A few days ago, I found myself with a few others in the east of the island gathering natural materials to build a labyrinth in preparation for a meditation on peace.
How I came to do so, is in itself a funny story; that helped me realize how sometime the days building up to an event can be as transformative and full of lessons as the event itself [because truly, if we decide to, we can see lessons in pretty much all of life ?].
Around a month ago, a friend of mine shared on Facebook about a meditation for peace* that would be held in the US and that the organizers encouraged to replicate… After having it on my mind for a few days, I decided to reach out to a few friends to see what they thought of this idea – and everything started to fall into place: from someone allowing us to use her beautiful land to create the labyrinth to another friend, who had already created labyrinths before, accepting to guide us in meditation on the event’s day.
Labyrinths have appeared in many traditions all over the world and throughout time – to walk one is considered a symbolic pilgrimage. As you go inside the labyrinth, maybe this walking meditation also acts as a powerful mirror that helps to go within oneself. [Labyrinths are not to be confused with mazes; labyrinths only have one path to follow, as opposed to mazes- built to get one lost].
And while walking this 7-circuits labyrinth -and building it- was a beautiful and powerful experience, I realized that the days leading to this experience were also full of lessons. First, about letting go of expectations and flowing with what happens – because organizing any event always comes with unexpected circumstances. Secondly, and mainly, about Peace and my relationship to it.
As we all set our personal intention -under the broad theme of Peace- before walking this labyrinth [Family peace, Peace between nations, Happiness … ] – mine ended up being Inner Peace.
We’re all complex beings, and none of our personality could be described simply; we’re all paintings made of layers and layers of many different colors and shades, how could one expect us to only use one color to describe it all ?
How then does all these aspects of our-self cohabit ?
Are there aspects of our personality that we do not give enough attention to and that want to express themselves ? Are we at war with aspects of our-self ?
If the definition of peace is ‘the absence of war or hostility’, I wonder if this does not truly start with us. If we’re truly at peace [if such a thing is possible] within our-self, if we truly accept our-self; would it not then be easier to accept others and hence not go into war and hostility ?
If we ask the reason for war and hostility, we’ll be given material or ideological reasons, but can’t we ask why these reasons generated hostility? Isn’t this due to our inner-state ? How we think, feel, see the world and react to it… because there’s not really an unshakeable link between anything and hostility; it is us who chose to use this or that as a reason for hostility, right ?
Organizing this event, in funny ways made me come face to face with aspects of myself I maybe had not give enough attention to lately, that I had pushed away; and helped me make peace with them.
Now, I do not believe that ‘being at peace’ is about endorsing all aspects of our-self [or of others if we speak about outer peace] , maybe it’s about recognizing what is happening within us before all, and then deciding to elevate aspects if they need to. It might also be about forgiving some other aspects, or only about accepting that some aspecs are here and that we’re truly fine with it being that way. As always, the ‘answer’ surely depends of the situation.
I understand that it’s truly not as if it was just as easy as that, and it’s not my intention to write any of these reflections as ‘answers’- for me too this is still ever-evolving.
May we all find so much peace within our-self,
That we can only shine this peace outward;
Throughout our families and communities,
And hence throughout the world.
* The original event I saw the post of, and on which this gathering was inspired, is called ‘Movement for Peace : Awakening the Magdalene’; and is about a meditation for peace being held on the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene [it’s only the second year that July 22th is considered Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day by Christians]. Recognizing her here as a feminine archetype [aka ”An ideal example of”- ”an original pattern”- ”a model of”- ”an universal symbol of ”; it’s a big discussion in itself, but you got the idea… ] of the divine [aka Divine Energy, Energy, Source, God, Universe, Nature, Whatever-You-Wanna-Call-It]. She represents many things for many, including Intuitive Knowledge and Power from Within, Strength, Union/Unity of the opposites, Peace, Unconditional Love […]. The event was non-denominational/open to all faiths and spiritual paths; and hence this day was chosen to acknowledge this archetype/energy, what it represents and how it can indeed be tied to this broad theme that is Peace.
I’m truly grateful to everyone who participated in this gathering, made it possible or even joined in this prayer for peace in thoughts – Thank you !
Disclaimer : These are my reflections and understandings, that come from my own perspective on life and own path – a path that strive to understand many paths, world-views and philosophies and see the unity between them all rather than the differences; if any of this does not resonate with your own spiritual or philosophical world-view, I totally respect this, and please do feel free to ignore whatever does not resonate. I write this as always only as an ever-evolving reflection and questioning.