Pause for Peace Convention 2016

We live in a world in which balance has been lost: The balance with the environment and other species, the balance within society, the balance between work and life, and ultimately inner balance.

The world is experiencing tremendous insecurity and financial markets are in turmoil. It feels as though we are in turbulent and testing times. We are so busy and preoccupied in our day-to-day challenges that we fail to take a broader, deeper perspective. We fail to take full advantage of this magnificent and rare human birth.

Let’s pause – Pause for Peace. Take a breath and be fully present, mindful and aware.

This weekend will be a shared journey. We explored tools, insights and wisdom to be able to be more fully present and aware in each moment. We saw how this awareness is a crucial step to understanding and eventually experiencing ultimate, infinite, eternal peace.

This weekend developed the essential habits for clarity and mindfulness. This will bring us to an ethical approach that delivers balance and peace within us and our surroundings.

We started by exploring stress, a cause of poor health and the loss of peace. But what truly causes this stress? What makes it last as long as it does? What is peace? We contemplated these questions through interactive exercises and discussions. Through this, we developed tools that take us away from stress towards peace.

When we think of peace, a doubt often arises: in this fast-paced world, is peace even possible? What does true peace really look like? And how can we develop better responses to the challenges that life throws us, so as to remain peaceful? To explore these questions, we studied owners of peace – heroes –, both historical and contemporary, who remained peaceful and calm amidst some immensely stressful and challenging circumstances.

We studied stories from their lives, and explored how their perspective, practice and presence of mind let them deliver a peaceful response. Through these models from ancient sources and more recent times, we developed tools, insights and wisdom to apply today, at this very moment. These stories will also illustrate the different levels of peace that can be achieved, and provide a window into the magnificence of the ultimate peace, that is infinite and everlasting, and which lies in the soul.

Every spiritual hero was able, while in the midst of great challenges to their body and mind, to remain calm, forgiving, even loving. They were very aware and very present in the moment of their greatest challenges. At one level, we can say that each of these heroes was immersed in equanimity. At another level, one could say they were absorbed in a meditative state, and in some cases, these great souls were immersed in the bliss of soul, in the ecstasy of self-realisation. One can say that they were mindful.

We explored mindfulness as a practice. We also considered tools which reinforce mindfulness practice. Mindfulness for many is a goal in itself, and yet it is also the beginning of a journey to deeper realization and truth. This practice and related tools can take us, when directed towards the goal, and guided appropriately by Truth, further on the path to liberation, Moksha. We will be closer to the prospect of a peace which is not at the mercy of forces outside our control, a peace which is unshakeable, infinite and everlasting.

From the convention Pause for Peace, we took away a deeper understanding of the causes of stress and unhappiness, and the development of peace. We learned tools to resist reaction to circumstances and challenges, so that we can take a Pause, take a breath, before jumping in feet first and often causing great harm to others and ourselves. We learned tools to reinforce and strengthen this process so that our engagement with the world is kinder, more grateful and wiser, and so that our lives are fulfilled and enriched by a meaningful inner journey.

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