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

February 22, 2018

After a hopeful start, a lethargic, laid back ambience colors most of the day. From early morning until evening the Taurus Moon, not noted for speed under the best of circumstances, floats void of course. The disengaged orb slows many things to a crawl…
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Calendar

February 2018

Spend a cozy winter weekend with colleagues diving into the rich material contained within the Dàodéjīng. While each class builds upon the material covered in the previous...

Cost: $325

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
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Sponsor: Eastern Medicinal Therapies Education Center
Telephone: 617-435-3586
Contact Name: Lauren Paap
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Great readings at a great rate - only $20 for 15 minutes. Join us for a great day with lots of specials too! Our web site is not currently able to take registrations for the psychic fair. Please...

Cost: $20 for a 15 minute reading

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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Join us for an afternoon of messages from your loved ones on the other side. As an empath and a healer, I am able to connect with random loved ones on the other side and connect them with the right...

Cost: $30 in advance/$35 day of show

Where:
Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
9 Ayer Road
On The Common
Harvard, MA  01451
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Sponsor: Wachusett Music Series
Telephone: 978-365-2043
Contact Name: Jean or Denise
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February 18 - 23, 2018 With Rev. Michelle Renee Pelletier, founding director of the Center for Psychic Healing, Harwich, MA.

Where:
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
Calistoga, CA


Sponsor: Center for Psychic Healing
Telephone: 707-849-7793
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Are you curious about yoga but don't know where to begin? The Intro to Yoga Series is a great place to start your practice. This series will provide a safe, non-competitive and welcoming...

Cost: $90 for series

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut St, Suite A
Exeter, NH  03833
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Telephone: 603-969-8968
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Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is...

Cost: $11-$15 per class

Where:
Chelmsford Wellness Center
3 Littleton Road, 2nd Floor
Westford, MA  01886
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Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
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A guided tour in discovering, confirming and verifying your personality, behaviors and habits. A three part series at the Waltham Public Library Monday, February 5 7:15PM Monday, February 12...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
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Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
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February 20 - 22, 2017 Three day training including new techniques for advanced Reiki training, Reiki master training, and Holy Fire II upgrade. Includes discussion, demonstrations, practice...

Cost: $1025 ppd.

Where:
Women of Wisdom
, MA


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
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Experience the power of singing gospel music with more than 250 others as part of the Mystic Chorale, led by award-winning director and composer, Jonathan Singleton. Join Mystic as we prepare...

Cost: $105

Where:
First Parish Unitarian
630 Mass Ave.
Arlington , MA
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Sponsor: The Mystic Chorale
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria
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Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is integrating into treatment plans. By...

Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
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Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

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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6 Week Series with Sherri Snyder-Roche Start your year with greater awareness. In Kundalini Yoga, we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the...

Cost: $90

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
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Telephone: 508-278-2818
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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

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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Romy Valdez There are few instruments like the Gong that can heal us through its purification properties of sound vibrations. In this energy field, the beginnings of removing all blocks can...

Cost: $30 early bird ($35 at the door)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
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Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
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