Breathing Peace

BREATHING PEACE    by  Ed Hirsch

 Who is the other? And who are you? Notice that, when the other is identified as friend, you take yourself as a friend. When the other is identified as enemy, you take yourself as an enemy. And so on.

 Basically, the sense of self and other is that of self and not-self. Do you take not-self basically as friend (basically with you), or foe (basically over-against you, or even indifferent to your existence altogether)? Let’s approach this not through thinking but through the simple experience of breathing. Breathing is basically an experience of the interchange of self and not-self, and one that we are largely unconscious of.

 Imagine a friend in front of you, and notice how you are breathing. Now imagine an enemy in front of you, and notice how you are breathing. It makes a difference, right? But notice that, whether there is even anyone before you or not, the not-self that is always there is simply Presence. Recognize this, and notice how you are breathing.

 The air you are breathing from outside you (not-self) is one with the air inside you (becoming part of the self-sense). So too, the Presence outside you, all around you, is the same Presence that is inside you. Be aware of breathing in the Presence that surrounds you, that embraces you, and taking it in as your inner Presence. Recognize that it is One Presence all the way throughout. The One Presence itself is breathing in and out. You are breathing, and you are being breathed.

 Be aware of the Presence, or Being, or Spaciousness all around you, abiding in its own nature, just as it is, at ease, at rest, at peace. Consciously breathe in that peace with every breath, and release that peace with every breath. On the inhales, receive it fully into your deepest being. On the exhales, fully release into it. Open to the one flow, in and out, within the Peace of Presence.

 That is the Peace of Presence, the Peace that is present whether you are with a friend or foe, whether you are in a garden or a ghetto. It is the Peace that passes understanding, the unshakeable, ever-present Peace that is Presence, that is your True Nature.

 Ed Hirsch resides in Ashland – contact him at: presenceofone@yahoo.com

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Predicting Peace – Part 6 of 7

Predicting Peace, Part Six of Seven


By Will Wilkinson 
 

I’m blogging about predictions and funny stories around premonitions. Apparently, according to the link below, “After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his friend Ward Hill Lamon wrote a biography of the president, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847–1865, in which he recounted an eerily prophetic nightmare Lincoln had had just three days before his death. In Lincoln’s own words:

“There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers. ‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘He was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream.”

Well, if this account is genuine, it does seem to be authentically prophetic. Oh that Lincoln himself had taken it to heart and decided to miss the play! How history would have played out differently.

I propose that all of us have premonitions, not as dramatic as this one, but just as important. We know, for instance, the effect of an unkind word or act. We can predict what a loving touch, given at the perfect moment, can inspire. A caring word, a gesture of generosity… there is no mystery about how to create a safer, more loving world. It’s in our hands, in our minds, in our hearts, right now.

So, what will the future hold? More war or more peace? We can’t speak for others or what they decide to do but we sure can take a stand for ourselves.

Referenced from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/future-predictions-book_n_5635631.html  

Will Wilkinson is a local author, filmmaker and director of a Happiness campaign.

www.wakeupandbehappy.com

 

 

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Peace at Holiday Parties

Here come the Halloween and Holiday parties; the wine tasting and beer fests galore are coming up quickly!  The sports bars will have non-stop sporting events with baseball, soccer and football games.  What Fun! 

This may sound like a health issue but health is inner peace – inner peace is health.  Chose peace for yourself and friends plus know some important facts from the Centers for Disease Control.  Drinking causes death in 1 in 10 working age adults.  Alcoholic or not.

Perhaps you or someone you know is drinking too much.  It is hard to choose peace when you or someone else is alcohol inflicted.  But after sobering up check out the link below.   Don’t argue with yourself or anyone else about their habits but tell them what is concerning to you. What is on your heart.  Everyone has a choice they can make about drinking but first educate yourself on the subject.  

Waving a glass of wine or beer at anyone and saying “hey drink up, be merry” is a sure way to kill someone who may have alcoholic  or binge drinking tendencies.   It is also unkind and cruel.  We don’t need to be enticed if it is something we really, really want? 

This may sound like a sermon but we do not know what others need to learn and we  cannot know what the future will bring for them or ourselves, but we can do our best to be helpful.  If you feel warnings are appropriate do so.  We all need to know the following facts from the Center for Disease Control because it educates everyone whether a non-drinker, casual or addicted.  

Remember, you might not be able to stop someone or save them but at least you will know you tried.   If appropriate maybe you will stop drinking to support them.

Here is the link -be patient it will open.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/drinking-causes-1-10-deaths-working-age-adults-cdc-says-n141741

 

 

 

 

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Predicting Peace – Part 5 of 7

Predicting Peace, Part Five of Seven

By Will Wilkinson


 
I’m having fun with this series of blogs on historical prophetic predictions. Another one mentioned in the link I reference below seems to connect to the Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés. His 1519 arrival in Mexico coincided with the year the Mayan calendar said Quetzalcoatl would return and reclaim the city of Tenochtitlán. So, apparently the native Aztecs believed Cortés was this being. That helped Cortés capture Mexico.

The same habit of “savior thinking” can defeat us today, prophecy or not. Who do we expect to save us? With deep respect and appreciation, we honor the Gandhi’s, the Martin Luther King’s, the Mother Theresa’s of the past. And the peacemakers of the 21st century. But we’ve moved beyond celebrity leaders. It’s up to all of us, acting on the small stages where we live. And, in fact, every day presents us with tiny opportunities, moments that will never be glorified on HuffingtonPost, that won’t lead to a Ted talk, that won’t appear in any New York Times best seller, and won’t propel us into fame.

We simply live with peace in our hearts and it overflows. Our cup runs over. Peace, the real deal, is like that. It can’t be contained, hoarded, bartered. It’s generative. It grows and distributes itself selflessly.

Tomorrow can be another ordinary day OR it can be the day you (and I) choose to be peacemakers and seize every opportunity to do our small service. It might seem futile, that all we can do is like a drop in the ocean but, then, that’s what the ocean is made of!

Referenced from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/future-predictions-book_n_5635631.html  

 Will Wilkinson is a local author, filmmaker and director of a Happiness campaign. www.wakeupandbehappy.com

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Wars begin in the minds of men

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds

of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

Preamble to the UNESCO Charter adopted Nov. 16, 1945

Many will disagree, but I believe that choosing peace is allowing the Muslim fanatic’s to have their own society and determine their own laws and rules.  Yes, of course killer’s should be brought to justice but beyond that they need a world that allows them the freedom they want.  We have our freedom, now the people of the Middle East need to adapt their own government according to their religion, culture and customs.

Their ways are not our ways. We live according to our laws and they need to live according to their laws, in their own Country, peacefully.

The world is big enough.   Other cultures may not like or agree with them.  The Jew’s have Israel; the Egyptians Egypt; The German’s Germany; The Vietnamese have Vietnam and their own government.  China, Cuba, North and South Korea have their own laws and culture.  Christian extremists live in peace in America.  Even Nazi’s have freedom of speech.

Muslim extremists, once they choose peace need to join the United Nations.

I believe peace will come to America when we allow other forms of government to live in peace according to their religion and customs.  Peace really amounts to a change of mind.  Can we do that?

Sally McKirgan, facilitates the Tidings Inner Peace Column and  A Course In Miracles study group in Ashland.

Her blog: www.innerpeaceforyou.me

 

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Predicting Peace – Part 4 of 7

Predicting Peace, Part Four of Seven

Another prediction from sixteenth century seer, Nostradamus, was thatVolcanic fire from the centre of the earth Will cause trembling around the new city: Two great rocks will make war for a long time. Then Arethusa will redden a new river…


This has been interpreted to refer to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The trade center is supposed to be the “centre of the earth,” the “new city” is New York and the towers are the “two great rocks.” This one is a real stretch for me. It reminds me of Abraham Maslow’s famous saying, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  If you believe in Nostradamus, then you will tend to validate his predictions and can convince yourself it’s logical.  Look at the millions of people who think the earth is 6,000 – 10,000 years old, not the 4.5 billion years scientists believe.  Who is right?  Everyone looks through their lens of conviction and that influences what they see.

When it comes to peace, what sort of smudges do we have on our own lens of perception?  A popular one relates to “the other” needing to do something before we do.  “They need to stop firing rockets,” for instance.  What’s the problem with his? Both sides see it through their own lens and both sides say, “They started it.”

Who is going to start the peace process?  How about me, you, any of us who refuse to see peace as a negotiation.  It’s a state.  Am I, are you, peaceful?  If so then that’s how we will behave.  Any revenge is not part of peace.  Forgiveness and compassion are.

An old school friend recently commented on one of my books, Forgiving the Unforgivable, which tells the true story of meditators who forgave the terrorists who killed two of their friends in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.  My friend said he could never do that, that the terrorists needed to be punished.  Well, an eye for an eye makes the world blind. Let’s take the first step today.  And if you don’t think you have anyone to forgive, just look in the mirror.

Referenced from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/future-predictions-book_n_5635631.html  

 Will Wilkinson is a local author, filmmaker and director of a Happiness campaign. www.wakeupandbehappy.com

 

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Stay With It – by Leslie Caplan

Stay with it, darling.

You can do this.

This life, this road, this twist in it.

Stay with it.

Get onto its strong bare back

And go for a ride

with all your might

 

Dig into it.

Feed off it.

Ingest it.

Become it

If abandon gets the best of you,

You will misplace yourself.

And time spent

becomes a loud, echoed voice

calling out your name

hoping for a reply

 

Stay with it.

Bring it back to here.

Right here.

In all that you know, have seen and lived

Stay with it.

Follow it until

the grand gesture of its gift to you

is opened and received. 

All the way.

 

Stay with it.

Look how strong to the bone you are

That warrior-hood of being alive

Turning shit into fertilizer

 

Roots inside of roots inside of roots,

Stay with it

This courage in you,

this companion who

will take you through

the rest of your life.

Stay.

 

Let it linger on your breath,

orchestrate the rhythm of your

footsteps

Let the steam rise and enter in through

the breath of a deep life lived

 

Let the weather do its thing

Let the heart lead

Thrive because of it

And let Discovery

be the driving force

 

Forget the end result

It does not exist

Not here, not now,

Not today.

 

Stay with it

Lick those beautiful wounds,

taste the iron in their blood

Write with it, paint with it, walk with it

Your feet are on the ground

Your arms are winged

And your depth compares only

to that of the ocean.

 ©Leslie Caplan is an artist and writing coach living in Ashland, OR

www.courageousheartinmotion    contact her at : courageousheart@live.com

 

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Predicting Peace – Part 3 of 7

Predicting Peace, Part 3 of 7
 

I’ve been blogging about sixteenth century seer, Nostradamus. He wrote:  “From the depths of the West of Europe A young child will be born of poor people, He who by his tongue will seduce a great troop; His fame will increase towards the realm of the East.
”

This has been connected to Hitler and the rise of socialism. Maybe that makes sense, maybe not, but it certainly attests to our meaning-making ability. It’s something humans are great at. We interpret according to our personal beliefs, to concoct what we then believe is “reality.” These beliefs then congregate into what are called “assimilation biases,” which relates to our resistance to new viewpoints that would require change. The assimilation bias, with it’s resistance, serves to protect us from what’s known as “cognitive dissonance.” This refers to what happens when we hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time. Not fun. We avoid it. Yet, as I recall from first year English studies, F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

I call this blog Predicting Peace. Try this: “Israelites and Palestinians have been fighting for years AND peace is available in this moment.” Two opposed ideas… can you entertain them and continue to function? Can you believe in the possibility of peace in the face of such long-standing conflicts and war?

Some can, and do. Throughout history they have risen as peacemakers. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Referenced from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/future-predictions-book_n_5635631.html  

 

Will Wilkinson is a local author, filmmaker and director of a Happiness campaign. www.wakeupandbehappy.com

and website at:  http://imagifi.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

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From Deficiency to Contentment

FROM DEFICIENCY TO CONTENTMENT by Ed Hirsch  

The inner sense of the lack of peace is the inability to rest contented with the present moment. We all can experience contentment, but it gets lost in the ongoing story and context—perhaps you got your needs met for now, or you are simply taking a  needed break from work. Even then, thoughts, memories, plans, etc. tend to crowd in and replace the peace.

 If you were to experience the contentment directly, you might discover that it is inherent in you and is not dependent on circumstances. Realizing that, you would bring this back with you to your circumstances.

 From this space of inherent abundance and its peace, you can see the root sense of separation, vulnerability, and danger. It carries the sense of deficiency, whether we succumb to it as victim or defend against it through power and control. The sense of something missing is surely supported by enough evidence, whereas the peace of inherent sufficiency is not based on evidence but by direct experience of the moment.

 You can recognize the sense of things not being enough, of ourselves not being enough, as just a belief, a thought, not necessarily reality. Investigate the inner evidence: what is not enough in the present moment? What is deficient in yourself? Aside from the stories and beliefs, you can discover that whatever is found deficient, is not who you are. You are not any of that stuff. Your own being, and the being of what is in this moment, are not deficient or separate.

 The sense that nothing is really enough can be recognized as the deep longing for Home, for Presence, which alone really satisfies. Recognize that Presence is always right here and now, and that what is, is essentially and inherently complete in itself. This is true in and of every moment of experience.

Attend to your present experience, your body sensations and energies, your emotions, your thoughts, your self-sense. Notice if there is basic contentment with it all, a basic welcoming and peace with it, or if there is any reactivity, resistance, or judgment that it is not basically OK right now. Now whether or not there is reaction even to this, can you recognize the presence of a fundamental Awareness which does not react, in which it all is held in fundamental OKness? That is the peace of your fundamental being.

 

Ed Hirsch resides in Ashland – contact him at: presenceofone@yahoo.com

 

 

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Predicting Peace – Part 2 of 7

Predicting Peace, Part Two of Seven


 
Sixteenth century seer, Nostradamus, wrote: “From the enslaved people, songs, chants and demands, The princes and lords are held captive in prisons: In the future by such headless idiots These will be taken as divine utterances … Before the war comes The great wall will fall, The King will be executed; his death, coming too soon, will be lamented. [The guards] will swim in blood, Near the River Seine the soil will be bloodied.
”

Two hundred years later, in 1789, The French Revolution happened. Aristocrats and royalty were arrested and beheaded, the Bastille was stormed and demolished, and King Louis XVI was executed. Nostradamus fans offer this as further proof of his prophetic powers, even without a date. What’s the point for us in 2014?

Let’s predict a peaceful revolution. All we need is imagination, commitment, and perseverance. And we can pick a date.

Mine is going to be New Year’s Eve. It’s been a challenge for me over recent years. Parties are great but they seem increasingly irrelevant, as global problems mount and denial of our human predicament becomes increasingly difficult. What might a meaningful New Year’s Eve celebration look like?

I predict that I’m going to find out this year. Here’s my plan: whatever I’m doing, whoever I’m with, I’ll be declaring my one man revolution of peace, dedicating the next year to being consciously peaceful.

Typically, New Year’s resolutions don’t last more than a month. I look forward to finding out how long I’ll be able to sustain this one. If this appeals to you, plan ahead and join the revolution!

Referenced from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/08/future-predictions-book_n_5635631.html  

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    The Inner Peace blog is a place to share wisdom about peace practices and inspire, learn and explore all aspects of inner peace. A team of writers will discuss varied qualities –€” intuition, courage, fearlessness, friendship, forgiveness, gentleness, giving and receiving, tolerance, faithfulness and kindness –€” that help us all through the tough times, the challenges, the joys and the sorrows with inner peace as the ever-shining goal. Whether 2 or 92, your inner peace is up to you.
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