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Welcome to Peace Place...Dwell in this Moment

Peace Place is a free online journal. Here you'll find  gentle invitations and suggestions for bringing more peace into your life as well as links to some other peace related sites on the web you may find interesting. You are welcome!
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Beneath the Surface
Yesterday we were out on the Lake in the canoe. It was overcast but there was enough sun to turn our shoulders, arms and faces red. Far out in the center of the lake, a number of small sailboats circled together around an instructor in a motor boat. In several locations they practiced their turns and as each came around one particular spot the boats tipped far to one side, mandating the occupants to move swiftly to the other side, pulling the sail back in the opposite direction. They never tipped over and their parade/dance upon the surface moved gracefully along the surface. The white billowing sails met the breezes joyfully. Beauty and joy combined.
The lake water was so clear, closer to shore that from the canoe we could see the tall grasses rising from the sandy floor to the lake's surface. A large gold fish (which had apparently been released from some child's bowl many years ago) peered up at us from the green waving grasses before it plunged deep and out of sight. Sunlight lit the waters across the fish's path.  In a brief moment of encounter our eyes met and touched into the world of bright orange goldfish and the green waving grasses. We paddled on along the shore past a number of docks...from one a group of friendly smiling bystanders waved and called out, "Can we hitch a ride?" Holding their thumbs out to us we shouted out, "Yes, come aboard..." Yes. do come on aboard.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
5:32 pm edt 

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Shifting Sand
Simone Weil, the French philosopher and mystic, talked about the importance of one's source of personal and social nourishment  in her book, The Need for Roots. Weil worked and wrote during a time of crisis  both between the two world wars and during the Second World War, and her motivation came from her concern that an educational system could have produced such a tyrant as Adolph Hitler. As Simone Weil saw it, the false conception of greatness, seen as power or fame, had eclipsed the truer greatness: attentiveness to, reverence and appreciation for life and its many rich cultural roots. The truest sources of our nourishment, Simone Weil believed, come from our cultural, social, and spiritual foundations. Her deep passion and teaching reflect and embody her commitment to that truth and to educating her students and the children of war-torn France about the need for roots.
How do we deal with the shifting sands of our daily lives? Nothing stays the same. Change is the only given in life. What anchors us in these times? What beliefs and values hold and give us a sense of purpose and meaning as we live our days? To what do we turn for our grounding and guidance as the winds blow through? Beneath the surface, there must be some core of strength which tells us who we are and what we are to do. Purpose develops from within. There is a need for roots,Weil reminds us. We must acknowledge, respect and nurture our roots to come to full awareness of who we are and to endure the shifting sands.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
2:07 pm edt 

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Measure for Measure
How do you measure your progress or the progress of peace work in your life and world? Do you underestimate your accomplishments as most of us do? Do you compare yourself to others and judge what you have done by external standards?  How do you measure progress?
Weeding seems to go on without end in our garden. One day we have cleared the ground of all the sourgrass, the morning glory vine, the purslane, the joe pyeweed, the honeysuckle; the next day seemingly from nowhere strong healthy new weeds have introduced themselves. The work we did the day before appears to have evaporated, but we still feel the effort in our muscles. In fact,  we carry the accomplishment--the clearing of the weeds-- within us. We hold it in our cellular memory. It is ours--this work and accomplishment--this weeding--regardless of  external appearance and developments.
We own our peace work--our work on our own emotions as well as our work with others--in the same way. We may not see the external situation change and, in fact, it may actually seem to worsen rather than improve at times. But we carry our efforts and our accomplishments toward peace within us. The cellular memory is ours.
We have progressed, and we have make a contribution toward personal and world peace which no one can take away from us or deny. We embody the work we have done; our intent, vision and contribution to peace live within our consciousness and our physical body.
How do you measure your accomplishments and work for peace? Look in the mirror. You yourself embody the progress through your daily efforts and work with yourself, your feelings, and with all you meet and know.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
4:34 pm edt 

Monday, August 15, 2005

Easily Underestimated
A friend of ours who is quietly industrious was told by her boss one day that she is "easily underestimated." Her boss had apparently valued her work and contribution to the business, but he was actually surprised that such a quiet, consistent and perhaps modest staff member could do so much. He had, he was saying, underestimated her based on appearances. What she did accomplish, for that reason, surprised him. He had to change his mind about her.
How often do you underestimate your own contribution to your work and your friends/family? Do you notice and give yourself recognition for all that you do; for all that you are? Perhaps we need to notice what we have done once in awhile and give ourselves credit for what we have accomplished; for what we have given to others. Our daily work toward peace in our own lives and for peace in the world may be easily underestimated as well, and so it is important to gain some perspective and understanding that we are an important link and contributor toward bringing peace into being wherever we happen to be.
Remember the old movie Its A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart? 
The character Stewart played was so depressed and downhearted about what he had failed to accomplish in his career and life that he almost gave up, until he was taken on a tour of the lives he had touched and began to recognize the difference he had made in other's lives. He had underestimated his contribution. He had not recognized how much he had actually accomplished by being a friend; by being a presence that made a difference. He had to change his mind.
Are you underestimating your own work and contribution? Every seemingly small piece of who you are and what you give may in fact be much greater than you have ever imagined. Why not change your mind about that? No doubt you have accomplished a great deal more than you believe you have.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
9:46 am edt 

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Gift From The Sea
Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote a classic book years ago. It still touches the lives of those who read it with its thoughtful observations and ruminations about life alone and with others. Gift From the Sea is not a long book, but it is an invitation to join the author as she finds and reflects on the sea creatures and shells she finds along the sea shore. Lindbergh allows each small creature and being to show and to teach her something about life alone and in communion with others, and her reflections show us how simple daily encounters with life can open our awareness to deeper understandings and insights of our own lives.
Dag Hammarskjold's book Markings is a different but equally thoughtful collection of the former U.N. Secretary-General's observations and reflections of life as a human being.
"Light without a visible source, the pale gold of a new day. Low bushes, their soft silk-gray leaves silvered with dew. All over the hills, the cool red of the cat's-foot in flower. A blue horizon. Emerging from the ravine where a brook runs under a canopy of leaves, I walk out onto a wide open slope. Drops, sprinkled by swaying branches, glitter on my hands, cool my forehead, and evaporate in the gentle morning breeze."
Take a moment to pause and allow life to meet you where you are; where it is. The moment is your best and constant teacher.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
9:40 am edt 

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Help Is On The Way
Sometimes we as individuals need to reaffirm our need for the resources, insights and guidance others can provide. If we try to be everything to everyone we may be so busy helping others that we forget to accept help where and when we ourselves need it. Having the humility to ask for help and receive it can be an empowering experience even as we are on the receiving end of it. Practice receiving with humility and gratitude, recognizing that you are a person of value and worth and are deserving of acceptance and support as much as those you yourself are helping.
The universe has counted you in! Peace to you this day. Peace.
12:45 pm edt 

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Cicada Sounds
Listen late at night to the rhythmic sounds of cicadas. Like a thread of contact with the stream of life itself the hauntingly persistent song of joy continues into the day. We find the vacated shells of their previous incarnations resting on tree trunks or an occasional leaf. They have transformed and moved themselves on with the flowing energy of life, though we know their presence most fully through their song.
Our life moves on through its own transformations. We have our own rhythms and harmonies which call us forward through them. We shed the past each night and enter each new day transformed by rest and silence. It is part of our circadian rhythm. It is the rhythm of life itself.
The hum of the locust atttunes us to it.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
7:30 am edt 

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