If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
~Chinese Philospher – Lao-Tse – 6th century bce
Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
By Rabbi Harold Kushner
Soul of our souls, Spirit of our spirits,
And the One embracing All,
Divine One, of infinite names and none:
Powers of East, South, West and North,
And all who weave the Universe:
I call to you, within and without –
This night, this rite.
Divine Air – bring imagination and creativity to the world.
Like the far-seeing hawk,
May we see this situation as the whole complex tapestry that it is,
And be in-spired with fresh and virgin weavings.
Like the unfettered winds,
May we be freed from old assumptions and patterns in how we respond,
And breath in new possibilities.
Divine Fire – bring clarity and compassionate passion to the world.
Like the bright light of the Sun,
May we see clearly the way-forward of “what is necessary” for all life,
And the time to come.
Like the transforming flames,
May our grief, fear and rage be transformed into compassion for all –
All victims and perpetrators alike.
Divine Water – bring yielding and wisdom to the world.
Like the gentle erosion of water upon stone,
May we release our personal and cultural biases,
And acknowledge the ‘wrong-thinkings’ that we may harbour.
Like the deepening twilight upon the earth,
May we remember the lessons of the past,
And contemplate their meaning for the future.
Divine Earth – bring greening and surety to the world.
Like the stretching branches of the tree,
May we stretch ourselves
Into the life-affirming paths of reconciliation and healing.
Like the deep peaceful dome of night,
May we stand firm in the Goddess and the God,
Through this ‘dark night’ of confusion and fear, and false ‘stars’.
May our souls be strong, steady and revealing.
May our spirits be en-lightened, faithful and sure.
May our choices be wise and enduring, for the generations to come.
By all that is Sacred and True,
So Mote It Be.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
~ By Pablo Neruda
~ from Extravagaria
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