Friday, November 09, 2007

Being Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh

"His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism to world brotherhood, to humanity."

- Martin Luther King

"We all need to know how to handle and take care of our anger. To do this, we must pay more attention to the biochemical aspect of anger, because anger has its roots in our body as well our mind. When we analyze our anger, we can see its physiological elements. We have to look deeply at how we eat, how we drink, how we consume, and how we handle our body in our daily life."

"We have to eat healthy eggs from happy chickens. We have to drink milk that does not come from angry cows. We should drink organic milk that comes from cows that are raised naturally. We have to make an effort to support farmers to raise animals in a more humane way. We also have to buy vegetables that are grown organically. It is more expensive, but, to compensate, we can eat less. We can learn to eat less." Thich Nhat Hanh - "Living Buddha, Living Christ"

GANDHI ON SOUL Desire for enjoyment creates bodies for the soul...The soul that is hidden beneath this earthly crust is one and the same for all men and women belonging to all climes. There is a real and substantial unity in all the variety we see around us...The force of spirit is ever progressive and endless...If we turn our eyes to the time of which history has any record we shall find that man has been steadily progression towards Ahimsa [love and non-violence]...The moment he awakens to the spirit he cannot remain violent...How many lifetimes may be needed for mastering the greatest spiritual force that mankind has ever known? [Ahimsa] But why worry even if it means several lifetimes? For, if this is the only permanent thing in life, if this is the only thing that counts, then whatever effort you bestow on mastering it is well-spent..Souls must react upon souls. And since non-violence is essentially a quality of soul, the only effective appeal to the soul must lie through non-violence...Pit soul-force against brute-force...Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) is a non-violent pro-democracy social activist of Myanmar; Winner of the 1990 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

Freedom from Fear (1991)
Acceptance message for the 1990 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (July 1991)

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.
It would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.
The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." - Copy to Clipboard
-- Jesus

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." - Copy to Clipboard
-- Jesus

"What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul" - Jesus

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, artist in residence to the State of Colorado, former Director of the Carl Jung Institute in Colorado and cantadora (keeper of the stories)...and surrogate mother to many:

"The nurture for telling stories comes from the might and endowments of my people who have gone before me. In my experience, the telling moment of the story draws its power from a towering column of humanity joined one to the other across time and space, elaborately dressed in the rags and robes or nakedness of their time, and filled to the bursting with life still being lived. If there is a single source of story and the numen of story, this long chain of humans is it." (p.19)

"We find lingering evidence of archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. It would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling in the company of the stars." (p.29)

"Each woman has potential access to Rio Abajo Rio, this river beneath the river. She arrives there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayermaking, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness. A woman arrives in this world-between worlds through yearning and by seeking something she can see just out of the corner of her eye. She arrives there by deeply creative acts, through intentional solitude, and by practice of any of the arts. And even with these well-crafted practices, much of what occurs in this ineffable world remains forever mysterious to us, for it breaks physical laws and rational laws as we know them." (p.30)

"In a single human being there are many other beings, all with their own values, motives, and devices. Some psychological technologies suggest we arrest these beings, count them, name them, force them into harness till they shuffle along like vanquished slaves. But to do this would halt the dance of wildish lights in a woman's eyes; it would halt her heat lightning and arrest all throwing of sparks. Rather than corrupt her natural beauty, our work is to build for all these beings a wildish countryside wherein the artists among them can make, the lovers love, the healers heal." (p.38)

A person who has untangled Skeleton Woman knows patience, knows better how to wait. He is not shocked or afraid of spareness. He is not overwhelmed by fruition. His needs to attain, to 'have right now,' are transformed into a finer craft of finding all facets of relationship, observing how cycles of relationship work together. He is not afraid to relate to the beauty of fierceness, the beauty of the unknown, the beauty of the not-beautiful. And in learning and working at all these, he becomes the quintessential wild-lover." (pp.158-159)

Quotatations are from Estes classic, "Women Who Run With the Wolves."

...Finally in closing I would like to go back to Thich Nhat Hanh

"During the war in Vietnam, there was a lot of injustice, and many thousands, including friends of mine, many disciples of mine, were killed. I got very angry. One time I learned that the city of Ben Tre, a city of three hundred thousand people, was bombarded by American aviation just because some guerillas came to the city and tried to shoot down American aircrafts. The guerrillas did not succeed, and after that they went away. And the city was destroyed. And the military man who was responsible for that declared later that he had to destroy the city of Ben Tre to save it. I was very angry.

In the Buddhist tradition, we have the practice of mindful breathing, of mindful walking, to generate the energy of mindfulness. It is exactly with that energy of mindfulness that we can recognize, embrace, and transform our anger. Mindfulness is the kind of energy that helps us to be aware of what is going on inside of us and around us, and anybody can be mindful. If you drink a cup of tea and you know that you are drinking a cup of tea, that is mindful drinking. When you breathe in and you know that you are breathing in, and you focus your attention on your in-breath, that is mindfulness of breathing. When you make a step and you are aware you are making a step, that is called mindfulness of walking. The basic practice in Zen centers, meditation centers, is the practice of generating mindfulness every moment of your daily life. When you are angry, you are aware that you are angry. Because you already have the energy of mindfulness in you created by the practice, that is why you have enough of it in order to recognize, embrace, look deeply, and understand the nature of your suffering.
I was able to understand the nature of the suffering in Vietnam. I saw that not only Vietnamese suffered, but Americans suffered as well during the war in Vietnam. The young American man who was sent to Vietnam in order to kill and be killed underwent a lot of suffering, and the suffering continues today. The family, the nation also suffers. I could see that the cause of our suffering in Vietnam is not American soldiers. It is a kind of policy that is not wise. It is a misunderstanding. It is fear that lies at the foundation of the policy.

...I was able to see that the real enemy of man is not man. The real enemy is our ignorance, discrimination, fear, craving, and violence. I did not have hate for the American people, the American nation. I came to America in order to plead for a kind of looking deeply so that your government could revise that kind of policy. I remember I met with Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara. I told him the truth about the suffering. He kept me with him for a long time and he listened deeply to me, and I was very grateful for his quality of listening. Three months later, when the war intensified, I heard that he resigned from his post.

...Hatred and anger was not in my heart. That is why I was listened to by many young people in my country, advocating them to follow the path of reconciliation, and together we helped to bring about the new organizations for peace in Paris. I hope my friends here in New York are able to practice the same. I understood, I understand suffering and injustice, and I feel that I understand deeply the suffering of New York, of America. I feel I am a New Yorker. I feel I am an American.
You want to be there for you, to be with you, not to act, not to say things when you are not calm. There are ways that we can go back to ourselves and practice so that we rediscover our calmness, our tranquillity, our lucidity. There are ways that we can practice so that we understand the real causes of the suffering. And that understanding will help us to do what needs to be done, and not do what could be harmful to us and to other people. Let us practice mindful breathing for half a minute before we continue.

PING - the bell rings softly interrupting your mindful breathing.

May we each be enveloped by consciousness and love of being.

Breathing in...


Post a Comment

<< Home