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Peace is not the absence of the conflict. Peace is the willingness to resolve conflict non-violently.

Violence is a chain reaction, a seemingly endless cycle of attack and counter-attack.

Peace is a conscious choice, a realization that at any point in the cycle, there is the choice of non-violent resolution. Peace is awareness of that choice, and acting on that awareness.

People say human beings are naturally aggressive. Why? Just because they have always fought wars, just because animals fight to defend their territory? That's like saying just because there were no airplanes two hundred years ago airplanes can't exist. They obviously do. What has always been true doesn't have to continue to be true.

Violence is a habit, not an inherent and inevitable fact of being human. It's conditioning. It's one of the deepest, oldest, most ingrained habits of the human life. It's not easy to break a habit. You can ask, "How do I break the habit of violence in myself?" Remember, there's no abstract "world" or "human race" that's going to break the habit.

Exercise your power of conscious choice whenever and wherever you can, in relation to your own internal states of conflict, in relation to the conflict you encounter in the outer world.

Remember, "I have choice." Let that awareness arise in situations of conflict, and examine your choices carefully.

This month would be a good time to meditate on peace, pray for peace, reflect on peace. In a circle there are no opposing sides, so gather in circles and pray for the non-violent resolution of conflict to become the new habit of human beings. Don't tell yourself it's impossible, because then it is.

Recognize that you live at a crucial time in human history when the survival of the human race depends on breaking the habit of violence.

So that is something to work with this month!

How does one live in a world driven by the habit of violence? Come back to center over and over, become aware of breath, balance, and awareness; align yourself with the balance and harmony, love and awareness that are present even in the midst of violence and hatred. From that center, live your life with conscious acts of kindness and compassion, towards yourself and others, over and over, letting go of fear, over and over.

May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.

And remember…meditation in today's world is not an esoteric practice. It's a survival skill!

Donna Thomson
Glorieta, New Mexico

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Previous Meditations

May-June 2006 - The Vibrant Life: Simple Meditations to Use Your Energy Effectively
March-April 2006 - Spring
February 2006 - Meditation with the Divine Feminine
January 2006 - Infusion
December 2005 - Evergreen
November 2005 - What Can We Do?
September - October 2005 - Meditation Is Not a Luxury
Summer 2005 - The Brave Little Parrot
Spring 2005 - Do You Know?
February-March 2005 - The Inner Treasure
November-December 2004 - The Light at the Heart of Everything
September-October 2004 - Continuous Prayer
July 2004 - The Open Heart
March February 2004 - Global Awareness
New Years 2004 - Know Yourself
December 2003 - Community
November 2003 - The Star
September 2003 - Illumination
July 2003 May 2003 - The Legend of Waterwoman
April 2003 - Easterer
March 2003 - What Do You Value?
February 2003 - Energy
January 2003 - New Years 2003
December 2002 - Christmas 2002
November 2002 - The Presence of Spirit
October 2002 - The Spirit of Love and Peace
September 2002 - Hope
August 2002 - Ask and You Shall Receive
July 2002 - Faith
June 2002 - The Circle
May 2002 - Strength and Power
April 2002 - Water
March 2002 - A Prayer February 2002 - The Feast of Imbolc
January 2002 - Rememberer
December 2001 - Inner Silence
November 2001 - Weeping for the World Impermanence (Anicca)
October 2001 - Non-violencece
September 2001 - Affirmation
August 2001 - The Mirror of the Cosmos
July 2001 - Energy
June 2001 - Simplicity
May 2001 - The Labyrinth
April 2001 - Spring, Renewal, Rebirth
March 2001 - Joy and Sorrow
February 2001 - Take Good Care of Yourself
December 2000 - January 2001 - Winter Solstice and New Year's Meditation
November 2000 - Peace
October 2000 - Love
September 2000 - The Space Between
August 2000 - Creativity
July 2000 - Honoring the Earth
June 2000 - Walking the Path
May 2000 - Cosmic Energy
April 2000 - Nurturing
March 2000 - How to Consult an Oracle, Equinox Meditation

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