My peace practice is sacred time for me. And today I was thinking about why that is. Why is it important to practice peace, everyday? Where does the desire to be more peaceful come from? How come it so damn hard sometimes to continue the peacefulness of this time throughout the day?
So this post is about that second question: where does this desire for peace come from?
Here are some thoughts…
Human beings extract experience from more than their 5 physical senses (taste, touch, smell, sight & hearing). The limited physical senses were not meant to define how life is perceived. They cannot begin to, as our experience completely debunks their relevance in most matters of importance. Experiences of joy, hatred, or love cannot be measured by the the 5 senses not using the scientific method as we have defined it today. Yet of course there is a role for the 5 senses. We can know the birth mortality rate of children in northern Canada or the height of the tallest trees on the planet or the square root of pi. Yet what do these measurements and analysis tell us about our experience of being human? In the midst of learning from others: scientists, theologians, philosophers, social behavior specialists, astronauts, spiritual teachers, mothers, elders and children I’ve come to the conclusion that no one’s explanation is more valid or more likely than my own experience. My own choice.
And so I have cultivated space in my mind for exploring my physical (and beyond) world with technologies (practices, rituals, processes) beyond the 5 senses. I have created a practice, what I call my peace practice, to establish behavior that opens up receptivity to those technologies and creates safe, regular time to practice. To try them on and compare with previous experience how it feels.
And that is another key element: Feeling. I realize that I’ve had to put some major trust in my feelings and learn how to be guided by them instead of confused and overwhelmed by them. Now I welcome the complexity of emotions (well, most of the time) and no longer run towards something to numb myself away from intense emotional experience (if I’m honest fast food, alcohol, sex, partying, or marathons of Downtown Abbey are ingested most of the time only to shield me from paying attention to what’s emotional going on in my life –thankfully that is shifting!).
This is why I practice peace.