Dove with Branch
February 14, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

A Happy Valentines Day to everyone. A special Happy Valentines Day to my loving wife Pat. Valetines is a special time for me as it marks the passage of another year..

This weekend we did a 2 hour Peaceful New World Seminar at the Body Mind and Spirit Exposition in Ashland, Oregon and a Sunday talk and Workshop for Seniors at the Unity Church in Medford, Oregon.

It was an interesting and rewarding weekend. As part of the program at Body, Mind and Spirit, Neal Donald Walsh, author of "Conversations with God" gave a discussion on "Home With God" which he calls the final installment in his "Conversations with God" series. I look forward to reading it.

I will be doing a Life Without Anger 1 Workshop on Friday March, 17th, and LIfe Without Anger 2 Workshop on Saturday March, 18th, in Eugene, OR. If you want more details check the Calendar Page and/or the Workshop Page on the website, or you can e-mail or call me directly.

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them

Ask the Dean?
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My spouse is a very poor cook. I tell her what I want for dinner and she never seems to be able to prepare it the way I want. It is often burned or undercooked. What can I do to make her pay attention to her cooking? Bill in Florence.

Dear Bill, Your wife is not here to be your servant. If you are not satisfied with the meals she prepares you always have the option of fixing them yourself. You will most likely find your meals prepared better if you compliment her even when they are not. The more you compliment her for her successes the more she will be motivated to cook your meals the way you want them. Beside that, she will be more loving to you as well. When you complain about undercooked eggs something else is apt to not turn out the way you want. the Dean

Dear Dean, Holiday dinners with my family are horrible. It is like the old song where everybody gets mad at everybody. We all end up shouting at each other and usually end up going home angry at each other. I would rather stay home but I feel I can't disappoint the rest of the family. We don't have this problem when we go to my husband's family dinners. Unhappy at Thanksgiving

Dear Unhappy, No need for you to join in the fun. If your family acts in that way and it is difficult for you then you do not need to get emotionally involved. Try to focus on the fact it is their issues and not yours. Perhaps you can view it as a TV sitcom that you are watching. If you cannot learn to remain unattached to their trauma, and it remains difficult for you, then it would not be inappropriate to start attending yours spouse's family gatherings far more often. Remember your family is going to act the way it does. The way you feel about it and the way you respond is up to you. the Dean

Send your Ask the Dean Questions to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437 or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Globe Magnify Glass

I saw an article in our local paper recently about the city acquiring some land for a hospital. The headline was "1.1 million dollars an acre." This referred to the fact that the asking price the local landowners were requesting was so much higher than market price.

This reflects an attitude that most in our society seem to have that, "How much can a profit from it?" is what is important. When we have an opportunity to do something that benefits our society as a whole I believe our primary concern should be, "How can I help?" rather than, "How much can I make out of this?" When our primary concern is for our own self-benefit even at the expense of others then we are straining at the very fabric that holds our society together. To have a healthy society we must truly be concerned for the well being of others. We must learn to hold society's goal at least equal to our own personal needs. Being a society means that we are all in this together and that each of us is concerned about the needs of everyone else.

We can only experience peace when we are truly concerned about the well being of others. We do this in many ways quite generously, for example, when we provide hurricane and earthquake relief. What about when we try to protect ourselves from competition by outsiders? Let us reflect a moment on other ways that we can help our society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   World Peace

Everything and everyone exists as they are, independent of our opinions about them. We must learn to transcend judgment if we are to be happy. Instead of walking through life being mad at what is, we might consider acceptance as an alternative.

True inner security will always elude those who sit in judgment, since they use up their life energy in anger at what is. We must first accept people and things for precisely what they are before we can help to bring about positive change.

Unfortunately most of us see the world as we think it ought to be, and therefore are almost always disappointed when the world fails to measure up to what we would like it to be. Some people understand the secret. They use common sense to accept what they can't change, and they put their energy into changing the things that they care enough about to invest their energy. But first and foremost they learn to accept everything and everyone in the universe as being exactly as they are at this moment. They learn to change things because of love for what can be instead of because of anger at what is.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Left Arrow

Monday: Anger is not caused by what happens. It is caused by how I respond to it. How I respond is a choice I am free to make.

Tuesday: When we are controlled by our negative emotions we don't think very well. It is wise to not get upset so that that I am able to make the best decisions when things happen.

Wednesday: It is self- defeating not to like the action you have chosen. This is the time to remember that you and only you are in control of your life. Don't accept a choice by yourself that you don't like.

Thursday: One way to replace old behavior is to visualize and imagine the new behavior that you want to take its place. This is a little like a golfer practicing their golf swing over and over.

Friday: You have no right to be angry just because others don't want to do things your way. We are entitled to no more control over others than they are over us.

Saturday: The first step to true intimacy is to know and understand your self. Your self is what you bring into any relationship. To create a successful relationship we need to know what we want from it.

Sunday: When you listen to someone be aware that their feelings are often more important than the words. Learn to recognize what the other person is feeling when they speak.

Additional Notes

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