The disturbance in your peace comes from obsession and hatred. It is very easy to explore and use. We witnessed that the last couple of decades. We spent our time entertaining and building and encouraging our hatred. That really destroys harmony and peace among us and within ourselves.
In short, if we are not building peace in ourselves, it will be very difficult to have peace outside. Many of us have the goal to achieve peace and harmony in the world. I am afraid peace and harmony has to begin within ourselves. The good old American saying is true: Charity begins at home. Peace and harmony likewise begin within ourselves. If we are not at peace it will be very difficult to talk about peace and try to bring peace. Somehow I never believed that the big nations or United Nations can bring peace. Yes, they try, for sure. They are meant for that. But can they really do it? No, it is the individual mind that makes the difference. One person builds peace in their own mind, then two persons, then three, four and so forth. Then you go beyond that.
That is how peace and harmony has to be established in the world. That’s my opinion and my experience. Look at our own religions, whether Hindu-Buddhist tradition or Judeo-Christian tradition, or Muslim tradition, or whatever. That’s supposed to be the solution for peace and harmony. They are supposed to be the givers of joy and sources of happiness, the path to liberation, but we have fought so many wars on the basis of religion for hundreds of years. So it is not any organization can do it, it is the individual, one by one. So I am responsible for myself and you are responsible for yourself. Your peace has to be created by you and my peace has to be created by me. We can help each other and contribute to each other and we want to make sure that we do. We also want to make sure that we don’t add disharmony.
Our people’s habitual patterns and addictions are such that the moment we do something good, we also do something bad together, and we contribute that. That way, we dirty the environment. That’s what we do. That’s how even the religious organizations have become. Instead of instruments to bring peace and harmony they have become instruments to bring disharmony and even war. These are the deeds of individuals. So peace begins also with the individual person. Peace brings harmony and that brings joy and that brings appreciation and that brings love and that brings compassion and that brings an ego-less, self-less dedication and you become what we call a “bodhisattva.” That is Buddhist terminology. It is a person who seeks the ultimate goal.
When we talk about watching the mind, motivation, these are the important points we consider. In one way, when we talk about motivation, it looks like a very preliminary type of thing. On the other hand this is a major, major contribution of Buddha to people’s well beings. Buddha has given us this message and a great number of Buddhist teachers have passed this message based on their own experience on to us. We have received the message and now we have to take and consider if it suitable to us as individuals.
Do I like it or not? No one is going to force you. No one can tell you to do something that no one wants to do. The information is here. Whether you like it or not, depends on you. I guess that is total freedom. It is free choice. There is no commitment, no force, nothing. This simply is the information and it is up to you to see whether it is suitable for you or not and if so, take it and try to see and utilize it and think about it and see if it is making any difference to your life, even for a day, an hour or even 10 minutes. If there is a difference for 10 minutes then there is a difference. If there is a difference for one hour, there will be a difference for one day. If there is a difference in one day, then there will be a difference in one week, one month, one year, the whole life. That is how we try to improve ourselves.
~ Gelek Rimpoche, Jewel Heart New York, April 7, 2013