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Awareness Magazine
5753-G Santa Ana Canyon Rd. #582
Anaheim, CA 92807
(714) 283-3385
(800) 758-3223
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Shanty Town Transcendence

The Healing Power of Peace

By Marlise Karlin


You could see how the light had dimmed from their eyes and faces. Some of their struggles were those we have never had to deal with in the Western world, while others were similar — the deep sadness and grief that comes with resignation and hopelessness. Much of the sadness recorded on their dark-skinned faces was from the hardships they endured.

I arrived at the rural clinic in the middle of the Mara Plains, the home of the Maasai tribe, not knowing what to expect. Their new clinic, with freshly-painted stucco walls and blue-lined windows, stood out like a lone jewel at the edge of a shanty-style town. Talek Village looked like a surreal movie set of one-room buildings with tin siding, no plumbing and no windows.

The previous night had been simply magical; a Stillness Session brought untold gifts to a tribe of Maasai warriors. It was part of the golden thread that was to weave a series of mystical events into my life, and into the world of these disheartened women, just waiting and wanting for life to offer them more than it had.

Doubtful, sceptical, and questioning: Who is this woman and what could she possibly tell me about my life? I certainly couldn’t blame them for being distrustful. These women had every right to be, especially given their backgrounds. I wondered what had brought them. We later discovered some were wives of men who were at the session the night before. They had come with that wanting, that yearning of the soul, when it’s time to rediscover what has long been forgotten.


Often people believe our cultural differences mean we have nothing in common, when there is a universal ground in our global village. At the hub of it all, beyond any differences, are the values that we mutually share in something bigger than ourselves. This understanding was brought into clear view as the inconceivable unfolded before our eyes.

A new element was added to the mix of distrustful emotions in the room when a man unexpectedly arrived. As he entered this domain of women, he scowled at me from across the room, sending an implicit message of disapproval. There is a long-established Maasai custom that men and women don’t fraternize publicly; interestingly, the scowling man didn’t appear to want to leave. I invited him to stay, only asking that he be seated if he chose to remain. He walked quietly across the room, and sat down! Something had begun to happen that was outside the cultural norm.

the awakening of tenderness…

the release of intolerant traditions

I spoke about the challenges all people face and how we all have a deep knowing where we connect to the peace in our hearts. The women appeared curious, while uncertain. I suggested they close their eyes and feel what this stream of limit-less life Energy had to offer. The rag-tag curtains billowed as golden sunlight poured in. An awakening of tenderness could be seen, even on the faces of the babies who had all stopped crying and were lying in mother’s arms, eyes open wide, drinking in the musical ambrosia of the healing Stillness.

A warrior entered and quietly seated himself next to a female nurse. Another set of intolerant traditions began breaking down: the one where men don’t sit with women. He closed his eyes, and opened his mind and heart to the wondrous tranquility that had now become as thick as heat feels on the open plains.

It’s rare to observe a cultural shift this transcendent. All barriers had disintegrated. The sorrow and depression that showed stress on the faces of the men, women, and children dissolved, and in its place was that glow love offers when it permeates our hearts.

The illuminating diamond waiting to be unearthed in each of us lies just beneath the surface where the human pain and trauma are encrusted. We are in every corner of the world, recipients of corresponding cultural beliefs; bullying, physical and mental abuse, whose exposure to all kinds of violence, unintentionally perpetuates the nightmare. How will it end?

I spoke to the now-smiling group about infusing their lives with stillness, and how they could connect with this alchemy of peace again and again. Would all their challenges be solved overnight? No. Could they find hope and inspiration? Yes. In the way that honing a diamond to perfection is a process, we are all on training wheels. What awaits us is a jewel of caring and compassion, the recognition of shared humanity through the ultimate healing of our very soul.

Marlise Karlin is founder of the Simplicity of Stillness Method. She has traveled the world demonstrating its benefits to thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds. For more on Marlise go to www.marlisekarlin.com  Patricia Lanza, traveled with Marlise and documented the Stillness people experienced. patricialanza.com