Being at peace depends on many factors. It depends on our governments and their decisions, on laws, cultural traditions, on one’s karma, attitudes and consciousness, health, where and how we live, finances, goals, relationships and our experiences with suffering, the opposite of peace …
If a person is in a traumatic relationship he/she would be at peace within minutes if the trauma would pass and the couple could find solace by an embrace.
A man is sitting in a prison cell, struggling with his mind over being incarcerated for robbery and manslaughter.
In 1981 I was lost alone in the Andes Mountains ,without food, tent or a map, soaked, scared and anxious, until I found protection in a cave.
My best friend is painfully mourning the death of her dear father who died of cancer last night.
A single mother in Pakistan, with two small children, has just lost her home to the disasterous flooding and prays for a safe place to live.
In Takua-pa, southern Thailand, in 2004, many friends encountered the tsunami. Running for their lives, unfortunately, many didn’t make it.
… In each case Peace is the gem we gain once the trauma is over. Peace is what we feel when the suffering, fear and turmoil from war ends, when a safe place to live can be found, the anxieties vanish and the grieving has dissapated, when we can take a deep breath and a sigh of relief that we are at peace, we are loved and will survive.
We have all had traumas and suffering in our lives, some worse than others. There are people who suffer everyday, 1000s live their whole existence in poverty, at war, with terminal diseases and in confinement.
We are very privileged people!
A thought we can contemplate is that peace and survival, are the same thing. Suffering and fear of death will always challenge our peace.
When our lives are threatened and we are afraid, survival is the number one thing we are concerned about. Self-survival, survival for loved ones, survival for our planet, health safety, freedom for those in bondage and peace for the victims of war, “God give our planet and all its inhabitants peace!”
Kindly Mediate On The Following …
In slowly coming to a halt in our actions and sitting firmly on the pillow that roots you to the earth, the simple commitment to “stop” brings peace and insight. We can develop a perspective of our energy, of all energy and transform, transcend and transmute it…
In choosing meditation as a commitment, we are actually choosing life as our practice. Choosing life as our practice means being present in harmony with each and every moment, in harmony with God, with our inner grace and goodness. We let go of things unimportant, of attachments, acquire a more empty perspective, the feeling of forgiveness, a sense of gratitude for our life, our work, our loved ones and our enemies. You feel increbibly nurtured by the breath and the positive vital force that flows through every cell, organ and chakra center, interconnecting making you whole and at One with all living beings and the cosmos . .
By choosing life through meditation we are seeking peace, and by doing so we create peace in ourselves, radiating and projecting peace throughout the universe.
A magnificent opportunity we have to choose life—THROUGH MEDITATION HUMAN BEINGS ACT, CREATE AND BECOME PEACE…
The value we put on meditation, as a necessary ritual and thus choice as a major part of life, is synonymous with the peace we generate. This may be the determining factor to how resilient we are in dealing with every day occurances, tragedy, disaster and instant upheaval.
A few questions for us to ask ourselves.
How strong and focused are you during your meditation sessions? Are you anxious for the designated 10 minutes of sitting to end? Or are you still peaceful after one hour? How centered are you to sit and work with intruding thoughts, chronic back pain and mosquitos?
Many of us know that life is one big lesson. Depending on one’s karma, lessons can come in one incident every year, every day or every hour. When all of a sudden our peaceful, giving and compassionate nature takes a dive because some minor or major disturbance has caught us off guard. Some so-called lesson or hidden karma arises from the deep, to wake us up. Lessons come and lessons go, and as we work with each one they may not shake our world. But there might be some particular lessons that do.
With the year 2012 approaching I think many of us are encountering major lessons. I know I am.
While working with the lessons a big question to ask yourself is how deep is my peace? How many lessons to what degree does it take to shake my foundation of peace? To make me change course gracefully? To relinquish attachments gladly? To turn a bad relationship into a compassionate one? To make me appreciate everything and everyone in my life? And, to realize what is most important in my life is peace and that the possibility of death is not very far away? How many lessons does it take to make me bend with God and to make my peace unshakable?
Another question …Is suffering a benchmark relative to our spiritual standing or to how rigorous, how unshakable our peace is?And is our spiritual standing equal to how peaceful we are inside?Is there one without the other?
Answers: I believe that we can’t have a spirtual standing if we do not have peace within and that we can’t have peace within unless our spiritual standing within our community is a vital part of who we are. And how do we find that kind of peace and spiritual standing in our daily moment to moment existence?
I think we all know that meditation, and being in quiet solitude strengthens our spiritual standing and evolves peace within at the same time. It takes us to that point of awakening that the two come together as one-combined mountain of unshakable divine presence.
Please Meditate On The Following…
Choosing Life Means ToMake Peace With Change
Walking responsibly in the jungle, with thoughts going down to the soles of your feet with each step touching the earth,you arrive at your destination, centered in the bliss of solitude on the side of the mountain, where nothing but nature feeds the air with musical messages, pure smells, marvelous green terrain for the eyes to follow and emptiness. The Peace is astonishing, prevailing, a miracle, a blessing of God and Dharma.
You are standing prayerfully next to the roaring stream as it rushes down the waterfall before you, when suddenly a 10 foot long snake quickly comes out from behind a big rock. It immediately runs over your feet into the stream. Your breath is held for a split second, your heart stunned, your muscles tighten, until you realize just how privledged you are that the snake has allowed YOU to be just another rock …
Peace is that feeling of awakening when change/life and fear/death meet; where perfect harmony or disaster come together to challenge your power of presence; where the opportunity to merge into Oneness, actually, determines and directs you, directs your destiny and what comes next: subconsciously and consciously, physically and mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Life and death become unified into consciousness and are woven together into a sprialing double helix of eternity …
When you are ready for change you are at peace with relinquishing the “self” the ego. When change comes you flow with the process by bending, breaking up, letting go, desolving and going with whatever is required. The “I” vanishes, the Tao becomes reality. The Invincible breeze of Divine Presence blows Light and Love your way, and you are magically born a new into the forest of the unknown.
To be alive means to change. We actually die when we stop changing. Change is life and life is change. But how does peace come into this?
In two books I am translating by the late venerable Ajahn Buddha Bikkhu, in one book he says that the true religion is inner peace and in a another book he says that life means change. When life stops changing there is death.
Many people are terribly afraid of change. I meet people everyday who tell me this. I am afraid of change!
What are we afraid of? It is very likely that we may be afraid of ourselves, the ‘SELF’ that is locked into a constant feeling of permenance, sometimes separation and delusion. Are we at peace? Maybe, maybe not. Many of us struggle to keep things in our life from changing because to change can bring pain and suffering, inconvenience and disruption, chaos and confrontation.
Once again here come the karmic lessons. And once again we need to ask ourselves the question, what is the depth of our peace? Is it pure? Is it authentic? Is it full? Is it on the edge? Does it sponataneously radiate out from your heart? Or is it hard, contrived, limited to 10 minutes a day, exploited by circumstance, in need of material success to exist?
What might help us is the realization that if change is a constant occurance to stay alive than “I” need to be at peace with it. The ‘I’ needs to change.
Kindely Meditate On The Following…
The manner in which the I or Self changes is to not exist for more than the necessary time needed to BE PRESENT. Then when the need to respond to a new situation arises, as it approaches, the I is ready.
The I is like the bamboo that bends with the wind. The I is like the clouds that move in, break up and disappear or break apart and provide rain. The I is the wave that washes up on the shore and then dissapates into the infinite ocean. It is impossible for the I to stay the same. It has to change! To be alive we all must change.
In having an ego, a self or an I, a necessary revelation is that it isn’t permanent, it is always changing, for the very simple reason that ‘change’ is its true nature. And for that nature to manifest in harmony with life the I must be at peace with change.
This means that the I is at peace before, during and after it changes with the moment to moment tides that wash upon the shores of life.
The ego, self or I is at peace when it is in the quiet sanctuary of an empty mind, an open heart, a flexible body and a spirit that is enlightened—here is the essential peace.
It is in the present, day to day, minute to minute experiences where our greatest training lies. This is where we are challenged to exercise our spirtual standing and our peace together into one authentic intention empowered by wisdom.
Choosing The Light—Choosing Peace With Death
Over the last few years I keep coming across books and articles on death. A subject that intriques me. As a good Muslim friend once said, nobody gets to stay. Ever since I heard this statement I have taken it to the core of my being, contemplating it with awe and respect.
In studying the shadow in the horoscope the teacher I work with, Dr. Glenn Perry, says that in dealing with the shadow we are making peace with death. It, like the shadow, is always there. And in order to be whole we need to integrate the “light” and “dark” sides of ourselves.
This has helped me realize that life is a choice, but so is death. On many levels of consciousness whether we are aware of it or not the thought is there that maybe we do choose our time to die, our time of transition into another realm. But more pertinent for right NOW is integrating the shadow; integrating death with life, as an everyday-being-born-and-dying occurrance, as an everyday part of who we are.
Our fear of death and the shadow might be related to our complacency for NOT TAKING ENOUGH RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR LIFE, for not valuing it enough, for not being mindful enough, for not meditating enough. Our fear of the unknown, our fear of change, our fear of the other side of ourselves, our fears of the future arise because our peace and connection to the Divine Light, to God or Dharma or the Tao or Brahman, the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcending reality, of matter, of energy, time, space, being and everything beyond the universe— isn’t strong enough.
In one of my favorite books on death, published in 1969, called Testimony of Light, a deceased nun channels her experiences in heaven through her best friend. Helen Greaves writes what her dear friend Sister Francis tells her to:
“Every day I will myself into Light, that Light may be afforded me, that my soul and spirit may become as one infused Light; that I may live and move in the Light which is the Creative Will and greatest Peace.
“This is a wonderful thrilling experience. When I caught but a glimpse of Light on earth, and it uplifted and changed me, and changed also the direction of my life, that impermanent glimpse was as nothing to the immersion of Light that is possible here.”
Later she says:
“The veil between the worlds (of life and death) must be rent asunder or dissolved. People living on earth, the erudite, the cultured and clever minds, as the devotional and religious minds, and the under-educated, the illiterate and the closed minds, must all be reached. All need this knowledge to remove fear which is one of the darkest and most powerful earth-emotions which has to be fought and conquered before peace and spritual progress can come to the earth.”
WHAT IS THE MESSAGE TODAY?
Choice—We Each Have The Choice!
“…Life and death I set before you… Choose life!”(Deut. 30:19)
In the Jewish book of teachings called The Talmud, most likely derived from the torah, we are encouraged to choose life …
In Sarah Yehudit Schneider’s , Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year 5771) newsletter called a Still Small Voice, she writes:
“When the Torah urges us to choose life, it is not merely banning suicide. It is directing us to choose eternal life, to prefer options that enhance the soul, for these are everlasting acquisitions. Material profits are finite. We cannot take them past the grave. They are subject to death. Self-actualization, integrity, generosity, courage, wisdom, peace—these are gains that enrich the soul, and as such, they are permanent possessions. They are death-resistant profits. The Torah is not asking us to renounce the world and become ascetics, but it is exhorting us to give priority to eternally enduring benefits when calculating the pros and cons of a range of options. “Choose life” means: invest your assets in death-resistant securities, in ventures that enrich the soul.”
In a poem to his dying father, Dylan Thomas writes
“Do not go gentle into that good night… Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
Kindly Meditate On The Following Summary…
Being privledged beings we have more time to give to the choice of life. Choosing life and cultivating its highest ideals and divine message is something most of us do. And in our quest to make life more peaceful we help others, making our world a better place.
Choosing Life is our greatest opportunity for designing a peaceful world of goodness and abundance.
Peace is not only everywhere it is always here and always now. It is the most potent thought for overcoming suffering, pain and bondage, separation, conflict and discord of any kind. It represents community, equality, acceptance, equanimity, compassion and empathy, collective thinking, a drive to work together and create unity, Oneness and Unconditional Love.
Peace is life as well as death. Peace is love, happiness, joy, freedom and good health. Peace is the fortitude of the heart and focus of the mind to an emerging, ever evolving spirit of Divine Light.
When we each find peace inside we are equipped and initiated into the realm of ascendence, individual and planetary.
Like nothing that has ever existed before, is YOUR personal journey. Trusting the journey is most necessary. And to do this means trusting yourself unconditionally, explicitly, with total presence of mind and wisdom.
I believe that the peace within each of us has infinite possibilities. And once we do know this then we have chosen the most Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscent gift for creating peace in the world. That is our profession.
At the moment at which we sincerely know this truth about ourselves, world peace has already arrived! The change into the New Age has taken place. And WE have made that miracle happen!
Within the deep knowing of the magic of our Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omniscence there lies the divine miracle of our era … passing through time and space,through every age and dimension.
Being at peace, resonates peace throughout the universe. Singing peace joyfully from our lungs, manifests it eternally.
Hallaluyas and Oms …
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
~ Martin Luther King
“Peace is not something you wish for. It is something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.”
~ Robert Fulghum
“Peace is its own reward.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
~ Jimi Hendrix
“Peace is the marriage of the people and the planet, with all attendant vows.”
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
~ Black Elk (1863-1950)
“There is no time left for anything but to make peacework a dimension of our every waking activity.” ~ Elise Boulding
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” ~ Mohatma K. Gandhi
“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
~ John F. Kennedy
”Suffering is the sandpaper of our life. It does its work of shaping us. Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise and peaceful.”~ Ram Dass
“ . . Either time changes us, or we change time.” ~ Jose Arguelles
It is so important to come to that point in our own spiritual evolution where we are finally ready and willing to be wholeheartedly accountable for ourselves—for who we are and how we are. Heroically, we must be ready to accept unconditional responsibility for the seen and unseen consequences of everything that has ever happened to us. ~ Andrew Cohen