Dear Friends/Friends of the Institute including:
Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Staff
Administration and Faculty of State University at Albany, West Virginia University, Nassau Community College, Long Island, N. Y., and Kennedy-Western University
Mayor and City Council of Morgantown, West Virginia
Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of New York State Legislature, and Committee Leadership
Commissioner of Education, and Education Leadership, New York State
Members of the New York State Education Department
United Nations Association-USA
Guilderland, N. Y. Lions Club
District Governor, 20Y2, Lions Clubs
Family and Friends, and
People from 28 countries worldwide
On March 3, 2002, we will celebrate the 63rd International Peace Meditation. We invite you to participate with us in prayer/meditation at any time and place during the 24-hour period on March 3. For those who have been with us during these past several years as we celebrate on the first Sunday of every month, thank you. For those who are just beginning, welcome. Thank you for being part of this important initiative for peace.
The International Peace Meditation is added monthly to our web site at: www.humanempowerment.org
Since we have been tracking our statistics, we know that we have had visitors from the following countries:
United States, United Kingdom, India, Taiwan, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Denmark, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Italy, Canada, Indonesia, Lebanon, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Norway, Poland, Israel, France, Sweden, Finland and Greece.
As we continue our International Peace Meditation together, we would ask you to invite the organization you represent to participate in this event each month. You, as leaders, have powerful potential to lead your constituents into active participation and increased hope for worldwide peace. Peace begins in the hearts of people and manifests into action. Therefore, your leadership is essential.
Thank you for all your efforts toward educating for peace. We hope you will find the enclosed message one that brings you closer toward peace and fulfillment in your life.
Following the Path Within
Each of us has been prepared for life on earth with an inner purpose for service. That inner purpose remains dormant within the consciousness until the appropriate life experience brings us into awareness that “something” is missing; “something” is needed; “something” must be done. An internal restlessness may culminate in life challenges such as “mid-life crisis”, or a re-evaluation of one’s relationships, and re-evaluation of one’s needs, and need to contribute.
A period of confusion may begin in which the person on the spiritual path becomes disillusioned and discontent with previous life decisions. What was once taken for granted is brought under scrutiny. What was once a chosen career direction may become dull and unfulfilling. Those in one’s social circle may find themselves being re-evaluated, and sense a distance. While it is a time of inner pain and growth, it may appear to others that the person who is going through this period is acting strange. Disruption of one’s inner life can cause one to begin making changes that may be disturbing not only to the spiritual sojourner, but for all associated.
It is important to understand what is happening to be able to put one’s thoughts and actions into context. Examples of this transformation are often dramatic. The wealthy person who turns to a life in service to others. The famous donating time and resources to help those in need. The disabled person initiating works that lead to research and help for others. The person who has seen under-handed activities turn to truth-telling, risking job loss and alienation. The political activist who turns adversity into empowerment. Other examples are just as important, but may not contain the visibility just described. Each example of transformation is important not only for the service provided to humanity, but for the spiritual growth and development of the sojourner.
All accomplishment can be measured by the growth afforded the spirit. The spirit, or soul, of each individual is on a journey to return to the unity, connectedness, one-ness of the Source. Whether viewed by the one on the spiritual path as emulating a great spiritual teacher, working to attain the favor of the Higher Power, or assuring one’s place in Heaven, one works to learn and contribute. As one grows, one has experiences that take them to the next level in their development. Therefore, even the murderer or thief has his/her lessons.
One of the greatest challenges for conscientious parents of adult children is to allow that growth, and to refuse to interfere. That is not to say that one should not help one’s children, regardless of age. It is, rather, to say that children of all ages, will make poor choices from time to time. This is difficult for the parent. But each adult person has the right to make poor choices, to face consequences, and to learn from the experience. Although parents must be diligent in teaching right from wrong, and criteria for healthy living and relationships, they often must watch while their offspring have risky behaviors with predictable results. Parents need to love them through the experience, including the consequences of poor choices, but must also remember that through free will we each learn and develop as spiritual beings.
As you begin or continue your conscious spiritual journey, there are ways in which you may facilitate your growth.
1. Meditate. Meditation includes silence. While many religions teach prayer as an experience of supplication, asking for good for themselves and others, one needs to also experience the power of stillness. Indeed, as those who meditate know, there is great power within stillness. Your concerns are already known. In the stillness you become open to the answers you seek.2. Take care of your body. The body is the physical vehicle of the spirit. By operating at optimum level, the body can perform the service required by the spiritual commitment. Examine your life; eliminate those activities that detract from health; and look for ways to improve your well-being regardless of age or disability. We must respect and care for our bodies–not to worship them or seek attention, but to be able to complete the work which we are given to do.
3. Evaluate all your relationships. Ask: Does this relationship contribute to my spiritual development, healthy lifestyle, and contribution of service? Do not allow other adults to be dependent and expect from you what they are able to do for themselves. Provide help and connection to those in need, but do not allow others to take advantage of you and your resources.
4. Stay focused. Your life is important. Imagine for a moment that if each person were contributing that which he or she is uniquely designed to contribute, all needs would be met. And with this vision in mind, do your part to grow spiritually and contribute your life as you are uniquely designed to do.
The life of the one on a spiritual path is not easy. It does not conform to strategic planning. Instead, each step is revealed as the former has been accomplished. One cannot see the entire plan for one’s individual life, but with each step completed, another is revealed. Only when we can look back on our lives can we see the path we were ordained to follow.
The spiritual journey is its own reward. Growth, development, understanding, and service given provide the fulfillment for which one’s heart truly desires.
One needs only to look around at the unhappiness, lack of fulfillment, and escape through addictions to know the emptiness of lives. Fulfillment is found from the inside out. To find it, meditate, reflect, and learn from spiritual teachers whose lives reflect love and service. ‘Let everything you do be done for Love.’
Sue Kidd Shipe, President
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
P. O. Box 3920
Albany, New York 12203 USA