Breath in Experience, Breath out Poetry.


I recently attended the most transformational training week of my youthful 64 years. It is commonly known as ISTA, short for the International School of Temple Arts: Here’s the Link. In my over 350 blogs I normally write about books on a possibility, one of the other participants asked me, You aren’t going to write about this, are you? As one of the agreements is to only share your experiences, here I go.

Some background from the source:

We live at a unique and critical time on earth. At the same time as we are faced with incredible challenges to the survival of the diversity of life and consciousness on our planet, we are experiencing an incredible awakening of human potential. Not only are new energies emerging but for the first time in history, the wisdom heritage of all our cultures and traditions is available for integration just as it is most needed.

There have always been temples and mystery schools on earth where the deep teachings on sexual and spiritual wisdom were practised, developed and taught. These centres were often the hidden cause for the advancement of civilizations. Now we have a global civilization and these temples are once again emerging into the light, blossoming like chakras and Nadi points as the light body of the earth is awakened and energized.

So what has society said about transformational experiences over the years, lets take that journey:

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1. What our logical mind wants to do almost instantly, explain it away.

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2. We all took the opportunities that were offered during the week to the levels our identity would allow a change in: Changes.

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3. I received the gifts of Massive trust and energy from the Earth as I walk on this new planet.

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4. The ISTA community, you join after spending a week in the field. Prior to that your already I have done ISTA friends will just hug you when you tell them you are going to do it: You Belong With Me.

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5. To me, my priceless moment was witnessing a process and looking out over the field and realising there was nothing wrong going on, just total trust.

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6. One of my top ten, have learnt so much off this beautiful spirit: Let It Go.

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7. Integration time.

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8. Albert Camus was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second youngest recipient in history: Going Under.

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9. Much easier after ISTA.

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10. Certainly, the journey I took has me much closer to this place: I Was Here.

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11. I am so looking forward to where this new trust and energy will take me, and I don’t really care that I don’t know.

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12. Back to ancient China for this one, so many of our hearts are now travelling this path: Listen to Your Heart.

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13. And the ability of our skilled facilitators, Stephanie, Sean and Elaine.

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14. Could my new energy take me here, Who Knows: Africa.

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15. And we certainly did in that beautiful space known as the ISTA field.

The two main takeaways I received are an increase in my trust of myself and others to the Nth degree and an energy emanating from the earth that feels volcanic in nature and a sense I do not know what my future will be, and that’s a great thing.

Today’s playlist has some classic sings and songs. We begin with Mr David Bowie then one of the great pop divas Taylor Swift. A musical number from Frozen follows, then some great rock from Evanescence and her highness Beyonce. Two older memories from Roxette and Toto close out the list: Breathe in Experience, Breathe out Poetry. 

Remember to show Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included until we meet again, my dear friends.

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The Power of Hope!!


I haven’t written a  political blog for a long time but I am reading the inspirational story of Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre here in Melbourne, Australia. The ASRC, as it is known is a  refugee centre which receives no government funding who assists refugees who have nowhere else to go as there are people placed on our streets with minimal or no funding at all due to the harsh immigration policies of our federal government towards asylum seekers. Today, they are the largest independent human rights organisation for refugees and people seeking asylum, delivering more services on the ground than any other independent asylum seeker organisation in the country. Our work on the frontline with people seeking asylum informs our practice and enables us to effectively advocate for, and alongside people with lived experience.

The Official title of the book is The Power of Hope or: How Community, Love and Compassion can change our World: Link to buy it. It is the amazing tale of how Kon, himself from a refugee family in Australia came to set up this amazing organisation that has helped thousands of refugees survive in a country that has made the words asylum seeker dirty words.

So what is the official definition of the term Asylum Seeker, here it is:  a person who, from fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, social group, or political opinion, has crossed an international frontier into a country in which he or she hopes to be granted refugee status. 

How does the world speak about these two words, let’s have a look:

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1. There are those rare people who have existed on earth who can hold values as high as these, Martin Luther King was one of them.

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2. Labels are used to make people forget this, especially by mainstream media and governments: Human.

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3. There is not a choice between staying behind and taking a bullet and getting on a rickety boat to seek asylum.

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4. Often a family has to decide which member of a family to send to seek asylum as they cannot afford the exorbitant rates that money grabbing people such as boat smugglers demand people to seek safety, how would you feel if you had to leave your daughter behind.: The Best Day.

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5. There are people running our country who have this fear and shame in their policy decisions.

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6. There is a particular minister, Peter Dutton, who is digging a very deep grave for the reputation of our country worldwide: Set Fire to The Rain.

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7. The two largest words say it all really, Human Rights.

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8. This statement from ancient Greece sums up how mainstream media reports asylum seeking in our country these days: Believe Me.

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9. Especially if your destination was Australia by boat, it means 5 years in a detention centre, including your children.

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10. Especially if they are a fascist right-wing government as holds sway in Australia regarding asylum seekers: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.

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11. Considered the founder of modern nursing, Florence has captured truly where our government has taken the boat arrival discussion in our country.

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12. Kon has transformed a lot of ordinary Australian into non-spectators regarding the human rights of the people who are besmirched as boat people by our mainstream media courtesy of the evil media magnate Rupert Murdoch: Get Up, Stand Up.

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13. Had to sneak in the worst long-term refugee cruelty, seeing Israeli snipers deliberately shoot children brought tears to my eyes, and I do not cry.

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14. And what can we do about it, this group of school children spent a night in this cage to show their solidarity and disgust for the situations on the islands where children are held on a long-term basis: Who I Am.

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15. Warsan Shire is a 30-year-old British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya, East Africa. In 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Brunel University African Poetry Prize, chosen from a shortlist of six candidates out of a total 655 entries. Her words “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark”, from the poem “Conversations about Home (at a deportation centre)”, have been called “a rallying call for refugees and their advocates”.

So I will finish with Kon’s words on the back cover of his book: “I hope you take from this book the message that we all matter. That there is a place for all of us. That once we know our own voice, live the values close to our hearts and follow our dreams, we can be unstoppable. Hope is only exhausted if we forsake ourselves, otherwise, no one can take our hope from us. It is both our sanctuary and our destiny to live a life with love, belonging, connection and community.” Thank you Kon Karapanagiotidis, you rock!!

Two classics amongst the songs today, we begin with the fine voice of Rag N’ Bone Man, two pop divas follow, Taylor Swift and Adele. Then a rapper new to me, Fort Minor. The superb Otis Redding and Bob Marley finishing with the Disney interpretation of Natasha Bedingfield. Here’s the playlist: The Power of Hope.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Strength lies in Differences!!


Here in Australia our Prime Minister has announced changes to the Citizenship test, that applicants must meet Australian Values. When asked what he meant he could not explain. I live in a council area that has 153 cultures residing in it, which of these meets Australian values?

There were six new requirements introduced.

  1. All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  2. Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
  3. Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
  4. Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
  5. An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  6. An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.

So how do we devalue others, One way I suggest is saying our values are more important than theirs. Lets go on a values journey:

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1. These new rules seem to be saying that speaking one language places you higher on the pecking order than another.

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2. Each person is of value, don’t debase them by saying they don’t fit in: How Could Anyone.

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3. Surround yourself with kindred souls, those that decrease it need to go.

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4. When you see that you being of value is what people remember about you when you pass, not your houses and cars. They also don’t remember your nationality: I lived.

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5. What have you sacrificed in your life for others? Would you give your all?

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6. How amazing would life be if we lived it like this: I’m Going to You.

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7. Our PM is trying to revert our country back to the 1950’s when our country existed under the archaic White Australia policy when the indigenous people were not even recognised.

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8. Arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history. Samuel Johnson points to the value of showing gratitude by praising others for their actions: Love Divine

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9. I find it hard to believe that your values are based on the language you speak, and the job you do. Life is not that simple.

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10. In that five minutes it takes to destroy your good name, were you following your values: Family Portrait.

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11. Our government has definitely forgotten this with their new changes.

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12. Have we forgotten the value of the other 152 cultures I share the land I live on with: Run and Hide.

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13. All the beautiful , wonderful diverse ways we inhabit the planet can not be bombed away, destroyed by war because they are the planets heart and soul.

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14. Why are education systems going down the road of producing clones when our world need more and more creatives with the every changing technologies? Maya Angelou puts it well: Express Yourself.

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15. Our new citizenship test does obviously not follow this formulae.

I teach English to three Chinese mothers and work at the Darebin Intercultural Centre, our motto is Where Cultures Meet, Explore, Grow and Celebrate. So I ask our prime minister to take this on as Australian Values, not English tests and proof of employment.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namastebutterfly

 

 

When I am sad I eat Chocolate!!


 

I recognise my anger and I honour my reaction to the darkness. I know my true power lies in my capacity to be the light. I call on the energy and thoughts of love to pour through me and inspire me to take action from a place of true power “. This powerful prayer is from Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back, it comes from Step 2: Remember where your true power lies.

I think that what we have to offer the world comes from our remembrance of it. If we are eternally sad, that’s how the world occurs for us. Why not be curious in our remembrance of events. How they affected us, why they made us joyous or sad, we have examples of them all.

Let’s strap on our memories and go on the journey:

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1. I remember a drive from San Fransisco to Los Angeles down the coast road on a foggy day. We picked up a hitchhiker going to his Narcotics Anyomous meeting. He was a local and took us to all the places people didn’t know about. The connectedness to the people and the area was remarkable.

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2. This song was number one in our country for a lengthy period: Beautiful People.

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3. Imagine if you walked the streets doing this, what a difference a day would make!!

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4. There is that really bad 90’s Arnie movie End of days. I can remember moments for decades ago, and forget what I did last weekend: Moment of Clarity.

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5. I was born in the 1950’s. Lots of truth to Brue lee’s statement. I remember the people I know and not many others who did not live a life worth remembering.

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6. What memories live in your heart. then can be from your childhood or yesterday, they say time is a made up concept anyway: Memories of a song in my Heart.

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7. My friend and I went on a cricket trip in the 80’s to Sydney, 1,000 kilometres away. He met our friend’s sister, fell in love and moved to Sydney three months later.

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8. I have this vivid memory of Ken, the American Vietnam veteran who rescued us from the bush in New Zealand after our two-day hike in the mountains went bottoms up: I Remember You.

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9. How often does this happen? Besties one day demoted to part of the pack six months later.

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10. Is this the ultimate state of being? I use giving and receiving, better at the first, not so great at the second: Giving and Getting

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11. People remember what you do, not what you say. A  powerful memory.

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12. Memories are made of this, but your future isn’t/ Fulfil your dreams: Follow The Sun.

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13. Whilst writing this I received the phone call from one of my sisters I had been dreading. My beloved brother in law passed from cancer last night.

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14.Lessing was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. In awarding the prize, the Swedish Academy described her as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”. Lessing was the eleventh woman and the oldest person ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature: I remember when I was Young.

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15. And this is the place our memories live.

So as the phone call shows, your memories can change instantly, hold onto the great ones.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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Nature is pleased with Simplicity!


Sometimes we feel that we have just reconnected with a truth we’ve always known and that if we could just know more about it, our life would be delightful and rich. I call it reconnection with your soul. It takes letting go of many of the things that clutter our lives in the hectic busyness of the modern world.

How do you reconnect with those simple things that used to please you as a child? Let’s have a look at what the world has to say about it:

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1. One way I find works is to reconnect and recommit to my core values, as Zig Ziglar, the iconic business coach says we can begin again and make a new ending.

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2. I ran into a friend I had not seen for five years in a hat shop in Leningrad. What reconnection brownie points were taking place for this to happen: Fate.

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3. From one of the world’s greatest philosophers, Master Unknown comes a beautiful quote about how and why we reconnect.

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4. Throw out those judgments and the chance of reconnection being able to come to the fore is much more prevalent: Connection.

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5. Laurie Colwin (June 14, 1944 – October 24, 1992) was an American writer who wrote five novels, three collections of short stories and two volumes of essays and recipes. She was known for her portrayals of New York society and her food columns in Gourmet magazine. This is great advice she is offering.

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6. This quote is a recipe for reconnection with our souls, I think it is essential: One Human Race.

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7. I have a special one of these, a mate I met at a retreat four years ago, Michael, you rock my soul.

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8. Beautiful image for a beautiful practice: The Best of Me.

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9. How did we survive with these relatively new words that have been added to our dictionaries? What’s a dictionary, is that spellcheck or google it?

 

10. Co-founder of the online sensation, The Huffington Post. Arianna points to the power of meditation and contemplation in reconnecting with our inner selves: Beautiful.

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11. the opening lines from the all-time classic song, The Sounds of Silence. We need to reconnect with all of us for it to truly work out.

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12. Go for it, email me the results to rod.williams13 @gmail.com: Never Grow Up.

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13. How difficult is this living our distracted lives?

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14. Wayne Walter Dyer (May 10, 1940 – August 29, 2015) was an American philosopher, selfhelp author, and a motivational speaker. His first book, Your Erroneous Zones (1976), is one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 35 million copies sold to date: Make peace with your Ego.

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15.And finally, remember to have a healthy relationship with this intrinsic part of your psyche.

It’s time you had an extraordinary relationship with your nature. Inner and outer, we need both.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

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It was not in your Textbooks!!


I love TED talks. 18 minutes of possibility and passion. I’m reading a book called Talk like Ted, because, yes, I have a deep wish to do one, it’s on my bucket list. Titanic explorer Robert Ballard in TED 2008 started his talk with ” Everything I’m going to present to you was not in my textbooks when I went to school. ”

So I ponder why education departments hold so stringently onto outdated technologies and teaching methods as the above statement changes at a more rapid rate. here’s his TED talk: Exploring the Oceans.

The New is what is taking us forward, allowing for what we know already, but it is the added bits that will make the difference.

Let us meander down the path we are  being taken by the newness in our lives:

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1. Oh, but for the brave experimenters, we would not have the electric light, the solar panel. The people who invented these things knew that the journey came with mistakes. That they did not have the answer instantly.

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1. When I was sixteen I did not know that I would run marathons when another sixteen had passed. Or that I would run down the main street of Leningrad with the mayor in the name of Ending World Hunger: I’m not Afraid

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3. Doe Zantamata is an author, artist, and photographer. In addition to the Happiness in Your Life book series, she also creates and designs poster books of different titles, including “Happy By Nature,” “Old Children, A Book for “Adults”,” and others. Doe has been writing since before she could tie her shoes. In addition to writing, she enjoys nature, history, and is an animal welfare advocate. She also runs a blog at http://www.thehiyL.com with daily posts.

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4. What would you want to be posted on your mini whiteboard that they could use later in your life: Live Your Life.

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5. One thing guaranteed life will change, be new, moment by moment. Remember this when you wake up each beautiful morning.

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6. I’m old enough to remember Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. From his credits he had this not in the textbook thing down pat: Theme from MASH.

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7. On this path, you have to let go of some things you have attachments to. Trust the magic.

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8. A new project, travel to a new country, a new love affair. Your feelings are jolted in these situations: Feelings.

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9. William Arthur Ward is one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims. His column Pertinent Proverbs has been featured in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and in numerous service club publications throughout the United States and abroad. He is one of the most frequently quoted writers in the pages of Quote, the international weekly digest for public speakers.

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10. There is a quote that points out we all have the same amount of time in the day as Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and HHDL. When I posted it on Facebook my brother went apeshit. This fact can be quite challenging: Absolute Beginners.

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11. Don’t think that this is at the forefront of my mind as I travel through the day, I will remember it now, though.

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12. Is it a creation if you already know how to do it: Imagine.

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13. From the great Paulo Coelho, one simple word – “Hello”.

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14. It didn’t work that time. Start again, from little steps big things grow: Starting Something: M.J.

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15. How many mistakes a day do you make?

Got a little bit off the subject on the way through, but remember, what is dominant in our society was not in the textbooks you read at school.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

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There was No Peace!!


One of the things I do is tutor refugees who need to Improve their English. At the moment I have very two different students. One was born in a refugee camp in India 25 years ago, yes thats right, she had been in a refugee camp 25 years. Then she was put in three detention centres by our government before being released. She has lived in a free community 4 months of her young life. The other is a doctor who was on the council of the capital city of the nation she comes from , I asked her why she left. Her reply was poignant , there is no peace Teacher, she calls me teacher. I have a sense they will both be great citizens of our country given what they have been through.

I have been thinking about that statement , there is no  peace since, what truly gives us peace, is our nation of Australia we live in relative peace from war but to a lot of people They do not feel so, ramping up the threat to our nation. So I have chosen 15 wide ranging statements about peace to comment on the subject.

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1. That great philosopher Unknown comes up with on of the most powerful definitions to my mind, peace belongs in our heart not the physical surrounds that we are in.

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2. Peace has a few allies in making the world a better place, I love the last one Everybody not just us, no hate, no war.

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3. Maura is 9, with more people of her age thinking like that I give Peace a Chance, Join in with John and Yoko.

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4. Be in the Now, that is where peace lives, I resist this a lot. Need to read The Power of Now again.

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5. Robert Brault is a writer of forty years standing, he points to the fact where our peace really lives, within.

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6. We have all seen those silly cartoons with aliens looking on as there are explosions all over our world. Silly or Not?

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7. One of the world’s great peace activists, a man who lead a nation to freedom peacefully, hits the spot with this one. Makes me think of Cat’s Peace Train.

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8. A disturbing image with a powerful message. Yes its up to you to be a Rider of the Storm

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9. MLK, in my favourite top ten speakers, I listen to him regularly, his passion for peace was extraordinary.

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10. To one of the young things who have replaced Martin Luther King, the youngest recipient and possibly the most deserving winner of the Nobel Peace prize. Malala speaks the words of peace for her generation.

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11. Closer and closer, the world is becoming a smaller place, may we use the words above in our recipe.

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12. I’m sure each parent wishes this for that bundle of joy they hold in their arms as they raise them with love. A question though, How does war replace this scene later in Life?

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13. One of John Lennon’s more obscure Peace quotes, but a chance to listen to You’re not the only One.

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14. Yes a cute dog photo peace quote, works for me. Who is Antsy McClain, watch this: Living in Aliminium.

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15. And finally a Sacred Meditation to complete with, may there be peace in your life and the world.

Namaste until next Thursday my dear friends.

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