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Letter from Publisher

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~Dalai Lama

This month’s Wise Words column features speaker, author and investigative journalist Lynn McTaggart. On November 9, McTaggart led tens of thousands of people in simultaneous prayer and meditation to send an energy of peace to the Middle East. With thousands gathered in Jerusalem, and people all over the world participating live online, the event became the world’s largest experiment for peace in the Middle East.

According to the World Peace Project, experiments during the Lebanese Civil War and the first Israel-Lebanon War in the early 1980s found that large group meditations were correlated with a 76 percent reduction in deaths from wars and a significant reduction in overall daily violence in the affected areas. The meditators had been specially trained in an advanced form of Transcendental Meditation. Using this technique, it is theorized that when the number of meditators reaches the equivalence of the square root of 1 percent of a given local population, a “super radiance effect” is created. The result is an immediate and dramatic drop in hostility and violence and a surge in creative activity and positivity. Since the first experiment, published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1988 (“International Peace Project in the Middle East: The Effect of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field”), more than 40 similar experiments in different communities throughout the world have demonstrated comparable results. Additional information is available at WorldPeaceGroup.org.

This past year, strife and conflict have played out daily on the national and world stages, leaving many of us feeling like helpless observers. We may even find that too often, we ourselves react first with anger or avoidance when conflicts arise during day-to-day interactions with our families, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or even strangers we encounter in traffic. Whether the conflict is over differences in beliefs and opinions or a simple misunderstanding or mistake, anger and avoidance seldom resolve the issue, and instead, such responses often make situations worse. Through leaning into the discomfort of having difficult conversations and engaging those with whom we might have a dispute or see as the enemy, we can become active participants in making a difference. Linda Sechrist’s article in this issue, “Peace on Earth: Conflict Resolutions that Work to Bridge Divides,” examines how being open to constructive conversation can bring us to real solutions.

By realizing that we may not always agree, we can begin to respect our differences and build bridges toward peace throughout the world, starting with our own lives. As we ring in 2018, let’s commit to encouraging and participating in dialogue that may help create peace on Earth.

Joining you in prayers and actions for a peaceful 2018.

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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