by Cate Montana


If you get your news from mainstream TV and radio, you probably haven’t noticed. But here are a few startling statistics the networks have overlooked in their rush to promote the usual stories of crime, corruption, terrorism and war.

• More lasting peace initiatives have been successful in the last 15 years than over the last two or three centuries combined.

• More individuals and private groups are involved in effective grass roots peace-making and conflict resolution efforts that ever before.

• Thirty years ago the great majority of the world’s governments were autocratic, totalitarian regimes with democracies far in the minority. Today approximately 70% of world governments are democratic. 1

With our attention fixed on “the problems,” we rarely hear stories like the one about the philanthropist who subsidized a group of 8,000 Transcendental Meditation practitioners to engage in group meditation twice a day from 1988 to 1990, near New Delhi, India.

During this same period, the seven year war between Iraq and Iran came to an end. The Soviet Union’s brutal invasion of Afghanistan was called to a halt. In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union dissolved, and the Cold War, which had held the world teetering on the brink of extinction for forty years, simply evaporated. Coincidence? Not hardly.


Group meditation at a Peace University - Courtesy Maharishi School of Management

There is a technology of peace, and many organizations and individuals have been utilizing it for a long time.


The most prominent is the Maharishi

With a university degree in physics, Maharishi was determined to ground the ancient science and meditation practices of the Vedas in modern scientific understanding and terminology. In line with his stated goals to “bring enlightenment to every individual on Earth, and to establish a state of permanent peace in the world,” he established the university in 1971 to not only provide a an excellent academic and holistic education for students from around the world, but also to take meditation mainstream by providing scientific proof that meditation is effective in reducing stress, and inducing calmness, peace and mental/motional fortitude.

With a university degree in physics, Maharishi was determined to ground the ancient science and meditation practices of the Vedas in modern scientific understanding and terminology.


In line with his stated goals to “bring enlightenment to every individual on Earth, and to establish a state of permanent peace in the world,” he established the university in 1971 to not only provide a an excellent academic and holistic education for students from around the world, but also to take meditation mainstream by providing scientific proof that meditation is effective in reducing stress, and inducing calmness, peace and mental/emotional fortitude.


World renowned physicist John Hagelin, responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the Superstring, is Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the university and a professor of physics. Along with Hagelin, scientists at the university have meticulously conducted over 600 scientific studies on the effects of meditation, and have been awarded nearly $20 million in federal research grants over the years to continue their investigations.


From this research, the effectiveness of meditation as a world-wide peace inducing technology has been extrapolated. “Reality is really one of unity, one of awareness, and universal consciousness,” says Hagelin. “With the discovery of the Unified Field, we are witnessing a total transformation of human knowledge — from the isolated understanding of specific laws of nature to the holistic understanding of the unity of existence.”

Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM is not just healthy for the individual, it’s healthy for the planet and everyone on it. By tapping into the peace of the unified field, individuals meditating alone or in groups, literally emanate the qualities of unity, oneness and peace that characterize this underlying quantum level of reality. Studies have even revealed the number of meditating participants necessary worldwide to effect optimum change: either one percent of the earth’s population of 6.5 billion, (65 million), or the square root of one percent which is (maybe you guessed it already) approximately 8,000.


Because of wave amplification dynamics, having that number meditating in one large group, such as in the New Delhi experiment, is ideal. However it is also effective having smaller groups around the world meditating. To this end, Hagelin is helping establish the University of Peace worldwide, with the main campus of 1,200 in Iowa.

“We have a branch campus for which we have land but no buildings outside of [ Washington] D.C. that we quickly want to build to 2,000 [participants],” Hagelin says. “Which is not enough to bring peace to the world, but it is enough to bring a very powerful source of peace to the United States and particularly in and around Washington D.C. where the influence of peace and sanity is perhaps most critically needed.”


The goal to establish one University of Peace near every state capital in the U.S. is currently underway, and campuses are already in place in over 100 countries. In India, about 175 small campuses, with an average of 350 students each, were recently established. “That’s not as effective as having the groups together in one large peace promoting assembly,” he says. “But it is significant enough that if you’ve been watching the news the past 13 weeks since the schools and colleges have really begun to function, you’ll see that pretty much in these 13 weeks the India Pakistan conference has ended. The Kashmiri conference has ended. India/Nepal and India/Chinese relations are wonderful. The whole border confrontation over which two wars were fought with China has ended. So there’s a tremendous softening in and around India since those 175 … have begun their long meditation programs there.”


The Lebanon study

One of the most well-known, and best controlled studies of the peace-creating effects of group meditation occurred during the Lebanese civil war in the early 1980s. With Israeli troops heavily involved, the situation around Beirut and the Chouf mountains was rapidly creating a middle-eastern powder keg. Into this arena in 1983, Drs. Charles Alexander and John Davies at Harvard University, in collaboration with Maharishi University of Management researchers, brought 200 experienced meditators, setting up a group base in Jerusalem along with local Israeli meditators, for a period of two months. In addition a smaller group was formed in Lebanon, containing both Muslim and Christian meditators, and five other larger groups at various distances from Lebanon, ranging from 2,000 in Yugoslavia to 8,000 in the US, at intervals over a 2 ¼ year period.

“The Lebanese participants were heavily at risk doing this,” says Davies, now co-director of the Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Projects at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. “If their fellow countrymen had known that Muslims and Christians were talking with each other, let alone meditating in harmony, they would have been killed.”


Meditation effects during Lebanese civil war.

The results were highly significant. After controlling statistically for weather changes, Lebanese and Muslim, Christian and Jewish holidays, police activity, fluctuation in group sizes, and other variant influences, during the course of the study violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 to 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place, depending upon the measure and statistical approach used. (The graph shows results for the Jerusalem group). This pattern was replicated seven consecutive times between 1983 and 1985. During the period each of the seven groups was in place, the average number of people killed during the war per day dropped from twelve to three, a decrease of more than 70%; war-related injuries fell by 68%; the intensity level of conflict dropped by 48%; and cooperation among antagonists increased by 66%. And the effects didn’t stop there. Violent crime incidents, auto accidents and fires in both Lebanon and Israel also decreased significantly during each of the studies.


According to an analysis of the results by the Maharishi School of Management, “the likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one part in 1019, making this effect of reducing societal stress and conflict the most rigorously established phenomenon in the history of the social sciences.”

In 1988, Alexander and Davies’ meticulous findings on the very first study in 1983 were published in the prestigious Journal of Conflict Resolution. But the backlash of criticism was formidable, and it was another 15 years before Davies’ research showing that results were replicated seven times over with different groups could be presented in another peer-reviewed journal.


It is precisely because of the closed-minded attitudes of mainstream scientific organizations and publications, mainstream politics and mainstream journalism, that individuals such as Maharishi, Hagelin and Davies are taking peace-creating initiatives to the streets, teaching individuals how to transform their personal lives and showing them how they can make a difference in the world.

“Our most important responsibility as citizens is to create peace in our own lives,” says Davies. “We have to move beyond hypocrisy if we’re going to make peace. You can’t impose peace in a complex society, such as we’re living in now, through simply dictating what’s right and what’s wrong while not living up to your own standards. The first step of responsibility, which applies to all of us, is to be able to look to our own lives and see if we’re living and being the peace we want to create.”


Davies works to create peaceful solutions to political rivalries around the world through conflict resolution with Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Projects. His organization helped resolve an often violent Peru – Ecuador conflict over disputed territory when private citizens of both nations agreed to meet at the Maryland headquarters.


 “The solution that came up in our workshops was, let’s make this a bi-national park that honors the people that have died on both sides fighting over this sacred ground, and have shared sovereignty,” says Davies. “So that met the needs of both sides – it was win-win – and was incorporated as the basis for an official peace agreement.”


His organization has also been involved in mitigating tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, contributing to an agreement on how the very limited water supplies there could be managed. Civilian workshops eventually arrived at a solution where people’s basic needs would be met at a low cost within budget parameters, while higher rates were established for irrigation and luxury use and water waste minimized. “Since those agreements emerged, water issues are no longer a deal breaker for a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” says Davies. “And that’s still the case.”


Davies is clear about the need for taking personal responsibility for creating peace. By uplifting one’s thoughts and expanding attitudes through meditation, people can prepare themselves to take a greater responsibility for world affairs. Changes in attitudes and widened perceptions are critical if a difference is to be made.

“We mistake the world for being some sort of zero sum place – we’re all fighting over limited resources,” he says. “But it’s not the resources that are limited.


It’s the capacity to manage the resources well … and understand the human needs that are at stake. You’ve got to connect with people as human beings. From there, that and a little empathy allows you to be able to very quickly find ways of building partnerships that allow both side’s needs to be met.”

Why civilian diplomacy? Ask John Davies who says …


“In World War I, 5% of casualties were civilian. In World War II 50% were civilian. In the Third World War, which is what some people call the period of peak violence between the 1970s through the 1990s, civilian casualties have been 85% - and that number is not going down, particularly with the spread of suicide bombings and other terrorist activities. The implications of this are that, just as war is no longer being fought by and among government soldiers, peace-making can’t be left to official government representatives. When we do that,the process gets bogged down and becomes a top-down process whereby most peace agreements tend to fail in a few years.


John Davies, Ph.D. Co-Director, Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peace Building Projects

In the last 15 years we’ve really had a rapid spread of citizen’s diplomacy, because in the post cold war environment there are fewer constraints on it. Most of the negotiated settlements of war that have emerged out of that period have been supported and had the advantage of citizen’s diplomacy showing them [government officials] where the real possibilities lie for a sustainable peace.“


The Peace Government

After running for president on the Natural Law Party platform in 2000, Hagelin now eschews the regular political channels with their stubborn complexity, hierarchical structuring and lack of innovative thinking. As President of the US Peace Government, which is the US affiliate of the Global Country of World Peace founded by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in October 2002, Hagelin is busy building partnerships that carry grassroots peace efforts far beyond America’s shores. Literally a country without borders, the Global Country of World Peace is pulling together organizations, citizens and diplomats from around the world who hold the vision and who are willing to learn the scientifically proven principles and policies of governance in accord with Natural Law.


According to Hagelin, the international diplomatic community in Washington D.C. has welcomed the existence of this essentially self-proclaimed Peace Government, and has been very active in visiting Hagelin’s D.C. offices for luncheons and planning projects - especially peace promoting projects in their own countries. “I think there are many countries in the world that are not particularly pleased with the current administration,“ he says, “and are very eager to explore the possibility of relationships with an alternative government in the United States that is fundamentally concerned with their welfare and peace, and prevention of crime and promotion of education in their country.“


So far, although Hagelin has many close friends in the legislature, there has been little to no formal contact from individuals in the U.S. government seeking information about the US Peace Government or its policies. Nor is Hagelin expecting it.

“There’s nothing from the U.S. Government I seek. We don’t really need their funding. They’re really quite busy managing the problems of the country and going about the crisis management that government typically is dealing with.”




    Meditation effects during Lebanese civil war.                        


The river flows rapidly down the mountain, and then all of a sudden it gets blocked with big boulders and a lot of trees. The water can't go any farther, even though it has tremendous force and forward energy. It just gets blocked there. That's what happens with us, too; we get blocked like that. Letting go at the end of the out-breath, letting the thoughts go, is like moving one of those boulders away so that the water can keep flowing, so that our energy and our life force can keep evolving and going forward. We don't, out of fear of the unknown, have to put up these blocks, these dams, that basically say no to life and to feeling life.




The benefits of meditation are many but here, in the Western World, we have what is known as

"Monkey Mind" - it jumps all over the place.  It is necessary to have a still mind in order to receive the full benefits, both mentally and physically, of meditation.  For some, [the] task of coming back hundreds of times in meditation may seem boring or even of questionable importance. But how many times have we gone away from the reality of our life?--perhaps a millions of times! If we wish to awaken, we have to find our way back to meditation with our full being, our full attention.  

In this way, meditation is very much like training a puppy. You put the puppy down and say, Stay. Does the puppy listen? It gets up and runs away. You sit the puppy back down again. Stay. And the puppy runs away over and over again. Sometimes the puppy jumps up, runs over and pees in the corner, or makes some other mess. Our minds are much the same as the puppy, only they create even bigger messes. In training the mind, or the puppy, we have to start over and over again.


-Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart

from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith,



The Initiative for Inclusive Security

The Initiative for Inclusive Security, including The Women Waging Peace Network, advocates for the full participation of all stakeholders, especially women, in peace processes.  Creating sustainable peace is achieved best by a diverse, citizen-driven approach.  Of the many sectors of society currently excluded from peace processes, none is larger—or more critical to success—than women.


Research and Recommendations

Inclusive Security documents women's contributions to peace processes across conflict areas worldwide through primary research, including a series of case studies.  The studies focus on women's activities in conflict prevention, pre-negotiation and negotiation, and post-conflict reconstruction — including governance; disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and rehabilitation; and transitional justice and reconciliation.


This body of work is pragmatic and operational, offering suggestions, guidelines, and models to encourage policymakers to include women and gender perspectives in their program designs.






What is Two Stars for Peace?

Why should Americans add Palestine and Israel as states?

Why should Israel and Palestine give up sovereignty for U.S. statehood?

Isn't adding states to America very difficult?

Aren't Israel and Palestine too far away to add?

What about language?

What about Jewish settlers in the West Bank?

What about Jerusalem?

How long would this statehood process take?

What about the Right of Return for Jews and Palestinians?

What about the role of religion in Israel and Palestine?


What is Two Stars for Peace?


It is the name for a grassroots plan to solve the Middle East Crisis by merging Palestine and Israel into the U.S. as the 51st and 52nd states.


Why should Americans add Palestine and Israel as states?


American statehood for Israel and Palestine will solve America's biggest foreign relations problem, and also contribute to a reduction in terrorism. No country other than America has this ability to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East. No other solution will work for long. The expansion will also infuse new economic and cultural dynamism into America because Israelis and Palestinians are amongst the most creative people in the world.


Why should Israel and Palestine give up sovereignty for U.S. statehood?


Joining the U.S. means Israel and Palestine share U.S. sovereignty. They do not give up sovereignty, but instead trade stand-alone sovereignty for shared sovereignty. Shared American sovereignty offers Israel and Palestine the benefits of peace, stability, economic growth and justice, none of which have been obtainable with stand-alone sovereignty. Also, as is evidenced in Europe, the way of the future is multi-state unions rather than stand-alone states.


Isn't adding states to America very difficult?


It only takes a majority vote of the U.S. Congress to add a state. No nationwide vote is required. 37 states have been added since the U.S. was founded. The time gap between adding Hawaii and adding Israel/Palestine is shorter than the time gap that existed before adding Alaska as a state.


Aren't Israel and Palestine too far away to add?


There is only a two hour flight difference between Washington-Jerusalem and Washington-Honolulu. When California was added as a state, the travel difference was measured in weeks.


What about language?


A much greater percentage of Israelis and Palestinians speak English than do immigrants to the U.S. from Latin America and Asia.


What about Jewish settlers in the West Bank?


They could remain, but would become residents of the American state of Palestine, and would be subject to Palestinian state law. Both Israeli and Palestinian state law would have to treat all citizens - Arabs, Immigrants, Jews, Christians, Moslems - equally in accordance with the U.S. Constitutional guarantees of Equal Protection and Due Process.


What about Jerusalem?


West Jerusalem would be the capital of the American state of Israel. East Jerusalem would be the capital of the American state of Palestine. There would be no border between the two capitals. Moving between them would be like traveling from Manhattan, NY to Newark, NJ or Bethesda, Maryland to Fairfax, Virginia.


How long would this statehood process take?


A grassroots "two stars" movement could make it happen within two years!

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What about the Right of Return for Jews and Palestinians?


The Two Stars Plan is flexible enough to permit Jews and Palestinians in Diaspora (living outside of Israel or Palestine) to resettle in Israel or Palestine as American citizens. A new category of immigration visa would be established to ensure the returnees qualified. There are only about 3-5 million Jews and Palestinians living in Diaspora outside of the United States. Thus, it will not be difficult to absorb this number of people within America's 300 million person population. Indeed, every decade America absorbs more illegal immigrants than the total possible number of Jews and Palestinians in Diaspora.


What about the role of religion in Israel and Palestine?


Israel can still be considered "the Jewish state" in the same way that Utah is considered "the Mormon state." Friday, the Islamic sabbath, can continue to be respected by closing government offices on that day in Palestine. Just as in America, followers of every religion in Israel and Palestine will be assured of their right to observe their faith. Also, as in America, Israeli and Palestinian governments could not preferentially favor one or more religions. Religion and government must stay separate in the American system -- yet this does not diminish at all the extent to which people may observe their faith. Proof of this can be seen in the fact that America nurtures even the most observant forms of all the great religions.







America is the world's most armed state


 The US has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed state in the world.  American citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.


About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the US, it said. "There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the US, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.


India had the world's second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military, though this represented just four guns per 100 people there. China, ranked third with 40 million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per 100 people.


Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country's overall civilian gun arsenals.


On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the US, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38. France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany were next, each with about 30 guns per 100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. Nigeria, for instance, had just one gun per 100 people.


"Firearms are very unevenly distributed around the world. The image we have of certain regions such as Africa or Latin America being awash with weapons - these images are certainly misleading," Small Arms Survey director Keith Krause said. "Weapons ownership may be correlated with rising levels of wealth, and that means we need to think about future demand in parts of the world where economic growth is giving people larger disposable income," he said.


The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million held by law enforcement and military forces. Five years ago, it had said there were a total of just 640 million firearms globally. Only about 12% of civilian weapons are thought to be registered.






DAVE'S VIEWPOINT - Something out there has to wake America Up!




I can't understand how this situation has continued with report after report by various government agency's both in the US, UK and other places about the total failure of the Iraq war. All the reasons for going into it, how it was

orchestrated, what the goals/objectives of it were/are, etc, etc have been shown by one report or another to be false or subject to "spin".


We have thousands of Americans killed in action and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's. Getting close to a total bill of a trillion $ spent on the

operation.  Meanwhile congress is have a filibuster as they don't have the collective backbone to pull the plug. The Iraqi's want us out, the American people want us out yet the stupid politicians are debating..........


My real worry is with the renewed strength of al-Qaeda and the Taliban - we will soon have a toppling of Musharref in Pakistan and then we have a nuclear armed Taliban and al-Qaeda. This has been written on the walls for so long that I can't believe it isn't priority one to clean out the lot of them vs. giving whole areas to the UN to deal with and lose hard earned ground.


A very bad case of misplaced and criminal leadership in my opinion. It will cause us all to live in a very different world than would have happened if Bush had focused on the target...al-Qaeda. For this alone he should be impeached and his cronies Chaney, Rumsfield, Rice and Rove cast to the dogs.


I can't even try to express my anger at all of this. My kids and grandkids will suffer untold harm, discontent and a be denied a way of life that we

had. We see such a change in every place we go today.


Checking in/out of every country presents a host of new questions and documentation to track folks more closely. Each port has security that was never required before. Everyplace you go has security guards of which more and more are armed. Even the BVI police force and security guards are now armed. Unheard of and unthinkable even 5 years ago!!


So Bush has taken the US down a road to empower the al-Qaeda and bring about the widespread rise in Extremist actions throughout the world. As soon as they topple Musharref the stakes jump so high that life as we know it will

stop and restart on a different level.


A damn shame and it wouldn't have cost a trillion $ nor taken 3000 American lives nor 2-300,000 Iraqi lives to do this. It also wouldn't have cost the US its loss of dignity, champion of fairplay, and world wide popularity.


Very bad times from where we sit!!




ere ...