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Posts tagged ‘Peace’

Forest and Trees

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”― John Muir

“In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe.”— John O’Donohue

When you cannot see the forest for the trees, step back and observe the forest, the entire picture, the full journey. Uncover the narrative you’ve come to believe. Fiction or nonfiction? When too close to opinions, assumption and criticism, step back and find the connection between self and others. We are more alike than different. Humans, carrying stories that confine and constrict, trying to figure out the ending and missing the journey in the process. Joy can exist separate from circumstances and is rooted in gratitude.

Find the sacred in this day, found within. Be gentle and others. Kindness and peace to you today and each day that follows. Enter the sanctuary of the trees to be brought back to the fundamental and holiness of living daily. Clarity found in quiet. Ease found in pause. Gratitude found in seeing both the forest and the trees.

“Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured…

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.” – Herman Hess, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

“You should belong first in your own interiority.”— John O’Donohue

Begin Within

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” – Saint Francis de Sales

“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen

May you foster peace within, an offering to self.
Then move into the world to give it away with abandon.
In thoughts, words, deeds.
All begins within, plant seeds daily.
Calm, ease, loving-kindness.
Sow love, bear fruit.
Change the world by changing yourself.

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama

Woven in the Moment

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

May you stop searching for peace long enough to find it
Woven in this moment
Within your heart
Beyond the noise and distractions
Beneath the doing and striving
In acceptance, not analysis
In enough, not more
In gratitude and grace
Blossoming, thriving and full
Stop, embrace it, pass it on.

Peace Is This Moment Without Judgment by Dorothy Hunt

“Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself?…
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the Heart-space where
everything that is is welcome.”

Summer Song

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wind through the trees
Dancing to the summer song
Inviting all to join the dance
Sway with the summer song
Empty to be filled yet again
Renewed, refreshed, awake.

Trees
by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”

The Fruit of Kindness

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil

“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” – Khalil Gibran

We hold back forgiveness and cling to offense. “You don’t know what they did to me.” We carry resentment and regret for years, justified. We repeat “let it go” and tighten our grip at the same time. Comfortable in the familiar, in our rightness, in our ways. Assumptions, opinions, offense, judgment, fear, anger consume joy, happiness, contentment, peace, awe and wonder.

You are a prisoner with the key. Unlock the door.

Be selfish. Do yourself the biggest favor that you can. Life-changing. Forgive and be kind.

Lay it down. Move on and do not look back. Be transformed by shifting your thoughts, words and actions. All within reach. Enter the transformation. Reap the fruit of kindness to yourself and others.

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino

Energy Investment

“Most of us have two lives: the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield

“How you deal with your energy flow has a major effect on your life. If you assert your will against the energy of an event that has already happened, it is like trying to stop the ripples caused by a leaf dropped into a still lake. Anything you do causes more disturbance, not less. When you resist, the energy has no place to go.” – Michael A. Singer, the unteathered soul

Where will you put your energy today?

Invest or squander
Scatter or seed
Praise or complain
Cling or release
Open or closed
Gratitude or gripe

The river flows, overflows, plentiful
The current is strong and steady
Enter the flow or sit idle in the back channels, pooled up, unmoved
Damned up or flowing through
Our daily decision

Choose well
Allow
Release
Flow
Ease

“Stop and think about what you’re capable of achieving. Up to now, your capacities have been constrained by constant inner struggles. Imagine what would happen if your awareness was free to focus only on the events actually taking place. You would have no noise going on inside. If you lived like this, you could do anything. Your capabilities would be exponential compared to what you’ve ever experienced. If you could bring this level of awareness and clarity to everything you do, your life would change. – Michael A. Singer, the unteathered soul

Practice Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

We ask for peace, call for it, long for it.
When given the answer, we balk.
It requires us to do what we don’t feel like doing.
It makes me responsible, not someone else.
It starts and ends within.
Be bold and go there.
Dig in, to the roots.
Practice peace, daily.
Focus on yourself and stop fixing “the other guy.”

Be open to change, growth, renewal, allow peace to enter, remain and expand. And then give it away.

Choose love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy.

It is in giving we receive.
What a crazy, nonintuitive, creative, ridiculous, brilliant, simple and difficult formula.
Hunt, foster and practice peace deep within and cast it out into the world.
Diligent practice leads to improvement and mastery.
Imperfectly repeat and keep going.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

The Baptism of Presence

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey

“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.” – May Sarton

A garden unattended fills with weeds. You are the gardener of your own life. Tend to it daily. Water, light, attention, focus, effort. Dig in the dirt, deep to the roots, pull weeds, bury bulbs, feed, prune, tend.

“The hard work of living can make us forget why we’re here until we’re reawakened. As our eyes constrict and dilate all day long, the tangle of living collapses our awareness of all that is precious, which after a time we remember. This constriction and dilation of awareness is an inner form of day following night.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

Abide in this place and space, in the depth of now. See all of it, not just a sliver or snapshot, but all of it. Celebrate progress, growth, joy. We are blessed and need to be reminded of it daily. Steep in gratitude so that life multiples, expands and abundance shows itself in what already is present.

Actively participate in each day in your thoughts, actions, words, in seeds planted. Do not allow the noise of scarcity, comparison, “someday thinking,” expectations, opinions and assumptions to take root in your garden. Tend to your own garden, baptized by presence. Peace, light, beauty is all around. Wake up.

“Our purpose is not to choose between what’s up close and what’s far away, but to let the light of the world shine through our humanness. In spite of our habits and fears, our next ounce of aliveness takes form from immersing ourselves completely in the moment at hand, the way a cup dipped in a lake is filled with fresh water. This baptism of presence—of being bent by experience to dip the cup of our life into the water of life—fills and awakens us.”— The Book of Soul: 52 Paths to Living What Matters by Mark Nepo

 

 

Nothing and Everything

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
― A.A. Milne

“What I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing,” asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, Nothing,’ and then you go and do it.

It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Wander without aim;
Create space for nothing, no place to be;
Free your calendar of obligations and tasks;
Wade in slowly and feel the current of the river;
Offshore to explore;
Out on a limb suspended in time;
Gravity, grounded, floating;
Fully present in nothing so everything can enter all at once.

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
― A.A. Milne

Radical Peace

“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” – Carlos Santana

After Jesus rose from the dead, He visited the apostles three times. They were locked in a room in fear. The first thing Jesus said when he appeared each time was “Peace be with you.” Since he wasn’t there the first time, Thomas didn’t believe until he touched His hands and side the next time Jesus returned. Then he believed, only when he saw Him. The third time, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on to them to remain with them and the world, the thread to make the Birth, Death and Resurrection alive to us today if we allow and invite it in. If we believe without seeing. The first thing the world says is crucify. The first thing Jesus says, even today, is “peace be with you.”

I am no scholar, theologian or minister, so a “professional” would probably cringe at my summary. And weaving quotes from Santana and Jim Hendrix would really put some in a tailspin. Those who are not “religious” already stopped reading this or never started.

I am just an ordinary person trying to make sense of the world, my place in it and how to leave the place and others better than I found them while enjoying the journey.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

The world feels really heavy right now and it has for over a year with the pandemic, politics, social unrest, division, judgment, violence, racism of all kinds. All of it rooted in anger, unforgiveness and fear. So rather than join the mobs, how can you be radical and offer peace, light, forgiveness and hope?

There are gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit that Jesus left behind to join us on our daily journey:

The gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, fear of the Lord, piety.

The fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Accept the gifts, produce the fruit. Peace be with you. Radical peace.

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” – Sallust

 

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