Table of Contents

  • Inner Peace: Telephone Meditation
  • Community Peacebuilding: Have You Commended a Public Servant?
  • Acts of Kindness: Quick Acts of Kindness
  • Marital Harmony: Preserving Mutual Love and Affection
  • Personal Effectiveness: Five Good Habits for Personal Effectiveness
  • Personal Effectiveness: Overcoming Procrastination
  • Inner Peace: Learning from Difficult People
  • Personal Effectiveness: Exercise Helps Memory
  • Personal Growth: The Silent Gift Project
  • Global Peace: Nobel Laureates Appeal for a Decade of Non-Violence
  • Resources: Peace Quotes
  • Interpersonal Relationship: Love Without Stifling Your Loved One
  • Nonviolence: Methods of Nonviolent Action
  • Nonviolence: Some Examples of Nonviolent Action
  • Environment: Cut Down on Meat and Help the Environment
  • Inner Peace: Einstein’s Last Written Words
  • Interpersonal Relationships: Blaming Never Helps
  • Environment: Do You Know that . . .
  • Personal Helps: If You Feel Depressed . . .


Telephone Meditation

A well-known Buddhist monk suggests the following mindfulness meditations while receiving or making phone calls:

When the phone rings, do not answer it immediately. Breathe in and out deeply. As you breathe in and out deeply. As you breathe n, say ” I am calm.” As you breathe out, smile. Do the same thing for the second ring. And answer the phone only on the third ring.
When you want to make a phone call, read the following poem before dialing:
Words can travel many thousand kilometers;
They are to build up mutual understanding and love;
I am determined that my words will be beautiful like flowers,
I vow that my words will be beautiful like embroideries.
You may wish to paste the poem on your phone to help you be mindful while talking.

From a lecture at the Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai, India. 1997

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Have You Commended a Public Servant?

We are often critical of government employees who can at times be so inefficient and even corrupt. But there are thousands of earnest, good, and truly service-oriented public servants around. Their helpfulness may often be taken for granted just because they are government employees. But surely they will appreciate a kind word from you.

The next time that you encounter a government employee or official who has been truly helpful or service-oriented, you may do any or all of the following:

Thank him/her and let him/her know how appreciative you are of the service
Get his/her name, and take time to send him a note of appreciation for what he has done to help you
Write a letter to his or her boss, and explain how appreciative you are of the service of this individual
Write a letter to a newspaper and openly commend the person if he or she showed extraordinary service-orientedness
By these little acts of appreciation, you may be helping to change the feelings of government employees about their jobs and about themselves. Besides, many of them deserve our recognition.

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Quick Acts of Kindness

Here are simple acts of kindness that you can give with all your heart. It can make a difference to the other person:

Say “Thank you”
Give a warm hug
Say “You look wonderful!” and mean it?”
Rub a tired back and shoulders. Ask, “Is this the way you want it ?”
Say “Good morning,” even if it isn’t; sometimes your assertion will help someone find the good parts in the morning
Mail an unexpected and caring letter to an old friend
Place a surprise phone call. Tell the other person the good thoughts about him or her you’ve had in your heart
Meladee and Hanock McCarty, Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution, Health Communications Inc., Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

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Preserving Mutual Love and Affection

What can couples do to protect the love and affection they feel for each other? Daniel Goleman states that marital researchers offer specific but different advice for men and for women.

For men:

Do not sidestep conflict. Realize that when the wife brings up some grievance, she may be doing it as an act of love, trying to keep the relationship healthy.
Realize that anger or discontent is not synonymous with personal attack – the wife’s emotions simply emphasizes her feelings about the matter
Be on guard against short-circuiting the discussion by offering a practical solution too early on. It is typically more important to a wife that she feels her husband hears her complaint and empathizes with her feelings about the matter though he need not agree with her. She may hear his offering advice as a way of dismissing her feeling as inconsequential.
Wives want to have their feelings acknowledged and respected as valid, even if their husbands disagree. More often than not, when a wife feels her view is heard and her feelings registered, she calms down.
For women:

Since a major problem for men is that their wives are too intense in voicing complaints, wives need to make a purposeful effort to be careful not to attack their husbands – to complain about what they did, but not criticize them as a person or express contempt.
It helps if a wife’s complaints are put in the larger context of reassuring her husband of her love for him.
Source: Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036, U.S.A.

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Five Good Habits for Personal Effectiveness

You will tend to achieve more results when you have good habits that work for you rather than against you. Here are five personal habits that you should consider developing to make yourself a more effective individual:

Keep setting new goals. People who regularly write out their goals achieve more. Studies show that they are also more financially successful and more fulfilled.
Analyze your behavior. At least once a year, keep a time log for a month. Track both work time and personal time. What do you do? Why do you do it? How much time do you spend doing it? How much does it help?
Plan your time. Write out a plan for every week. It will help you accomplish more. Try this for several weeks, then evaluate your progress to see how much it helps.
Cut out timewasters. Pick on a timewaster every week, and focus on decreasing it. Try eliminating it. Do this every week all year long. In just a few weeks, you will have formed the habit of searching for and eliminating timewasters.
Stop procrastinating. Fight the “do-it-later” urge. Do it now instead

Source: Merrill Douglass, Success Secrets: A Common Sense Guide to Lifelong Achievement. Honor Books, Inc. P.O. Box55388, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74155, U.S.A.

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Overcoming Procrastination

Here are some suggestions to combat procrastination:

Make your deadline public.
Intersperse unpleasant tasks with pleasant ones.
Reward yourself for doing something you don’t what to do.
Don’t worry about finishing the job. Just get it started.
Do your toughest jobs when you have the most energy.
Allocate specific times to the tasks you might put off.
Source: Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman, Smart Moves. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, Mass 01867, U.S.A.

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Learning from Difficult People

If you happen to live with someone whom you find intolerable or hard to live with, remember the following story:

A great Indian Buddhist teacher, Ven. Dipanka was invited to Tibet to preach the Dhamma. The teacher took along with him a man who was not only quarrelsome and irresponsible but a bad cook as well. After observing him for quite some time, the Tibetans approached the teacher respectfully and said, “Master, why do you tolerate this useless cook of yours – he is more of a nuisance than a help to you. Why don’t you send him back? We will gladly attend to your needs.”

The teacher smiled and replied, “Ah! You don’t understand. I do not keep him as my servant but as my teacher.”

The Tibetans were surprised and asked “How is that so?”

The teacher explained, “You see, his inefficiency and his quarrelsome nature teach me to practice patience and tolerance everyday. Therefore, I value him.”

Source: K, Sri Dhammananda, Why Worry? Buddhist Missionary Society, 123, Jalan Berhala, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Exercise Helps Memory

A study in Utah State University found that exercise help improve memory.

Three groups of people were tested. One did water aerobics three times weekly for nine weeks. The second one went on their lives as usual. The third group socialized together, watching plays, basketball games. Etc.

The people in the exercise group significantly increased their short-term memory, such as remembering names, phone numbers or directions.

Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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The Silent Gift Project

Here is an innovative approach to helping students grow from being disruptive to being caring. It was launched in Baylor University and was called “The Silent Gift Project.” Here are the activities of the project:

Encourage students to give of themselves to an individual, a group, or another living thing, a minimum of three times per week for a semester. The emphasis is on the act of selfless sharing or giving solely for expressing genuine care without expectation of something in return.
Encourage students to log their actions and internal responses to selfless giving in a personal journal. Support them with feedback and evaluations from the staff.
Have students submit a personal reaction paper that addresses points such as: personal feelings, reactions to the project, benefits derived from it, impact on their lives, etc.
Nancy L. Jose, who wrote an article on this project, observed: “The children looked for the good in each other and learned to express the good they found. Soon, the children were happier, more willing to help each other and became more productive in the classroom.

Jack Osman, quoted in Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution by Meladee and Hanoch McCarty. Health Communications Inc., Deerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

One Silent Giver

One student sent anonymous notes of encouragement and spiritual inspiration to a faculty member who was not a favorite on campus. The notes were put on the professor’s windshield, slipped under his office door, or into his faculty mailbox. Most importantly, the student recorded experiencing excitement over the threat of being discovered and feelings of tenderness when observing the faulty member smile as he read his almost daily note.

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Nobel Laureates Appeal a Decade of Non-Violence

Twenty Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have appealed to the Heads of States of all member countries of the General Assembly of the United Nations in an effort to build a new culture of non-violence for the children of the world. Their powerful statement maintains that in every single country throughout the world, many children are victims of the effects and consequences of violence in many forms; between children on streets, at school, at home and in the community. The laureates state “We wish to contribute to reduce their suffering. We believe that each child can discover that violence is not inevitable. We can offer hope, not only to the children of the world, but to all of humanity, by beginning to create and build a new Culture of Non-violence. For this reason we address this solemn appeal. . .

That the first decade of the new millennium, the years 2000-2010, be declared the ‘Decade for a Culture of Non-Violence.’
That at the start of the decade, the year 2000 be declared the ‘Year of Education for Non-Violence.’
That non-violence be taught at every level in our societies during this decade, to make the children of the world aware of the real, practical meaning and benefits of non-violence in their daily lives, in order to reduce the violence, and consequent suffering, perpetrated against them and humanity in general.
Nelson Mandela
The Dalai Lama
Mother Theresa
Mikhail Gorbachev
Aung San Suu Kyi
Shimon Perez
Yasser Arafat
Elie Wiesel
Mairead Corrigan-Maguire
Aldofo Perez Esquivel
Desmond Tutu
Carlos F.X. Belo
Oscar Arias Sanchez
Frederick W. deKlerk
Norman Borlaug
Joseph Rotblat
Betty Williams
Lech Walesa
Jose Ramos Horta
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Peace Quotes

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.

It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defect of others.

When envy, hate, and fear are habitual, they are capable of starting genuine diseases.

Peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper. Let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days, governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men in primarily based on mutual trust, and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.

The Art of Living


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. . does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change.

Each day, clip out your favorite comics from the newspaper. Put these comics together in a box. Whenever a friend is sick in bed or in the hospital, loan him or her the box.

If we could raise one generation

. . . with unconditional love, there would be no Hitlers. We need to teach the next generation of children from Day One that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices build from love from fear.”

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.

The Only Way to Love a Person

. . . is not, as the stereotyped notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the good, in the poet in them. In doing this, you keep the good and poet alive and make it flourish.

Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.

It is pity that the words. “spiritual life” were ever invented, for they have caused so much confusion. For in truth, there is only life — which is simply what is, at every moment.

A Prayer

Rabindranath Tagore
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers.
But be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
But for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved.
But hope for the patience to win my freedom.
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Love Without Stifling Your Loved One

A loving relationship does not mean dependence or attachment. One does not obtrude too much upon the other. The poet Kahlil Gibran has something to say on this, something for us to ponder upon:

Love one another but make not a bond of love
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls
Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping
For only the Hand of Life can contain your heats
And stand together yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart
And the oak tree and cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
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Methods of Nonviolent Action

In a book by Gene Sharp entitled The Methods of Nonviolent Action,, he lists at least 198 methods of nonviolent protest and persuasion. You may find the list in the internet by accessing: Here are some ideas from the list:

Mock elections and awards
Displays of flags and symbolic colors
Wearing of symbols
Displays of portraits
Humorous skits and pranks
Performances of plays and music
Social boycott
Consumer boycott
Source: Peace Magazine,

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Some Examples of Nonviolent Action

In 494 BC, plebeians in Rome decided not to kill the consuls who refused to grant their grievances, and withdrew from the city to hill which became known as the “Sacred Mount.” After a few days of such non-cooperation with the city, significant improvements were granted.
In Markolsheim, France, in 1974, people built a friendship house on the site where a lead factory was to be constructed until the French government withdrew the plant’s permit.
In Wyhl, West Germany in 1976, thousands of people occupied the location for a nuclear power plant project, staying for more than a year until construction attempts were abandoned.
Source: Sanderson Beck, http/

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Cut Down on Meat and Help the Environment

Many people avoid eating meat for health reasons. But there is another urgent reason for cutting down on meat: meat production is very environmentally costly. Here are some facts:

100,000 square kilometers – an area the size of Austria – in Brazil, and half the forests of Central America, have been cleared for beef production.
Over half the grain grown in the United Kingdom, and about 80 percent of its agricultural land is used for livestock.
If Americans reduced meat intake by just 10 percent, the savings in grains and soybeans could adequately feed 60 million people – the number who starve to death worldwide, each year.
61 pure vegetarians can be fed on the land needed to feed just one meat-eater.
Research has revealed that vegetarians may live up to 9 years longer than people who eat meat.
The simplest thing to do, even if you are a confirmed meat-eater, is to cut down the amount of meat you eat.

Source: The Earth Works Group, 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. New English Library, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., Mill Road, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2YA, UK

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Einstein’s Last Written Words

When Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955, he left a piece of writing ending in an unfinished sentence:

In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semi-religious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed. Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible positions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength. They do so even thought such a policy entails the risk of war and doom. Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the course of supranational security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide. Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims . . .

Source: Sanderson Beck Webpage,

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Blaming Never Helps

When you plant a lettuce and it does not grow well, says Thich Nhat Hanh, you never blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it did not grow well.

If you have problems with your friends or family, however, we tend to blame the other person. Yet if we know how to take care of them, they too will grow well, like the lettuce.

Blaming, says this well-known Buddhist teacher, has no positive effect at all. Nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. “This is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no arguments, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

After one of his lectures in Paris where he talked about not blaming the lettuce. Thich Nhat Hanh overheard an eight-year-old girl tell her mother, “Mommy, remember to water me. I am your lettuce.” Then the mother replied, “Yes, my daughter, and I am your lettuce also. So please don’t forget to water me too.”

Source: Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step. Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York 10103.U.S.A.

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Do you know that. . .

Americans buy, and throw away 500 million cigarette lighters every year.
Residents of Los Angeles drive 142 million miles — the distance from Earth to Mars-every day.
Britons spend about $50 million a year on garden pesticides.
Every 3 months, the US throws away enough aluminum to rebuild its entire comercial airfleet.
The world’s shipping industry over 450,000 plastic containers into the sea every day.
It takes 100 times more water to produce a pound of meat than a pound of wheat.
In some American states, it is now illegal for residents not to recycle.
Soft drinks and beer in Denmark cannot be sold in non-returnable bottles.
The world’s environmental problems are caused by us, the average people. If we wish a better world, let us do our share.

Source: The Earth Works Group, 50 Simples Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. New English Library, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., Mill Road, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2YA, UK

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If You Feel Depressed . . .

Here are things you can do to deal with depression, according to the Medical Book of Health Hints and Tips:

Get some rest. Depression can have physical roots such as lack of sleep. Take time off.
Limit sugar. A few hours after eating sugar, you are likely to experience a big let down (“sugar blues”).
Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and can only contribute to your down moods.
Exercise. It releases endorphins, the body’s own “feel good” chemicals. It lifts the spirits, increases energy, and can make personal problems seem less overwhelming. Even a brisk 10 to 15-minute walk can improve your mood for hours.
Rely on friends and family for support. Talking with another person helps. Give yourself permission to unburden yourself.
Be kind to yourself. Depression indicates that some personal resource has been depleted. Give a little more attention to yourself by taking care of yourself.
Learn relaxation techniques. Try this: Sit in a quiet place, place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Take a deep breath through your nose. Concentrate on making the hand on your stomach rise but leaving your chest hand still. Breathe out through your mouth.
Use humor. Give yourself permission to laugh. See a funny movie or read a humorous book.
Get organized. Sometimes you may just be overwhelmed by the volume of work. Make a list, prioritize it, and get going on those tasks you can do quickly.
Examine your thinking. If your depression is recurrent, you need to look at your thought paterns that contribute to your moods. Do you jump to negative conclusions or always expect the worst? You can change these thought habits.
Source: The Editors of Consumer Guide, Medical Book of health Hints and Tips. Publications International Ltd. 7373 North Cicero Avenue, Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646, USA

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Prepared by:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines