Longing For Peace by Bonnie Greenwell

Longing For Peace

By Bonnie Greenwell


When we long for peace in the world we are usually thinking of the end of hostility, an environment in which none of us has to worry about guns or bombs or destructive encounters or tragic loses.

            Probably since the beginning of civilization humans have spoken of their desire for peace, while simultaneously being driven by a desire to survive, acquire more power, or force an ideological change by conquering others. Therefore, there is no such thing as an enduring world peace.  These battles over who gets to be in control is not only in societies, but is a continual difficulty in our personal lives.

             In the midst of these world conflicts and disturbing human tendencies can it be possible to maintain an internal peace?  Is it the external conflicts, the demands and behavior of others that cause our lack of peace?  Or could there be another possibility, an internal factor, a place inside where we can choose to be upset, or optionally turn off the world and discover the elusive “peace that passeth understanding” ?

            Krishnamurti, an Indian sage who was described by many as a “World Teacher”, wrote in letters toward the end of his life of an internal ecstasy that never left him.  “I am full of something tremendous.  I cannot tell you in words what is like a bubbling joy, a living silence, an intense awareness like a living flame.”   He had reached this place following years of a dramatic internal struggle that slowly transformed his way of being in the world. His spiritual unfolding would be called a spiritual crisis today, or perhaps a mental breakdown, but ultimately he moved into a settled inner peace, teaching about awareness, conscious living, mastery of thought and responsibility for the planet.

            Many who long for peace in the world wonder if the real issue isn’t that we first need to find peace within ourselves.  Surely if we are content in our own lives, free from destructive impulses, we could better move the world toward peace.

Some spiritual teachers even tell us that our basic nature is peace, that when we move deeply into silence in meditation we can discover a peaceful open presence that is content, because it is our natural state before or beyond thought.  It is this beingness, called in Taoist teachings our” original consciousness”, that is happy just being life itself.

            It appears that when we break through the beliefs and the conditioning that we carry like so many overcoats from our past, we have access to this natural bubbling joy described by Krisnamurti. It is what Buddhist call the end of suffering.

The great poet Rumi describes this knowing in terms of ecstatic love for all creation.

Taoists have compared it to going with the flow of a river or called it the Great Stillness.  Some call it illumination, and others say it is freedom or liberation.

A modern non-dual teacher, Adyashanti, says simply that the awakened state has  “no argument with reality”.

            I’ve spent the last 30 years studying moments of awakening both in sacred teachings and in thousands of ordinary westerners.  Awakening is a moment that feels as if consciousness has broken the boundaries prescribed by thought and emotion, and felt itself to be free of all contraction, concern and identification – simply this open and radiant beingness that mystics have tried to describe. 

            These glimpses of knowing oneself as peace and stillness, or love and openness, are discovered in moments of deep meditation or devotion, and also arise spontaneously for many reasons, even following intense grief or despair.  They are shocking to those who have had a strict intellectual framework for understanding the world around them.  They may disturb an ego that wants to stay in charge, because we cannot control when or how they rise or fall.  These moments begin dismantling the resistance, suffering and beliefs that keep us from deep peace. They help us uncover a natural internal sense of peace that is, possible no matter the challenges faced in life.  


Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D., is a Ashland transpersonal psychologist and non-dual teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti, Her new book When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening is available at Amazon.com

The above article appeared in the Ashland Daily Tidings on Saturday May 26, 2018

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Does God Care – by JimHatton


      I remember back in high school and college, and even after I played men’s slow pitch softball, it was common practice for our team to ask God to help us win the game. Interestingly enough recent research says that 48% of Americans believe athletes of faith are rewarded with good health and success. After each pre-game prayer, I was left with the question-does God Care who wins the game?

 I recently posed the question Does God Care to a group of spiritually based students. I found the answers quite interesting…

 Of course, God cares.

  • Why wouldn’t God care?
  • God is a loving, caring God.
  • God cares for us in ways we don’t even know about. 

    What does God (He, She) care about, I asked?

  • God cares about me!
  • God cares about what’s right.
  • God cares about justice. 

    Does God care who wins the game?

  • Uh…Well…..no.If God ready does care, why doesn’t God end suffering?
  • Suffering is ultimately a choice we make, we create our lives either consciously by our thought and actions or unconsciously by default. 

    Does God Love?

  • Yes, God is unconditional love! 

    If God is unconditional Love, does God love the terrorist more or less than you?

  • (Silence, bewildered faces) 

    If Gods love is unconditional Love, does God care for one thing more than another? Or one person more than another?


    Let’s explore this a little further….

    Does a snowflake care where it falls and lands?

    Does water care whether it is in a pond, a lake, a river?

    Can we ask a tree to act like the wind?

    Can we ask a dog to roar like a lion?

    Can I ask you to be like a bear and hibernate all winter?

    Of course, not…. might be the answer to these questions, “How ridiculous to ask these questions!” one might say.

    We can’t ask some thing to be or act like something that it is not.

    If God loves unconditionally we cannot ask God to:

  • Choose sides in a football game.
  • Choose side in a divorce.
  • Choose sides in a war.
  • Protect us because we are part of a particular tradition.
  • Love the thief less than God loves me
  • Love the Rapist less than God loves me
  • Love the shooter less than God loves me.
  • Love the other team less than God Love our teamCommonly, people project their humanness onto their concept of God.  In ancient times God was considered the old man with a white beard in the sky who rewarded and punished based in his mood. (This is known as an anthropomorphic god.)  In modern times, many people have let go of this belief. But God continues to be asked to do or be something other then what God is.


    The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao

    The name that can be named is not the eternal name

    The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.

    Lao Tsu-Tao Te Ching

    For our purposes we will attempt to name the nameless.  What is God?  God is pure consciousness, pure awareness.  It does not decide to be or do anything it is not, that is an impossibility. As God sees Itself in all of its creation, Love flows.  So, we can say God is Love.  It is the nature God to be unconditional Love. To try to ask that this unconditional love be conditional is like asking sand not to be sand or a tree not to leaf.

    Our question: Does God Care, is a bit of a trick question.  It should not be a question at all.  God does not decide to care for this and not care for that. God does not choose one team over another.  God goes not decide who suffers and who is rewarded.  It can’t!  It is not its nature.  Its only loves, unconditionally.

    Celebrate my friends.  God’s unconditional love means that there is no judgement, no punishment, and always love. You are always loved and knowing that brings a deep inner peace.

    Jim Hatton   Jim Hatton is author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life available on Amazon or at SpititualMaster.co. 

  • This article appeared in the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace Column on May 19th

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Einstein’s Energy Theory

I recently came across the following quote from Albert Einstein:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.  Match the frequency of

the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.

It can be no other way.  This is not philosophy.  This is Physics.”

So if I am depressed and my energy is “down” then that is what I’ll get…..more depression!

For example if I want joy (the reality I want ) then if I put the thought of “joy”

in my mind’s energy field then joy is what I will get!

It seems to me if I have joy in my mind (because that is what I want)

then that is what I have….JOY!

I think  he is suggesting that we remember the power of the BEAUTIFUL MIND

that we have ALL  inherited!

Sally McKirgan


For information about several A Course In Miracle Study Groups in the

Rogue Valley – Email:  innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com

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“I am There”

Recently I learned about the mystical poem ‘I am There’ by James Dillet Freeman.  He is sometimes known as “the poet laureate of the moon” because two of his poems are on the moon.  

‘I Am There’ was taken by Astronaut, James B. Irwin in 1971 and ‘Prayer for Protection’ by Lunar Commander ‘Buzz’ Aldrin in July 1969.  Here are these beautiful poems.

I am There

Do you need Me?

 I am there.

 You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.

 You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.

 You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

 I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.

 I am at work, though you do not recognize My works.

 I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

 Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I am, and then but as a feeling and a faith.

 Yet I am there. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.

 When you need Me, I am there.

 Even if you deny Me, I am there.

 Even when you feel most alone, I am there.

 Even in your fears, I am there.

 Even in your pain, I am there.

 I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.

 I am in you, and you are in Me.

 Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine.”

Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

 Empty your heart of empty fears.

 When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.

 You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.

 And I am in all.

 Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there.

 I am there because I have to be, because I am.

 Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of Me does the world go forward.

 I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.

 I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance. I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by. I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance. I am your peace. I am one with you. I am.

 Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.

 Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, because I love you.

 Beloved, I am there.


The Prayer of Protection

The light of God surrounds us;

 The love of God enfolds us;

 The power of God protects us;

 The presence of God watches over us;

 Wherever we are, God is!


Sally McKirgan facilitates the Tidings Inner Peace Column and one of several ‘A Course In Miracles’ study groups in the Rogue Valley.  Contact her at:  innerpeaceforyou@outlookcom.  Learn more about the history and mystery of ‘I am There’ by James Dillet Freeman at www.unity.com.


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Blueness by Jessica Bryan

BLUENESS by Jessica Bryan

Blue she was, but not really blue, more like soft grey – Blue Heron fading into the rocks and fallen trees along the creek edge. Her wings were partly open, and in this pose she appeared heart-shaped except for her long, slender neck and head.

At first, I didn’t understand her openness. She seemed so vulnerable with her chest prominently exposed. But then I realized she was wet and she was using the late afternoon sun to dry herself. Gazing upwards, she looked as though she was praying.

We were transfixed behind our window. We felt as though we were staring into the face of God, infinity, the vast silence of stars in the night sky.

Then she closed herself, and raising first one foot and then the other she began moving through the water between and over the rocks, gliding ever so slowly and gracefully. There was no rush, no intensity, just a delicate balancing.

She seemed to make a decision and rising up from the creek she flapped her enormous wings and flew, looking like some ancient, mythical creature. We stood silently and watched as she disappeared up the river, flying low and sheltered by trees.

The memory of the majestic bird as she flew – her wings glistening with just a slight gloss of water – has stayed with me as a continual reminder to live peacefully in the present with relaxed purpose. It’s all a matter of perspective, and since this experience I’ve decided to take mine from the grace of blueness.

* * *

Jessica Bryan is an author, book editor, and spiritual medium. She lives in Ashland and can be reached by e-mail: editor@mind.net. On the Internet: www.oregoneditor.com.

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Responsibility by Martin Buber

Here is a lovely quote from Martin Buber to reflect upon:

To what should one respond?

To what happens to one, to what is to be seen and heard and felt.

Each concrete hour allotted to the person, with its content drawn

from the world and from destiny, is speech for the man who is


Attentive, for no more than that is needed in order to make a

beginning with the reading of the signs that are give to you.

Martin Buber, Austrian Philosopher, Author “Between Man and Man” pg. 16

b. 1878-1965,  also wrote “I and Thou”

Thanks to Jack Altman for submitting this quote.

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Quiet Your Holy Mind

Quiet your Holy Mind


Many spiritualties tell us that a quiet mind will bring peace.  Is your mind quiet?  Do you want it quiet?  If so, then why isn’t it?

This is an age old question but the answer is simple:   We can’t have a quiet mind if we are judging people.  Judging others is the ego’s primary goal and it keeps us in separation and guilt. 

But we can have peace when we accept others – everyone – all of them, friends, relatives, the guy who cut you off in traffic. 

We will have peace when we cease the separation and judgment.

How do we stop these judgments?  Look at them and above all – do not judge yourself for making them or the ego has you by the throat. 

When you judge yourself (good or bad) you are making the error (the ego and the body) real.   

When we hang onto the hate, grievance, upset we are keeping it, the ego’s hate ALIVE!  If you haven’t noticed hate is the opposite of quietness.

But we have a purpose in keeping the grievance ALIVE?

When we see the other person, in our dream as separate and split off, we make them scapegoats for the part of our self we do not want to accept or recognize.

We are judging others we do not accept them as Holy.  If you don’t see others as Holy…..you are not Holy.

Judgment is purposive.  It keeps us unholy and bound to guilt and entrenched in the ego. 

If we were holy we would be One with God, with Love and we would be free. 

Our individuality would be zero.  We are afraid of Love.  We keep the ego and our judgments in order to stay in the world and be FAR away from God….away from Love.

We expose the darkness by taking gentle steps.  Look at it and say:

“I see this anger/hate/fear/grievance, but I don’t want it anymore.  It is keeping me away from peace, from Love.

Help me see it differently.  Help me recognize it is a projection, it is not real, this is a dream and a script I chose to experience when I * separated from God.”

Peace is attained by each one of us looking and undoing the hatred in ourselves.  Self-hatred creates guilt and guilt protects us from love. 

Joy is finally recognizing you are FORGIVEN and all GUILT is GONE!

*  We NEVER left God.  We just think we did when we chose the ego.

You are HOLY whether you think you are or not and you are LOVED.

Reference: A Course In Miracles – Chapter 11. God or the Ego, Section III. From Darkness to Light.page 198.

http://www.acim.org    http://www.facim.org;


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Learning from Extremes by Ed Hirsch

Learning from Extremes: Pride and Humility by Ed Hirsch

 We might dismiss extremes as having nothing to do with us, but they present life lessons from which we can benefit without having to act them out. After all, they are simply acting out what is potential within all of us. They illuminate what we ourselves act out in less obvious ways.


Let’s consider the extreme of the person who wants to end their life. Imagine that they feel they have dishonored this gift of life in a major, unforgivable way. They might compare themselves to a simple flower, which seems such a natural and beautiful expression of life. In contrast, they see what a mess they have made of this life, including the people they have hurt so deeply.


First, let us acknowledge the good intention they have. They want to cancel this great error of their lives, in honor of the greater life purpose they have dishonored. Honoring this good intention, we can affirm that this negation of their life is a shadow of a higher order, which is to surrender themselves completely to what is called Higher Power. If they can do this, or if they are fortunate enough to have support to help them do this, then the one who seemed the lowest rises through virtue of humility.


Now let’s consider the opposite extreme of the person whose life seems to be exemplary. Through discipline and wisdom, they have followed the right path, have kept their life in balance, and serve the greater good. But let’s suppose, as an extreme example, that this person has fallen to the lure of pride. They have built a great self-image around being exemplary, worthy, superior, and they have come to serve that idol of their own making.


Now in whatever way such a person acts this out, perhaps in ways that are well concealed, they know in their own heart that they are betraying the virtues that had inspired their life and from all appearances seem to be the most balanced, falls through pride.


Perhaps you can see echoes of one or even both of these extremes in your own life. While this all might seem to be a sermon that could be preached from any pulpit, I want to give it a twist. And that is to live your life beyond self-images altogether, by living from the Heart of Life.

  Ed Hirsch, facilitates a weekly Presence group in Ashland and teaches a courses on Presence at OLLI adult Ed school  Contact him at presenceofone@yahoo.com

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We are Eternal Spirit

We are born into a body, in a particular family of certain circumstances but we seek the answer to the age old question:  Who am I?  We learn (gradually) we are much MORE than a body.  We are NOT who we THINK we are!  Many spiritual paths lead us to our true identity and ultimately HOME!

The Course In Miracles, tells us we are Spirit and little by little we come to understand that YES, that is true.  Our eternal spirit does reside in the body for now.  I have come to learn lessons that my Soul needs to learn.  So whatever lessons come – they are the ones I need to learn.  They are important lessons and once I have learned them I get to go HOME.  I am happy to learn them!

Well……some lessons I may not like  – BUT if I know those lessons will help me – why wouldn’t I want to deal with them.  I am happy to be in a body because it allows me to BE HERE NOW!  We are really caretakers (or not) of our Soul-Spirit and so let us be loving caretakers of this eternal jewel within.

However, as the lessons come, I am helped immensely when I REMEMBER I am in fact SPIRIT.  With that knowledge I can be at peace!  The more I remember, the more peace I will have.  When your body has a problem, which it will, it is a chance to say:  NOPE – NOT ME! My body has a problem but I don’t!  Yes, I will take care of the problem but I always have that inner gentle smile that says “I am an eternal Spirit.”

We take care and “fix” the body and do whatever we can to stay in the world and learn soul lessons that are sure to come.   A elderly friend became sick recently and the sickness was such that she decided NOT to “fix” her body!  That was courageous but I know the time will come when I will make that same decision.  I will know what the right thing to do is when that time comes.  I will leave knowing I did the right thing as the eternal Spirit I am.

Workbook lesson 199. I am not a body. I am free, is a wonderful lesson to explore the feelings of not being the body.  You can go to www.acim.org and click on lessons and then close your eyes and listen quietly to let it sink in.

Remember, you are a decision making Mind!  You have the power to choose!  You have two choices:  Love or Fear.  You can listen to the ego’s fear or listen to the Holy Spirit’s grace and faith. It is that quiet voice inside and it always brings peace!

Isn’t it great to know you have a CHOICE which voice to listen to?  That is why you are not a victim.

www.facim.org – Lesson 199 -

“I am not a body.  I am free. 

I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”

God Blesses YOU!

For more information about the five ongoing Rogue Valley study groups of: A Course In Miracles:  innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com

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Peacefulness Now by Jack Altman

Peacefulness Now

Is there peacefulness now?  Is there attention (choiceless, effortless, aimless, unfocused, not knowing, not judging, suffering-addressing, grateful, surrendered attention) – to what is, which includes mental and or physical discomfort?

I do not know.  “Not knowing” allows peacefulness in this moment.  The following words point to Mystery beyond words.

Observing breathing is always available. What else is observed (seen, heard, felt)? What is Mystery revealing?

There is only now.  It can be so simple.  My only choice: pay attention to inattention now – or not.  Awareness of inattention is attention.

Much of the time there is inattention (thinking or dreaming).  Seeing thinking or dreaming momentarily ends thinking or dreaming and allows return to breathing awareness.  The now feels peaceful.  Thinking or dreaming is seen again.  This cycle repeats, and repeats, and repeats.

Sitting quietly allows attention to Mystery without being involved in activity.  It is more difficult to pay attention when involved in activity.   Paying attention while engaged in activity is an ongoing challenge – the never-absent opportunity of loving (enabling) what is.  When this challenge is met, there is peacefulness.

I have more faith in responding from this peaceful space than responding from thinking, analytical, logical mind. Seeing what is, by opening, surrendering to Mystery, which can be done by returning to breathing awareness.

 Jack Altman lives in Ashland


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