Practicing Peace in Times of War
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With war and violence flaring all over the world, many of us are left feeling vulnerable and utterly helpless. In this book Pema Chödrön draws on Buddhist teachings to explore the origins of aggression, hatred, and war, explaining that they lie nowhere but within our own hearts and minds. She goes on to explain that the way in which we as individuals respond to challenges in our everyday lives can either perpetuate a culture of violence or create a new culture of compassion.
"War and peace begin in the hearts of individuals," declares Pema Chödrön at the opening of this inspiring and accessible book. She goes on to offer practical techniques any of us can use to work for peace in our own lives, at the level of our habits of thought and action. It's never too late, she tells us, to look within and discover a new way of living and transform not only our personal lives but our whole world.
basis for extending the same unconditional friendliness to others. If there are whole parts of yourself that 73 pr acticing peace in times of war you are always running from, that you even feel justified in running from, then you’re going to run from anything that brings you into contact with your feelings of insecurity. And have you noticed how often these parts of ourselves get touched? The closer you get to a situation or a person, the more these feelings arise. Often when you’re in a
loved ones. A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do. If you look back at history or you look at any place in the world where religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups or political groups are killing each other, or 21 pr acticing peace in times of war families have been feuding for years and
awaken us at any time. And somehow Jarvis, in this story of trying to avert harm, conveyed this fundamental openness to the other inmates. One day there was a seagull out on the yard in San Quentin. It had been raining and the seagull was there paddling around 33 pr acticing peace in times of war in a puddle. One of the inmates picked up something in the yard and was about to throw it at the bird. Jarvis didn’t even think about it—he automatically put out his hand to stop the man. Of course
fine, no problem.” But you know enough to be patient and maybe non- 61 pr acticing peace in times of war aggressively say something like “Let’s talk about this again later,” understanding that even simple words like this can avert two people from going to war. Our training is to acknowledge when we’re tensing, when we’re hooked, when we are all worked up. The earlier we catch it, the easier shenpa is to work with; but nevertheless, if we catch it even when we’re all worked up, that’s good
reality of death. But there are also the realities of aging, of illness, of not getting what we want, and of getting what we don’t want. These kinds of difficulties are facts of life. Even if you were the Buddha himself, if you were a fully enlightened person, you would experience death, illness, aging, and sorrow at losing what you love. All of these things would happen to you. If you got burned or cut, it would hurt. But the Buddhist teachings also say that this is not really what causes us