Next week, I am sponsoring a group of Israelis and Palestinians to spend a few weeks in a small village in southern France with a Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. These two disparate groups of people do not know each other, but often feel hatred toward each other. Some of them have been hurt in the war.
But by the end of the two weeks, under the guidance of the monks, the Israelis and the Palestinians will learn to listen to, understand, forgive and maybe even like each other. They will be at peace.
Could this work on a larger scale for their respective countries? I think so.
While news of the Geneva accords hit the headlines, a group of Palestinians and Israelis were trying to make a different kind of peace -- with the help of Buddhists in southern France.
Thich Nhat Hanh -- Vietnamese Zen master, poet and Nobel Peace Prize nominee -- has been inviting groups of Palestinians and Israelis to his practice center, Plum Village, in an effort to show them that Buddhist meditation can lead to inner peace as well as nonviolence between nations. The trips are largely underwritten by an American Jewish businessman.
Nhat Hanh preaches nothing less than personal transformation as the road to peace.