Peace begins with a thought, an idea, a seed germinating in a heart that is watered with love, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, and respect for all life. Peace isn’t simply the focus of nine days of prayer; peace is a way of life.
So, water the peace seed in you. Feed your heart with the smiles of young children, with the beauty of nature – a field of flowers, the sunset over an ocean’s rhythmic motion, light filtering through the trees on a forest path, a mountainside blanketed in snow. Water your soul with chords of music that vibrate with the essence of being human, with the joy that comes from giving to another human being in need, with the compassion that insists you care well for yourself too.
Nurture that peace so you can go into the world to be the peace you long to see, the peace that can change the world as we know it. There is a difference, however, between keeping the peace and maintaining a status quo that is unjust or causes suffering. That status quo must be courageously challenged. Yet the challenge must emanate from the peace we have in our heart and must be enacted out of love, not resentment.
“Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein
“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama
On this last day of our Novena for Peace, the Mayan long-count-calendar completes its cycle and ushers in a new age, the next chapter in the story of humankind. We individually and collectively can choose whether it will be an era of peace or if we continue in violence, separation, resentments, and war.
“A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, can even enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.”
― Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, author, educator, poet in The Human Revolution
Peace be with you.