As we navigate the festive season this year – whatever it may mean to us,
I offer some poems and quotes exploring how we might move towards greater peace. Peace inside ourselves, in our relationships, and in the wider world. My reaction to world affairs can often be one of hopelessness – and this Christmas it seems there is much that could overwhelm us. I find the following quotes supportive when I feel this way:
‘Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable
from social and political change’
‘Everywhere people ask “What can I do?” The answer is as simple as it
is disconcerting: we can each of us work to put our own inner house in order.’
Maybe I can make a difference… maybe working on my own inner world can change the world…
So what can we do to contribute our own drop of peace to the world, and to those close to us, and, of course, to our own inner lives? The following poems and quotes begin to address this theme. Each poem in some way contains ideas, thoughts images or guidance that may help to calm the storms inside and lead us to a greater sense of peace. (Some poems contain references to ‘God’. When I read these I often replace this with ‘Love’, ‘Goddess’, ‘The Universe’ or any word that works for me and calls up the idea of a higher power or loving being. I encourage you to do the same.)A Cushion For Your Head
Just sit there right now
Don’t do a thing
For your separation from God,
Is the hardest work
Let me bring you trays of food
That you like to
You can use my soft words
As a cushion
The Place Where You Are Right Now
This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you
wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and the sky,
the beloved has bowed there –
The beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming…
‘It is easy to mistake dangling above the unkemptness of life for genuine
equanimity…. If we feel distress, embarrassment or anger we think we have really blown it. Yet feeling emotional upheaval is not a spiritual faux pas; it is a place where the warrior learns compassion…. It is only when we can dwell in these places that scare us that equanimity becomes unshakable.
‘Tension is who you think you should be –
relaxation is who you are.’
‘What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly.’
‘When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.’
A Revolt Against Us
‘Every part of our personality that we do not love will become hostile to us.
We could add that it may move to a distant place and begin a revolt against
us as well.’
‘Mother Theresa…solved the problem of being surrounded by unbearable suffering by immersion in it. By being it absolutely and not being it absolutely. It is not a case of balancing one thing against the other, of compromise or moderation, but of extremism.’
The Sad Game
Blame keeps the sad game going.
It keeps stealing all your wealth.
Giving it to an imbecile with no financial skills.
Dear one, Wise Up.
‘Every single person has at least one secret that would break your
heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more
compassion and tolerance in the world.’
‘Though you may not be able to change it, you can handle an ugly situation
~Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan~
‘Outside ideas of right and wrong there is a field. I’ll meet you there.’
When Words Are Tinged With Lying
Muhammad gave this indication of how to know
what’s real. “When you feel
a peaceful joy, you’re near the truth.
Unquiet and off center, jealous or greedy,
then what you do seems pretentious
and those around you insincere.
Speak the clearest truth you know,
and let the uneasiness heal.”
When words are tinged with lying,
they’re like water dripping into an oil lamp.
The wick won’t light, and the pleasure
of your love room will diminish.
‘People say walking on water is a miracle, but to me walking peacefully on the earth is a miracle.’
~Thich Nhat Hanh~
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