Be the Cause

New York, New York

New York, September 15 – 18, 2001

New York was transformed this weekend. Never again should it be known as the center of financial strength but rather, and more importantly, as the center of spiritual growth. As I walked through the streets of Manhattan this weekend I was offered food, hugs, love, God, and beauty. It was truly beautiful. Picture the financial district still smoldering from the hell that burns in angry men, transcended by the light that flickers from millions of candles offering vigil to loved ones that have finally found peace. Picture all of us, led in a rendition of Amazing Grace by two beautiful African American women. Picture a New York City where the rich and the poor, the Muslims and the Jews, the cops and the loiterers are all hugging each other, feeding each other, holding hands and praying with (for) each other. Picture an American Muslim man calling to prayer in front of a crowd of weeping Jews that only a moment ago wanted nothing more than vengeance. No-one else understands Arabic, no-one else needs to. Love is the only language that is spoken. This weekend I cried.. not for the memory of ones left behind but for a nation… a world, where we all hold hands and pray together. This weekend everybody cried. I saw love in His eyes.

My fellow people, pray now to the east not only for Mecca or Jerusalem but for our very own spiritual center on this nation.. New York, New York.

As I walked through the various vigils of the city I couldn’t help but notice all the love that floated in the air, stronger than the dust of the world trade center rubble that continues to plagues the news reports. At each site I visited there were sheets of white paper that blanketed most pathways. People were scrawled over floors to capture their thoughts on these flags of peace. I walked by and was touched by the pouring of emotion on these notes. Writing has been an emotional release to so many people during this time, afraid that these biblical writings were going to be locked away forever or worse.. destroyed, I tried to capture some of the thoughts that stood out for me. The following are limited clips of notes I came across.

This we know;
The earth doesn’t belong to man
Man belongs to the earth.
This we know;
All things are connected like
The blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life;
He is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
He does to himself.

Dear neighbor. Please interpret this tragedy as a wake-up call – There is no such thing as “nation,” ours or theirs. We are human beings living on planet earth. We share the air with the person who lives next door as well as the person who lives across the globe; we share the oceans to drink and cleanse; we share the earth as a source of good. Destroying any part of our planet leads to the destruction of the whole. Please understand that retaliation in any form of violence contributes directly to our demise as a species, and to the extinction of all living things. Please speak out against hatred and violence when and wherever you can. We must pull together to save the planet. Do whatever you can to help our brothers and sisters understand: the smallest violent act is too large yet no act of compassionate awareness is too small.

When I came here tonight I wanted war, revenge. But now no more. It would better stop here!

It is life that we have
It is life that love that we desire
It is peace that we deserve
It is us that are….

All eyes have been opened
God has not forsaken us.

Just like Marvin Gaye said, God is love. Save the Children. In strength, there is unity. In unity there is peace. Peace, Faith and Soul.

We come from God and we return to God. Let us create bridges of understanding among all people.

Peace and Love.
Peace and Love.

This tragedy that shouldn’t even happen brought us together all over the world.

Humans are inherently good.

The died together
Lets live…
…. together.

Your old life was a frantic running from silence…
die, and be quiet
tear down the prison wall,
escape become the sky…
The speechless full moon comes out now.

Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation

I usually don’t pray, these days I do.

Love will overcome all of this
We need to unite as 1.

Thou shalt not kill
Peace among all.

Don’t bomb the middle east.

For the peace of all mankind
For the grace in our mind
For leaving the worst behind
with prayers of love and compassion

What a beautiful thing to consider…
that none of us need wait another moment
before making the world a better place.

You wasn’t just a dad for me
You was my life, my love, my friend
I’ll always love you dady
Your son – Drest
I miss you hard.

Patriarchy put us in this position
only wisdom can get us out.

Wait for the lord I say and he will direct your path. WAIT.

You can only defeat terror by embracing terror. Think before you act for the law of unintended consequences will reign.

New Yorkers,
“Be still and know that I am God (PSALM 46:10”
Love one another and in all things – SEEK HIM. He will in turn hold you in his palm and his hand will embrace you. I love you all.

They will survive
They will be found alive
Through Trust.

Trust in the Lord will all thy heart. Rely not on our limited fearful understanding.

Do good today
Love one another.

We have had two world wars already. Don’t let this be another one. At the dawn of a new century, please make peace or live in it.

Our father who art in heaven….
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

It’s more than a peace fantasy.

May something positive come from this tragedy
Somehow, someway, may happiness and peace prevail.

Our worlds have changed
Be thankful for what you have and treat each other well. Never forget.

Union Square Park
has been transformed into a sacred place. A place I came to mourn and be comforted by the creativity that we human beings are capable of in the face of such hopeless destructive acts – our spirit never dies…. Thank you New York… the courage to meet the worst with the best.

Lead us from the unreal to reality, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.
Om peace, peace, peace
May all beings in this world be happy.
Om peace, peace, peace


My Husband. What can I say? He’s amazing. He reads the Holy Qur’an with compassion, thirst Husbandand a pinch of skepticism. He washes his face, hands and feet before he reads the Guru Granth Sahib. Prays towards the East.. the west, the north and the south. Plans on finishing the New Testament one of these months. The Bhagwad Gita sits in his library… he’ll pick it up as soon as he’s finished understanding the Bible he says. Wants to understand Buddhism. Portraits of Jesus and Ganeshji armored around his prayer room. He treats all his religious texts with the same respect.. tends to them with the same love and tenderness he shows his children. Treats his kids equally. My husband, reads Conversations with God as if it were the Holy Qur’an. Discovers sacred writings in fantasy novels. My Husband, truly a dreamer. Thinks that if all six billion of us prayed together the world would be fixed. Truly compassionate about the biggest problems that plague this planet. More concerned about the welfare of a people that can’t speak the same language as him than his own parents. His parents will be fine, he is dedicated to fighting AIDS in South Africa. Defines his community as the human race and not the religious groups that his friends or family follow. Loves God. Donates blood, money, hours, his health and his entire lifestyle to greater causes. Truly believes that all we need is more love.

My Husband. Thinks that societies unwillingness to change is the only thing that stops him from preaching. Believes that he could be doing everything wrong. Asks for forgiveness… for himself, me, our children, and the people of our planet. Forgives the angry men that wage war on one another. Forgives the people that hurt him the most… expects more from the ones that love him the most. My Husband.

My Husband… loves me and his children more than is possible without saying a word. My Husband, cries when he is happy and smiles when he is sad. My Husband, trapped beneath the World Trade Center… probably never even screamed. My Husband, fearless, welcomed death and the peace that it brought. Dreamer till the end, he must have escorted victims to safety as he lay behind to help others. I miss him.

My Wife. Crazy. Junior High School Teacher. Doesn’t realize how much I need her. Reads the Guru Granth Sahib with utter peace, harmony and a pinch of skepticism. Reads the Old Testament while facing the East. Prays at all times of the day in every direction… knows that the only key to prayer is faith. Does it while she is driving, conversing, arguing, bathing, and making love. My Wife… people still wonder if she is a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim or a Jew. I think she is all of them, she thinks she is neither. My Wife, a better Buddhist than a monk. Never litters, treats animals with the same respect as her parents. Cries when she hears of suffering thousands of miles away. Tears when she sees the condition of dogs living in India. My Wife. Born in India but refuses to believe that there are such things as countries. My Wife. Only angered when I spend money on her.. thinks that the money could be used to save the hungry children in Somalia. My wife. Beautiful… not because of her dress or her minute use of makeup but rather because her soul shines through in every moment she breathes.

My Wife. A better father than most. A mother unlike any I’ve known. My Wife. Brings me closer to my kids, closer to God, closer to my parents, closer to happiness. Would rather me spend less time with her and more on volunteer activities. Crazy. Unselfishness is her religion.

My Wife keeps her prayer room cleaner than the rest. Portraits of the world’s most popular temples adorn her prayer room. Books, artifacts, articles from all religions kept immaculately beautiful, a condition that most families squander on family jewelry.

My Wife. She will raise my children to be soldiers against hate and violence. She will raise them to understand that all religions believe in the same thing but have different names.. as children have different names. She will teach them that these different names are only ways to categorize human beings.. but only one category matters. God’s Children.

My Wife… I know she will cry.. I’m not sure if she will cry in front of the kids. I know she will miss me.

— Chughzy

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