Friday, February 01, 2008

We cannot be at peace with anything or contribute
to a peaceful world unless we understand what it
means to calm our own troubled hearts.
Opening to our struggles with a generous heart
and facing our life just as it is are the first
and last steps in spiritual practice.

SIMPLE SOLUTION: The price of peace is
the willingness to be still and present
within ourselves. To calm our own heart
and unlearn the habit of self-abandonment
is the beginning of the process.
Peace is not the absence of the challenging,
disturbing, or unsettling. Peace is born of
our heartfelt willingness to greet
the encounters and experiences of our
inner and outer world, without prejudice,
resistance, or fear. We learn to live
in a way in which we have no enemies to
struggle with and no battles to win.
The challenges that come to us we no
longer perceive as threats to free from,
but as invitations to learn the lessons
of peacemaking.

Throughout time, in all traditions and communities,
countless people have trained themselves in
the art of peace. The people of the past
and present who have most profoundly
changed the world and who stand as beacons
of hope and compassion for us have all
been deeply challenged, threatened, and
tested in their lives.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi,
the Dalai Lama, Julian of Norwich, and
Mother Teresa, to mention just a few of
the mystics and dissidents of our world,
have all been asked to understand the nature
of peace and freedom.
They have educated themselves in
the universities of bigotry, tragedy, and terror.
Their classrooms have been in slums and
prison cells, in the midst of oppression
and deprivation.

Each one of them has without doubt been asked
to make a deep inner journey to understand
the causes of war and peace. If we treasure and
long for peace, we too are asked to make this
journey and to learn from the university of
our lives. We discover that peace is not a
destination to be reached but a way of living,
relating, speaking, and being.

~ Adapted from Silence, How to Find Inner Peace in a Busy World
by Christina Feldman

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