Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's wrap up 2008 with smiles, and welcome 2009 with open arms.

Live the Peace!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A dear friend introduced me to this poem...

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

Sunday, November 02, 2008

This is a fascinating article, giving power to community from our seemingly ordinary relationship to food. Incidentally, The Peace Cafe was created based on the same mindset; by breaking bread together we break barriers to promote peace.

"Although the commodification of food is a global problem, its solution is local and personal. We can eat thoughtfully and moderately, with occasional and appropriate fasting and feasting. We can select our food to be consonant with our values, prepare it ourselves with pleasure and attention, and present it with an eye to beauty, natural religion and sensual delight. Then we might know the power of food to magically create intimacy, conviviality and community...."

Thomas Moore is a former Catholic monk. He is the author of many books, including Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul.


Friday, October 17, 2008

I'll be in Kochin 19th - 25th October for a regional meeting on Gender Sensitive Active Non-Violence. This is a kind initiative of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. IFOR also funded The Peace Cafe & Ikhtiar Link's program for youth on Sustaining a Culture of Peace Through Education. Here is a photo of the Asian contingent in India who will be reuniting in a couple of days.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Look out for developments on the latest initiative of The Peace Cafe...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ain't this such a cool career to create for yourself:

"World of Good, a fair-trade gift company, works with 6,000 artisans in 34 countries. The artisans, most of whom are women, are responsible for more than 25,000 dependents, and Priya Haji has helped improve their lives.

After graduating from the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, Haji traveled for six months in the Third World, trying to decide where she could do the most good. Instead of living in a community with one group of artisans, Haji decided to help artisans from around the world find access to the consumer market in the United States. Retailers who partner with World of Good get a small turn-key gift section for their store, and each product has a tag that describes the product and the people who make it."

- The Natural Foods Merchandiser

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"...countries invariably assume that they can model their economic development plans in accordance with modern economics, and they call upon modern economists from so-called advanced countries to advise them, to formulate the policies to be pursued, and to construct the grand design for development, the Five-Year Plan or whatever it may be called. No one seems to think that a Buddhist way of life would call for Buddhist economics, just as the modern materialist way of life has brought forth modern economics." Read more

Thursday, May 15, 2008

If you're feeling a little low, why don't you check out a positive tv site on the web? Particularly the Public Meditation Project on Quantum Shift TV.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's been 2 weeks since my last post? Errant me!
Here's an interesting article on the Creative Economy, but with relevance to developing nations. Rather long, but interesting, of course.

"The Creative Economy Report 2008 of UNCTAD

The emerging "creative economy" has become a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade and innovation, and social cohesion in most advanced economies. Unfortunately, however, the large majority of developing countries are not yet able to harness their creative capacity for development. The creative economy offers to developing countries a feasible option and new opportunities to leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy." Read more

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as “fight-or-flight.” Although fight-or-flight may characterize the primary physiological responses to stress for both males and females, we propose that, behaviorally, females’ responses to stress are more marked by a pattern of “tend and befriend.” Tending involves nurturant activities designed to protect the self and offspring that promote safety and reduce distress; befriending is the creation and maintenance of social networks that may aid in this process. The biobehavioral mechanism that underlies the tend and befriend pattern appears to draw heavily on the attachment/caregiving system, and considerable neuroendocrine evidence from animal and human studies suggests that oxytocin, in conjunction with female reproductive hormones and endogenous opioid peptide mechanisms, may be at its core. This previously unexplored stress regulatory system has manifold implications for the study of stress." Read more

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The other day a concept took root in me- A Goodwill Economy. When I find myself doing work where there is no direct monetary returns, yet I simply want to, and enjoy doing it, I realize that it a form for me to express myself. And there is returns of another sort- goodwill. If goodwill is our global currency, what would the world be like? A lot of times goodwill can be 'exchanged' for other needs to be fulfilled. We're all basically self-sufficient economies of one. Don't let industrial or money economics make you believe otherwise.

Monday, April 07, 2008

"By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth's capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet's resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?"

Friday, April 04, 2008

“Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.”


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Many have asked me if I sell coffee, actually run a cafe, is it a virtual cafe...etc.

The cafe is a wonderful place where people come and do their own thing, or come together for conversation and to connect. Sometimes these connections last for a lifetime, sometimes they last for a season. But nevertheless the connections have happened, and it adds to our repetoire of experiences in life. Many a world was saved over a cup of coffee, many a relationship strengthened. It is lovely informal learning that takes place from conversations that matter. Not because they conform to the social currency of the day necessarily, but because they come from the vibrations of the soul. Sharing a warm, comforting drink together and conversing can bring about new ways of being in peace.

Let's make this metaphor for learning through conversations that is the cafe be one of the ways we, as individuals independent of any organizing principle other than God, consciously manifest peace in the world.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Shall we switch our lights off tomorrow March 29th 2008 from 8-9pm for Earth Hour? It's a global movement, with large accreditation to WWF, to bring awareness to energy conservation which leads to our Earth's revitalization.

"When considering a problem as large as the degradation of the global environment, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, utterly helpless to effect any change whatsoever. But we must resist that response, because this crisis will be resolved only if individuals take some responsibility for it. By educating ourselves and others, by doing our part to minimize our use and waste of resources, by becoming more active politically and demanding change- in these ways and many others, each one of us can make a difference. Perhaps most important, we each need to assess our relationship to the natural world and renew, at the deepest level of personal integrity, a connection to it. And that can only happen if we renew what is authentic and true in every aspect of our lives.' - Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

Monday, March 24, 2008

I am intrigued by the current leadership impasse in our nation. Whether royalty or democracy, or anything else, it will be good to remember that the essence of a government's responsibility is the preservation of the individual's dignity while guiding the community of citizens towards a prosperous and peaceful future together. It is interesting to note that in another part of the world, Bhutan is moving towards democracy on its own terms.

Any lessons to be learnt for Malaysia?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Browsing through Alvin and Heidi Toffler's Revolutionary Wealth a few months ago, the seed of a knowing took articulation, and has increasingly found resonance in the way we live.
What is the future of wealth? It is not more and more money that will get us the quality of life that we want, but it is creative thinking that will manifest greater prosperity in our lives. Money has become the bloated, inconstant middleman that is not serving us very well. I'm not saying no money at all, but consider the autonomy of the individual networking with other individuals in barter and trade-offs that provide proportionately appropriate value for that which we need.
Even nations are looking at alternatives to assess the state of their health, using Gross National Happiness as an index, for example.
So monetary and industrial economics have completed their utility- whither a peaceful one?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yesterday's existential latte conversation summary:

Does news sell because people are naturally attracted to conflict?

Why don't we consider that violence sells because there is a certain civilisational positioning of conflict through the media to excite a sense of urgency and immediacy in the consumer. My simple litmus test: do you enjoy watching your children fight? Or your parents argue? Are you your best self when in conflict with your spouse?

Peace is our natural state.
I was in Hanoi 2 weeks ago, participating in a UN-feeder meeting on the linkages between trade, development and poverty. All of us can benefit in knowing a bit more about this area, and it's impact on our human family. See

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This entry, after a long hiatus, marks the re-launch of sorts of The Peace Café website.

I have a grand vision for The Peace Café to be a independent learning lab dedicated to enhancing the human experience through research and dialogue in ethics, ecology and education.

I wish all of us well!