Peace starts with us! You, me, our families, people that seem different from us? Why are people being marginalized in society? Pushed to extremism and radicalism? We all tend to push away parts of ourselves that we don't like, disown those parts, push away people and things and events that we don't like. But where is this getting us? In this video, I talk about what is truly needed in order for us to experience and achieve peace in our lives and hearts.
Peace in the world starts with US! You, me, each other. I talk more about this in the video I made on the topic. You can watch it above.
We all have parts of ourselves that need healing, work, love, compassion. The dark places in ourselves that cause us to shut down when triggered, close ourselves off to those who push our buttons, those who we perceive are different from us.
So what do we need to do within ourselves to create more love and compassion and acceptance of others?
1. Pay attention to how media sources and other people are instilling fear in our hearts. Who or what is really to fear? It's not a religion or another group of people or a certain race or ethnic group. No, it's the violence and intolerance that we ALL hold in our hearts that is the issue. We must all continue to deepen our ability to sit with difference. When you are presented with someone that is different from you, how are you able to hold that? Do you turn away or shun the experience? Do you shut down? Learn to breathe into the experience of discomfort that can arise when someone or something is different or challenging for you. The key is learning to sit with the discomfort and not trying to run away from it.
2. Pay attention to what you're eating- are the foods you're eating causing the suffering of another being? Are you contributing to the pain and suffering of an animal that did not want to give his life for your burger? Try to incorporate more plant foods into your diet. When we eat compassionately, it is much easier to feel more compassion in our hearts. I have discovered this time and again helping people shift their diets and lifestyles. What you eat affects the neurotransmitters in your brain and therefore your mood.
3. Practice mindfulness - whether it's yoga, meditation, qigong, or another practice that is rooted in learning to focus internally - when you learn to turn your focus inward, you start to get in touch with that which is eternal within you - the Self. This place inside is full of peace, love, joy and equanimity. It is always available for you.
4. Get help! We all have parts of ourselves that need work and healing. None of us grew up in a perfectly healthy home or world. There are wounded and disowned parts of ourselves that need our attention in order for us to feel whole and integrated again. Find a skilled therapist that works with early attachment wounding, trauma or inner child work. Your mental health and wellbeing is your duty to humanity.
5. Understand that all of our lives are an offering to something greater or wiser than ourselves. It is our job to contribute to the world in a way which is meaningful and promotes more peace. So whatever it is you do on a daily basis, offer it up as a prayer, as an offering. Every action, thought, word, deed contributes in some way to humanity and the collective as a whole. Every choice we make is a choice made for humanity. What are you choosing?
Join me and the Dharma Yoga SF community tonight for our free community peace gathering. 3937 Irving Street San Francisco. 7:30 pm. Please feel free to bring a vegan dish to share! For more information click here.