A Year of peace & reconciliation

daily meditation to heal the heart

 

You are invited to join us for a year of daily meditation to open and heal the heart, uncover the peace and compassion that lies within, and boldly embrace the world. This is a self-paced on-line program supported by pre-recorded guided meditations.


Sign up for our newsletter and receive monthly reminders and support for your daily practice. If you already receive the newsletter you will automatically receive the emails for this program as well.

What is happening in the USA and around the world is showing us that it is of the utmost importance to spend time each day connecting with our heart; the goodness, love, and peace that lies within us. And, to allow this peace, love, and compassion to nurture us, calm our fears, and ease our stress. With stability of calm openness we can soften the edges of our heart and mind to embrace all those we encounter with warmth, concern, and a genuine desire to see and connect with them from a place of common humanity.


Below you will find pre-recorded guided meditations, suggestions for practice, and a list of text for study to assist you in your daily journey of peace and reconciliation.

This is an invitation to daily compassion practice supported by the guided meditations, practice suggestions, and readings found on this page.  If you already receive our newsletter you will also receive monthly supportive emails for this program. If you do not already receive our newsletter you are invited to sign up using the button to the right.


daily meditation

 

 

You are invited to choose between either of the meditations, or alternate between them, on a daily basis. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous use one in the morning and one in the evening.

Meditating with the same type of practice each day, though repetitious, allows us to deepen our practice, to confront our own shadow, and to truly transform our pain and suffering into wisdom and compassion.

Access the guided meditations any time of day that is best for you.  

 

Compassion meditation using Tonglen, 25 minutes

Tonglen is the most transformative compassion practice as it slowly dissolves our inner division that we project onto others. Through opening our heart and being willing to relieve others of their suffering we are letting go of our self-centeredness, the small self, and opening to our spacious, ever embracing Totality.

 
 

Reconciliation Meditation: Adapted from a meditation by Phillip Moffitt. 20 minutes

 
 

Suggestions for practice

 

 

Connect with your intention daily

Spiritual practice is everyday life, not just sitting on the cushion, meditating. Every move, every word, every thought is practice.
— Dagmola Kusho Sakya

Our intentions, along with our motivation, drives our lives. Connecting with our intention daily, maybe through a mantra or prayer, helps orient our mind and heart. Some find it helpful to write out their intention and put it somewhere they will see it every day. What is your intention for your life? How do you wish to show up in the world?

In this article Thupten Jinpa, Phd., the translator for His Holiness The Dalai Lama, speaks about using our intention to guide us through our day: Set Your Intention & Rejoice in Your Day

 

Practice patience

Patience is like a gentle Spring rain and a cool breeze in Summer. It nourishes, nurtures, and rejuvenates. It calms our incessant habit of demanding that others, life, and ourselves be "perfect" and live up to our idea of what should be, thereby opening our heart mind to allow and appreciate life as it is. Which affords us the space to respond from our deeper wisdom.

 

learn and practice non-violent communication

One of the underlying causes for the increased division is failure to communicate in an open, respectful way.  NVC was developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, see below for the book information, and is often referred to as "compassionate communication".  Using compassionate communication creates "human connections that empower compassionate giving and receiving and creates governmental and corporate structures that support compassionate giving and receiving. 

NVC involves both communication skills that foster compassionate relating and consciousness of the interdependence of our well being to work together to meet the needs of all concerned.

This approach to communication emphasizes compassion as the motivation for action rather than fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion, threat or justification for punishment. NVC is NOT about getting people to do what we want. It is about creating a quality of connection that gets everyone’s needs met through compassionate giving." from NVC website https://www.cnvc.org

Experience Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s only online training course on Nonviolent Communication through Sounds True by clicking here.

 

practice gratitude & appreciation

When in a place of gratitude or appreciation we are more open, we feel better. Have you noticed? It is like we are on top of the world, the things that usually annoy us don't bother us so much.  Research shows it actually shifts our brain from the stressed and more aggressive mode to an open, receptive, compassionate mind set. 

What are you grateful for? You are invited to write down 3 things each day that you feel gratitude and appreciation for.  

The website Gratefulness.org is a lovely place to visit for support in the practice of gratefulness.

 

practice generosity

Be generous with your healing words, your peacefulness, clarity, understanding, patience, listening, kindness and compassion. Generously give the best of yourself to care for others. 

 

connect with someone you normally would not

Another one of the underlying causes of the increased division in the world is our unwillingness to listen to those that don't share our beliefs, values, or opinions. We distance ourselves from others in our family, jobs or community; we don't go to their websites, read their blogs or books, or watch their newscast. We isolate ourselves within the walls of our own world view and believe that everyone should think and believe as we do. Creating a culture of greater and greater division and thereby, denying ourselves the opportunity to connect, grow, learn, and confront our ridged beliefs and our own shadow. 

Whether it is the person at the checkout counter, someone you disagree with or have a conflict with, or who holds a different political view than you, experiment with connecting with them. Offer a kind word, a smile, ask a question. Listen to understand without trying to change them, but to instead soften the edges of your own heart. What are their wishes, dreams, aspirations, values, needs, fears, and hardships?

Practice Forgiveness

There is an incredible healing power in forgiveness. Whether it is forgiving the person who cut us off in traffic, our partner who was irritated and cross with us this morning, someone who treated us in an unkind harmful way or forgiving ourselves, forgiveness frees us from the inner turmoil of pain and suffering. We free ourselves from being bound by the stories churning in our head that keep us unhappy, angry, and afraid.

Empower yourself by forgiving everyone for everything. You may find the reflection Freedom Through Forgiveness encouraging.

The website Radical Forgivness.com has helpful information and techniques to assist in the practice of forgiveness.

 

Keep "just like me" constantly in your mind

I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed.
— His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Reminding yourself "just like me each person I encounter wishes to be happy and free from suffering. Just like me they experience pain, illness, heartache, loss, fear and all forms of stress. Just like me they are doing their best to meet their needs, be happy, and avoid suffering. On this level there is no difference between us."

 

Rise & Serve

We are called to live a heart centered life while serving others. Serving takes all forms, from a smile, a gentle word, and being willing to listen, to standing together in community to raise our collective voices against all forms of prejudice, aggression, and hate.  

Service asks us to practice self-reflection. In The Transformative Power of Compassion I talk about how our spiritual practices can heal our heart by encouraging us to face our own hate, prejudice, and aggression. We can turn towards our darkness and bring it into the light of awareness to be fully seen and accepted. When we accept all parts of ourselves we dissolve our inner conflict and come into the fullness of the Totality of our Being. 

We are then better able to focus on what we wish to create, such as a kinder world where each being is valued and cared for. We are better able to focus on solutions instead of getting bogged down in the problems and overwhelmed by anger and fear. And we are able to respond to the problems in the world from a place of clarity and compassion.

You are invited to rise each day asking "How can I serve today? Who can I love and encourage? How can I live a heart centered life and rise to my full potential while supporting others?" You may wish to read the reflection Rise and Serve which speaks further on this topic.

 


study text

 

 

There are many wonderful text to study on peace, reconciliation, compassion, and loving-kindness.  Below are just a few suggestions.

A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives by Thupten Jinpa Phd

Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World by Matthieu Ricard

Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg & Robert Thurman, Phd

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie

Nonviolent Communication: A Language Of Life by Marshall Rosenberg, Phd

Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words 
by Peace Pilgrim

Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

You may enjoy visiting The Peace Alliance website.


Video Support

 

 
 

Truly insightful, deep and powerful. Oprah Winfrey via her incredible OWN network, talks to Thich Nhat Hanh about becoming a monk, meeting Martin Luther King Jr; The powers of mindfulness, insight, concentration and compassion, How to transform warring parties and how to deeply transform relationships.


What is altruism? Put simply, it's the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life.


The story of Embracing The World is the story of what happened when one person decided to offer her life  wholeheartedly for the sake of others. 

Spiritual leader, humanitarian and visionary Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (known to millions simply as ‘Amma’), is a servant of the world community. Through her inspiring life of love, inner strength and self-sacrifice, Mata Amritanandamayi has inspired people all over the planet to strive to make more and more space in the hearts for others and to dedicate free time to social service.


 
 
This documentary tells the story of former Maoist combatants, conflict victims, and government officials engaging in a restorative dialogue, following the aftermath of the 10-years armed conflict in Nepal. It shows what can happen when people are able to connect with one another across divides, beyond fear, stereotypes, and enemy images.

Anam Thubten Rinpoche speaks of the importance of our spiritual practice for real change in our lives and in our world. He references the Winter Feast For The Soul 40 day meditation program. This applies equally to A Year of Peace & Reconciliation program.