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Choose Peace & The Invitation

October 9, 2005


Choose Peace–Alan Cohen
http://www.alancohen.com

A friend confided in me that he was struggling to understand his responsibility in a world obsessed with war. I told him the answer is simple: choose peace.

While you cannot control the attitudes or actions of politicians or others, you have total control over the thoughts, feelings, and energy you are exuding. If you are steeped in fear, anger, or a sense of victimization, you are contributing to the darkness. If you hold a sense of peace, compassion, kindness, and the presence of love, you are contributing to healing. As Kipling nobly penned, "If you can hold your head when all about you are losing theirs..."

Mother Teresa was once asked to speak at an anti-war rally. She refused. "If it were a pro-peace rally, I would attend," she explained. "But fighting against war, like fighting against anything, is just another form of war."

A liberal spiritual teacher once recounted that on his altar he has pictures of Christ and many other spiritual masters. He recently added a photo of George W. Bush. Why? "Until I can find the same divinity in George W. Bush as I find in other holy beings, I am stuck. When I can see and honor his soul, then I am in a position to protest. Until then, I am ineffective."

The power of intention and prayer goes a long, long way. At any given moment the world situation is a precise expression of the consciousness of all the people who live here. As you shift your consciousness in the direction of peace, wholeness, and faith, you tip the balance in that direction. You literally become the tipping point for the world you would like to create.

Be less concerned with what you are doing and more concerned with how you are doing it. Actions that spring from fear or hatred, no matter how nobly clothed, create only more of the same. Actions that issue from faith and love, no matter how humbly clothed, create only more of the same.

A visionary thrives under all circumstances, for he or she sees beyond the obvious. At this time the world needs good visionaries. If you would save the world, begin with your own consciousness.


The Invitation–Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Available in her books and a newspaper article

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life's betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
Without moving
To hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your own life
From its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
With yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.


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Choose Peace by Alan Cohen & The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer