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Welcome to the 64th International Peace Meditation to be held on April 7, 2002.
“Following the Peace Within”
Today we are forced into almost constant confrontation with news of political and military responses to seemingly unlimited acts of violence. In the course of human evolution there have been wars that are mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. When the first three–mental, emotional, and spiritual–are not resolved, they often escalate into physical wars that obliterate life. Obliterate life? When we cannot win, we kill. This is the lowest of human responses to that which we cannot control. While we will always honor those who gave, or are giving, their lives for the cause of freedom everywhere, we must find other ways to respond that do not contain the seeds for annihilation of the planet. We must seek and use other means of conflict resolution.
Terrorism is currently used to challenge a way of living. It seeks to undermine peace in our thoughts and in our hearts. It disrupts life not only when it occurs, but the potential for its occurrence destroys peace and replaces it with fear. Fear is the beginning of all things destructive. When we fear loss of our way of life, of our peace within, we may react in ways that escalate the violence that is occurring.
We need to learn as individuals and as countries to fight fear with the peace within. Peace is accessible only from an inside route. Meditation and prayer are the way to peace. When war is the result of prayer, that prayer has not been successful in accessing the true peace that resides in each one of us.
One can only follow fear, or love. All action flows from either Fear, or Love. When we access Love, we cannot respond with actions that are the result of Fear. Therefore we cannot truly speak of love while acting out of fear.
Currently the potential for escalation and destruction is great. It takes away hope and causes us to lash out. As spiritual sojourners, we are responsible to wait. To seek other means of resolution. To speak of peace, and to act peacefully. This is not to say that we must not stop terrorism, for it destroys all that we hold dear. It is to say that preaching war, feeling hate in our hearts, and desiring the destruction of all people whom terrorism represents, is a fear reaction that must not continue.
We can ask our political leaders of all countries to exhaust all means for peaceful resolution before declaring war.
We can open all avenues to peace building.
We can use the internet as a liberator of all people.
We can break down boundaries through the peaceful propagation of human respect.
We can seek ways to equalize the power structures so that we can work peacefully together.
We can remove poverty by working together positively internationally.
We can provide educational opportunities for all people.
We can bring our spiritual leaders of all faiths together to find common ground, and to speak of peace while leading peacefully.
We can refuse to let our hearts be led only by media interpretation of those different from ourselves.
We can reach out to others within and outside our borders to work together peacefully.
We can work to eliminate the need for terrorism if we can learn its cause.
If terrorism is bred by poverty, inequity, and improper treatment, we can work together to eliminate the source.
As spiritual sojourners we can work for peace by living peacefully, by speaking lovingly, by caring about those less fortunate, and by building bridges of communication and concern.
We are the People. We are the ones who elect our leaders. We are the ones to whom they must listen. We must be sure that we send messages to all leaders worldwide: Work for peace. Live for peace.
We must tell all people: Those who teach you to use terrorism to reach God are manipulating you for their own purposes. God is Love. God is Peace. God is Life. God is Oneness. God is Unity. When we work to assist one another in caring ways, then we are God’s, or Love’s, hands in the world.
Stop the war. Stop the terrorism. Seek peace, and peace will find you.
Please join us in prayer/meditation on April 7, 2002, for the 64th International Peace Meditation. We hope that you will join us from any place, and at any time, during the 24 hours of April 7. Seek the Peace within that you may lead peacefully. Thank you for your prayers for peace in our world, in our time.
Sue Kidd Shipe, President
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
P. O. Box 3920
Albany, New York 12203 USA