Contributing to World Peace

little seed breaking free

Source: © John Emmanuel  ID 792583 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I  believe that we can all contribute to world peace. It starts with being kind to ourselves.
Helping others is a good place to start, but the real work is ours to do for ourselves.

We must find that peaceful, nourishing and inspiring place I call our Middle Ground. In this place, we learn to let go of judgment, accept what is, and open our hearts.

The critical, competitive and fearful voice in our head loses its hold over us. We learn not to believe our thinking, and see the world with more clarity.

This is where peace and awakening arises.

This poem by Chade-Meng Tan (Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and author of Search Inside Yourself) is my inspiration for this blog:

With deep inner peace

And great compassion, self compassion and fun

Aspire daily to save the world.

But do not strive to achieve it.

Just do whatever comes naturally.

Because when aspiration is strong

And compassion blossoms,

Whatever comes naturally,

Is also the right thing to do.

Thus you,

The wise compassionate being,

Save the world while having fun.

 

As I sit here, I ask myself this question, and I will ask it of you too.

How can I bring more compassion, inspiration and fun into what comes naturally?

For me, it is in writing posts for this blog and teaching my yoga students. What about you?

Compassion and Connection – Just like me

just like me

When you find yourself judging, blaming, criticizing, resenting, or being frustrated and annoyed with an other person … here are some phrases to bring to mind.

“This person in front of me has a body and a mind… Just like me.
This person in front of me has feelings, emotions and thoughts… Just like me.
This person in front of me has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be free from pain and suffering… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be healthy and loved… Just like me.
This person in front of me wishes to be happy… Just like me.”*

All people have similar needs, wants and desires. Fundamentally we act in order to protect ourselves and what we believe matters to us.
We all wish to be happy.
Others may go about it differently, to what we would want for ourselves.

Yet who are we to judge…. Our thoughts tell us that our way is the right way, but that is the small ego mind trying to stay in charge.

When we remind ourselves, that other people are just like us, we can pause and come from understanding instead of a righteous ego.

May we all find more acceptance and understanding in challenging times with difficult people.

Namaste

 

* Taken from Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

* World Peace is Within You

peace in our hands

I find these words so inspiring from Chade-Meng Tan

“Like many others wiser than me, I believe that world peace can and must be created from the inside out.  

If we can find a way for everybody to develop peace and happiness within themselves, their inner peace and happiness will naturally manifest into compassion.

And if we create a world where most people are happy, at peace and compassionate, we can create the foundation for world peace…. 

Fortunately, a methodology for doing that already exists and has already been practiced by various peoples for thousands of years.

It is the art of contemplative practices to develop the mind. Most of us know this as meditation.”

~ Chade-Meng Tan

It begins with each and every one of us.

Now more than ever, find the connection to the peace and stillness within you.

Consciously step away from the external chaos of the world and the media.

heart meditation light

It only takes a moment to pause and take a few deep breaths.

Allow your awareness to move into the center of your being, just below your heart.

Notice the rise and fall of the breath.

Ask yourself  “What is alive in me right now?” and “Can I be with this?”

Sit with this for a while and allow what you are experiencing to be felt in your heart.

You have the answer to world peace within you.

Namaste

Perspectives on Being Mindful

Mindfulness  has been practiced by human beings for millennia, but it is only within the last 30 years or so that scientific research has revealed its power for our well being and health. Dr. Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat-Zinn are pioneers in this field.

“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.” ― Jon Kabat-ZinnWherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

meditation

This work and research has taken meditation and mindfulness practices out of spiritual life and into everyday life, and made it a practical healing tool for managing stress, anxiety and pain.

Its origins however are based in spirituality and the path towards enlightenment in the yogic and buddhist traditions.

In yoga, through meditation we calm the mind and connect to our inner wisdom. Meditation is the 7th branch of yoga called Dhyana, where we cultivate awareness of the self in a world that is ever changing.  The ultimate goal is the 8th branch called Samadhi or enlightenment, where we become one with the universe, God or unbounded consciousness.

The purpose of buddhist meditation is to liberate ourselves from the delusion that is life in the human form and put an end to both ignorance and struggle. Meditation is the practice that will reveal the true meaning in life. When we reach enlightenment (Nirvana) we end the cycle of birth and rebirth.

There are many many resources on mindfulness and meditation on the internet. From ancient philosophy and scriptures, to the latest digital tools. Its easy to download audio files with guided meditations and apps to remind you to present.

The media now says that the practice of mindfulness is exercise for our minds, and will become as important as exercise is for our healthy bodies.

No matter how you approach mindfulness and meditation – whether it’s in the clinic, training room, gym, yoga studio, temple or church … the benefits are so clear and powerful that its a practice that is here to stay. I believe it will have a huge impact on how we relate to ourselves, each other and hence the world.

mindfulness

The only moment is now, so lets pause for a moment of mindfulness:

Take a deep inhale through the nose and let out a sigh on the exhale.

Feel both feet firmly planted on the ground. If you are sitting, feel where your thighs and hips are resting.

Begin to scan your body in your mind. Notice where any tension might be and allow it to release and soften.

Relax your forehead and around your eyes.

Release your jaw and let your tongue be soft.

Allow your shoulders to release down your back and away from your ears.

Relax your belly.

Check in with your hands and feet.

Feel your body softening.

Come back to following your breath in your mind. There’s no need to change it or do anything with it.

Allow yourself to simply be with the natural rhythm of your life.

Pause in this moment.

When you are ready open your eyes and take a moment to notice any shifts in your mind and body.

* Save the World While Having Fun

I believe that we can all contribute to world peace. It starts with being kind to ourselves and finding peace within ourselves. Helping others is a great place to start, but the real work is inside each one of us.

We must find that peaceful, nourishing and inspiring place I call our Middle Ground.

heart centered world

This poem by Chade-Meng Tan (Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and author of Search Inside Yourself) is one of my inspirations.

With deep inner peace

And great compassion, self compassion and fun

Aspire daily to save the world.

But do not strive to achieve it.

Just do whatever comes naturally.

Because when aspiration is strong

And compassion blossoms,

Whatever comes naturally,

Is also the right thing to do.

Thus you,

The wise compassionate being,

Save the world while having fun.

save the world having fun

 

Thank you for joining me in aspiring to save the world while having fun!

Namaste

* A Small New Year Resolution That Can Save the World

As you may know by now, I am not a supporter of New Year’s resolutions. You can call me contrary  or realistic … but when we feel pressure to commit to a change or work towards a big goal, it simply doesn’t happen without the right resources and support in place – and an inner motivation that comes from our heart and soul.

I admire people who have that within themselves- especially in the dead of winter – but for most mortals it usually ends in disappointment. The research shows only 8% of Americans follow through to the end of the year with Resolutions.

yoga mindfulnessIn a quiet moment during my yoga practice this morning I realized that there is one resolution that I want to make. I think it is one that we can all commit to as it feeds our heart and nourishes our wellbeing.

In essence it is to continue on my journey of being kind and compassionate towards myself. When we give ourselves kindness we bring kindness to those around  us, and it has a ripple effect that keeps growing.

I believe that world peace starts with being kind to ourselves and finding peace within ourselves. Helping others is a good place to start, but the real work is ours to do for ourselves. We must find that peaceful, nourishing and inspiring place I call our Middle Ground. 

This poem by Chade-Meng Tan (Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and author of Search Inside Yourself) is my inspiration for the new year.

With deep inner peace

And great compassion,self compassion and fun

Aspire daily to save the world.

But do not strive to achieve it.

Just do whatever comes naturally.

Because when aspiration is strong

And compassion blossoms,

Whatever comes naturally,

Is also the right thing to do.

Thus you,

The wise compassionate being,

Save the world while having fun.

Have a wonderful New Year filled with discovery, self kindness and fun!

Hugs, Val