I’ve taken up the practice of mediation lately. Yes, “practice” is the right word here, since I’m finding it quite the challenge to do it. Sometimes when I get down to it I just can’t keep my mind focused, or empty of thoughts, or quiet – however its supposed to be described. On Friday morning I was doing okay. It was early. I was warm, sitting in the living room in my favorite spot, no coffee yet (really early) and I’m listening to a guided meditation on my iPhone headphones (I use the Calm app) and all of a sudden I get a feeling that some pinpricks are finding their way into my lap. It’s that damn cat again, interrupting my calmness to knead my lap into something comfortable for her. Oh well, there goes this morning’s experience. Might as well wait until she is comfortable so I can continue. Why am I going on here? What about the definition of peace? I’m getting there. Bear with me.
One of my mediation practices is to participate in an adult education forum at my church. The theme this month is advent and the topic yesterday was Peace, it being the second Sunday of Advent. Our leader began the session by reading off a list of definitions she had found for the word ‘Peace ‘. Take a look.
- …freedom from disturbance (i.e. not having a cat on your lap)
- …quiet & tranquility
- …freedom from, or the cessation of, war or violence
- …a state of security or order within a community
- …harmonious relations
- …a stress-free state of security and calmness
- …to be complete; to be whole; to be sound
- …wholeness of life and body
- …harmony between two parties or people, often established as a covenant
- …a blessing – in greeting & farewells meaning “may your life be filled with health, prosperity and victory” or “I hope you have all the highest good coming your way”
- …a state in which a person is not bothered by thought or feeling of doubt, guilt or worry
- …a state in which people do not argue or cause trouble
Quite a few definitions. Our small group had a good discussion about our own definitions of peace, and then we were led on a short 15 minute journey via a guided meditation to find that place within ourselves where we find peace and safety.
Our discussion, and re-reading over the list, opened my eyes to new opportunities for peace in my own life. I realize that my daily practicing of meditation is helping me to find that peaceful state within me, but even more profound, is that it is enabling me to find peace in others, in how they interact with me, with the community, with other stresses in their lives.
It is helping me in my business, understanding the differences in priorities each of us has. Time-frames are very personal – priorities are personal – achievement of a state of peacefulness is very personal. By being able to see peace in others, I have found it easier to maintain that sense within myself. What better time of year to find peace, than during the Christmas season.
Back to the title of the post. How do you define peace? Do you find it easier to come across this time of year? Does one of the 12 defs above work for you more than the others? Or perhaps you have another definition to add to the list. Let me know your thoughts below.
Thanks for sticking with me today.
Peace. Shalom. Aloha.