Extending the circle

Extending the circle

“Extend the circle of ‘us’ to include as much of the world as you possibly can.” ~Rick Hanson

Violence, hatred, cruelty, and conflict are fueled by the illusion that there is a “them” separate from “us.” The only cure is embracing the radical truth that there is no “them.” There is only “us.”

In this election season of focusing on our differences even more than usual, the practice of extending our circle of “us” (even to those we disagree with) is a challenging and much-needed practice of peace.


Image adapted from one shared by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Which thoughts do you choose?

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~William James

How often I forget that I have the ability to choose my thoughts and to pick ones that are healthier for my mind and soul!

How often do you remember to invoke your ability to choose your thoughts? Which thoughts are you choosing now?


Image adapted from an image shared by No-longer-here from Pixabay

Cultivating nonaggression is cultivating peace

silhouette of bird sitting on a tree branch

“When we hold on to opinions with aggression, no matter how valid our cause, we are simply adding more aggression to the planet, and violence and pain increase. Cultivating nonaggression is cultivating peace.” ~Pema Chödrön

Learning to hold my opinions loosely has been such a healthy shift for me, bringing much more peace than I would have imagined. In the midst of an election year filled with the opportunity to express my opinions, this is good reminder to hold those opinions loosely and express them as nonaggressively as possible for my own greater peace and greater peace in the world around me.

How do work toward holding your opinions nonaggressively? When you accomplish this, how does it cultivate peace in your world?