Six Practical Ways to Bring Peace to the World

 

Is world peace attainable? We think so. Although this wish for world peace is as old as the hills there are a number of factors which make these present times uniquely suitable for creating world peace. Buddha’s teachings are scientific methods for improving human nature. Today modern, authentic teachers are presenting these pure teachings in a simple and accessible way for modern 21 st century society. Whats more, modern technology is making these teachings available throughout the world so everyone can study and put them into practice in their normal daily lives. In short there has never been a better time for world peace to come about.

It is important for everyone to play their own part in this project. Below we explain six ways how you can take part. All these can be done as part of normal daily life. There is no need to make radical external changes.

1. Find Your Own Inner Peace

Only by creating peace within our own mind and helping others do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world.

On a personal level YOU need to choose peace by cultivating and maintaining a peaceful mind all the time, minute by minute, day by day. If we are to encourage others (including our family and friends) to follow the way of peace then it is essential for us to choose peace in everything we think and do.

Inner peace is the source of true happiness and it protects us from problems. Delusions in our mind however, are the source of all suffering and problems. It is important to understand that delusions are not an intrinsic part of the mind but temporary adventitious characteristics coming from ignorance. Dharma means protection. By familiarizing our mind with Dharma, as explained in Buddha’s teachings, we can create a stable experience of inner peace that is not affected by changing external conditions.

From this point of view Dharma is the actual medicine to cure our minds of the delusions that destroy our inner peace. It is only by meeting and practising Dharma in our daily lives that peace will grow in our heart.

All faults in the world such as fighting and unhappiness are the faults of delusions not the people. Our job is therefore to overcome our own delusions using Dharma and then to help others do the same.

2. Love and cherish everyone including your enemies.

Love is the answer to all the problems in the world. Strive to believe the happiness and freedom of every living being is as important as your own. The instinctive view of ourself and others is that we are more important than everyone else.

This deluded view is the basis for all our suffering and problems. If we examine all the times we have been miserable, we will discover that they are characterized by an excessive concern for our own welfare. Also all our negative, harmful actions are created by this selfish motivation. All disharmony, quarrelling and fighting come from the self-cherishing of the people involved.

All the problems of human society, such as war, crime, pollution, drug addiction, poverty, injustice and disharmony within families, are the result of self-cherishing. Thinking that human beings alone matter, and that the natural world exists to serve human desires, we have wiped out thousands of animal species and polluted the planet to such an extent that there is a great danger it could soon be unfit even for human habitation.

If everyone were to cherish others, many of the major problems of the world would be solved in a few years.

Cherishing others is not so difficult – all we need to do is understand why we should cherish others and then make a firm decision to do so. Through meditating on this decision we will develop a deep and powerful feeling of cherishing all living beings. All the reasons to cherish others are explained in Modern Buddhism.

Motivated by cherishing love you will naturally give out love and kindness and take on others’ problems and suffering.  In How to Transform Your Life Geshe-la describes the effect a selfless teacher would have on the community around him or her:

Such a teacher will naturally influence those around him in a postive way, and his presence will transform the whole school. It is said that there exists a magic crystal that has the power to purify any liquid in which it is placed. Those who cherish all living beings are like this crystal – by their very presence they remove negativity from the world and give back love and kindness.

3. Bring the Future into the present. Believing is Seeing!

Use the power of imagination to inspire you to make peace within yourself and the world. Try to visualize what it would be like and let the joy motivate you to make that dream a reality. Everything in the world depends upon effort, and effort comes from a wish or aspiration. If we can’t imagine it then it will never become a reality for us.

Prayers are also powerful methods to bring about change. It is very easy to say prayers and request the blessings of all the Buddhas, and if we say them with a good heart and strong concentration they are very powerful.

Everything depends upon the mind because everything is the nature of the mind. It is a remarkable quality of the mind that we first create objects with our imagination and then bring them into everyday reality through our actions. In fact everything starts in the imagination. All external and internal creations, even world peace and Enlightenment are developed in dependence upon correct imagination.

4. Help the Dharma teachings to flourish and remain in the world

Since all faults in the world are faults of delusions, and the only method to eradicate delusions is the practice of Dharma, we can see how important it is for pure Buddhadharma to remain in this world.

All the mental pain experienced by living beings arises because they are afflicted with the inner disease of delusions, particularly self-grasping and self-cherishing. Dharma is the supreme medicine that can liberate us permanently from this sickness.

Understanding the connection between the problems in the world and the delusions in the minds of sentient beings we can see the importance of practising Dharma ourself and then teaching it to others. Sharing Dharma with others is the best gift we can give. It is the supreme act of kindness.

Only if Dharma teachings and teachers remain in this world is there a realistic chance of a peaceful world.

5. Support the International Temples Project

The International Temples Project, established by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, aims to introduce Buddhist faith and practice publicly, and to exemplify contemporary Buddhist practices throug public service.

The ITP establishes a range of facilities and services that enable people from all walks of life to gain special practical experience of the peace that comes when Modern Buddhism is integrated into daily life.

The ITP strives to promote world peace through building Temples, Retreat Centres and Commercial Spaces throughout the world. Because of these activities pure Buddhadharma is flourishing throughout the world like never before. The aim of this project is to build inspiring spaces for people to receive and practise Modern Buddhism in every major city in the world. These places will serve as beacons of hope and places of peace for their local communities, helping to fulfill Venerable Geshe-la’s vision for world peace.

There are five ways to support the ITP;

1. Attend a festival or celebration

2. Offer a working visit

3. Make a financial contribution.

4. Make prayers and dedications

5. Visit an International Centre

Please visit http://kadampa.org/temples/how-you-can-help for more details.

6. Support Your Local Kadampa Centre

Heart Jewel Centre was established by Venerable Geshe-la in 2007. Our aim is to create peace in the minds of the local community by establishing classes in Modern Buddhism throughout the region and building an inspiring and suitable centre for the practice and teaching of Dharma. You can help the centre in four ways.

1. Start training to become a qualified teacher and then sharing your experience with others.

2. Become a volunteer and help with numerous tasks around the centre such as publicity, assisting classes and fundraising.

3. Support the Centre by purchasing a Centre Card, which for a monthly fee gives you access to all our classes and events. Please contact the centre for more details.

4. Make a one-off donation, either on-line below or send a cheque payable to Heart Jewel Centre.