May I be at peace.
Peace… Peace… Peace.
What does it take to create peace inside you?
What will it take to create peace in your world?
To find the answer to the second question, we must answer the first question, for the world we see is a reflection of whatever is inside us.
Kindness requires that we sometimes be willing to look at unpleasant things, to acknowledge that they exist in order that we can change them. To be kind to ourselves, we must explore the conflicts, the wars, so to speak, that are going on inside ourselves.
Some years ago, someone suggested I take any article on the front page of any newspaper and substitute my name for all the other names, male and female, human and organization. After all, if we are truly all One being, then I am everyone and everyone is me. I suggest you try this and notice what you feel when you do it.
For me, it was a very uncomfortable experience. After all, I don’t see myself as one who performs horrendous acts on a daily, hourly, even weekly or monthly basis. Yet what I discovered from this experience is that I’m not at all separate from what’s going on in the world. I may not want to deluge myself with the horrors that are taking place all over this planet, but it is important for me to know that I am not separate from them, either.
No war ever created a lasting peace.
It doesn’t matter who starts the war, or who is the “victor” – we are all diminished by war, even when our country and our family and our friends are not directly involved.
In the Harry Potter books, Harry learns that when you kill someone, it damages your soul. Now, I don’t know for a fact that this is true, but it feels true to me. So I suggest you just consider the possibility that it might be true. And what if it is true? What does that do to all our justifications around war?
Consider the training that every military puts soldiers through so that they will kill on command. It programs them to think of the “enemy” as monsters. It programs them not to feel or think, just to obey the command to kill – and not just the enemy, but anyone who might harbor the enemy, anyone at all, really – men, women, children, the old, the sick, the dying, the infirm.
It doesn’t matter what the justifications are – I’m not really talking about that.
I’m talking about what it does to a person inside when they are conditioned to kill and to be in harms way for extended periods of time. Is it any wonder so many soldiers come home after a war and struggle to restore themselves to live a peaceful life? They not only have the scars of battle (physical, mental, and emotional), but they have the conditioning they received still in place. Parts of them still know that killing for any reason violates higher law and no assistance is offered to help those parts find peace.
Most of you reading this are not soldiers. You are like me – people who have never fought in a war … unless you count the inner battles and struggles we put ourselves through on a daily basis just living life. Is that your war?
And if you believe it is a war that you are living, a struggle for survival, for food, for home, for family, for religion, for freedom, for personal growth or whatever, how do you find “inner peace.”
Daily prayer and meditation are two ways of creating greater peace inside yourself. It’s been shown over and over again that when meditation is done in groups in cities where there is a high crime and violence rate, the statistics of these acts drop during the weeks when the meditation is happening continuously.
So why don’t we use meditation to create a peaceful world?
Do we even want a peaceful world? Well, DO WE?
Our government doesn’t. The corporations don’t want it. It’s all about money. Government and corporations don’t care about the lives that are lost, damaged, and destroyed on all sides.
Well, if you care, then you must begin with yourself.
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Close your eyes right now, please.
- Notice your breath going in and out, in and out.
- Allow your in breath and out breath to slow with each inhalation and each exhalation.
After 2 minutes of watching your breath in this way, scan your body.
- Do you notice tension anywhere?
- Has your mind stopped chattering?
- Are you checking the clock to see if you still have time to do this?
- Are you thinking about all the things you need to do today?
- Have you resisted texting someone?
Unless you mediate regularly, this simple demonstration may surprise you in some ways. You might have noticed yourself feeling or thinking one or more of these messages:
- I’m not comfortable sitting still.
- I’m not willing to turn off my cell phone.
- I have too much to do to spend time doing this.
- My body is too tense or tight to do this.
- I’m not feeling peaceful yet.
If the last message came up for you, I would ask you to consider that becoming peaceful in our frantic world does require that we make some new choices. You get the make the choices for you. No one else can make them.
Inner peace is there, inside you, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be found. It takes effort, self-discipline, and commitment to peel away the layers of obfuscation until you reach that central core of peace inside you. It can be done, but only if you choose to do it.
So begin with a simple prayer:
Let there be peace, and let it begin with me.
May I dwell in peace.
May all others dwell in peace.
Peace. Peace. Peace.
If you choose to say this simple prayer every day, several times each day, you will not only be treating yourself and others with kindness, but you may suddenly discover a lightness, a feeling of happiness or joy, a feeling of peacefulness begin to emerge.
I encourage you to begin now. Why wait? You can even text it!