Thought I'd Share Some Writings on Peace
Find Peace of Mind:
All living beings have the same basic wish to be happy and avoid suffering, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering. We generally believe that external conditions such as food, friends, cars, and money are the real causes of happiness, and as a result we devote nearly all our time and energy to acquiring these. Superficially it seems that these things can make us happy, but if we look more deeply we shall see that they also bring us a lot of suffering and problems.
Happiness and Suffering:
Happiness and suffering are opposites, so if something is a real cause of happiness it cannot give rise to suffering. If food, money, and so forth really are causes of happiness, they can never be causes of suffering; yet we know from our own experience that they often do cause suffering. For example, one of our main interests is food, but the food we eat is also the principal cause of most of our ill health and sickness. In the process of producing the things we feel will make us happy we have polluted our environment to such an extent that the very air we breathe and the water we drink now threaten our health and well-being. We love the freedom and independence a car can give us, but the cost in accidents and environmental destruction is enormous. We feel that money is essential for us to enjoy life, but the pursuit of money also causes immense problems and anxiety. Even our family and friends, with whom we enjoy so many happy moments, can also bring us a lot of worry and heartache.
In recent years our understanding and control of the external world have increased considerably, and as a result we have witnessed remarkable material progress; but there has not been a corresponding increase in human happiness. There is no less suffering in the world today, and there are no fewer problems. Indeed, it could be said that there are now more problems and greater unhappiness than ever before. This shows that the solution to our problems, and to those of society as a whole, does not lie in knowledge or control of the external world.
Why is this? Happiness and suffering are states of mind, and so their main causes cannot be found outside the mind. The real source of happiness is inner peace. If our mind is peaceful, we shall be happy all the time, regardless of external conditions, but if it is disturbed or troubled in any way, we shall never be happy, no matter how good our external conditions may be. External conditions can only make us happy if our mind is peaceful.
When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations we tend to regard the situation itself as the problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from the mind. If we were to respond to difficulties with a positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us; indeed we may even come to regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth and development. Problems arise only if we respond to situations with a negative state of mind. Therefore, if we want to transform our life and be free from problems we must learn to transform our mind. Sufferings, problems, worries, unhappiness, and pain all exist within our mind; they are all unpleasant feelings, which are part of the mind. Through controlling and purifying our mind we can stop them once and for all.
Finding Peace Of Mind:
Since time without beginning we have been under the control of our mind, like a puppet on a string. We are like a servant working for our mind; whenever our mind wants to do something we have to do it without any choice. Sometimes our mind is like a crazy elephant, creating so many problems and dangers for ourself and others. By sincerely engaging in spiritual practice we can reverse this situation, and gain mastery over our mind. Transforming our mind in this way, we will finally enjoy real freedom.
For our spiritual practice to be successful we need the blessings and inspiration of those who have already gained deep inner realizations, but we also need to give ourself constant encouragement. If we cannot encourage ourself, how can we expect anyone else to? When we understand clearly that inner peace is the real source of happiness, and how, through spiritual practice, we can experience progressively deeper levels of inner peace, we will develop tremendous enthusiasm to practise. This is very important because to attain the permanent inner peace of nirvana we need to engage in spiritual practice sincerely and diligently.
If we are to have peace in the world today, we need to find it first within our own hearts and minds. Just as the only way to solve our own problems is to find inner peace, so the only way to help others to solve theirs is to encourage them to engage in spiritual practice and discover their own inner peace. This way of benefiting others is by far the best; yet we can do this effectively only if we first work on our own mind. There is little benefit in telling people how important it is to overcome their delusions, or negative minds, if we are unable to control our own. However, if through training our mind we succeed in pacifying - or even completely eliminating - our own anger, for example, we can certainly help others to control theirs. Then our advice will not be mere words, but will have behind it the power of personal experience
Prayers For Peace from Around The World:
A collection of prayers for peace from different faiths - Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Jainist, Jewish, Shinto, Native African, Native American, Muslim, Baha'i, Sikh, Christian.
Hindu Prayer for Peace:
Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all.
O Lord God Almighty may there be peace in Celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world.
May all things be a source of peace to us.
And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all.
And may that peace come to me also.
Buddhist Prayer for Peace:
May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened cease to be afraid
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending one another.
May those who find themselves in trackless,
fearful wildernesses - the children, the aged, the unprotected - be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they quickly attain Buddhahood.
Zoroastrian Prayer for Peace:
We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world:
that understanding triumph over ignorance,
that generosity triumph over indifference,
that trust triumph over contempt, and
that truth triumph over falsehood.
Jainist Prayer for Peace:
Peace andUniversal Love is the essence of the Gospel preached by all the Enlightened Ones.
The Lord has preached that equanimity is the Dharma.
Forgive do I, creatures all,
and let all creatures forgive me.
Unto all have I amity, and unto none enmity.
Know that violence is the root cause of all miseries in the world.
Violence in fact, is the knot of bondage.
"Do not injure any living being."
This is the eternal, perennial, and unalterable
way of spiritual life.
A weapon, howsoever powerful it may be,
can always be superseded by a superior one;
but no weapon can, however,
be superior to non-violence and love.
Jewish Prayer for Peace:
Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the most high.
And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into pruning hooks.
Nations shall not lift up sword against nation - neither shall they learn war any more.
And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.
Shinto Prayer for Peace:
Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us, I believe, are all our brothers and sisters, why are there constant troubles in this world?
Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us?
I only earnestly wish that the wind will soon puff away all the clouds which are hanging over the tops of the mountains.
Native African Prayer for Peace:
Almighty God, the Great Thumb
we cannot evade to tie any knot:
The Roaring Thunder that splits mighty trees;
the all-seeing Lord up on high who sees
even the footprints of an antelope on a rock mass here on earth.
You are the one who does not hesitate to respond to our call.
You are the cornerstone of peace.
Native American Prayer for Peace:
O Great spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you;
To your messengers in the four winds, and
to Mother Earth who provides for your children.
Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other, so that they may grow with peace in mind.
Let us learn to share all good things that you provide for us on this Earth.
Muslim Prayer for Peace:
In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe, who has created us and made us into tribes and nations that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other.
If the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust God, for the Lord is the one that heareth and knoweth all things.
And the servants of God, most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in Humility, and when we address them, we say "PEACE."
The Baha'i Prayer for Peace:
Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness, and a home
to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew upon the soil of the human heart,
and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Sikh prayer for Peace:
God adjudges us according to our deeds, not the clothes that we wear;
That truth is above everything, but higher still is truthful living.
Know that we attain God when we love, and only that victory endures in consequences of which no one is defeated.
Christian Prayer for Peace:
Blessed are the Peacemakers
for they shall be known as the Children of God.
But I say to you that hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
To those who strike you on the cheek offer the other also, and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and of those who take away your goods, do not aks them again.
And as you wish that others would to do you,
do so to them.
We have always been involved in spiritual evolution.
We are spiritual beings,
we have always been spiritual beings
and we will always be spiritual beings.
~ Gary Zukav ~
The world is nothing but my perception of it.
I see only through myself.
I hear only through the filter of my story.
~ Byron Katie ~
Changing the world begins
with the very personal process of changing yourself,
the only place you can begin is where you are,
and the only time you can begin is always now.
~ Gary Zukav ~
Keep Holding On (World Peace Tribute)
From the Book A Candle at Both Ends by Tiffany Prochera
How often do you say or hear other people say "Well, we're human.." or "That's just what people do." as justification for certain behaviours? Do you ever question such comments?
Today is a day to evaluate and, perhaps, readjust your personal definition of being human.
You are an amazing creature. You can be whatever you want to be. The only things that can stop you are your own beliefs about yourself and that is not intended in a corny, self-help sort of way.
For example, you may have heard the claim that we are not meant to be with one person for our entire lives and it's not logical to expect someone to be faithful forever. That is their belief and their choice. And yet, there are those who do fall in love once and make it last a lifetime. That is their belief and their choice.
You may have heard someone justify another's violent outburst by claiming, "They're human. Anyone would be angry in that situation." And yet, there are those who are able to remain peaceful and in control of themselves at all times.
Are those people not human? Of course they are! But they have a different perception of what it means to be human.
Challenge your definition of humanity today.
... Does this definition allow you to become the greatest version of yourself?
... Does it make you proud to be a member of this species?
Before you go to sleep tonight, create a new definition of yourself, what you want to be and believe, however grand it may seem.
Have a human day!