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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April 20, 2019

Changes are afoot The Sun arrives in earthy Taurus shortly before dawn. Venus makes her entrance into Aries just minutes after noon. The Taurus Sun coincides with the heart ofspringtime, riots of colorful blossoms, trills of birdsongs and countless other…
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April 2019

Come and learn the wisdom of the Tarot! In this class we will dissect and discover the nuances and charms of the cards. The tarot deck has 78 cards in it, each with its own archetypal and...

Cost: $125

Where:
Moth and Moon Studio
173 South River Road
Suite #4
Bedford, NH  03110
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Sponsor: Moth and Moon Studio
Telephone: 603-782-3674
Contact Name: Danielle Dionne
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For girls ages 10-15 with their moms or other adult female caregiver/friend This mini retreat is designed specifically for mothers and daughters to share quality positive time with one other....

Cost: $75/pair

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Contact Name: Alice Bentley
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When people are in an extreme state of peacelessness, doubt or despair they often look to a higher source for peace, love, strength & wisdom. Learn to connect to the higher source to gain...

Cost: Admission free, all are welcome

Where:
InnerSpace Meditation Center And Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA  02138
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Class is limited to only 12 people. Be sure to register early!   Class dates: Tuesdays—4/16, 4/23, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21 *Tuesday, 4/30 there is no meeting   Explore deeper...

Cost: $250

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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April 17–20 9am-3pm each day Experience transformation guided by Mother Mary. Through Divine vibration, you will be aligned for quicker healing and evolving with mind body spirit and...

Cost: $500

Where:
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Sponsor: The LoveLight Center
Telephone: (207) 216-9584
Contact Name: Cheryl Banfield

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The American Center for Bioregulatory Medicine and Dentistry (The BioMed Center) is the most comprehensive center in North America for bioregulatory medicine and dentistry. Come see what...

Cost: Free and open to the public

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111 Chestnut Street
Providence, RI
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For all ages.   In this class hand-building techniques are taught with different projects monthly. Please see the list of projects below: Wednesday, April 17th, 4:30–6:00 PM...

Cost: $35

Where:
Voice of Clay
16 Meetinghouse Hill Rd
Brookline, NH  03033
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Sponsor: Voice of Clay
Telephone: 603-672-2626
Contact Name: Wendy
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Discover how you can release tight muscles and improve range of motion in locked joints in a weekly ESSENTRICS stretch classes led by Raindrop Fisher, certified Essentrics instructor. Raindrop is a...

Cost: $10 drop-in / $100 for 12 classes

Where:
Village at Waterman Lake
Function Room - Chalet Bldg
715 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI  02828
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Sponsor: Healthier Fit Lifestyle
Telephone: 401-678-0950
Contact Name: Raindrop Fisher
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Instructor: Pam Driscoll Wednesdays, April 17, May 8, 22, June 5, 19, 6:30pm–7:30pm Join us for the Mid-Week Meditation Sampler at Creative Spirit…an opportunity to pause,...

Cost: $20 per class

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Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Telephone: 781-797-0389
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Sample three types of meditation and discuss which you liked best and why, at She Breathes Balance & Wellness Studio in Walpole, MA.

Where:
She Breathes Balance & Wellness Studio
85 West Street
2nd Floor
Walpole, MA
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Telephone: (508) 282-7877
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Instructor: Peyton Pugmire Thursdays: April 18, May 16, June 13 6:30pm–8:30pm Adult Level “In the same way that all dreams come in the service of health and...

Cost: Pay what you wish

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
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This development group is for students of mediumship looking to enhance, expand and practice their mediumship abilities. Traditional and progressive mediumship development techniques, topics and...

Cost: $25 per person

Where:
Moth and Moon Studio
173 South River Road
Suite #4
Bedford, NH  03110
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Telephone: 603-782-3674
Contact Name: Danielle Dionne
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Join us for a day long workshop as we learn to connect to the energy of the angelic realm. Our primary purpose is working with 9 incredible angels of the healing energy field. You will learn the...

Cost: $99

Where:
Moth and Moon Studio
173 South River Road
Suite #4
Bedford, NH  03110
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Sponsor: Moth and Moon Studio
Telephone: 603-782-3674
Contact Name: Danielle Dionne
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