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The Art of Knowing Peace: Part II
By: Most Rev. Dr. Marilyn L. Sieg


While you are in the winnowing process of your activities, examine also your own inner spiritual life. If you reduce your outer physical and spiritual activities, what about your inner spiritual activities? It is very possible to complicate and clutter your spiritual life with prayer techniques, difficult and convoluted methods of meditation, qualms about the best way to go to God, worries about whether you are loving God enough and a myriad of other little foxes that siphon valuable energy. Could this energy not be used in a more direct and simple way of love which Jesus taught us from the first pages of the New Testament? The solution lies in living totally in the atmosphere of peace. To do this, very simply, enter that place of silence, of high consciousness, your deepest center, and speak directly to the Divine Presence that is within and you will quickly come to know yourself as peace, love and joy beyond your imagination.

Once again, it is important to understand that, if you desire to remember that you are peace, you must make a deliberate choice to set aside time, even though it may be but a few minutes, in which you come to the awakening that you were birthed into this world to be peace to everyone and to the earth itself. These few moments may be the ones you use in a simple walk to the window from your desk, or in the few moments it requires to shift activity, to make a trip to the restroom or to take a cool drink of water. This amount of time is all that is needed to breathe deeply. Get into the habit of breathing deeply and frequently. Breathe in the energy of love that is the God you are. (in the sense of God's energy abiding in you) embrace it (by holding it) expand it and release it upon the universe. Visualize it traveling with the speed of lightening to the vast reaches of the universe. Bask in the peace of silence beyond silence where you come to understand what it means to "Be still and know the very Isness of God. Now, you are ready to begin or to resume your activity, refreshed, relaxed and re-enthused. You will be amazed at how much more success, even in this world's measurement of success, your efforts will create.

Control of your emotions which often dominate your life is an unspoken given for awakening to peace. What are the things that make you angry or upset your emotional balance? When you become angry about a situation or at someone, a great deal of energy is expended. There is a tendency to go over and over in your mind what has made you angry. As you continue to review every detail of who did what and the words each one used, you are giving those energy depleting emotions a force which they do not deserve. All the time that you are engaged in these multiple replays, negative energy deepens and you move farther and farther away from peace. Just as two objects cannot be in the same place at the same time, neither can anger and peace exist at the same time in your heart. As long as you have one bit of anger, one bit of envy, one bit of unresolved hurt in your heart, negative energy consumes you and it becomes more difficult than ever to reawaken the peace you know yourself to be.

Negatively charged emotional situations are like mini-wars. They go on at the workplace, in the family and, sorry to say, in our churches. No matter how insignificant these wars may appear, they inhibit peace and, consequently, they inhibit growth in the spiritual life. If you were to transfer these small wars onto the global scene, you would find that the causes of small wars are often the same as the causes of much larger conflicts such as those between one country and another or between groups of countries.

It stands to reason then, that if you want to be a peace-filled person, you must put away all hurt, pride, injured feelings and judgmental attitudes. You can do more good for your worldwide sisters and brothers by forgiving one small injury than your human mind can ever imagine. Peace cannot live in a raging, angry, jealous heart. So, make every effort to resolve any old disputes. Take the first step. If your attempt at reconciliation is rejected, be at peace, knowing that you have done all you can. Then, place this person or situation in the heart of Blessed Energy. Only there will the unreconciled heart be touched with change.

The moment in which you experience fear or anger is the moment to breathe in full drafts of nonjudgmental, unconditional love which carry within it the quality of profound peace. Once you have received it into the very cellular structure of your being, embrace it, expand it, release it upon the universe and know the truth that you are peace.

When you feel emotional vampires of negative forces draining your energy, focus on something totally engaging, totally mind-consuming, so that you can keep your thoughts from mulling over all those angry moments. These thoughts become like a runaway train that goes speeding down the mountainside to its own disastrous end. You know yourself best and, therefore, you know what can separate you from your difficult situation. Once you have determined what to do, DO IT. Perhaps, you must physically distance yourself from the person or situation. Maybe, a shopping trip, a movie, a stroll in the park or a short time on the lake shore would help clear your vision and give you a new perspective on the situation so that you can take steps to resolve it. Do whatever you know you must do.

In these days when our newscasts are dwelling on biological warfare and the possibility of more future terrorist attacks, the need for peace becomes preeminently evident. Many hearts are filled with fear about the future because all of us now realize that we are vulnerable from inside our country and from outside our shores as well. Certainly, it will not bring peace to keep repeating phrases like "Isn't it terrible? or What's going to happen to us? or We'll all be killed in the end." This "Woe is me" attitude will seriously undermine your spiritual and physical being long before bombs or biochemical attacks.

One of the best approaches is to be proactive. Focus on your work, your family, your neighbors, your recreation and your spiritual life. Do things you may not be accustomed to doing such as arranging more family gatherings that will build loving familial bonds. Take the family hiking through the woods or pitch in with neighborhood or church projects or take short one or two-day trips together. The important thing is to create a positive, loving, peaceful atmosphere in which the spiritual life and all life can flourish. Say often to yourself with deep faith in this truth, "Everything is in Divine Order and is unfolding as it should in each moment." Send love and peace to Osama bin Laden and to his followers. Envelop them with God's pure, nonjudgmental, unconditional love. Do this often as an individual and with groups. Peace sent from a sincere heart is a million times greater than a thousand bombs. It is irresistible!

Proportionately, as you awaken to your peace, you will find yourself letting go of illusory activities (gossip, anger, judgment) and plunging more deeply into infinite peace which becomes the Source of your love and joy. You will live and move and have your being in that gentle presence. You will know that you are the greatest and the grandest thought that the mind of Blessed Energy ever created. Your birthright is peace.

You have all the resources necessary to live in peace. If you strongly desire peace, use your creative abilities to find the rainbow, the good, in every person and situation. Even in the greatest tragedies, such as the devastation of the World Trade Center, there is a multitude of rainbows. Have you counted them? If not, you have deprived yourself of the joyful peace permeating this devastating event. Never have we seen more giving of life for others, more support in grief, more purses open to help those left financially drained, more sharing of compassion and love, more open signs of love for America.

Believe me when I tell you that the rainbows at Ground Zero were so brilliant that they lit the sky of the entire world, "The rainbow is God's calling card."* It is always tucked somewhere inside to let you know that the "Presence" is there.

As I meditated on the joy and peace the rainbow brings, I was inspired to record these thoughts:

Although I cannot touch or see you, Blessed Energy,
I feel you in the rainbow that shines
in every spirit driven person,
in every awe-inspiring creative act.
I feel you in the rainbow whose colors
bless each event, happy or sad.
I feel you in the rainbow,
hidden in my darkest anguish,
waiting to be discovered.
I feel you in the rainbow of compassion
that overwhelms me with its warmth
of joy and peace.
The rainbow is your calling card
that declares your Presence,
the Presence of your infinite love.
Today, this very day, is a Rainbow Day.

If you start out to make each day a rainbow day, you will be the bearer, the instrument of peace to everyone. The entire universe will feel your positive influence and it will be aglow with a brilliance that is eternal.

The peace of God be always with you!
Most Rev. Dr. Marilyn L. Sieg

*Taken from Sieg, Marilyn and Hill, Evelyn. MINUTES. Madison, WI: Quasar Publications, 1987. p.97.

We would like to thank Most Rev. Dr. Marilyn L. Sieg for the Spirituality Articles she wrote for us.

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