Sunday, September 21, 2014
WE ARE ALL PEACEMAKERS
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God.
These words of Jesus are part of the Beatitudes, a beautiful teaching transcribed in the Bible. They were originally written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus' time and I wanted to share with you this morning the fuller translation of these words as part of this consciousness lesson – We are all peacemakers.
We know that translations do not bring the richness of the ideas from one language to another and much is lost. This phrase could also be translated, "Blessed are those who plant peace each season, they shall be named the children of God." Lahwvday refers to those who not only make or perform an action but also are committed to it, despite the odds, and they do it regularly. I like the thought of being committed to planting peace on a regular basis. We, the members of this spiritual Center are committed to planting peace.
The word for peace Shlama is a word that has been used in the Middle East for thousands of years as a greeting. We might also say Salam or Shalom. It also means health, safety, a mutual agreement that saves a difficult situation, any happy assembly, or a stroke that unites all parties in sympathy. How nice to greet someone with a word that means unity, happiness, and mutuality. We don't have such a word in English although we do use the word "Namaste," which is Hindu.
I especially like the word for children in this Beatitude and that is Dawanwhie. It refers to any embodiment, emanation, or active production from that which was only potential before. By working for peace, we become that active emanation of God's Light in the world and that potential is in all of us.
The roots of the word translated as "shall be called" (Nitqarun) also presents the beautiful image of digging a channel or well that allows the water to flow. We know that water is symbolic for energy. When we work for peace, we become the channel for hastening the fulfillment of God's Light in the world, the peace energy flows through us.
I like this translation best, "Healthy are those who strike the note that unites; they shall be remembered as rays of the One Unity. These translations are from the "Prayers of the Cosmos" by Neil Douglas Klotz.
Blessed are the peacemakers, the ones who unite. When was the last time you united something or someone? When was the last time that you worked for peace? That you stayed in your Center of Peace while everything and everyone around you was in turmoil? When was the last time that you put the resolution of the situation before your own thoughts or deeds? Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are God's emanation in the world, a channel for God's Light.
Being a peacemaker, a channel for God's Light does not mean you don't take care of yourself. The first place you are to make peace is within – between your heart and mind. That is why peace begins with the individual. You can't help bring peace to the world when you are at war with yourself. We are to be a peacemaker for ourselves first.
It kind of takes you back a bit to think about being an emanation of God's Light, but that is exactly what every bit of the universe is - an emanation, a ray of God's Light, including you. Light is energy and energy is Light. Consciousness is energy and energy is consciousness. We as humans believe that we have the highest consciousness in the universe, but what if Mother Earth were a conscious being? What if each star, each nebula, each moon, each planet, each comet, each cosmic cloud had a higher consciousness that we are not even aware of? And what if each bit of consciousness here or out in the cosmos had a purpose? And that purpose was creating peace? Each ray of consciousness is emanating a ray of God's peace right now. Are we awake enough to realize this?
Many people do not embrace peace because it means giving up something. We have become so attached to things and more things. I could not believe the long lines waiting to buy the new I-phone. People stood in line for days to get the first ones off the shelves. What if everyone in that line took the money they spent on the I-phone and gave it to help build a homeless shelter? Or feed hungry children? In yesterday's Grand Junction paper there was a story of an 11 year old girl who has a pen pal in Kenya. Her pen pal wrote that in Kenya, people have to walk a long way just to get water for their homes, and often it is not clean water. So Jennifer sold some of her art work, sent the money to Kenya and arranged for water to be pumped to her friend's home. This year Jennifer decided she could do more. On Friday, she hosted a fundraiser walk at her school and invited other students to experience what it is like for children in other countries to get water. At the starting line each walker picked up a gallon of water and had to carry it to the finish line. Jennifer hopes to raise $11,000 to provide wells and water filtration systems in needy countries. She is a true peacemaker and is already making a difference at age 11.
Debbie, Kate and Wayne joined Crop Walk yesterday. How would you exist if you had to walk miles to get your food and water? Many do it every day. We are so blessed that our water comes right to our homes and we have refrigerators to keep our food and we don't have to walk to get it every day. Providing enough food and clean water, shelter and education to those without is a powerful action for peace. That is one way we can help peace to grow in our world.
We are not only attached to things but we are attached to being right. How can we become peacemakers when we only want to be right and not make peace? We can't do it. I worry about the state of the world, but that is also being attached. Anything that causes the least discomfort indicates some kind of attachment. Buddhist followers use the phrase, "no attachments." I remember Geshe Phuntsok, a Tibetan monk who lived and taught in Montrose, until his passing. Debbie is dedicating her new statue of Buddha to his memory. I visited him shortly before he returned to India to be with his family at the end. He had only a few weeks to live. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "My mind is at peace." He had given up being attached to life. Perhaps that is the last attachment we have to give up. By giving up our life, we come into the fullness of peace, for we become spirit, a being of pure light, a true emanation of God's light, with no attachments.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they are the channels for God's Light in the world. Sometimes we see them clearly, but often they work behind the scenes. I invite you to say thank you to one of those peacemakers who is working behind the scenes. Tell them their work for peace is so appreciated. Blessed are all the peacemakers in the world today. We are part of that great band of peacemakers, and the more we practice peace in any form, the more of God's Light comes into the world. Thank you, peacemakers. May God continue to support and guide you.