Peace is the Way - A Century of Nonviolent Action Film
Peace is the Way - A Century of Nonviolent Action film series and 3D animated comic chronicles the stories of normal people, who became nonviolent superheroes. This website was originally created to promote the film as well as the other work of the co-directors and co-producers.
When the site's domain registration expired this site disappeared from the web. The new owner of the domain felt that its content should remain visible on the web so below is an edited version of the original content sans a number of videos along with additional information from other sources.
Content is from the site's 2011-2013 archived pages as well as other outside sources.
"This film is about releasing to a diverse audience something that can do wonders for planting seeds of compassion, grace and love in a modern, easily accessible way.”
Our first film in the Peace is the Way series, (formerly titled Walking with Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong)
THE SECRET OF THE 5 POWERS
tells the true stories of three remarkably courageous individuals, whose nonviolent action inspired Martin Luther King Jr, and millions of others around the world. The documentary weaves comic book animation, contemporary and historic footage that follows the lives of Alfred Hassler, an American Anti-War Hero, Vietnamese peace activists and Zen Masters, Thich “One Action” Nhat Hanh and Sister “True Emptiness” Chan Khong, who used the sacred 5 POWERS of Faith, Diligence, Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight to combat violence and destruction, planting seeds of peace in the mud of War.
The film will reveal our superheroes interconnected and personal stories, taking you on a journey from their first meeting in war-torn Vietnam to the "Arab Spring" and Tahir Square, Eqypt, where Alfreds ideas in 1956 for the long forgotten Martin Luther King comic book was translated into Arabic and used in Eqypts nonviolent uprising inspiring others in their contemporary quest for social change through nonviolent action.
Thich Nhat Hanh and Alfred Hassler first met in July, 1965, when Alfred visited Vietnam. In the 1960s, Alfred was responsible for introducing Thich Nhat Hanh & Sister Chan Khong to the American and European peace movements. In the early 70’s, Al and Thich Nhat Hanh founded together a new movement, called "Dai Dong" (from a Vietnamese proverb about a world in which not only one’s own children are one’s children, but all the world’s children are yours). Dai Dong attempted to bring about a coalition of peace and human rights organizations with scientists concerned about (particularly) environmental problems, and pointed to the inter-connectedness of world issues: economics, environment, poverty, human rights, peace. The Dai Dong conference held in Menton, France in 1970, produced the "Menton Statement" co-signed by more than 5000 scientists, some of whom were to play key roles in political-ecology efforts such as Rene Dumont, Thor Heyerdahl and Margaret Mead.
Thich Nhat Hanh and Alfred Hassler were ahead of their time—it would take another several decades before activists (and the general public) would begin to see the importance of linking these issues.
Life waits patiently for true heroes. It is dangerous when those aspiring to be heroes cannot wait until they find themselves. When aspiring heroes have not found themselves, they are tempted to borrow the world’s weapons-money, fame,and power-to fight their battles. These weapons cannot protect the inner life of the hero.
To cope with his fears and insecurities, the premature hero has to stay busy all the time. The destructive capacity of nonstop busyness rivals nuclear weapons and is as addictive as opium. It empties the life of the spirit.
False heroes find it easier to make war than deal with the emptiness in their own souls.
They think they are real heroes because they are so busy, but if we could see their inner lives, we would see desolation.
Without fierce resolve and a mature spiritual life, private demons cannot be controlled. -Thich Nhat Hanh
Erich Fromm, 1974
I deeply regret that my absence from the USA makes it impossible for me to be with you now...Even though I had only rarely the chance to meet with you, your work was of the greatest importance for me personally. Your integrity, courage, clarity, depth of perception and at the same time your lack of fanaticism and your objectivity are rare qualities. To follow the activities of such a man and to know that one could rely on him to remain himself, neither giving in to the shrill voices of despair nor making compromises which betray his convictions even in the smallest way, was and is a daily encouragement for which I am deeply grateful to you. - Erich Fromm, 1974
This is the story of three Nonviolent Superheroes
Alfred Hassler, a lifelong activist, leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and innovator within the peace movement, was arrested as a conscientious objector during WWII and continued on to become one of the most outspoken voices against the Vietnam War. Influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh and Vietnamese Buddhist thought, Alfred Hassler co-founded the Dai Dong project, linking war, environmental problems and poverty, in 1970. His work has inspired generations of powerful peacemakers and intellectuals such as Erich Fromm, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Joan Baez.??
In 1956, Alfred Hassler had the idea to create a comic book about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Story. Martin Luther King, Jr., who consulted directly with Alfred on the comic book project wrote, "Again, I would like to say what a fine piece of work this is. You have done a marvelous job of grasping the underlying truth and philosophy of the movement. I am sure that this comic book will be welcomed by the American public. Please feel free to call on me at any time". The comic book was a huge success although it was dangerous to own one in southern USA states. 240,000 original copies were printed although only 20 originals still exist today, with one being in the Smithsonian Museum.
Thich Nhat Hanh been a Buddhist monk for more than 60 years, as well as a teacher and writer, who valiantly opposed his own government during the Vietnam War - a stance that left him exiled from his native Vietnam for four decades. Beneath Thich Nhat Hanh's serene demeanor lies a courageous warrior. Martin Luther King Jr. called him "an apostle of peace and nonviolence. It's also what led Martin Luther King Jr. to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1967.
Life waits patiently for true heroes. It is dangerous when those aspiring to be heroes cannot wait until they find themselves. When aspiring heroes have not found themselves, they are tempted to borrow the worlds weapons-money, fame,and power-to fight their battles. These weapons cannot protect the inner life of the hero.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Sister Chan Khong whose birthname is Cao Ngoc Phuong was born in a Vietnamese village on the Makong River Delta in 1938. Cao Ngoc Phuong began working at age 13 helping poor people in slums. In 1964, she joined Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in founding the School of Youth for Social Service which set up medical, educational, and agricultural facilities in rural Vietnam. Throughout the civil war in the country, she fed the hungry, built communes, buried the dead, and tried to be a serene presence in the midst of terrible violence. "If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work we can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. . . . That is the secret. Start right now."
Written by Super User on 17 September 2012. Posted in Projects
STUART & GREGORY, The film series co-directors and co-producers work is connected to ordinary people and communities who made a decision to do something positive and constructive to make the world a better place. We have been truly inspired by filming and working with people like Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong and the Plum Village Community, Dr. Jane Goodall, James Lawson - USA Civil Rights Movements Chief Strategist and organizer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez, Esquivel, Erin Gruwell from the Freedom Writers, “Playing For Change’s” Daryl Simpson & the Omagh Community Youth Choir, from war torn N. Ireland, Annemarie Bekker from the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands, Zlata Filipovich writer of Zlata’s Diary, Organic food Pioneer Werner Lampert and many others as well as the numerous and incredible teachers, students and workshop participants from several countries with whom we have trained how to use film and media as a positive tool for change.
Planting Seeds Of Mindfulness
"In the world we are asking, How can our children grow up to be peace-builders? How can they learn to use the conflicts of the past to provide compost for lasting harmony in our communities, our nations, and the world?
Planting seeds is a film to answer these questions. It is a project to show us how mindfulness can help to water the seeds of beauty and goodness in each child, and, importantly, how each child can learn to water those seeds in themselves and others for their lifetime, and for successive generations.
We are beyond the time of saying that such an education is desirable. For the health, sustainability, and happiness of our global community, it is now our only real option." Br. Phap Luú Plum Village France.
In Februray 2012 Stuart & Gregory traveled to Uganda and Tanzania (where they had the great fortune to stay at Dr. Jane´s home on the Indian ocean) on behalf of Dr. Jane and the Jane Goodall Institute Austria to film for a future film titled "Ripples of Hope". Ripples of Hope will take us from Europe to Africa and will tell the story of an 11 year-old girl who dreamt of traveling to Africa, her fierce determination against all odds to realize her dream, and how that childhood vision led her on a lifelong quest to protect the earth and all its living creatures. The film will chronicle the life of “SuperJane,” aka Dr. Jane Goodall and how her “Ripple Power” spread and inspired 12 Tanzanian teenagers to found “Roots & Shoots”, a global youth movement that now empowers over 150,000 young people in over 120 countries..
Austrian Actress Lilian Klebow & Dr. Jane Goodall
Stuart & Gregory filmed Austrian TV and Film actress Lilian Klebow & Dr. Jane Goodall for a campaign to raise awareness and money for JGI Austria's Batwa Pygmy education and food project in Africa.
In May 2011 we had the truly great pleasure to work with Austrian actress Lillian (Billie) Klebow and Dr. Jane Goodall. Two deeply passionate women who are doing there best to promote respect, compassion and action on behalf of and in support of all living creatures. They are two amazing women.
Animation we produced for Jane's Journey film premiere
This video animation was created for Oekostrom and the Jane Goodall Institute by Stuart & Gregory for the film premiere of Jane's Journey, the new fantastic film about Jane Goodall's time in Gombe National Park, and subsequent projects she developed over the past 20 years.
"Reasons for Hope" Sustainable Packaged DVD that we filmed, edited and produced for Dr. Jane.
I.F.O.R. Global Education
Our amazing students were inspired to create their own self produced, filmed and edited video based on the Fairtrade Bodies Challenge! The students designed a Fairtrade Cotton Body, while sharing challenging stories of cotton producers worldwide and the environmental and social impact 'normal' cotton has, plus the many advantages of a Fairer world.
Featuring I.F.O.R. Austria's four-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Japan Niwano Peace Prize & Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award Winner Dr. Hildegard Goss-Mayr.
I.F.O.R Austria's ‘Connecting Peace, Connecting Nonviolence’ – was a training course that dealt with the issue of peacebuilding through active nonviolence with people from a variety of European and Caucasus region countries. The main objectives were to encourage familiarisation with new and innovative insights and methods on issues of peace, active nonviolence, equality, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and to develop common regional and international projects, thus laying the foundation for a sustainable network of young peacebuilders in the EU and neighboring countries from SEE and the EEC.
Creative Conflict Resolution in School and Society
Developed and Produced by Gregory & Stuart
James Lawson is one of the most important persons in USA civil rights history that we had the great pleasure to work with on a deeply meaningful project. As a Field Secretary for the USA branch of I.F.O.R and after living in India and studying Gandhian techniques in Active non-violence, Dr. James Lawson returned to the USA and trained Martin Luther King Jr. and many others in civil disobedience methods. Dr. Lawson trained and participated in many famous actions in the USA movement including the Tennesee Lunch Counter Sit-ins, The Freedom Rides and many others. He is a brilliant and humble man who still is very active today.
Martin Luther King called Lawson "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.
When different cultures come together, beauty is inevitable- Erin Gruwell
Stuart & I had the immense pleasure and honor to meet two incredible human beings. First we traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia to meet and interview Zlata Filipovich, writer of #1 Bestseller Zlata´s Diary and Stolen Voices.
Zlata shares her experiences in war torn Sarajevo, growing up in a multi-cultural city and receiving 150 letters from the Freedom Writers inviting her to California.
We then traveled to Santa Monica, California to meet and interview Erin Gruwell, The author of The Freedom Writers Diary which was made into a film starring Hilary Swank, Teaching Hope and several other books. Erin speaks so clearly, intelligently and passionately about the rewards and challenges that teachers face. How we must remember the past so that we do not repeat atrocities, how idealists can change the world, how every child matters, how she was a teacher and how she learned from her students, how we can coexist with other cultures in a constructive and rewarding way.
According to Erin Gruwell, "It was Zlata´s book that inspired her students the most because they identified with this young girl who was the same age as them".
The Power of Music to Unite and Transform. After first becoming aware of the Omagh Choir through the most inspiring global music project we have seen to date, ‘Playing for Change,’ we decided to contact Daryl Simpson to tell him about our project connected to "music as a uniting and transformational force," utilizing real stories. We had the great fortune to fly to Northern Ireland to film this module for our BMUKK film project, ‘Creative Conflict Resolution in School and Society.’ There we met some incredible human beings; parents, sons and daughters, Protestants and Catholics, their compassionate secretary Mike and their humble and powerfully inspirational leader Daryl Simpson. Their story and their music is powerful so take a seat and be prepared to smile and cry.
Stuart & Gregory trained 7 extraordinarily gifted students from across Central and SE Europe taking part in an intensive week of state-of-the-art media education and empowered learning. They produced 5 videos during the week and at the same time gathered material equivalent to the length of a Hollywood movie that featured in the documentary film of the entire week at the Erste Foundation’s ‘aces Academy 2010’. Milana, Ivan, Mihail, Jasmina, Christina, Marian and Ivana; we thank you.
Trailer - Thich Nhat Hanh Two Movies VHX TV Launch
Planting Seeds of Mindfulness Movie w Buddhist Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Thich Nhat Hanh, TV / Movie Star Orlando Jones. & The 5 Powers Movie with Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Alfred Hassler, Sister Chan Khong.
An update: I donated on BackerKit for the IndieGOGO campaign when the film makers were trying to raise money for Walking With Alfred Hassler, Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong. I was pleased to help out such an effort. I even received the 3rd place referral prize for referring other people to also pledge money. I was particularly thrilled to receive an extra Limited Edition Collectable Peace Is The Way Comic Book signed by Erich. I learned from some Australian friends that google.com.au was showing ridiculous results for the search for "Peace Is The Way Films" - the first page was showing logical arguments made by ancient and modern philosophers regarding the nature of existence. And one actually compelling post delving deeply into the notion of "nothing". According to accepted arguments, depending on the definition of "nothing" one can argue proving the existence of God, or the opposite. However fascinating these anomalous Google results were, this was clearly harmful to the promotional effort for the film. Our developer told us many stories of businesses being hurt by bogus Google results, and he himself was victimized by 15 year old DUI arrest which definitely harmed his job hunt. And this problem is well documented, and is the focus of groups like Regulate Google Now! and other efforts being made by lawmakers to require Google to be accountable for harmful consequences of their search results. Fortunately, this problem only impacted our Australian audience for a couple of weeks. I took the comic from Erich to my Ultimate Frisbee workout to show my team, many of whom are fans. One of them, the well known NYC corporate lawyer and former Queens Assistant District Attorney Benjamin R Pred was especially impressed and bugged me for more information. We met up afterward and I showed him all the resources I had, including this website and some others related to this genre. Satisfied and done with that chore I decided to do a search for a site where I could stream or download the The 5 Powers Movie. It took me a while but I finally found MindfulWorld (https://mindfulworld.vhx.tv/products/the-5-powers)where you could actually buy or rent it. The download would include:
The 5 Powers
- Full 1080p HD - 60 Minute Feature Documentary Movie
- Full 1080p HD - 1st Cut / Edit Version of The 5 Powers Movie
- Hours of Extra Bonus Video Material
- Historic Rarely or Never Before Seen Photos, Press, Video, Poetry.
- Raw Uncut Thich Nhat Hanh interviews
- Deleted Scenes
- The 5 Powers 2nd Edition Comic Book
- The 5 Powers 1st Edition Comic Book
- The Martin Luther King Jr, Montgomery Story Comic Book
- Cool Comic Book and Movie Creation Videos
- Topoke “Freedom” THE 5 POWERS Soundtrack Song
I was blown away. I think I will get it as a gift for this holiday for a special friend who would definitely appreciate it. Thank goodness for the internet and for the vision of STUART & GREGORY, the film series co-directors and co-producers and everyone else involved in this project so many years ago. At this time in history with the Trump White House spitting hatred and intolerance everywhere, we need more people like such nonviolent heroes as Thich Nhat Hanh, Alfred Hassler, and Sister Chan Khong, along with visionaries such Martin Luther King to step up and push back.
Truly insightful, deep and powerful. Oprah Winfrey via her incredible OWN network, talks to Thich Nhat Hanh about becoming a monk, meeting Martin Luther King Jr; The powers of mindfulness, insight, concentration and compassion, How to transform warring parties and how to deeply transform relationships.
Oprah Winfrey talks with Thich Nhat Hanh Excerpt - Powerful
Overview: Truly insightful, deep and powerful. Oprah Winfrey via her incredible OWN network, talks to Thich Nhat Hanh about becoming a monk, meeting Martin Luther King Jr; The powers of mindfulness, insight, concentration and compassion, How to transform warring parties and how to deeply transform relationships.
Breaking News! Here is the cover of the magazine that features The Secret of The 5 Powers comic and film in a 5-6 page magazine spread! (See top left corner of cover photo) "Superheroes Of Peace"
Their May magazine features “The Dude & the Zen Master,” Andrea Miller‘s profile of “Buddhistly bent” actor Jeff Bridges and Zen teacher Bernie Glassman as they reflect on the friendship, spirituality, and shared sense of social responsibility.
There’s lots more inside, too, including, a look at a new comic book featuring Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong, and Alfred Hassler.
3 Heroes, 5 Powers
"Peace Is The Way" Comic Book
Behind the scenes video of the making of the new "Peace is The Way" Comic Book to honor the memory and creativity of Alfred Hassler who´s idea to create a Martin Luther King Jr. Comic Book in 1956 is still being used as an inspirational nonviolent training tool today throughout the world today. Our brilliant and very talented comic book creator Erich Tiefenbach (who is an eastern spiritual practicioner in his own way) has fully immersed himself in the creation process. Thanks to Erich and our wonderful team. Smiles & Peace. The Peace is The Way "Sangha" Film Team.
You can help Martin Luther King Jr., fulfill one of his Dreams.
Nominate Thich Nhat Hanh for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
November 2011 - United Nations, New York presentation of The Secret of The 5 Powers film
Gregory and Stuart the films co-directors,13 year old team member Nick Fader, Sister Chan Khong and Dr. Sylvia Rhor (Martin Luther King Jr, scholar and MLK comic book expert - click) were honored to be invited to the United Nations in November 2011 to present the film. Nick and his wonderful family joined us at the United Nations in Ny for the presentation. Nick is a fine example of intelligent and engaged youth who dispels the stereotype of young people not caring about the state of the world. When given the opportunity and encouragement youth can not only lead, they can also effectively inspire us all.
Thank you Nick and Sylvia.
PLANTING SEEDS: The Power of Mindfulness (July 2013)
A feature documentary animated film based on the book
Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children
by Thich Nhat Hanh & The Plum Village Community
"In the world we are asking, How can our children grow up to be peace-builders? How can they learn to use the conflicts of the past to provide compost for lasting harmony in our communities, our nations, and the world?
Planting seeds is a film to answer these questions.
It is a project to show us how mindfulness can help to water the seeds of beauty and goodness in each child, and, importantly, how each child can learn to water those seeds in themselves and others for their lifetime, and for successive generations.
We are beyond the time of saying that such an education is desirable. For the health, sustainability, and happiness of our global community, it is now our only real option."
- Brother Phap Luu, Plum Village, France
Images of Dignity
The True Story of Premier African American Psychologist, Dr. Edmund Gordon and World Renowned Artist Charles White.
As the struggle for civil rights was transformed into the long struggle for social justice,those committed to advancing its cause took on the extraordinarily challenging work of transforming public and social institutions from organizations that perpetuated inequality to vehicles for opportunity.
This feature length animated documentary film explores basic questions about the importance of dignity to all people and to society, and how the struggle for social justice are manifested in the lives and works of two extraordinary Social Justice Heroes, Charles White and Dr. Edmund W.Gordon.