Meditation Focus #50

Choosing Love Over Fear, Expressing our Innate Goodness


What follows is the 50th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, October 28, 2001.


1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this week's Focus
4. Peace Watch for the Middle East


As more and more people come to realize the futility of efforts being made to ensure "security" in a world where dangers, real or perceived, will always exist is some form or another, and while authorities strive to implement a host of new security measures supposedly designed to prevent new terrorist activities while ensuring that the very freedoms so many of us took for granted will be greatly diminished and political dissent more easily stifled, the dark reality on the ground in Afghanistan and in the Palestian territories, as well as in a number of other "hot spots" on Earth, is growing ever more bleak with each passing day as military actions taken by some of the dominant military powers of this world deliver crushing death and devastation, thus sowing ever greater humiliation and resentment.

But there is another brighter side to this picture. Punctured is the complacency and self-delusional attitude of millions of people with regard to their views and perspectives on themselves and the world. Gone is the illusion of a "normal" life of consumerism and business-as-usual. Shaken is the sense of having a firm grasp on our plans for the future, blissfully oblivious to the hardship endured by other less fortunate people around the world. Because of the normalcy-shaking effect of the recent World Trade Center tragedy and its ensuing consequences around the world, a growing number of people are shifting their priorities to more essential pursuits and opening their hearts to each other, helping each other and loving each other more fully and more openly than ever before. As a result, there is an even greater momentum towards unification of soul and spirit with the all encompassing Plan of our Divine Creator for our collective upliftment to new heights of spiritual awareness and accomplishment. For sure, many people have still not chosen Love over fear; conscious Unity with Light over abandonment to the manipulative influence of darkness; caring, sharing and compassion over selfishness and greed. Yet the overall trend, albeit not entirely visible to all, is towards a global commitment to peace, justice and harmony, towards a greater reliance upon the inner promptings of our soul and towards affirming the healing power of Love in all matters of life, small and great. This unexpected turn of events is a direct result and the intended effect of the greater Plan at work to assist humanity-bound souls in their aeons-long evolutionary progress towards their return to Unity with the Universal Force of Life, Light and Love, from which stems All That Is and Will Ever Be.

Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks to further enhance in everyone's mind and heart the sense of forming a global community of dedicated Light Servers working through all kinds of ways and means to assist in healing ourselves and this world from the shadowy influence of fear, shedding forever the illusion of separation from the Universal One, and opening ourselves to our awesome creative abilities, acquired over so many lifetimes, to make this world anew, and re-dedicate ourselves on a daily basis to accomplishing, through Love and Compassion, what we came here to accomplish. May we all realize the unlimited potential for goodness and God-ness now surging forth from the depths of our souls and use it to heal, love and cherish each other and our living planet, for the Highest Good of All.

This entire Meditation Focus is also available at



i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes.

ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.

Beginning Sunday October 28, these times below will correspond to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM

+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time(DST) at the moment

You may also check at to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.


This section is for those who wish to understand in more detail the situation of this week's Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognise that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.


Bush Signs Anti-Terrorism Bill
(Friday October 26)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush signed an anti-terrorism bill Friday that gives police unprecedented ability to search, seize, detain or eavesdrop in their pursuit of possible terrorists. ``This government will enforce this law with all the urgency of a nation at war,'' he said.

Federal officials said they plan to use the new powers right away, prompting civil libertarians to voice anew their concerns that cherished American freedoms will be sacrificed in the interest of safety. The American Civil Liberties Union pledged to monitor police actions closely, and scheduled a meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller.

``This bill goes light years beyond what is necessary to combat terrorism,'' said Laura Murphy, ACLU Washington director. ``While we are ourselves concerned for the country's safety, we are also concerned by the attorney general's apparent gusto to implement certain provisions in the bill that threaten liberty.'' John Ashcroft, who pressed hard for the bill's passage, said Thursday he would use the new powers quickly.

Bush said the legislation ``upholds and respects'' personal freedoms protected by the Constitution. But given the magnitude of the Sept. 11 attacks, he said, the nation had little choice but to update surveillance procedures ``written in the era of rotary telephones'' to better combat today's sophisticated terrorists.

``We may never know what horrors our country was spared by the diligent and determined work of our police forces ... under the most trying conditions,'' Bush said. ``They deserve our full support and every means of help that we can provide.''

Lawmakers, concerned about possible abuse of power, put an expiration date on part of it. Unless Congress renews the anti-terrorism law before Dec. 31, 2005, the eavesdropping sections expire.


Leahy told reporters afterward that it is up to Congress - specifically their two committees - to make sure through ``constant oversight'' that federal authorities are not too heavy-handed with their new enforcement powers.

Regarding abuse of power concerns, Leahy said, ``We have got to stop thinking about the Dillinger ... days of law enforcement, and start thinking of the realities of 2001. No matter what terror attacks we face today, we're going to face more next year, and the year after. This is something that is going to exist long after all of us are no longer in office, and we've got to make sure we do the things to protect our nation.''

Under the new law, the FBI has expanded wiretapping and electronic surveillance authority. It allows nationwide jurisdiction for search warrants and electronic surveillance devices, including legal expansion of those devices to e-mail and the Internet. Agents can, for example, use roving wiretaps to monitor any telephone used by a terrorism suspect, rather than getting separate authorizations for each phone that person uses.

The law sets strong penalties for those who harbor or finance terrorists, and establishes new punishments for possessing biological weapons. It makes it a federal crime to commit an act of terrorism against a mass transit system. It increases the overall number of crimes considered terrorist acts and toughens the punishment for committing them.

Also, police would have greater ability to secretly search people's homes and business records, and to listen in on conversations over the telephone or computers. The House and Senate approved Bush's anti-terrorism package in less than two months, skipping much of the normal committee process. Lawmakers say they still came up with a good bill. CLIP



US anti-terror laws draw fire
(Friday, 26 October, 2001)

Critics say government can intercept private information

The US Congress has approved anti-terrorism legislation that will give law enforcement agencies sweeping new powers to monitor and detain suspected terrorists.


The only compliment that Mikal Condon of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre's (Epic) had for the legislation was that it is due to expire at the end of 2005 - unless renewed by Congress.

Wider surveillance

The legislation still contains measures to allow advanced surveillance techniques, including the FBI's controversial internet surveillance system Carnivore.

The system, which troubles Epic, would allow investigators far greater power to collect e-mail information.

Unlike other parts of the legislation which are triggered when the attorney general certifies an individual as a suspected terrorist, Ms Condon said the new surveillance powers could be used in any case.

She said the legislation did not address the intelligence and investigative shortcomings that led up to the 11 September attacks.

"There is no evidence that they were lacking information on 11 September," she said.

"Everybody's been calling for increased human intelligence, increasing their ability to gather intelligence when what they need is ability to sort through intelligence."

Goes too far

The American Civil Liberties Union said the legislation went far beyond what was necessary to combat terrorism.

ACLU President Nadine Strossen said: "The bottom line is, the provisions we have been opposed to from the beginning have stayed in, such as internet surveillance. The government has enormous increased power to intercept all e-mail and internet surfing communications".

She was also concerned that the roving wiretap ability would include public internet terminals such as in libraries or cyber cafes with no assurance that authorities would stop monitoring the terminal when the suspect was not using it.

Wider powers

The legislation also greatly expands the definition of terrorist activities, covering acts that are now thought of as civil disobedience, she said.

The legislation also increases the government's powers to detain immigrants suspected of terrorism.

Elisa Massimino, director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, said this aspect of the legislation changed dramatically from the administration¿s original form.

She said the draft proposal "granted the attorney general great powers to detain any non-citizen on little more than a hunch".

The final legislation still has a broad definition of terrorism, and the attorney general needed nothing more than reasonable grounds to believe that an immigrant was a possible terrorist, she said.

But prosecutors have only seven days to start deportation procedures or charge an immigrant with a crime. Otherwise, the person has to be released

If they can be deported but the attorney general can show that their release would pose a threat to national security, they can be held for up to six months.

The Justice Department must report to Congress every six months on the use of these expanded powers.

Risk of abuse

She added that her organisation would press Congress to exercise careful oversight because the potential for abuse was so high.

"We're already seeing large numbers of people detained without being told what they are being held and without being charged," she said.



Bush Signs Sweeping Law Enforcement Bill
(Friday, October 26, 2001)

ACLU Pledges to Monitor Impact on Civil Liberties, Continue to Work with Administration Officials


The ACLU said that it would soon request meetings with James Ziglar, Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization Service, Gov. Tom Ridge, the Director of Homeland Security, and other key administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to express its continuing concerns about the sweeping anti-terrorism legislation, the secrecy surrounding the detainees and other government actions.

"We cannot as a nation allow very legitimate public anxiety to immunize the Administration and Congress from their obligation to protect the Bill of Rights and the fundamental values that document embodies," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's Washington National Office.

Congress adopted the bill signed into law today in near record time with only one public hearing and little debate. In fact, under intense pressure from Attorney General John Ashcroft, Republican leaders in the House torpedoed compromise legislation adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee in a late-night deal with the Justice Department.

"These new and unchecked powers," said Gregory T. Nojeim, Associate Director of the ACLU's Washington Office, "could be used against American citizens who are not under criminal investigation, immigrants who are here within our borders legally and also against those whose First Amendment activities are deemed to be threats to national security by the Attorney General."

See also:

How the Anti-Terrorism Bill Affects Civil Liberties: 9 Updated Fact Sheets

How the anti-terrorism bill puts the CIA back in the business of spying on Americans

(...) It permits a vast array of information gathering on U.S. citizens from school records, financial transactions*, Internet activity, telephone conversations, information gleaned from grand jury proceedings and criminal investigations to be shared with the CIA (and other non-law enforcement officials) even if it pertains to Americans. The information would be shared without a court order. CLIP

Facts on Secret Evidence FROM SECRET EVIDENCE TO NO EVIDENCE: Why is the Attorney General Asking Congress for the Power to Jail and Deport Immigrants Without a Trial or Any Other Way to Establish Their Innocence?


Patriot Act draws privacy concerns

(...) Civil libertarians say the measure was passed in haste following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They are particularly concerned that the surveillance powers give law enforcement too much leeway to collect private information on people on the periphery of investigations. CLIP

"The trouble with the bill is that it's very sweeping and it can apply not just to suspected terrorists but people and organizations that may be engaged in lawful actions," Berman said. CLIP

In addition, Internet service providers must make their services more wiretap friendly, giving law enforcement the ability to capture pen register information or allowing the installation of Carnivore technology.

Critics say there is not enough clarity about what information is collected through surveillance technology. Lawmakers maintain that Carnivore doesn't include information from the subject line of an e-mail, but it may collect data such as names and Web surfing habits. Another major concern is that such investigations are kept secret. CLIP

While some provisions in the bill will expire in 2006, powers governing Internet surveillance are not included in the "sunset clause." CLIP

See also:

Time's Ripe for National ID Cards (Oct 23, 2001)

The ID Idea - Goodbye to privacy.

(...) In the wake of the calamitous events of September 11, Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R., Conn.) suggested a national ID using fingerprints or retinal scans. CLIP The predictable failure of a voluntary system will lead to compulsory IDs.



Tortured Logic: Use of torture on suspected terrorists a slippery slope
(Oct. 26, 2001)

FBI and Justice Department investigators have held and interrogated four men since they were rounded up in the days immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States with no success so far in squeezing out information about their suspected association with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. Frustratingly, all their offers for reduced sentences and witness protection thus far have been refused.

"We are known for humanitarian treatment, so basically we are stuck," said one FBI agent involved in the investigation. "Usually, there is some incentive, some angle to play, what you can do for them. But it could get to that spot where we could go to pressure ... where we won't have a choice, and we are probably getting there."

This sounds distressingly like the FBI flirting with the use of torture on suspects in its custody. This is a trial balloon that the America public should burst without flinching.


Besides, if high-running emotions over the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon cause the United States to compromise its principals on human rights for suspected terrorists today, tomorrow it will be easier to justify torture to extract evidence from any suspected criminal. That is a slippery slope down which this country should best not begin.

See also:

FBI considers torture as suspects stay silent,,2001350021-2001364909,00.html

Suspects may be given truth serum



Pakistanis Leave for Holy War

(AP) - In buses and trucks, pickups and vans, more than 5,000 people rolled out of a northeastern Pakistan village Saturday morning, bound for the Afghan frontier and vowing to fight a holy war against the United States. Thousands of Pakistani men, young and old, had massed in Temergarah on Friday night with assault rifles, machine guns, even rocket launchers. A few even carried axes and swords.

Their mission, they said: to enter Afghanistan's Kunar province and help the country's ruling Taliban defend against any ground incursions by American troops.

``I am an old man. I consider myself lucky to go - and to face the death of a martyr,'' said Shah Wazir, 70, a retired Pakistani army officer. In his hands Saturday morning, he carried a French rifle from about 1920.

Organizers said similar-sized groups were massing in other towns across North West Frontier Province, an enclave of ethnic Pashtuns with ties to - and deep feelings for - neighboring Afghanistan.

Volunteers gathered in scores of groups of 20, sitting on the ground to be briefed on the ways of jihad - Islamic holy war - by military commanders wearing black turbans and full beards similar to the Taliban militia. One key rule: obedience to leaders.

``It is a difficult time for Islam and Muslims. We are in a test. Everybody should be ready to pass the test - and to sacrifice our lives,'' said Mohammad Khaled, one brigade leader. Would-be warriors embraced and chanted anti-American slogans.


However, the numbers in Temergarah on Saturday morning - and the people jammed into trucks and on bus rooftops - suggested support was heavy. Mohammad's backers say the number to enter Afghanistan will reach 100,000.


See also:

Pakistani Tribesmen Cross to Help Taliban

Big anti-US protest in Pakistan (Friday, 26 October)

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Karachi in Pakistan in support of Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan's ruling Taleban.


Kabul Red Cross is bombed again by American jets again


"The ICRC reiterates that attacking ... facilities marked with the red cross emblem constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law," it added. Staff had seen a "large, slow-flying aircraft drop two bombs on the compound from low altitude", it added. The warehouses - a distribution centre for food, tents and blankets for up to 8,000 families - had been specifically identified to the American government by the Red Cross as an aid centre which should be avoided by the daily US bombing raids on the Afghan capital. CLIP

(...) at a time when Afghanistan faces famine and a refugee crisis, large quantities of emergency aid had been destroyed. Red Cross staff in both Pakistan and Afghanistan were "demoralised". A Red Cross spokesman, Kim Gordon-Bates, said the warehouses were a distribution centre for a programme to feed up to 8,000 families of disabled people. CLIP

There have been at least five other admitted or well-documented mistaken attacks on civilian targets in Afghanistan since the bombing raids began three weeks ago. Last Monday, the Taliban claimed that US planes had bombed a hospital in Herat, in western Afghanistan, killing more than 100 people. The United Nations said that a military hospital had been destroyed but it had no information on casualties.




UK Call for cluster bombs halt
(Thursday, 25 October, 2001)

Cluster bombs can spread shrapnel over large areas Two British charities have urged the United States and British governments to halt the use of cluster bombs in Afghanistan, fearing further civilian casualties.

The chief executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund Andrew Purkis, in a letter to the British Times newspaper warned that the weapons, designed to spread shrapnel across a wide area of targets, posed a serious threat to civilians.

"There must be an urgent rethink of this action. There is evidence from Kosovo and the Gulf War that the components of these weapons are prone to missing their targets and fail in significant numbers to explode.

"They then pose a serious long-term threat to civilians and ground forces alike," he said.

Mr Purkis' call was echoed by director of aid agency Landmine Action Richard Lloyd, who said that the Afghan people already faced the overwhelming threat of starvation.

"The presence of highly sensitive unexploded cluster munitions will increase the number of casualties caused by the severe landmine problem in Afghanistan for years to come, and will deny people facing starvation the use of their land," he said.

Hidden danger

Cluster bombs each contain about 200 smaller bomblets weighing 1.5 kilograms, which are designed to spray out shrapnel and set fire to any combustible material nearby.

Officials from the United Nations Mine Clearance Programme also appealed to the United States for information about the cluster bombs dropped on Monday night around the northwestern city of Herat in Afghanistan.

Civilians in villages close to Herat reported seeing several unexploded cluster bombs - recognisable by their yellow markings.

Mine-clearing teams in Afghanistan are only able to identify and destroy cluster bombs with difficulty and at great danger.


The Taleban say that up to 1000 civilians have been killed since bombing raids began. However, the Pentagon has denied such figures.

See also:

Analysis: Why use cluster bombs?

Cluster Bombs



UK Aid agencies brace for Afghan exodus
(25 October, 2001)

Pakistan is still formally keeping its borders closed By the BBC's Simon Ingram in Quetta

Western aid agencies operating in Pakistan are stepping up preparations in case of a large-scale influx of refugees from neighbouring Afghanistan.

On Wednesday the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees opened a new camp near the border town of Chaman.

Only a handful of Afghan families have so far taken shelter in the camp because the Pakistani authorities have refused to allow all but the most needy refugees into the country.

However, there is concern that the refugee problem may be only the visible tip of a much bigger humanitarian crisis inside Afghanistan itself.


Reports from inside Afghanistan suggest many people are trying to flee cities like Kandahar, either to escape the intense US air bombardment or the attempts by the Taleban authorities to force young men to take up arms.


Winter looming

Oxfam, which until September had one of the largest relief operations in the country, says that with winter fast approaching, 7.5 million Afghans risk hunger or worse.

Limited food shipments are entering the country, but distribution Oxfam officials say, has ground to a halt.

Most at risk are about 500,000 people heavily dependent on food aid whose villages will become inaccessible once snow starts to fall.


See also:

NO LONGER INDIVIDUALS: Americans finally re-examine commitments to greater good







Here are some of the latest developments in the Middle East. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming two weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well.


Israel Calls Off West Bank Pullout Citing Violence
(Saturday October 27)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Saturday it was postponing indefinitely a scheduled withdrawal of its troops from Bethlehem and a neighboring Palestinian town because of continuing violence.

``The pull-back has been suspended as a result of continuous Palestinian fire, repeated shooting throughout day and lack of implementation of the agreement reached with Palestinian security forces in Beit Jala and Bethlehem,'' a senior official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office told Reuters.

Fierce fighting broke out in and around the West Bank town of Bethlehem and near Palestinian-ruled Nablus on Saturday just hours before Israel was expected to begin the first phase of a staged withdrawal from Palestinian areas it occupied last week.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters the postponement showed Sharon's wanted to ``pursue the path of destruction and violence and not the path of negotiations and peace.''

``It is unfortunate once again that the Israeli government reneges on an agreement brokered by the Americans, the Europeans, the U.N. and Russia. It's very clear that it's now up to the U.S. and the Europeans to stop him,'' he said of Sharon.

A senior Israeli security source told Reuters that Israel would re-examine its decision only ``if Palestinians keep the calm and their commitments.''

Israeli troops moved into or around six Palestinian-ruled areas following the assassination on October 17 of right-wing cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi.



Israel Agrees to End Siege of Bethlehem
(Friday October 26)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel agreed on Friday to withdraw its forces from the biblical city of Bethlehem and a neighboring town on Saturday in the first phase of a pullout from reoccupied Palestinian territory.

Under a deal reached in U.S.-brokered talks, Israel said its tanks and troops would leave if calm prevailed in the two Palestinian-ruled areas where fighting has raged since Israel's incursion began last week.


More than 40 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed since Zeevi's murder, which was carried out to avenge the Israeli assassination of a militant leader.

The United States is concerned that continuing Israeli-Palestinian violence undermines its effort to court Arab public opinion for support in its war on the terror.

Israel showed the first signs of bowing to U.S. pressure on Thursday when troops withdrew from the West Bank village of Beit Reema a day after carrying out a raid in which five Palestinian security officers were shot dead.

But signaling displeasure with the Israeli reoccupation of another area, Washington took the unusual step of joining in a U.N. Security Council statement critical of Israel on Thursday night. The declaration called for the immediate removal of all Israeli forces from Palestinian-ruled areas.

At least 676 Palestinians and 177 Israelis have been killed since a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation began in September 2000 after a deadlock in peace negotiations.



Gulf News says: Murder by tanks

The Israelis need to answer the question: How can men inside tanks possibly look for suspects and find anybody? The Israelis claim that their tanks went into six Palestinian towns in the self-ruled areas to hunt down alleged killers of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi. Zeevi was a particularly hard line Israeli, from the far right and anxious to see all the Palestinians out of Palestine.

The truth is that the tanks went in to cause the maximum amount of destruction and death that they could, and treated their raid as tit for tat revenge rather than any supposed effort towards justice. The day left at least six Palestinians dead with the total still unknown. The dead persons had nothing to do with the death of Zeevi, but suffered as random targets for Israeli revenge. The killing of Zeevi itself followed the Israeli killing in August of Abu Ali Mustafa, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has claimed responsibility for the killing of Zeevi. CLIP


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