Peace Place

About the Editors
Favorite Links
Recommended Readings
Contact the Editors
News Peaces

Welcome to Peace Place...Dwell in this Moment

Peace Place is a free online journal. Here you'll find  gentle invitations and suggestions for bringing more peace into your life as well as links to some other peace related sites on the web you may find interesting. You are welcome!
Peace Place is a Service of:

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Caring Community

A recent vacation put us in the path of one of the major tornado outbreaks. Fortunately, the area we were staying in was spared major damage, but there were so many others in different locales who were severely impacted by dangerous weather. When we see the photographs and videos of the damage wrought by these record-breaking storms we have no way to even comprehend the extent of misery brought about by them. How do we bring about some sort of peace to ourselves and those affected in such times of destruction? There is no easy or satisfactory answer, but reaching out in any manner we can to give what help and comfort we can is an expression of our humanity...our caring concern...our acknowledgement that "there but for the grace of God.." We need to demonstrate our willingness to help, whether by volunteering, providing resources--financial or personal-- perhaps spiritual by keeping those affected in our hearts, minds, and thoughts/prayers. We need this not just for others...we need it for ourselves...we need to know and understand that we are, in fact, all affected when storms enter our lives...we are all together in our vulnerability...essentially, we need to know that we and others are there with us and/or those affected. By giving  and reaching out to connect and share what we can we are recognizing that we are also receiving and becoming part of the caring community. 

Peace to you this day. Peace. 

5:55 pm edt 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Take Your Time

Driving through a snow-covered highway at high speeds this past Winter while large trucks loomed in the rear-view mirror we pondered the fragility of life. Sometimes the temptation to avoid such challenging situations is great. A friend's words, though, often come to mind: "You can get where you are going if you just take your time." How true in life as well. Living at warp speed brings few rewards. You miss the scenery if your focus is merely on the traffic and who is in front of you. Slow down. Take your time. You'll get there.

 Peace to you this day. Peace. 

11:20 am edt 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Month of April
Spring begins to make itself known a bit now as March takes its leave.
 Winds have picked up significantly as the lion departs, and it is not just the breeze in the trees we note. There is a clearly a wind blowing throughout our world.. Economic issues have taken center stage as companies cut back on employees to move their "bottom lines" to black. Those losing their jobs and means of support for their families and themselves crowd Social Security offices or scour the smaller and shorter pages of want ads in local papers, if those newspapers still exist. Realities are shifting, certainly. Look for more of the same for the time being, but note the flowers as well. There is a nurturing and supportive as well as celebrational reminder in beauty that though the winds may blow hard and long life continues to break through hard ground and blossom. Somehow the Sun calls life forth.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
7:01 pm edt 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It Was The Best of Times/It Was the Worst of Times
So much seeming loss of life savings...the economies of the world are in a state of redefinition. Gas prices are down, but so is a sense of optimism about personal and collective wealth. It seems like it may be one of the worst of times, but how do you measure wealth? Dollars and cents? Possibly we should revisit the sense of abundance and consider what we have compared to others in the poorer parts of the world. The monetary crisis may have the consequence of helping to reveal the true wealth which can be found in community with others rather than in personal accumulation. Reconsider what really is the best of times...the worst of times. Perhaps this experience of "loss" will become one of "gain" if we revisit and newly comprehend what true wealth is.

Peace to you this day. Peace.
11:04 pm est 

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanks for Giving
If you are living, you are giving... so this Thanksgiving, thank yourself for being a giving individual. You may question or doubt whether you are "doing much" but by being a person working toward peace in yourself and in the world, you are truly contributing and  giving to life. You may not appreciate what a smile to a stranger may mean, or what a call or kind word to a friend or a colleague may add to the day. Our worth is not weighable in external reward, and it is not even that important to be affirmed with fame or fortune. Who you are and that you are gives to the whole living family of life.
Years ago a theme and song from a well-known film was "Live, Just Live for Life." How we need to remember to join in that journey. Live...Just live for life in all its complexities, its beauty and are part of the journey and you fill a niche no other living being can fill...and as Thanksgiving approaches we give thanks for the giving you are and for the giving you do in contributing to the splendor and beauty of life as well as the living process and path toward peace.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
4:15 pm est 

Monday, November 13, 2006

No Fear
How often do you see the "No Fear" signs as you go about your day? There they are on the bumpers of cars, on T-Shirts and signs above doors occasionally. While the slogan really refers to facing athletic challenges of perhaps extreme nature, it can also remind that fear doesn't give us anything but more of FDR's reminder, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."
How challenging is it to believe see through the fog of fear when it arises in our face it and move through it with faith we will make it to the clarity of peace? We need to be a trailblazer every time fear arises and confronts truth, we need to build a pattern of taming fear and walking forward inspite of it. Facing fear and walking forward through it is a practice we have to cultivate. It only evaporates when we refuse to give it belief or power.
A dear friend used to tell us "Just pretend you are how you want to be and after awhile you'll believe it." That's a first step through the fog of fear and toward peace. Pretend you are confident and assurred all will be fine regardless of how thick the fog appears to be.
Make it a practice. Walk forward through the mist and fog. You're not alone.
Peace to you this day.
11:51 am est 

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wondering Why
Why do things have to be the way they are, we wonder. What use is this conflict and misunderstanding? Why is this necessary, or is it necessary. Surely there must be something better.
How often have we thought this about situations in our own lives as well as in the national and international situations? Wouldn't it be great if we could get all sides together and just decide there are no options but to meet face to face and talk it out? There must be a way to come to a better understanding of ourselves and the various confusions, we are certain.
We teter on the brink of frustration, depression and anger when we feel misunderstood and that leads us into a place of defensiveness and sometimes reaction. When we are put on the defensive we are not in a comfortable place and we feel the need to defend ourselves, our principles, our values, and our positions. We lash out from anger and fear too often. Perhaps it is a case of our just being "all too human."
Our routine and normal reactions take us in the same old directions every time. We hit the wall. We reach the end of our ropes. We bond with those who agree with us and lash out. Its easier that way. We feel justified and righteous by taking this stance. We don't really have to change.
Wonder why we don't realize that if we keep following the same old patterns we will never really have an opportunity to open new pathways and opportunities to create peace in our lives and in our world. Is sticking to the same old pattern really more comfortable in the long run? We seem to be getting nowhere fast with that approach.
Wonder why we don't try something else. Paul Tillich, German theologian, believed that to truly be alive we must "live where the risk is." Risk requires courage to be...courage to change. Courage to try something new. As a beginning, take a look at Tillich's book, The Courage to Be. Then read Thich Nhat Hahn's thoughtful book Being Peace.
Courage and peace to you this day. Courage and Peace.
6:25 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

You Must Build A Space
Do you have a space into which you can retreat in order to regroup and take a break from daily challenges or crises? We all need a way in which to get away from passing stress, even if for only a few moments. Keep a book of poetry in your desk and open it at random to enjoy a moment of reprieve, or place a vase of fresh cut flowers on your desk and stop to enjoy the fragrance every once in awhile. Hum a favorite song...stretch your legs...look out a window...keep a picture of a pleasant scene or favorite friend or companion animal on your desk...take a moment to enjoy any one of these or anything which gives you a space apart from what you are doing, worrying about, or working on. Build enjoyment into your day...practice enjoyment every day of your life. You must build a space of peace for yourself. It can be a part of your peace work.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
4:06 pm edt 

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Piece Work
Working for peace is like making a quilt, and the final product is created simply and consistently by adding one piece of work to another with love, care, and dedication. There's nothing immediate, dramatic or even necessarily visible about the process, whether you are working on personal or on social issues. You may envision and plan your final quilt, but often it is the scraps of opportunity and challenge or necessity which come your way  from which you must build your pieces of peace into your quilt. The pattern is not set, often, but is determined by the pieces you have found and transformed. Peace itself, in fact, is woven from and created through scraps we may initially reject or see no use for, or from  pieces which we don't find all that attractive. Our creative energy and our dedication takes what comes our way and transforms those scraps into a whole which celebrates peace as an artistic process.
Start by focusing on your own personal challenges , one scrap at a time, or a find a group of peace workers who take one a time and join with them to contribute to the quilt which unites all in one magnificent quilt called peace.
Peace to you this day. Piece by piece.
5:32 pm edt 

Friday, September 8, 2006

In a Hundred Years
A friend of ours, when facing a problem or issue, always said, "In a hundred years, it won't matter." Well, no doubt it won't, and saying this does give some perspective, but saying this doesn't keep one from being caught up in the issue, and the perceived concern, pain or problem  seems to present in the present moment. It frankly was always a bit confounding to hear that what was most consuming in the moment, wasn't really much of an issue in the long run. It seemed that the issue was too easily dismissed by those words. What really matters is how we deal with a situation in the moment in which we are confronted with it. How do we handle a crisis? On the one hand, everything in our body and mind may go into hyperalert...our physical reaction speeds up, our heart pounds, and adrenalin may race through our system. We are in touch with fear and bracing ourselves for a defensive against the situation.
We may also go into denial and avoidance as a way in which to keep from reacting in fear. At some point we will probably have to confront and deal with the situation, regardless. Fear and denial don't really give us a way in which to deal with crises. "Flight" or "fight" don't do much to help.
What if when a crisis arises, you acknowledged the fear and the tendency to want to deny it, but that you listened quietly to what it was challenging you to open to and learn from? If you listen quietly and pay attention to the type and kind of challenge the situation presents, and the ways in which it is asking you to grow, you can then participate in the experience as a way to grow and expand your understanding and awareness of yourself and of life. Sure, its difficult and moves you to an uncomfortable place, but that's how we doing something different from an uncomfortable place.
You are not the only person who has had to deal with this kind of discomfort, and you will not be alone with this kind of struggle or the last person who has to deal with it, for sure. Hang in there! Learn from the challenges. Keep a daily journal of the challenges you face, and your awareness of what they are daring you to face. Take a deep breath. You have many options and possibilities for dealing with each situation. Trust yourself to be able to handle this one. You are really more resourceful than you think you are.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
3:16 pm edt 

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Candy Store
Our culture is defined as a consumer culture. Expanding malls and mega-stores have really become the new "candy stores". Where the front porch swing used to be a place to relax,  now the mall has become the primary escape for many. Contemplation and time with oneself sadly has been replaced by aggravated accumulation. 
Too often, however, shopping has become a real challenge, and especially around the holidays. The stores send out their enticing invitations  with just enough advance notice to whet consumer appetite.  Have you noticed that when you eat sugar you just want more of it?  Shopping is probably not much different from this.
Our addiction to spending has fueled our economy often at the expense of our personal and social sense of peace. The erosion of our communal sense of peace as well as the importance of peace in our lives has rapidly complicated our lives. So next time you get in the car to head toward the mall, consider a different purchase.
A porch swing really can put you back in touch with the most important things in life. See you there.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
12:14 pm edt 

Monday, August 21, 2006

Never Underestimate
This morning while in a particular state of concern for a friend and his dilemma I found myself getting caught up in the issues he was dealing with. As I drove my car to work I began to feel tense and somewhat anxious about his situation. Then, on a small bush outside the office I caught sight of  a bright yellow butterfly gently fanning its wings in the sunlight. I paused to appreciate the quiet beauty of the moment and realized that even a small butterfly can teach us something about being and becoming more peaceful. Never underestimate what may be right in front of you, ready to help you stop your busy mind and realign your awareness to experience the shift from anxious frustration to beauty and to peace. Pay attention. The teachers are there. You have only to stop and appreciate them. Don't underestimate their gifts to you. You can always return your attention to the issues at hand, but you will (in a moment of appreciation) have recognized and acknowledged these issues and concern are not the only thing there is that is important to life in this moment.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
2:11 pm edt 

Friday, August 18, 2006

Make Time for Space
Every moment you have the opportunity to make some time for your own personal space.
Every moment you can draw some boundaries and allow yourself some "breathing room."
You have the power and the ability to create that space by shifting your thoughts, by taking some deep breaths, going for a walk, or by paying attention to what it is you are overlooking or missing in this moment.
Claim your space. Take a moment and draw some boundaries.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
4:39 pm edt 

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sometimes its not such a bad thing to be speechless. Often, the more we talk, the less we listen and hear what is going on and being said "between the lines." There is certainly a time to put forth your own thoughts and beliefs, but there is also a time and a moment to pay better attention to what is being said, or felt. Buddhist thought and teachings invite us to watch what we are putting our attention on, and to listen deeply to "what is going on." Its more difficult to do that when you are doing all of the talking.
Listening well, and not speaking so much may be informative, but it may also be empowering to those to whom you are listening. By listening carefully and thoughtfully, you give others personal acknowledgement and authority as well as value. It may be the best gift you can give. Cultivate the ability to listen at many different levels.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
2:36 pm edt 

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Humane Society
How good it is that there is a humane society where people who care about lost, injured, or abused animals can work together to help them receive shelter and attention. How good it is that there is a place that values and takes responsibility for those unable to take care of themselves, and for those who care to volunteer and care for them.
Joining or volunteering at a shelter near you may be an opening to a better understanding of and appreciation for the good humans can do when they come together to demonstrate their care and love. Visiting the cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals in a shelter and reading their individual stories may open your heart and mind to recognizing the need we have to give and to receive from other people who are also touched by them.
You may find some insight as well as some peace in the process of becoming a volunteer at your local shelter. Consider the humane society. You may gain some better sense of the human community of caring individuals and perhaps experience the soulful trust of a dog or cat there.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
10:15 am edt 

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Water Lily
The water lily is the "American Lotus." In an antique shop and above the front door of this shop on The Avenue not long ago we spotted a beautiful gold -framed photograph of a single white petaled water lily. In the photograph each of the cupped petals of the marvelous white bloom seem to collect and hold sunlight in gentle radiance. As a result, each individual petal shows a slightly different color and luminescence,yet as a whole, the picture is the presence of and a teaching in harmony and beauty.
We can find the beauty of peace in a moment of attention to simple elements of life. We, too,  like the petals of a lily reflecting our own individual colors and luminescence,  gather, hold, and contain our own sense of reverence for life and light.
Joy comes from expanding your awareness. Take a moment to notice beauty. It is a way to peace of mind, heart, and spirit. Of course attention is yours to give or to take away.
Peace to you this day.
10:44 am edt 

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Living Treasures
A rainy day is just fine for recognizing the living treasures in our lives. Birds seem to enjoy a rainy day. Flowers are freshened with the coming of grey clouds and trees seem to relax in the moment of quiet stillness. A friend of ours welcomes rainy days with joy. She calls them "no demands" days when she can relax, read a book, or enjoy a cup of tea or coffee without the sense that something needs to be done. A rainy day can, itself, be a living treasure to welcome and embrace in its quiet solitude.
The cat curls around and sleeps on the couch much as though it were a warm hearth inviting and then welcoming her repose and relaxation. She half closes her eyes to notice anything which seems worth her attention. Her day is spent enjoying the peace and quiet stillness of a rainy day.
Each day is a living treasure. A rainy day can be a welcome gift.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
9:31 am edt 

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Easily Underestimated
We worked with a colleague once who had been told by her boss that she was "easily underestimated." She was a steady, quiet worker who got the job done, but was not "flashy" or easily identified as the outstanding leader she was. As people got to know her, they recognized her strengths and ability as a skilled communicator, and their first impression and assessment of her shifted. What she did spoke more loudly and persuasively than what she said or how she spoke.  She was not one to draw attention to herself. She was indeed "easily underestimated," but she was very much to be taken seriously.
Have you "easily underestimated" what your contributions have been to others and to our efforts toward peace? If you are looking for the spotlight to fall on you, and it seems to have not appeared, don't underestimate what you have done out of the spotlight. In fact, what you have done just by being yourself may have made a difference in another's opinion, beliefs, confidence and engagement in peace work. You never know.  You may make a difference even if you can't see it, hear it, feel it, or touch it.
You can easily underestimate your contribution. You are part of the network of peaceworkers and the peace movement, regardless. Even more, you are a gift of peace,no doubt, to many, and we recognize and appreciate your contribution daily. You give us hope just by being who you are, and by working for and toward peace in your own life, thoughts, efforts and faith in the vision and accomplishment of peace every day.
So peace and gratitude to you this day. Peace.
4:59 pm edt 

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

One Summer we worked at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park. If you have been to Yellowstone, you are familiar with the variety and beauty of the Park and the spontaneity of the land. Geysers appear in the midst of major roadways at evening, and vanish by the next day. Elk, moose and deer freely roam the fields of high grasses, and race in large, thundering  herds across the valleys-- seemingly "out of nowhere".
Black and Grizzly Bears loom in the background and foreground of the Park's  hills and woods as picnics are spread, as well as at dumping sites throughout the Park. One evening we returned from a movie-- on foot to our living quarters --to find bears our companions on the walk home. This night they were preoccupied with the findings in nearby garbage cans, so we didn't concern ourselves too much. You often hear them before you see them. The bright stars and the quarter moon illuminate the dark shapes lumbering nearby.
One day while walking up a hill of shale, a wolverine appeared as we turned a bend. The large, swift weasel-like animal was as shocked as we were, and we both turned in opposite directions and raced away. Unpredictability, unmanageability, and "uncontrollability" are the constants in Yellowstone. Inhabitants of all species learn to live with change and spontaneity as a given.
Spontaneity can be a wondrous or challenging experience, depending on one's perspective. Things happen. We often have little or no ability to control the outcome. We learn from the changes and shifts in the landscape if we are thoughtful.
We ourselves are as changeable as the landscape in the movement of our thoughts, our feelings, our visions and our hopes. Our own energies ebb and flow, and shift and settle as much as the changing terrain in Yellowstone Park. Recognizing our participation in the changing landscape of our lives allows us to value our role and recognize that while we may seemingly have no control over circumstances we, like geysers, sometimes can, merely by being who we are, break through established pavement or stream beds and thereby change the course of rivers. We measure our success by who we are rather than by what we can see that we have done--by our qualitative rather than our quantitative accomplishments. 
We may never know the ourcome of our efforts, but we can trust in our contribution to the natural, spontaneous course of life and those who work for peace. We can change the course of rivers by being peace.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
10:57 am edt 

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cape Cod
Have you ever been to Cape Cod? During the "off season" the traffic is not bad, and the magic and beauty of this area can be more easily enjoyed. Drive out to the far tip toward Provincetown, and pass the high sand dunes covered with beach plums. Watch the seagulls as they capture clams and other small shells, then move to hover over the sandy beach at Race Point where they drop their catch onto rocks, as shells break and the gulls dive to consume their meals. The sound of waves and the cry of gulls harmonize your own energies as you walk the long beach, bending to pick up small smooth stones of many colors and a black..there a white...then a red and green patterned stone washing up with every wave that breaks upon the beach...stroll...let the salt spray wash your thoughts and concerns away and carry them back to the ocean, from which life comes.
Provincetown moves to its own rhythms and makes space for every is a festival and feast for a space apart...artists, writers, sculpters, actors, musicians...all have found space in which to breathe more easily and to create from within their own life's heart...capture the feeling. Believe in the peace and the place within your own heart. Stroll the beaches...savor the freedom. It is a place apart from the mainland...a breath of fresh sea air...become your own Cape Cod. Become peace.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
5:47 pm edt 

2011.04.01 | 2010.05.01 | 2009.04.01 | 2009.03.01 | 2006.11.01 | 2006.09.01 | 2006.08.01 | 2006.07.01 | 2006.05.01 | 2006.03.01 | 2006.02.01 | 2006.01.01 | 2005.12.01 | 2005.10.01 | 2005.09.01 | 2005.08.01 | 2005.07.01 | 2005.06.01 | 2005.05.01 | 2005.04.01 | 2005.03.01 | 2005.02.01 | 2005.01.30 | 2005.01.23 | 2004.12.26 | 2004.12.19 | 2004.12.12 | 2004.12.05 | 2004.11.01

Link to web log's RSS file

We'll make changes to this site on a regular basis, sharing news, views, experiences, photos...whatever occurs to us. Check back often!

Quote of the Day:
There is no way to peace...peace is the way...


Please contact the Editors of Peace Place with your questions and comments at:

Practice peace today in your life and in your world.