THE MIND IS THE SOURCE OF PEACE
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violence, conflict behaviors and the freedom from fear of violence. This definition explains what it means by an outer peace but however Thich Nhat Hanh a Vietnamese Buddhist argues that unless one is peaceful within one’s mind, then one can not work for peace in the nation. He worked tirelessly for peace and was once nominated by Rev. Martin Luther King for noble peace prize as a result of his out spokenness. Peace goes far beyond being free from war or violence however these are necessary conditions but not sufficient. To fully enjoy peace amidst all difficulties, we need to develop it in the mind.
The Understanding of Peace differs from one person to another, one country to another, one family to another all depending on a particular situation like war, lack of freedom to speech, brutality and oppression. These explain why peace is more than simply the absence of war. So other than war, we experience several of un-peaceful circumstances in many places. Achieving a peaceful environment can be complicated; Conflict at work, school, and home, in life... is multilevel. It develops from changes, both positive and negative. Resolving communication issues, conflict initiatives, or an air of discontent can create a productive and comfortable environment.
Elements of Peace as put across by Ron House 2009; are the various ideas, concepts, facilities, tools, and so on that need to be in place to create genuine peace that will last over the centuries and millennia as our legacy to future generations. They include: non-violence, the Love of truth, the principle of goodness, justice, and social planning, the wisdom of the great teachers
Gandhi Ahimsa explained approaches to peace that extends beyound mere absence of war. He went ahead to say that peace means walking with truth and justice, patience and compassion, courage and loving-kindness. He as well promotes universal well-being and encourages the flourishing of all life, not just humans. It is the art of living in the present and opening our imaginations to a good life for all. He therefore explained peace approaches as follows. Sarvodaya, this means that its the end of injustice and hunger in a way that there is enough for all human beings and not enough for a single person’s greed therefore All creatures in the universe should have their just share of the abundance of the Earth. Secondly, (swaraj); we need self discipline necessary for Sarvodaya. We need the self discipline because we are entirely responsible for our own behavior and for our decisions, made with others, on how to organize our communities. It’s assumed that Swaraj enjoys personal freedom from poverty and all forms of domination. Thirdly, he explains about the genius of the local (Swadeshi): the labor of a community generates a surplus to share with others the gift of nature, it’s basically people centered economics—the soul of “small is beautiful.” Lastly its nonviolent revolution (Satyagrahao), this seeks not to inflict upon the violent a taste of their own medicine but instead transforms foe into friend and intolerance into hospitality. Satyagraha encourages us to cultivate the same compassion for strangers that we have for kin. They walk the talk. Actively resisting oppression, Satyagrahis recognize that there are wrongs to die for, yet not a single one to kill.
Now the question is how are all these possible because they seem unreasonable and inapplicable in the world today. It’s true that they seem unrealistic and that’s why we have the world what it is today. Peace comes from the mind and all peace practices are right from the mind. It’s a responsibility to train the mind to what we want it to be. How do we train the mind? It’s quite easy and this is through meditation but we need to first of all make a decision to be in full control of our mind and this is entirely dependent on us and the rest is a process.
Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind to realize some benefit. It refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration analysis meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity. Looking at the peace elements explained by RON HOUSE and peace approaches explained by GANDHI AHIMSA, it’s evidenced that meditation is a way through which peace can be achieved.
As I grew up, I was full of unanswered questions in my mind and they never let me free at any one time. A lot of things both good and bad happened around me yet I did not know how I would control my mind not to be bothered. I made the decision to have my inner peace for at least it was the best favor I would do to my self yet could not have my mind for my self. It took me time until when I learnt of meditation. It was not a new concept to me but a totally new experience and a new definition of inner peace and happiness that arises from within and spreads to the rest of the body parts. My meditation experience was greatly enriched when I attended East African fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya at Act St. Juliana’s Center, Limuru, organized by peace revolution under world peace initiative.
Despite the fact that I had mixed up with people from different cultural settings, I felt a little nervous meeting new people from different backgrounds but nevertheless I was excited to mix up with them. Just right on arrival, warm smiles from my colleagues humbled me. It was the most peaceful people I ever met in my walk of life besides being in a peaceful environment surrounded with the beauty of nature. It’s really surprising that all religions in one way or another have a common believe though it may be expressed in another way; Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, methodox and hastiest all believe in common good practices, righteousness and justice. People from different walks of life and professions, different countries, tribes, social setting made up the most peaceful family (indeed a family we were), full of joy, togetherness, love, peace, no attachment to any one single person but the spirit of togetherness was highest. I could not think about my past because life had offered me the best at the time. The only combining element was meditation for peace (peace in and peace out) and indeed it was a very strong element; both the peace in and out was enriched. Big or small thing, we did it together and worked hand in hand to ensure that we all moved in the same space. The teaching monk was an inspirational to all, he shared with us real life experiences and challenges and how to make the best out of it, the two things which have greatly become part of my daily life is the principle of letting go and positivity. There is great power in letting go because it frees one’s mind and the power of positivity gives one hope and above all the inner joy. Looking at the good in another brings appreciation not only for mankind but for nature as a whole.
On my arrival home, I was filled up with tears of joy and sadness at the same time. I was sad because I felt like I would not have such peace again. Yet on the other hand my heart was glad to have been there searching for the inner peace. It’s amazing how I create peace around myself because of the three days I spent in the search for my inner peace. However it’s so disappointing that many are searching for peace at heart amidst all difficulties but can’t find it but all in all a thousand miles start with one and the journey has just began.
Many people associate good character with being religious but this is not the case because so many other people do not look at the inner purity they have and also that goodness because they do not take time to search for their minds. So many people say that world peace is not possible, it’s true that one can’t imagine of world peace without one’s inner peace. Worst still, some people say that peace at mind is only given by God, its true that Christians rely on God for every thing. We also find a lot of things we do not expect happening around us, we therefore turn to God for guidance and strength. But meditation helps us look at the mind on its own and practice to let go of negativities.
Peace is beyond being free from war; this is true as evidenced in my community which experienced war for over 20 years. We cried for peace because that was the total definition of peace by then. But now even without war, still we aren’t peaceful. Some people can not think that they need inner peace because they think that they can be at peace if they have the essentials in life. Inner peace allows us to be happy without worries even when we lack material needs. In fact the post war period is best with the practice of letting go of the negative experiences of the past.
I have found my inner peace and the next person will, it will multiply and reach the whole world. As it’s said in business that one satisfied customer will bring more ten and the multiplication continues. It starts now with me and you, search for your inner peace now and we make world peace possible. http://www.peacerevolution.net
Peace Rebel Agnes Kipwola from Uganda