2018 Catalyst, Issue 15: Finding Common Ground - Summer of Peace
The Shift Catalyst — Finding Common Ground - Summer of Peace
By Philip M. Hellmich & Sister Jenna
For over two decades, Sister Jenna and I have been involved in peace-related activities, each in our own ways on the inner and outer levels. During this time, we developed a close friendship, supporting one another’s efforts to “be peace and act for peace.”
Combined, we have interviewed nearly 1,000 people in the past seven years about peace (Philip via the Summer of Peace and Sister Jenna via America Meditating Radio). From this bird’s-eye view, we know there is an incredible groundswell of positive peacebuilding trends emerging from inner to international levels.
Yet, the past couple years have been especially challenging as the rhetoric in the media has become filled with anger, blame, and extremism — Treason? — Collusion! — Fake News? — Violence! —Racism? — Russia!
We know how difficult it can be to stay centered and optimistic. We struggle at times ourselves. And we are convinced that in our deepest humanity there is the capacity for compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and, most importantly, love.
We have a dream that people of all political backgrounds, races, genders, religions, etc… will someday treat one another with dignity and respect, and work together to find common ground.
And that is why we invite you to become “solutionaries” who will be able to find a deeper meaning of your own life by listening to storytellers, experts, peacebuilders, and compassionate emissaries over three heart-opening days...
It is with great joy that we teamed up as co-hosts for The Shift Network’s upcoming Finding Common Ground — a free online summit taking place from August 7-9 that features people who are bravely seeking common ground — even with those who were once perceived as deadly enemies.
The summit will provide a roadmap for hope, inspiration, and practical insights and strategies on how to engage in today’s heated challenges in constructive ways. (To register for free, click here.)
Finding Common Ground is produced by The Shift Network as part of the Summer of Peace in partnership withLiveaMoment.com, along with numerous organizations that are leading the charge towards a calmer, more humane planet. LiveaMoment is a groundbreaking new app platform for daily mindfulness that combines the action of cultivating individual peace with connecting globally for moments of pause, all while raising funds for peace initiatives around the world.
You will absolutely LOVE Finding Common Ground! We have been moved to tears multiple times by the authentic deep sharings from the heart and the real-world wisdom of these notable experts and educators.
And be sure to use #summerofpeace in all of your social media sharing!
Peace is active, not passive. You can’t sit back and wait for peace to come to you. You must work for it. You must shake off your apathy and demand it. This is not always easy in a culture of war, such as we have in the U.S., but it is necessary. It is clear that war makes great demands on its participants. We need to think of peace in the same way. Peace is not the absence of war or the space between wars; it is a goal to be achieved by actively demanding that the world’s governments find nonviolent means of settling disputes. — David Krieger Interviewed by Leslee Goodman for the January 2013 issue of The Sun
The Summer of Peace Letter is a free weekly email through September 20 that features inspiring leaders in the important fields of spirituality, neuroscience, peacebuilding, compassion, and peace education. The letter will provide insights and skills to help you find common ground even in challenging situations — in your family, friendships, business partnerships, and polarized social issues. (In some cases, it may help you gain a better understanding of the obstacles to finding common ground). Contributing partners include, Search for Common Ground, LiveAMoment.com, US Youth Rising, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Metta Center for Nonviolence, Nonviolent Communication Academy, and many more! To find out more and register to receive these weekly peace update, click here.
“Allah-hu-akhbar,” God is great, the congregation murmured as I stood shoulder to shoulder with a veiled woman. It felt strangely intimate to be physically touching the Muslim woman, even though we had never spoken. I followed her body movements, as well as those of the men in front of the partition ahead of me, for cues as to what to do next... Among my prayers was one of gratitude for the distance I’d traveled physically and mentally since my time in Iraq — to be praying alongside Muslims instead of interrogating them for the CIA.
The concept of racial healing is not new; we’ve been working on attaining it for over 50 years here in the USA. Have we made progress? Of course. Even considerable progress, if we look back at how things were racially before the historical Civil Rights Movement and compare it to how things are now.
Would you like to discover how to live from your essence, activate your soul’s purpose, share your unique gifts with the word, and love with all of your heart? Popular Shift faculty and Enneagram experts Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on entering the spiritual depths of the Enneagram on Thursday, August 2, at Noon Pacific. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.
Would you like to receive powerful techniques compiled from sacred Eastern traditions to help you awaken and stay fully conscious in your daily life? Spiritual teacher Raja Choudhury will be leading a special Facebook Live Q&A call on uniting your energy (Shakti) with the energy of the universe (Shiva) in a divine dance on Thursday, August 9, at 10:00am Pacific. Click here to get a Facebook Messenger reminder when the event goes live.
Are you someone who wants to be the “face and voice” of The Shift Network; someone who is professional, warm, engaging, and trustworthy; someone who is excited to perform as a Program Host for our live and pre-recorded audio and video online courses?
If you are inspired and passionate about joining our team, please click here for more information. The Shift Network is committed to creating a diverse environment and is an equal opportunity employer.
On August 5, 2018, six years after a white supremacist gunman murdered six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Gift of Our Wounds magazine will launch via GiftOfOurWounds.com and Facebook. Each month, seven stories of people who have found the gift in their wounds will be shared with the world — one in memory of each victim, and one to change the meaning of the shooter’s life.
How do we each create a peaceful existence, and aren’t we more likely to come to each other in peace if we are experiencing more peace individually? The three feet of peace speaks to our own personal three-foot circumference. We spoke of paradox; the woman who cuts you off in traffic because she is late for yoga, the father who interrupts his own meditation to scream from his room when he hears a glass drop in the kitchen…
Heartfelt gratitude to The Shift Network’s Finding Common Ground; A Summer of Peace Summit as you continue to build an infrastructure of peace, thereby institutionalizing the very essence of peace and helping all of us to realize peace personally, socially, and globally.
On November 15, 2015, Adel Termos was walking through a crowded Beirut market with his 9-year-old daughter when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing dozens. In the chaos, Termos spotted the accomplice who was about to do the same. Without stopping to think he tackled him to the ground, detonating the explosive vest; of course, both of them died in the explosion but he saved his little girl and perhaps hundreds more.
Community Peacebuilding Practices have been around for decades, yearning to be embedded within our schools, justice systems, law enforcement, mental health encounters, organizations, families, and communities. These practices provide a continuum of opportunities to create and maintain healthy relationships through conflict, adversity, and even trauma. Since 2012, the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding’s (RPCP) primary focus has been to embed these evidenced-based modalities into systems that could help catalyze this shift.
Are you torn between wanting to enjoy the pleasures of the world and seeking spiritual awakening? Do you desire a way to see life as pleasurable, beautiful, and wondrous... without the “work” of non-attachment?
Drawing on the wisdom in the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, a sacred scripture that was influential in the evolution of Kriya, Kundalini, and Hatha Yoga, spiritual teacher Raja Choudhury explains in the following 7-minute video that these ancient teachings can awaken you to your highest consciousness in a moment-by-moment living meditation while fully immersed in the drama of daily living.
You may be familiar with the Enneagram, the well-known system for classifying and understanding your personality traits and the traits of others in your life. But the Enneagram has a deeper side — one that explores the heart of spirituality itself and the experience of being a unique soul here on this planet.
In this video, Enneagram experts Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb offer a taste of this deeper Enneagram as they explore the state of equanimity. Equanimity is a deep, clear and expansive state of the heart that Russ describes as a “deep oceanic quality” in which you are able to be neutral to the tides and turnings of your emotions. To read more, click here.
Click here for details about Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb’s new 17-week live video training, The Experiential Depth Approach to the Enneagram: Embody the Virtues, Live Your Essence & Ground Higher Realizations in Your Daily Life, which begins August 9.
If you’ve ever wanted to consciously craft your future, wished you were psychic, or wanted to time travel... then you’ll want to learn about Quantum Dreaming, a name coined by bestselling author and renowned dream explorer Robert Moss.
In the Dreamtime, you’re released from your conventional views of reality. You can access your “non-local” mind and travel beyond your body and brain and bring back memories of the future and of other worlds. If this sounds too “far out” to you or if you’re fascinated to discover the how’s and why’s of this concept, you’ll really want to listen to the following 9-minute audio from Robert.
Click here for details about Robert Moss’ new 6-month adventure, Quantum Dreaming: Shamanic Dreaming, New Science & Ancient Keys to Healing & Thriving in the Multidimensional Universe, which begins August 14.
Janessa Gans Wilder marveled at how the Euphrates River could still bring life, sustenance, and hope in the dangerous, war-torn desert of the Middle East. That inspiration moved her to do the same. Tune in to hear how a former CIA Analyst transformed that inspiration into a unique peace-building initiative. Click here to listen or to download this inspiring 55-minute interview.
Disturbing the Peace is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our conviction, take action to create new possibilities. Disturbing the Peace follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison — who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say, “Enough!” Click here to watch the trailer and to purchase your copy.
Alice Aida Ayers, talented performer, singer, artist and writer, knows how to tell a story that will change how you think about your own life. Black, female, born in semi-rural poverty in the 1950s, in a culture blatant in its racism and sexism, the world was eager to convince her that she was destined to be used, abused, and discarded. In her one-woman show, It’s Me I’m Running From, Ayers names and shames the horrors, makes you laugh at human foibles, marvel at her resilience, and be inspired by her courage. This caged bird hasn’t just learned how to sing, she’s learned how to slip right through the bars. Click here to watch an 8-minute video of Alice speaking about her work and sharing clips of her one-woman show.
American Yogi is a film about a young man who, inspired by Ram Dass's iconic book Be Here Now, which is about the Indian Saint Maharaj-ji, travels to India. There he comes face to face with the mind-altering world of ancient India, and must choose between the miracles he sees and life as he knew it. Soundtrack by Jai Uttal and Krishna Das. For more information and to watch the trailer, click here.
In 2013, the United Nations designated July 30 as the “World Day against Trafficking in Persons.” This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children, and men for numerous purposes, including forced labor and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world. Click here for more information.
The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding's “Residential Community Peacebuilder Immersion” Part I and/or Part II will be held during the week of October 20-28 in Gainesville, Florida. Our solutionary based comprehensive peacebuilding model will include Peace from the Inside Out, Peacebuilding 101, Trauma (ACEs) & Resilience Building, Social Emotional Learning, Restorative Justice Training, Police/Youth Dialogues and Conflict Resolution, and Community Dialogues. For in-depth information, click here.
"We are love and our love is for giving." This is is a core truth that Shamanism Faculty Tomas has lived and breathed and guided thousands towards over the last 50 years. From the early 1970's he developed a successful wilderness treatment program for heroin addicts, then helped start the first at-home Hospice program in the United States. This has been followed by decades working with children and adults facing life-threatening illness and leading vision quests, ceremonies and rites of passage. Now Tomas is in need of support from the greater community.
Please click on this GoFundMe link to read further and/or share this request if you would like to support Tomas.
Award-winning author James O'Dea has created a handbook for those interested in Sacred Activism, a fusing of spiritual knowledge with radical action. O'Dea outlines the polarities between the inner path of spiritual growth and the outer path of social activism, concluding that the two must co-exist in equal weighting so that the human race can become a compassionate force for good. Click here to order your copy.
In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Click here to order your copy.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully awake, present, and accepting in our lives. Through these classes, learn how mindfulness can cultivate insight to outgrow perceptions of fear and attachment that cause stress, find your own unique center of creativity, and change your relationship not just with food, but your body as well. TR1BE global presents workshops, seminars, and classes for ongoing learning and growth opportunities. We offer quarterly class cycles which may be taken individually or together for a more comprehensive course of study. Click here for more information.
For several years, The Shift Network has hosted Indigenous leaders from around the world and invited them to share their sacred knowledge, rituals, and practices to guide us in a way of living that is sustainable, healthy, and just. We’re thus delighted that the Global Indigenous Wisdom Library makes this “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere for free. The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings, and pathways to healing, as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion, and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all.
The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform, and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We want to give a heartfelt thanks to Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (“Brother Phil”) for his partnership in helping create this Indigenous Wisdom collection. And we thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge. To discover more, click here.
World Peace Library. Designed for the layperson and professional peacebuilder alike, the World Peace Library has over 425 audio and video interviews with some of the most remarkable, inspiring peacebuilders in the world available to you at NO COST. You’ll find hundreds of hours of inspirational, peacebuilding, compassion-spreading talks and trainings at your fingertips with this FREE global resource. There’s no way you can’t come away from the World Peace Library deeply inspired, transformed — and part of the solution. Click here to find out how to take peace to the next level — and help co-create a global culture of peace that leaves a legacy of good for our children, our children’s children and all of humanity and life on earth.
BOOK BY STEPHEN DINAN: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
California Vision 2020 (September 20–22, 2018)
Shift's most important event of the year brings together spiritual, social change, and cultural leaders to highlight how we can change the world, starting in California.
Watch some interviews in Finding Common Ground: A Summer of Peace Summit and then discuss insights with a friend and/or family member. When you are ready, stretch your comfort zone in a safe way by getting to know someone who you either disagree with or who is different from you.
Meeting the Marias: Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene & Miriam Sister of Moses — A Free Video Event With Mystic Scholar Mirabai Starr. Discover how women mystics reveal a radical path of transformation for your life and our world and find a healing sanctuary and “fill your cup” with mystical wisdom from three, powerful women prophets. Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 5:30pm Pacific
The Shift Network is proud to be a member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the institutional home for the peacebuilding community — a network of over 100 organizations working to resolve conflict and create sustainable peace in 153 countries. We strongly encourage anyone interested in peacebuilding to consider becoming a member and/or making a donation. To discover more, click here.
The National Peace Academy is a home for peace professionals and community organizers looking to hone their practice and for budding community leaders and changemakers who are seeking knowledge and skills to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities and nurture positive change in themselves, their family, neighborhood, workplace and the world.
Peacebuilding vocations, just like careers in science, business or technology, are built upon foundations of knowledge and skills that are pursued through lifelong learning. While numerous universities are now offerings degree programs in peace related fields, opportunities to gain skills and knowledge in peacebuilding remain relatively inaccessible and expensive. The NPA, through partnerships with expert and experienced peacebuilders, is working hard to make learning for peace and change accessible, available and affordable to all. For more information, click here.
LiveaMoment was created from the idea that world peace is not too big for all of us — especially when you can see who else is out there in the world feeling the same way you do. In bite-size portions, we can shift what’s possible — and innovate a new way of achieving peace.
The LiveaMoment app is a platform to help you hit pause, step out of the grind, and connect with others who feel the same way you do...
• Experience curated moments of peace created by artists from around the world
• Graph and track your emotions
• See a map showing global emotions & how you fit in with the bigger picture
• Set daily reminders to take your moments
• Share your feelings via social media
• Activate others to take moments & create global peace
Young people, while not always recognized, are often on the leading edge of creating positive transformations in our world. In July 2016, the National Peace Academy met many of these leaders at an international peacebuilding program in Romania for young adults: Global Youth Rising. This innovative program brought together over 70 young peacebuilders from over 20 countries, in collaboration with peacebuilding professionals, to share skills and resources, network, and support each other in this lifelong work.
We were so inspired to partner in this way that we immediately knew we wanted to give similar opportunities to those young peacebuilders here in the U.S. working for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice and peaceful communities. In 2018, as part of a multifaceted initiative to support young peacebuilders, NPA, in partnership with many others, is excited to kick off US Youth Rising.
Amir Lyles has participated in numerous gallery shows and art events since debuting with a solo show at Diverse Arts Gallery in Austin, Texas in 2009. Amir, being an artist's artist, has since been commissioned by authors, musicians, and even other visual artists to have his work included in their published projects. Amir has private and institutional collectors across the country and around the world.
In Amir’s own words:
I'm told that my talent is for illustration, though my style(s) span(s) a variety of media, and subject matter. Past and The Shift epresent life experience, cultural history & legacy, as well as so-called classical works heavily influence me. The nature of my work is self-expression--it comes from how I feel or how I was caused to feel--and visual art is how I (usually) express it. As an artist, I seek to do two things: express what I see when I look out at the world; and offer the world a more beautiful, positively relevant, and possibly inspirational vision of ourselves. First, I paint for myself, and second I paint for my people and everybody else who experiences joy and richness when viewing my work. While I am currently seeking established gallery representation, maintaining the ability to house and show my own art will be an ongoing goal so I can always be free to do what I want to do.