a cave in the mountains of Croatia an extraordinary group of 13 men
and women from an ancient lineage had a message for the world. They
had chosen to break centuries of silence as a secret society. These
masters, called there from all parts of the world, always remained
13 in number. They spent 12 hours a day, from midnight to noon, sitting
in silent prayer and contemplation. They were called the Emissaries
of Light. It was time for their role as a secret society to end and
people everywhere needed to be empowered to be the new Emissaries
They chose as their messenger a former Franciscan Friar who had
been traveling around the US playing his flute and guitar and singing
his songs of peace. No, this was not the 60s, it was 1995.
James Twyman was invited out of the blue to give a peace concert
in Bosnia and Croatia. While there he received a mysterious invitation
to go up into the mountains where he was made welcome by a group
of people with extraordinary abilities. They had highly developed
psychic powers and were able to shroud themselves at will, which
is probably why they remained undiscovered for so many years.
The Emissaries of Light had no particular religious orientation,
although their teachings were thought to be based on those of the
Apostle John. James spent time with the Teacher, arguing
that there were so many others more qualified than he;
people with a name and following. It was precisely because James
was one of the people, simple and direct yet with humor
and music, that they thought he could sell the message.
James went back to Boston and fought the call for 4 months. Finally
he surrendered and sat down to write. Within 2 weeks he had completed
the manuscript of a book, called The Emissaries of Light.
Within one more week he had a publisher, and Warner Books bought
the rights. It is now being made into a movie.
It was the prayer of St Francis that originally set James Twyman
on his lifes path: Oh Lord, make me an instrument of
Where there is despair, bring your hope, where there
is darkness let them see your light
Make me your instrument
it is in giving that we receive.
He joined the Order but he became restless in the Franciscans,
feeling somehow unfulfilled. He left the Order joined a community
to run a shelter for the homeless and AIDS sufferers, choosing a
life of voluntary simplicity and service. He was always seeking
deeper meaning, and the failure of his brief marriage was perhaps
due to his drive to be of service. One big turning point for him
was discovering the Course in Miracles. It became his spiritual
foundation and opened him up to the universal truths that he found
in all faiths. He jokingly refers to himself as a recovered
Catholic who took what worked for him and let go of the rest.
In 1994, someone gave him a copy of peace prayers from the 12 major
religions of the world. He set them to music and they became the
basis of the peace concerts he started giving around the country.
This unpretentious man with an infectious smile came to be known
as the Troubadour of Peace. Radiating joy and love of all life,
he embodies the gentle essence of St Francis.
The messages he conveys through the medium of music are simple
yet profound: We are here to be peace. Being the hands, feet,
body of Christ here on earth now. Seek not peace
here, but find it everywhere. Become the instrument of peace and
let spirit do the rest. Enlightenment is not a change;
it is a recognition of what you are right now. Guru is spelled:
gee, you are you.
The Emissaries of Light urge us to believe that we are ready to
move into the flow of the universal, but that we will move forward
only as we see that we are ready to do so. We need only say yes
and allow the current to take us. Surrender, Trust and Gratitude
are the foundation of all spiritual paths: Surrender to the divine;
Trust that within my emptiness there is one to lead me to an answer;
and Gratitude, which is the melding of Surrender and Truth. If you
are in spiritual paralysis, turn everything over to the divine.
There is a big difference between giving your power away and surrendering
to the divine. Trust that divine guidance is always there.
James is one who walks his talk. He had come to Portland
at the invitation of the Rev. Victoria Etchemendy, minister of the
Unity World Healing Center in Lake Oswego. They met at the culmination
of one of the peace projects James had initiated: the Cloth of Many
Colors. Last summer James had sent the word out vial the Internet
asking for people to take scraps of fabric and pray for peace over
them. These prayer-impregnated pieces were then sewn into quilts
by hundreds of volunteers around the world. The finished quilt was
almost a mile long and was presented at a ceremony at the United
Nations. The next day it was wrapped around the Capitol Building
in Washington DC, and later presented at the Pentagon. Pieces of
the quilt were made into stoles and given to a number of world leaders
and James took a portion to Jerusalem for a special peace vigil.
James has met with leaders in troubled areas around the world,
including Saadam Hussein and Yassir Arafat. When he asked Arafat
whether there would ever be peace with Israel, he replied that it
would take a million prayers. It is typical of James, that he immediately
set up a page on his website for people to post their prayers for
peace in the Middle East online at: www.emissaryoflight.com. He urges everyone
to visit the site often, and to forward it to friends.
Jimmy is a great believer in the power of prayer. In his own life,
he feels that prayers are the anchor that keeps him grounded. His
peace concert was a celebration in which he sang and spoke with
great sincerity and wit. One of his compositions was a sound
collage that layered sounds rhythms and words in an exhilarating
mixture. Perhaps the most moving part of the day was when he showed
a 5 minute film clip from the life of Mother Teresa. It showed her
rescuing abandoned spastic children from an orphanage in a war zone.
He turned off the sound and accompanied the visuals with the prayer
of Mother Teresa, (see box) which he had set to music. There was
not a dry eye in the house. James summarized the day with this prayer.
How do we experience this peace? Simply by giving it
every day of our lives. Listen to this prayer and know that this
is the whole answer.
James Twymans music is available on a new cd called "Ecclesia
Volume I. It was inspired by the book "Praying
Peace" by James Twyman in conversation with Gregg Braden and
Doreen Virtue, PhD. James has a new book coming out this spring
entitled Ten Spiritual Lessons I learned in the Mall
describing his experiences talking to people during a 5-day retreat
in a local shopping mall. You can visit his website, www.emissaryoflight.com.
The Prayer of Mother Teresa
When I am hungry give me someone that I can feed, and
When I am thirsty show me someone who needs a drink.
And when I am cold give me someone to keep warm
And when I grieve give me someone to console
And when my cross grows too heavy and its weight I cannot
When I need someone to hold me and it seems that no ones
Lighten up my heavy load, give me someone who deserves
To be loved, just as I do, give me someone that I can serve
When I need some time, let me sit with someone for a while
And when my heart is heavy let me find someone to make smile
And when Im humble give me someone that I can praise
And when I need to be looked after, show me someone that
I can raise
And when I need some understanding, show me someone who
When I think of myself only, draw my thoughts to those who
When Im so poor give me someone whos in need
And when my eyes are blind to what is holy,
Let me see the Christ in the eyes of each one whom I feed.