Friday, July 18, 2008


Let's talk about something near and dear to the OFG's heart, and to the hearts of a great many of us all over the planet: peace.

Before we get too far along, I'll tell you what I mean by the term. This may help you get in the same frame of mind I am in as I discuss the topic, and may well prevent misunderstandings.

Peace, to me, is more than the absence of conflict. It is a palpable sense of gentle repose, a place where the air is full of promise, a time when there is no rush to judgment or hurry to criticize.

Peace, it turns out, is easy. Staying with peace, becoming peace, living peace...that's a bit more difficult because we spend so much of our lives interacting with others, and unless you happen to be the Dalai Lama's best buddy, even your friends are liable to make a life full of peace hard to maintain.

Blessedly, though, we can surrender to peace in literally one breath. It is a concept coincident with my wife's main focus these days: Easy World. Go read about it, as it is an idea whose recollection is timely. And, it is just that: we are recalling how our lives were meant to be as we open ourselves to Easy World.

So, how do we maintain our stance in peace when we are out and about in this duality-tainted world, where judgments of good and bad, right and wrong, nice and naughty are so prevalent that they are practically unavoidable?

I don't have a perfect answer, but I can tell you what helps me at least keep peace in sight, even if it is almost all the way to the horizon sometimes. Surrendering to the moment, giving up on the pretense of control, defining one's joy as being all you see/feel/breathe right this instant...those help me.

Of course, working in corporate America as I do, there are times when it is actually advisable to simply ask peace to take a number, and you will serve it in the order in which it arrived among all the other stuff going on.

That doesn't mean I forget the tenets, only that I allow myself to drop down fully into the duality of "If I win, you have to lose, because this is a zero-sum game, buster!" And, as soon as it is feasible, I rise back up by closing my eyes to my office (after first closing the door--should I actually levitate some day, I really don't want witnesses unless they have a video camera handy), breathing deeply and slowly, consciously being aware of each breath, and I find myself so calm I become quite relaxed in a matter of only a couple of minutes.

Just as with most people, there are times (heck...weeks) when I am simply not keeping the thread connecting me to peace firmly wrapped around my wrist. Once I come to the realization that I have completely wandered away, the first step I take is to forgive myself for my own mischief. I always remember this step because Julie would so bust me if I did not.

There is no peace at the end of a thought process that begins with, "I am such a [insert not-very-nice phrase here] that I cannot believe I am allowed to live! I must be punished, I must be made to suffer!" If you want to sleep poorly for all the sins you have forgotten to slime yourself over, go for it. After all, we each get to choose.

How will peace progress? That's one that is also up to us, both as individuals allowing more peace into our own lives, and as groups which allow more peace into their group. Because peace is always available to all of us, it is possible for all the disagreements, all the anger, all the petty differences on the planet to end right now. All the wars, the conflicts over religion, the sports fans hating fans of the other team, the competition to see who is the biggest jerk...ending. Right now.

Now, for the best news: we are moving in that direction, even if the complete peace we desire did not arrive in that moment at the end of the last paragraph. And, it is a movement which is accelerating.

Just as it is easier for an individual to revisit his or her own peace once one has established where it is and how to get there, the same is true for all of humanity. The more of us who consciously choose peace, the easier it becomes for those who have not been there yet.

I choose peace. I love peace. I seek, every day, to find more of me devoted to peace and enjoying it.

One day, I will become peace and will never return. Come with me?


Olivia said...

I will take you up on your invitation, Rick!

I believe that we must carry our peace with us. Peace is my overarching value, even to the point where I legally changed my name to "Olivia", which means peace.

Peace is a practice...

Peace, :)


Rick Hamrick said...

Thanks for your willingness to add to the peace I'm feeling here, Olivia!