Three Sundays ago, it was the Phuket Ironman race. The roads around the island were closed for the cyclists and we were diverted on our way to church.
And here’s the thing about Phuket roads – there is no logic. Googlemap and Waze didn’t work very well either, so we blundered down dead ends and narrow alleys that led us into rubber plantations as we tried to find our way to church across the hill.
Now, normally, I would get stressed out about being late for church, the reason being, I only spend 1 hour a week here, and I would like my full 60 minutes.
But that Sunday, I surrendered myself to being late, or worse, not getting there until mass has ended. Because we have done our best – we left the house 45 minutes earlier than usual, and there is nothing more we could have done.
And so, we chatted happily in the car, loving the drive, talking deeply about what mattered to us in life (not ‘success’ as defined by society, excitement nor wealth, but simply what we have).
This was our view that Sunday as we drove around rural Phuket, and we felt totally blessed with our simple life:
As we arrived in church (30 minutes late) the choir was singing this beautiful hymn, One More Gift.
This is the refrain:
If there’s one more gift I’d ask of you, Lord,
It would be peace here on earth
As gentle as your children’s laughter
All around, all around.
This is the song on youtube:
And from the Buddhist spiritualist Thich Nhat Hanh that my partner and I are students of:
Our individual consciousness reflects the collective consciousness. Each of us can begin right now to practice calming our anger, looking deeply at the roots of the hatred and violence in our society and in our world. Each of us can practice listening deeply with compassion in order to hear and understand what we have not yet heard and understood. When we have listened and looked deeply, we may begin to develop the energy of brotherhood and sisterhood between all nations, which is the deepest spiritual heritage of all religious and cultural traditions. In this way, peace and understanding within the whole world is increased day by day. Developing the nectar of compassion in our own heart is the only effective spiritual response to hatred and violence.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
“At Home in the World”
One of the most powerful lines that I ever heard (and it has been in my head for decades) is this:
The wars in the world did not come from outer space, but from the hearts of man.
I wish for the gift of peace for you in your everyday life, from when you wake up and look into the mirror to when you fall asleep last thing at night, because peace in the world starts with you ❤