Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Teresa

Blessed are the Peacegivers

Anti-war or Peace Activist
Ron Alexander

Peacemaking - How can you "make" peace? How can you make people have peace? Lord, I have tried and tried. I have posted on blogs, sent many emails, letters to editors, made sarcastic remarks, argued, prayed, attended peace vigils, and marched in anti-war parades.

My dear Brother was killed in Viet Nam, quite an impetus to be a “peacemaker”. I was in the Army, and because of him, not in Viet Nam. Barry volunteered to pilot medivac copters, a dangerous mission, as he wanted to save lives rather than kill. He loved the Vietnamese, and all people, that I know of………he was a special beautiful person!

Going to the Viet Nam War Memorial (The Wall), while participating in a Peace March, and getting Barry’s smudge (trace of his name) was a very cathartic experience for me. The long peace march to the shadow of the Pentagon was like flowing in a tide of wonderful humanity, including many youth and Iraq vets and their families. Sure there were radicals from both sides, but overall, walking in peace united in purpose with a large group was wonderful and healing.

When I have found myself in a fighting-rebellious atmosphere in my family and workplace often “making peace" has been like beating my head against the wall. Interestingly, in the old times, guns were called “peacemakers”.

So If I can't "make" peace, what can I do? How can I be a peace blessing to my friends, my community, my family, and the world? I bless myself with a peace of mind first, and then bless others by bringing them my peace - not my arguments, sarcasm and anti-war opinions. It is helpful, to not resist their ideas but listen thoughtfully, ask gentle questions, with possibly a subtle hopefully humorous rebuttal, or at best remain silent and radiate my love and peace . I joyously expect to be the "blessed peace giver"! This newly found philosophy has been much more successful than trying to be a peacemaker, at least to my own peace of mind. Being peaceful takes constant attention for me. If I find that I am having angry fearful thoughts, I go to work on my thinking. My favorite tools are
meditating (Vipassana, I find is deepest) reading inspirational literature, and journalling inspirational sentences & affirmations daily. Moment to moment, I find peace within by praying without ceasing. This deep peace at the center of my being radiates outward to all that I meet and beyond! I am so grateful!

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Ten Days of Silence for Peace of Mind
Ron Alexander

After I returned from a ten day silent Vipassana Retreat, I have been asked "Why would you even want to be in silence for ten days?" That was a good question. I would have thought it crazy, if I had not seen the "Dhamma Brothers" documentary, about the amazing transformation of lifer prisoners (some convicted murderers), after they spent ten days of silent Vipassana Meditation.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and was started by Gautama Buddha 2600 years ago. "...Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any 'ism'. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when the wisdom arises-the wisdom of observing reality as it is-this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action-action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others." S.N. Goenka "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation".

Science also supports the premise behind the Buddha’s meditation, as can be read about in Tolle’s books including identifying with inner space instead of form.

Daily eleven hours of meditating was not easy, many times I felt like just bolting. However, I am glad I didn’t. I am meditating more and more effectively experiencing much more peace and joy.

Goenka advises practice – “persistence, and you will succeed and end with a ‘Metta’ (Loving Kindness) prayer:
May all beings be happy, be peaceful, be free!”
You are Light.

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