Creating Peace

When we talk about peace, we are mostly referring to an agreement or an arrangement. We often talk about the intellectual concept/noun of “Peace.” Very few expect that in this complex world in which we live, there could be real peace. Real peace is an inside job. We can only make peace with ourselves – in the present. Being at peace with ourselves – in our own lives, and demonstrating it – inspires others.

Peace is a consciousness. When many practice this consciousness, its critical mass spreads like the “100 Monkeys” theory.

A human being, though one organism, is divided by fear into many parts, and in his traumatized mind set, has to answer to many voices:
“What’s wrong with me? / Am I worthy of this? / Why is this happening to me? / I am wrong / I am right / I am all alone / I am defective / I am unlovable / I am powerless / I am a loser / I am less than / I am more than / I am going to die / Shame on me / Poor me / If only I could / I am
damned / I am unlucky / I don’t measure up / What’s the use? / We’re all doomed,” and more.

Dealing with these voices is often an unconscious process. It is as if the mind argues with itself, and doesn’t know it. In our defensiveness, we become indignant and self-righteous, we project and we act out. Overwhelmed by these voices and unable to tolerate our own feelings, we leave the present moment, and disassociate from our bodies into agendas, beliefs and stories that justify our pains and fears. Disputes and conflicts with ourselves and with others are expressions of these dreaded, anticipated, and fears and pains.

Making peace is the’ inside job’ of being present with these voices. Identifying and acknowledging them for what they are and accepting them – we can take responsibility – able to respond to them rather than react. Containing and feeling them and enduring their physical sensations helps us to drop back into our bodies, out of our heads; connecting with Mother Earth grounds us in our experience. Opening our hearts to the life we are living helps us to reconnect with our source, break through the isolation and shame of our own fear/pain, and generate compassion for others. Connecting to the breath, we surrender to the newness of the present moment, available once more to participate fully in our own lives.

Being present with these parts of ourselves that we are so threatened by – is like becoming a listening and caring parent. Many of us have not had these kinds of parents; it is not a memory we can conjure up. For some, it is an image to be “invented” and acted on “as if.” We are all blueprinted with the consciousness of peace, and only we can remember and practice “peacing” our own lives. There is no higher or nobler practice than making peace with ourselves. The greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to others is the peace of the present.

Samuel Kirschner has spent twenty years as a body/mind therapist and a meditation teacher, speaker, and author. In the 1980s, he facilitated The New York Healing Circle, which helped thousands of people with HIV live with a sense of peace and self-acceptance. He trained in body-centered psychotherapy, and in the Zen tradition and the Vipassana style of meditation, as well as in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – by Jon Kabat Zinn). Available CD /Audio file – Meditation Peace at

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