Ming the Mechanic:
Peace Walks

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Peace Walks2002-08-24 13:22
4 comments
by Flemming Funch

Below are some stories and excerpts about people walking for peace gathered by Tom Atlee. Inspiring stuff. As one of them say:

In times of war Buddhist monks would leave their monasteries and walk the land, bringing their peacefulness to the people.



From: Tom Atlee
Subject: Peace walks, silence and violence

Dear Friends,

When I first stumbled on the co-intelligence work, I was on the cross-country Great Peace March of 1986. For some stories about that peace march experience, see

[link]
http://www.co-intelligence.org/S-pcmrchcircle.html
[link]

It changed my life. During the first few months of the march, I even wrote an article on "Mobile Peace Activism" for a peace newsletter. I wrote a lot, so amazed was I.

Today, with violence raging in many parts of the world and new wars threatening, I find it heartening that peace walking is once again emerging, this time with an even more peaceful spirit. So I wanted to share with you some of the items on this that have come across my e-desk in the last week or so.

If you wish to start your own peace walk, feel free! As many of the non-activist participants said on that 1986 peace march, "I'm not sure what else to do, but I can certainly walk!" I'm not sure why that act is so powerful, but it certainly is. And I think silence makes it even more so...

Coheartedly,
Tom

_ _ _ _ _ _

Thanks to Michelle Mercer



SILENCE SPEAKS FOR PEACE

From: Marcia Brooks [mailto:marcia@kehillasynagogue.org] Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 6:32 PM Subject: FW: Peace Walk in the Galilee

Dearest Kehilla Members,

We received this message from Yosefa Raz. Yosefa is an Israeli of American parents. She teaches in our fifth grade at Kehilla School and many of our Bar and Bat Mitzvah Students. She is back in Israel for her sisters Wedding. I felt this special message should be shared with all of you.

Marcia Brooks

Dear Friends,

I think things happen here about five times as fast as in the rest of the world. I just returned from a seven day peace walk in the Galilee. In times of war Buddhist monks would leave their monasteries and walk the land, bringing their peacefulness to the people. This walk was inspired by that tradition and of course following Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Excuse me if I sound like a born-again peace-walker, but I feel euphoric from this experience and am still landing back on earth.

Every day a group of about a hundred of us walked in silence on Jewish and Arab streets, though Bedouin villages and Jewish New Age settlements, in olive groves and watermelon fields, sometimes trucks barreling by, sometimes children running after us, sometimes cars or people stopping in their tracks at the spectacle of all these Israelis walking at a snail's pace, with a strip of white cloth tied across their chest. A kind of walking meditation. Many are "yotey hodu" - India Groupies - all the folks who went to find themselves in Asia after the army and came back wearing tie-died sarongs, long hair, shell necklaces - but also perhaps a more healing energy to this frantic aggressive hysterical country. Somehow what seems trite in Berkeley is courageous in this landscape. But there were also regular families with children, three or four grandmothers, a grizzled older man who walked with a cane and a scarf around his neck patterned like the Palestinian flag.

Ever since elementary school, I've known that you can't go into an Arab area as a group without taking the necessary precautions - an armed escort, a medic, a meticulous count off to make sure no one goes missing - well, we walked into Shfaraam, Tamra, Majd-El-Krum, without any weapons. The Arab folks that came to keep us company at our camping ground, under the eucalyptus trees brought drums, cold drinking water, borekas and knafe pastries. They said, come more, come next week, show everyone you can come without weapons. (Of course, these were Israeli Arab towns - things would be different in Palestinian areas...)

We spent a night at Salaam's house in Tamra. He says Tamra is like Tel-Aviv, you can buy cigarettes at three in the morning - every third person is unemployed and all stay up late. His wife, Neejni, is veiled, starts peeling potatoes for a feast at nine o'clock at night when we arrive. We say, no, no, we're not hungry, but are ignored and fed and fed and fed. At three in the morning we're sitting outside sharing a water pipe telling jokes. Salaam's brother - Abu Jalal, is a huge man, folds of fat rippling on the back of his neck like a football player. He buys and sells everything but drugs and women. Says peace won't happen in my time, nor in my children's. But my grandchildren will be able to say, my grandfather tried to make peace. Aminadav, twenty two year old with long hair and a mole on his cheek says wildly, but don't you get it? This is peace, us sitting here together. This is the peace.

There was a lot of trial and error to this walk, naivety - disappointment that it was mostly Jews walking, not Arabs. But the idea is sound - enough slogan chanting. Enough political arguments. Steven, a wonderfully compassionate meditation teacher who inspired and walked with us said, peace isn't something that you join - you subscribe and you're in. Are you for peace? Yes, okay then. Its something you do, you move, you show the price you're willing to pay for peace. For this week, it was our feet stirring up the dust of the Galilee and our browned arms, doing dishes at two in the morning with Neejni and Jacquline without words...sitting on the lawn of a villa in Mitzpe Aviv, a Jewish settlement at the top of the hill, and listening to Amiram Goldin talk about peace, whose twenty year old son was killed just two weeks ago in the bus bombing in Meiron. He is an ex-soldier, says we're not doing enough, everyone has to wake up to the catastrophe happening. His language is pained, angry, he holds his body stiffly and I hear him on the cellphone saying, this group doesn't really interest me. Maybe he thinks we're immature hippies. My first instinct is to close myself to this man - he's not into meditation, he doesn't understand silence. But slowly something melts in the sitting with this man, he melts, we melt. People have tears in their eyes. How do we transform this suffering, Amiram's unimaginable suffering ad so many others, Arab and Jew, -- into a force without hate, into healing this land?

Blessing of peace to near and far. Feel free to forward.

Love, Yosefa

_ _ _ _ _

AND ANOTHER MIDEAST WALK FOR PEACE

>From Peacewalker Derek Youngs

My walk to Jerusalem had to be the most physically and emotionally demanding walk that I have ever been on... and I wouldn't have missed a moment of it.

We walked in sweltering heat( 45 degrees) from Tel Aviv to the West Bank, Ramalla, Jewish settlements and Jerusalem. Along the way we viewed Yassar Arafat's bombed-out office-bunker and met many remarkable people, including a Palestinian man wounded and paralyzed after trying to rescue children, an Israeli 'refusenik' who refused to complete military service in the Occupied Territories, and parents grieving the loss of their 18-year old daughter in a suicide bomb attack only two weeks before. We drove through an intersection, and ten minutes later a suicide bomber jumped out of a car and blew up 15 innocent people. Near the end of our journey, the walkers and a group of children planted a 'Peace Pole' bearing a message of peace in four languages in the village of Abu Gosh, where Israelis and Palestinians live in peaceful co-existence. These are just a few moments from almost a month of living, learning, understanding, crying, laughing, being afraid and being in love with an incredible part of my/our world.

All of this was recorded for a documentary, that is now being considered by a major production company in Vancouver. If all the negotiating goes well, it will be shown before the end of the year....

This journey has deepened my love of my family,friends and the world that I live in. From this place within me I send you my deepest love and appreciation of who you are in my life.

Shalom, Salaam, Peace.

Derek

Peace Walker Society D.W.Youngs 1477 Smith Rd. Gibsons BC. Canada V0N 1V6 E: derek@peacewalker.com (604) 886-8004 www.peacewalker.com

_ _ _ _ _

Thanks to Miki Kashtan

GLOBAL MONTHLY WALKS FOR PEACE

In many cities people are now doing monthly silent walks for peace. The walks started on Mothers Day, May 12, 2002, in Jerusalem and many other places, and have been continuing because people have found them transforming. The intention is that people will organize walks wherever they live, to be in deepening connection with people around the world, in these times, without polarizing confrontations.

Please feel free to organize your own walk, and adapt the following peacewalk text, as appropriate, and forward to friends and networks. If you organize a walk, if you like you may communicate that you are doing so via email to walkingforpeace@yahoo.com (there will eventually also be a website).

Thus far, walks have been organized or requests for information received from at least the following places: AUSTRALIA CANADA ENGLAND ISRAEL SCOTLAND NEW ZEALAND USA California: Berkeley, Santa Rosa Hawaii: Maui Illinois: Chicago Massachusetts: Boston Minnesota: Minneapolis Missouri: Kansas City New York: Newburgh, NYC North Carolina: Asheville, Greensboro Texas: Austin; San Antonio Washington, DC



SAMPLE FLIER TEXT

Monthly Global Silent Walks "Living Peace by Walking Peace" Email: walkingforpeace@yahoo.com

The Third Sunday of Each Month 4 PM to 6 PM

The walks begin and end at: Localtown Park, Anytown Intersection of Main Street and Third Avenue

-- White clothing is optional as a symbol of our commitment to peace
-- If you would like to organize a walk where you are, please do so and send contact information to walkingforpeace@yahoo.com

People around the world are walking with a slow pace, in silence, with no banners, chanting, or polarizing confrontations - to practice peace, to walk in peace in every step, to witness peacemaking and peace-building by being alive and steady, step by step

The slow pace and the silence of this walk can help us to step into the source of understanding and compassion within us, and hold everyone with care. Please join us.

We are walking to offer compassion, to learn, and to share that:
-- Love is possible as a genuine way of life, even in the presence of rage and fear.
-- Violence in any form is a tragedy that stops all of us from living and sharing a life of harmony and abundance. Violence in any form is a tragedy that keeps everyone
-- including those who resort to it
-- from being able to meet essential human needs such as connection, respect, peace, and understanding.
— Peace-building challenges us to refrain from demonizing or de-humanizing any person or group.
-- Coming together to embody peace can restore our hope and vision.
-- True and sustainable peace is a process and can be created by peaceful means.

We walk for ourselves. We walk for everyone, Always hand in hand. Walk and touch peace every moment. Walk and touch happiness every moment. Each step brings a fresh breeze. Every step makes a flower bloom under our feet. Kiss the Earth with your feet. Print on Earth your love and happiness. Earth will be safe When we feel in us enough safety.

-- "Walking Meditation" by Thich Nhat Hanh

________________________________

Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440 [link] * [link] Please support our work. * Your donations are fully tax-deductible.


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