Practicing Peace in Times of War: A Buddhist Perspectiveby Pema Chodron, Sandy Boucher (Editor)
With war and violence flaring all over the world, many of us are left feeling vulnerable and utterly helpless. In this book Pema Chödrön draws on Buddhist teachings to explore the origins of aggression, hatred, and war, explaining that they lie nowhere but within our own hearts and minds. She goes on to explain that the way in which we as individuals respond to challenges in our everyday lives can either perpetuate a culture of violence or create a new culture of compassion.
"War and peace begin in the hearts of individuals," declares Pema Chödrön at the opening of this inspiring and accessible book. She goes on to offer practical techniques any of us can use to work for peace in our own lives, at the level of our habits of thought and action. It's never too late, she tells us, to look within and discover a new way of living and transform not only our personal lives but our whole world.
- Shambhala Publications, Inc.
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Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Practicing Peace in Times of War
War and peace start in the hearts of individuals. Strangely enough, even though all beings would like to live in peace, our method for obtaining peace over the generations seems not to be very effective: we seek peace and happiness by going to war. This can occur at the level of our domestic situation, in our relationships with those close to us. Maybe we come home from work and we�re tired and we just want some peace; but at home all hell is breaking loose for one reason or another, and so we start yelling at people. What is our motivation? We want some happiness and ease and peace, but what we do is we get even more worked up and we get everyone else worked up too. This is a familiar scenario in our homes, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, when we�re driving our cars. We�re just driving along and someone cuts in front of us and what happens? Well, we don�t like it. Sometimes we roll down the window and scream at them.
Someone once gave me a poem that has a line in it that offers a good definition of peace: "Softening what is rigid in our hearts." We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as people�s hearts are hardened against each other.
If you have a bird�s-eye perspective on the Earth and you look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you see are two sides of a story where both people think they�re right. So the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid within us.
Meet the Author
Pema Ch�dr�n is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Ch�gyam Trungpa, the renowned Tibetan meditation master. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. She is the author of several books including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and The Places That Scare You.
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