The Practice of Peace


Peggy Holman


John Engle, Jessie Hsian, Thomas Herrmann, Gail West, Mikk Sarv, Lisa Heft, Michael Molenaar, Michael Pannwitz, Jr., Julie Stuart, Tova Averbuch, Ulrika Eklund, Shu-fang, Brian Bainbridge, Toke Paludan, Koos der Heer, Jessica

Summary of the meeting:

The Practice of Peace: Embracing Chaos, Confusion and Conflict. Nov. 9-12, Whidbey Institute, 1 hour north of Seattle, Washington, USA

Join Harrison Owen, originator of Open Space Technology, and colleagues working in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Kashmir, Colombia, U.S. urban communities and Haiti who are opening space for peace.

Peggy: The purpose of the conference is actionable knowledge of peace. The hope is that new networks, ideas and projects are created, building on the wealth of experience of different processes and many parts of the world.

The target group includes people active in peace building, business people, young peacemakers, young media and people from hot spots around the world. We have received inquiries from Rwanda, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. This has inspired a fund raising effort to bring people from these areas and to bring young people.

Tova: I see myself doing three page presentations (10 minutes) about using OS in peacemaking. She suggests others do this as well. Representatives of military and terrorists should be invited.

Lisa: Conflict is a good thing, violence is bad. Several peacemaking organisations are internally hierarchical and violent, without peace. There is a big need for a shift towards flexibility and internal peace. The FIGHTING FOR PEACE has to be turned into BEING PEACE.

Gail: Peace disappears when someone assumes for others how they have to be. This is the case in many Asian countries.

Julie: I will work with you to get people there from Northern Ireland.

Brian: Recent research showed that 90% of globalisation is actually Americanisation. The whole of Asia depends much upon US arms. The World Bank and other global organisations (IMF, WTO) should be invited and included. Real job creation (not plastic jobs!) and education have to be the goals, not the corruption and human rights of the American headquarters’ agenda.

Mikk: Open to native knowledge, invite First Nations people; talk to Chris Corrigan. To practice peace means to act with a thousand year perspective.

Tova: Participants should be asked to bring five tools for common suitcase, what make us human.

Mikk: In Estonian tradition these are: the Language of Peace, the Mind of Peace, the Heart of Peace, the Breath (Soul) of Peace and the Spirit of Peace. The peacemaker speaks the words of peace, is mindful of these words, acts with his whole heart and responsibility, sustains this action like breathing, recreates and spreads the Spirit of Peace.

Follow up:

For any who are interested, conference details are at

The ball can get rolling from the Seattle meeting, to move towards the shifts Mikk described above.

Online Comments:

Harrison will be joining Audrey and I in Toronto at the end of September (29, 30, 1). Even though the "Practic of Peace" is not the stated theme (for a couple of reasons) it will be a central part of the conversation about Transformation, Leadership and Change. It appears that a group of staff who are transforming their low income housing organization while deaing with lots of recent gunplay will be part of the conversation with others. --Larry

Janet - May I share a quote on the source of Peace in the world that's brought me deep clarity. My own work with individuals and Organizations focuses on 'peace within' as a precondition for peace and consequently productivity - in the Organization, in Society and in the World.

The choice between love and fear is made every moment in our hearts and minds. That is where the peace process begins. Without peace within, peace in the world is an empty wish. Like love, peace is extended. It cannot be brought from the world to the heart. It must be brought from each heart to another, and thus to all mankind. --PaulFerrini?

Mikk - Thank you, Janet. Love opens us up and fear closes down. Every moment we either open up or close down ourselves, and cosequently others aruound us. Fear is for me a power outside, which is checking me, am I ready to accept it's energy. Acceptance depends upon my capacity for love, which can transcend the power of fear to love. In our language the word for fear is (h)irm, for love is arm - they are almost the same. MikkSarv

I'll be there Mikk. See you all on Whidbey. -- ChrisCorrigan


As an attendeed from the Seattle area, I'm happy to bring folks up to the Island who have flown in to seattle. Let me know. I have a mini van. Looking forward to this. Who???


I'd like to contact the Nepal inquirers if i could, when I'm there in October. If they are different from the folks I know there, I'd connect them all. I did a short one-day sort of training/practice workshop there last year. --MichaelHerman -

I'm sitting at my desk on Whidbey Island, where the November Practice of Peace will take place and feeling a tingle go up my spine as I read Mikk's comments about the Estonian tradition. Thanks for the inspiration as I work on getting the word out this afternoon! --GabrielShirley