Posted in justice, Peace & Justice, Terri Stewart

Prayer as Action for Peace

Editorial note: This was originally written by Terri Stewart for Saturday, September 7, 2013, in response to a call for worldwide prayer and fasting to focus on peace in Syria. With all that is going on in the Middle East and given the Ukraine crises, the many conflicts in Africa and the deaths and dislocations resulting from drug wars in Central and South America, this seems a good time to post it again in the spirit of peace, love and community …

I have seen many things happening–prayer vigils, personal meditation practices, marches, and communications with elected officials. We decided to offer a Labyrinth Walk for Peace at Bothell UMC in Bothell, WA in the morning. I gathered inter-faith prayers, we walked, prayed, and focused on bringing peace to the world. What follows is prayers and photos from that journey that became deeply personal for each attendant. There was a certain transition that occurred for me as I took in my surroundings and noticed Farmer Brown’s Garden. I began to see, literally, a connection between peacefulness and being fed. You will see.

Entering Sacred Space

prayers-for-peace-3

Sufi Prayer for Peace

Send Thy peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may think, act,
and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may be contented
and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy thy bliss.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that we may endure all,
tolerate all in the thought of thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a
divine vision, and in Thy light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace, O Lord, our Father and Mother,
that we Thy children on earth may all unite in one family.
– Sufi Prayer

The Journey Begins

prayers-for-peace-6

An Islamic Prayer for Peace

In the Name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful: Praise be to the Lord of the Universe
who has created us and made us into tribes and nations that we may know each other,
not that we may despise each other.

If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God,
for the Lord is one that hears and knows all things.
And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility,
and when we address them, we say, “Peace.”
– U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace 2

Walking Together in Ubuntu

prayers-for-peace-5

A Hindu Prayer for Peace

Supreme Lord, let there be peace in the sky and in the atmosphere.
Let there be peace in the plant world and in the forests.
Let the cosmic powers be peaceful.
Let the Brahman, the true essence and source of life, be peaceful.
Let there be undiluted and fulfilling peace everywhere.
– The Atharva Veda

All Are Invited to Be Fed

prayers-for-peace-1

Cheyenne Prayer for Peace

Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as the rivers shall flow,
For as long as the sun shall shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow,
Let us know peace.
– Cheyenne Prayer

Feeding the World in Spirit and Deed
Farmer Brown’s Garden at Bothell UMC

prayers-for-peace-7

A Jewish Prayer for Peace

Grant us peace. Your most precious gift,
O Eternal Source of Peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth.
Bless our country, that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations.
May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes.
Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands.
And may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart.
Blessed is the Eternal God, the source of Peace.
– From The Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book, by the Central Conferences of American Rabbis

Growing Spiritually and Growing Food

prayers-for-peace-9

Buddhist Prayer for Loving Kindness

May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to
the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
– Metta Prayer

Loving Kindness through Loving Care

prayers-for-peace-8

A Christian Prayer for Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies; do good to those who hate you;
bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also;
and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods,
do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
– U.N. Day of Prayer for World Peace 2

Becoming the Light Unto the World

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A Non Traditional Prayer for World Peace

Spirit of Life and Love, be present with all who are suffering terribly from violence.
Lift up the hearts of those who fear. And inspire courage among the peacemakers.
Be present with political leaders, ensuring a retreat from violence
and a procession towards the peace table.
Guide the hands of all those who are caring for the injured, the hungry and the grieving.
And, open our own hearts to compassion.
Remind us of our complicity and responsibility.
And lead us towards generous engagement—always towards a vision of peace.
–Adapted from the Unitarian Universalist Tradition

Shalom and Amen,

Terri

© 2013, post and photos, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

terriREV. TERRI STEWART is Bardo’s Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at www.cloakedmonk.com, www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk.  To reach her for conversation, send a note to cloakedmonk@outlook.com

Posted in Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry, Renee Espriu

I Consider Myself

soldier-silhouette-at-sunsetI consider myself to be
a peaceful person
living in a place
not fraught with war
void of detonating bombs
fragments of life gone

I consider myself but
to no avail
for the rumbling of war
has never been far
as off in the distance
on foreign soils
it creeps very close
to my own back door

I considered myself to be
living my life apart
even during Viet Nam years
seen on broadcast news
of death and others tears
of something I was
unable to touch

I considered myself & then
my son joined in the ranks
of men and women called
to fight in a war fueled
by the inner turmoil
of a people distant
and out of sight

I considered myself to be
untouched by the carnage
the destruction of
people unknown to me
whose lives were
never mentioned

I considered myself & then
you came home & you
seemed different
for you brought the
memories with you
that now touch my life
to forever affect it
with war

I have known many who became soldiers. My own father and his brothers fought in World War II, my brother was in service during Viet Nam but did not see battle. But when my own son went to the Middle East, even though he was fortunate enough not to have had to be in a battle, he saw enough of the aftermath, that it has affected his life in ways I will never be able to understand.  For most soldiers do not speak of what they have seen and heard but these things, I know, cannot be erased from memory.

– Renee Espiru

© 2013, poem, Renee Espiru, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Karen Arnold, Public Domain Pictures.net

c796b9e96120fdf0ce6f8637fa73483cRENEE ESPRIU ~ is a creative prose writer and poet. She began delighting us with her work at Turtle Flight, My Muse & Angels in March 2011. The work she shares with us there includes short stories. Renee is a daughter, mother, grandmother, and seeker of spiritual peace and soul-filled freedom. She’s studied at the graduate level and has attended seminary. She describes her belief system as eclectic, encompassing many faiths. She believes “Nature is the basis of everything that is and everything that is also a part of Nature.”

Posted in Corina L. Ravenscraft, Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry, Poets Against War Week

POETS AGAINST THE WAR, #4: The Last Horseman Is the One Who Counts by Corina L. Ravenscraft

gas-mask-dollar
There is no profit in peace, you know.
White Horse or Red, the blood must flow.
Human constructs, like Conquest or War,
Benefit the rich and bury the poor.
I think the Draft should be reinstated;
So that ALL might witness the horror created.

Send the war-mongers’ sons first,
To hold the Front Line’s Hell.
Watch them die, or even worse,
Return home, as a shell.
If politician’s kids are killed or maimed,
Will war then taste as good as they claimed?

Tell me:

What’s the magic, almighty dollar amount?
To make endless war worth the body count?
If Corporations are people, now, too,
Let’s send them to war, and see if it’s true.
Will those corporations scream in pain as they bleed?
Will they writhe in agony for a rich man’s greed?
Will they lose their limbs, and maybe their minds?
Does the Machine care about the bones, the bodies it grinds?

In the end:

There is no prophet of peace, you know.
The love of money is Greed: War’s C.E.O.
The wars will continue, the innocents will still fall.
And the Pale Horse’s rider will someday claim all.

– Corina L. Ravenscraft

ch6-4horsemen

Invitation: We’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. Next week we’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single page headed “Poets  Against War.”  Thank you!

© 2013, poem and portrait (below), Corina L. Ravenscraft, All rights reserved
Photo credits ~ dollar bill with gas mask via edgecast on Tumbler, second illustration is of a painting by Vallejo

Corina-1992414_511233302297487_1031742058_nCORINA L. RAVENSCRAFT (Dragon’s Dreams) ~ is a guest writer on Into the Bardo. She is a poet and writer, artist and librarian who has been charming us through her blog since 2000, longer than any blogger in our little blogging community. She tends to keep herself in the background, but in a 2011 Jingle Poetry interview with Blaga Todorova (Between the Shadows and the Soul) she revealed, “Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post a lot of poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about 1372843_511233305630820_2079635591_nthings important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.”  The samples of Cornina’s art work, her popular Infinity-Möbius dragon, is copyright”Möbius Ouroboros.” If you click on them, you can view enlarged versions.

 

 

Posted in Peace & Justice, Poems/Poetry, Timothy "T.J." Therien

POETS AGAINST WAR, #3: In the Name of Love, A Poem to All World Leaders by T.J. Therien

800px-Bombed_out_vehicles_AleppoIn the name of Love I sue for peace
I reach out with branch of olive
Sign your treaties that fighting may cease
Open wide the cage and free the dove
Remove iron fist from silken glove
From servitude and bondage release
Be the Leaders we are worthy of
In the name of Love I sue for peace
How many palms do I have to grease?
Sandbox antics, games of push and shove
Be ruled not by chaos and caprice
I reach out with branch of olive
Singing in a different octave
Place your armor on the mantelpiece
By whatever God hereinabove
Sign your treaties that fighting may cease
Or find your fate as did Sparta of Greece
In a goblet of blood and foxglove
The future of human-kind you lease
Open wide the cage and free the dove
Turn other cheek when push comes to shove
There is no golden fleece, no golden geese
Be the Leaders we are worthy of
Melt down all weapons, sign armistice
In the name of Love

– T.J. Therien

Invitation: We’d like you to join us – not only as readers – but as writers by putting links to your own anti-war or pro-peace poems in the comment sections. Next week we’ll gather the links together in one post and put them up as a single page headed “Poets  Against War.”  Thank you!

© 2013, poem and portrait, TJ Therien, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~ Bombed vehicles in Aleppo, October 6, 2012, courtesy of the Voice of America News and in the Public Domain

Snapshot_20110301_2TIMOTHY JAMES “TJ” THERIEN (Liars, Hypocrites & The Development of Human Emotions) ~ is a contributing writer to Into the Bardo. He has been blogging since November 2012 and has  garnered a significant and loyal following. He says in another poem “I am not a writer … I am possessed by unseen spirit/And my hand is so moved/Words dictated to me by inner voice/Muse speaks when she wants to speak…” That sounds an awful lot like work coming from sacred space. TJ tells us that he was born 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and current resides in The Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada. He’s lived briefly in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Parry Sound, Ontario Canada. He participates in Poet’s Corner. His “About” is posted HERE.

Posted in Jamie Dedes

I DANCE FOR THEM

from a rain forest

Here the dancer stops

to regain her balance

and re-elaborate the distance

In the Empire of Light, Michael Palmer

·

I DANCE FOR THEM

by

Jamie Dedes

·

We danced in step we four, a pas de quatre on river rocks,

me dreaming wild of unicorns and rainbows.

In that faraway place of  raging river, ancient Cloister –

escaping to the city with my once-young mother,

embracing antique stories told in graceful moves and music

made for those with better breeding, more cultivated minds.

·

Home, our home, a place of first loves, unfounded hope

where simmering, Sidto* served soup to my sister,

a dark-olive girl-fugue in tar black  and char dust.

In that place whirling with church spires and myrtle trees,

hooting and shrieking, we strode tortured shores,

then buried our anger in silence, bitter as bile.

I broke my ballerina legs in a premature grand jeté.

I failed to heal those fissured old hearts.

·

We were lost then, somewhere out in crazy time, lazy mind –

passing green humid summers, silver crisp winters,

fielding the slings of earth-bound distress. Home  . .  .

At home, such a tangled skein of love and lies and ties,

where, by some bogey breeze, we danced lockstep on river rocks,

me dreaming wild of unicorns and rainbows . . .

Solitary now, alone now above rainforest layers of fertile mind –

my energy moves triumphant, a pas marché on gray status clouds,

which rain down hard-won poems in roses, willow greens, and light.

With twice found hope and tender love, I dance for them.

·

Sidto – grandmother, derived from the Arabic.

Dance terms:

  • pas de quatre – a dance for four.
  • grand jette – a broad, high leap with one leg stretched forward and one stretched behind. In effect, a “split” that is airborne.
  • pas marché – the regal marching-step of the premiere danseuse, the principal female dancer in a ballet company

© poem, 2011, 2012 Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved

Illustration courtesy of Fran Hogan, Public Domain Photograph.net.