What is Peace?

WHAT IS PEACE?   By Ed Hirsch

To discover what peace is, it is helpful to see what peace is not. For example, peace is not merely the absence of war or conflict.

Essential Peace is a Presence or Essential Quality of Soul. Suppose you strike a gong, letting its vibration permeate your body and energy field, and follow the sound into silence. Ordinarily, silence might seem to be simply the absence of sound, but if you stay with it, you can discover it as a Presence, which can permeate your field even more deeply than the sound.

Peace is also not merely the avoidance of conflict. A peaceful relationship is not one in which there is an implicit agreement to avoid conflict. Such a relationship would be based on fear—the fear that conflict would diminish or destroy the relationship or the peace.

The same applies to inner Peace, to your relationship with yourself. If your peace is based on a more or less unconscious avoidance of conflict, then you are not so much wanting peace as you are wanting to avoid conflict. The implied belief is that facing conflict would undermine your peace. The belief has a good intention, to maintain at least the peace that you do have. But without being examined, that belief remains intact and limits your peace.

What are you avoiding to maintain your peace? Real peace will only be found on the other side of what is being avoided. Yes, Peace is Here and Now, directly, but it becomes grounded in your being by bringing open, welcoming, non-resisting attention to what would otherwise be avoided. Then the Peace can shine through.

The Peace that is just a temporary state is vulnerable to being disrupted by distractions or conflicts. But Essential Peace is your True Nature, inherent, already the case, rather than something to attain or fabricate by your efforts.

It is like the Silence that is recognized to be ongoing, within which the sound arises. Sounds do not interrupt such Silence. So too is the Peace of Consciousness that is the very foundation of the restless mind, the Space in which thoughts arise. It is your very Being which can get layered over with limiting conditionings, roles, identifications, but which in itself is untouched and at Peace.

 Establish yourself in and as that Peace, and let it express itself through your life.

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


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Change Your Thoughts – Change Channels

Changing Your Thoughts is Changing Channels

We live in a dualistic world.  There is good and bad; hot and cold; short and tall and the list goes on. We also have a dualist mind that contains two thought systems:  the voice of the ego or the voice of truth and of peace. 

Watch your thoughts and you will figure out which voice you listen to.

The bad news is that the ego is the default system that is always running.  

The good news is that you are the one in charge of changing channels.

You are listening to the ego’s thoughts when judgmental of someone or yourself.  Worried or fearful thoughts of guilt or envy are certainly egoic thoughts.  However, they are just thoughts.  You don’t have to believe them, they are not true.  Ask yourself:  How do I feel?    

For example one night I woke up worried about a planned trip.   I could see my mind was going crazy with various scenarios and worry.  However, I was worried about something that was in the future.  I was projecting fear into the future.  The ego went crazy building the case that I was going to miss my plane, or get air sick or stuck in bad weather, etc.   I finally realized what was happening and changed channels.  I repeated my favorite mind calming phrase and went to sleep.   

Choosing peace is a practice in changing channels.    

This example shows that there is a part of the mind that is separate from the ego.  It is the decision maker within that chooses when you are aware enough to realize you are not at peace.  If you ask yourself “How do I feel?”   If not peaceful then it is up to you to change your thoughts.

The above is inspired by the spiritual/psychological book, A Course In Miracles,

Lesson #106. Let me be still and listen to the truth.

“If you will lay aside the ego’s voice, however loudly it may seem to call; if you will not accept its petty gifts that give you nothing that you really want; if you will listen with an open mind, that has not told you what salvation is; then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth, quiet in power, strong in stillness, and completely certain in Its messages.”  www.acim.org


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Grievances or Peace: That is the question

If we hold grievances we cannot be a peace.

If we are jealous, envious or even admiring of someone…we are not at peace.

The power was given to you to change your mind.

Giving up a grievance is really forgiving.  It is a simple choice.

Who benefits?

Maybe them, but for sure you because it is in your best interests.

You are the beneficiary of forgiveness, either forgiving someone else or yourself.

It is up to someone if they want to accept the gift of forgiveness or not.

But as long as they hold out its healing effects, they are hurting themselves.

The only one you can help is yourself.

Be still an instant and go Home!

Forgive and it, whatever it is, and it will disappear.

No more blame, no more worry, no more fear.



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Peace and the Aspects of Presence

Peace and the Aspects of Presence

by Ed Hirsch   

Peace is here, now. It is Love, it is Truth, it is You, not separate from your embodied life, or the whole of life, here and now.

Peace is not a mere absence (of war or conflict).

Peace is an essential Presence.

Peace is the peace of Being itself, ever abiding in itself, and it permeates the whole of being.

Experience Peace directly in embodied form through deeply sensing in your arms and legs, through that the whole body, and through that the whole of space. Open to the absolute Peace of Space or Spacious Presence, permeating your body here and now.

Some times are peaceful, some are not. But time itself flows on in Peace. At every moment it is permeated by Peace, the Peace of Now. Sense your breathing right now, contact the breath within the breath that is at Peace.

Life is action, movement, change. Yet Essential Life, Power, or Shakti abides in itself. Out of that emerges all expression and form. Sense your own aliveness right now, and however it is, open to the Living Presence in which it arises and is held.

You might know of love as desiring, longing, restlessness, clinging, frustration, lack, etc. You might even know love as it turns to anger, hatred, depression, grief, or more. In your Spacious Presence, feel through your heart into the Abiding Love that holds all of that in Compassionate Love. Love abides in the Fullness and Emptiness of its own Nature, in Peace.

Perhaps your thinking mind is chattering, distracted, conflicted, reactive, dull, etc., anything but at peace. Recognize that the Consciousness that registers this is not itself reactive, just as the Consciousness aware of anger is not itself angry. Consciousness inherently abides in itself, at Peace.

Are you at peace? If your feelings are un-peaceful, are you un-peaceful?  Are you your thoughts or feelings?  Nothing to attain, nothing to prove, nothing to know, to be yourself.

Is your present moment experience whole, harmonious? Whether it is or not, recognize that each moment is a totality of experience, whole just as it is. All of existence is completely permeated by, and is an expression of, the Oneness of Being.

Presence, in whatever mode, is inherently itself, simple, direct, at Peace. All the aspects of Presence are One, mutually supporting, at Peace.

Sense Peace, breathe Peace, feel Peace, know Peace, Be Peace, surrender into Peace.

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


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Accept the Light that you are

You have a spark of LIGHT within you.

Whenever you have a kind thought…..there it is.

When you offer help to a friend…..there it is.

When you feel compassion…..there it is.

Everyone has it.

Even someone you dislike.

IT is steady and never goes out.

IT is always there when we look.

IT is within when things look dark.

When we become sick IT is still there.

When we become depressed, lonely or afraid  IT is there.

Find it, look for it and embrace it.

Still your beautiful busy mind and it is there.

When you feel afraid remember the light is within, IT is you and you are IT.

Where does IT come from.

IT is a  mystery.

Mystics speak of IT…..the Light.

IT  comes from  a Love that is not of this world.

Yet IT is in You.

IT is YOU and IT never dies….neither will you.

Inner Peace Blog: www.innerpeaceforyou.me

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Three Modes of Being


It can be helpful to distinguish the following levels or modes of your being:

First is the outer, ego, or personality level. As you might observe, it basically is peaceful when it gets its own way, or when conditions are suitable, and can get out of sorts or reactive to the degree that its desires, needs, likes, or opinions aren’t met adequately. Have you noticed this about yourself?

Second is the inner, deeper, or soul level. This is the part of you that responds to the outer. It can vary widely, depending on the degree of maturity or development of your being. What is possible is for you to cultivate the inner quality of curiosity and inquiry as to what arises, and the inner quality of compassion. This can deepen as you disengage from personality and conditioning as your total identity. And it can apply to your own process as well as that of others. In terms of others. you might find the Golden Rule workable—treat others as you would basically want to be treated—kindly, with understanding, or at least with curiosity and open inquiry.

Third is the innermost, or essential core of your being, which is really Being itself. This is the realm of I AMness, or ISness, which is simple, uncomplicated by stories or thoughts, or conditioning, and so abides in the Peace of its own nature. It is not disturbed by agitation in the outer world, by the thoughts of your own mind, or the feelings of your own heart. Spend a little time pausing, being still, and dropping into this. Drop into the Peace that is always already here, not needing to be manufactured.

You might find that, as you open to this Peace, you are held in it as in a Spacious Presence, whatever your condition. This in turn can help you adopt that attitude of peace and compassion to whatever arises within you, especially as you recognize that Presence as your own Being. In time, this can serve the maturing and development of both soul and personality. Then all three levels of modes of being become more harmonious.


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

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Singing for Peace – Kaleidoscope of Voices

Give yourself the Gift of attending a FREE Concert

2 p.m. Sunday, February 15, at the Southern Oregon Recital Hall

405 S. Mountain Avenue, Ashland, OR – Free Parking

Choral Kaleidoscope

Five Choirs Singing for Peace!



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The Commander’s Intent

The Commander’s Intent
by Will Wilkinson

Focus. There’s nothing like focus to get something done. That sounds simple, but often it’s not, especially when what we want to get done is something as complex as “world peace.” Where do we start (with ourselves)? What do we do (what’s right in front of us)? What’s the big plan…? That’s where creative thinking comes in.

            And, as with all creative thinking, it’s helpful to reference successful models. One that I encountered in a business book I was reading the other day is called The Commander’s Intent. It’s a military term that refers to a principle all of us can use. Simply put, the Commander’s Intent is the one focused purpose that must be accomplished. The example they gave was to “take the hill.” Whatever strategy they devised to take the hill was flexible. As the author said, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.” In other words, life is all about course corrections along the way to wherever we are going.

            The focus, the Commander’s Intent is about knowing where we are going. It doesn’t change, everything else can and usually does. The plan for taking the hill hits a snap, you try something different. The objective remains in focus: take the hill. Here’s a sample from a power point on-line, to illustrate the point:

“The purpose of this mission is to maintain a secure and stable environment which allows the government of Haiti to maintain functional governance, gradually transferring responsibility for the secure and stable environment to the government of Haiti.  The end state is defined as the secure and stable environment that allows social and economic development, free election, and peaceful transition of responsibility to the government of Haiti.”

What would a Commander’s Intent statement for peace look like? Here’s a try: “The purpose of this mission is to maintain a peaceful and compassionate environment which encourages everyone in my world to do likewise, gradually changing the prevailing atmosphere of competitive busyness to one of cooperative friendliness. The end state is defined as “world peace,” and is proven by the end of violent conflicts throughout the world, humanity living in accord with each other, and an orderly transition to a planet of peace and enjoyment.”

Of course, the power of this statement goes up exponentially if I change one word. “This” becomes “my,” so it reads this way: “The purpose of my mission is to…”

Imagine if this was my Commander’s Intent; imagine if it was yours. How differently we might live!

Referenced from


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



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The Price of Peace

The Price of Peace – by Sally McKirgan

There is a price to pay for inner peace.  Can you put a nickel in the gum ball machine and LOVE whatever color of gum comes out?  Do you really want a red or blue gumball?  How upset will you be if you don’t get what you want?  Do you enjoy that upset?

This is a silly example of giving up having our way or controlling what is going on around us.  At some point we need to surrender.  There are some things we just can’t control.  Control really boils down to fear and worrying about the future.  What if (blank) happens? That is a fearful thought and worrying is not peaceful?  Our survival does depend on a certain amount of thinking ahead.  For instance: “If I don’t step on the brakes I’ll hit that truck.”  But worrying about visiting a relative or having an operation always defeats peace.  Giving up is the price of peace.  Letting whatever happens, happen means we are letting go.  It will happen anyway. And when it happens accept it.  It was meant to be –  it just is.  Grievances or unforgiveness is hanging on to what could, should or might have been. It is not peaceful. 

Why do we hang on?  We need to see and understand that we have a split mind.  It is split between the ego and the higher Self.  Part of us, the ego, likes to suffer.  It must or otherwise we would not do it. By taking control of the mind we observe the ego and now there is a choice.  We can choose it or to listen to the higher Self.  That is paying the price for peace. 

Give up the ego and choose to love whatever color comes out of the gum ball machine.  That is paying the price for peace and not a big one either.  Just listen to love.   

Inner Peace blog -  www.innerpeaceforyou.me

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Peace and Love


Do you have a love of Peace so strong that it is a direct relationship? It is so direct that nothing gets in the way. This means that you have an unconditional love of Peace, an unconditional relationship to Peace, by which I mean Essential Peace. Recognize that this is a facet of your own True Nature and is not something you have to acquire or earn. This is the Peace of Being, of your own Being. It is prior to any condition, circumstance, relationship. It is intrinsic. You have an unconditional Love for yourself, for your own Being. It is not dependent on whether your parents loved you, or whether your partner or friend happens to love you right now. It does not even depend on whether your mind looks kindly on you right now or not. This is much more intimate a matter than any opinion about you, for this is about you yourself.

Suppose you are not at peace. Somehow you got distracted from the Peace of your own Being.  Simply know that you can directly return. Return through your body, return through your breath, return by redirecting your attention to that Peace of your own Being in your heart. Love and Peace are primary values and needs, and like the need for oxygen, they are provided. Breathe them all together. What economy. :-)

So you can direct yourself to a Peace that is prior to circumstances, prior even to the mind. Now recognize Peace in the very circumstance itself. Recognize that the circumstance is held in Peace, that you and your current thoughts, feelings, and sensations are all held in Peace, the Peace of Love. You don’t have to react to any of it, or defend yourself, or run away, or do anything. Recognizing that it is all held in this way allows you to show up and be present. You can inquire into it, you can really meet it, feel into it with compassionate awareness. If you are not at peace, what is going on? How is the circumstance set up for you as a soul lesson in Peace and Love? Embrace that.

All of this might take some time, or it might happen as a direct encounter, intuition, insight. Then you might take a third step, which is to take action that would promote Peace and Love.

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


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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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