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International Peace Day: Ashland Culture of Peace event Monday

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;

You are the one who gets burned."

— Buddha

The United Nations declared Sept. 21 as International Day of Peace 32 years ago.

A wise person once said: When people want peace they will have peace. But why do some not want peace and continue to hold the “hot coal” in their hand? The problem and the solution: While everyone has an ego, the “hot coal in the mind," the cool calming presence of inner peace is there as well. Every language in the world has a word for peace: Salaam, Shalom; Pax; As-salam alaykum; and Mir to name a few. You can find more at www.columbia.edu/~fdc/pace/.

Peace or mindfulness means looking at the “hot coal” and choosing to change the mind. We watch the antics of the egoic thoughts “running the show” and change those thoughts. We don’t have to believe them; the drama; the projections and or the judgments we think. When we are aware of it, we can say: “Do I want this; can I drop it, forgive it?”

And if you judge yourself while doing this process, just say: “Oh there the ego again — no big deal” and let it go. All condemnations are from the ego, the creator of guilt in the mind. The ego has an untold number of grudges, jealousy and strategies to manipulate the mind with fear being chairman of the board. Don’t believe it.

Salvation from the ego is within your powerful mind. You are the decision maker and can put the “brakes” on the ego and switch channels. Your power is in tuning in to another way of thinking and go to the sanity within. Think: “I choose peace; I want to see this differently.” You have the power to turn off the ego insanity and turn on the sanity of love within. This process gradually reduces the ego and it becomes less dominant. You notice you are more peaceful!

The ego is not your friend. You are mind, a higher self, spirit-loving, and you have done nothing wrong. As we become less identified with the ego, the quiet truth comes from the love within the mind we all share. We live in a world that screams of distraction and misery, especially with the current immigration influx of Muslim refugees running for their lives from war to the protection and safety of Europe. Some in Europe welcome them with open arms and some are fearful and want to turn them back.

We can see this tragedy through eyes of love or eyes of fear. A loving mind will find the loving thing to do while a fearful mind will put up road blocks and produce more terror for itself. If we don’t buy into ego fear, we will see clearly and choose the right thing to do. No longer living as the ego’s chattel, love within reflects outward; inspiring others; a community and sends echoes of peace around the war weary world.

Elie Wiesel said "Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other."

The recently formed Ashland Culture of Peace Commission is hosting the UN International Day of Peace at the Elks Lodge from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21 . It is called a peacebuilding resource fair and will provide information about local resources available from mediation, conflict resolution, non-violent communication and more. They will introduce the Culture of Peace commissioners and Mayor John Stromberg will give a welcome at 5 p.m. Let’s show up and stand up for peace!

The Dalai Lama in his speech at University of Oregon in 2014 said: “First peace starts from each individual and not society. We change society when each one makes an attempt to change themselves — then society changes.”

Sally McKirgan facilitates one of several A Course In Miracles study groups in the Rogue Valley and the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace column. Send 600- to 700-word articles to innerpeaceforyou@live.com.