Monday, December 20, 2004

My Contribution This Day

Today, I made Potato Leek soup. Two leeks, a large onion, chopped and sautéed in a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter until the aroma filled the room.

I added to the onions and leeks: one chopped carrot, a stalk of celery (also chopped), five diced potatoes and seven cups of vegetable broth and a teaspoon of salt, then brought the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for 45 minutes. I think the simmering (patience) was the most important step. Just before serving, I added a teaspoon of ground black pepper and some fresh basil.

I served it with some crusty French bread and some Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

This is my contribution to Peace today: homemade potato leek soup. Delicious.

A Quote for Today

"...if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.. if that is what they mean by a "liberal" then I am proud to be a liberal. "

--John F. Kennedy

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Way of Peace

Who are the people we encounter who most change us for the better? Aren't we changed more by who people are than by what they do. There seems to be a quality of being required to pursue peace in our world.

Here is my thinking: to be a person of peace requires active engagement, but also a living spirit nourished and infused with life. While the action or engagement can often be initiated out of anger, a person will only transform structures when they act out of a deeper place, out of love or deeper sense of purpose. Such a great shift of human mind is required to abandon consumption, acquistion and our own individual contribution to war.

How do we discover peace within ourselves? It sems to me, the Way of Peace is far different from what we are taught in school or the actions we are taught are required to be in business, or even in successful organizing. Above all, it requires a pursuit of self-knowledge and an interior life. Without knowing what motivates us, we cannot stay peaceful in the face of that which affronts us.

One cannot confront shadow without the risk of falling into it.

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Upon Further Reflection....

It seems to me that we ALL voted our values... that's why we react at a visceral level to the prospect of another four years of this administration.

I, for one, find that my core values are being severely violated by this crowd.

Values like:
--Stewardship and protection of the natural world;
--Preserving the dignity and equality of all humans;
--A fair and open society;
--Civil liberties;
--An open and honest Government;
--Civility and collegiality in public conversation.

Some of the values are spiritual:
--each human reaching their full potential
--holding creation as sacred
--Compassion for the weakest in our society;
--Humility, particularly in foreign policy;

I believe that our current culture conflict is, at its heart, a values conflict.

The more I reflect on this, the more painful the prospect of the next four years of societal and environmental degradation. I need to go back to the Principles of Spiritual Activism again and again to maintain my center.