Peace Project


Expanding Peace Or, Will You Be the 100th Monkey?

With excerpts from the book Change Almost Anything in 21 Days.

"When enough of us are aware of something, all of us become aware of it."

—Ken Keyes, Jr.

Words are powerful! They have the power to move us.

They can lift our spirits, inspire us, change our mood, give us courage, make us cry, and much more. They can move our lives forward. As we become aware of this power, we can be mindful of the effect words have in our lives. We will see how our mood can be changed by how we speak to ourselves, thus creating changes in the quality of our lives. Author Don Miguel Ruiz writes that "The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force, it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events of your life."

Since thoughts, the words we express in our minds, are energies that which we send out into the universe, we have the power to change what is going on in the world. This is certainly not a new thought. People have believed in the power of prayers for thousands of years, and prayers are thoughts.

We have the power to bring peace to the world with our thoughts. And as soon as enough of us know this and do something about it, it can happen. In fact, it is in the process of happening right now.

Think about something that makes you smile, or feel gentle or happy, such as a puppy, an ice cream cone or a sunset. Notice how these images make you feel. Now think about a time when you were fearful, and notice how those thoughts make you feel. Nothing will actually have changed, but you will suddenly feel different. Fear, for example, is only a thought triggering a physical sensation. It's easy to see that our bodies do not know the difference between something real or something imagined. They respond to what we think about as if it were actually happening in the moment.

Spend a few moments being still and let yourself feel how powerful one word can be.

PEACE Let yourself feel The effect of just this one word, PEACE.

Now imagine thousands of people reading this one word and taking it to heart. Imagine the lasting effect it would have on each individual as well as on the people with whom they come in contact.

Your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.

Don Miquel Ruiz

Brainwave tests prove that when we use positive words our "feel good" hormones flow. Positive self-talk releases endorphins and seroetonin in our brain, which then flow throughout the body, making us feel good. These neurotransmitters stop flowing when we use negative words, the opposite happens:

When I say, "I can't," then I can't. I'll feel inadequate.

When I say, "I'll never be able to________," then I never will be able to_______. I'll feel incapable.

When I say, "I haven't enough time," then I'm all about not having enough time. I'll feel rushed and full of anxiety.

When I say, "I AM TERRIFIC JUST THE WAY I AM!" I feel energized, enthused, upbeat.

When I say, "I am feeling peace in this very moment," I feel serene and peaceful.

We will have a new and an extraordinarily effective technique for change when we realize that the way we feel can be a direct result of how we talk to ourselves. In his wonderful book, THE SEAT OF THE SOUL, Gary Zukav writes that when we choose our thoughts, we determine the effects we will have upon others, and the nature of the experiences of our lives.

Imagine what happens when you throw a pebble into a still pond. The force of the pebble landing on the water creates ripples that become wider and wider until they finally disappear and the water becomes smooth again.

There is also a ripple effect when we create inner peace. We carry an aura of peace with us in our outer life as well. People around us often notice a difference in our moods and can be affected by it. As our lives change, so can the lives of those around us because our peace can be contagious. As the energy around us becomes more peaceful, others can feel it. As others take it on, they pass it on to people they meet, and so on. Imagine this ripple expanding throughout the world, touching everyone! What a beautiful world it would be!

In his book The Hundredth Monkey, Ken Keyes, Jr., wrote about scientists who had been observing monkeys in the wild for thirty years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, they provided monkeys with sweet potatoes which they that had been dropped in sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the potatoes but found the sand unpleasant. One day an eighteen-month-old monkey named Imo washed her potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught the trick to her mother and her playmates, who taught it to their mothers. As the story is told, perhaps 99 monkeys learned to wash their sweet potatoes between 1952 and 1958. One day the 100th monkey learned to wash the potatoes. Suddenly, almost every monkey on the island began to wash their potatoes before eating them.

The added energy of this 100th monkey had somehow created an ideological breakthrough.

But, more amazing, it was observed by the scientists that the habit of washing sweet potatoes had jumped over the sea, because the colonies of monkeys on other islands, as far as 500 miles away, began washing their sweet potatoes.

This phenomena is known as "critical mass." When a limited number of people know something in a new way, it remains the conscious property of only those people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, a field of energy is strengthened so that awareness of it is picked up by almost everyone.


Affirmations are positive statements we say to ourselves. The definition of the word affirm, in Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary is "to declare or state positively; assert and maintain to be true."

Five Parts to a Successful Affirmation

Over the years I have taught affirmations to thousands of people. The most successful affirmations had five components. They must be:

1. POSITIVE If you want to be confident, for example, say, "I am confident today," not, "I am no longer negative."

2. Said and felt with PASSION and POWER We say, "I am CONFIDENT today!" with feeling and enthusiasm.

3. Be in the PRESENT moment State affirmations as if they are happening and real now. Do not say this will happen. By telling ourselves it is real now, it is becoming real in our subconscious. The subconscious does not know if something is happening in reality or in our minds. We say, "I am confident TODAY," not, "I will be confident tomorrow."

4. POSSIBLE I cannot affirm that I am a famous singer, as I am tone deaf; but I can affirm that I am a successful writer.

5. PERSONAL The affirmation must be personal. We can only affirm for ourselves. We must remember that we cannot change anyone else.


These five elements--positive, powerful, in the present, possible and personal must be repeated. They work with repetition. Affirmations must be repeated for them to become a part of us. Countless experiments have proven that change occurs within 21 days when we repeat our affirmation at least 10 times each day.

Why 21 Days?

Many years ago I read Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who operated primarily on faces. He noticed, he said, a sudden and dramatic change in personality in most cases when he operated on "a person who had a conspicuously ugly face, or some ‘freakish' feature. Usually there was a rise in self-esteem and self-confidence in 21 days. Those who didn't change continued to feel just as if they still had an ugly face."

Dr. Maltz wrote that it usually requires 21 days to effect any perceptible change, and he suggests reserving all judgment for 21 days. When an arm or a leg is amputated, the "phantom limb" persists for about 21 days. Though no one knows exactly why this number holds such power over mind and body, Dr. Maltz and others have observed this phenomenon.

When I began practicing affirmations I remembered what Dr. Maltz wrote about 21 days and I began to apply his observation. I remember the time that I was involved in starting Serenity House in Massachusetts, a halfway house for women recovering from alcoholism. We desperately wanted to find the right house, raise the money, get the town's approval, acquire a contract with the State, and so on. Finally, after a tremendous effort on the part of a great many people, we accomplished enough of our goals to move into the halfway house. I could not understand why I wasn't thrilled. I felt down, inexplicably, as if there were something very wrong. It took me about three weeks to feel at home and enjoy the hard-won accomplishment. Right on target, according to Dr. Maltz.


We are what we think about! What we think about expands. We feel what we think about. We create what we think about in our lives. When awareness increases, we draw to us what we think about. We attract what we think about.



Metta, meanings loving-kindness in Pali, is a wonderful Buddhist practice that helps us to love ourselves and others, and to bring forgiveness to ourselves and to others. The Buddha tells us to "watch the thought and its ways with care, and let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings."

The word Metta is a Pali word with two root meanings. One is gentle and the other is friend. Sharon Saltzberg tells us that the foundation of Metta practice is how to be our own friend. She tells us that we must love ourselves before we can bring love to anyone else. Once we can bring love to ourselves, then we can expand upon that love, and send love to others. It becomes possible, if we are willing, to send love to someone who has harmed us so that we can release ourselves from our anger and resentments. This is a wonderful exercise for forgiveness and freedom. Finally, we can send out this energy of love to all people suffering in the universe. Jack Kornfield tells us, "The quality of loving -kindness is the fertile soil out of which an integrated spiritual life can grow."

In Metta, we send loving thought to ourselves first by saying to ourselves:

May I be happy... May I be peaceful... May I be free from suffering.

Then we bring someone into our heart who we care about and say:

May you be happy... May you be peaceful... May you be free from suffering.

Now we bring in someone we would like to forgive or receive forgiveness from, a person with whom we would like to come to peace and say:

May you be happy... May you be peaceful... May you be free from suffering.

Then we expand that feeling to everyone we know, our family, friends and colleagues and say:

May you be happy... May you be peaceful... May you be free from suffering.

And now we extend that feeling to people with AIDS, cancer, and other life- threatening diseases, to the addicts and the alcoholics, the hungry and the homeless, the people in wars and say:

As we want to be happy, may everyone be happy... As we want to be peaceful, may everyone be peaceful... And as we want to be free from suffering, may everyone be free from suffering...

There are many variations of metta. You can create your own phrases. For example, if you notice you are impatient, you might want to say, "May I be filled with patience." If you are having a difficult time with yourself, you can concentrate on bringing love into your own heart and say, "May I be filled with love." If you are angry at someone, you might say, "May I be free from resentments."

Using the same principles as metta, where we bring love to ourselves and then others, choose one from the following personal affirmations for inner peace first and write it ten times a day for 21 days:


I am taking the time today to do whatever I need to do to bring peace into my life. I am feeling peace in this very moment. I feel peace pouring through my entire body. Peace and relaxation flow through me with every breath I take. Peace is as close as my next breath. I feel peace at all times. I am positive and peaceful today. I am filled with peace and harmony. I release the illusion of being rushed. I feel peaceful and serene, knowing that I'll know when I need to know.

I invite you to join me and make a difference! Let your heart select one of the affirmations. Write that affirmation on a few index cards. Carry one with you at all times. You can put another one on your mirror so you will see it and read it to yourself every day. Place one on the visor of your car. Place it anywhere else that feels right to you. Quote your affirmation when you end your e-mail. AND WRITE IT AT LEAST ONE TIME A DAY for 21 days.

Now choose a world peace affirmation from the following list and write it 10 times a day for 21 days.


We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power.

Then the world will know the blessings of peace.

~William Ewart Gladstone

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. I take time each day to pray for world peace. I know I am making a positive difference in the world today. Today I am being a little kinder to everyone I meet. Today I will do my very best to bring peace to my life and to the lives of those around me. I am bringing peace and serenity to at least one other person today. I am sending thoughts of peace and love to my world family today. I am connected to all people who are a force of peace and light in the universe.

Each day, when you have completed writing your affirmations, spend at least five minutes joining all the people in the world meditating or praying for world peace. You are adding your power to the energy that exists now. And when you have finished 21 days of writing affirmations for inner peace and 21 days of writing affirmations for world peace, continue this five-minute practice. Remember, there is a point at which if only one more person becomes aware of this power and uses it, a field is strengthened so that this awareness becomes known to almost everyone.

Gary Zukav writes, "At each moment you choose the intentions that will shape your experiences and those upon which you will focus your intention. These choices affect your evolutionary process. This is so for each person. If you choose unconsciously, you evolve unconsciously. If you choose consciously, you evolve consciously."

Let's do it. Tell your family and friends about this project and ask them to join us. It takes less than seven or eight minutes in of your day, and who knows...we might see it work in our lifetime!

By Ruth Fishel



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