Peace Begins with Me

Written for  (Peace Academy)

So… I say I want peace. I long for peace and contentment.  I’m tired of seeing conflictual relationships. I’m upset to hear about war, senseless slaughter, and abuse of human rights. I hate to witness the blatant disregard not only of human life, but of the entire Earth community. Okay, where do I begin?

The concern about peace, or contentment – or love – has been of high priority for most of my life. As I see it now, the logical place to start is to become curious about what exactly I am longing for. Specifically, what do I want to experience in my daily living? It seems to come down to being at peace in my own person, at ease in my interactions, enjoying clarity of perspective as I engage in all aspects of my life.

That’s easy enough to say, but where do I begin to actualize this precious commodity of peace? Especially now, there is heightened awareness of the urgent need to shift our very consciousness to ensure a sustainable (read ‘peaceful’) way of life on planet Earth.

I’m inspired to hear Sakyong Rinpoche say, “Enlightened society is created one conversation at a time.” This is where I can begin. I can become aware of what I am doing in my everyday relationships. I can hold the sacred intention to connect, to build peace. I can notice the old habits that disconnect and isolate. I can listen with empathy. I can become aware of universal needs of the one human family. I can sense with my heart when I’m ‘off track’ and missing the mark of peace. I can begin again.

I hope you’ll join the two-hour workshop, “Peace Begins with Me,” on Tuesday, July 17th, for us to journey together, building peace.