REPORT FROM GHANA: "I'm a Star Because of Peace Education"
Stone walls do not a prison make, especially when the inmates behind those walls find freedom within themselves. If you want to see what's possible when all hope seems to be gone, check this out.February 05, 2017
The Power of Gratitude
Here is a collection of expressions of gratitude from people around the world who have experienced some of the benefits of Prem Rawat's message of peace via their participation in the Peace Education Program.November 21, 2016
INSIDE PEACE in Rosendale, NY!
Inside Peace, winner of several film festival awards, including three for Best Documentary, two Humanitarian awards, and two Audience Choice awards, will be shown Tuesday, November 29th, 7:15 PM, Rosendale Theater, 408 Main St, Rosendale, NY 12472.
845.658.8989October 31, 2016
Roberto Piriz Needs Our Help
If you are familiar with the work of the Peace Education Program in the Dominquez State Jail in San Antonio, TX, you are probably familiar with Roberto Piriz, the wonderful man who started that program, along with his wife, Chantal, some years ago.
Recently, Roberto was hospitalized, in intensive care, for three days, and is suffering the financial consequences. This is why Mirtha West has launched a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf and why both of us are inviting you to contribute to it. It takes a village. Every little bit helps.
Here's a brief story in a San Antonio newspaper about the PEP program in San Antonio, with reference to Roberto's involvement.September 16, 2015
Peace Education in Prison
Here is a very inspiring video about the impact of the TPRF's Peace Education Program (PEP) on inmates of the Zonderwater Prison in South Africa. Imagine if this program was available in prisons all around the world!
More about PEP
What I Learned from Our Independent Valentine's Day Fundraising Project
Recently, my good buddy, Stuart Hoffman and I collaborated on an independent fundraising initiative to help support our favorite charity, The Prem Rawat Foundation. It was a ton of fun. So far, we've raised $4,981 and gotten more than 13,000 hits on our video. Here's a bunch o' stuff I learned (or remembered) along the way:
1. It feels good to serve.
2. Most people want to give.
3. If you want to create something new, it's helpful to have a collaborator.
4. It takes a village and a few village idiots to make magic.
5. Some people don't like Valentine's Day.
6. Twelve saints named "Valentine" have been canonized by the Catholic church.
7. Googling "love quotes" reveals hundreds of inspiring quotes from known and unknown sources.
8. Everybody has an opinion.
9. The staff of The Prem Rawat Foundation is very committed and easy to work with.
10. Some people think 5:23 is a long time.
11. More people will participate in a fundraising effort if they are invited to participate and have a clearly defined role that makes sense to them.
12. Daya Rawat is an extraordinary singer.
13. Any effort made to personalize a fundraising effort is an effort well-made.
14. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
15. Fundraising success can be measured in many ways. HINT: It's not all about the money.
16. Coffee is an excellent fundraising catalyst.
17. Many people suffer from "fundraising fatigue."
18. Posting a video on my friends' FB pages is a good way to get the word out, as long as I don't overdo it and only choose the friends who won't be bothered by my taking that liberty.
19. I have a tendency to obsess.
20. I never really knew that my dog, Chili, could become part of a fundraising campaign.
21. Donors to a fundraising campaign appreciate getting updates and progress reports.
21. Some people perceive a request to donate to a charity as a botheration.
22. Publishing an article about the History of Valentine's Day in the Huffington Post is an excellent way to publicize a Valentine's Day-themed fundraising campaign.
24. It's inspiring to set seemingly impossible goals as long as I don't get attached to them.
25. Keep my emails short.
26. It's useful to pay attention to feedback, especially the feedback I judge as irrelevant or absurd. It's also good to thank the people who give me feedback, even if I don't agree with them.
27. Murphy's Law has a way of creeping into any project.
28. The path is made by walking on it.
29. TPRF could use some more volunteers.
30. In some places around the world, $1.00 feeds a hungry child for a day.
31. Some people won't get to #31 on my list of 40 things I've learned (but YOU have, so, congratulations!) You either have nothing better to do, are slightly crazy, or are a patient friend of mine.
32. Stuart Hoffman and Jennifer Edwards are a great songwriting team.
33. No matter what you think of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is an awesome platform to facilitate communication.
34. The Peace Education Program is working wonders to help people in prison get a fresh start in life.
35. When your Mac keyboard stops working in the middle of a project like this, buying a $49 plug-in keyboard at Best Buy is the way to go.
36. Doing anything on behalf of a charity, whatever the cause, works way better when you are actually feeling grateful.
37. Love rules!
38. The Food for People program is a shining example of how a good idea can work wonders.
39. Thinking I don't have time to volunteer for a charity (in this case TPRF) because I need to focus on "making a living" is a bogus thought, originating from a weird place of fear and anxiety. There is always time to be of service. And the amazing thing (even though I can't really prove it and the concept of "cause and effect" is a slippery slope to walk), two well-paying gigs came to me out of the blue while I was working on this project. That's two month's worth of income, folks. Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not. Just saying...November 27, 2014
Truly a Free Man
ED. NOTE: The following guest post was written by Mike Krause who, just three weeks ago, was released from San Antonio's Dominguez Jail after being incarcerated there for the past year. While Mike was on the inside at Dominguez, he had a chance to attend TPRF's Peace Education Class and hear about the message of Prem Rawat. What follows is a letter Mike wrote to his fellow inmates after he got out of jail on November 3rd.
My Dear Friends:
I just wanted to let you guys know that I am thinking about you and hope you are doing well. Although things haven't gone as smoothly as I had hoped for upon my release, the lessons I learned in the Peace Education class have allowed me to stay focused and moving forward in a manner I have never experienced in my life before now.
As I was walking through the doors of Dominguez, upon my release, it dawned on me that I was truly a free man. The irony in that thought was that it had nothing to do with being in jail.
I think very few people get the opportunity, in life, to discover their true character -- what they stand for and who they are. I look back at what I've been through and realize that I am truly blessed to have gone through what I have gone through.
A lot of people talk a good game when it comes to doing the right thing, but so many fall short, or are never truly tested.
Reading the book A Long Walk to Freedom, the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, I was able to get a glimpse of what conviction in one's beliefs is all about. Mr. Mandela went to prison for 27 years to uphold those beliefs. His courage, bravery, and determination showed me what was possible.
Joel Osteen once asked, "Are you willing to do whatever it takes to do what is right?" For the first time in my life, I was.
As it so happened, this epiphany coincided with my being introduced to the concept of "Inner Peace" by my friend, and former classmate, Wallie Reschman.
While in our Computer Aided Drafting class one day, Wallie started to explain the transformation he had experienced brought about by his participation in the Inner Peace class at Dominquez. As I listened to this former hard core drug dealer talk about the changes he had made and the enlightened perspective and appreciation of life that had happened for him, I was beyond intrigued. I had to see what this was all about.
My own journey that led me to jail was one brought about by my fruitless search for a way to fill the emptiness that had been in my heart for as long as I could remember. I had everything and nothing all at the same time and I could never figure out how to change it.
Thanks to Wallie introducing me to the Peace Education Class -- and thanks to Roberto Piriz -- my life was forever changed. For the first time in my life I came to understand that in order to find true peace in my life I would have to start looking within, instead of all of the external places I had looked before.
When I made the decision to take to heart the principals of Prem Rawat that Roberto did such a great job presenting, I was set free -- set free from the imagined expectations of a father who was never there -- set free from the poor decisions in my life -- set free to know what I was truly about -- and set free to finally understand and be happy with who I am.
Socrates once said, "Know thyself". What he should have said was, "Know thyself and you will be free".
It's been a long journey and an incredible sacrifice not just for myself, but for my family as well. The result is the man I am today. The man I am today is a better and more loving father to my two beautiful children, a more appreciative and understanding son to my mother, a better friend and member of society, and when God blesses me with the opportunity, I will be the most loving and caring husband a wife could have.
Was the price to get to where I am now a high one? Definitely, yes. Was it worth becoming the man I am today?. Absolutely.
In an average lifetime, 25,550 days is all we have. When I first heard this number, I was shocked at how low it was. And that, my friends, is just the point. That number IS low. Like anything else that is in high demand and in short supply, it becomes extremely valuable.
So that brings up the question: "Since you are giving up such a valuable commodity each day, what do you have to show for it?" In exchange for this valuable commodity (a day of your life), do you have something positive to show for it or something negative? The choice is yours and yours alone.
Prem Rawat says, "We start living the moment we embrace the peace that lies in our heart". My hope for you is that you will find, as I have, that divine force that is within you -- just waiting to be discovered the entire time.
Take these lessons to heart and your life will never be the same.July 25, 2014
Peace Education Program Slide Show
Take a look at what various participants in TPRF's Peace Education Program (PEP) have to say about their experience of it. This show is a recent collaboration between Stuart Hoffman and myself, with the kind support of Sherry Weinstein and Mary Wishard of TPRF.March 04, 2014
My Name is Wallie Reschman, #1813248
My name is Wallie Reschman #1813248. I am currently serving an 8-year prison sentence in The Texas Department Of Criminal Justice and I am housed at The Dominguez State Jail/TDCJ Transfer Unit.
Recently, I was asked by one of the volunteers of The Inner Peace Class that I have been faithfully attending for six months to write a few words on what I have gotten out of the class. So here is a little bit on my personal experience and what I would say to Mr. Prem Rawat if given the chance to meet and greet him in person.
For those who don't know much about Prem Rawat -- he is a motivational speaker with a message of PEACE. He has traveled the world for four decades, inspiring people to find peace within themselves and also provides humanitarian relief around the world.
In the time that I have attended the Inner Peace class I have received the message of peace and really absorbed it. Every time I watch a video of him speaking, the message becomes clearer and I always find something new that I can do to apply it to myself and my everyday life.
This program has helped me find that special gift that we all have inside of us, that we were born with, but somehow have lost or just put away on the back burner because we got so wrapped up with what we believe is a better way of living.
It's like Prem Rawat points out in his message -- we cannot simply believe, we have to know. We don't have to search very far because all we need is to be clear, to be content, and to be at PEACE within us. It's in our hearts!
I have learned how to live my life in a very different way. Despite my current incarceration, I can do this. I can handle many situations differently, in a more positive way.
What I feel and what I know now is so wonderful. It sometimes feels like there are no worries in the world. It's a feeling that's priceless to me and no one can take that away from me, nor will I ever lose it or misplace it again.
Our breath is the #1 blessing anyone can have. But to have clarity on what LIFE and PEACE are all about and having the proper knowledge, well, that, in itself, is a blessing. too!
Mr. Prem Rawat, if you are reading this, you remind us of something that we already have inside of us that is great. For myself, and I know, for the others in the class, it has been and it is a life changing experience.
We all need someone in our life to open our eyes one time or another and for me, Sir, this is my time.
I wish I could have heard your message years ago. Maybe it would have steered me in a different direction. But it's OK, because it's never too late and if it has to be from in here to learn what I have from your message, so be it. Just knowing that I now have peace, contentment, and clarity makes me special in my own unique way.
I would like to end with two simple words for you Mr. Rawat -- simple just like your message, and that is THANK YOU!!!
PS: And thank you Roberto and Chantal Piriz who bring the message of Peace twice a week to us here at The Dominguez Unit. If anyone would like to keep in touch with me and know more about my experience and progress or share yours, please feel free to write:
Dominguez Unit D1-40
Wallie Reschman # 1813248
6535 Cagnon Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78252
Stone Walls Do Not a Prison Make
If you have four minutes and an interest in the possibility of peace for people everywhere, listen to Premlata Hudson Rawat (the daughter of Prem Rawat), talk about the Peace Education Program (PEP) -- an innovative educational program that helps people discover their inner resources. The four videos below provide a clear picture of the impact the program is having in prisons and other places around the world.