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Forum Post: Assuming Our Power

Posted 2 years ago on May 9, 2012, 2:26 p.m. EST by candleflameburns (0) from Grand Rapids, MI
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My Dear Friends,

 Violence, hatred, and despair are not only coming to you from the outside; they are coming from the inside. Our real enemies today are our own anger, our own violence, and our own discrimination and fear.
 We have to go home to ourselves and listen to ourselves to become mindful, to be aware of what is going on. When you come home to yourself, you will be available to help others. If we can first practice taking good Care of ourselves, our feelings, and our emotions, we create zones of peace.
 If you have peace and safety, others will also have peace and safety. And if you don't have peace and safety, others won't either. 
 In our consciousness, we store many positive seeds of wisdom, understanding, compassion, and joy. We also store many negative seeds of pain, anger, despair, violence, and craving. These seeds are all in our consciousness, which is like the basement of our house. 
 It depends on how we live our daily lives whether these seeds become stronger or weaker. Every time a negative seed is watered, that seed will manifest. We have to be very careful in handling our seeds. If we don't live mindfully, we will continue to water the seeds of anger, despair, craving, and fear several times a day. Then they manifest all the time. And when they manifest all the time, you suffer. 
 It is possible to come home to your pain and sorrow with the practice of mindfullness. But you are afraid. You are used to being overwhelmed by your fear and despair.
 You are trying so hard to prevent these strong seeds of anger and despair and fear and craving from manifesting in your culture by consumption, by staying so busy so the blocks of fear and anger and pain have no chance to come up.
 You practice suppressing the fear and despair in you by watching TV, turning on the phone, picking up a magazine, and choosing unmindful consumption. Most of us try to run away from our suffering within by the way we consime. THis is why they can sell things to you. Sometimes you need drugs and alcohol because the pain is so immense in you.
 But we can stop running away from ourselves and transform our despair and suffering inside. Your energy of mindfulness is your ally to embrace your pain tenderly. Then you can understand the violence of your pain. You can transform and remove the violence, anger, and fear in you by practicing mindful breathing and walking.
 You can practice by saying, "Breathing in, I know my anger is in me. BReathing out, I can take care of my anger now."
 With the energy of mindfulness, you can recognize and embrace your anger and fear. There is no fighting going on. 
 If we can breathe and walk mindfully, we can embrace our anger and transform it. Then we will get relief. Everytime we take a mindfulness bath, our anger will lose a little bit of strength.
 Practice breathing mindfully every day. Sign a peace treaty with yourself to walk mindfully. Sign a peace treaty with your children and with your partner. Sign a peace treaty with your staircase to walk mindfully. "Breathing in, I am here. Breathing out, I am home. Breathing in, I am here. Breathing out, I am home. Breathing in, I am here, Breathing out, I am home."
 Practice breathing in with each step. As you breathe mindfully, it will make you alive. It will bring you joy. It will make you happy.
 To remove the violence and hate in the world, we also have to remove our wrong perceptions. Wrong perceptions are the foundation of violence, hate, fear, and despair.
 Only the practice of compassionate listening can remove the wrong perceptions. When you listen compassionately to others, you are free of your wrong perceptions. And when you are free of wrong perceptions, understanding and love can make their way into your heart. You can restore communication with love and compassion. 
 II think America should go home to herself and listen to herself and recognize the suffering inside of America. There is fear. There is confusion. There is anger. There is violence. Thre are too many people in America who still believe they are objects of discrimination and social injustice. 
 It's my conviction that in America there are people who are capable of listening with deep compassion to the difficulties of others. If people can come together and vioce their concerns strongly, offer their light to the whole nation, and show the path, that would be wonderful. If America can listen to the Sufferings of its own nation and repair the damage down to its own nation, America will inspire many people. That will show that America is capable of listening to the suffering of other nations. 
 We have to practice this mindfulness energy as people, as a city, as a nation. We have to be able to recognize, embrace, and transform our anger. TThe anger of one person can ruin them and their family. The anger of one nation can ruin other nations.
 The first step is to come home to ourselves. You don't need to become a Buddha. You need to become yourself.

                                                -Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk, poet, peace activist, and the author of "Creating True Peace, Being Peace, and more than 100 other books. He was nominated by Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I also highly recommend to the book "Peace in our Lifetime:Insights from the World's Peacemakers by Susan Skog, published by cliffrose communications, llc colorado. This book is engrossed in profound truths and insights in cultivating a change in our society. Read it. Emmerce in it. Cultivate its fruits. Pass it along to share with others.

Peace be with you.

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