Through the course of life a yearning to discover the meaning of peace may spring to mind. I began this quest when I was 9 years old and discovered a beautiful poem that inspired me to embrace this ideal as part of my vision.
Here’s a traditional tale of a ‘Picture of Peace’, from an unknown author…
“There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the proposals, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them. One was of a calm lake, a perfect mirror, with peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this scene thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too, but they were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked closer, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest … perfect peace.” Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second.
Life has a joyful outlook through the experience of a vibrantly alive inner peace. In this gentle mood we know that even during the most difficult of times we have the spiritual resources to handle any situation we may confront. In the process of living in peace with ourselves and others we develop a basic poise that becomes instrumental in transcending illness, adjusting to conditions that arise from the aging process, dealing with natural weather conditions or even natural disasters that affect us, family and/or friends, and confronting challenging relationships. This approach to living lies in the understanding that all we experience has a purpose. As we discover the meaning of each experience, we open ourselves potentially to a continuous sense of growth and expansion in perspective that is conducive to an experience of inner peace.
Peace Pilgrim, a lady who walked a pilgrimage for 28 years, suggested that to attain inner peace we are to actually give our life, bringing into alignment our beliefs and the way we live.
I invite you to consider today how you become consciously aware of your inner state. And as this happens, what steps do you take to build a new sense of values, bringing new life to everything in which you participate?
One of my favorite affirmations, from a fellow philosopher, “My heart is opened wide to every song of life.”
By Mayte Picco-Kline