About being peace

This website is inspired by SanghaSeva.org and their retreat BeingPeace.

The Being Peace retreat is not like most meditation retreats. Usually retreats offer a time to be still and contemplative in a quiet and calm environment. In contrast to this, Being Peace offers participants a safe and well held first hand encounter with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over two weeks an international group participates in the olive harvest meeting with people from all sides of the conflict, with all their possible views and life experiences. It is a raw and revealing time of the very best and worst of human behaviour.

A Wise Response

Our emotions, and the feelings of those we meet, can run the whole gamut from anger and fear to love and understanding. Maybe because of this, we can get a taste of what it is that the whole scale of human experience is played on. So that just within the boundaries of overwhelm we find the capacity to be with it all. The awareness of these (and other) strong emotions are held somehow in a non-reactive way. Someone resting in the still point of this hectic world can find the next right step, the next appropriate action; a wise response.

This retreat has been running annually since 2006, and has helped bring people of different backgrounds together. Israelis and Palestinians, meditators and activists, young and old, hopeful and despairing, peaceful and aggressive. We're motivated by the idea of helping to build bridges between people who otherwise wouldn't meet. This allows the possibility of friendships to grow in the fertile soil of reality. Real experience destroys the barriers of stereotype and adopted views and opinions.

This becomes something that each of us carries away within us, and which helps to transform our world. Because once someone among us knows “the other” we're all talking about, it neutralises the possibility of alienating a potential friend.

Calm and Centred

To enhance the possibility of being the change we wish to see we use the calming and centring techniques of meditation. In other words, we try to become intimate with our selves in such a way that we can begin to accept all of who we find our selves to be. This tends to develop inner peace and spaciousness, which makes us more available for others or the world. But also, and equally importantly, it develops a way to meet them or it with a similar acceptance to which we've learnt to meet our selves. If we can truly meet this person or this moment without rejection, we can paradoxically find the way to be the change it calls for. The paradox is in our understanding of what acceptance leads to. How can acceptance lead to action? I don't know, but it's not the only illogical thing in the world.

We believe the peace that we can find in this moment, open to all that is happening, is liberating for us, those around us, and the world. Even a short experience of Being Peace offers deep insights into the way we live our lives, and reveals possibilities to bring real change to the world. If this retreat sounds like something you'd like to participate in follow the link above.

But this website is a place where we want to share the possibility of being the change you wish to see, and reveal ways that can help us all to exceed our individual concerns and to choose peace, harmony and freedom.

This website is dedicated to all those who continue to choose peace in times of war and inspire us to grow.

May all beings live in peace.