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Being Peace

Chapter 5 ("Working for Peace") of Thich Nhat Hanh's collection of 1985 lectures titled Being Peace concludes with thoughtful, effective advice:

In the peace movement there is a lot of anger, frustration, and misunderstanding. The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love letter. We need to learn to write a letter to the Congress or to the President of the United States that they will want to read, and not just throw away. The way you speak, the kind of understanding, the kind of language you use should not turn people off. The President is a person like any of us.

Can the peace movement talk in loving speech, showing the way for peace? I think that will depend on whether the people in the peace movement can be peace. Because without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace. If we cannot smile, we cannot help other people to smile. If we are not peaceful, then we cannot contribute to the peace movement.

I hope we can bring a new dimension to the peace movement. The peace movement is filled with anger and hatred. It cannot fulfill the path we expect from them. A fresh way of being peace, of doing peace, is needed. That is why it is so important for us to practice mediation, to acquire the capacity to look, to see, and to understand. It would be wonderful if we could bring to the peace movement our contribution, our way of looking at things, that will diminish aggression and hatred. Peace work means, first of all, being peace. Meditation is meditation for all of us. We rely on each other. Our children are relying on us in order for them to have a future.

(cf. EatTheOrange (2004-11-28), Breath as Vehicle (2009-06-17), We Are the Pot (2009-08-13), Blooming of a Lotus (2013-11-17), Four Mantras (2014-06-26), ...) - ^z - 2015-10-20