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Bring Your Drop of Water to the Fire

13 July 2010 2 Comments

Dalila Paulo

Dalila Paulo

“I became a pioneer, founder and president for 10 years of the Portuguese Delegation of Unipaz – International University for Peace. Over those years 3,000 people went there and many of them were transformed.”

I have always been on the path to being the best human possible, to achieving the ability for unconditional love. I am also a very practical and active person, so since I began to have deep inner peace, I wanted to organize ways for other people to have it too.

Eighteen years ago, as a psychotherapist I was very Cartesian, very adapted to the academic world. Then I started to have inner experiences that didn’t conform to anything I had learned in psychology or psychotherapy. I became an outcast in my professional community, but my inner experiences made me strong, and various synchronicities came into play.

I met Pierre Weil, founding President of UNIPAZ, the International Holistic University of Brasilia, the world’s second UN Peace University. His contribution was recognized by the UNESCO Peace Prize in 2000. It was a deep encounter; he was speaking the same language I was. His Art of Living in Peace Seminar courses were based on the new holistic paradigm. All I had to do was bring a delegation to the university in Portugal. So I became a pioneer, founder and president for 10 years of the Portuguese Delegation of Unipaz-International University for Peace. Over those years 3,000 people went there and many of them were transformed. We brought in the leaders of the trans-disciplinary and trans-personal movement, people like Deepak Chopra, eminent scientists, and one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. The students ranged from high school students to Ph.Ds from the Sorbonne and US universities.

One of my high points was seeing the first class finish the two-year course. I saw the people when they started and when they finished. The course is very practical and very intense and it changes lives. They were all happier people than when they arrived. Now as teachers they are opening paths in public and private universities. They had to strive against the mainstream, because new things are always challenged, but in the end this is good. They know how to infuse the UNESCO Pillars―How to know, How to do, How to live with others, and How to be―into whatever courses they teach. Others start new businesses and new centers for holistic training. Those centers are now so widespread across Portugal that I don’t know how many there are.

American volunteer Keisha Luce works with amputees at B-Gifted in Sierra Leone, where Dalila will soon be.

After 10 years I was weary and ready to return to my main vocation. I spent a year and a half on a kind of sabbatical―just private practice, training other psychotherapists, and supervision. Now I’m getting restless, in a nice way, and I’m seeing wider opportunities. I accepted an invitation from an NGO in Serra Leone that found me on the Peace and Collaborative Development Network to work on healing and peace education with two groups of survivors of amputation next month. I’m willing to travel to conflict zones to bring emotional and spiritual support. I’m known for being a person ideas come to, so people call me to ask for input and I give it away. I’m getting back from my sabbatical in a very feminine way, open to what is coming. I don’t know what it will be, but I know it will be good.

Poverty and lack of educational opportunity sadden me and I can only do so much, but when I feel this ache I tell myself the story of the hummingbird. There is a fire in the forest and all the animals are running away to save their lives. Only the hummingbird is darting back and forth, getting little drops of water from the lake in its beak and dropping them on the fire. Another bird flies past and says, “You are silly! You can’t put out this huge fire.” The hummingbird says, “Yes, I know. But I am doing my part.”

While this is a metaphor, scientists like Rupert Sheldrake have proved that humanity is linked in an intricate and resonant network. If I’m able to be more at peace and vibrate in that way, it will affect the human network, and Fritjof Capra’s mutation point will happen. The scientific studies urge us to be responsible (able to respond), because what we do according to our possibilities affects our personal ecology, social ecology, and planetary and universal ecology. That is a promise we can keep to each other.


You can download the full English text of Weil’s 1990 Art of Living in Peace at this link, and the French version here.

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2 Comments to “Bring Your Drop of Water to the Fire”
  1. ‘One drop’ brought back happy memories of my first ethics class titled Economic Justice. We learned about a certain multinational corporation doing business in Central America and its deleterious effects on the natives there. I vowed then to boycott products from this company, and to spread the word as best I could to like-minded folks. That was 10 years ago, and my pledge stands. I never buy or drink Coke products, and I never will. My small protest may not hurt Coke, but it helps me affirm my commitment to peace and love over profits. Thank you, Dalila Paulo, and thanks always to PeaceXPeace for reminding me about what really is important.

  2. patricia smith says:

    Thank you, Dalila. It was like drinking fresh spring water to read your blog. You’re clearly amazing, and uber-hummingbird!

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