Many of us have been affected by the news of what’s happening in the Ukraine in the last couple of weeks, and it has impacted people in a variety of different ways. I've noticed how it has ignited anxiety in many people, and there is a real question about how we can be with this anxiety. The news of what’s happening is real and of course in someway we are connected with this, and at the same time it’s not directly in our environment. So how do we find ease with this?
What feels important is to acknowledge what’s present, what do we feel in our bodies and what feels true for us. And from this place, can we just welcome and accept these feelings as we notice them, knowing that these are very reasoned responses to an outbreak of war. Maybe it helps to be curious about what this touches in us personally, what it reminds us of from our own history... can we respond to this with a depth of self-compassion.
Something I am aware of this time, is that we are more directly and physically connected to these events, in ways that have not been previously accessible to us. In previous outbreaks of war that have happened in my lifetime, there has not been this level of interconnectedness with the event as it's happening, mainly aided by the internet. We seem to be much more aware of our interconnectedness than ever before, which really came to light during the pandemic. No matter our colour or creed, class or economic status, the pandemic has effected all of us in some way, and we have seen how we are all an interconnected part of this world. So of course its reasonable that we will feel this war in some way.
I am so touched by the outpouring of love being directed from every corner of the world, group prayers and meditation, a sense that this kind of war is an outdated way of dealing with conflict. This gives me a feeling of hope... that maybe this time, something is different and these mass intentions of love can bring about a different outcome that we may not understand yet.
I've found myself having this conversation a lot this week - discussing the question of how we can engage a peaceful response in a way that can be a tangible help to the situation.
Personally, I am drawn back to some very simple truths… that is if peace is important to us, we need to live it in every microcosm of our day, and this is an important contribution at this time.
Charles Eisenstein is a great inspiration to me, and he recently wrote an article titled “The field of Peace” in which he says…
“John Perkins once told me a story of bringing a group to have an audience with the Dalai Lama. A woman asked him, “Is it important to pray for peace?” The Dalai Lama said, “Yes, praying for peace is very good, but if that is all you do you are wasting your time.”
What he meant is that prayers will have no effect if they are not aligned with action. It makes sense—if I pray for one thing and enact its opposite, whoever hears the prayer is going to be confused. Which is it that you want, X or Y? Which is it that you want, peace or war?”
If peace is important to us, then the invitation is to live peace our daily action. To weave peace into every gesture of our day very consciously… how we treat our bodies, how we nourish our bodies, how we speak to ourselves, how we hold our tea cup, how we wash the dishes and drive our cars. How we interact with all beings in our lives… this is how we show the world we want peace.
I feel this gesture of turning to every aspect of our own lives with an intention of kindness, understanding and peace is a powerful 'something we can do'. It's an important act of service, when we understand the interconnectedness of all of life.
To breed peace and kindness in every element of our day - in every interaction... this is a significant contribution, and I think these actions go a long way towards meeting the anxiety we feel in our own bodies as well as helping our fellow humans involved in these horrific events.
I also feel a deep sadness for the Earth, when I see the devastation. This planet is her body, and this must be hurting her greatly.
Wishing us all well at this difficult time, may we find our own little way to live and act in peace.
Charles Eisenstein’s full article: