Some of the peace practices we are to contemplate during the Season for Nonviolence are easy to apply. Take SMILING, for instance; it is easy to see how more smiling would bring about more peace, inside the self, between people, even between peoples.
Some practices require a little more thought, and for me today, GROUNDEDNESS is one like that. How, I wondered, was it so different from CONTEMPLATION, yesterday’s practice, which did not blog about here but merely shared with a few photos on the Tucson Season for Nonviolence facebook page?
I thought about a tree, such as our desert mesquite, which develops a deep tap root immediately upon sprouting. When it is even six inches tall, it is a struggle to pull up out of the ground. This is because the tree must reach deep for water, it must be tough. Its roots also stretch wide, and its seeds fly everywhere. I imagine they have so many seeds because most die before they are an inch tall, like many of my ideas, come to think of it. Otherwise, we would have an unlikely desert forest, and I would have too much work to ever accomplish.
GROUNDEDNESS, having roots deep and wide, creates stability, in a tree, in a person, or in a social movement. To be grounded as a person means to me to be fully here in this NOW moment, body and spirit and to give myself a moment to stay still, even in times of excitement or conflict or loss, and touch in to the Source of my Being, allowing Spirit to be my GPS system.
As a movement of spiritual activism for peace and nonviolence, for the earth and all people, indeed all life, the movement too must be grounded in spiritual values, unmoving in our commitment that Peace is not only the goal but also the only path. That is why we go back to contemplate the same principles and practices year after year.
Dr. King understood that his movement must be grounded in principle, when he would not be moved from his decision to be LOVE in action. While remaining unmoved in his quest for justice and equality for all people, he would not let others’ malice change his heart. He remained Love in Action. The political anti-war movement, not so much. It became an angry, violent rebellion rather than a movement for lasting peace.
Gandhi, King, Mandela, their path was of reconciliation, forgiveness, love, and SUCCESS, because they remained grounded in their core principles no matter what pressure or horrors the outer world presented them with.
Groundedness, it is today’s Peace practice.