“Peace is the only battle worth waging,” wrote Albert Camus (1913 – 1960), French philosopher and author. It’s certainly the battle I’m interested in winning, and yet I find myself losing sight of it over and over again these days. Turning on the television for just five minutes leads to a new wave of rage, pain, hurt, and a strong desire to make my opponent wrong.
I’ve found it helpful to turn to Buddhist teachers for guidance, of late. They remind me to play the long game; to remember that, though I may believe strongly in my point of view, ultimately the practice (whether it be from the world of Yoga, Buddhism, or Christianity) is to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”
I do not interpret this as ‘lie down and play dead’, but I do believe it asks me to behave with dignity, respect and compassion, maintaining the ability to listen and to keep an open heart. I cried as Obama left the White House last month because with him seems to have gone — at least for the time being — the presence of a leader who holds these principles dear.
Peace does not mean we’re not engaged with the world, but mindful engagement asks us to keep peace in our hearts. Today, may there be peace in your heart, peace in your life, and may all beings know some of that peace today.