Do not lose heart, we were made for these times. —Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It might seem inconceivable to feel joy and gratitude
when so many others are grieving
but I promise you that your happiness
is a great medicine that this world yearns for.
Open your eyes, look around you,
let your heart open and be glad.
The events that cause so much suffering
give you an opportunity to know who you are,
what you stand for,
what is important to you,
what you are capable of,
what you must do.
Let the world’s sadness
awaken the soft spot in your heart
that you may feel compassion for all beings.
Breathe deeply, and let this breath of peace
stream out in all directions
blessing the world with your presence.
It might seem to you otherwise,
especially in moments of crippling doubt—
but you are a magnificent, talented,
powerful, unique, essential part of the whole.
Your job is to be yourself,
because we need your joy to know our own.
Don’t become lost in your grief;
this sadness is one drop in the infinite
ocean of consciousness.
But if you must, let yourself grieve
until you feel the sun on your skin again.
Let your grief open your heart
to the suffering of others.
You are stronger than you know.
The whole world is honored
by the monks’ sand mandala:
every season, every people,
every religion, all forms of weather,
mountains, deserts, rivers, forests…
As I watch them shaking tiny bits of sand
forming impossibly intricate patterns,
I am shaken, startled
by the exquisite beauty staring back at me.
There emerges the most profound experience
of the utter interconnectedness of this world
and everything in it.
I am moved to tears.
Finally the house is quiet.
The day’s frantic energy settles
into the stillness of night
and I can sit in peace.
I light a candle,
take my seat.
It feels like I’ve come home.
I wonder who else
in this world
in exactly this same moment.
I picture us all sitting,
many of us,
spanning the globe.
When I picture the world
in this way,
I feel hopeful for our future.
It may be a small offering
but it’s one I make every day.
Who knows what fruits
a lifetime of sitting will bear?
I like to imagine
I’m contributing to peace
on this planet.
I like to imagine
that when enough of us
sit and find peace
even for just a minute
even for just a second
we will eventually reach
a critical mass…
and we will see
a global healing take place.
Would you like to join in
of peacemaking and
Can you afford not to?
Remembering to breathe when you’re grumpy
can mean the difference between
making a difficult situation worse
or relaxing into a state of calm reflection
in which words are carefully chosen,
listening is active and deliberate,
and clarity is achieved.
It comes down to choice–
do you want to make things worse
or do you want to bring peace
into this world?
And it is a choice,
as much as your mind might
attempt to convince you otherwise.
You choose where you place your attention.
You choose your thoughts, words and actions.
The real question is,
Are your choices conscious or unconscious?
The ability to consciously choose how
you think, speak and act
is a rare yet necessary superpower,
a precious medicine that can heal this world of chaos.
It is one of the most difficult and important things
a human being can do,
and it is certainly not for the faint of heart,
not for the one who gives up
when the first signs of difficulty arise.
This is why training is of utmost importance.
Training in different contexts,
beginning with the most simple and easy
and progressing through increasingly difficult tasks,
will give you the strength
and the presence of mind
to move in this world with awareness
and to meet the greatest challenges
And all of life is your training,
all of life is your practice.
If you choose to walk the path of the warrior,
see that this path is before you always.
Use this moment to awaken,
to grow stronger,
to see the important place you hold
in this many stranded web of life,
in this universe of infinite possibility.
Begin where you are–
You can’t be any place other
than where you are right now.
Begin right now
There is no other time besides
this one moment of now.
Just sit, come home.
Meditation isn’t some mystical thing
reserved only for saints and adepts.
Normal people like you and me
can sit, simply sit, and breathe.
It’s normal people like you and me
who will save the world, after all.
The power is in our hands.
When we get to know ourselves deeply
sitting in the stillness of meditation
we can go out into the world
with nothing to hide.
When we have nothing to hide
others trust us.
When others trust us
they feel comfortable in our presence.
When others feel comfortable in our presence
true connection is possible.
When true connection is attained
we all share in the peace that is our birthright.
Come to the edge of self-awareness
and discover who you are, really.
You might think that your power is little
but it is actually quite great.
Know yourself deeply
and bring the world back home,
remind others of the peace within.
You, yes, YOU
can create world peace.
World peace begins with us…
If not us, then who?
Every day it is a choice–
Will I work for peace
or will I go to war?
It is in all of the little interactions–
with our spouses, our neighbors,
our children, the mail carrier,
the grocer, the stranger on the street,
the person ahead of us texting
instead of watching the light…
It is in the way we speak to ourselves,
the things we say to ourselves
that we would never dare to say to anyone else…
It is a choice:
Will you work for peace,
or will you go to war?
The choice becomes clear
when you remember
that world peace begins with you.