Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing

  • What does the idea and the ideal of the peaceable kingdom where the lion lies down with the lamb mean to you? What steps have you taken this week to make the world a more peaceful place?
  • Gandhi said that "noncooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good." Give an example of a situation when you have found that noncooperation, nondoing, or not taking sides has supported peace.
  • Who is the most forceful and impressive peacemaker you have ever encountered? What did you learn from that person?
  • What institutions in society should be teaching people the arts of peaceful resolution of conflict?

Imagery Exercise

Fran Peavey's experience, which is related on p. 353 of Spiritual Literacy, is the inspiration for this exercise, "Hugging the World."

Breathe out three times. See and sense the round globe of the Earth in your arms. With your fingers, trace the shape of the continents, dip into the waters of the oceans, walk up the sides of the mountains. Reach out to any beings you encounter as you travel around the globe. Feel what they are feeling. Hear what they are saying.

Breathe out one time. Sense and know that you are comforting the beings and comforting the earth. Then open your eyes.

Journal Exercises

  • Maha Ghosananda, a Cambodian Buddhist teacher, says, "When you make peace with yourself, you make peace with the world." In your journal, make peace with yourself about something that has upset your internal equilibrium or your harmony with others.
  • The next time you are tempted to rip someone apart or give them a piece of your mind, write a letter in your journal that you never send.
  • Collect pictures that have a calming, peaceful effect on you. Paste a few of them at the back of your journal to contemplate during those times when you feel ill at ease with yourself and the world.