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Why Pavla Uppal leads Dances of Universal Peace

This summer, I explored new aspects of something that has long fascinated me — dancing for peace. Dancing is one of my favourite endorphin-enhancing activities that help me get out of my head and into my body. Invariably, dancing increases my joy and peace, along with my heart rate. So when Dances of Universal Peace practitioners met in Toronto's High Park, I joined them to incant peace into our circle, our souls, and the world. May our steps fall on fertile ground, producing a harvest of peace.

Responding Peacefully to Violence

They were humiliated and mistreated, and they couldn’t take it anymore. So they took a stand. They went into extensive training for the fight. They knew it would be hard and long. They had to be mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared. When the day of confrontation arrived, every hour of training was worth it. Although they were shouted at, pushed, spat upon, and beaten, they did not fight back with angry words or fists, but with love. They won, peacefully.

Empathy and acceptance bring peace to shooting victim Danielle Kane

On July 22. 2018, an ordinary summer's evening, Danielle Kane was celebrating a friend's birthday in one of the restaurants in Toronto's popular Greek Town. She hasn't gone home since. When she stepped outside to investigate what sounded like fireworks, she looked an ordinary looking stranger in the eye. Then he fired a gun at her. The bullet went through her spinal cord and stomach. Danielle was rushed to the hospital.

Deep Peace

Today I am gifted with deep peace. It’s centered deep, low in my body, in my womb. It’s birthing strength to face new challenges and forget past fears. It stills my mind; my body is tranquil. May I carry this peace all day and into tomorrow.

Ode to the Black Prince

“You know that woman who came by herself?” said the vinegar craftsman to the server.

“You mean me?” I asked, revealing my presence, losing the chance to hear the next sentence.

Would it be that I was still there, hours later, sated with vinegar, recipes and stories?

Was it the story I told the young woman who made my pizza, of my travels seeking stories that bring peace? Her great aunt couldn’t marry a Catholic, not because of faith, but because of politics. Her cousin just married a Catholic, a sign of growing peace in Ireland.

Finding Peace After Tragedy

I wish I didn't have to write this. I wish I was writing an Easter message about lent leading to resurrection, or videos and stories about meeting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s family in Atlanta this month, or news from the peace and justice conference I attended there. But a tragedy has struck my city, Toronto, and I am compelled to walk the long path back to peace with my fellow Torontonians, and the others around the world whose hearts are with us at this time.

Peace Fought, Peace Lost

I met a man who came from away
With no friends, no money, no English
Everything against him

But he was proud
He had two hands, he wanted to work
Not accept help

This man went to Toronto and almost starved
Before he found somewhere to eat and sleep

This man has two degrees, he’s a priest, he risked his life defending human rights
He can’t go to law school because his war-torn country can’t send his degrees
How ludicrous
He could teach the truth that children should not be used as soldiers
That people who defend children should not get shot

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