To be rich requires two things. To be rich requires two things: one is that you have something precious and the second part of it is you have a lot of it.
See, if you have gold about the size of a pinhead, that won’t make you rich. But if you had a lot of it, that’ll make you rich. Two things to be rich: you have something precious and two, you have a lot of it.
Now, the second question becomes: “Do you feel rich? Is there something that you have that is precious and you have a lot of it?”
And I will tell you that there is something that is incredibly precious, and you have a lot of it. And it is this breath that comes and goes in you. Is it precious? Of course! No monies of the world could buy it. And do you have a lot of it? Oh, yeah! Day and night, it comes, goes; comes, goes; comes, goes….
Every second, if you can understand its preciousness—and every second is precious—and do you have a lot of those? Yes! Yes! But do you know it? Not think it, know it?
Peace is for those who know. Peace is for those who know.
So, I’m talking about the real peace in your life. This is what people want. This is what you have to want. This is what you have to need in your life.
Do whatever is necessary to bring peace in your life, because when you bring peace in your life, not only will it bring you peace, it will also bring you an immense amount of happiness—and a gratitude: thankful to be alive.
El comandante Elmer Arrieta con representantes de la ONU
Marian Masoliver es una cineasta que ha viajado a Colombia, con Simon Edwards, para documentar el efecto que el Programa de Educación para la Paz (PEP) tiene en los excombatientes, las víctimas y en otros grupos que han sufrido una guerra de cinco décadas que está llegando a su fin. En este blog relata su viaje al pueblo de Santa Lucía y su encuentro con miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), el grupo rebelde más numeroso del país.
Nos levantamos a las cinco de la madrugada y viajamos casi dos horas, por un camino de tierra, para adentrarnos en las montañas de Colombia.
Santa Lucía tiene unas 30 casas muy humildes, dispersas a lo largo de un cañón muy profundo de unos 9 kilómetros. Es esta zona viven, además de algunos campesinos, 250 guerrilleros de las FARC, que, si se lleva a cabo el acuerdo de paz, entregarán sus armas a las Naciones Unidas. Supervisa el proceso el gobierno colombiano, líderes de las FARC y representantes de las Naciones Unidas.
Contenedor de la ONU para recoger las armas de las FARC
El jeep va muy rápido por el camino rural y Simon, Rodrigo (el periodista brasileño que nos acompaña) y yo, tenemos que sujetarnos con fuerza. A ambos lados nos rodean montañas de densos bosques.
Carlos Andrés, nuestro guía de la oficina colombiana del Alto Comisionado para la Paz, nos precede en su motocicleta.
En un momento dado se para y nos sugiere fotografiar el cartel que anuncia que entramos en territorio de las FARC.
Poco después, paramos en un control militar para mostrar los pasaportes a unos jóvenes soldados que anotan nuestra entrada al campamento.
En la base de la ONU una amable oficial chilena nos da la bienvenida y a continuación, junto con un capitán y un representante de las FARC, nos explican las normas del campamento, mientras tomamos un «tinto» (café dulce).
Simon tomando imágenesSubimos al jeep y recorremos 9 km hacia el interior del cañón. Carlos nos enseña las tiendas en las que viven los guerrilleros, y nos dice que se está construyendo un nuevo campamento porque dejarán este muy pronto.
Cuando llegamos a la entrada un grupo de guerrilleros nos da la bienvenida con otra taza de «tinto». El ambiente es muy tranquilo y relajado. Les pregunto si pescan en el río y empezamos a hablar de la fauna, del tiempo, intentando romper el hielo, y la conversación pasa, de modo natural, a su vida en el campamento. Es una entrevista muy informal, todo sucede lentamente y tenemos la sensación de estar pasando un día en el campo.
Más tarde, Carlos nos dice que podemos entrevistar a Elmer Arrieta, «El flaco», comandante del campamento. Primero le entrevista el periodista brasileño y luego nos vamos a comer: arroz blanco, huevos fritos y carne, acompañado de un delicioso jugo de banana. Hablamos con Elmer de política y todos hacemos bromas.
Al terminar de comer bromea y nos dice que solo nos concede dos minutos. Aunque no tiene muchos años, parece cansado, lógico tras 25 años de guerra viviendo en la selva en condiciones inhumanas.
Comprendo que la entrevista no será tan larga como pensaba, así que reviso las preguntas y decido que el único tema será la paz. Le hablo de la Fundación Prem Rawat y del Programa de Educación para la Paz y conversamos media hora. Él me dice cosas como:
«Me parece muy interesante lo que me cuentas de la Fundación»
«Hay que construir la paz desde el corazón, hay que desarmar los corazones».
Añade que saben que han hecho cosas que están mal y piden perdón por ello.
«Cuando ves que se abre la puerta al perdón y la reconciliación, te dices: Se acabó la guerra en mi cuerpo, a partir de ahora mi corazón late por la paz».
«Estoy convencido de que la mejor opción es la paz, que debe acabar el odio para dar paso a la reconciliación».
«Esperamos que muy pronto haya paz en Colombia, y depende de que nos involucremos, y de que la comunidad internacional nos siga apoyando como hasta ahora. Que podamos hablar como seres humanos civilizados y lleguemos a un futuro muy distinto que ayude a la humanidad».
También entrevistamos a una guerrillera de 22 años. Me sorprendió su alegría y energía y, al acabar, nos enseñó el campamento.
Un día muy especial que ha dejado claro que todo el mundo quiere la paz.
Paisaje desde el cañón
Representantes de las Naciones Unidas
Un niño jugando
Una familia de Santa Lucía
Tiendas de los guerrilleros
La «chiva» (autobús) de regreso a Ituango
En su próximo blog se puede leer sobre su visita a Colombia.
Prem Rawat is an internationally respected speaker, with a unique perspective on peace.
Lively, compelling, thought-provoking and dynamic, his public addresses are an opportunity to experience his message in person. Unscripted and unrehearsed, he speaks to the audience from the heart.
Events take place all over the world by popular demand and can vary from an open-air address to a talk in an intimate auditorium or large capacity stadium. Each one is unique. Events are usually around 1.5 – 2.5 hours in duration. Prem Rawat gifts his time and receives no fees for speaking at events.
There is a saying, “If you don’t get what you want, you’re not happy.” It’s true! If you don’t get what you want, you’re not happy. “If you get what you don’t want, you’re not happy!” You didn’t want it, and you got it! And even if you get what you do want, you are not happy because you can’t keep it, because it changes.
You don’t want things to change, but things are going to change. You are changing, and you are changing all the time. Sorry. Everything around you is changing, and changing, and changing, and changing, and changing, and changing. Why? Because that is what it does.
But, because of this change, here we are today. Because of this change, here we are. Either love it or hate it, but change is here to stay. And this change is changing. Not only this earth—this is the entire universe—it’s in the grip of change.
Constant. And there is a change in you! But for right now, this change is the coming and going of this breath. And it’s powerful! And it brings the gift of life.
Somebody once asked me a question in one of the interviews: “You’ve been traveling for fifty years; you have met a lot of world leaders, a lot of important people. Could you tell us about who made the most impact on you?” So I said, “Certainly.” So I told them what happened to me once.
I said…I was driving in India, and they had packed a lunch for me, but forgotten to pack any water. So of course, I had lunch, and after lunch I got very thirsty. So as we were driving along, we saw a man, a very poor man, pulling water from a well.
But he’s standing there; he’s pulling water from the well, and we said, “Sir, could you please give us some water? We’re thirsty.” And he said, “Oh, sure, sure, sure!” And he dumped the water he had pulled, and he went in there and got the freshest water from the well that he could, and he brought it up and we had water!
And then, we had our fill, and we thanked him. And then he said, “Listen, I have a little hut, not too far from here. I have last night’s bread and some pickles. I would be honored if you came to my hut and accepted that.” So, of course, we said, “No, we have had lunch. Thank you, and thank you so much for…for this water.” It was his pleasure, he said.
So, of course, the interviewer was looking at me like, am I nuts? I mean, the world leaders I have met, and all these important people I have met, and this is the person I remember? I can’t forget. I cannot forget his generosity. He had nothing to offer, but he offered all that he had. And in that, he has made himself immortal.
He would have never imagined leaving India, but he did, here. Here, he left India, and he has traveled around the world. And I don’t even know his name. I never did ask him his name. But his generosity touched me.
And I’m here to tell you that, regardless of what the report card of the world is, generosity will never go away. It is there…it is there inside each one of you! And this is your blessing. Kindness is your blessing.
There’s no monopoly on compassion. This is the beauty. Compassion can be exercised by a person who is poor or who is rich. Compassion can be exercised by a person who is illiterate or a professor with the most degrees possible. Anybody—whoever wants to exercise this compassion—can exercise compassion—because that is right.
Michel Klamph, who volunteers as producer of the Peace Education Program (PEP) monthly broadcasts, recently interviewed Scott Polenz for The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF). Scott resides in Fresno, California, where he volunteers as a PEP facilitator. He is a psychotherapist maintaining a full private practice who enjoys writing, art, music, and baking in his spare time. A cancer survivor, Scott reports that he tries to live each day to its fullest and, “If the feeling of gratitude is relatively close in proximity, I feel I am heading in the right direction in my life.”
Here are excerpts of their conversation:
How did you get involved in PEP?
I was on my own, and I could not find anyone else near me who could help. So, Sally Weaver, a volunteer PEP facilitator from Thousand Oaks, California, touched base with me and said she was coming up my way because she had already made contacts at some of the state prisons in the Fresno area. This was the boost I needed to get the Peace Education Program started! We met with community resource managers at several prisons. I was fortunate enough to pick up the ball and start running with it.
I began the first PEP in September, 2015 at Valley State Prison, Chowchilla. Shortly after that I started one in Pleasant Valley State Prison, Coalinga, and then Avenal State Prison. An intern who has helped me facilitate PEP classes since 2015 is also enjoying the workshops.
I have been asked to do a special PEP for veterans imprisoned at Chowchilla. And I’m also starting a PEP for the larger community on Sunday evenings, too.
In Chowchilla, the PEP classes are rotational. Once we complete the 10-week course, we start over again. There is a long wait list of people who want to get into the class. The word has gotten out. It has been fun. There is no shortage of participants, which is great.
What has been the response of participants to the PEP workshops you are offering?
It has been amazing. There are always going to be some who come to get a prison credit for attending. About the fourth or fifth week you can feel a shift, where people start to realize the workshop is about something valuable. They become enthusiastic and eager. They are already lined up when I get there.
There’s a tone that starts the first night. It evolves over the ten workshops. The inmates have the whole week in between classes to contemplate, read the supplemental articles, talk among themselves, and talk in the yard—part of the word of mouth that is going on.
I have had participants tell me, personally, how much the PEP is affecting them and changing them in practical ways. They give specific examples of how their behavior or response to a situation is based on what has been expressed in the workshops, and what they hear Prem Rawat say in the videos (on topics such as inner strength, contentment, self-fulfillment).
The inmates are taking it to heart. It’s contagious. In the classroom, there’s a reflections segment, where they have an opportunity to talk about their understanding. Hands go up, and then more hands go up. Before you know it, there’s a lively discussion among the participants. I love that. The less I say, the more they get going. To me that’s what it is about. It‘s cool.
Is there any advice you’d like to give people interested in facilitating a PEP?
I’m not one to give advice, but I’d say try to be clear on your own intention and commitment to what you are doing. Be aware of the impact this can have on the different individuals hearing about the possibility of inner peace.
At first, I wasn’t comfortable being a facilitator, talking in front of a class of 50 people. But it gets easier as time goes on. Be real, if that makes sense.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
It was my pleasure. As a psychotherapist, I work with a lot of people who struggle with problems, and deal with that during the week. In contrast, the PEP is very different and lighthearted, so I’m appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to spread a little good cheer and a little love.