“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope
I don't watch the news a lot; there is a good reason for that. Because, lately I have been watching and find myself so distraught by all of the hatred. It seems to be accumulating and I worry as to what "our" part is in that. What is our government doing that is offending others that "we the people" don't even know about? But, I don't like worry. It manifests in a pit in my stomach and it has nothing to do with my "present", so the only response I can come up with is send out more peace. Send out love and light, send healing. We have to be the instruments of teaching peace but, first, we have to know it.
Today's theme is about peace and the shanti mantra.
Shanti means peace, generally inner peace, in sanskrit. We cannot achieve shanti if we are in turmoil. I cannot be harmonious with you if inside I am not at peace with me. So we need to start with ourselves. Buddhists refer to this practice as The Path of Peace.
Rumi writes, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
One could look at wrong doing and right doing as judgment calls. If we were to eliminate judgment and get to the root of the spirit, then maybe we can understand each other better. Somewhere in the middle, is there a place of unified understanding of spirit? How do we connect as human beings and help make a change towards peace. I am appalled by the recent beheadings going on; it worries me (there's that word again) that these people have no sense of the word peace, inner or outer. It is time we embody the definition and send it outward.
“Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.” Robert Fulghum
The shanti mantra is always repeated three times and is interpreted to mean "threefold peace" as in body, mind and speech. It is not enough to always speak peacefully if I don't mean it in my heart. Peace must embody your entire Self.
Buddha said, "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."