Beyond Forgiveness resulted from Rich Meyers’ inspiration for a collaborative effort by authors who write about spirituality and peace. Rich saw the importance for understanding how people can move beyond horrific acts of violence to forgiveness and atonement. He asked me to become one of its authors after he read my writing in the 2007 Shift Report. My chapter in Beyond Forgiveness, “At-one-ment,” discusses my role in healing trauma survivors from countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Liberia, Haiti, Iraq, Iran, and Sudan. I also tell the readers about my Great Uncle Ammon Hennacy, a famous peace activist whose story is a compelling example of how humans can transcend cruelty and feel compassion towards those who inflicted it.
“Beyond Forgiveness shows how acts of atonement—making amends, providing restitution, restoring balance—can relieve us of the pain of the past and give us a hopeful future. This rich and powerful book includes 15 essays and interviews by high profile thinkers and activists including Huston Smith, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Azim Khamisa, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jacob Needleman, Michael Nagler, Diane Hennacy Powell, James O’Dea, Arun Gandhi, Kate Dahlstedt, Ed Tick, Richard J. Meyer, Rev. Heng Sure and Douglas George-Kanentiio. Atonement is presented as a process that we must all learn to practice—from individuals to nations—if we are to become unstuck from the past and alive in the present.”
Phil Cousineau, award-winning writer and filmmaker, editor and lecturer, cultural observer and television host.
Dr. Powell’s chapter “At-one-ment” in the book, Beyond Forgiveness, Reflections of Atonement, adds a unique dimension. It encourages us to learn the skills of listening — without judgement –and to connect heart-to-heart. Dr. Powell’s experience with treating trauma survivors, including the Lost Boys of Sudan, confirms that miracles occur every day.”
Rich Meyer, businessman and inspiration for the Beyond Forgiveness Project.
“If we harbor thoughts of violence or hatred, or seek revenge or retribution, we are contributing to the wounding of the world; if we transform those thoughts into forgiveness and compassion, and then move beyond them to actually make amends or restitution, we are contributing to the healing of the world. This timely, powerful and compassionate book helps show us the way.”
— Deepak Chopra
“Beyond Forgiveness is in a league of its own—potent and capable of moving hearts, minds, and even the legal system itself. This critically important book blazes new trails beyond social justice to atonement (at-one-ment), which is the taproot of reconciliation and true peace. Beyond Forgiveness takes a bold, life-affirming stand by featuring fifteen legendary stand-takers including Jacob Needleman, Arun Gandhi, Azim Khamisa, and Diane Hennacy-Powell. Together these exemplary visionaries led by focusing on atonement, making amends and restitution, rather than punishment.”
—Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and President, Soul of Money Institute
“When forgiveness and atonement meet an ultimate wound is healed in the field of restored relationship. Beyond Forgiveness is a profound text, appearing in a time of increasing alienation, violence and injury, to guide us out of the rage and wars that follow endlessly until we open our hearts to the other.”
— Deena Metzger, author of Ruin and Beauty, senior advisor to everyday gandhis
“Nothing will help us survive the present age more than breaking the tragic cycles of violence and revenge that threaten our very existence…(.this) book is a profoundly important contribution to the healing of the world, and I give it my blessing.”
— Robert A. Johnson, author of Transformation, Inner Work and Owning Your Own Shadow
“You cannot read this book without taking up a spiritual challenge; the challenge is to see even the most painful of the wrongs that are done to us in a larger, more transparent, and perennial context. Beyond Forgiveness is full of stories of spiritual courage and a transcendence that passes all cultural and religious boundaries, to show us the universality of what is truly spiritual about humanity.”
— Stephen Larsen, Ph.D., author of The Fundamentalist Mind: How Polarized Thinking Imperils Us All. He is also a practicing psychotherapist who works with victims of war and trauma.
“Beyond Forgiveness: Reflections on Atonement is an inspiring, practical and compelling book, relevant for our times.
— Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and author of The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates to Wisdom
“Let this book open your heart, that best of all changings. …”
— Coleman Barks, author of Rumi-The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
“Atonement springs not from the ego, but from the Self—the Self we have in common, all of us, the one Self that expresses itself in countless egos.. There lies the power of this book. It invites us to plug into our shared power for at-one-ment and put this power into action.”
— Brother David Steindl-Rast, author of The Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness