Peace matters – not just in this season, but in every season. It matters in our own lives, it matters to our neighbors, and it matters to the millions that share this earth with us. To illustrate this concept more beautifully, here are three reflections on peace, as written by Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama.
“Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility…without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.”
Our first responsibility remains to live in balance and harmony with our own selves – accepting ourselves completely, with no perceptions of “good” and “bad.”
Peace With Others
“If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Inside that small area, even tiny problem appears very big. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction.
“When you have this sense of concern, your mind automatically widens. At this point, your own problems, even big problems, will not be so significant. The result? Big increase in peace of mind. So, if you think only of yourself, only your own happiness, the result is actually less happiness. You get more anxiety, more fear.”
The greatest challenge lies in overcoming our fears of baring our true compassion to strangers – a hesitation that can be surpassed through compassionate thought and meditation.
Peace in the World
“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”
“When we demand the rights and freedoms we so cherish, we should also be aware of our responsibilities. If we accept that the others have an equal right to peace and happiness as ourselves, do we not have a responsibility to help those in need?”
Above all, we can learn to view “peace” as a verb, not just a noun.
When we live with real peace, inside and out, we witness lasting change not only in our minds and hearts, but in our surroundings as well as in the lives of those we cross paths with throughout our lives.