Table of Contents

Life is Enough

Life is Enough

Nadine Hoover

6 February 2014

 

Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific has been seeking universals, things all human beings everywhere need to preserve peace, as well as seeking the richness of culture and ecology that travel affords.

In our travels, we share faith in the Living Spirit to bring life, joy, peace and prosperity through love, integrity and compassionate justice among those who live in simplicity, equality and nonviolence. Everyone we meet points to this statement and says, “This, this! Do you know how to do this?”, “Yes,” we reply.

In all our work–conversations, workshops, schools and daily life–to be inwardly guided by the Spirit in love and truth, we need:

1. To STOP, see the power of life beyond ourselves and know that it is good, trustworthy and valuable beyond all human endeavors. Stop, sit silently, let yourself fall away. Let what you want, like or understand fall away. (I often don’t want, like or understand what is actually true.) Open to transforming power and the Spirit of Life. Value all life; the source of our breath, the source of our heart beat. Know that this life is enough; nothing I can say or do will make me or life any more valuable than I am and it is right now. Listen for truths working within, listen to conscience. Speak, simply and briefly, if there are implications for others and silently change inside, if there are implications for oneself. Write the implications for oneself or community.

2. To face directly, release and heal from human pain and injustice. We practice facing the truths together, even though they are not packaged to our size, seemly small and petty or large and overwhelming. We practice releasing emotions physically, sharing our stories, comprehending our feelings and needs, reprocessing human experience, and finding ways to speak out about human tragedy and injustice. We also practice being good listeners and companions for others as they do this work for themselves. Trauma sets in and persists when we are left alone in our pain and injustice; good attention by others is essential for health and health is essential for a centered life. Without public responsibility for and diligence in this, human stress and distress dominate and order our lives and obstruct our sense of the divine.

3. To experiment with love and truth in our lives and articulate what we learn, not just being able to do it, but being able to be aware of what it is we are doing, so that we are able to share that with people very different from ourselves, weaving together a human family. We practice articulating our faith and practices in order to share them with others and ask for their sincere feedback, which we commit to being open to, listening to, considering and incorporating, and in turn give our feedback to others.

 

When we do these things personally, as companions and as small groups, we prepare ourselves in a way that totally transforms public life, community, trust, confidence and reliability. When we face personal problems together, they do not appear as daunting or as burdens of shame, but rather as opportunities for healing and learning. Public culture is changed.

In Indonesia, they take to this centering down, public lamentation and community discernment naturally. Their traditional governing town meetings are called musyawarah. Major decisions or disputes within a community require calling everyone to attend and giving everyone a chance to be heard before decisions or actions are taken.

Visiting and sharing our different traditions and practices has led diverse groups–schools, Islamic and communities, interfaith centers, workshops, former combatant groups, even political parties–to open their sessions with a moment of silence, to listen, feel, and remember that life is enough, nothing we can say or do will make life any more valuable than it is right now. The human task is to survive on this planet in a way that preserves, not destroys, this original peace graced upon us.

Join a Friends Peace Team in Asia West Pacific to confirm this story!