That Elusive Peace and Joy

The Elusiveness of Peace and Joy!

Do you want peace and joy?  Of course you do.  As least you think you do until you have a judgment or an upset that you won’t let go of.   You are sure something was done to you and you are certain you are right and the offending party should go “jump off a cliff” or something like that!   OK – maybe you are right but do you want peace and joy?  You can’t have it if you want someone to jump off a cliff.  You are holding onto the upset and so you are the one that now suffers.

I know someone who is holding onto a grievance.  He was actually attacked, pushed up against a fence and would have been hit if someone had not interfered.  Why did the perpetrator assault him?  He had responded to being insulted with  with his own insult and that angered the attacker who became violent.  Who started it?  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we now find the peace that eluded us the first moment we reacted.

Now there is conflict how can we find our way back to peace we want.  We can’t find peace by remembering and replaying the event because we are stuck in the story.  We are sure we are in the right.  But are you happy being in the right?  Would you rather be right or happy?  Now when we see or think of the conflict we are unhappy.  Ask yourself: Do I want peace and joy?

If the answer is YES for peace and joy then decide to STOP (just for a moment – and take a breath) and choose another way to look at this.  Say:  “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”

Realize that it is YOU who are denying this offender peace and joy that is his right under the equal laws of God.  AND, in so doing you have denied them to yourself.  But if you offer peace and joy to the offender then you can claim them as your own.  For example, think of this person a little while and tell him in your mind:

My brother peace and joy I offer you,

That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”

We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy to someone else that in so doing we are in effect really denying them to our self.  When you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge in yourself.  You are the sufferer.  Do you think your brother is suffering?  We don’t know but we do know you are.  You have the power to be in misery or in peace.  What are you holding in your mind and thoughts?  You can save yourself – do it!

Sally McKirgan, facilitates the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace Column and a study group for A Course In Miracles in Ashland.   e-mail:

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I wanted to share this link because Professor George Lakoff explains
why we disagree and how we can learn to find common ground to
become more agreeable!
It is 27 minutes  interview with Tavis Smiley of PBS
 Professor of Cognitive Science, George Lakoff, UC Berkeley:

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A Healthy Dose of Laughter

I wanted to share this because don’t we need to LAUGH at everything?!
TODAY: A Healthy Dose of Laughter
         I read that a child laughs 400 times a day on the average,
while an adult laughs only 15 times each day. Which is puzzling since
laughter feels so good and is so good for us!
You may know the benefits of laughter on the mind and spirit,
but are you aware of how much a good laugh can help you physically?
Norman Cousins used to say that laughter is so beneficial physically
that it is like “inner jogging.”
Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, March 1993) reports
that laughter aids breathing by disrupting your normal respiration
pattern and increasing your breathing rate. It can even help clear
mucus from your lungs.
Laughter is good for your heart. It increases circulation and
improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout
your body.
A good laugh helps your immune system fight off colds, flu and
sinus problems by increasing the concentration of immunoglobulin A in
your saliva. And it may help control pain by raising the levels of
certain brain chemicals (endorphins).
It is also a natural stress reliever. Have you ever laughed so
hard that you doubled over, fell off your chair, spit out your food or
wet your pants? You cannot maintain muscle tension when you are
The good news is that you are allowed more than 15 laughs a
day! Go ahead and double the dose and make it 30 times today. (You may
begin to notice your relationships improving!) Then double it again!
You are bound to feel better, you will cope with problems more
effectively and people will enjoy being around you.
Laughter: it’s good medicine, it’s completely organic, it can
be shared, it is recyclable and absolutely free!
Steve Goodier, publisher of Your Life Support System
To be ADDED to Your Life Support System (it’s Free!), send a BLANK
e-mail to

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What Do You Believe by Jim Hatton

What Do You Believe”

        By Jim Hatton

There are many authors-teachers who have recently gained popularity in the western culture.  People like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, and even Joel Osteen, are professing a non-traditional line of thinking. New Thought, New Thought-Ancient Wisdom, Creative Thought, New Age, all these names and others are labels for varied but similar names for this new line of thinking and philosophy.  I am often asked what I believe.  Having been raised and formally trained in a New Thought tradition, I am often asked” “What is New Thought.”  

The question behind the question is “How is New Thought different from (Modern) Christianity? I use Modern Christianity to differentiate “Original” Christianity as many who are in the New Thought movement believe their thinking is closer than some Christianity as it is practiced today. However, the Judeo/Christian matrix is a prevalent line of belief here in the west and is a dominant fabric in the ideas of western ideas and society. So hence the question is really how does the New Thought line of thinking compare to the western beliefs of Christianity?  

Almost all traditions today have an underlying tenant of either: 

  1. The Deity is separate from life forms and the physical universe, which is duality or
  2. The Deity is not separate from life forms and the physical universe. This is the idea of Oneness.This may seem like a small difference at first but it has huge implications:In New Thought, the Deity, God, is pure Consciousness and the Life Force of all things and creatures instead of an anthropomorphic figure. In the ancient Indian Sutras an example of this is “I am the liquidity in water”  (where I is God)
  • In New Thought, all Life is an “Emanation” of the Divine and therefore not separate from it. In western thought Life, all creation is made by God but is something different, less than and separate from God.
  • In New Thought praying is changing one’s own consciousness and evoking the Divine Power within to achieve a desired result, rather than begging and beseeching of a Deity to be worshiped.
  • The attributes of the Divine are the same attributes naturally and inherently found in Man/Woman.  Since we are created or emanated from the Creative Principle, we too have the same creative principle within us.  Our creative power is used either consciously or unconsciously and is  powerful to the degree that we are aware of it.
  • Because of the idea of Oneness, the relationship with God is a relation to the Divine within oneself. The path to God is not through an intermediary but the greater and greater realization of the Divine Self within. We express God to the extent we are aware of God in and as us.
  • In new thought Life is eternal.  This is because since the essence of what/who we are, is consciousness, therefore, consciousness cannot be destroyed and is eternal, the same as the Divine.  Other traditions have numerous ideas on life and death, and the after-life/after-lives.In New thought, the Creative Power within us is referred to as the Law of Cause and Effect or more recently The Law of Attraction.  Instead of asking-praying to a deity/deities to give us something, the Law of Attraction states that what we think, believe, or embody, will be created in our lives.The Law of Attraction provides for self-responsibility. In other words, we create everything in our lives either consciously or un-consciously (by default). This is in contrast that everything is created by God and only if we “pray right” accept Jesus as the intermediary by which to contact God, and act according to a particular interpretation of scripture, will our prayers be answered. To many self-determination via the Law of Attraction is a very exciting proposition but sometimes an individual may be over whelmed by all that is created in one’s life. Taking responsibility for everything in our lives is a large step to mastering the Law of Attraction.

    Certainly this is only a brief comparison and is not intended to a complete or exhaustive assessment.  I trust that it will help make clear what some of differences are in the two beliefs.

    Jim Hatton is author (under the name James Apollonius Alan) of “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life” available on  

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Quotes on which to Reflect

Quotes to Reflect on During this time of Lent
Can you Imagine the Deep Peace that comes
from letting go of judgments?
A Course In Miracles
Life is too important to be taken seriously.
- Oscar Wilde
Seriousness is a sickness; your sense of humor
makes you more human, more humble.
The sense of humor – according to me -
is one of the most essential parts of religiousness.
- Osho
Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world.
Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak.
Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor,
and your picture begins to lighten up.
- Allen Klein
Today would be a wonderful day
not to take life so seriously.
Today may end up the way you prefer -
and it may not.
Happiness is not about being a winner -
it’s about being gentle with life -
being gentle with yourself.
Let life be a dance,
and choose the kind of
dance you want for today -
perhaps a gentle loving dance.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Inner Peace Community Blog –

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The Law of the Garbage Truck

The Law of the Garbage Truck

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.
We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car
jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed
the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped
his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.
And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, “Why did you just do that?
That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call,
“The Law of the Garbage Truck.”
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. T
hey run around full of garbage — frustration, anger, disappointment.
As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and
sometimes they’ll dump it on you.

Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well,
and move on.
Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people 
at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let 
garbage trucks take over their day.
Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don’t.”   
*author unknown
Sally McKirgan –

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Reminders to choose Peace!

As you go through the days ahead, no matter how you judge them to be,
remember peace is a choice.  It is a BIG choice, something you choose every minute.
Whatever is before you, you have a beautiful mind that can either believe it
accept it – reject it – hate it or fight it.
Whatever IT is you are perceiving, you can say
“I could see peace instead of this.”
From A Course In Miracles Lesson #34.
Below are some beautiful reminders of just that!
Choose Inner Peace.
Nothing is worth losing your inner peace.
Take action as circumstances require,
but never surrender your inner peace.
Stop. Breathe deeply.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply again.
Then, and only then, take action -
from a peaceful heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
We can never obtain peace in the outer world
until we make peace with ourselves.
- Dalai Lama
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset.
- Saint Francis de Sales
The world has always been in an uproar, and it always will be.
Choose Peace. Choose to live with Peace.
Choose to interact peacefully with everyone -
especially those whose instinct is not to be peaceful.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You may not seem able to change some outer circumstances
but you can start by changing your inner experience of life and yourself.
- Joy Page


You have a beautiful decision making mind!  Peace is a choice!

Sally McKirgan –

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The Women’s March January 21

Remember to Laugh and Detach!

Detach from the outcome to have Peace.  

On Saturday January 21st I joined thousands of women, men and children in a “March” from the Ashland Library to the Butler Band Shell in Lithia Park.  My intention was to choose peace and walk, joined in camaraderie and standing for inclusion and respect for all races, religions, health care and to protect the environment. More on this later.

Today I listened to a CD of my guru.  He was answering a question about kindness and the question was if while being kind do also we need to make sure we detached ourselves from the outcome of whatever we were advocating for.   YES, it is imperative he said because while acting out of kindness, for our inner peace and health we DO need to detach from the outcome.   He went on to say kindness counts and multiplies because it is unlimited but don’t attach yourself to the outcome and you will be happy whether you have won or lost.  If you are upset you are invested.

What I understood is that we need to proceed from a place of “Love” for everyone and exclude NO ONE from our love or oppose anyone or attack.  We need to also realize that we are all the same.  We share the same ego.  Everyone wants things “their way.”  We share the same correction; that there is a Goodness innate in every mind.  We all carry the LIGHT or the spark of God/Creator within that joins us in Oneness.  

In a quote I found recently, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”  To “make peace with ourselves” we have to look at “what we think” and “watch” our thoughts, judgments and projections.  The judgments and projections are what make us peaceful or perturbed. 

Watching our thoughts is a gift to yourself, to your family, community and the entire world.  For example, when making a judgment about anyone, turn it around and make it about yourself as well.  This is hard because the idea about “seeing something out there” means I do not want to “see it in here – in me.”  For example our President makes judgments about people all the time.  I may think it is terrible but don’t I do the same thing?  I don’t put them on twitter or TV and I don’t have the same thoughts as he does, but I do judge.  What is important is WATCHING and CATCHING and KNOWING and OBSERVING the ego so you REALIZE what you are doing!  (Making yourself miserable.)

Most of us keep our judgments to ourselves or we share them with a close friend.  Most of us were taught “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything.”  Or “keep quiet and look intelligent but open your mouth and look stupid.”  But even when we think it (the judgment) it still in the mind and it is still separation, condemnation and attack i.e. it is not love.  

Yes, we all have judgments and that is why the Dalai Lama says we can never obtain peace until we make peace within ourselves.  For peace within, again, all we need do is be conscious of the judgments.  We look at them, we acknowledge “yes, I’ve thought that or I’ve done that” remind yourself of your higher self and innate goodness and in so doing you are no longer in the misery of blame, condemnation or separation. You are responsible.  Don’t follow the ego mind that wants to be separate.  The way to peace is to be Mindful, share the Goodness  of your Holy Mind and gradually the ego is diminished.

 So back to the Women’s March.  There is nothing wrong with sending a message to the President as long as it is done from that place of Goodness, love and not hate.  It is no longer hate, when we cleanse it of separation.  I realize that I will be miserable if I stay in judgment.  I need to make sure that my advocacy comes from Love but does not exclude anyone.  Only loving thoughts reflect Truth, all other thoughts are from the false self or the ego. 

My intention is to keep advocating and to remember to work (and walk) from that non-egoic place of love, within, as a citizen and peace a maker and if I never attach myself to the outcome, I will be happy and PEACEFUL.   I don’t know if my actions will be understood but I cannot worry about that.  If I am attached I will not have peace….and PEACE that is all I want.

Sally McKirgan facilitates the Tidings inner peace Saturday Column.  To share articles on all aspects of inner peace send a 600 to 700 word article to her at 

Visit her blog as a student of A Course In Miracles at

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True Righteousness – True Patriotism by Jim Hawes




by Jim Hawes


                Believing that one’s political views are the only correct ones is being righteous. When one feels the need to convince others that this is the only correct viewpoint is arrogance.

                Therefore, two very important questions need to be answered. What is true righteousness and when applied to politics; what is true patriotism?

                When you know you are right, but have no need or desire to tell or convince anyone that you are right; this is true righteousness. Jesus, the Buddha, and Ghanti were truly righteous. Their statements and actions did not come from the conditioned mind (ego); rather from the Beingness, Peacefulness, and love that comes from the Source.

                So, what is a true patriot? First, they totally accept what is. That is, they do not deny, the anger, resentment, or sadness. Instead, of angry, violent demonstrations that destroy property and hurt people; a true patriot follows the advice of Thomas Jefferson who said, “The only way you get more democracy is by more democracy.” This means that a true patriot’s fundamental actions are to daily practice true righteousness. This means no finger pointing or negative judgments of past actions or statements of your opponents. Rather each day Be in silent still peaceful Awareness as you shop, work, volunteer or recreate.

                Eckhart Tolle says that there are two consciousness enveloping the world. Identifications with forms to the point of greed and power, or a Conscious Presence (love or peacefulness). Which one of these will control our world will depend on what each individual does each day. Are you being more kind or loving to everyone you are meeting, texting? Are you involved and actively taking part in your neighborhood, community, city or state’s issues? Or are you preoccupied with your level of materiality and power or authority? By the choices you make, ask yourself which one of these conscious choices are you creating?

Jim Hawes, a retired Medford school teacher has published Ageless Child, Balboa Press. or Barnes and Nobles and is working on his new book, AGELESS LIVING

 This essay was written the day after Mr. Trump became our 45th president, Nov. 9, 2016.

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Nature – by Dan Fischer


By Dan Fischer

I know the NOW is the total extent of your gifts to me NOW.

The NOW is the unchangeable result of the unchangeable past.

I can rejoice for what is or regret what is not.

But no rejoicing will destroy what is;   

no regretting will create what is not.

Part of the NOW is my view of the FUTURE,   

of my FUTURE.

I know that what I do now will influence the FUTURE.

I accept my responsibility for creating the FUTURE.

I rejoice in my responsibility and opportunity NOW

  to improve future NOWs.

Yet I do not regret anything I have done,   

anything I have not done.

or anything I cannot change.

I praise and worship the perfection of NOW…

NOW is infinitely more perfect than the PAST or FUTURE

 because NOW IS.

The PAST and FUTURE are not.



I am a part of you.

You are all of me.

I am proud to be a part of you.

I am humbled by your magnificence.

I am humbled by your mountains and valleys,

by your stars and moons,

by your seas and rivers,

by your plants and flowers,

by your animals and insects.

I am exalted by your consciousness,

by my consciousness.

Through consciousness I can touch all of You

And know that Nature is,

I am,

Nature is I,

I am Nature,



Dan Fischer lives in Ashland. He occasionally teaches at OLLI at SOU. His blog is or google “The Crazy Mud Caper.”


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  • About This Blog

    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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