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Whenever we see separation within our world or within ourselves, we are stumbling along in the wrong direction.

This is something I have felt for some time, but had it brought home to me, recently, in a beautiful, meditation center. It continually amazes me when I discover that something I have just taken for granted as "TRUTH," was in reality, only "truth"--one of those little truths that come and go in our lives as we add to our wisdom and realize, at some point, that our little bag of truths is sorely in need of a sorting through.

As some people, who are walking along on the road to self-knowledge, I felt it was the heart that should lead us...it is the place from which we draw our deepest feelings...it seems to be the source of a special knowing. And, that the mind was the enemy...the crazy maker.

Recently, I read something which surprised me. "It is through the Mind that we find Peace." At one level it appeared to fly in the face of what I had discerned about the world. But, somewhere else inside of me, I realized that where the mind focuses, the rest of our being follows. Our mind wanders, usually by linking one thought to some similar thought to a similar incident and so on, until we are miles from our first idea, and to our embarrassment, have even forgotten what point we were trying to make.

We can also get into loops where we play the same thoughts over and over in our minds, stirring our emotions to a point where we become irritated, angry, even irrational over remembering something which has passed, or over a small occurrence which started eating at us and snowballed out of control. We can continue in this vein, with any number of mind games we have become quite adept at playing.

From this space, then, it appears that the mind runs roughshod over our emotions and feelings. The mind has a thought, our emotions are triggered and our body responds by sending out hormones to continue and support the cycle. It would seem then, to take control of the mind--not by force, for it does not seem to respond well to that--but rather, by gently not latching on to any of the thoughts which move through it.

When we are in meditation, the instruction is always to let the thoughts pass through without grabbing onto them--to keep bringing our attention back to a candle, or our breathing, or a sound, or an action. In this way, we train our minds to work with us and not, like some new puppy, to go chasing after every distraction that happens by. If we can bring the mind to a place of deep peacefulness...of a stillness...we are more able to see the patterns in our thoughts, particularly those which lead us away from peace and happiness--those thoughts which perpetuate negativity in the world.

Peace has to start within each of us first...from there, it is radiated outward to those around us...and then to those around them. Like some sort of perfected multi-level marketing, the Peace rides out in all directions, multiplying as it jumps to each new level. And always with the potential of encircling the Earth. So, follow your Bliss...it is your gift to yourself and to the world.

Blessing, Joann Turner