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Archive for the ‘Peaceful Actions’ Category

Lighting the Candle Within

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

How will you celebrate the light in the darkness?

As winter draws near, it is a time of going inward. The winter season allows us to align with a slower pace. In the depths of winter, when the bears hibernate, trees put their energy deep into their roots, and many of us dive deeper into the dream world, it is a natural time to retreat.

As we go inward, let us notice the beauty and tranquility of winter. Let us celebrate the light within that is always available. Let us embrace the opportunity for deep rest and integration that winter provides.

How will you keep the candle lit inside yourself this winter?

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What Kind of World Are You Creating?

Friday, March 7th, 2014

When you inhabit peace, you create more peace in the world.

When you listen to your heart, you create more quiet in the world.

When you live a joyful life, you create more joy in the world world.

When you invest in yourself, you create a trust fund in the world.

When you shine your light, you create a brighter world.

When you give love, you create a more loving world.

What kind of world are you creating?

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Sitting in Stillness ─ Engaging With Peace

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The more I sit in meditation, the more I am reminded how much I want to stay fully engaged in my efforts to build a more just, equitable, and compassionate world while maintaining a sense of peace.

B&W Buddha QuoteI know I’m not alone in this view. All over the world there are movements underway in an effort to address inequalities and injustices. Is it possible to be fully engaged and peaceful?

Yes, it is. And the very simple practice of sitting each day for five minutes can help us with that. We can come to a place of inner peace before engaging in a movement to address the issue that moves us into action.

I also recommend a simple practice of bringing the attention to the breath. And then gently bringing our attention back to the breath, over and over, and over again. This practice  grounds us into our center ─ a place of inner peace that always resides within us.

I also came across the fourteen precepts of ‘Engaged Buddhism’ as set out by  Thich Nhat Hanh – here is a simplified version, but you can read the full version here.

1. Do not be bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones.

2 . Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3. Do not force others to adopt your views.

4. Do not avoid suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Find ways to be with those who are suffering.

5 . Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

6 . Do not maintain anger or hatredAs soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.

7. Do not lose yourself in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you.

8 . Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9 . Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party.

11 . Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideal of compassion.

12 . Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13 . Possess nothing that should belong to others.

14 . Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed or defeated  or get caught up in the energy of anger without having any way to process it.

Return to the breath. Practice mindful breathing.

It was the only way I found to maintain a sense of grounding amidst a chaotic world. The world needs more peacefully engaged warriors of compassion.

Sit down. Sit still. Pay attention. And come back to your breath, again and again.

And as my teacher once told me, “When you don’t know what to do, have a cup of tea.”

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Let This Be Our Moment of Peace

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

PeaceLet there be peace on earth And let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth The peace that was meant to be. Let peace begin with me Let this be the moment now. With every step I take…

Yes, let there be peace on earth.

Let there be peace within me. It all begins with ourselves. If we want peace in the world, we need to BE peace in our world.

Let me be the peace.

How will you be peace in your world? Let this be our moment – now.

May the season of hope, miracles, and light allow each of us to be the peace we seek.

Wishing you all a peaceful season of miracles, light, and love, Mary Anne

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Go For Refuge

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

RefugeWhile in my weekly Buddhist class, my teacher said, “Training in the mind is going for refuge. Go for refuge.” As the teacher explained, going for refuge is letting go of ordinary thinking and allowing for an experience of peace to arise. Allow your mind to be a refuge of peace, compassion, and kindness.

The first step is to let go and allow ourselves to drop into refuge – from a place of peace. As Kadam Morton said, “Your worry contributes nothing.” I’m still learning to let go of worry and drop into refuge from that state.

If you go for refuge, solutions arise.
Let go and breathe and wait for solutions to come.
Kadam Morton

What if we let the experience of refuge take over and allowed it to dissolve all that we are carrying?

What if we were willing to let go of our negative thoughts and actions and created more positive experiences and a more joyful life?

It starts with letting go and dropping out of our head and into our heart.

Go for refuge. Live from that space of inspiration and peace. Give yourself permission to hang out in peace. When you live from the place of refuge, your mind becomes spacious and expansive and your world becomes more kind.

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Now Is the Time. Love Is the Action.

Friday, June 28th, 2013

While I am still celebrating the recent Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8, I know the work is not done. There are still many states that do not have marriage equality. There are injustices that need to be changed around voting rights. Our work continues.

Peace isn’t passive. Sometimes peace looks like loud voices, other times contemplation. There is a time to expand and a time to contract. There is a time to sit and a time to stand.

There is always a time to love. Love is action.

As Byron Katie says, “I’ve heard people say that they cling to their painful thoughts because they’re afraid that without them they wouldn’t be activists for peace. “If I feel peaceful,” they say, “why would I bother taking action at all?”
 
My answer is “Because that’s what love does.”  To think that we need sadness or outrage to motivate us to do what’s right is insane. As if the clearer and happier you get, the less kind you become. As if when someone finds freedom, she just sits around all day with drool running down her chin. 

My experience is the opposite. Love is action.”

Now is the time. Love is the action.

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What Does It Mean to Be Peace?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How are you being peace in the world?

I recently launched a website, triZENbe (Zen Tribes). triZENbe is a global movement and community of people who want to bring (more) peace into their lives, into their homes, into their schools, into their communities, and into the World. 

As I began to listen for my inner voice of peace, I became curious about when people experience peace. I had conversations with folks about what peace means to them.  

What is your voice of peace? On the triZENbe website, there is a section called Zen Voices. I am looking to add ideas of what it means to be peace in the world. If you would be willing to add your voice to this page and share your thoughts about peace, please email me at maflanagan@toningtheom.com to listen for my inner voice of peace. I had conversations with folks about what peace means to them. I am curious about how and when people experience peace. 

My hope is that by creating more peace within ourselves, we extend that to our “tribes” – whether our tribe is our family, friends, co-workers, community, and/or the world. 

 What does peace mean to you? 

We are one thought away from peace. ~Mary Anne Flanagan

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Let Us Remember

Monday, May 27th, 2013

All that have served

One another

Those before us

One another

Our incredible freedoms

One another

Thank you to all who have given their life.

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Be Peace.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

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Love as Our Ally

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

In Pema Chödrön’s book, Taking the Leap, she invites us to use our breath to remind us how to stay and accept our present moment.

Pema Chödrön writes, “We might ask, Given my present situation, how long should I stay with uncomfortable feelings? This is a good question, yet there is no right answer. We simply get accustomed to coming back to the present just as it is for a second, for a minute, for an hour—whatever is currently natural—without it becoming an endurance trial. Just pausing for two to three breaths is a perfect way to stay present. This is a good use of our life. Indeed, it is an excellent, joyful use of our life. Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, we can learn to accept the present moment as if we had invited it, and work with it instead of against it, making it our ally rather than our enemy.”

As we attempt to make sense of recent tragedies in Boston and beyond, let us remember to come back to our breath and listen to our present moment. Let us work together to be more peace and love in the world. The gift of love is more love – perhaps that is an ally worth inviting in.

 

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