Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘peace’

The Peaceful Warrior

The Peaceful Warrior

Until now, the world was unaware of the day peace almost broke out among the planet’s nations. One day, someone tapped into the computers at the CIA, NSA, and DHS and put the entire world on alert by entering this smoothie recipe. Before anyone knew what was happening, China, Pakistan, India, China, Russia and North Korea were threatening one another with new and exciting smoothies. ALL weapons of destruction were converted into giant blenders, with a race to see which country could outdo the others in peacetime alternatives and smoothie diversions.

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Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and sliced
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 plum (European or Japanese), pitted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons applesauce

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Pour into tall glasses, serve and enjoy peace (for a change).

Great-Am-SmoothiesExcerpt from Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers by Gabriel Constans

From Trauma To Peace

From Trauma to Peace

Can we transform TRAUMA and its debilitating states of anger, violence and hate, to PEACE – compassion, forgiveness, hope and love? We can, and it’s beginning to happen in isolated regions of Africa.

Kamal, a young Rwandan boy, suffered many atrocities. The scenes of his mother dying of AIDS and his uncle being killed in front of him during the 1994 genocide were always before his eyes. A massacre he witnessed in a refugee camp in Uganda added to those terrifying images; images that were always in front of him, like they were happening today. The traumas of the past haunted him. They gripped him in fear and limited his ability to move into a hopeful future.

Then, a team of therapists brought TFT or tapping (a unique healing modality using the body’s meridian system) to the orphanage. Kamal began tapping, struggling to focus on the horrid past, but within minutes, he jumped up and shouted, “It’s gone! It’s gone!” He danced around the room. He pulled his therapist up and danced with him. He dashed outside and ran around joyfully. He came back in and hugged his therapist. He became free of the past. Kamal can now feel joy, and he can focus on his future.

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Jean Pierre, a Rwandan man, was forced to watch his wife and children being massacred. He was then attacked himself and left for dead. He bears the wounds from the machete on the back of his head. He heard about the miracle tapping the orphans were doing and came to ask for help. He too had nightmares and flashbacks for over 12 years. One of the therapist team members tapped with him, and he too got over his nightmares and his anger and hatred toward others. But the real telling change was not just relief of his suffering, it was his spiritual transformation. Three days later, he attended a church service at the orphanage where he said he had been given the gift of healing, and he volunteered to take three orphaned children into his home and raise them. He had his life back and was now reaching out with love and forgiveness.

There are now over 100 Rwandan community leaders using TFT to treat members of their communities, members like Jean Pierre and Kamal. The mission of the TFT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to spread the use of TFT and its profound benefits throughout the world. Many Rwandan and Ugandan therapists are already trying to help us do that.

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The TFT Foundation has developed and proven a model that can bring TFT training to any traumatized community, where the leaders can be trained to help their fellow countrymen. In three random controlled studies (two in Rwanda and one in Uganda – one published and two being prepared for publication), the results have been highly significant. Two-year follow-ups have demonstrated that the results not only last, but the symptom reduction improves over time.

The Foundation has documented the changes and healing of this region in Rwanda, and the beginning of the healing process in Uganda, over the last six years. The completion of the documentary, “From Trauma To Peace,” will enable us to share this model of healing trauma with many more regions of the world. The film will be of the quality needed for PBS and film festivals.

A mayor in the Northern Province of Rwanda commented: “People who I have never seen smile, are smiling. People who were not productive, are now productive.”

Please help the TFT Foundation continue sharing and expanding this transformational healing on a global scale. This film will help us create the awareness that entire traumatized communities can help themselves and others end suffering.

The film and its distribution will serve as a way to raise money to help the Rwandans, Ugandans, and others use TFT to help their countrymen. Your donation will go toward the completion of the filming, editing, promotion, and distribution of this important documentary. Additional funds from the campaign will go directly to the centers actually helping the people, assisting them to become self-sufficient and productive. People CAN break the cycle of violence and feel hope and joy again. Please help us in our efforts to bring peace to our world, one person–and one community–at a time, through TFT.

See more at Trauma2Peace.

Muslims, Words and Dr. King

A Muslim Reflection on Dr. King’s Legacy of Peace Through Words
by Najeeba Syeed-Miller. Posted 1/21/2013.
Follow Najeeba Syeed-Miller on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NajeebaSyeed

The shaykh with whom I studied ethics would speak nearly perfect Arabic throughout the day and address everyone in his path with great respect, even in the grammar of his speech. I asked him why he put such care into his choice of words, he would say, “Najeeba, most importantly, in the form of our words, we should pursue beauty and elevate discourse.”

His words and monumental effort in expressing himself in a way that was sublime has always stayed with me. In essence, he was establishing a confluence between the choice of words he used, their elegant arrangement, his affect and the cognitive functions of communicating. He rounded these together in every utterance so that each sound he made was calibrated to increase beauty in the world and create a relational quality in the way he spoke with others.

As I reflect on why Dr. King so profoundly affected my journey as a peacemaker, it is because he also exemplified that capacity to elevate discourse by harnessing the resources of language to move the level of discussion deeper and higher. In this process, his prose and speeches resonated particularly with those who knew his context. At the same time, they echo in ways that are illuminating with a universal radiance because they appeal to the heart, mind and soul at the very same time.

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As a Muslim, I have been taught the Qur’anic principles of engagement: To speak with the best words and with words of goodness when I am in a state of difference with another. Often in the past, I thought of this injunction as emphasizing the idea of persuasiveness. I have since found that there are other important aspects to these teachings that emphasize generosity and respect for the other in exchanges.

In thinking about the language of my teachers and Dr. King, I have come to recognize that one major element of constructing conversations that are beautiful in both form and process is this encompassing eloquence that can integrate emotional and cognitive approaches to social change.

It is easy to separate thought and emotion, to parse out the heart from the head. What makes Dr. King’s words drum in our hearts and minds far after we’ve first read them or heard them is the genius of his understanding that social justice is not merely an externally focused pursuit of rights;it is a rearrangement of the interior human landscape in how we see and feel about ourselves, the world and one another.

There is an element of slowing down, appreciating his text and speeches because of their sheer beauty. It causes me to listen both to the content and the orchestration of his language. I am engaged with the ideas and the emotional quality. He speaks of the greatest ugliness manifested by humanity in ways that push me to see that internally, I too, may be capable of such monstrosity if not for the vigilance necessary to keep my heart, mind and actions intertwined to actualize dignity and peace. He behooves us to respond with an ethical approach not just in action, but also in insuring that even (or especially) an enemy is never demonized nor dehumanized in our depiction of them.

So perhaps one lesson to glean from our celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is how we can move beyond competitive modes of talking, into a state of communal conversation that solemnizes an oath to speak with such careful thoughtfulness, so that the very act of forming a word is a sacred exertion of our highest sense of self.

Sex, War & Heroes in Liberia

From Nation of Change and Gritt TV
by Laura Flanders
31 December 2011

“Nobel Peace Prize. Author of ‘Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War’, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement.”

Peace making is a local affair, says activist Laymeh Gbowee, co-founder of the Women’s Peace Network in Liberia in this interview with Laura Flanders recorded just weeks before Gbowee won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Author of Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, Gbowee talks here about where the US and foreign NGOS go wrong in post-war countries and what there is to learn from the success of the LIberian women’s peace movement. After their success, helping to end to a decades-long civil war in 2003, the women of Liberia became heroes. But no one saw them that way at the start, says Gbowee. When they marched in the rain, camped in the blazing sun, and blockaded the doors of peace-negotiations they were confronting the warlords largely alone.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was first elected, she was hailed as her continent’s first democratically elected female leader, but outsiders were skeptical about her campaign — and her chances — it was grassroots women who supported her at the start, and women who backed her re-election this year. Sirleaf, who demanded a women-only UN peace keeping force in Liberia and attention specifically to women’s empowerment as a peace-making strategy, was another winner with Gbowee of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The Women’s Peace Network has now been celebrated in Abby Disney’s documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. (featured on GRITtv in 2009.) This is part of a longer interview. The full conversation will be featured later this year, in the upcoming Laura Flanders Show.

Watch video and interview at Nation of Change.

Religious Leaders Reject Violence

African Council of Religious Leaders
Religions of Peace
24th November 2011
Marrakech, Morocco

Mid-East and North Africa Religious Leaders Reject Violence And Call for “Contracts of Mutual Care” Among Abrahamic Faiths

Marrakech, Morocco — Senior religious leaders from the Middle East and North Africa rejected violence and called for deepened multi-religious collaboration as the region undergoes historic transformations.

The religious leaders and representatives, from Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Turkey, Kenya were convened by the Religions for Peace Middle East and North Africa Council. They were joined by representatives from the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Islamic Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). Other participants came from US, Japan, Peru, France, Nigeria and Norway, and were joined by the representatives of the African Council of Religious Leaders, European Council of Religious Leaders, Latin American Council of religious Leaders and the Asian Council of Religious Leaders.

The participants reiterated the urgent and irreplaceable importance of enabling the historic faiths in the region—Islam, Christianity and Judaism—to work together for the common good of the people in the region.

Calling on the religious and faith communities to “unite on the basis of shared values,” the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser noted in his message that this was the only way to “build flourishing communities committed to just peace across the region”. He noted that the religions in MENA “continue to shape the hearts and minds of millions across the region.”

While condemning fanatics and extremists who call for, and cause violent confrontations in the region, the Secretary General of the OIC H.E. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu noted that these conflicts had nothing to do with religion, but rather its mis-use.

The Director General of ISESCO Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri condemned the manipulation of religion for political ends. He cautioned those who interpreted the scriptures out of their historical context, stating that this was a dangerous trend that should be stopped. Terming the Religions for Peace North Africa and Middle East Council as „needed‟ in the region, Dr. Altwaijri asked everyone to support this regional body. He lauded Religions for Peace for helping the religious leaders in establishing the body.

Presenting during the meeting, Prof. Mohammed Sammak proposed for the introduction of a Muslim-Christian Contract as a first step in the establishment of „contracts of mutual care‟ among the Abrahamic faiths. Prof. Sammak, who is also the Co-President of Religions for Peace International stated that the destiny of the Middle East and North Africa peoples was inseparable. Prof. Sammak noted with disappointment the dwindling population of Christians in the region, and called on the Muslims in to reverse this trend by protecting the Christian minorities. Prof. Sammak described as total violation of the Shariah, Ahadith and the Constitution the burning of places of worship.

The High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations H.E. President Jorge Sampaio noted with satisfaction the initiatives taken by Religions for Peace International in strengthening inter-religious dialogue in the MENA region, calling it one of the most important ways to secure just peace and dignity for the people of the region. Introducing the MENA Council, Religions for Peace International Secretary General Dr. William Vendley, who also serves as its Interim Secretary General, thanked the religious leaders for taking bold steps to engage in dialogue and practical ways to strengthen multi-religious cooperation in the region. The Mufti of Jerusalem H.E. Imam Mohammed Hussein called for co-existence and dignified life for all people in the Holy Land.

The MENA Council meeting comes in the backdrop of political transformations, violence and instability in the Arab World. The religious leaders, through the MENA Council are taking steps to prevent mis-use of religion as the region undergoes these transformations by working together and strengthening the multi-religious platform.
The theme of the meeting was „Engaging Historic Faiths to Advance the Common Good in the Middle East and North Africa‟. Secretaries Generals of the African Council of Religious Leaders, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, European Council of Religious Leaders Mr. Stein Villumstad, Latin America Mr. Elias S. and Deputy Secretary General of the Asia Conference Religions and Peace Rev. Hatakeyama Yoshitaka were in attendance.

For further information Contact
Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali
Secretary General,
African Council of Religious Leaders
The African Council of Religious Leaders,
25 Othaya Road, off Gitanga Road:
P.O. Box 76398 – 00508, Nairobi, Kenya,
Tel: +254 20 3862233 / 3867879: Fax: +254 20 3867879
Cell Phones: +254 727531170 / +254 737531170:
Email: secretariat@acrl-rfp.org

Flash Mob Meditations

From Positive News (October, 2011)

“Flash Mob” meditations awakens public interest!

Hundreds of meditators are converging in public spaces in London to take part in ‘flash mob’ meditations. The pre-planned events have startled passers-by when, following a signal, groups of strangers seemingly going about their business have suddenly sat down to meditate together.

Since June 2011, events have taken place at Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and City Hall by the river Thames. They are coordinated by Wake Up London, a group of 16 to 35-year-olds inspired by the teachings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Wake Up London believe the flash mobs are a demonstration of peace and show how anyone can sit down and experience inner silence, even in the centre of a huge city.

Elina Pen, a member of the group, says the events raise awareness of the joy of meditation while enabling people to unite as a multicultural group of all ages and backgrounds.

“We are a microcosm of the rest of the world here in London,” says Elina, “and we are very proud of that fact.”

Marie Kennedy, also a representative of Wake Up London, adds: “Meditating together creates so much peace, within and without.”

Simultaneously, significant numbers have been gathering together in the more traditional setting of the Swiss Church in Covent Garden, for group practices of transcendental meditation ™, organized by a new charity, the Meditation Trust.

“Over the past few months, diverse meditation groups have seen a significant and what seems to be a spontaneous growth in interest and enthusiasm for group meditation experience,” says Colin Beckley, director of the Meditation Trust.

Marie Kennedy agrees. “This has gone global. There are more and more groups being created every day; pods of meditators.”

Wake Up London is working with an international movement called Med Mob, which is coordinating meditation flash mobs across the world at around the same time each month. Fourteen groups are involved in the UK, from Aberdeen to Brighton, as well as many more globally.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT POSITIVE NEWS.

Multi-religious University

Religious leaders launch new multi-religious university in Claremont
Sept. 6, 2011 | Corey Moore | KPCC

Leading clergy from the Southland and beyond have launched a graduate-level institution that will emphasize Jewish, Muslim and Christian theology.

The clergy are hailing the new Claremont Lincoln University as the first multi-religious educational program of its kind.

During an event Tuesday South African ambassador Ebrahim Rasool said the university will help establish a new generation of theologians and clerics.

The goal is, “Connecting citizens with the overarching purposes which are divine, in order to create a world that is more sustainable, that is socially just, that is at peace with itself and that is able to overcome many of the challenges through compassion,” he said.

Students, leaders and speakers – representing the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths – noted that the opening of the university coincides with the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Some of them said the launch underscores the need for better ways to educate religious leaders.

Faculty member Najeeba Syeed-Miller said the new program at Claremont resonates with her.

“For me, engaging in this project is not despite my Muslim identity, it’s because I’m a Muslim that I seek out to have a conversation with people of other faiths and traditions,” she said.

The school’s effort to become a more interfaith institution has met with some resistance. The United Methodist Church – long associated with Claremont – last year reportedly railed against the move.

Since then, school officials have pushed ahead to launch a university that will house three programs. They include the existing course of study for Christian pastors-in-training, another for rabbis, and a third for imams.

Third-year divinity student Vera Alice Bagneris said she’s grateful to participate in the new curriculum.

“So we’re coming together in a table of dialogue where each gets to wear their own clothing. So the Christian gets to be Christian. And the Jew gets to be Jew,” she said.

The namesakes of Claremont Lincoln are trustee David Lincoln and his wife, Joan. They donated $50 million to help establish the program. The new university is part of the century-old Claremont School of Theology. The school enrolls more than 300 students in masters and doctoral programs in religion and counseling.

Massage Gratitude

My mother gifted my sweetheart and I some massages throughout the year and it has been such a blessing. We are very grateful. Not only for the massages, but also for the person who has graced us with her presence and touch.

Cathy, at Nourish in Santa Cruz, has been fantastic. No matter how stressed or uptight we are, she is able to provide her golden touch and knowledge and go right to the places that need the most work. Within a short time, we here ourselves saying “Ahhhhh”, taking deep breathes and sinking deeper into relaxation.

It’s not always easy to find someone that has just the right amount of experience and intuition and is able to provide just the right amount of pressure – strong, but gentle. Luckily, we have found her or perhaps she found us. Who’s to say?

We are well aware that most people do not have this luxury and wish everyone did. Being touched and cared for physically can make such a difference with everything else. We are grateful, not only for my mother’s gift, but also for Cathy and all those like her, who bring a little more peace to the world.

Summer Garden Peace

Ah, sitting in our summer garden, surrounded by life and beauty.

Feed One Another

Soil for the garden. Soil for the soul.
Fertilizer and dirt, filling the boxes bowl.

Digging deep into the earth with aching hands,
bringing peace, with results which will be unplanned.

Pulling back the drip irrigation hoses,
to get to the weeds and part the earth like Moses.

It’s looking good, rich and dark, like the great Mother.
Enriching nutrients to feed one another.

Now comes the seeds, springing forth with ecstasy,
filling our hearts and minds with evergreen fertility.

Arise, spread and flourish,
plants filled with life which forever nourish.

Soil for the garden.
Soil for the soul.
So rich and beautiful, I have to let it go.

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