Cultivating a Heart as Wide as the World
This is a time for each of to open our hearts in great honesty with ourselves. Perhaps we are convinced that our abhorrence of violence prevents us form practicing it. A closer look will reveal that not only do we practice violence on a daily basis, we often escalate it in our personal inner and outer environments. One may be a mental terrorist, inwardly sending bombs of judgment, anger, animosity or prejudice towards a particular person, race or culture. Outwardly, it may manifest as spiteful words or actions. However and wherever violence expresses, it pollutes our environment with toxic vibrations of harm.
Stopping the cycle of violence begins with our relationship with ourselves. If we have a nuclear war going on in our own head, we may expect to have a corresponding battle ground in the affairs of our personal life. So ask yourself if you escalate self-violence through negative self-talk, desecrating the divine image in which you were created. Introspect on your thoughts, motives and actions. Excavate the contents of your mind so that any mental or emotional habit patterns that undermine a healthy, mature thinking and response to life may be eradicated. Check in to see—without self-condemnation—where an attitude needs adjusting in order to live more compassionately, to make room in your heart for yourself and others.
Unless we come clean and take responsibility for our individual and collective biases and prejudices, coming together in heroic gestures of generosity, self-sacrifice of patriotic flag waving will not be strong enough to permanently shift us to a new paradigm of world citizenry. Each of us must bravely walk through our own unresolved issues of fear, doubt, worry, insecurity, blame, selfishness, greed ignorance—all of it! Unless we are willing to do that kind of inner work, any seeming unity we are now witnessing in America will be only temporary.
Tragic occurrences in our country such as the mass murder at Columbine High School, news reports of parents murdering their children, children murdering their parents, children murdering children—reveal the violence flowing in our national bloodstream. Violence in our country did not just begin on September 11th! Nor can the causes of violence be wrapped in a tidy package of blame on the movie industry, drugs imported into America, rap and heavy metal music or rave concerts. It is the mind within the individual that creates the popularity and demand for violent movies, music and drugs. As the sage Krishnamurti pointed out, “The inward strife projected outwardly becomes the world chaos. After all, war is the spectacular result of our everyday life.”
What are we do to? How are we going respond to the Universes’ plea to allow peace to find a foothold in our individual hearts so that collectively we may give birth to the possibilities seeking to be born through us? Asking the right questions activated the universal spiritual law Jesus was referring to when he said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened.” If we want to have a heart as wide as the world, if we want the vibration of global care to express through us, there are penetrating questions that an emissary of peace places before the tribunal of his/her conscience. Here are some examples to gently present in the mirror of your consciousness:
Ø What kind of world do I want to live in?
Ø What must I release from within my own thought and behavior patterns to create that kind of world?
Ø What must I do to create that kind of world?
Ø How may I be more loving in my heart towards myself ? Towards others?
Ø How may I actively participate and give of my time to create a culture of peace?
Ø Is my vision of life for myself the all beings larger than my television screen?
In future articles, we will delve more deeply into cultivating within ourselves the loving kindness that makes each of us a beneficial presence on the planet. Until then, I send you peace and blessings.
Extracted from A Manifesto of Peace: Light on the Path of an Emissary of Peace by Michael Beckwith, D.D. Copyright Agape Publications 2002.