On the 315th day in the year 1918...on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month...the planet stood in quiet resolution and breathed a great big collective sigh of relief. After four years of WWI a peace agreement, or Armistice, was signed. What, at the time, was considered the "war to end all wars" was finally over. The celebrations ensued and Armistice Day was begun.
While Armistice Day was continually acknowledged, even though several subsequent wars were fought, in 1971 President Richard M. Nixon declared the re-named "Veterans Day" a federal holiday to be celebrated on the second Monday in November.
In remembrance of all those lost in our current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Vietnam War, WWII, or any other combat, let's all take a calming, mindful moment and turn our attention to peace...ya' know, as they say, "thoughts become things."
Peace and mindfulness are really one and the same thing. In essence our mind, our body and our environment are one. By opening our awareness to our actions to benefit the good of every other thing, we meet ourselves in whatever task we undertake. Whatever we see, whatever we hear, whatever we smell, taste or touch, we end up experiencing as our true selves.
By being thoughtful of our actions and intentions while we do even the smallest of tasks, like carefully and safely cleaning our homes, we meet ourselves in the simple mindful act of purifying our personal environment and by extension, our planet. Our home, the stuff we choose to do or not do, and our inner thoughts are one, and they tell the world who we are.Great spiritual masters have claimed such things as "you will find me in the breakfast dishes," because how we choose to approach even the mundane, can make a difference in our lives and the lives of those we love.
What better way to honor the brave women and men who gave their lives in service to our country, than by taking even the briefest moment on Veterans Day, and imagining peace.
In the powerful words of the Venerable Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master, Thich Nhat Hanh: I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.
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