To live in peace is to live free from fear of violence, conflict, hostility, tension and aggression. When we live in peace, we live in unity and wholeness. We are rooted in interconnection. There is reverence for all life, because we understand that we are one with the essential fabric of the universe.
In peacefulness, there is no againstness. Againstness arises as an expression of our ego, which only knows to separate and divide. Feeling separate from love is the source of tension, conflict and violence. In essence, we don’t need to learn to “keep” peace. We need to learn to let go of the illusions that engage our egos and trigger againstness.
A sincere seeker is devoted to realizing this essential unity. He or she knows that the ego feels either greater than or less than something or someone in order to feed an attachment to separateness. The here and now is an opportunity to disarm that tendency. With this understanding, all of life becomes an alchemical crucible through which compassionate non-attachment turns our base metals of ignorance into the gold of eternal oneness.
As we open to this moment, we learn to see it as it is. When we become fixated on reality appearing one way, “we are right” and “they are wrong”, we are attached to a passing perception. The ego is hungry. Just as our minds tend to be busy, our ego is constantly seeking a way to sustain itself and prove its value. Through non-resistance to what is, we go beyond the wanting ego and find true presence.
Some may confuse peacefulness with passiveness, feeling that a peaceful life means being a pushover. Others may think living in peace means feeling more personally empowered by having a stronger sense of self and more self-esteem. But neither sees peace in its true beauty.
Living in peace is not about passiveness. To commit to peace is to move beyond any againstness, because divisiveness, such as the idea that I have power over you, perpetuates conflict in the world. This is not just about letting go of thinking ourselves more powerful than another. It means learning to see the police officer who gives us a speeding ticket not as an imposition but as a blessing. He or she is helping us slow down, potentially avoiding an accident. It means not perceiving the coffee barista who is taking what feels like “forever” as a nuisance, but as our teacher in trust and patience. It means that everything that happens is grace. Everything in our life supports us in some way and encourages our growth and evolution, even if we don’t like it. All provides an opportunity for our consciousness to expand so that we may learn to live rooted in peace and act from compassion.
Living in peace is not about personal power and self-esteem. For the sincere seeker, one who is inspired by the dissolution of the sense of “me” and the return to oneness, there is no “self” to empower. My teacher Amma says that when we are aware of our oneness, just as our right hand immediately extends to our left should we feel pain there, so too we extend our love to the world when we see suffering. We are one.
May we awaken to this inherent unity and embody peace in every moment.