“When a person is established in nonviolence, those in his vicinity cease to feel hostility.” – Patanjali
The approach of personal transformation is the idea of the future for ending war. It depends on the only advantage that people of peace have over war-makers: sheer numbers. This is one of the driving forces that inspired me and Oprah to create our 21-Day Meditation Experience: If enough people in the world transformed themselves into peacemakers through the practice of meditation, war could end. The leading idea here is critical mass. It took a critical mass of human beings to embrace electricity and fossil fuels, to teach evolution, and adopt every major religion. When the time is right and enough people participate, critical mass can change the world. Can it end war?
There is precedent to believe that it might. The ancient Indian ideal of Ahimsa, or non-violence, gave Gandhi his guiding principle of reverence for life. In every spiritual tradition, it is believed that peace must exist in one's heart before it can exist in the outer world. Personal transformation deserves a chance.
This program for peacemakers offers a specific practice for you to follow every day, each one centered on the theme of peace.
1. Sunday: Being for Peace
Today take five minutes to meditate for peace. Put your attention on your heart and inwardly repeat these four words: peace, harmony, laughter, and love.
2. Monday: Thinking for Peace
Today introduce the intention of peace in your thoughts. Take a few moments of silence, then repeat this prayer: “Let all beings be happy, loved, and peaceful. Let the whole world experience these things.”
3. Tuesday: Feeling for Peace
Today is the day to experience the emotions of peace. The emotions of peace are compassion, understanding, and love.
4. Wednesday: Speaking for Peace
Today, the purpose of speaking is to create happiness in the listener. Have this intention: Today every word I utter will be chosen consciously. I will refrain from complaints, condemnation, and criticism.
5. Thursday: Acting for Peace
Today is the day to help someone in need. Help can take many forms. Tell yourself: “Today I will offer help without asking for gratitude or recognition.”
6. Friday: Creating for Peace
Today, come up with at least one creative idea to resolve a conflict, either in your personal life or your family circle or among friends. Intend to create trust and eliminate hidden hostility and suspicion – the two great enemies of peace.
7. Saturday: Sharing for Peace
Today, share your practice of peacemaking with two people. As more of us participate in this sharing, our practice will expand into a critical mass, reaching many instead of a few.
As you continue to embrace the love and serenity that is your true nature, you step into your full potential as a change agent for the entire world.