With so much turmoil and distress in the world, here are just a few thoughts on peace and how we can find it right now.
In the Patanajali Yoga Sutras the first yama (Universal Morality) is ahimsa, which translates into non-violence, non-harming and non-injury. It is compassion for all living beings, which includes our relationship with the external world and other people. It also includes our relationship with our self.
When we cultivate peace within our own hearts, the natural attitude of inner peace radiates towards others. When we do this, others give up their hostilities and aggressions in return. Peace is a non-verbal language and can be practiced by all. This is an automatic process, which most of us have experienced when being in the presence of a non-violent being.
We don’t need to take on the world in order to produce peace, all we need to do is start with ourselves.
Just like when an airplane is going down and is about to crash, we must put on our own oxygen mask before we can help the person next to us. Working on imbibing peace within ourselves is not selfishness—it is intelligence. When we are not harming ourselves, we will not be harming others.
Peace begins with us.
“To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.” ~ Buddha
“Be the change you wish to see.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Compassion for other begins with kindness to ourselves.” ~ Pema Chodron
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Teresa
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~ Dalai Lama
“Peace is our natural state of being.” ~ Lao Tzu
“We need to love one another, live in peace and harmony. Instead, we quarrel and fight.” ~ Bob Marley
“Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“When one being gets into the mood of life he can bring millions to life. When one fellow gets into the suicidal mood, he can kill thousands along with him.” ~ Paramahamsa Nithyananda
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” ~ Albert Einstein
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.” ~ John Lennon
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” ~ Anne Frank
“There is no peace without forgiveness.” ~ Marianne Williamson
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi
“Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.” ~ Nelson Mandela
“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it—one must work at it.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.” ~ Ekhart Tolle
“There can never be peace between nations, until there is first known that peace which is within the souls of men.” ~ Black Elk
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” ~ Francis of Assisi
“When we have peace in our hearts and minds, we draw peace into our lives.”~ Iyanla Vanzant
“Peace is always beautiful.” ~ Walt Whitman
“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” ~ Aristotle
Author: Sarvasmarana Ma Nithya
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Robert Michalove