J2P Peace Begins with Me

I admit it, I was stunned when I checked in on the election results late in the returns and realized Trump was going to win.  My stomach clenched, I had trouble sleeping, I spent much of the day in a state of dazed denial.

There are a number of aspects of this I’ll be working through and I’m sure I’ll post along the way.  But today for me was just a process of pulling back from the clenching and upset and getting my center back.

After thoroughly loving Elizabeth Lesser’s latest book, Marrow, I’m now reading and loving her earlier book, Broken Open.  In one of those moments the Universe synchronizes so well, I picked it up to read for a while after climbing into bed last night and I opened to a section in which she talked about a day when she was terribly upset about environmental issues.  The upset led to learning she can see an issue, be upset by it, and choose to die to it.  Perfect.

I can be upset by this and choose to die to it.  Put in those terms it doesn’t resonate for me quite the way I gather it does for her, but it was a starting place — and I try always to take note when the Universe plops an answer right into my lap.  So I fell uneasily asleep telling myself I was dying to this issue.  To me it means letting it go, accepting “what is” and moving on to a new space where my heart has expanded and includes more in its love.

I absolutely believe if I’m seeing problems “out there” or “in them” that throw me into fear or anger or any strong reaction, I know I’m looking at something in me.  And if it’s in me I can heal it.  But today I knew before I could get to the healing I needed to just settle down and find a way back to calm and some ability to be compassionate.

I decided it’s time for the lovingkindness chant.  But first I rode my exercise bike.  I knew I needed to work off some of the extra angst and exercise always help take tension down a few notches.  I also like the bike for the regular motion and rhythm because it helps to bring me back to circulating stuck energy and regular breaths.

Quieted down enough after my ride to feel I could sit and focus, I moved on to the chant–the version I use is from Jack Kornfield’s Path With Heart.  First 10 minutes for myself:

  • I am filled with lovingkindness
  • I am well
  • I am peaceful and at ease
  • I am happy

Like many practices, if something in me stands in the way of the energy of the chant, it tends to rise up.  Sometimes it might be incidents that unfold over a few days or weeks, bringing me face to face with whatever needs healing, but this time I immediately felt the disbelief and discontent pushing back against the chant.  After a few minutes I wept and chanted, chanted and wept.  And then the peace moved in and my heart started warming as I continued repeating those words I love.

Next up I chanted 10 minutes for Trump.  I began it as an affirmation, the way I said it for myself.  Something in me instantly began to fight and I started crying again.  I realized I needed to chant it to the more prayerful form in which it is usually spoken:

  • May Trump be filled with lovingkindness
  • May  he be well
  • May he be peaceful and at ease
  • May he be happy

The change shifted it for me — I could say it as a prayer for him but I couldn’t say it as if it already were true.  With the shift I settled in and moved deeper.  I could feel my heart expand and I realized saying the chant for someone, while it may or may not also help that person, is something to do for your own peace, to clear your own heart.

I finished with 10 minutes of chanting for America.

  • May America be filled with lovingkindness
  • May she be well
  • May she be peaceful and at ease
  • May she be happy

I’m still a little dazed and uneasy but I’m also in a more peaceful place.  Back in 2002, in the lead up to the Iraq war, it took a little over a week of daily chanting for Bush before I broke through into a place of feeling the oneness.  I figure it will take time again.

So I plan to chant every day.  Because the only person whose peacefulness I can control or change is me.  Peace begins with me.  It also begins with you.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with each of us.

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16 thoughts on “J2P Peace Begins with Me

  1. Love your story Leigh, wouldn’t it be great if everyone realises sooner rather than later that their feelings about what is happening can be balanced within. Love your kindness chant too x love to you barbara

  2. Your prescription, Leigh, is just what the doctor would advise for overall wellness. The key is to banish fear and hatred from within and infuse it with loving kindness and thereby trigger positive vibrations to radiate outwards. The Vedic mantra, Om shanti, shanti, shanti, is chanted to amplify the energy that affords peace.

  3. Perfect. I’m not sure of the protocol in this but feel I should ask permission to utilize this practice before I copy it down for later use :-). It’s beautiful and something I feel drawn to do. I’m unsettled and unsure of why. I’ve oscillated in 24 hours between feeling despair, grief, and fear, and feeling wildly empowered (?!!), as if I’ve been issued a personal challenge to take my life to the next level of something, lol. But this…this chant / meditation / prayer feels right.

    Amazing and thank you for posting it.

    • This version of the chant is actually from Jack Kornfield’s Path with Heart. If you do a search on the chant you’ll find there are multiple versions. I like this one because it’s the shortest I’ve found and I feel says everything in few words — something I always prefer. I have given credit to Kornfield many times but the chant is out there in so many places at this point I’ve gotten lazy.
      Glad it’s resonating for you and hope it brings you peace.

  4. Thank you Leigh. As always, your loving kindness chant is powerful and healing.

    I like the ‘may’ part, the recognition that you are not there – yet – but the willingness to go there will move you towards it through the chanting of the prayer.

    I am following your lead. Even though I live in Canada, the repercussions of the election are felt here strongly. Like the after-shocks of an earthquake, we too are vibrating at a more fearful level.

    Time to infuse my sense of well-being with loving kindness.

    Thank you!

    PS — I loved Broken Open. I’ll shall now get Marrow.

    • Thanks Louise. It gives me comfort to think of you doing this too.
      I still have a bit of Broken Open and I’m slowing down because I don’t want to finish! I love reading a teacher who makes it clear at every step she’s just as much a work in progress as we are. A few weeks ago I put up a post with a link to her Super Soul Sunday with Oprah — they take stuff down kind of fast but you might want to check their site and see if you can still see it — she was talking about Marrow…

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  6. Thank you for this. When I got to the part about Trump:
    May Trump be filled with lovingkindness
    May he be well
    May he be peaceful and at ease
    May he be happy
    suddenly I relaxed. I sighed. I let go. It’s all gonna be okay. It’s all oaky.
    Alison xox

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