Your Own Peace on Earth

World peace is such a daunting idea, right? Of course we all want it,but how can we contribute to such a large concept in oursimple-yet-complicated lives? Most of us can’t quit our jobs tomeditate in a monastery in the Himalayas for a year, and we can’t joinan organization to work in an orphanage in Africa indefinitely.However, it’s not as difficult as you think to create your very ownpeace on earth.

By doing something small in our little corner of the world, we are actually changing global energy and contributing to an overall consciousness of peace. As Swami Amar Jyoti says, “If you have achieved your own peace, you have helped the world the utmost.”

So here are our suggestions to help you lead a more peaceful life, which in turn will really contribute to the very important concept of peace on earth.

Create a space
All houses and apartments have their own unique history – make sure the vibes of the past do not interfere with the good energy you want to bring to your home! When you move somewhere new, try burning sage and incense, coupled with positive blessings, to eradicate any lingering negative energy. No matter how cool dark furniture and paint may look – you need sunlight! Open up the windows, and let light in – warm rays do wonders for any bad mood. There is also much to be said about the layout of your furniture. Try to keep things open and inviting – common areas for TV, music or just hanging out can really help to bring life and happiness to your abode.

Don’t break the bank, but incorporating a bar area or a simple tea or coffee space can further add a peaceful serenity perfect for keeping your spirits up and making others feel welcome. The calming addition of plants and the scents of lavender or sandalwood can help make your setting feel more natural. If you don’t have a comfortable dwelling, you’re not going to be very happy when you’re out and about. So begin living a peaceful life at home… that way, you can carry it out into the world when you leave the four walls behind.

Practice loving speech
Taking our gift of gab, our communications with others, to a higher level by embracing the powerful concept of loving speech is one more way to spread and receive harmony each and every day. Loving speech or right speech is a powerful Buddhist concept that rejects abusive, deceitful, malicious or tim- wasting talk. It asks us not to inflict pain on others through words – a concept that can be easier to explain than to carry through. It doesn’t mean you can’t say what you feel when you are angry or disappointed, but it asks you to communicate your thoughts in a way that promotes understanding.

Practicing loving speech means that you will avoid passing on a litany of four letter words to the customer service banking rep that you finally get on the line after putting your account number in several times and being transferred endlessly. It means not faulting the salespeople at a department store who repeatedly ask if they can help you, because it’s their job to do so… or yelling at others and calling them names, just because you can.

Also, think about the words you use before you utter them. Find the most compassionate ones to describe how you feel, or your situation. For instance, say, “I understand why you feel that way, however…” instead of “You always… .” Or, how about “I am trying to see it from your perspective and I need you to help me…” instead of “you never tell me how you feel!”

Thinking about what you say, considering the intention of your words even just a bit more consciously, can make a world of difference.

Open door
To take living in peace a step further, plan an intentional event. Try hosting a “Spiritual Sunday” open house on a Sunday afternoon that is dedicated to rest, peace, and reflection. You can even do it every week. Let your friends and family know that your house is open to them from a certain time – say 1-4 p.m. Invite people to drop by to mingle, sit in your garden, sip tea, or discuss topics that relate to peace, higher consciousness, or “going green.” Create a calming environment with a fountain, meditation or spiritual music playing softly, and statues or images of Buddha, Hindu figures or other images that invoke serenity. Have books available that are centered on peace and non-attachment (such as those by The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodran). Fresh flowers can also add an element of peaceful “awe.”

By opening up your heart and your home to illustrate how to live a peaceful life, you never know how much that will influence those who encounter it – especially children. Leading by example is the best way to have an effect on those around you.

Simply remember that showing compassion to all beings – animals, phone centers, sales people, the person who cuts you off in traffic – is a way of contributing to peace on earth. Try not to react in situations – be thoughtful in your responses, and don’t be attached to outcomes. Instead, stay in the moment as you interact with others. All of these small, intentional acts will lead to a more peaceful existence for us all.

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