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The following are a set of quotes that were used in the "Stories That Heal" series evening meeting called "Finding Ourselves at War". The questions at the end are for further individual exploration into the subject.

Chapter 6 from the upcoming book: Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice is now being given away with your new subscription to the monthly Wide Awake Living Newsletter to the left.

Wage Peace by Mary Oliver

Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.
Play music,
learn the word for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit,
and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if the armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.


The man or woman of peace is creative. They are not against war, because to be against anything is to be at war. They are not against war, they simply understand why war exists. And out of that understanding, become peaceful. Only when there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, understanding, will the war disappear. Osho


War begins in the individual relationship
with the incessant swirl of positive and negative emotion, of
positive and negative ideas, of positive and negative activity that rages in
your own mind. In the incessant self-referential determination to make sure
that what happens here is right, is true, is good. That's the war. That's
the war that flew those airplanes into those buildings. That's the war that
drives the blood lust for the slaughter of more innocents. That's the war
that is behind the arising of the war between peace and war. The war ends
in the instant recognition that it's all you." "This has nothing to do
with anything in the world at all - changing, remaining the same, being
replaced. It has to do with the ever-present possibility of stopping in
this moment and discovering the truth of who you are, which is untouched and
untouchable, which is the field and ground and the light in which terrorism
and pacifism alike come and go. And when you see that, just for a second,
you can never be fooled again completely. This is the peace that passes
understanding. This is the peace in which the conflicts, the bloodshed, the
horror, the beauty, the glory, the wonder of the world are equally welcome."
© 2003 John Sherman All rights reserved


Message from the Hopi Elders:
We have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour
And there are things to be considered

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has it's destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore, and push off and into the river,
Keep our eyes open, and our head above water.
See who is in there with you and Celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over, Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that you do now must be done in a sacred manner
And in celebration.

"We are the ones we'ver been waiting for..."


The world we have created
Is a product of our ways of thinking.
It cannot be changed
Until we change those ways of thinking.
Albert Einstein


Your very nature is happiness.
Not a happiness that excludes pain, conflict or disturbance,
But a happiness that is all inclusive.
That is in love.


Become the peace that you seek.
Mahatma Gandhi


By Clarissa Pinkola Estes PhD
Mis Estimados: Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. Thay are concerned about the state of affairs in the world right now...Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is - we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement...

I grew up on the Great lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind...Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold it's own, and to advance, regardless.

We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day we assented to come to Earth. For many decades, worldwide, souls just like us have been felled and left for dead in so many ways over and over brought down by naivete, by lack of love, by being ambushed and assaulted by various cultural and personal shocks in the extreme. We have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially - we have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or foundered can be restored to life again.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by perseverating on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a waterspout, you will see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than the inner one. To calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause it to swirl much less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner core - till whatever has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back to Earth, lays down, is peaceable again. One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or desperation thereby accidentally contributing to the swale and the swirl.

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help emmensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip towards an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundreth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these -- to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

This comes with much love and prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes ©2003 All rights reserved


Eckhart Tolle, Power of Now

What assumption can I see myself holding in my thinking about the war?

What underlies that?
(By way of example the assumption that it shouldn't be happening is underlaid with the assumption that I indeed know what should or shouldn't be happening)

How do I know if it's true?

Is it true?


Separate, for a moment, the facts of the world situation, the actual events, from your concepts and interpretations about them. Take a few moments. It's not something that we ordinarily do. Events are real. Interpretations are not, and often interfere with clear perception. (Often it is as simple as dropping a set of ideas about how the world "should" be behaving.)

How is your perception of your world affected?

Is the world giving you any feedback on your relationship to world events so far and what your own role is?

If the Hopi's are right about "we are the ones we have been waiting for" then what might that mean in terms of your own life?

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

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