All of us want peace in our world. Yet, we live with the reality of war all over our globe. We live in fear of what could happen if terrorists would strike again. Our preferred solution to world peace is war.
We promote military efforts but we fail to do very much to promote peace. As we begin a new year, we might try new efforts to advance peaceful living.
An old Chinese Proverb talks about what is necessary to have world peace: “If light is in the soul, beauty will be in the person. If beauty is in the person, harmony will be in the house. If harmony is in the house, order will be in the nation. If order is in the nation, peace will be in the world.” In other words, peace has to start with the individual.
The Indian doctor Deepak Chopra has given us a practical way to develop “the light in our souls” so we can live in peace. It only takes a few minutes a day. If you try it, others will notice a change in you. This is the peace that Jesus came to bring. The following is your daily routine.
Sunday: Being for Peace: Take five minutes to meditate on peace. Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Put your attention on your heart and inwardly repeat these four words: Peace, Harmony, Laughter, Love. Allow these words to radiate from your heart’s stillness out into your body.
At the end of your meditation, declare, “Today I will relinquish all resentments and grievances.” Recall anyone against whom you have a grievance and let it go. Send that person your forgiveness.
Monday: Thinking for Peace: Thinking has power when intentions back it. Introduce the intention of peace in your thoughts. Take a few moments of silence, then repeat this ancient prayer: “Let me be loved, happy, and peaceful. Let my friends be happy, loved, and peaceful. Let my perceived enemies be happy, loved, and peaceful. Let all the world be happy, loved, and peaceful.” If during the day fear or anger overshadows you, repeat these intentions.
Tuesday: Feeling for Peace: The emotions of peace are compassion, understanding, and love. Compassion is the feeling of shared suffering. When you feel someone else’s suffering, the birth of understanding occurs. Understanding is the knowledge that everyone shares suffering. When you understand that you are not alone in your suffering, love is born. When there is love, the opportunity for peace exists.
Observe a stranger sometime during your day. Silently say to yourself, “This person is just like me. This person has experienced joy and sorrow, despair and hope, fear and love. Like me, this person has people in his or her life who deeply care and love them. Like me, this person’s life is temporary and will end one day. This person’s peace is as important as my peace. I want peace, harmony, laughter, and love in their life and the life of all beings.”
Wednesday: Speaking for Peace: The purpose of speaking is to create happiness in the listener. Today every word I utter will be chosen consciously. I will refrain from complaints, condemnation, and criticism. Do at least one of the following: Tell someone how much you appreciate them. Express genuine gratitude to those who have helped and loved you. Offer healing or nurturing words to someone who needs them. Show respect to someone whose respect you value.
If you find that you are reacting negatively to anyone, in a way that is not peaceful, refrain from speaking and keep silent. Wait to speak until you feel centered and calm, and then speak with respect.
We will continue next week with the other three days.