My life blazed
with the desire
To serve as a thread
Joining Heaven and Earth
~ Haiku by Masahisa Goi
One of the things that may happen when we are cultivating loving-kindness and compassion is that we become more attuned with these energies and may be drawn into connection and community with like-minded others. As each being becomes more of an embodiment of these positive qualities, they are not just bringing change to themselves but to those around them and the world itself. Perhaps you have experienced this is in some way as you have been working with May Is For Metta or holding this intention it is a part of your ongoing personal practice.
One of the qualities we often work with in the Metta phrases is PEACE. May I be peaceful. May you be peaceful. May all beings be peaceful. In Metta, we see peace as an aspect of loving-kindness; when we feel held in love and compassion, most often we are at peace; and when we are at peace we become more able to connect with energy of loving-kindness. These qualities go hand in hand.
Three years ago during May Is For Metta, I participated in a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony with one of the communities I am a part of, Heal My Voice. Heal My Voice is an international organization whose mission is to “empower and support women and girls globally to heal, reclaim their voice and step into greater leadership in their lives and in the world.” At the time, I was participating in a book project called Harmonic Voices: True Stories By Women On The Path To Peace, which focused on a year-long journey exploring moving from chaos to calm and cultivating peace in our own lives so that we might extend that energy out into our relationships and the world. And, athough I was familiar with the concept of Peace Poles, I didn’t know the origin of them until I attended this event.
The Peace Pole Project was started in Japan by Masahisa Goi, who was greatly affected by the destruction caused by World War II and the atomic bombs which fell on the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His desire to assist in the creation of world peace was answered when in 1955, the Peace Message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth”, came to him in a moment of great inspiration and deep prayer.
After Mr. Goi authored the Universal Peace Message in 1955, a great number of people gathered in support of his vision and activities to spread the Peace Message were promoted throughout Japan. Soon after, Peace Poles inscribed with the Peace Message began to appear in various locations across Japan initiating the start of The Peace Pole Project. The year 1986 was designated as the International Year of Peace and since then Peace Poles are one of the most recognized international peace symbols with more than 200,000 Peace Poles standing in almost every country throughout the world.
The synergy of completing a year-long journey into peace with May Is For Metta that year seemed to culminate with this peace pole dedication. Reflecting on these experiences has made me feel more deeply the idea that as we cultivate an energy or quality such as loving-kindness or peace, we are actually becoming an embodiment of it.
So for today’s practice, I felt to focus on peace specifically as our exploration. When we focus on peace and being peaceful, we are allowing ourselves to become a “living” peace pole, one that is moving about and radiating the energy of peace wherever we go. I hope you’ll join us in this exploration today.
You may wish to work with the full practice, choosing someone for each category or you may just wish to practice Metta on the spot today. Take some time to feel into what feels best for you. As always, our foundation comes from cultivating Metta for ourselves, so be sure to spend some time cultivating peace for yourself so that you may then extend that energy out to others and the world.
Find a quiet place and a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in your circle of loving beings or enveloped in the feeling of loving-kindness. Imagine a time when you felt held in that way. Also, for today, tune into a place or a time when you felt a deep sense of peace. Really allow yourself to feel that peace. Breathe it into every atom and cell of your being on the in breath and as you breathe it out feel it surrounding and enveloping you. You may wish to continue to work with all of your phrases or just work with “May I be peaceful” for today’s exploration; it’s up to you.
When you feel ready, move on to practicing for all of the categories or the ones you have chosen for today: Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, Difficult Person and All Beings. Remember to come back to your heart center for a few moments between each category and reconnect with the feeling of peace you generated for yourself before moving on. For each category, offer “May you be peaceful“. And, if you feel to work with other phrases, please do.
As always, if you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns. Use a peaceful time or place as your anchor for today. When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off. To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of peace that you have been cultivating. Really allow that feeling to sink in to you, let every atom and cell of your being be filled with peace.
In honor of the Peace Pole Project, let us also add this round of phrases, “May Peace Prevail On Earth”. Knowing that as we do so we are supporting and embodying a vision which,
- Symbolizes the oneness of humanity and our common wish for a world at peace
- Reminds us to think, speak and act in the spirit of peace and harmony
- Stands as a silent visual for peace to prevail on earth
Finally, take a moment to honor yourself for creating the space to cultivate peace in your own life and in the world. Can you feel how this is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves and for our planet?
Daily Journal Reflection:
Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.
- How did it feel to focus on peace today?
- Did it feel difficult to work with one quality?
- Did you notice areas of your life where it is challenging to feel peaceful?
- How did it feel to offer peace to others? to the world?
- What will you do to continue to cultivate peace in your own life, in your relationships and in the world?
Wishing you a most loving and peaceful day.
May Peace Prevail On Earth!
Tashi Deleh! (I honor the greatness within you!)