Root out the violence in your life, and learn to live compassionately and mindfully. Seek peace. When you have peace within, real peace with others is possible.
~Excerpted from Being Peace, by Zen Master, Tibetan Peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh
The holidays are a time for reflecting on spirit and peace. Doing so requires that we consider the obstacles to peace—in ourselves, our communities and around the world.
With each news story that breaks, revealing the degree to which violence and aggression occurs in places near and far, it is natural to want to find someone or something to blame. Like something out of a Marvel comic book, it would be so comforting if there were a singular, sinister villain at whom we could shake our finger, and who could hold the culpability for all that ails our society.
It is far less comfortable to turn the gaze inward, and to examine in what ways we are all responsible for contributing to a culture of aggression. It was hard for me personally to accept that I had “a temper.” In 2014, at the urging of my husband and mother, I enrolled in an introductory course in Nonviolent Communication (NVC). I now consider it required, lifelong learning to a healthy, happy relationship with myself and others.
NVC is a practical, skills-based system of communicating our thoughts, feeling and needs to promote mutual, empathetic understanding. The approach was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, award-winning psychologist and international peacekeeper whose legacy is maintained by practitioners around the world. Our article on page 18, The Language of Compassion, was written by Terry Chriswell, publisher of Mile High Natural Awakenings, in Denver, Colorado. It offers an excellent primer for those that are interested in learning more.
Our Healing Humanity issue also includes an exclusive interview with Byron Katie, an author, speaker and spiritual teacher whose approach to ending self-suffering, called The Work, has gained worldwide prominence. We are extremely honored to have been given the chance to get her direct responses to questions raised by member of the Bucks County practice group.
There are many situations where healing requires assistance from a mental health professional, and our local experts share their insights this month. Whether it’s feeling troubled by the political climate or by old wounds and anxieties stirred up by the holidays, it’s important that people know they are not alone in these experiences and feel encouraged to seek the support they need during this season.
Wishing you a memorable, meaningful and peace-filled holiday.
Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher