Peace and Prosperity
It seems we still need to know what peace and prosperity truly is as we continue to experience wars within and without along with rampant global poverty. Why do we need to learn about war within ourselves and amongst one another? Will it help us move toward a greater peace? Why do we need to learn about poverty? Will it help us eradicate it in ourselves and the world? These are real questions that each of us might want to sit with as we complain about others and self righteously do nothing to change ourselves and our projections thus keeping war and poverty alive within as well as out there in the world. Change begins within you and me.
I used to think about peace and prosperity, war and poverty as something that was out there somewhere beyond me. When I discovered the wars and poverty were within, I finally woke up to a whole new way of seeing, thinking and behaving. When I finally realized that I carried peace and war, prosperity and poverty within my own mind and heart I began to change, rearrange and stop projecting my negativity out onto others. It was a revelation to experience my projections actually creating realities I didn’t want within myself or anyone else. I finally knew that ‘nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.’
The light flashed on in my head and heart when, at the ripe old age of twenty four I found my wife with another man. My rage came close to destroying the one I loved as I self righteously railed against the storm outside while ignoring and justifying the storms within. It took weeks of ongoing ‘madness’ alone in my house to work through the anger, denial, depression, more anger, denial, depression, bargaining, denial, anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and on and on until I finally reached a place called acceptance and began to calm down. Her words kept echoing in my head and heart: “I had to leave you because I was drowning in your darkness.”
The gift appeared months later when I was given a primitive cabin to live in by myself at eleven thousand feet in the dead of winter. I stayed there in solitude from January into May and walked off the mountain a changed man. In the midst of war I found peace. In the midst of poverty I found prosperity. It was a new beginning I’m still living into over forty years later. The inner war is over and yet there are always minor skirmishes that ultimately end in surrender and a new peace. The inner prosperity still continues to get mixed up with outer prosperity so I’ve had to lose the outer prosperity repeatedly to remind me where true prosperity really resides.
This is a journey of a thousand miles that starts everyday by consciously awakening step by step with one breath, one heartbeat, one affirmation, one thanksgiving, one loving-kindness, one joy, one peaceful illumination at a time. It’s learning to remain within while going out and when out, bring peace and prosperity to share rather than hoard. As Indira Gandhi said: “Without peace there can be no prosperity for anyone.” And as Bryant McGill said: “Peace IS Prosperity.” What I needed to know was how unconscious I was of my insecurities, inner fears and emotional wounds so they could all be loved, healed, transcended and included.
When we see peace and prosperity from the inside out, from above and below, from suffering and scarcity, we begin to identify others as ourselves. We begin to see relationships with one another and all creation as a wholeness built upon the foundation of Love and Care. We start understanding the truth of ‘what I do unto others I do unto myself.’ This awareness then focuses attention on inner peace which ultimately results in outer peace, on inner prosperity which finds its’ way into outer prosperity. The teaching of what we need starts with attention given to that which is within, which eventually works it’s way out…. What do you need to release, to let go of? What do you need to know, to help you grow peace and prosperity within?
- If you sense your need/want to find greater peace and prosperity start with the practice of self- observation. In self-observation you simply bring conscious awareness to what you think, say, and act out without any judgement or attachment. You witness, observe from a place of non attachment. Simply observe: react not, resist not, retain not and when you find yourself in one of these thoughts or wandering somewhere else just awaken to it and return to observing. You can engage this practice wherever you are. The witness/observer goes where you go.
- It’s also helpful to write in a journal everyday. In this you can actually dialog with your True Self as well as your many other selves to discover the dominant selves and how they run on automatic. You can begin a dialog with any of the parts to reflect consciously on what’s going on within. This can result in greater awareness of your resistances, judgements and attachments that you are unaware of. The teacher and student is always wherever you are.
- Take a few minutes three or four times a day to get quiet, follow your breath and chant silently I Am Peace. I Am Prosperity . . . I Am Peace. I Am Prosperity . . . I Am Peace. I Am Prosperity . . . I Am Peace. I Am Prosperity . . . I Am Peace. I Am Prosperity . . .Do this for thirty days and notice the change within and without . . .