Peace of mind in challenging times

Most of us strive for peace in our heart and in the world at large. There are a few elements in our larger world that strive for chaos, destruction and separation when others have different views from them in the name of truth, believing they are the only ones that have the truth. Anytime people espouse truth at any cost they feel at liberty to condemn and eliminate those who hold a different truth. It doesn’t have to only be a religious or philosophical truth, it can be lineage truth, silent or loud truth, inconceivable, territorial or ultimate truth. Circumstances are always neutral, any solid attitude or constricted ideology is charged with an either/or strand that cuts deep into our identities and gives rise to righteous indignation, stand offs and a need to defend that ideology.

What can we do in the face of hate, ignorance, cruelty? We cannot be silent, stubborn or do nothing; we can build stronger communities of service and compassion, with small acts of kindness for each other, realizing how precious this rare life of ours is. We can see the gifts and skills of people rather than their shortcomings, experience more spaciousness with our views of others, letting go of solid opinions and sense the inherent goodness that lies in the heart of our diverse circles of beings.

We can give fearlessness by eliminating our habitual unwholesome thoughts and plant seeds of kindness, looking upon others with soft eyes, suspending hateful narratives and judgment. A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt about the tragedy of September 11. He said:”I feel as I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, angry and violent. The other is loving, forgiving, compassionate.” The grandson asked him:”which wolf will win the fight in your heart”? Grandfather responded: “The one I feed” Which one will you feed? The one standing truth is that we always have choices and unlimited possibilities to gain and spread peace of mind when we remember that all beings are moving toward enlightenment at different velocities.

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