My friend Adela sent me this:
"for peace, joy and delight to prevail we each must first decide
it is no longer our obligation to dislike, oppose, despise, destroy
or teach any other sentient being a "lesson"."
This seems quite perfect to me, but not that easy. I've learned to constantly look for what I dislike, oppose, despise as well as who needs what "lesson" right now. But after my trip to Ohio, hearing and seeing evidence of political distress, fear, and polarization, I'm feeling a longing for peace-making. I'm weary of looking for what I oppose, dislike, or even despise.
So here's a quote that come into my inbox today from http://www.SpiritualityandPractice.com:
If we want to be safe, we have to build safety. What do we build to be safe? Not a fortress, not bombs or airplanes...
Safety can be built with your way of looking, your way of smiling, with your way of walking. It can build confidence. Show the other person that you are truly not harmful, that he is safe in your presence, in the way you think, the way you breathe, smile, and walk. Everything you do is peaceful. So by expressing your peace, your compassion, the other person feels very safe. And when the other person feels safe, you are safe. Safety is not an individual matter.
A country cannot be safe if it doesn't do something to help other countries feel safe, too. We cannot just think of our own safety — because safety is not an individual matter. We have to think of the safety of other groups of people, of other nations, too. If the United States wants to have safety, then they have to take care of the safety of the people of other nations. If Great Britain wants safety, then people there have to think of the safety of other groups of people.
from — Thich Nhat Hanh in Friends on the Path: Living Spiritual Communities
I am so weary of things divided and torn apart, I'm going to make an effort to stand with those I might normally oppose, with those who are angry or fearful, with those who suffer, whether they are in Burma, the United States or right here in Nova Scotia. May all beings find peace, joy, and delight in their lives and on this planet.