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Friday, April 15, 2011

Thoughts on Libya and the Middle East

            First Egypt, now Libya, and of course, the continued conflict between Israelis and Palestinians; as well as many other areas of discord in the Middle East – What can we contribute as individuals, who are all the way on the other side of the world?   If we’re bothered at all by what’s going on, how can we feel more helpful and  empowered to make a difference?  We may say, “I am only one person.  I have little effect, so why try?”   But I believe we’re much more powerful than we think and our behavior is both influential and significant!  What we choose to do and think counts!
            Peace is a process, something that’s obviously not going to happen over night, but every step along the way brings us closer.  Sometimes military intervention is needed, such as in the case of Libya right now.  But there is more we can do one by one.  Our minds are contained within a Divine Spirit energy that lives within all of us, whether we live in America, Libya, or elsewhere in the Middle East. This is an ocean of energy in which thoughts play an important role.  They move back and forth freely in this energetic field, affecting everyone and everything.  Our thoughts here can influence the behavior and thoughts of people millions of miles away.  If we’re thinking hateful, judgmental or condemning thoughts, they are received by every other being on this planet.  We all contribute to the wellbeing or ill health of our planet just by what we choose to place in our minds.  How can we best use our individual minds to help bring about peace in this war torn region?  We can choose thoughts of compassion, forgiveness, and wishes for freedom from strife for the Libyan people, Gaddafi included.
            The fearful and angry states of mind that accompany us many of our days, affect others.  As we learn to uproot any disturbing thoughts we may have, and replace them with peaceful ones, we are freed to extend hopeful, caring thoughts into the regions of the world, like Libya, that so critically need our nonviolent harmonic energy.  Even as we connect with those close to us in our own hemisphere, state, city, office and home, the offer of loving thought or compassionate, healing energy, creates a ripple effect which just keeps on spreading.  Each person touched by such thought will touch another and so on until large masses of consciousness have been transformed.  With the swell of social media, we are in a more powerful space than ever before, for the additional strength of words written or spoken, can affect a mighty impact on the whole.
            But peace begins within.  If our own minds are filled with resentment, anxiety, annoyance, self-pity or criticism, what will we offer?  We cannot give what we do not hold inside.   We are contributors to the world’s ills.  Until we clean up our own act, how can we expect peace in Libya?  In Israel?  In the Arab world?  Two vital questions enter my mind: “What can I do to cleanse my inner world of negative emotion today?” and “What would it take for me to commit myself to participating in an ongoing manner?”  The answers can only be found inside of each of us, and there is no wrong or right response.  We already know deep down at some level what we want for ourselves and our world.  There is a spiritual, moral, nonviolent movement brewing now.  I want to get on that boat!

                        A Prayer for All

May I find my way to a peaceful heart;
One full of forgiveness and compassion for my fellow man,
One bursting with love and kindness,
One plump with generosity and affection,
And one packed with tenderness and friendship,
            encouragement and hope.

And may our earthly companions in other parts of the world
Reside in peace, harmony and brotherhood,
Knowing that they are safe and free from the conflict that destroys;
That they are loved beyond anything they could ever imagine,
And that they are powerful creators of democracy and freedom.

May we all know the joy of unity,
May we know the ecstasy of service,
May we know the delight of concord,
And may we each know the grace of God.



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