October 15, 2016
I am honored to take the lead for this issue of Rituals for Peace, Healing and Unity. Lately, I have not felt very peaceful. In large part, it is due to the election cycle in the United States. It fills me with incredible anxiety. At the same time, I am actively part of a movement called Peacemaking Circles. Peacemaking Circles came to me via Saroeum Phoung who was taught by the Tagish Tlingit First Nation Peoples. Peacemaking is an ancient process that has been traditionally used in all forms of communal and family decision-making. The first principle of Peacemaking Circles is: The only change you can make is within yourself.
As painful as that reality is, it is true. If you change yourself to become peaceful, to be healed, to be one with the greater cosmic community, that will be enough. Because as you are settled and grounded in peace, it will ripple out towards others.
In some ways, I think that we are seeing the rippling of a great many people that have a cosmic concern for the ways of peace. As it ripples towards others, it does, unfortunately, lead to an increase in violence, intolerance, and ickiness. But it will be overcome. Love will win in the end. But the journey can be an anxious one. Staying grounded in peace while the world loses its collective mind is a challenge. Being a non-anxious listening presence in the midst of overwhelming anxiety is hard. And so, we offer you this issue focusing on expressions of rituals for peace, healing, and unity.
You will find an exploration of the ritual of writing as a spiritual practice from Jamie Dedes, a dharma talk from Gil Fronsdale, a reminder from Ram Dass on how to see others, a beautiful poem on healing from Carolyn O’Connell, a folk tale and illustrative photograph from Naomi Baltuck, a calming video and poem from Bridget Cameron, a poem from Renee Espriu that aligns with Ram Dass and how we see, Michael Watson offers an essay on ritual that is spot on, Corina Ravenscraft offers her daily ritual as does John Anstie, and I am offering five rituals that I have written that focus on gratitude, naming and releasing negative feelings, decision-making, a ritual for touch, and a ritual for release.
I’m sure I’ve missed someone. It is not intentional! We have such a generous community.
So, I offer you this issue. Get your warm cup of tea or coffee or water, take a deep breath, sit back and read. Enter into the spirit of peace, pax, shalom, salaam, and pace.
Table of Contents
Editorial Contributions on Rituals by Terri Stewart
Rituals, Tales, and Poems of Peace and Healing from The BeZine Community
Breathless Between Language and Myth, Jamie Dedes
A Ritual for Peace, John Anstie
Convergence of Healing, Carolyn O’Connell
Ritual, Hélène Cardona
Holding Up the Sky, Naomi Baltuck
Visualize the Raindrops Falling, Renee Espriu
Falling into Ritual, Michael Watson
The Day Begins with You, Corina Ravenscraft
Waiting, Lynn White
A Rose for Gaza, Lynn White
Separate Development, Lynn White
Looking for Poland, Naomi Baltuck
Rituals, Tales, and Poems of Peace and Healing from the Wider Community
When you are done, take five deep cleansing breaths, slowly, in and out. Then go, carrying peace and healing in your heart.
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Access to the biographies of our core team, contributing writers and guest writers is in the blogroll where you can also find links to archived issues of The BeZine.