This post highlights excerpts of Pema Chodron's message:
So war and peace start in the human heart. Whether that heart is open or whether that heart closes has global implications.Practicing peace begins with catching myself before I revert to unconscious habits; then honoring and being patient with my own inner opponents. As Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, said: "Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there."
So when you're like a keg of dynamite just about to go off, patience means just slowing down at that point--just pausing--instead of immediately acting on your usual, habitual response. You refrain from acting...and connect with the soft spot. But at the same time you are completely and totally honest with yourself about what you are feeling. You're not suppressing anything; patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself.
You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or to let go, whether to harden or soften.... That choice is presented to you again and again and again.
So the next time you feel yourself getting hooked, see if you can catch it. Can you feel yourself tightening? ... Then pause and breathe with that unsettling energy.
If you want there to be peace--anything from peace of mind to peace on earth--here is the condensed instruction: stay with the initial tightening and don't spin off. Keep it simple.
When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid.... And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently, endless opportunities to dissolve the seeds of war where they originate--in the hearts and minds of individuals like you and me.
Presence is key.