Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me...
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan was a lovely Sufi teacher who once said the most important thing we can do to create peace on earth in times of trouble is to uncover the peace within each of us.
These days of dark and cold seem to foster that inward journey. All that remains is for us to prioritize the time to sit in the stillness and just watch how our mind and body keep moving. No evaluation, "I should be better at this by now!" No comparison, "If I did this as much as Jane Doe, I would be enlightened by now." Just enjoy the quiet, the light in a crystalline snowflake, the chatter of chickadees at the suet, the heater kicking in when it's zero outside, the feel and heft of your wool sweater. Give egoic striving some breathing room, relax all the contractions. There's a wonderful meditation about seeing yourself deep underwater in the ocean looking up. You are just floating pleasantly along deep down in the sea. The surface far above is full of the waves and wind from the storms of time. You can see the turbulence but it does not affect your peaceful state.
As a householder, as one who is on the path of awakening without living in a monastery, I find the more often I "go deep," the easier it is to remember how to let peace begin within me and in my daily encounters with challenges. That much sooner I catch my reactive, conditioned, small self trying to be in the driver's seat of my life. No thank you. Habits take the back seat. Open hearted awareness is my driver. Many of you have heard me say the 3 minute meditation is one of the best tools of consciousness ever invented. I wish you many moments (at least 3 minutes long) of this precious silence in the next few weeks!