Blog 120 How Much Inner Peace for World Peace?
A lot. But what is the alternative route? Meticulous international policing overseen by one autocrat backed by an army of artificial intelligences? The world is currently dealing with what may be the aftermath of accidental or purposeful germ-warfare gone pandemic. We may also be on the brink of what could be a third world war. And there are countless small conflicts breaking out or extending indefinitely all over the globe. Many nations, especially the U.S., are increasingly politically and ideologically divided, and it appears that crime has increased in the past couple of years in the U.S. and some other nations. Big Business and Big Agriculture are waging war on the soil, air, water, food, health, and more. In my opinion, the most humane and potentially lasting solution for all this divisiveness is individual inner peace, rippling out from each person to bring about peace in families, neighborhoods, towns, cities, states, nations, organizations, and more.
It takes a long time to cultivate inner peace, and time is in short supply. But working for outer peace, in families, organizations, nations, and other entities will hasten the development of inner peace. Asking for a family member’s forgiveness, doing a kindness for a friend or neighbor with whom we had a falling out, listening attentively to someone from another country or political party or religion and making an effort to imagine being in their shoes can help both parties stay calmer, more awake and more willing to communicate honestly and fairly than in an atmosphere of judgement and distrust.
I would like to share with you two people who have dedicated their lives to working toward inner and world peace. They have inspired and helped many people, including me. The first person is David Coon, a Qigong Master living in North Carolina, who, for decades now, has taught and helped many people to heal their health, outlook and lives. He teaches in person and zoom classes and also offers online classes. He shares stories about how he had to change and mature in order to be more effective in his work. David has recently written a book entitled “Qigong for Beginners: Your Path to Greater Health and Vitality”. His wife, Tanya Coon, is a well-known Acupuncturist who also offers instruction on line for distance healing with Acupuncture.
One of the Qigong practices for inner peace that David taught in a free of charge on-line class recently is easy to learn and practice. The challenge comes in doing it every day for an extended period of time and with a focused mind. This exercise/meditation can be done standing, seated or lying supine. I recommend that you start by doing it seated and then progress to standing, if you choose. Palms are placed together in the prayer position, hands placed against the sternum in the area of the heart, but midline in the body, with fingers pointed upward. Hold the phrase and intention “deep inner peace” in your mind. Keep your body still. You could start doing this for a minute a day and gradually build up to 20 minutes or more. After several months, changes begin to occur in the body, mind and emotions. I cannot recommend this and the other exercises that David teaches enough. Below is a link to David’s website where you can find a two hour Qigong for Peace workshop he recently taught. It is free of charge because things are priceless. An alternative way to find the class is to search Youtube for David Coon Qigong for Peace.
Another person who is an important influence for inner and world peace is Peace Pilgrim, a woman who, starting in her 40’s, began repeated journeys on foot across the U.S. and also in parts of Mexico and Canada for world peace. She owned nothing except the clothes she wore, a toothbrush, comb and sometimes some letters forwarded to her by her sister in their hometown in New Jersey. After making an excellent living for quite a few years, she chose to dedicate her life to moving the world closer to a more lasting peace in the way most appropriate for her. This involved walking long distances and giving talks on the many aspects of peace, including peace for individuals and nations. She decided to not eat until offered food and to not sleep until given shelter. Since Peace carried no money and no longer had any possessions, no one had a reason to rob her. Periodically, she sent newsletters out to friends she had made during her travels. She was vegetarian because she did not want to place people in the position of killing and inflicting suffering on animals to provide her with food. She noted that when she had attained inner peace, she no longer suffered physical illness or discomfort. She walked for peace for almost thirty years, until her death. She encouraged people not to get attached to her, but rather to remember the message she spread through her talks, writings and life.
After her death, a group of her friends and students got together and compiled a book, “Peace Pilgrim: in Her Own Words” from her talks, interviews, newsletters, correspondence with them, and more. A couple of her quotes are below:
“This is the way of peace: overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.”
Another quote, which reflected the way she lived every day, is:
“No one walks so safely as one who walks humbly and with great love and great faith. For such a person gets through to the good in others (and there is good in everyone) and therefore cannot be harmed. This works between individuals, it works between groups, and it would work between nations if nations had the courage to try it.”
You can find Peace Pilgrim’s website at https://peacepilgrim.org/ It contains books, newsletters, recordings, films, and more.
This blog’s offer: feel free to contact me for further information about Qigong instruction from David Coon (or from me) and for more information about Peace Pilgrim.