This weekend saw the 100 year remembrance of the ANZAC’s landing at Gallipoli. While some of our children were in Canberra, Helmut, Emma and I went to the ANZAC service in Jindabyne. As always I experience deep confusion, sadness and gratitude at the sacrifice of so many young lives to ensure freedom and peace in the future. In my continued endeavour to make some kind of sense from war and hostilities, I am reminded that life is about duality. We cannot know up without down, we cannot know black without white, we cannot know joy without sadness. Today I read a verse from a book by Toni Carmine Salerno that I regularly refer to for insight and wisdom that I would like to share with you.
Life is full of ups and downs, a constant ebb and flow between war and peace. Everything has a positive and negative charge. Harmony and disharmony, order and chaos, clarity and confusion, calm and conflict are all partners. In our physical world, you cannot have one without the other. Yet, like all of us you can sometimes wish things could change. Why can’t we just live in peace? Well, the answer is peace is possible, but you can only find it from within. The first step is to accept the world as it is – just let things be. Trust that everything happens for a reason and that there is a higher purpose to all things. Now become aware of your breath, let it guide you to a place of peace and light, a beautiful garden within the golden chamber of your heart. It is here, within your inner sanctuary that you will find the peace you seek. Peace is only possible when there is peace in our hearts. When you are able to find peace, even in the midst of chaos then you are a true master.
Finding peace within ourselves is a starting point. Activities such as breathing, mindfulness, gratitude and giving are just four simple ways we can find peace and harmony when we practice them on a regular basis. As Gandhi said, we must become the change we wish to see in the world.
ANZAC Day celebrations reflect duality. For me, they are not about glorifying war, but honouring the enormity of the human spirit that yearns for peace. Over the next month I encourage you to reflect on duality and put into practice one activity that will bring you feelings of peace and harmony.