Peace is an active state. It isn’t a blissed-out state of inaction. Peace isn’t ignoring what is, denying the facts or some sort of escape.

It seems peace is often mistaken for aloofness or disengaged self-satisfaction. Perhaps we don’t opt for it, develop and cultivate it, teach about peace and make it central because it’s not regarded as a real-world solution. This despite many important public figures who’ve proven what’s possible with peace.

We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

nested namasteThere’s also a false belief that it’s easy to be peaceful at home, in meditation, during yoga, when giving Reiki to oneself, or any other contemplative practice. Then when we step outside, go to work, turn on the TV or mingle with strangers in the mall and peace evaporates. This is only partially true.

If we’re truly peaceful, that is ‘full’ of peace, it’s far more difficult for peace to be stolen, diluted or rendered ineffective. That’s why it’s so crucial to lead a contemplative life. This is a living of those practices which expand our consciousness, open our hearts, heal us, and evolve our spirit, as well as engagement with beauty and meaning through various art forms.

Peace is indeed inner peace. That’s why a workshop on nonviolence isn’t sufficient on its own. At the same time inner peace isn’t secluded to our inner life, but exudes to all activities in outer life.

Social change must start in our hearts: peace and prayer open our hearts. People who practice spiritual disciplines have the most enduring impact on life because the inward work we do makes us more effective in any situation.

 

— Diane Mariechild

Peace doesn’t come and go. Okay, maybe at the beginning. That’s part of the learning curve. Peace is a stable state. It’s a worldview.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is why we must, must perceive the world through the portals of a contemplative heart and spiritualized senses.

We must practice being peaceful with our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and touch. When we connect through peace, whether there’s touch or not, peace deepens. When we see with peace, bigotry and superiority are absent. When we fill our environment with sweet scents, it alters our brain positively. When we eat nonviolently, it gives reverence to life. Similarly, when we speak with peace, it blesses all. When we listen with peace, we’re able to stall our habitual reactions, and offer sanctuary to another’s story.

The contemplative heart is the source of peace within. It’s the deep well for the groundwater of peace that’s available to flood our being, thoughts and actions, and from which we’re never separate. Our job is simply to cultivate and solidify this truth with awareness.

Peace depends on a slowness. Peace depends on acceptance of other people’s processes and perception of truth. Peace depends on reverence and awe for this incredible blue/green planet we have somehow lucked into. Peace depends on a faith that there really is Something Larger going on here…

 

— Rod McIver


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The Nature of Peace