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Walking a Path of Peace

Spirit of Peace skylight in our meditation room at the Mount

Glass Artist Lynn Hegney

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,

Tied in a single garment of destiny.

Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Letter from a Birmingham Jail)

There is an irrefutable link between the present world crisis and the daily choices we each make. Global issues are now the politics of place. Through vivid images and on-the-ground reporting, world-encompassing communications reveal what is happening real-time and make it impossible to plead ignorance regarding the fate of our brothers and sisters wherever they may be living upon the Earth. Our planet has suddenly become much smaller, up close and very personal.

If we truly desire a more peaceful world then what we espouse needs to be congruent with how we act. Is it sufficient to voice horror at oppression in a particular country and then stop by the supermarket to purchase our favorite groceries that may be supplied by a state-sponsored industry marginalizing the very people for whom we have just pledged our support? Living in integrity means that the ‘outer’ always reflects the ‘inner’ in all we think, say and do. This applies equally to individuals, communities and nations.

"The true measure of a society's strength

is not in its ability to wage war,

but in its capacity to promote peace,

justice, and equality."

- Kofi Annan

So, what does it mean to walk a Path of Peace and live a life of harmlessness? The question is where do we actually draw the line in our personal response to these larger global issues. For instance, can we sit back and demand a nation cease its belligerent behavior, disarm and rid itself of all weapons of destruction without a corresponding action on our part that addresses the personal roots of aggression? Can we in all good conscience insist on nuclear disarmament without first being willing to dismantle our own entrenched psychological patterns of aggression and self-defense?

The unholy trinity of fear, ignorance and separation is the real enemy and as long as there are aspects of my psyche cowering in fear and needing to be defended, I am unwittingly and actively subscribing to and investing in the maintenance of global military systems. Terrorism and aggression wear many guises on many levels.

If you and I were to conduct a personal audit, then how much energy would we discover is expended each day maintaining our personal defenses and fueling petty acts of aggression against others? The cost must truly be staggering. Traditionally an arsenal of weapons is defined in terms of guns and missiles. However, on a psychological level, the cutting remarks and negative thoughts we hurl at each other are equally destructive weapons that wound and cause enormous harm. Relationships are destroyed and trust among us severely damaged by the launching of these psychic projectiles. Like rogue nations, we too are armed and dangerous whenever we lash out instead of acting from a place of harmlessness and Goodwill.

True disarmament begins with a personal peace process in which you and I promise to lay down our psychological weapons and agree to live in harmony. This first step to global peace does not require a unanimous vote in the United Nations Security Council: all it asks is a deep personal commitment.

This Pathway of Right Human Relations extends beyond the limits of inter-human cooperation to include our relationship with the rocks, plants, animals, birds as well as with our Essential Self. It also embraces refined realms of Angels, the subtle sphere of embodied wisdom called the Fifth Kingdom in Nature – the Abode of the Soul – and even higher strata. Inside the spectrum of this sacred eco-system, “we live and move and have our being.” Many are ignorant of this expanded reality and fail to appreciate that every single thing we do touches the seamless web of life in its entirety. This deep state of inter-connectedness is echoed in the words of Francis Thompson:

“All things by immortal power,

Near or far,


To each other linked are,

That thou canst not stir a flower

Without troubling of a star.”

Sadly, a war is being waged on the environment by the forces of greed and crass exploitation and the effects of this prolonged assault are all too plain to see. As with all conflicts, the war on Mother Nature has both a personal and collective dimension.

If we seek to walk a path of peace with all life, then it behooves us to examine our personal conduct and locate the real roots of pollution. There are, of course, obvious culprits who shamelessly exploit the common wealth and their names are all too frequently blazoned across the pages and screens of the world’s media. However, blame for eroding the delicate ecological balance of the planet cannot be placed solely upon the shoulders of the petrochemical industry and other toxic waste-producing enterprises. There is a subtle source of pollution and ecological damage that is much closer to home.

We abhor the noxious waste that poisons our atmosphere, oceans and land but we seldom stop to think of the individual acts of pollution that take place daily. Each derogatory thought and negative emotion emitted is a poisonous release into the ethers that has a dilatory and destructive effect – as harmful as any chemical deposited in the surrounding landscape. Whenever our hearts and minds are filled with hate, we spew out harmful particulates. The psychological climate of our planet is adversely affected by these emissions.

If we could scan the mental horizons of the collective consciousness, we would perceive the many dark thought-forms and emotionally-charged particles clouding the inner skies. This acid rain-cloud of the human psyche is a powerful corrosive force eating away at the social and moral fabric of our world. We quite rightly demand limits to emissions from automobiles and factories and yet fail to understand that the factory of the human mind is churning out pollutants into the atmosphere each time we think in separatist and prejudicial ways about each other.

Plato, Pythagoras and other great luminaries have offered for our consideration, the axiom that, “Energy follows thought”. The implication being that we create inclement weather inside the psychic atmosphere of society by comporting ourselves negatively. What many religions and schools of philosophy throughout the ages have also taught is that, “We reap what we sow”. The process of creating peace in the world is thus inexorably linked to the choices each of us makes moment to moment.

The height of futility and self-delusion is to believe that a different and better crop can be harvested if we continue to sow the same seed-thoughts of negativity in the fertile ethers of the human psyche season after season. Mahatma Gandhi astutely observed:

Your Beliefs become your Thoughts

Your Thoughts become your Words

Your Words become your Actions

Your Actions become your Habits

Your Habits become your Values

Your Values become your Destiny

We are in dire need of a viable ecology of peace – a way of living together that is inspirational, practical and results in Earth becoming a garden of plenty for all in which the full flowering of the human spirit is possible. Investing in harmless thinking and ‘peaceful action’ is a priceless gift to coming generations, while its absence is a costly oversight that will invariably bankrupt the future.

A radical shift is required and, instead of merely identifying ourselves as human beings, there is a compelling call to expand our sphere of awareness to include the totality of Gaia – our planetary home.

So how would we articulate the difference between living as a human and living as a Gaian? As humans, we tend to go about our lives looking at the world as an external reality – something existing solely outside of ourselves that we naively assume lacks sentiency and is devoid of consciousness.

However, as Gaians we now think, feel and act within a deeply sensed knowing that the whole Earth is a sentient being alive inside of us and that we, in turn, live inside a whole spectrum of lives that make up this planetary gestalt we call Earth. As a Gaian we know ourselves to be a conscious fractal of the multidimensional ecosystem that constitutes the Living Planet. As a Gaian we are a microcosm of Gaia – a sacred space of synthesis where Life meets Life and knows Itself to be at One with All. The true differentiation between these two states of consciousness is that a human being lives on the Earth while a Gaian lives AS the Earth.

When we realize that all are things are connected inside a matrix of lives, we cannot cause harm to anyone or anything. When we sense a greater purpose and meaning to life and know in our bones that we are part of a vast field of belonging, then this profound awareness creates a sense of inner peace. Gaians are peaceful by nature.

There is so much goodness in our souls that has never had a chance to grow because of the present inhospitable climate. We now have a real opportunity to create those right psychic soil conditions. Instead of feeling helpless and despondent in the face of the many failing forms of society, we can focus and channel our passion and creative energy in building a peaceful and brighter future that is more in resonance with the qualities and values of the Soul. The choice is either to go in peace or to go in pieces.

Meditation Mount is dedicated to equipping people with the tools and spiritual wherewithal for building this preferred future. Creative Meditation is a toolbox of techniques and practices that supports the subtle work of shaping our dreams and aspirations and bringing them into manifestation as a positive response to the present world crisis. Creative Meditation serves the Common Good by aiding in the construction and precipitation of those new and hope-filled thought-forms that represent the seed-ideas and promise of something finer waiting to be revealed.

The outward work can never be small if the inward one is great,

and the outward work can never be great if the inward is small.

– Meister Eckhart

Sowing seeds of peace and hope, wherever we may find ourselves, is something to which we can commit. If these vital new seeds containing the promise of a more just and joyful future are not sown and grown now, then nothing new will emerge and sadly the old weeds of war will continue to spread and ultimately overrun and choke the Garden of Gaia.

The needed shift begins within the heart and mind of each person and so ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ through our conscious choice to walk a Path of Peace together and live in kinship and right relationship with all life.

Michael Lindfield

Board President

Meditation Mount

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