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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July 15, 2018

The morning hours unfold under a delightfully lazy void of course Leo Moon. Cloud watching, meandering Sunday drives and relaxed brunching are perfectly acceptable diversions. By early afternoon there’s a mood change. The Moon enters Virgo, setting up an…
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July 2018

Join us for a monthly gathering of like-hearted people to give and receive angelic energy healing. This session is a combination of group meditation and discussion, along with working in pairs...

Cost: Scale $5-$20 ($10 suggested)

Where:
Pathway Of Joy
884 Broadway, Suite 12
Upstairs in the Spiritual Renaissance Center building
South Portland, ME  04106
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Sponsor: Pathway Of Joy
Telephone: 207-329-7192
Contact Name: Linda Huitt
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This special 2-part evening offering. Earn your Integrated Energy Therapy® certification in two evenings, while leaving your summer days and weekends open to enjoy the season. Part 1 is...

Cost: $195

Where:
Pathway Of Joy
884 Broadway, Suite 12
South Portland, ME  04106
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Telephone: 207-329-7192
Contact Name: Linda Huitt
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What better way to end a busy day than with a little bliss. We'll support your body right where it is today and help you to open your spine to find more movement and flexibility. Begin and end...

Cost: $18

Where:
Body Love Wellness Center
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
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Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
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Relax and restore this summer with free outdoor yoga classes on historic Rogers Field! We’re packing the lawn with yogis of all levels for yoga led by experienced practitioners from Dragonfly...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rogers Field
Devens, MA


Sponsor: Dragonfly Wellness Center
Telephone: 978-487-7181
Contact Name: Anne Ferguson
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If you are worried about getting Parkinson’s or have beginning symptoms, check out a free intro on how to rewire your brain from the inside. First and third Wednesdays of the month,...

Where:
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Please note this event is held at an off-site location at the Double Tree Hilton in Danvers, MA There will be a book signing following the mediumship demonstration, and as part of your ticket...

Cost: $45

Where:
Double Tree Hotel
50 Ferncroft Road
Danvers, MA  01923
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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July 20 - 22 The Chinese internal martial arts derive their extraordinary power from the conscious control of one’s subjective state-of-being and the use of jin (internal power)....

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
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Telephone: 866-264-5139
Contact Name: Yingxing Wang
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The mission of the 4th Annual Compassionfest is to unite like-minded people that believe in the values of being just, kindness, equality and compassion. We’ll gather for delicious vegan food...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whitneyville Cultural Commons
1253 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT  06517
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Sponsor: In Defense of Animals
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Saturday, July 21, 10:00am – 4:00pm & Sunday, July 22, 10am – 4:00pm With Patty Collinsworth Get the beginner certification before Linda Howe comes in person to teach a new...

Cost: $170

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Saturday, July 21, 10:00am – 5:30pm & Sunday, July 22, 10am – 3:30pm Instructor:  Peyton Pugmire What brings you joy and a sense of purpose?  These are your soul...

Cost: $160

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 617-817-4547
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July 21 - 22 NEMHoFest, is New England’s premiere metaphysical festival. This year’s line-up includes world renowned guest speakers and vendors from across the...

Where:
Augusta Civic Center
Augusta, ME


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The GFAF Expos are the greatest events on earth for those living a gluten-free or allergen-friendly lifestyle. Sample hundreds of products, meet with local and national brands, receive coupons and...

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DCU Center
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA
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