Ever since the end of the year when I did a talk on the Qualities of God, people have been coming to me or calling me and telling me of how profoundly choosing to focus on a Quality of God rather than focusing on New Year’s resolutions or Goals has been. So, I decided to do a series on the Qualities of God. In fact, I’m writing a book on it as I do these talks, so I would appreciate your putting your stories and experiences in writing. Email them to me!
I begin today with the Quality of PEACE – for we are beginning the Celebration of the Season of Non-Violence the 64 days between the anniversaries of the death of Gandhi and Martin Luther King – two great leaders and teachers of PEACE.
So – let’s begin today by asking WHAT IS PEACE? Why should I focus on this Quality? What would a practice look like on a Daily basis?
So – what is PEACE? There are so many ways we can define it —
PEACE is the FEELING that accompanies the KNOWING of TRUTH…(a test for Truth) – a test to know that it is God’s voice speaking;
PEACE is the EXPERIENCE that everything is happening in perfect timing, just as it should be. So, it’s not necessarily everything going well…Living in the Now… Accepting what is.
Thich Nhat Hanh: When I have a toothache, I discover that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. That is peace.
The dictionary gave two definitions of peace. It said first that it is “a state of calm and quiet” and second that it is “an absence of war or strife.”
in the Bible peace is a much more positive quality. The Hebrew word shalom is a positive quality of well-being, wholeness, prosperity.
A mother tends to think of peace when all the children are in bed A factory worker thinks of peace when the machinery can stop and it is all shut down for a time.
Often our idea of peace is when nothing is happening. And yet the Biblical
view of peace is when that car is humming along the road, not rattling, and going a hundred percent as it should. That’s peace, that’s shalom! Not the negative view that peace is when everything is quiet and still. So peace, then is when everything is working as it should, when the family life, for example, is harmonious. Peace has to do with those great times we have together. One of the typical gravestone epitaphs is “R.I.P.” – Rest in Peace. We assume that life is one big struggle and that peace comes when, like my Mitsubishi car, everything stops. Not so! Peace is wholeness. It is when things are going
the way they should.
PEACE is the PRACTICE of non-violent living – individually, in our relationships, and in our world.
1. Find Peace Within Ourselves
There is a core of peace inside each of us that is unchanging and transcendent. Jesus told his disciples:Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Explain this passage metaphysically.
The Vedic tradition (which gave rise to Buddhism and Hinduism) says,The heart and mind can find peace and harmony by contemplating the transcendental nature of the true self as supreme effulgent (brilliant, radiant, glowing, dazzling) light.
Inner peace can only show up when we recognize the Truth of our nature. In fact, EH says:
A realization of our Oneness with Omnipresence brings peace.
Because when we move to the place of recognizing our Oneness with Omnipresence, then we have self-acceptance. And self-acceptance leads to peace.
When Henry David Thoreau was dying, his Aunt Louisa asked him if he had made his peace with God, and he answered, “I did not know we had ever quarreled.” (jokes)
And you and God never
I think I’ve found inner peace. Yes, my counselor told me the way to achieve inner peace was to finish things I had started. So, yesterday, I finished a pizza, a carton of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and a box of chocolate candy, and I feel much better already!
Peace is Every Step by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. The forward of the book was written by The Dalai Lama. Here is what he said:
Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals may seem difficult, it is the only way. Peace must first be developed within. And I believe that love, compassion and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world.
PEACE WITH OTHERS
SAND OR STONE? A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. In a specific point of the journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one, who got slapped, was hurt, but without anything to say, he wrote in the sand: “TODAY, MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE”. They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who got slapped and hurt started drowning, and the other friend saved him. When he recovered from the fright, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE”. The friend who saved and slapped his best friend, asked him, “Why, after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now you write on a stone?” The other friend, smiling, replied: “When a friend hurts us, we should write it down in the sand, where the winds of forgiveness get in charge of erasing it away, and when something great happens, we should engrave it in the stone of the memory of the heart, where no wind can erase it”
George Bernard Shaw and thought it most
appropriate to the moment. He wrote, “The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measure anew each time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect them to fit me.”
If you are yourself at peace, then there is at least some peace in the world. Then share your peace with everyone, and everyone will be at peace.