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Welcome to Our Special Peace Issue! By Eric Kasum, Guest Editor Founder of the IMAGINE Peace Conference at UC Berkeley, and The LIVE PEACE Institute, a think tank for Peace
Thank you for joining us for this special Peace issue. Peace is a central question of our time. It's about planetary oneness, unity, dispelling the myth of separation, and embracing the idea that "there is no them." Peacebuilding is a key element in Barbara's mission to birth a new era. We must have peace and conflict resolution hubs around the world in order to create her vision for Birth 2012.
In this issue we feature exciting ideas and breaking news on how to build a Culture of Peace, with a special focus on the Summer of Peace. You'll love Barbara's video! With her usual eloquence and youthful "joie de vivre," she builds a bridge between peacebuilding and Birth 2012 and the important role YOU can play. We'll also teach you how to build a personal peace practice (such as Meditation) so you can create inner peace and build world peace at the same time. We'll also be featuring heroes of the Shift, "midwives" and "midhusbands" who are standing in their courage and taking action to ensure a peaceful Birth 2012.
We will deepen our love for ourselves and humanity. Most of all, we're going to have a great time doing it. Who says peacebuilding can't be fun?
By giving from the heart, you've helped us to create an amazing Birth Day Celebration. Our indiegogo.com fundraising campaign was a big success thanks to you!
Our goal was to raise $50,000 in 28 days to create a planetary Birth Day celebration and webcast on Dec. 22 with 100 million people to mark the start of a new era for humanity. And WOW, was it suspenseful! With only 3 days left, we still needed to raise $23,000. We held our breath as entered the final day. With only hours left on the clock, you helped manifest a big surge. Not only did we reach our goal of $50,000, we blasted right past it! Final tally: $61,667 (that's an average contribution of almost $75 per person). Barbara has always said that when you passionately visualize a goal, there is no stopping you. As usual, she's right! Thank you, everyone, for your heart-felt generosity. Here's a link where you can see your results: http://www.indiegogo.com/birth2012 You deserve to bask in a little glory!
"Spiritual Quest for Peace"
Is there a link between building inner peace and manifesting peace in the outer world? YES! says Philip Hellmich, Director of Peace at The Shift Network and author of the extraordinary new book God and Conflict.
We'll share more about Philip's incredible story in just a moment, but first:
If you're like most people—wrestling with a busy life, a stressful job, challenging relationships and financial obligations that sometimes feel overwhelming—you're probably wondering: How can I have more peace in my life? We asked Philip for his secrets on how to create more inner peace, and how we can make peacebuilding a practical way of everyday living.
If you've tried to build a meditation habit and you've found it elusive, you know it's not as easy as it sounds. "It will be challenging," Philip says, "but life-changing." Philip meditates for as much as 2 hours daily and for 4 to 6 hours on the weekend. The secret, he says, is building a meditation habit.
Philip's journey began when he joined the Peace Corps just out of college and served for four years in Sierra Leone in West Africa. "I thought it was a good way to serve and gain life experience," he says. "In hindsight, I can see how it was much more than that. There's been an invisible hand guiding me along the way."
James O'Dea spoke about the breaking news of increasing violence in Syria and the terrible shootings in Aurora, Colorado on a special call this week with Stephen Dinan.
"What's happened is heartbreaking and we hold those people in our hearts," James says. "It would be so easy to hate, to call for vengeance against the people who committed these terrible acts of violence. But that's the easy path. The more difficult path is not to hate. Instead, ask yourself: Where is the wound? What is the real nature of the wound that created this violence in Colorado? What could wound a person so deeply that they would do something like this? What is the nature of the wound in Syria? When you locate the wound you go into a different place, a place of stillness and reach, an empathic state. You can move out of the illusions and the stereotypes. Ultimately, peacebuilding is about looking deeply for the wound and trying to heal it...."
"There is often a gap between understanding the concepts of peace and actually knowing how to put them into action," James says. "There are two steps: First you must know it, then you must have the tools and practical knowledge of how to apply it."
To bridge this gap, James has created a new course—the "Cultivating Peace Method"—which starts August 14. James describes his new course as: the "Essential Toolkit" for the peacemaker. Here's a link: http://theshiftnetwork.com/CultivatingPeaceMethod
Avon Mattison and her team at the Culture of Peace Initiative and Pathways to Peace are working with more than 5,000 Mayors for Peace in 153 countries & regions, teaming up with Jean Trudel, founder of Circles of Peace, and Fred Arment, founder of International Cities of Peace, to create a wave of celebrations on the International Day of Peace. "It's a peace wave, a tsunami of peace events," Avon says.
From Montreal to Winnipeg, Victoria, BC to Ashland, Oregon, from New Zealand all the way to Honolulu, cities are planning to host events on the International Day of Peace this September. The Mayor of the city of Paris is also working with the International Day of Peace NGO committee at the United Nations, on which the Culture of Peace Initiative and Pathways to Peace sit as co-chairs. These events will feature a "Minute of Silence, a Moment of Peace," an initiative started 30 years ago by Avon Mattison and David Wick of Pathways to Peace.
A recent Time magazine report broke this stunning news: There are more deaths by suicide in the U.S. military than from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This makes the upcoming "Peace and the Military" event more important than ever. "Peace and the Military" is now officially a part of Summer of Peace and is being jointly sponsored by The Shift Network, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and 3P Human Security (an initiative of the Eastern Mennonite University). It will be a working conference to be held on Sept. 19-20 at the U.S. Institute for Peace in Washington, D.C. Attendance is by invitation only (about 100 people are being invited); 80 percent will be working sessions and 20% will be broadcast live. Stephen Dinan, Philip Hellmich, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, and James O'Dea of the Summer of Peace "Wisdom Council" will be there.
The Summer of Peace was born many years ago when I received a clear vision while sleeping, which woke me in the morning with a "Wow!"
What if we took ALL the best transformational practices and teachings and applied them to making a profound difference in eradicating violence using an integral approach: the best science, spiritual teachers, and frontline change leaders?
We could build from one single day of peace, "the International Day of Peace," building momentum through a whole summer and empowering the shift to the culture of peace we all know in our hearts is the highest possibility for humanity.
The Summer of Peace 2012 is thus a bridge between the culture of violence we've all witnessed and something far juicier, connective, collaborative, and creative.
Stephen's Recommendation: Check out Michael Singer, author of Untethered Soul and a close ally of Shift, on Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" show at 11 am ET/PT August 5 airing on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (it will also stream worldwide on www.Oprah.com and on www.Facebook.com/OWNtv)
This week we will celebrate efforts to create urban peace, including a conversation with Pete Carroll, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Plus, our Spirituality and Peace session opens Sunday with Anette Carlstrom from Sweden.
To listen to the Urban Peace recordings, and the rest of the Summer of Peace tele-summit, click here.
Featured free SOP teleseminar this week: Frontline Peacebuilding As A Model For Large Scale Change with Pete Carroll and Brian Center
Thursday, August 9th, 11:00am to 12:00pm
Summer of Peace schedule for the week of August 5th: (All sessions are at 12:00 noon US Pacific except where noted.)
Sunday at 9:00am: Spirituality & Peace Sunday with Anette Carlstrom
Monday at 5:00pm: Raising Consciousness to Facilitate a Choice of Heaven Over Hell with Steve Leeper
Tuesday: What Cease Fire Has Done, Why it Works, and Spreading the Idea with Dr. Gary Slutkin
Wednesday: The International Cities of Peace Movement with J. Frederick Arment
Thursday at 11:00am: Frontline Peacebuilding As A Model For Large Scale Change with Pete Carroll
& Brian Center
Thursday at 5:00pm: Peace Activator Call: Share Your Peace! Starring: YOU!
Friday: Urban Peace with Nicole Lee
Peace Activator Call—Share Your Peace!
The Summer of Peace is a celebration of all our efforts to create peace! There is a wave of peace emerging around the world and we are all part of it! We would love to hear what you are doing to create peace in yourself, family, school, community, the environment and beyond! Be sure to call in on Thursday, August 9th at 5:00 p.m. PT.
In this issue of the Catalyst we'd like to profile a hero of peace, an incredible woman named Rita Marie Johnson, founder of the Rasur Foundation and creator of BePeace. When she learned that Costa Rica had permanently abolished its army, she was so inspired that she moved there.
Costa Rica is a test case for what happens when a country does not spend all of its money on military. It has the highest standard of living, highest quality of life, highest literacy rate, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in all of Central and South America. It is a shining star. While its neighbors have suffered from military coups, dictatorships and devastating civil wars, Costa Rica has been absolutely free from all of these heartbreaks. Its former president Oscar Arias is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and the United Nations has its University for Peace in Costa Rica . . . for good reason!
Rita Marie came up with the idea to create a Ministry for Peace in Costa Rica (which would be like the Pentagon or Dept. of Defense only in reverse; it would be a cabinet-level department working for Peace). With the support of Nobel laureate Oscar Arias, Rita Marie worked hard to create it. Costa Rica made history when it became one of the first nations in the world to create a ministry for peace, mostly because of Rita Marie's efforts.