Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for The Arab Daily News seventh book is the bookend to her first;
Inspired by a 1948 Palestinian Muslim refugee who responded to 911 by establishing The Olive Trees Foundation for Peace.
Eileen Fleming explains:
Before the events of 11 September 2001, I was an apolitical privileged American who had embarked upon the inner journey. That day we call 911 was the catalyst that transformed me into a spiritually driven political peace activist.
Peace is defined as a state of tranquility and equanimity in all situations, freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations and:
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures” as President John F. Kennedy said.
During the Kennedy administration I wanted to be a saint but my dream was to first grow up and become a Brenda Starr, a fictional redhead, ace investigative journalist and star reporter for the metropolitan daily, The Flash.
Brenda traveled the world solving mysteries and unearthing scoops and intuitively knew when somebody was not telling the truth. Brenda boldly searched for unusual and usually dangerous stories.
During the LBJ Administration I tuned out The Church and my gods became Beatles and Dylan. However, in 1972 during his Message for the Celebration of the Day of Peace, Pope Paul VI declared to the world, “If you want peace, work for justice!”
I knew it was true but I did NOT yet know that peace must first be rooted in ones heart and mind before one can be a vehicle for and of peace.
I ended my last book and begin my seventh with this quote by John Lennon: “Life is what happens to you while you‘re busy making other plans”
Last August when I published “Heroes, Muses and the Saga of Mordechai Vanunu” my plan for this book was to only write about my experiences and research regarding how to avoid total bilateral knee replacements for end-stage osteoarthritis.
But as life happens this book has become the bookend to my first, “Keep Hope Alive” an historical fact based fiction entwined with my life as a spiritually driven political activist ‘birthed’ on 11 September 2001.
When “KEEP HOPE ALIVE” was published in 2007 with an olive tree on the front cover, I never imagined I would write a seventh book with another olive tree and me on the front cover:
I also could not imagine the ashes of my baby brother James and our parents would be ‘planted’ in the wabi-sabi garden under that olive tree.
The Olive Trees Foundation for Peace/OTFFP was a non-profit established by Khaled Diab, PhD., a 1948 Palestinian Muslim refugee from the Upper Galilee whose life post 911 entwined with my spiritual journey which I began writing about in “KEEP HOPE ALIVE.”
Dr. Diab became a dear friend, mentor and my shepherd through Palestine Israel in 2005.
A few months before that trip, my husband and I threw a party for the OTFFP volunteers and supporters and we planted the then three-year-old three-foot olive tree sapling, which has grown over twenty feet high and is featured on the book cover for my seventh book.
Nine months prior to planting that tree, I blew out my left knee and could NOT bear my body weight on a single leg without excruciating pain and being off balance.
Through a few simple changes in my ways and adding a practice of gentle restorative yoga asanas [positions] and at least one daily meditation; instead of undergoing total bilateral knee replacements in September 2013, I can walk as fast and as far as I want without pain, I sleep more soundly and wake up happier and I learned that the practices also helped clear out much of my “ALGAE.”
On 13 January 2015, during the first of twelve weekly classes in a “Peace Ambassador Training 2.0” course designed to empower 10,000 Peace Ambassadors by 2020 and help reach the tipping point towards peace in our world, I learned how “ALGAE” disturbs inner peace and “ALGAE” stands for Anger, Lust, Greed, Attachment and Ego.
Being a hot reactor who became inflamed over American policies post 911, I had been driven by ANGER over America’s collusion in Israel’s nuclear deceptions and military occupation of the indigenous Palestinians since my first trip to Palestine Israel in 2005.
However just over two years ago, I began practicing some yoga positions, simple deep breathing techniques, Mindfulness and Meditation.
I feel better physically and am happier now than I was twenty years ago before baby boomer over use syndrome began to take its toll.
Through those practices I have also grown in patience, no longer internalize the suffering of others and my compassion has grown for their oppressors.
I also learned to be more compassionate on myself and so after over a decade of dedicated “peace work” nothing changed: except me!
Thus my latest public service will soon be published HERE for FREE with Amazon Prime because there is a FREE APP for that!
Wabi Sabi Body: ETERNAL SPIRIT Table of Contents:
Pieces of Peace
Family Trees and Knees
The Great Art of Living
A Case for Pilates
Eight Limbs of Yoga
The Case for Mindfulness
Cases for Meditation
Loving-Kindness and New Seeds
Jesus and John Lennon
Stages of the Soul
Om and Namaste
About the Author
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