Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~Buddha
But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. ~Jesus
If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations./ If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities./ If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors./ If there is to be peace between neighbors, There must be peace in the home./ If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart. ~Lao Tzu
Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace. ~Bhagavad Gita
This is an article dedicated to Bloggers for Peace. See below for more detail.
Peace is elusive. Or rather, peace seems elusive. Many humans dream of a world in which we all live in harmony while simultaneously doubting that such a place could ever exist. I’m as guilty as the next person. How easy is it to have your notions of peace, compassion, and understanding crushed by a single violent act, a harmful word, or even an insulting glance? Most of us have been there. Yet, the simple truth is that any faltering of our ideals has less to do with others than it does with each of us as an individual. Many, if not all, conflicts, wars, arguments start with one person or a small group of people who are dissatisfied in some way; angry, hurt, degraded. And these feelings are generally caused by an opposing party who may be corrupt, greedy, power-hungry, selfish. All of these feelings and traits can be distilled into one truth: lack of self-awareness.
If we expound upon this notion that conflict starts with one dissatisfied person, then it stands to reason that if that one person could cultivate true self-awareness and presence, more than likely conflict can be avoided. Because when you embrace WHAT IS you put space around your thoughts and emotions. You examine from a different perspective; often a perspective of radical openness and compassion. The point is that if humanity is ever going to achieve harmony, it must start with the individual. Outer-peace will only be found by first achieving and striving for inner-peace. It’s a choice. We always have a choice. A choice to examine our values, what truly matters and to embrace the now accordingly.
Now, I realize this is all easier said than done. And understand that I am not advocating complete and utter pacifism. Take Ghandi, for example. He achieved so much with non-violent protestation. He revered and respected every other human being, even his enemies. But he did not roll over and simply take injustice. He peacefully, presently and powerfully said “NO.”
So, here are three simple peace practices you can undertake today:
- Tell someone close to you how much they mean to you.
- Meditate for 5-10 minutes
- If you find yourself getting angry, or upset in any way take a moment. Stop what you’re doing and check in. Observe your breath and decide if what is upsetting you is real or simply a fear-fantasy. If it is fantasy let it go. If it is real, decide if you can change it or walk away from it. If you can’t do either, peacefully accept it.
May you know Peace.
By Terence Stone
Chief Editor and Founder of Urban Spiritual, I’m a classically trained singer and actor living in New York City, who has performed in the U.S. and Europe. I’m also a writer, traveller, meditator, arts-lover, and well-being enthusiast.