Why do we do public meditation for peace? There can be many different motivations among us, but behind the initiative are four basic ideas and the following is an attempt to put them into writing. Please help with your comments on content, grammar or anything you'd like to change, add or take away. Thanks!
1. It's a practice in ourselves. It's a practice in stopping and sitting still with breath and posture. We return with our attention to the body and mind, and practice both receiving and letting go of the thoughts and sensations that come. A space that makes it possible for me to see what is moving within me - thoughts, feelings and images - and the states of mind that my actions grow from. This is the foundation, just sitting. Firm as the ground beneath me, upright as the buildings and trees around me, and open as the sky above our heads.
2. We sit as witnesses to the suffering in ourselves and in the world, and train our mind in compassion. We sit in the middle of the flow of people, sounds and movements, and remind ourselves that everyone who walks by is carrying a story, joy and sorrow, fear and love. Just like myself, everyone who walks by has also been a little newborn child, a five year-old who explores the world, and one day we will all die. We are all vulnerable, intertwined parts of life and the world. From this view, compassion can grow.
3. It's a symbolic act of solidarity with everyone affected by war, violence, disease and disasters. People suffer in all weathers, and therefore we also sit outside in all weathers.
4. We sit as a reminder to those who walk by. For those who hardly notice that we are there, for those who laugh and shake their head, and for those who are interested and read the text on our sign. A reminder that it's possible to stop and be silent and still. A reminder that compassion and peace are possible. Maybe, in the midst of all that is dark, it can contribute to that which is light.