“Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual
path without the selfish motive
of seeking inner peace, for they shall find it.”
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New Peace Pilgrim Documentary in Spanish
|The documentary film,
“PEACE PILGRIM: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk”
will soon be available in Spanish upon request in DVD. First released
in English in 2002, with the leadership and coordination of Mary
Newswanger the film, approximately one hour in length, has now been
translated and equipped with an excellent sound track and narration
The film was translated with the capable help of Montserrat Arribillaga
and narrated by well-known Costa Rican documentary filmmaker José
Cortés. Filmmakers, Khashyar Darvich and David Mueller, tracked
down previously unknown archival footage of the very earliest years
of Peace Pilgrim’s pilgrimage_beginning in 1953 and continuing
through the ‘60s and ‘70s_as well as the more familiar
images of her later pilgrimage. Drawing on the late filmmaker Claire
Townsend’s documentary work, they chronicle the early years
of Peace’s life with intimate interviews with Peace’s
family and friends which are sensitive and insightful.
The Newswanger Family: Mary, husband Elias,
and children David and Amos in Costa Rica.
Peace Pilgrim’s life and work is placed in the
greater historical context illustrating the relevance of her life and
teachings to our world today. While filming new material for the documentary,
Darvich and Mueller interviewed the Dalai Lama, world religious leader
from Tibet, and Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of
the United Nations and chancellor emeritus of the U.N. University for
Inspiring interviews were also filmed with well-known North Americans_author
and environmentalist John Robbins, actor Dennis Weaver, and poet Maya
Angelou, among others_each affirming the depth of her message for peace
and its significance to the entire world.
Mary Newswanger shares about this project, "I spent most of this
week in San José working on the film with Fabio. We did it! The
Spanish version is finished!!! I finally saw the entire film with José's
narration and that was very moving to me after imagining how things
might be for so long. I love the result. After this intense, shared
work experience, I have a better understanding and appreciation of what
Peace Pilgrim may have meant."
When I finally saw the end result of our work on the Spanish version
of the film I began immediately thinking of how to use it. José
Cortés offered, when we first talked about the project a few
years ago, to arrange for it to be shown on television in Costa Rica
and a friend of his in California who does all the programming for Latin
America will arrange for it to be shown in the Americas.”
She continues, “I feel full to overflowing with wonderful things
happening on all sides. I feel very satisfied and fulfilled in this
work. The synchronicities abound in so many marvelous ways--both small
and mind-boggelingly huge and miraculous. I'm just glad we are part
of this flow of life and the impulse toward PEACE on this planet. It
feels good to be at this point and feel everything unfolding effortlessly
on its own.
This idea, like a seed in a hard shell lying long in the darkness of
the earth, has suddenly emerged, and can now break through the surface
like a flower unfolding and growing toward the light to be an inspiration
for all to behold and to enjoy. I felt Peace Pilgrim very close all
this week with profound thankfulness that our small part has been played
and that her work can now continue to go forward on its own and continue
to grow as a living, breathing organism in a completely interconnected
The DVD contains the full version of the film in both English and Spanish.
When finished it will be available at:
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PO Box 2207, Shelton, CT 06484-2207 U.S.A.
Tel. (203) 926-1581 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Everyone lives in everyone else and everyone
lives in him in a family unity of the absolute." Marc
The awe of what
"When the soul quickens to the presence within
and finds expression in some act of special creativeness the
aspirant finds consummation." Helen
100th Anniversary of Gandhi's Work
September 11, 2006 represented the beginning
of Gandhi's mission and the birth of Satyagraha 100 years ago. Peaceful
ways lead to peace.
Extracts from a document adapted
by Nonviolent Peaceforce volunteer Derek Mitchell and Nonviolent
Peaceforce staff from the writings of Professor Michael Nagler,
Professor emeritus and founder of the Peace and Conflict Studies
program at University of California, Berkeley.
One hundred years ago a historic meeting
took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, that would change human history.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, at the time a struggling lawyer, had arrived in
South Africa in May of 1893 to serve as legal adviser for an Indian
merchant. He quickly ran headlong into "man's inhumanity to man"
in the form of racism in the African colonies. He was thrown off a train
scarcely one week after his arrival for presuming to sit in a first-class
compartment for which he had a valid ticket. The affront precipitated
"the most creative night of his life," as he struggled with
his feelings at the cold, mountain station of Pietermaritzburg.
During that night, Gandhi overcame both his impulses to run back to
India and to fight the railway company. He decided instead to turn his
attention to the much larger questions of racial prejudice, injustice
and exploitation directed against his fellow Indians by the European
colonists. Gandhi launched a careful, stepwise campaign to rescue the
dignity and the rights of the 100,000 'free' and indentured Indians
in South Africa. The struggle was to last eight years. There were many
ups and downs and more than one bitter occasion when only Gandhi's vision
kept resistance alive, but in the end it conceived a new relationship
between Indians and whites in South Africa -- and a new method of struggling
On September 11, 1906 Satyagraha was born.
What is Satyagraha?
The term was coined after the Johannesburg
meeting, when the Indians realized that the prevailing expression for
the campaign they sought to wage, 'passive resistance,' failed to convey
the active vitality of their method and could also lead to fatal confusion
(as passive resistance, in the manner the term was used at the time,
did not rule out the use of violence). Satyagraha literally means 'clinging
to truth.' But 'truth' (satya) has broader meanings in the Indian languages
than it does in English. It does mean truth as opposed to falsehood;
but it also means 'the real' as opposed to the unreal or nonexistent,
and the 'good' as opposed to 'evil.' The tremendous work Gandhi would
go on to launch in India was based in this vision.
Satyagraha is a kind of force. It changes people for the better through
nonviolent persuasion. No matter how brutal and dehumanized people become,
the capacity for what Gandhi calls reason (or a kind of personal sensitivity)
is always there.
One of the basic principles of Satyagraha establishes: "Our actions
have far more consequence than the immediate, visible results."
In fact, it is perfectly possible that our efforts may 'fail' to deliver
the immediate result we want but succeed in doing more than we may have
"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you
friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.
My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source
in you. Let us work together for unity and love."
~ Mahatma Gandhi's Prayer for Peace
shared by Janine Fafard in Costa Rica
A warm welcome to our newest friends in the Enlace
Internacional circle: Harriet Sheeley and Tony Marino in the United
States and Daniel Navarrete in Ecuador.
Connecting to the Internet
Meaning of Relinquishments
Based on an interview with Mayte Picco-Kline
by Charito Calvachi-Mateyko on ‘Radio Centro’ WLCH,
91.3 FM in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with coverage in 4 eastern states
of the United States.
When we speak of relinquishments, are we saying
that we will relinquish worldly things?
It means that we learn to live with things we really
need, whatever our needs might be. As Peace Pilgrim said: "material
things have to be put in their proper place. They are here to be used,
to be used well; that’s why they exist. But when they are no
longer needed, we should be quick to give them away, perhaps to someone
who needs them even more. Anything you cannot relinquish when it has
exceeded its usefulness possesses you; and in this materialistic era
of ours we are very much possessed by our possessions".
Let’s speak of another type of possessiveness. Peace said to
us: "When we think we possess people we have the tendency to
direct their lives, which leads to extreme disharmony. Only when we
realize that we do not possess others, that they must live according
to their own internal motivations, only when we let them direct their
lives do we discover that we are able to live in harmony with them".
Here we are speaking of a true respect for others. In fact each of
us is solely responsible for our own life. As the great Mexican leader
Benito Juárez said so wisely, "respect for the rights
of others is peace".
Our mass media world sends us the message to monopolize everything
and to have everything. Does this mean that the spiritual world, characterized
by abundance, affectionate caring, and sharing with everyone must
be antagonistic with the ‘real’ world, characterized by
material scarcity and the constant drive to have as much of everything
A remarkable British economist, E. F. Schumacher, has written a book
about this from the perspective Small is Beautiful.
True success, independent of our economic resources, is to dedicate
our life to activities that encourage and support the spirit, independent
of isolated profits. Truly successful people have profits that involve
all their being and obtain a style of life that benefits, in addition
to a the individual, all to those around him. As David R. Hawkins
puts it, in its book, Power vs. Force, truly successful people
are courteous and considerate with everyone, treating all as equals.
"Truly successful people are not inclined to act arrogantly,
because they do not consider themselves better than others, only more
lucky. They see their position as a responsibility, an obligation
to exert their influence for the greater benefit of all". He
clearly explains, "Success elevates us or destroys us, depending
not on the success itself, but on how we integrate it in our personalities.
If we are proud or humble; if we are egotistical or thankful; if we
consider ourselves better than others because of our talents or we
consider our talents a gift, and for them we are thankful -- these
are the determining factors".
After our short break in the program, we’ve returned
to our topic, Mayte. Must the spiritual world, characterized by abundance,
be antagonistic with the everyday world in which we live day to day?
Each is a marvelous complement with the other when we remember the
presence of God in our lives. A fundamental element to be truly successful
is the knowledge that all we do is by the grace of God. God is the
power that moves the world. We are all ONE with GOD. True success
in life happens when we profoundly understand that we are an instrument
of God to do good, to bring peace and harmony to others, to do the
best we can for the benefit of humanity. This happens when we understand
from the depths of our being that we are messengers of the divine
word, and when we live to give the meaning of success is transformed
into a sublime activity full of love.
Can speaking of relinquishments be something that produces
a fear to give away joy in life? Do you think we can feel happy for
relinquishing certain things?
The word relinquishment has a great variety of meanings. It can be
interpreted as to give, to surrender, to stop, to leave, to dedicate
or to sacrifice. It can also be interpreted as to stop doing something
that causes great personal joy and from this perspective perhaps we
could use another word that better describes what we are speaking
about. In fact what I’m talking about is to consider the meaning
as to dedicate oneself to serve others, to reflect on making possible
pertinent life changes which facilitate a more profound spiritual
encounter with God, from the highest part of ourselves and from the
inner being, the soul, with the people we relate to and to those we
have an opportunity to serve. There is great joy in service to others.
What is it that I can achieve when relinquishing certain aspects
of my life?
Inner peace is the single and only source of happiness and each step
we take, each new activity we initiate and each thought and positive
feeling we have, allows us to bring harmony into life which will lead
us to reach inner peace. Peace comes to us when we learn to live according
to the laws of God and the universe.
Let us consider how each living entity on the planet evolves and develops
- "from a seed to a flower and seeds for new life again".
This model of life in balance can teach us something on how we can
plan and allow our lives to unfold - day to day. We can begin by asking
ourselves, does each day unfold in a balanced way? Are we making our
lives more complex than need be? If we found that this can be improved,
what opportunities exist to re-establish balance? In the book The
Tao of Inner Peace Dianne Dreher suggests we have these questions
Is there anything you wish
to delegate, eliminate or in any way simplify?
Is there anything lacking in your life?
Can you create space for it by reducing involvement in other areas?
She sees us as architects designing a beautiful structure which
we call - our life.
On this beautiful day I want to close this interview by sharing
phrases of the Sabian Assembly that encourage me to live a life
of abundance based on service to others.
I dedicate my world to God in every thought and act.
Whatever I take from life I accept as high responsibility.
The goods for which I strive are of eternal worth.
My riches have their source in God’s abundance.
photograph by Bruce Nichols
"There are people who cry knowing roses have
thorns. Others smile because thorns have roses”.
Shared by Guillermo Calderón
Prayer is essentially an act of love.
To learn to co-exist peacefully is to participate
actively in the generation of an amiable climate in the every
place we find ourselves.
I think peace is what every soul longs
for. For most of us it is something we have to keep inventing
as we go along. Because it means different things at different
Washington State, USA
Photograph by Bruce Nichols
Peace is the Way (index)
“The emotions of peace are compassion, understanding,
Compassion is the feeling of shared suffering. When you feel someone
else’s suffering, understanding is born.”
from “Peace is the Way” by Deepak
shared by Patti Hudson
Pennsylvania, United States
Appreciating Peace and her Work
||I believe that Peace Pilgrim’s
work was so immensely great and wonderful that in some form
it invites to us to follow in her steps, in my way of seeing,
an absolute necessity if we want to be one with God. (Adrianna
(We invite you to participate in this section by selecting
a phrase or sentence from the Peace Pilgrim materials. Please indicate
source and page.)
We must continue to pray for peace and to act for peace in whatever
way we can. (Emilia Kuri Cristino, México)
Ultimate peace begins within; when we find peace within there
will be no more conflict, no more occasion for war. (Zoraida Consuegra,
God is revealed to all who seek; God speaks to all who will
listen. (Rosemary, South Africa)