If, for one day, we can live in a world without aggression and hostility, we can imagine how much more is possible. – United Nations statement
This weekend we have had the privilege and multiple invitations to celebrate International Day of Peace through meditations, prayers, community activities and calls to action to remind ourselves of the collective value of every species on this planet that peace is a need.
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Peace in 1981 as an opportunity for people around the world to promote the resolution of conflict and to observe a cessation of hostilities. Without peace, we cannot evolve. Without peace, our lives and communities are unsustainable. Without peace, our minds would become entirely unbalanced. Without peace, war would take over our existence. Without peace, we would remain imprisoned in the dualistic, either/or camps that give rise to war.
Thich Nhat Hanh offers a wonderful story of peace, a story of the ‘middle way’ that is neither complicated nor dramatic. He offers one response that illuminates an entirely new possibility to his questioner, opening the way to truth and equanimity (non-discrimination). With all the elections, the policies (and lack of) for climate change, social justice and welfare for all species, women’s issues and education, First Nations education and welfare, etc., both nationally and globally, we need discussions that open to compassion and non-discrimination. We need the robust sensitivity, wisdom and presence which Thich Nhat Hanh shares here:
In 1966, I was walking with other people in Philadelphia in a peace demonstration. A reporter came to me and asked the question, “Are you from the North or from the South?” North and South are names. That was a peace demonstration, an expression of the desire to stop the war in Vietnam. When I looked at him, I saw that in his mind he had two boxes of ideas and he wanted to put me in one of those two boxes. If I were to say I was from the North, then he would think I must be pro-communist and that my presence in the demonstration was to support communism. If were to say that I was from the South, he would think this is someone who is anti-communist. As someone who has be in the practice of Zen meditation, I knew how dangerous it was to give an answer. Whether I answered North or South, it would only get him deeper in his notions and ideas. So I smiled and said, “I am from the Centre.” There is a region called Central Vietnam so I was telling the truth. That made him embarrassed, because he thought that there were only two choices—you must either be from the North or the South. Now he was lost. Because he was no longer sure of himself, he had a chance to inquire about the truth.” (Buddha Mind, Buddha Body, p.58)
On September 21st I invite you to join with me to celebrate International Day of Peace. Find something that opens you to peace, and through you, peace into our world. Our spirits need it. Our world needs it. With peace, perhaps we can breathe and pause long enough to open to the creative insights and knowing that will heal our planet and heal our consciousness.
I leave this Peace blessing with you. I wrote it several years ago with the inspiration of Reiki Masters coming together to share Reiki to the world on International Day of Peace. Take a moment, right now, and just breathe. Notice your in-breath. Notice your out-breath. And in the calm of your breathing, tell your subconscious mind to open and receive the consciousness and vibration of this blessing for all your mind, body and heart!
As we celebrate International Peace Day and as we offer Reiki Peace Blessings to all who attend and open to Peace:
May we be pure channels of Reiki peace and healing;
May every one and every being feel supported to find that sweet spot where as we each experience our own inner peace, we also trust that we as a community are opening a space for others in the world to know their own inner peace;
May the pure drops of Reiki peace come together with all the other drops of Reiki peace around the world and be felt and experienced within the heart and being of the recipients awakening their true claim to dignity, freedom and equality with all our relations;
May we all discover a patience and love in allowing people to follow their own paths. May we be free from judgement and criticism so we can grow and succeed at our best pace toward our greatest vision where
May this Reiki Peace Blessing awaken self compassion and loving-kindness of self so that we can bring compassion and loving-kindness to others as we join them in the ocean of Peace
May everyone who seeks and receives this Reiki Peace Blessing radiate a knowing and commitment that a compassionate community is a peaceful community – one of understanding and tolerance – so let this community light shine!