Sunday, 13 November 2011

Developing an Attitude of Peace

"If we ourselves remain angry and then sing world peace, it has little meaning. First our individual self must learn peace. This we can practise. Then we can teach the rest of the world" - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"True peace is always possible, yet it requires strength and practice, particularly in times of great difficulty. To some peace and non-violence are synonymous with passivity and weakness. In truth, practising peace and non-violence is far from passive. To practise peace, to make peace alive in us, is to actively cultivate understanding, love and compassion, even in the face of misperception and conflict. Practising peace, especially in times of war, requires courage.

All of us can practise non-violence.  We begin by recognising that, in our depths of consciousness, we have both the seeds of compassion and the seeds of violence.  We become aware that our mind is like a garden that contains all kinds of seeds: seeds of understanding, seeds of forgiveness, seeds of mindfulness and also seeds of ignorance, fear and hatred.  We realise that, at any given moment, we can behave with either violence or compassion, depending on the strength of these seeds within us.

When the seeds of anger, violence and fear are watered in us several times a day they will grow stronger.  Then we are unable to be happy, unable to accept ourselves; we suffer and we make those around us suffer.  Yet when we know how to cultivate the seeds of love, compassion and understanding in us every day, those sees will become stronger and the seeds of violence and hatred will become weaker and weaker."   - Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace


  1. Nice to see you back Karin & great words as always!

    I think that the mass dwelling on war every year is not good for us. Sime upset a few people on facebook with his views on poppies & remembrance day & he asked why do we not think of the innocent people that die in wars & soldiers from all sides as well as our own soldiers?

    People are conditioned to want war & to fight for our country, the more we are encouraged to believe that our soldiers are heroes, the more likely young people will want to join in. Peace will never be promoted in schools because the government wouldn't have their army, so how do you reach out to people & help them to see that there is another way?

    How do we find you on Twitter?

    Kay x

  2. I don't think it would be a problem if we quietly remembered how horrific, wasteful and futile war is. It's the talk of the 'glorious dead' and taking pride in all the wasted human potential I take objection to. In my opinion we could remember in a different way and honour the sacrifice of the dead by working harder for peace, but then that would make it difficult for the military and the government to justify their actions.

    I wore a white and a red poppy this year. The white poppy is for all the casualties of war, not just soldiers, and expresses the wish for the end of war. White poppies can be obtained from the Peace Pledge Union or local sellers in places such as Quaker Meetings. I wore the red poppy because I think soldiers need to be properly looked after when they are wounded and I'm not sure the government does that.

    I see the Twitter feed isn't working very well and is not displaying my name. You can find me @Hampshirechild


All relevant comments to this post are welcome, so feel free to have your say.