Posted by: Viola | December 8, 2015

Peace is a daily practice

I’ve been scratching my head over all the tragedies taking place, in the world and recently right here in California (the terrible shooting last week in San Bernardino, in southern California). I feel that peace, however elusive, is not impossible. I refuse to give up hope that a peaceful humanity is possible. But I realize peace won’t just happen by accident.

Peace is something that must be taught, must be cultivated, must be learned, must be practiced. As individuals, we may not feel that we can do much about the chaos and violence and destruction in the world. And to a certain extent, we honestly have no control over the violent choices of some individuals. However, we have great control over what we ourselves choose to practice, what we choose to preach, and how we choose to live.

Our individual lives are filled with routines–routines for mealtimes, for sleep, for hygiene, for our jobs, for a fitness or relaxation, for spending time with our families. We all go by our schedules. Well, one way to promote and enhance world peace is by building time into our daily or weekly schedules to practice being peaceful: thinking peaceful thoughts, wishing others peacefulness, showing kindness and forgiveness to self and others, and being mindful of things we can change about ourselves in order to be more gentle and loving.

Changing the world begins with cultivating peace on an individual level, which then leads to greater community peace, and then on to greater global peace. We cannot change the world if we ourselves do not fully know what peace means and what it feels like to experience it. And there is not better way to become familiar with something than to practice it daily or as often as possible.

So pause, take a moment in your day, and imagine yourself a peaceful being; imagine the world a peaceful world; imagine what that feels like to live in a world that feels safe and kind; imagine what it feels like to be around people who are safe and loving and compassionate; imagine how it feels to be at home in a world where no harm can come to us.

Imagine this peace being pervasive, being permanent, being effortless and accessible for all. Imagine this peace as a constant, as a point of reference, as the beginning and middle and end for everything. Imagine this peace as something like air, something that is everywhere, all the time. We breathe peace. We live on peace. Peace feeds us, nourishes us, satisfies us. Peace is a mother, a father, a home, a bed, a school, a book, a meal, a drink of water. Peace is rain. Peace is the trees. Peace is music. Peace is our eyes. Our hands. Peace is our own voices, our own bodies. Peace is us. ❤

When you imagine this, what do you see and how do you feel? Do you think it’s possible to create and enjoy this kind of sensation of peace internally and externally? Peace that is in ourselves and in the world?

If so, what can you do to help the process? What are you already doing to be a peaceful person? If you have kids, have you talked with them about the meaning of peace and how they can feel peaceful and bring more peace into the world? If we don’t take charge of our own sense of peace and well-being in the world, who will? Who will do the work if we do not do it? And what is it that we can do? What might we have to offer the world if we act from an inner state of profound peacefulness? ❤

“Yoga is a practice that promotes peace, and by peace I am referring to health and well-being for the individual, the planet, and humanity. A healthy individual is a peaceful individual. A healthy planet is a peaceful planet. A healthy global community is a peaceful community.” ~Viola Allo ॐ

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