Remembering Muhammad Ali


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It’s a sad day in the history of conscientious objection to war as the world lost Muhammad Ali on Friday, June 3, 2016. He led a generation of pacifists to refuse induction into the armed forces and demonstrated that the toughest times in life may be when you are the most gentle, as when he said no to being part of the US war on the Vietnamese people and losing his heavyweight boxing title. He lost the most coveted, career title in boxing but gained the title that was most important to him in life: Conscientious Objector.

Ali received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award on May 4, 1994, following the unveiling of the Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War on the grounds of the Abbey. He received the Award from peace activist and founding editor of AFSC Peacework Magazine, Pat Farren, who years later would be honored with the Award as well.

Muhammad Ali, as far as I am concerned, is the patron saint of Conscientious Objection and a role model for my generation on issues of war and peace. Ali's example shaped my thinking about participation in the military, which led to my discharge as a CO. My alternative service as a conscientious objector was creating The Life Experience School in 1972 for individuals with learning challenges, which in turn established the Peace Abbey in 1988, and eventually led to the creation of the cemetery for conscientious objectors. His spirit lives on whenever people say no to war.

When Ali accepted the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in Sherborn, he said in a slow, pensive voice, "I never thought I would live to see the day that I would get an award for being a conscientious objector." He smiled as peace activists from throughout the East Coast rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation. He spoke briefly about his humanitarian efforts as a devout Muslim, while his wife Lonnie watched with a gentle smile on her face as her husband was being honored for a difficult chapter in his life that was, on a moral level, his greatest fight of all — the fight to follow his conscience and refuse military induction.

The National Registry for Conscientious Objectors was inspired by Muhammad Ali at the Peace Abbey in 1991. Thousands of people from all walks of life have signed the affirmation statement as conscientious objectors and continue to do so at the Peace Abbey Foundation Center in Millis and at the foot of the Gandhi statue in Sherborn.

The Peace Memorials (Pacifist Memorial with the Gandhi statue, Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial with Emily the Cow statue, and the cremation cemetery for conscientious objectors) are open to the public each day from dawn to dusk. Parking is on the side street next to the town war memorial.

The passing of the Peace Abbey blessing bowl continues to this day in Millis at the Peace Abbey Foundation Center on the grounds of the Life Experience School. Visit the collection of Peace Abbey furniture, art and artifacts at the Center and Archives for Peace, Social Action, Public Policy and the Arts at UMass Boston’s Healey Library.

For more information visit Peaceabbey.org and lesmillis.org.

See also:
The Bravest Response To Fear
To Be A Drop Of Peace

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Daily Astrology

December 18, 2018

A lunar conjunction with Uranus occurs during the wee hours of the morning. Uranus, the eccentric planet of epiphanies and technological breakthroughs, has been called the “Great Awakener.” For some folks this can mean a sleepless night. Awake or maybe…
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December 2018

Start your holiday week off right with a special yoga/meditation class. Sun salutations in honor of the winter solstice coupled with Yoga Nidra will leave you feeling rested, relaxed, and ready to...

Cost: $17

Where:
Yoga Anita
Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd
Devens, MA  01432
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Sponsor: Yoga Anita
Telephone: 978-227-8297
Contact Name: Anita Perry
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The holiday season is a time for family and friends to gather, to give gratitude for the gifts of love that we share, and for us to create new memories to cherish in our hearts. But the holidays...

Cost: $65

Where:
Private Office
6 Royal Crest Drive
Apt 11
North Andover, MA  01845
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Sponsor: Sacred Spiral Dance
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
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Kinetic Chain Release, moxibustion and past life regression at Leapin Lizards. Every third Sunday: 9/16/18 10/21/18 11/18/18 12/16/18 For information, call Leapin Lizards at (207)...

Where:
Leapin Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME
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Telephone: (207) 221-2363
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This three-part series attunes you as a conduit to the healing system of Kundalini Reiki, a firey earth-based feminine energy. Kundalini Reiki is a gentle yet powerful modality to channel healing...

Cost: $150

Where:
Akasha Studio
20 Birch Street
Roslindale, MA  02131
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Sponsor: Miriam Katz, Shamanic Healer
Telephone: 617-545-5142
Contact Name: Miriam Katz
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The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
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Contact Name: Brad Fanger

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The Shortest Day of the Year and the Longest Night To Be Without A Home On December 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM, at the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin St. Boston MA  02108 (on the side of the...

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Church on the Hill
140 Bowdoin St.
Boston, MA  02108
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Sponsor: Interfaith Homeless Memorial Committee
Telephone: 617-523-4575
Contact Name: Kevin Baxter

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During this evening Winter Solstice Celebration we connect deeply with the Christ Being/Solar Logos and the different archangels as we prepare for the 12 holy nights following the Solstice evening....

Cost: $75

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your life, your education, even your work? Sit down...

Cost: $40

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Caffe Nero
368 Congress St
Boston, MA  02210
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Contact Name: Soni
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