as a Group Process

Saturday afternoon at the Peace Conference July 17, 2010

One group's story told by the people
who united in common purpose

As part of the Peace Conference I was a member of a team that was responsible for creating an article that would be used by individual schools to introduce the Universal Hour of Peace to their community through newspapers and local magazines. Other teams were involved with parts of the overall UHP like cataloging the rocks that would become part of the Healing Wall.

Dr. Laurel Clark led our group through the creative process of identifying a need, which served as our ideal.  As each student offered suggestions during the initial brain storming session we realized the challenges of group creation and a degree of frustration rose within each.  Dr. Laurel was both patient and persistent, leading us in ways that kept us on track by asking us to keep our focus on our ideal and our audience. We each had occasion to learn in a practical way that as individuals we are contributing to something greater (our group) and as a group we were also contributing to all the schools who would be utilizing our article.

My learning involved understanding that the creative process is more of a science than I had previously appreciated.  My dharma is passion and I wanted to quickly begin writing without a clear and well thought out course of action.  I learned from Dr. Laurel that being mindful, patient, persistent and systematic could result in a successful product and it did! I understand my ultimate project is myself.  It is very fulfilling to give to the whole!   (Doug Bannister)

As part of the collective group, I had the opportunity to learn the process of being specific when brainstorming about something as broad as Peace. As a collective group we had similar ideas, however we had difficulty finding a starting point. After much discussion, we read the Peace Covenant. I believe the reading of the UPC grounded our thoughts and ideas and we were able to complete a beautiful article.   (Paula Soder)


I too experienced my own frustration as I tracked my own thoughts being attached to creating an emotional opening to this article.  I heard Dr. Laurel stress the importance of planting a seed idea in the beginning of the article in the form of something catchy.  Since I struggled mentally to connect this emotional opening to the total message of the article, I notice my attachment was not serving the whole.  I decided to support the others as Dr. Laurel continued to direct our thoughts back to the ideal.  The learning for me was powerful as I watched my emotions begin to rule my choices.  What I would have preferred is to understand the thought they were supporting.  At least my awareness of improper use of reasoning with my emotions is significant in my growth.   The article is a good effort by all and I appreciate all of us pulling together to make it so.  (Kerry Keller)

I write a lot by myself and I am learning how to shift my thinking in this regard as well as shift out of other ways of being selfish.  I am ready to experience something different then I have in the past in this regard.  I was in this group so that I could learn the benefits of expressing my thoughts fully in the company of others with more heart than I am accustomed to.  I was giving what I thought could be beneficial and I wasn’t getting the point of focus for the article.  I took initiative and endeavored to stay determined to be a productive part of the process.   I elected to do research. I was given the opportunity to count Peace Proclamations and I noticed they were very much out of order and I reacted negatively to this situation.   

I was assisted by peers and teachers to restructure my thinking and I was able to work with another student to put the Peace Proclamations in order.

This was a rewarding experience for me.  If I want to live in a world where peace is normal, that’s a wonderful ideal, I must remember there are steps.  I learned that peace within myself on all levels is essential and there are ways that I avoid others and only create more opportunities for learning.  So I see that valuing my opportunities for learning, as they are available is what I need to be focused on.  The lessons are always present, if I am present then I can learn in the present moment and greater accelerate my mental and spiritual growth. (Terrence Bellows)

My experience creating as a group, to write an article which all of our school centers will submit to local publications to inform communities about the Universal Hour of Peace was very rewarding. At first, my thought was I should not be in a group assigned to write an article for publication.  I quickly reminded myself that “thought is cause” and remembered that writing an article for publication is on my Ten Most Wanted List and a requirement for my class. When we started the process I was thankful to have with Dr. Laurel as our group leader. A writer who has the ability to write about “Universal Truths” in a simple way that anyone can resonate with.  I felt comfortable in my group consisting of very familiar “divine friends” and students.  I have worked on projects in the past with three and traveled with one this weekend.  With my feeling of inadequacies about writing I knew this was just what I needed!

Dr. Laurel kept us focused with the thought of visualizing the real needs of the people in our communities to start building the article. She reminded us about the basics, that “seed idea” and she suggested several examples / ideas for us to think about. We brainstormed and I admired what my fellow group members contributed.  Dr. Laurel  said we were just not “specific” enough with the core idea.  I felt a little tension.  As our group was able to become more specific with our general outline and key points of interest, I was assigned to research some specific information.  The others in my group were able to still their minds after reading the UPC and then write an article which will  be informative in aiding others and all who read it.  (Lindy Stafford)

We all are grateful for our learning in ways that we can add to ourSelves and help our students add to themselves.•

During the day the Peace Ambassadors applied their energies to projects in several areas. Peace Proclamations were organized, stones for the Healing Wall were photographed, categorized and logged into a data system, articles were written, and the orchard and garden cared for. This was a day of making peace for everyone.

Checklist (click on the checkmarks)

The People of the Conference Why I am a Peace Ambassador

Prayer Service for the Waters of the Planet at the Healing Wall

Friday Evening

Morning Meditation

Saturday Afternoon Group Creations

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