If we are paying attention to what is happening in the world, we may feel that we are between a rock and hard place, and escape may be on our mind. But there is no escape.  As Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space comments, “this earth is the only home we will ever know…. this is where we make our stand.”

On a smaller scale of place and time, this moment is where we are, like it or not. So, what do we do?

There may be actions to take in the world that we are moved to do. To make sure though that what we DO is appropriate we must first BE more peaceful, more loving. One of the my guides in this regard has been Thich Nhat Hanh. His book Being Peace is a collection of talks make in 1985. As I was rereading this weekend I could see how relevant his thoughts are today.

Because I cannot say it better, I have included below a paragraph and a poem from “Being Peace”. If it speaks to you, I encourage you to find a copy of the book for yourself and take it in. For now here is a taste.

“Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other, “Good morning,” it must be a real”Good morning.” Recently, one friend asked me, “how can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.” I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our sovereignty.” Page 7

A Short poem from Thich Nhat Hahn to learn and recite silently while breathing and smiling.

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment

I know this is a wonderful moment.