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10971371680?profile=originalMy Solstice & Holiday Fundraiser. Please DONATE any amount to PRASAD and accept the SingPeace! free gift of my song, "You Look Up!"
The PRASAD Project:
Free Gift:

The PRASAD Project: We help people to achieve lives of self-reliance and dignity by offering programs of health, education and sustainable community development in India, dental care in the United States and eye care in Mexico. The goal of each PRASAD initiative is to help people to help themselves, their community and the environment. Every year, thousands of people benefit directly from PRASAD’s humanitarian work. The result is a unified system of sustainable, community-wide economic, educational, environmental, health and agricultural programs that respond to the needs, conditions, customs, and culture of each community we serve. In this way, we can address a community’s most pressing needs as we help its population to implement long-term solutions to challenges that may have plagued them for generations.

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JoyfuelheARTist becky j suzik
In this episode Becky talks with Pushkara Sally Ashford about music, songwriting, unity and peace, and her journey as a musician and singer who lost her voice and found her soul. Now 80 years old, Pushkara is living a meaningful life filled with beauty, truth and activism that continues to bless her home state of Washington and Whidbey Island where she lives, with music, joy and purpose.

This episode features music and the #YLUChallenge inviting YOU to record your own version of the song, "You Look Up!" We talk about her latest collaboration, SingPeace! song "You Look Up!"
#YLUChallenge #mediaforjoyfuel #joyfuelkindcast
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10971371485?profile=originalPremiere of "You Look Up!" song and music video.

  • We hope viewers enjoy the SingPeace! cross-border collaboration. Our mother/son, mother daughter, and Mexico familia, working online and on the ground at long distance, in 3 time zones, across language barriers and international borders can have its challenging moments. Pandemics give rise to fun, creative ways of relating!
  • SingPeace! invites you to post your video version in your own language and/or cultural style.
  • Photography, art work, puppetry, poems, exuberant play - all are welcome!
  • Post your version at #YLUchallenge Working online at long distance, in 3 time zones across language barriers and international borders has its challenging moments. Pandemics give rise to fun, creative ways of relating!
A note from Pushkara: Many years ago, I heard a friend tell the story about her grandmother, a child of slaves in the deep South, who used to say, "God knock yo' on yo' back so you look up!" Not that I wanted to write a song about God knocking you on your back, but those words stuck with me. So, at point where it seemed I'd pretty much exhausted all of my options, I wrote this song. Come to find out, the song and new life were waiting to fill that void. In the place of desperation was joy. I was re-creating myself in every moment. My hope in sharing this song, especially, at a time when our lives and our very world are upside down and topsy turvy, that you give this gift to yourself. Connecting the love in your sweet heart with the beauty in nature can soften and ease the rough patches in your life. SingPeace
Pushkara Sally Ashford copyright 1998
The new dawn breaks, a fire-red ball,
Off in the east, a silent call, (refrain)
Refrain: And you look up, up, You look up!
The sight of wings against the sky,
An eagle soars, flyin’ high. (refrain)
Now, when we swell with pride, look down our nose,
Or shuffle our feet, look down at our toes,
When you forget it’s all about love,
That’s when life knocks you on your back so you look up!
A lightnin’ flash, the thunder rolls,
A cooling breeze before the storm. (refrain)
The summer rains on hot, dry ground,
Reach out your hand when you hear the sound. (refrain)
But when your heart fills up with greed,
Stuff danglin’ off you, you don’t even need,
If you grasp for more to fill your cup,
That’s when life knocks you on your back so you look up!
The rain clouds part, the sun shines through,
And overhead, a rainbow’s hues. (refrain)
The crescent moon is on the rise,
The nighttime stars light up the skies. (refrain)
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Take SingPeace! #YLUchallenge!

Take the "You Look Up!" Challenge: #YLUchallenge:
Our film crew in Mexico was inspired to translate and sing a version of the chorus in Spanish. We invite you to record, and post your version of "You Look Up!" in your own language. (See lyrics, below.) Video, art work, photography, puppetry, dance, exuberant play - all are welcome!
  • See the SingPeace! cross-border collaboration music video: Our mother/son, mother daughter, and Mexico familia, working online and on the ground at long distance, in 3 time zones, across language barriers and international borders can have its challenging moments. Pandemics give rise to fun, creative ways of relating!
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At Langley Fairgrounds

10971370853?profile=originalDjangoFest NW & International Peace Week
*Song Swapping & Djammin’
Free admission. Everyone welcome!
Wednesday-Friday, Sept.19-21, noon-2 p.m.

Local Folks, greet our International Guests
Bring your instruments, voices & picnic baskets

Hosted by SingPeace! Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony
SingPeace! Caravan, Langley Fairgrounds

10971371056?profile=originalSharon Abreu, Michael Hurwicz & Pushkara Sally Ashford10971371269?profile=original

Song Swapping & Djammin' at the SingPeace! gypsy wagon


*Saturday, Sept. 22, noon-2 p.m.
”Cafe Impromtu" hosted by Kristi O’Donnell, Django Djammin’
Fairgrounds, Caravan Stage

Food available at Friday Farmer’s Market near WICA or in town
Hot Shotz Espresso at the Fairgrounds, Friday and Saturday

And More!

*Day ’n Night *DjangoFest Djammin’
*Acoustic Djammin' hours: 9 a.m. -5 a.m.(!)
Django Camping at the Fairgrounds

*Quiet camping or Django Camping and Djammin' available
$20 (tent) and $25 (hook ups) per night

Map: Fairgrounds Campground
819 Camano Ave.

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Costa Rica disbanded its army in 1949, just a few years after the poem "Rasur or "Week of Splendor" was written in Spanish by Roberto Brenes Mesén. This prophetic poem, translated to English, tells the story of a master teacher, Rasur, who enters a mountain village and awakens the children to the ways of peace. The children's relationship with Rasur, opens the way to peace among all of the villagers. The poem became the basis of a proven, skills-based method for peacemaking now taught in the public schools and at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica.


Facing the town of Escazu,
among the emerald hills, hidden,
we found the village of Quizur.
Something really strange has happened
in this humble village:
from each crack of the old walls
rays of the purest gold are glowing,
the wind goes back and forth
joyful in the golden light
of the most exhilarating and bluest sky,
moistening our eyes with the sweetest
As if enchanted, the mountain sings
with its crystal voice,
with the help of the tumbling waters
that come downhill, twittering along.
There is a melodious rumor,
so distant, so sweet,
just like a breeze 
with the flutes in the fronds,
over the valleys and the hills.
The children from this village,
and the children from vacationing families,
they have all met here, this morning,
and they have gotten lost,
beyond the deepest valleys, in the hills
bathed with splendor and turquoise lights.
Julian, the painter.
David, the mystic writer of tales,
and Servulus, too.
They have all parted.
They followed the paths which end
by the banks of the river.
Damian, the engineer.
Armando, the town’s judge.
Benjamin, the ox­ driver.
They all followed the paths through the woods,
heading for the hills.
Spread throughout the forest,
women call out the children by their names.
Only the leaves, like tongues, rustling on the trees,
answer their calls with slow and deep voices,
as if a chorus of echoes
repeated their cries at a distance.
The forest is no solitary place,
it is the divine mansion of magic deities,
who are always busy preparing
the magic brews, the fragrances,
the subtle virtues of the herbs,
the many tastes and syrups made with fruits.
Then they give them to the birds,
to men, and to themselves;
Thus they live surrounded by honey and perfumes.
But this morning the dryads' voices
are louder than the wind's:
you can almost see their white voices
entangled with the vines,
like climbing tresses aiming at the peaks.
Damian now presses on his march,
he calls his friends' attention.
Then they hear a chorus of children.
The children they are searching,
the children they cannot see...

The voices drift through the darkest pines.
The ox­ driver is restless.
He has never heard of
either cave or grotto large enough to hold so many children.
The Justice reassures him, then:
"If they are singing, they are well.
Magical shepherds guard over the flocks of children on this earth,
since they are the flowers of eternal beauty,
the flowers of truth and goodness."
Damian noticed a little hut uphill and he headed towards it.
Benjamin could not recall that hut but then, as they got nearer,
the three men felt the strongest magnetic force which held them to the ground,
as if with many intangible chains.
They could not move.
They looked at each other in astonishment.
The three of them, transfigured,
without really understanding, apprehended and grasped the truth:
they were stepping into a forbidden circle.
At a distance, next to the hut,
they were able to see a reposing silhouette,
as if carved from light itself:
The same light which was now
spreading upon the forest.
It seemed to come from inside the mountain.
They felt a sensation of not belonging to the world;
their most subtle sensations floated to the surface
A world of visions and enchantment came alive.
Coming from underground
the children's voices were flying like birds and they were singing songs
of the bluish dawn breaking in the forest.
All the villagers were running to the mountains,
their souls were exalted.
But none of them could cross
the line separating that world of mystery,
from this other world of things,
that is unable to express,
like us,
their deepest feelings.
The tongues of the leaves became silent once more.
Only Silence itself with its mossy feet, was stepping over the forest floor back and forth,
but leaving everything in perfect neatness,
as if the forest was an altar.
The radiant figure in front of the hut, suddenly interrupted its rest:
and then a point of light seemed to move:
The hamadryads rose to their lips,
the horns that were hidden in the vines,
and the music of the wind spread all over;
Wise and witty was their melody,
full of youth and human kindness.
Absorbed, as if entranced,
the visitors heard inside their minds,
a revelation of intimacies,
secrets known only to themselves.
It was an invitation to invade
each chamber of remembrances.
It was a call to consciousness itself
in order to evoke the images of dreams, in order to judge reality
while lying among the leaves and the vines.
But, since time is the creation of men, nobody knew for how long
this enchantment flowed from their own souls.
Suddenly they were awakened
by the repeated singing
from Dryads and children
throughout the enchanted woods.
It was for the first time
the villagers had ever felt inside their minds
the discovery of a totally unexpected, interior kingdom of light and ideas,
Their first primal thought blossomed that day.
Damian and the Judge were calling out to the children.
Nonetheless, their calls were only raindrops
over the darkened hair of the stormy night.
The flocks of children seemed
to get together and then to separate:
they seemed more obedient to an unknown call
than to their own wills.
Then the villagers began to recognize the only word
which was coming out of the children's row:
“Rasur! Rasur! Rasur!”

wearing her robe of most splendid blue,
lies over the hills and is observed from the village:
David and Julian, Damian and Armando, they are talking,
it is more a soliloquy than a conversation.
They feel their souls as if they were vases bursting with clear water;
they would express their feelings
in one single, soft outburst of their breasts,
as water being emptied into the earthen container at the well.
Then David says:
"Today you cannot complain
that my tales are pure fantasy;
your eyes have observed,
your hearts have responded
to the calls of vision and have felt
the illusion and the rapture."
Even Benjamin, the ox­ driver,
was transformed, and so he said:
"The words coming from Rasur
are fireflies shining in the dark,
enlightening my mind as never seen before;
I do not understand what is happening inside me:
I am another Benjamin
and for the first time I am discovering within myself another Benjamin,
more powerful and real then the other one,
who was a mere illusion.”
"Around Rasur," states Julian,
"the light seems whiter, the air purer,
his eyes seem to read from the deepest waters,
the ground, the light, the air;
and his gestures and his words surround you in mystery
and go deep into your thoughts.
He provokes a feeling
of being initiated into the occult,
as David used to tell us
when he read the Iambic and the Proclus.
Rasur is a source of miracles and a miracle:
The effects of his acts go far beyond
the expectations of the artist or the mechanic.”
Then Julian extracted green gemstones
from his pocket,
and showed them to his friends,
"These are the work of Rasur,
Myria, my daughter, told me,
as she has learned from Rasur
in the grotto,
when his figure glowed with a light
coming from inside his body
which has cleared the darkness there,
in the enchanted cave:”
She said to me:
"The luster of the green leaves
was made of earth and sun,
is made of air, of water and life,
is made with the air's life,
with the water's life,
is made of earth, sun and fire,
because everything in this world
comes from the divine mind,
and it is the essence of the world's life.
Our own hands may heal,
because they possess the healing powers found in the roots of plants:
they may heal, they may poison,
they may kill, and alleviate,
and soothe and provide exaltation,
they may turn the ground into
brilliant luster, shining in the sun.
Look at the tree: it changes
the dark matter in the soil
into shining green leaves, and yet
you do not consider the tree
to be a miracle.
I do as the tree does:
I provide a certain glow to the pebble that tomorrow shall be dust or soil.
The Dryads who taught its tasks to the tree,
taught me as well, and they shall teach you, too,
if you should obey their Call."
Then Armando exclaimed:
"I sense a bit of paganism
in what Myria has just told us,
and also in what I hear from Grisda. Rasur has told them
the immortals never forget whom they have loved:
If we creatures of the flesh do forget our love
then it was never a true love:
they called love what was desire,
that vanishes into thin air
after it reaches the object of its lust. True love is born within the soul,
in  the divine mind,
and it is the essence of the world's life.
it travels with the soul as its companion,
and it searches for the beloved beauty and finds it, at last, next to itself,
within the soul."
Grisda, my daughter, has affirmed this with such certitude,
that my own son Florio, smiling, incredulous
has asked her: "Then, who is Rasur?"
"Who he is I do not know,"
she answered, “But when I look at him, adoration is what I feel.
In his presence my ideas
struggle in turmoil,
and I am a goddess,
hovering over the ground
When I find myself in Rasur's World,
my life is like the lark in the fields,
soaring from the earth up into the sky, at daybreak.
We youngsters all become older,
and good and so beautiful,
we believe ourselves to be angels.
When Rasur speaks to us
and tells us that we are all imprisoned gods,
not one of us is coveting a doubt.
Rasur penetrates into our thoughts,
as if they were halls of his own home; we do what he wishes,
we feel happy to do what is pleasing us.
Next to Rasur we live not in obedience as he does not command us,
because his will is ours."

Florio was mocking no more. Then, he asked me:
"What is your opinion of all this? Julian, I await your answer."
"I cannot answer you, for the time being, because brilliant sparks
are lighting in my mind,
and answers you shall see
in my paintings, in my landscapes.
Today I have learned to paint;
I shall paint as never before.
Today I learned that light itself
is the container of the very essence of Divinity,
that it creates reality and illusion in this world.
Out of Nature's imagination
come flowing the forms, the colors, the ideas conceived and expressed
in light, in lines, in the shapes:
they all come out in the form of satyrs,
they all hide in themselves the divinity,
they provide the world with sense and beauty.
Without their divine core,
like drawings in the breeze they would be..."
At that very moment, a beautiful girlish voice was heard,
it came from the garden across the path,
and the girl was leading a bunch of village children.
None in the group of friends could recognize the girl;
they had never seen her before, but delighted,
they listened to her clear voice explain:
"In the presence of Rasur, our minds are set on fire,
the ideas turn to amber. When he leaves all remains as glowing coals
under a veil of ashes.
In silence he talks to us,
in silence we see his mind and his love.
You already know how he reaches
our deepest thoughts,
as he enters our souls
as you enter the aisles of a church
as you go along through the paths in the meadows.
In the presence of Rasur,
all is beauty, all is ease;
our fingers turn into ten little fairies,
creating shapes and colors around them,
giving life to them with their touch.
Flowing from his eyes,
is medicine and magic:
a powerful evocation
calling up a swarm of memories, a turmoil of impressions
which used to dwell in limbo, where things left no trace,
if they ever were things.
We are empty caves through which He runs carelessly,
and we cannot help it:
we are His;
as the mango seed is to its fruit,
as the wing is to the bird.
He just taught us last night
that deep in the soul of the Earth
Paradise Lost becomes eternal reality;
that we may reach that Eden
by following the paths which extend throughout our own selves.
We know the guardians
in the mountains of Quizur,
from the Miner's Stone
to the lower slopes
which end just in front
of the church in Escazú.
We shall never be alone,
in the hills and forests
of these magic mountains.
The guardian rangers of these woods are all friends of Rasur's;
they have also become our friends. Their bright shapes intertwine
with the many other shapes at twilight. No one will deem them real beings.
But you know reality is not what it appears to be.
Yesterday Rasur called to us:
"I create as the tree does,
from the darkened earth I start,
leaves and flowers begin to grow,
and the delightful fruits as well.
From what you call darkness precious gems I make:
gilded stones glowing under the light of the cave.
Once a silkworm a loom
from the lilies stole:
But, I do not need to steal a loom
to render thoughts
where I knit the finest cloth;
where I paint the landscapes
and create the earth, the skies,
the souls of those who worship me,
and even the souls of gods I sometimes visit,
bidding you farewell and leaving...
Surya, the twelve­-year­-old sorcerer, interrupted that moment,
and with the voice of an exalted Muse exclaimed:
"I am perceiving the call of Rasur. Look at the top of the hills!
The Guardians have lit the little hut; the entrance to the grotto!”
Suddenly, springs and waterfalls of joy
came down the hills.
All the children of Quizur began to climb,
and chanted:
Rasur! Rasur! Rasur!
The call was expanding through the dales,
as trumpets sounded played by the Dryads,
hidden in the wind.
Each one heard his own name distinctly pronounced in the wind:
It was that loving voice!
The voice they had heard that very morning in the cave!
"Something great is happening,
in the village of Quizur,"
Said Julian to his friends,
and to the many neighbors
who came to express their
feelings and their concerns.
"Be happy", he reassured them,
"Joy is coming down the hills,
joy from an Enchanted Child."
"I have been thinking
that like Rasur,
there was also Krishna, the Worshiped Child of India.
Krishna, like Rasur did,
has called upon the children,
to fill their minds with images of things to come.
The gods go deep into the spirit of men,
to find a place where divine will may grow
and flourish in the world of the future.
It is through Man that deities create the Universe.
It is in each of you that I discover a golden thread
among the ordinary colorless threads in the fabric of life.
Look: the twilight seems like a broken wire frame
where beautiful rags hang, illuminated with strange lights,
an eerie luminescence now mixed
with our everyday sunlight,
an unknown clarity coming from the deity our children call Rasur.
You already know
that gods sometimes appear to us dressed in the poorest rags,
like the fairies do to meet you on the road.
Sometimes they also turn into a beautiful child
and leave men awestruck.
Saint Augustine, one day,
looking across the Mediterranean Sea,
exerted all his efforts in order to comprehend
the infinite power of God and His infinite wisdom.
Suddenly there appeared a child,
and with a seashell he carried ocean water
to a little well he had dug in the sand.
Slowly, he went on with his duty.
The Saint came to him and asked
what was he doing.
“Inside this little well I want to pour the ocean,”
he replied.
“Impossible that is”, the Saint replied.
“I am doing just as you have done,” said the child,
“I am pouring an infinite amount of water within the limits of a hole;
just as you try to enclose God
inside your mind.”
Look at the hills again!
The little hut at the top is shining,
as brilliant as a crystal reflecting fire.
The luminous shape walks around the hut
like a protecting deity: our children are safe!"
Julian is painting;
through his improvised workshop's window
one can see the mountain,
now called the Mountain of Rasur. Julian's palette was like a garden
where one could only see
the wild colors of the tropical forest.
The artist looked at the landscape
and then he painted,
as if he did not have a canvas before him.
He used his brushes as if they were needles,
he embroidered the contours of his drawings:
the little hut, the shining guardian,
the mountain itself,
all bathed in amber light.
Each new stroke on the canvas seemed to add
a torrent of fresh light.
One could almost see the landscape coming through the window,
as the spiritual vision of the horizon,
adhering itself to the artist's brush,
getting colors and infiltrating the artist's mind and eyes.
Each individual line of the painting seemed to attain
an extra-sensorial conception:
each stroke looked forward to the next, holding each other like sisters.
This exhilarating race with the brush was the artist’s delight at every hour,
each color incarnated a new experience of spiritual intimacy,
an image, an emotion,
all of them surging
from the unknown abodes of his inner self, until that day.
Everything was then revealed to him,
as if he were looking in the mirror of nature,
at that place where images are born for the happy reality of living things.
He painted as in ecstasy, a dream of many things,
trees, hills, the little hut, the wandering clouds
under the splendid morning sky.
When he removed the brush, after that last stroke,
the canvas seemed to him
the masterwork of another,
something like the expression of ideas
which are always found around the hills,
as if they were the winged fragments of divine truths,
perceived from the heights,
at that long­awaited hour when the deities
favor us with their divine wisdom and sweet inspiration.
Even more astonished was the artist
after looking at the wild dances of lines and colors,
since it was the same as the rhythm which was bursting in his soul
and slowly flowed to the painter's brush!
Voices heard at a distance disrupted the enchanted moment.
The painter took off his apron,
he stored the inks, the brushes and palette.
An hour of creation was gone now,
it was now in the limbo of things­that­were,
but then... who knows?
The farmers,
the villagers
who live in Quizur,
facing Escazú,
are standing speechless
since they cannot express
their feelings
about what happens
on the fields,
and on the roads
and paths
around Quizur.
Their children repeat
one name only:
Rasur! Rasur!
They never stop praising
the wonders he performs;
they tell how he draws
in mid-air,
how the beautiful shape remains and glows,
like the flight of fireflies,
and refuses to disappear.
He polishes the pebbles
that the children bring him
in their pockets,
and they sparkle
like precious jewels
at an elegant store.
A girl called Denya brought him a badly wounded bird:
With a movement of his hands and with his breath
he healed it.
A boy called Flip tells us
how Rasur answers their questions without words,
as he always knows their thoughts, and their nightly dreams.
He slips into
their most intimate secrets.
Nothing is hidden from Rasur:
They have become transparent,
like the air and the crystal,
and he speaks to them at a distance, without using his speech,
and proudly they obey him,
but nobody notices
his soft commands.
And nothing do they know
about this Child,
who descended from the mountains,
who became the Lord of the Valley.
Yet they all adore him,
for the magic of his being,
for the beauty of his face
and the fire in his hands,
always modeling, always drawing, shaping what he wishes,
following a certain image created by his fantasy.
Nothing sleeps in his presence,
neither the children nor the flowers,
not even the sleep­-inducing mimosa dares to close its petals and slumber,
when in front of Rasur's eyes.
The rumors of the Earth
are climbing up the trees,
and they tell Rasur the news
of its magical world of music,
with special words of remembrance,
mysterious remembrances,
from other lives in other lands.
In the darkness of the evening
they have seen him,
wandering through the hidden paths, returning to the earth,
by unknown mysterious ways.
There, in the deepest caves,
the gnomes have carved
a hall of stone for him.
So they say, Ania and Myria.
Out of every corner in the hall,
ancient voices from the past speak to him:
They remind him of the many ideas,
of the many plans and intentions
that were in his mind
once he had decided to come down
to the village of Quizur.
There his imagination
is renewed,
full of power
it evokes a river of images, of things­to­come,
and things­that­were.
Of eternal light is
his mind flooded,
and from the highest peaks he calls.
To the Hall of Being they come:
those who were happy and great:
the Supermen of the Spirit,
from every corner of this world,
they gather in merry assembly.
What Surya has understood, ­she is only twelve­-years­-old,­
is all wonder for the engineer,
for the artist, for the ox­ driver,
and it astonishes the analytic mind of that honest judge, Armando.
She then explains that Rasur and other Great Beings,
that met on the highest peaks,
are masters of the natural forces that the wise men call the laws,
of those forces
generating every single thing
in the Kingdom of Life.
They are all the Inspirers,
not the Makers:
there are other invisible intelligences
which are forces always designing and shaping
those atomic substances that conform everything existing on the Earth.
Their creative will
is the Supreme Will,
coming from the Brings
who harmonize their wishes to create supra­-sensible models,
on the basis of eternal archetypes,
of a long­-gone evolution.
In the Hall, Rasur is sitting, remembering
he is a child no more,
that his present form is just a segment
of the celestial circle which is of his Real Being,
just like we are.
We are like the fingers on his hands,
and provide a shape
to inspirations coming from his mind.
He teaches us how to create,
as he puts in ours a phosphorescent spark,
which slowly kindles our creative imagination.
He makes us understand the rumors among the trees,
the many sounds of the haunted, wild night,
the voices of hunting beasts.
Those sounds are just the voices of new creations,
from the essences and substances in the sap
that the smallest creatures on earth make,
even those in the depths of the soil.
Those forest sounds are the thoughts of the gods of Nature
that the ancient Greeks called Pan;
and who started the renewal of the world.
For all the forms in Nature there is an Autumn
but the voices of god Pan
bring Spring for them again.
Each morning he sheds light over the newborn forms
which were conceived the night before.
So the presence of Rasur in these beautiful hills
has brought us the vision of mysterious things
which cannot be observed with the eyes of humans.
All Nature is alive before us,
full of sensibility and a mighty intelligence.
Now we understand about the swarms of tiny creatures,
which destroy, build and renew the world,
as a myriad of little hands working forever
only to create the infinite charm of Nature.
To Julian's house
Damian came.
A group of friends is admiring the artist's landscapes. Armando, the judge,
is expressing his feelings: "Everything comes alive on these canvases:
joyful light
runs and jumps
up and down the hills,
from the top
to the river banks;
the frothy waters of the streams, they give me this impression
of slow waters,
like a reflecting lens
that explodes
in a thousand emerald lights,
as if they had inside themselves the hidden enchantment
of this countryside
at this time of the day.
My senses are strained, awaiting a great surprise; tasting a miracle
about to happen.
The paintings around me seem to share
this most intimate anguish.
The beauty of your paintings
still remains in the hands of our Creator. They receive inspiration from the Highest,
murmur of a spring,
flowing among your rocks
and your grass, your trees,
and your water and mountains,
your colors contain the wondrous sap, that comes from a glance of fire
and from the many things that breath and palpitate in the lights
or in shadows of a sunset
yearning for the night.
The sky you paint is animated, with clouds and birds
crossing slowly
as if they were thoughts, traveling towards
a distant horizon of mystery,
The air in your paintings
seems bathed in the purest waters,
it looks blue in the foreground,
dark and golden in the mountains far away.

All that is found in Surya's narration,
inside the strange paintings I can see.
Even when it rains across the valley, you will find sunshine where we meet.
I believe that now I am grasping
what has happened inside your heart.”
Then David ­that silversmith, that mystic­
spoke and said:
"He who knows only one truth,
is stuck like an anchored ship with no sails.
You have lived with an anchor until that day
when the presence of Rasur
broke the chains sustaining your anchors.
Now your world is slowly beginning to spin in the other direction:
towards a different path.
The science you know is like a curtain, and it has been ripped apart,
and now you can see the real causes of things;
beyond the mere forms of things.
The Joy of Life is now entering the concentric spheres
of your six senses.
The Wonder of Life is changing you; because, until now,
you did not feel like you had lived.
Your science is now a beautiful dead object
if it insists in extracting the content from the form,
and if still studies things separated from their spirits.
The beauty you see in these paintings
lives forever in the eternity of firmament.
Anything that is eternal
is the soul of a single instant
as the infinite is the soul of a single atom."
Silence covered them
as a white fan spreading
under the light of thinking minds. The workshop's little window enlarged as a stage
showing a new spiritual horizon over the face of the earth.
So delightful was the pleasure they all felt
that the dream­like enchantment seemed to have no end.
Damian was more of a matter­of­fact young man,
and here he is in the presence of something he has been seeing and feeling
these last four days.
And thus he spoke:
"As shown in Julian's paintings,
from the valley I have seen the glow
of the little straw hut,
near the top of the hill
and I have seen flocks of children entering the hut.
I have heard the strangest narrations, about the caves and caverns of Rasur;
lthough I do not know if what they say
is the truth or a mere creation
of their mind's fantasies.
But, nevertheless, I join them
in their happiness,
scattered over the hill and dale,
along every road and path,
near the valleys' inns and shelters,
as if Springtime were offering them a blue carpet
to enter the mansions of Nature.
Spring seems to laugh with them
in the blue and purple colors
of the wild flowers,
in the little songs of birds
or in the slow everlasting chanting of the stream.
A Holy Gospel of Beauty and Joy
seems to spread under the light of these surroundings:
I have never seen before the like of it. Julian's paintings have revealed this ecstasy,
and have the happiness that he felt
as did the children and people from the village."
“While I was painting”, Julian, the artist, said “Nature herself was nurturing me with dreams.
Hers is the beauty appearing in the dreams of trees,
of grass and weeds,
of hills and rocky peaks
we find in these surroundings.
Because all these things are alive
and they always dream about beauty.
The forest is always aware of its life and of its dreams.
And the waters in the streams
are also dreaming as they flow.
The clouds of purest white
descending from the slopes,
are roaming these valleys,
and dreaming as they float,
over the long valleys,
from Grecia to Escazú,
and from there to Santa Ana.
They drift on,
like a flock of sheep in the distance;
they fly over the fields and the plains and disappear into the blue sky,
as long forgotten strands of the fairest hair.
Such is Nature:
She creates as she dreams on;
Like any other artist she dreams of her creations
before providing them with a shape,
in her womb of clay.
Likewise, I have always lived dreaming, happily,
the dream of Nature that lives in my paintbrush,
on the canvas, on my paintings;
it grows and leads,
as the tendrils of the vine look forward to the hold.
My astonishment is like yours:
Never before did I paint
with such joyful feelings,
never with such easiness,
and with such delight. Art,
when not born of inspiration,
is just an artist and an easel.
The joyful artist feels a flow of creation within himself,
just as the playful stream
carves shapes inside the caves.
Ever since Rasur
has been living among us,
this countryside seems full
of images of fire,
they go off and on like fireflies do, flying between the reeds
and the jagged edges of the leaves;
Images all around are flying,
willing to live forever
they flow upwards as a fountain,
born from Nature's imagination, running to find a place
in man's creative spirit:
they yearn to be fixed
in words or in a brush of light
in the blue air of my paintings:
I wanted men to feel what is not apparent.
I wanted to share what I now perceive in this ecstasy infused by Rasur.
Joy is like a spring of water that overflows
and runs over the fields,
as in that region of Umbria
where Francis of Assisi roamed, always singing:
"There is no valley of tears
in this Holy Land of Umbria."
All creatures living in these dales,
now feel like living under a new grace: when they stop to pick up a thistle
when they walk arm in arm
or just rest under a tree.
Men's voices are clearer and stronger,
they sound like the rushes at the river,
those manly voices from the country lads.
Silver and crystals may be found in the shining voices
of women and children,
so happy they seem to be
since they are company to the adolescent god,
since the day they learned to love Rasur.
Now that we live in Rasur's presence we share remembrances of people,
we recognize landscapes
which are not from these places of ours.
He mixes our lives with those
from other people,
other civilizations.
I have found myself
painting about exotic places, strange dances and processions,
which I had never seen before.
They are so real in my hands
and I am overwhelmed with wonder:
It is like living
in a garden of dreams,
this glorious place of Quizur,
with all its children, all its people.
Part of Rasur's enchantment it is all. 
This is why we love this adolescent god, Rasur...

Read more…

How often do we hear or say, “Be the change you/we want to see in the world?” We now have the tools to do it.
The BePeace or Connection Practice developed by international peacemaker, Rita Marie Johnson, provides precise know-how to gain insight into our inner life in an efficient and powerful manner. Application and regular practice in the use of these tools directly impacts our day to day interactions in a real, authentic and sustainable way.

Rita Marie Johnson has been living “Humanity’s Peace Story” since childhood. The first inkling of her mission came at age 10, when she heard the words, “You will be a peacemaker.” She remained in the dark about how to go about this daunting task until some years later, when she learned that Costa Rica had dismantled their army in 1948. In fact, just two years prior, in 1946, the Costa Rican educator and diplomat, Roberto Brenes Mesén, had published a breathtaking and prophetic epic poem, “Rasur, or the Week of Splendor.” The poem, originally written in Spanish, tells of a master teacher, Rasur, who mysteriously appears one day in a mountain village where he woos the children deep into a mountain where he teaches them the way of peace. During that week, the children impart to their parents what they have learned from the master, Rasur, transforming relations of the entire community.


I first spoke with Rita Marie Johnson on a 2010 Peace Alliance conference call. She had just returned to the U.S. from Costa Rica where she’d spent the years since 1993 discovering and developing peace-making methods and a training program to “feel peace, speak peace and teach peace.” Rita Marie even wrote and produced an opera during that time: “Rasur, the Week of Splendor,” once the poem was translated into English. The BePeace movement eventually gained the support of the President of Costa Rica, a former Minister of Education, and was installed in the country’s classrooms. To date, over 40,000 students have learned the BePeace method in public school settings.  Rasur International,

Rita Marie Johnson has combined the work of the Heart Math Institute (Heart-Mind Coherence) and that of Marshall Rosenberg who initiated NVC, (Non-Violent, Compassionate Communication), adding a special dimension in her synthesis of the two. Walking the “BePeace Path,” I’ve sensed a deepening clarity and coherence, as though stepping into someone else’s shoes to gain insight into their world almost from inside their skin. “Ubuntu,” where “me” becomes “we,” cultivating true understanding and compassion by which to craft a universal culture of peace.

People of all ages have been learning these methods. BePeace, now known as the Connection Practice, is the only peace skill-building course offered at the United Nations-mandated University of Peace. Because seasoned mediators - graduates from every culture, ethnicity, and language group across the globe - routinely experienced an “a-ha” during the course, (“Ah, so, this really works!”), they suggested that the course be the first requirement of all training at the university.

Rita Marie has recently published a book, Completely Connected: Uniting our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, available in bookstores and through the Rasur International website.

The BePeace Foundations Course appeared to me to be the perfect complement to my mission, the gypsy wagon journey of SingPeace! Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony. SingPeace! - crafting a culture of peace in community through music, creative arts and exuberant play - was the “celebratory” component of a powerful skill-building process. As founder and director of the SingPeace! Pilgrimage, I determined to bring BePeace to the Northwest.

To begin with, I needed to learn and experience, first hand, the validity of the BePeace methods. Three of us from my project traveled to Santa Cruz, CA to attend a BePeace Foundations Course. On completion of the 4-day retreat, I invited Rita Marie Johnson to present the first training of BePeace at Whidbey Institute, near my home on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle.

In 2011, musicians from around the U.S. and Canada were in residence at the first 4-day BePeace Foundations Course, offered in the Northwest. Among them were singers, guitarists, 3 violinists, 2 stand-up bass players, drummers, etc. Leading up to the event, several of us took part in a day-long facilitator training in order to assist Rita Marie during the retreat. I must say, I have never felt more thoroughly listened to than when paired with Rita Marie in that training. Once heard, I was better prepared to hear others. A ripple effect has taken place since the BePeace Foundations Course, with several of us in attendance taking advanced training to become facilitators, group leaders coaches and trainers of BePeace or the Connection Practice. [i.e. “BePeace” is often used in faith-based communities, “The Connection Practice,” is the terminology generally used in secular settings.]

The following interviews with Rita Marie Johnson shed light on the methods she has imbibed and synthesized:

"Humanity’s Peace Story,” an illuminating audio interview with Emily Hine during the 2011 Shift Network Peace Week, along with the BePeace Anthem, composed by Sam Guarnaccia can be found at this link:

During the Shift Network’s “Summer of Peace,” Rita Marie spoke again in more detail, taking interviewer, Philip Helmich, through the steps of the Connection Practice:
(Also available at


“Introduction to the Connection Practice, “ Rita Marie Johnson:

“The Connection Practice, Scientifically Based Social-Emotional Learning for At-Risk Kids," a talk by Rita Marie Johnson:

“BePeace Camp 2014:"

“Completely Connected - The Magic of Combining Empathy and Insight:"

BePeace Course Retreat
Peacemaker, Singers will meet at Whidbey Institute

Read more…

Nelson Mandela

By David Haglund, – December 6, 2013

See article:

In the 1980s, a number of musicians raised their voices to call for the freedom of Nelson Mandela. (The fight against apartheid, as the documentary Amandla! highlighted, was waged partly with music.)

The most famous of these protest songs, in the U.S. at least, is probably 1984’s “(Free) Nelson Mandela” by the Specials, which reached No. 9 on the U.K. charts and helped to make Mandela’s cause more widely known.

Three years later, the South African musician Hugh Masekela had one of his biggest hits with “Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela),” which became an anthem among Mandela supporters—and which Mandela himself would later dance to, a free man.

The same year that Masekela’s song came out, the South African band Savuka, fronted by Johnny Clegg, released “Asimbonanga,” which roughly translates as “We have not seen him.”

Mandela would dance to that one, too—and in the highlight of this video, you can watch him do so below when he joins Clegg on stage.

“It is music and dancing,” he says, “that makes me at peace with the world.”

And then, after the song ends, Mandela shows us his inimitable humour…”But I don’t see much movement at the back there, you know.”

So he asks the band to play it again so people can dance more than they did the first time.

Read more…

Pillars of Peace

Our latest research report, the Pillars of Peace, explores the attitudes and institutions that underpin peaceful societies.


10 Sep 2013

The Pillars of Peace is the latest ground breaking research from the Institute for Economics and Peace. The Pillars of Peace Report provides a new conceptual framework for understanding and describing the factors that are associated with peaceful societies. The research is based on an analysis of over 4,000 data sets, surveys and indices; it is the first empirical framework that aims to measure positive peace.  

The Pillars of Peace describe the attitudes, institutions and structures that are associated with peaceful societies.

Pillars of Peace

The research defines 8 key Pillars that underpin peace; these Pillars are both interdependent and mutually reinforcing, meaning that the relative strength of any one Pillar has the potential to either positively or negatively influence peace.

These Pillars are: a well functioning government, a sound business environment, an equitable distribution of resources, an acceptance of the rights of others, good relations with neighbours, free flow of information, a high level of human capital, and low levels of corruption.

Measuring positive peace


Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is much more. Peace is best understood through the concepts of "positive peace" and "negative peace". Negative peace is the absence of violence or the fear of violence; it is the definition of peace that we use in the Global Peace Index (GPI). Positive peace is the attitudes, institutions and structures, that when strengthened, lead to peaceful societies. 

The Pillars of Peace has been developed to measure the positive peace factors that create peaceful societies. These same positive peace factors are positively associated with development outcomes, and the flourishing of human potential. 

Launch of the Pillars of Peace Report

The Pillars of Peace report will be launched on the 10th of September with a panel discussion at the United Nations in Geneva. The discussion will use the report as a basis to explore a new approach for increasing resilience and well-being, and the necessity for positive peace to be included on the post-2015 development agenda.


Contact us

Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.

Data request:

Sydney Office

PO Box 42, St Leonards,
NSW 1590,
Tel: +61 2 9901 8500

New York Office

3 East 54th Street
14th Floor
New York, New York 10022
Tel: +1 (646) 963-2160
Read more…

Gary’s Caravan Dream

Here is your opportunity to participate in Gary Young's dream of a World Peace Caravan.

When I was in Arabia filming four years ago, I had a dream, which was connected to the Arabian research I had been doing that had resulted in my novel, The One Gift.

In this dream I saw the captains of three small caravans merge them into one. That caravan was headed to a city I thought was Bethlehem. When I had this dream, I thought, “Well, my goodness; how fun it would be to create a reenactment of the Three Magi taking gifts to the Christ child for Christmas in 2012.”

I shared my dream with my wife, and she said, “Yeah, Gary, get real; like you’ve got time for that.” So I put it on the back burner and never gave it much thought.

Then when we went back and were filming 3½ years ago, I had the dream again; and the dream took on a little more size, shape, and form. So I shared it with Mary again, and she said, “Oh come on, Gary; when are you going to do that?”

And I said, “Yeah, you’re right, honey.” So I put it on the back burner again.

Last June 1, I had just gotten off the phone talking to my friends Dr. Mahmoud Suhail in Oman and Dr. HK Lin in Oklahoma about our frankincense project and how they were both coming to our convention. I said, “After convention I’ll take you salmon fishing.” They were very excited.

I went to bed and dreamed about salmon fishing, even to the point where I’d hooked this big Chinook in the Salmon River, and it was taking line down the rapids. I was standing in the boat fighting this big salmon. The sun came out from behind a cloud and blinded me, and everything went absolutely white. I put up my hand trying to shade the sun out of my eyes, hang on to this salmon, and fight the line at the same time. All of a sudden the sun went behind a cloud, the light came out of my eyes, and I was able to see again. However, when I looked back to see where my line was, the river was gone, the line was gone, and there was a trail where the line used to be—and coming up the trail was a caravan.

The Caravan Dream Expands

Gary's dream continues and expands. He is now making it a reality. Come join the World Peace Caravan!

Well, that dream lasted for 2½ hours, and it wasn’t about a reenactment of the three magi. I saw six caravans merge, and later through the dream realized they were six of the religions of the world: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam. They all merged into one caravan to forge a better future for the world’s children.

As I was watching this, all of a sudden I was on my horse and was leading the caravan. You know how dreams are; they always change. We camped at night, and the children played and ran through the tents and around the fires, yelling and playing and having a grand time. They all spoke the same language of friendship. People from every walk of life were sitting around the fires talking, and we had entertainment and special speakers from different religious groups, sharing, educating, and teaching.

The caravan entered Jerusalem at daylight as the sun was coming up, and the last person in the caravan entered Jerusalem as the sun went down. My dream had somehow switched from coming into Bethlehem to coming into Jerusalem. The caravan was over 5 miles long, with over 5,000 people in it. The next day, there was a three-day peace conference held in Jerusalem at the International Convention Center.

That dream is now going to become a reality; the event is going to take place in April of next year. We have an office, an 800 number, an advisory committee, and a director of the project, Jay Anderton.

I’ll tell you a little bit about how that happened. Before I went to Jerusalem, Mary asked, “What are you going to do in Jerusalem?”

I said, “I’ve got to find somebody to help me with the caravan.”

She then asked, “How are you going to do that?”

I replied, “Well, when I get there, I’ll figure it out.”

Finding Help in Jordan

While driving from Israel into Petra, I was thinking that I had to find somebody to help me in Jordan, so I decided to go to the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Having stayed there many times, I know a lot of people and thought maybe they would be able to direct me to someone who could help. However, when I arrived at the Crowne Plaza, it was closed for renovation.

So I drove back downtown. I hadn’t eaten so I pulled into another hotel and thought that it would probably have a restaurant, maybe a buffet, and sure enough there was a buffet. A gentleman greeted me and showed me to a seat. As he handed me the menu, he said, “How may I help you?”

I looked up at him and said, “As a matter of fact, you can help me. I need a man who knows the King of Jordan, a man who knows the Minister of Tourism, a man who speaks English, a man who knows camels, and a man who knows the history of frankincense—and I need a man who can help me with the Jordanian national television station.”

He blinked his eyes and stepped back and said, “Well, could I have a minute to make a couple of phone calls?”

I said, “Sure.”

I filled my plate at the buffet, sat down, and started eating. A man walked up to my table and said, “I understand you want to talk to somebody who knows about camels. I work in the Aqaba office, and my boss’s name is Omar. Omar has been a tour operator for 27 years, he speaks 5 languages, and he was an ambassador to the United States. He’s related to the king, and his sister works for the Jordanian national television station.”

Omar is now on our advisory committee.

Read more…

Hello all at SingPeace!

I guess the best way to introduce ourselves is to post our most recent biography, sorry if it seems a bit business-like, that's not our intention. We are always looking for ways to share our music and this certainly seems like a community of like-minded souls, who may well dig our vibe, so to speak.

So, thank you for having us. We hope we can join you on your pilgrimage for Peace, indeed we are also on that path, how wonderful it is that our paths have crossed.

We may live in the UK but we are willing to travel, and enjoy making connections all over the world.

Wishing you all Peace.

Please enjoy reading our biography ...

Heal the Last Stand – Biography 2013


“The 4 coolest musicians and peace troubadours to emerge from the UK in a very long time, with music that will change the world” – Mike Dooley (Author of “Infinite Possibilities” & “Notes from the Universe”)


From Wales in the UK, Joey, Laura, Stan and Thom make up the peaceful acoustic quartet known as Heal the Last Stand.

This Wrexham-born band, now in the 6th year of their Everlasting Peace Tour, continue to inspire and uplift audiences far and wide; their soaring harmonies and inspirational lyrics have earned them a place on the stages of Glastonbury Festival, Europe and the US.


From the outset Heal knew they wanted to be a force for good in the world and have always gone about business differently to most bands, finding work in the early days by offering their voices to peaceful causes. Pretty soon, Heal were invited to sing at the Global Peace Summit in Costa Rica. Initial apprehension about travel costs kept them from making that trip, but they quickly learned to say yes first and work out how to make it happen later and vowed never to let the odds defeat them again. This determination to ‘say yes and see where it takes them’ has been the catalyst for their subsequent adventures. Ultimately they attribute their success to the kindness and generosity of the friends they’ve met on the road.


After critics compared them to West Coast harmony bands like The Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Heal heard the call and crossed the ocean for a six-week dream tour of California, with a band they met through MySpace called Ecstatic Union. They took their music north on the Pacific Coast Highway stopping in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Venice, Santa Cruz, Big Sur and San Francisco to name a few. As well as the usual tour dates in theatres and bars, Heal reached out that little further, always armed with their guitars they played beach houses, street corners, beaches, roof tops and (the bands' favorite) on the public transport.


Back in Europe, they drove south on their third tour of Catalonia, taking time to record the video for their much loved song “Soul Shanti” over-looking the city lights of Barcelona from the top of Montjuïc, the city’s own Olympic hill (SEE THE VIDEO HERE). 


Their efforts for Peace were recognized by the late Mayor of Wrexham, Arwel Gwynn Jones and the band were invited to tea in his parlour; he allowed them to place a copy of their album "What Love Is..." in a display cabinet full of local treasures and memorabilia, between a Ruabon Red Brick and a can of Wrexham Lager.


The band have released 2 CDs so far on their own record label, 'Everybody Wants Peace Records', their debut album, "What Love Is..." (2009) And an E.P called "Peace is the Word" (2010).

"Forgive & Forget" was picked as “Single of the Week” on BBC Wales' morning show.

Summer 2013 brings UK Festival appearances and a European Tour to promote a new single from their forthcoming Album OUT AUTUMN/WINTER 2013.

Contact them via email:


Read more…

Join the largest global choir and musical action day of healing for the Earth by joining One Earth. One Voice. on December 21. Our synchronized moment of song will take place:

Friday, December 21: 10pm GMT | 5pm EST | 4pm CST | 3pm MST | 2pm PST

Learn the song, download the music and spread the word:


Ise Oluwa is one of the most beloved songs of West Africa. We believe that’s true for a few reasons: one is the message of the translation, which we agree with deeply. The other is its beautiful, simple (that word again) melody, with so many possibilities for harmony.

Words: Ise oluwa, koley bajey o.
A (simple) phonetic pronunciation: eee-shea oh-lu-wah, koh-leh bah-jey-o.

Translation: That which Creator has made (or that which has been created) can never be destroyed.

When we teach this song to groups around the world, most are not experienced singers. We’re amazed at how quickly people learn the song – even the harmonies, which are beautiful. Whether you are a novice or a professional, we like to emphasize three basic principles:

Tune into our website: and our Facebook page (One Earth. One Voice.) to register to participate, and for updates.

Special thanks:
The Three Altos (music)
Chris Shaeffer (video production)

Read more…
"Permeating the Mainstream"
OCTOBER 5-7, 2012

An empowering three day sustainability event that will change your relationship with the planet, and each other.

In 2012, Permaculture will be "Permeating the Mainstream!"

The NW Permaculture Convergence is an inclusive annual event which unites communities for a weekend of intensive focus on a common goal: to design sustainable habitats, in accordance with nature, for all humans, plants and animals.


Practitioners across a wide-spectrum of skill-sets exchange ideas through concurrent workshops ranging from organic agriculture and wildcrafting to natural building and appropriate technologies; from environmental remediation and disaster preparedness to community dynamics and global justice.

In addition to the workshop space, there are also dedicated areas for skill sharing, children's activities, educational displays, and vendors.

Participants have opportunities to socialize over meals, and during the evening's entertainment. People bring dishes to share. Chefs prepare the food and everyone takes turns with the kitchen chores.

This year's event is being held at Fort Flagler State Park, a 784-acre marine camping park surrounded on three sides by 19,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Marrowstone Island. The park rests on a high bluff overlooking Puget Sound, with views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Many historic buildings remain at this 19th-century-established military fort.

Available onsite accommodations include Family Campgrounds at an additional $10.00 per person, or open partitioned Adult Dorm Rooms at additional $30.00 per person -for the duration of the event. RV sites with hookups must be purchased directly from the park by calling (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.

The NW Permaculture Convergence, applying for non-profit 501(c)3 status, oversees event management and is fiscally responsible for each year's planning committees. This group teams-up with local communities for 'shoulder events,' supporting our allies with tours, panel discussions, workshops, and classes. Every year, the organization offers a number of volunteer and work trade positions. Ride shares, home stays and food donations can be bartered on the website FORUM page.

Participation steadily increases with each Convergence. In 2012, attendance is expected to reach five hundred as long time enthusiasts and beginners alike will pilgrimage from every corner of the Cascadian Bioregion which extends from coastal Alaskan Panhandle to the north, into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of the Yukon, Idaho, Wyoming and Western Montana to Fort Flagler State Park near Port Townsend, Washington. Ocean views are spectacular from the event site, and the rare temprate rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula is less than one hour away.

Ft Flagler photo by Julie Hall, Inside Bainbridge 2011, all rights reserved.

Read more…

6/6/2012 6:00:00 AM
Songlines' June 16 concert benefits Building Futures
Gretchen Sleicher and Laurence Cole, pictured here at their shared property at the Port Townsend EcoVillage, are codirectors of the Songlines community choir. Photo by Maggie Hastings Clifford

Gretchen Sleicher and Laurence Cole, pictured here at their shared property at the Port Townsend EcoVillage, are codirectors of the Songlines community choir. Photo by Maggie Hastings Clifford

Maggie Hastings Clifford

Songlines is calling forth the Port Townsend community once again to not just join in song, but to raise funds and awareness for a most worthy local organization.

The “Spring Sing” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 in the downtown Cotton Building benefits YMCA’s Building Futures mentoring program. There is a suggested donation of $12.

Songlines directors Laurence Cole and Gretchen Sleicher chose Building Futures as the beneficiary organization because mentoring programs help to strengthen community and encourage meaningful relationships, they said.

“The Songlines philosophy is about generating connection through song and an enlivened sense of community,” said Cole.

After reading an article about Building Futures in the April 11 edition of the Leader, Sleicher contacted Kim Hammers, director of the program, and knew that she had found the right organization. She hopes the partnership raises more than just funds.

“We were inspired to partner with Building Futures by the desire to support mentoring by making further connections between those that are already involved in the program and the Songlines network. Perhaps people in our network will be inspired to become mentors,” Sleicher said.

In fact, Hammers said, since the publishing of the April 11 article, 10 mentors have stepped up to meet with a mentee, or “buddy,” once a week.

Mentors are interviewed and then placed with a buddy, age 6-11, who they meet with on school property. They can play games, work on homework, create art and more. Current mentors range in age from high school students to retirees. Some matches last until the mentee has finished high school and all of them result in meaningful experiences, Hammers said.

“The magic of the friendship between the two people in a match is a win/win situation,” said Hammers. “The mentee and the mentor benefit gloriously from the partnership. I invite anyone who has the time or talent, and has it in their hearts to be a mentor to step forward. It really is quite transforming for both.”

Kim Hammers and YMCA director Erica Delma plan to attend the June 16 Songlines “Spring Sing” to answer any questions about Building Futures. To hear Sleicher and Cole talk more about the choir and upcoming concert, tune in to KPTZ-FM 91.9 Port Townsend at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8.

All are welcome to join Songlines’ new season in September, and Building Futures is ready for more mentors. Step up to be a mentor or stand in as a member of the choir – both are ways to strengthen the Port Townsend community.

Read more…

Encounter with the White Lion

10971370482?profile=originalMarah, white lioness, Timbavati, South Africa


The White Lioness, symbol of Sacred Activism, appeared in my meditation, blessing the SingPeace! Earth Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony.  On the night of the Lunar Eclipse, I discovered the video conversation between Andrew Harvey & Linda Tucker, shaman and author of "Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God," learning from them, the role of the White Lion in our collective evolutionary metamorphosis.

The white lion is a rare breed, known in legend to reappear when humanity and Mother Earth are undergoing an "evolutionary metamorphosis." I was completely unaware of these lions, their message and their plight until joining a Stephen Dinan and Barbara Marx Hubbard on my first ever Shift Network call in October 2010. As a prelude to this course, Barbara talked about her book, "Emergence."

Though I'd heard her name as a "futurist" through the years, I wasn't drawn to look into her message. But some kind of activation was taking place within me as I stood, headphones on in my kitchen - it was dinnertime - nodding my head, "Yes. Yes. That's right, yes," I kept saying aloud. And, of course, I signed up for her upcoming course.

That was on a Thursday evening. On Friday, I would attend the Bioneers Conference via satellite. Bioneers' mission is "to inspire a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations." My mission, the gypsy wagon journey of SingPeace! Earth Pilgrimage for Peace & Global Harmony, is an expression of a common desire to support this shift.

I awoke early Friday morning to meditate. Nodding out and in a meditative/dream state, I witnessed the following:

I am walking along a dirt road with a small group of people. One person, a tall man, is walking alongside me, his arm snugly around my shoulders. I don't look up to see who he is; instead, I ask telepathically. He tells me his name, "Larry," someone I know, and who I recognize in that moment as an "evolutionary partner," a suggestion from Barbara on the call.

Up ahead and standing at right angles across the path, is a white lioness, her head and eyes turned in our direction. A few paces in front of me and my friend is a stocky young man with a buzz cut and wearing a t-shirt. His pace has slowed. "He has a luger," my friend says quietly. Everyone takes an audible breath in and stops in their tracks as this young man takes aim at the lioness. Suddenly, I break free of my friend's arm. I can feel the fear for my safety from the crowd as I walk forward to engage the man with the gun in conversation. I have no recollection of our exchange, but it clearly diffuses a very tense situation. The young man is "disarmed," and does not shoot the lioness.

I arrived late to the second day of the Bioneers Conference, in time to hear these words: “The tale of the hunt glorifies the hunter, until the lioness tells her own story." The speaker, Elizabeth Kapu'uwailani Lindsey, was sharing her experience as an activist for climate refugees. She is an award-winning filmmaker and anthropologist who is also the first Polynesian explorer for National Geographic.

Then, I watched an online talk with Andrew Harvey author of, "Sacred Activism," in which he stated that the white lion is the symbol of "sacred activism." I recognized myself and my life purpose in that phrase, as it more nearly and neatly describes who and what I'm about than any other.

Barbara Marx Hubbard and the white lion, two rare breeds putting in an appearance at the same moment in time, the planets aligning, messengers forthcoming, all conspiring to ring the bell of my "calling"

Friends might laugh, not out of derision, but because they knew it all the time. I come from a long line of "activists," after all. I've been slow, aware of the tricks ego is bound to play and the folly of those who court power positions. Not a pretty sight anywhere in today's world.

While on that call with Barbara, I'd heard, once again, the deepest of all heart-longings: my wish to be "ordained," commissioned by the divine, for whatever I was meant to be and do in the world. I'd embraced the concept and path of "Sacred Activism," but I was not satisfied until I heard the lioness tell her story.

This, as it turns out, is not a metaphor. The white lion found me; and it keeps reappearing. I can't explain how I discovered the online video dialogue between Andrew Harvey, author of "The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism" and Linda Tucker, African Lion Shaman and author of "Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God." The two are setting up an Institute for Sacred Activism in South Africa.

In this dialogue, Linda Tucker points out that the white lions are here to assist in the evolutionary leap in consciousness. As "children of the Sun God," Kings of the Kings of the Beasts, they can and do ordain all actions which support Mother Earth and humanity's evolution.

What humanity needs now is a-lion-ment. Symbol of "Sacred Activism," the White Lion embodies the qualities of higher consciousness. The Seven Principles are Celebration, Oneness – One Mind, Love, Respect, Freedom, Peace, Courage.

Watch video:
Andrew Harvey : Author Scholar Mystic : Praise

Below is an introduction to a lion-hearted woman. She spoke during the 2010 Bioneer's Conference and helped to confirm my sense of having been "ordained" in my encounter with the White Lion.

Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey is the first Polynesian Explorer and female Fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society.  An anthropologist specializing in ethno-navigation, she is collaborating with Google and other strategic partners on a geospatial Map of the Human Story.  Based on the indigenous science of way-finding, the project is being constructed using a variety of methodologies.  The map will provide dynamic data of the human condition to help forecast emerging patterns worldwide.  Produced in a visually robust and universally accessible way, the map reflects Elizabeth’s commitment to serve all people.  Her work serves as the cornerstone of what will become a ‘cultural trust,’ a digital repository for present and future generations.

In 2011, Elizabeth embarked on a 186-day expedition to every continent to explore and document teachings critical to navigating the complexity of our times.  Her journey will result in  a multi-media platform of digital, television, publishing and live events.

The former Miss Hawai’i also works with United Nations Ambassadors on behalf of environmental refugees who are faced with the punishing realities of the climate crisis. A U.N. study predicts there will be as many as 50 million environmental refugees by 2012. There has been no other time in history where the fabric of the human story has been more vulnerable.

Elizabeth’s keen insight and first-hand accounts from the world’s most fragile regions make her international speaking engagements an inspiring call-to-action. She offers global audiences the rare invitation to experience unsung societies. Her expertise of native science and ancestral wisdom are helping reshape western perspectives.
On Elizabeth’s most recent expedition, she journeyed to Satawal, Micronesia where she recorded the traditions of the palu, Micronesian non-instrument navigators. Lindsey, who was raised by native Hawaiian elders, earned her doctorate in cultural anthropology specializing in  ethnonavigation. She spent almost ten years documenting master navigator Pius “Mau” Piailug who is considered the greatest wayfinder in the world. Her documentary film, “Then There Were None”, which chronicles the near extinction of native Hawaiians, is considered a Hawaiian history classic and has received numerous awards including the prestigious CINE Eagle. She has created scholarships for children in India and the Pacific and plans to expand her efforts this year. In 2004 she was named Woman of the Year in Hawai’i.
Elizabeth serves on the international boards of the Tibet Fund, Islands First, Blue Planet Foundation and is an advisor to the National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Initiative and the Paris-based NGO ProNatura.

Mapping the Human Story

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