Monday, September 21 was the observance of the International Day of Peace (IDP) sponsored by the United Nations and celebrated with various events held by organizations across the world.
I became aware of IDP through the Heartfulness organization’s effort called “Connect for Peace”, whose goal was to connect 40 million people in meditation over a period of 24 hours on that day. In order to understand “what does peace mean?” to different people (kids, athletes, change makers, spiritual leaders and more), a video of responses was compiled and shared (see link in the footer… highly recommended)
So, what does peace mean to you? How and when and where do you best experience it? How often do you seemingly lose it and how do you restore it? How can we experience Supreme peace, and be established in its awareness in the majority of the moments of our daily lives?
Some of you may have heard the story of the monk getting ready to meditate by the river bank who sees a scorpion drowning in its effort to swim. The monk picks up the scorpion from the shallow water, and as she is about to put him down on dry land, the scorpion stings her. The monk is unperturbed, and gets ready to meditate again. The scorpion wades into the water again, starts drowning. The monk rescues it again, and gets stung again. When this happens a third time, an observer sitting by the bank cannot resist asking the monk – why do you keep rescuing the drowning scorpion when all it does is keep stinging you in return for your kindness?
The monk replied – the scorpion, one of apparently much lower awareness than me, is holding true to its nature, which is to sting. I, of higher awareness, ought to also hold true to my nature, and which is to be kind and perform kind actions, don’t you think? Why would I give up my peace, my serenity, my stillness, my Dharma (way of being) in response to the scorpion’s sting?
Such is the nature of our living in the world. The world stings us when we do kind things. Let us not forget that sometimes we may be the scorpions – maybe not in action, but with our thoughts and words. Often, the stings are unprovoked, undeserved, unexpected, unjust and unfair. How do we respond?
We respond to the stings of the world in accordance with our height of inner awareness and depth of inner peace. We are not all monks (yet), but some of us are on the path to becoming aware again, remembering again that supreme peace is our intrinsic nature. By associating with those people, places and practices that evoke peace within us, we connect with our peace within. Through regular connection with supreme peace, we raise our awareness to the point where we lose our sting, and the world, our mirror, loses its sting too.
Have you ever wondered why new born babies tend to make everyone around them happy? One reason is perhaps that the new born is still immersed in its connection with the peace supreme. The newborn hasn’t had an opportunity to forget that It is That or that That is all there Is. The newborn isn’t questioning whether it is the drop or the wave or the ocean. It is simply being peace.
That is the state of newborn peace which our spiritual practices can return us to. When you and I practice peace, we contribute to creating supreme peace for all of us. Why create peace? Peace creates a channel to convey natural justice based on natural law and order, which is indeed supreme.
Spirituality teaches me that peace supreme is above all and within all. There is no journey towards it, because I am already there. It is infinite, and that is enough for me. How about you?
P.S. Join us in our weekly community gathering on Twitter with #SpiritChat folks – Sunday, Sep 27 at 9amET. We will gather in peace and play with some questions and answers. Namaste – @AjmaniK
YouTube link for compilation of answers to “What does peace mean to you?” – https://youtu.be/TEKSFltSsvs