We live in a college town — State College — within a ten minute walk from the campus.  As the news unfolded late Sunday night, — about Osama Bin Laden — from our front porch we could hear students lighting firecrackers and shouting and singing in the streets downtown, as if they were somehow “released.”  I thought of how these young people’s lives have been influenced by so much war and “terror.”  So many in this generation of young adults understand how nuanced world events truly are.  The college students I know give me hope — their eyes shine with eagerness to help the world.   Despite being inconvenienced sometimes by the very few students who get attention by not behaving well, I feel lucky to live among college students, most of whom work very hard and many of whom also work at jobs and volunteer commitments.  Most of the college students I know are amazing, impressive people.  So young, and so wise.  On Facebook, I read posts by some of these students as they communicated back and forth about whether it was right to celebrate. Whatever our political views may be, ultimately we all long for peace.

The following day while our granddaughter napped near me I worked quietly on embroidering some small pieces, and as I worked I experienced how centering and peaceful it is to place one stitch next to another, as if this careful watching over a small child while stitching could somehow contribute to making the world a peaceful and beautiful place.  I’ve always loved vintage embroidered things, and think about all of those busy women years ago who somehow found time to create these little works of art.  Yesterday I felt kinship with them.  To find an authentic place of peace within one’s own heart is one path to offer peace to the world, it’s a good orientation.  For me, this feels like meditation that helps me to know how I want to participate in the world.

There’s a beautiful Buddhist saying, encouraging people to “Participate joyfully in the suffering of the world.”  How do we do this?  By nurturing our own joyfulness, by not turning away from suffering, by orienting ourselves so that — hopefully — we can participate actively in ways that nurture joy and peace.

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment