For the Love of Peace


Sivaratri Puja 2013 at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

Its Sunday morning and Downtown LA is quiet and is as peaceful as she ever gets.  The city bus service is cut back making longer intervals between their arrival at the 7th and Spring bus stop.  Fewer cars are driving up and down 7th and thus moving freely without the use of  their horns.  The building is completely still. There are no sounds from my neighbors who have pretty much been up for the entire weekend starting with Friday night... I attribute this silliness to the fact that they are young, stupid, and drunk.  That is a direct observation and not my mind imputing garbage out on anyone.  The birds are not even up yet.  I often hear them chirping as loudly as they can to be heard over all the urban noise.  Buzz and Bean are cuddling with the bliss of sleep next to me, they are slowly starting to stir and greet the day.  Bean has decided that its time to kick off the nights sleep with her morning cleaning ritual.

 In short everything is still and I am sitting in the peace of my heart wondering why I can't always remain here, at what point does the day sweep it away?  Why do I allow myself to be swept away?  Perhaps I should take a page from Beans morning ritual and observe my own morning ritual, remembering from the Vedantic teachings that life is ritual and all should be offered up to Brahman, that which is attribute less.  Thus holding on to nothing by giving it back to Ultimate Reality.  This thought makes me happy and it settles my mind.

I have thought about leaving DTLA and moving back to the burbs but that's cheating.  Peace is not in the burbs.  I believe that peace starts as an internal reality and then is reflected externally just as you can only have a very satvic (pure) peaceful home if you truly possess purity and peace it in your own heart.  Thus where you are so is peace.  I am reminded of a quote by Sw Vishnu Devananda Ji  "To change the color of the cloth we have to change the color of the threads then the cloth will change color by itself"... I hear this so profoundly now.  I must be peace for peace to exist, if we all took responsibility for our own minds then the color of the world would change by itself.  We can color our external worlds with the paint brush of our inner peace.

Om Shanti.

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