Conscious, Peaceful and Powerful

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge. ~ Confucius

A man who knows who he is, who is conscious of his wisdom, and who understands his value, is peaceful and powerful. He feels that nothing is missing, and that he already is perfect, whole and complete. Therefore, he experiences no anxiety.

As someone who happens to be an educator, I am conscious of my knowledge, wisdom and value. During my life, I have studied, observed, analyzed and reflected a lot, and I continue to do so. I know that there is a lot that I don’t know, but I am not worried about that. Knowledge is everywhere and abundant. In all fields, there are a great number of individuals and organizations doing great work. New thoughts and ideas, new authors, studies, books, workshops, films, and so on, are coming out all the time. And I too am adding to this big conversation through my work. The volume of information can be overwhelming, but the fact that so much knowledge is available does not trigger any anxiety in me; I celebrate and rejoice with this fact. I am conscious of who I am and what I have to offer, and I believe that pieces of knowledge will be made available to me by the Universe when I need them.

I came to a point in my life where I am convinced that I do my best work when I don’t try to teach, but when I help other individuals uncover the wisdom that resides within each one of them. My goal is to make them feel that nothing is missing, and that they already are perfect, whole and complete. I want them to reach that state of spirit where all anxiety vanishes, and where they touch the inner-knowing that empowers them to reveal the grandest version of themselves. My goal is to transport them to that state of mind where they feel peaceful and powerful.


We have to go back to the center of our beings and recognize that we are wise in our own unique ways, and that we have our unique contributions to give to the world.

We are powerful, centered, and calm.

We are respected bringers of peace, and our mere presence already helps others on their journeys to attain the same state of confidence and tranquility.



Boston Marathon – A Commitment to Work for Peace

When I was about to give up in the middle of a hard workout, my friend David told me, “Piero, exercise is for those who can. Always remember that, and exercise for those who can’t.”

I just read a magazine full of touching stories of those who were affected by the bombs that went off at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Those are stories of pain and courage, of lives lost and lives saved. Stories of loss and recovery, of lost dreams and also new ones. Stories of separations and encounters. Stories of people coming together in the middle of the chaos to create new lifelong connections. Stories of bravery and of eternal gratitude. Stories that make me give thanks for everything I have, and move me to hug, and kiss, and express love for everyone.

I have a connection with Boston; that’s where my sons live. So when I go to Boston I experience the good feelings of being reunited with them. This in itself makes Boston a very special place for me. But Boston is much more than that… Boston is a vibrant city, a great cultural center where people from all over the planet, many of them college students, live together in harmony. And the Marathon is an expression of unity in diversity: people of all sizes, shapes and colors running together, volunteering together, cheering together, and celebrating life together.

Long distance running is very demanding, and can produce deep emotional experiences. Maybe the struggle to keep going when one is depleted of energy is what transports runners to that realm where they go beyond whatever limited conceptions they have of themselves and come to understand that we are all in this together. As I write these words I am wearing the One Planet United shirt we did for the Marathon, many years ago, which reads, “We all belong to the same race!”


I was moved to tears when I read the stories of those affected by the bombings. Those stories made me think again how fanaticism — be it religious, ideological or political — can separate us, and persuade some individuals to inflict unimaginable pain on other human beings. But those stories also gave me more reasons to continue doing the work I do to bring more peace to the world.

Maybe what I do is not a lot, but at least is something, and I am happy that I am doing something. I am happy that the Forces of the Universe have led me to do the work I have been doing through One Planet United, the Silent Peace Walks, the Dialogues in Diversity, the DAPA workshops, and the writing and speaking opportunities that allow me to spread messages of compassion, understanding, acceptance, peace, and unity. I am happy that through the work my friends and I do, we are helping people touch that source of peace that resides within each one of them, because it is from this inner peace that we bring peace in our families, communities, nations, and the entire world.

I hope the stories of those who lost their lives, those who were injured, those who would love to run a marathon but can’t anymore will continue to inspire me in the years to come. I hope I may remember those who will overcome immense challenges and cross that finish line to prove that there are no permanent defeats, only the ones we accept ourselves. May I honor them through my dedicated work for peace everyday.


I feel that I have been called to do this work, and that I have a lot of work to do. I am calling you to join me, and join other peacemakers throughout the world. Help us. We have work to do. Reflecting on what David said during that workout, I invite you to consider that we must do this work because we can do it. And we must do it for those who can’t.

Many runners will be running for those who can’t. Many will run to support worthy causes, or to honor their loved ones. I see the best of humanity in them. I know that they have already been touched, and that they already are kinder human beings. I hope they may continue to tap into this beautiful energy and engage in the work of changing the world for the better after the race is over.

So here’s my invitation:

Let’s be kind with one another.

Let’s hug each other.

Let’s express our love.

Let’s have fun together, all of us.

Let’s celebrate life.

Let’s renounce all violence.

Let’s work together to bring peace to our world.

Let us , each one of us, do something, anything, to bring more peace to our world, because everything we do for peace, no matter how small, adds up to bring about a culture of peace that one day will prevail in our world.

And for those of you who were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, those whose lives were deeply affected that day, I want to thank you for inspiring all of us to be kinder, more sensitive, more compassionate, more spiritual, more HUMAN human beings.

We are with you.

We cry together. We get puzzled by the insanity and violence together, but along the way we find one another, we hold hands, we find strength, we move forward, we smile, and we understand that we are all in this together.


Peace, my sister.

Peace, my brother.


Be it!

Make it!

Live It!

Spread it!

Peace and Unity!




Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell was a mythologist who did a wonderful job researching tales, fables, stories, rituals, symbols, and traditions from all over the world. He found astonishing similarities. According to his findings, all of us, throughout the ages, have been telling the same stories. Environments, situations, and characters may change, but the stories remain the same. The stories and archetypes apparently rise from a source within that many refer to as “the collective unconscious.”


Campbell’s concept of monomyth (one myth) refers to the theory that sees all mythic narratives as variations of a single great story. The theory is based on the observation that a common pattern exists beneath the narrative elements of most great myths, regardless of their origin or time of creation.


The Hero’s Journey is the great myth.

Why is it important?

Life is a journey when we are called to deal with the great mystery of existence, and myths are important because they, in a way, describe the adventure and provide helpful clues for our own journeys. This journey begins with the suspicion that we are more than mere mammals and may lead us to realize that we are, as Teilhard de Chardin said, “spiritual beings having human experiences.” Myths help us deal with the mystery. Myths help us heed the call and understand that we must embrace the adventure. Myths can help us get to that sacred place within our own selves where we might be able to unlock our creative powers and do magnificent feats. Myths encourage us to live the life we were given, find the deeper meaning of our lives, our authentic selves, the truth, our untapped potential, our relationship with the world, our place in it, where we are in our journeys, what we are being called to do, and the enormous power we have. Myths allow us to learn about ourselves (and others, and the Universe) so we can thrive.

The most heroic of all acts is to discover who we are, and who we want to be. It takes courage to follow our bliss and live the lives we are meant to live.


Who are we?

Where are we going?

Where do we belong?

Who are we in relation with other beings?

How are we being called to become our best possible selves – creators of a new way of living at this critical time?


We are all on a journey back home. “There’s no place like home.”

What is home? Home is the authentic self, who we really are.

Where is home? How do we return home? How do we get there?

Myths tell stories of returning home (Paulo Coelho’s the Alchemist, Herman Hesse’s Siddharta)


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~ T. S. Eliot


The Hero’s Adventure was broken down by Joseph Campbell in the following components, Departure, Initiation and Return, and several sub-components which are described below.

Hero's Journey


The Call to Adventure
The hero begins in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.

Refusal of the Call
Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances

Supernatural Aid
Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid them later in their quest.

The Crossing of the First Threshold
This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.

Belly of The Whale
The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis.


The Road of Trials
The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.

The Meeting With the Goddess
This is the point when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.

Woman as Temptress
In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.

Atonement with the Father
In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power.

When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.

The Ultimate Boon
The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.



Refusal of the Return
Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.

The Magic Flight
Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.

Rescue from Without
Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold
The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world. Why re-enter such a world? Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of transcendental bliss?

Master of Two Worlds
This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.

Freedom to Live
Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.


Other formulations of the Hero’s Journey

1. The Call to Adventure
2. The Road of Trials
3. The Vision Quest
4. The Meeting with the Goddess
5. The Boon
6. The Magic Flight
7. The Return Threshold
8. The Master of Two Worlds

1. Miraculous conception and birth
2. Initiation of the hero-child
3. Withdrawal from family or community for meditation and preparation
4. Trial and Quest
5. Death
6. Descent into the underworld
7. Resurrection and rebirth
8. Ascension, apotheosis, and atonement


Cultivators of Peace

What makes a good friend?

A good friend is an unselfish giver, someone who is constantly and generously giving love, understanding, and consolation.

A good friend is patient and kind.

A good friend is someone who cares, and who tries his best to tell the truth in a careful and gentle way, because he loves his friend and wants to preserve the friendship.

Do you want peace in your life? Forgive. If you have been hurt, forgive. Forgiveness is a component of peace. Be unselfish and forgive. Think about it for a moment… The incapacity to forgive is an expression of selfishness. Forgiveness stems from unselfishness.

What good telling yourself that you are right and your friend is wrong is bringing you? What good being self-righteous and not moving from your entrenched position is bringing you?

Don’t allow someone else’s bitterness to make you bitter. Pour your sweetness upon them and be blessed. Their sweetness will grow, overflow, and bless you.

Become a practitioner of peace. Become a cultivator of peace. Become a teacher of peace.


Empathize. Feel the other person’s pain. Forgive. Give love. Bring about peace.