B4Peace: Keep saying it and it will come true

Last year Kozo, over at Everydaygurus.com set a challenge to write a blog about peace at least once a month. He provided prompts to get us thinking and so a movement was born. This year we carry on, spreading the love across yon t’Interweb; for January Kozo has proposed we write about a thought we will keep in mind for the year to try and bring about peace. The premise is based both on Buddhist tradition and modern neuroscience which jointly conclude that we are what we think. So let us think, and be, Peace.

Kozo’s mantra is “Abide as the stream of love”, and those of you who have been with me a while may recall that there is a poem I particularly adore which seems to reflect this thought. I will do no more here than point you once more to “Valedictory Sonnet to the River Duddon” by Wordsworth, which includes the immortal line

“Still glides the stream and shall forever glide”.

Wordsworth wrote this when he was moving from his home of many years (I think it was from Dove Cottage to Grasmere, but it isn’t important as such) and was concerned at leaving his favourite walks and places for creative exercise. He wondered if, in leaving his genius loci he might also leave behind his Muse. Thus he was drawn into contemplating his mortality and chances of immortality, either through a religious lens or a legacy of poetry. Wordsworth was not very humble from what I can see, and expected his poetry to live on.

Watching the river he understood that life went on, with or without him. I talked about my own views on life after death recently in my first post for the Quaker Alphabet project, so won’t bore you again. In fact, this rambling introduction has done no more than set the scene for the mantra that I use when practising any form of mindfulness or meditative activity. You may or may not be relieved to hear it isn’t Wordsworth.

When I first started trying to incorporate regular meditation/mindfulness into my routine I used various recordings from the Internet to help me learn to focus. I live in a rural area and although there is in fact a meditation group in a nearby town, run by the Buddhist Centre at Pocklington, nevertheless I have never managed to attend because I am usually away for work during the week. So I make do and mend by using that ever reliable and trustworthy resource known as YouTube.

One of the files I found (and I can’t remember which it was so can’t include a link) talked about a loving universe surrounding and upholding you. I find this concept comforting, and try to think about it as I settle into any period of meditation. To help me do so I tend to use a certain phrase – breathe in the love.

breatheinloveThis helps me to focus on my breathing and to calm myself down so that I can sit quietly. Iy also allows me to recognise that I can find support and help if needed, and that I am not as useless as I tend to assume. I have been known to sub-vocalise this phrase when facing something particularly irritating during the daily grind. On one or two occasions it has helped but usually I admit I leave it too late and the lava is already erupting before I try and shut it down, by which time mantras just don’t cut it at all.

So why am I suggesting it might be useful for me to carry on doing this? Well, I suppose I’m not saying that exactly – although I will carry on. What I am trying to say is that I believe that if more people practised meditation or mindfulness, with or without spiritual overtones as they see fit, the more peaceful the world would be. If more of us tried to do this, and kept trying to remember our mantras sooner than later, then we might have fewer angry words and sulks and hurt.

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Dalai Lama

And he should know.

Now if you don’t fancy meditation, and lots of people don’t, that’s OK too, because that is why poetry was invented. Perhaps you can use a simple mantra just on its own. One that helps you keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you. One that reminds you that you, too, are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. One that encourages you to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone. In short, one that holds you close, like a bridge over troubled water, when life is getting too difficult and people are doing your head in and all you want to do is channel your inner toddler, lie on the floor and have a massive tantrum. We’ve all been there. Don’t pretend you haven’t had days like that. It’s OK. All I’m saying here is, a mantra can help, sometimes.

Other Bloggers for Peace can be read here; read and enjoy and find inspiration for your daily heroics.

You are amazing.



16 thoughts on “B4Peace: Keep saying it and it will come true

  1. Oh my, what a delightful post! Your edgy humor and grace come together in such a lovely way! “Breathe in Love” is working it’s way through me, and I’m feeling good. And it’s making me realize that, although I’m enjoying my internet surfing this morning, my body really, really needs breakfast already and I must obey that. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us. I agree and relate with you on all fronts. We are truly blessed with this intangible book of knowledge at our fingertips, the internet, waiting to be deciphered and grasped. Beautiful poem by Wordsworth , thank you! I’ve sat and re-read it over and over again this morning and feel the inner peace resonating within me already 🙂

    • Always pleased to find out people enjoy these things! I don’t like Wordsworth for the most part but that one gives me goosebumps.Hurrah for the Internet!

      • Yes Hurrah indeed! 🙂 It took me 30 seconds to find a site full of his poetry, and have read a couple more. I am curious to get a different outlook…what is it about him you don’t like?

      • I think I find him sentimental and also pretty arrogant
        I like the other romantics of the period such as Coleridge, But WW just seems a bit strait laced and conventional. This is only my interpretation of course! He just doesn’t hit the spot for me I’m afraid.(I’m a bot the same with Dickens although I like him better 🙂 )

      • Interesting…I will read some more of his works to get a better taste of his style, he may or may not be my cup of tea 🙂 I usually like to get opinions from others to get different outlooks then my own…it’s always nice.Thanks!

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  6. Yay, EBL is on the meditation track. I just finished an interview with Father Richard Rohr who is a strong supporter of Christian contemplative practices. I will post the link to the interview next week. You will love it, i think. Love the Wordsworth mixed with Dalai Lama. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

    • Well, on and off the track generally but at least occasionally on!
      Look forward to reading about your interview. The meeting I used to belong to a few years ago had a contemplation group that used Taize chants.

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