This issue focuses on the peace & alternative development work of various Asian and international organizations.

One of the ongoing challenges that we have found common to many in this type of work is finding a balance between reflection and action. Often, we hear friends in the NGO community speaking of the abundance of deadlines and the lack of manpower & resources to meet these deadlines. Time for reflection, renewal and the synthesis of a cohesive vision for the future, is often a scarce commodity.

At the same time, it is true that modernization, in demanding a separation between the secular and the spiritual, has marginalized religions by attempting to keep them from being involved in the day-to-day workings of society.

On the way to a meeting in Northeastern Thailand in July, Phra Santikaro of Suan Mokkh mentioned that he believes that a worthwhile goal may be to have spirituality become more engaged and secular activities become more spiritual. Indeed, this is the aim of many of the individuals, groups and organizations highlighted in this issue – to bring together inner and outer peace and development by drawing on spiritual values and ideas to work in our communities and society.

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