Contents (TOC):

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,

What happened to me in the Los Angeles area in the beginning was almost miraculous. All channels of communication were opened to me and my little peace message. I spent hours being interviewed by newspaper reporters. -- Peace Pilgrim


In this Newsletter we are happy to share with you the doors that are opening to Peace Pilgrim's message. Two websites on the Internet feature her message. Greg Konar of San Diego maintains one at This features our list of offerings, newsletters, STEPS in Spanish and English. Bruce Nichols of Shelton, Connecticut offers the entire BOOK at This site includes photos, audio clips, a quote of the month, and links to other Peace Pilgrim references on the web.

Our e-mail address is A good friend set us up with a new computer in the corner of our living/meeting room. Bruce Nichols taught some of us how to do e-mail. Everyone says how easy and great it is, but I, Ann, felt the way I did when computers first 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!"

So now I have the right attitude, and we receive amazing letters from e-mailers around the world. Our first week brought us contact with friends in Slovenia, India, Brazil, Singapore and Canada. E-mail is helping us communicate with translators in far lands. Will wonders never cease!

Franc Bursar is translating PEACE PILGRIM into Slovenian. He e-mailed us: "The Slovenian language is spoken by 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 wished to translate it. For a start I will print 1000 copies. I am a teacher of English, German, and a translator for the last 20 years."

Sanjay Mashruwala and friends in India e-mailed their offer to re-publish STEPS in Gujarati (Gandhi's language) because it is out of print. The new booklet tells more about Peace Pilgrim and the translator, Meera Bhatt.

The story of my pilgrimage, and even my picture, went out over all the wire services. Besides doing two live television programs, I spent hours recording for radio and television newscasts. -- Peace Pilgrim

Khashyar Darvich, David Mueller and a team of interns are producing a new Peace Pilgrim documentary (NL 29). Judi Lum is organizing research to find film footage of her pilgrimage. Five segments have been found, including one from Pasadena in 1953! The directors now face the challenge of editing over 130 hours of footage to create a film conveying the power of Peace Pilgrim's message. If you feel drawn to serve on this project, contact Khashyar Darvich at Wakan Films, 538 Santa Clara Ave., Redwood City, CA 94061; e-mail at

Peace Pilgrim used to bathe her audiences in light before speaking to them. We invite you to join us in preparing a worldwide film audience to receive her message by bathing it in light and love.

It was a period in which I was merged with the whole. No longer was I a seed buried under the ground, but I felt as a flower reaching out effortlessly toward the sun. On that day I became a wanderer relying upon the goodness of others. --Peace Pilgrim

Each day we see love flowing and growing as we receive heartfelt thanks and contributions for the free distribution of Peace Pilgrim's message. When people hear that we do not charge for our books, they often ask in wonderment how this process works. Here is our response: We are able to send books, audio and video tapes out free because we receive unsolicited donations. Peace Pilgrim's simple but profound message is so inspiring that readers want to help spread it.

Our costs are low. We pay no rent, no royalties, no salaries, no bookseller's commission and we have no advertising expenses. Visitors are surprised that our Center, from which we send books to every state and to over 100 countries, is a small two-bedroom house. (We need a more adequate office and storage space). A member of the New Road Map Foundation, who worked with us for a week, reported that we don't waste a penny. A professional planner says that we are the most cost-effective organization of which he is aware.

We seek to do God's Will and act as Way Opens. In the 17 years since her glorious transition, many miraculous ways have opened to spread her message.

We are thrilled with new opportunities to convey it through film and cyberspace. Thank you, thank you for helping to make it possible to serve humanity in this way.

--The Staff


by C.O.

In September I had the chance to participate in a production meeting of the documentary crew in Redwood City. As I walked through the flower garden of the home of Kathy Miller I felt a wave of peace. When Khashyar greeted me at the door I said, "This would make a great Peace Pilgrim Center." He immediately replied with a smile, "This is a Peace Pilgrim Center."

As volunteers arrived I saw plenty of evidence of this in their kindness and patience with each other, their humor and joy, and their selfless service. I was also impressed by the quality of listening at the meeting that took place.

To provide a free exchange of ideas, Khashyar and David were silent while others brainstormed about what would make the film powerful. A fruitful exchange followed.

After the meeting I visited with Kathy Miller who shared her story: "One day while I was watching Spirit of Peace with my children (ages in their 30's) tears began streaming down. When the video was over, I turned to them and said, 'My life is going to change.'" I knew I would be working for peace but I didn't know in what form it would take.

Then, I received a notice that work and living space was needed for Khashyar in the Palo Alto area. Before finishing the letter I called the Peace Pilgrim Center in Hemet to say that my house was available. My parents had just moved into a nursing home and I had plenty of room."

Kathy shared how blessed she feels to have her home used as a peace center. Then she proceeded to serenade me with songs she has composed about peace, including one inspired by Peace Pilgrim's message. When I left she presented me with a tape of her beautiful music. I too feel blessed and encouraged by this visit to make my own contribution to the total peace picture.


A dear friend in her 90s was having trouble with a helper--I went to bed in a frenzy. As I tried to settle down into prayer I remembered that your newsletter had come today but I had not read it. "Let it bring peace to my mind," I told myself as I jumped out of bed and started to read. Never had it moved me so much--especially the story of the converted killer. I felt so appreciative of the work you are doing, but what could I do at the moment? --Not only did I get an idea about how to handle the situation with my helper, but also I realized that I did not really need the dress I was about to order from a catalog, as much as prisons need more Peace Pilgrim literature. (Instead of ordering a new dress, she sent us the $100! Thank you!!)

SCOTLAND--I honestly thought it was an excellent book. I read quite a lot in my spare time, but with Peace Pilgrim, I felt inside, while I was reading it, that I actually knew her and I've never felt this way before when reading a book.

BALTIMORE, MD--I was given PEACE PILGRIM several years ago. I didn't read it at the time, packed it with other books, as I was relocating. Since then I started my own personal search for inner peace. I read everything spiritual I could get my hands on, from Native American religion, to every word in the Bible, to several Eastern philosophies. I have again relocated and still did not feel like I could "understand" the big picture. I came upon the Peace Pilgrim book; I have read it over and over. Nothing I have read so far even comes close to the impact this book has had on me. As all have said, the message is so simple, but so true! Now, I understand my primary search is over and I can settle into practice of what Peace Pilgrim preached--"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth and hatred with love."Thank you with all my heart and soul.

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The Peace Pilgrim Center has been given these recently published books. Susan Smith Jones in her book, Choose Radiant Health and Happiness, credits Peace Pilgrim for the profound, positive effect she has had on her life. Susan brings together modern research, with special attention to nutrition, and ancient spiritual wisdom. She emphasizes the importance of a positive attitude toward life's experiences, relying on God for guidance. Call 800-843-5743 for copies. Michael Fogler in Un-Jobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook shares ideas about freeing yourself from a life that revolves around a paycheck. His personal example is a source of inspiration for those desiring to live in alignment with their highest values. From Free Choice Press, Box 1027, Lexington, KY 40588-1027.


A side effect of the end of the Cold War has been a perverse escalation in arms sales to the Third World. U.S. arms makers are by far the leading weapons merchants, accounting for nearly half of all such sales.

Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica, is currently in the U.S. giving lectures, trying to shift U.S. policy. He is one of perhaps three living global leaders who represent a kind of moral witness that the world seldom sees in national statesmen--the others being Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

Last year Arias convened a meeting with seven other Nobel Peace laureates, joined by Amnesty International, the American Friends Service Committee and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, to create an International Code of Conduct. The code is now endorsed by 16 Peace Prize honorees.

FIRST NATIONAL BANK, TX--I cannot begin to tell you how much PEACE PILGRIM has meant to me (and to my customers). Keep up the good work--its God's handicraft!


The following is from Anthony Genaro (see NL27 p.2).

Two groups of 30 adults met at our church to discuss living more simply. We used PEACE PILGRIM and 'TIS A GIFT TO BE SIMPLE' by the De Grote-Sorensens. We chose as our models, Francis of Assisi and Peace Pilgrim. We concentrated on the 5th chapter of Peace's book, "Living the Simple Life."

We were convinced that the life of simplicity was a gift to be thankful for. We discussed her rule, "I shall not accept more than I need while others in the world have less than they need." We differed on the meaning of the word, need. For Peace, the word need and want were almost the same, not so for most of us. We wanted to make at least one little step in the direction of simplicity. We did agree that unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. Agreement was easy; doing what we believe was a little harder. We admired Peace Pilgrim so much; she lived her words. We marveled at her joy; her life was not bogged down or austere. Her freedom encouraged us to do at least one thing to unburden our cluttered lives.

Someone once said that God continually tries to give us good things, but our hands are too full to receive them. Peace's hands were empty, so God filled them with good things like peace, simplicity, freedom, joy and harmony. Our modern life draws us away from peace, from simplicity. Our frenzied pace of life, our need for excitement, our need to achieve, our desire for more money, nicer and more things are the enemies of real life as Peace lived it.

At the end of our sessions we concluded that Peace's life wasn't much different than Francis of Assisi's life of simplicity. Our role models, Francis of long ago and Peace of today, empower us to do something about our run-away consumerism and materialism. We believe Peace to be a good a guide to the simple life. Her talk is her life. Her simple life is her sermon on simplicity. Her poem at the end of the chapter on the simple life says it well:

A simplified life is a satisfied life
Much more calm, much less strife
Oh how beautiful life can be--Beautiful Simplicity


Mary Jo Meadow, professor emerita in psychology and religious studies at Mankato University in Minnesota, is a Christian Sister and a Buddhist. She and others sponsor retreats and workshops on the world's great spiritual traditions at many places in the United States. The retreat offerings this fall and winter are mainly in the learning and practice of insight meditation in an atmosphere of interior and exterior silence. A new offering, PEACE & VISION: Peace Pilgrim & Insight Meditation, emphasizes finding and maintaining peace in our own beings to bring peace to the world. It integrates the teachings of Peace Pilgrim with classical Buddhist teachings and meditation practice. For more information write to Forest Monastery, 3704 Highway 13, Dunnagan, MO 65640.


The U.S. Representative from California's 9th Congressional District, Ronald V. (Ron) Dellums, retired in February after 27 years in office.

Ron worked tirelessly on a progressive public policy agenda. 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 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, a committee member 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 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 fails for us to have much confidence in them."

Upon retiring, Ron issued a final statement urging the U.S. 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, imagination triumph over anger and indignation. Let us choose life over death."

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In NL 27 was the article, TO DO SOMETHING FOR PEACE by Professor Andrea Foster who was swamped with requests. Peace Pilgrim Friends often ask for help in starting a STEPS Group. If you would like a copy of Foster's article, please send us a SASE.

INDIA--From a Sister in a hospital--STEPS is doing wonders in many people's lives--patients in the hospital, even terminally ill patients...It helps the teachers, students and those who work in government offices where bribery and exploitation thrive.

FLORIDA--I've recently returned from a trip to India where I did volunteer work at Mother Teresa's orphanage. At dinner one night I was wondering why there were not more women like Mother Teresa, when a book on the used bookshelf caught my attention. I was up all night reading the story of Peace Pilgrim and am truly sorry that I never had a chance to meet her and only heard her story now. The book was passed around amongst the volunteers.

BORREGO SPRINGS, CA--Your work is a blessing in my life! Thank you!


Peace Pilgrim noticed that spiritual healing doesn't necessarily manifest in the physical. She often told this story (as recollected by Cheryl Canfield) to illustrate this.

She gave an example of a young woman who was born crippled. She was from a wealthy family and had all kinds of opportunities. She had a wonderful education and all of the material provisions she could ever want. But there was a bitterness about the fact that she had this crippled body, while her sister was born without any handicaps. She saw that her sister could do so much more, and so there was a lot of bitterness in her life.

Peace knew that she went to church and had some religious beliefs. So initially she talked to her about them. She asked her if she believed in an afterlife and the woman said, "Yes." So Peace said, "Well, if you believe in an afterlife, would you consider that there might have been something before the earth life?" And the woman said, "No, no, no!" So Peace said, "Okay, but now wait. Don't reject it. Just put it on the shelf and go sleep on it tonight." And so the young woman did that.

The next morning she said, "You know, Peace, I got to thinking about what you said last night. And if there is an afterlife, well it makes perfect sense to think that there might be something before the earth life." Then Peace was able to talk with her about the soul coming in with some previous experience. Without this knowledge there might appear to be some injustice in life. But in fact we bring things as a definite result of something and for a very deliberate purpose.

So the young woman began to understand and accept this and she lost her resentment toward her sister. Then, with this new knowledge, she became interested in working with crippled children. This was obviously her calling in life. She did it beautifully and had a wonderful impact on these children's lives. And so Peace said that, in her case, she experienced a spiritual healing but not a physical one. Because in fact it was her calling in life to be a teacher of handicapped children, and how better to teach them than with a handicapped body?

A spiritual healing can also occur when a person is making a transition to the disembodied side. In this instance a physical body might not experience a healing because it is time in that person's life to move on. So there is no judgment about whether the physical symptoms are removed or not. The healing that is sought is on the spiritual level of being in harmony with God's will. And the transition to the disembodied side has to do with whether or not a person has more work to do on this plane. So she stressed that it is more important that healing takes place than that a person's life be preserved.

GERMANY--Last winter some one in India showed a video about Peace Pilgrim, which impressed us very much and touched our hearts. If you will send me the video I will introduce this rare Western Saint to friends here.

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Upon his return to UN headquarters following his mission to Iraq in February, 1998, when United States was about to go to war, he remarked:

"There were millions of people around the world rooting for a peaceful solution and praying for us. This is why in Baghdad I said you should never underestimate the power of prayer. When we pull together from across the world and work to solve a problem, we almost always can do it. On these crises, when the world comes together, things happen. Together we are the ultimate power.


I am grateful for the PEACE PILGRIM book. I found it powerful, touching, inspiring, and transforming. I wonder if there is someone who reads this book and was left untouched or untransformed. I am who and what I am now because of this book. I am a happy and peaceful person. I am actually on my own pilgrimage for peace, though I am not walking like my friend Peace Pilgrim. She is still on the pilgrimage in her spirit. Remain in the Peace of Christ which Peace Pilgrim brought and practiced.


The life of Peace Pilgrim has made a profound and positive impact on my life. Currently I am working with the Ketchikan Youth Peace Group in Alaska. I would like to see them form into a Peace Prayer Group. Please send us books and ideas and prayers. (We sent 20 Compact books, 50 Steps, half hour video and then received another letter):

The Newsletter gave me hope and inspiration and we are going to read segments of it at Ketchikan Youth Peace group meeting. Spreading Peace Pilgrim's message of love is a very important job. She was the real thing--a living saint. This fall we started a Peace Pilgrim study/prayer group.

TAIWAN--from a Missionary Sister--You have an inspiring and important message to give to our world today. Thank you for all your wonderful work to make this message and spirit known. God's blessings on your pilgrim journey.

A PRISONER--What a most wonderful experience PEACE PILGRIM is. Halfway through the book I started praying for her and giving thanks to God for her work and my opportunity to meet her. I started reading the book slower, and slower, savoring every word and not wanting to ever finish it. Alas, it came to an end, but I had underlined many things. Now I usually pick it up each day and continue going through it regularly, much the same as I did with her little booklet before you sent me the book.

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Walking Your Talk--Excerpts from an article by Janis Wolff, a psychotherapist in Palm Springs, published in THE DESERT WOMAN

As I re-read PEACE PILGRIM, which I have done frequently since its original publication in 1982, I was again struck by the apparent similarity of this extraordinary woman to a modern-day saint. If, by definition, a saint is a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence, this exemplary being emulated the ideal.

Like other contemporary examples--the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Thich Nhat Hahn--Peace Pilgrim demonstrated the ability of a human being to extricate herself from egocentric pessimism and worldly entanglements to attain the ultimate heights of human existence. Peace Pilgrim transcended the narrow and arbitrary boundaries of gender, race, age, nationalism, religion, politics, and materialism. She demonstrated throughout her life that the way to freedom, simplicity, and serenity lies in unconditional love.

The French writer, Maurice Barres, was asked, "What is the good of the saints?" He replies, "They delight the soul."

Your soul shall not be disappointed. If you read Peace Pilgrim's message in the book, PEACE PILGRIM, HER LIFE AND WORK IN HER OWN WORDS.


I gave all the booklets that you sent and would like to give more out. I do not push them on anyone. They see that I have changed my way of living. A lot of guards have told me that I have changed a lot in the last month or two. Before, I did not know how to forgive my self for what I had done to get here. But now I have forgiven myself.

About 3 weeks ago I got hit in the face by someone. Before, I would have hit back, but I know now that nothing good would come from that. The man that hit me and I are now really good friends. If the guards told me to do something I did not like I would tell them to take me to lock-up. Now if they tell me to do something I just do it. I have found inner peace. I'm still learning how to love others each day. I keep trying, and higher light comes to me. Now I look forward to living.

Thank you so much. I will pray for you all that the one who I call God will watch over you all.

We have found truth in this quote from an unknown source: Our lives are ordered and arranged for us in many wonderful ways if we allow it to happen.

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


by D.B. of Israel

After reading this letter together we (peace center staff) spontaneously started hugging each other. We are so happy to share this step toward peace: I am currently living in Israel's Western Galilee, where a Moslem friend and I (a Jew) have started a Jewish-Arab women's friendship group, inspired by Peace Pilgrim. We have about 20 women who meet every now and then to talk about things we have in common, rather than things that can push us apart. Recently, though, a depressing thing happened. A Moslem friend was asked not to work at a Jewish nursery school by a Jewish woman in the area. This Jewish woman said that she could be friends with Moslems, but that in education, the two peoples should be separated. I was so upset, shocked, hurt and hardened. I wrote the Jewish woman a letter in my anger, but then I realized what Peace Pilgrim would have said, you can't go head to head with hate. Love will overcome hate, eventually. Also, I read the words in the recent issue, "you have much more power when you are working FOR the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing." So I made amends with this Jewish woman who does not see clearly, and I will keep trying to invite her to our friendship group and show her how much better it is to live in harmony rather than fear. I have to show her by example, and be patient. Thank you for the inspiration and continuing to pass on the message.


Medecins Sans Frontieres, POB 110, New York, NY 10277

Imagine the desperate situation of the victims of some of the world's most brutally war-torn regions...the men, women and children suffering from the devastating consequences of ethnic hatred, famine and civil war.

Many have no family left, no food, no shelter and no escape from the continuing violence that surrounds them. Just when these victims think that they are completely forgotten by the world, they see the Doctors Without Borders team arrive and their hope is rekindled.

Doctors Without Borders' volunteers, who put their lives on hold to help victims of disaster, are making a real difference. They are motivating brave survivors to live, to cope and in many cases, to begin anew after a narrow escape from starvation, cholera or even war wounds.

Doctors Without Borders prepares in advance to respond wherever they may be needed. Within hours of a catastrophe, they are ready to send their volunteers in to help--and to support them with one of the world's most efficient logistical systems.

CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--I receive a Yoga booklet monthly which includes a passage from PEACE PILGRIM'S, but it is very short. I am a teenager and her writing helps me a lot in many ways.

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by Gordon Westerland,

Gordon has been a Friend of Peace Pilgrim for eleven years, sending books to prisoners, to India and giving them to many others. He was employed as a security guard on a college campus for thirteen years. The students gave him an award two years in a row for the most beneficial staff member. He was recently interviewed by Brent Woods for The "Westmont Horizon":

What I like most about my job is the people and the atmosphere. To me it's kind of like sacred ground up here, this is a holy place, a spiritual place. It is in the stillness and quietness that one becomes aware of the presence. I'm a little like Mother Teresa--I like to see God in everyone. She sees Him in the leper, she sees Christ in the people she serves. And I like to see Christ in the persons on campus &emdash; all the students, faculty and staff.

To me, there is not an inch in this universe where the Highest is not. I mean, God is omnipresent in every inch of space, in every particle, there is not an atom that the fullness of God is not in. That's why I get along with the students. What you give out you get back. You learn to see the good in them, the divine in them.

It has taken a lot to get rid of the ego. I asked a person in India, "How do I get rid of the ego?" She wrote, "It's not by thinking of the ego that you get rid of it. Put your mind on God and ego will take care of itself." It rang a bell; it seemed from then on I had God's blessing--day and night my mind went on God.

I lived in a high crime rate area right after Martin Luther King passed away. I knew that God is in everyone. There is not a spot where God is not. I found that to be very true. I lived in a Negro section at that time and worked on the graveyard shift. There were very few white people in that area; I was in their territory. The Black Panthers said that any white man seen after dark would be shot. But I walked by their area in the middle of the night for about three and a half years. In the three blocks where I walked, I counted seven lives taken in those years. But I left my doors unlocked most of the time. I had given everything over to Christ already.

It was only about a half a dozen times that guys came into my place. Most of the time I was there, and they would take off. I would come home and the place would be ransacked, but I thought it was no loss whatsoever because everything belonged to God. There is a verse in Job that says the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away and blessed be His name. So I thought, "The Lord has come in the form of these persons and He has taken away."

They had fun doing that, and I had fun cleaning up. I had suffered no loss whatsoever--just joy the whole time, even though I walked through the area and was held up a number of times. When I was hit over the head and knocked to the ground, I would get up and say, "I have nothing against you guys." Every one of them, except for the last person, would come back and apologize that they had roughed me up. They paid me back fully and their lives were changed. So, it was learning to see God in everyone.

In the 3 1/2 years that I walked through there to get to work I would usually leave about 3 in the afternoon and get back about 3 or 4 in the morning and I would walk through the alley ways. It was about a seven mile walk total, but it was learning to see God. I would have never known that God is controlling the black people and the white people. He is all controlling. There is no power but of God (Romans 13:1). I would have never known that unless I had spent those 3 1/2 years just being aware of His presence. I said, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" and He spoke to my heart as if God's will was to go through the area, to start walking instead of driving because the buses weren't allowed in the area. The police were afraid to go through the area. This was in Portland, Oregon in the heart of the black section. I taught the black people there.

I'd be walking home and the black people themselves would stop me and would say, "Get in the car! Your life is in danger. You don't know my people. Get in the car!" I would get a ride home. They wanted to protect me. Actually, I was only held up once every three months. No matter what happened, I would say, "Oh Lord, is this it or not?" It was a dying of my ego during that time because there were times that I didn't want to walk home. Then I would pray to the Lord saying, "What you want done, not what I want. If you want me to go through the area, live or die, sink or swim, I'll do whatever you want me to do." It was a breaking down of what I wanted to do and saying, "Okay, Lord, your will be done."

It was truly glorious. It became like heaven walking through the dark alley. If I saw someone they would kind of freeze, seeing a white man. So I began to feel God's presence in the bushes and shrubs around. It was like I would wait on Him, kind of like a dog with instinct: "Go down that path. Go down this one."

One time, I was walking down the street. It was during the daytime, going to work, and the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "There is a bus behind you. Get on the bus." Later, I learned that my life could have been taken. Many times my life was mapped out to be taken, but it was like I was in God's hand. He protected me; I was doing what He wanted me to do. So it was kind of like dying of myself and what I wanted, saying, "Lord, your will be done in my life and in my heart." It was a learning experience. It was great! I was just practicing the presence.


by Reverend Theodore C. Sizing

I just finished reading your STEPS booklet given to me by a friend. I want to distribute it by mailing a copy to every parish pastor in every Catholic Diocese of which I am the Peace and Justice coordinator. Also, it is the ideal size to enclose in a Christmas mailing to family and friends.

NOTICE: Give a holiday gift from the heart. Order your Peace Pilgrim literature today without delay!


Christine Jemila Ericson shares her experiences of portraying Peace Pilgrim to audiences.

My first experience portraying Peace Pilgrim in a "Living History" project was an auspicious beginning. I was scheduled for an elementary school in Carolina Beach, NC, a small resort town. Only when I got to the school that morning did I find out that I had been booked into a kindergarten class! In preparing a talk suitable for an older age group I had practically memorized the book.

But now, what to do with five-year-olds! I went to the cafeteria, which was deserted that early in the morning, and sat on the edge of a table to compose my nerves! Here I was planning to portray a being at perfect peace with herself and the world and I was flat-out terrified!

I sat very still and called on Peace. My plea went something like this: "I don't know if you can hear me, dear friend, but I am asking you for help. I want to share you with these children in a way that will give them your message. I need to feel the spirit of peace which pervaded you so that they will feel it from me." I was asking her spirit to guide me. I wanted so deeply to portray the essence of her and her message faithfully. Well, a lovely quiet sense of certainty and joy came over me. I knew that she was wholeheartedly with me and approving of me. I was reminded of all my years of working with children of all ages as a teacher and friend. There was nothing to fear. I might not use her exact words this time, but my way with children and her message would combine perfectly.

A custodian appeared and asked me about my tunic. I told him about Peace Pilgrim. I think I gave him a Steps Booklet. He was thrilled. He said he felt wonderful just standing by me and talking with me. I bounced down the hallway with Peace Pilgrim's purposeful stride, beaming at everyone I passed (who, startled, beamed back). I entered the classroom on time and had an amazing sojourn with that class of twenty kindergartners and two teachers.

I don't remember much of what I said. I showed them on a map on the wall how many times 'I' had crossed the country. They counted with me. I showed them how I swam in streams and washed my clothes to keep clean when no shower was offered. I talked about peace and love, and taught them a song. The teachers were flabbergasted (I wonder what they thought they had ordered as a speaker?) and asked me lots of questions. To them, I WAS Peace Pilgrim. I explained that I was an actress portraying her, and not really her. They agreed with my feeling that the distinction would be lost on such young children, so I didn't try to explain it. The teachers said to me, "It doesn't matter anyway. You ARE her. You're the real thing."

The children sat spellbound for the whole time (and 45 minutes is a long time for kindergartners to sit still!) As I was about to leave, the children spontaneously came up to me one by one where I was kneeling on the floor saying goodbye. Each one hugged me, some for a very long time. I felt, and I know they felt, embraced by Peace and by all that is holy. Then as I was walking out, a boy caught my hand and said, "You know what? Peace makes you happy."

I drove home in a daze, thinking, "What have I tapped into here? Is this how it felt to be her? Is this how inner peace feels? Wow!"

At the opposite end of the age range, I once spoke in character as Peace Pilgrim before a well-known peace group. I was nervous about the speech because I had been told they were an intellectual group who spent a lot of time debating peace issues but not being very peaceful among themselves. A primary spokesman for the group was head of the Philosophy and Religion department at the local university. I suspected I was in for some hard questions. Most of the people there would know me personally as Jemila. Could I totally drop my own identity? I had to.

I asked my husband to assist me to get ready for the evening. I decided to walk partway to the meeting in character; he would drive by, then stop. I told him, "When you stop, just be yourself and relate to me as you would to her if it was really her you saw walking. Then offer me a ride to my next destination, and I'll accept a ride."

Well, it was quite a ride--we were both electrified by it. I really felt like her! I was filled with a bounding joy and great energy. I saw my husband clearly as an earnest young man interested in peace and in my pilgrimage. Dimly in the back of my mind I knew who he was and who I was, but the impression was faint indeed! What I was feeling in the moment was far more real and potent than our usual roles. As he took me into the church he explained to the chairman that I was already in character and would begin speaking whenever they were ready for me.

The talk was amazing. I effortlessly and enthusiastically presented her message to them, putting special emphasis on how groups can work together on peacemaking projects. I watched their faces as they came under her spell, forgetting that it was Jemila under the tunic. Then came the question and answer period that I had so dreaded. The professor fired his best shot, cynically and somewhat personally. I was astonished at the response that flew from my mouth. I laughed with delight and thanked him for asking such a wonderful, probing question! I had no judgment or fear. I welcomed any and all questions. I watched him melt.

The questions grew deeper, more personal. People began to ask for what they really wanted, for what they really needed, for what they really (maybe even unbeknownst to them) had come to the meeting hoping to find.


A second edition of "The Wisdom Tree" which makes an in-depth study of the world's major religions, is now available through Ocean Tree Books, P.O. Box 1295, Santa Fe, NM 87504, (505) 988-1412, $12.95. The author, Gary Guthrie, volunteers daily here at the peace center.

LIMA, OH--PEACE PILGRIM book changed my life.


My parents were medical missionaries in Nepal. I've lived all over the world. The last three years have been spent in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was here that grace has been showered upon me and one of these graces appeared in the form of a wonderful and holy woman from India. She asked me if I had ever heard of Peace Pilgrim. When I said no, she gave me the book; I read it and was so moved. Often I cried and laughed at the same time because I could see all my pain and mistakes and understand the way out at the same time. I marveled that I had never heard of Peace Pilgrim from others in my own country. It took a woman from India who was visiting this country to introduce me to her!

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DUBLIN, IRELAND--My niece in Iowa very kindly sent me your PEACE PILGRIM book. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I felt so close to her and I shall always keep it near my bedside to re-read over and over again. How I loved this great woman's spirituality and her sense of justice --such a joy in the world we live in today. She must be very close to our dear Lord. Perhaps she will request real lasting peace here in Ireland where there has been so much pain and loss of life in this wonderful little country of ours. I have three grandchildren in Northern Ireland. My daughter-in-law and her mother just missed that recent terrible bomb by one hour. Peace Pilgrim's life is an inspiration to all of us. God grant that one day we shall have peace in our world, no more wars.

IRELAND--A Sister called from Los Angeles. She will be returning to Ireland soon and wants to take as many books and STEPS as she can carry on the plane. We sent 275 STEPS and 2 books. She plans on calling for more books after she sees how many she can possibly take.

OHIO--Both of my parents served in the military during World War II and I know all too well how damaging war is to one's spirit. I couldn't help feeling Peace Pilgrim's presence as I watched the movie, "Saving Private Ryan"--her words reminding me that "If the right thing is established, the wrong thing will fade away of its own accord because all things that are out of harmony contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction." In my lifetime I have witnessed a collective shift in consciousness on a global level, and this gives me tremendous hope for this beautiful world that we are capable of co-creating.

WASHINGTON DEPOT, CT--I really enjoyed the PEACE PILGRIM book. It has truly transformed my life.

PHOENIX, AZ--A friend gave me the STEPS booklet and it was the best gift I have ever received.


From a founder of the Beyond War Movement, now called Foundation for Global Community: A note of gratitude for your lives and what you do for people and the planet. Without your actions and devotion we would not have the wonderful, helpful message and life of Peace Pilgrim. I know many people who have had life changes because you pass the message on to them. My grandson has been deeply affected and it is through him that I know and appreciate you. Her grandson is David Mueller, co-producer of the SPIRIT OF PEACE Documentary and now co-director with Khashyar Darvich, of the new documentary.


by Sarah Corson. This article was originally published by the Southern Institute for Appropriate Technology (SIFAT), 2944 County Road, Lineville, AL 36266.

Today, Cuba is one of the most literate nations in the world. Everyone in Cuba can read today unless they are mentally challenged or blind. The entire Cuban population under Castro has become far more literate than the U.S.

Education was one of Castro's priorities and after he came to power all Cuban children soon had a school close to their home. There were classrooms in factories and at the edge of fields for workers.

Sarah and her husband were living in Cuba in 1958 before Castro. Her husband was pastor of three Methodist Churches. They both taught classes in a college preparatory school. Many families were poor but wanted their children to have an education. Soon after Castro came to power he closed schools for a year to teach the teachers how to indoctrinate children. One of the things they taught was, "There is no God."

For 29 years Cuba was an atheist state where the Bible was condemned. Castro tried to erase any awareness of God from the minds of the Cuban people. Anyone who taught a child about God was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. Many Christians continued to teach Sunday School and served their time in prison cheerfully, sometimes winning prison guards or other prisoners to Christ.

After 29 years of persecution, Cuba Christians convinced Castro that he was wrong. In 1992, Castro asked the Communist party of Cuba to change their country from an atheist to a secular state. Castro stated that the Christians had convinced him that there might be a God after all because they had been such good citizens. Whenever he had asked for volunteers to help save the crops by working overtime, the Christians responded first, even though they had been mistreated. They literally returned evil with good. With love for their enemies the Cuban Christians changed a nation and won the right to worship God openly.

There is good in everybody, no matter how deeply buried.

--Peace Pilgrim

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Earl The Peacemaker, has returned to his pilgrimage celebrating Peace Pilgrim's 45th anniversary. For details about his train accident see NL 29. His leg was giving him trouble so he began taking rides most of the time. When Don Balch heard him interviewed on radio he invited Earl to dinner. Don told him,"I own a truck driving school and I would love to have you get your license. I think we can paint your truck for peace and you could make a little money and meet a lot of people and pass out your books."

Earl e-mailed us that after four weeks of training he plans to be "Trucking for Peace." Many newspapers have printed articles and pictures of him on his way. Earl Standberry's e-mail:


Jim Goodnow (see NL 26) is networking with veterans, collecting signatures on his petitions for world peace. He plans on joining the thousands on Nov 21-22 at the School of Americas in the continuing effort to close the School. (see NL 27) Please write or call your representatives. For more info: (202)-234-3440 Veterans for Peace: 1511 K ST. NW Suite 525 Washington, DC 20005.


Our first Internet search gave us 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"). Many of the atrocities in recent years in Central and South America can be directly linked to this school in Georgia.

From a women imprisoned for protesting the School of Assassins: PRISON IS A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE. To stand at Mail Call, among so many who rarely or never hear their name called, I find painful. My average day brings 10-15 pieces. The support, encouragement is life-giving. I thank you.

Long lines call for patience--a caring glance, a soft word of encouragement. Lack of privacy--private space is a loss for this spoiled, single loner. Noise--day and night--varies only in decibels. It assaults the spirit, mind and body. Steel furniture, cement floors, cinder block walls leave only the body to absorb sound. I must remind my middle-class self of the world's millions, starving, without food, clothing, shelter. Here all my needs are adequately met. Amen. Enough. Continue to hold me and all prisoners before God and the world. Justice for all is a misnomer. It is selective in our nation and the world. I encourage you, plead that you put as much pressure on our government as possible, by any means open to you to close the SOA. Wherever you are in this call to struggle for justice and peace, keep an attentive heart to the cries of the oppressed; the courage to face their oppressors will come to you.


A year-long Global Walk to express remorse for the Atlantic Slave Trade and to heal the history of racism.

If we do not acknowledge our history we cannot learn from it. This Pilgrimage is an opportunity to confront the reality of the horrors of slavery and to examine our attitudes and prejudices in the present day.

--Honorary Chairman, Most Reverend Desmond Tutu

Arthur Burton (see NL 15 & 25) is on this pilgrimage. For more information contact the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage at (413) 256-6698.

The pilgrimage started at the Peace Pagoda in Massachusetts and stayed overnight at the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts. There they saw the Gandhi statue and the Peace Pilgrim display. Bruce Nichols, who maintains one of our Peace Pilgrim websites, had walked five miles with them. Arthur introduced him to Hirofumi Nasu who had come from Japan to join the walk. Peace Pilgrim had been a great source of inspiration in Hiro's life. Bruce writes:

Hiro brought three books with him, one was PEACE PILGRIM. As the group was about to leave the next morning Hiro asked if he could touch her shoes.

The shoes were placed in the middle of the walkers who begin their daily marches with prayer. Lewis Randa, the director was so moved by this scene that he offered to loan the shoes to be carried to South Africa so Peace's presence could be more visibly with them. Hiro is now the bearer of the shoes and has promised to return them when the journey is over. He has them neatly wrapped in some red material and packed in a small back pack. The shoes go in the circle each morning as the group prays for a safe and successful journey.

We just received a letter from Patrick Jordan, of Montgomery, Alabama who met Hiro and saw Peace Pilgrim's shoes. He had just been in a monastery library and found STEPS. Back home he writes:

I noticed a colorful group of people at the Civil Rights Memorial across the street. I watched as some Buddhist monks strolled about with two flags waving in the wind. I asked one of the group what they were doing and he said they were on a pilgrimage for peace. I asked if he had ever heard of Peace Pilgrim. He smiled and pulled out his STEPS booklet. He introduced me to a smiling, kind Japanese man who was carrying Peace Pilgrim's shoes. He so graciously pulled them lovingly out of his pack and unravelled bright red tapestries, three layers, carefully wrapped. And lo, the shoes of Peace. As a Catholic I know a relic when I see one.

MONTPELIER, VT--The PEACE PILGRIM book is one of the most helpful books I've ever read.


by Irene Wade, 90 years old

I was driving from Solidad Prison where I had been visiting a young man I inherited from another Quaker who had moved away. The young man had no other visitors.

As I was driving home, I saw a woman walking just off the road. She was wearing a blue suit with the words PEACE PILGRIM printed on the blouse. I had heard about her from a friend in Watsonville. So I backed and spoke to her. When I said my name, she said, "Your husband walked several miles with me yesterday morning." This was quite a surprise to me since he was in Atascadero.

As it was getting dark, I asked her if she wanted a ride into Salinas and invited her to dinner and a place to stay all night. When we got home she asked for a typewriter. She spent the evening, except for dinner, typing letters.

She was to see my friends and give a lecture the next night so I promised to pick her up, wherever she might be on 101 and take her to Watsonville. She had walked farther than I thought possible that day and had walked a long way the two days earlier. She didn't say she was tired, however.

She gave a good talk and my friends were amazed when they saw she was with me. I learned a lot about her "plan to walk until there was peace in the world." She slept in my home again. I took her back to the places I picked her up both mornings. That is how she kept track of the mileage she walked.

She wrote me a note when she was coming to Atascadero the next time and had me make arrangements to speak at the Atascadero State hospital. She had the patients in the palms of her hands in a short time, and they understood her and what she talked about and they loved her completely. She stayed with another friend that night and that was the last time I saw her.

She would be very glad to know that her message is still going around the world. I still wonder if she made all the lectures on time. She didn't seem to be surprised about anything that happened to her. I am glad I knew her.

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AUROBINDO ASHRAM, INDIA--I am a volunteer compiling the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo on Health and Healing. (He offers to send us a copy.) While travelling in a bus I came in contact with this book PEACE PILGRIM. Although I have got the opportunity to read only 12 pages--but what I have found, I cannot express in mere words. I am from a different background. In my higher studies my subjects were criminology, psychology, ecology and environment. I have come in contact with so many criminals and a few were my friends. I have tried to change their minds but society does not allow them to change--still I am trying, still hopeful. After seeing this book I think my purpose can easily be solved. Asks for books.


When the president retired he warned us to watch out for the Military, Industrial Complex. Ann then wrote to him for support to end the Vietnam War and he wrote back: I continue to regard war as a wasteful and futile way to solve international problems. Moreover, I think that if all peoples in the world would make their true feelings known to each other and to their governments the possibility of war would be minimized and eventually disappear.

Let us people of the world who want to end the nuclear threat join Carter, Gorbachev, Senator Cranston, Oscar Arias, Franciscan Friars, many military men including General Lee Butler, retired Commander-in-Chief of the US Strategic Air Command. Let our governments know. Also US should join other countries to outlaw landmines that kill and maim.

SANTA CRUZ, CA--I had the good fortune of having heard Peace Pilgrim lecture at a church in Dallas, Texas in the late fifties or early sixties. I had the distinct pleasure of having met her after the lecture. No one had to tell you that you were in the presence of a saintly person--you could feel it. She was undoubtedly a highly illumined soul. I can never forget her.


by Shelley Grant

Although it has been some time since we sent a donation, we have continued to enjoy the newsletters with their inspiring stories from around the globe. If more people looked to that quality of news, no doubt there would be many more folks strengthened to put their attention on what really matters in life! Thank you to each volunteer and each reader for your unique and valuable contributions to creating peace!

I want to bring your attention to a grass-roots effort, currently in the USA but previously and concurrently in many other countries, to raise public awareness to the realities and potential dangers of GENETIC ENGINEERING. Because of its growing presence in foodstuffs and unlabelled products, it is an imminent and unrecognized threat to health, the environment, and all future generations.

FROM THE INTERNET--Your Internet site is marvelous! I am still exploring it. Thank you for your dedication and your wonderful work towards peace!

ARCATA, CA--since awakening to spirituality. Peace Pilgrim's message has been a major turning point, realization to higher light.

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Claire Townsend, who helped produce the Spirit of Peace documentary, (see NL 24 & 28) wrote this article for the January 1995 issue of Guideposts:

When I worked for a major movie studio I dreaded our weekly production meetings. For an entire morning the department heads wasted time jockeying for position in what had become a sinking ship. Our company had just been bought. Jobs were uncertain. We were looking out for ourselves, and team spirit had vanished. Stress racked me. Finally my body said, "Enough!" I developed physical problems. Eventually, my left knee gave out.

The injury slowed me down enough to take a good look at myself. While recovering, I devoted time to my spiritual life. It was almost as if my injury had brought me to my knees so that I could learn how to pray again. I rediscovered God's love. An inner peace comforted me. I felt happier, relaxed, strong enough to return to work.

There I found the weekly confrontations had grown more rancorous. One day as I sat at the big conference table, my body tensed. At my turn, I defensively stated my position. "Oh, that's a good idea," someone snapped. My nerves frayed quickly. I couldn't concentrate. What good was it to be prayerful at home if my sense of peace flew out the window the minute I came to work? The man sitting next to me slammed his fist on the table. "If we'd make a halfway decent movie," he shouted, "maybe we'd have something to sell." I can't take this, I thought. And then it occurred to me: Pray. Pray now.

I pulled my attention inward; I imagined that God's love was a light pulsing at the center of my heart. I let it expand within me until I couldn't contain it any longer. Love shot out of me like the beam from Luke Skywalker's light-saber in the movie Star Wars. It went straight to the heart of the person sitting across from me. My co-worker eyed me curiously. I smiled at her, and she smiled back. Hmmm. Working my way around the table, I "beamed" each of my colleagues, sending a silent message of God's love.

Then one of them challenged for the umpteenth time the value of a project I was promoting. I took a deep breath and tried to see things from his point of view. I realized I agreed in part, and said so. Someone else calmly suggested a compromise. We began working with one another's ideas instead of shooting them down. Tension eased. As the group relaxed, we became more creative in finding solutions that benefitted us all.

Prayer can reach anywhere, even into a conference room full of stressed-out executives. What had been the most dreaded part of my work week became instead a chance to expand God's love in the world--and that's good business.

DENMARK--I have realized, after reading STEPS, that my daily conversation with myself and God have given me strength.


The UN Commission on Human Rights called on all countries which have the death penalty to suspend it as a step toward complete abolition. And the European Parliament voted to condemn Russia and Ukraine--the first stage in a process that could end in expulsion--for violating the commitment to suspend executions, a prerequisite for membership in the Council of Europe.


by Lillian Benzinger

My life was transformed by Peace 14 years ago when I came across her book at a Benedictine Monastery where I had taken a blind friend for a retreat. I'll never forget the feeling as I read the book at one sitting--something I can't remember doing before or since--that at last I had a guide I could trust and relate to. She became my constant companion. I read the book to my friend the next day, and several times after that.

The message is not new, but it goes straight to the heart because Peace speaks in a simple way that everyone can understand...I have given Steps to several people in need of solace. It's such a practical, pithy little booklet, an excellent way to start on the spiritual journey.


I was introduced to Peace Pilgrim's teachings by a friend a year ago. When first reading Peace Pilgrim's small booklet STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE, the words were quite foreign to me. I have since gone through more of life's experiences and they have caused me to do some soul searching. In that search I've found my center, or the inner light within myself. When I read Peace Pilgrim now, I understand every word and relate it to the steps I have taken in my own life. There are some steps I have yet to take to pursue my ultimate goal in life, which came to me suddenly when I was standing in the ocean, letting the waves surround my body. It felt a lot like the way Peace Pilgrim described "the first glimpse of what the life of inner peace was like," in chapter two of PEACE PILGRIM.

I see so many people in my life that are searching for a higher being on the outside, instead of inside themselves. I want so much to help them in their search and encourage them that there is an inner light in them waiting to be found. I do know that if willing, they will find peace in their own time and at their own pace. Both Peace Pilgrim's pamphlet and book have helped me greatly, and I hope that they will help my friends realize they can overcome superficial troubles and face the world with optimism.

SPRAGUE, WA--Your books and newsletters are an inspiration for me--your books are hard to possess--they seem to melt away.


The Babemba tribe of southern Africa has a social structure with an elementary criminal code. Their close community living makes harshness unnecessary. A visitor was deeply impressed by the tribe's handling of antisocial, delinquent behaviors, which are exceedingly infrequent.

When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he/she is placed in the center of the village, alone, unfettered. All work ceases. All gather around the accused individual. Then each person of every age, begins to talk out loud to the accused. One at a time, each person tells all the good things the one in the center ever did in his/her lifetime.

Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. No one is permitted to fabricate, exaggerate or be facetious about accomplishments or positive aspects of the accused person.

The tribal ceremony often lasts several days, not ceasing until everyone is drained of every positive comment that can be mustered. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe. Necessity for such ceremonies is rare!

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In Zimbabwe a Sister writes that she can't express how joyful she is in receiving a box of books. When sharing them with others she gives them Robert Muller's DECIDE TO NETWORK message which starts out, "Use every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting you attend to express the message of peace. Affirm to others the vision of the world you want." To us she writes, "It is so inspiring getting to know how Peace Pilgrim has challenged the whole world and inspired people of different nationalities in various ways. The newsletter helps me not to relax and say, "I have reached my destination toward peace, but to keep working 'til glorious transformation.'"


Peace Pilgrim Center was given a beautiful calligraphy illuminating Peace Pilgrim's words: "NEVER BE IMPATIENT. ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME."It was made by a friend who wrote: I am in a hospital right now where I receive treatment for depression. I get in touch with many people who are longing for some guidance. I believe that Peace Pilgrim's literature can be of much value. You are doing such wonderful work, dear friends, that I would like to give you a little gift. I am a passionate artist as well as gardener. I know when I create I cannot be depressed. Making inspiring gifts is part of my healing. I hope you like it. [It's on our living room wall].


by John Saemann of Eugene, Oregon

The 3rd annual Ceasefire Oregon Gun Turn-in was planned months before the school cafeteria shooting in adjoining Springfield. But it took place just two days after the tragedy, getting a lot of attention (and many firearms). People bringing their guns for destruction were rewarded with gift certificates for food or merchandise (and on the following Saturday, with one dozen roses contributed by Rhythm & Blooms florists). We distributed dozens of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE at the gun turn-in and at the Community gathering in Springfield. The locale of the turn-in was seven miles north of Eugene in the little town of Coburg, whose police department volunteered doing the logistical support when others had different priorities. 152 firearms were brought in and destroyed, never to be a threat to life or limb again.

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