July 24th, 2005
Today is Sunday and a day without a programme. I finally
had the privilege of sitting down to read my book for some time. And I did it; I sat down to read a book for a while.
The book was a delight to read as it intrigues me; it is composed of
a series of articles on Humanism and Buddhism. It might help me find
answers to questions I have had for a long time.
Well, I think that covers about 80% of the adventures
of the day. The second half of the afternoon involved a trip to the
old city of Bethlehem with a few others. We walked through the streets
window shopping but not looking for anything in particular. We also
enjoyed Falafel in a small restaurant on the corner of the square next
to the Church of Nativity.
Oops! I had almost forgotten him: we met this Franciscan
Monk from the Netherlands on the bus. He was from the monastery next
to the church. It is a small world, isn't it?
Second highlight of the day: the traditional gender groups
in the evenings. Dear Friend, for the first time my little trick of
writing this as though I was only addressing one person, isn't working.
Because some of you know what I am talking about and others won't. So
I will give you a very brief explanation (and invite you to join an
Essential Peacemaking workshop next time one is organised somewhere
near you, the gender groups is an aspect of it!).
Let me explain the concept of "The Gender Groups". Twelve
of us met at eight fifteen in the evening. We agreed with the women
that we would split up for about an hour and that we would meet them
again at 9.30. And then, we men went off to another room.
There we explained to two men, who had not been with
us before, the idea and the rules in confidentiality of course! The
idea is to share whatever it is you want to share. And the group is
there to support you, in whatever form that suits your needs. It is
that simple and so great!
And the men and women met again at the agreed time. We
then sat in two half circles, opposite each other. The events of the
two different groups remain confidential. However, the richness of the
experience and the process was shared.
The rest of the evening was quiet but strange. There
was water flowing out of a pipe at the rear end of the school. But we
couldn't find out the cause. Happily enough it stopped after a while.
And there was a helicopter relatively close by. We could hear it, but
they fly without lights so it wasn't visible. It is somewhat disturbing
and spooky. And then we heard that two Israeli's were ambushed and killed
in the Gaza Strip. This is deeply saddening news.