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The True Practice of Peace

Pema Chodron - true practice of peace - Carolyn Daughters

“We have to be brave enough to soften what’s rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. That’s the true practice of peace.”

“[W]ar is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.

What happens is a chain reaction … Something occurs—it can be as small as a mosquito buzzing—and you tighten. … something starts to shut down in you, and the next thing you know, imperceptibly, the chain reaction of misery begins: we begin to fan the grievance with our thoughts. These thoughts become the fuel that ignites war. War could be that you smash that teensy-weensy mosquito. But I’m also talking about war within the family, war at the office, war on the streets, and also war between nations, war in the world.

[T]o the degree that each of us is dedicated to wanting there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close. We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship. That’s the true practice of peace.”

~ Pema Chödrön, “The Ultimate Kindness,” The Sun, September 2006 (excerpted from Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chödrön)

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